tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 31, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
call for a trillion dollar investment to create 13 million decent paying jobs rebuilding our infrastructure. when we talk about income, let me be clear. the $7.25 minimum wage is a starvation wage. that is why last week alongside young people in the fast food industry fighting for dignity i introduced the legislation that will move us to $15 an hour minimum wage over the next few years. i strongly supported the affordable care act. it has done a lot of good things. we should understand that the
united states today remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right, and that is why i will continue fighting and introduce legislation for a medicare for all single-payer program guaranteeing health care to every man, woman, and child. when we talk about justice. when we talk about the need for all people in america to be treated equally and with dignity , we have got to deal with hard realities. those realities include the fact today -- if you can believe it, and i know you can -- one in four black males can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetime unless we change that dynamic.
this is an unspeakable tragedy and this country can no longer ignore that. blacks are in prison at six times the great of whites. in the report by the department of justice, blacks were three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. african-americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with police. 13% -- and this is an and stored neri -- an extraordinary figure -- 13% of african-american men have lost the right to vote. due to felony convictions, can't participate in the democratic political process. in my view, we need some major
changes in criminal justice in america, and as president of the united states, i promise you my justice department will be vigorous and fighting all forms of the scriven nation in every area of our lives, in every area that impacts minority populations. across our nation, as all of you know, and we seal must every day, too many african americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes as if they were criminals. a growing number of communities throughout this country do not trust the police, and police have become disconnected from the community's they are sworn
to protect. when i was mayor of burlington vermont, one of the things we did that i believe in strongly is that we move towards community policing. community policing means police are part of the community, not seen as oppressors in the community, and that is the direction we have got to move. sandra bland, michael brown walter scott, freddie gray -- we know their names. each of them died on armed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. let us all be very clear. violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of law enforcement sworn to protect and serve their communities is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. [applause]
we must reform our criminal justice system, black life to matter, and we must value black lives. [applause] we must move away from the militarization of police forces. we have all seen this heavy-duty equipment. it looks like they are invading the city, gointhat is not the signal that the police departments should be signaling -- sending around this country. they should not be an oppressive force. we need a justice department which takes the lead and working with states and localities to train police officers. force should be the last resort, not the first resort. for people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. the resurfaces in -- we send
them to jail they have no jobs, no money, no housing, and we are shocked when they end up in jail. we must in the over incarceration of nonviolent young americans who do not pose a serious threat to our society. it is an international embarrassment that we have more people in jail than any other country. it is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but oddly enough not one major wall street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy. [applause] does it make a whole lot of sense to me. -- doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
we need to end prisons for profit. [applause] i do not want corporations making money and more money based on how many people we lock up. the measure of serious and effective law enforcement should not be how many people go to jail, but how many people we can keep out of jail. we need to invest in drug courts, medical and mental health interventions. so many of our people in jail are dealing with mental health issues. as a senator, i get calls. others do as well. senator, my brother, i am worried what he will do to himself and other people. we searched desperately for affordable mental health care and we can't find it. that is a story going on all over america. that is a story that has to change. [applause]
furthermore, we have to take a hard look at the tragedy last month in south carolina. it reminds me of that so strongly. there are still those who seek to terrorize, and they are terrorists, the african-american community with violence and intimidation. some of us thought that had ended, but it hasn't. we need to make sure that federal resources are available to crack down on the eagle activities -- the even legal -- illegal activities of hate groups. that has got to end and the federal government must be active in ending that. brothers and sisters, thank you
very much for allowing me to be a few and share some ideas. let me conclude in the tone that i began. [laughter] and that is that these are very difficult days. i believe that if we stand together as a people, if we don't let people divide us by race, gender, sexual orientation -- if we stand together, if we have the courage to take on those people today -- if we do that, there is nothing we can't accomplish and i am confident the urban league will be in the forefront of that struggle. thank you so much. [applause]
>> senator bernie standards. three quick questions. we will have a questionnaire that will seek your position on our 21st century agenda. can you commit to respond to the questioner? sen. sanders: absolutely. >> millennial's are an important part of the electorate today any word you would like to say specifically about the role that they will play in your campaign and administration or in the future of the nation? sen. sanders: just the other day, some of you may know, we did something unprecedented. we had 3700 organizing meetings in every state in this country
bringing out more than 100,000 people. most of them were young people. i believe very strongly, not only in terms of my campaign but in the future of this company that we have got to mobilize the idealism and energy of young people, and my campaign will do everything we can to make that happen. >> an important part for the african-american community of the racial wealth gap, income inequality gap, has to do with the fact that our small entrepreneurs, african-american owned businesses, are facing frozen credit markets and difficulty to grow. talk about that in terms of how it fits into your thinking. sen. sanders: thank you for making that extreme he important point to people can succeed -- can't succeed in small business and leslie have affordable credit. on the broader level -- unless
they have affordable credit. wall street is an island unto itself, more concerned about their own profits than making affordable loans to small business and potential homeowners, and that's why i have called for the breaking up of the major financial institutions in this country which will in fact increase credit to small and medium-sized businesses. >> senator bernie sanders, let's thank him for being here with us. sen. sanders: thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will stand at ease. we have one more speaker today. don't go far. ♪ >> ♪ the cars on the street,
red, white, and blue people shuffling their feet people sleeping in their shoes there is a warning sign on the road ahead there are a lot of people saying we would be better off dead i don't feel like sitton, but i am to them keep on rocking in the free world keep on rocking in the free world keep on rocking in the free world keep on rocking in the free world
seats. let's give bernie sanders another round of applause. i want to thank all of the urban league trustees ceos, young professionals, guilders, board leaders, national and affiliate staff, let's give them a round of applause for all their work. this has been a great morning, a great session. you have been a wonderful crowd. also, let's give the representatives of the media of the media a big hand for coming out and supporting by letting the american people see this form today. our final candidate hails from a family that is no stranger to the state of florida, to the white house, or to american politics. three generations of members of the bush family have served the federal government, and to have held the oval office.
our next speaker is looking to win the trifecta. [laughter] our next speaker served as governor of this state, the sunshine state of florida. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the national urban league governor jeb bush. ♪ jeb: thank you very much. i appreciate your hospitality and an excellent choice of the best state in which to hold your conference. i am not biased or anything. the urban league movement runs deep here. if you were hoping to find the most diverse dynamic forward-looking site for your conviction -- convention, you came to the right place. you are always welcome in florida.
mark i thank you and the trustees for this kind invitation. i'm honored to be your guest. i am pleased to see other candidates, secretary clinton, governor o'malley, senator sanders, and a good man bringing a lot of wisdom to the republican side, dr. ben carson. by the way, i'm glad he will make it into the top 10 for next week's debate. before that thing is over, we might just need a doctor. [laughter] i'm just saying. [laughter] for my part, i am working hard every day for the vote. in politics, the best kind of support begins in friendship and fellowship. my florida friends and partners in the urban league include some of the most formidable people that any of us know. among them, a national trustee education leader, and great woman, julia johnson. give her a round of applause. [applause]
and a man who basically build this movement from the ground up himself in south florida. [applause] he came to this state for a job interview with the miami affiliate. as he tells the story, and i quote, i did not know if they intended to hire me, but i intended to be hired. that was 55 years ago. [laughter] as we have learned, when he intends for something to happen don't be surprised when it does. he is an unstoppable leader and i am proud to call him my friend. after i lost my first election in 1994, i went through self reflection. i referred to it as listening and learning. i converted to my wife's catholic faith. i would give them the courthouses where there were cases of children abused and neglected.
