tv House Session CSPAN January 12, 2015 2:00pm-9:01pm EST
that might be operating and might aspire to carry out acts of violence against westerners or against american interests. >> when you look at developments over the past year -- and to the house now. they will be in for a short week considering suicide prevention programs. also another measure that prevents -- ayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. dear god we give you thanks for giving us another day. as a parent encourages a child or mentor calls forth the hidden potential of an intern lord, our god may you bless all who work as the 114th congress, especially new members.
remove fear and confusion wipe away distrust which only inhibit good judgment and leadership. strengthen the resolve and compassion of all members that they may serve your people with renewed clarity of vision and refined purpose that will soon unify this nation in self-discipline and confidence. the where you reward the just and their deeds. bless all members this day, o god, and be with them and with us all and every day to come. may all that is done be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval theo pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek
recognition? >> mr. speaker pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. save. those opposed, no. mr. hardy: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the aye vs. it. the journal stands approved. >> i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will please rise. is a sufficient number having arisen, -- a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 , further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from new york, mr. israel. mr. israel: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under g, dib, thibtynd justice r all.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: as the granddaughter of italian immigrants i'm thankful our country is always opened to people. however breaking the law to enter the united states should not be redepartment of homeland
security is ready, willing, and able to detect and stop what happened in france from happening here. republicans rather than taking steps to strengthen d.h.s. will take steps to weaken it. they do it by holding the department hostage to their politics on immigration. they'll offer five amendments to politicize the d.h.s. at a time when we needed to be its
professional best. they place their ideological agenda ahead of paychecks. now they are placing their ideological agenda ahead of our frokes. if they want to pass an immigration bill, pass one. if they want to politicize issues do it on another issue, but not the department of homeland security. do not jeopardize the safety of the american people with a political stunt. not this week. after terrorists murdered innocent civilians in france, do not hold the d.h.s. hostage to a political agenda. they are saying that this is a political compromise. i understand political compromise, but the homeland security of my constituents and the american people should never be the subject of a political compromise. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? it mr. wilson: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized. mr. wilson: a majority of americans support building the keystone pipeline to create
jobs and strengthen our energy independence. yet president obama threatens to block this critical project. the most environmentally secure means to transport oil is by pipeline. this pipeline means hundreds of permanent jobs in south carolina's second congressional district where companies like michelin tire corporation in lexington and mtu america in graniteville, produce the earth mover tires and engines for canadian oil sands and development. it reduces gas prices for consumers locally. last week in a bipartisan vote the house passed a bill to approve the keystone pipeline. i hope the president will support the priorities of the american people rather than cater to a generous campaign donor. in conclusion, god bless our troops anti-president by his actions must never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. our sympathy to america's first ally, france, over the terrorist attacks last week.
our solidarity with france is clear. with the portrait of the marquis de lafayette in the house chamber is one of only two portraits in this room. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. ashford: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak about nebraska's independent tradition of governing. in nebraska, we do things a little differently. we have the only nonpartisan unicameral legislature in the nation a body i proudly served in for 16 years as did congressman adrian smith. in lincoln legislators are not bound by parties but the need of their constituents. rather than provide partisan sound bites, they provide solution works through compromise and collaboration. we need more of this tradition in washington and i hope to bring nebraska common sense to
this body. we need to find more ways to come together and solve our nation's problems. the american people do not want dogged partisanship. they want us to work together to get real results that help make their everyday lives better. i have pledged to be an independent pragmatic voice for my constituents to responsibly tackle the difficult issues facing our country and to do so in a bipartisan manner. i hope that my colleagues will follow nebraska's example. thank you, mr. president. i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the colorado state university pueblo timberwolves men's football team and their coach. in their trip to the ncaa division 2 national finals this year, the thunder wolves claimed their first national football championship in school dishistory. they scored off against
minnesota state who were undefeated for the season. with defense, the wolfpack shut out the mavericks by a score of 13-0. before the season began each player got a shirt with wtlg win the last game. mr. tipton: his dream was to win a national championship. now the wolfpack players and coaches can say they are the national champions. the city is proud of the people. mr. speaker i congratulate the people on their outstanding coach for the stellar season and championship. with the coach's leadership and the team's tireless commitment to winning, they captured their first football championship and solidifying the program's legacy of excellence. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from minnesota seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. >> mr. speaker, after last week's horrific attacks in france we are reminded the threat of terrorism is very
real. ms. mccollum:00 the department of homeland security is on the frontline of protecting our nation from terrorist threats. house republicans are using the funding for d.h.s. for political posturing rather than governing. the president has prioritized on how our national security dollars are spent. he focused d.h.s.'s tools and resources on preventing terrorist threats and protecting the american people. republicans continue to play political games with immigration reform and now they are bringing forward a series of amendments to pick a fight with the president. the political games that the republicans are playing with this bill would jeopardize our national security. we need an appropriations bill that ensures that d.h.s. has the resources and tools they need to protect america. we must pass a strong bipartisan homeland security appropriation bill that keeps america safe and protects our country. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition?
>> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. schakowsky: americans watching this debate must be shaking their heads in astonishment. the question on everyone's mind at this moment is are we doing everything we can to prevent a paris-like terrorist attack in the united states? and americans would be right to suppose the republican majority is rushing to finally adequately fund the department of homeland security after they already delayed funding by making it a political football on immigration. but no, it seems the republicans can't help themselves, even when it comes to national security. they can't simply vote for the necessary funding to keep the american people safe. instead, the republicans view this potentially dangerous moment as an opportunity to undermine the president's executive actions on immigration going all the way back to 2011 putting 600,000 young people in jeopardy of deportation and refusing to let
the government prioritize for deportation felons over families. shame on them. we should stop playing games with our national security by defending -- defeating these amendments and passing a clean homeland security funding bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: department of homeland security is about keeping our nation and our citizens safe. just as we fund the military to face threats abroad, department of homeland security does that work to keep our community safe at home. now is not the time to play politics with our immigration laws as if it's a child play. you want to talk immigration let's talk immigration. we have plan. the senate passed a bipartisan plan with more than 2/3 support last session. let's see some ideas about resolving our broken immigration system. the president's step is an
important first step to keep our communities safer by focusing our limited enforcement resources on criminals who represent a threat to our community. do you want to undo that and inted use our resources to go after kids and families rather than criminals? that makes our communities less safe rather than more. let's not play politics with homeland security. pass a clean bill. and tackle the immigration issue. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> i seek nuke to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. buyer: i rise today to raise my concerns about the upcoming homeland security funding bill. the tragedies show how critical it is we keep d.h.s. strong and appropriately financed. mr. beyer: the appropriations package is littered with amendments which would undermine what little progress we have made to our broken immigration system. our family business just lost
one of our most valuable employees. he may have originally come to virginia without proper papers, but in the reagan years he found a way to stay here, raise his family, and open and closed our stores six days a week for more than 20 years. cesar is one small powerful example among millions of new americans who helped our economy grow and kept our democracy strong. he believed there was a long past time for comprehensive immigration reform. i urge the republicans to bring a clean bill without the anti-immigrant amendments to the floor. we need to invest in homeland security. and we need a real conversation about immigration reform. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland seek recognition? ms. edwards: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. edwards: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today because we are just one weekend into this congress and the republican majority promised bipartisanship, especially on
the homeland security, the security of our homeland. yet, oh no, it's politics as usual from republicans. now politicizing the department of homeland security and its important funding at this time when we know around the world and especially in france, which has felt so poignantly what happens if we don't pay attention to security. here they are. and they are mad at the president why? because the president did what other presidents have done taking executive action on immigration. so they are mad at the president and republicans are now going to punish the american people by not protecting our homeland. shame on the republican party for politicizing the department of homeland security. it's time to get to business. the american people expect that. and the republicans if they plan to govern they need to do it, pass clean bill, funding our department of homeland security and taking care of our homeland. this is what the american people expect and it's what the republican party needs to deliver if they want to govern. .
also a 2015 homeland security spending bill. and a look at one of the topics that came up during white house briefing today -- the hacking of centcom. a group affiliated with isis hacking the centcom twitter and youtube accounts. this is how it looked after it had been hacked. the hackers it used the twitter feed to disseminate official u.s. military documents, saying they were stolen classified documents, although many were public and came from sources other than the u.s. military. the group called itself the cyber caliphate, and it appeared to be operating under the auspices of isis. they have yet to tweak any t -- weet -- to tweet any classified
documents. and also the white house says that it erred in not sending a high level u.s. official to the unity rally in paris yesterday. the u.s. was represented by the u.s. ambassador to france. here is a look at the rally. it is about an hour and 45 minutes. >> you can see, people from around the world really on camera at place de la republique. you see president hollande shaking the hand of mahmoud abbas. this has become a symbolic day because in addition to a boss, we have the israeli prime minister. obviously there is a very checkered and troubled past.
they are now side-by-side in paris. and we are seeing a lot of other leaders as well. the head of the european commission of course. working with spain and italy right there. all right. we are going to continue looking at these pictures. and i went to sign off to my colleague who is here with us. he is our european affairs editor, because this is a very european angle to it as well. i want to start with you our nest of -- i want to start with you, ernesto. we have been hearing that there have been meetings. what comes next when it comes to security? >> it is important that the u.s.
eric holder brought a very special message from president obama, to discuss out one can bring security and coordination. the big problem has been, and this has been seen as part of what we witnessed last week -- a failure to share key information between certain countries' intelligence bodies. the fact of the matter is the americans were very much focused on yemen. and therefore they put the two kouachi brothers on a no-fly list. the fact is the french year have been very sort of -- concentrating on north africa in particular. >> and al qaeda. >> and this is again, this whole
important issue about strengthening ties strengthening links, sharing information, making sure that everybody is on the same page. it is difficult, and of course the other issue at hand here is the famine. >> and the editor of "charlie hebdo" was living under police protection. we also have the kouachi brothers on the radar screen of french authorities. still though, french authorities did not catch it. >> is it for sure that the americans did not share the fact that the kouachi brothers were on the no-fly list? >> that seems to be the case. certainly in terms of making sure that there are good lines of communication, the reality is they may have changed -- past that to one individual in one department, but it did not get shared on down the chain.
of english also look at some of the images. >> absolutely. we see the images of leaders their shoulder to shoulder as this unity march is underway. it has been nature dramatic week. hundreds of thousands have showed up and they are doing a unity march across the french capital and they will be commemorating this. chris, what are your thoughts when you see european leaders shoulder to shoulder here? >> european leaders, a lot of them from predominantly muslim
countries. this is nothing to do with islam. it has nothing to do with religion. the individuals who committed these acts are sibley criminals. this is the second time we have seen since the and of the second world war a french president who takes part in a public demonstration. the last time was 1990 when there was a march four the -- for a number of jewish cemeteries in europe. you have the leaders of the biggest european countries -- germany, spain italy, big african countries -- and as we see now, they are starting to march. >> they are starting to march indeed. it is powerful as well, religious leaders. members of the muslim community.
>> members of the jewish community. although i do not like the term community, but remember france has a strong muslim population. 8 million people approximately. 8% of the population. these leaders call on their people to take to the streets around france. it is an active resistance. >> can i just point out -- at this juncture it is extraordinary also that you have the palestinian president and also the jordanian king marching in close proximity, dare i say to one another. again this is what has become problematic about religious differences -- much of it is in the middle east. and it says a lot that these three do visuals are attending. -- these three individuals are attending.
the fact that they are all standing together in close proximity says a lot. that is the whole point about these events. it becomes a bit like group therapy or you have the opportunity to bring together individuals and hopefully have some dialogue. i think we have reached a turning point. >> on a political level as well. i believe the prime minister is somewhere there. you also see the ukrainian president, petro poroshenko. this is not a religious war of course, but it is a very deep conflict between russia and ukraine. maybe something will come out of this. this group of therapy. some would say it is only political. >> it is also very important among themselves. >> it definitely can be a jumping off point, something of
a circuit breaker. >> wherever the wound is, you have to be healed. the question is, where are the scars after the wound? there is no doubt there is an opportunity. there seems to be a major opportunity here. because all of these -- the fact that there are mr. abbas and mr. know it now the same march expressing solidarity shows that france has become important in the discourse, and i think that if you are able to solve in any way the dialogue in reference to the conflict, we begin with this, because this is certainly the reason that isis used this as these starting point for attacking people around the world. >> i think the important thing
about this, michael though -- it could be a >> gesture. what comes afterwards? there is no doubt that today has continued to be an important moment to say enough is enough. hold that thought. you are bringing -- you are looking at pictures of government heads heads of state, marching alongside parisians. hundreds of thousands, if not more than a million. apparently starting their march
a route that will take world leaders as well as ordinary parisians very close to the site of this week's events. the attacks at the headquarters of "charlie hebdo" as well as the kosher store just in the east of paris. we are seeing world leaders, arm and arm, together. angela merkel arm in arm with francois hollande, who is arm in arm himself with the president of mali. mali is a country that has been in the focus for the past two years, fighting the islamic maghreb. the slogan -- je suis charlie on that banner. we are charlie.
which has become a slogan of the week really. as ordinary parisians, they are trying to get a grip on what has been happening over the past couple days or so. we have the president of new share also. we have the president of the european council. he is on the right. >> and marcus, i would add we also saw footage of the families. they were shattered by what happened. they were also in front of the march. very important protest for the
country, for its political task, but also first and foremost for the families of the victims of the cartoonists, of the police officers, and the customers who were killed at the kosher shop on friday. >> obviously the families and friends of the victims have paid the steepest price. >> it is just amazing. on one side you have francois hollande and then you have mahmoud abbas, and then you have benjamin netanyahu. i think that is the money shot, in a sense. that is an extraordinary image for the world to see two individuals who represent two very different points of view the ongoing work in crisis and the middle east, which
unfortunately has pulled over to here in europe and as a result, what we saw last week happened in the streets of paris. it is so directly linked to what we're seeing in european capitals and that sends a clear message. >> i just want to pick up on something that annette said before. that was that the silent majority is finding his voice. as you look at these pictures of world leaders arm in arm, do you think this is going to change something? is there potential for some good coming out of this? >> excellent question. personally, i think there is going to be a lot of trouble for the next two weeks. we are already seeing less in the divisiveness of the french political community, with everything that has been going on with the popular front, and
how marie le pen, depending on how you look at it has been trying to exploit the situation or is being exploited. we do not know what is going to happen. >> the leadermarie le pen says that she was not invited to this rally. therefore, they will not focus on this rally. >> actually, earlier, i said earlier onfrance 24 -- on france 24 that it was crazy not to invite her. it is difficult to know exactly why that happened over the last couple of days. but that is what i feel may happen in the very near future. today, we have many people of different political backgrounds
and what we hope is, as they were saying, this would be a sign of a future talk and dialogue, and i think that france -- i have a bit more confidence in the people of france than i do the politicians of france. >> i want to ask you about that and the reactions of ordinary french people, the international angle of this. the tensions that do exist between the different communities in france, where you have the jewish or christian majorities. or do you think france comes to grips with these tensions that we are seeing with other people? >> think when you see tension that concerns one particular group, even if it is not a representative member of that
group and that person is doing something bad, that whole group is going to be -- we see that in america with the black community. we see that here with the muslim and sometimes the jewish committee. >> do you think that there has been a backlash against muslims? they have been very quick to condemn the attacks. >> in a certain sense, why should we be concerned that muslim leaders condemned what has been done by these two terrorists and france? if it were people of a different faith, we would not be asking religious leaders to condemn that because these people represent a certain faith. i think this goes to the heart of the problem in the muslim community. i think the muslim community feels for the most part they are very much part of france, and then of course a young muslim
woman said i am not going to apologize for what happened at "charlie hebdo," but im going -- i'm going to the rally because i am french. >>therein lies the problem. if the muslim community is considered responsible in france, than the muslim community is going to retrench and say, we did not have anything to do with this. we did not say that. it is how that particular interplay comes through. today, most people who are not muslim and french are seeing there are muslims rallying and expressing support for the french idea, french unity, and i think this will gain some short-term benefits. >> how you prevent the muslim community in france out for attempting -- of retrenching? is
a difficult question, but something we need to discuss. how do we do that best? have we make sure that everyone is on the same page? >> i think part of it has to do with the media. if the media brings attention -- for example in america and france -- the muslim leaders are not condemning. but i know many muslim leaders around the world who are condemning these terrorist attacks every day. there is a huge problem within the muslim world. the muslims feel targeted general, much more than we'll feel targeted in the west. >> the reality is the muslim population globally is very segmented. they do not speak with one voice. i think there is a lot of expectation for some global continuity in what everybody says. >> and that is impossible. >> it is impossible. i think you would agree michael. more is the problem in which
france deals with immigration. and some might argue the whole idea of integration versus the anglo-saxon model of multiculturalism does not really work. the reality of integration is you speak french, you are french. that's enough. but immigrant societies, that is the new vogue, so to speak. like america, like australia like canada. >> i think it is always been a problem for france which has been reticent toward the islamic world in general. ever since the seventh century. eighth century. you have a fear that the muslim world is going to take over europe. you hear that many times and political commentaries, and
france and elsewhere. this is the fear of the islamic world. however, in france, it is never about the actions on the ground. i was speaking yesterday to someone close to the french presidential palace, who was saying they think that we have gone too far in allowing certain activities to take place that perhaps it should have been managed by the administration. that we are talking about two different timetrax. if we are going to somehow integrate the population, and at the same time fight against terrorism, we are talking about measures that mean to be taken
quickly. and that fight is not just a question of security. we spoke several times today how security might have failed and not been on the track of the kouachi brothers. >> we are to stand by for michael. we're going to turn to another guest who is joining as a via skype from the united states. he is at a school in st. louis. i do not know how much you have been able to follow the discussion in paris. but i just want to get a sense of what you think when it comes to have france is dealing with this as a community. do you think that france is doing a job, so to speak, when
it comes to this muslim community? >> i have only heard about five seconds of discussion but i will plunge right in. think it is important to make a distinction between the vast majority of french oil who happened -- french people who happen to be of the muslim faith, many of whom feel like they have not really been accepted as part of the french republic. there was a very recent survey taken in many of these urban centers that show nine out of 10 people living there felt that they were part of france, but they also felt the french people did not think they were part of france. that is an issue that has to do with exclusion, the latter of progress, the discrimination in jobs and other issues for people who feel excluded, no matter what their faith is. that brings me to the second issue, which concerns is smaller
number of people, but still thousands who are being tempted by jihadi recruiters. that calls for other measures. i am thinking much more attention to training chaplains. that includes prison where one of the to do brothers was radicalized. new attempts to ahead of extreme -- four young frenchman and women. these have very different causes. >> i want your thoughts on the pictures we're looking at around the area of place de la republique where the unity rally started. you see them standing by, lining up. they are taking an oath to commemorate -- you see david cameron, the british prime minister there. by him, the spanish prime
minister. then back toward the french president, and angela merkel. you see the turkish prime minister. we do need to make the point that there are also friends and relatives of the victims themselves, also taking part in this rally alongside a lot of muslim leaders. they have come out in force and they have called on supporters to come out and forest just to make the show that the majority of french muslims do not support in any way, ship, or form what is happening throughout the week. what does france need to do to get closer to its muslim population and bring them into society in a better fashion? >> there are no easy solutions. there is a mechanism set up to do that, but they have to -- the
national council of muslim faith is a complete failure at reaching out to people. it has nothing to do with the bass whatsoever. intermediate institutions -- more schools, for example. one of the things that your needs, and i would say especially france, are many more islamic schools that will teach young men in women something about islam that is not just the superficial, radical version. that is one thing. let me mention, a note about the rally. a notable omission there is the national front. i do not know the details. were they not invited? this is the real danger. they are growing on the political stage. if they feel himself to be marginalized, they will lash back and try to take advantage of the situation and regroup
more people to join against immigrants. the average person, they do not distinguish. that is a political factor that exacerbates the problems. >> just as you have been speaking, we have been seeing the french president francois hollande greeting all of the leaders who have come out sunday and paris personally. we saw president francois hollande meeting the nato head, yen so summer, the former norwegian prime minister who was the head of the norwegian government at the time of the shootings back in 2011. perhaps a bit of a déjà vu for him. chris, i know that you wanted to come in here? >> a few things. behind francois hollande, nicolas sarkozy. we forgot to mention that. political archrivals. regarding marie le pen.
she claims that she was not invited, but no official invitations were issued for the parties. she was received by francois hollande last week after the events at "charlie hebdo." fronds up -- francois hollande made it absolutely clear on friday everybody was welcome and said he would guarantee the security of everyone, including marie le pen. this is an enormous challenge for france's police. can you imagine, more than 50 world leaders? it is absolutely clear that a number of socialist leaders, a number of additions would have felt increasingly uncomfortable walking with marienlenpen --
marie le pen. was it she considered persona non grata? that is what she says. is she exploiting this for political purposes? >> john bowen there are so many issues to talk to and discussed as we look at these pictures from the center of paris where the unity march is taking place, but i want to ask you about france's secular tradition. it is completely detached from religion. that is one of the fundamental principles of the fifth republic, as we know it. what does that mean? is it a complicating factor when dealing with these religious communities and everyone on the same page? >> it doesn't have to be. i think the best way is no preference for one religion over another and absence of religion
from the public political sphere. but at the same time, we have voluntary separatism to make sure that those who want to worship have a place to worship. france is a place of religious freedom and often supports religious institutions at the same time it tries to keep a balance in not make institutions part of the public sphere. we have no problem as long as it is enforced in an evenhanded way. there is really no problem with that. in recent years, there have been a number of measures taken. it was really seen by many muslims, probably most women, as
one more insult taken towards them. the effort to keep mothers wearing headscarves from a school outing, it comes up again and again. if there was to be a cessation of these rally -- rather some -- silly symbolic efforts, i do not think muslims would have a problem with that. >> all right, john bowen, i want to thank you very much for being with that. we are going to let you go. let's talk through the pages we are seeing once again on your screen. je suis charlie. "we are charlie." it has been a slogan ever since the attack on charlie hebdo, the magazine on wednesday. holding that the banner is basically a list of french political personalities from the right wing party, prime minister's from sarkozy's former
government and the socialist party as well. side-by-side, shoulder to shoulder in the center of paris. obviously, time and time again hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of the french capital this sunday. we will turn to our reporter who is watching it unfold. on place de la republique. that is the place where the rally started. this is starting to empty now that the unity march is underway? >> not really, there are so many people here. it is impossible for anybody to move really, very little movement. well the international leaders who have come specially for this
republican march in paris seem to have meade their way to the town hall. we will hear very little movement around me. people seem to be moving a given around right in the heart of paris and all are leaving the avenue still, it is extremely difficult and the atmosphere here is festive and there are reports of a different route taken around the cemetery that is to the northeast of paris. it seems there are some people who decided to go into different directions spontaneously because there are so many people here, it shows the success of this republican march. the french authorities wanted as many people as possible in the streets of paris tonight, today to show their opposition to what happened.
to show their solidarity and to pay tribute to the victims of the tragic attack taking place in france since wednesday. it is that the authorities, the government, and the leaders of religious communities have been heard. there really is a huge turnout. hundreds of thousands of people here, carrying slogans such as je suis charlie. vive la france. people on the statue of place de la republique waving flags from all over the world. quite emotional here. a very special moment in the history of france. following the unprecedented attacks the country has suffered. >> you can see it on the pictures, and aerial shot of place de la republique. as you are able to see -- >> you can hear the people cheering.
take a look at this. >> absolutely. take it all in. unprecedented unity at place de la republique. tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people filling the streets of paris. >> looking at all of those boulevards, too. >> i do not think people understand. these are usually full of cars and now they are full of people. >> just to be there and hearing the shouts around you, and now the politicians are probably going to move away from all of this and the people will take over. >> we are also seeing the monument at place de la republique. people have climbed up onto the monument. we are seeing people waving flags, the french flag, the parisian flag, the norwegian flag.
which really tells the story of how many different people from all walks of life in paris have turned out. we've just seen pictures of the mayor of paris, who was wearing a blue scarf and holding the banner. je suis charlie, we are charlie. >> it is -- what michael was saying, people's movements. that spontaneous sort of display. >> since wednesday night. >> i have gone into place de la republique since then and there been people there lighting candles and singing the french anthem and maintaining some sort of vigil. what we have seen is a more organized event, that it is really driven and guided and pushed by the people of paris. it came from the bottom up as opposed from the top down. that is itself -- >> it started with 35,000 people
on wednesday. that was completely spontaneous. >> and the viral hashtag. again social media playing a , very important task these days. >> social media is part of the story on both sides, not only in terms of what it means for french unity but also what it has meant in terms of the vast growth of islamic radicalization. and social media is -- no doubt the connection to the world is giving france the ability to be in the spotlight today around the world and the chance for lots of other people to think about using it. >> and the and the hashtag #jesuischarlie. >> so many american friends of me send e-mails and they do not speak french and --
>> we have all become french. >> some of the people are saying in france, je suis charlie a lot of people used to despise charlie. >> pretty emotional pictures and very moving. these are staff members of "charlie hebdo" and they are currently being hugged by the french president. >> there also publishing a new edition which is likely to have one million copies. >> we've seen french publications closing ranks when it is to help charlie hebdo come out with another french edition and we are expecting one million copies to be printed. to put that in perspective, an ordinary copy or edition would
be printed and run 60,000. >> it will be sold abroad which is extraordinary because it has never happened in that history of the magazine. the other thing that has come out, as well as teaching the world to say "i am charlie" in french. it is to say -- [speaking french] which of course means suburb. the world now sees a different paris. for many, it is the eiffel tower. this has exposed a whole different side and a tale of 2 cities. it is the center of paris, and beyond the place de la republique.
