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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 24, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT

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nkford: thank you. >> i just have a series of questions that hope are relatively short responses. i will work my way through as quickly as i can. what is the current estimate of the total number of files for employees breached? archuleta: under director archuleta we estimate that the over 4 million. it is an ongoing investigation. we will continue that with our partners. at this point we know it is a little over 4 million. senator moran: are those words interchangeable? 4 million employees and 4 million files? director archuleta: approximately formally people who have been affected eye it. senator moran: what -- by it. senator moran: we estimate it to
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be 4 million. what is the maximum of files that could have been breached? director archuleta: i want to separate incident one and two. in describing the employee personnel files. estimate that to be a little over 4 million. senator moran: what is the total number that could be affected? director archuleta: that is the number. senator moran: all right. director archuleta: the second incident, we have not determined the scope of that. i don't have a number. senator moran: how many files do have management over? director archuleta: federal background investigation file may have a number of different names. that is why i can give you a specific number. we are working to get that number. i will bring it to you as soon as we have it. senator moran: let me ask warmer time to make sure we are on the same page.
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you have a certain number of files within your agency subject to this kind of breach. what is the total number of files that could have been breached? director archuleta: we are investigating that right now. senator moran: how many files are there? director archuleta: millions of files. we are a data center. there are millions of files. it contains numerous names. i want to be careful to make sure the number and give you i'm confident about. senator moran: you indicated you have taken significant steps. you wrote that down as part of your testimony. but only three or 29 recommendations has been closed. only three of these 29 recommendations have been close to date. nine of these open
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recommendations are long-standing issues that were rolled forward from the prior year. how do you reconcile we have taken significant steps and your courses are long-standing problems and only three of 29 have been addressed? director archuleta: we work closely with our i.t. we work with him to make sure that we have complete and open transparency with him. we meet on a regular basis. the issue that he has brought to us, we are working through. we are working through the steps that he has outlined for us. the conversation will be helpful
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for resolving all of them. >> i think that they have made great strides over the year to improve some of the issues we have reported. we have decreased our severity of that finding. they have put in tools and made strides to improve security. with that said, there are number of long-standing issues in our reports that are open. we hope to see a movement on.
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senator moran: let me start with a broader question. based upon your understanding of the facts involved here and your best judgment was the preacher preaches that have occurred at opm, where they predict it will waste on what we knew looking at the oig reports? you saw those reports. mr. spires: it could -- senator moran: would you say that the opium officials have taken significant steps to solve their problems? mr. spires: it does some of their doing a number of things correct me. the centralization of i.t. is a good step.
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they're talking about a modernization program that would trade their i.t. structure. i will go back to my earlier point. i'm speculating a bit. i saw the lack of protection i'm very sensitive data. the first thing that would've been working on is how to protect that data. not even talking about the system. how do we get better protections and control access to that data better? i think that is probably where the focus needs to shift. senator moran: does anyone at opm takes personal responsibility for these breaches or is this just considered a problem with the system? is this just individuals not
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performing their duties? or that this is a system we inherited and we're working on it and no one in particular is responsible for the out come? director archuleta: i think they said it correctly. this is decades of a lapse of investment in the system. from the very beginning, i have been focused on this. we are working to install metal and architectural strategy, but also to install the detection system and be able to remediate. both of my colleagues have mentioned, we have legacy systems that are very old. often times we have to make sure we have those protection systems in the system. if there is anyone to blame, it is the perpetrators. they are concentrated and
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well-funded. focused. aggressive. not just at opm, but across the whole enterprise. it is one we are concerned about and one we are working on with colleagues. we are going to take every step we possibly camp at opm to continue to protect. senator moran: to date you don't consider anyone at opm come any of your staff or employees are people responsible for i.t. and security to be personally responsible? it is a problem with the system that has been inherited? director archuleta: cyber security is the responsibility of all of us in organizations. that is why with efforts we are going to address it as an
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enterprise-based as well as opm. i don't believe anyone is personally responsible. i believe we are working as hard as he can to protect the data of our employees. and that is the most important thing we can do. i take it very seriously. i'm angry this is happened to opm. i'm doing everything i can to move as quickly as i can to protect the system. senator moran: thank you very much. director archuleta: thank you, sir. senator boozman: isn't it true some of the tools -- the idea that this was all legacy and stuff is really not that case? >> there are many legacy
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systems. i don't want to give the wrong impression. based on the work that we are doing, it is our understanding that a few of the systems that were breached are not legacy systems. they are modern systems with current tools to be lamented on. senator boozman: very good. i think that is important. concerns are being raised about providing credit monitoring services. we don't know the scope of the second breach and what services will be provided. in your flash audit, you write being concerned about opm's infrastructure. do you have additional work plan and practices? mr. esser: it is certainly
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something we are monitoring and following and gathered information. we haven't planned any audits of that at this time. it is something we may do. senator boozman: you describe a number of root causes in i.t. security. can you tell us a couple of key recommendations? mr. spikes: i thank congress for passing this for the good of the nation. we need to figure how to manage i.t. perfect of the. that is the single clause -- cause that has led to these data breaches. i'm just one -- i'm not just one to say have all the power reside with the cio.
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bring best practices and not allow systems or practices to continue that jeopardize the security of our data and our systems. that has in the problem for decades. we still have a real cultural problems. based on many discussions, the cultural issues loom larger. we need to take this incredibly seriously. i urge you to provide your own oversight of the implementation. senator boozman: do we need additional legislation? mr. spikes: i think we do need general cyber legislation of how to share. i think that is something congress should continue to work on. i think we have a train --
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between two acts -- we have enough tools. now it is a leadership with proper oversight of congress. senator boozman: very good. mr. esser, along the same line, what would you comment on the most significant weaknesses or the underlying causes? what do see as a priority we need to do in the next three years? mr. esser: specifically at opm the project they are undertaking is to modernize the i.t. systems is the right way to go. that definitely needs to be done. we support that project. we do have some concerns regarding some of the project
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management related to it. in general, we think it is definitely the right path to follow. senator boozman: mr. spires talked about oversight. that is something we could do. how would you be involved in that process? mr. spikes: the flash audit alert was issued this week. it was an interim report so to speak. we will continue our audit work throughout the length of this project. senator boozman: your effort to drive improvement and changes -- that is not working. do you recommend any changes to
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the goals? mr. spikes: i think having goals -- let's take an example. we talk about the need for being able to but better protect systems that are legitimate. when you look at the use of trying to get the 75% usage within the civilian federal agency as the goal, let's go back to that officers. they only need one way in. 75% doesn't cut it in this world anymore. we need to rethink i think the objectives there. go back to the privatization of protecting data. though should we the highest goals. that doesn't mean we should be working to continue to bring in
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the capabilities to better protect systems. we need to do that. it is time to reach those goals. beset them along those priorities -- restet them along those priorities. senator boozman: we didn't exactly know what entails the system. is that being corrected? or we still don't know? mr. esser: that is still our understanding. we would be more than happy to work with them and look at that and do our audit work related to the. senator boozman: if that is a case it has recently happened. mr. esser: yes sir.