parents, trying but unable to meet their obligations because of barriers, language, skills, or otherwise that held them back. in my next campaign, i visited 250 schools across florida, many of them in low income communities. i also partnered with the urban league greater miami to do something that was totally new to me. we built the liberty city charter school. at that time there were no charter schools in florida. we said, let's change the law. let's go build a charter school. let's start something new and helpful for people who should not have to wait for a real opportunity. together, we got it done. that first year, 90 black children in liberty city baig in their journey toward success -- begin their journey toward success. that was one of the proudest moments of my life. through listening and learning what i found were children who have the god-given ability to
achieve, yet for reasons out of their hands, structural, historical, economic, they did not have the same chance at success of their peers. i am indebted to many's around florida for giving me that perspective. it made me a better person, candidate in 1998, and a better governor for eight years that followed. that experience still shapes the way i see the deep-seated challenges facing people and urban communities today. i know that there are unjust barriers to opportunity and upward mobility in this country. some we can see, others are unseen, but just as real. so many lives can come to nothing or grief when we ignore problems or failed to meet our own responsibilities, and so many people could do so much better in life if we could come together and get a few big things right and government. i acted on that belief as
governor of florida. it is a record i will gladly compare with anyone else in the field. just for starters, leaders know there are 20 of tough calls, so we should not be wasting time over the easy ones. 14 years ago, when the question was whether to keep the confederate flag i said no and put it in a museum where it belongs. [applause] another easy call was reaching out for talent wherever i found it, for my cabinet staff, state agencies, and courts. you will not get good judgment and government when everybody comes from the same life experience. [applause] we increased the number of black for meridians serving by -- black floridians serving by 33%.
i was particularly proud that during my governorship, the state use of minority owned businesses tripled. you can't serve all the people. we did it. [applause] we did it with the most diverse appointments the state has seen, from my first day as governor to the last, respect was the rule and opportunity for all was the goal. in most lives, opportunity is a hollow word unless you have the dignity of a job and a paycheck. it becomes real when people are hiring and the economy is growing, and that's what we accomplished here in florida. we got the state economy growing at 4.4% a year. average incomes went up in every group. we made florida the number one job creating state in the whole nation. [applause]
we applied conservative principles and apply them fairly, without wavering. we found that with fewer obstacles, more people have the opportunity to achieve our success. we get more people the tools to move up in the world through adult education and workforce training. we expanded our community college system and made it more affordable for low income families. florida in those years help thousands more first-generation college students make it all the way to graduation. we did not lose sight of the ones who had missed their chance at a better life, or maybe lost their way and landed in jail. in florida, we did not want to fill prisons with nonviolent offenders, so we expanded drug courts. they started in florida and we expanded them all across the state, and we created prevention programs. i took the view, as i would as president, that real justice in america has got to also include restorative justice.
[applause] i opened the first faith-based prison in the united states, and signed an executive order to promote the hiring of x offenders. in this country, we should not be writing people off, denying them a second chance at a life of meaning. many only ask for a chance to start again, to get back in again and do it right. as a country, we should say yes when ever we can. [applause] we also went after the real enemy that afflicts our cities, smugglers, drug cartels, violent criminals, that profit from the undoing of so many lies. we passed laws for gun crimes and ensure that dangerous people were caps off of our streets. as a result of all of this, we brought violent crime in florida down to a 27 your low and drug abuse way down as well. social progress is always the
story of widening the circle of opportunity. for that reason, i gave the challenge of school reform everything i had as governor. because if we fail at that responsibility, it is a bit or loss. i believe in the right to rise in this country, and a child is not reading. [applause] -- and a child is not rising if he is not reading. [applause] almost half of fourth graders were functionally illiterate, and was half of high school kids never graduated. we overhauled the whole system, set clear standards, and brought out the best in our great teachers. we insisted on testing and accountability. we created the first date i private school choice program in america. we expanded high performance charter schools and ended the insidious policy of promotion
and third grade, the practice of passing kids along as if we didn't care, because we didn't care, and we should care. you don't show that by counting out anyone's child. you give them all a chance, and that's what we did in florida. [applause] a lot changed in those years. graduations grea rates went up. the number of students passing exams increased four times over. we became the leader in early childhood education, and we still are today. among minority children, florida saw the greatest gains anywhere in the united states, and what is that show? it shows that every child can learn, no matter the race, background, where they live. i know this can be done. the debate is changing. old orthodoxies are falling away, but we can never forget that long-term reform does not
help a child right now. years of learning are years that are lost forever. i think of the kids in washington dc who receive opportunity scholarships, a couple of thousand boys and girls, almost all black, have been given a chance to leave the worst schools and go to the best. yet every to leave the worst schools and go to the best. yet every year the unions and the politicians want to shut this down because they do not like parental choice period. here is what i believe. everyone should have high standards and expectations and the federal government should have nothing to do with setting them. washington should provide support where the need is greatest but building knowledge in shaping character is the work of principals, teachers and parents. when president obama says "for too long we have been blind to the way past injustices continue
to shape the present," he is speaking the truth. [applause] but we should be just as candid about our failures of addressing problems later more recent origin. in our cities, we have people who have never known anything but poverty. it is a tragedy for them and such a loss to our country because every one of them has a god-given purpose and god-given talents this world means. -- this world means. everyone of them was promised one big break in life to prove who they are and what they can do. for millions, it is a false promise. as technology advances, the first rung of the latter is getting higher and higher and higher.
i want to work with the urban league to end this adjustment -- and this -- end this once and for all. this nation has pursued a war on poverty and massive government programs funded with trillions of taxpayer dollars. this decades long effort, while well-intentioned has been a losing one and the casualties can be counted in the millions who never had a chance at work, whose families fell victim to violence and drugs and the crushing of the spirit. one of the best anti-poverty programs is a strong emily, -- strong family, led by two strong terrence. poverty among dual parent families is about 7%.
among month families with single mothers, 35%. the reason is simple. it is tougher to raise a family alone. too many kids are growing up without their dads. it is incumbent upon us to exert the positive societal pressures that can turn the tide in the breakdown of fatherhood in america. but for many that is not an option and there is no tougher job in the world than being a single mom. [applause] so, as governor of florida, i tried to do something about it. i doubled our efforts to collect child support payments. the children were better off because of that. together with quality education and a family support system, ending the cycle of poverty
improves access to jobs. i set a goal to defy my economic agenda should i become president. i do not for one moment except the new normal of anemic 2% growth. i believe we can achieve annual economic growth of 4% and a lot rides on the difference. the new normal is more businesses going under then starting up. 4% is a true revival of the private sector in 19 million new jobs. the new normal is the static present for struggling cities. more people are moving in, a higher tax base, and more revenues. a better chance to save our cities. we can do this as a country. we can grow at a pace.
