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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 28, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

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by $1 million. the chair: the gentlewoman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. ms. sinema: i yield myself such time as i may consume. madam chair, the amendment today is commonsense budget neutral amendment that provides colleges and universities with additional resources to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus. this amendment increases funding for the department of justice's grants to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on campus programs by $1 million and offset this increase by reducing d.o.j. general administration funding by the same amount. . i offer this amendment because nearly one in five female undergraduate students report being sexually assaulted in college. according to the department of education, of higher education institutions across the country, including arizona state university, which i represent are under investigation for their handling of sexual
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violence and harassment complaints. we must do more to protect students and equip universitys to prere-spond appropriately to sexual assault on campus. this amendment will allow more institutions of higher education to implement comprehensive, coordinated responses to sexual violence through the campus grant program. the campus grant program was created by the violence against women act of 2005 and re-authorized by the violence against women re-authorization of 2013, a bill which i worked hard to help pass. increasing funding to this vital program representance important step in empowering victims of sexual assault and protecting men and women on college campuses in arizona and across the country. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and before i close, i want to thank che chairman of the appropriations committee, mr. rogers, and the chairman of the commerce, justice, science appropriations committee, mr. wolf and ranking member mr. fattah for working with me on this issue. finally i'd like to thank mr.
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wolf for the years he's devoted to public service over the course of his very distinguished career. thank you, madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: i strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: i accept the amendment, i think it's a good amendment. i congratulate the gentlelady from arizona and urge a yes vote. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. fattah: strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fattah: i rise in support this of this amendment with the chairman. i do note this review is taking place at a number of university bus none of these investigations have concluded and we don't know the exact facts but we do know that young people on college campuses and in other circumstances are victimized and it's important that this program receive additional support. i thank the gentlewoman for
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bringing this amendment to our attention and i thank the chairman for accepting it. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa seek recognition? mr. king: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: telethe clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. king of iowa, page 22, line 6 after the dollar amount insert reduced by $5 million, increased by $5 million. the chair: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for five minutes. mr. king: thank you, madam chair. first i'd like to reiterate the statement made by the chairman of the judiciary committee, mr. goodlatte, and my appreciation of the service of mr. wolf of virginia and the job he's done in my years here and beyond. as a member of the judiciary committee and this congress, i
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appreciate frank wolf's contribution to the well being of this country and the well being of justice and compassion around the world he's nonstraited. the amendment that i offer this evening, madam chair is an amendment that calls upon the department of justice to use $5 million from the general administrative fund to investigate the discretionary enforcement decisions of the department of homeland security concerning their release of, and i'll go through a series of these numbers that catch my attention and should alarm americans. for 2013. potentially deportable aliens, i.c.e. encountered 722,000. they only charged 195,000. that means they released 527,000 potentially deportable aliens. and of the criminal ail generals -- aliens they encountered, they released 68,000 criminal ail generals, that was 35% of the criminal ail general -- aliens they encountered.
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68,000 released. that's with no charges, madam chair. some will say that's under the daca provisions. i wail say the president has no constitutional authority to create groups of people exempt from the law. daca, standing for deferred action for criminal aliens in this case, madam chair. it's not prosecutorial discretion. t of 780,000 aliens on the streets, they're on the docket for removal but they're on the streets. convicted of crimes, the variety of crimes from murder, kidnap, arson, sexual assault, extortion, burglary, assault and many others. we know this, that for a long period of time, about 15 years, on average, 76% of these
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criminals released are -- do not show up for their final removal hearing. that means 27,000 of the 36,000 will abscond. the administration will say, we had to release these criminals, these murderers and sexual assaulters and kidnappers, we had to release them because of a supreme court decision in about 2001 because of a supreme court decision. the supreme court held we couldn't retain an individual who was being deported when the home country wouldn't accept that individual but that's only ,000 of the 36,000 that would be under the zavidas decision. the other 9 % could have and should have been removed if this country. 193 homicide convictions, of the 36,000. so when the gentlelady from sconsin laments the thousand deported today, more often every
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other day, there's a murderer released on the streets from this policy out of the department of homeland security and i.c.e. my request is that $5 million from this administrative budget be directed to investigating the actions of the department of homeland security and coming back with an analysis of what's going on and why we have so many criminals release odd then streets of america. 193,000 murderers in one year alone, 426,000 who committed sexual assault, 303 kidnapping convictions, 1,0 5 aggravated assaults, 16,000 or 17,000 drugged or drunk drivers released. 303 released who have been convicted of flight escape. they broke out of jail, convicted of breaking out of jail, put back in jail, released to save them the trouble of releasing them -- of breaking out of jail again. these are things i would ask the department of justice to look
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into. their mission is to enforce the law, control prime and -- control crime and seek punishment for those who violate the laws. it's de facto amnesty going on in the department of homeland security. t's very consistent with the department of justice statement that they look into these actions. i don't lament 1,000 deportations a day as i do 193 murderers turned loose in a year and i would point out to the gentlelady that if the deportations in this country exceeded the illegal entries, we wouldn't have this issue of illegal immigration in america system of i urge toppings of my amendment and i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from iowa yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: move to strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fattah: i thank the gentleman from iowa for offering this amendment. i oppose it and i would hope we
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would usher in a day in which the house would take up comprehensive immigration reform the president has acted, the senate has acted, the people's house should vote on this matter so that we can come to some conclusion on these issues. we're not going to handle it in a piecemeal fashion but i think that it's clear that there are -- there's enough concern in our country, chamber of commerce says we need to do immigration reform, every responsible organization has spoken out on this, owl our religious leaders have spoken out. the united states congress has the responsibility not to run from this issue but to stand up and vote and be counted and i hope one day that the gentleman from iowa will have an opportunity to vote on comprehensive immigration reform and i hope that the people in my district will have a chance to see me vote on this. the house should not delay any longer. this is an appropriations bill, we're not in the business of
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immigration reform on this bill, we're just trying to run the bare bones of the united states government and i hope one day we'll come back to this issue appropriately and i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from iowa. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. king: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceed option the amendment offered by the gentleman from iowa will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> madam chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by ms. brownlee of california. page 22, line 6 after the dollar amount, insert reduced i by $1
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million. page 44, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert increased by $1 million. page 48, line 11, after the dollar amount, insert increased by $1 million. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. brown lee: thank you, ma -- ms. brownlee: thank you, madam chair. i rise to offer an amendment to h.r. 4660 which would increase funding for veteran treatment courts. our nation's heros are returning home from over a decade of war with the invisible wounds that come with multiple deployments and military service to our nation. i am concerned that the effects of post-traumatic stress and t.b.i. have led to a rise in substance abuse among our veterans which in turn too often leads to criminal activity. this has led to an increase in veterans being incarcerated by our justice system without addressing the mental health
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counseling they need after their service to our country. my simple amendment will increase funds for veterans' treatment courts by $1 million. treatment courts are designed to address fundamental problems with our troubled veterans who have succumbed to substance abuse and have gotten in trouble with the law. these courts are designed to provide mental health cunling that focuses on -- counseling that focuses on rehabilitation and sobriety and works with veterans to address the reasons for their criminal behavior. veterans' treatment courts provide our veterans with long-term solutions versus short-term punishment. in january, i visited a veterans treatment in ventura county. they are doing an amazing job with a team of professionals really, truly saving one life at a time and providing a last chance for our veterans. rather than arresting and
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jailing veterans for a few days or weeks, only to return them to the same type of life, the ventura county collaborative court connects veterans to needed treatment and services. mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other life skills, services and programs. the process begins with a guilty plea and in court -- and a court meeting involving the veteran, his or her attorney and a v.a. representative. i was very impressed with the care that the court officers and volunteers extend to veterans who found themselves before the court. in ventura county, judge white has been a champion of the veterans' court and has put together a very successful and effective program. however, the ventura county court is one example of many of a veteran's treatment court. i believe we need to increase federal resources to these critical programs nationwide
