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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  May 24, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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real clear, if it is an issue that is just in the middle of my heart, but what -- how do you speak to that? what will you do when you become president to ensure that israel continues to exist as god promised those people? >> agreed set of commons. thank you very much. >> we have spoken as a family to talk about this. there should be no deal line between us the united states of america and the country. we stand shoulder to shoulder with them. [applause] they share our values regarding
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pre them of rights. we had a chance to be in israel. we led a trade mission there. i have been to iraq five times. the afghanistan three times, visiting troupes, giving encouragement. i've been to bosnia and close kosovo. we need to make sure that the president of the united states understands an important principle. they understand strength not weakness. [applause]
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words matter. the specialty, the president. and for an american president say we will move forward with a palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, that set off all kinds of messaging to the enemies of israel and it sends the message that the presence of between the united states in israel is dangerous. it is misguided at a level that is almost in -- on imaginable. if i am given the privilege to lead this nation, america will stand shoulder to shoulder with israel. [applause] >> governor, health care
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expenses are exorbitant. they are increasing on a daily basis. current disease is a huge health care driver of our system. what would you do to reduce the cost of chronic disease? >> that is a great question. it is related to health care. chronic disease -- there are a few conditions in health care that consume most of the money. they are big expenses. it includes diabetes, obesity, cancer, and a few other conditions. there is a lot of reform that is to be done. when people have chronic conditions that they need to care for, it is in their best interest to get them to the places that provide the best care.
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there are huge differences. if you go to the best place as possible for your care -- people to not know that. it is hard to find out about ratings and other health-care information. i would like one of the reforms to be in health care. to say to providers that we will pay you more if you have more volumes in procedures along with better outcomes in the results. we want patients to get to the best places. if you go somewhere that is higher quality, we will pay you more or you will sert -- shares in the savings. it gives people better health care outcomes and the saves money for them in before us.
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if you pick somewhere with bad results, you will pay more. some of premium increases have been dramatically different. it can lead to organ fair, amputations. the better path is to make sure we have best in class standards to treat type 1 diabetes patients and pay more if they
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get better outcomes. people will be healthier. we will have a better health- care system. that is the direction we are headed. in the back. >> i was wondering, what are your plans to do away with the deficit or handle our economic crisis? >> there is a group in iowa and that is called strong america now. we have a fancy name for how to you make government more affordable. and we use this in minnesota. it really works. i want to be the first presidential candidates to sign
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up for the strong america now initiative. [applause] >> it was the first stain that gave us hope that our country can't make it fiscally successfully. >> you spoke about the deficit and the debt. we have to stay focused on national security. right after that, if we do not get the deficit under control, it will take our country out from within. i want to get our republic -- ever country growing again. on the spending side, look at where the money goes.
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medicare, medicaid, so security, interest on the national debt, and a few of entitlement programs. it is going to be over the three quarter lined in the not too distant future. we have to look the american people in the eye and say, there is no way out of this, unless we are willing to reform those entitlement programs and spending programs. it will not be easy. if we cannot get the country to do it, we are wasting our time. this will be one of the last chances we will have to do it. look at it mathematically, it tips over pretty hard pretty soon. we do not have 20 or 50 years. this is the election that really
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matters. it will determine a historic way in the future. we need a new president. barack obama will not tackle this. he does not have the courage to do it. i will take it on. >> one more question. on the entitlements. >> the retirement age for the next generation will have to go up. we are at the point given the difficult choices where people that are wealthy will not get their annual cost-of-living adjustments where others will. those things can go a long way toward solving our social security problem. on medicare, we have a system
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that pays providers based on volumes into services we do not want to measure our health care system and pay for a much volume recharge in the past compared to those in the region. we want to measure it on whether people we want to take care of our getting better. we want to introduce competition into that market and not be some mission -- mystery on the issue. we should use the -- shut off the autopilot feature. and let the democracies compete. one more. how about the lady in the back.
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>> i have seen the worst and the best of our educational system. can you talk about what you did in minnesota to help improve the education their >> that is great. >> that is great. we compete in a lot of things. one of those is to has the highest act scores. it goes back and forth but lately we have been doing well. we have another great statistics. act scores are highest in the country. some of the highest graduation rates in the country. some of the highest college attainder rates. nape scores that are highest. math and science, we were approaching 20th in the world. we moved all the way to fifth or sixth recently. you might say, that sounds pretty good. overall, they are.
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however, that is only true if you look at the average. if you look at the results for children who live in areas of disadvantaged or who come from challenging situations like broken homes or neighborhoods that are disadvantaged, the results are awful. they have been awful for 30 years. we need courageous education reform. most of this is a state and local issue. it is important that we lead voice to it so we can mobilize and raise awareness. here are a couple of ideas. we know the most important factor of how it children -- tab is going to do in school is their parents. we want to do everything we can to encourage and get people in golf -- involved in parenting their children. we know that many parents struggle to do that. we want to encourage them with
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our word and policies. there is a lot of wonderful community and charity organizations to try to help with that. we know the second most important factor is the quality and effectiveness of their teachers. who goes into teaching? the minimum requirements we have for who we let into teach, what they've learned, is a rigorous? once they are teaching, do we track and make sure they are producing good results? if not, can we develop and support them? if they do not improve, can we remove them? that is not our current system. it features paying people for seniority, making it impossible to discipline or remove a
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teacher in a public school. that teacher reform movement need to happen. if you have a good teacher for your primary grades, the likelihood of you doing well is strong. if you're unlucky to have a teacher that is not effective, even for a couple years in grade school, your results are not very good. the likelihood of you catching up is not very strong. we need to do something else. we need to break open the monopoly, the 1940's one-size- fits-all monopoly that is our public education system. i do not like things that are top down, government run monopolies envisioned in the 1950's run by. -- bureaucrats. that is one thing if you're fortunate enough to have -- if you have resources, and you say you like your school, i am going to opt out, that is great if you have resources. a lot of families do not.
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they are trapped in this system. if you want to see one of the saddest things you will see, when you watch a "waiting for superman," it is about the state of public education. one of the children it follows is this young hispanic girl. it highlights how she and her mom were working so hard to keep her focused on her school, putting incredible time and energy. her hope is she might get a lottery number to go to one of the charter schools to escapers cool because it is so bad. she is just a little girl. she is hoping and doing her
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homework. they're taking buses that public transit. finally the day of the lottery comes. the ball comes down the chute to see who gets to go to the school. her number did not get called. by the end of the movie, we were so mad. our hair was standing up on the back of the neck. we knew we needed to go fight. we should not have a country where a little girl who was doing her part of the bargain asked to have her future hinge on whether she can escape our own-, ridiculous, a monopoly school system. [applause] i am for school choice in all forms. the people want to say in the government's ", that is great. it is your choice. if you want to have a public auction, great.
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if you want to go to a private school, that is great. if you want to have home school, fabulous. if you want to have online learning, great. we do not live in a monopoly. we live in an ipad world where people get what they want with freedom. or they wanted as fast as they wanted. the government needs to catch up or get out of the way. we are moving on. that is the world today. [applause] i want to thank you for coming. i was going to apologize for the sun but after being in minnesota with a lot of wet weather, it feels good to me. i hope it feels good to you. i'm excited about this race. i hope all of you continue to support our efforts and know that we will be back here many times. let's go get the country back on track. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> in a few moments, and take a blow at the economic club of washington. more on our coverage of the public affairs conference of the american israel. then there will be comments by prime minister benjamin netanyahu. on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we will speak with the republican senator from utah. an oregon democrat and member of the budget committee will speak with us. and a legal affairs reporter will take your questions about the debate and some questions about the patriot act. "washington journal" is alive
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and 7:00 every day. -- is live 7:00 every day in the morning. a senate judiciary subcommittee is looking at prescription drug abuse. the drug enforcement in ministration -- and the drug enforcement administration. that is at 9:00 a.m.. and then there will be a discussion of with the air traffic control safety administration. >> book tv events will be on c- span2. there will be a look at the book industry. american history events on c- span3 from the st. petersburg,
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florida museum. the city's tour kicks off this weekend. watch it on c-span2 and c-span3. >> one of the negotiators budget director's jacob plus spoke. this is 50 minutes. spoke.ob liv this is about 50 minutes. and budget. jack is somebody i've known for about 35 years, i guess, because i knew him when he was a relatively young staff person on capitol hill. jack is a native of new york. graduate of harvard college.
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after he graduated from harvard college, he came down to work on capitol hill, working for tip o'neil, and worked on his staff for about eight years, rose up to be the head of development, head of policy planning for tip o'neil. after about eight years with the speaker, he left to come practice law in washington with vaness, feldman and curtis, practiced law for five years, and then came into the clinton administration, where he originally worked in the white house as special assistant to the president on certain policy areas including americorps. then went to the office of budget where he rose up to deputy director of omb to the director of omb and served from 1998 to dwun as the director of umb. during that period of time, the united states government had the largest budget surplus in our
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entire history. [ applause ] during his last year the u.s. government had a surplus of $230 billion. and we have never beat that since, and may not. [ laughter ] after he left the administration, the clinton administration, he went to nyu, where he was vice president for operations of nyu and also taught at nyu. later joined city corps and became the coo of its alternative investment management business, and then at the beginning of the obama administration came in as deputy secretary of state for operations and management. and then he took the position recently of being the director of omb again. so he's the only person in history who has held that job
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twice. so, jack, my first question is the obvious one. if you went from having the highest budget surplus in history and a record not likely to be topped any time soon, what made you think it would be a good idea to come back and be the head of omb again and preside over very large deficits? >> thanks for having me here tonight, david. [ laughter ] i like challenges. and this is certainly a challenge. when the president asks you to take a job, that you had before, your instinctive answer is why would i want to do it again. and when the president makes a case that he needs you because he needs someone with experience to hit the ground running, it's hard to say no. >> how many times did he have to have ask you? >> that's between me and the president. >> so what's the principle difference between being the head before and now? how has the job changed other than the obvious surplus this
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year? >> obviously leaving after three years of surplus, which did not happen by accident. we had a long period of time focused on deficit reduction and proved that you could eliminate a deficit and turn a surplus. but leaving after three years of surplus, coming back with a deficit larger than any we ever imagined. i projected a surplus of $5 trillion over the next ten years when i left. when i came back there was a deficit projection of $10 trillion over the next ten years. it can't get much more different than that. a number of things have changed. apart from the dminimensions ofe budget problem. part of it is the change being experienced throughout the economy. information flows much more quickly. technology made it so there's
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instantaneous analysis and conveyance of information, which actually takes a process that was always a very stressful and have high stakes process, and made it even more so. because there's this constant flow of information. >> let me ask you, can you contrast how president clinton dealt with the head of omb with president obama? did clinton get into the budget issues and does obama get into the budget issues? how much interaction do you have with the president on budget appeals? >> well, budget appeals are kind of a narrow part of the interaction you have with the president as budget director. it's kind of one part of the year. i would say that in both cases i considered it a mark of some success to keep the number of appeals to a small number. in fact, very few, if any. the truth is if the president conveys to the cabinet that the shape of the challenge is the same as the shape of the challenge that the omb director is describing, then it gets to a
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question of, you know, is there a meaningful appeal. >> does anybody go around you and say the omb director is terrible and i have a better position on this? >> i would say there are occasions when cabinet members want to be heard. i've been privileged to work for two presidents who support their own. >> so this year under the budget you proposed, the projected deficit for fy12 is what number? >> we projected at one point $6 trillion. estimates are now coming in lower than that. closer to 1.4. either way it's a large number. so $1.4 trillion deficit. so the tax revenues are roughly $2.6 trillion? >> so we're borrowing about 40% of the budget? >> it is a record deficit. and it's the reason why there's
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a bipartisan consensus in washington that we need to focus on the budget in a serious way. if you look at the size of the deficit right now, it doesn't tell the story of how we got there. having left ten years ago with a huge surplus. decisions were made on policy grounds, tax cuts and new benefits like prescription drug benefits that weren't paid for. and that essentially eliminated the surpluses. then there were wars that wsht paid for an an economic decline that had two impacts on the deficits. one is it drove down revenues. less growth means less income, less taxes. and it also required very substantial interventions because without stimulus, we wouldn't experience the recovery we're now experiencing. the net result when i came back on the scene was a deficit that
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was bigger than one could have ever imagined. ten years ago. >> when you left government before, there was a concern that we would pay off all the government debt and there would be no treasury bills for which government bills could be measured. >> almost nalmost. >> your proposal was to cut out $4 trillion spending over 12 years. >> our proposal was $4 trillion of deficit reduction, 1 trillion of revenue and 1 trillion of saved interest. >> if you do that, if you got everything you want, you're still adding $10 trillion to the deficit over that ten-year period of time. if we have $14 trillion of debt and you add another $10 trillion in the next ten years, how are we better off?
