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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 20, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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are programmed to trade off of headlines with specific data or comments in them. saw happened was programs that the fed's expectations were in twot rates would be years -- they were higher than had been expected. started sounding off on it. these program traders are very important players in day to day activity. it is not mom-and-pop sitting around watching cnbc or fox business or bloomberg news yellen said janet something competent it, i'm going to sell now -- something complicated, i'm going to sell now."
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to captureying little movements and profit off of little movements. in the long run i don't know if that has a big impact on where the market goes. hilsenrath covers the federal reserve. his e-book available by "the wall street journal." >guest: go to our website, wsj.com and particularly if you want to download it, wsj.com/fed. host: thanks. another edition of the program comes her way at 7:00 tomorrow. we will see you then. host[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute]
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day ofy marks the first spring. no congress coverage today. we do have evidence in washington and elsewhere. at noon eastern, wisconsin lieutenant governor will be talking about her state's effort to revive its economy and spur job creation and revitalize its education system that that is live from the heritage foundation at noon. president obama's traveling in florida today and will attend democratic fundraisers this evening. president takes part in a roundtable with students and local workers at valencia college in orlando. the president this afternoon is one of a series of administrative events on how the federal government can shrink the pay disparity between men and women and improve the economic opportunities. we will have those remarks for you on c-span at 2:30 eastern.
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live at 4:00 p.m., the former u.s. a messenger to syria will about the ongoing civil war in syria appeared that is hosted by the wilson center. >> to the families of my , mike smith,nds ,udy resnick, ron mcnair christa mcauliffe, and greg extend toace and i you our thoughts and prayers to your families and what your friends, at the time of this our of your loss, and our shared .rief the space program has been a marvelous program for america to
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expand its knowledge, its horizons, and it will continue as long in the future as man has the thirst for knowledge, we will continue to press outward, and in the process, there is risk. that risk is taken by each one of us every day, and that risk is understood by all the members of a crew that climbed into a loaded station -- that climb into a loaded spaceship. my concluding remarks will be as we reflect upon this tragedy, a tragedy that this whole nation grieves in, let's remember the remarks by someone who knew something about risk, a gallant lady named helen keller, when
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she spoke of risk and security. this is what she said. "security is mostly a superstition. it does not exist in nature, no do the children of men -- nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. avoiding the danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure." listen to what she ends with. "life is either a daring adventure or nothing." , and be with and keep in the palm of his hand our ,eparted brothers and sisters daring adventurers, and god bless and comfort their families and friends. >> find more highlights from 35
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years of house floor coverage on our facebook page. created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you today as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> former national security advisers to president carter, ford, and george h.w. bush took part in a discussion yesterday on russia, a day after that country annexed crimea from ukraine. moderated by bob schieffer of cbs news and hosted by the center for strategic and international studies, it is an hour. >> thank you all for coming, and willto get it going, we talk about russia with two men who are not just longtime friends, but at various times over the 45 years that i've been in washington, they have been very good sources for me. [laughter]
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sometimes on the record, sometimes maybe not. dr. brezinski and general scowcroft as well as roger cohen of the "new york times." let me say that mr. brzezkinski was a senior advisor of the president carter and held many other prestigious foreign-policy positions. scowcroft was a military assistant to richard nixon and deputy assistant to national security affairs during the ford and nixon administration.
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that was with henry kissinger, right? and he holds the medal of freedom in 1993. queen elizabeth made him an honorary knight of the british empire. and roger cohen has been a foreign correspondent of the "new york times" for more than a decade. he now writes a column for the "times." he is an author of several books on foreign policy and also a biography of norman schwarzkopf. it is hard to know where to start this discussion, but let me just start the discussion. is this the new cold war? why don't we start with you, dr. brezinski? >> obviously, we don't know for sure, but it is beginning to look that way. it may not end up that way, but it is beginning to look that way. in fact, if i could just take two minutes, i would like to do something which probably most of
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the people have not done, namely, sites and experts from putin's speech. it is worth reading the speech in full. it is what he says about ukraine more generally. in that speech he says, among other things, at ukraine -- let me get my clippings here. he says that ukraine benefited from the bolshevik revolution by obtaining large sections of the historical south of russia. he, in effect, is positing that ukraine's territory is invalid. when the president of ukraine
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asked that the borders be limited, russia agreed to it on the favor that there was an assumption that ukraine would remain a good neighbor. however, this is not how the situation developed. he also goes on to say in the same speech that it is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in the ukraine now, nobody. that is a rather strange thing to be saying about a neighboring country. he assures us in his speech that russian armed forces never entered crimea. which is kind of curious, because we have the impression that somebody did. and then he goes on to say, that we understand that our western partners prefer not to be guided by international law in practical policy, but the rule of the gun. and that we understand what is happening is that these actions are aimed against ukraine and russia and against eurasian integration. and he also as, let me conclude that we have heard declarations from key as about ukraine soon
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joining nato. let me say, quite frankly, that it pains our hearts to see what is happening in the ukraine at the moment, to see the people suffering and their uncertainty about how to get through their day and worried about tomorrow. our concerns are understandable because we are not simply close neighbors, but as i have said many times, we are one people. now, what is that telling you? it suggests that if things don't get under control fairly soon, we may be seeing the next phase, which is an attempt, in a sense, to create one state for one people. >> in other words, he would absorb -- >> i think this is a speech that deals allegedly with crimea, but lays out a claim that can be asserted if things unfold in a way that provide opportunities.
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and it pertains particularly to territorial edges of ukraine, but also kiev. >> back to the question -- is this the beginning again of the cold war? and is this your interpretation? >> it is not my interpretation. i just read excerpts. [laughter] >> i think this is not a return to the cold war. we have had a scratchy relationship with russia since the cold war ended. and i think it will continue. but the cold war, i think, was pretty generous. -- sui generis.
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and it evolved philosophies about the world, and the struggle for men's minds. this is not that kind of thing. this is much more practical. i think what is big red is very interesting, because if there is anything that makes confused reading, it's the history of ukraine and russia. the first state of russia, called russ, had its capital in kiev in the tenth century. and they were driven up into the forests of the mongrels of asia, like trees and did not go after them. it has been a different relationship than almost any
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other part of russia, and/or the soviet union. i would say this is new. i learned a lot about food and -- about vladimir putin from what he said in the last few days. putin is a different person, a very different person from gorbachev, or even khrushchev. and he has the outlook of someone who was kgb and who saw the soviet union collapse. he is a person full of venom,
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because he thought that collapse was taken advantage of by the west, or especially by the united states. to humiliate russia, and take advantage of russia. as a matter of fact, he says, when we were flat our backs at the end of the cold war, you walked all over us because you could. you denounced the anm treaty. you push the borders of nato right up into the soviet union, because you could. now we are stronger and you cannot push us around anymore. there is that, that goes through it all. but i think to say that this is a new cold war is -- we could make it one, but i don't think it is going in that direction. >> roger. >> i agree with general scowcroft that in this instance, you don't have the ideological concept that you had during the cold war.
