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tv   Discussion on New Orleans Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina  CSPAN  August 24, 2015 10:00am-6:01pm EDT

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football players won't get a union, but their fight doesn't end here." you can follow dave jamieson on twitter. that is our show for today. have a great monday. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> we had planned to bring you live coverage of an all days imposing on the 10 year anniversary of hurricane katrina. we are having technical issues with our signal from the event, unfortunately. but we are recording it and plan to bring it to you at some
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point. right now, a recent discussion on hurricane katrina with remarks on the media who covered the storm. at a museum here in washington, d.c. [applause] doug: good evening. i'm doug brinkley and i'm kind of a quiet moderator here with my friends. i want to set the stage here. we talk about the dustbowl was not just an event of one day. entiretbowl was an decade of affecting a region. in one word, our
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whole country trying to come back not just from the hurricane, but from the man-made disaster of the shoddy levees and other problems that the katrina story points to, racism, poor school systems, crime, .conomic disparity it is a very fertile field for looking at america today. when the storm came, i was a professor at tulane university, and i had evacuated the year before. i made the dumbest of decision of my life to say because i didn't want gridlock on i 10. i'm very hyperactive and justin i cannote that, -- and take just sitting there like that. my in-laws were at a place right memoriallton, the convention center.
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i thought i could do a reverse is vacuous in and wait out the storm with provisions. i did that and it shocked me. a natural disaster part of katrina, i remember all my life i looked out at the mississippi power of it, the the mighty mississippi, it was all going the opposite direction. the power from the hurricane was coming up the gulf in the opposite direction. going along the riverbank. i also had a dog that i tried to bring out the storm will stop -- out of the storm. a border collie. i just pulled the leash and quickly brought him back in. you could see stop signs flowing and debris. in mississippi, a lot of people got hurt by shrapnel of loose bits of metal flying.
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you walk outside and something hit you and there were many injuries like that. i walked around the french thoughtand i kind of new orleans missed it. shepperd: which it did. doug: and the great city of new 80% underwater. that is when i start working on --book "the great delusion uge."reat del father was a great mayor and he was a great mayor and i wanted to ask you your reaction at the time. thank you.
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27, i flew tost new orleans for a funeral. by that time, we were living in new york. we still own our home in new yorkns, but moved to new after a left office to become president of the national urban league, and my wife was a cbs reporter and was working at cbs news. on the 27th, i flew to new orleans to attend the funeral of clarence barney, was the president of the greater league of new orleans, a legendary community leader. it was a beautiful, flawless day when i walked into lawless chapel. the hurricane, which was out of the gulf, was a category one or two. this was a glorious, celebratory funeral, and that means it was going to go on for a long time. funeralo hours into the
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, like you medications director who was traveling with me handed me a note. she said, we must leave now. side and shehe said, the hurricane is a category five. we must leave town now because you've got to get back to new .ork and if you will, the airport is going to be closed, and all hell is about to break loose. now mind you, it is a sunny, beautiful day. there is no evidence there is a storm on the way. i said to her, i'm going to my mother's house to check on her first and then we will go to the airport. my mother lives about 10 blocks from lawless chapel in dillard. i went to my mother's house and apropos to many new orleans, i turn on the tv.
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a hurricane is coming and you must leave town and go to baton rouge, which is where i had a sister. she said, i'm not going anywhere. me a hotellease get room and i will vertically evacuate down at the windsor court. and i said, mom, i think you need to go to charisse house -- charee's house. she goes upstairs and does not say anything. and i said to her, mom, i've got to get to the airport and i'm not leaving until you leave. i turned on television and i saw the beginning of the mishandling of the crisis. mayor,y successor, the saying to the public he could not order an evacuation until the lawyers clear it. my heart leapt into my mouth as i watched it, because i had managed through a 1998 storm
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called hurricane georgia, which is a storm that could have been katrina,rina -- like but it diverted. shepperd: they all do, don't they? mark: it not that the power and it knocked down some trees for -- it knocked out the power and it knocked down some trees. i finally got my mother to leave and i got my flight back to new york and got back into new york. the hurricane, and this is what is so important about what it said soabout what doug that everybody gets perspective. once the hurricane passed, the sun came out. mistake number two from an --rgency response then point standpoint was that the city and emergency officials were not aware that there had been levy
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breaches. people went to bed, went to , those that remained in the city, and a levee breaches literally fill the city with water in the evening and overnight and into the morning of tuesday. which created the panic and the crisis. you, in a hurricane the first thing that happens that causes human, if you will, anxiety, confusion, and misery is that the power goes out. you lose power. you lose access to electricity, access to television. people with cell phones cannot charge them. usually occurs first before any flooding took place. people congregated at both the dome and the convention center as shelters of last resort because that is what had occurred in 1998.