big, audacious goals are second nature to the minimum and of the urban league. we have seen anger and violence yet again this year. with -- when all of these issues i discuss make it harder and harder for people to imagine a hopeful future, it is easy to see why there is anger and disillusionment. trust in our vital institutions is at historic lows. it is up to all of us to rebuild that trust. that happens one person at a time, one politician at a time, when police officer at a time. one community leader at a time. it begins with respect dialogue, and the courage to go out in peace. that is exactly what we saw with two of your affiliate presidents
. [applause] these good men were tested, and they showed us the way. strength of love, as martin luther king called it, always shows the way. and sometimes, as in charleston last month, it shines as a true light in the darkness as the community of that city found such grace, such. he of hearts such boundless mercy -- such purity of heart such boundless mercy in the face of evil. we hope that it told people something good about this nation and it surely did. but even more that congregation of believers and that city bore witness to a character that built a movement and inspires it to this day.
i will endeavor to live up to the goodness of charleston and work with you to better our communities whether as your neighbor or as her president. i know there are great and lasting things we can achieve together. maybe only together. to keep america faithful to its ideals of equality and justice for all. your support in that effort is something i will work every day to earn. i work for your friendship and i ask for your vote. i bless you all and thank you for your invitation. -- god bless you all and thank you for your invitation. >> of her bush, one more time -- we at the national urban league will promulgate -- ladies and gentlemen, please keep your seat . i have three questions and then an announcement about the schedule for today.
we are going to promulgate a questionnaire. you are in. and then the other two questions, the young people, the new generation millennials, and the second one, small businesses, african-american owned his misses, poverty, and what do you do about that? governor bush: when it comes to millennials, if you think about it, young people have not gotten a good deal. college graduation rates are lower than our generation -- or my generation. marc: thank you. [laughter] governor bush: it is amazing. we have flatlined those levels. student loans have grown exponentially, but regulation rates have not risen. so, young people are stuck with debt. the job market growing at 2% is
not creating the first rung on the latter for young people. our government is obsolete. they are frustrated with that because they are much more tech savvy. we are not growing at a rate that lifts people up. in fact obamacare is designed to be effective for young people to be mandated to be in the exchanges to take care of people that are our age that may not be potentially as healthy. we have not given them a great deal. you are in great shape. but the point is, we have to create a high growth strategy for people. one of the ways that you do that as relates to african-american owned businesses is to use the power of government. we had a tough fight with a program called one florida. it was very controversial. but we ended up, because we turned it into a leadership model -- instead of saying we
are going to have a bunch of people certifying businesses. i pretty much know you are a black man. you pretty much know i am a white guy, right? i do not need to spend a lot of quality time going through that. so, we turned these bureaucrats and compliance officers into marketing arms for businesses and the amount of increase of procurement for black-owned and hispanic owned and women-owned businesses grew exponentially, 400%. government can play a useful role in providing opportunities for people that may make it possible for them to sustained or business and expand. i think that is a useful place for us to operate as well. the final thing, access to credit, the issue has been made worse by the most complicated financial regulatory system. and i tell you, the two big to fail challenge israel.
i -- the too big to fail challenge is real. the problem is, the same rules apply to small banks, community banks, banks embedded in the community for urban and rural and the net result is they cannot sustain their business because they have to hire the same compliance officers lawyers, and accountants as jpmorgan does. if we're going to be serious about making sure the next generation of entrepreneurs gets capital, we better protect capital. marc: thank you, governor. ladies and gentlemen, governor jeb bush. ♪ marc: ladies and gentlemen lunch will start at 12:30 instead of 12:00. workshops will go from 11:00
until 12:15. please note the change. >> ♪ violence violence living it up in the city got to kiss myself so pretty two hot -- too hot hot damn say my name you know who i am too hot hot damn girl say hallelujah girl say hallelujah because of town funk is going to give it to ya because of town funk is going to give it to ya don't believe me, just watch
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oh! what? ♪ [song changes] >> ♪ go to times square, take a picture of me with a kodak tonight tonight -- ♪ >> ♪ tonight i am going to rock with you tonight give me everything tonight we always know we may not see tomorrow do it for love do it for love give somebody and tell them, hey do everything for life
give me everything tonight's give me everything tonight ♪ [rapping] >> the republican presidential candidates are in new hampshire for the first presidential forum on monday at 7:00 p.m. eastern. c-span is reviving live coverage of the two hour for them. the new hampshire union leader along with media organizations from early caucus and primary states, are sponsoring this forum, and following, you can provide your input by joining our program or adding your comments on facebook and
twitter. road to the white house 2016 on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. the c-span city store, working with our cable affiliates is that cities across the country and we are joined by comcast to learn more about the literary life of augusta, georgia. he was awarded the medal of freedom and awarded the medal of honor posthumously for his actions in world war ii. >> we are sitting here in the accustomed museum of history and the decision was made to do a permanent military display. when i did my research on the book, i went through 9000 car nagy medal recipients -- carnegie recipients over the last 100 years. it turns out he is the only person ever to have earned both
awards. he almost for sure would have said he does not deserve it. he might have pointed to someone else who is more heroic than he was you as very humble. he never talked about the car nagy -- carnegie medal. people knew him very well. they would say, what about the carnegie medal here and when he was 18. i have known a lot of medal honor -- medal of honor recipients. most will tell you, i did not deserve this. it should have been given to someone else. it's a piece of humility we can all learn from. >> we also visited the boyhood home of our 28th president woodrow wilson. >> president wilson moved to augusta when he was just a child moved to another house, then moved to this house when he was three. president wilson's very first memory was in november of 1860, before he was four years old.