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senator mcclusky -- mikulski: do they have a cyber shield? mr. spikes: i read that as well. senator mikulski: that is a problem. that is not to excuse where we are. get with it quick. mr. spikes: you sum it up well. my experience having served on the council and worked with
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major investment agencies is opm is not some kind of outlier here. many agencies have similar shoes to what opm is facing. senator mikulski: thank you very much. ms. archuleta the federal employees, they work at everything from the national institutes of health to the national security agency. what do i tell my employees because they are quite apprehensive? what is the impact of this on them? can you talk about this? what is the impact on them? how are you in communication? should they be afraid that another shoe will drop and it will drop on them and their credit ratings or whatever? director archuleta: i care very
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much as you do about our federal employees. what this breach has done is it has exposed their data. i'm very concerned about that. in terms of the first incident we have been working hard to not only begin, but to improve our notification system and to provide both identity theft and credit monitoring for them. we have received much feedback from our employees. we are using that feedback. i'm angry, too. i'm angry this has happened. i have worked very hard toward correcting a decade. i will continue to do so.
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i will tell you that i'm very concerned about protecting the data of our employees. as we move into incident two i will use their feedback and their concerns and their concerns we can look at the wide range of options we will have available to us. senator mikulski: do you have a council or federal employee organization that you meet with that could tell you the view from the employer up so you hear what they are saying? people like myself and other senators are very out of the fact that the capital region is the home to so much talent and so much press a natural -- pressing national attacks. they are now worried about attacks against them.
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we're turned to sort out the best way to have a sovereign shield. director archuleta: we are doing several things. thank you for that question. we are working with our human capital officers. senator mikulski: that's where i bought some of my jackets. [laughter] director archuleta: mine, too. all of the department heads and leaders try to adjust the notification system so it is customized to the employees. we are listening to our union representatives and seeking their input and other stakeholder groups to see how we can better improve our notification system. not in the long-term but take their feedback every day about
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call centers and how we could provide -- how we could work directly with department heads and agencies. they are assisting us in the notification process. we take seriously what we are to our employees. i will continue to do that and make sure that we are using their input. senator mikulski: i would like to thank you, mr. chairman, for having the ig at the table. all my subcommittees either had an ig come in the hot spot or testimony. that was crucial. we will have a lot to talk about this afternoon. thank you so much for your service. so valued.
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they have been enormously helpful both as chair and vice chair of the committee to get value for our dollar. we really want to thank you for the identification for the solution. thank you. mr. esser: you are very welcome senator. senator lankford: let me ask a follow-up question. many federal agencies have similar issues. one, defined what issues mean. second, give me a percentage when you say "many" of agencies. give me a guess how many agencies are we are dealing with.
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senator: many -- mr. spikes: many of agencies have a similar problem that are alluded to about the centralization of i.t. it is not necessarily a. it has been very difficult for agencies as they rolled out systems. the complexity factors have grown so significantly. it is difficult to get their arms around the system. we would do inventories and find all of the systems that we have. i say that we did a relatively good job at that. every year we would find more. that is the first thing. most agencies have that problem. i don't want to put a percentage on that.
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i don't know how to measure that. multiple agencies have this problem. senator lankford: what about use of credentials? senator: i give them all the credit for rolling out that part to make it happen. most agencies are still struggling to roll up what we call the smart card. it is still an issue. senator lankford: authorizations? senator: again, think you're hitting a hotspot. they were out in the field.
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there were not under the cio -- some of those would last too long. there would be weaknesses in the system. it would be difficult to clear those weaknesses. i can put numbers on that. hoping i have given you a sense of where iphone many agencies are today. -- i feel many agencies are today. senator lankford: none of those feel like big dollar items. that seems a current structure process. hygiene for our systems. senator: i want to be careful here. senator lankford: if we have got a monitor with an orange screen on it, i get it. we have some old systems. i'm asking the initial security
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side of this. how are we handling the information in the inventory? senator: i agree with your sentiment -- mr. spikes: i agree we don't necessarily need new dollars. some of these issues you do need investment. senator lankford: you have in your written testimony, you talked through the timeline of how things went. some areas are how -- are specific. there are of terms that jumped out to me there. april 2015 predated the adoption of the controls. it was detected by our new cyber security tools. they contacted the department of homeland security. could you give me definition? director archuleta: same day.
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senator lankford: great. you had the same issue there. you talked about the scope of the intrusion. what is our time frame? director archuleta: seven day requirement. senator lankford: terrific. thank you. the contractor that was involved in this who was that contractor? what were their assurances that they gave early on during the contracting process to say we will provide an sturdy -- security structure? i'm looking for what they said they would do and what they did? director archuleta: i want to be clear that while it could gain access to the network, we don't have any evidence that would suggest the company was directly involved in the intrusion. we haven't identified a pattern
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that resulted in the compromise of the -- since last year, we have been working in key point and they have taken strides in security its network and have been proactive in meeting additional security controls we have asked them to use to protect all the background data. >>senator lankford: were these things that were consider? director archuleta: i think i understand, but let me be sure. our detection in april detected an intrusion into our system in late 2014. we detected an intrusion in our system in late 2014. senator lankford: there were changes in security protocols.