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>> when you're talking about numbers that are this large it takes a long time to dig yourself out of the hole. the first is stabilizing as a percentage of the economy. we get to the point where debt stops growing as a percentage of gdp. if our proposal were adopted, obviously there's not a process of parliamentary government here, so we know it won't be adopted in every detail that we proposed, it would bring the deficit down to roughly 2.5% of gdp, which would accomplish the goal by 2015 and lower by the end of the decade. i think that if we look in that range of $4 trillion save gsz over the next 10 to 12 years and really accomplish it, we can get the deficit to the point where we're looking out and instead of seeing the debt growing ultimately to 100% of gdp, we stabilize it, and then you can make additional, you know,
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policy decisions to bring it down in the long term. you have to take the first very important step. we call it a down payment. i think a down payment understate what is it really is. it's critically important. and we need to take the action now. it's not something we should wait two or three years to do. >> at the end of the last congress in the lame duck session, the tax cuts were extended, so called bush tax cuts were extended. that added 1 or $2 trillion to the $800 billion. and why would you, as the omb director, support that? wouldn't that just add a lot of the deficit? why not just eliminate those cuts? >> in a very sensitive moment in terms of economic transition. we are no longer in recession. but we're in a recovery that is not something that we can just take for granted. in december, had there been no tax bill, what we would have seen on january 1st was a tax increase right at the time when you were seeing job creation and
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economic growth beginning to settle in. we feared, and i think we feared correctly that were that to happen, we could have had a double dip. it would have been terrible for the economy. it would have been terrible for fiscal policy. one of the engines we need to get out of the deficit hole is economic growth. without economic growth you can't cut your way out of the problem. one of the causes was the economic decline. i think that the balance in the tax bill in december is one that did a lot to stimulate the economy. there's a payroll tax holiday. there's an extension of refundable tax credits for people sending their kids to college and for the earned income tax credit. you know, there was an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. these things had immediate stimulative effects. we knead to secret of the fact that we did not support the idea of extending the tax cuts at the higher bracket. it was a compromise to do it for two years. where one side said it should be
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done at the end of two years and we should go back to the tax breaks in the 1990s. when we had the longest period of uninterrupted economic growth in our history. so we think the tax rates were highly consistent with stable growth. the other side would like to see them made permanent. we're going to have a chance to have that debate. last december was not the time to throw the gears into reverse in the economy. that's what we would have faced in an honorable compromise. >> the president's decision when the campaign was -- he didn't want tax increases for people below $250,000 and to protect the middle class, but people who make $250,000 and above are only 2% of the population. the middle class presumably is $100,000 or something like that. if you want to protect the middle class, why would you not reduce or increase taxes on people above 100,000. 250 is well above the middle
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class. >> i think that if you look at where the middle class lies, you'll get a lot of different ek pla nations. we've had people argue that we drew the line too low. if you look at the tax brackets, 250 is the dividing line between the top bracket and the bracket below it. we said it was not necessary to raise taxes, to keep it in the top tax bracket. also by accomplishing zlr 4 billion of deficit reduction we showed you don't need to raise taxes on people below $250,000. so we're obviously a long ways off from get iting a bipartisan agreement for the future tax break of the country. we made it clear that shared sacrifice mean people lucky enough to be in the top tax brak have to bear part of the burden. the cuts we're making on the
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spending side fall disproportionately on people below that. so it's not a question of who are good people and who are bad people. the president was quite careful when he made his remarks six weeks ago at george washington university to make it clear that this was a question about everything being on the table so that we have the kinds of choices that can be balanced, and people lucky enough to be in the tax bracket don't complain that much about their tax rates. >> when people talk about a budget cut, do they really mean a cut below what the increase is going to be or a real cut? right now, for example, when you talk about budget cuts, are you talking about cuts below what the current spending is or below what it would otherwise grow to? >> for different purposes you talk about it neither way. when we look at projected deficits are, projected deficits are based on projected growth,
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not current levels going forward. so there's an assumption on social security and medicare. there are asujss about more people being eligible. any changes you make give you deficit reduction. >> if somebody represents say a business interest and they want to come to see you, can they call up and lobby? how do people influence you? >> i have a schedule full from 7:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night. so a lot of people see me. i meet with groups more than with individuals. but i will meet with people who have serious issues to raise. my frustration is that your time is so filled up with internal meetings and things that take up 80% of the day that sometimes you feel that you're in a ka coop and you have to struggle to
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hear things that aren't just the same people that you talk to in those meetings that you really must be part of. >> the con gregs budget office have projections of dwef sieficd rates. whose are more accurate? >> all projections have risk of error. when i was at omb the last time my errors were always underperforming. so reality was better than i projected. i haven't had a track record yet, so i can't speak after just six months. you look at economic projections and they do drive these numbers in a very important way. we're pretty close. we all gravitate around mainstream kind of centrist blue chip economics. flst sometimes one factor or another where there's a principle difference. i'll give you an example. our asujs about long-term growth
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is that this recession, the recovery from it, will ultimately return us to the same level of potential gdp that we had before the recession. that's been the experience and recovery from every previous recession, including they assume it's a permanent loss of potential in the economy. theirs are within the mainstream as well. we don't know today who will be right. our view is if you make the right policy, the united states is always returned, and we don't think that anybody about this recession should make us bet on the opposite. so that's a principle difference. i'm happy to debate it. you know, this year we're a little below them in some things. so over time it kind of evens out. >> what are your projections now of the unemployment rate of say november of next year? >> well, i don't remember the
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year-to-year unemployment projections or any other year-to-year projections. we show it trending down. we show growth trending up. >> you think you can get below 8%? >> we obviously would like to get it as low as we possibly can. every day we worry about the unemployment rate. >> last time a budget deal was cut that led to the budget surplus. what was the key to getting that deal done? do you see the elements of a similar deal this time? >> if you look at what was the environment that we were in then. in some ways it was less likely than now. there was a process of building up relationships over a period
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of many months made it possible for us to explore what was in our common interest. but i don't think there was an impending sense of crisis. it was a sense that it was the right thing to do. and it was a very good thing that we did it. i think right now we're in a situation where you know, the whole world is watching to see will we be able to get our fiscal house in order? i don't think that the tax bill you asked about earlier caused eyebrows to go up in the world economic community. it takes a few years for things to kick in. if we want fiscal con stsolidat to hit when it really shuld,
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waiting until 2013 means waiting until 2015 or 2016. when you look at what came out a few weeks ago, fundamentally it's an economic document. the united states with a aaa credit rating. as a political analysis they said we're afraid no action is taken now. if no action is taken now and put off until 2013, we're worried it will get beyond the point when action needs to be taken. i'm not saying that's a reason for us to act today versus six moptds or a year from now. it reflects a real concern that the political environment in washington could stand in the way. one thing that is very promising in the conversations that are going on now, you know, the vice president is leading -- >> are you involved in those? >> i am involved in those. there's a shared sense of purpose in those conversations. you look at everyone came in with the same definition of the
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problem. we all said we need to do something $4 trillion roughly. $4 trillion of deficit reduction is something we agree on. we're now engaged in a process where i think there is a lot of trust being built up so that you can discuss serious options. there's a need to act. i won't be easier six or neighbor months than it is from now. i'm not withstanding the difficulty of the problems optimistic. >> when do you think a resolution of the biden-led discussions will be made public? >> well, i think we're now because of all the scheduling complexities going into what's essentially the third week of discussions. we've been meeting at blair house. tomorrow the meet willing have to be moved. we have a foreign visitor staying in blair house.
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the prime minister of israel is staying in blair house. >> okay. and where will you go now? >> we will find other very appropriate accommodations. if you have the fannie mae and fr freddie mac on top of that. still pretty large? >> it is large. but if it stabilizes it will, i think be possible for us to send a reassurance we will be out of it. it takes a long time to build down accumulated debt. in the 1990s we just worked our way out of the deficits built u up in world war ii.
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i don't think that we can realistically think that you can take a deficit this large and eliminate it in one negotiation or one cycle. you can arrest it in terms of driving it forward. >> the defense budget is roughly $800 billion a year or something like that? >> if you count the regular defense budget plus the special appropriations for what were called contingency operations. >> so z$800 billion. do you see a need to reduce that dramatically to get to where you need to go? >> the president proposed we look for savings in every part of the budget. in the security part of the budget he said that we had been successful. secretary gates has been successful over the last two years making roughly $400 billion of saving sin the defense budget.
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he said we can do that again. we can get another $400 billions of saving sin the security area. it will require a strategic review. to do it again will be difficult just looking for low hanging frutd. we're now, you know, secretary had comments on this last week, launching the streejategic revi. we're looking closely together on it. >> what's the best way to win an argument with you? what argument do you like the best? >> i tend to believe in facts and clear analysis. if you start with facts and clear analysis and less emotion, it tends to work better with me. arguments that begin with, you know, your staff messed this up aren't the best way to start the conversation. weinberger would show him with pictures of soldiers and show a
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lot of military soldiers. it got president reagan interested in it. does anybody come in with pictures and illustrations that are really effective? >> nowadays everybody has decks. everything is powerpoint and slides. you can make a clear argument with no pieces of paper. you can make it with a memo or slide slides. >> erg is small when it's yours and large when it's someone else's. >> does he go through appeals in the cabinet room? >> the challenge wen dealing with something as vast as a federal budge is to find the right level of detail to share with the bt on a regular basis. and you know, having that work for two presidents, every president has their own style. i was privileged to work for two presidents smarter than i am.
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so it's not hard to get them into a serious discussion. i found if you go department by department on what has changed and what is potentially controversial, it can direct the change to warrant presidential attention. the danger of trying to take every issue is you don't have enough time, and you don't end up using the president's time and the things that really are decisions that that he would want to give clear and separate direction. any member of the cabinet could make the issue.