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which is what my amendment seeks to accomplish. it is our obligation to ensure our veterans receive the appropriate attention to their needs and that we do whatever we can to help them transition to an independence civilian life. i strongly urge my colleagues to support my amendment, to rehabilitate veterans who have gotten in trouble with the law and help them secure a strong future. madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from california yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: this is a good amendment. we accepted mr. nugent's amendment earlier, i think for $2 million and we accept this amendment. i urge a yes vote. i yield back. the chair: the question is on amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the
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ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> madam chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: -- the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. mckinley of west virginia. page 22 line 6, after the dollar amount insert reduced by $1,200. -- by $1,500,000. page 22, line 12, after the dollar amount insert mr. mckinley: let me join in before my remarks to thank chame wolf and ranking member fattah and their staffs for all the hours you put in here tonight. i sat here and listened to all these amendments. i appreciate the patience you exhibited through this. madam chairman, this amendment -- many small businesses around
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the country are struggling to compete against unfair, low-priced foreign imports. they are intimidated by the cost of the legal challenge to push back. the intent and purpose of this amendment is simple. it transfers $1.5 million to the international trade commission to provide legal and technical assistance to small businesses seeking a remedy. time and time again small businesses are losing business against unfair, low-cost imports that flood this country. something needs to be done. small businesses need help. they don't have access to the same legal resources as larger companies. and can't afford the costs to file a claim against large state supported industries like we find in china. in west virginia we have one particular company which manufactures glass lead-free
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marbles. the company has less than 50 employees, but they have asked our office a very simple question -- when the average cost to file an anti-dumping claim is between $1 million and $2 million, how can a small manufacturer afford access to justice? the federal government provides probono attorneys in criminal cases for those who can't afford representation. why not offer something similar to our small businesses facing unfair dumping competition? on two occasions last year this particular company had the opportunity to bid on significant contracts that would have allowed it to hire back laid off workers plus add an additional 20 people. both times the company was knocked out by questionable chinese competition. a recent contract was offered for 300 marbles per year, 300
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million marbles per year. that contract would have guaranteed 300 days of production for hardworking americans. again, the chinese company undercut them unfairly. unfortunately we have seen this story before with chinese currency manipulation and state subsidies that have crushed our tin, rebar, and rolled steel. among others. the i.t.c. must have the tools to protect our small businesses and this amendment is a step in the right direction. let's be clear, madam chairman. do we want to keep talking about jobs or do we want to do something about it? supporting this amendment will be an immense help for small employers in fighting back against unfair trade. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite
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number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i rise in strong support of this amendment. the gentleman from west virginia is exactly right. one of the frustrating things many of these chinese state-owned companies, keep in mind in china there are 24 catholic bishops under house arrest. nobody seems to care. big law firms in washington that represent the chinese government. nobody seems to care. they have plundered tibet and yet american companies have to go up against an american law firm paid for by chinese filthy money. i think it's a very good amount. i would have made it double the amount, but we'll try to add that as we get to conference. i accept the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i rise in support of this amendment and its goals. i agree with the spirit of the
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chairman. on this matter. i do want to know that we went through a series of amendments n which we cut the general accounts at the department of justice. and there will be a day of reckoning as it was -- nothing to do with your amendment, but we do have to fund those accounts. so this is what happens when you have an allocation that's squeezed as you look for the offsets, it all sounds pretty familiar. the last three or four amendments are all related to cutting money from these general accounts. but they are good amounts. this is a good amount. i stand in support of it. i just want the house to take note at some point we will have to reconcile these figures in conference with the senate. there will have to be funding for these general accounts at
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d.o.j. thank you. yield back. the chair: the question is ott amendment offered by the gentleman from west virginia. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from new mexico seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by ms. michelle lujan grisham of new mexico, page 22, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert reduce by $2 million. page 44, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert increase by $2 million. page 45, line 19, after the dollar amount, insert increased by $2 million. the chair: the gentlewoman from new mexico is recognized for five minutes. miss lujan grisham: thank you, madam chair, and thank you chairman wolf and ranking member fattah for your leadership on this bill. my amendment would add $2 million to the mentally ill
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offender treatment and crime reduction act programs. this will partially restore these programs to presequestration levels and provide desperately needed funding for increasing collaboration between our nation's criminal justice and mental health systems. my amendment is offset by the department of justice general administration account. while i recognize the importance of funding the d.o.j., this amendment amounts to less than .2 of 1% of d.o.j.'s total administrative budget. even though this $2 million investment is modest, it will have a tremendous impact on assisting state and local law enforcement agencies all across the country to provide a broad range of mental health services, including mental health courts, mental health and substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, and community re-entry services, and training for state and local law enforcement to help them identify and improve responses to people with mental illnesses. i want to particularly express
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my support for crisis intervention training for state and local police officers which receives funding through the mental little ill offender treatment and crime reduction act. officer encounters with mentally ill individuals during crisis too often end in tragedy. crisis intervention train kg help prevent injuries to officers, alleviate harm to the person in crisis, promote the decriminalization of individuals with mental health, and reduce the stigma associated with mental disorders. we can all agree the mental health and criminal justice systems in this country are failing the american people. focus more on prosecution and prevention and rehabilitation, jail is often used as a de facto holding area for the mentally ill. the department of justice estimates that 64% of local jail inmates and 56% of state inmates have symptoms of severe mental illness. without treatment,
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rehabilitation, and community re-entry services these individuals are much more likely to spend their lives in and out of the prison system. in fact, 81% of mentally ill inmates in state prison, and 79% of mentally ill inmates in local jails have had prior convictions. considering it takes more money to keep a person in jail for a year than send him or her to college we can't afford to do nothing. i believe my amendment is in the spirit of this year's goal of increasing prevention and rehabilitation in order to reduce recidivism and long-term incarceration costs. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and ensure that our criminal justice and mental health systems have the funds that they need to serve this country's most vulnerable people. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman from ew mexico yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite
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number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: we have already increased this but i think it's meritorious. i have no objection to the amendment. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from new mexico. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the jament the gentlewoman from colorado seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. coffman of colorado, page 22, line 6, after the dollar mount, insert reduced by $1,044,445,000. page 26, line 1, after the dollar amount, insert increased by $1 million. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for five minutes. mr. coffman: thank you, madam chairman. i rise to offer an amendment to
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the justice appropriation that would plus up the account for salaries and expenses by $1 million for the united states attorneys office and make an offsetting decrease in the amount appropriated for general administration. the first reason i offer this amendment is to acknowledge that over the past couple of years the united states attorneys office has devoted substantial resources in the successful prosecution of numerous individuals for the fraudulent use of service disabled veteran-owned small business preference program. my subcommittee worked diligently to bring attention to this type of fraud to the v.a. office of the inspector general, and to get his commitment to pursue these cases. a recent case involved the joint v.a., o.i.g., investigation of a
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sham company set up as a pass-through to secure almost $13.5 million in set aside contracts that rightfully should have gone to a business owned by a qualified service disabled veteran. victimizing veterans must not be tolerated and as charm of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations of the house committee on veterans' affairs, i want to see these investigations and prosecutions continue. second, i anticipate a serious need for investigative and prosecutorial resources going for nationwide as a result of burgeoning scandal involving manipulation of appointment scheduling records at v.a. medical facilities. my subcommittee has been investigating problems with appointment scheduling consult delays and timely health care for over three years.