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where they recommended before or new? director archuleta: they were once we had planned and work installing. unfortunately, we didn't have it in place soon enough. we are working with a legacy system. we were testing many security tools. senator lankford: and that have director archuleta: it started our i.t. security plan which we developed in -- 2014. senator lankford: thank you. director archuleta: thank you sir. senator: you're in the middle of a major project. how much do expect that total project to cost? what elements are included? director archuleta: four steps.
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what are the tools we are going to need? we are building a new shelf system that will be the platform. the third and fourth are the migration and the disposal of the legacy system. we hired a contractor to assist us in the development of the shell. we are moving towards that. we have identified $67 million in 2014 and 2015 that would enable us to move toward that. we're asking for an additional 27 million in the 2016 budget. we're working closely with omb to determine if another request should be made here. we worked very close with omb.
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this is one of the points that the auditor or the ig brought out in his flash audit. i could assure the ig that we have been working very closely with omb. this is an urgent issue. we are moving as fast as he can making sure that we track and document all that we are doing with the standards that have been given to us. we work very closely with omb to deliver. senator coons: in response to the ig audit, if i understand correctly -- what type of contract is a? what steps are you considering a light of the audit?
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director archuleta: they're often time places where we have areas of agreement and areas where we would like to have further consideration with the auditors. the inspector general encouraged the use of open competition. i would like to assure you that the process followed in awarding the rest -- it had been perfectly legal and we will continue to assure any further contracts and processes entered into will also be perfectly legal. it should not be used for migration and cleanup phases come i understand his concerns here it would like to remind the inspector general that the contract for migration and cleanup have not yet been awarded. where we would like to have further discussion with inspector general is the
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timeline, the practical timeline , for major i.t. business case. he is suggesting we move that out into fiscal year 2017. i would like to move that much quicker given what we have experienced. all of our decisions are being tracked, documented, justified. he has made a number of recommendations that rely on external sources. i believe the federal government and the good work and all of our partners have strong solutions to offer. i look for to talking more to him about his suggestions. senator coons: have you had a chance to look at other successful iv projects -- i.t.
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projects? have you looked at whether having an outsider contractor might achieve some of your goals? director archuleta: i was looking at all of our options. this is a very serious issue. i looking at all of the resources i have available to me. i believe it is an important asset, as is our partners. we are looking to those. i welcome the inspector general's suggestions. as i move forward, i will be listening to him carefully, as well as partners across the government. senator coons: i appreciate your response. mr. spires, your work at
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agencies that have had challenges. we able to do turnaround some of the legacy i.t. failures there? what advice do you have for opm? mr. spikes: i would make the note that it is always about a team effort. in order to deliver these kinds of programs, i actually joined irs and took over a program. at the time, and pleased to say that as a team effort, it took a long time, improved our processes to the point where recently that program was removed, which is quite an accomplishment. let me just say that i have reviewed many programs. we could have a long discussion
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of how to appropriately manage i.t. programs. i will make a couple of points really quickly. one thing that is critical is the program that was put in place. you need to get the right stakeholders in the room to make this happen. the other thing i would say is don't over rely on contractors. how the requisite experience and skill set to run these programs. i do know much about their modernizations at all. i have found the smaller agencies struggle more with this. senator coons: thank you. i see my time has expired. thank you for your testimony today. thank you for the input end working with us as we move forward to offer reassurances,
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particularly to law-enforcement but also to employees and to find cost-effective solutions to this and other cyber challenges. senator moran: mr. spires, based on what you heard today, your knowledge of government agencies and their cyber security issues, is this a management issue? or is this a resource issue? mr. spikes: more of a management issue. senator moran: why is that? mr. spikes: the dispersed nature of the way i.t. has been running a lot of agencies, there are so many inefficiencies that have crept into the system. i don't believe we have effectively spent i.t. dollars we have received. i believe with the proper drive towards management, you could drive a lot of savings from the exist budget.
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there is a caveat to that. when you talk about new programs sometimes it makes sense to invest in those. senator moran: based on your response to senator coons, easy thing to do is to hire a contractor. mr. spikes: we don't know this stuff -- we have worked on this committee and issues important to compensate for an attitude that we are not textile -- not tech folk. ms. archuleta -- the first bridge i think you are aware of
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goes back to june 2014. -- first breach i think you were aware of goes back to june 2014. opm became aware of a breach. director archuleta: the first breach that we discussed with you was -- senator moran: i don't think you discussed this inmate. and on think you knew about it. director archuleta: i'm sorry. i want to look and make sure how my months right. march 2014 was when we identified activity. there is no -- lost in that. in june 2014 u.s. i.s. was breach. there was opm data that was compromised.
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it impacted 2.6 million -- i'm sorry, 2.6 thousand individuals. in august of 2014, the key point government solution which i described earlier, their adversarial to the was breached. it compromised approximately 49,000 individuals. in april of 2015 was the breach that i described earlier as well. senator moran: there were three bridges that occurred prior to the two that we are now talking about. director archuleta: there was. senator moran: what was your changed -- what changed at opm? you are busy became aware on three occasions someone is trying to intrude on our system. what then did opm to after
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realizing that? director archuleta: i want to reassure you to my colleagues point that one of the first actions i took as opm director was to hire. second, develop a strategic land -- plan for the pillars my colleagues described. i.t. leadership. my cio. antigovernment. -- i.t. government. buy into dthe design and plan and development. what was it going to tech -- take for us in view of our legacy system? i.t. data.