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>> and do members of congress lobby you as well? and what's the most effective argument they can make? the more on the level arguments are, you know, what the importance of something is, what the facts are, what the case is, there's no reason to be embarrassed, to say that something is important as the economy in your district. you know, if it's rooted in a serious analysis, you know, to say that a project has more benefits than cost when you look at the analysis, you know, to say that even though to say it
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tends to be a work. >> do you envision any chance of a debt bill not getting passed? >> no. i think that having now been to to a number of meetings with a number of leaders but there's a shared understanding. it's just unthinkable for us to default on the u.s. -- >> we'll wait to the last possible majority. >> i can't argue that. things rarely happen early in washington. there's very strong reason to do it sooner rather than later. you know, we saw in the certain days we're potentially heading towards a government shutdown. literally saw the whole world watching to countdown clocks to
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would the federal government shut down or not. it would be a terrible thing if we end up with that kind of watch for is the united states going to default, you know, is the united states going to, you know, for the first time in its history, you know be bankrupt. >> but did you think there was going to be a government shutdown recently? >> i did not. >> so you told all your employees to come into work and everything? >> you know, i actually tried very carefully to tell my employees the same things that we told every other federal employee. and it anoints them of the people at omb. it wasn't going to be a shutdown at the very end when there was a chance that wanted to be shut down because the process may get jammed up, we went into a mode of communicating.
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we tried very hard to keep the issue. >> did you think there was going to be a government shutdown in the clinton administration when it happened? >> well, you know, i think it's a little different. we were on op site sides of this one. there was a decision in that case by one side that it might be a good strategy to shut the government down. and that made it, i think, you know, harder to avoid. i was hopeful to avoid a debt. it backfired and turned out people weren't so happy when the government shut down and they couldn't get a passport, they couldn't take their family on vacation, they couldn't rely on the fact that basic government services would be provided in an uninterrupted way.
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so i think we saw again in these last few days leading up to the final, you know, resolution without a shutdown that it made people very anxious for a good reason. we should be able to get our work done. >> what percentage is this? >> so the two major areas are health and social security. health, medicare and medicaid are 20%. things like agriculture programs, other retirement programs. then you have to go in and change the law in order to have
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them operate differently. >> what percentage is defense spending? >> 24. >> so 57 and 24, that would be about 81%. >> so discretionary spending, the thing that everyone looks to to solve the problem is 12% of the budget. the other 6% is interest. >> so you have 12% to play with. that's all you can really change. >> and the appropriations process for nonsecurity spending. that's why we always made the case, when you look at a deficit that is large as we're looking at, if you're talking about a deficit it's $700 billion. there's no way you can solve the deficit. nonsecurity. so we thought it was important to produce spending in the
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nonsecurity area. we produced $38 billion of reductions. that's also why we say we've gone to the edge. there's not a lot more to cut without going into things that really undermine our future. and it's going to be a question of how you balance the trades. one of the things that everything has to be on the table is if you try to solve the deficit problem with anything off the table, you end up with choices that are frankly the wrong policy outcomes. so if revenue is not hon the table, it pushes you to go deeper into discretionary spending and entitlements. you take entitlements off the table completely, there's no way to solve the problem on discretionary spending. the only way to solve the problem in the best interest of all the people to bear the problem.
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>> at the end of those, that period of time, 2016,? >> i don't want to throw a number out there. but i think that if you're looking you could see the deficit in 2016, in the 2.5% or below range, which would be very important. >> what percentage is it now? >> now, no, it's not in the 20s. but it's been hovering. >> i'm sorry. spending is a percentage of gdp. >> spending is in the 20s. >> okay. all right. and do you think being a business person you were in the business world, has made you a better omb director or a less effective omb director or what would you say? >> i actually think every
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experience that you have makes you more effective on what you do next. i think that having worked in the private sector, both for a university and in the financial services field, you have a different perspective on what it means to have government policy made and then to try to do your business consistent with those policies. i felt that when i practiced law as well. in the very first. it turned out there was a compromise. it can't be. i think inform your judgment in many ways.
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i think having been in government and out of government several times, one of the things that i think for me has been the most important is you kind of refresh your able to look at problems and think about them without thinking that you know the answer already. you know, when i was in this job the last time, i was at omb for six years. it was time for me to leave. i knew that i was probably not able to look at everything fresh. it came back ten years in between. the same issues came up. i know that you felt one way about that ten years ago, but it's different. the economy has changed. is it still the same right answer? you need to refresh yourself. >> when the president asked you to take this job, he didn't say if you get the deficit to a certain level, i'll make you secretary of state in the second term? nothing like that? you didn't get that promise? >> i neither sought it nor got
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any commitments on the nufuture >> what would you like your legacy to be when you ultimately leave? would it be to reduce the deficit as a percentage of gdp or what would you like your legacy to be? i was proud to be omb with a surplus. it was the first time there was three years of surplus since andrew jackson was president. it's going to be a long time before somebody says the same thing. i know coming in with the problems we faced today. there's little probability i'll be leaving with a record that is as objectively strong as the record that i lad the last time. by the same token. if at the end of my tenure, restabilized it. we restored confidence and we're in a path to manage our business
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in an effective way, that's an enormous accomplishment. i wouldn't say i'm not no st-- lot we can do in the next few years to turn things in the right direction. >> as somebody who has come back to an agency that i have deep feeling for, it's been a tough time. i want to help rebuild the agency as well. it's not easy. paying attention matters to me. >> how people work at omb? >> about 500. >> how many are political employees? >> the exact number, i don't know. but less than -- >> the people working before are
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still there? >> about half the staff appeared people i was working with ten years ago. >> all right. we have time for some questions. anybody want to know what the deficit will be? any programs you want to ask if they'll be funded or not? >> mr. lew, a lot has been written about inflation. commodity prices went up. the had of the federal reserve, ben bernanke is not overly concerned. when you put your economic models together, what were your assumptions on inflation? >> our general view on inflation is not inconsistent with the numbers that the fed looks at.
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there are real burdens for the american people. oil prices and gasoline prices are a real problem. it has a big impact on consumer confidence and the like. you look across the economy at all the factor unputs and labor and where we stand vis-a-vis other countries, overall inflation does not seem to be something that we need to worry excessively about. we do have to worry about energy prices. that's the reason the president has been so determined to develop new technologies, to make sure that we can safely, you know, explore u.s. fossil fuel resources and working as hard as we can to make sure that companies that are making substantial profits are doing it
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the way that's not unfair to consumers. and it's tying back to our tax policy. one thing we would like to do on the tax side is take away the special tax provisions for companies that have benefits from oil and gas, you know, profits. we think it's only fair that we're looking at shared sacrifice. if taxpayers who are burdened by higher gas prices, they're also the ones who are hit when we have to have cuts in domestic spending. it shouldn't be a one-sided calculation. >> other questions? >> what are the effects of the policy tool? >> i think we learned that it does work to put stimulus into
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the economy wen you're in need of it, as we were in 2008, we were kind of at the bottom of the recession, when you look at a stimulus package, you have to look not at a kind of random period of time but where are you at this point in time? in 2008 western looking at a situation where projections of the length of the recession were getting longer and longer almost by the day. i was working during the transition period on some of the kind of thinking that went into the stimulus package ultimately. and it was having worked on several recovery package, i had never seen a situation where every day the sense of how long the recession would be was deepening. now, that changes the tools that you have available to make
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effective macroeconomic interventions. if you think the recession is going to last a year or 18 months you'll be out of it and worrying about inflation, that would leave you to one set of options. in 2008 we were looking at a period of time when we knew for the next two or three years it would be a good thing if there was an injection of economic activity. and it gave the ability to do things in a shallower recession you may not have done. the combination of immediately putting money into the stays so that they could avoid laying off teachers and policemen, unemployment and food stamps to get into consumers hands and spend, that's the stuff you knew would have an immediate impact. building roads and rail, it would take longer. because we knew that there was a
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need for economic stimulus at that period of time, i wasn't in the economic team at the time the decisions were made. it was definitely the right being. you look back and say right now we're seeing solid economic growth. if you were to sub strakt 1% or 2% from that or take our unemployment rate and add 1% or 2% to that, it would feel pretty bad. that where's we would have been without the recovery package. it's prove than it works. it doesn't mean we don't now have to turn the corner and get our hands around our fiscal challenges going forward. but we had to guess in 2008 to 2011. i think the recovery package helped do it in a way that created millions of jobs and avoided a deeper and long e recession. >> you worked for president clinton and president obama, who was smarter? >> they were both smart. >> you worked for hillary clinton and bill clinton, who was smarter? >> how do you compare?
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>> you're very diplomatic. all right, jerry. >> after taking a look at your resumé and seeing your accomplishments which david has focused on as well, i was struck by the fact that you were a key player in the social security commission and as i look at the tough decisions that you have to make, it strikes me that's the easiest area to make progress on i would describe it almost as a layup. how would you describe the social security reform proposals that are being talked about as part of a potential package, and is it one of the things that really, the time is right to move ahead on? >> so i think it's important to separate social security from the broader fiscal policy discussion. it is something i have worked on
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for 30 years. i believe strongly the the right time to deal with social security is now. the president has said that, and the state of the union said that in the speech a few weeks ago. and we should work on it because we owe it to people who are working now and about to retire. for young people who are looking to retire, many, many decades from now. we owe it to them to have a distant solvent for 75 years. in 1983 we put social security on a firm financial footing. it's one of the things i'm proudest of in my professional career. i think the challenge is you mix it with deficit reduction and it confuses the issue. there are people who think that social security is the cause of our deficit. it's not the cause of our deficit. social security ran a surplus for decades. 1983 worked. the principle of 1983 was, have enough income come in so that we can build up reserves and when
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the baby booms retire, draw them down. through the period, we didn't honor that trust. you know, instead of taking the surplus that we built up in the 1990s we spent it, as a country. it's not nar to say social security caused the problem. social security is obviously something we have to deal with. as social security needs to draw on reserves and the reserves aren't there because we spent them, you have to either raise revenues and cut spending or borrow money. it's a fundamental mistake to say social security caused it. it will complicate and slow the process of dealing with social security if the two issues are emerged. if you separate them and the question is how do you deal with social security, i think it's true that if you took people from opposing views and said you're not constrained by the political arguments that your
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sides have made, can you identify options where reasonable people could agree? it is much easier than other areas. as a program where you can easily calculate what the income is, what the number of people is, what the outflow is. the problem is, you know, we're not in a place right now where a conversation can be had where everything is on the table. revenues as well as spending have to be on the table to have a serious conversation about social security. in 1983, certainly it was a combination of the twochlt two. so the president, i think, laid out principles that are very clear and speak for themes in terms of thousand to deal with social security. he very much means it when he says he wants to do it now. i think it's an invitation for everything to be in the discussion and not to start out by saying it's going to have to come from cutting benefits. the question has come up, why
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not put a plan out? as somebody working for the speaker of the house in 1981 when a plan was put out, i can attest to the fact it doesn't necessarily lead to the results of fast reduction. it didn't lead to a successful 1982 election, h which we were pleased about. the problem was solved through quiet conversations behind the scenes where both parties were able to float ideas without them being politically chargedendoor package in a carefully choreographed moment. i think when we deal with social security it will require that again. the less proposal, everybody taking hard position, things off the table the more likely we are to solve the problem. >> jack, i think we are out of time. i want to thank you very much for your time.
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[ applause ] in is a map of the district of columbia from the original district. thank you all very much are.