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list with two way times being kept off the official books, according to these resources as many as 40 veterans may have died while waiting for an appointment at the phoenix medal center. upon this discovery, full committee chairman jeff miller immediately called for an in-depth criminal investigation by the v.a.o.i.g. and all medical centers where such scheduled manipulation appointment delays, and preventable deaths may be occurring. v.a. has had knowledge of intentional manipulation of appointment schedules and falsification of official records since at least 2010 when an internal memorandum warned of the use of as many as 17 different scheduling schemes. such manipulation occurs because scheduling delays negatively
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affect a performance metric used for bonuses at the v.a. in a report issued today, the .a. o.i.g. confirmed that manipulation of appointment schedules persists and they substaniated that significant delays in access to care have negatively impacted the quality of care at the phoenix medical center. further, they indicated that they opened investigations at 42 other v.a. medical facilities across the nation. we do not yet know the full extent of the scandal including how many veterans have died while waiting for an appointment with v.a. as with every scandal, i am very concerned that additional crimes may be committed during the cover-up. i have instructed my investigators to continue to
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pursue leads in furtherance of the committee's congressional oversight duties. in this role we have received credible allegations from numerous employees that multiple v.a. supervisors are instructing them to destroy evidence and are dictating what to say to o.i.g. investigators. these allegations are being referred to the o.i.g. for criminal investigations. i strongly urge passage of this money for provide prosecuting crimes relating to this national scandal unfolding at the v. a. when our service members are deprived of the quality health care that they have earned, we must demand justice for frezz -- from those who are found
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responsible. i yield back the balance of my time, madam chair. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: i support the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fattah: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: the gentleman moves back and forth from the original allegation to today's report from the inspector general but left out some very important points and i want to make sure that the house is operating off of full information so the allegation that veterans died for lack of care was not proven by today's report. in fact, the inspector general
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said today they have no ability to determine this issue. the actual whistleblower who made this allegation in the first place was on fox news sunday and said he had no ability to tie the deaths to the delay. i think we don't want to create sache -- create a situation where we don't have veterans seeking care based on this information. what i want to do is take a minute and make sure that the house is aware that under every analysis, the chair of -- the care at the v.a. is good or excellent. this is from the actual veterans' care organizations and their testimony before the congress, house and senate. in fact today i had a young woman who is a vietnam war veteran, paralyzed, she walked into my office, she's involved in a spinal cord program at the v.a. that's got her up and
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moving and walking as part of the rewalk system. e was at first denied some benefits because her due immune deficiency was caused by agent orange and that had been denied for many years but under general shinseki, they have allowed this so now she has, buzz of now more than 50% disability, a wheelchair and other assets. i want to make this point clear. one is that no one anywhere has found that some veteran died buzz of a lack of service. it's not been proven. it's an allegation. there is an investigation. and we should see the investigation to its conclusion. but the one thing we don't went to do is create a situation where veterans who need care don't sur suitt and we have especially in spinal cord and in
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terms of artificial limbs and in terms of traumatic brain injury there's no better care that our veterans can get than at the v.a. so i want to make this point that not dealing with the substance of the amendment but on the facts of this investigation, the house would be well served to let us have an investigation and then let us react to what the facts are. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise in strong support of the gentleman's amendment because as the congress has learned today in the v.a. inspector general's report, quoting directly from that report, the inspector general's review at a growing number of v.a. medical facilities have confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout veterans health administration. to date our work has
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substantiated serious conditions at the phoenix health care system and as my colleague said they've initiated reviews at 42 others and have ideb fied an additional 700 veterans waiting for pry pair care appointments and not on the waiting list. mr. culberson: until that happens, the wait time for these veterans hasn't even started. when it comes to those individuals and my good friend is correct, there's no conclusions about whether or not anyone died as a result of being denid access to the v.a. because the inspector general doesn't have enough evidence yet. heas says in the report, we are not reporting the results of our clinical reviews as to whether or not someone may have as a result of a delay died or been adversely affected while on a waiting list. to quote the inspector general, these assessments need to draw conclusions based on analysis of medical records, death certificates, autopsy results. we have made requests to appropriate state agencies and issued subpoenas to obtain those
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records. they are gathering information. the gentleman's amendment is an attempt to add additional funding to the department of justice to pursue criminal investigations, pursue criminal charges. i sincerely hope that that does not come to pass. we have a report in front of us today that tells us it's headed that direction. the inspector general has said in this, again, preliminary report, they find that inappropriate scheduling practices are a systemic problem nationwide in the veterans administration. just appalling and unacceptable. he v.a. -- staff at two v.a. medical facilities deleted consults without full consideration of impact to patients. multiple ski jewers described a process they use that overrides appointments to reduce waiting times. they found out they -- the inspector general found out that at the phoenix health care center, certain audit controls weren't even enabled.