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it in 2005 what they got a 1990 eight, which is a facility where there was water, doctors, nurses, and aris guards and the national on standby. because they were 25 these in people -- 25,000 people sheltered at the dome in the convention center in 1998. that once theas city said late saturday to evacuate, those with automobiles and wherewithal got on the road and out on time. had aithal was that you car, a family member with car, or you had someplace to go. or you had a credit card or money to go get a hotel in jackson, memphis, atlanta, houston, someplace away from the gulf coast. if you didn't, in all likelihood you either stayed in your home
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and fed like a tough new orleanian i'm going to ride this thing out, or i'm going to go to the shelter. i will say this because i want to set this. this was a perfect storm of error. the federal government erred. the state government and the city government erred. however, the federal government initially pointed the finger at the mayor and the governor. the mayor pointed the finger at the governor and the governor pointed the finger at the mayor. they were playing a political game of blaming each other arguing about federalism and who is responsible.
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that is what characterized the first two or three days. no one was stepping up saying i was going to be responsible. and it was the national media who went to new orleans and got there tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and elevated the was occurring to national conscience as you saw the news clip. a 48 hourhave about window to save lives, because once electricity goes out, ifple will die in 48 hours they don't get on a respiratory machine, dialysis, whatever it is. we as a country failed in that 48 hours. anept that coast guard did amazing job. but to the journalism on the
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perspective, sheppard, where were you when you started seeing what mark described on the tv? shepperd: i was where all good new yorkers are in august and hamptons. [laughter] i mean, come on. i knew it was coming. it would have been my 34th or 35th hurricane over too many years. we watch them and they always do the same thing and they come straight toward new orleans and then they hit mississippi. it's what they do. eventually, my father, who was visiting for the first time ever , and his wife, they were i actuallyund and had to go then. i took my bag straight to the airport. it is not an easy thing. i had not elevated status at the moment. we got down there and quickly realized they weren't ready.
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mr. mayor, you say would not -- and lots of knowledge history behind you that errors were made. i would agree. i think people made decisions of money over man. i think when mayor nagin did not made thebuses, he decision, money over man. people who died after day two are not counted as victims of katrina. i'm not -- i don't know what they count them as, but they don't count them as victims of katrina. those people are victims -- this is the part where if i was not tied to a corporation, i would fill in the blank with the names. but the people who made decisions kill those people because they could not get water and they couldn't get food. one person came up to me with a said, feel hand and my babies forehead. my baby is hotter than humans can be. my baby is going to die if you
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don't get us somewhere. we are on the overpass across the superdome. the water is there. we don't ever put this on television, but there is video to prove it. we stand in front of the place where the cops are screaming by, make the cops stop, and put the camera on a cop and say this baby is going to die and in -- baby jims you take the on the baby's going to die and i'm putting it on the news tonight. so he took the -- if you don't take the baby, i'm going to put it on the news tonight because the babies going to die. know, thisng to storm did not hit new orleans. storm hittwo new orleans. the reason you did not have people screaming at you in mississippi in the hours after that storm is because if they were there, they were dead. a 32 foot wall of water that
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came into my state. new orleans got spared again. they could not even take being spared. man had been so poor at preparing this city that is under sea level to be prepared for the absolute inevitable pam as the model was given to the congress, they could not even take the equivalent of a category two storm and a big surge and it killed thousands of people. it will happen again and it will be worse, especially if they decide not to send the buses. the last point i want to make is that today, it would not happen. today we have twitter. today we have facebook. and today, people with no you cannot go to the convention center. you will die there, although that is to some degree overblown. there is no medicine for your old people, no formula for your babies. those in other places to go and here is how you can get transportation.