>> it begins with my personal story. the kouachi brothers were part of a group, in northeastern paris and it turns out my son lives next door. and of course, that becomes a very personal story and you realize these guys were fomenting within 400-500 yards from where my son lives. >> in a very picturesque park and the northeast of paris which is also known for attracting many hipsters. >> it was a rundown part of paris and is now one of the trendier parts. it also shows you have the city is changing very fast. it does put charlie hebdo on the map. there is a rich tradition of political cartoons in france. it dates back to the french revolution. i know in other countries, some of the characters -- correctors
-- characters have proven to be controversial and we have to understand here in france, you may love charlie hebdo or hate charlie hebdo, but you respect charlie hebdo, the freedom of speech and publishing cartoons. charlie hebdo was never an anti-muslim newspaper. they would target anyone. in one of their latest issues, they have a very provocative series called the real life of jesus. and they also had cartoons against the jewish leaders. this is really part of the very french tradition of political cartoons and these cartoonists were more than cartoonists. they were journalists. and that is an important thing. when you look at the targets, we had journalists, police officers, and the jews and that sums up the story. >> indeed it does. we have the french president saying the army will protect the jewish sites throughout the city
in the coming months. which is a sad sign. not to mention, there has been a record number of french jews who have emigrated. >> i was going to bring that point out. obviously, we talked about france's relationship to muslim people and we need to look at france's relation to the jewish community. that is a hugely important topic. >> it is interesting. i was based in jerusalem in 2004 when the prime minister ariel sharon, as result of many protests held in paris of which israelis operating during the second intifada called on french , jews to leave france because it was not safe. as a result, he got -- you can see members of the jewish and muslim community. >> you can see the man with the beard, a very popular jewish author.
he has written a lot on islam as well. we have, as you said, jewish clerics and muslim . i am the head of an organization called the pritchett caravan and one of our purposes is a way to create a communication between different cultures. i said one of the most important aspect of that is not dialogue per se, it is a question of giving one's opinion but doing things together. it is accomplishing things together. the fact that we see jewish leaders, muslim leaders, and christian leaders side by side doing something, affirming something on behalf of france
against this hatred, it is no important symbol not only about symbolism, but feeling of togetherness. the speaker who came on earlier said something very important. he said the muslim community here oftentimes feels they are french what the other french or not feel like they are french. i think he is probably correct about that in many ways. the other french people here often feel that the muslims will someday go back home or someday take over france or somehow they are antagonistic to france. >> if you are just joining us, it is just about to turn 4:04 in the french capital.
you are looking at pictures of the streets of paris as hundreds of thousands of people have turned out to take a stand against terror. we are seeing hundreds of thousands of people and dozens of world leaders come to the french capital to commemorate and to remember the victims of this week's attacks. this unity march the east side of paris, friday's hostage siege played out, where 4 hostages were killed near a kosher store and our reporter is standing by. tell us what is happening where you are. >> as you say, a great many people and thousands of people have chosen not go to place de
la republique where this began and decided to come to place de la nation. it is a building momentum and an hour ago, it was quite empty and now lots of people. i've been speaking to one woman that she has come here to express solidarity with the french people. why are you here? >> i am here because i feel strongly. i am french and my family came from all around the world and i do not accept this kind of barbarity, this kind of terrorism, so i feel like all people are in france and europe, asked to come and show we are
not -- we are free. that is why i am here. thank you. >> marcus, many people expressing the same sentiment, here to express solidarity and liberty of expression. as you can hear, there is applause all around the national anthem is sung and flags. momentum of building and we are expecting thousands of more people today. we know the prime minister called at least one million or more. than that is the hope. build momentum slowly but surely here. >> the rally building momentum area they east of paris, we can expect this to go on for a few hours. while the distance between the places is about three kilometers, to move these people
on foot will take quite a pretty long time. rochelle ferguson, thank you. we will come back at this rally gets closer to where you are. once again, look at these pictures. >> it is well organized and had to be put together on an ad hoc basis. many of these people do not know exactly what they are doing. >> the reality that in the security measures, you cannot expect those people to move forward within a short period of time. i think they will stay put. i cannot stress it enough. this is an area of paris which is normally full of traffic, normally would take two minutes to go, if you are lucky, by cab from place de la republique to nation, but look
at that shot. there is a second alternative route. >> a number of routes and there are 2 main routes. logistically, it is very difficult. >> they shut down all the metro stations in their precinct around lunchtime today. people had to walk in order to get to the start of the route. >> it a very traditional route demonstrated in paris, like in 2003. two very symbolic squares with the statue with the three words. and, of course, the square of the french nation. so many people, i cannot remember seeing. it is interesting, the most recent demonstrations were a year ago and these were very
polarizing and decisive demonstration against gay marriage. today, we see a completely different story. something that clearly and visibly unite. >> french people, the french people are used to turning out in larger numbers as we are seeing today. >> another important word for people to learn -- we hear it a lot. >> it is a march. >> it is a rally. it crosses boundaries and communities. on what you are saying, if you went down there instead of talking to individuals on gay marriage, you get a diverse selection of views. this is one thing that, as i keep saying, the silent majority have finally found a voice.
>> it to the glory of france because of these incidents this past week, is being sure to every country on earth today. many countries, showing live or special reports are made on it. what are the people of the world seeing? they are seeing a defiance against terrorism, which is something in america we do not feel so concretely as the french are showing right now. it was unclear. certainly, there is very little effort to bring the muslim community into that discourse at that particular time after 9/11. we are also seeing kind of an identification of europe, most of the leaders are from europe of countries very attached to your either because of colonial ties or conflict. we were told by israel and palestinian territory. we are talking about areas where there are limited to europe
because the recent pasts where there been terrorist activities and where france has become a big player. >> as we watch the rally take place, it is good to see we actually have a little bit of a happy ending after a difficult week at the french capital. we need to say there is an investigation underway when it comes to the attacks this week. for more now on what the investigators will be looking into what they should be looking into, a professor in security and crime science at the university college london and he is with us on the phone. thank you very much for being with us. first of all, were you surprised to see these attacks play out in paris this week, or was it when certain extent to be expected seeing the threat levels would've all been living under to some extent over the past few years?
>> that is right. over the past few months, we have seen a far greater risk of these types of attacks coming through. where as in the last year most have been willing to go on jihadist attacks, most of them have wondered to travel where they have gone to do their jihad. more recently, you have the sort of strategic leaders saying stop coming over here. that is why we have seen small attacks and the united states have prevented in the u.k. and this latest attack in france. >> do we know anything about the networks or we know something about the networks, but how much do we know? the investigation into the attack of the kouachi brothers
seems to be focusing more on yemen and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. how much do we know about these networks and what they may be planning or may or may not be planning? >> we know from previous cases that these guys in yemen, has encouraged individuals to go into terrorism within in the west. there was the plot in december 2009 where an individual tried to detonate an ied on an airplane destined for detroit. the ied did not work. but it would've caused a great number of fatalities. there was a religious leader associated with the group in yemen, al-awlaki, who had, until he was recently killed in a drone attack, called for attacks in the west. he was a sort of very
charismatic figure. a lot of these individuals sort of downloaded his lectures and radicalized and things like that. >> now, paul, is it possible to stop these kinds of attacks from happening? we have been talking about it here in the studio. french police, they were watching "charlie hebdo." the staff of "charlie hebdo" were under police protection. and the intelligence services also kept tabs on the kouachi brothers, it has turned out. saying that, it was impossible nonetheless to stop these attacks from happening. the question is, can you stop them from happening? >> ok, well, i think there are a few things that need to be addressed. it is an incredibly difficult job to detect and prevent these guys ahead of time simply because there are so many individuals who hold a degree of danger.
so how do you predict the one or two or three individuals who are going to turn that into violent action? that is the difficulty. in the moment in france, there are an estimated 200 individuals that have spent time in syria and have returned to france. so following one individual for 24 hours around the clocks takes 20 members of staff. it is an incredibly difficult job that these guys have to keep on top of everybody. now, what is intelligence agencies do is very similar to what happens in an accident in an emergency -- in a hospital, where you have a lot of people aa lot of people are at risk and you need to sort of triage who needs the most attention who needs the sort of quickest medical attention and when. to make those decisions, they rely on fragments of intelligence that are put in front of them.
now, "the mail" newspaper has had a story about the areas where the brothers had lived. it turns out that a neighbor had grown suspicious about the individuals, broke into the apartments, and found a cache of weapons. when he broke into the apartment, the brothers had found him, basically threatened to and told him not to tell the police. without those fragments of information, the intelligence community would have acted. they are acting with their hands behind her back. simply because there are too many people who need to be looked at. >> paul, a question that has been raised is the fact that the americans had put the two kouachi brothers on a no-fly list, wherear the violence on them had somewhat been reduced in recent years. obviously, this is the question of sharing information. do think this is going to likely
to improve in light of what has occurred? >> a common thread happens in the aftermath where parliamentary reports is on the intelligence failings. and the number one recommendation, every single time is, we need to communicate more. some of those communcations objections are transnationally but sometimes it could be between communicating between different parties, police, mental heatlh services, and so on. so i think that is key. i think a lot of times when we look at these cases, all of the information is there. but it just hasn't been knitted together and centralized in one area. but communication is key.
>> ok, paul from the university of london, i want to thank you for being a part of our coverage. we are getting some information from the asp news agency that at least half a million people have turned up in the streets of paris this sunday. you can see that information at the bottom of your screen there. this, as we're looking at pictures from the location where this unity rally started this sunday. just a little bit more than an hour ago. obviously, there are a lot of people there and perhaps somebody there who was feeling a little bit poorly, by the looks of it. as that person is being taken away, obviously, there are a lot of people in the plaza the sunday. only natural that that would happen. we are now going to go live to one of our reporters who is following all of this. my colleague mark owen is at a
location overlooking place de la republique, i believe. mark, talk us through what you are seeing. >> marcus, thank you very much. let me just tell you that my camera meant, david, and i have been invited up to a fourth floor apartment of a family here who is pleased to help, please to be a part of this historic event. we show you the images. it is a remarkable crowd. at some point, it is starting to thin a little bit, but what that kind of means is that the other side of what we're going to show you now is completely jammed. there are people that only are for about a kilometer. i think there's something like 500,000 -- maybe a little conservative. let me tell you about the mood here. it has been, well, multinational
maybe the best way to say it. but everyone crying out -- "long live 'charlie.'" a lot of people here saying "je suis 'charlie.'" things moving extremely slowly over here, as spontaneous applause+ breaks out, as you may be able to hear, every now and then. but normally, if you know paris, you know that it is packed full of traffic normally. the world's press is set up in one section. you've got the leading voices, i suppose, chanting on the statue in the middle. and on the other side, as you can possibly see, the mass ranks of people carrying flags -- i can see ukraine, canada, turkey, as well. most of all, you can see the tricolor flag of france. >> thank you very much, indeed.
i know you will be continuing to follow from your vantage point. i don't know if you are able to spot -- he is also there. we're going to go live to him now. clovis, talk us through what you are seeing. >> as mark was saying, you have the avenues filled with people. it was supposed to start from place de la republique. people are moving, but extremely slowly. security was the utmost concern because of that converges of so many international leaders. and also because of the shared numbers of people. there are reports now of 500,000 people in the streets of paris
it could be more. we know there are at least 5000 policemen deployed around inside paris, all around place de la republique, it should be about 2200 policemen. at least 150 policemen undercover, taking care of these heads of state, heads of state who come with their own security. i can tell you we have also seen helicopters fly above the place de la republique and it areas around place de la republique. we have been told by the ministry of interior there are snipers on the roof just in case something would happen. in place de la republique, people are slowly moving, but it will take time, given the amount of people who are here who wanted to be part of this historic moment, this republican march. it's rather emotional for the french.
on place de la republique, on the statue, you have demonstrators, french people some of which are of north african descent, who are waving flags. they are chanting with the crowd, saying "who are you," and the whole crowd singing back "we are 'charlie.'" people in the statue saying terrorists are murderers. there's a group of young people saying "we are french," "we are muslim," and we want to show our solidarity. clearly the muslim community wants to show the world that the french muslim community has no links with the extremist and carried out these unprecedented attacks on french soil. france has the largest muslim community, so this was a serious
issue. a lot of observers and experts a lot of french people were worried that these recent attacks would only increase tension between communities. while this republican march is designed to prove the opposite to show the world that france's united, and there's a real sense of solidarity, a real wave of solidarity that started right after wednesday's attack on "charlie hebdo's" headquarters. i witnessed these rallies, people with candles and banners, singing, chanting, and this is the continuations of those rallies. clearly, and emotional moment for the french. i'm from place de la republique, and i've never seen as many people, not even when france one the first world cup.
>> one could say this is a more important event in comparison to even the victory of the french side in the 1998 world cup. we have been seeing people filing past, behind clovice. this is turning into a slow events, hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of paris. it can only be the tip of the iceberg in some respects. we are getting reports from all around france that hundreds of thousands of people have turned out in the french cities basically across the nation. i'm looking at one line here from authorities in marseille. more than 60,000 people turned up in marseille. around 200,000 people have turned out. we are getting news from bordeaux in the southwest of france. there, more than 100,000 people have turned up. i'm just receiving another line
now from the afp news agency that altogether, discounting paris on this day, more than 600,000 people have come out across this nation to basically express their disgust with these attacks that have been playing out this week. and to basically come out and defend it liberty, and the principles like freedom of the press. we can now go to the studio, following events as they develop online. as we have been discussing shawna, this has turned into a social media story from a certain perspective. "je suis 'charlie'" has become a popular hashtag. talk us through what you are seeing and hearing. >> in addition to the hundreds of thousands people all over france, and in paris, there are even more who aren't here who
are behind their computers, on their smartphones, that are tweeting at uploading things. let's start with a hashtag, one of the most popular in france as we speak. we have 100 hashtags coming in every 30 seconds. a lot of photos of the demonstration. we've got someone saying i don't think i've seen so many people gathering to march for something. many people in other countries using that hashtag. the "je suis 'charlie'" hashtag was rumored to become the most popular in history. unfortunately, that's not true but it has been used more than 5 million times since the attack. there's another one that has
been a rallying call in recent days, following 'je suis 'charlie,'" and it's "je suis ahmed." he was a french and muslim police officer killed. as users that i might not agree with what you have to say, i will fight to protect your right to say it. that is the spirit behind the "je suis ahmed" hashtag. one of the thing that many people continue to be upset about is the content of the cartoons that were published on "charlie hebdo." they are not met unanimously even though many people are recognizing that free speech they still upset people. >> i have heard people saying, i don't agree with "charlie
hebdo," and i don't agree with what they have been doing in their cartoons, but i can't support them and their right to put them out. >> exactly. i have chosen three of the "charlie hebdo" cartoons that were very controversial when they came out. the one of the left in pink, you have the prophet mohammed, "can't deal with the fundamentalists," and he says "it's hard to be loved by idiots." the one of the middle, "charlie hebdo" as a person, making out. "love is stronger than hate." the third one is the prophet mohammed saying -- a muslim elite, saying "100 lashes if you are not dead laughing." >> there's also a lot of focus when it comes to this march on the international leaders present. there are dozens and dozens of them. >> a lot of people are surprised by some of them, especially, and
their presence there. this photo has been making the rounds, it's president francois hollande, who is comforting angela merkel, she looks quite distraught. there is another photo making the rounds, it is not a photo as much as the cartoon that has the international march, all of these hundreds of people in line marching along. you have their force, their determination towards this breaking the guns in front of them, pushing them away the trigger and the guns right there, and that's another strong image. >> is important to note that "charlie hebdo" has been mocking, putting out cartoons of a lot of political leaders as well. it's not only the prophet mohammed that has been satirized.
we've also seen cartoons of francois hollande, a lot of cartoons of him. >> is important not to forget that. let's move on to a "slate" article, the french version of "slate." there's an article here that takes a look at the reporters without borders report looking at freedom of expression around the world. it says a lot of the leaders of the country's present are not the best at freedom of speech back home. among the countries where the situation is difficult, we have this map here. this is a reporters without borders map. it's in french, but as you can see white, good situation. it goes all the way down to very serious. >> the message means that white means good, black -- >> the colors are controversial. let's take a look at the leaders
present today. you have this map, and among the countries present, there is the united arab emirates, greece gabon, and israel. the situation is difficult in those countries. you have somewhere as you say, the marker is black. we're is very difficult where it is very difficult according to reporters without borders. we have representatives from mali, jordan, russia, and turkey. >> we turn now to the "je suis 'charlie'" phenomenon. the hashtag has spread enormously across the world in the past few days or so. >> it even a smartphone app. in the last few days, "je suis charlie,'" you can download it
for free on the apple app store. it was paid for in part by apple, who put it really together, it's a very simple act. you upload it on to your phone. >> you brought the application. >> you open the phone, you open the application, and basically you upload your location on to a map. it shows you the map of all the other "je suis 'charlie'" people who have uploaded. it has 11,700, it only came out of data. it's around the world. if you move the map around, if it loads, i looked earlier, in western europe, we had some. >> what is the most popular twitter hashtag? >> i looked at that. i think it is "lo.l," very basic. there's an article that is very timely in my opinion, especially
for news channels they can always get in touch with people on the ground or even people on the ground at the demonstrations who can't find each other, how do you find people when you were in a sea of people? this article on this website talks about fire chat, which is a messaging system that doesn't use the internet. if you remember, fire chat was what was used in hong kong. the umbrella movement. the second piece of advice the article has is not to use the 3g networks if you can, avoid that, going on to 2g networks or even the 4g networks will have less peoplek, so that will probably help you communicate with the right people. >> every newsroom needs one of those for a reporters. >> thank you for talking this through what's happening online and what's happening on social media. as you have been speaking, but just been told that we had been in touch with the interior
ministry to hear a little bit about what they say about the number of people who have turned up here in paris and elsewhere. they are telling us at this hour they simply don't have any estimates of this point how many people might actually have turned up due to the fact that they are overwhelmed when it comes to accounting. that really tells you the story this sunday, as we are looking at these pictures of paris, the french capital, coming out in full force after what has been a pretty horrific week in the french capital. that almost feels like an understatement. hundreds of thousands of people are taking part in this unity march. how many hundreds of thousands of people we simply cannot tell you at this stage due to the fact that it is so difficult and there are so many people out there walking this sunday. as you can see, the boulevards streets, completely rammed with people.
let me just tell you so you understand what you're looking at, these are streets and boulevards where cars usually dominate. these are streets that are usually packed when it comes to vehicles. now they are packed with people today. people holding up the banners like "je suis 'charlie,'" as you can see, on the left side of the screen. basically, people coming out in full force to express their contempt for what has been happening in france. remember, 17 people have been killed in three different attacks in the french capital this week. on wednesday, of course, we saw 12 people being killed in and around the offices of the french satirical paper "charlie hebdo." then on thursday, we saw a policewoman killed in the south of paris in the suburbs. then on friday, we saw four people killed in a hostage drama that played out in a kosher store just on the eastern fringe of the french capital.
on top of that, the attackers themselves, three men, were also killed by security forces in their respective standoffs with security forces. we are now going to cross and told to our reporter rachelle ferguson, who is standing by at place de la nation. rochelle, talk us through what is happening where you are are. >> place de la nation is filling up. it's turned into a huge thing. plenty of different banners as
well, "je suis 'charlie'" which has become a universal symbol. but equally, lots of cartoons around. equally calls for the liberty or freedom of expression to be respected. if i can just turn to speak to one of the people here who has joined the march, tell us why you joined today. >> i came here because here, today, the french are sad. but is not only the french, it's the world. no religion, nothing, we are human. we are talking about liberty of expression, but that's not the true subject. the true subject is the terrorism in the world. now they attack france, they attacked europe, london, everything. and i think this is the beginning and everyone has to realize we have to be ready for that. and that we have to -- >> thank you very much.
it's an incredibly emotional day here, people swelling with emotion, wanted to express their solidarity with france and saying they are refusing to be silenced by terrorism. we have moments of silence followed by clapping. the french national anthem being sung sporadically. really, quite an emotional time here currently. >> rochelle ferguson there at place de la nation. there's a cartoon that was making the rounds after this week, a cartoon of the famous gallic character, and he said while punching in his own special way, his enemy, he said
"je suis 'charlie'" -- which notes how popular this has become. the octogenarian cartoonist who has been drawing that cartoon came out of retirement to draw that cartoon that you just saw their during that segment with rochelle ferguson from nation. >> i can't help but notice that in looking at these glorious images, just how amazingly resilient the french are. let's just put this in perspective. four days ago, to terrorist burst into charlie hebdo, killed 12 people, and then went on the lam.