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this limited the ability of the veterans administration and the inspector general to determine whether any malicious, ma nip -- any malicious manipulation of records occurred. somebody turned off or didn't turn on the audit controls that would allow criminal investigation to determine whether or not there was a malicious intent. this is outrageous. it's unacceptable. as chairman of the veterans administration appropriations subcommittee, i can assure you that our subcommittee, i know chairman miller and your subcommittee, the united states congress will devote every resource, every tool, every asset at our disposal to ensure that veterans are given immediate access to health care, they've earned it they deserve it, they'll get right in, whether it's a v.a. hospital or another hospital immediately. we're going to fix this problem and make sure those on waiting lists are taken care of immediately. those who have been denied care, god forbid somebody died as a result of being denied care, that's going to result in criminal charges which is what the gentleman's amendment is intended to do, to make sure the attorney general has the
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resources to follow the facts where they may lead and we need to be care to feel follow the facts but i'm quoting directly from the he port, this is unacceptable, it's outrageous and we are -- this is the opportunity during this debate on this bill to add adegreesal resources to the attorney general's office so they can hire the investigators and attorneys that are necessary when this inspector general's report is final to pursue criminal charges if they're meritted. i strongly support the gentleman's amendment and this is at arrow in our quiver to do everything our power to protect the health and well being of the men and women in this country who have served us so well in defending our freedom and posterity. i -- prosperity. i urge all members to support this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from colorado. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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the clerk will read. the clerk: page 22, line 10, justice information schafering technology, $25,842,000. the chair: the clerk will suspend. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> thank you, madam chair. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by ms. lee of california, on page 22, line 13, after the $amount, insert reduced by $2,500,000. on page 34, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert reduced by $500,000. on page 44, line 6, after the dollar amount, insert increased by $3 million. on page 48, line 6, after the dollar amount insert increased
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by $3 million. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, madam chair. let me thank our ranking member, mr. fattah, for his leadership on the subcommittee. i also want to thank chairman wolf for first of all your years of service, and for so much of your hard work on this bill and on so many other issues. we've worked together for so many years and your legacy in this body will be continued for many, many years. been -- you've made a positive impact on the lives of so many not only in our country but throughout the world. laung for your service. let me thank also our staff on both sides of the aisle for their assistance, for their support, their very astute understanding of this bill and for helping us put together this amendment which is really very simple and hopefully both members -- hopefully members on both sides of the aisle can
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support it. what it would do is increase funding for second chance act programs by $3 million, offset from the justice information sharing technology and the bureau of prison salaries account. i have to once again thank the chair and ranking member for funding the second chance act to the president's request in this bill. now more than ever, we need strong investments in bipartisan and proven effective programs like the second chance act. congressman danny davis from illinois has been such a leader on this issue and has fought for many, many years to make sure that a second chance act not only is authorized but is funding. at a time when you are nation incarcerates its citizens at the highest rate in the world, the fact of the matter is this program needs very strong support. in 2009, there were over $1.6 million inmates incarcerated in the united states. that's one in every 199 united
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states residents. if you include those housed in local jells that number increases to 2.2 million. we also need to acknowledge the disparate impact that mass incarceration has on communities of color. in 2011, one in 13 black males ages 30 to 34 were in prison. along with none -- one in 36 hispanic males. that number is 1 in 90 for white males. this is an issue that tears at our communities and families each and every day. we know that more than half of the inmates who are released from prison, who have served their time, are reincarcerated within three years. so we need to lower these unacceptable recidivism rates by addressing the overwhelming obstacles faced by the reentry population. that's exactly what the second chance act does. by providing grants to state and local governments as well as
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nonprofit organizations who are working to improve outcomes for people returning to communities from incourse ration, this also increases public safety and actually reduces the burden on taxpayers. second chance act grants funds for comprehensive and coordinated services in employment, housing, education, substance abuse, mental health and family counseling. since becoming the law, the second chance act has authorized nearly 600 grants that have been awarded to local governments and nonprofit organizations in 49 states. for example, in my hone district. district in the city of oakland, the reentry support brings together government and nonprofit partners to re-engage youth in school after leing a juvenile detention center. also in my home district, the alameda county sheriff's office has implemented operate my
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hometown which provides preand post release services to the fifth largest county jail in the nation. these are just a couple of examples of the hundreds of successful programs that have helped previously incarcerated individuals get back on their feet during a very difficult time. these programs work in our district, this is a bipartisan bill, a bipartisan program. and i know that there's support for this program, for reforming our prison system on both sides of the aisle. this is also the fiss -- also a fiscal issue, one that has economic implications, it's also a humanitarian issue system of i urge yes on this amendment and once again i want to thank the chair and ranking member and our staffs for your assistance and leadership. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: i think it's a good amendment, i accept the amendment.
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the chair: and for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. fattah: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fattah: i think it's a great amendment, from a great member and i thank the chairman for agreeing toyota. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. .
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>> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the gentleman will suspend a moment. the chair: the clerk will read.
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the clerk: page 22, line 21, administrative review and appeals including transfer of funds, $335 million. the chair: the clerk will suspend. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. cohen: thank you, madam speaker. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. cohen of tennessee. page 22, line 25, after the first dollar amount insert increased by $2 million. page 34, line 8, after the dollar amount, insert reduced by $2 million. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for 2350eu6 -- five minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, madam speaker. this is a prettylogical amendment that i hope will be accepted. what this does is it takes a program the department of justice announced last week that i have been encouraging the president and attorney general
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to engage in, and that is to expand the clemency department in the department of justice so that individuals who are unjustly incarcerated can appropriately be recommended to the president for commutations and/or pardons. this congress passed the fairness in sentencing law a few years ago. the president signed it. in 2010. t corrected what we found were errors in the judgment of this congress in the way incarcerated people and the distinctions of cocaine and crack and found that it will a an impact and illogical impact on african-americans. that cocaine and crack are basically the same drug, but for years it was a 100 to one ratio. and the quality, working against what was considered a drug more likely to be used by african-americans than caucasians. the fact is each drug is equal
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in its pernicious effects on society. and that 100 to one ratio was wrong. we changed it to 18 to one. it should be equal, but we changed it to 18 to one. accordingly, for the first time probably in the history of this body, maybe any legislative body, sentences were reduced. which means that the public policy of the united states of america is now that those people are being unjustly incarcerated, but it was only passed in a prospective and not a retroactive fashion which it should have been, because there -- their public policy shows they are being unjustly incarcerated. the president has seen the need to have more commutations than pardons. it cost us $30,000 a year to incarcerate an individual. if people are in there on
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sentence that is are void on public polcy, they should be released. they should have a commutation when they serve their time according to the law that has existed from this country from 2010 to the present. it would reunite them with their families of the get them back into society. and save the public the cost of incarcerating them. with this particular amendment would take just $2 million from the bureau of prisons, which has a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, their budget is $7 billion, with a $121 million increase, that would take $2 million from the epartment of prison which is 1/350th of what the bureau of prisons gets to put that money into into the bureau that would have these people where they are incarcerated unjustly but give the money to the detcht justice where they can ascertain which
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individuals can be appropriately recommended for commutations and save money for society and reunite people with their loved ones and give them freedom. freedom which is so important in liberty. i he know some of the amendments have been talked about and they said, well, we don't want to put any of the people in the bure roaf prisons at risk. i would submit to you that by taking $2 million from the bureau of prisons and allowing more people to be recommended for commutations there will be less people in prison, less need for those personnel, and less likelihood of having any problems, but beyond that the bure roaf prisons would see to that that $2 million didn't come from areas where prison guards would be endangered. they could take that from personnel. they could take it from management. they could take it from administration. they could take it even from the areas where the prisoners get their clothing or their food or whatever they get. i assure you that $2 million will not jeopardize a single member of the bure roaf prisons, but it will give people freedom
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and liberty and $30,000 a year for the taxpayers. i would hope we could approve this. give this newly invigorated department of justice office $2 million to hire more attorneys to make sure they make the right decisions and political decisions to give people liberty and save the taxpayers' money. i would ask for a positive vote and thank you for the opportunity to present this amendment. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: thank you. i oppose the amendment. chairman goodlatte, chairman of the judiciary committee who was here and just left, strongly opposes the amendment. there's no authorization. there's no appropriation. congress never approved it.