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>> we meet this year in the shadow of israel's birthday, but our mode is not one of celebration. our mode is one of caution and
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concern, unease sits heavily on our shoulders. this because no time in israel's history has our future faced such tension and tests and uncertainty awaits us and never in history has so many of you leaders, students, and concerned citizens gathered to make your voices heard. your activism made you an unparalleled force not only in this town, but throughout the country and the world. it's not only your numbers or your passion that has made you effective and earned you the discuss you deserve. it's the virtue of your cause and the integrity of your conviction. [applause] your in the arena, in the fight year after year when the head winds pick up, you push back even harder, and today, here, we
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are united, determined demanding strength and success. we insist israel not only survives, but thrives. [applause] i'm honored to stand before you this evening to say that like you, i stand with israel always. [applause] i'll make sure the united states stapedes with israel every time. i will do this as majority leaders of the united states senate, and i'll do this in my most important job as a senior senator from the state of nevada, the home of the fastest growing jewish community in the country, a spirited pro-israel community and the home to many aipac members here tonight including my good friend and
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next senator from the state of nevada, shell y. [applause] i stand with israel, the congress stands with israel, and america stands with israel because the values that have cast our histories are one in the same, and our futures will intertwine more than our history has been. you know, here are the values. you know them. democracy, opportunity, justice, strength, security, and self-defense, innovation, peace -- these values fasten the unbreakable bond between the united states and the state of israel. we also share a common confidence that the risks we take are right. israel and america meet great challenges with the faith that we're fighting the good fight.
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this month began with a daring mission the world will long remember, the raid that got bin laden was unprecedented in significance, but to those who know their history, it was not unfamiliar. thirty-five years earlier in the summer of 1976, israel showed the world how it's done. many of you remember terrorists took a hijacked plane where they freed only the non-jewish passengers. after days of deliberation, israel's leaders decided to conduct its first ever mission outside the middle east, far, far from home. the rescue was as dangerous as it was ingenious. the israeli troops went to the airport in the cover of night to deceive the guards on the ground and drove to the terminal in mercedes and land rover motorcades, identical to the one
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the president would use to travel. less than an hour later while we celebrated our independence, more than 100 jewish hostages discovered their freedom. [applause] the only troop israel lost that day was prime minister benjamin netanyahu's brave older brother, yoni. [applause] many of the elements of that story sound familiar to the details we've heard in recent days about the raid that brought another hijacker to justice. before both missions, intelligent services surveyed the targets. troops built and trained on an exact model before flying through the darkness to unfamiliar foreign terrain to what they had to do. the surprise mission was carried out with staggering speed and success. all the while it was kept under
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the highest secrecy, but these stunning operations have something much more important in common, and neither was a case of certainty or even really probability. israel's leaders were far from confident a military strike would succeed. they wrestled with the tension and pressure and doubt. it was approved at last with hope, but also with a heavy heart, and three weeks ago even as the hell chopper was -- helicopter was landing, our troops were not certain bin laden was inside. american leaders struggled with second and third guesses, but in the end, decisive leadership led to definitive success. [applause] in both cases, those who designed, ordered, and carried out the mission operated on a little more than circumstantial evidence. in other words, they acted on
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faith. faith that their job is justice and duty is solemn. the faith that tells us if we will it, it's no dream. [applause] both nations decided the risks were worth taking because neither israel nor america tolerates terrorism that stains our past. we don't give into fear. we stand up to the honor of our nations and our people. when we're attacked, we will always remember, always fight back though it may take some time, we follow through. [applause] many nations take many risks. america and israel though are the countries that make them count. we succeed. americans and israelis are the people who make possible the impossible. that's the spirit we need to
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recapture in the next pursuits of justice. the past six months have seen more remarkable change in the middle east than any period in the past six decades since the state of israel was born. this young story has been one the democracy, of human rights, a story written by those who know the voice of the people is as valid as the voice of the palace that's just as legitimate and just as loud. today, the middle east and north africa have captured the world's attention. witnesses of history around the globe are rooting for democracy, but while we celebrate progress and as the arabs' spring turns to summer, we have to protect the stability, security, and support of the state of israel. [applause] and no one should forget the vast majority of the arab world is still not free, but for 63 years of strong, vibrant
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democracies flowered in the unlikeliest of deserts. it's a democracy committed to progress and prosperity and anchors the free world. the thousands of us here tonight say single voice if you believe in democracy, believe in israel. [applause] three years ago i wrote legislation in the united states senate to congressmen rate the -- comeme rate israel. it passed anonymously. when the whole world condemned israel in the accident, i didn't stay silent, but i spoke up. i spoke up real loudly. [applause] i worked with democrats and republicans alike to collect almost 90 senators' signatures to defend israel's right to defend herself.
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[applause] we all know that if we were attacked in the same way off our shores, the united states would have done nothing different. [applause] i've been happy to host many bipartisan senate meetings with israeli prime ministers, and i look forward to benjamin netanyahu's visit tomorrow in a rare joint meeting of congress. [applause] i've always supported robust american aid to the state of israel, and i always will. [applause] in congresses' budget last year with domestic and international spending was slashed, we made sure israel got the full funding it needs. [applause] frankly, that was no easy task, but my senators stood by
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israel. [applause] when congress' next budget, i support full funding for security assistance. [applause] we will face an even tougher budget environment this year, but i'm committed to defending this critical aid, but aid alone is not enough. we support israel because it's in our national and security interests. [applause] we support israel because she is what isiah called a light into the nations. [applause] we also must sustain her glow with all of our political might. the history of the jewish people is in the land of israel. it's future will be there too. i support a strong democratic jewish state of israel living in peace and security with the
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palestinian state. like you -- [applause] like you, i hope sincerely for a true and lasting peace between israelis and the palestinian people. this conflict is older than us, but i refuse to believe it cannot be resolved by us in our lifetimes. these solutions are not simple. the only way to achieve delicate balance we seek between security and peace is through the hard work of negotiation. [applause] i believe the parties that should lead these negotiations must be the party at the center of this conflict and no one else. [applause] the place where negotiation will happen must be at the negotiating table and nowhere else. [applause]
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these negotiations will not happen. their terms will not be set through speeches or in the streets or in the media. [applause] no one should set premature parameters about borders, about buildings, or about anything else. [cheers and applause] [applause] i support strongly the resolution centers that carter and collins introduced saying a conflict should come through direct palestinian-israeli negotiations. [applause] we're going to have faith that peacetimes will be fruitful and
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know those having the conversation are doing so in good faith, and if we wish for these talks to be productive, to produce a fair ending, we must demand a fair beginning. [applause] what this means is that the pal stippians can want bring the negotiating table a terrorist organization that rejects israel lease right to -- israel's right to exist. [applause] nowhere else in the world, any place in the world at no other time is one party expected to compromise with a partner who denies its very existence. [applause] a peace process can happen only when both sides seek peace. [applause] two partners cannot build a bridge when one party refuses to even admit there's something on
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the other side of the span. [applause] my friends, perez, is the most visionary foreign leader i've ever known. a government that includes hamas is a threat not to israel, but a threat to the palestinian state, the legitimacy of a new state, and threat to the state in the region. [applause] we must never forget that these are the hostage-taking terrorists who kept car gents from their families and fellow soldiers for almost five years. [applause] their beginning of good faith talks also means the palestinians cannot stop by the negotiating table on the way to the united nations where they
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seek recognition where it's symbolic and dangerously counterproductive. [applause] a fair beginning to good faith talks, means israel cannot redefine its confines only to compromise its own security. [applause] palestinian's cooperation also determines american's willingness to continue our current aid program. [applause] i'll say this as clearly as i can -- the united states of america will not give money to terrorists bent on the destruction of israel. [cheers and applause] [applause] the palestinian government,
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specifically including hamas, the united states continues to insist hamas recognizes israel's right to exist, renounce violence, and honor the commitments made by prior palestinian authority governments. [applause] i was there when the first of the governments was conceived. some of you were there too, and many of you remember clearly the sunny september day when the south won at the white house. we watched two sworn enemies sign a piece of paper and peace seemed within our grasp too. the prime minister spoke about the promise of a new age. as a soldier and father talked of those tired of war and dreamed of child not knowing war. a child born on that day in 1993 turns 18 this summer. they shook hands in the city are counting down the days until
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they start their service to the idea, and now that child, a child with hope who would not know war finds himself or herself face to face with the same challenges of which its parents have grown very weary. we must remember the lessons, weigh both the potential and the peril of negotiating israel's future, and we must do better. [applause] the torah teaches us to honor our father and ore mother, but also honor our children by giving them the chance to know peace. [applause] that mission may be more daunting and seem more improbable, but we've seen that faith and fearlessness have won us before. the next generation will face another menace as well, one on
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which we cannot afford to lose focus amid the frustration and fatigue of the stammering peace process. it cannot be overestimated. it is a common enemy to both israel and america. [applause] the president of iron has made anti-semitism his policy and preaches propaganda and his regimes go erasing israel from the map. while iron torments neighbors, it brutalizes its own people and the world watched in hoer -- horror as they murdered their own citizens as they only asked for their basic freedoms that all people desire. sadly, these abuses continue today, unjust executions, abductions by security forces,
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arbitrary arrests, detention, and yes, torture. as long as the terrorist state of iran supports hamas and hezbollah and hides behind the terrorists and defines the international community, america will stand against iran. for our sake, and for israel's sake. [applause] iran's terrorists are only the beginning of the problem. they are pursuing nuclear weapon cape the and the ability to launch them in israel. these weapons could reach europe. that would destabilize the region making existing conflicts volatile and more dangerous. the regime threatens the national security of israel and the united states. we will not sit back and watch
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it develop nuclear weapons capability. [applause] this is why we work so hard to pass last year's bill. it says if you pursue nuclear weapons, you put your economy at risk. i thank each of you here tonight because it was your hard work that got this bill to the president's desk. [applause] many of you personally came to capitol hill and made clear the urgent case for passing these sanctions, not just any sanctions, the aipac team was there to make sure we pass the strongest legislation possible. you should be proud of what you accomplished. this program was comprehensive, and it's tough. our goal is to target iran where it hurts the regime the most, so we imposed sanctions on the refinery industry and banking
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institution that does business with the terrorist guard. we've seen these sanctions work, major international firms pulled out of iran because they didn't want to put their businesses at risk. iran's economy suffered as a result. of course, iran continues to get around these sanctions. we knew that would happen, so we have to keep our foot on the gas, ensure that the administration fully implements and forces sanctions and keeps the pressure on the allies to do their part. [applause] the senate will be working on a new round of legislation to help tighten the sanctions we already passed. none of us wants to go to war with iran. on the other side it prevents human suffering, but we will not wait forever or take any option off the table. [applause] president kennedy speaking of the great nuclear challenge of
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his time reminded us that our problems are manmade and they can be solved by man. he said, man's reason and spirit often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. israel and america have done the impossible before. we can do it again. we must do it again. let me close how i began with a story of a daring israeli rescue mission, one, to me, defines israel. this evening here, but in the middle of the night in israel where it's already the 24th of may. it's now 20 years almost to the hour that operation solomon began. 20 years ago this month, civil war swept through ethiopia. over the previous year and a half, thousands of ethiopians have been brought to safety in israel, but thousands more remain. in may 1991, they fled and rebels controlled the capitol.