in the next two days, we had all of france fixated on watching whether or not these guys were going to be caught. that same afternoon, two days ago. the people are not showing much fear noting that they cannot be protected very well. the french authorities seem cognizant of that. and yet, this defiance -- it's not just definance. it's much more than that. it's kind of song. it's a kind of song that says not only "we are 'charlie,'" but "we are france." >> i can tell you there is still thousands of people here at place de la republique in paris, despite the cold weather despite a bit of rain earlier, thousands are still here. at place de la republique, on the statue, those who have climbed on the statue at place de la republique are still
chanting. we've had the french national anthem and the usual slogans we've been hearing for the past two days ever since the attacks were carried out against "charlie hebdo," these satirical organization on wednesday. "je suis 'charlie," liberty, liberty. the crowd doesn't want to leave. there are hundreds of thousands of people all across paris demonstrating their love for freedom of speech, and their love for the values that are so characteristic of france liberte, egalite, fraternite. those three words were pronounced by a lot of people here regularly. everyone has come here was something, with a banner, with the poster, with a special flag, with the flag from their country of origin or from france obviously.
still a lot of people here. this has clearly been a special day for the french people. here, you don't just have parisians, you have got people from other parts of france as well as others who wanted to be here. earlier, i spoke to the publisher of the cartoonists who were killed in the attack against "charlie hebdo." he was emotional, he said it was an emotional day for him. he says he believes that they continue, and that charb would be proud to see this. he also said this is very much about freedom of the press and freedom of speech. that is why obviously, people were showing pencils, waving pencils up in the air. a very special day. it seems that it has been a mass turnout with hundreds of thousands, we are talking about possibly more than a million now presumably, according to the latest reports, turning up at this republican march.
it's very much a success. >> indeed. reporting from the place de la republique in central paris. as he was speaking, we're just getting through one line from the afp news agency. it is reporting more than one million turned up in marches, in french towns outside of paris. that is something we have seen throughout the day as well. we spoke at the unity march in paris, that's only the tip of the iceberg as we have seen hundreds of thousands of people coming out in cities across the country, like lyon. once again, you are looking at pictures from the place de la republique and the monument to the center of that square as people have come out of the thousands. you have also been seeing, as you have been seeing those pictures, dusk is starting to descend on the french capital, but the crowds are nonetheless still going strong.
i just want to bring in annette, and talk about how can this be prevented, these attacks. we heard from the interior ministers, we've seen european union interior ministers meeting this sunday as well. could you talk us through what came out of it? >> we are starting to get a few bits and pieces of what emerged from that meeting. i think the most important thing is what i said at the start of the broadcast, there will now be a global summit in washington, with america and its allies. dealing with the question of how to fight terrorism. a couple things we talked about today, strengthening european borders, that is a problem. you have the whole point of it being allowing freedom of movement. how do you ensure security for your citizens, while at the same time allowing freedom of movement from other parts of
europe? that something needs to be addressed and no doubt in the next weeks and months will be talked about along with sharing information about passengers on airlines. we have been talking about this over and over. information and communication, the need to share. and how freely that information is being shared. and where do issues of sovereignty come in and where do they not. i think the whole point of this episode in paris this week is that it resonated across the world. it comes in the wake of, albeit, slightly different, but similar attacks in canada and australia. we saw in england that horrendous scenario where a british soldier was attacked. this is becoming overwhelming international issue. it obviously affects jurisdictions. it affects the sharing of information. there is the need for some sort of global shared effort to work together. there has been a lot of talk
about this in recent years. we've seen that in the wake of 9/11. but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. >> from france, in other words i'm trying to understand how those measures would have dealt with the problem that we had in france. >> in the fact with the americans put them on a no-fly list, and obviously, as we were saying earlier, quite really coming off to have priorities. one can only do so much. a lot of the priority has been in north africa, and not so much in other parts the world. it's a matter of greater coordination between these various intelligence issues. and no doubt the reason why this summit has been called. >> do you think these attacks could provide the impetus to make progress when it comes to intelligence sharing and sharing information?
>> i think it will. there must be advances. they will remain a residual domestic issues. these people were french. they didn't come from someplace. >> but they had traveled abroad. >> here's the question. let's say the french police knew all of that. you can't arrest someone saying i think you are going to commit a crime tomorrow. the french policemen were quoted as saying it would put someone under surveillance, for every one of them, it takes 20 of us to put them under surveillance. you can't do that. there's always going to be a difficult issue of providing civil liberties. >> and resources. >> with the need to prevent this kind of thing. and intelligence is part of it. i tend to think the most important thing in addition to intelligence is to develop a dialogue with the various communities so that the communities no longer are places
that these people can hide a developed. if you look at new york, my hometown, new york cut by 90% the number of murders that have taken place in new york. in 10 years or 12 years, that was because of policing. it was mostly because the police went out of their way to develop relationships with the communities. they are hearing from the communities what's going on they listened. as much as anything else particularly in france, we have to see more of that. >> just to talk more about one point, do you think that in the name of civil liberties, we're just going to have to accept that some of these attackers will slip through the cracks? >> it's always going to be a balance. but what i'm seeing is people are more tolerant with losing their civil liberties. people get used to the idea that there are cameras wherever we go. we are losing our civil liberties. people are aware of that to some degree and tolerant of it. there has to be a dialogue there has to be transparency. we have to be aware of what we are doing.
the people who lead have to talk to everyone else so there's a consensus behind it. >> frederick davis, thank you. you are a lawyer from a law firm here in paris. apologies if i in any way mangled that name, once again. thank you. thank you very much. we are going to turn now to our reporter rochelle ferguson. she is that place de la nation. she's been meeting with people who have been coming out today people who say it's basically their duty to come out and to protest, and to take part in this rally. rochelle, talking through what you are seeing hearing at the moment. >> it's pretty chilly out here at the moment. that was important as it's not stopping anyone at all. the gloves are coming on, the
hats are coming out, and the place de la nation is absolutely packed. we have been talking a lot about the important figures who have been showing their respects today. we are seeing a lot of smaller groups representing certain communities who have come down today, again, to share this solidarity and respect for the victims of the attacks over the last few days. let's be to one of them now. you are part of the syrian community here in france. what brought you down today? >> "charlie" represents us. we have been fighting for four years in syria for all types of freedom in syria. we have been paying a blood for four years in syria. that is why today we came out to
support "charlie" is it supported us. we printed all the cartoons they have printed during the last four years, starting with this cartoon in 2011. we printed them, we said we are syrians, we are "charlie" as well. "we are 'charlie,'" and "charlie" is for freedom. we are syrian, we exist in this world, we have people who are suffering in syria who are being killed and tortured. we have our kids in lebanon, refugees who are dying in the snow in syria, no one is talking about them. we said that as well. there have been many "charlies" in syria. just to deliver our voices well, to support "charlie" and the freedom of expression. >> thank you. marcus, as we are hearing, everybody feeling concerned, feeling worried about what we have seen in paris over the last few days. different communities here, but the message and the idea behind
today's march, absolutely, unequivocally, is the same -- solidarity in france. >> thank you, very much. rochelle ferguson, for now. i know you will stay there at nation despite the cold. as we are seeing dusk descending on paris, we turn now to peter gumbel, a "time" magazine journalist joining us on the line. peter, let me just put to the question i put to all of our guests in the past three hours or so. what your reaction is to the massive turnout of the streets of paris this sunday? >> this is the first march i have ever been on in my life where the crowd applauded the police helicopters overhead. the atmosphere was electric, marvelous. what was interesting was we had
four or five days now of fairly heated debate about free speech, and whether it should have limits, where these killers came from, how they ended up becoming killers, about integration in france, and all these issues. what happened at the march today, all of that was forgotten. it all boiled down to -- here we have fundamental values of france which are under attack. and the silent majority took to the streets and said, stop we want our france back. it was a very emotional rally. very calm, but very determined. i think tremendously impressive. it will be interesting to see if the politicians can now take it to the next step and capitalize on this mood of unity and determination and move ahead with the measures that will be more effective in terms of dealing with the terrorism threat. >> there is something we're discussing in the studio.
we have been talking about the issue of whether or not this unity will remain. what do you think of that, after having been in the streets of paris this sunday? do you think that this national unity will remain in place? will it continue? >> everyone has coalesced around the idea that the fundamental freedom, of fundamental liberty, a fundamental principle, like a national identity is under threat. it's a very powerful moment frankly. i think it's right to question whether the political leadership is strong enough and smart enough to be able to move forward. you have nasty undercurrents in french society. you have islamophobia, you have virulent anti-semitism. you have to call that down a deal with that, try to deal with
that, get the commumities involved, that's the next step. the other next up is to what extent do civil liberties take a hit as the police and security apparatus try to focus on who these people are and where the next dangers might lie. >> when it comes to the biggest point you were making, obviously, there are fears this is going to lead to a backlash among france's -- or for france's muslim community. did you see any trace of that in the streets of paris today? >> on the contrary. there were quite a few muslims out there, people holding banners that said "i am jewish," "i an muslim," "i'm ahmed." that's the name of the policeman who was killed. it was very clear from what i can see that this was much more about the nation as a whole
rallying around a great ideal of free speech, and i didn't detect any malice at all in the crowd. that was one of the things that made it feel-good rally, frankly. >> peter gumbel, thank you very much. it's been interesting to hear your viewpoints and your experience from today's massive rally. michael, what do you think of what we just heard? >> the only other time of experienced in france that felt like today is the revolution rose. when everything seemed to be very optimistic and positive there was a change in society. i feel that we are possibly looking at a sea change of society. politicians are going to take notice of this, for two reasons. personally take notice because
it's a political message. as peter was just saying, the french people are saying we want this. we want this unity. we want this ability to move forward. we want to feel positive about our nation. on the other side, it's also a message against radicalism. in other words, if the western countries can rally around this message, this sends the ability -- this sends a message to the terrorists that they cannot succeed. number one. number two, it sends a message of hopefulness on the part of the young people who may be influenced by the terrorists that they might have a place in society in the western world which is a big part of the problem. >> that there is an alternative. >> yes, that there is an alternative. it would be too naive to say this is all going to change is because of a rally in france on a sunday in january. but it certainly is the right
kind of message that we don't hear very much from the western world. >> michael, stand by for us. we are going to take a look at these pictures once again. as we are seeing once more, tens of thousands of people in the streets of paris, and i've made the point before, but i think we need to bring it up again, how this is only the tip of the iceberg. as we are hearing from lyon, france's second or third biggest city, we are hearing that 300,000 people were there about some turned up in lyon, in the city. just to put that into perspective, that is around 1/4 of the city's population. we're also hearing from other french cities, similar stories. marseille, thousands of thousands of people. i'm also seeing tens of thousands of people turning up in other european capitals like vienna.
there are reports of 18,000 people turning up, similar story in berlin, the german capital. this is obviously an international movement at this stage. we are going to turn to our reporter at place de la republique. tell us what is happening where you are, what you are hearing from the participants of this rally and what they are saying. >> it is an important day for everyone here in france. you have all the religious communities here for this republican march. i'm joined by a rabbi. thanks for being with us. rabbi, you knew extremely well one of the victims, one of the men who was killed on the attack on the supermarket. you were also in close contact you still are, with his family. can you tell me, do you think
this type of march with so many people turning up to pay tribute to the memory of those victims can help in any way the family of that person you know who was killed? >> i was walking a few hours ago, we were working hand in hand with jewish leaders am a christian leaders, arab leaders, and of course, politicians walking together, and affirming the strong message of not just solidarity and unity, "je suis 'charlie,'" without any fear. [no audio] my father is the chief rabbi and the director of a jewish school. it is still operating today. there's a message we heard from the family. [no audio] you did to be proud of jews. you have always wanted jews to be able to keep -- [no audio]
as traditional jews do. [no audio] -- in a muslim, islamic country. you should be able to go to synagogues, to have lunch, breakfast, dinner, with his wife and children on a restaurant on place de la republique without any fears. >> tell me, do you think this type of march, this huge turnout will bring communities together in the wake of this tragedy? >> there is unity today in france. as the prime minister has said when a jew was attacked, the republicans attacked. it's not a problem of jews, arabs, traditions -- regions it's a problem with society. jews were the first target. the nation chose today
solidarity, to an open society to our freedom of speech freedom of expression, freedom of religion. we have spoken with jewish leaders and authorities the past few days. today, once again, the security should be strengthened in front of jewish schools, synagogues, and all places where there are gatherings of the people. today, we need a tolerant society, people should be able to recognize that there is one god in this world, as well as breach openness and that intolerance. do not any extreme was in -- not any extremism or fascism. >> people were here in paris for this march. >> i'm very proud that european leaders were here today, worldwide leaders today from the arab world or from other countries, from ukraine that were present today. whoever wanted to join this march, join this march.
it's a very important signal of unity, but most importantly, not just the leaders are marching, but the actions that they follow. >> what do you think about benjamin netanyahu's comment when he called french jews to return to israel? >> as long as their jews today in france, they should be able to live their judaism openly fairly, and in security. this is the priority of the french government, it's the jewish leaders in france today to make sure the jews can be proud jews in their society, whether it the friends -- in france, europe, or anywhere in the world. >> rabbi, thank you. have you seen a message of tolerance and unity today with this republican march, a strong message of peace of course. >> thank you. we had some issues with the audio, but we chose to stay on it since it was so interesting to hear from the rabbi.
to bring you up-to-date with what you are watching, you are watching a unity rally in the streets of paris was hundreds of thousands of people marching around the french capital. following what has been a difficult week to say the least for the french capital. we are getting some figures now which of an aggregated by the news agency ap -- afp. they are reporting that more than 2.5 million people have come out against terror crossed -- across this nation in different cities, including paris, marseille, just to mention a few cities that we are getting reports from regarding the attendance of these unity rallies.
>> the u.s. ambassador to france did attend the protests, but press secretary josh earnest said today, it is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile. secretary of state john kerry was on a planned trip to india. he will be visiting france later this week. the house floor gavel in at 5:00 eastern time, debating to bills one that would require yearly reports on the v.a., and another measure that exams local governments from having to provide health insurance coverage for volunteer first responders. we will have live coverage of the house on c-span when it cavils in. president obama proposing stronger laws on identity theft, requiring notification when consumer information is hacked providing free access to credit scores, and protecting student data. he's expected to bring that up in the state of the union speech next week. he outlined the plan at the ftc
today. he spoke for about 20 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you, everybody. have a seat. thank you. thank you for your introduction. as was mentioned, edith and i go a long way back. in law school, we served on "the law review" together. i will not say who edited who. i will say she looks exactly the same and i do not. [laughter] that's upsetting. edith, in your career, you have stood up for citizens in communities. i was proud to nominate you first as a commissioner and then as chairwoman of the ftc. you are doing an outstanding job, as are your fellow commissioners. we appreciate your outstanding efforts.
anita's story, from the daughter of mexican immigrants to the head of the ftc, we see a central part of the american story. that is worth remembering at a time when those are issues we are debating all the time. it is a reminder that what makes this country special is the incredible talent that we draw from all around the world, and somehow, it all merges into something unique, america. to edith, to the fellow commissioners, to all of you who work at the ftc, thanks for welcoming me. i'm told that i may be the first president to come to the ftc in nearly 80 years, since fdr in -- [applause]
the first time apparently since fdr in 1937, which is a little surprising. you would think one of the presidents would come here by accident. [laughter] maybe they ended up in the wrong building. where are we? we are in the ftc. i figured it was time to correct that. plus, i know sometimes your name confuses folks. they don't always understand what your mission is. one person who does understand is david letterman. a few months ago, he thank you for standing up to the companies who were trying to pitch a new weight loss product caffeine-laced undergarments. i am actually not making this up. [laughter] you ruled that these products were not substantiated by scientific evidence. thank you for saving america
from caffeine-laced undergarments. these companies owed consumers a refund. that was just the latest example. edith said you recently celebrated your 100th anniversary. i want to thank you for 100 proud years of protecting american consumers. i want to thank some of the members of congress here today and many of our partners from nudges government but the private sector and consumer privacy and advocacy groups. next week, just up the street, i will deliver the state of the union address, and it will be a chance to talk about america's resurgence, including something we can be proud of, which is the longest stretch of private-sector job growth in american history, 58 straight months with more than 11 million jobs. [applause]
in this speech i'm going to focus on how we can build on that progress and help more americans feel that resurgence in their own lives through higher wages, rising incomes and a growing middle class. it turns out i've only got two years left. i tend to be impatient. i didn't want to start for the state of the union to share my plans. i have been rolling out some of the ideas we will be talking about, a little bit of a sneak preview. in the 21st century, in this dizzying age of technology and innovation, so much of the prosperity that we seek, so many of the jobs we create, so much of the opportunities that are available for the next generation depend on our digital economy. it depends on our ability to sewage -- search and shop and create and discover and learn online in cyberspace. as we have been reminded over the past year, including the
hack of sony, this extraordinary interconnection creates enormous opportunities, but also creates enormous of vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy and for individual families. this week, i am laying out some new proposals of how we can keep seizing the possibilities of an information age while protecting the security and prosperity and values we all cherish. today, i'm focusing on how we can better protect american consumers from identity theft and ensure our privacy including for our children at school. tomorrow at the department of homeland security, i will focus on how we can work with the private sector to better defend ourselves against cyber attacks. on wednesday in iowa, i will talk about how we can give communities faster and cheaper access to broadband so they can succeed in the digital economy. i want to start here at the ftc.
every day, you make sure that americans, their hard-earned money, and their privacy are protected, especially when they go online. these days, that is pretty much for everything, from managing our bank accounts, paying our bills, handling everything from medical records to movie tickets , controlling our homes, smart houses smartphones. secret service does not let me do that. i know other people do. with these benefits come risks. major companies get hacked. america's personal information including financial information, gets stolen. the problem is growing, and it costs us billions of dollars. in one survey, nine out of 10 americans feel they say they have lost control of their personal information.
in recent breaches, more than 100 million americans have had their personal data compromised like credit card information. when these cyber criminals start racking up charges on your card, it can destroy your credit rating. it can turn your life upside down. it may take you months to get your finances back in order. this is a direct threat to the economic security of american families that we've got to stop. if we are going to be connected then we need to be protected. as americans, we shouldn't have to forfeit our basic privacy when we go online to do business. that is why, since i took office, we've been working with the private sector to strengthen our cyber defenses. we launched our secure initiative. federal government and companies are moving stronger chip and pin technology for credit cards. at the ftc, you are working with credit bureaus so victims can
recover stolen identities faster. every day, you are helping consumers with identitytheft.gov. i'm announcing new steps to protect the privacy of the american people. let me list them. first, we are introducing legislation to create a single, strong, national standard so americans know when their information has been stolen or misused. right now, every state has a different law on this, and it is confusing for consumers and it is confusing for companies. it is costly to have to comply to this patchwork of laws. sometimes, folks don't find out their information has been stolen until they see charges on their bill, and then it's too late. under the new standard we are proposing, companies would have to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days. in addition, we are proposing to close loopholes in the law so we
can go after more criminals who steal and sell the identities of americans, even when they do it overseas. second, i am pleased that more banks, credit card issuers, and lenders are stepping up and equipping americans with another weapon against identity theft, and that is access to their credit scores free of charge. this includes j.p. morgan chase, bank of america usaa, state employees credit union, and ally financial. some of them are here today, and i want to thank them. the majority of american adults will have free access to their credit score, which is like an early warning system telling you that you've been hit by fraud so you can deal with it fast. we are encouraging more companies to join this effort every day. third, we are going to be introducing new legislation, a consumer privacy bill of rights working with many of you from the private sector and advocacy groups.
we've identified basic principles to both protect personal privacy and ensure that industry can keep innovating. for example, we believe consumers have the right to decide what personal data companies collect from them and how companies have used that data and information. the right to know that your personal information collected for one purpose cannot be misused by a company for another purpose. the right to have your information stored securely by a cop -- by companies who are responsible for its use. we believe there ought to be basic baseline protections across industries. we will be introducing this legislation by the end of this month, and i hope congress joins us to make the consumer privacy bill of rights the law of the land. finally, we are taking a series of actions to protect the personal information and privacy of our children. those of us with kids know how hard this can be, whether they
are texting or tweeting or on facebook or instagram or vine. our children are meeting up, and they are growing up in cyberspace. it is all pervasive. here at the ftc, you've pushed back on companies that collect information of our kids without permission. michelle and i want to make sure that our children are being smart and safe online. that is a responsibility of hours as parents, but we need partners. we need a structure that ensures that information is not being gathered without us as parents or the kids knowing it. we want our kids protected wherever they sign on or log on, including in school. the good news is, we've got new
educational technologies that are transforming how our children learn. we've got innovative websites and apps and tablets, digital textbooks and tutors. students are getting lessons tailored to their unique needs. we want to encourage that, and it also fertility -- facilitates teachers and parents tracking student progress. all of this is part of what our connect ed initiative is about. we want to connect students to high-speed internet so we are empowering teachers, students, and parents and giving them access to worlds they may have never had access to before. we have already seen some instances where some companies use educational technologies to collect student data for commercial purposes, like targeted advertising, and parents have legitimate concern about those kinds of practices. today, we are proposing the
student digital privacy act. it is pretty straightforward. we are saying data collected by students in the classroom should only be used or educational purposes, to teach our children, not to market to our children. we want to prevent companies from selling student data for purposes other than education. we believe this won't give parents peace of mind only. we are confident it will make sure the tools we use in the classroom will support the breakthrough research and innovations we need to keep unlocking new educational technologies. we didn't have to completely reinvent the wheel on this proposal. many states have proposed similar legislation. california just passed a landmark law. i hope congress joins us in this national movement to protect the
privacy of our children. we won't wait for legislation. the department of education is good to offer new tools so teachers can work with tech companies to protect the privacy of students. 75 companies across the country have signed onto a student privacy pledge, and among other things, they are committing not to sell student information or use educational technologies to engage in targeted advertising to students. some of those companies are here today. we want to thank you for your leadership. i want to encourage every company who provides these technologies to our schools to join this effort. it is the right thing to do. if you don't join, we intend to make sure that those schools and those parents know you haven't joined this effort. this mission, protecting our information and privacy in the information age, this should not be a partisan issue. the should be something that unites all of us as americans. it is one of those new
challenges in our modern society that crosses the old divides transcends politics, ideology, liberal, conservative, democrat, republican. everybody is online. everybody understands the risks and vulnerabilities, as well as opportunities, presented by this new world. business leaders want their privacy and children's privacy protected just like everybody else does. consumer and privacy advocates want to make sure that america keeps leading the world in technology and innovation. there are some basic common sense steps we ought to be able to support, and rather than being at odds, i think much of this work actually reinforces each other. the more we do to protect consumer information and privacy, the harder it is for hackers to damage our businesses and hurt our economy. the more companies strengthen their cyber security, the harder
it is for hackers to hurt american families. we've got to be working together in the same direction, and i'm confident if we do, we will be making progress. we are the country that invented the internet. we are also the pioneers of this information age. the creators, the designers, the innovators. our children are leaving us in the dust. if you haven't noticed. they are connecting and collaborating like never before and imagining a future we can only dream of. when we americans put our minds together and our shoulder to the wheel, there is nothing we can't do. and confident if we keep at this, we can deliver the prosperity and security and privacy all americans deserve. we pioneered the internet. we also pioneered the bill of rights and the sense that each of us as individuals have a
sphere of privacy around us that should not be breached, whether by our government but also by commercial interests. since we are pioneers in both of these areas, i am confident that we can be pioneers in crafting the kind of architecture that will allow us to both grow, innovate, and preserve those values that are so precious to us as americans. thank you very and thanks to the ftc for all of the great work you do. [applause] ♪ ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> as president obama finished up his remarks at the ftc, the twitter and youtube accounts for u.s. central command were hacked by a group claiming to be working with isis. white house press secretary josh earnest got questions about the hacking, and he addressed what the president did not attend the unity march in paris. >> obviously, a lot has happened since we convened in this room six days ago. most importantly, the terrible terror attacks we saw last week. i expect we will have ample opportunity to talk about that today.