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on the other hand, i think we should have taken president putin a lot more seriously when he described the breakup of the soviet union as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. that is a pretty memorable phrase, because it was so extraordinarily unbelievable. i think many of us tended to laugh it away. but i think what we are seeing now is that president putin is absolutely serious about re-creating the soviet space. and looking at it from the perspective of what has just happened in crimea, i think we can view the events of georgia in 2008 as a kind of precursor, a trial run if you would like. let's see if the west reacts if
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i recognize abkhazia and south ossetia as an independent state. in that case, he did not annex. and then there were the medvedev years when it look like we might be able to treat russia as a normal country. and there has been this idea, this dream of the european space, or a eurasian space stretching from lisbon to vladivostok. but he is bent on something else, and alternative situation, or something like it, to the west. and i think we have a highly combustible situation. i agree this could be the first move in ukraine, but much more dangerous is the fact that there are russian speakers in plenty of other states surrounding russia, notably estonia and latvia. if anything were to begin to
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stir there, then an attack on any nato member would be considered an attack on all. we are definitely into new territory. i don't think we are into a new cold war, but we are into a new territory where we have to recognize that in moscow right now we have an adversary. we do not have a potential partner. >> dr. brezinski, what could or should we do now? >> i think we have to be concerned about what follows what has happened. putin in this speech has laid out a case that can be used for certain force directly against ukraine. might it disintegrate? my part of ukraine secede? and then what happens?
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suppose violence breaks out, what choices do we have? how can we react? i think we have to try to anticipate that possibility and consider it seriously. one way to anticipate it is to still try to somehow convey to putin that it is not our intent to seduce ukraine, to draw it into nato, to turn it into a state that is openly, overtly hostile to russia. we have to work together in consolidating the recovery of ukraine economically and otherwise, because russia also has an interest in that, and so do we. and we and say to them, we will do it jointly. and of course, ukraine has a right to be european in spirit, but it is not going to be a member of the eu for years and years. and we can reassure you that it will not be a member of nato. but at the same time, we have to convey to the russians our concern that those words spoken by putin about ukraine are terribly reminiscent of what
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hitler was saying about austria, which was then followed by the sudetenland and we know the rest of the history. that could be very serious in europe. either we are passive in the face of a calamitous explosion, or maybe the ukraine will fall apart and simply repeat what happened in crimea. you also have to talk to the ukrainians about their response and what steps they are taking to make sure that their state remains viable. and we have to be willing to assist them if they are determined. in a sense, an accommodation if possible, deterrence of the conflict if necessary. i would not treat this lightly. i think there is a spirit in putin's speech that is vengeful and triumphalist at the same time, and committed as mr. cohen just said, to the notion of this new union, which is actually an old name, and empire with the capital in moscow.
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a good friend of the russians, a former member of the communist party in kazakhstan, now president, is issuing warnings about independent state in the region. --uzbekistan saw this openly, and so forth. >> dr. scowcroft, do you think the sanctions have had any impact? >> i think we have done the minimum that we needed to do. and i think we will see what
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happens now. i agree with much of what he just said. i misjudged putin. as i say, he was filled with venom at the united states at the end of the cold war, but he's not a dumb man. he's a smart man. and i thought that after he had ruled for a while, and after medvedev had his turn as president, that putin would see that they got a lot farther with sugar than he was getting with vinegar and that he would change. he hasn't. and that tells you more about him and we need to worry about it.
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also, about the soviet union and how it felt, it is important to remember that in 1991 when the soviet union broke up -- i cannot remember who was head of belarus. they teamed up to take his job away from him. that plays into putin's determination here. and i think we need to be, when we talk about the sanctions we put on, i think we need to be confident, careful, positive, but not frantic, like putin is sort of getting.
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>> roger, dr. brzezinski said we should talk to him and explained to him about how we really feel about ukraine. will you listen, in your view? or has he already got an agenda? >> i think he already had a chance to listen. as far as i recall, secretary of state kerry flew to london just a few days ago on the eve of all of this and had several hours of talks with the russian foreign minister and they produced precisely nothing. i think president putin had decided a while back on this course and he has executed it. this is grave. this is the first act of annexation in europe since the second world war.
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another word for annexation, of course, is an anschluss. i think we could see a somewhat divided west. certainly, a pivot to asia does not look like such a good idea right now. when i looked down the sanctions list, these are pretty much second level characters. i'm not sure there is not a case for taking sanctions at this point right up to the very summit. if i recall correctly, at the conference in bucharest in 2008 where there was a lot of discussion of putting georgia on a track to nato membership, the
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russians, putin, warned that this would have serious consequences. and as a result, we held back. what happened? three months later, despite this concession -- i'm not sure that this is a man who listens to concessions, who sees concessions. what is his language? his language is strength. i think unless you respond to his strength with our own form of strength, you end up losing. and that, i think is the situation we are in today. >> what can we really do? >> if i may, the bottom line is enlargement, the enlargement of the european union at least. i think we cannot take from moscow a veto of whether countries in eastern europe can be part of the european union. >> one, we need to give him a sense of a better option.
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there are people in russia who are very worried about what is happening. there are 50,000 people in the brutal regime demonstrating against this for just two days ago. they are worried. we can convey to put and you can have a deal that is reassuring, but it is no victory for you. secondly, we have to consider the serious possibility in view of what he said that he will try the crimean operation in ukraine itself. with one important distinction. the crimean operation was premised on quick deniability. if something went wrong, and all of a sudden there was a lot of resistance, he could say, we never attacked. these guys were not mine. forget it. it was some sort of local incident. he cannot do that in ukraine.
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there is an engagement or there is not. and i think we need to talk to the ukrainians seriously. are they really prepared to defend their territory? because if they are, we should make it even more clear to putin, don't plunge into that adventure because that can have consequences. and i would not tell the ukrainians, since they have already asked us for military resistance, that we are willing to provide our prepackaged military food. >> meals. >> yes, which we have told them. that is so far our contribution to their event. -- their capacity for self-defense. i think we should indicate that we are not going to be at war and we are not committed to war, but if you resist, you will certainly gain the sympathy of the west, just as finland did in 1940 when stalin attacked. that creates pressure to do more.
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then that becomes something that putin has to consider. can he really undertake a war at this stage, given the state of his economy? which is very bad, and still in the relatively retarded state of his military, which is still being modernized -- in future years it will be in much better shape, but right now, i do not think this is something putin would welcome. either the break up of ukraine or some upheaval in ukraine. we have to assure him in some constructive fashion that it is not going to happen because it is not in our interest, too. >> do you think that the germans will go along with sanctions? >> i think they are more likely now than when the crisis first started. part of the problem has been that we have both the u.s. and europeans being lazy about this whole thing. the eu made an offer for a relationship with ukraine.
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it was a little bit here, a little bit there, maybe some of this, maybe some of that. it did not amount to anything. putin turns around and offers them a $15 billion loan. what the united states could have done at that time, and i think should have done, is to say, look, ukraine's economy is in terrible shape. let us, the united states, the eu, and russia, put together a program of assistance to ukraine to start them out. get them going again. i don't know if it would have worked, but we are now assuming that what we've got to do is match them belligerence by belligerence by belligerence. and that may be where we end up, but i don't think we ought to start there. and just one other comment.