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time was ticking for the remaining jews and entire villages who were isolated from the diaspora continued this for thousands of years. again, israel government and its partners executed a covert, flawless air lift, flying 36 overloaded aircraft for 36 test hours to rescue more than 14,000 jews, nearly an entire jewish population. [applause] the beta israel as they were called got no belongings or clothes. their feet were the first things to touch the ground. many did not have shoes. months after the rescue, my wife and i had the privilege of meeting with the new israelis in israel. i'll never forget the smiles they wore on their faces and the
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gratitude in their hearts for the state of israel. they were brought to an unfamiliar country with a vastly different culture, but they had come home and couldn't have been happier. fifteen years after and thousands of years after the exodus from egypt, israel demonstrated the lengths it travels and risks they take for the safety of the jewish people. [applause] israel demonstrated the unmatched precision and professionalism of which it operates. twenty years ago tonight, israel's light into the nation shown as brightly as ever. this is the israel aipac and congress have to share with the world and the israel that does not define itself by war and worry and hope. this is the israel that's decided and dedicated itself that humanitarian aid and international development since the young country was called to
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share what little we have. this is the israel that worked for years with u.s.-aid to help unemployed egyptians plant farms in the desert. they flew into haiti hours after the earthquake to set up the first fully house. [applause] this is the israel that didn't wait a minute after hearing about the disaster of jay pap and going there -- japan and going there to help. [applause] this is the israel who works with ethiopians to eradicate hiv. [applause] this is the israel that built the armor keeping american soldiers safe. [applause] this is the israel that gave a grant to jerusalem startup so it could invent the bandage to safe congresswoman gabrielle gifford's life.
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[applause] you see, this is the israel we love. this is the israel we supported since its earliest minutes, before the declaration of independence with the name of the state literally penciled in, we recognized their right to self-determination and self-defense. we were there from the beginning. [applause] we will be there with her for all times. [applause] american's commitment to israel is uncorruptible, nonnegotiateble, and we will never, never leave her side. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ ♪
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>> thank you for that kind introduction and to a of you, thank you for what you do. you know, i had the chance to meet so many ofou over the years, not just those of you from ohio, but throughout the country. to be asemilled under one roof feels like getting old friends back together again. we've got a lot of catching up to do, don't we? you know, recent events bring to mind henry kissinger's leapt at
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one point saying there can be no crisis next week, my schedule's already full. [laughter] i thought about that when i was thinking about what i was going to say tonight, and i began to recall the last time that i was in israel seral years ago, and i'll never forget visiting the northern border with lebanon standing there with the solders, many of them 18 and 19 years old, and the closest of the enemy hit me how israel doesn't get to choose its batter space. where i stood on the border is 100 miles from jerusalem, about the same distance my home in ohio is from our ste capitol in columbus. i feel a responbility to help ensure that our nation keeps its political a financial commitments and maintains this role as the beacon of freedom and democracy. [applause]
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it's in that spirit that i join with all of you tonight. much has been said about the special bond between israel and the united states. ambassador orrin called israel the ultimate ally, and i couldn't agree more. [applause] in the last 63 years through all the threats we have faced, america a israel have formed and honed a strategic alliance built on trust and based on shed values. that is the reason we gather year in and year out to honor and strengthen in a very public way the historic friendship between our two great democracies. we know the world is a dangerous place for democracies. we saw in this country on 9/11. israel sees in the terrorist attacks that seem to come every month or sometimes every day.
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now, the death of bin laden marks and important victory in the fight against al-qaeda and islamic extremism, and our nation's military and intelligence professionals have achieved an important goal in our nation's and in all three nation's fight against terrorism, and i think they deserve our deest appreciation. [applause] the terrist organizations are more resill yept than -- resilient than just one person al-qaeda has been weakened, but they have not been destroyed. my job as speaker is to ensure the house is focused on confronting and defeating the complex and evolving terrorist threats that still targets the united states and her allies. in lebanon, hezbollah casted out a freely elected government and
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dominates that country, and every day that terrorist organization committed to the destruction of israel with weapons from syria and iran, and looming over the entire region, of course, the iranian regime and the threat it poses there and in the wider world, and there's no doubt that the regime in iran has taken notice how the united states has responded to the threats in libya versus how it has responded to the threats in north korea. in anyone here doubts the iranian's regime quest for nuclear weapons, i think you're awfully optimistic. anyone who thinks we can contain the aggression and terrorist's version of a nuclear armed iran, you may not just be on optimistic, but somewhat dilutional. [laughter] [applause] the best remedy to the threat of the world is for the people of
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iran to rise up and replace that regime just as the people of tunisia and egypt rose up and replaced their regimes. [applause] now, we all hope that the regimes in libya and syria will be replaced as well so that the peoples of those countries can escape tyranny and enter freedom. now, we should make a clear and clearer than it has been for the last two years that america is on the side of those who yearn and struggle for their own freedoms. [applause] that is our historic and moral responsibility as a great and free nation, and we should never apologize or be ashamed of that role we play in the world. [applause] that's why america's commitment to the advancement of democracy in the middle east remains critic, and while those democracies is iraq. as president obama recently
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said, iraq reprents the promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy. iraq is more than a democracy on the making. it is in the position to become a vital strategic ally inthe region, and this is a tribute to the resilience of the iraqi people, the sacrifices made by troops and diplomats, and the many nations who played a role in this task, but we must remain committed to ensuring that iraq continues towards a transition as a sovereign country capable of defending itself and is at peace with its neighbors. now, let me be clear. experience reminds us that one election does not constitute a transition to a viable and responsible democratic state. as americans, we know that democracy means not just majority rule, but the rule of law, the protection of minority rights, the basic freedoms of
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religion, speech, and assembly, and, yes, the arab spring marks and overdo rejection of corruption on police states, but now we're witnessing the battle of the region's political identity. build governments that respect human life and dignity, uphold human rights, and where the people rule? will weee women of religious minorities repressed and fundmental rights abridged? will we see one man, one vote, one time? we are watching the struggle play out in egypt and fostering onomic development in egypt is important, but just as critical is the work to secure a stray teemingic partnership with -- strategic partnership with the people of egypt to protect our interest and maintains their commitment to peace with israel. [applause]
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this brings me to israel and to peace. i know the hour is late, but over in jerusalem, theun is just gipping to rise, and with it, another day of uncertainty. the work of achieving a safe and secure israel has never been easy, but the cause is right, and i will tell you that you have my00% support for the cause of peace and support in israel. [applause] israel has demonstrated time and again that it seeks negotiating table more than peace with its neighbors, and then on the negotiation, both sides need to make compromises and like every prime minister before him, prime minister benjamin netanyahu knows this and accepts it.
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what does e other side want? when it embraces a terrorist organization, it makes itself known. you are judged by the company you keep. [applause] you know, there are some out there who complain that th united states is too pro-israel. well, hit me tell you what i think? i doubt what america stands for and who america stands with slows the search for peace and stability in the region. [applause] the president and the congress should work together so that the american people are our friends andes, our enemies understand the national security policies and our goals, and so that our allyies, like israel, have no cause to doubt that we'll be with them through thick and
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thin. [applause] you know, before there was an aipac, securing american support for a jewish state was the work of a dedicated few including a historian by. he said at one point many people in those days had no faith. day, there's the same thing from pple who believe israel must always give in. that view was wrong then, and it is wrong today. [applause] tomorrow, his son, the prime minister of israel, will address the united states congress, marking another milestone in this histic friendship. i was honored to invite him, and it will be our honor to have him there. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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it will be our honor to have h there, the representative of a free peopleho have come, overcome, all odds to rebuild and ancient nation. ladies and gentlemen, congratulations on the larger aipac gathering ever. thank you for having me, and remember this, keep up the fight. [applause] thank you [applause] ♪ ♪ you.
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♪ thank you. [applause] ♪ [applause] my friends, before i talk about things about israel, i want to say something about the scenes
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on television i saw today, and you have been seeing as well. when tragedy strikes america, israel feels an immediate identification and tramming di has struck america. in recent days floods and tornadoes have claimed the lives of hundreds of americans including today in joplin, missouri. all i can say is america, we're with you. on this day, on every day. [applause] that's very evident from the things i just heard from my two
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close friends, speaker of the house john boehner, senate majority leader harry reid. [applause] you lead the many friends who are here today, the distinguished senators and congressman and congresswomen of the united states of america. [applause] i want to greet aipac president lee rosenberg. i learned the other day if i take you on, it's not going to be in basketball. it will be in soccer. [laughter] executive director howard cort. howard, you, i'm not going to take on in anything.
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[laughter] i want to welcome also the representatives of the government of israel, members of knesset, u.s. ambassador of israel, ambassador dan schipiro. my beloved wife and two boys, and finally, our terrific ambassador to the united states, a man who knows a few things about the u.s.-israel alliance, michael orrin. ..
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[applause] thank you for your staunch commitment to israel's security. thank you for defending israel's right to defend itself. [applause] for thank you for standing by israel as it seeks a secure peace. now i heard tonight from all the speakers, something that you know that israel is america's indispensable ally. [applause]
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you understand that israel and america stand shoulder to shoulder, fighting the common enemies, protecting common interests. you know that the israeli innovators help power computers, fight disease, conserve water, clean the plan at. store support for israel flows from the heart. it's not just what israel does, it's what israel is. [applause] now let me explain that. yesterday i had a great day. they let me out. sarah and i could actually go for a walk, and i have to congratulate american security services. they're a little more generous
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than ours. [applause] so we walked along the potomac, and we got to visit washington's majestic monreal to become a real. i read jefferson's the five words we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. if i read lincoln's immortal address, government of the people, for the people, by the people. now let me tell you why these words resonate so powerfully with me and all is really is. because they are rooted in ideas first by our people, the jewish people, the idea that all men are created in god's image, that no ruler is above the law, that everyone is entitled to justice.
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these are reza listen very jewish ideas, and they were spoken thousands of years ago when vast empires ruled the earth. a vast slave and players rule the world and the jews spoke these truths. israel is the cradle of our common civilization. it's the crucible of our common values, and the modern state of israel was founded precisely on these internal values and this is why israel's more than 1 million muslims enjoy a full space rights. [applause] this is why the only place in the middle east with christians completely free to practice their faith is the democratic state of israel.
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[applause] this is why israel and only israel can be trusted to ensure the freedom for all faiths in our eternal capital, the united city of jerusalem. [applause] [applause] my friends, israel and america has gone from from the steep things of our common values. [applause]
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[cheering] we for urged an enduring friendship not merely between our government, but between our people. support for israel doesn't did fight america, it unites america. [applause] unites the old and the young, liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans, and yes, joe lieberman and even its independence. [applause] i want to take this opportunity
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to support one of the great centers in my lifetime, a man who has given unbelievable service to his country, america and has been unbelievably dedicated to israel and the jewish people. thank you, joe lieberman. [applause] see this broad support for israel and the united states is a tremendous help and gives tremendous strength to my country, and since harry truman, israel has looked to american presidents to stand by as we
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meet the unfolding challenges of a changing world. yesterday president obama spoke about his ironclad commitment to israel's security. he rightly said that our security cooperation is unprecedented. he spoke of that commitment in front of apec, he spoke about it to speeches heard throughout the arab world and he has backed those words with deeds. i know these are tough economic times so i want to thank the president and congress for providing israel with vital assistance so that israel can defend itself by itself. [applause] i want to thank you all for supporting the missile defense
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system. [applause] a few weeks ago there was in gaza fired eight rockets at our cities. now, these rockets never reached their targets. iron dome intercepted them in mid air. [applause] for the first time, a missile defense system worked in combat. that's a precedent in military history, and i want to say thank you america. america and israel are cooperating in many other ways as well with cooperating in
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science and technology and trade and investment. [applause] [applause] >> it's not only american companies investing in israel, it is the israeli companies investing in america. and the last decades is really companies have invested more than $50 billion in the united states. [applause] [cheering]
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[applause] to one of those -- [cheering] [cheering] [cheering]
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[applause] thank you. [cheering] thank you. you think they have these protests in gaza? [laughter] what a way to get a standing ovation. thank you. [applause] so, one of those companies is investing just down the road in richmond. it's a company that is building its food factory.