let me also note something else important that happened. house republicans put forward funding legislation through the end of fiscal year 2015. unfortunately, republicans have unveiled plans to muck around with that legislation. it protects our borders and ports. it provides aviation security, bolster cyber security coordinates with local authorities, and enforces immigration laws. there is never a good time for republicans to do something like this, but right now seems like a particularly bad time to do so -- to do so. republicans have said they were doing this because they have a political objection to the president's executive action on immigration. let me repeat what you heard me say before. the president's plan brings badly needed accountability to the system by requiring undocumented workers -- i'm sorry, undocumented immigrants who have been here more than five years to commodity the
shadows, get right with the wall -- law, and pay taxes. the republicans claim they will undo that and send the country in the direction of doing nothing, which is something that marco rubio has said. i guess that means there are probably a lot of reasons to think that what republicans are planning on the dhs funding bill is a bad idea. with that, jim, do you want to get questions -- get started with questions? >> the president would veto this legislation? >> we have made clear dating back to last fall that the president would oppose any legislative efforts to undermine the executive action he took to add greater accountability to the immigration system. >> can you tell us anything about this hacking? do you have any information on it? >> i don't have a lot of information on this. it occurred within the last hour or so.
i can tell you it is something we are obviously looking into in something we take seriously. however, a note of caution to folks covering the story -- there is a significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a twitter account. we are still examining and investigating the extent of this incident, but i don't have information beyond that for you. >> on the topic du jour, why didn't president obama or vice president biden attend the march? >> people across this country and even across the globe -- it was a remarkable display of unity by the french people in the face of these terrible terror attacks.
the way that country has come together, i do think struck a chord and inspired people all across the world, and trout this country. it was a remarkable display. there was a number of other world leaders who were there to participate and show support as well. some have asked whether or not the united states should have sent someone with a higher profile than the ambassador to france. i think it is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there. that's that, there is no doubt that the american people and this administration stand behind our allies in france as they face down the stretch. that was evident throughout last week when you saw the president's top counterterrorism advisor at the white house was intent -- in touch with the
french counterpart minutes after reports of this terror attack first emerged. you saw later in the day the president telephoned president hollande to not just expressed condolences on behalf of the american people to the people of france, but to pledge any cooperation and assistance to conduct the investigation and to bring to justice those responsible for the terror attacks. i can tell you that kind of coordination that is the backbone of the strong relationship between the strong relationship -- between france and the united states continues today. the french ambassador to the united states will be here at the white house later to meet with the president's top counterterrorism advisor. >> how much higher profile do you think should have been there? eric holder was in the city doing a television talk show that morning.
should he have been the person representing the u.s.? >> i can tell you that had the circumstances been a little different, i think the president himself would have taken the opportunity to be there. the fact is that this is obviously a march, the planning of which only began friday night. 36 hours later, it had begun. what is also clear is that the security requirements around a presidential visit our onerous and significant. in a situation like this, they typically have a pretty significant impact on the other citizens who are trying to participate in a large public events like this. we talk about this a lot when it comes to the president attending a basketball game. the fact of the matter is there were millions of people at the event. it was not just an arena that needed to be secured, but a large outdoor area that poses security challenges. i am confident that the
professionals at the secret service could overcome those challenges, but it would have been difficult to do so without significantly impacting the ability of common citizens to participate in this march. after all, what i think was so impressive about this display is it demonstrated the unity of the french people. that is something that we are always mindful of in situations like this, of interfering with those who are trying to attend an event, particularly when the purpose of the event is to demonstrate the unity of spirit and purpose of the people who are coming together. >> this is consideration of, perhaps, -- is that something you consider doing friday? >> i am not going to unpack all the planning and discussions that went into this. suffice it to say there should not be an there is not any doubt
in the minds of the people in france, or people around the world, or among our enemies, about how committed to a strong relationship that the united states is with france, and committed to the same kind of values they are. in some ways, most importantly the people who understand this best of all are the french people themselves. the french ambassador was on television earlier today and described the french people is overwhelmed by the expression of solidarity and grief from all corners of the american people including the highest levels of the administration. >> did you consider having the president go? was it something that was developing too late to pull together in time? >> i am not going to be in a position to unpack the schedule
planning discussions that we have here. what i can tell you is that there are some groups who suggested the u.s. presence at the march, represented by some but he with a higher profile than the ambassador to france -- i guess what i am saying is that we at the white house agree that someone with a higher profile should have been included. >> did france ask you to come? >> i am not aware of the conversations that may have occurred between french officials and american officials. >> there is criticism about this. is this criticism fair? >> criticism from who? >> a wide variety. >> anybody comes to mind? >> [inaudible] >> jake did have some criticism. i saw that, too. >> is this criticism fair? >> it is a free country and
people have the opportunity to subject their elected officials to criticism and make it clear when they disagree with a decision or action that has been taken by the administration. i would not quibble with the right to do so. there are those out there saying, i think the administration should have sent someone with a higher profile to participate in the march, i guess what i'm a is that we should have sent someone with a higher profile, in addition to the ambassador to france. >> one last thing, president hollande has called the attacks an act of war. how does this change your strategy toward going after the islamic state? will the french now be stronger partners? >> there is an importantly made
-- important leap made in the question there. there is still an investigation ongoing to determine exactly what the links were between these individuals who were responsible for these terror attacks in france and their communications and support from extremists in other locations around the globe. public reporting i'm referring to indicates these individuals may have had links to or traveled to yemen. there is a video that has emerged today that we are still reviewing here in which one of the terrorists indicate some sympathy and support from isil. we are reviewing all of this and trying to assist the french as they take the lead on the investigation, as they should, about who is responsible, what kind of support they had, and what links they had two other extremist groups around the world. laura? >> thank you. [indiscernible]
he was looking at all those americans airing demonstrations. >> i don't know how much of the march the president watched on television, but i can tell you that the comments that i have reiterated today about the rather impressive display of unity and solidarity from the french people is something the president made note of as well. these are messages that were most importantly sent by the citizens of france. they were echoing by people all across the globe. in many ways, people could demonstrate those expressions of support, everything from an op-ed, to a tweet, to a speech at the golden globes last night. that is indicative of the solidarity the american people feel with our allies in france not just because of the terrible tragedy they have endured, but also because of the kind of values they fight for.
these are the same values we hold dear in our country here it i think that is why the bond between the united states and france is so strong today. >> the demonstrations began at 10:00 in paris. the white house sent a message at 7:00 here. [indiscernible] what do you expect? >> let me say a couple of things about that. this effort to counter the extremism is something we talked quite a bit about over the years. it is a focal point of our planning when it comes to the counterterrorism strategy. i would anticipate we would expect to discuss it in the context of the summit, to invite leaders from the private sector and technology communities to discuss how extremists are using
social media platforms to try to inspire acts of violence, inspi extremismre -- inspired extremism by other people. we can talk about strategies we can employ to better promote inclusion and resilience across the country. one of the other things we would expect we would talk about in a summit like this would be to highlight the experience of some pilot programs in cities like boston, los angeles, the minneapolis-st. paul area, where local officials have really employed some pioneering techniques to try to work very closely in their communities to root out efforts to inspire and recruit extremists, or to propagate extremist ideology, in a way that is not good for the country or the community where it might be occurring. there are some very interesting techniques that have been employed. we will share those best practices with other local authorities who participate.
>> you speak about extremism. >> all forms of violent extremism would be discussed in the context of the summit. what we see from the violent extremism in which individuals invoke the name of islam in an otherwise peaceful religion as they carry out these attacks would certainly be, obviously, a priority in the discussion. >> why wouldn't you use that right there? you said, all forms of violent extremism. >> all forms of violent extremism would be discussed in the most potent and, certainly the most graphic we have seen in recent days, is motivated by individuals who carry out these attacks. we have a strategy we have been discussing for some time.
>> why isn't this summit on countering islamic extremism? >> it is not just islamic violent extremism that we want to counter. >> australia, canada. isn't that violent extremism? >> individuals have citing islamic -- individuals have cited it. >> you said you should have sent someone higher than the ambassador. >> correct. >> why didn't you? >> i tried to describe to you exactly the situation here. we are talking about a march that came together in 36 hours and a march that occurred outdoors with a very large number of people who participated.
we are mindful, anytime the president goes to a public place, or the vice president that we don't want -- we want to try to mitigate the impact the security precautions would have on those attending the public event. had the president or vice president in this short time frame gone to participate in this event that took place outdoors with more than one million people in attendance that would have significantly impacted the ability of those attending the march to participate in the way they did yesterday. >> of course, security is important. you don't want to distract. how do you explain that netanyahu attended? >> i would allow the israelis to discuss the security measures. >> they are very important. they are not america.
>> you should talk to them about the security precautions they have in place. you have been to enough events where the president has been at a conference or summit with other world leaders and i think you have seen firsthand that the security precautions in place for the president of the united states are sometimes more onerous than the precautions put in place for other world leaders. >> there are dozens of leaders. american security might be more. it comes up with short notice. how did that come together? >> president mandela, there have been discussions ongoing for a number of years about the assembling that would take place. there was a much clearer plan that could be followed for executing that in a short timeframe. there was nothing in place. no one anticipated the kind of attack we saw in paris.
>> you said the president personally wishes -- he would have liked to have gone. what did the president do sunday? >> i have not spoken to the president about what he did yesterday. >> what was the president doing? >> i am not prepared for that question today. >> eric holder was in paris. his office put out a statement that he had important meetings. the counterterror meetings were very important. one would assume that the defense officials went to the rally. the attorney general said he had to get act to washington sunday afternoon. why couldn't the attorney general -- he was in that city. security was already in place. >> i am not aware of the details of the attorney general's schedule for yesterday.
if you are asking whether or not somebody like the attorney general should have attended or should have been asked by the white house to attend, what i'm telling you, yes, we believe someone with a higher profile should have been asked to attend. >> there was a rally to the french embassy. he signed a condolence book. i understand the president is not going to marching through the streets of d.c. the vice president, the cabinet secretary, how come you didn't have someone in d.c. at the rally? >> there were a number of officials who did participate in that rally. a lot of them were in the march and a lot of them participated and would have done so even if they were not members of the at and missed ration -- the administration. there is no doubt about standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies in france as they continue to fight for the values we hold so dear.
>> i want to talk about -- the anti-extremism summit. it was supposed to be in october and it seems it was delayed a couple times. can you talk about why that was delayed? >> there are -- there had been a number of discussions about how exactly -- about how this would come together, and trying to schedule among state and local leaders, leaders in the private sector, community leaders from other places across the country. it is difficult. what i am saying is this is something we have been focused on for quite sometime. this notion of countering violent extremism has been a focal point of our counterterrorism strategy for a long time, dating back to february of 2010, when current cia director john brennan gave a speech at nyu.
they discussed the need to counter efforts to recruit people in the name of violent extremism, and the need to work closely with local law enforcement and with community leaders to try to counter that message. >> incidental? was paris an image is that enabled you to bring people in for this meeting next month -- an impetus that enabled you to bring people in for this meeting next month? >> the attacks from last week are a reminder of how important it is. this summit, as i described earlier, will be an opportunity for us to talk about some of the strategies that we have in place to mitigate the messages that are emanating in social media to try to recruit people in the name of violent extremism. we look forward to the opportunity to hear from leaders
about how they have worked together, in a way, to mitigate those messages and to counter them. it should be an opportunity for those best practices to be shared with local officials from all around the country that would participate. >> [inaudible] they will announce legislation to encourage collaboration between companies and the government on cyber security practices. it sounds a lot like the legislation that has been languishing on capitol hill a couple years. you have had concerns about that before. has that changed? will we hear a different version tomorrow? >> we will save tomorrow's news for tomorrow. we have been disappointed congress has not fulfilled the
responsibility they have deal with this critically important issue. that is why you heard the president talk a little bit today about the legislative proposals he will hold up in the name of strengthening consumer protections and making sure consumers and students get the kind of protection they deserve when it comes to their privacy. we would hope that would not be something that would get bogged down in partisan debate. this is something we should all be able to agree on. we will see. the same description could apply to this kind of cyber security legislation the president will be talking about tomorrow. we will have more on that for you. >> the president has gone kind of absence on the cyber security measures.
i asked you a couple weeks ago if you were people -- if you were bringing people into briefings. one of the proposals is a rehash of the 2011 proposal. 30 days instead of 60 days to trigger -- what would you do differently this time? >> i do think that in the aftermath of some of the more recent cyberattacks that we have seen that have been carried out against a number of private companies, including sony, hopefully they have the attention of people on capitol hill. they need to fulfill their responsibilities to make progress on this issue. the proposal we have sent up, or was sent up, is one that does have the strong support of consumer groups.
they recognize how important it is for companies to fulfill their obligation to communicate clearly with customers to make sure customers can take appropriate steps to protect their privacy and protect against identity theft. at the same time, this is also welcome news to industry. this clarity associated with one specific national standard would make it clear to them the obligations they need to fulfill for their customers. now, there is a hodgepodge of requirements that vary by state. by putting in place a tough national standard, it will add clarity to businesses and make them more effective in their response, more effective in communicating with their customers, in a timeline that is appropriate to keep their privacy safe. john? >> will the united states take part in retaliation once it is established who was responsible? aqap. isis proves to have been behind it, will there be a response from the united states? >> that is -- a possible response is not something i am in a position to talk about at this point.
the two you cite are under intense pressure from the united states and our allies already. i would anticipate that pressure will continue. that would have been the case even if we had not seen these terrible terror attacks carried out last week. we are going to work closely with the french as they investigate exactly what happened. i know there is some information about two of the individuals that the united states has been aware of and shared with our french counterparts, including some information about their travel history. at this point, i am not in a position to speculate about what sort of response the french may decide is appropriate, and what role the united states would play in that response. >> we obviously had this terrible attack in paris last week about what has happened with bo boko haram in nigeria. they have taken over in military base.
obviously, we have the ongoing efforts in syria and in iraq. it looks a lot messier out there than it did when the president was talking just a euro below -- just a year ago. give me a status report on the war on terror. >> there are experts who are better position to do that then i -- than i, but let me take a run at this. our counterterrorism officials said that the biggest challenge, one of the most difficult things to detect and disrupt, are attacks that are carried out by loan offenders -- lone offenders or foreign fighters. there is a wide range of steps we can take. i spoke about some of them earlier in terms of trying to
counter the extremist ideology propagated on social media. there are steps this administration takes with people who have traveled to places like syria. they might have sought training with militants in that region of the world. the president, as you recall last fall, convened a united nation security council meeting where he discussed with other world leaders the need to coordinate activities as we counter the threat from foreign fighters. these are individuals with western passports who traveled to syria or iraq. they do post a threat when they return from that region that they could carry out violence. that is something we are very aware of and it requires a high level of coordination to monitor these individuals. we are going to continue to be engaged in a very high level of coordination with the french not just as they investigate this attack, but also as we assess the threat from other individuals and other entities that might be operating and might aspire to carry out acts of violence against westerners
or against american interests. >> when you look at developments over the past year -- the lone wolf attacks in australia and canada, this attack in paris a terrorist tied to both al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and isis, what boko haram has done in nigeria and our inability to push isis out of iraq. isn't it a fair assessment that it looks like we are losing ground, and the terrorists are getting an upper hand, not to
mention the latest development with a terrorist group or sympathizers taking over centcom's twitter account, it's youtube channel? it seems like some lost momentum. >> i don't share that assessment at all. on the military side, we can run through some statistics. over the skies of iraq, there are seven countries flying combat missions alongside u.s. forces. in syria, there are four nations flying with the united states. the coalition has conducted over 117 airstrikes against isil -- 1170 airstrikes against isil,.. we are regularly ticking up commanders, oil and gas facilities. this is the infrastructure that
funds their acts of terror. they have also taken out of more than 1000 fighting positions checkpoints, buildings built in iraq and syria. that is the reason isil's momentum has been halted in iraq. it is why their leaders are feeling more pressure than they ever have before. all of that is a testament to the success that this president has had in building an international coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy my soul -- isil. what is also true is that the threat that we face is dispersed. that does pose a set of unique challenges, but there is, as tragic as the events were in france, a difference between the ability of core al qaeda to spend years on a conspiracy involving dozens of individuals in the united states to carry out horrific attacks like they did on september 11 2001, and
be terribly violent actions of one or two or three individuals. it is a different kind of threat. it is one that poses its own unique sets of challenges. it is why we can talk about the success that we've had in truly decimating core al qaeda that used to exist and operate with impunity in the region between afghanistan and pakistan, and the kind of threat we face now with individuals who are being radicalized through social media and carrying out lone wolf attacks. this is something we are very mindful of. we are not going to downplay the risk associated with this. the individuals leading these extremist groups --
[indiscernible] >> you said you should have sent somebody with a higher profile. why? >> for a couple of reasons. one is we want to send a clear message even in a symbolic context like this one, that the american people stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in france. sending in a highly visible senior administration official would have done that. in reality, there is no doubting the strong degree of support and allegiance that we share with the french people to the kinds of values that were under attack last week in paris. that is evidenced by the president's call with president hollande, the president's visit to the french embassy last week
the close level of coordination that exists between officials in the united states and counterterrorism officials in france, and the ongoing meetings, including the one taking place right now between the french ambassador and the president's top counterterrorism advisor. >> you acknowledge it was a mistake. who's mistake was it? >> i am not going to be in a position to sort of unpack the logistical and scheduling conversations that have taken place over the last several days. what i can do is acknowledge to you that we should've sent somebody with a higher profile. >> back to capitol hill where members returned the house will consider prevention programs and another measure to exempt local governments from having to provide health insurance for
volunteer first responders. later this week, a number of changes to financial regulations and authorizing spending at the homeland security department for the remainder of the budget year. in the senate today, voting later on whether to move forward with the keystone xl pipeline legislation. you can watch the debate underway in the senate on c-span2. house rules committee meeting at this moment to determine what amendments will be allowed on the legislation. you can watch the rules committee on c-span3 right now.
>> the house expected back at any moment. going to be working on's considering the less on considering a bill requiring an and jewelry court -- an annual report on the v.a., also exempting local governments from having to provide health insurance coverage for volunteer first responders. we will see a number of changes to financial authorizations and authorizing spending for the homeland security department. on c-span3 you can watch the house rules committee meeting to determine what amendments will be allowed to some financial regulations and the homeland security department measure. you can watch that just getting underway on c-span3.
>> the house expect it back in a moment. they are back for a short work week on capitol hill considering a bill to require annual evaluations of the v.a. suicide prevention programs, also working on another measure to exempt local governments from having to provide health insurance for volunteer first responders. we will see a number of changes for financial regulations and authorizing spending at the homeland security department for the remainder of the budget year. the house rules committee currently meeting to determine what amendments will be allowed. you can watch that underway right now on our companion network, c-span3. in the senate, voting later on whether to move forward with the keystone xl pipeline. that debate is underway on our companion network, c-span2.
earlier today, the heritage foundation hosted the first of a two-day policy summit with remarks earlier by senator ted cruz and new members of congress. you can find that online at www.c-span.org. postponefurther proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote unoccurs objection. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 203, the clay hunt sav act. the clerk: h.r. 203 a bill to direct the secretary of veteran affairs to provide for the conduct of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention programs of the department of veterans affairs
to require a pilot program on loan repayment for sigh ki atists who agree to serve in the department of veterans affairs and for other purpts. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida florida, ms. brown each will control 20 minutes. mill mill i ask members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and i yield myself such time as i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: you are recognized. mill mill i rise in proud support of h.r. 203 the clay hunt sav act. the bill was introduced by my good friend and very important member of the veterans affairs committee, congressman tim walz from minnesota. i'm honored to join him and congresswoman duckworth as an original co-sponsor of this legislation and i'm grateful for the support of veterans
organizations including the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, veterans of foreign wars, military officers association of america and wounded warrior project. h.r. 203 is named after a true american hero, clay hunt. clay was a marine corps veteran who served in both afghanistan and in iraq. where he was wounded in battle. clay returned home grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder and refused to prevent from donating his time and advocacy to fellow veterans. in march of 2011, at just 28 years of age, clay took his own life. with an average of 22 veterans committing suicide each day, clay was far from alone in his pain and his family and friends are far from alone in their
heartbreak and their loss. the last several years have seen significant increases in the department of veterans affairs mental health and suicide prevention budget, its staff and its programs. however, we have not seen a corresponding decrease in the number of our nation's heroes who take their own lives. once more for some group of veterans including female veterans and veterans of iraq and afghanistan, swid rates are actually getting worse. mr. speaker, we have got to do more to help these veterans and support the services and mental health care that they need to save their lives and with the passage of h.r. 203 we will. to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of v.a. programs and increase awareness of available services h.r. 203 would require an annual third
party evaluation of v.a.'s mental health care and suicide prevention programs and it would require that v.a. publish an interactive web site to serve as a central source of information regarding v.a. mental health services. to increase their capacity, it would establish a pilot program that would repay education loans for individuals who have received a degree in psychiatric medicine and agree to work at the v.a. for at least two years to create a seamless transition from active duty to civilian status. it would establish a program to assist veterans during transition and require v.a. to collaborate with nonprofit mental health organizations in the community. and importantly, h.r. 203 would extend an additional one year of ellgict for v.a. health care
services for certain combat veterans who have not yet enrolled or five-year eligibility period recently expired. before i yield i want to take a moment to once again express my condolences to clay's families and friends and families and friends of our honored veterans who have lost their lives to suicide. i offer them my personal commitment to continue the aggressive pursuit to end veteran suicide. the passage of this bill today is just the first in what will be a continuing series of legislative and oversight efforts that our committee is going to undertake throughout the 114th congress to improve access to mental health care for veterans in need, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their mental health and suicide prevention programs and increase meaningful partnerships with community providers who are often in the first line of
defense for struggling veterans and families of those veterans. this bill, which passed the house last congress will not single handedly halt the scurge of veteran suicide, but it is an important step and it is a step that we owe clay and those like him, who desperately need and certainly deserve our help. with that, i urge all of my colleagues to join me in supporting h.r. 203 and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. plounploun i yield myself -- >> i recognize myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of the clay hunt s.a.v. act. this passed last month in the closing days of the 113th congress. i am pleased that we were able to bring this act, this measure to the first item of business in
the 114th congress. providing the mental health care that veterans need, efficient way of dealing with the crisis of veteran suicide, have been long-standing concerns from the committee on veteran affairs. war indeed, is terrible and the effects of combat and service on our veterans lasts a lifetime. for far too long society, the military culture itself has acted as if the need for mental health care treatment is a weakness and have discouraged adequate treatment. this attitude is changing, but it cannot change fast enough. in the area of mental health for our veterans and returning servicemen there is no easy answer or quick fix. i appreciate the work of my friend from minnesota, tim walz
chairman miller and all of my colleagues on the committee in fashioning a bill that i believe will make a difference in the lives of our veterans. h.r. 203 takes a number of important steps including improving the safety net for at-risk veterans while introducing some accountability and to the v.a. mental health care and suicide prevention program using a third party person. i will provide -- it will provide veterans with a web site that will serve as a central source of information on mental health services. h.r. 203 initiatives is a program to help address some of the glaring mental health professional shortfalls in the v.a. while the initiatives are limited to the psychiatric field, i would like to see this effort expand in the future to all of the mental health
professional shortfalls. h.r. 203 would expand tier support network which is effectively used. and i believe the reporting requirement by this bill will confirm additional resources and should be permanently dedicated to pool utilizing peer support. h.r. 203 would provide additional window of vulnerability for veterans who may have missed the window of opportunities to sign up for v.a. health care. this extra time would ensure that veterans receive the health care including mental health care that they need. i thank the chairman for working to bring this bill up quickly, so that the house can act and send this important measure to the senate. i look forward to working with chairman miller and with florida being the state with the second largest population of veterans and the most senior population, i know that the committee will
do a good job having two of the leadership team from florida. but let me be clear, there are 435 members of congress and each of them have veterans in their district. and we will work to make sure that all veterans get the care that they have earned and deserve. i reserve the balance of my time. . >> i thank the gentlewoman. i looked for toworking with her in the future. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from the second district of indiana, from elk heart indiana, mrs. walorski. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you mr. speaker. i thank the distinguished gentleman from florida for yielding and i am grateful to be here today to support the clay hunt s.a.v. act. every day 22 veterans take their own lives. week of all experienced this in our districts.
