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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 22, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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request, but clearly it is the kind of request that we take very seriously, and we will. >> last night the missouri representatives met to talk about the 1033 program. can you tell me if the secretary is review or when that may happen? >> the secretary is keeping an open mind. he shares the concerns. certainly, as that concern could lead to the use of military equipment, he has not made a decision about conducting a review. he is gathering information. he not only met with those representatives, he held a meeting with senior staffers the day before to ask lots of probing questions.
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out -- theo point military isn't the only source of tactical gear used by people in this country. most of the stuff you are seeing in video out of ferguson is not military equipment. ferguson itself, they have two humvees from this program. a lot of the stuff is not u.s. military equipment. point number two, 95% of the property transferred to local law enforcement through this program is not tactical. it is not weapons. it is shelving, office equipment, communications gear, that kind of thing. i think it is important to keep this thing in perspective.
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when the secretary wants to be -- he wants to be, as he looks at this program, he wants to make sure we are striking the right balance. that the rate residence is being transferred. that the accountability is in place. he is also mindful that it is not a good place for the pentagon to be holding sticks out to law enforcement. there is a reason why we are not involved with local lawn force in activities. he wants to make sure that we take the proper place and said this democracy. >> is there any account of these vehicles being heavily armored? >> i do not know if they are or not. 2 humvee vehicles we provided for soft skinned, not armored. other tactical vehicles, i cannot say to where they got them. i just don't know. as you look at the video coming i understandon,
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how people look at that and say look at the military gear. most of it is not military gear. it doesn't belong to us. it was not provided to them. i just wanted to provide a little bit of perspective on your question. margaret? >> we have heard a lot about the response to local retaking their country, and helping to craft a regional response. yesterday, secretary hagel talked about $500 million to help train and equip. syrians that we want to work with. what is the status of that program? it is not going to be funded until 2015. >> the program is part of the overseas contingency operations budget request that was submitted to congress this summer. that is on the hill for contemplation and it has to be authorized by congress.
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you're right that it is a fiscal year 2015 request. if authorized and appropriated we would not be able to access that money. and therefore would not be able to accept that program until this get your 15 -- until fiscal year 15. we are working through congress and through the budget. the budget vehicles available to us to get that. while we')re waiting for congress to act, the secretary is waiting for the joint chiefs of staff, federal command, and his own staff here to further develop the ways in which --should we the funding we are asking for, the ways in which we would execute that. i do not have any hard decisions. i cannot say where would take place or how many people would be trained. there is still a lot of homework to do. we kept congress informed until they went on break.
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we were keeping them informed in what the thinking was. going to work. the secretary wants to work with congress as they both reviewed the appropriate request, and we continue to develop our plans. >> is there a sense this needs to happen quickly? is that what the secretary is trying to do? >> we are working through the budgeting process to develop this program. while, yes, everybody shares a common sense of purpose here when it comes to training in equipped mission for the opposition, we also do not want to get wrong either. you can only go as fast as his right. -- as fast as right. that means that you have to have a good plan in place. a key to that is a proper vetting process, which we just have not nailed down. it is very important, in order to do this, do have a positive impact on the opposition, that you are working with the rate
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-- the right sorts of folks. >> my understanding of what you are saying, that this building would not have the authority to act without congressional approval? >> we do not have the authority now to begin a train and equip program with moderate syrian opposition. we want to have the authority and we want to have the sources with it. we want to build a program that makes sense and that will do the job. we are still working on that now. >> in january, this president equated isil's capabilities to aging a varsity team. which seems to be in contrast with what the secretary said yesterday. i was wondering if there had been an analysis done to get the secretary to that position. does that mean that isis is
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getting stronger? >> a couple of points. what the president said yesterday the day before about -- isil. what the secretary said yesterday. i wonder if there has been new analysis or done to get the everybody has the same view here about the threat posed by isil. not just to iraq, but to the region. this is august. you are talking about, so were made in january. we have been watching this for months. they have grown in capabilities. they have grown and capability with speed. helped along by resourcing. from some criminal activity. as well as donations. and ransoms. and helped along by sanctuary that they have in syria. so, we have all been watching this.
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they have advancement capability. and we solve the speed with which they gained ground and held ground in northern iraq over the summer. to answer your question, it is a constantly changing, serious situation. their threat continues to grow. we believe it does pose an imminent threat and it is a threat that we take seriously. >> the new york time quoted nato officials saying that russian artillery have fired on ukrainian forces. what do you know about that? is that a game changer? >> i did not see the report, so i will not comment on a report i have not seen. what i said at the outset -- the support for separatists, the buildup along the border, the constant flow of significant weapons systems across the border in ukraine, needs to stop. it just needs to stop.
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that is as far as i can go. tony? >> the convoy going into there. one of your guys said that it could be a trojan horse. actually, the military could not go in under the guise of humanitarian. do you have any indication that this is a trojan horse? humanitarian supplies, but you still think -- ? >> we do not have the perfect picture of what is in those trucks, tony. i don't have an imperfect picture either. it is the entry, the unauthorized entry into ukraine, which as i said at the outset, is a violation of territorial integrity. we call for russia to pull those convoys back. >> what is the status of the fiscal 16 budget? you have the specter of sequestration returning. it will be far worse than these others crises.
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>> we are hoping it does not become a crisis, tony. we want congress to do the right thing, which is repeal sequestration. the work on the 16 budget continues. the comptroller has given his guidance on a range of guidance. >> you are here two years ago when the pentagon was resized for not planning for sequestration. today, in terms of planning for what may likely happen -- >> we have given the planning guidance for a range of budgetary options. i really don't want to go into any more detail than that. you saw how we dealt with sequestration and the planning that we did for a when we submitted the 15 budget. our focus now is on getting that 15 budget authorized and appropriated. we have not only had
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libertarians, we have had many issues up on the hill. >> what do we know that this china pa that happened? >> there was not some machiavelli an attempt here to conceal. i think we needed to process information and figure out what happened. and, i also believe, and i think this was the right course too -- we wanted to make sure that we had taken the opportunity to register our deep concern directly with the pla, which we have done. it made no sense to go public with that until we have had a chance to deliver that, which we did today. i am not aware of a response, thank you. >> do you have any indication from u.s. allies whether there will be air strikes in northern iraq?