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here's what it means, more business, more jobs and more homes. [applause] it brings more than just food to america. [applause] take medicine israel is advanced secure for multiple sclerosis, alzheimer's, cancer. [applause] we've developed mechanical means to make paraplegics walk again. [applause] we placed a tiny diagnostic camera inside a pill. i did not swallow it but i
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understand it's quite effective. and you just heard of this miraculously bandage developed by an israeli company that is help save congresswoman giffords life. [applause] and i wish her a great friend of israel a happy and quick, speedy recovery. [applause] israel and america are also cooperating to end the world's worst addiction, the addiction to oil. [applause] this dependence fuels' terrorism and poisons the planet so we have launched a ten year program in israel to kick the habit to find a substitute for gasoline,
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and if we succeed, we can change the world, we can change history. [applause] my friends, the american people's support for israel is reflected in my invitation to address a joint meeting of congress tomorrow. thank you, john boehner for the invitation. [applause] now i will talk about the great convulsion taking place in the middle east, the risks and the opportunities, and i will talk of the dangers of a nuclear-armed iran, and i would also alkaline secure israeli
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peace. i intend to speak the honest truth. [applause] because now more than ever, what we need is clarity and evens in the region are finally opened people's eyes to a simple truth. [applause] [applause] events in the region are opening people's eyes to a simple truth. the problems of the region are not rooted in israel. when [cheering]
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[applause] remarkable scenes we are witnessing in town square and across the middle east and north africa are occurring free simple reason, people want freedom. they want progress. they want a better life. for many of the people of the region, the 20th century skipped them by come and now 21st century technology is telling them what they missed out on. you remember that a desperate food vendor, why did he set himself on fire? not because of israel, he set himself on fire because of decades of indignity, decades of
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intolerable corruption and the millions who poured into the streets of tehran, cairo, bin zazi, damascus, they are not thinking about israel, they are thinking of freedom collier and for opportunities, for hope for themselves and their children. so it's time to stop blaming israel for all of the region's problems. [applause] [applause] let me stress one thing, peace between israelis and palestinians is a vital interest for us. it would be the realization of a powerful and internal dream, but it is not a panacea for the
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endemic problems of the middle east. will not give women in some arab countries the right to drive a car. it will not prevent churches from being bombed. it will not keep journalists out of jail. what will change this, one word, don walker see, real genuine democracy. [applause] i don't just mean the election, i mean freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the right for women, for gays, minorities, everyone, with the people of israel want. it's for the people of the middle east to have what you have in america, what we have in
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israel, democracy so it's time to recognize this basic truth israel is not what is wrong with the middle east, israel is what is right about the middle east. [applause] my friends, i want peace because we know the pain of terror, and we know the agony of the war, we want peace and because we know the blessings peace can bring, what it can bring to us in and to our palestinian neighbors in. but if we hope to advance peace with the palestinians, then it's
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time that we had met another truth. this conflict is raised for nearly a century because the palestinians refused ended. but they refuse to accept the jewish state. this is what this conflict has always been about. there are many issues linked into this conflict that must be resolved between the israelis and palestinians. we can, we must resolve them, but i repeat, we can only make peace for the palestinians as peace for the jewish state. [applause]
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tomorrow in congress i will describe what it used in a palestinian state and the jewish state can look like. but i want to assure you one thing, it must leave israel with security, and therefore, israel cannot return to the indefensible 1967 line. [applause] [applause] i will talk about these and other aspects of peace tomorrow when congress and, but tonight i want to express israel's gratitude for all of you are doing to help strengthen israel and the great alliance that
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israel has with america. you help maintain a qualitative military edge. you back sanctions against iran, you supported genuine peace, you opposed to hamas and joined president obama and me in denouncing hamas and demanding the release our captive soldier. [applause] [applause] that's another an outrageous crime of hamas, just imagine keeping a young soldier locked in a dark dungeon for five years without even a single visit, not even a single visit of the red cross the entire civilized
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community should join israel and the united states and all of us in a simple demand from hamas we leave. [applause] my friends i spent my high school years in philadelphia. it's developed quite a bit since then. during those years when it was a sleepy town the, i used to go visit the liberty bell. now as the prime minister of israel, i can walk down the streets and see an exact replica of the bill in jerusalem's of
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liberty park. on both is the same inscription. it comes from the bible, from the book of leviticus, proclaim liberty throughout the land. my friends, this is the essence of the great alliance between the two nations. two people on it and liberty seeking freedom and peace for all what this alliance is all about. you are part of it. i think you on behalf of the people of israel and the government of israel, thank you for the american israel alliance. thank you. [applause]
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if they were serious about the deficit, they would not have proposed a budget that cut $4.3 trillion top of that and then given more weight. do the math. their budget will reduce the deficit by $100 billion, $10 billion a year. my math says that does not get it. and that is not going to help us. they ought to look at the problems and be realistic about it. raising the debt ceiling is something that we have obligated ourselves to do. you went home one day and you bought a house, you bought a car, and one day you said, our debt is up to $50,000.
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if it goes up to $51,000, i am not paying. [laughter] duh. so they take your car and they take your house if you do not pay. our standing in the world, the dollar has been the currency for the rest of the world, and i think people should honor that. if you want to talk about the deficit, talk about it really. don't come to us and say that a deficit and giving it back to the rich and kick kids off of head start and stop counselors and all the draconian things. not mentioning that in medicare and things like that. >> threaten -- unions have threatened to pull support from democrats but they always come back when they realize the
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alternative, republicans in leadership being worse. is there something different this time? >> asked blanche lincoln. >> are you going go apply that standard more broadly? >> what we're saying is that people who support workers, we're going to be with them. candidates that do not support workers, we're not going to be with them. here is the difference. covers the broad issue. it is not just one single issue. you can be a friend and make a mistake once in awhile. we will forgive you for that mistake. but the difference is this, we're not on the spending precious resources helping candidates that do not stand up and help us. we will focus on those people that health costs. and we will have more resources to spend on protecting our friends. >> fair enough.
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so people want to know how far you are willing to give your you have mentioned the need for independence from democrats before. could this manifest his way of -- itself in support for third- party such as the green and labor party? >> is there a question there? >> are you willing to work outside the two-party structure? >> absolutely. we're looking at training workers and recruiting workers to be candidates. in primaries, so we have real choices. we're going to give that a real world. if they were supporting working people? we will look at third-party candidates. we would like all the candidates out there. that is what we're paid to do and we decide which one is the best for our members. and we would support the one that is best for our workers. >> to you need to look to alternative solutions outside the traditional structure? is the current structure getting the job done?
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>> know. how much time do we have left here? [laughter] that is a longer conversation. if you want to look at the system, the system is broken. the supreme court help break it even more with citizens united. the system needs to be changed so that average ordinary americans can have a stronger voice as rigid as strong a voice as exxonmobil does in the congress. campaign finance needs to be changed. i for one would be for an overhaul. i would start at the supreme court, probably, because they believed that money is free speech. that is what their decision as. that means that the four father sat around the table one day and said, you know, george, you have $500,000 so you get $500,000 of free speech, and no, alexander, you've only got $100, so you get $100 of free speech. i just don't believe that
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conversation took place. i do not believe that. and yet the supreme court equates that. we need to take on the system and change it and make it more rational so that we can have, again, government of the people, by the people, and for the people. [applause] >> back to your speech, someone asked, what is your game plan to use. -- spread the spirit of the was custom protested the other parts of the country? >> if we are out there every day educating and mobilizing. and then is not just wisconsin. we have cross pollinated with indiana, we have gone all over the country, and people are mobilized. and it is not just union people. it is working people in general. small business people are out there supporting us. non-union workers are out there supporting us because they think these people of gone too far in
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trying to pay back their rich donors, by destroying the rights of workers out there. we're taking that message out there, we are seeing it take effect, and apparently we are doing something right, if because guys like scott walker, whose rating in his own state have fallen like a big rock in a small pond they think he is going to fall are. >> someone says, i did not hear the word obama in your prepared remarks. doesn't the president warrant at least an honorable mention? [laughter] >> i was talking about people that are off on the wrong foot. of course i would not mention him. i think the president has done a good job. i think this scale has been limited either because he was too low on things or because the republicans have prevented him from being that. but if you look at the framework that he has tried to lay out, to
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get the economy back on track, i think it has been the right framework. and that is to create jobs. that is to rebuild our infrastructure, to give aid to state and local government, to try to get money back into the hands of small business and medium-size business through loans that these big banks are not giving out. so i think that that is a step in the right direction. i think the scale has not been there, and we will work on that. of course he has made some mistakes, too. >> we have time. >> do we? [laughter] i think he made a strategic blunder whenever he confused his stimulus jobs agenda and allowed deficits to start walking on top of it. he confused everything. no one understood the importance of the stimulus package. they started talking about deficits and he equated the two. i think that was a strategic blunder. i think that putting the
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colombian free trade agreement of will be a strategic blunder. one, because it is morally wrong to reward a company or a country that assassinated 51 trade unionists last year. [applause] and two, assassinated the labor leader and teacher just the other day, day before yesterday. they kill them. and yet we are going to reward them? it is an agreement that allows -- for a country that is not in compliance with ilo standards, they will get a free trade agreement with us, and that is insane. >> so scale is our criticism. if you had to give him a letter grade, but what might that be? >> there are a lot of subjects when i got a report card. most of my grades were the same. it did not much matter. but it all depends on what you are doing. if you talk about enforcing health and safety laws, i think
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the president did say a. trade laws, he did say a. negotiating trade laws, he is further down the scale and he will not get on the honor roll for that one. but there are a lot of variables. some of which are way beyond his control. you have to determined opposition that says no to any taxes and things of that sort and that is not his fault. we all like a little harder to create jobs in this country, i hope. and i think you'll see him over the next several months making jobs the centerpiece of what he tries to accomplish. >> so he would make your dean's list. no c's. >> i would say that it is finals week. we will say. -- see. [laughter] [applause]
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>> on the safety front, a report from the state of west virginia found at the mine explosion that killed 25 men last year resulted in of failures of the owner, massey energy, and rejected that high gas buildup was to blame. what is your reaction to that? >> no surprise at all. you have an explosion in the mind, one or two things have happened. either the laws were inadequate to protect those miners, or they were not in compliance. massey energy has a record of not complying with the law, shortcuts, and it is going to catch up with you. those miners and their families paid that price, and quite frankly, they are still paying the price. every male in my family died from black lung disease. we knew about black lung. we could prevented it. in the u.k., it was an
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occupational disease in the 1920's. we have coal companies in this country in 1969 standing in front of the podium and say, we have proof positive that breathing coal cut -- coal dust is good for you. i offered to pump it through the air conditioning unit but they were not interested in that. but miners get killed every day. workers get killed in this country every single day. they also contract occupational diseases every day. and that does not make headlines. it makes the headlines when we kill a bunch. what they are trapped in we're trying to get them, and we're glad that it makes the headlines then, but they'd die in one's and two's every single day. what you are a construction worker, which is highly dangerous occupation, or you work in different occupations around the country, they get killed every day.