i have as well. on march 31 2011, clay hunt was one of those 22 veterans that day who took his own life. today we honor clay and his family with the clay hunt s.a.v. act. clay's story was one of bravery and dedication. he relied on the v.a. for care and received a 30% disability rating for ptsd brought on during his service. he appealed the rating and encountered a bureaucratic nightmare. clay had to wait months to see a psychiatrist at a v.a. medical center. two weeks later, clay took his own life. five weeks after his death and 18 months after filing an appeal with the v.a. for his ptsd rating, his appeal was approved. clay's story details the urgency of our nation's hero -- that our nation's heroes deserve. the clay hunt s.a.v. act will
increase access to mental health care and approve the quality -- improve the quality of care troops and veterans receive. together we can change this system. so that no other veteran ever has to endure what thousands of veterans have already gone through, including clay. i am honored to stand here today and grateful to my colleague. i urge support for this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, how much time is -- ms. brown: mr. speaker, how much time is remaining? i would like to yield to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for five minutes. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the ranking member and for your support of this important piece of legislation. as you heard, we're here once again. we have a piece of legislation that attempted to, as i think the chairman spoke about, address an issue that cuts to the heart of the soul of this
nation when our warriors come home how to reintegrate them. i think it's important and i want to thank the chairman, one, for working so diligent on many numerous issues, but especially for this piece of legislation and bringing it back up again, but also for setting an example. the nation expect us to do what's right by our warriors. it's an important -- something that we do in the committee is looking and seeing where we can improve and pointing out where there's faults but that's not good enough. pointing out the faults is one thing and it's important. finding solutions is what really matters. and this piece of legislation i think starts to do that. i think the public many times, to my colleagues who are here, i would say this, we can certainly disagree and disagree strongly and passionately, but i think if they knew and they could feel it and i think in this piece of legislation see it there are many more things that binald us together. our care and commitment for our warriors is one of those. this is a piece of legislation that wasn't just written here in the halls of congress.
it is written -- it was written by the families, susan and richard, clay's parents, by the holderlings in minnesota. since we passed this legislation and it failed in the senate over 750 veterans have taken their lives. many times down here we feel like everything we do is the most important thing that needs to happen now. rarely is that true. in this case it is. we can't wait another day. we can't pass this problem forward because it's not only ripping at families, it's ripping at our nation. these are our best and brightest. you heard about clay. clay's a marine who went to iraq. he got shot by a sniper and as a marine that irritated him. it didn't hurt him. he came back, he kept his purple heart but he could have taken his thank yous. he did. he went on to afghanistan to continue on. he knew the extremism that was threatening iraq and afghanistan and will someday threaten this nation, so he did his time of. after he came back that wasn't enough.
he went to haiti to help. after that, that wasn't enough. he sat in our offices working on everything, access to the v.a., to the things you heard the gentlelady talk about in indiana that were causing frustration amongst our veterans. and i think for me, clay appeared to have everything. he appeared that he knew and was confident and had it there. but we all know that they had demons and clay had demons and so what this piece of legislation does, you heard the specifics. and it does do specific things. and no one is claiming that this is going to be the fix. but i would make the case that what the clay hunt bill has done and what it's done amongst our partners in the veterans service organizations is made it absolutely clear we will not leave anyone behind we will not turn a blind eye to this, and we will not rest until we at least make the attempt to get that number down to zero. we may never get there. but this piece of legislation starts to address it. so i think it's important and i want to thank the ranking member for being on this bill and pulling it forward, for the chairman who was an original
author of this and has been instrumental in making it happen. what we're doing here is not just passing legislation. what we're doing here is changing the attitudes, focusing the nation's attention on this. because i don't care if it's elk heart, indiana, if it's pensacola, florida, or if it's mankato, minnesota. when we go to talk to our constituents regardless of their political leanings, they tell us, take care of our warriors do. what's right. fix the system. and this piece of legislation does that, it does it in a cost effective, smart manner and we have an opportunity to start moving forward. i would say and encourage my colleagues, let's pass this thing, but let's not see it as an end result of a process week of been working on. let's see it as the first of many things to try and make changes to be smarter about how we use taxpayer dollars, but also to demand effectiveness. because clay's parents deserve that thousands of others across this nation deserve that. and the more than one million veterans that will return over
the next few years are counting on us to put everything in place to provide that help. so i encourage my colleagues, support this legislation. i encourage my colleagues, take this as an example and i want to thank speaker boehner and majority leader mccarthy for making this a priority. i think it speaks vols. this piece of legislation -- volumes. this piece of legislation is on the floor in the first week. that says something. that there's a commitment to getting it right there's a commitment to working together and there's a commitment to showinging effectiveness for the american people and so week of got that opportunity, i ask my colleagues to support this legislation, get engaged with what's happening with our veterans, and let's prove that their service was not in vein, that this democracy's -- vain, that this democracy's strong, that our commitment to them sun wavering and that's what matters -- is unwavering and that's what matters. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized.
>> i now yield two minutes to mr. costello. he's been to my office and started looking closely at the oversight agenda that we have. i'd like to yield to him two minutes, to the gentleman from the sixth district of pennsylvania, mr. costello. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. costello: i thank the distinguished gentleman from florida for yielding. mr. speaker, i stand here today to express my support of congressman tim walz's clay hunt suicide prevention for american veterans act. it is a privilege to seve on the house committee on veterans affairs and in this congress, to work to improve the quality of life for our nation's veterans, their families and their caregivers. in the coming months i look forward to working in a bipartisan, commonsense manner with dedicated members and veterans like my colleague from minnesota, mr. walz, to find solutions to help our nation's veterans transition to civilian life. one of the most critical areas that we as a committee and congress must work to establish
is comprehensive, timely responsive and effective mental health care services for our post-9/11 veterans. many of whom have served our country for multiple deployments and conditions not witnessed or experienced by any other generation of soldier. this bill first prioritizes bringing accountability to the v.a., by bringing in a third party to conduct an annual evaluation within the department of veterans affairs. we can better provide agency accountability by doing just this. second we must provide better access to mental health services for our veterans and their families. this bill does just that. finally, it helps facilitate and increase awareness for peer and community support providers for our veterans and their families. this commonsense sledgelation -- legislation works toward those provides of providing an accountable and supportive v.a. for our vetsrans in furtherance of helping veterans get the bet treatment possible, so, mr.
speaker, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote mental health support four our -- for our nation's heroes and thank congressman walz for his leadership on this important legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you. i would like to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. jackson lee: this is an appropriate and wonderful statement of two dished -- distinguished members of congress, a chairman and ranking member of the veterans' affairs committee, and i associate myself with their words on how crucial this legislation is and what an important statement the veterans' affairs committee is making that there is no party affiliation when it comes to saving the lives of our men and
women who put on the uniform. to the author of this bill, mr. walz, as i chatted with him on the floor, i indicated to him that just this weekend i met for hours with two wounded warriors. both of them having experience with ptsd. both of them being challenged about the transition into civilian life. both of them knowing of this legislation and feeling left out and deprived that it did not, although the valiantest of this house, pass -- valiant effort of this house pass in the last congress, so let me congratulate all of you for recognizing that this is a life-saving element of the men and women that we stand and admire and love. every day 22 veterans take their lives, but it's 8,000 a year. and if i might say that texas walks alongside of florida and other states as having the
highest number of returning vets. two million served in iraq and afghanistan across the nation. now 1/3 600,000 have experienced traumatic brain injury and ptsd. from the early years of working with then chairman and ranking member murtha, i was privileged to bring $1 million to my district for ptsd, but that is not the heart of it. the bleeding and the sorrow of these men and women is not befitting of the service and the uniform that they put on. not one moment should they wait at a veterans hospital for treatment for ptsd. that should keep them grounded, not one moment should they be alone, contemplating suicide without treatment and friends and family having assistance. this bill makes that statement, h.r. 203, clay hunt s.a.v. act. it says that you are not alone. and that we have put our mouth,
our actions where our words are. we have walked the walk. and so i want to say to those wounded warriors who shared their heart with me, i can proudly come back and say, this bill is moving. and as it moves to the united states senate, this bill is moving. and as we look to the president's desk, a signature will allow this bill to be in place. and to those who missed the deadline, this law will allow you to still be able to receive that treatment because it allows an extended time for those who have missed the deadline. i know, as i go back home to texas, and meet families, that they're looking for action when it comes to our beloved veterans and those who have put on the uniform to serve this nation as they watched their comrades die. this is a bill, this is a bill that says god bless america.
ms. brown: i yield the gentlewoman an additional minute. i yield the gentlelady from texas an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional minute. ms. jackson lee: i probably won't use it but i want to say that this is a bill that reflects the constitution, the declaration of innocence and our wonderful pledge of allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. i want to say to my friends at he willington field, just down the road from my --elington field, just down the road from my district, and the many bases across texas who have amongst their ranks veterans who have served in active duty, who are still pressing forward in spite of conditions that they faced, this is the bill that provides the answer and the love and affection for the veterans and military personnel who put on the uniform every day and never never for once shied away from their duty and decided that their life and
their ills were greater than their commitment to this nation. we owe them this, this is a god bless america bill. i thank the proponents of it and i yield back the balance of my time. . mill mill i would like to inquire how many speakers they have left? ms. brown: the last speaker just finished. no additional speakers. mill mill we are prepared to close. ms. brown: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: it is unacceptable that 22 veterans are dying by suicide every day. we need to pull all stakeholders together to work as a group to solve the problem. there is not one cause and not one answer. it is a multitude of causes and
answers and solutions. the department of defense, the v.a., veteran service organizations need to work together to come up with many solutions that will meet the needs. there is not one solution, but many. i pledge to work with my colleague from minnesota and chairman miller to address the issues in the upcoming session. access to mental health care and benefits for our veterans is an issue i plan to focus on in the months ahead and look forward to working with all of my colleagues to ensure that veterans are given the benefit and service that they have earned. and with that, mr. speaker i yield back. -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. -- the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time.
the gentleman from florida is recognized. mill mill we have no more speakers and reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. ms. brown: i yield two minutes to mr. lawson. laws laws i thank them. a constituent from my district lo his life. our hearts go out to his wife helter and son felix and certainly his parents who i know personal and i thank the
ranking member. mr. miller: with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bills h.r. 203. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- ms. brown: mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays, please. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested.
all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen the yeas and nays are ordered pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? mr. ryan: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 33 protecting the volunteer firefighters and emergency responders act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 33, a bill to amend the internal revenue code
of 1986 to ensure emergency services volunteers are not taken account as employees under the shared responsibility requirements contained in the patient protection and affordable care act. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin plrks ryan and the gentleman from connecticut, mr. lawson, each will control 20 minutes. mr. ryan: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material under h.r. 33 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. ryan: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: i'm here bringing forward mr. barr leta's bill, and it's simple. one of the cornerstones of our civil society, one of the great pieces of the american story is
volunteerism, but in particular, volunteerism among our first responders. so many of us representing congressional districts that thrive on and exist on and present simb their safety on volunteer firefighters and first responders. unfortunately in the affordable care act, there is a huge glitch under obamacare. volunteer firefighters and first responders are counted in many ways as if they were full-time employees and therefore volunteer fire departments are getting hit with fines and taxes. it shouldn't be that way. it is causing a huge paperwork burden, not to mention a fiscal drain on the budgets of these small fire departments, emergency responding agencies in our communities and rural areas all across america. this legislation fixes this. i want to thank congressman for
introducing this because he clearly understands as a former mayor, as someone who represents pennsylvania that i know has a lot of volunteer firefighters that these are the lifeblood of our blood of our communities and the last thing they need to do is worry about these obamacare mandates. what the congressman's bill does is he preserves the freedom to operate for our 780,000 public service volunteer firefighters removes this mandate and exempts them from this mandate so they can continue doing the public service that they have right now. and with that, i would like to yield five minutes to the author of this legislation. mr. barletta: >> mr. speaker, i rise today in support of my bill h.r. 33, the protecting volunteer
firefighters and emergency responders act. this is a good, truly bipartisan bill that protects our first responders, our volunteer firefighters and emergency services personnel and protects them by ensuring they are not considered employees under the employee mandate provision of obamacare. if they were, some fire companies would be forced to pay for the volunteers' health insurance or pay a fine, driving many fire departments out of business. as a former mayor, i know how important volunteer fire companies are to the health and safety of a community. simply put, this is a public safety issue. i first learned about this issue from a volunteer firefighter bob timco, back home and i began a crusade to clear this up in every state. as you know the employer mandate of obamacare kicks in for
employers with 50 or more employees. now, some fire companies may hear about this and immediately think, well, we only have 25 volunteers, so we are safe. we don't have 50. that may not necessarily be the case. some fire companies are considered part of their local government. if you take the number of firefighters paid and unpaid and add them to the number of other public employees such as highway workers, police code enforcement officers, health officers, clerical workers, you can easily reach 50, even in a small town. this would be a very big deal in my home state of pennsylvania. 97% of our fire companies are either completely or mostly volunteers. nationally, almost 92% of fire companies use at least some volunteers. and over 86% depend on all or mostly volunteers. those numbers came from a 2012
national fire department census conducted by the fire administration. if your district is like mine then volunteer firefighters are engrained in your community. we won an initial battle on this issue. after i raised it with the i.r.s., they finally relented and changed their rules regarding the federal tax status of volunteer firefighters. however, this is too important a public safety issue to be left to unelected federal bureaucrats at the i.r.s. their arbitrary regulatory guidance could easily be changed back. our people back home deserve better. we owe our volunteers who risk their lives every day rock solid certainty. this legislation says once and for all that volunteer firefighters are just that volunteers, and should not be subjected to the employee
mandate. i want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their continued support. last year, this bill passed the ways and means committee by a strong bipartisan vote of 37-0 and passed the house by a very rare you nan mouse vote of 410-0. not one single member opposed it. i thank the ways and means committee and their staffs. we all recognize that my bill is a simple bipartisan solution to an unforeseen consequence of the president's health care law. this bill has the strong support of the national volunteer fire council and international association of fire chiefs and congressional fire services institute. i thank my partners and the men and women they represent for their help. to be clear, forcing volunteer fire companies to comply with obamacare will not extend health insurance to the uninsured, rather it will close fire
houses placing people at risk. i strongly urge passage of this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. laws laws i -- mr. larson: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i start off with congratulations and certainly extend congratulations to representative barletta in continuing to bring this legislation forward. as he has pointed out, it has been bipartisanly supported and deserves passage, passed unanimously in both the ways and means committee and also unanimously on this floor which is no small order. of course, it comes in the midst of controversy. i say controversy, because --
well, our distinguished chairman is to be congratulated as well for not only bringing this bill forward, but also for the great victory that was won by the green bay packers yesterday. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. larson: in a moment. because i do want to continue my praise of the aaron rodgers look-alike. and today, our distinguished chairman announced he is not running president and we are thinking that because aaron rodgers may fill that void and outstanding victory but not without controversy in our own committee and i know that kevin brady and sam johnson are very concerned about this, but as the
chairman said the rules are the rules, and we should proceed from there. but i also want to thank all of those, and especially the chairman who raised the point about volunteer firefighters. all of us have that visual in our mind of those going up the stairs so that people can come down the stairs. and since september 11, and noting that volunteer firefighters cover more than 70% of this country, this clearly is a bill that was worthy of the unanimous approval and consent that it received. and as indicated by -- bipartisanly supported. i want to commend representative courtney, who will speak later and representative esty and the volunteer councils and other tax
issues that will be coming before our committee that have been bipartisanly supported by the chairman and tom latham and others. and i know we share the bipartisan spirit in this. i would also like to say that so many people who are emergency medical volunteers also along with firefighters could benefit from a number of volunteer tax breaks that we can provide as well. and look forward to working with our distinguished chairman and commend representative barletta again and reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: thank you mr. speaker. i'll yield myself 30 seconds to say i appreciate the kind words from the gentleman from connecticut. this is bipartisan. it's wonderful when we can work together and find common ground to get things done. and find common ground that the
completion of a pass is the completion of a pass. it's a rule. mr. larson: will the chairman yield? mr. ryan: sure. mr. larson: we are especially gratified though in the true show of compassionate conservatism that you reached out to the chief fan of the jersey -- excuse me, the dallas cowboys, chris christie, to provide him with both a hug and a sincere gesture from wisconsin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin's time has expired. mr. ryan: with that i'd like to yield -- how much time would you like? i'd like to yield three minutes to a member of the full committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for three minutes. mr. kelly: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, i rise in very strong support of h.r. 33. and want to thank speaker boehner and majority leader mccarthy for allowing this legislation to come forward so early in this congress. i agree with mr. larson. people always say, you know, i
wish you guys could get along just get something done. this is something that we overwhelmingly believe in and we're going to get done. i think what mr. barletta though has done and explained very clearly it has to become statute. it can't be left to be some nebulous. in fact, this rolling around just rolling around out there. these moment -- just rolling around out there. almost eight out of every 10 firefighters come from the volunteer aspect of it. they're not paid. but yet because of some type of allowance they're given, they fall under the affordable care act this would destroy volunteer fire departments as we know them. so what mr. barletta has done is very thoughtfully put forth a piece of legislation that would guarantee that these folks don't have to worry about that. now i got to tell you, in the little town that i grew up and live in, butler, pennsylvania so many people volunteer their time to do the volunteer
firefighter -- fire fighting. they're also the e.m.s. they're the first responders. last summer, last spring, one of our people by the name of ryan, on his way home from work, he's a volunteer fireman, he heard over his scanner that a fuel truck had overturned. the driver was trapped inside that truck. he then went to the scene of the accident, brought his equipment that was in the trunk of his car got out and saved that driver's life. these are the people that we're talking about. and when you come to the people's house, america's house, america's congress, we look at things that we can do together, things that just make sense. while we may disagree on some other aspects of what it is that we try to get done, on this we are solid. this just makes sense for america. this makes sense for all those that lay their life on the line any time there's an emergency or a fire. they do it voluntarily. hundreds and thousands of hours in training go into this. they spend time away from their families, they spend time away from personal time that they could be doing other things, to get trained so that they can help other americans who may
need their help. it's absolutely incredible. it's so american. it's something we look at with a great sense of pride. we need to go to the i.r.s. and say, what we need now is a statute that these volunteer fire departments will not be put under pressure that they would have to go out of business. this is not a health care issue. not as far as supplying health care or paying a fine for those that volunteer. but this is a health care issue for every single american for whom these people supply necessary services on a voluntary basis to save their life and their property. so i think mr. barletta is a champion on this issue. he was in the last congress. the fact that it's come forward again, it's so overwhelmingly supported by both sides of our house, that it truly is america's congress, it truly is america's issue, it truly is an issue that makes sense for all of us and it's maybe our small way of thinking. all those folks that do that every day, without any pay, just because of the greatness
in their heart. i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. i really deeply appreciate the words of my colleague and fellow member of the ways and means committee. again i want to commend mr. barletta and recognize that i believe that a lot of times regulations that are adopted and want to submit for the record a letter from the department of treasury, that at the bequest of a number of members bipartisanly submitted, and they made the changes to the rules, but i think it's both appropriate and right that we codify this and put it into a law and with that i want to recognize one of the chief sponsors along with elizabeth esty who helped engineer this joe courtney from connecticut.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. first of all, i want to congratulate mr. barletta for his leadership on this legislation, which has been noted, you know, as we're standing here today, there are probably thousands of calls happening all across the country for fire suppression, for medical emergencies, for people in all types of difficulties that volunteer people who don't have to step up and train and spend all the hours and be available at the expense of their family time and their work time to respond to these calls. for a lot of communities that rely on volunteers, the issue of recruitment and retention and just trying to make the environment conducive for people to make that act of volunteers is a challenge that i think all of us here from our volunteer fire departments and first responders all across the nation. so with this issue of the affordable care act being possibly a requirement for the shared responsibilities of employers was out there again, i applaud mr. barletta for stepping up, introducing this
legislation following up with the i.r.s. commissioner. they did respond almost exactly a year ago saying the regulations would not count bona fide volunteers in terms of the 50-employee count. but as was noted, i think it's always better to have it in statute rather than rely on the whims of administrative agencies that can change with the change of administrations. so again this is i think an example of how i think the country really wants us to operate. again, if you look at the affordable care act, since its passage, we have worked together to eliminate the 1099 filing requirement, we worked together to make sure that our military families through tricare would have age 26 coverage, which was left out when the bill was initially filed, and here today we are following up again with an example of commonsense fixes to the legislation which is what i think the country really is looking for. i would also note that mr. larson has legislation to
restore tax ex clueses which were on the books -- exclusions a number of -- which were on the books a number of years ago to help fire departments use property tax exemptions. those unfortunately -- can i have one more minute? mr. larson: i yield the gentleman another minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. courtney: unfortunately those tax exemptions expired. i know again the gentleman, and shime sure -- and i'm sure with bipartisan support, is going to introduce measures to bring those back and again allow these departments who are struggling to retain and recruit, to have the tools so that they can make it easier rather than having to file 1040's and drive people crazy around tax filing time for things like boots and coats and property tax exemption being treated as taxable income. i look forward to passage of this legislation by the huge bipartisan margin that we saw last year and given the administration's response to our entreaties, i again fully
expect there will be a bill-signing ceremony at the white house, assuming it gets through the senate. with that i would urge passage and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from conctut reserves. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: mr. speaker we have no more speakers other than to close. may i inquire of the gentleman from connecticut. mr. larson: we have no other speakers and i will -- joe courtney said don't forget to mention the patriots. i would be remiss if i didn't. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from wisconsin reserve? mr. ryan: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut is recognized. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank representative courtney also for recognizing the volunteer responder and center production re-authorization act. as i mentioned earlier, it's something that is been bipartisanly co-sponsored in the past by representative reichert and latham myself and
others. and the distinguished chairman and i, who are classmates, who came into this congress together also has been a great proponent and advocate for making sure that these volunteers who never were intended -- and this is both the case in mr. barletta and also in the case of the i.r.s., something that is administratively burdening for the i.r.s.. this is, as mr. kelly so passionately said, something that's commonsense, that we ought to work on together and that we ought to provide the relief for those who provide more than 70% of the volunteer aid across this country, especially when it comes to fighting fires and our national volunteer fire council is supportive of this, as well as the fire chiefs association. i'm looking forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle to ensure this and again with that, commend and congratulate mr. barletta and thank him for his fine work in
this area and look forward to supporting him on future endeavors. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: mr. speaker, i'll yield myself just a few moments to say to the gentleman from connecticut, i appreciate him for his comments, fost, for the bipartisan nature of this. for mr. courtney, first they had to get through some tough luck. andrew luck in particular, in order to make it to where they wanted to go. with that, for the purposes of closing on his own bill, i would like to yield such time as he may consume to mr. barletta. the speaker pro tempore: mr. barletta is recognized to close. mr. barletta: thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. speaker. i'd like to thank my colleagues on both sides. there's very few times when you have a vote here that is unanimous and it's for a simple reason, everyone here understands and appreciates what these men and women in our communities are willing to do to make the community safe.