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mark: i wednesday, there were no cell phones. because the cell towers went down and the power went down. people who had cell phones could not recharge them. you had this catastrophic situation where only by looking at the television away from the city. from a horrific point of view, when we were in new york and i sawn television and what was happening at the dome and convention center, my wife , and i went at that from absolute rage crying. to cry.absolute rage i have not crisis my daddy died. doug: that is the memorial for your father and now you are seeing it as a den of suffering. mark: it was shocking to see people suffering like they were
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in the whole of the ship. now mind you, ladies and gentlemen, in august in new orleans it is 99 degrees and 99% humidity. this sheet, the humidity, it is oppressive. and dangerous --the heat humidity is oppressive. it is dangerous to be outside very long. and yet people are outside for hours, four days, without water. is, katrina's impact was all along the gulf coast. mississippi got battered. coastal parts of louisiana got battered. and then there was a companion storm right behind katrina called reda, which affected -- rita, which affected the southwestern part of the state. while new orleans was the
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epicenter of the damage from the storm, the extent of it went far beyond the city. think it is important for people to understand what caused the flooding. orleanss feared in new that the most catastrophic thing that could occur would be a mississippi river levee break in the event of a huge storm. in this instance, what broker levies -- what broke were levies on drainage canals that are not as wide as this room. and these drainage canals carry water from underneath the streets to a pumping station where they are pumped up and put in the canal, and the canal empties into lake park to train, --ponchao train
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rtrain, which then empties into the gulf of mexico. broke in 45lls several places in the city. these outflow canals were in engineering invention of the early 1900s, designed to drain what parts of the city that used to be swaps. swamps. why did they fail? if you sell these levies, they are floodwalls. they look a lot like the sound barriers you see on the side of the highway. .ome of them were early design some of them were inadequately constructed. the responsibility for those levies fell on the u.s. army corps of engineers. these levees were built by, financed by, and designed by the united dates government.
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-- united states government. and yet went to trina took place my because -- when katrina took it was the united states government, they were immune from lawsuits. there was a responsible party that in normal circumstances would have been called to task, and therefore many people were left. they were left if they had flood insurance. they were left if there was anything the government would do under the stafford act or -- supplemental appropriations to help. they were left. what i hope people will do in the 10th year is have a candid conversation. said, it couldt
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happen again and it could be worse. i think it are to be the responsibility of everyone to do everything possible to make sure it cannot happen again to the magnitude that it happened with hurricane katrina. doug: and one of the effects of all of this is the disappearing wetlands of louisiana. it is like the mississippi gulf ally. it connected the gulf coast to to make itffensively a better port. but that water kind of talked over all of the floodwalls. now at least, it is shut. it was an engineering boondoggle. but the environmental boondoggle of constantly killing america's wetlands as they used to serve as a sponge. storm would come 60
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miles or 70 miles north of the gulf, they with duck in like a sponge a lot of -- they would suck in like a sponge a lot of the surge. shepherd, in mississippi, i know you went to school in the be, and those towns just got wiped clean off. they are gone. you could just rattle them all off there. i went back to waveland not too long after the storm and i saw a family picking up their belongings. i went up to talk to them a little and they said, we are getting ready to rebuild. right on the gulf. and i said, why wouldn't you move 12 miles inland and then you could just drive down a enjoy? road and and they said, my daddy and greg any build up here and we don't leave.
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builtdaddy and granddaddy up. we don't leave. see that again and again in mississippi. did you have a personal connection to that region that made this different from other stories? shepperd: i am from upstate. i am from holly springs. mississippi is really three states. there's the northern part with the hills and red clay, the central part that is jackson, and then there is the south part where they all talk like cajuns. there is a time we would have given them to louisiana easily. [laughter] we're all kind of when people. our hurricane was camille. that's the hurricane that nobody knew about for some reason unless you are older than i am. that is the one that wiped our coast out and they said there will be another one -- there
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will never be another one. nothing will ever top camille. people who want to rebuild in waveland, and they do. -- you talk about people who want to rebuild in waveland, and they do. at the storm that came in mississippi, not louisiana, but mississippi. now you have to build 31.5 feet above the high water line. many people cannot build up for that. doug: a lot of people have land they cannot use. mark: in the 20 years before katrina hit the mississippi gulf the gulf coast economy had been transformed by casino gambling, by riverboat and land-based boats that never floated.