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ukraine has a very interesting state. it is not just a country. it is three countries -- well, two if you take out crimea now. crimea is for all intents and purposes russian. other populations have been driven out. then there is eastern ukraine, roughly half, that is primarily of russian extraction. there is west ukraine which has a long history with poland, lithuania, austria. there are very different kinds of evolutions here. when you say, ukraine this and ukraine that, what is it you are talking about?
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and there may be one thing that putin has not calculated right. he has changed the relative balance of the populations. because crimea was russian. and now that is out of the mix. the balance between the two that are left is much closer. and remember, putin has also said that there was a coup against the president, yanukovych, who was a russian student. -- stooge. i don't remember what i was going to say now -- >> you are right. [laughter] >> now the government is a government of primarily west ukraine.
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and that is different. and putin sees that difference and what he says is, use -- you threw out yanukovych and put in your fascist. >> let me just say something. does this have anything to do with how the united states is now perceived in the world? >> i think it does, to some degree. putin had the perception that he could get away with this. transatlanticism has become an almost quaint term. it is so 20th century. who cares about that? the poles, lithuanians, they want nato protection for some reason. who knows why? and i think there was a sense not only of that division, but the united states where the operative word is "retrenchment."
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the united states has been through two painful wars and wants to look after its own for a while. and while i don't think there is any direct link, i do think it is a matter of great concern when the united states of america set a red line in syria on the issue of chemical weapons and walks all the way up to the response called for by that red line, and then is seen at the last minute to step back from that. i think that sends a message around the world. it is not something that people immediately forget. i'm not saying there is a direct causal link. but i think there is a sense of disunity and weakness. and on that basis, president putin, who is a man whose psychology understands above all force, strength, brutality when necessary, i think that gave him
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a kind of green light. what he did in crimea -- i covered the war in bosnia. this is exactly what president milosevic did in bosnia. serbian troops in bosnia? no, what are you talking about? there was an attempt at plausible deniability. you could see it. and you've still got these guys, now, today, these terrible photographs of the ukrainian army and navy walking out of their barracks with their hands up. and with soldiers pointing their machine guns at them, who are in camouflage, and no identifiable insignia. what is this? >> dr. brzezinski, does this have anything to do with how the united states is perceived, rightly or wrongly? >> probably, up to a point, yes. and even right now, i'm a bit surprised with all that is happening that the president of the united states has not spoken to the country about the
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problem, has not put it into the larger context. he gave the statement about these minimalist sanctions and then walked out of the room. did not say much to the american people. i don't think there is that much clarity yet about our position. i hope it sharpens. >> i want to hear from general scowcroft on this, too. if you are the national security adviser, what would you do? >> i would, one, still make an attempt to see that the russians receive a larger accommodation with regard to ukraine, and a generous and balanced one. but also to make sure that the ukrainians know what they are going to do and are prepared to do it. and if push comes to shove, start indicating rather heavily that we will not be passive.
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and on that subject, let's not exaggerate the divisions in ukraine. there are some russians in ukraine, but the russian speaking ukraine are not russian. they are like the swiss. the swiss are either german or french. neither one is planning to join france or germany. [laughter] and look at some key people. one of the new heroic figures did not even speak ukrainian a few months ago. he spoke mostly russian. but he has picked it up in this current situation. timoshenko, the great enemy of yanukovych she did not speak much before this. and now she speaks russian. they were denied their national identity for a long, long time. but since the 19th century, they started evolving and developing and acquiring a spirit of its own and its own history.
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they, for example, reject the notion of kiev being russian. it is of their descendents. it was greek orthodox. it was not russian orthodox. most people ignore that. they are asserting their own identity and claiming their own history. and it was a dispute on the subject between them and the russians. but putin said not just this time, but previously, ukraine is not a nation. russia and ukraine are one nation. the majority of ukrainians reject that. >> what would you advise the president right now, general? >> as i said, i think the president ought to offer what he has not offered yet, which is that we put together a program for ukraine and see if we can move away from the direction we
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are going back to where the problem started. i don't know if it will work. and it may be that putin does think we have lost our will. i sort of doubt it, but there are a lot of indications to the contrary. and i think we need to remember we need to discuss these points with the russians. if there is to be progress with syria, for example, it would be nice if the u.s. and russia were on the same page. iran, the russians have been
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basically supportive of iran. it is not as if this is a cold war waiting to break out. we have had not warm relationships, but they have not been bad everywhere. it seems to me if we can pull this out of the fire, at least give it one more chance to see whether putin -- to see the way his mind works. >> roger, you had a terrific piece in the "times" this week about the parallels of this. how dangerous is the situation right now? >> i wrote that because it is the centennial, obviously, of the outbreak of world war i. when the prince shot the archduke in sarajevo, he was trying to secure the liberty of the south slavs from an imperial.
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and of course, president putin is trying to revive some russian form of imperion. and many who are feeling passionately and indignant about what has just happened, and while it is true if you like three ukraines, it is also true that one ukraine was recognized and its borders recognized by president putin in 1994 when he said, give up your nuclear weapons. that was formal recognition of the borders that have just been trampled upon by president putin. i don't want to be alarmist, and i absolutely agree that the iran dossier, which is a critical one, is important. everything has to be calibrated.
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but this is a sea change. it is a new ballgame. and i think the situation is combustible, both within the ukraine if president putin chooses to go any further, and potentially in the baltic states where feelings run very high about being ruled from moscow. and i know vice president biden has just been there to reassure them, but if any incident -- as we have just seen, as the outbreak of world war i illustrated, it was a 19-year-old kid who precipitated that cataclysm. we don't know what the spark might be. but i think this is a far more dangerous situation than many people imagine. >> let's go to the audience.
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i will just start right here. you, sir. is there a microphone? here comes the mic right here. no, that the camera. there it is. mic, over here. >> do you think that snowden has assisted putin in any way by supplying any ways of collection that we have in ukraine or surrounding countries that could compromise a response? >> i didn't understand. >> snowden, whether snowden. >> did snowden supply the russians with some kind of intelligence that might have compromised us in some way? >> there is no way to answer
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that without knowing what he has or has given to the russians. i don't know what he has. >> [inaudible] >> it is more than one country. but i don't think we know what he has and what he has given to the russians. >> right here. >> back to what you were saying a moment ago about this being a game changer. pox americana has been the legacy of the postwar timeframe, and its fundamental principle was the sanctity of borders. this has been blown away, for all of the reasons that you gentlemen have explained quite well, the history, the
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complexity, the russian empire, the ukraine. we all understand and i think we can have sympathy over the fact that most of the crimeans are ethnic russians. however, as you pointed out, there was a treaty -- the treaty of budapest, i believe -- in which the united states and russia guaranteed the ukrainian borders. now this principle has been blown away. i think president obama is trying to say, wait a minute, we cannot do this and you cannot get away with it. you have explained we do not have that many options. but if this principle of the sanctity of borders, which is at the foundation of peace in europe, is blown away, then what? what will the united states be able to do to repair this? because now, we are most likely going to allow this to happen because there will not be any going back, i believe. in other words, putin is not going to give back crimea to
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ukraine. then the principle of sanctity of borders has been infringed. is that an issue of great consequence, or can we just let this go? >> i don't think it is an issue of that great of consequence. and we did not think so either with respect to kosovo, which is a similar sort of action. as a matter of fact, we used force to try to make it happen. i don't think that is a fundamental issue. >> i think it could be a fundamental issue. but i agree with brent that it is not yet, for one very simple reason. the ukrainians did not resist in crimea. maybe they couldn't, but they didn't. and that makes it very different.