he was standing at the front gate and two men came by in a hurry. and they said, abraham lincoln has just been elected president and there was going to be a war. so, young tommy ran inside to ask his father, while war? what did that mean? why were they so excited? we think it is remarkable his very first memory was about another president, abram lincoln, and another war, the civil war. of course, wilson would have to lead the through world war i. >> see all of our programs from a gust of saturday at noon eastern on -- from augusta georgia saturday at noon eastern on c-span three. >> next, president obama signs a
three month extension of the highway funding bill. then energy secretary ernest moneys talks about the iran nuclear agreement. then the urban league convention. president obama signed a three month extension of highway funding, hours before it was set to expire. he also made brief remarks to reporters in the oval office. >> hate. president obama: everybody -- everybody else that? i am about to sign in a three-month extension of our highway funding. that is a good thing. if this was not in front of me and ready for signature, we would have projects all across the country closing after midnight. on the other hand, we have now made it a habit where instead of
five-year funding plans for transportation, instead of long-term approaches where we can actually strategize projects, our they getting paid for, providing services for governors, mayors, states, localities about how they are going to approach critical infrastructure projects, roads bridges, ports, airports -- instead we operate as if we are hand to mouth. three month set a time. which freezes a lot of construction. which makes people uncertain. which leads to businesses not being willing to hire, because they do not have long term certainty. it's a bad way for the u.s. government to do business. i want to make sure before i sign this congress gets the clear message. and that is we should not be
leaving the business of the u.s. government until the last minute. think about the things that are still undone as congress is about to go on vacation. they have not reauthorized the export-import bank, which creates jobs all across the country, good paying jobs, because it increases our exports. when i was in ethiopia on our trip we had sent a score of planes to ethiopia from boeing airlines which creates jobs not only in seattle, but all businesses, medium-size businesses, being able to facilitate sending products to other countries. i had businesses with employees ranging from 12 to 500 employees who said that their sales were starting to be affected by congressional inaction on what
has traditionally been a bipartisan support of the export-import bank. that means to get done. congress has had all year to do a budget. and congress is leaving on vacation without the budget done and when they come back, they will have about two weeks in order to do the people's business. this is going to be critical. we have big issues we have to deal with on the defense side. there is the support we are providing our allies in the gulf. that could cause some very big problems. at and around the extraordinary commitment that our forces have to make. on the domestic side, i have already said we will not accept congressional level budgets that
result in cuts to critical programs like education that are imperative for our long-term growth. so, my hope is, while i wish congress well during the next six weeks -- they always deserve some time with their families to refuel a little bit -- that some of these next six weeks are prepared to come up with a plan and approach whereby democrats and republicans sit down and negotiate a budget that works for everybody. and everybody comes back with a spirit of compromise and how do we make sure our defense budget and domestic budget is reflective of core needs that are going to improve prospects for people's lives not just this year, but for years to come. i also hope we can go ahead and
get export-import bank done because that will be critical for our exports and jobs here in the united they spirit and i hope we have a longer-term approach to transportation. we can't keep on funding transportation by the seat of our pants. three month set a time. it just is not how the greatest country on earth needs to be doing his business. i guarantee you, this is not how china, germany, other countries around the world, other big powerful countries around the world handle their infrastructure. we can't have bridges collapsing and potholes not being filled because congress can't come up with an adequate plan to fund our infrastructure budget for more than three or five or six months at a time. ok? with that, i'm going to sign this and i hope that members of congress are listening, and i hope republicans can work things out amongst themselves. i think we have to do some
intraparty negotiations as well as negotiations between the parties. there you go. thank you, everybody. thank you. >> thank you all. >> thank you everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> at the white house briefing energy secretary ernest moneys spoke to reporters about the iran nuclear agreement. the secretary said that he believes that congress will approve the agreement. this is just over 30 minutes.
secretary earnest: good afternoon. nice to see you all. happy friday. let me do a quick announcement and we will go to our special guest today. on this coming wednesday, next week, the president will travel to american university and in washington, d.c. to deliver a speech on the historic deal reached by the united states alongside our partners and allies to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. the president will continue his effort to make the case for why the iran deal verifiably prevent s iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. he will lay out the enormous stakes in the current debate taking place in congress and describe why this diplomatic resolution is far preferable to the alternatives. many of you know, students of history, that 50 years ago president kennedy spoke of a future defined by peace, not war, at american university. the president will also describe how this debate is fundamentally
about u.s. leadership in the world and how we can leave d global efforts to address threats like iran's nuclear program the way we did when president kennedy made the case for diplomatic efforts to address the threat of nuclear weapons and avoid catastrophic conflict. that should make for an interesting day on wednesday. joining me at the briefing today is energy secretary ernie moniz . many of you will recall his visit to the briefing room. since the announcement on july 14 of this final agreement, we have been trying to schedule his appearance here the briefing room to discuss the deal and to answer your questions about it. based on the president's travel schedule and secretary moniz's extensive visits to capitol hill, today is the first day we were able to arrange that. he will open with a quick statement and then stick around
and take a few questions. secretary moniz? secretary moniz: my opening statement is there are too many familiar faces. [laughter] just very briefly reinforce what was said that obviously, this agreement was focused on the question of nuclear weapons and iran. and the president's commitment and what i will believe will be a commitment of future presidents as well to make it clear that iran will not have a nuclear weapon. i believe it provides us with a lot of tools to make sure that is the case for it or if it isn't, to make sure that we find out in a timely way to respond. with that, i am open for questions. secretary earnest: all right. let's go ahead. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i'm wondering if you can clear up whether it's possible that iran -- [inaudible]
secretary moniz: that's really question for the intelligence community. i think what they would tell you is we feel pretty confident that we know their current configuration. clearly the deal, of course, is ultimately based on verification. as general clapper said earlier this week, while we can never have 100% certainty, that we know everything, this agreements -- this deal, this agreement provides tremendously enhanced insight into the program, and certainly over the years ahead with the measures we have taken, and with the considerable international presence in iran we expect to provide the intelligence community with many more tools. >> because of our lack of information on the iran nuclear program, could you talk to us
about the insights that you will get, in layman's terms, what you are expecting to get this deal -- if this deal goes through and you are allowed to walk in and see what's going on? secretary moniz: we should really think about a verification system as opposed to just one element here, one element there. they all work together. i think the critical issues are first, that we have tremendously enhanced presence at their nuclear facilities. if you like, they are known or declared nuclear facilities. that includes the most stringent containment and surveillance opportunities for the iaea including the use of advanced technologies. secondly, and very important is there is an impressive and to -- unprecedented visibility into the entire uranium supply chain. all the way from uranium basically just getting processed
through centrifuge manufacturing to conversion to gas. you name it. i think an important part of that is that if iran were to try to develop a covert program, they would have to re-create an entire fuel cycle. an entire supply chain comics -- an entire supply chain, excuse me. beginning to end, in multiple locations, doing multiple technologies and one weak link in the supply chain and there would be a problem. that's very important, this entire supply chain. what i was saying earlier, it's really about more tools for the intelligence community. a third point i want to emphasize is, because there has been a lot made about the iaea process with regard to undeclared sites, and that is
that we have for the first time, anywhere, a fixed time period for resolution. and secondly, we remain very confident in our abilities to detect the signatures of any activity with nuclear materials. >> you been spending a lot of time on the hill talking the lawmakers, and you need a certain threshold of votes to block an attempt to override a veto on a legislative measure. how may votes in the house and senate? secretary moniz: i don't count votes. i just try to explain the deal. we remain convinced that the more chances we have to explain exactly what the agreement is, and of course, not for me but for the president and the secretary of defense, secretary of state to talk about the ensuing activities around -- ancillary activities around regional security arrangements then the more i think we will be able to carry the day.