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shepperd: they never even knew what was going to happen. the governor slid that right in there. mark: one of the interesting stories of katrina was that it wiped out most of the casinos on the gulf coast. one of the interesting stories was that the governor, haley barbour, how could he convince conservative mississippians to embrace the sin of casino gambling again to rebuild the mississippi economy? i think that was a deft political act. -- political act of the governor to make that happen. but i want to paint this picture . in katrina, he 2000 people lost their lives. people lost their lives and many, many ways. on a personal story side, i have friends whose parents literally died in their beds. mondayd gone to sleep on
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evening, the water rose, and they drowned in their homes. there were other people who when the waters rose to go into their attics, break holes in the roof of their houses, and we on the roofs of until the coast guard, which you have to give some credit to, ran for three consecutive days helicopter and air based rescues. there are those for whom the trauma and shock was so bad that they could not withstand being on the roof, being stranded for two or three days waiting to be rescued. and then there was the aftereffect. the aftereffect was that the trauma was so difficult and challenging that diabetics were separated from their medicine for a long time. on dialysis did not have
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dialysis for several days because of the storm, who also died may be several days later or a week or two later or a few months later because of the effects of the. -- of the storm. this is one of the great human tragedies of the modern american history. and the reason why it is a tragedy -- and i will tell a story. i was asked the saturday after katrina to go to a meeting at the white house. i went to a meeting at the white will say this because it is absolutely true. at that point in time, michael chertoff had just been named secretary of homeland security, you know, a distinguished former federal judge. he said to me in a meeting at the white house that the reason why they couldn't get supplies and there is that there was no helicoptersilitary to land."
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the test at the dome there is a a challenge to this, at the dome is a helipad. what you saw in those first few days with absolute denial, accept to responsibility, fumbling, bumbling, and political finger-pointing. it ought to be a lesson. because the public officials who were front and center of what you see lost rent his -- lost tremendous credibility because of how they responded. fast-forward, and what i saw -- and i lived in new york during hurricane sandy. i saw public officials knocking themselves you've got to drop partisanship
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in the crisis. you've got to drop the games people play. i saw somebody criticize chris inistie for embracing obama the course of a storm. , i saw nonot done it one defend the fact that he was -- to say in a crisis the politics of the moment need to be set aside. him in theending sense that i agree with his politics, but i will say that politicians, elected officials, and leaders have to remember that the public and the people d's, care about r's, ideology, platforms.
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[applause] 1965, lyndon johnson came , he said,in a boat this is your president, you people matter. some people criticized lbj for doing that. as the president, you were saying, you matter, we love all of you. bush did not care enough. he had left crawford texas and went out to san diego and gave a speech on foreign policy, just like douglas macarthur didn't realize that they would have stay for seven years in japan. he even played air guitar in front of a camera while the gulf
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was being stricken and then famously did the flyover looking out, seeming not to care. even the white house said it was a disaster not to have gone down after the storm and exuded some kind of leadership. fema, a jimmy carter formed organization, after 9/11, it got ghettoized. if you had to give them a great, they were an f. minus during the storm. they kept them a jackson barracks along the mississippi. you've got all of those drowned
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national guard asset trying to save each other. guard had moved to their assets once the blob was coming. the coast guard did work. the fish and wildlife of people would come in and rescue people. , a lot of people have family that evacuated, but people who thought they were marginal, a reggae singer or a bartender, a lot of people stayed in the second they saw people suffering, they went in and did an incredible individual heroism job. we cannot forget the word toxic soup.
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and a fear phrase that the water would have toxic runoff. the policeman would not go in the water and they a walled good awoled it out of town. >> we want to remember the moments where we could have saved lives. they were little things. on that afternoon before people drowned in their homes, we were listening. the parish president is on a god, i'mhe goes, oh my watching it, the levy is breached. when you hear that, we have new rules. you have to get out. if you can't gobble -- get out, you've got to go up. i went straight to the air on my
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channel and said come the city of new orleans is going to flood. i know this, i know lots of people are going to die. ceo, you've got to send people. they told me i was crazy. that it has not been on associated rest is not mean it is true. if people could have been notified, a lot of this would not of happened. we need a warning system. we need a separation between the regulars and ear regulars. -- irregulars. any of us who know and love new orleans the way we do know that there is a large community of addicted people who live within new orleans and have been stuck in new orleans and they are caught in a secular lack of education and lack of opportunity and have become addicted. three days later, people who are addicted and don't have that