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because it was a kind of complacency or accommodation on their part. i am much more concerned with what putin is saying, that there is going to be a challenge to the integrity and independence of ukraine. that would be very different. >> the lady in the back. >> my question is simple and short. how safe might georgia be in this given the situation and new development? can we expect russia's farther expansion through the military? >> i did not understand. >> could you identify your self again? >> maja kate, voice of america. >> it was very difficult for us. the sound is muffled. >> [indiscernible] >> we know who she is. what is the question? [laughter] maybe if you would come up here. i'm sorry to ask you to do this. >> thank you come again. maja kate, voice of america, georgian service.
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my question is, can we expect russia's farther expansion militarily towards georgia? how safe might georgia be? >> the question is, how safe should georgia feel? i think the fact is, having talked to a couple of georgians who attended a conference, they do not feel safe. they do not feel in the least bit safe. in fact, they feel threatened. and of course, those kinds of feelings, whether rational or irrational, doesn't come into it. and if you are afraid, you are afraid. and when you've already lost 20% of your territory, which georgia has, and you see what is happening in crimea, and you see both the eu and nato basically slamming on the brakes whenever
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anybody mentions any notion of georgia coming into the eu or nato, you think, well, what is our future here? we've got president putin up there eyeing us. and to the west, which is the direction we want to go, and it is a very disturbing situation for georgia. i do not expect president putin to move on georgia today, tomorrow, or this year. but that possibility is there, and he knows it's there. that is the way he wants it to be. to come back to your question, i do think it is a serious change. kosovo was not annexed. it is 90% albanian and it became independent after a bloody war
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across former yugoslavia that went on for a decade. this is not the place to go into all of that, but i don't think it is a precise parallel. i'm sure many of you read president putin's long piece in my newspaper. at the time of the syrian conflict, where he was saying the only thing we have between the world and the abyss is the rule of law, the sanctity of borders, the centrality of the u.n. security council. international law is the only basis on which to conduct human affairs. orwellian does not begin to describe it. [laughter] mcmanus. >> doyle mcmanus from the "los angeles times." i would like to sharpen the question on what the united states is prepared to do if the ukraine says it is prepared to resist further russian incursion into its territory from the east
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and south. it seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg problem here. their decision on what they are prepared to do may depend on their understanding of how much support they have. dr. brzezinski, you suggested that mre's are not quite enough. we can provide nonlethal equipment and air cover. what should we be offering? >> in any case, we should have contingency planning for all of that in different portions but we should couple that with a serious communication to the russians in which we would like an alternative outcome in which we would like to be partners. but we need to let ukraine know that if they resist, they will
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not be alone. we do not need to let the russians know exactly what we are going to do. but the death of the pudding is also in the ukrainians. they need to demonstrate that they value their territorial integrity and are prepared to make sacrifices to protect it. i think the russians, the way they have operated in crimea, as i said before, where they are operating on a contingent basis. if there is a lot of resistance, we pull back. the same may happen in ukraine as well, particularly those districts where there are some russian people living and they are demonstrating and so forth. the ukrainians themselves, first of all, have to take some clear positions regarding what they intend to do with some degree of credibility. otherwise if we don't do it, that i think we really are on the path to grievous instability and other acts totaling over two georgia.
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azerbaijan, the russians have a score to settle with azerbaijanis. there are large populations that could be the object of several explosions with hatred and conflict. you open up the gate. our job is to reduce the scope of uncertainty by commitment and clarity and willingness to compromise on an intelligent level. but that also means the president has to take a visible position and speak seriously to the american people about the problem that we confront, that we and our allies confront jointly. and mrs. merkel's speech is a hopeful indication that more and more europeans are beginning to realize we are in this together.
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hollande has also spoken strongly on this subject, which, given his busy schedule -- [laughter] >> anybody else want to talk about that? >> i have a question for all of the panelists. are you confident that if the eu and the u.s. failed to take measures, will china be encouraged to do the same thing in its neighborhood? and secondly, [indiscernible] willlance towards asia suffer from the crimean crisis? >> if i heard it all, i will start out. i think the chinese sympathies probably lie more with the russians. but i do not think they're going to enter, because they are logical on the issue of territories being shifted around, for example, to that.
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i don't think you'll find the chinese standing up and shouting for the russians. >> anyone else? roger? >> in terms of the second part of the question, it is hard to understand exactly what was meant. it was a phrase and it has floated out there and there have been meetings about it. it is not altogether clear, to me, at least, what it has meant. but i think what president putin has presented the west with is a strong case for looking again at the transatlantic alliance, looking again at the defense budget, looking again at the fact that the european neighborhood is not so safe and
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secure that we can simply transfer our attention elsewhere. i think china has a very ambivalent response to what has happened. it doesn't like borders changing. they have abstained. that is an indication. i do not expect a scenario of world war iii. i do not expect some chinese move on taiwan or something like that. >> right down here in the second row. >> i am from the iss. there is another country that has a common border with an eu member and a nato member, and which has an agreement with eu, and that is moldova.
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and moldova has its own crimea, which is now asking russia to become part of the russian federation. there is a game beginning out between russia and moldova to go to an agreement for an exchange of that being part of russia. zbig, should we be doing now to prevent that particular domino from falling? because if it does, then you will have the problem for russia of territorial continuity between russia ministry and russian crimea. and that happens to be the southern borderlands of ukraine. you may not have time to prepare that package of measures, which you told us about. if i may, just one remark. the leverage we may think russia
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has vis-à-vis us on iran and syria, i remember and the panel remembers, that during the cold war, we were able to cooperate on the issues of chemical and nuclear proliferation. that is not going to stop simply because we're going to have a big problem with russia. russia has permanent interests in doing what it is doing on iran and if we get into a new cold war, it is not going to stop russia from continuing to talk with us on iran. >> i agree with you on iran aspect. as far as moldova is concerned, there is another factor involved here, geography. if ukraine does not go the wrong way, the russians will not be able to pull that off. and if necessary, we and the ukrainians can deal with it. if ukraine falters, the problem
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is, of course moldova, but the bigger problem is ukraine itself. that is the key strategic issue right now. how the ukraine's play at? how will the russians play it? what can we do to be clear-cut in our relationship with the ukrainian? >> right there. >> american university in moscow. my question is for zbigniew brzezinski. what is your opinion on the neo-nazi factor in ukraine? is it powerful? is it measurable? or is it just russian propaganda? >> there probably are some neo-nazis, more accurately, in the ukraine. they are a very minor group. very similar in that respect to some neo-nazis in russia, who seem to be a little more visible actually, and even have a very prominent philosopher supporting
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them and instructing on that basis, mr. putin as to what his vision of the world ought to be. i think you know what i'm referring to. >> we have not called anybody on this side over here. right there. >> i'm with mcclatchy newspapers. i have two quick questions. one, i wonder if any of you were surprised putin moved into crimea because some people said we should have realized it all along and others say of course we were surprised. i'm just wondering what your personal situation was. there's been a lot of discussion about nato and how this brings me to the background to having a purpose. -- back around to having a purpose. i wonder what you think about
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nato sending half a dozen planes to poland, if that is muscular enough to make an impression. >> i was not surprised in the and game, if you like. i think the germans have very good antenna in russia and i spoke to a senior guy at the foreign ministry about two weeks before the annex nation. .e's a fairly prudent guy his impression was he's going to go all the way. really? i saw these moves that reminded me very much of belgrade and what i had witnessed in bosnia. no parallel is exact.