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we needed to know that what we were doing was right we're doing in a way that was analytical. also, i.t. security. obviously very important. when of the most important pillars was i.t. security. because of her experience and as mr. spires said, we brought her from deal d -- new deep you to choose able to apply those skills and that talent -- dod to apply those skills and that talent. what could be place on that legacy system? what would it take to do that? that is what she has began and continues. senator moran: the point is from your arrival, your priority was
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to get a cio and begin implementation of a plan? director archuleta: from the first time i was briefed on our i.t. infrastructure german confirmation preparation, i knew that there was a problem. and that is why my confirmation hearing, i said it would be a top priority and i promised your colleagues that i would develop an i.t. strategic plan, which i did. i was wise enough to hire donna seymour. senator moran: is that something we could see? director archuleta: it is on our website. i will make sure you get a hard copy. senator moran: following that i.t. strategic plan, is there a new plan as a result? director archuleta: a plan is
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dynamic kid as we learn things, the plan changes. we're making sure every component, making sure we're making sound decisions on the architecture that we are building and making sure it is based on clear analytics and heavy security is an important component of all of that. senator moran: are there benchmarks in place so we could see where we are making progress? director archuleta: i would like to come back to and show you what those benchmarks are. senator moran: let me ask about notification. you indicated -- and i understand the value of that phrase -- the proposed legislation for notification within 30 days of a breach, how do you think it fits with the 30 day requirement? director archuleta: within the
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proposed legislation, it is included in their. i can assure you we are trying to do everything we can to come close to that data. senator moran: is there anyone who oversees i.t. security outside of opm? what is the relationship between omb? director archuleta: we work closely with the federal cio who has responsibility for this. he has been at omb for about 90 days now. he and donna have a strong relationship and a strong advisor role. senator moran: prior to his arrival, was or so in filling that responsibility as well? director archuleta: i don't know that, but i would be glad to get that information back to you. senator moran: thank you.
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senator: i apologize for the earlier delayed. this is such an important hearing. probably one of the most important hearings we will have this year. we will be following up in the not-too-distant future and making sure things are moving in the right direction. i want to thank you all for participating. i also want to thank my staff and senator coons staff. i asked unanimous consent for government a place to be included in the hearing record. if there are no further questions, the hearing record will remain open until next tuesday, june 30 at noon for subcommittee members to submit statements and requests for the record. the subcommittee hearing is adjourned.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the head of opm will be back in the capital tomorrow. we will have live coverage at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. >> while congress is out for the july holiday break, book tv primetime on c-span 2. monday, the war on terror.
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organization. "washington journal" live every morning on c-span. join the conversation by phone facebook, and twitter. >> c-span gives you the best access to congress. live coverage of the u.s. house, congressional hearings, bringing you events that shape public policy. "washington journal" his life every morning -- is live every morning. brought to you as a public service brought to you by your cable provider. >> harry reid called on south carolina to take down the confederate battle flag from statehouse grounds. his remarks are next. the lawmakers in south carolina debate whether to remove the flag.
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later, remarks from hillary clinton in missouri. tragedy in charleston, south carolina. a man full of hate took the lives of nine worshipers. once again pain has been inflicted on americans. once again the people of a community as they struggle to reconnect to put the pieces of their lives back together. once again we're looking at our newspapers watching our tv screens and talking at our dinner tables about why why did this happen. as the painful details emerge, we can't turn away from the hard truth this tragedy lays bare.
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racism still exists in our society. we have to accept that reality. if we ever hope to change, mr. president, we have to accept that reality. i watched this weekend as pundits and the nation's thought leaders attempted to address this issue by sidestepping the truth. this violent act was racially motivated. can we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. reid: this violent attack was racially motivated plain and simple. it was intended to terrorize the african-american community in charleston and around this nation. 50 years ago dr. martin luther king led a march here in washington. 50 years after congress passed the civil rights act 50 years after the march for voter rights in selma 50 years after congress passed the voter rights act we must still face the hard truth about race in america.
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mr. president, can we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. : mr. reid: the truth is we still have much to do. we have much to overcome. we have no choice. one cannot ignore this underlying issue. it deeply troubles our nation that hatred and bigotry persists. the harsh realities of hate and bigotry in this country make far too many in this country feel their lives don't matter. it's easy to feel your life doesn't matter when the odds are stacked against you every place you look on every hand. here are some of the facts: african-americans face on a
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daily basis: nearly half of all african-american families live in poor neighborhoods for at least two generations. 50% compared to 7% of white families. an african-american man is far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than a white man. in the state system the numbers are more skewed than that. these facts demonstrate how countless men and women face unprecedented challenges to be still judged by the color of their skin than by the content of their character. we have a moral obligation to change these realities. we must ensure all americans know their lives matter. standing for what is right
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calling out bigotry and hatred. it's hard to fathom that even as a community of charleston grapples with the devastation there is a confederate flag at the statehouse in colombia. it is a symbol of a dark past from which our country has come. it does not and should not represent our values and the way we treat our fellow americans. it is a symbol of slavery. it is a symbol of white supremacy. there is no other way to explain it. it is a symbol of the ku klux klan. it's not just who we are.
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the flag should be removed and now. this day governor haley of south carolina said in the capital of south carolina the flag should not be flown. she said we will do this in spite of what the state legislature feels. soy applaud her. i appreciate her courageous act. the confederate flag has no place in the future of south carolina. it belongs in the past every place in america not just south carolina. everyone who desires to fly that flag on private property can do so but no state in this great nation should allow this flag to soar above the capitol. we must always stand for what is right. we must stand for equality and justice, back and defend e. we
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must preserve the rights of every american not because it is the safe thing to do, not because it is popular. we must stand and defend equality and justice because it is the right thing to do. we must take meaningful action to ensure the safety of our citizens. once again our hearts are broken as another community stprug tkpwels to recover -- struggles to recover from a mass shooting. i want to mention a few of them, just a few of them. fort hood, 13 americans killed. this was on a military base. tucson arizona six americans killed. carson city, nevada; four americans killed. connecticut, 27 americans dead. boulder, colorado -- a movie theater -- 12 killed. the navy yard, here, just a few
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maybe a mile from here at the most here in the district of columbia 12 killed. charleston, south carolina, of course we know, nine killed. these are not all the violent acts. these are but a handful. all these violent events occurred within the past few years. our country, the united states, is the only advanced country where this type of mass violence occurs. the only country. we're the capital of america we kill each other at a rate 297 times higher than japan 33 times higher than israel. in every other country -- this is by far far too much. we can do something about this sad, violent reality. let's do something. we can expand, for example background checks for people
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wanting to buy guns, to prevent a criminal from buying guns. is that asking too much? the mentally ill? criminals? more than 80% of the american people support this. why can't we in congress support it? we should support not giving guns to people who are mentally ill and felons. i know people can say ep wasn't felon. # maybe so. but couldn't we do something? couldn't we at least do this little thing to stop people who are sick in the head, people who
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are criminals from purchasing guns? couldn't we at least do that. i understand the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, and that's what we're doing. for the future of our country we have to change. in the face of racism and bigotry, we must act. we can't do nothing. we must prevent felons from gunning down innocent americans in broad daylight. if we do not, we will be here again. our hearts will be broken again. and we're going to have to ask ourselves how we allowed another senseless tragedy to take place while we stand by >> on our facebook page, where asking the question should the confederate flag be removed from
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the south alanna state grounds? -- from the south carolina state grounds? this from bob the confederate flag is more than a symbol of treason, it represents the mindset of hatred and divisiveness. it is time to move forward after mindless hatred. you can join the conversation on the south carolina state senate today did a removal of the flag from the statehouse grounds in columbia, they agreed by a voice vote that the chamber will take up a resolution to take -- to remove the flak when they come back in september.