>> iran has long denied they ever intended to develop nuclear weapons. this is all about civilian nuclear energy. what is your sense, looking at the iran nuclear program -- do you have any doubt in your mind that the nuclear program was established with the intention of developing nuclear bombs? secretary moniz: a little historical perspective. of course, their nuclear energy program started many, many decades ago. in fact, prior to the 1979 revolution. so, they were definitely going for nuclear energy for quite a while. now, one of the things, and i will refer to my previous life as an academic analyzing nuclear power issues, we always said that the economics were not there for developing things like enrichments, until you had the
order of 10 nuclear power plants. iran's statement that they are in fact planning for a program of that or even greater size, and that they are, in light of supply challenges, looking to develop capacity to provide fuel for at least part of that. but that is their statement. we have said many times, this is not an agreement based on trust. if their statement were simply accepted at face value, they wouldn't have ended these engines regime in the first -- the sanctions regime in the first place. there would not be iaea reports out there that talk about structured programs up to 2003 that were looking at technologies relevant to a weapons program. so, this is all about verifying. it's all about, especially for the first 15 years, having dramatic restraints on their nuclear activities. from day one, and forever, to
having strengthened verification procedures. >> what you say to the people of israel who are convinced that this, although in the administration's perspective would make that country more safe, does just the opposite and that there will be so much money now with the ending of sanctions programs that will effectively put a bull's-eye on the state of israel from the money that will go to many of iran's partners like hezbollah, hamas, and others. whether it's a nuclear weapon or other forms of weapons they think it's a bull's-eye the goes on their heads. secretary moniz: even though i will tire you with repetition, i want to emphasize this significantly rolls back all aspects of their nuclear program, and that's the verification. with regards to funding, this is obviously not my lane. but i can certainly repeat what
secretary lew has emphasized over and over again. first of all, the resources to which iran will have access is probably in the range of around $55 billion. a lot of that is going to get tied up in a whole variety of areas, including their need to be able to finance international transactions. as jack has also said, obviously we're not going to say that some of this funding will not go to their military. so it's going to go there. what we say is, i think, what the president has said, what secretary kerry has said, what secretary carter said on wednesday at the senate hearing is that we are going to have to redouble our efforts around regional security issues, we're going to have to confront directly and energetically the various areas in which iran is
generating instability and supporting terrorism. i think in the end, we need to have a system that, without iran, having the confidence of iran not having a nuclear weapon, that we will be able to focus even more intensely on these additional security challenges. >> thank you. i want to ask you about the undeclared sites. what are the verification mechanisms that will be at play when you are monitoring the so-called undeclared sites? has that differ from monitoring -- how does that differ from monitoring declared sites, if it -- and if it happens that iran is in some sort of material violation, it is there a mulligan? what is the process before the international community does more than just sanction this regime? secretary moniz: there's a huge difference between declared an
d undeclared sites. in the former, in the iaea, they will have daily access using advanced technologies, increased number of inspectors, and the resources to carry that out. by definition, an undeclared site starts out with no monitoring because it was undeclared. intelligence is the foundation of being able to point the iaea to those locations. once that happens, then we have this defined process with a defined timeframe for resolving it. i would say that if you think in terms of possible violations of the agreements, clearly there is the opportunity for graded responses. for example, the snapback of you -- u.n. sanctions is termed in whole or in part. so now comes the issue of what deserves a graded response versus a more robust response? for example, one of the very important conditions of the
agreement is the 300 kilograms of low enriched uranium for 15 years. for a short time, if there happens to be a little imbalance there, that's probably something that's going to get corrected. but you wouldn't call a material response to kind of bring down the whole 64 tons. on the other hand, if there is nuclear activity, nuclear materials activity and undeclared site, that is found i would consider that to be a very material breach, and one that would call for a reaction. >> yesterday, the president told supporters in a conference call that because so much money is being spent in opposition to this deal, a lot of members are really feeling the political heat and some are getting quote -- squishy. are you experiencing that, and when you -- when the president does feel someone is getting squishy, are you the guy who calls to firm things up?
secretary moniz: he is probably calling other people, too, but yes, i am certainly getting enough calls to speak to members. and i welcome it. i have been very frankly pleased at how many members are really digging into the documents, both public and confidential documents that we have supplied. squishy, i wouldn't use that term. in my experience, what i have seen, i have spoken to many members after they've had visits, shall we say and it has led them to sharpen their questions, and hopefully for us to sharpen our answers. that is all we can do, to continue the process of explaining exactly what this agreement is. i think it will stand on its own. >> [inaudible]
based on your conversation with lawmakers, do you think that meeting will be enough, or does the white house and administration have anything to do with getting the general 2 -- [inaudible] secretary moniz: i want to dispel this idea of secret site deals. there is no secret side deal. the agreement, the jcpoa agreement is that iran will stop blunting the iaea attempts to finish the investigation. somehow we think this last visit to one site is kind of the whole thing. there has been many, many years of activity and reports that that is was responsible for a lot of the sanctions over the last years. the agreement is -- this is not secret, this is public. iran must respond by october 15 in terms of providing iaea all of the access it has asked for
in their agreed-upon protocol. those protocols, as a standard are called safeguards confidential between the country and the iaea. the iaea's independence is very important or long-term interests. it is a standard safeguards confidential protocol. i will give you an example. if you go back almost 25 years the iaea basically took apart the south african program. those documents all remain confidential. that is the standard. the issue is, iaea negotiated with iran in confidential protocols. what would be the steps required for the iaea to have satisfaction that it could finish the job and issue the final report on what happened? typically we are talking 12 years ago. i welcome that.
i should say, when i met with the director general in vienna a few days before the agreement was completed, he said then that he was going to be very happy to come and have discussions with the administration and with the congress. i am personally quite pleased that he is following up on that in a timely way. i think it will be very helpful. >> you said you are not responsible for counting votes but you set a considerable time on the hill, in public and behind closed doors meeting with members of congress. he also said you didn't refer to any of them getting squishy. what is your level of confidence on the hill?] -- on the hill? secretary moniz: i remain confident this agreement will go into effect. ultimately, certainly unless there are too many closed minds,
you know -- the thing which most disappointed me was all of the opining on the agreement before it was reached. i think as long as their open -- as long as there are open minds, the agreement is very very powerful in its constraints on the iranian program and on its enhanced verification measures. i think as long as we keep at it and keep explaining that, and have others like the secretary kerry and secretary carter and the president meeting regional -- reinforcing our regional security commitments more broadly, i think the deal will certainly go into effect. >> i know some people see this as connected to the iran deal. and some don't. there is growing demand in congress -- [indiscernible] secretary moniz: i find the linkage to be interesting.
i would note first of all a slight difference that iran is after all, an oil exporter, they would like to be more of an oil exporter than they are today obviously. the united states remains an importer of 7 million barrels of crude oil per day. these are very, very asymmetric situations. there's a broader issue in general about american oil experts, obviously the congress has been acting on that. that is a question for secretary pritzker. >> [indiscernible] secretary moniz: that is a secretary for secretary -- that is a question for secretary pritzker. >> i understand you just had a meeting with leaders of major jewish organizations, some who
oppose the group. can you tell me if you think you made any headway in selling the deal? what are the questions you think are most formidable to persuading these leaders who are opposed? secretary moniz: it was a very good meeting. a number of the jewish leaders came in from across the country. it showed, think right there a very strong interest in really having a chance to discuss the agreement in depth. make progress, again, i don't like to make value judgments. i can say it was a very good discussion. it is not surprising, these were people who were well schooled in the agreement. but also had lots of clarifying questions to ask. i felt that we made real progress in terms of clarification of issues in terms of how this agreement was ultimately good for our security, and for the security in the region. a lot of the questions -- some of the ones being asked here. what is the 24 days?
what is the iaea arrangement? i was a lot of it focused on these questions of verification. we all understand that those are central to this question of finding any covert activity. i think for example, a point that was -- we emphasized and i think had impact, and had not been as fully appreciated is this idea of having transparency across the entire supply chain. of uranium, and how that significantly enhanced our capabilities to find anything outside of that allowed supply chain. i think it was a very good meeting and you are certainly correct that i think it was quite appropriate, people came to that meeting with very different perspectives. >> on the whole secret side deal allegation.