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many have weapons. are there possible airstrikes? i would like to know why they they have expressed hesitancy. >> your question presumes hesitancy. i am not going to speak for other countries up here. it is hard enough for me to speak for what i have to here. i speak for the united states military. that is my job. i am not going to talk about what other countries are willing to do or the timeline. yes? >> i pointed at her. i will get to after that. >> the joint operation center in baghdad is evolving. could you describe how they changed since they first set up? the u.s. is looking at beefing up in erbil? >> the joint operation center continues to be operational, one in baghdad and one in erbil. the personnel in each one has
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stayed fairly static. there is some fluctuations. i think i can give you an update. in baghdad, there are 92 people in that joint operation center. erbil, 68. that has stayed pretty steady and has not changed much. i'm not aware of any plans to beef them up. they are right about where they need to be. >> you said the following. this i mean what they are doing versus the number of people there? >> now that they are up and running and we are conducting airstrikes inside iraq, they are working more and more closely every day with iraqi and kurdish forces on systems and providing advice. but, i would not read more into it than that. like any military operation, you know, every day you advance and
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you deepen the dialogue. you increase cooperation. your turn. >> at least, can you give us a few details as to what level the u.s. military is cooperating with partners in the region, combating operations in northern iraq? secondly, can i get your assessment about the situation in syria in terms of the moderate opposition clashes? how are airstrikes affecting this situation in syria, while isil is free to go back to syria? >> the answer to your second question is we have not made any decisions on -- with regard to syria. i do not have any, i will not speak about operations that were
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not conducted. i cannot not possibly begin to answer the question. on the first question, the international partners that we are dealing with most every day in iraq -- the iraqis. and, we have made it clear that a big part of our job there is to help assist them in combating this threat. we are doing that every day. there had been some international partners who have come forward and made it public that they would assist in the humanitarian side of that mission, the u.k. and australia, the french, and others -- italy. i will let them speak to what they are doing and how they are doing it and the decisions they are making. with regard to day-to-day, specially with airstrikes, it is being conducted with our partners in iraq, our iraqi
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partners. yes? >> are we likely to see an additional cut before congress takes spending measures sometime in september? >> i am not aware of any that i would not get ahead of that. i think that the secretary said it pretty well yesterday. we think that we will be ok for fiscal year 14. he opened the door for the possibility that for 15, we might need to look at some additional funding sources. we are not there yet. we don't know. i do not. no. you had your hand up forever. ok, last one? >> i want to go back to the china fighter. excuse me if i am nai8ve about -- naive about this. you said they intercepted the p8. i wondered if there was any message from the chinese pilot about why they were intercepting it and if there are any
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standard procedures that go with an interception? if they had noted -- >> they did a barrel roll over the aircraft. i am aware of any communications. i pointed the specific command for details on that. the message that they were apparently trying to send is that they were resisting the flight of this patrol aircraft, which i remind you, was in international airspace. the message we')re sending back -- that we are sending back to china is that is unacceptable, and unhelpful to the military relationship we would like to have. before i go -- i tried to make a quip and i do not think it came off. what i say i have our attentiveness, and i my own eloquence, not that i do not like the job. i do a --appreciated privilege of being appear. thank you very much, i
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appreciate it. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> each friday this month, c-span's american history tour explores extort -- historic places that shaped the nation. among the stories, the life of civil rights activists murdered in 1963. the curator of his house in jackson, mississippi talks about what inspired him to get involved with the movement. here is a look. lynching whend a
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he was 12 years old. he asked his father why would they do that to him? his father said that is what they do. i'm sure he was angry, frustrated. , heing away from it enlisted into the army when he was 16 years old and he served in world war ii. as he traveled, defending america did not matter about the color of his skin until he came back home to mississippi. on his birthday he tried to register to vote. , these groupother of white men turn them around. we did not go up against those men. it made him get serious. >> that was a portion of an event in jackson, mississippi. you can see the event at 8:00 eastern on c-span.
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>> this month while congress is in recess, we are showing you book tv in prime time. tonight it is in-depth with reza "zealot."his book view -- seeer and the interview tonight. an american history tv with how hollywood has portrayed the civil war and the history of slavery. that a look at the recent film "lincoln." finally a discussion on "gone with the wind" on whether it is a source of southern culture. see those programs tonight on c-span 3. >> tomorrow on washington
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journal, andrew tillman on the role of the defense department encountering the growth of isis in the middle east. siegelinberg and matthew discuss issues important to voters in the 2014 and 2016 elections. chase hotly looks at the 50th anniversary of the wilderness act. washington journal, live saturday at 7:00 eastern. >> next week, special prime time . monday, from glasgow, a debate over scottish independence. spotlight onssue irs targeting of conservative groups. wednesday, educating children from disadvantaged backgrounds. thursday, a house budget committee hearing on poverty
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programs. friday night, native american history. on c-span 2, book tv in prime time. monday at 8:30, a discussion about school choice. tuesday, how the poor can save capitalism. wednesday, an interview with jay barberie. thursday, a tour of the headquarters of book publishers simon & schuster. on friday, in-depth with former congressman ron paul. on american history tv on c-span 3, the reconstruction era and civil rights. on tuesday, the end of world war ii in the atomic tom. -- atomic bomb. thursday, a look of how americans attitudes about world war i changed. thea nasa documentary about 1969 apollo 11 moon landing.
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find are scheduled one week in advance on c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. the us or e-mail, or use #c123. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. today's white house briefing-- white house from martha's vineyard. this is 45 minutes. >> we should get to it. [inaudible]
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>> first of all with respect the chinese jets, the pentagon spoke. it is a deeply concerning provocation. discussed this type of action. ist we have encouraged military ties with china. this action is clearly highlighting the spirit of that engagement. we have made our concerns known directly to beijing. with respect to the development in ukraine, we very much condemned the violation, flagrant violation of cranium sovereignty we saw today with the movement of this convoy and ukraine. the regulations that make clear that ukraine would have to
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accept the delivery of any humanitarian convoy to the country. it was made clear the icrc would have to participate in the delivery of the assistance. that has not taken place. the government of ukraine to not give agreement with this convoy to move within their borders. this is part of a pattern we have seen in recent weeks, and we have highlighted above russian support to armed separatists in eastern ukraine that violates ukraine's sovereignty and destabilizes the situation. soon we are concerned about this. we are in touch with the training government. we will be in touch today with our partners at the un security council, to discuss next steps. russia should take the opportunity to remove this convoy from the thing ukraine. if they do not, they will face additional consequences in the united states and our partners
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and the international community. >> apparently nato is saying there are russian utility -- artillery in ukraine as well. >> we have seen the use of russian artillery you in ukraine. i would not want to speak to an individual instance today, but it certainly has been a pattern whereby we have seen firing from within russia into ukraine, and we have seen disturbing movement of russian artillery and military equipment into ukraine as well. i would say that this takes place in the context of the separatists dramatically losing support within eastern crane and ukrainian military making gains in places like donestsk. and the way, however, to respond to that situation and the humanitarian need, the legitimate humanitarian need in eastern ukraine is to pursue a path of deescalation, not to move forward of further violations of ukraine's sovereignty. which has only alienated russia
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from the people of eastern ukraine and isolated russia in the international community. >> on the islamic state, general democracy said islamic state can only be defeated if the fight is taken to them in syria. does the president agree with that? if so, how does he intend to undertake it? would it mean a significant change in the mission against islamic state? >> we certainly agree any strategy to deal with the isil organization has to deal with both sides of the border, iraq and syria. the strategy we are already undertaking does address that. in the sense that we are providing training and equipping and assistance to the iraqi security forces and kurdish forces fighting them on the ground in iraq. we are also providing support and military assistance to the
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moderate syrian opposition, what we would like to see is those efforts squeeze the space where isil operates. but there are other elements to our strategy. one is to encies the support of partners in the region and international community because this poses a significant threat not just to the united states and to the iraqi and syrian people, but the entire region. there are things we can do with partners to mobilize communities in places like iraq to work to expel isil. then there's the question of u.s. military action. the president has already authorized u.s. military action on the very specific missions of protecting our people and personnel and our facilities in baghdad. he's also authorized military action to deal with the humanitarian crisis on mount sinjar. as we look ahead and look forward, we are going to do what is necessary to protect americans. so if we see fighting against americans, we see a threat to the united states emanating from anywhere, we stand ready to take action against that threat.