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it's almost like an executive order out of nowhere. again so the chairman of the full committee, we have tried to work closely together. we have had a better relationship than we have had for a long time. the authorizers oppose it so i strongly oppose it and ask for a no vote on the amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: strike the necessary words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i oppose the offset. i do not oppose the notion that we should have a moreau bust clemency approach in our country. i commend the administration for this and i hope that we can find a way to provide more support. i don't agree with the gentleman's math that $2 million cut from any number of other places in the bureau of prisons would be just fine. i know these accounts pretty well and i have some concerns about that, but i do think that
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or $28 billion investment spending in the department of justice in total, clearly there are dollars that could be used so that innocent people in our country, or those who deserve to have some relief, can appropriately apply for klemmency. i would be glad to work with the gentleman on this as we go forward. i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes -- noes -- mr. cohen: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: friction pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee will be postponed. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 23, line 8,
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office of inspector general, $88 million. united states rural commission, salaries and expenses, $13,308 ,000. legal activities, salaries, and expenses, general legal activities, $893 million. the chair: the clerk will suspend. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. fleming of louisiana. $893 e 23, line 24, after illion add reduce by $866,000. on page 100 line 17, after zero dollars, add increase by $866,000. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for five minutes. mr. fleming: thank you, madam chairman. again i want to thank my good friend, chairman wolf, for all
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the many years of service he's provided and great work he's doing on this appropriation. my amendment simply reduces the department of justice's general legal account by $866,000. specifically targeting the deputy attorney general's office until the attorney general enforces the controlled substances act. as well as the bank secrecy act. my amendment does not reduce the enforcement funding available to d.o.j. but rather decreases available funding for the salaries of individuals who are delineating waits to evade federal law. madam chairman, it is with growing alarm that we see this administration selectively executing and enforcing federal law. the c.s.a. sets forth five classifications or schedules for controlled substances. marijuana along with heroin and l.s.d. are schedule 1 drugs without accepted medical purpose and which have a high potential for abuse.
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smoking marijuana remains a federal offense and growers and distributors could and should be prosecuted. despite d.o.j.'s responsibility to uphold the c.s.a. as the law of the land, over the last few months the department of justice has issued several memos suggesting ways for states like colorado and washington to evade federal law and the federal law enforcement and encourage other states to follow with decriminalization and potentially legalization. any google search would tell you the first of eight federal priorities outlined in the august 23 is being run roughshod in colorado. kids are quickly gaining access to marijuana. news accounts from colorado describe elementary children selling pot at school. in february this year both the department of justice and department of treasury outline ways for banks and other financial institutions to circumvent federal law. in effect giving tacit approval for financially facile tathe the
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marijuana industry. madam chairman, don't have time to devil into all the negative issues regarding health care and marijuana. but it is vitally important for my colleagues to report that the scientific facts and recent studies all point to the fact that marijuana is highly addictive. closely linked to altered brain development, schizophrenia, mental illness, lower i.q., and impairs attention judgment and memory fungs. i would like to close by reading the following statement from the drug enforcement agency's d.e.a. may, 2014 booklet on the truth of mariana. legalization of mare kwana will come text spence of our children and public safety. it will create dependen sane threement issues and opens the door to use of other drugs, impaired health, delinquent behavior, and drugged drivers. i think the d.a. got it right. it's time for the rest of the justice department to do their
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job and enforce current u.s. law that recognizes marijuana's devastating impact on children and soinl. i'm hopeful my amendment will enshaorch d.o.j. to take steps necessary to correct any misunderstanding regarding federal enforcement of the c.s.a. i now urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana yields back. mr. cohen: i move to strike the last word. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i support the gentleman's amendment. just reading the dangers and consequences of marijuana abuse. what is happening to our country? saw a report today showing in "the hill" newspaper buyers remorse on marijuana.
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the growers in mexico are not growing mare kwana now. they are going into the poppy because they are now doing it in colorado. i cast the deciding vote against smoking on airplanes and now we're encouraging or allowing people -- it's just -- i think the gentleman is right. i have been disappointed in the justice department because, you know, we should follow the law. the law is the law. and i think the gentleman's right. you're seeing the skirting of the law. there's much more, we're going to have a big debate tomorrow, i guess, on this whole issue, a little bit different than this. but i think the gentleman is right. the slaw the law and the justice department should be seeking swrussties and enforce the law. if they don't like the law, they should come up here to congress and change the law. reasonable people can debate and
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have differences but i think the gentleman makes a powerful point and i strongly support the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> as we near the midnight hour, drift into "reefer madness" logic. mr. cohen: the fact is, we're not talking about moirn for children. children shouldn't be doing marijuana. nor should they be smoking tobacco, nor should they be drinking beer or alcohol. we're talking about adults. and we're talking about should adults who are behaving according to the laws in the states in which they live and the states passed certain laws in colorado and washington concerning legalization and 20-something odd other states and the district of columbia
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passed medical marijuana laws. should the people who abide by the laws of the state, the laws closest to them, that some on the other side of the aisle would regularly say we should defer to the states and let the states set the policies for everybody, we do that on a lot of things but we sometimes don't do it on these particular issues. the fact that people are being incarcerated in great numbers and losing their liberty and having a scarlet m put on their chest that denies them public housing on occasions, denies them scholarships, denies them opportunities to work, is wrong. and it's throwing -- even if you take the argument that the gentleman on the other aisle makes if you accept them, it still doesn't fit the punishment, the lifetime scarlet letter that you put on an individual. the department of justice is correct to respect the laws of
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the states and to put an understanding that heroin and crack and cocaine and meth are drugs and prescription drugs are drugs that really cause the evils that we have that make people commit crimes to feed their habits. marijuana does not make people commit crimes. it makes them overeat. it doesn't make them commit crimes. that's why we need to prioritize the resources we have in this country toward those drugs that really cause problems to others. i commend the department of justice for their discretion. they haven't gone as far as they should. and the laboratories of democracy the states, are doing a great service to this country in colorado and washington to see how it works. they're bringing in millions and
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millions of dollars, violent crime has gone down in colorado. there have not been the problems alleged to have occurred in other areas and we can wait and see how those states' experiments go and the department of justice is allowing experiment to go on for other states' benefits. i would yield. >> i would say to you that since science tells us that the more drugs, whether it's -- mr. fleming: whether it's marijuana or heroin or whatever that is out there in society, in home the more likely children will get involved in them and as they do, in their young brains, young developing brains, they're more likely, five times risk, have an addiction and that's what gets them in prison. trust me, my friend. i can tell the gentleman, whether it's marijuana or heroin or methamphetamine, as a drug addict once told me, all addicting substances are gateway to other addicting substances.
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mr. cohen: should we make alcohol illegal again? that act of prohibition by this congress, should we make alcohol illegal because kids might get it? if you want to do that, you be the leader. mr. fleming: alcohol has been a part of our society and culture for thousands of years, it's part of our religious practices, it was impractical to have prohibition. mr. cohen: it's part of our religious practices. so make wine legal. but not scotch and vodka and gin. mr. fleming texas spst been culturally accepted for many generations whereas marijuana hasn't. if alcohol is a problem why add another problem in the form of marijuana? mr. cohen: it's been culturally accepted, not in your area but in some cultures it has. in the african-american community you're eight times more likely to be arrested because of the color of your skin.