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so i was not surprised right at the end. the second question was about the nato response. president obama is about to go to europe. the one thing i would say is -- it would be critical. that the strip the well-prepared and there be a strong vomit about, vigorous statement what has occurred. there was a mention in president obama's statement to article five and it came well down the list. it could have been higher up the list, just as i think the sanctions could have been of a more significant level. too, were youyou
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surprised? >> i was surprised at how efficiently and essentially nonviolently the russians were able to hold off. planned and i was also surprised the ukrainians there did not offer some resistance. >> could we or should we have known about this? >> if we were paying attention, yes all stop but we were not paying attention. ukraine has had several elections. the western part, the eastern .art this has been a troubled country for a long, long time. there was this surge about ukraine and nato for a long time but we have not paid attention to it. have avoidedcould
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had we been on top of the problem when it first started with the ukrainians and the eu. >> i'm sorry to say we have come to the end of our program. but before you go, we have one other thing we want to take note of. today is general scowcroft's birthday. [applause] >> i don't do birthdays anymore. >> there is cake for everyone here, so thank you all for coming.
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>> will take you live now to the south line -- south lawn of the white house for president obama. >> i want to provide an update on the situation in ukraine and the united states is taking in response. over the last several days, we have continued to be deeply in theed by events ukraine. we've seen an illegal referendum in crimea, and illegitimate move by the russians to annex crimea and dangerous risks of escalation with threats to ukrainian personnel in crimea and threats to southern and eastern ukraine as well. these are all choices the russian government has made. choices that have been rejected by the international community as well as the government of ukraine. because of these choices, the
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united states is moving as we said we would to impose additional costs on russia. based on the executive order i signed in response to russia's intervention in ukraine, we are imposing sanctions on more senior officials on the russian government. in addition, we are sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence to provide material support as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals. steps as ang these part of what russian has already done in crimea. at the same time, the world is rushed -- the world is watching as russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions in southern and eastern ukraine. for this reason, we have been working closely with our european partners to develop if russiaions
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continues to escalate the situation. as part of that process, i signed a new executive order today that gives us the authority to up -- to impose sections on not just individuals but key sectors of the russian economy. this is not our preferred outcome. these sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the economy but could be disruptive to the global economy. thater, russia must know further escalation will only isolated further from the international community. that principles must be upheld in the 21st century, that includes sovereignty and territorial integrity, the notion nations simply do not redraw borders or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger or more powerful. our other top priorities continues to be providing
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assistance to the government of ukraine so it can stabilize its economy and meet the asic needs of the ukrainian people. as i travel to europe next week to meet with the g7 and other european and asian allies, i once again urge congress to pass legislation necessary to provide this assistance and do it right away. expressions of support are not enough. we need action. hope the imf moves swiftly to provide a significant package of support for ukrainians as they pursue reforms. in europe, i will be reinforcing a message vice president biden carried to the baltic states this week. american support for our nato allies are unwavering. we are bound together by our article five commitment to defend each other and a set of shared values so me generations sacrificed for. we have increased support for andeastern european allies
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we will strengthen nato's collective defense and step up our work with europe on economic and energy issues as well. let me close by making a final point -- diplomacy between the united states and russia continues. we have emphasized russia still has a different path available, one that the escalate the situation and one that involves russia pursuing a diplomatic solution with the government in kiev with the support of the international community. the russian people need to know in mr. putin needs to understand not the ukrainians should have to choose between the west and russia. we want the ukrainian people to determine their own destiny and have good relations with the united states, russia, europe, with anyone they choose. russian only happen if also recognizes the rights of
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all ukrainian people to determine their future as free individuals and as a sovereign nation. in nations alll around the world understand and support. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] topresident obama about board marine one for the flight to andrews air force base and head to florida for several events including one at valencia college in orlando. he will be talking about the economy and the pay disparity
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between men and women. we will have that live at 2:30 eastern. ahead of that, coming up in about 50 minutes or so, we will hear from the wisconsin lieutenant governor. she will talk about her states efforts to revive its economy, spur job creation, and revitalize the education system. it's live from the heritage foundation at noon eastern. later on today, a look at syria -- robert fortis at the wilson center and we will have that live for you as well. eastern, bill gates will be talking about his foundation and its work on education, poverty, global health. here's a preview. >> we offer an incredibly bold but action -- you say there will countriesno poor remaining by the year 2035. what the mean by that? >> the primary measure which has
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thesorts of challenges is fee per person. we don't have a substitute measure. mollify'sbank countries with over 1200 per person per year as moving into a middle income bracket. moving from low income to middle income. we have today 45 countries in that low income category. what i am saying is by 2035, there should be less than 10 and mostly in places like north korea where you have a political system that basically creates poverty or landlocked african geography,here the the disease burden, disparate ethnicities mean they have not been able to bring together a government in terms of
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education, infrastructure that does even the most minimum things for them. it isthis rising tide, overwhelming how prosperity is spread around the world safe from 1960 from one there were very few rich countries and a gigantic number of poor countries. now most countries are middle income countries. poor countries are much smaller. move past thatl threshold doesn't mean they will have poor people in their countries or their governments will be fantastic, but it will be a lot better on average than it is today. >> that event with microsoft cofounder, bill gates, coming up at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. a couple of moments ago, you may have heard the president talking about calling on congress to pass the ukraine aid package.
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the house and senate are out this week. nancy pelosi held her weekly briefing at the capitol this morning. she was joined by maryland congressman chris van hollen. the two talked about the anniversary of the affordable care act. she said the law is about the health of america and found the republicans efforts to repeal the law a waste of time. they spoke to reporters for about 40 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. this sunday marks the fourth anniversary of president obama signing the affordable care act will stop four years later, we are seeing the reforms and initiatives of that law
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transform the lives of millions of americans. for the better. delivering on the dream of quality, affordable, accessible coverage for all americans and ending some of the worst abuses of the insurance companies. no longer may you be denied coverage because you have a pre-existing condition. a longer is being a woman pre-existing medical condition. no longer may and insurer place annual lifetime limits on your care. and the list goes on. thanks to the affordable care act, millions of americans are enjoying newfound health security in the personal and economic freedom that comes with it. more than 5 million people have enrolled in health coverage through the online insurance marketplace. 3.1 million young people have been able to stay on their parents health plan until age 26 phileas -- 26. millions more have coverage
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through the medicaid expansion. for our seniors, the affordable care act expanded free preventative care, annual checkups at no charge and other , making prescription drugs less expensive. this is important and my colleague will talk about this. adding eight years at least to the medicare trust fund. the affordable care act is not only about health care, it's about the good health of america. because the coverage is portable, it gives the person an opportunity to take it with him or her, to start a business, to change jobs summit to have freedom and opportunity. too many times republicans have voted to repeal this freedom and opportunity for the american people.