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and until we have the secretary of labor, the last eight years it was like a killing field out there. now let least we have a secretary of labor that is enforcing the laws in osha, and saying that you should not have to sacrifice your life for your help to make a living in this country, at this point in time. and i might add one other thing. the lunacy of operating the facility, whether a mind, a school, hospital, or anything, that is unsafe, because every single bit of the literature will tell you that the safest facilities are the most productive facilities. it is a twofer. there is no reason to do it and get it happens every day and workers died with impunity. thousands and thousands and thousands a year. if we had had, and by the way,
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we'd dwarfed what happened in 9/11 each year with workers killed on the job. that should not happen in this country. my first job in the mining industry was chairman of the health and safety committee. i took that job seriously. i wanted every minor that went into that hole to go home at the end of the ship with all of their fingers, and all of their eyes and their legs in their ears. and we ought to be outraged by what happened when workers get killed and slaughtered in this country. [applause] >> we have upcoming appearances by arianna huffington. the newspaper guild is calling on on paid writers to boyco tt the post. how do you feel about that issue in general and i would follow with a question about the news business.
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>> i can talk about the news business, because i do have some perspective on that as well. i think we can make you guys a lot better. [laughter] i stand with the workers on that issue. workers are entitled to a decent rate of pay. they ought to be negotiating a fair contract gives them a decent rate of pay so that the entity becomes productive, can make money, and that those workers can have a decent standard of living. i would stand with them. >> we have lots of corporate business-owned media and specialty magazines, and why is there no labor-backed new organization doing reporting, investigating reporting? i guess that is to the ownership of a news media property. >> first of all, it comes down to resources. in order to do a news media, whether print medium, written,
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radio, what ever it is, it takes a lot of resources. and at the time we do not have the resources to be able to spread them around and all those different directions. but let me ask you the question. let's assume that we found a network, the labor network. what would be the first shock you would take it as, and what shot when most conservatives do? you cannot listen to those guys -- that is labor. an independent press is a good thing. an independent press that is a watchdog on those that are out there, with responsibility to workers, whether the federal level, the state level, or anywhere else, it is a good thing. the fact that you guys are getting squeezed with money and cannot do that types of investigative stuff that you used to do is a tragedy for the country. networks like fox are really entertainment.
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they are not actually networks, because of their perspective. they are so slanted. no i did not say that about every one of the journalists on fox. they have some really independent journalist to a credible job. but by and large, the network and programming is all slanted away from working people. and that is a tragedy. >> how likely to be more succinctly as this one because we are up against time. we'll have the executive director of the nfl players association here with the marquee player to be named later. that is part of the afl-cio. americans seem to have one primary thought and that they want the football. will this be resolved by the fall? how do you see this playing out? >> we certainly hope that is our resolve by the fall. let's start off with the -- i am sure he will tell you this. the football players did not ask
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for a single thing. they did not ask for a single increase. they've asked to maintain what they had, that is all they asked for. the owners on the other hand as for a couple of billion dollars in givebacks. they want the players to have -- to pay for the practice facility. to have the players pay for their travel to and from games. that is a $9 billion industry. but guess what pressure mark is not just the players in the honors as people think about it. there are almost 200,000 workers out there that will get hurt because of this lockout. and remember what a lockout is. is the employer saying, no, you cannot come to work. it is not the players saying we will not come. they want to come. you think about who is going to get hurt. it is going to be the guy that sells the hot dog, the
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groundskeeper, the small business person at the stadium next to them, it is going to be the bus driver, it is going to be the taxi cab driver, and the cities are going to be heard because of all of that. here is the truth about it. the problem with this is, the owners have not cut a deal among themselves yet. they cannot negotiate. they do not know what to negotiate for, because they have not cut their deal. we ought to be putting pressure on them and say, look, get your butts into a room somewhere, figure out your deal and then come back unless negotiate this thing out. while it is a wonderful sport and i happen to love football, i love it with all my heart, it is not just football players and owners in all of this. it is all the other people that are going to get hurt in this process because the owners cannot come up with their own deal and how to split their revenue before they come and
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talk to the players. >> karen up. we will continue that conversation in a week. we certainly welcome the nfl commissioner and a representative for the owners to come and speak with this menu of well. we're almost out of time. if all we ask the last question, a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. i like to remind you all about upcoming luncheon speakers that we have. may 26, juan williams, fox news, to respond to some comments made by the head of npr. . gary sinee, who will announce the foundation for supporting the military. as is our tradition, if i can find it, i like to present you with our traditional npc much as attention -- as a token of our appreciation. [applause] and now like to ask a last
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question. you are a native of pennsylvania, football country, a lot of great fans. you come by that naturally. here is the last question. given that you are a leader in the political arena, if you had to choose, would you rather have lunch with the manning brothers, not stealer brothers, or the koch brothers? >> it depends on where the lunch was going to be. i personally would have lunch with the manning brothers. the koch brothers, me talking to them would not do a lot. although let me think about this. i would like that have lunch with them, as a matter fact. i like to give them a few minutes to explain what they think, and i like to indicate in some mild fashion what i think. [laughter] see where we went from there.
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>> how about a round of applause for our speaker. [applause] >> i would like to thank our national press club staff for organizing today's event. thank you and we are adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [unintelligible]
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>> jimmy? thanks, pal. thank you for being here. clad have here today. -- glad to have you here today. 8. the- hey.
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[unintelligible] >> thank you. you did get my question? [unintelligible]
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how are you doing, buddy? [unintelligible] thanks for all of your work. [unintelligible]
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[unintelligible] we're working with that. we're going to put stuff together. [unintelligible]
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[unintelligible] right there, page 3.
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>> you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning it is "washington journal," our live call-in program about the news of the day, connecting you with elected officials, policymakers, and journalists. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house, and on weeknights, congressional hearings and policy forums. also supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview programs. on saturdays, "the communicators," and on sundays, "newsmakers," "q&a," and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch our programming any time at c-span.org, and it is all searchable at our c-span video library. c-span -- washington your way, a public service created by america's cable companies. >> first lady michelle obama was the keynote speaker at a recent democratic party fund- raising event hosted by the women's leadership forum. this is a 20-minute portion of
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her remarks. ♪ >> yay! oh, my goodness. you all are looking beautiful. it is so good to see -- thank you so much. it is a true pleasure to be here today at this year's national issues conference. i hope you will have figured out all the issues. [laughter] you solve them all. a lot like to thank the conference leadership committee for all their hard work to make this day possible. the turnout is wonderful. give them a round of applause. how and of course i want to thank all of you for joining us here today. i am thrilled to see so many new faces, but i am thrilled to see so many folks who have been with
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us right from the very beginning. folks who had been through all of the ups and downs and all the nail-biting moments along the way. and today, as we look ahead to the next part of this journey, i just want to take you back to how it all began, at least in my mind. now have to be honest with you. when barack are started talking about running for president, i was not exactly enthusiastic about the idea. yes, i was proud of the work he was doing as a u.s. senator, and i thought, no, i knew he would make an extraordinary president, and i told you that. but like a lot of folks i still had some cynicism about politics and i was worried about the hold that presidential campaign would take on our family. we had two young daughters at home. they are not so little now.
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malia is here. and the last thing i wanted to do was disrupt their lives and there's routine. the last thing i wanted was to spend time apart from my girls. so it took some convincing on barack's part and by some, i mean a lot. he [laughter] and even as i hit the trail, i was an easy about the whole president thing, and that is what maria -- malia would call it, the "president named." but something happened during the last few months that change me. campaigning in places like iowa and new hampshire and south carolina it was not just about handshakes and stump speeches. for me, it was about conversation on front porches and in living rooms, where people would welcome me into their homes and into their lives.
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i remember one of the first events in iowa that i did was a gathering in someone's backyard, a beautiful backyard, a beautiful sunny day. and i remember that within a few minutes, i was so comfortable that i kicked off my shoes, which i wish i could date do -- which i wish i could do today, cause they really do hurt. [laughter] and now was standing barefoot in the grass just talking to folks. and that is what campaigning was all about for me. it was about meeting people one- on-one and hearing what was going on in their lives. and i learned so much. i learned about the businesses that folks were trying to keep afloat. the home that they loved it but could no longer afford. the spouse who came back from the war and needed a lot of help. the child who was so smart, that could be anything she wanted, if only her parents could find a
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way to pay tuition. and the stories moved me. and even more than that, these stories were familiar to me. because in the parent working that extra shift or taking that extra job, i sought barack's mother, a young, single mother working to support barack and his sister, i saw my father who dragged himself to work at the city water plant every morning. even as his ms make him weaker and weaker, my father was determined to be our family provider. in the grandparent coming out of retirement -- out of retirement to pitch in and make ends meet. i saw my own mama who has helped raise our girls since the day they were born. and i could not do this without her. [applause] i saw barack's grandmother who caught a bus to work before dawn
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every day to help provide for their family, and the children i met who were worried about all mom who have lost their job or a dad deployed far from home, kids so full of promise and dreams, i saw my own daughters who are the center of my world. these folks were not asking for much. they were looking for basic things. like being able to see a doctor when you are sick. things like having a decent public schools in a chance to go to college even if you are not rich. these things, simple things like making a decent wage, adding a secure retirement, and leading something better for your kids. and while we may have grown up in different places and seen difference in so many ways come their stories were my family stories, they were barack's family's stores.
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values like you treat people like you want to be treated, if you put your family first, you work hard, you do what you say you are going to do. these were our family's values. [applause] and then suddenly everything barack had been saying about how we all interconnected, about how we're not just red states and blue states, those were just not lines from a speech. it was what i was seeing with my own eyes. and that change mean. you want to know what else changed me during all those months out on the campaign? you all, you really did. i see people out there who have become like family. you all changed me. and when i got tired, i would think of all the folks out there making calls, knocking on doors, in all kinds of weather -- remember that? [laughter]
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and that would energize me. when i got discouraged, i would think the pope's opening up their wallets when they did not have much to give. i would think of folks who had the courage to let themselves believe again and hope again, and that would give me hope. and the simple truth is that today, four years later, we are here because of all of you. and i am not just talking about winning an election. i am talking about what we have been doing every day in the white house. since that time, to keep on fighting for the pope's that we met in the values that we share. i am talking about what iraq has been doing to help all of us when the -- what barack has been doing to help all of us win the future. when we have so many challenges and some much work to do, it is easy to forget what we have done along the way.
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is so easy. but let us just that at the moment. think about these past couple of years. we have gone from an economy on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again. we are helping middle-class families by cutting taxes. [applause] working to stop credit card companies from taking advantage of people. we are going to give working moms and dads and child-care tax credit because we know how those costs add up for those folks. we're helping women get equal pay for equal work, with the bill that if you remember, the very first bill my husband signed into law as president of the united states, that was the first thing that he did. [applause] because of health reform, millions of people will finally be able to afford a doctor.