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we have made very clear time and again that if you come after americans, we are going to come after you, wherever you are. that's what's going to guide our planning in the days to come. >> has the president signed off on air strikes against isil in syria? >> again, i want to get ahead of decisions. the president has been presented with specific military options outside of those that are carrying out the kurd missions in iraq, but we would certainly look at what is necessary in the long-term to make sure we are protecting americans. again, the long-term strategy will have to take people on the ground taking the fight to isil. that's iraqi and kurdish forces. that's syrians who we are supporting on the ground. if we have a need to protect americans and to take action when we see plotting against the united states and our interests, we'll reserve the right to do so. but i'm not going to get ahead of those decisions. >> it's fair to say you are
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actively considering air strikes against isil targets in syria? >> again, you heard the president say we'll be relentless against isil. we'll do what's necessary to protect americans and see that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of jim foley. we are actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat. and we are not going to be restricted by borders. we have shown time and again that if there's a counterterrorism threat, we'll take direct action against that threat if necessary. >> last thing, on ukraine, the russian convoy, do you see that as a direct invasion of ukraine? >> well, at this point again we see this as part of a pattern of flagrant violation of ukrainian sovereignty. a direct incursion into their territory. they continue to have masses of military forces on the border, too, that would be a further escalation were they to move into ukraine. we are giving the russians a
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clear message that they need to remove this convoy from inside of ukraine's borders. if they don't, we'll be making determinations with our international partners about how to ratchet up the cost and consequences on them. clearly, again, this is not something that is started today. from the arming and training of russian backed separatists, to the shootdown, we have he seen escalation and that escalation in a dangerous way. the russians should take a path to de-escalation, if they don't, they are going to find themselves further isolated. not just from the people of eastern ukraine but the entire world. >> the way the administration, including yourself, is talking about isis today, it's a big jump from what the president himself said in january calling isis j.v. players. would you still agree with his assessment a few months ago? >> i think what the president was speaking to a few months ago was the fact of the matter is you have many different groups operating across the middle east and north africa. as we shift from a situation in which the counterterrorism threat emanated from al qaeda core, we are going to need to evaluate which of these groups pose a threat to the united
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states. which of these groups pose a threat to our personnel. and which are more localized, militia-type forces. potentially dangerous but can be handled by local security forces. clearly isil, which has a long history and origin dating back to a.q.i., al qaeda in iraq, has gained capacity in the last several months, as the fighting in syria has given them safe haven there. as they have advanced across iraq and gained heavy weaponry and become better funded through various funding streams, including what they are able to sell in terms of oil and gas. the ransoms they have been able to obtain. that has developed their capacity in a way that has increased the threat.
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they pose greater threat today than they did six months ago. we are taking it very seriously. that includes the direct military action we are taking in iraq. that includes the support -- increased support we have provided to the iraqi and kurdish forces and the syrian opposition. we are going to do what's necessary to deal with this counterterrorism challenge. >> the former deputy director of the c.i.a. said, quote, isil's first terrorist attack against the united states. do you agree with that? >> absolutely when you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack. that represents a terrorist attack against our country and american citizen. and i think all of us have the foley family in our thoughts and prayers. we have seen isil seek to advance too close to our facilities. certainly for our own comfort. the president's decision to take military action a number of weeks ago was out of direct concern if they were able to get into arbil they could pose a threat to our personnel and conflict there.
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we have seen them pose a threat to our interests in the region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly the brutal execution of jim foley represented an affront, an attack not just on him but american. we see that as an attack on our country when one of our own is killed like that. >> how would you assess this threat to americans living in the united states? do you take their threats seriously? >> we have to take their threats seriously. to date they have operated much like an insurgency. in syria and iraq. again they are deeply rooted in -- the insurgency in iraq we have faced for many years. they have of course posed a huge threat to the people in that region. it's important to underscore. as the president did the other day, that it's not simply the threat they pose to the united states. it's the threat they pose to the
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entire world. they have killed thousands of civilians and muslims more than any other faith. so whatever pretense they have to establish themselves as speaking for the muslim world i think is completely disproven by their actions in that part of the world. for americans, what i say we monitor very closely whether or not isil will seek to develop plots that are aimed at the west. aimed at beyond this geographic area where they have been operating. we are doing that. we are actively consulting with european partners about how to watch the threat they could pose to the west. we take their threats seriously because they have to take every threat that's made against the united states seriously. we are going to deal with that through the action and strategy we have in the region to squeeze them. we are also dealing with it through homeland security and
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the president's going to convene at the head and state level a u.n. security council meeting because we are concerned about foreign fighters coming from western countries. >> are they capable of a 9/11-type attack? >> to date we have not seen them focus on that type of planning. that doesn't mean we are not going to be very mindful they could quickly aim to pivot to attacks against western targets outside of the region. again this is something we are going to monitor very closely because we certainly take seriously the fact that this is an organization that has a cadre of fighters who are clearly willing to do horrific things, as we saw in that video, and as we have seen as a massacre, innocent civilians in iraq. they have significant stream of funding that they have acquired over the last year or two. and, again, if they show the
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intent or they show plotting against the united states, we'll be prepared to deal with that if necessary. >> bigger picture what we are doing in iraq, is the united states now engaged in a broad counterterrorism effort to defeat isil? >> the iraqi government is certainly the front of the effort to defeat isil inside of iraq. we are providing them with support to do that. i think the strategy is one that we want to evict isil from their safe havens and squeeze the space they are operating in. and ultimately again push them out of that space. our contribution to that will come in many ways. it comes in the form of the air strikes that are protecting baghdad, that have given space for iraqi forces to push forward against isil.
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it comes in the form of military assistance and advice and intelligence sharing that we have with iraqi and kurdish forces on the ground. it comes with our political support in service of a new and inclusive iraqi government, which should be able to broaden the coalition against isil so we see more of iraq's neighbors, again working with, for instance, sunni communities, to evict isil. this is going to have to be a team effort. but we have very unique capabilities we can bring to bear and supporting those on the ground working to fight against isil on the frontlines. >> basic question. is it the objective of u.s. efforts here to -- \[inaudible/\] >> our objective would be to see an organization like isil defeated. our military objectives, i'm just separating out, the fact that we have military objectives that the president's articulated, that aim to protect our facilities in iraq and prevent human catastrophe, in that long-term strategy of working for defeat of isil,
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we'll participate not just through our military actions but training, equipping of iraqi security forces, kurdish security forces on the ground. ultimately they are the ones who are going to have to work to evict isil from their communities. again their efforts to form an inclusive government in iraq i think will go a long way towards enlisting the support of those communities who have been somewhat disaffected from the government in recent years. >> i would like to get you to respond to michael foley's comments -- \[inaudible/\] >> mr. foley and entire foley family, can i not imagine how it must feel to lose a loved one and in such a horrible way. i certainly understand that any family would want to make sure that we are moving heaven and earth to find and bring home american hostages. i can assure you that we have
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done everything that we can possibly do to try to bring home our hostages. it's an incredibly difficult circumstance in a place like syria. again where you have such violent conflict raging. we have used all of our military, against, diplomatic resources that we can bring to bear to try to find out where our hostages are. to try to rescue them. when we saw an opportunity to try to work with any country that might have any means of locating them. and tragically we weren't able to rescue mr. foley. but we are going to keep trying for all of our hostages, not just in syria but around the world.