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>> i believe on the desk is an amendment to amend the resolution. what that does -- and that want to make sure we understand this -- that resolution is drawn extremely narrow. we did that on purpose that the only things that can be taken up our to the flag. they cannot deviate to some other area. the area of the flag flies in now. i feel like this senate needs to command the resolution of this most important issue is extremely important issue for our state. the world is watching us.
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and i say this -- i believe that south carolina has handled this situation as well as it could ever be handled. as i know you are, i'm extremely proud of the way our people handled this, in particular, the love and forgiveness shown to us. i sat and watched them. it brought tears to my eyes, i can tell you that. i think we need to move forward with this, and this allows the speaker and i to call it back when we need to. i will tell you this -- i want to do this as expeditiously as we can. i want to make sure we do it right, that we don't make mistakes. i assume that a bill or bills will be introduced on the senate floor today.
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i assume that they very well could be introduced on the house floor. my point is we need to amend this in order to be able to take up whatever bills are put forth relative to the flag issue. i say this to you -- i really hope you will vote to amend this because if we don't, we can't take up any more bills -- no bills can be introduced unless we commend it to allow that. i ask you to support this amendment for the resolution and i will tell you that once we can sort out what it looks like,
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whether or not it goes to committee, i will expeditiously ask this to come back as quickly as we can and that would be very quickly after we sorted it out. i would ask you to cast your vote on this to move forward. that would be my motion, and that requires a 2/3 vote. keep that in mind as you are casting your vote. >> the question is the adoption of the amendment of the senate. >> i would like the opportunity to be heard. >> proceed. >> mr. thurman thank you.
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thank you, mr. president. fellow colleagues, i ask that you lend me your ears. your mind, your heart, for a few minutes. grieve the loss of my friend and colleague, the senator from jasper along with his eight sisters and brothers. we needed time to mourn the loss. the vigil that i attended was powerful and beautiful. i feel that i am out of place after thought and prayer to try and find the words to make a difference with you and with others. when i think of this senator from jasper, i think of how he
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touched me with that wonderful biblical speech about thomas during our body camera debate. it was described as his finest moment. yet it was only a few weeks ago. he had so much more to offer yet was taken to soon, just at the age of 41. i am selfish because i do not want us to lose him. i want to continue, for him to continue, to be a pastor and husband and father and public servant that he is. when tragedy strikes, even christians ask why. why did this happen? why would someone with so much hate in their heart they would hurt others? i cannot comprehend the hate that was visited upon the holy
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city but i can't respond with love and unity and kindness, and maybe show others that their motivation for future attacks will not be tolerated, will not result in a race war, will not divide us, but rather will strengthen our resolve coming together as one nation, one state, and one community under god. it is my understanding that the bible study that the senator was leading focused on the book of mark. chapter four verses 4-8. it discusses a pastor selling his seeds, how some were eaten by birds and others put in places where they couldn't grow due to poor soil and t
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horns. but others made it to good soil and they were able to multiply 30, 60, hundreds of times. this passage for me describes the work of public servants. there are times when we have ideas that spread quickly only to realize that we haven't had enough foundation to grow and assess the idea, and it is discarded. there are ideals of special interest creditors, flying in, and sometimes the ground is fertile. the time is right for there to be growth. i think the time is right in the ground is fertile for us to make progress as a state and to come together and remove the confederate battle flag from prominent statute outside the statehouse and put it in a museum.
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it is time to acknowledge our past atone for our sins, and work toward a better future. that future must be built on symbols of peace love, and unity. that future cannot be built on symbols of war, hate, and divisiveness. as lawyers we are taught to see issues from both sides and so i want to discuss what i perceived to be both sides and make it clear that i reviewed this position and not simply reacting. on the one side, some feel the flag represents oppression, a constant reminder of the old south, of slavery. i understand why many citizens of south carolina feel that way. on the other hand, some say that the confederate battle flag represents the south's heritage and ancestry.
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>> let's talk about the heritage aspect. my family has been here for many generations, my great-grandfather was with generally when he surrendered. i am aware of my heritage, but my appreciation that they accomplished to make my life that are does not in that i must believe that they always made the right decisions and for the life of me, i will not understand how anyone could find -- fight a civil war to continue the practice of slavery. think about it for a second. our ancestors were fighting to continue to keep human beings as slaves and continue the imaginable acts that a cure that -- that occurred when it somebody is held against their will.
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i am not proud of this heritage. these acts were wrong, wrong, wrong. now we have these hate groups and the symbols they use to remind african-americans that things have it changed -- haven't changed. things have changed. overwhelmingly, people are not being raised to believe that they are superior to others taste on the color of their skin. my generation was raised to respect all people, of every race religion, and gender. i have often wondered what is my purpose here in the senate. i've asked god to guide me and strengthen me and i have prayed that i will be able to make a difference for this stage. i have prayed that i will leave this place better for future
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generations, i am proud to take a stand and no longer be silent. i'm proud to be on the right side of history regarding the removal of this symbol of racism bigotry from the statehouse. let it not satisfy us to stop there. justice by house is not justice we must take down the confederate flag and take it down now, but if we stopped there we have cheated ourselves out of an opportunity to start a different conversation about healing. i am ready. let us start the conversation. thank you. >> thank you senator -- member from charleston. >> let us allow words to be recorded in the journal. >> so ordered. >> god bless the state of south
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carolina. >> proceed. senator from charleston. mr. campson. >> cs lewis said to be a christian means to forgive the inexcusable because god has forgiven the inexcusable in you. it means to forgive the inexcusable, because god has forgiven the inexcusable in you. i want you to reflect upon that as you listen to the rest of my remarks.