secretary moniz: there is no secret side deal. [laughter] >> the folks who say we are placing a lot of trust in the iaea in subcontracting out the decision about what american sanctions should do in the future. should we trust the iaea? secretary moniz: we have always trusted the iaea. the iaea is an extremely competent organization. i might add, partly because at a place like los alamos national laboratory, we have courses that all of the iaea inspectors take, for example. that has been going on for decades. we have obviously, many, many nationalities involved in the iaea safeguards activities, a
number of them are american. typically coming from our laboratories. they will not be part of the inspection teams because of our lack of diplomatic relations but they are a very confident -- competent organization. but we have done is give them the tools they need to apply their talents. and i might say, to expand their scope relative to other things as well. for example, the issue of having verification opportunities literally for the uranium supply chain is something they have sought -- they would love to have. they have sought in other occasions. unsuccessfully. this will be the first time they will have the capability. this is a period in which they will have the ability to deploy advanced technologies, enrichment monitoring technologies. i might add developed in our national laboratories. electronic seals, our laboratories worked on that. etc., etc. they are very competent, they
need to have the options at their disposal to deploy their tools -- this is what the agreement gives them. >> i wanted to ask a technical question about the heavywater reactor. the original framework agreement said the court would be -- the core would be destroyed. think the final agreement said that concrete will be poured into the core. is that the same as destroying it? secretary moniz: it renders it unusable in that or any future reactor. >> is there a potential if the deal breaks apart, that iran would be able to get that restarted or rebuilt in a way -- secretary moniz: if the agreement is rejected, then
obviously -- well, i say obviously -- i presume iran will not take the steps. one is removing that reactor and then in collaboration with the p5+1, which includes the united states, to carry through an alternative design with less plutonium production and then build that reactor and in addition to send all of the irradiated plutonium-bearing fuel out of the country for the whole life of the reactor. but if there is no agreement, i do not see personally why they would do that. they would presumably leave that in and just finish that reactor, which is a major plutonium producer. >> how long is that process? at what point in the agreement are they supposed to have the redesign? secretary moniz: as the agreement says, a working group will be set up involving iran -- well, involving the p5+1, and
that will go forward immediately. you know, it is not like there has not been some work done on this. many of the countries, technical teams, including our own particularly the argonne laboratory, which is where special research reactor design goes on, that is why we have confidence in the basic parameters, and if you look at agreement you will even find two stages of the parameter specification of the reactor. and then as expeditiously as possible to go through design and construction and been -- then commissioning of the reactor. victoria: in your meeting with lawmakers, i have any come up with a credible alternative they have suggested to you? secretary moniz: i have not heard one, to be honest. at least not one that has the
same impact as the agreement does. we have said, and again, i am not the secretary of state, but never the less, i would opine if we now undercut this agreement it is hard to see that there would not be very negative consequences that we would see very quickly. i think one of the surprising elements of disagreements to me is the fact that the p5+1 could hang together through a tough, grinding negotiation over a long time at the same time in which it is very clear some members of the p5+1 have some other issues among ourselves, and we all know, i think who we are talking about. and yet there was tremendous cohesion there. i think the core underlying
reason and one that would give me some confidence that this cohesion will take, if there is any question about how iran is implementing the agreement, the p5 have a self interest in preserving the non-proliferation regime. obviously, there is self interest in seeing that this is executed properly. >> odd one -- secretary moniz: i am, too. [laughter] >> what are you talking about? secretary moniz: [laughter] on this agreement, in part because of the figure in washington, you have got the slightly longer hair than the rest of us --
secretary moniz: i'm leaving. secretary ernest: he means that in the nicest possible way. [laughter] >> can you tell us what it is about bringing an academic to washington, which is a somewhat unusual thing that may have worked out in your particular case and why you think that you have become the spokesman for this agreement that you have now brought before us? secretary moniz: i would say a spokesman for the agreement. it is an area that -- as you know, frankly, this was not part of my job description, but obviously it was a fortuitous set of circumstances in which this is an area that i do have a lot of experience. it is not known. here is some news, here is some news. 1978, you could look up the american physical society report on nuclear fuel cycle and waste management, and it is terrific.
i recommend it for and some the -- i recommend it for insomnia. [laughter] and there is a chapter in there on nuclear safeguards, and frankly i was the lead author of that chapter, so this goes back to 1978. so, i have been doing this a long time. the other thing is, i will be honest, there was a certain fortuitousness in the fact that mr. salafi, who was also an m.i.t. graduate, i did not know him then, but we have at least some commonality, which probably also helped move the negotiation along. because these kinds of negotiations are important. whatever the case is, i am happy obviously to assist the president and secretary kerry to aid in the negotiation to advance this agreement. >> you brought m.i.t.
paraphernalia to some of these negotiations, is that right? secretary moniz: i want to make it clear -- this was not guile or anything else. i have two grandchildren. mr. salahi's first grandchild was born as we were sitting at the table negotiating. it just seemed appropriate to connect his new granddaughter to his educational past. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> is the book on amazon? [laughter] your 1978 book, is that on amazon, i am not sure? [laughter] >> thank you, sir. >> next, presidential candidates hillary clinton, jeb bush,
bernie sanders, and martin o'malley speak at the urban league convention. then president obama signs a three-month extension of the highway funding bill. then secretary ernest moniz talks about the iran nuclear agreement. on the next washington journal daily mail reporter francesca chambers talks about the latest e-mail release of then secretary clinton. and the author of "yellen and the fed" discusses the economic outlook for the u.s. and expectations for the federal reserve to raise interest rates for this year. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend on the c-span network. politics, books, american history.
saturday at 8:00 eastern, net roots nation hosts a discussion on arizona's immigration laws and the new jersey governor and presidential candidate chris christie on national security. on c-span2, saturday night at 10:00 eastern on book tv, michael tanner talks about the growing national debt and restructuring entitlement programs as a solution. then glenn beck versus thoughts on islamic extremism. on c-span three, sunday morning starting at 10:00 eastern, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of president lyndon johnson signing the 1965 voting rights act. our coverage includes phone conversations between johnson and his aides martin luther king jr., and congressional members on strategy of how to enforce the law and lbj's 1965
speech at the capitol in the signing of the bill. also, the university of california at burke the history professor look set how arms trading contributed to an american victory during the revolution. get our complete schedule at www.c-span.org. >> five presidential hopefuls spoke at the national urban league conference in florida. the democratic candidates are hillary clinton cotton -- hillary clinton, martin o'malley , and bernie sanders. the republican candidates are jeb bush and ben carson. ♪ [applause] marc: say save our cities. i don't hear you. say save our cities. >> save our cities. marc: education.