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out of respect for the fact that there are sensitivities involved with that, but this is a small number of hostages who are held within syria. and we are going to continue to do whatever we can to try to bring them home. every day that they are in custody, they are -- is a day they are at risk. [inaudible] >> i think the president has spoken to the fact that our military objectives in iraq right now are limited to protecting our personnel and facilities and addressing humanitarian crisis. we have to be clear this is a deeply rooted organization. they have been there for 10 years. when you go back to a.q.i. it is going to take time, a long time, to fully evict them from the communities where they operate. we can do things, though, in the immediate term, to address the threat to the united states and our people.
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and to push them back. and to get space for these security forces who are taking the fight to them. we can create a coalition that can support iraqis and moderate syrian opposition in their efforts to squeeze isil. that's what we are doing. it's going to take time when you talk about an objective like the ultimate defeat of isil. it will take time to dislodge a group that has been operating in this part of the world for the better part of a decade in an insurgency. what we can do is address the threat to the united states. give the security forces the space they need. go on the offense. push them out of the communities they are in. and then work towards that ultimate goal of defeating isil. this is a cancer that has to be eradicated. that's how we look at this. we have to have our near-term goals that put the safety of americans front and certainty. then in the long term we'll work
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with our partners to defeat this organization. so, yes. as you're doing that, you need to make sure that if there is a threat to the american people that we have the ability to take action. that's what the president did, for instance, when they were bearing down on our facilities in narbil. we are already pushing them back. you saw after we began our air strikes, for instance, the kurdish forces with our support were able to make advances and retake a big piece of critical infrastructure in iraq. so that's the dynamic that we are seeking to foster. one that doesn't just contain but that allows those forces on the ground to go on the offense. >> [inaudible] >> necessary to deal with an outbreak like ebola that we have seen. we have prioritized getting
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people and resources on the grouped in places like liberia and sierra leone. so we are working to strengthen their public health architecture. there are clear steps they can take to contain the outbreak and make sure that people are getting appropriate care. that's what we focused on with the c.d.c. and other u.s. agencies. if there are opportunities for us to do additional things, we'll review those. but the best solution in our mind is to put the public health infrastructure in place in those countries to contain this outbreak, treat those who are suffering from it, and ensure it doesn't spread beyond their borders. i don't have any updates for you on additional military resources. we focused on public health resources to date. >> the president announced the air strikes in iraq -- what's happening, what's going to happen, not going to happen, do you believe that that statement he made if -- it \[inaudible/\]
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[inaudible] >> first question, mike, the president it always keeps the american people updated about the status of any military action and major foreign policy and national security actions. even since he announced those air strikes earlier this month, i note he has spoken a in of times to developments in iraq and developments associated with our efforts against isil.
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so clearly i think any additional action that he would take is one that he would explain to the american people, whether it's in iraq or anywhere else. and we will keep the american people fully informed. i think the american people understand that this president's very deliberate about the use of force. he doesn't rush towards the military option. he takes very seriously when we put u.s. military action on the table. when we have our pilots flying missions like the air strikes we are undertaking in iraq. however, i think the american people also understand that there are some threats that have to be dealt with. and we are dealing with the threat from isil in iraq by protecting our people there. and as we have done against al qaeda around the world, we'll take whatever action is necessary to protect our people. president obama has shown he'll do that. whether it's in pakistan -- we'll take direct action even as we develop long-term solutions that empower partners on the
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ground. with respect to legal matters, i wouldn't want to prejudge an action we haven't taken. i would say that the actions taken in iraq are consistent with the president's constitutional authority. the actions we took in syria because we were trying to save americans were imminent danger. i think any additional actions we take we'll consult with congress. >> the things you have drawn about iraq is you were invited in. you mentioned syria -- \[inaudible/\] [inaudible] >> hypothetically that action hasn't been taken. to take the example of what we
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did. you don't need to be invited in if you're trying to rescue your people from imminent danger. that's the basis we took to try to rescue our hostages. we have a legal justification for any action we take. we would consult with congress. this is again a problem that we have to deal with as a nation. and so whether it's our ongoing operations in iraq or additional steps that may need to be taken against isil, we would carry those out in very close consultation with congress about their support and their role in providing support for our efforts. thank you. >> if we obviously understand that americans who have loved ones who are in harm's way want to do anything to try to bring them home. we provide support in any way we can have our military, diplomacy, intelligence resources, law enforcement resources.
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but as a matter of policy, we do not provide ransom or any funding for terrorist organizations. we feel very strongly that it is not the right policy for governments to support the payment of ransom to terrorist organizations. in the long run, what that does is, it provides additional funding to these terrorist organizations, which allows them to expand their operations. it incentivizes the kidnapping of foreigners. in ways we have seen, frankly, with organizations like isil and some al qaeda affiliates. so again, as a matter of policy i think the u.s. government remains committed to the notion that we will not provide funding for terrorist organizations that we believe that only creates perverse incentives for those terrorist organization who is have gone forward and the source of funding and we are going it cut -- to cut off and choke off their source of funding. we'll use all the resources of u.s. government to find and if
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possible bring home those americans missing. as i said, that will include our military, our intelligence, our law enforcement, and our diplomacy. thanks. >> before we get started. a quick note, mostly of appreciation as we wind down our past few weeks here on the vineyard. it's been a busy few weeks. i appreciate your patience and flexibility as we move through a lot of breaking news and developments, both up here in washington and around the world. appreciate you working with us. appreciate your flexibility and feedback as we try to make sure we are getting you the best and accurate and quickest information we could. with that i will answer your questions.
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>> going golfing this week. explain why he does this. >> i am not going to get into the president's mindset on that. i will say that generally i think that sports and leisure activities are a good way for relief and clearing of the mind for a lot of us. >> has there been any consideration, any discussion of maybe take a day off of golf. [inaudible] >> the president did give a powerful statement in this auditorium wednesday afternoon.
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i think that anyone wondering his views on both the situation with isil, that video or his concern for the foley family should go back and review that statement. it was delivered from the heart. it was candid. it was honest. and it was open. i think anyone trying to assess how seriously he takes the gravity of that situation should listen to it again. >> no doubt about that. [inaudible]
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>> i understand you're asking about the optics. let me take a minute to explain how we approach this. first and foremost the president is set on doing his job. to us that's paramount. what i think you see, just because the president is in a different location doesn't mean he's not doing his job. i don't think anyone in this room who's been covering this or following the president for the past few weeks could deny that the president's been deeply engaged on issues both domestic and abroad. it's important for us to understand, and i think that's been evident, is that the issues the country's facing both on the international stage and back here at home have absolutely captured the president's attention while we have been here.