you know, as a mayor i've come to appreciate the volunteer firefighters more than i could ever imagine. many times i've watched them stand out in the middle of a road with a boot trying to raise money so that they could buy gear or equipment or get more training. they ask very little of their community the volunteers, to what they're going to give and that's the ultimate sacrifice, that they're willing to give their lives for people that they don't even know. they're willing to walk into a burning fire. i can remember one night our local fire department in haiseleton, they ran in and came out with a little baby that they saved the life of. i remember a day when they couldn't save a life and how it affected every one of those men and women as if it was their own child. they have a lot to worry about
and what they shouldn't worry about is where they're going to get money to provide health insurance or pay a fine. i'm sure this was an unintended consequence and we here recognize that. so again i want to thank the chairman and my colleagues for standing with me and salutinging the real american heroes, the men and women who volunteer to save us, our t respoer witht e yid back e lan of my time. mr. ryan: with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will t hse spd e leanpa the bill, h.r. 33. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counte a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this
take up the keystone pipeline. this was done in haste last year. it was done in behalf of mary landrieu. it failed to advance. they have at least 63 votes in support which gets it beyond and allows it to be debated. what we expect to happen is there will be several days of debate. this is a truncated week because republicans go up to pennsylvania for their policy retreat. tonight, you will see debate beginning on various amendments. it will continue next week while the president comes to the state of the union. in the house, they are dealing
with funding for the department of homeland security. house republicans are expected to bring a bill to the floor that would fund the department but it would have amendments that would put restrictions on various parts they can do regarding the executive orders. it will head to the senate. we have until february 27 to see if they can create a plan. republicans will get concessions and make it harder for the department to implement what the president would like to do. >> are the republicans on board? guest: we will have to see. there is a sense to do something and respond to what the president did. there are enough republicans in this new majority, they have to
be careful about how they proceed on immigration. they come from swing districts with large immigrant populations. you saw last week only a few hours after the attacks in paris, peter king from york city said how can we be holding up funding for the department of homeland security when there are threats against the country? i think that brought a lot of pause to republicans. there is only so much they can do to be seen with fiddling with security funding. if it fails to advance in the senate, the house will come back and try to do something watered down. that is why they are starting early. they have a month to do this. they are out to days this weekend.
they know they've got to get the ball rolling now. host: you saw on the sunday talk shows dianne feinstein who used to chair the intelligence committee and the chairman and the homeland security chair say there is a real threat of these lone wolf attacks. does this legislation become a vehicle for addressing what happened in paris? it might be too soon. i think you saw them say that this is something they are conscious of and they expect the administration to focus on. certain countries can have their citizens come to this country for 90 days without a visa. the concern is 70 who is or is not on the no-fly list being tracked by us could slip through
the cracks. they could be from one of the waiver countries. the concern is we need to reconsidering that or be more vigilant. do you legislate that? do you tell the intelligence agencies to be wary of that? we will see. what it does more than anything is allowed democrats sort of remind republicans that the longer this goes on the more uncertainty you are creating for our security agencies. do you want to be doing that at this time? host: we are talking about the congressional agenda with ed o'keefe. lawmakers are in town this week. we will talk about more of the issues.
we are taking your calls as well. what are the big debates for this congress question mark the phone lines are open so start dialing a now. on friday, the keystone pipeline was passed. how much help will democrats in the senate health? host: there are 54 senate republicans. they say they've got 63. there must be nine democrats are willing to vote for this. the magic number is 60 in the senate. eventually, if they want to override the veto, they have to get to 67. i've been told that they think through the natural ebbs and flows of horse trading that they might be able to get to 67. there might be enough people who are holding on not because they
are worried about the project they may have concerns and if things change, they might come along. they will resist this because the oil that comes to the pipeline could be exported. they would prefer that it not be exported, that it only be used here. democrats will offer amendments that every single piece of material used be american-made. 100% american-made. many people will agree with that. it might be impossible. making sure that everybody who is employed is a u.s. citizen or living in the united states. they will try to put all sorts of restrictions on it. the president is going to stand in the way. there probably will not be enough votes to override the veto. if you talk to joe manchin who
supported, we might be of the fine more democrats to make it happen. host: what could make a few more democrats get on board? the president said just sign it? do some deals or work at a deal and get some environmental regulations. guest: that is what we will see them focus on. there will be restrictions added and limitations on where the oil would know and how it would be used. there could be some sort of ultimatum that says no more pipeline projects after this. there are all sorts of things that could be proposed. we will have to wait and see. host: tim is in naples, florida. caller: i have a question of the pipeline. why are the republicans pushing for this pipeline so much?
they turned down all of the presidents jobs bills. the oil is not staying in this country. i can't figure out what the point was until i read somewhere that the coat others stand to make $90 billion on this pipeline because of the land they own in canada and the rights of the oil companies have to bring the line. how come nobody ever talks about that? guest: this is much bigger than a pipeline. this is much bigger than moving oil out of alberta to the gulf of mexico. this is a political instrument to draw contrast between democrats and republicans. they want to spark debate about
energy and reform in this country. you will see that this is the start of a broader energy conversation in the senate. i think both parties would agree that it's been delayed for years amid real demand for some conversation. the underlying bill may be authorizing the pipeline. if democrats and republicans can't work together and add enough things to it that would authorize and spark broader reforms regarding natural gas oil, wind energy, and other sorts of energy use, congress and the white house could put it together. they say that this is not just about moving oil. it's about constitutional powers
of the president and his ability to stand in the way of something that americans want. it's a conversation about job creation. is it just a construction job that will be there for a little bit? it's a conversation about oil exports and whether we should be exporting oil or keep it here? it's not just about this pipeline. it's important to remember as this and can use. it's a symbol of what hasn't been done on energy reform and how republicans criticize the president and how the president distances himself from the things that republicans would like to do. host: jim you are next. caller: these liberals need to get a grip. we do need it.
that is the way i feel about it. host: coming from the state where the judge just ruled __ explain that. guest: it essentially allows the project to continue. it was a barrier to the state department finally giving authorization to this. host: david from ohio. caller: i am currently on social security disability. i understand that in the next couple of years that fund may run out of money. i want to know what congress will do in the next couple of years to restore it. guest: social security will run dry.
i think we have had that conversation for the last 40 years. it is on the agenda, there's no specific proposal on the agenda yet. i think it is something that both parties understand it needs to be done. their proposals out there to deal with this. i think we will see more on it this spring when the republicans roll out their budget plans, and when the president rolls out his. it is an odd_numbered year, which means there's no one up for reelection this year. host: what are some other ambitious goals for this congress? guest: tax reforms. there is an ambitious plan laid out in the pages of the post today.
republicans are proposing an idea to give tax breaks to middle_class families. it is a lofty idea. it is another example of how the parties are talking about things that they could conceivably be done if party control were different, or if we were in a time of more bipartisan projects. the affordable care act. in social security reform always is a big concern. again, there is no real aggressive or current plan. host: back to crisp __ chris
van hollen's speech, and that will be taking place this morning at 9:30 am on c_span 2. he was also our "newsmakers" guest yesterday on c_span, if you miss that, go to c_span.org. our next caller is up next. caller: talking about the keystone pipeline __ it feeds our water supply. [indiscernible] guest: you make a good point.
pipeline security, and the security of oral across the country remains a big concern. it will likely factor into the debate in the senate over the next few weeks. host: the debate on the senate floor has already started taking place. if you missed it, go to c_span.org to see some of the arguments that have been made for and against the pipeline. thomas from new york. good morning. caller: i just have a question. i was at an event this weekend attended by my congresswoman, and she talked a lot about keystone. she was very for it, saying that it will create something like 42,000 jobs.
i just wanted to hear what your thoughts were on permanent jobs that you still will actually create. i've heard democrats say that it will not create they may jobs at all __ less than 1000. then republican saying 42,000. whereas each side getting the numbers and what is a realistic estimate? guest: i would refer you to a fact checker that was done by my colleague at the "washington post." he looked at the two sides to try and see how may jobs would be created. 10,000s of jobs would be created and would last as long as the construction of the pipeline lasts. as far as permanent jobs, it is believed to be just a few dozen
__ close to 40. i would refer you to that piece. you nailed it, thomas. it is somewhere just between a few dozen and tens of thousands. i think 42,000 is on the high end. 35,000 is on the low end, as far as construction jobs. but to manage the pipeline, it is just a few dozen. these types of facts are the ones that have been thrown around in this debate. it behooves you to find out for yourself what is the truth. my colleague did an exhaustive job to try and find out exactly how may people would be employed by the pipeline. host: he also recently did a piece on republican claims on
the keystone pipeline. if you google washington fact checker, you can see the different aspects of this debate. caller: hello. i have been listening to this issue. i do not know why the keystone pipeline is necessary. it is not really helping the american people. are their biggest issues that congress could bring up rather than the keystone pipeline? it is not really helping american people. guest: it is a small part of
the bigger debate on energy, also about the reach of the presidency. the hope here from mitch mcconnell and his staff is to get this over with as quick as possible and move on to other things. there's also understanding that there is a lot of agreement on this, and an ability to present bipartisan support. the jobs, we just talked about that, anywhere from a few dozen to thousands. host: what are some of those other items that congress could get to? guest: we will see potential tougher sanctions on iran. you will see at some point conversations on tax reform. there will be proposed changes to the affordable care act __
coming up with a different way to fund parts of the law. perhaps changes to the 40 hour workweek rule. that is a big concern to many people across the country. there will probably be a vote to fully appeal the law, though there is an understanding that that will not go anywhere. the republicans will make their point, and they go on. there are these known show votes, that are meant to draw attention to the way the presidency is voting. both parties are hoping to move beyond this and find real solutions. host: anymore fallout from those that oppose speaker boehner for a third term? guest: we saw through members
almost immediately removed from the rules committee. that makes sense, because i committee is really what decides what makes it to the floor of the house. whether we see any retribution against others who were actively pushing for this, we will have to wait and see. i believe there is a desire amongst allies of the speaker to do something __ whether it is to shrink their budgets, or anything else. the problem is that only amplifies it more. then, they can go back to the district, to tea party backers, and say, i'm now the face of those who are embodied to the speaker. you do not necessarily want to do that. you want to ignore them and discount them as much as possible. that may be why the speaker is
completely holding off. host: are there any rumblings like that over in the senate side? aagainst majority leader mitch mcconnell? guest: no. certainly not yet at least. there may be republican senators who stand in the way of certain pieces. that would behoove mitch mcconnell to find moderate democrats as allies. no one challenged him, and there has been no talk of real concern about leadership. host: he wrote a __ you wrote a piece this morning on moderate democrats in the senate.
guest: it starts with joe donnelly, joe mansion of west virginia. other democrats who may be in the mix are the independent senator from maine, and the former governor of virginia. from there, you go to a whole host of people. they could be game to work with both sides of the aisle on certain specific issues. it will just depend on what republicans are willing to bring forward. you will see, for example, menendez will work with republicans on the president's
policy on cuba. host: city have that dynamic over in the senate. you also have 2016, with several republicans thinking about running. guest: you have marco rubio coming out with a book this week. rand paul'sbook is coming soon. ted cruz is also want to watch. whether all of them are able to advance, or some of them back off given the intentions of jeb bush, mitt romney, and others. we will see. with democrats, some are interested in what elizabeth warren thinks to do.
host: mitt romney said he will not run, and now he is. we have a tweet __ after cromnibus, what evidence do you have that congress will return to regular order? guest: after thursday, asked me again. again, senator mcconnell said that there will be at a fair process on these bills. he has said that democrats and republicans alike will be invited to introduce amendments, and they will be voted on fairly. it will be a stark departure from how things were dealt with in the past two years. we will see. we will see to what extent democrats are in engaging on this, and to what extent
republicans are willing to commit to this. this is a hopeful sign that things will be getting back to order. it is kind of going back to the way things are supposed to be, if you look at the rulebook. host: we will go to south carolina next. caller: i would like to know why you keep saying this oral __ it is not oil __ it is tar sands. it is the nasty stuff on the planet, and no one can burn it except for china. host: we will go on to phyllis. caller: thank you for taking my call. i also want to ask about the
keystone pipeline in. i'm a democrat, and environmentalist. taking the land away, and forcing eminent domain on ranchers and farmers, and especially native americans, who do not want this going through their land. there's a little sad about their rights. i think we have a treaty with the indians __ and we're just trampling on their rights. guest: that is another element of concern. all of your callers are bringing a complicated issues that are involved with this. that demonstrates the breadth of this. host: and the debate on capitol hill.
it will start today in the senate. obviously a lot of colors are interested in this topic. tune in to c_span 2. eddie in massachusetts. caller: good morning. the pipeline will give you oil. the more oil and you have to lower the prices. the better chance that you can get a carbon tax. with that, you could supplement solar paneling. that's where jobs will be. host: john in florida. caller: thanks for taking my call. i wanted to comment on one thing. i want to think c_span for giving the american people a chance to talk.
fox news, or all the other news media, they would not last 10 minutes under that scrutiny. my comment is __ i get my information from doctor jim willie __ a leading economist in america. he points out that there is a massive glut of oil in the world right now. the prices could drop down to the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order passing h.r. 203 suspending the rules h.r. 33 and agreeing to the speaker's journal. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the vote on the motion of the
the gentleman from florida to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 20 on which yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk: h.r. 203, a bill to direct the secretary of veterans affairs to provide the conduct of annual evaluations of mental health care and suicide prevention programs to require a pilot program on loan repayment for psychiatrists who agree to serve in the department of veterans affairs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation witth united at hsef reprens. anysef e osecaptioned coverage of the house prees for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will administer the oath of office to several members who have not yet had the opportunity to have the oath of office administered to them. so the representatives elect will please present themselves in the well of the house. the speaker: and will the
members please rise. if the members elect will raise their right hand. do you solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you're about to enter, so help you god? congratulations, you are now members of the 114th congress. under clause 5b of rule 20 the chair announces to the house that in light of the oath of office the gentlewoman from california, the gentleman from alaska and texas, the whole number of the house is now 433.
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. ryan, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 33 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 33, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to ensure that emergency services volunteers are not taken into account as employees under the shared responsibility requirements maintained in the patient protection and affordable care act. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united stou repreativ. any use of the clocaiod covere toe proceedis for political or commeralurposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 401 and the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united staus represtave any use of thosti covera of the house proceengs for political or coeral purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. >> i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's desk senate concurrent resolution 2 and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: senate concurrent resolution 2, concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall in the capitol visitor's center for a ceremony to present the congressional gold medal to the first special force in recognition of its service in world war ii. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of concurrent resolution? without objection the concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? >> i dend to the desk a privileged concurrent resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: resolved that the two houses asemiuntil -- assemble in the hall of the house of representatives on january 20, for purposes of receiving nudge communication as the president of the united states shall be pleased to make to them. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that representative adam smith be removed as co-sponsor of h.r. 217. he was inadvertently added through a clerical error and did not intend to co-sponsor the legislation.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. cone of tennessee for today, ms. roybal-allard for today and ms. titus of nevada for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognize. mr. hoyer: i rise today to honor one of our own, joe strickland, the chief reporter of the base on his -- chief reporter of debates on his retirement after 21 years of service. mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
mr. hoyer: joe stricksland a native texan he came to the house in 1993. two years after graduating from court reporting school he quickly distinguished himself not only as an excellent court reporter but a very capable manager. in 2000, the clerk of the house promoted joe to deputy chief reporter and made him chief in 2005. joe has participated in seven state of the union addresses by three presidents and he has developed a global reputation as a leader in reporting parliamentary debates. joe is represent -- joe has represented the house abroad on several occasions, mr. speaker including participating in the e-parliament world conference in johan necessaryberg. here at home -- in johannesburg. he's addressed the national court reporters association three times and served on the board of the greater washington
shorthand reporters. the house has lost a great resource and role model for the 43 dedicated professionals joe manages. one of the reporters of course is on the floor reporting this now. we thank her and we thank all of those who have to listen to us and report what we say. that's a tough job. but i know that joe will continue to inspire those who serve in the recording office. i join, and i know all of my colleagues, join in honoring joe strickland, thanking him for his service to this house, and we wish him a very happy retirement, full of time spent with tom and kevin and i thank him for 4izz service to our country. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain
requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, it is truly astonishing that president obama is asking congress and the american people to applaud and reward the castro regime for releasing 53 innocent people from its gulags today while ignoring the fact that over 1,000 were arrested last year. these individuals were in prison for expressing their basic rights as human beings and seek regular forms on the island based -- based on the universal and fundamental principle of freedom. what a pathetically low bar the president has set. this administration has shown time and time again that it is more willing to appease tyrants than protect america's role as a defender of democracy.
president obama's reaction to the castro regime show he is willing to give up liberty and justice to placate a regime. thank you mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i seek to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> today, we mourn with the people of paris. americans stand with paris and attacks on innocent people everywhere across the world. terrorists are escalating attacks on innocent people across the world as we speak. american here's at home are rightfully concerned. and to protect them, they look to us. their lawmakers. our greatest responsibility above everything else we ever do prescribed to us in the constitution, is to keep people safe in their homes and country.
as security measures go up in our country to keep us shafe, unfortunately, house g.o.p. leaders are proposing to shut the department of homeland security down. we cannot play politics with our national security. i urge my house g.o.p. colleagues to stand up for security and not shut down the government. let's put the safety of the american people first and put petty politics aside. now is a time we stand strong for the security of everyone. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extendful the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise to discuss work in the house to secure our bordered and address the obama administration's unilateral actions on immigration. this week the house will consider the 2015 department of homeland security appropriations bill, which takes a number of steps to
bolster border security and law enforcement efforts. to start, the legislation provides for the largest operational force levs in the history. it includes initiatives such as around the clock surveillance around the border. it strengthens related domestic and international investigations. finally the legislation will provide for the amendments to stop the president's executive actions on immigration. mr. speaker, the president's unilateral executive orders should be of concern to each and every member of this body. i call on colleagues from both sides of the aisle to do what is right and support this legislation back east to protect the borders, restore the rule of law and the american people deserve as much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to
address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kennedy: i rise in opposition to the department of homeland security appropriations bill. in the face of inaction by this house last year, our president was forced to use his constitutional authority to bring millions of hour neighbors out of the shadows to fix a broken immigration system. through scrapping the secure communities program and ensuring that parents of american citizens could no longer live in fear of deportation, the president's executive order moved our country forward. however, it is no substitute for the bipartisan congressional action that the majority of american people feel we need and that passed the senate two years ago. by undermining the president's executive actions through amendments and d.h.s. appropriations my colleagues are not only jeopardizing critical funding for our nation's security but also ignoring the pain and suffering
they will cause millions across our country. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? i'm sorry, north dakota seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. >> aristotle said we are what we repeatedly do, complents is not an act, but a habit. this weekend, the north dakota state university bison football team was in frisco texas, attempting to win their fourth consecutive ncaa division i f.c.s. national title. after a long stampede with a talented flock of illinois state red birds hot on their tail, they finally ended up in the end zone. the only ones in the winner's circle were the thundering herd. the seniors finish their careers with more national championships mr. speaker, than losses. i'm especially proud of the
boys from north dakota. mr. cramer: carson wentz earned m.v.p. status by quarterbacking the team's success. and thorn tennessee sealed the deal with a last-minute interception. all the team members from the rough ride every state and beyond, you made us proud again and remind us why it's cool to be from north dakota. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> it is my honor to represent one of the most diverse districts in the entire congress, approximately 3% of the people i represent were born outside of the united states of america. mr. jeffries: folks from all over the worldcom to brooklyn and queens to pursue the american dream. this is part of what makes america great. but there is an anti-immigrant
conser -- cancer spreading in this town that is moving like a malignant tumor amongst some on the other side of the aisle. as a result of this invidious affliction there are some in the house g.o.p. prepared to shut down the department of homeland security even though america continues to be a top target of terrorists all across the world. this is shameful, this is reckless, this is irresponsible, and the american people need to rise up to stop it from happening. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. rangel: mr. chairman i was in havana, cuba, when the
president of the united states declared that he was going to relax the restrictions that we have and the embargo in cuba. and i tell you that the people in havana rejoiced. they said there were two basic things they liked about america in the streets of havana. one was american movies. and the second was everything else. when i got to come back home through miami, at the airport people were -- with cuban backgrounds, americans, were so excited about the opportunity for america to rejoin the family of nations to recognize the contributions that cuba can make. we thought that today we would be hearing a rejoicing that those people who should never have been in jail in cuba were released. obviously there are some people who have a different opinion. so i'm here today to say that,
with all due respect to those americans and those cubans that suffered under the dictatorship in cuba, that we feel their pain but now american policy should override the pain that few feel for the best that's in the national interests of our great nation. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. yarmuth: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. yarmuth: thank you. mr. speaker, there were a lot of games being played in this time of year. tonight we're going to have a national championship game for the ncaa national football championship, playoff games for the nfl championship. we have basketball games being played and hockey games. the american people don't need games being played in the house of representatives. but that's exactly what we're seeing this week. the republican majority is holding hostage the security of
this nation holding the department of homeland security's budget hostage so they can advance some ideological provisions on immigration reform. this is nothing but a big pout on the part of the republican majority because they're upset with the president's executive action. if they want to act and undo what the president has done and proceed toward a sane immigration policy we have an entire body of democrats and republicans waiting to do that. i was part of the bipartisan group last year that worked for the entire congress trying to get that done. i know it's possible. but no more games mr. speaker. we need action, we need sane action, and not holding our national security hostage. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? is there another --
mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to talk for an hour on the topic of the late governor cuomo. the speaker pro tempore: we will suspend one-minute speeches. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. rangel: mr. chairman, as the senior member of the new york delegation it affords me a great honor to come from the empire state of new york where we have so many people that we are proud of. but because mario cuomo represented the true nature of the american dream, we from the state of new york just would like to laud the contributions that he'd made not just to queens, where he was raised, not just to the great state of
new york but to those democratic principles that all of us believe in but no one could articulate it the way our great governor had. so many people have come to this country from far away places and somehow when they succeed some change their names, some change their attitudes and some just absolutely forget how they got here and how they succeeded. but mario cuomo was different. mario was so proud of the fact that his parents were immigrants, proud of the fact that they came here with nothing but a hope and a dream that their son would succeed. and he succeeded in everything that he touched. from neighborhood arbitration
to secretary of state to lieutenant governor and of course the nation remembers him as the governor and one who articulated the principles not of the democratic party but the entire country at a democratic convention. he leaves behind a son. not only did he talk about his father in terms that made us all feel proud, but that voice that he had, if you closed your eyes for one moment, you would see that mario cuomo did not die but left his son to continue in describing the great opportunity that we have in this great country. and so i'm so glad that so many new yorkers are here and because we are here in such a short period of time and committees are reorganizing the delegation has asked me to reduce my remarks to two minutes and so i share that
concern with the rest our great delegation and -- with the rest of our great delegation and it's my understanding that joe crawly -- crowley is prepared to yield to allow me to yield the remainder of my time to conduct this and it's my great pleasure to yield to joe crowley from new york. mr. crowley: i thank you, mr. speaker. at this time we'd love to yield -- we will yield as much time as she may consume to the gentlelady and the minority leader of the house, ms. pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank the distinguished -- i don't want to say senior member but the most long-serving, member of longest serving in the new york delegation for getting us all to a start to sing the praises of mario cuomo.