>> education marc: jobs. >> jobs. marc: justice. >> justice. marc: good morning. >> good morning. marc: i am so proud to see all of you. you are a wonderful audience. we want to thank everyone who is here at the fort lauderdale broward county convention center. i also want to thank all who may be watching from home, their office, on mobile devices all over the world and the nation. the national urban league is center stage on this morning july 31, 2015. now on behalf of the national urban league, the urban league movement and our hosts, i'm proud to welcome you to the 2016 presidential candidates plenary. this is a very special event because it is the first time in this election cycle that candidates from both the democratic and republican parties have come together on one stage.
the presence here today of these candidates represents an outreach hand, an important signal that they take our issues, our communities and each and every one of you very seriously. now as the nation's largest civil rights, urban advocacy and social justice conference, i also believe their presence here speaks volumes. i would like to state for the record that the national urban league welcomed all the declared candidates to address us today and share their plans for saving our cities. as each of you know, the national urban league is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate. as a nonpartisan 501c3 organization, the national urban
league extended an invitation to any 2016 presidential candidate who either appeared in a reputable public opinion poll such as gallup, rasmussen or others, or who reached out and contacted us before july 1. you might be surprised but according to the federal election commission, there are so far at least 484 individuals who are vying for the presidential election. you could run for president, too. [laughter] seriously, even the national urban league conference is not big enough to provide a stage for 484 candidates to have a fair opportunity to speak. if we could, what could we possibly learn from such a circus? all we ask from these candidates is they work with us in a timely fashion to coordinate their
appearance at this private event. we are grateful to them that they did just that and made our community and our concerns a priority. in addition to the candidates who will address us today, the following candidates were invited, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts -- senator rand paul of kentucky. senator marco rubio of florida. former senator jim webb of virginia. former arkansas governor mike huckabee. senator lindsey graham of south carolina. louisiana governor bobby jindal. ohio governor john kasich. the following candidates were invited, but never responded in any way to our invitation. [laughter]
we believe in transparency. [laughter] [applause] those candidates are former hewlett-packard ceo carly fiorina, former new york governor george pataki, former senator rick santorum of pennsylvania, former rhode island governor lincoln chafee new jersey governor chris christie, and new york real estate tycoon donald trump. [laughter] and perhaps we will hear from them in the future. [laughter] we are here because we want to listen to the candidates' plans to save our cities. and, in preparation for today, we gave the candidates a little homework. we shared with them some of our very best ideas to saving -- four saving american cities.
-- for saving american cities. each of the candidates received the 21st century agenda for jobs and freedom which is endorsed by 60 civil rights and social justice organizations, put together in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. that document and that agenda identifies five urgent domestic goals for the nation. economic parity for african-americans. equity in educational opportunities. protection and defense of voting rights. elimination of health care disparity and comprehensive criminal justice system reform. we also shared with the candidates our 10 point plan for police reform and accountability which includes recommendations such as mandatory body cameras and dashboard cameras and a comprehensive overhaul of police hirings and training practices
because we are here to save our cities and not just ourselves. in memory of our brothers and sisters such as michael brown, eric garner, tamir rice, sandra bland and so many others, we will say their names because their lives matter and we say black lives matter because every life matters. [applause] and you know that while police tactics may have been the spark that ignited explosions in places like ferguson and baltimore, poverty, hopelessness and joblessness are the tinder the kerosene. it is now time that we come together as a nation and demand reform not only in criminal justice and in policing, but also in economics and in education. these issues are inextricably intertwined.
the national urban league movement will be working with the next president to implement reform that is meaningful, that can help us all create a better, a stronger, a more equitable and a more inclusive america. this morning, we look forward to hearing from each candidate and after a few words from our chairman, michael neidorff, we will be off to the races and our program will be underway. ladies and gentlemen, thank you once again. i ask you to please join me in welcoming michael neidorff chairman of the board of trustees of the national urban league. [applause] ♪ michael: good morning. i'm not a candidate.
[laughter] i want to thank you for continuing to welcome me in this organization as marc has so eloquently stated, today's plenary is one of the most important sessions. there are currently 22 major candidates who have officially declared their candidacy. 21 of whom were invited here. yet only five are here to share the tenets of their platform. let's just say the others were busy campaigning. as the ceo of an organization that shares a constituency with the urban league movement, i'm especially interested in hearing what these candidates have to say. to me, it is ok for republicans and democrats to stand across the aisle and have differing perspectives on how to accomplish goals of government
that are best for all americans, but it is not ok to ignore the disenfranchised communities for any reason. urban leaguers represents a hard-working families like the ones who built this country. they are mostly the background and the next president would do well to remember that. let's all listen with open minds and ears. i know that is what i will be doing and hope you will as well. thank you and bring back marc. [applause] ♪ marc: well said. we are fortunate to have you as the leader of our team. at this time, i would like to acknowledge pepsico, our sponsor for this plenary. to deliver a brief welcome please join me in greeting tony west, executive vice president
of government affairs, general counsel, and corporate secretary of pepsico. let's take a look at what pepsi is doing. >> pepsico -- $22 billion brand s as a global icon and 50 years of delighting consumers when it matters most. fun times with friends. movements that bring communities together. a company that has repeatedly adapted and a retooled, always with an eye towards the future. healthy nurse and simple pleasure. a company you love and trust. among the world's most ethical and diverse companies. more than a company, a community of families. this is pepsico. [applause] tony: thank you. good morning, national urban league.
thank you, national urban league, on behalf of our ceo pepsico. thank you, marc, for inviting us to purchase a paid in this remarkable for him. we are here to talk about an important, timely topic -- the future of our cities and how we will work together to build a better, stronger, more equitable america for our children and for each other. every four years, we have this great opportunity to engage in a national conversation with those who will be our leaders about where this nation is and where we are going. about how we will prepare our young people to compete and win in a global marketplace. about how we will tackle the disproportionately high unemployment rate among people of color especially young african-american men.
and how we can harness the talents, the potential of this country to propel ourselves into a future better than our past. for the national urban league, this is not a new conversation. these issues have been front and center. the country listens. that is why when you call on presidential candidates, they show up, or they should show up. it is no surprise that the national urban league is pressing this agenda, but why pepsico? why us? we are located in cities and countries, cities and towns throughout this country. we are an integral part of the community. what we know as pepsico is if the communities in which we operate do not succeed, we don't succeed because we are all in this together, all of us.