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the ceaseless republican votes are not only a waste of time, they have a real and heavy opportunity cost. time wasted on partisan antics that should have been spent on our top priorities and the top priorities of the american people is creating jobs. we need congress to get back to work. here to create jobs and it's as simple as abc. us a tax break to companies to keep jobs here and set of tax breaks republican support that send jobs overseas. build america, create jobs by investing in our infrastructure. run, laid the foundation for jobs in the future with a commitment to education and see community-based initiatives on education, safe neighborhoods
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and the rest. workers,verage to freedom, opportunity, leverage for the middle class. as we push forward for job creation for renewed emergency unemployment benefits, it's getting to the point of scandalous, certainly immoral for a long time. immigration reform will create jobs. i don't know if you saw the report that said 37% of corporate leaders who are asked prepared tore expand to create jobs. be if we passed comprehensive immigration reform. it is a job creator, a deficit reducer and a moral
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responsibility we have. spent onese 51 times taking ladies privileges for the american people, no longer being denied coverage, no more being a woman, no more lifetime limits on your care. this is a remarkable achievement for the american people. if there are ways to improve it, let's discuss that, but let's not pull the plug on the good health of the american people. one of the men who understands the implication of this, a man who knows his way around the numbers and has been a champion for a healthy american in terms of our physical health and physical health, and the general and from maryland, the ranking member of the budget committee, chris van hollen. >> thank you, leader pelosi. it's great to be here with you and all of our friends in the
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gallery here as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the passage of the affordable care act. i want to talk about some of the direct benefits to americans pocketbooks and some of the really important benefits to the economy that have not gotten as much attention until now and i hope will get greater focus in the days ahead. first of all, the new law requires insurance companies spend more of each dollar they get in premiums on providing health care. in fact, $.80 of every dollar they get in a premium now has to go to help revive health care to patients and consumers. every that, more of dollar was going to profits and overhead. provision, of that $500 million was returned to
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consumers and taxpayers. another consumers saved three point $5 billion because insurance companies had to comply with that requirement. more of every dollar in premiums going to care rather than profit overhead. secondly, for seniors on medicare with higher production drug costs, because we closed the doughnut hole, 7.3 million average $1209on per year on their prescription drug costs. that's real money in the pocket of seniors. third, because we got rid of a lot of the overpayments in medicare and some of the ways. think, medicare part b amy adams
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have not gone up in real terms at all since the passage of the affordable care act. wheeze to hear lots of stories about seniors that would get notices that their part the premiums were going up. year, they have actually gone down somewhat in real terms. that is a consequence of some of the cost savings in the affordable care act. fourth, we have seen and historic slowdown in the rate of increase in health care costs in this country. the lowest increase in health-care costs in 50 years, the lowest on record. the affordable care act was an important contributor to that effort, and as a result of that, one point $6l save trillion over the next 10 years if you include the interest savings by not having to make those payments. that's a huge amount of savings at a huge benefit to the
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economy. it reduces the deficit and therefore reduces the out year drag on economic growth and helps the economy in very tangible ways. that's just the savings to the taxpayers through the slowdown in health care costs and federal programs like medicare and medicaid. savings will also be achieved in the private sector because they will have to pay lower cost than they would otherwise have to pay. the council of economic advisers has estimated even half, half of the slowdown in health care costs continues, that 10 years from now, the average premium for americans will save $1400. that less money for businesses to provide, it frees up more money for wages, more money for them to invest in the economy, and for individuals going into
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the exchanges, it means lower premiums and therefore more money in the family pocketbook. these are real, tangible savings that help the pocket book and if economy and i should say, our republican colleagues have their way, they would wipe out all the benefits leader policy talked about and wipe out some of those other important benefits. we don't know if we will see a republican budget in the house will stop but just a flash warning. to have theimed budget balanced in 10 years. that they want to repeal the affordable care act and here's why. their budget only reached balance in the 10 years because they got rid of all of the good bills in the affordable care act like the tax credit that helps
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more americans, but they cap all of the revenues will stop they kept the same amount of revenues generated from the affordable care act in their budget. savings they demagogue against. if they did not keep those, it would not be balance. it is untrue that you can appeal the affordable care act and claim their budget is in balance. that claim, putting those two together, the president ajit by contrast focuses on economic security. in jobs in ourre country, saying we need to we need to invest in early education and workforce training and we need to force we need toreaks -- close those tax breaks that send
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jobs overseas and use them to invest right at home. so we can compete in the 21st century. that is what the president budget does. it focuses on jobs and opportunity. thee could just get beyond 51 times we voted to appeal the affordable care act and 16 days of government shut down and focus on these issues, we could be doing even better in this country as leader pelosi said. >> thank you very much, ranking member van hollen for your leadership and clear presentation. how this talk about afordable care act honors healthy life and the freedom to pursue your happiness, whatever that may be. after listening to van hollen,
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it was clear there was no other reason to pass the affordable care act, the status quo was unacceptable because the cost, the rising cost of health care is unsustainable to individuals, unsustainable to businesses small and large, and certainly unsustainable to state, local and federal budgets. slowing down the growth of health care costs and also reducing the costs, not just slowing the cost, and having many more people served in a , thety way improves health earlier the intervention, the less costly it is. and the healthier the person. was a primetor motivator for us to go forward with the affordable care act and
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any appeal of it increases the deficit. a moment andn for we will take your questions to the ukraine. rapidly unfolding developments in the ukraine this week have drawn the deep concern of the international community, as we all know. international leaders have joined president obama and saying the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine must be respect to. the referendum passed and crimea earlier this week and the subsequent actions by the part -- by the parliament and russian government are illegitimate. the ukrainian people have the right to determine their own future and destiny free from interference of any foreign nation. when congress returns next week i'm in senate is canceled to consider aid the ukraine. will my hope the senate pass what we have already passed in the house -- a comprehensive bill for a billion dollar loan
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guarantee to the ukraine, but that it will also include the imf provisions. when the prime minister of ukraine was here a week or so ago, he made a specific request for diplomatic and economic cooperation. the rolet very clear the imf would play in the economic stability of ukraine was essential. that congress would recognize that and pass that. swiftly andould act pass the reforms of the imf were the economic impact is great and greatly needed by the people of ukraine. i will not take any questions. >> speaker boehner signaled the house would not be taking up the senate unemployment extension,
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saying washington democrats need to come up with a plan that would create jobs. what is your response? >> here we go again. house republicans have painted themselves into the far extreme. democrats and republicans in the senate have come to compromise on the length of time and pay for. i myself do not believe the uninsurance employment benefits need to be offset. the time they have not, but if they're going to be offset and there's bipartisan agreement to do so, then let's just take that up and get this done. months have gone by. over 2 million people have not received their unemployment benefits. the fact is this is a stimulus to the economy. ask any economist. are spentnt benefits
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immediately, injecting demand into the economy and creating jobs. we want to create jobs the way the president has in his budget and the way mr. van hollen described, but this is something that is a stimulus. those peopleit of -- because of the extreme nature and indifference of the republicans in the house to the needs of the american people even after the senate in a bipartisan way has passed a compromise with pay for's come which i don't think need to be on set but is a compromise i am willing to accept. >> looking forward, and this is --e a politics question >> [inaudible]