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it has a disparate impact on minorities. it was made illegal buzz of discrimination against hispanics and in the 1970's, nixon spoke out, as did ehrlichman and said, this is something we can't talk about, african-americans in the inner city but we can take their drug of choice and make it illegal. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to direct their comments to the chair. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word and hopefully offer the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i resemble some of the remarks that have been made on the floor of late. a lot of us like to hold on to things but you know, life moves on. the country moves on. there's a point in time in which the country made a decision around alcohol and put it in a
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different category. than other things. and seemingly the public is making a decision about marijuana. now it may have something to do with the last few presidents we've had. who all agreed that they smoked marijuana or it may have something to do with medical marijuana and the notion that it can help in terms of dealing with some of the pain that people feel when they have chronic pain and diseases. but whatever is going on, the truth of the matter is that the congress, we're probably the last to hear, but the nation has kind of moved on. you see this in the state actions you see it in my hometown where the district attorney got elected four years ago and decided he was not prosecuting any more marijuana cases. people had just possession for use. and now four years later, the city council the sided, well, maybe the police shouldn't lock people up, since the d.a. isn't going to prosecute them. so sometimes those of us in
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political office, we get dragged along a little slower but it doesn't matter what we decide on this issue. there are decisions being made and the country is moving in a different direction, very similar to the decision that was made on prohibition and alcohol. i'm not going to yield because i'm going to offer the last word system of the point here is that we'll vote however we may vote, it will not be the deciding issue in this regard. all right. because local communities are deciding, just like in kentucky now, you have mitch mcconnel and others talking about what to do about hemp and you know, there's going to be some movement here on some of these issues and those of us who got a few gray hairs, we might just have to, you know, hold on and know that the country has made changes on some of these social issues but there's still the reality that when we made the change on alcohol, we went from shooting
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up and down the street in prohibition over it with elliot ness and crew, so a -- to a point where we have accepted it as part of our culture. it's still not healthy. it's still addictive. it is still a drug. but it's not criminalized in our nation and that might be where america is headed on the question of marijuana and some of us at times have to accept change for what it is. it's a change because people have grown to a different point of view or as the president said, you evolve on some of these issues. i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from louisiana. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: madam chair. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union, having had under consideration h.r. 4660, directs me to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration h.r. 4660 and has come to no esolution thereon.
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the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mrs. -- for mrs. capito of virginia for today, ms. esty of connecticut for today, mr. griffin of arkansas for today, mr. hastings of florida for today through may 30. mr. honda of california for today. mr. gary g. miller of california for today and the balance of the peek. -- of the week. ms. slaughter of new york for today through may 30. and mr. thompson of mississippi for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: i move that the house
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adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands >> you cannot write in a calculating way. about thatnot think issue on allman use it down to
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write. but you should do when you sit down to write is to write what you find interesting and follow your own curiosity. when i was writing tipping point , i can honestly say i never for a moment tried to imagine how well that the grid cell. i just wanted to write something cool. i was interested in it. i wanted to write something that my friends would read, that my mother would like. >> read more of our conversation with malcolm gladwell and others from our q and a program on sundays at eight :00 from public affairs books now available for a father's day gift from your favorite bookseller. >> during his commencement address wednesday at the u.s. ,ilitary academy at west point president obama said isolationism is not an option for u.s. foreign-policy. his 45 minute speech came one day after he announced plans to
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leave nearly 10,000 troops in a and stan after the end of the year. >> thank you. thank you, so much. thank you, general caslen, for that introduction. to general clark, the faculty and staff at west point, you have been outstanding stewards of this proud institution and outstanding mentors for the newest officers in the united states army. i'd like to acknowledge the army's leadership, general mchugh, secretary mchugh, general odierno as well as senator jack reed who is here
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and a proud graduate of west point himself. to the class of 2014, i congratulate you on taking your place on the long gray line. among you is the first all-female command team, erin. you have a rhodes scholar. and josh proves that west point accuracy extends beyond the three-point line. to the entire class, let me reassure you in these final hours at west point, as commander in chief, i hereby absolve all cadets who are on restriction for minor conduct offenses. [applause]
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let me just add that nobody ever did that for me when i was in school. [laughter] i know you join me in extending a word of thanks to your families. joe, whose son, james, is graduating, spoke for a whole lot of parents when he wrote me letter about the sacrifices you've made. deep inside, he wrote, we want to explode with pride at what they are committing to do in the service of our country. like several graduates, james is a combat veteran, and i would ask all of us here today to stand and pay tribute not only
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to the veterans among us but to the more than 2.5 million americans who have served in iraq and afghanistan as well as their families. [applause] this particular useful time for america to reflect on those who sacrificed so much for our freedom, a few days after memorial day. you are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in iraq or afghanistan.
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[cheers and applause] when i first spoke at west point in 2009, we still had more than 100,000 troops in iraq. we were preparing to surge in afghanistan. our counterterrorism efforts were focused on al qaeda's core leadership. those who are carried out the 9/11 attacks. and our nation was just beginning a long climb out of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. 4 1/2 years later as you graduate, the landscape has changed. we have removed our troops from iraq, we are winding down our war in afghanistan.
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al qaeda's leadership on the border region between pakistan and afghanistan has been decimated, and osama bin laden is no more. [applause] and through it all we've refocused our investments in what has always been a key source of american strength, a growing economy that can provide opportunity for everybody who's willing to work hard and take responsibility here at home. in fact, by most measures, america has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world. those who argue otherwise, who suggest that america is in decline or as seen its global leadership slip away are either misreading history or are engaging in partisan politics. think about it.
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our military has no fear. the eyes of a direct threat against us by any nation are low and doesn't come close to the dangers we faced during the cold war. meanwhile, our economy remains the most dynamic on earth. our businesses the most innovative. each year we grow more energy independent. from europe to asia, we are the hub of alliances unrivaled in the history of nations. america continues to atrack striving immigrants. the values of our founding inspire leaders in parliaments and new movements in public squares around the globe. and when a typhoon hits the philippines or school girls are kidnapped in nigeria or men occupy a building in ukraine, it
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is america that the world looks to for help. [applause] so the united states remains the one indispensible nation that has been true for the century past and it will be true for the century to come. but the world is changing with accelerating speed. this presents opportunity but also new dangers. we know all too well after 9/11 just how technology and globalization has put power once reserved for states in the hands of individuals. raising the capacity of terrorists to do harm. russia's aggression towards
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former soviet states unnerves capitals in europe while china's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. from brazil to india, rising middle classes compete with us and governments seek a greater say in global forums. and even as developing nations embrace democracy and market economies, 24-hour news and social media makes it impossible to ignore the continuation of sectarian conflicts and failing states and popular uprisings that might have received only passing notice a generation ago. it will be your generation's task to respond to this new world. the question we face, the question each of you will face
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is not whether america will lead but how we will lead. not just to secure our peace and prosperity but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe. now, this question isn't new. at least since george washington served as commander in chief, there have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that don't touch directly on our security or economic well-being. today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in syria or ukraine or the central african republic are not ours to solve and not surprisingly after costly wars and continuing challenges here
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at home, that view is shared by many americans. a different view from interventionists from the left and right say that we ignore these conflicts at our own peril, that america's willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos and america's failure to act in the face of syrian brutality or russia provocations, not only violates our conscience but invites escalating aggression in the future. and each side can point to history to support its claims. but i believe neither view fully speaks to the demands of this moment. it is absolutely true that in the 21st century american isolationism is not an option.