teachers and parents, activists and policymakers, business and labor -- all of us are in this together. and each one of us will rise when all of us are lifted. at pepsico, we call this corporate philosophy performance with purpose. it is a corporate philosophy that says we must be a value added not just to our shareholders in the short term but we must be a value added to all the shareholders in the ecosystem we are a part of. that is why we have invested in young people. over $16 million in a program that boosts high school graduation and college rates -- matriculation rates among african-americans and young latino youth. by 2020, we will have served over 100,000 students. it is why we have invested $1.3
million every single year in minority and women owned businesses as part of our diversity supply chain program. and it is why we stepped up to answer president obama's call by being a founding member of my brother's keeper alliance, which is something that will make a difference in the lives of our young people. each of us rises when all of us are lifted. on behalf of pepsico, i want to thank all of you for being a part of this important important national conversation. thank you. [applause] ♪ marc: thank you, tony. we are off to the races. it is now time to get to the reason we are here. ladies and gentlemen, our first speaker and presidential candidate is an author and
retired neurosurgeon. a little more than 10 years ago, the national urban league honored dr. ben carson for his incredibly important work in the field of neurosurgery. urban leaguers and guests, please welcome presidential candidate dr. ben carson. [applause] ♪ dr. carson: thank you very much. we are absolutely delighted to be here. of course, urban league is so important for what it has done historically. i'm very cognizant of the many people who work so hard, including whitney young. in fact, i'm delighted that the whitney young award is going to benjamin crump. i've gotten a chance to get to
know him. i'm enormously proud of him. tremendous individual. individuals like him and myself would never have been able to accomplish what we did without the blood, sweat and tears of so many people who have sacrificed. no one will ever know who they are, but it was their foundation that really provided the freedom for us to do what we do. that is something that everyone needs to always keep in mind. i remember as a nine-year-old sitting on the steps in the ghetto in boston having moved from detroit after my mother who was one of 24 children, had gotten married at the age of 13 and they moved to detroit from rural tennessee and discovered my father was a bigamist. of course that led to a divorce , and we went to boston to live in dire poverty with her older sister and brother-in-law. i was sitting on the stairs looking through the building across the street which all the
-- out of which all the windows were broken. the sun was shining through. and there was a sunbeam and it made me think about my future. i remember thinking i will probably never live to be beyond 25 years of age because of what i saw around me. both of my older cousins were killed. i had seen people lying on the street with bullet wounds and stab wounds. it seemed like a pretty dismal place. the fact of the matter is with all that going on, america is a place of dreams. my mother had a dream of education. she had never been able to get much education herself. she worked very hard. two or three jobs at a time, getting back after midnight, scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets.
she did not want to be on welfare. she did not like the concept of being dependent on other people. and, she worked long and hard. she occasionally accepted some aid, but was able to stay off for the most part. that is not to say that i this -- this like -- that is not to say that i dislike people on welfare. there is a nasty rumor going on that carson wants to get rid of all welfare programs and all safety nets for people even though he must have benefited from them. the people who say that kind of stuff have an agenda and they are trying to undermine and divide people. i have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them. i have a strong desire however to provide a ladder to get people out of dependency so they become part of the fabric of america. that is really what we need to be talking about. we don't need necessarily to be dependent.
we have to understand what true compassion is really about. there are those who came along claiming to be very compassionate and they will eradicate poverty. there is a war on poverty. we have spent a lot of money since that started in the 1960's. over $19 trillion. what has been the result of that? 10 times more people on food stamps. more welfare, more poverty, more incarceration, out of wedlock births -- everything that was supposed to get better is not only worse, it is much worse. and, i think there is a reason that god gave us brains, so we could actually analyze things. we have two choices. when we make a decision to do something and it does not work you can say, maybe we should try something else or you can say
let's do more of it. and i think quite frankly, it is better to use that brain to think about what things do work the other way around. you know, we need to be looking at the economic situation of this country and how do we get to jumpstart it to give people courage and hope again? there has been a lot of change but not a lot of hope. we need to bring real hope. how do we do that? one thing i have noticed , you know spending decades in corporate america, is we have a lot of corporate money overseas. some people take that to mean american corporations are horrible and greedy and unpatriotic. our secretary of treasury said american companies who do business overseas to escape the
high taxes here are unpatriotic. you know what that indicates? a basic misunderstanding of our system. people do not go into business to support the government. they go into business to make money. if you are smart, you create an atmosphere that is conducive to them making money here. of course, you do much better if they are making money here because you get more revenue and you are able to do more things. that is the way it works. we have this strange mentality that has taken root where, let's just say, you have a tax system where you have a 10% tax rate. the guy makes $10 billion and pays $1 billion. a guy pays $10 and pays one dollar. some people say that is not fair because the guy still has $9 billion left.
we have to take more of his money. the problem with that kind of thinking, which is called socialism by the way, is that you now don't have as much money as the guy with $10 billion so next year you will put in less than $1 billion. more importantly, he will take what he does have and try to hide it somewhere. the american system that made us a great nation and catapulted us to the pinnacle of the world at a different philosophy. it said that guy just put in $1 billion. let's create a system that encourages entrepreneurial risk-taking in capital investment so next year he could make $20 million and put $2 billion in. that is what expands the pot. that is what causes real growth to occur. they are people who try to demonize that and they try to
say, no, that is the wrong idea. the ideal is utopia where nobody has to worry about anything from cradle to grave. we will take care of all of their needs. many people have tried that. the problem is it always ends up looking the same way. small group of elite at the top, a rapidly diminishing middle class and a vastly expanded dependent class. that is not what we need to do. what we need to be thinking about is those corporations over there have got over $2 trillion of assets, not money over there, which they do not bring back because they don't want to pay a 35% tax rate. they are asking what can they do? what if we were smart enough to say we will declare a six-month hiatus where they can bring that money back without paying any taxes and 10% of it has to be used to create jobs for unemployed people and people on welfare.
you want to talk about the stimulus that does not cost american taxpayers a penny and has an enormous effect -- there you have it. those are the kinds of things we need to be thinking about. a lot of people, when i was growing up, concentrated on racism. a lot of racism and it will keep you from being able to do things. there was racism, no question about it. and there still is and there always will be. there was yesterday, there is today, there will be tomorrow. as long as there are people with small brains and evil forces to stimulate them, it will be there. what do you do about it? i remember when i was in the eighth grade, having turned things around tremendously because i was a horrible student before. my mother made us read books and we were not happy about that.
you had to do what your parents told you back in those days. i was reading these books and as i read about people of enormous accomplishment. i remember one of the first books i read was about booker t. washington. -- "up from slavery" by booker t. washington. the person that has the most to do about what you do in life is you. not somebody else, not the environment. they cannot stop you. once i developed the mindset, i stopped listening to the people who were telling me i was a victim. as an eighth grader, i was the only black student at wilson junior high school. and they have a ceremony at the end of the year. the person with the highest academic performance and it was me. one of the teachers got up and chastised the other students because they obviously were not trying hard enough if a black kid was number one. now was she an evil person?
no. she was an ignorant person. that is the difference. some people are just ignorant. when i first went to johns hopkins and i would have on my scrubs, invariably some nurse would say, i'm sorry, but mr. brown is not ready to go to the o.r., assuming i was an orderly. nothing wrong with orderlies. i would say, excuse me, i'm dr. carson and i'm sorry they are not ready. they would turn 18 shades of red. i would be very nice to them. it is ok. i had a friend for life. they would do anything for me after that. you know. you just have to understand where people are coming from and be able to react in the appropriate way. i was doing an npr interview once. the interviewer said i know you don't talk about race very often. why is that? i said, it is because i am a neurosurgeon.
she thought that was a strange answer. it is not the skin and hair that makes them who they are, it is the brain. once we begin to understand that as a society, think we begin to make an enormous amount of progress. the other thing that is incredibly important is we need to start to think about economics in the inner cities. in the black community in america, there is over $1 trillion worth of assets. that is more assets than the vast majority of countries in the world. we have to learn how to use that appropriately. you have to turn your own dollars over in your own community two or three times before you send it out. that is how wealth is created. you cannot take that wealth and flee, you have to reconnect and pull other people along.