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>> a quick follow-up. \[inaudible/] [inaudible] >> i'm not going to do too much -- i think the president spoke about isil 38 hours ago and the brutality they committed, barbaric acts, and everything the president is going to instruct the united states government both again military, diplomatic, and intelligence in order to see justice served. so i don't think there's any dispute right now, discrepancy right now because he spoke with you a few days ago about that. \[inaudible/] [inaudible] >> this is beyond anything we
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have seen. it seems to be these big differences depending who you are talking about. can you iron this out? >> sure. i'm happy to iron it out. the president a few days ago in which he said isil has rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent and unarmed civilians. they abduct women and children and subject them to torture, rape, and slavery. they have murdered muslims,, they target christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering when they can for no run, they have declared their ambition to declare genocide against the people. i don't think we are parsing our approach on this. >> in those terms is that beyond anything we have seen? >> i think that -- addressed
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this a little bit ago. i'm not going to be here to parse the differences between al qaeda and isil. both are clearly terrorist organizations. both want to do harm to innocent people. i think the president's record on counterterrorism speaks for itself. >> agree with secretary hagel's assessment? >> what? >> this is beyond -- a threat beyond anything we have seen? or isis is a force beyond anything we have seen? >> i think how the president views isil has been articulated a couple times now. >> on domestic policies, can you give us the white house -- [inaudible]
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>> today the administration took several steps to ensure women whose coverage is threatened receive coverage for recommended contraceptive services through their health care plans at no additional cost as they should be entitled to under the affordable care act. while continuing the administration's goal of respecting religious beliefs. the rules, which i believe you are referencing, are in response to recent court actions and balance our commitment to helping ensure women have continued access to coverage for presensitive services according to their health, while respecting the administration's goal of respecting religious belief. >> the nonprofit -- [inaudible] >> the administration believes the accommodation is legally sound, but in light of the supreme court order regarding wheaton college, the departments are augmenting their regulations
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to provide an attorney for objecting nonprofit religious organizations to provide notification, while ensuring enrollees of such planned organizations receive separate coverage of contraceptive services without cost sharing. >> i know there's two separate rules, one for the nonprofit and closely held profits. i'll refer you to h.h.s. on how those are implemented. i'm not sure. i know -- first and foremost we want congress to act. that's going to be our bedrock principle on this. we believe congress and should act to ensure any women affected by recent supreme court actions get the same overage, options, everyone else is offered. legislative action is the quickest and best way to ensure that women get access to the services they need and we call on congress to act quickly.
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this particular step -- a few steps along the way. so i'm happy to get back to you on that. >> [inaudible] >> it's not going to surprise you to know that we strongly disagree with g.a.o.'s conclusion. the we reject the implication that the administration acted unlawfully. the president has the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of americans abroad and specifically to protect u.s. service members. it's important for everyone here to understand that the g.a.o. report expressly does not address the lawfulness of the administration's actions as a matter of constitutional law. >> i could tell you that the administration's actions
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occurred only after the secretary of defense determined that the risk posed by the detainees to the united states or u.s. persons of interest was substantially mitigated and the transfer was in the national security interest of the united states as required by the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2014. at the time you'll recall the president was very clear that our commitment to men and women serving overseas to leave none of them behind is a bedrock principle for him. one that doesn't come with caveats. that's why he acted in that matter. >> let me understand the impact. [inaudible] >> you asked the white house's reaction. i have given that to you. in terms of impact of the g.a.o. check with the g.a.o. [inaudible]
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>> the president has been in touch with the attorney general since the attorney general was in missouri. i think it's fair to say that we have been encouraged by what we have seen the past few days. the president, last week and on monday i believe, called for a de-escalation in the tensions. that was paramount for him. so far we have seen the developments of the past few days. to answer your question, the president has been in touch with the attorney general. the president and many of us at the white house are closely monitoring and receiving regular briefings on the situation in ferguson. as you know the department of justice opened an investigation, an independent federal civil rights investigation into the death of michael brown, and both the president and attorney general have committed to a fair, thorough, and independent investigation. >> what does the attorney general -- [indiscernible] >> i'm not going to get into the internal communications. i think the department of justice has put out a lot of readouts of that trip. i know it's well covered by your
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colleagues. i can tell you that the president felt that the attorney general had a very good and worthwhile trip to ferguson. he met with members of the community, the congressional delegation, local officials, along with f.b.i. agents and d.o.j. personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation and received an update on each of the progress. he also met with the parents of michael brown. >> if i could just ask -- [inaudible] >> any scheduling announcements at this time. i do think you have seen the president speak about this again so very openly and candidly over the past few days at length about how he views the situation in ferguson. the attorney general went out there earlier this week. so he's continuing to monitor this. his first and foremost priority is with the safety of those in ferguson.
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>> can you update us on where the president is in terms of his process --king [inaudible] >> as i think you'll recall on june 30 the president spoke to you all in the rose garden. that was on the heels of being informed by speaker boehner that the house republicans were not going to bring up immigration reform for a vote. as you may also recall we believe that bipartisan bill passed by democrats and republicans in the united states senate should be brought up for a vote. we are not even asking house republicans -- the house leadership to vote for it. we are asking for them to bring it up for a vote. because i bet you a good deal that that would pass. with both democrats and republicans in the house. that said, speaker boehner did inform the president we are fairly forthcoming in that.
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and the president announced in the rose garden he was directing the director of homeland security and attorney general to identify additional actions the administration can take on its own within the president's existing legal authority to do what congress refuses to do and fix the broken immigration system that's been plaguing our country for many years now. if congress is not going to do their job, the least we can do is ours. the president expects the recommendations by the end of the summer. i don't have any additional updates for you to read out at this time. [indiscernible] >> i'm not sure the status of the recommendations in coming to the white house. i can tell you the president has put great a deal of thought into this already as you have heard many times. and as soon as we have anything definitive, any announcements, we'll make sure you get those.
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>> is the president open to going that far [inaudible] >> the numbers are in the newspaper, they were not put out by the administration. we are preserving the integrity of this process to allow the president to receive those recommendations from the attorney general and the department -- secretary of the department of homeland security. we are going to review those. as the president said he wants to act by the end of the summer. >> one final question following up. [inaudible] >> i think, again, what the president made clear at the time
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of the guantanamo transfer was that his commitment to the men and women that serve overseas is that we will leave no men or woman behind. that's what he's been keeping faith with and is unshakable for him. as we made previously clear the administration determined it was lawful to proceed with the transfer in order to the protect the life of as you us service -- u.s. service member held captive and in danger almost five years notwithstanding the congress didn't receive the 30 days notice. again we disagree with the g.a.o.'s conclusion and reject the implication the administration acted unlawfully. it is with great regret i do not have a week ahead for you. despite my best efforts. we'll have that on paper later today. >> thank you. >> the role of isis you have talked about, how much of that would you attribute to the
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payment of ransom by other countries? how much would the administration be working with other countries or pressuring them not to keep paying these ransoms? >> our policy is clear. the united states government has a matter of long-standing policy does not grant concessions to hostage takers. doing so would put more americans at risk of being captive and be a funding stream for these terrorist organizations. let's be clear this isn't just u.s. policy, this is a growing international norm. in january of this year the security council unanimously adopted resolution 2133. an unprecedented resolution which identifies kidnapping for ransom as a source of terrorist financing, expresses the council's determining to secure the safe release of hostages without ransom payments or political concessions, and calls upon all member states to prevent terrorist from benefiting directly or indirectly from such concessions. >> thank you, guys.