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we don't have a choice to ignore what happens beyond our borders. if nuclear materiels are not secure, that poses a danger to american citizens. as the syrian civil war spills across borders, the capacity of battle-hardened extremist groups to come after us only increases. regional aggression that goes unchecked, whether in southern ukraine or the south china sea or anywhere else in the world will ultimately impact our allies and could draw in our military. we can't ignore what happens beyond our boundaries. and beyond these narrow rationales, i believe we have a real stake, a biding self-interest in making sure our children and grandchildren grow up in a world where school girls are not kidnapped when -- not kidnapped and when individuals are not slaughtered because of
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tribe or faith or political belief. i believe that a world of greater freedom intolerance is not only a moral imperative, it also helps to keep us safe. but to say that we have an interest in pursuing peace and freedom beyond our borders is not to say that every problem has a military solution. since world war ii, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint but from our willingness to rush into military adventures without thinking through the consequences, without building international support and legitimacy for our actions, without leveling with the american people about the sacrifices required. tough talk often draws headlines but war rarely conforms to slogans. as general eisenhower, someone
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with hard-earned knowledge on this subject, said at this ceremony in 1947, war is mankind's most tragic and stupid folly. to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. like eisenhower, this generation of men and women in uniform know all too well the wages of war, and that includes those of you here at west point. four of the service members who stood in the audience when i announced the surge of our forces in afghanistan gave their lives in that effort. a lot more were wounded. i believe that america's security demanded those
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deployments, but i am haunted by those deaths. i am haunted by those wounds. and i would betray my duty to you and to the country we love if i ever sent you into harm's way simply because i saw a problem somewhere in the world that needed to be fixed. or because i was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for america to avoid looking weak. here's my bottom line. america must always lead on the world stage. if we don't, no one else will. the military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. but u.s. military action cannot be the only or even primary component of our leadership in every instance.
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just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader and especially your commander in chief to be clear about how that awesome power should be used. so let me spend the rest of my time describing my vision for how the united states of america and our military should lead in the years to come. for you will be part of that leadership. first, let me repeat a principle effort i said at the outset of my presidency, the united states will use military force
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unilaterally when necessary when our core interests demand it. when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake. when the security of our allies is in danger. in these circumstances, we need to ask tough questions whether our actions are proportional and effective and just. international opinion matters. america should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland or our way of life. [applause] on the other hand, when global concerns do not pose a direct threat to the united states, when such issues are at stake, when crises arrive that push the world in a more dangerous direction but do not directly
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threaten us, then the threshold for military action must be higher. in such circumstances, we should not go it alone. instead, we must mobilize allies and partners to take collective action. we have to broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development, sanctions and isolation. appeal to international law and if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action. in such circumstances, we have to work with others because collective action in these circumstances is more likely to succeed. more likely to be sustained. less likely to lead to costly
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mistakes. this leads to my second point. for the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to america at home and abroad remains terrorism. but a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable. i believe we must shift our counterterrorism strategy, drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in iraq and afghanistan. to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold. principled threat no longer comes from a centralized al qaeda leadership. instead, it comes from decentralized al qaeda affiliates and extremists, many with the focus in countries
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where they operate. and this lessens the possibility of large-scale 9/11-style attacks against the homeland, but it heightens the danger of u.s. personnel overseas being attacked, like we saw in benghazi. it heightens less defensible targets as we saw in a shopping mall in nairobi. so we have to develop a strategy that matches this distuesday threat, one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin or stir up local resentments. we need partners to fight terrorists alongside us. and this is a large part of what we have done and what we are currently doing in afghanistan. together with our allies,
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america struck huge blows against the al qaeda core and pushed back against the insurgencey that threatened to overrun the country. but this is for the afghans to do the job and that's why we trained hundreds of thousands of afghan soldiers and police. earlier this spring, those forces, those afghan forces secured an election in which afghans voted for the first democratic transfer of power in their history. and at the end of this year, a new afghan president will be in office, and america's combat mission will be over. now -- [applause] that was an enormous achievement made because of america's armed forces. but as we move to a train and advise mission in afghanistan, our reduced presence there allows us to more effectively address emerging threats in the middle east and north africa. so earlier this year, i asked my
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national security team to develop a plan for a network of partnerships from south asia. today as part of this effort i'm calling on congress to support a new counterterrorism partnership fund of up to $5 billion which would allow us to train, build capacity and facilitate partner countries on the front lines. and these resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in yemen who've gone on the offensive against al qaeda, supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in somalia, working with european allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in libya and facilitating french operations in mali.
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a critical focus of this effort will be the ongoing crisis in syria. as frustrating as it is, there are no easy answers there, no military solution that can eliminate the terrible suffering anytime soon. as president, i made a decision that we should not put american troops into the middle of this increasingly sectarian war, and i believe that is the right decision, but that does not mean we shouldn't help the syrian people stand up against a dictator who bombs and starves his own people. and in helping those who fight for the right of all syrians to
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choose their own future, we are also pushing back against the growing number of extremists who find safe haven in the chaos. so with the additional resources i'm announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support syria's neighbors. jordan and lebanon, turkey and iraq as they contend with refugees and as they confront terrorists working across syria's borders. i will work with congress to ramp up support for those in the syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and brutal dictators. let me make a final point about our efforts against terrorism. the partnerships i described do not eliminate the need to take direct action, when necessary, to protect ourselves. when we have actionable intelligence, that's what we do. through capture operations like
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the one that brought the terrorists involved in the plot to bomb our embassies in 1998 to face justice or drone strikes like those we've carried out in yemen and somalia. there are times when those actions are necessary and we cannot hesitate to protect our people. but as i said last year, in taking direct action, we must uphold standards that reflect our values. that means taking strikes only when we face a continuing imminent threat and only where there is no certainty that there is near certainty of no civilian casualties. for our actions should meet a simple test. we must not create more enemies than we take off the battlefield. i also believe we must be more transparent about both the basis of our counterterrorism actions and the manner in which they are
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carried out. we have to be able to explain them publicly, whether it is drone strikes or training partners. i will increasingly turn to our military to take the lead and provide information to the public about our efforts. our intelligence community has done outstanding work, and we have to continue to protect sources and methods, but when we cannot explain our efforts clearly and publicly, we face terrorist propaganda and international suspicion. we erode legitimacy with our partners and we reduce accountability within our own government. this issue of transparency is directly relevant to a third aspect of american leadership and that is our effort to strengthen and enforce
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international order. after world war ii, america had the wisdom to shape institutions to keep the peace and support human progress. from nato and the united nations, to the world bank and i.m.f. these institutions are not perfect, but they have been a force multiplier. they reduce the need for unilateral american action and increase restraint among other nations. now, just as the world has changed, this architecture must change as well. at the height of the cold war, president kennedy spoke about the need for a peace based upon a gradual evolution in human institutions and involving these international institutions to meet the demands of today must be a critical part of american leadership. there are a lot of folks, a lot
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of skeptics who often downplay the effectiveness of multilateral action. for them working through international institutions like the u.n. or respecting international law is a sign of weakness. i think they're wrong. let me offer just two examples why. in ukraine, russia's actions were called to the day when soviet tanks rolled into eastern europe. but this isn't the cold war. our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate russia right away. because of american leadership, the world immediately condemned
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russian actions. europe and the g-7 joined us to impose sanctions. nato reinforced our commitment to europe allies. the i.m.f. is helping to stable ukraine's economy. and they brought the eyes to the unstable parts of ukraine and this mobilization of world opinion and international institutions served as a counterweight to russian propaganda and russian troops on the border and armed militias in ski masks. this weekend, ukrainians voted by the millions. yesterday i spoke to their next president. we don't know how the situation will play out and there will remain grave challenges ahead, but standing with our allies on behalf of international order, working with international institutions has given a chance for the ukrainian people to choose their future. without us firing a shot. similarly, despite frequent warnings from the united states and israel and others, the iranian nuclear program steadily advanced four years. but the beginning of my presidency, we built a coalition that imposed sanctions on the iranian economy while extending