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>> republicans are hoping to retake the senate and you are hoping to retake the house. if that does happen, there's the question of how will president obama deal with the republican congress. >> and is highly speculative now as to who's going to win what and what the president will do. >> you had the opposite of this in 2007 and 2008. i wonder what your take is on the president's willingness is to take on things like this. >> would we had the reverse of this in 2006, 2007 2008 one president bush was president, we worked with them on many issues and past bipartisan distillation. we opposed him in the war in iraq. most democrats did. and we all opposed him on privatizing social security. but aside from that, we passed
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the biggest energy bill in the history of our country. some of the authorities from that bill are enabling president obama to make some administrative decisions that are very helpful to the american people. democrats worked with president bush to passed the tarp legislation, probably the worst vote members had to take, most unpopular, but very necessary. we passed legislation working with him that talked about the low income tax credit. it made it refundable all the way down to the poorest working people in our country. we worked with him on hiv-aids. i think that is an important part of president bush's legacy. we try to work with him on immigration but his own party walked away from him on that. what you are seeing now with
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republicans not being willing to work with the president is highly unusual. i've never seen anything quite like it stop on the other hand, president obama has all along extend the hand of friendship to the republicans. his state of the union and his subject on the immigration bill, willing to work with the speaker all these many months later, but respectful of the speaker's role is as nonpartisan the president i've ever served with and i think his record of wanting to be cooperative. but you know with the republicans say back, nothing is in the agenda that we want to work on and never is our timetable. that's what we have seen from them. it is a two-way street, but this president, some would say maybe moreould be a little partisan, but that's not who he is and that's why the republican --that's why the republic
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that's why the public respects him so. i'm not even stipulating to the fact he will be working with a republican congress. you have a hypothetical on top of a hypothetical on top of a hypothetical. it is sort of was a political question. wage, i wantedum to get your reaction. there was a report released yesterday by the nation's largest private staffing firm saidsays 38% of employers they would have to lay off workers. he had the cbo study from a few weeks ago that had some findings that were sort of in line with that. do studies like this hurt your efforts? i know you have the discharge petition. accepting what you have said and i don't know who those rubes are. ,ut i do know overwhelmingly the american people support raising the minimum wage. this answers some of the
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challenges for those who don't want to spend more money on food stamps and other things that are public cooperation with families. raising the minimum wage to $10 and $.10 in our community in california, we have a higher minimum wage because $10.10 is not a living wage. said, a persont who works full-time and works hard should not have to raise his children or her children in poverty. the question on unemployment -- whatever that was? >> let me just say on the -- on thege am a minimum wage, the american people overwhelmingly believe if you work full time all year round, you should not be below the federal poverty line. you should have enough to be able to support your family at a
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very basic level. the minimum wage will provide almost 20 million americans with theirediate increase in rage -- in their wages so they can better support their families and millions more americans will also see wage increases. that's why the american public overwhelmingly supports the increase in the minimum wage. .ou have conflicting studies he of the council of economic advisers that does not sure the opinion of the congressional budget office. if you look carefully at the congressional budget office numbers, what they are talking about is a relatively small production and employment in 2017. this brings me back to the unemployment issue. that is something we could do right now, according to the congressional budget office would add up to 300,000 jobs by the end of this year. that's just extending
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unemployment insurance. 200,000 upguest is to 300,000. if you take the investments the president has called for and investing in our infrastructure, you will put millions of americans back to work. that's the way to grow the economy. the way to grow the economy is not to pay people sub poverty wages. the way to grow the economy is to make sure they have livable wages and to invest in opportunity and jobs. and as the leader said, immigration reform. immigration reform would provide a big boost to the economy. the congressional budget office 3.5% economicdd growth. those are big things we can do but for goodness sakes, people who work full-time should be able to support their family and not have to live in poverty. >> and the american people support that.
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that would be spent immediately because this is people on the margins. spend money injecting demand into the economy. it's a high priority and an when womenart of succeed america succeeds. over 60% of people making the minimum wage are women. in our first have point of making work pay, raise the minimum wage. we also have pay equity in the first week of april. of then some parts country make 77% of what a man makes. capable colleagues working next to each other. the man makes 100% and the woman makes 77%. -- she hase's worth worked the first three months of the year for free. what that means to her children and her retirement and family in between.
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we have paid sick leave and childcare and children learning, i've spent the last five days in texas. childcare centers, listening to women and the rest and raising the minimum wage is something we have the legislation. believe they will be taking it up soon in the senate. i hope they can do so in the house and that's why we have a discharge petition to that effect. theou have been championing benefits of the health care law that i don't see a lot of other democrats celebrating the anniversary today. some of the messaging democrats are running is axing the it since the rocky rollout. is the law proving to be more of a political liability? >> this is not about politics.
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this is about the health of america. this is about standing tall as the country did on social security, medicare and the affordable care act. we don't weigh its value as to what it means politically. we weigh its value as to what it means to the health, well-being, economic and health security of america's families. i see these little things in the paper about this or that. the stories you don't write or see because you are in washington and our members are out in their districts. membersvel, i see standing tall. we are running on what the american people want us to run on. show us the jobs. why are we not hear passing a jobs agenda incident 51 times having political nonsense on the floor of the house. i'm very proud of our members.
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goal past is not perfect. i want single payer and the public option. as the implementation takes place and we see improvements that can be made as to any compromise, which the bill was, we will do that. but just because people say i don't want to repeal it but i do want to fix it doesn't mean they are walking away from it. i am very proud of our members and the initiatives they are taking to enroll people and the stories they are hearing, one story i heard recently was about a baptist church down south that said i got $20,000 back because ratio medical loss provisions. change is hard and this is transformational in the lives of american people. transformational in what it means to the dynamism of our country where people can be free
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to follow their pursuits. from a technological standpoint, forgetting the rollout, but from the standpoint of electronic records and what that does to improve the health of all americans, that the most religious person in america with all the money and access to quality care is better now .ecause we know more we could not be prouder and the is that citizens united, just in time for republicans to put out all of their misrepresentations. >> they are saying that the aca will lead directly to premium increases. >> name names. >> i don't have names.
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>> on background and off the record, they say that is the subject and they don't want to stir you guys up to much. something in private you want me to respond to. >> the industry always is going to blame the law or something at some point all stop you are saying premiums are going to decrease and they say they are going to increase. how do you reconcile that? >> i would like some names. >> as part of the earlier pollions, the opinion shows the majority of americans are in favor of keeping the affordable care act. a majority do not want to appeal it, so you have to ask why we spend 51 votes and shut down the federal government as an effort to repeal it. people don't like that and they are more than willing to try to work constructively to address
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issues as they arrive. if you look at the time between 2006 and beyond, premiums in the united states went through the roof. they more than doubled. insurance company profits from the top 10 companies quadrupled. --h the affordable care act what the affordable care act is doing is slowing down the rate of increase in premiums. people are going to be paying lower premiums than they would have as a result of the affordable care act. there's no doubt within the exchanges that it's important to get the right mix of people, including younger people who think they are indestructible. until of course they get into a terrible car accident and their family is bankrupt. that's why there are important provisions to bring them into the pool. also to prevent huge jumps in the area of premium increases.