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our prime time schedule on c-span network. at eight :00 p.m., american history tour looks at historic places. of c-span 2, book to be in-depth. and arthur spoke about his life and career and his best-selling book. on c-span 3, american history tv on programs of how hollywood has per trade the civil war and slavery. -- trade the civil war and slavery. >> tomorrow on washington journal, and drew -- andrew tilghman. then a generation opportunity. discussing issues important to voters. that, they look after the 50th anniversary of the act. liveington journal,"
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saturday on c-span. >> this month, see symbian presents -- c-span presents a debate on what makes america great. issues spotlight with in-depth looks at veterans health care, student loan debt and campus sexual assault. new perspectives on issues including global warming, voting rights, fighting if actions disease and food safety. showing size and sounds from america's historic places. let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us at -- or e-mail us at -- join the conversation, like us on facebook, follows on twitter.
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>> yesterday, senate majority leader harry reid was in his home state of nevada. this is 50 minutes. >> all i did was mess up waking up at so early. i am happy to be here. i am happy that c-span is filming this. i am happy that the koch brothers -- that is all i have to say. i have become friendly with them everywhere i go. everybody, i am so glad to be home. our homeow, we moved searchlight over here. it was more important that we beat our grandchildren.
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we have such a fundamentally. memories. [indiscernible] as some of you know, john smith was raised in henderson. a big shot in the union movement. calhoun's top assistant. wonderful people. i am glad he wrote to that. talk about having roots. my dad would at the plants. my brother's all graduated high school in henderson. one of my brothers was quite famous because he shot the winning basket for las vegas
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high school. don played dale, and on a team of that tied las vegas. when i started high school here, high school was where the city hall is now. the oldne semester at high school when it was old. phone. keeps buzzing. i cannot stand to be tickled during speeches. we spent half a year there during that first football season. and then went to the brand-new high school. it was really a wonderful high school. it was a good school.
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and i so enjoyed my high school career. it was so much fun. abouting i want to talk is what we tend to forget about some of the great athletic teams the high school had. played the best they ever had when he was a sophomore in high school. it,ad a field, no grass on but a field. we were good. sophomores on the team and i was one and john wilson was at the other. he was a champion of that year and several others. we beat everybody. we were nevada state champions, we beat all the california teams. we were the champions. hard to believe this little
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school beat all of the california schools. i like to say what a great impact it had on me. [laughter] impasse for me personally that was important. i made the team. i got in a few games. it did not matter. and i got one of those beautiful white jackets. it was really such a wonderful part of my understanding with 18 was all about. people never write about that team. glad to see you here. councilwoman deborah, thank you for being care. running.ett who is i told my staff, make sure i get crockett some money, i have not done that yet. ok. last time i spoke at the las
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igas chamber of commerce, said -- i know y'all had a lot of questions. we have each was of doing a little quiz here. i can give a speech on for 20 minutes on any subject you like or i can answer questions. 20ave told i have 15 or minutes to talk and 20 minutes to answer questions. what about just going to the questions? i did not do the quiz, i just decided what we would do. we do not need to make this as formal. we me a question, ok? >> have to speak directly into this microphone. it is a c-span microphone. it is not piped in.
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you have to speak directly into the microphone. i will be running the microphone for questions. if i could have a hand, we will get it started. councilwoman? obviously jobs and transportation are high priority for our community to get the economy moving again. i wonder if you go to halt to the things you are doing in washington to help. is, of course, very important. one of my main responsibilities is to do everything i can to help create jobs. and i think it is always important to look at the past to determine what we should do in the future. when i first went to washington, i learned very quickly there are 2 main drivers of the economy. number one is homebuilding and number two is infrastructure. and now part of that is the water system and sources.
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all of the stuff we are doing with electricity. with the stimulus bill that is now five years old, i did i know where our country would be if for that. to copper mountain to be there when they started another project. speak, 4 million solar panels there. it is hard to comprehend. they are big. 4 million of them. they are constructing up more. with searchlight. you cannot see it, but a short distance from the property i had and still have in searchlight. they have a section of land that is being transferred to solar. that was the result. the wind, and where geothermal all over the central northern
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part of the state. thousands and thousands of construction jobs. that was a result of something we put in at the stimulus bill. but we did other things. the state of nevada benefited from what we had in the legislation because we had half $1 billion to nevada for education. we were laying off teachers, were able to stop the flow of that. we had not enough. in the billbillion for infrastructure. with that shot in the arm, the economy is not terrific a but better. it would be bigger and better than the clinton years if we had some public sector jobs. seeate sector jobs, you can the numbers coming out. they are doing great. that is not enough. if we how public sector.
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-- if we have public sector jobs. what are those? infrastructure. the infrastructure is falling apart. henderson is more fortunate than a lot of places because it is a relatively new community. is not therts, that case. we have a huge deficit in nevada. have 50,000 bridges in the united states that is deficient. not 7000 but 70,000. 20% of our highways were given a f rating, they are just not safe because they need to be redeveloped. we need a new highways. [indiscernible] andhouse of representatives the senate, to report the senate, anything the government is in, we have done nothing
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public and that is a shame. for every $1 billion we spend on infrastructure, it creates 50,000 jobs. we just need to do more. there's such demand for the programs. result of was we started with the stimulus bill. we had the neo project that redesign the spaghetti bowl. we do not have the government involved in public sector jobs. >> my name is ed julian. i know it is a bit risky with this crowd here. i want to correct your foggy
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memory. and 1967, a little town of boulder city went undefeated in thosell and beat three years. >> let me comment on that. city, we were so -- it had grass. all kinds of things. [laughter] boulder city when i went to high school was much smaller. as they were so good. you had bill kendrick and bill macola and all of these athletes. they beat us most of the time. we were pretty good. football, oh man. if i look back, boulder city was an extremely stable community. people had in their jobs. they were to down at the dam.
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they were coached by mccormick, a great coach. they coached those kids from the time there were little kids until they got out of high school. we had a very transient population. would come to high school and stay a year. that is the main difference. boulder city was -- you were absolutely right. what was his name? reen, -- what was it? they had such great athletes. they went on to college stardom. andhe reason you won baseball is because you stole our bobby peck. >> he was a first string catcher. at the most 5'5"
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inches, a very short, powerful, little man. he was all-state in baseball. allstate in basketball. he was a great player. he was a tremendous football player. on to playwent football in college. first was at junior college in california, the starting quarterback he beat out bobby peck. because hed one year is inaten out by wood who is the football hall of fame. he went to start at usc. bobby went to dixie college. he was all-star. he still holds records at the university.
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[laughter] >> we were scared to death [indiscernible] [laughter] >> i hesitated saying that this. we lost a lot of the games but we always won the fight after the games. [laughter] stories.l you some we will do it sometime. >> my question is, why haven't you concentrated on bringing chinese tourists to nevada? at least 100 million chinese want to come. every 33 taurus into this country -- tourists in this job -- in this country crazy one job. it does not cost anything.