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sunday evening while participating in the bridge to peace event, my sister witnessed an act that encapsulates charleston's reaction to this brutal -- the church murders. while people held hands across the bridge, a man stretched his arms to heaven and declared, " this is how we ride it -- riot in charleston appear code keep hern." i am proud of my hometown. and the victims'families with their statements of forgiveness and charity toward the murder
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er of their loved ones personifies why we should be checked -- proud of charleston. the response to this horrific event is inexplicable in human terms and it is not until i reflect upon this quote by cs lewis, to be a christian means to forgive the inexcusable because god has forgiven the inexcusable in you reflect upon that quote can you make any sense of their actions at all. their response is a christian response. it flows from the gospels message of sin separating us from a holy god christ paying the penalty for these sins and offering reconciliation with god . understanding that they have been forgiven of much empowers the forgiven to literally forgive.
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when a debate leading up to the removal of the confederate flag erupted in 2000, i was only one of two republican members of the general assembly that supported the removal. i did so for one reason, it did not meet the criteria that flags must meet to flag over the -- to fight over the capital. -- to fly over the capital. it must be the flag of an existing government that has jurisdiction over people. i was captive to that logic. the flag failed that test thomas so i argued for its removal of these grounds. -- so i -- my father was in the general assembly when that flag was placed over the don't.
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in 2000, he organized over 90% of the 1962 general assembly along with several former governors to sign it a petition that he drafted. it indicated that they place it over the dome to commemorate the centennial of the civil war and had neglected a takedown date. their intention was never for the wide to fly -- flag to fly indefinitely. they petitioned to remove it in the year 2000. george will referred to these arguments as a solution to the debate. this history is relevant because it constituted ground to remove the flag in 2000. in light of charleston's reactions to be a manual --
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emmanuel church shootings, i believe we should remove the flag. the common ground of which i speak transcends and is more powerful than issues of race and heritage. it is yet another biblical principle found in romans 14:19 pursue what makes for peace and mutual up building. the witness of the church pursuing peace and mutual up building demonstrates that love is greater than hate. congregants at st. michael's church and other charleston churches followed emmanual's lead when they paid the -- bathed the church in
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prayer. sunday night, the charleston community demonstrated an outpouring, a virtual spontaneous outpouring of unity when 15,000 people held hands across the bridge. the unknown man i mentioned earlier who declared about rioting in trawl 10 -- interesting, and many others have followed suit. let us and focus on what outsiders say, let us focus upon us, our relationships, our communities, and our state. let us follow the example set before us, if the confederate flag on statehouse grounds upset citizens, let's remove it in the name of peace and mutual up building. let's do this as a reciprocal
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act, a reciprocal act of charity and grace, extended to the fallen, their families, and the conservation of my friend and colleague. they have demonstrated incredible forgiveness charity and grace before god and a watching world, both in life and death they have showed us how to live and pursue peace and mutual up building. it is our turn to follow their example. >> thank you. mr. jackson. mr. jackson: thank you, mr. president and members of the senate. my original thought was i was not going to say anything else but i am reminded of what my friend says, sometimes the best inc. -- best thing to do is to
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be brief and quick. i want to share, maybe put some things in perspective, but i was first elected to the senate as a young man, 34 years old at the time. when i walked in the door, there were four confederate flags in this building. it will help you understand the compromise reached in 2000 because i think that is lost on people now when they say you co-authored the compromise, they look at it as something bad. in particular, i was so young imagine 34 years old walking into this building on the first floor, there was a confederate flag. on the dome of the capital, a confederate flag. on the first day of my session when i was told to turn to the
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american flag, put your hand of your heart and say the pledge of allegiance, i had to look at a confederate flag. for a great deal of time, i would purposefully miss the prayer and pledge of allegiance, because it was so painful to put my hand over my heart and say the pledge of allegiance to the united states flag and look at that same flag. history cuts both ways. in 2000 when my great friend senator mcconnell and many others, the great legendary senator matthews and others when we signed that compromise it was tough. it was very tough. i think what is missing is that people say to me now, and i refused to do any television
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interviews, because first of all it is important to put it in perspective, migrate great uncle -- my great great uncle, when sherman marched through columbia, he joined sherman's band. he had a family, he named his son sherman. history is this story, and his story was william t sherman was a great liberator. i said that and i was proud in 2000 when we signed the heritage act. here is what we did. we put one flag by the monument and for other flags on the building, we took them down. we substituted one flag for four
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flags. that's me was progress -- that to me was progress. i will tell you, i never thought that was the end. you remember the speech i made at this podium as we debated in 2000, that has since given me so much -- so many challenges. ice to and -- ice should -- i stood and said i love the naacp. and i love the state of carolina also. we are doing the right thing. we are doing the right thing right now. i knew it was not finished, i knew that it would not be the end. i hoped and prayed that i would be here long enough to see what we are doing today and that they
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has come. i did not want to say anything but i am compelled to say that i am so glad. i leave you with the words of the apostle paul when he writes about discouragement and he writes in galatians, let us not become weary when we are doing good, for in due time, or at the right time, we will reap the harvest if we just don't think. and i'm -- faint. and i'm so glad that we did not. congratulations, i'm proud of this body, i love this state senate. thank god for bipartisan leadership. god bless the senate and god bless all of you. >> thank you.