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the numbers are pretty clear. the rate of increase in health care costs today is at a 50 year low. lowest on historical record. it translates into lower premiums than otherwise people would have. those are the numbers in the economy today. by people whose business it is to look at those. >> as a double whammy, you are saying members are not embracing the affordable care act. the anecdote is not data. -- thets are these affordable care act, the growth in health-care costs has slowed dramatically.
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congressman van hollen mentioned it was soaring before. that includes the cost paid by government, individuals -- for example, medicare part b premiums have been stable since the aca's enact them. something that had been on a different inclined. advantagedicare premiums were down nearly 10% since the aca enactment. foral premiums employer-sponsored health coverage for employee increased only 3% in 2012, the smallest increase since 1996. name names. in januaryaetna said given the general demographics released yesterday, i am not alarmed. they are better than i thought they would have been.
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the chief financial officer of wellpoint said things are not necessarily way out of whack with our expectations. you can find anybody to say anything, but the fact is the pattern is one of much lower costs than they would have been to the economy and the more people who enroll, the better it they will bese healthier. we can talk about who says what the facts will speak for themselves and we are very competent about the path the affordable care act is him. i don't want to contribute to an atmosphere of fear where people think is going to go up, it has to end. i think we have time for one more. >> in the current environment in a swing district, is obamacare a winner or a loser politically?
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>> you have to ask a member, but i believe it's a winner. by the way, it's called the affordable care act. i know you didn't intend any complement ward erotic tori -- it's called the affordable care act. when people know what it is and see what it means to them, we are a grown-up. when franklin roosevelt moved forward with social security and concerned with this, now make me do it. everybody has to spread the word. as the president said, change is hard. i was only reflecting that the president himself is using that. and i will tell you the same thing i told him. there is a reason. affordable. affordable. affordable. the reason they changed the name
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of it is they want to get away from the opponent -- they want to get away from the word affordable. whatever it is, it is infinitely more affordable than the path we are on without it. >> why are so many democrats struggling to respond to the attacks. >> i don't know that they are. i was in florida yesterday. >> alex sink says she supported the affordable care act and wants to make improvements. i said that myself. i don't see anything different about that. score, with all the it down to, we got below two point. i think we're ready for the next pot. we will talk politics another day because i have to go. let me just say this before i have to leave.
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our thoughts and prayers are of the peopleies on the airplane. it is so sad and tragic, but when you see the pictures of the little baby in the young couple and family members who are on their, it's just so sad and every one of them a precious gift of god and now the uncertainty. wherever it is, that the families will have closure and have it soon. mr. van hollen, did you want to say something? >> on the affordable care act, i would like to say you have a huge amount of money being dumped into these congressional races by outside independent groups that are totally distorting the facts and misleading voters. you haven't mentioned the amount
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of money the koch brothers are pumping into these races. massive campaigns of distortion and misleading voters. in florida 13, if you look at the universe of persuadable voters, the people who are independent voters, alex sink did very well with those voters. the people they were trying to convince should not vote for her because of the affordable care act, they did not succeed. there was a turnout issue. you have a tilt toward republican turnout and that was magnified. in terms of the swing voters, they did not succeed on the issue of the affordable care act. i think it's important people understand what massive distortion campaigns they are playing. this whole issue on medicare achieve medicare savings by getting rid of overpayments and waste in medicare. inings the republicans kept their own budget and which every one of them in this house voted for.
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it is entirely hypocritical and grossly misleading to lead -- to --lead voters and pretend they note don well but it has prolonged the life of medicare actuary lay. medicare doesn't have to waste dollars on unnecessary activities. that's one of the reasons medicare part b premiums have not gone up. it is just like premiums. you have to compare what premiums are in the affordable care act with what they otherwise would be. inflation is real. prices are a little different than going to go up. of course, prices rise and health care prices have a
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strictly risen much faster than inflation. that's why premiums go through the roof. compare it to what it would have been the absence of the affordable care act. people are spending millions of dollars in secret money and we had to get to the bottom of that issue as well. >> that cannot he ignored the will stop the overwhelming amount of money we saw in 2000 10 with their distortions and unlimited, undisclosed special-interest money. thefact is not to say public needs to know more about this in your district, but it's a wonderful opportunity. find out not just from the member of congress but by a story of their friends and neighbors and relatives what this meant to them. -- republicans say we will have no pre-existing conditions. really? mandate,he individual
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one massachusetts first tried to do pre-existing conditions without the mandate, premiums went through the roof will stop this is a comprehensive, complete with integrity and oneness proposal. you can't say i will keep this and i will keep that but i won't keep the other things. if you are going to reduce cost to the individuals and families and businesses large and small to the federal government, you have to have the full program. that takes some explanation which members are proud to do. ishave stories, but the fact a person's individual stories, people themselves which we hear across the country, we have a story bank that is so full and i have no doubt this will be such a joy in people's lives. large number already, probably over 10 million when you include medicaid,8-26 and the
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maybe closer to 12 million people already who have better health insurance. better quality, more accessible to them. with that, happy spring. quickly -- >> coming up in just a couple of minutes, we will take you live to the heritage foundation to hear from the wisconsin lieutenant governor who will talk about her state's effort to revive their economy and spur job creation. that is the heritage foundation in about five minutes or so here on c-span. president obama this morning expanded the u.s. economic sanctions against moscow.
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he made the announcement before departing to florida from the south lawn of the white house. >> good morning, everybody. i wanted to provide an update on the situation in ukraine and the steps the united states is taking in response. over the last several days, we have continued to be deeply concerned by events in ukraine. we have seen an illegal referendum in crimea, and illegitimate moved by the russians to annex crimea, and ainge risk risks of escalation, including threats to ukrainian personnel in crimea and threats to southern and eastern ukraine as well. are all choices the russian government has made. choices that have been rejected by the international community as well as the government of ukraine. because of these choices, the united states is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on russia.
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we are imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the russian government. in addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the russian leadership all stop as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals. we are taking these steps as a part of our responsibility in response to a russia has done in crimea. at the same time, the world is watching with grave concern as russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern ukraine. for this reason, we have been working closely with our european partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if russia continues to escalate the situation. as part of that process, i signed a new executive order
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today that gives us the authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals, but on key sectors of the russian economy. not our preferred outcome. these sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the russian economy but could also be disruptive to the global economy. russia must know further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community. basic principles that govern relationships between nations and around the world must be upheld in the 21st century. that includes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. the notion that nations do not simply redraw borders or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors because they are larger or more powerful. other top priorities continues to be providing assistance to the government of ukraine so it can stabilize its ofnomy and meet the needs
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the ukrainian people. as i traveled to europe next week to meet with the g7 and other european and asian allies, i urge congress to pass legislation necessary to provide this assistance and do it right away. we hope to provide a significant package of support for kraineans. america's support for our nato allies is unwaivering. we are bound together by our pro found article five commitment to defend one another and a set of shared values so many generations sack cry faced for. we will continue to strengthen nato's collective defense and step up our cooperation with eu

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