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thing, they do not need to be around mom and the kid and there was no separating that within the refugee centers. it was ugly. police did not go in because they were worry about it. >> there are addicted people everywhere. >> amen, but these people were all together. >> the other critical mistake was the many you knew you had 10,000 people to 30,000 people at the convention center and the dome, every effort should have been made to get water, mr ease , medical supplies to those facilities immediately. look. if the media could get into more emergency vehicles could get into new orleans. [applause] >> it was an absolute lie that you could not get supplies in one way or another to,
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wednesday, and thursday. i think one of the heroes of honoré.s general russel he was assigned to lead the effort to completely evacuate the city. , thee time friday came federal emergency management agency had mobilized hundreds of buses to get to new orleans, to pick people up, and to bring them to the astrodome in houston , two facilities in jackson, baton rouge, atlanta, and memphis, where the temporary shelters were. i visited the temporary shelter in houston. what i visited, bill clinton was there. there.obama was rick perry, who at the time was the county executive in harris
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andty, was actually absolutely a very helpful person in responding to hurricane katrina. i'm going to tell it like it is. give love where love has been earned. week, time you got to one , theys after the hurricane city of new orleans was a complete and total ghost town. what happened next? this became the second chapter of tragedy. self-anointed new orleans business leaders went to , hired the a meeting are been land institute, and decided they were going to make it plan to rebuild the city. is problem with the plan
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that included rebuilding only certain neighborhoods in the come of bingo, which neighborhoods were not going to be rebuilt? the lower ninth ward, the upper ninth ward, new orleans east come upon to train park, gentilly. areas that were historic predominantly african-american neighborhoods. leadersup of business had the gumption and the gall to , isnce such a plan publicly that what was the only way to rescue the city area -- city. imagine if you were laying on a sleeping bag in houston on the floor of the astrodome and you look up on television and you see people talking about a plan to rebuild the city that does not include the house you evacuated from, that does not include the apartment you evacuated from, that does not
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include the neighborhood that you call home and that you love. chapter of the tragedy was the plan, i call it the dallas plan, to rebuild new orleans. in its intent, the intent was northerly -- morally bankrupt. to such an extent that i decided i was going to fly to new orleans and we were going to host a rally in new we held a rally with no lights, with no chair, to say to the people in the leadership of the city. ray nagin initially embraced this land. evolved and the election was nearing, he
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abandoned his support for that plan. that plan quickly went into the garbage can and the trashcan. but what it led to was a chaotic rebuilding. because everyone sort of threw up their hands. there was not an organized, orderly planning process. everyone was doing their own thing. to the credit of the people of the city and the civic organizations, the people said, i don't care if the government does not have a plan. i don't care if the government is dysfunctional. i'm going to rebuild my house. we had a civic uprising, but the effect of that plan and how that plan was rolled out effects where we are 10 years later.
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that some neighborhoods in the city were very late to begin the rebuilding process because doubt was thrown over whether these neighborhoods would be rebuilt. ,usinesses would not go back public services would not go back, hospitals were not reopened. clinics were not reopened. insurance companies. >> they got a late, late start. i'm talking about new orleans east, i'm talking about the lower ninth ward, i'm talking , i'm the upper ninth ward talking about predominantly african-american areas. don't leave out the fact that ,here was st. bernard parish not a predominantly african-american, but mostly white, blue-collar area. it was tremendously battered by there was doubt
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around whether st. bernard parish would be rebuilt. many people found themselves in this sort of limbo where official them had not contracted a coherent plan, but had abandoned the idea that these areas should not be rebuilt, and people were left to their own devices. if there is something significant to celebrate 10 years later, it is the determination and the nerve of individuals. when government flunked, fumbled, bumbled, bamboozled, people did their own thing and said they were going to be rebuilt. my own mother, whose house got water, spent eight years in baton rouge before she could bring herself to rebuild, before she could wait through the difficulties of insurance and
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contracting and get over this staying of what katrina did to so many people. you about your own hometown, your own home neighborhood, the people you love. dayou are enjoying it one and a week later, it seems to all be gone. it is a feeling that is indescribable. you never know if you are going to see your friends again. you never know if you are going to reconnect with family, if you are going to go back to the place you were shipped, if you are going to go back to the civic and social clubs. that is the feeling that many people had in the years, the months immediately following katrina, whether in fact they would ever get home. >> we also think about american
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can-do-ism. or the moonshot, the fact that a generation starting in the 1960's, let's not just blame this on the bush administration, we built a lot of really bad levees. the corps of engineers did deeply shoddy work. there were three major breaches, but they were all sorts of breaches going on. length contra train -- lake park onchatrain came in. some of the neighborhood, they are neglected. some people still cannot come back from houston, from atlanta. it is a huge tragedy.