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the hand of diplomacy to the iranian government, and now we have an opportunity to resolve our differences peacefully. the odds of success are still long and we reserve all options to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but for the first time in a decade we have a very real chance of achieving a breakthrough agreement, one that is more effective and durable than what we could have achieved through the use of force. and throughout these negotiations it's been our willingness to work through multilateral channels that kept the world on our side. the point is this is american
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leadership. this is american strength. in each case we built coalitions to respond to a specific challenge, and now we need to do more to strengthen the institutiones that can anticipate and prevent problems from spreading. for example, nato is the strongest alliance the world has ever known but we're not working with nato allies to meet new missions, both within europe where our eastern allies must be reassured but also beyond europe's borders where our nato allies have to pull their weight to counterterrorism and respond to failed states and train a network of partners. likewise, the u.n. provides a platform to keep the peace in states torn apart by conflict. now we need to make sure that
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those nations who provide peacekeepers have the training and equipment to keep the peace, so we can prevent the type of killing we've seen in congo and sudan. we are going to deepen our investments in countries that support these peacekeeping missions because having other countries maintain order in their own neighborhoods lessens the need for us to put our own it's the right way to lead. [applause] keep in mind not all international norms related to armed conflict, we have a serious problem with cyberattacks which is why we're working to shape and enforce rules to secure our networks and our citizens. in the asia pacific, we're supporting southeast asia nations as they negotiate a code of conduct with china on maritime disputes in the south china sea, and we're working to resolve these disputes through international law. that spirit of cooperation needs to energize the global effort to combat climate change, a
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creeping national security crisis that will help shape your time in uniform as we are called on to respond to refugee flows and natural disasters and conflicts over water and food. which is why next year i intend to make sure that america is out front in putting together a global framework to preserve our planet. you see, american influence is always stronger when we lead by example. we can't exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else. we can't call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if a whole lot of our political leaders deny that it's taking place. we can't try to resolve problems in the south china sea when we have refused to make sure that the law of the sea convention is ratified by the united states senate, despite the fact that our top military leaders say the
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treaty advances our national security. that's not leadership. that's retreat. that's not strength. that's weakness. it would be utterly foreign to leaders like roosevelt and truman, eisenhower and kennedy. i believe in american exceptionalism with every fiber of my being, but what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law, it is to affirm them through our actions. [applause]
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that's why i will continue to push to close gitmo because american values and legal traditions do not permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders. [applause] that's why we're putting in place new restrictions on how america collects and uses intelligence. because we will have fewer partners and be less effective if a perception takes hold that we're conducting surveillance against ordinary citizens. [applause] america does not simply stand for stability or the absence of conflict no matter what the costs, we stand for the more lasting peace that can only come through opportunity and freedom for people everywhere. which brings me to the fourth
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and final element of american leadership. our willingness to act on behalf of human dignity. america's support for democracy and human rights goes beyond idealism. economies based on free and open markets perform better and become markets for our goods. respect for human rights is an antidote to instability, and the grievances that fuel violence and terror. a new century has brought no end to tyranny, and capitals around the globe, including unfortunately some of america's partners, there's become a crackdown on civil society. the cancer of corruption has enriched too many governments and their cronies, enraged
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citizens from remote villages to iconic squares, and watching these trends or the violent upheavals in parts of the arab world, it's easy to be cynical. but remember that because of america's efforts, because of american diplomacy and foreign assistance as well as the sacrifices of our military, more people live under elected governments today than in any time in human history. technologies empowering civil society in ways that no iron fist can control. new breakthroughs are lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. and even the upheaval of the arab reflects the rejection of the authoritarian order of anything that was stable and now has the long-term prospect of more responsive and effective governance. in countries like egypt, we
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acknowledge that our relationship is anchored in peace treaties to israel to shared efforts against violent extremism. so we have not cut off operation with the new government but we can and will persistently press for reforms that the egyptian people have demanded. and meanwhile, look at a country like burma which only a few years ago was an intractable dictatorship and hostile to the united states. 40 million people. thanks to the enormous courage of the people in that country and because we took the diplomatic initiative, american leadership, we have seen political reforms opening a once closed society. a movement by burmese leadership
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away from partnership with north korea in favor of engagement with american and our allies. we're now supporting reform in in badly needed reconciliation through investment, through coaxing and at times public criticism and progress there could be reversed but about burma succeeds, we will have gained a new friend without having fired a shot. american leadership. in each of these cases, we should not expect change to happen overnight. that's why we form aalliances not just with governments but with ordinary people. america is not afraid of individual empowerment. we are strengthened by it. we're strengthened by civil society. we're strengthened by educational exchange and opportunity for all people and women and girls. that's who we are. that's what we represent. american assistance has made
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possible the prospect of an aids-free generation while helping africans take care of themselves for their sick. we're helping farmers get their products to market, to feed populations once endangered by famine. we aimed the double access to electricity in sub-saharan africa so people are promised by the global economy and all of this creates new partners and shrinks the space for terrorism and conflict. that's why we have to focus on not rescuing those girls but to focus on educating the youth. it should be one of the hard earned lessons of iraq and
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afghanistan where our military became the strongest advocate for diplomacy and development. they understood that foreign assistance is not an afterthought. something nice to do apart from our national defense, apart from our national security. it is part of what makes us strong. ultimately global leadership requires us to see the world as it is. with all its danger and uncertainty. we have to be prepared for the worst. prepared for every concontinue againcy.
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but american leadership requires us to see the world as it should be. a place where the aspirations of individual human beings really matters. where hopes and not just fears govern. where the truths written into our founding documents can steer the currents of history in a direction ever justice. we cannot do that without you. i i class of 2014, you have taken this time to prepare on the quiet banks of the hudson. you leave this place to carry forward a legacy that no other military in human history can climb. you do so as part of a team that extends beyond your units or even the armed forces for in the course of your service you will work as a team with diplomats and development experts.
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you'll get to know allies and trade partners. and you will embody what it means for america to lead the world. next week will i go to normandy to honor the men who stormed the beaches there. and while it's hard for many americans to comprehend the courage and sense of duty that guided those who boarded small ships, it's familiar to you. at west point you decide what it means to be a patriot. three years ago gavin white graduated from this academy. he then served in afghanistan. like the soldiers who came before him, gavin was in a foreign land helping people he never met. putting himself in harm's way for the sake of his community and his family and the folks back home. gavin lost one of his legs in an attack. i met him last year at walter
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reed t he was wounded but just as determined as the day that he arrived here at west point and he developed a single goal, today his sister, morgan, will graduate. and true to his promise, gavin will be there to stand and exchange salutes with her. [applause] >> we have been through a long
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season of war. we have faced trials that were not foreseen and we have seen divisions about how to move forward, but there is something in gavin's character, there is something in the american character that we'll always try. leaving here you carry with you the respect of your fellow citizens.
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you will represent a nation with history and hope on our side. your charge now not only to protect our country, but to do what is right and just. as your commander in chief, i know you will. may god bless you. may god bless our men and women in uniform. and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [applause] >> talking about defense and policy issues with republican mac thornberry from taxes, a member of the armed services committee.
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focus on foreign policy continues with the assistant defense secretary for international security affairs. " live everyjournal day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. you >> if you go back and you look at coolidge, he was a concerted of hero. his tax was a gold standard tax rate. 25% was what he got. -- foughtke crazy like crazy. that was an epic battle. you look at what they said about coolidge and how cold he was. they were probably also from families that endorsed a different policies. some of them had a different model. coolid w


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