it's my honor to join the new york delegation. i feel honored to do so. my children were born in new york, so that gives me some standing on the subject. mr. speaker, i come to the floor to join the new york delegation in payinging tribute to the memory of governor mario cuomo and i am reminded of this. we all know this but think how appropriate it is for mario cuomo. it says, now let us praise great men, the heroes of our nation. they led the people by their counsel and their knowledge of the lawless. from their fount of wisdom they gave instruction. these godly men, whose righteous deeds will not be forgotten, their wealth is their desent dense and their inheritance is their children's children. their bodies are buried in peace and their names will live forever. the people will tell of their wisdom and the congregation
will continue to sing their praise. does that remind you of mario cuomo? is that perfectly appropriate for him? surely those words apply to the life and legacy of our great departed friend, mario. as a fellow italian american i was taken great pride in his leadership, as a san franciscan who hosted the democratic convention, we in california had some kind of a claim on mario cuomo, because of the great speech that mr. rangel referenced that he made at that convention. but my observing of his greatness goes farther back than that. it was during a trip to italy that we were invited by president carter in 1980 to bring the sympathy and support of the american people to italy at the time of the earthquake where they lost 2,700 lives and left 265,000 people homeless. i mentioned that because we
went by helicopter from village to village to village where villages were devastated. mario cuomo, here's this person who had such a large spirit and a good soul, could sympathize with these people in english and italian, places where, for example, in a village where the first commune onclass was rehearsing for first commune on all the 7-year-olds in that village were in that church when the earthquake hit. the roof came down, every 77 -- every 7-year-old in the village was lost. imagine the grief of those individual families and of that community to lose those children. but as you would expect he was up to the task. knowing that words are completely inadequate and nothing is -- no sympathy can meet the pain that they were feeling. but nonetheless this beautiful
sympathetic man identifying with these people from a region that his family had come from from southern italy. mario cuomo was a pillar of strength for his community, his state and our nation. his values, his vision, his effectiveness for the people of new york that was an inspiration around the world. he was a man of principle and eloquence. that was good. and all the world saw again that man invested in the shining city on the hill speech. with those soaring words he summoned the best of america and called us to empower the working people and middle class families who are the backbone of our nation. he asked us to remember how futures are built. we nomar yo cuomo's language -- we know mario cuomo's language and leadership will echo through the ages just as energizing as his words were that day. in word and deed, governor
cuomo challenged to us make real the american dream. he had it for his family, he wanted it for everyone else. for all who strive to realize it and open the doors of opportunity to every american family. family, family meant everything to him. he was a proud governor of new york for three terms but his proudest achievement was his beautiful family. no one could miss the pride and inspiration he found in his immigrant parents, how he talked about them so beautifully. or his boundless dedication to ma tilleda and his children. our country has lost a great leader, but his family has lost a devoted husband to his wife of over 60 years, to matilda, a loving father to five children margaret, andrew maria, madeline and christopher. and a doting grandfather to some really lovell grandchildren. my husband paul and i and our entire family are heartbroken, we're really heartbroken by his
passing. we continue to extend our deepest sympathy and love to matild and their family. i hope it's a comfort to them that so many people, really in their own state and in the country and throughout the world, mourn their loss and continue to pray for them. and continue to be inspired by this great man as the bible says, people will tell of his wisdom and the congregation will continue to sing his praise. with that i thank the gentleman from -- mr. crowley for yielding and yield back to him and thank you for bringing us together to sing the praises of mario cuomo. thank you. mr. crowley: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015 the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as a designee of the minority leader. mr. crowley: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield to the gentlelady from rochester new york ms. slaughter.
ms. slaughter: i thank mr. crowley for yielding me the time. and i've really had so much on my mind, what i could say about him. i knew him longer than a lot of the rest of new york staters. i met him in 1973. i was a member of the democrat state committee in rochester, new york. and i was asked by the district attorney to come over to his house and meet a man from new york city that was thinking about running for governor. so i joined my friends and sat in the living room for about an hour, waiting for the guests from new york to get off the telephone in the kitchen and come out and talk to us. and he came out, he was perfectly charming, but he didn't know upstate new york. and he started by telling us, a lot of people are talking to me about running for governor and i thought it would be a good idea if i came up here to see what all of you thought.
well, i left the house that night and i said to my friend i was driving with, he's a really nice guy and he's very smart, but, boy, he needs a lot of help. and i was really pretty lucky i think that i got to do that. as it turns out, governor kerry ran for governor that time and then mr. cuomo was appointed secretary of state. and headomgrt eafo upsta nanef them was they were going to have upstate coordinator which is kind of an emoorphous title but i'm blessed he let me try that job. i'd been out of the work force. my youngest child was about 12 years old. it was back in the day when one income could bring up a family and education. and so trying to get back into work and to get back into all that was pretty difficult for me and i'm not sure anybody else would have put up with me other than mario cuomo.
giving me every opportunity in the world to try to learn what it is we're trying to do, but, boy, did i ever teach him a few things. . we had an old car, and i drove him all over upstate new york and the conversations we had would astound you. we stopped one day in the village, one of our beautiful rural villages named pavilion to get a cup of coffee. a 16-year-old girl came out to wait on us and here he was, a new person to speak to. those of you who knew him know how exciting that would be. he started in by asking her what was the main business in pavilion? what was -- basically the gross domestic product there and asking her all these questions and all she wanted to do was get him a cup of coffee. i felt a little sorry for her and i said, he's the secretary of state, i forgot to say of new york. she went back into the kitchen,
knowing this man wasn't henry kissinger, and never came back out. we drove around and he asked me about the corn fields. if my agriculture people knew the botch i made of trying to explain to him the life of a corn stalk -- and then he'd ask me about how do they heat that house over there? we had two years showing him upstate new york, he got elected lieutenant governor and i ran that upstate campaign. state police took over. but we still carried on these great conversations we had, a policeman said once, no matter how upset mario was when he got off the plane he'd go 10 miles or 10 rounds with louise and be off on another subject. irlearned so much from him.
everyone thinks of him as sort of a one speechmaker sort but that was not it. the speech he made at notre dame was incredibly wonderful and so instructive and everybody should read that as well. but one of my very favorites is when he made a speech about my hometown of rochester on lake ontario he said described rochester as a necklace of neighborhoods clustered around the lake. now that's talking. he also talked about life. that our life needed to be more than to just hope always to land on the safe squares. we thought that was such an incredible thing to think about, that your life had to have more meaning than that. the people that we worked with at the secretary of state's office who were holdovers from the previous administration had said to him many, many times how wonderful it was for them to be able to work for such a
first rate lawyer and believe me, he really was. he loved the country as nancy pelosi pointed out, his love of his family was legendary. he was a man of deep conviction, religious faith, who loved his family more than anything but he also loved the great opportunity that this country had given to him. he talked so admiringly of his father and the strength that his father and mother had, coming here with literally nothing. and the manual labor that his father did to lift himself up and consequently his family to a better life in the country. he loved new york. he loved its people. he loved its history. more than anything. he loved the institution of governing. i speak of him as somebody that maybe other people didn't get to know the way i did, but admired him always. and i'm pretty sure i would not be in elected office at all had
i not had the opportunity to learn from him, the wonderful opportunity to represent our neighbors and to come town and try to make law and make some changes. so i thank you very much for the time, mr. crowley. we will not see his like again. thank you. mr. crowley: i thank the gentlelady. i yield to the gentleman from the bronx, mr. serrano. mr. serrano: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. i thank my colleague, mr. crowley, this week in 1975, i became a member of the new york state assembly. this week in 1975 mario cuomo became secretary of state. i levitt to come to congress in 1990. i'm fortunate to have served 16 of the 20 years he served in the executive branch in the legislature. in 1983, when i became chairman of the education committee i really got to know him and
speak to him and to understand what everyone that has spoken has already said that above all this man never forgot and understood how important it was for him to be the son of an immigrant family system of he wanted everyone else to have the same opportunity. yes, he was eloquent. yes, he had to be a great human being, after all, he was a minor league baseball player, and signed by the pittsburgh pirates i believe, to play ball. that alone makes him a great guy. but he was an eloquent man who also remembered his humble beginnings in the grocery store having to work, to get to law school to be able to understand. so i when -- so when i stood in front of him as one who had been born -- -- who had been born an american citizen but a lot of people along the way forgot and treated differently
there was a -- an understanding about him, he understood. when i went to his funeral, matilda was so gracious because she wrote a book once where she asked people to write who had influenced them and i wrote about a certain gentleman in the bronx who had played a major role in my starting my public career, and she remembered that and i once again offer my condolences to me the cuomo family. but we should not feel sorry that he's gone. we should be blessed -- we have been blessed with the fact that he lived among us. for me, 16 of those 20 years i learned so much from him. hopefully i was able to help him along the way at times too. thank you so much.
mr. crowley: i thank my friend from the bronx. i yield to mr. nadler from manhattan. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i too came to the legislature and served for 16 years there and for most of that time, mario cuomo was governor. we all know that he was an eloquent philosopher in politics, someone who could express the goals and the principles of public office and of government more eloquently than almost anyone else. mario cuomo graduated first in his class from st. john's law school in 1946 and despite sending out over 0 resumes, couldn't get a response or interview from a top law firm because he was italian. and that was the state of prejudice in this country, or at least on wall street, in 1946. he went on from there to become a major lawyer, to become the
governor of the state. to become a leader of a philosophy in american politics. but in doing so he never forgot where he came from. he didn't forget his experiences and he knew that other people were having similar experiences. he was a man of great principle he vetoed the death penalty, though he knew that the death penalty was very popular in new york, 12 times in a row. and they sustained those vetoes. having not forgotten where he came from, he always wanted to use government to help defenseless people who need the help of government, and he did. we all know many of the thing he is did, i'm not going to repeat them here. i want to just mention a couple of things that didn't get great publicity but that i saw as a member of the legislature. when he became governor, he set up a commission, commission on child support, commission on day care, whatever it was. every year for years that
commission came up with legislation which he supported and pushed and some of us in the legislature worked on that. he passed, we passed pioneering legislation, pioneering in this country on child support enforcement, considered a radical idea in the early 1980's. he passed the child support standards act so the judges couldn't leave women and their children without adequate support. we passed day care resource and referral legislation. family day care. all of which came from the initiatives of governor cuomo none of which got a lot of publicity, which was focused on so-called bigger items, but these helped people. these were vital for people living their lives without a lot of money, without a lot of resources, but government became a helper and a friend because of governor cuomo. mr. crowley: i thank mr.
nadler, i now yield time to the gentlewoman from brooklyn, queens and manhattan, ms. nydia velazquez. ms. velazquez: thank you. i rise to honor a leader who inspired not only new yorkers but also captured the imagination of progressives across the nation. at a time when our national dialogue was dominated by those seeking to leave working families to fend for themselves, governor cuomo outrained -- outlined a different vision. through his policies as governor and his speaking abilities, he articulated our moral obligation to care for one another while working toward a society that benefits all americans, not only the affluent and powerful. all of us remember his famous words from the democratic convention in san francisco, questioning conservatives' rose
colored view of the nation he, noted we were becoming too much a tale of two cities, rather than a shining city on a hill. that speech crystalized the differences in competing philosophies between those who believe americans can do more to help one another and those who think our nation has already reached its greatest heights and cannot further improve. however, just as he was serving as an intellectual lode star for progressivings he remained dedicated -- progressives he remained dedicated to improving lives. today, queens is where families of all backgrounds, latinos, asian, italian, and greek immigrants converge to secure
a decent affordable place to live. in today's political landscape, we could all benefit from remembering those words. in today's cynical environment, many have forgotten the tremendous good our government can achieve in pursuing justice, creating opportunity, and caring for neighbors in need. governor cuomo made many contributions but that may be among his most important. he provided the intellectual framework to remind us that we have more to do, that our nation can be better and that we cannot afford to leave our fellow new yorkers and americans behind. for ensuring these ideas remain part of our national conversation all of us owe him a debt and all of us appreciate his decades of steadfast
service. i send my thoughts and my prayers to his family including his son governor andrew cuomo. i hope they can take comfort in knowing that all of us join in mourning with them. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. crowley: i thank the gentlelady from brooklyn queens, and manhattan. i now yield time to the gentlelady from queens and manhattan, mrs. maloney. mrs. maloney: and brooklyn. mr. crowley: and brooklyn. mrs. maloney: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for his leadership in so many ways. i thank the leader of the democratic party for leading us in our tribute to the great governor. we appreciate your support of mario cuomo on the floor. it seems only fitting and proper for us to pay tribute to the late mario cuomo in this historic chamber, here with
some of the most powerful and eloquent speakers in our nation's history have changed the course of human events, not with swords but with words and ideas. mario cuomo, the former governor of new york, the liberal lion of the empire state, the conscience of the democratic party, and a cherished friend had few peers when it came to making the power of ideas and ideals irresistible forces for good. his faith, his passion, his values, and his unique gifts produced in him a -- an unrivaled ability to articulate the flight, defend the right and engage the hopes of ordinary citizens. i had the great fortune to be i had the great fortune of being a delegate at the democratic convention in 1984.
i will never forget it. when he spoke it electrified the whole convention. we were transfixed by the power of his appeal right to the deepest reaches of our common humanity. he made all of us feel like we needed to do more, work harder and help others, because that is what really came through when mario cuomo spoke his deep commitment to fundamental decency, justice and humanity. he spoke to a sitting president on behalf of the forgotten and dispossessed. he spoke to the powerful on behalf of the powerless. and i quote, there is despair, he said, in the faces you don't see and the places you don't visit. mario cuomo was right. he knew, he spent his life working for the hard-working people who built our shining city, who supply our food, who
teach our children, who staff our hospitals, people who are too often overworked overlooked and underserved. his family owned a store in jamaica queens and knew the value of hard work and education and lived the american dream and spent his life to build the american dream for others. mario cuomo worked his way intost johns university. he attendedst johns university school of law in new york and graduated first in his class. he first rose to public attention when he came roaring out of queens back in the 1970's, to challenge city hall's condemnation of a working class neighborhood in cor owna. people began to appreciate that mario cuomo had the power to inspire others to demand for themselves a more just and
humane society and a better government. he insisted that representative government should be just that, a government for all the people. whenever he was on the ballot, and i remember as an active democrat then, democrats' legislation went up, because everybody wanted to vote for and help elect mario cuomo. they knew he would do everything in his power to give them a fair shake. he once told me and i always had these terrible elections and he told me he was my fairy godfather and grant me three wishes but only on one condition that i would go out and grant three wishes to someone else and help them do a better job. he was a friend, a metropolitanor a husband, wonderful father. as a parent, there is no question he did a remarkable job. one son a governor, one a news anchor, one daughter a
physician another one continuing the family work in housing the homeless and another an attorney and if that was all that he ever did that would be plenty for one lifetime, but mario cuomo did much more. he was steck of state of new york and then lieutenant governor and then governor for three terms. he led new york to provide health care for children. he began the decade of a child, an effort that used multiple health care and educational strategies to better the lives of our most vulnerable. he passed the support enforcement bill. the most intense public health plan in the nation was put in place to take on the aids epidemic. new york state began the first state in the nation to enact a seat belt law. he was a great man. and i'm proud beyond all telling to be able to say he was a friend, a mentor and a
supporter. i grieve his passing and i send my most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. i shall miss this man till the end of time. to know him was to love him. mr. crowley: i yield to the gentleman from queens mr. meeks. mr. meeks: i thank the gentleman for yielding. when i think of governor mario cuomo, many talk about his great oratory and talk about some of the fantastic speeches that he made. but when i think about mario cuomo, he didn't just talk the talk. he walked the walk. and his speeches were not made just because it was a political
gathering or forum. his speeches were made because that is what he truly believed. it came from his heart. it is how he lived his life and you could see that in how he dealt with his family. because that was his foundation. and from that foundation, he was able to build and he looked at starting with that little place in jamaica, queens, that i'm now proud to represent and then looked at queens and the city of new york and then the state of new york, as the foundation of which he could make a difference. learning from his growing up with his parents. and as a result, you found individuals falling in love with mario cuomo, and you could see by the people that were around
him who became completely loyal to him, because he had a real great leadership. so once you became infected with the spirit of mario cuomo, you continued to stay around him. and you would see individuals who were with mario cuomo until the day that he died. folks loyal to him. and in this business and in this day and age and sometimes, if you don't have that kind of character, people come and people go. lastly, because i know we've got so many members of the new york delegation that's here that want to talk, let me just say, he was competitive. man, i can think about those days -- i thank him first because you talk about getting into politics, he allowed me to cut my teeth to appointing to the new york state compensation
board as a judge and then the supervising judge in the state having me going all over the state and then encouraging me to run for the state assembly, and once elected, working very closely with him. once i got into the assembly i thought he was a nice guy, until you got on the basketball court. and how competitive was he on that basketball court. and elbows, you know. i look at some of the players now when they are complaining well, you need to play old school basketball with governor mario cuomo. and i close by saying, thank god because he was a very religious man, mario cuomo, too. but god sent -- could have sent him to california, but he didn't. but could have been in illinois texas or in florida, no, we were fortunate because god had him
through his parents who came here from italy to come to a place where the statue of liberty was, who believe me, give me your will who believe in family. and we had him in the great state of new york. thank you, governor mario cuomo. mr. crowley: i thank my good friend. and i now yield to my friend from buffalo new york. mario cuomo was known all over the state. but my colleague, brian higgins. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, i rise today to, along with my colleagues, honor the life and legacy of mario cuomo who passed away at the age of 82 on january 1. when we think of governor cuomo we think of him along with his son, now governor andrew cuomo
and counsel tim russert from buffalo, driving a car riding from the airport to the mosconi center to deliver his keynote address, which made him known as a prominent figure in the democratic party. less remembered than his speeches but just as admirable were his writings. he wrote extensively on the american dream his immigrant parents achieved and the numerous causes he cared about. "why lincoln matters," which is a collection of 31 speeches he wrote going back to 1974. as a student of government, a teacher of government and now as a practitioner, until 2006, i
went to see governor cuomo who was practicing law in manhattan. and i had 15 minutes scheduled with him and left two hours later. i told him that his writings going back to 1974 were as relevant today as they were when they were written. they were timeless. they were classics. my favorite story is the one that he told that came to edit the book "lincoln on democracy." in 1988 he met with the delegation from the teacher's section of poland's solidarity union which was the leading advocate of bringing democracy to poland when it was under communist rule. the teachers said they were building an archive of writings on democracy. they asked if he could recommend writings by american thirst that
had influenced his approach of public service and democracy. cuomo immediately identified abraham lincoln as his favorite source of wisdom. the polish delegation said, governor, lincoln's writings and speeches are not available in poland. in fact, they were banned. cuomo promised to give them speeches that they needed in order to appreciate what he had come to appreciate in lincoln. so linchingon says, -- cuomo's delegation said come over here. he pulled out the 378-page index of the collective works of lincoln. not one mention of democracy in those works. so together, with lincoln scholar, he wrote edited and published "lincoln on democracy," a book that is essential for anyone wishing to
understand democracy and governance. true to his word the polish version of the book appeared in wausau in 1990. his gift was that he forced us to think for ourselves. forced us to consider our history. he forced us to recognize our responsibility to build a foundation that is better than the foundation that those who came before us built for us. that is the true meaning of the american dream. and it was embodied by unique individual who was an unlikely successful lawyer and unlikely governor of new york, mario cuomo. i yield back. mr. crowley: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i now yield to my colleague and friend from the upstate region who served, mr. paul tonko.
mr. tonko: thank you, mr. crowley, for the opportunity to share some thoughts here this evening with our leader nancy pelosi and members of the new york delegation as we pay tribute to the life of mario matthew cuomo, the greatest of governors in new york and a true statesman, a bold and great individual, a humble giant and a roaring voice, a lion voice for social economic and environmental justice. this evening, what i recall about the life of mario cuomo is that as i entered the new york state a-- assembly in 1993 was the same year he entered as governor. and in my first 12 years, it was guided, nurtured and impacted by the strength and the passion of mario cuomo. the walk with him and with his
wife, as the first couple of new york, was a joyous one, but a challenging one, to pay tribute to the greatness, the foundation of family and the passion of immigrants. those two guiding dynamics drove the principles, the integrity and the message of mario cuomo. as a member of his upstate cabinet, informing and alerting the governor to various strengths and vitality and contributions and history of upstate new york, we are able to connect in a very meaningful way, to is a challenge but i will be forever grateful for the learning curve that was developed working alongside this person of greatness. i think also we need to understand that as his son, governor andrew cuomo eulogized at his funeral service he made mention, very
deliberately, that mario cuomo would not often render his words, his speeches, to an audience telling them what they wanted to hear but rather what he needed to share. that, i think, speaks to the humble greatness of this individual, one who had a vision not only for his state and his country, but for the world. i was touched by the governor sharing about his dad, the eloquence of his speaking, his public speak that reach sod many people throughout the world. he talked about those words and put it into an analogy of a fine bit of jewelry, where each word seen as a gem would be deliberately chosen stratiegedly -- strategically placed and majestically clustered in a way where that array would reach our senses speak to our senses about what is correct what is socially just morally sound.