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>> unanimous consent to record the words of senator campsen and senator jackson. >> i would like to be heard. >> proceed. >> mr. thompson -- kempsen. mr. kempsen: i rise as the senator of district 42, the place of the charleston massacre. i want to provide you an update on how the district and other areas are faring. the citizens of charleston are resilient, strong, tenacious
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people. who are persevering through this great tragedy. we applaud what this body is discussing here, as my colleague just mentioned, there have been several vigils. i have spoke with reverend golf last night, the presiding elder at ame church. funeral arrangements are being made. i have been in consultation with the reverend rivers, who is on the ground, therefore spiritual healing to the families. i want to take a moment to talk about mother emmanuel. mother emmanuel, senator from
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boo for, mother emmanuel is our sanctuary. a sanctuary for the devout, who through vandalism, fire earthquake, hurricane and depression sacrifice to maintain a tabernacle for the glory of god. in a sanctuary for active nest who from the pulpit called for justice and humanity. there was no greater, no greater man of god qualified to speak from the same pulled it -- told pit that dr. martin luther king jr. spoke, then our colleague. he understood the meaning of a sanctuary and a safe and sacred
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place for worship, for peace, for organization and action. yes, it was in his sanctuary are sexually -- our sanctuary that we took hands that they took hands reverend daniel simmons, susie jackson, and others, god took their hands as a reward of a lifetime of service to his glory. mother emmanuel was our sanctuary, because it was literally the oldest and greatest mother church for christianity, as practiced by african-americans in south carolina and throughout the south. moreover, people of all races organized and where we relax our
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souls, to listen for god. mother emmanuel is a church for all of us and it belongs to all of us. so when evil walks inside our sanctuary and takes a seat, listens to god, and then proceeds to violently violate our refuge month -- one one might ask where is god? gathering in his house and then evil massacres in a place where people should feel safe. where is god when in a city rich of history but also steeped in racial division, a coward steps into god's house and in flames racial tension by killing murdering, nine lakh -- black
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worshipers? where is god when the carpets of this oedipus built to his -- edifice built to his glory, is stained with blood? i will tell you where god is mother emmanuel itself is the answer because this word is hebrew for, god is with us. god is emmanuel and god is with us. he was there in that sanctuary when mother emmanuel providing refuge to those who are evil, before during, and after, he was they are holding their hands and whispering into their ears, in their last transition from god's earthly sanctuary to the great sanctuary above. and god will be with us when
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evil is brought to justice in the state of south carolina for violating our sanctuary. god will be with us to forge a real conversation about hate, race, and division in this state when we take down the confederate flag. during the civil war, abraham lincoln asked, whose side was god on. he replied, my concern is not whether god is on our side, but my greatest concern is to be on god's side. as a take my seat and encourage the senate to do the work we came to do on behalf of all people, all creeds, all colors
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and the work of the people of south carolina, and as i reflect on district 42 in the aftermath of the shooting of walter scott in north charleston and charleston massacre that killed nine families -- at this moment of pain and grief, just as god is with us, let us also be with god. let us be on god's side. let us do his business by passing this resolution to incorporate a great debate, so that we can begin the work of removing the confederate flag from in front of the state house. i will close out by saying, as i echo the chance of our ancestors, king jesus, no one can hinder me, nobody told us
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that the road it would be easy, but we do not believe that he brought us this far to leave us. walk together children, do not get weary, there is a meeting in the promised land, bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me until i walk no more. >> thank you. senator from berkeley. >> i ask that the remarks of the senator from charleston be recorded. >> i want you all to know that -- will be lying in state tomorrow. there will be a community -- the church will be open from one-5
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p.m. the church bells will ring every hour, at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00. there will be refreshments available, it will be very hot. i want to comment on what was said about her heritage -- what was said about heritage. when we passed the original heritage act, we had a component that we build a monument to african-american heritage in our state. that failed in 1993, a lost in the house. you came back under richardson -- senator and you asked us to
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meet with you. and he said -- and you said it let's redo this. you asked if we could pay for it with private funds. and we said, good idea. and we went to see john and told him what we planned on doing. he said good idea. it and out well -- panned out well. i think that we are the only state in the nation with a monument to african-american heritage. i think we need to know that. >> thank you. >> the question is the adoption of a current resolution.
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>> thank you. senator of charleston, god is still on the throne. god is with us. this body it comes from our ministers, the chapman -- chaplain the lowered compelled -- the lord compelled to use week and i appreciate the opportunity that this process for us continues. clement to -- clementa and i
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are all that remain from our class. my family, my friends, my constituents at home he was a better man than i. because i don't know that there was one of us that can point to my brother and say, he spoke ill of me. and i will confess, apologize and ask forgiveness for strategy. i wish sometimes i had been more vigorous and less strident. i can say and confidence that he loved better than i do. i appreciate the fact that the holy city has been bathed with
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so much prayer. and god's word. and i am reminded of what my minister gave me this past time as it relates to this. he remembered our brothers and sisters and charleston, again the senator from charleston, thank you for invoking the name. david said how good and pleasant it is to dwell in unity. he gave two examples from head to toe, the vision of the waters falling upon the mountain, down upon the land.
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the vision is eternal life presents with god -- presence with god. picture the covering. i'm so blessed to be among you and i will say this, how good it is to dwell in unity. i would rather be in this unity than any other state in the country, but i do not feel this unity. so, as i tell you that i have spoken already with the majority leader, the minority leader, as i speak to my constituents of my stay, the world -- state, the
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world, i will tell you that we will continue to pray and embrace each other, even in disagreement. i'm not voting for an adjustment. i trust as god knows my heart i will be able to continue to be benefited from you, i have been so blessed. senator from charleston, you said that you hope to convey something to us, everyone of you has you did. i pray for a spirit that i will be able to convey something to each of you, in the days ahead, i'm not sure what the leadership has in store for our conversation, but that is what i pray for. the conversation will unify us more than divide us.
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regardless of outcome, because as was said, it is life evermore. i have heard it talked about the continuation of life, and eternity. we will look at you turn it past, present, and future at a later date. today is not the day. i appreciate the opportunity to express love for our departed brother and give you a basis of where my heart is as the debate goes forward. it grieves me the events that have precipitated this matter. the matter itself does not grieve me, what will grieve me
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is if we come out at the other end and have not benefited from god's signals of mercy. to this point, i know we have. thank you. >> thank you, mr. matthews. mr. matthewsmr. matthews: thank you, mr. president. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to save the words about this process and who we are and what we can four. to say to you that i firmly believe in my good friend senator clemente, i always
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called him clem. we served in the same delegation for years. what is important today is what we do and how we do it to set the standards. what is more important is the victims, they have set the template for how we conduct our business. i think it is the most important thing said today, that they have set an example and the template of how we should conduct business and react to others. in the spirit of forgiveness and recognition, there are differences in our state, but our willingness to come together to do which is right. my father was a preacher and he used to say, son, you can do what is right, and in the end he will be all right because in the end, right always wins.