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i wanted to ask you guys. haveapolis, saint paul about 2300 fortune 500 companies. money innot a lot of new orleans. it relies on port's news and tourism. how do you feel port and business is doing? >> it is important to understand that the character of the port and the job creator is not in 2015 what it was in 1965 or 1968 -- 1985. you had a labor-intensive system of loading and unloading arches -- barges and ships. it has become a much more mechanized port, but it is a significant driver of the new portland's economy.
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-- of the new orleans economy. cargo fromce where foreign countries comes to the , it is new orleans transferred from ocean going vessels to barges or to a railroad system or to a truck for transshipment to other parts of the united states, as opposed to a destination port, where raw materials are shaped into finished goods and finished products. that has been one of the challenges for new orleans to maximize its status as one of the leading port in the united states. hadears ago, new orleans 4-5 fortune 500 headquartered companies.
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consolidations in shipping, consolidations in oil and gas, louisiana land an exploration, they either ceased to exist, were bogged by other companies and relocated away. the most exciting things for the future of the new world and's economy is the brand-new veterans administration medical center and the new medical complex. it still remains to be seen whether that is going to be and the ability to do the things like the cleveland clinic or the anderson medical center. new orleans is always been a city of family businesses and small businesses, but it has also been a city with wide income disparity. wide wealth disparities.
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when i am asked, what grade i would assign to new orleans 10 gradelater, i give at the i for incomplete. the recovery is not yet income -- yet complete. you have to celebrate or highlight those inks that have happened that have been good. but you've got to spotlight those pieces of difficult, unfinished business, neighborhoods that have not come exist,overty which still challenges which remain >> if anybody has a question, come on up right now. am going to ask shep question. we saw you at the beginning and that incredible clip talking about the bridge and you talked about warring with your bosses
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on your coverage. you did a remarkable job with breaking news and yet a lot of reporters that tried to do that started reporting rumors, which created problems. you seemed to have constantly spoken from the heart, but also , wehead, and you really were all impressed by your journalism chops. how did you know what to not report. tot was the instinct you had not say something was happening even when we saw a rumors being orleanseven by the new police department and the mayor's office. when you are gathering through tentacles, that is one craft. when you are in the moment, you have to realize that that is what you are. you have to use your senses.
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you can report those things with a great degree of certainty. as long as you are only reporting what you can see and hear and taste and smell, you are good to go. even if i don't understand the bigger context, when they finally started entering the superdome, when the national guard came, i have not been able to get in. they would not let us. when the doors opened, it is a positive pressure building, and the smell that came out of there was like nothing i had average. -- ever experienced. it was a very powerful thing to be able to do as a journalist, to impart a bit of truth that there is no way to anybody to have. it was the largest airlift in the history of the nation. it was accomplished by these heroes of the coast guard. to be able to document those things. >> give the coast guard a hand. [applause]
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>> they deserve a hand. they performed. >> yes, sir. >> with the exception of mr. smith's organization, most people in the country and the world realize that climate change -- >> i report daily within fox news that climate change is real. other people are entitled to opinions. i'm positive they are wrong. [applause] realistically, climate change is saying that weather patterns are getting worse, that water levels are rising. from a purely economic standpoint, wouldn't it have made sense to size down new orleans and pay to move people elsewhere? say, you could argue that you should shut down ,ort lauderdale, miami, tampa >>
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san francisco. every single coastal city. new orleans is a coastal city. i heard people say, why don't you move people to high ground? eight no such thing. -- ain't no such thing. [laughter] >> all of southeastern louisiana is at or below sea level. near water for practical reasons. there are a handful of landlocked big cities in america. atlanta, charlotte, dallas, maybe, denver, las vegas. most of your major cities -- they are vulnerable. manhattan, lower manhattan is only rubble to storm surge -- vulnerable to storm surge. charleston, south carolina. to say that,ing
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you've got to say to all cities that are at risk in any way. we talked about the dutch saving amsterdam and rotterdam. we've got to save all of these great american cities. when chicago burned, we rebuilt it. >> i want to say this. 1996, there was a beginning of hurricane season tabletop exercise that took place. that included all of the emergency management people, all of the fema people, it happened every year. the first year i was in office, i showed up at the hurricane tabletop exercise and people said, what are you doing here? i said, if i think it hurricane happens, i've got to call the shots. if i've got to call the shots, i need to know what is going on.