that is true leadership. and it is no wonder through that speech in san francisco that he lives within the minds and hearts and souls of american the best within us. how he could assume this level of greatness, by understanding that we are at our best when we incorporate an inclusive set of principles in our world of politics. mario cuomo impacted all of us, myself included, by his reverence for his parent's journey as immigrants. that journey, which was a pathway to freedom, that journey, which settled into a grocery store, became the pulse of the american dream for his family that was deathered into this country called the united states of america. he never forgot that. he revered it. he was guided by it. the light that he brought to his field of politics was immense. it was driven by fairness and inclusion. so this evening it is anen --
it is an honor to join with my colleague, speak to a humble ban a great individual who along with his wife, alongside him, matilda, brought to this state of new york a sense of hope when there was despair. as was said at the funeral he, will continue to live. his voice may have been silenced but his integrity his spirit, his principles will long live in the lives of those who struggle in america, in her government, for a better tomorrow. may he rest in peace. i yield back. mr. crowley: i thank the gentleman and at this time i yield time to the gentleman from queen mr. jeffries. mr. jeffries: i thank the gentleman, the distinguished gentleman from queens, for this special order hour and yielding me a few moments to reflect on the passing of our great governor, mario cuomo. like many of the members of the
new york delegation, i also served in the new york state assembly, but unlike most, i didn't get the opportunity to serve alongside governor mario cuomo. i arrived several years after he had completed his three terms in office. and so i speak today not from if the perspective of someone who served in government alongside mario cuomo but as a young man who grew up in mario cuomo's new york. what an opportunity to be able to come of age in the 1980's, with a governor a leader who articulated such an eloquent vision of equal protection under the law for everyone. what an opportunity to be able to come of age under a governor who believed in opportunity for everyone. who recognized that new york
state's greatest strength was our diversity from every community, every perspective every religious background. it was great to be able to come of age and look up at a governor who, not withstanding the political potential pitfalls, stood on principle, was ahead of his time as it relates to his firm opposition to the death penalty at a time when that was not a popular position to take. he was a great leader a charismatic intellectual. a wonderful family man. a tremendous lawyer a wonderful statesman, and governor. i can only imagine that when mario cuomo arrived up in
heaven he was prepared to get to work. but i think that there was probably a greeting committee that was there at the gates of heaven, one of whom consisted of f.d.r., a former governor of the state of new york, the other of whom was f.d.r.'s cousin teddy roosevelt two former great governors of the state of new york. i think they probably ushered mario cuomo to a place in front of the throne of glory, where almighty god himself might have said to governor cuomo, listen you can take your suit off and put this robe on, governor cuomo, you can rest now, you've been faithful over a few things. you can rest now, well done, my good and faithful servant. well done.
mr. crowley: i now would like to yield to the gentlelady from flushing and queens, new york ms. grace mention. ms. meng: governor cuomo's legacy is important to remember here in congress. though he's most well known nationally as a a public orator, he first received public attention for his career creatively merging the values of social justice and afford -- access to affordable housing while protecting family values in my home boe rogue of queens. governor -- home borough of queens. governor cuomo was also raised in queens by immigrant parents. perhaps that's what allowed him to be a progressive pragmatist
who held the idea that government should be a force for good. this is best seen through his advocacy for an activist government that provides shelter for the homeless, work for the idle and help for the elderly and infirm at all times. governor cuomo recognized the crucial safety net and that government investment is the foundation for a strong economy an understanding that's imperative in today's political and economic climate. as a mom of two young children i'm particularly touched by his launching of the decade of the child to enact educational and health care reforms affecting children. he deeply understood that improving children's lives ultimately betters our communities and empowers our future. under his leadership, new york was the very first state to enact seat belt laws and today,
we continue focusing on making sure that children's toys and car seats are safe and effective. this academic year, new york city implemented universal pre-k, a concept that the late governor cuomo champions and the current governor cuomo budgeted for success. i believe in what hubert humphries said, the moral task of -- humphreys said, the moral task of a government is how it treats those at the dawn of life, the children those in the twilight of life, the aged, and those in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped. i think hubert humphrey would have found governor cuomo to be a strong moral leader and like the rest of us would have mourned the loss of a beacon of progress i ideology. i join my dell case in -- delegation in sending my sympathy to the entire cuomo family. i know his legacy will be a
blessing to us all. thank you and i yield back. mr. crowley: i thank the gentlelady for her remarks. i thank all the members of the new york delegation as well as ms. pelosi, the democratic leader, for her remarks today in remembrance of the great governor of the state of new york, mario cuomo. i had the opportunity at the early age of 15 years of age to be engaged in really my first political campaign. my then uncle walter crowley one of my political idols in life, along with a fellow named michael dowd, were charged with portions of queens county in making sure that the catholic vote came out for mario cuomo in the 1977 race for mayor of new york which was famously won in the primarily ed koch. but that was not the only election that mario cuomo -- and storied election mario cuomo was part of.
he'd been part of elections before that. and lo and behold in 19 2, he would once again find himself in a matchup between himself and ed koch and mario cuomo prevailing in that statewide election. at about 15 years of age, i remember handing out literature at the churches in western queens and southern queens and it really was my intraw into -- entree into political life. then in 1984 as a student in queens college, i interned in the office of then-governor cuomo. what an experience that was to be working with bob sullivan his storied poster but officially on the official side was working in the statistics office, with dick story, a former reporter in new york city marty stedman, to have tim russert walk into the room. we all died because tim russert just walked into the room. i can remember in 1986 when i
was elected to the state assembly, how support i mario cuomo was to me as a young man recommending me to travel around the world with acypl, to come here to washington to get my feet wet as well, to get that washington sense. i remember being on the second floor in 1988 in the blue room, it's known as the blue room where the governor would give his budgets, anticipating his delving into, diving into the 1988 presidential elections, only to have my heart broken when mario cuomo said he would not run in that election. mario cuomo was tough, yet had one of the biggest hearts i have ever come to know. he had also gone to law school, my uncle walter, and there was an intimacy between the crowleys and the cuomo family in queens family politics one that exists to this day with his son andrew as governor and my family as well. mario cuomo always did the right thing. always did the right thing.
and mario cuomo had an incredible magnetism about him. i have never seen outside a presidential -- people who were presidents of the united states, the kind of magnetic sense that mario cuomo emitted. people wanted to be around him. when out, it was hard to get near mario cuomo because everyone wanted to be around mario cuomo. i was always nervous around him. healthy nervousness. but i was excited to be around him. always wanted to be around him. and i loved the man. loved him dearly though i never had enough time to be with him. as paul tonko said at the funeral, and what a beautiful funeral mario cuomo had, what an incredible beautiful funeral simple, yet elegant, is how i'd describe it. his son andrew and his entire
family, how respectful they were of their father. i think of the people who attended that funeral had to walk away knowing that these children all of them were raise sod well. and andrew and margaret, madeleine maria, and christopher. and all their grandchildren. how they behaved. it was wonder to feel see. the respect they had for their father and grandfather, for their in laws. but andrew had said that his father told him, you don't tell people what they want to hear. i'm paraphrasing he told them, you tell them what they need to hear. you tell them what you wanted to tell them. the message you want to get across. it wasn't always popular, the message of mario cuomo. but i do know that people, even when they disagreed with him respected and admired him because of his tenacity,
because he believed in what he was saying. and i think what they respected about him is he was always consistent as well in his thoughts. we will miss mario cuomo, queens county, his home borough will miss him, the city of new york, the state of new york and i think the country has lost a great statesman someone who didn't look to the next election, or look to the next great issue that needed to be tacked, not only in new york because -- tackled, not only in new york because new york is the leader of state legislatures in the country, he was thinking nationally and globally as well. mario cuomo will forever be one of my heroes, as is lincoln. so mario cuomo was bipartisan. he loved lincoln, a republican, but was true to his own democratic principles and his party as well. there's not enough time to say enough about him but mr.
speaker, once again i want to thank the delegation for their loyalty this evening being here for as long as they were and the indulgence of my colleagues as well on the other side. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has yielded back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm humbled and pleased to see my colleagues who turned out tonight in a bipartisan manner to say we reject the president's ill-advised treatment of this policy of the cuban regime and no one is better able and better equipped to talk about freedom, democracy and our fight for justice than mr. chabot. i yield three minutes to the
gentleman from ohio, senior member of the house foreign affairs committee and chairman of the small business committee. mr. chabot: i join with my colleague and friend congresswoman ros-lehtinen in opposition to the december 17 announcement by president obama to change u.s. policy toward cuba. we will be joined by some of our other colleagues and i thank congresswoman ros-lehtinen for her leadership on all issues cuba. she is one who has been a leader on this issue for a long, long time and will continue to be i'm sure. this policy change was a unilateral decision made without consulting congress and complete disregard of long-term national security consequences. similarly, the so-called prisoner exchange was terribly flawed. in 2013, secretary kerry stated that swapping convicted cuban
spice for alan gross was off the table. testifying before congress that since mr. gross was wrongly imprisoned, there was no aquifflensy to pursue a spy-for- spy tradeoff. the freedom of mr. gross was welcomed news. but it was tragically flawed and not in the best interest of the united states and not in the best interest of the people of cuba. as my colleague, representative ros-lehtinen, has rightly highlighted these past weeks since the prisoner exchange occurred, cuban spice have been responsible for the deaths -- cuban spies have been responsible for the deaths of americans. they were released, they were released. cuban patriots who have risked their lives every day to fight
for basic rights and freedoms feel betrayed. and the exchange was flawed. the policy itself is flawed and the announcement has let down one of the united states' strongest allies in the world, israel. year after year, israel has stood at the united states' side, one of the very few supporting the united states at the united nations in 98% of all the votes, including votes that the world's worst actors pushed through to condemn the u.s. embargo on cuba. unfortunately those who have long nourished and fostered cozy relationships with cuba like venezuela, are welcoming the policy changes with open arms. we need to be honest about the implications of president obama's new policy. his unilateral decision to change cuba policy poses a
threat to u.s. national security. if the trade embargo is lifted, money will flow into the hands of the castro brothers, allowing them to financially support espionage activities with terrorist groups like hezbollah and nations like north korea. since the president made his public announcement nearly 1 hub cubans have been detained. the united states should stand for democracy and freedom around the world and we should demand that the castro regime release all political prisoners and hold free and fair elections before establishing diplomatic relations. and i thank representative ms. ros-lehtinen: for her leadership. and it's an honor to speak with her and i yield back. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank you very much, the gentleman from ohio. thank you for looking out for our national security and thank you for trying to uphold the
value of freedom throughout the world. and mr. chabot brought up the fact, mr. kerry, speaking before our committee said we would not release spies for alan gross' life. that came from a question from our next speaker. and i yield five minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, congressman sires. mr. sires: i have deep concern regarding the sfration's plans and initiating diplomatic discussions with the cuban dictatorship. it is naive in my eyes and misguided to think that this is going to give us the long political changes that the cuban
people deserve. in fact, just a few days after, castro made sure to dispel any misgivings and declared that the regime would not abandon its communist path let alone the strange willhold over the people of cuba. i feel the administration has abandoned all those cube ann people -- cuban people all those years who fought for democracy in cuba. those people who are still lingering in the cuban jails are so disappointed in this administration's efforts. you know, the alan gross release should have been something joyous. and we all wanted alan gross released because he was
imprisoned. but to release three cuban spies that exist in this country currently, it's just not acceptable. alan gross should have been released on his own. he did nothing. he just went to cuba to establish some sort of communication with his community. you know the other thing that is troubling me coming from new jersey is the fact that there was no discussion about any extradition of the criminals that are currently in cuba. there are over 100 criminals in cuba, including one who killed a state trooper in new jersey point blank 30 years ago. she escaped to cuba and been
enjoying the son and enjoying the beach. the trooper's family over 30 years and the boy grew up without a father. and yet we can't get this government to think that this is important that we bring these people to justice. as a matter of fact, the f.b.i. has named her number one, number one on the list of terrorists that they want back. so to me, it was very disappointing that the people of new jersey, after all these years, is still trying to bring this woman to justice. you know, people tell me, well, we negotiate and we trade with vietnam, we trade with china, we trade with all those countries. and i say this.
that's not the country -- that's not the island i want in cuba. we haven't helped vietnam's people at all. there is still no freedom. human rights abuses. you look at china. it's the same thing. you look at north korea. it's the same thing. i don't want that for the island where i was born. and i certainly don't want that kind of government 90 miles away from this country. you know, the history of cuba over the 50 years or more of this dictatorship has been one to try to hurt this country as much as it can. and i certainly don't want that 90 miles from this country. you know, the administration
with this effort has taken away what we believe was a pressuring point on a communist dictatorship 90 miles from this country. it has taken away what we can pressure this island. first of all, russia can't help them anymore. russia used to help them. venezuela can't anymore. venezuela is falling apart. there are 30,000 cubans in venezuela, to create the same type of country we have in cuba. and at this point, we take away this pressure and basically give millions of dollars to this dictatorship.
every time anybody sends any money to cuba the cuban government keeps 30% of it. so if you raise it you tell me how many millions that's going to be. when you go to the beaches, when you go to the restaurants, that's all government owned. in cuba, if you want to set up a business you have to negotiate with the cuban government. i go out and speak to the government and the government tells me you have to pay at least $15 an hour. they give those workers $2 or $3 an hour. that's not hell pping the cube -- helping the cuban people. that's not helping them move
forward. so i think it's really naive to think that these kinds of changes are going to help. i can only think back when i was young. i came to this country at the age of 11. i remember when they took all the books out of the school system and started the indoctrineation process. i remember the military coming into my house taking inventory. my mother and father were poor people, but they took inventory of everything that was in that house. and they threatened my parents that if anything was missing at the time we got our visa, it would be revoked. this is not the country that i want for cuba. i want a country with democracy. i want a country where human rights are observed. and yet for 50 years this
dictatorship has been killing. you know people talk about raul as a changer. they set up the firing squads in cuba that killed thousands of people. thousands of people, the firing squad. so i rise today in the total disappointment. and i hope that this administration sees that this is not the way forward. that this is a hardened dictatorship, that the only way we can deal with this dictatorship is through pressure. through pressure is the only way to deal with these people, especially at this time. there is nobody that is going to come out and bail out cuba.
i mean, just last year, they were funneling arms to north korea, right in our back yard. is this the kind of government we want 90 miles from our shores? so i thank my good friends for having this hour, allow noge express my sentiments, and i thank -- allowing me to express my sentiments and i thank my colleagues for speaking with the same approach and i thank you, speaker, for allowing me to express myself tonight. thank you. ms. ros-lehtinen: as you heard from mr. sires, he was born and raised in cuba, but you don't have to have been born there to understand this issue. one man who understands that is the gentleman from florida, i yield to mr. gus bilirakis.
mr. bilirakis: way back in the florida legislature, when i was a member of the cuban caucus proud to be a member of the cuban caucus, i started speaking out against the castro brothers' brand of oppression. over the past phi years, i joined with all of you to decry allen gross' arrest. i'm very thankful for his recent release. his freedom was long overdue. we all agree. i'm glad he is safely on u.s. soil. but a large injustice remains. the plights of cuban citizens have suffered for over five decades under the castro regime in search of basic human rights and political freedoms that we as americans, frankly, take for granted. then almost out of nowhere, the obama administration decides to normalize relations with cuba.
this will allow american dollars to the rescue of the castro brothers at a critical time. their normal economic benefactors, russia and venezuela cannot afford to help. now more than ever, economic sanctions can be used as an effective tool to force the castro regime to afford basic human rights and political freedoms to all of cuba's citizens. scholars have noted that normalizing our economic policy with oppressive countries like china or vietnam have produced no significant improvements in human rights treatment. given the precedent there is no reason to believe the situation with cuba will yield significant different results. in fact, we already know that the suffering for cuba's citizens will continue
unfortunately. raul castro proclaimed that there would be no renunciation of any of their principles. cuban restrictions on free speech assembly and press will remain they proved it just this last week. travel and tourism will remain strictly controlled by the castro regime. tourism dollars that americans will spend will go directly to the oppressors. we cannot ignore the sense of betrayal that cuban defectors feel in response to the president's plan. we should be demanding genuine freedom, release of all political prisoners universal human rights, democratic principles and free market for the cuban people. in order to ensure the citizens of cuba stand a chance to benefit from this ill-advised agreement, cuba's despots must
relinquish control and eradicate their tools of tyranny. human rights reforms must occur before any commercial or political normalization takes place. with that, i yield back mr. chairman. again, i will continue to monitor the actions on the island in search of positive movement. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. bilirakis, i thank you for your clear and consistent message that restriction should not be lifted against the castro regime until those conditions are met. our next speaker, mr. speaker, is the gentleman from alabama, congressman bradley byrne who so understands that good trade is based on free and fair countries that cheerish the principles on which our great country was founded. freedom democracy, respect for the rule of law, all of which are missing in today's cuba. his great city of mobil,
alabama, will greatly -- of mobile, alabama will greatly benefit once we have free trade and fair trade with a democratic cuba. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from mobile, alabama. mr. byrne: i thank the gentlewoman for the time and for your leadership on this issue. as she said i represent mobile, alabama. if you look at a map, it's a straight shot north from havana to mobile. for over three century, mobile has been a major port for the export and import of goods between cuba and the united states. it is in the economic best interest of the people in my district for taos get to a point where we have normalized relations and trade with cuba. so i should be ardently in favor of this deal that the president is pursuing, but i am not. this is not the time these are not the circumstances, and to put it simply, this is not the way to do this.
it's been alluded to previously that we have done deals with china and with vietnam. in both cases, the president's -- the presidents involved worked with congress. that's critically important to whatever success they've had in both of those deals. in this circumstance, the president has refused to work with congress. you can't reach the sort of agreement he's looking for without congress. you can't have an embassy unless we're willing to pay for it. you can't have an ambassador unless the senate approves the ambassador. he is pursuing in essence in an errand that cannot result in the success he's looking for. but he's pursuing it without us because this is another example of these efforts to make these unilateral executive-type decisions, leaving congress to the side, to try to keep himself relevant as he becomes a lame duck president. that's no way to do this. let me address the circumstances.
i can't say it any better than the prior speakers have said it. this is a brutally repressive regime that has not changed. and until they change, until they put in motion the things that we're talking about for change, i don't see how a country like the united states can seriously engage in negotiations with them. most importantly, for me, from my perspective, i serve on the house armed services committee. i don't think i have to tell everybody here the history of this country this country with this regime in charge, allowed the then-soviet union to put nuclear missiles aimed at the united states on their soil. they never apologized for that. they've never renounced that. and as we heard earlier, just a year ago, they were caught red handed in an arms deal with the north koreans, who are presently enemies of the united states. what sort of assurance do we have as part of this deal that
cuba is not going to be a staging ground for military activity terrorist activity, against the people and the security of the united states of america? nothing. nothing. yet we engaged in this deal a very bad deal from my perspective, and i don't want to take anything away from the american citizen who we were able to bring back home, but look who we traded in return for that. it reminds me of theberg dahl deal we had last year that was so very controversial. i mean, this administration doesn't know how to make a good deal. they know how to give everything away and get very little back. i want to normalize relationships with cuba. i want us to open up that trade because it's going to benefit my district. i'm willing to do anything i can to help make that happen. but this country should never give in to people like the castro brothers until there's a
change in that regime, until there's a change in the government of cuba, until they renounce their activities that have been against the security of the united states, until we know that we have a good faith trading partner and a good faith partner period in this hemisphere. i look forward to the day when i can stand at the port of mobile and welcome goods coming in from cuba and goods going out from mobile to cuba as part of a deal that's made in the right way, under the right circumstances, for the right reason. i hope and pray that that day comes. but that day is not today. i thank the gentlewoman for her leadership. i look forward to continue following that leadership in the days to come. i yield back. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much. i am so grate to feel my good friend from mobile, alabama, for his words because he understands that american principles are not for sale. i'd like to point out, mr. speaker, that every country with whom the castro brothers
do business is a country to whom they owe a lot of money. they have not paid all of their bills to any businesses and they have not paid what they owe to any country. and it would be all the same for mobile, alabama system of thank you for standing up for u.s. values. and now i'm so pleased to yield to my good friend from south carolina, a gentleman who understands the threat to our hemisphere, why? because he is the chairman of the subcommittee on western hemisphere mitigating circumstance good friend mr. duncan of south carolina. five minutes. mr. duncan: i thank the gentlelady from florida for her leadership on this issue not just today but for her whole tenure in congress. as the new chairman of the house foreign affair committees subcommittee on the western hemisphere, i was glad to see the return of allen gross to the united states after years of unjest imprisonment in cuba. the announcement over the weekend that the cubans freed
53 prisoners was also welcome news. nevertheless, i have major concerns with the way this administration, the obama administrations conducted negotiations and the way the decision was made to radically alter long-standing u.s. policy toward cuba. the administration failed to consult congress, failed to consult any cuban dissident or civil society in its decision to embark on its new course in cuba. the administration says its decision will empower the cuban people yet softening u.s. policy without concrete reforms will only boost the castro regime and government and facilitate the survival of the communist regime. we need to focus not only what's best for the cuban government, the castro regime, we need to focus what's best for the cuban people. so i ask you this. will this deal mean more
self-governance for the cuban people? will it mean more economic freedom for those who strive to innovate, those that are entrepreneurial within the cuban society? will they be able to start more businesses and have economic freedom? will there be more religious freedom for the cuban people? will there be more rights to free speech? are the cuban people seing this debate tonight on cuban tv? are the cuban people able to access the internet and watch what we're doing via youtube or any other media? these are rhetorical questions but i answer them with no. based on my understanding. recall that only one week after the announcement of this u.s.-cuba deal, the cuban government cracked down on peaceful protesters in havana's revolutionary square. i point to that as evidence that it's still a closed communistic society. in conclusion the
administration's decision is a reward to the communist dictatorship at the expense 240e6 cuban people. this -- expense of the cuban people this action is especially disgraceful when we consider the administration's disrespect to our friend and ally in can day da by vowing to veto legislation of the keystone pipeline. these are issues that require vigorous congressional oversight. i look forward to working with the ranking member that you just heard from in the coming weeks and months. i yield back. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. duncan. we're pleased we have this dynamic duo of the chairman and ranking member of the western hemisphere. you're right to point out that there is no freedom of of the press in cuba. that's one of the many freedoms the cuban people are denied. now i'd like to yield five minutes to my colleague from florida who is a war veteran but who understands that the war for freedom and democracy
takes on many fronts. a member of our house foreign affairs committee congressman ron desantis. mr. desantis: mr. speaker, i would like to recognize my colleague from florida because she is not just on the house floor fighting for freedom for the cuban people who she obviously has a -- an ancestral relation with she fights for freedom for everybody, whether it's in venezuela, iran, she's there, you can set your clock to it. when i first heard about these concessions, you know i was really scratching my head. i was flummocksed, i talked to my colleague -- flummoxed i talked to my colleagues. raul castro goes out and talks to the people, we're not changing anything. they're staying exactly with the values that they have been with from the beginning which are antagonist toik freedom, antagonistic to everything we hold dear here in the united states. you know, when you look at
countries like cue bark a lot of times, you don't need to get into the nitty-gritty there are certain signs where you know the nature of the regime. look at communeism in eastern europe. you don't have to look at the daily life or any of that, look at the fact that there was a berlin wall that kept people in like caged animals. if you look at the difference between north and south korea, all you have to do is look at the satellite photo at night where south korea is lit up like a christmas tree and north korea is a land of darkness and despair. for me, when i think of what is the nature of the cuban regime all you need to know is you've had tens of thousands of people living in cuba, it's a nice island, beautiful, great weather, and they're suffocated so much that they are willing to swim across 90 miles of shark-infested waters, ethis florida straits, knowing they're probably going to die that's all you need to know. this is a stall in