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i am probably the longest serving member of this body, in the general assembly and because of that i have seen many debates , some partisan, some kind of angry, but this debate i can say that the senate reflects the template of the families and the victims. as we come together to bring solutions to a problem that has plagued us for years. finally, i say to you that i know the families appreciate the discussion, appreciate what we are talking about. i will say to you, it is more important, not what we say, but what we do. let's do the right thing.
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>> thank you. mr. rankin. >> so ordered. >> members of the senate, i will be brief. last thursday as we gathered with the unspeakable reality of what happened in this state to one of our own, that morning we had the usual prayer group which i sometimes attend and for the first time ever was asked to speak. the subject i chose was about fatherhood and the role that we have as fathers or parents, and the role given to us, the model given to us, our heavenly father and how we interact with each
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other and how we model through our children. -- that role, so beautifully modeled by our savior. i heard the words offered by many eloquent speakers and the emotions, the rock shock -- wrong -- raw shock that was extended to the families and felt more directly by them, but then shared by the community and this state, this nation, and the entire free civilized christian world as the reverberations of forgiveness have been sent from those who would least be apt to say it and preach it. that message, of our people, in
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this state, in your city, of your city who had so admirably practice what clemente preached in his last words recorded so beautifully to pray for those who did and do you evil. the flag, what about the flag and what are we to do as a state in response to this tragedy? the prayer i offered last thursday was what i invoke today as we decide on what to do about that flag. those who intended and what you intended for evil, god will make good. genesis, chapter 50, verse 20 --
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what you intended for evil, god will make good. as we encounter now with this symbolic gesture that we as a state can offer to our brother and are others and sisters in the charleston community who paid the ultimate sacrifice for worshiping in a free democracy in the house of the lord, whose lives were lost at the hands of the person captivated perhaps singer lily -- singer luby -- singularly and what you invoked, the symbol of racism in our state. what is that we as a senate, as a body in this state, can give
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to, marked by the lives lost in charleston. what is evil, god will make good. removing the flag, it certainly is. photo for this amendment -- voting for this amendment is within your hands, whether we take it down or not, as i hope we do, will forever mark our service in this senate and general assembly as our token of symbolic victory for the lives of those we didn't know but the one that we did, who practiced what he preached, who offered hope, peace, who offered forgiveness, that we as a state remove this symbol.
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honor it, yes. but remove it, yes indeed. >> thank you. >> i would like to be heard, briefly. >> mr. alexander. >> consent to have remarked put in the journal. >> so order. >> mr. johnson. mr. johnson: i don't have to tell you that mr. clemente was a state senator. the house has voted overwhelmingly to amend the resolution to allow us to come back and discuss the removal of the flag from state grounds. if they can do that across the hall in honor of one of our fallen members and the victims we should be able to do the same thing.
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i hope that when we vote, we can deliver the same mandate and reach into our hearts and attempt to do the right thing. thank you. >> senator pickens. so ordered. >> i will be brief. i don't want to do anything to interfere with the workings of the holy spirit, because what has happened in charleston, i have watched as a victims' families stood there and said that they for gave the man who killed their family members and
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they want him to repent. and as a christian, i know that is the way that we are supposed to be. i am confident that i could not be that way. that is a testimony of what christ can do in people's hearts and that is what i want the world to see. i'm sure we will have a spirited debate over the flag and i will not vote for it, i will tell you the reasons why will we come back. but i want to remember my friend who was always, you could see joy and him -- in him and i echo what others have said. i never saw him lose his temper and i lost mine twice today already. i aspire to be more like that in
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spirit and i most inspired to be -- aspire to be like my savior but those folks in charleston exhibited more in jesus christ, more than i have seen. and i am proud, regardless of where this debate takes us, i am proud to be a south carolinians and i think god for those people in trials in. >> thank you. mr. malloy to be heard. >> i ask that the remarks be put in the journal. >> without objection so ordered. >> thank you, mr. president. all of our members and friends as we get ready to close, i want to thank members here for all of
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their work that has been done, it has not been an easy week and obviously i appreciate the discussion, the speeches, the things that are coming from the heart of the men and women of this great state. i want to take a few moments and beg your indulgence, before we pass this resolution, turning it back to the family. as we get ready to do the resolution, which i think, we know what is happening, to his children and family, they know that the senate loved the senator. as i stand before you, there is not words enough for any other thing that would happen, it would be soothing.
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for those who have your own stories, i have known him when he came to the senate, he was a person that i turned to and we all turned to to make sense out of tragedies, to make sense out of matters that we needed income for, and times that were difficult, he would calm us down. i wonder what happens now with his distinctive baritone voice, how would he come when -- come in on this debate? i don't think his voice is gone, i think the spirit of the senate is a shining light. we have passed a budget, done it in a way that was pleasing and
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we still hear his voice from that committee, which was warm, comforting, urging us has always to look to the lord as he always did. many of you know that you loved his voice. he used it not for himself, but to speak on behalf of those who had no voice. and he fought for everyone's right to be heard, to be treated with dignity, to be educated and have equal opportunities. it was not the loudest but always the most effective. if he ever uttered a harsh word to anyone, i never heard it. and they think that he silenced his voice, look at what he has done to this senate and state. i would say that the day after
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this tragic event, i drove to columbia, i saw this senate, i saw that black cross draped over his chair and we think that they silenced his voice. it is right here in the senate. learning of the news, many of you heard about it thursday morning, i know that you haven't gotten much sleep. i know that you have laid in bed and try to remember the last thing he said when he spoke. i know that you have really tried to turn the focus back to think of his wife and children. he raged against the horrible act that allowed him to snuff out the life of our good loving
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brother. just as we could have been consumed by hatred, i know that you can hear clem's voice in a way that enters your heart, words like forgiveness and hope, full of kindness and love. i know that this past sunday they had a different future in his church, but his voice was still there. i have been told that one of the most popular recurring dreams is falling in a nightmare, going down, but in my dreams, as i stood on a cliff i knew i was not alone. we are proud of the people of charleston, this state standing and in hand with each other.


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