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>> here is what we have done. procedural --a seven times. six times i lost. travis --nother travel promotion act. virtually every company -- country advertises what a great place it is to visit. we see countries like the bahamas, little countries, and big countries advertise about what a great plays. new zealand, australia, european communities about what a great place to visit. we did not do that. we would spend money to advertise, what we needed for people to come here. 9/11 scared people. we pass it. when somebody wants
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to come to america, a very small amount of money and it has created millions of dollars. for the first three or four who wastephen klubeck, a full-time job for him. it has been wonderful for the country. to make ite a lot easier for people to come here especially from china with visas. we have made it easier. we have a long ways to go but we have made significant progress. you are absolutely right. the reason it is so important that we talk about tourism, nevada, especially southern nevada, can benefit because 1 in 10 people would come to america. more than that, to las vegas it now. las vegas is a destination
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resort. if i have aeid, question specific to the chamber of commerce. health care is a big part of our community. some of our institutions including the university and unlv, the medical school question. there is a lack of funding. a handful of bills on the heel that are proposing to do something about that. right now, when a student graduates or leaves medical school, they leave the state because there is no funding to keep them here and provide for the programs. maybe you can speak to that topic. that.ould be happy to do bill nelson and i served on the house together. bill is a very talented and brave man. he was an astronaut. very goodn -- he is a
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person represented florida. [indiscernible] it is a rapidly growing state. health care has not been maintained at the level they would like or the level we would like because the population has grown so much. 1969, we crated a medical school but we did it backwards. --should put the medals medical school down here and the law school up there. the reason it is up there and the henderson population and to have a good, powerful medical school. see the regents are talking about making a bigger medical school down here. are trying to crate
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opportunities for education. in this stimulus, we were able to get some but not enough. we are lagging behind. you are right. iting a medical school here, is a good medical school, but small. happens, if we can get people to train here, they will stay here. we are losing a lot of are good people as i speak. we are trying. i am not going to get to various bills. their other bills. if you want to be too, i can. sun do more harm than good. states that are growing. -- some do more harm than good.
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>> senator -- >> if you would tell me who you are that would be great. as what i would like city, and thiss whole community supporting the veterans, and during our different conflicts, throughout the years, that is what this town has been known about. , aseed to help our veterans far as coming back from the campaigns today. they are trying to find jobs and they are not being successful at it. we have 6100 veterans in the street and homeless. we need help. i would appreciate that. >> here is where we are. , you canecognized watch the news or listen to the radio, the veterans administration has not been
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doing well. it wasn't general shinseki's fault. he is a fine man. he is a war hero, clearly. rather than retire and go to hawaii, he decided to stay in public service. he had most of his foot blown off in vietnam. a good man. the bureaucracy got the best of him. why is the veterans a administration so different now than it was 10 years ago? posting ago people were about the finest health care system in america, perhaps in the world. it was good. what has happened, we have had 1.5 million new veterans come back from the conflict center. and iraq.n
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they are a new type of veteran. we are saving lives that we have neighbors saved another conflicts. people have multiple limbs missing. a lot of blind people coming back. problems that never existed before. they would have died in prior conflicts. , this new warfare has been difficult. that is why we have -- it is a new type of warfare. in iraq it was street battles. they learned about placing these bombs every place. it is awful. afghanistan, different terrain, same warfare. it has created poster medics syndrome in a third of the people -- it has graded ptsd and a third of the people.
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the people injured are going to be in the need of veterans administration for the rest of their lives. shinseki is gone. mcdonald is here. i met with him. prior to theh him nomination going forward. we had a nice visit. mcdonald is a west point graduate. .e is a successful businessman he is 61 years old. he ran procter & gamble for many years. i think he is going to be fine. he is not going to be partisan. he is a republican. he is trying his best to write the ship -- right the ship. he has been in nevada twice.
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we have been trying to get him to sign up on the pahrump clinic. they did. it is not easy. we passed one of our few pieces of legislation before we left. it was good. it was a good piece of legislation. the chairman of the veterans committee in the senate, bernie sanders, a liberal person worked closely with miller, his counterpart in the house, a conservative person. they legislated like you're supposed to. they put aside ideological differences and were able to get something done. is it going to solve novel of the problems, no. -- is it going to solve all of the problems? no. we will see what holes we have left. it is going to be better.
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that mcdonald see has made decisions already that are extremely important. frankly, i don't think bureaucrats are going to be able to overtake his prowess. >> good morning senator. mike davidson. the review journal -- thank you. i appreciate it. the other day the review journal did a piece that was complementary toward you concerning your ability to spearhead major legislation on behalf of the administration. as you look forward to the next couple of years given the midterms, the fact that people are talking about a lame duck situation, what do you think you will be able to spearhead with success given the gridlock that
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we have had? where do you think you will find success? start inccessful november. we have the koch brothers spending millions and millions itdollars, doing a lot of openly, a lot of it behind the scenes. they are all interested in one thing. making money. that is their game. they are spending a bunch of in mynot for the purpose opinion of doing anything to help the country. they are not interested in what we are doing with minimum wage, equity,rested in pay women who do the same work as a man should get the same amount of money. . could go through all of this
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they oppose all of them. they are very rich. of things they do, the chamber of commerce has -- it is a right wing go after democrat organization. cycleave tried, the third they have been doing this, a lot of money comes from the koch brothers. they have an experiment going to see if money can buy our democracy. that is what it is. though these huge amounts of money around the country, and the primaries are out of the way, they say we are going to win in ohio, a lot of money spent, we are going to win
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in new hampshire. million.t $25 huge amounts of money in louisiana with mary lambert. we are ahead there. pryor, wonderful senator. tremendous human being. they started spending money against him last march. he is still ahead. he is running ads in arkansas touting obamacare. shot see where we have a in georgia. kentucky. we are concerned about south carolina and montana because of the bad break we had with the general there. that is going to be the first test. i believe there are things that we can do dealing with infrastructure. some of the things that i have
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talked about with getting middle-class a fair shot is certainly important. corporate profits have gone up since 2009 by 300%. women ofng men and this country are lagging behind. we have to recognize we have a new world facing us. some compare it to the industrial revolution with changes in the workplace technologically. i am excited about the next two years. i'm excited about what we are going to work on before the election. i have excited about the lame duck. the last lame-duck, this is the time after the elections until a new congress started. it was extremely successful, what we did. lindsey graham said harry reid
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atet hour lunch -- hour lunch. i hope we can get some things done before the first of the year. >> good morning. thank you for sharing breakfast with us. >> i didn't get any. [laughter] >> you missed out. given that you are the senior elected official for a state -- >> i didn't understand that. >> a state that has financial literacy better only than arkansas and mississippi, and given things like the recent fdic report about the capitalization of banks and unsustainability, should there be another crisis, given things like the relative lack of
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substantive reform as far as the banking and financial industry, what should we be looking at as far as legislation and paying attention to making sure that we crisisustain another like we did in 2008? >> your question was timely. one of our accomplishments in the first congress, the first congress obama had was extremely successful. probably more so than in getting -- than any congress in history. close secondd be a would be the roosevelt administration. we were able to do some good things. .ou know about obamacare there been some problems with that. if we had help from my riends, but they
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oppose everything about it. years old you can stay a insurance policy. if you have a pre-existing disability you cannot be denied insurance. if you are a senior citizen you get bonus checks. , no lifetime caps anymore. happens, theyad have that care that you are entitled to. that was good. we did other remarkable things. the reason we had large numbers, 60 was very short because kennedy was very sick. some of us know he was not going to come back. prior to that congress, 60 senators was never anything that
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was concerning. rarely did anyone initiate a filibuster. it was a rule of -- a golden world. we didn't do it often. that became the norm. the last three congresses republicans have demanded everything we do, we have have 60 votes. that is tough to explain to people in a democracy that you need 60% of the votes. that is what we have needed. in years past that was not the case. take clarence tom is. he was marginally qualified. voted againsthad him. he could never overcome 60 votes. there are so many mother examples of that where dianne feinstein, no matter how you feel about her, she brought up something to stop the purchase of weapons.