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their insurance companies will not be of a drop their coverage when they are sick, charge them through the roof because their child has a three distinct -- pre-existing condition, and they now have to cover preventive care. things like prenatal care, mammograms, that we all in this room knows saves money but it saves lives. we know that. because we do not want to leave our kids a mountain of debt. reducing our deficit by doing what families across this country are already doing, we are cutting back so that we can start living within our means. and we are investing in things that really matter, things like clean energy so that we can bring down those gas prices, scientific research including stem cell research, we are also investing in community colleges which are a gateway to opportunity for so many people. and pell grants. they held so many young people of ford that tuition.
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that is -- they helped so many people afford the tuition. we have 40 states working to raise standards and reform their schools. we are working to live up to our founding values of freedom and equality. and today because week ended "don't ask, don't tell," our troops will never again have to lie about who they are to serve the country they loved. [applause] and you may recall that my husband also appointed two brilliant supreme court justices so that the first time in history, our sons and daughters watched three women take their seats on our nation's highest court. we're working to keep our country safe and to restore our standing in the world. we are responsibly ending the war in iraq, and have already brought home 100,000 men and women in uniform who have served
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this country bravely. and as you know it today, thanks to the tireless work of our intelligence and counter- terrorism community, and the heroic efforts of our troops, the man behind the 9/11 attacks and so many other horrific events has finally been brought to justice. [applause] and finally, we are tackling two issues that are near and dear to my heart, both as a first lady and as a mom. you heard the first comment out of the city. this issue does not just the fact help and how they feel, it affects how they feel about themselves. and whether they have the energy and the stamina to succeed in school and in light. we're working hard to get better food into our schools and our communities, and helping make -- helping parents make better
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decisions. the second issue is one that i came to on the campaign trail, a meeting so many extraordinary military families. i mean, these folks are raising their kids and running households all alone while spouses are deployed. and they do it all with tremendous courage. strength and pride, and that as wide jill and i launched a nationwide campaign to rally our country to serve them as well as they serve us. [applause] so, look, that is just some of what has been accomplished. and i think that is fair to say that we have seen some change. and we should be proud of what we have accomplished. but we should not be satisfied. we know that we are still nowhere near winning the future.
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now when so many of our kids do not have what they need to succeed. now when so many businesses do not have within need to compete. now when so many folks are still struggling to pay the bills today. the truth is, all those folks, we campaigned for, and won for, those folks still need our help. and that more than anything else is what drives my husband as president. let me tell you, that is what i see when he comes home after a long day, traveling around the country, meeting with folks in that oval office, doing things. [laughter] they do things in that office. [laughter] and he tells me about the people
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he has met. and i see it in those quiet moments later at night, after we have put the girls to bed, and he is reading the letters people have sent him, because he reads everything. the letter from the woman dying of cancer whose health insurance would not cover her care. the letter from the young person with some much promise but so few opportunities. you all, i see the sadness and the worry creep into his face. i hear the passion and determination in his voice. "you will not believe what these folks are going through." that is what he tells me. "know, michelle, this is not right. we have got the fix it. we have to do more." than me share something with you. when it comes to the people that
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he meets, barack has a memory like a steel trap. you all know this, right? he might not remember your name, but if he has had a few minutes in a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story. it is a gift. it becomes imprinted in his mind and on his heart, and that is what he carries with him every single day. that collection of hopes and dreams and struggles. that is where barack gets his passion. and that is why he works so very hard every day. it is some level, starting first thing in the morning, every day, and going late into the night, hunched over briefings, reading every single word of every single memo he gets, making notes, write-in questions, making sure he knows more than the people briefing him.
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because all of those wins and not -- and losses are not wins and losses for him. they are wins and losses for the people whose stories he carries with it. but folks he worries about and praise about before he goes to bed at night. -- prays about before he goes to bed tonight. for some many people like you and me, that is what politics is about. is not about one person or one president. it is about how we can and should work together to make a real change that makes a real difference in people's lives. the young person attending college today because she can finally afford it, that is what this is about. the mom or that that it can take their child to a doctor because of health reform. the folks who are working in places like gm, bringing home a
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good paycheck for their families, that is what this is about. [applause] and now more than ever before, we need to finish what we started and we need your help. we need all of you to be with us for the next phase of our journey. and i am not going to keep you because i never do, i said this in the first campaign -- it is going to be long. [laughter] it is going to be hard. it is designed that way. [laughter] and there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way. but here is the thing about my husband. and this is something that i appreciate even if he had not shown the good sense to marry me. [laughter] [applause]
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even in the toughest moments, when it seems like all is lost, everyone is wringing their hands, calling, worrying and calling, what is going on, what is he doing, what is going on -- i am one of those people? [laughter] barack obama never loses sight of the and gold. he never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, even if it comes from some of his best supporters. he just keeps moving forward. and in those moments when we are all sweating yet come up when we are worried that the bill will not pass, the negotiations might fall through, barack always reminds me that we are playing a long game here. he reminds me that change is
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slow. he reminds me that change does not happen all at once. but he says that if we keep showing up, if we keep fighting the good fight, and doing what we know is right, then eventually we will get there. we always have. and that is what he needs from you. he needs you to be this in -- in this with him for the long haul. hold fast to our values and our dreams for our kids and for our country. he needs you to work like you have never worked before, people. [applause] because that is what i plan on doing. i am not going ask you to do anything that i would not do. and i will not be doing it just
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as a wife or as the first lady. i will be doing it as a mother who wants to leave a legacy for my children. and more than that, i will be doing it as a citizen who knows what we can do together to change this country. >> in a few moments, the american israel public affairs committee hears from senate majority leader harry reid, house speaker john boehner, an israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. "washington journal" is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. we'll take your calls on federal spending, the deficit, and extending some of the provisions of the patriot act. several live events to tell you about on c-span3 today. i senate judiciary subcommittee let's a prescription drug abuse with the heads of the white house office of drug control policy and the drug enforcement administration. that is at 9:00 a.m. eastern.
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at 2:30 p.m. eastern, head of the federal aviation administration and the air traffic controllers association testify at a hearing on the safety of the air traffic control system. >> now available, c-span's congressional directory, a complete guide to the first session of the 112th congress. inside, new and returning house and senate members with contact information, including twitter addresses, district maps, and committee assignments. also information on the white house, supreme court justices, and governors. order online at -- c-span.org/shop. >> over memorial weekend, commencement addresses from across the country. leaders from politics, business, and entertainment offerings. inside to the graduating class of 2011 at 3:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern. memorial day weekend on c-span. >> up next, from the american israel public affairs committee
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conference, senate majority leader harry reid. this is a half-hour. >> we meet this year in the shadow of israel's birthday, but our mode is not one of celebration. our mode is one of caution and concern, unease sits heavily on our shoulders. this because no time in israel's history has our future faced such tension and tests and uncertainty awaits us and never in history has so many of you leaders, students, and concerned citizens gathered to make your voices heard. your activism made you an unparalleled force not only in this town, but throughout the country and the world. it's not only your numbers or your passion that has made you
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effective and earned you the discuss you deserve. it's the virtue of your cause and the integrity of your conviction. [applause] your in the arena, in the fight year after year when the head winds pick up, you push back even harder, and today, here, we are united, determined demanding strength and success. we insist israel not only survives, but thrives. [applause] i'm honored to stand before you this evening to say that like you, i stand with israel always. [applause] i'll make sure the united states stapedes with israel every
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time. i will do this as majority leaders of the united states senate, and i'll do this in my most important job as a senior senator from the state of nevada, the home of the fastest growing jewish community in the country, a spirited pro-israel community and the home to many aipac members here tonight including my good friend and next senator from the state of nevada, shell y. [applause] i stand with israel, the congress stands with israel, and america stands with israel because the values that have cast our histories are one in the same, and our futures will intertwine more than our history has been. you know, here are the values. you know them.
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democracy, opportunity, justice, strength, security, and self-defense, innovation, peace -- these values fasten the unbreakable bond between the united states and the state of israel. we also share a common confidence that the risks we take are right. israel and america meet great challenges with the faith that we're fighting the good fight. this month began with a daring mission the world will long remember, the raid that got bin laden was unprecedented in significance, but to those who know their history, it was not unfamiliar. thirty-five years earlier in the summer of 1976, israel showed the world how it's done. many of you remember terrorists took a hijacked plane where they freed only the non-jewish passengers. after days of deliberation,
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israel's leaders decided to conduct its first ever mission outside the middle east, far, far from home. the rescue was as dangerous as it was ingenious. the israeli troops went to the airport in the cover of night to deceive the guards on the ground and drove to the terminal in mercedes and land rover motorcades, identical to the one the president would use to travel. less than an hour later while we celebrated our independence, more than 100 jewish hostages discovered their freedom. [applause] the only troop israel lost that day was prime minister benjamin netanyahu's brave older brother, yoni. [applause] many of the elements of that story sound familiar to the details we've heard in recent
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days about the raid that brought another hijacker to justice. before both missions, intelligent services surveyed the targets. troops built and trained on an exact model before flying through the darkness to unfamiliar foreign terrain to what they had to do. the surprise mission was carried out with staggering speed and success. all the while it was kept under the highest secrecy, but these stunning operations have something much more important in common, and neither was a case of certainty or even really probability. israel's leaders were far from confident a military strike would succeed. they wrestled with the tension and pressure and doubt. it was approved at last with hope, but also with a heavy heart, and three weeks ago even as the hell chopper was -- helicopter was landing, our troops were not certain bin laden was inside.
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american leaders struggled with second and third guesses, but in the end, decisive leadership led to definitive success. [applause] in both cases, those who designed, ordered, and carried out the mission operated on a little more than circumstantial evidence. in other words, they acted on faith. faith that their job is justice and duty is solemn. the faith that tells us if we will it, it's no dream. [applause] both nations decided the risks were worth taking because neither israel nor america tolerates terrorism that stains our past. we don't give into fear. we stand up to the honor of our nations and our people. when we're attacked, we will always remember, always fight
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back though it may take some time, we follow through. [applause] many nations take many risks. america and israel though are the countries that make them count. we succeed. americans and israelis are the people who make possible the impossible. that's the spirit we need to recapture in the next pursuits of justice. the past six months have seen more remarkable change in the middle east than any period in the past six decades since the state of israel was born. this young story has been one the democracy, of human rights, a story written by those who know the voice of the people is as valid as the voice of the palace that's just as legitimate and just as loud. today, the middle east and north africa have captured the world's attention. witnesses of history around the globe are rooting for democracy, but while we celebrate progress
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and as the arabs' spring turns to summer, we have to protect the stability, security, and support of the state of israel. [applause] and no one should forget the vast majority of the arab world is still not free, but for 63 years of strong, vibrant democracies flowered in the unlikeliest of deserts. it's a democracy committed to progress and prosperity and anchors the free world. the thousands of us here tonight say single voice if you believe in democracy, believe in israel. [applause] three years ago i wrote legislation in the united states senate to congressmen rate the -- comeme rate israel. it passed anonymously.
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when the whole world condemned israel in the accident, i didn't stay silent, but i spoke up. i spoke up real loudly. [applause] i worked with democrats and republicans alike to collect almost 90 senators' signatures to defend israel's right to defend herself. [applause] we all know that if we were attacked in the same way off our shores, the united states would have done nothing different. [applause] i've been happy to host many bipartisan senate meetings with israeli prime ministers, and i look forward to benjamin netanyahu's visit tomorrow in a rare joint meeting of congress. [applause] i've always

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