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that passed. 52-53 votes. now everything is filibustered. lyndon johnson during his six years as majority leader had overcome one filibuster. 600.e had to overcome everything. the country has changed. that is why we had to change the rules. i don't want to be changing the rules but i have to. harry, theyin said are mocking us. they are. we had four appointments unfulfilled for years on the d c circuit. even more important in the supreme court. they do the administrative things that happen in washington. they were mocking us. they were saying if you want to change it, we dare you.
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they didn't think i could get the votes. i got the votes and change the rules. for the first time in a long time the courts are taking care of -- taking care of. we have been able to get nominations done. to for the first time control tobacco. we have the national service, the fraud association, we have lots of stuff we did. and we did dodd frank, which looked at wall street and what we could do to stop wall street from doing to us what they did to us before. we passed that. it was hard. education ono get lobbyists, take a look at the financial world out there.
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they had limousines lined up or blocks making sure we would not change the law. did we change it enough? probably not. we now have the opportunity to , tell the financial institutions information. we made progress. more should be done. we can see that with the problems we have had here, especially with foreclosures. businesses have been treated so unfairly with the fdic. take -- they aren't willing to save the person who took a chance on that land. we have more to do. specificould ask you a question, the three kids mind
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project. >> we have for done that for a long time. for you folks in boulder city who don't know about it, there is a great hole in the ground cents after the war -- since after the war. decided for many years what to do with it. it, because it is a big call. investorsman who has and their willing to put up to build beautiful homes there. we were able to move that out of the senate. we hope we can get it out of the house. the house has been a graveyard
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for bipartisan legislation. we worked together. i started working with john hansen, dean heller has been extremely helpful on that. putgoing to continue to pressure on the house to get that done. it is important to get that done. just do a sidebar here. everyone knows i have this responsibility as the majority leader of the senate. it is nothing that i ever --amed of doing, nothing nothing i thought would happen. i am fortunate to have the responsibility. but it is sometimes, the decisions are difficult. people say he is so partisan. i have responsibilities to take care of the majority and do my
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best to handle the minority. i had the best teacher and how to handle delegations, paul axel. democrat in the nevada delegation in 1982. he reached out to me. we were in a bitter race in 1974. we became good friends. he is a fine man. he set a good example for me. he included me and everything that went on with a nevada in a gala -- delegation. thate try to follow working with senator hanson and dean heller. bout, madeon jokes a sayinghanson and me, i called john hanson john reid.
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we made the decision that we had where ia bitter race won by 428 votes. fortuitously brian decided not to run again. we needed to work together. i know his dad. what a wonderful human being. john and i got together and said we will put aside our differences and work together. we did that. -- we haven't agree philosophically on a lot of issues. we have done good stuff for nevada. the public lands act. i want go through all of that. but we did get stuff together. dean heller and i are working through our differences. we have a good relationship. it took am a few months to get
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over the fact that i tried to help shelley berkley. that is ok. we are off and running. he attended my summit at the lake. we are going to continue to do that. we can be as partisan as we need to be. when it comes to nevada relations, we have to work together. >> good morning senator. [inaudible] >> about what? yes. right. >> [inaudible] ,> i believe that that issue
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here it is everybody. americaa tax system in that is unfair to lots of people. since 1982 we have done nothing except make it more complicated and less workable. we had bill bradley that set up -- three different levels of taxation. it was simple. that is gone now. we have programs like this, y companiestually pa for moving jobs overseas. can you imagine that? we want to stop that. we had a vote. the last vote, we couldn't get it out of the senate. i believe that if companies are willing to come back, and a lot
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are coming back because they found that the workers here in america are more conductive. give taxant to do is incentives for companies to move jobs to america. the answer is yes. i believe we will have tax reform. i believe that even prior to doing major tax reform we are going to do something about arersions, where these moved overseas. we did everything we could to humiliate them. they decided not to do it. onwill continue to work that. the president is looking to do administratively what he can. we have a new chairman of the finance committee from oregon. a very bright guy. they seem to beginning along
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well. we will have major tax reform. if we can't, we will do minor tax reform. i don't think this year. it will take a few months. we may get something done on a smaller scale. to do a major tax return is going to take a number of hearings. we can't just lurch out as we have done for the last 20 years. it doesn't work. >> one more question. >> good morning senator. james green. medical marijuana is now a new business coming to the state. >> i can't inhale. [laughter] >> can you speak to the banking and department of justice? >> i think there is nothing to interfere with state and local government with marijuana.
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the attorney general has issued a statement that he is not want to do anything with prosecution. the treasury hasn't but they will. sure it isl, i'm not the great savior of local governments. i don't think there will be revenue. that is my opinion. i'm a believer in medical marijuana. it took me a while to get there. but i am there. we had a county commissioner are, he and his wife had child. he was a good student and went to the university of southern california. during his first year of college she got so sick, his kidneys failed. kidney.donated her that failed. he had another.
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it was a bad situation. someone came to his parents, he was so skinny and he could meet. someone said to him you should have ham smoke marijuana because people that smoke marijuana, one of the side effects is they get ravenously hungry. [laughter] anyway, he'd tried it and was able to eat. that's interesting. i look at so many things. the good presentation made by sanja goop to about the little girl who was so sick and having seizures. 100 a week. with marijuana she'd was able to ingest it. it helped her. i'm a big fan. i think as moving beyond that
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that is -- i don't know. i don't care anymore. problems in the law enforcement field. handled. be ok. [applause] i am so glad to be here. for so many reasons. boulevard,e mead frontier boulevard, all those names. we never hade now, a home here that we owned.
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house ined a magnesium. i had to go the back way through the desert. , we have been together all those many years, i have fond memories of henderson nevada -- henderson, nevada. mind theet out of my first am i really saw her. she was out in front of her car in short shorts washing the car. my wife, every time i see here, you see her dressed as she is very i see her in those shorts. thank you. [laughter] [applause] >> that's it. >> thank you.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] tomorrow, andrew tillman on the role of the defense department encountering the gross of isis in the middle east. then as an fienberg of generation opportunity. that chase hotly at the
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wilderness society looks at the 50th anniversary of the wilderness act. washington journal is live saturday at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> each friday night this month c-span's american history tour travels the country to go to the historic places, people and places that shape the nation. tonight we focus on the civil rights movement. first a tour of the home of medgar evers the civil rights activists that was murdered in 1963. then alabama's role in the civil rights movement from the busboy to 10 years later. after that a look at birmingham, alabama's lyric theater which was partially desegregated. and the race riot in illinois.

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