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, one of theersation people who was presenting the up.e, climate change came this is when i believe the el niño effect was in place. guy, how does climate change negatively affect a hurricane? formula through a little about how every degree the is higher as that much effect on the sea level and i got it. a more practical conversation about climate change. we try to explain to people, so they don't just think it is a
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scientific theory, so it is realistic. if more ultraviolet rays hit the water and it is warmer, i am absolutely convinced with hurricane katrina that in the years that i lived through betsy, camille, led the city , the warmth of the gold -- gulf waters was so warm that it took a hurricane from a category one to a category five in hours. you usually did not see a with thatgrow strength in a period of time. we will not surrender the city under any circumstance. [applause] there are things we have got to do in cities to deal with climate. thanks for raising it. >> good evening to the panel.
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i was one of those folks watching cnn the days after the hurricane hit and the levees raging, pacing up and down in my living room going why, why, why. can be sure all the whys answered, but i wanted to ask your opinion about the spike lee documentary "when the levees broke." him.worked with it on i bumped into him. he would be on his way when i was interviewing somebody. the we started collaborating. i worked with him on both of his documentaries and i thought he did brilliant work. i think his work on when the levees broke is one of the great documentaries of our time. >> i am in the movie. [laughter] >> some of what i said. beauty of "when the
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levees broke is that it is an artistic triumph because the entire narrative is interviews that were stitched together. what you hear is the voices of the people. you hear the emotions. he managed to interview people from all walks of life. i think it is masterful. i hope people will go on look at t again. >> spike would interview people for two hours. he created a great oral history project of hurricane katrina on film by getting so many people so quickly. thank you. yes, sir. >> a fourth of new orleans households do not have a car. there are 16 other u.s. cities that have a higher percentage.
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what did we learn about how to keep people who cannot drive themselves away from danger safe? >> send the buses. >> send the buses, but let me say this. when i was in office, we worked diligently on constructing a plan for a high-speed rail line from new orleans to baton rouge. one of the rationales was that it would accentuate the to evacuate in an emergency. what happened to that high-speed rail line? what happened? a governor by the name of bobby jindal canceled the planning for it. , political decision was made just like another governor canceled the tunnel under the hudson.
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he said it was unnecessary to continue with the planning. this point. the city in 2005, the transit 400-500y, probably had buses. >> they did. they also had a convention. >> they were never mobilized. they were never mobilized. the city's emergency preparedness plan calls for a distinction between essential and nonessential employees. that is the call the mayor makes. you could make the determination that the employees of the bus employees essential
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because you want to mobilize an evacuation. this is an important subject for those of you interested in public policy, emergency management. what a chief elected official has to have in their head is you have a scenario planned and preparation requires you, what are you going to do with a worst-case scenario? i'm going to have an evacuation plan. i got a call the tuesday after katrina from the president of amtrak. i'm in new york. he says, i'm calling you because i cannot reach anybody in new orleans. he says, i believe i could get some amtrak equipment into union passenger terminal to accentuate board to assist with the evacuation. there was no one at home at the ranch to call.
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>> that would not have been possible on tuesday. >> to coordinated. for those communities where people do not have personal vehicles, i think is your , a city and a region and a state have to have a plan in their pocket to mobilize an evacuation. >> they did. they had the hurricane pam model. they did not follow it. they cannot say, we do not have the money. it will be fine, cross your fingers. because they wanted to hide the emergency plan from the elected officials, they put it in the emergency plan book. [laughter] >> we are going to have to wrap up. we are going to take some very quick questions. i would like to get to two of
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you. i can see you have been standing there and you are going to have a baby's income is you are going to get to end this. [laughter] >> s my question is forhepard -- my question is for shepard. how is the dynamic of reporting a natural disaster different from reporting another tragedy? >> i don't know how different in reporting it is because you are just supposed to report what you .ee, but this was both things this was a natural disaster followed by a human disaster. there was a natural tragedy and there was a human tragedy. both have to be reported on. we are now in the business of revisionist history. different people of different backgrounds and interests, areas are going to be telling the stories in different ways. it is important to look back on
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what really happened and the things in which we can make improvements for the future and the things that just happened. we could not stop katrina. we could have sent the buses. >> how were we for time? >> i have a couple of questions. happened or new hampshire -- in new hampshire or , do you think the response would have been very different? second question, if we were to bring experts from the netherlands and find a way to secure the city, so that this could be prevented from happening again, how much do you think it would cost and ease think the nation is ready, politically speaking, to bear the burden? >> there's no way we can know the second thing. the first thing is, no. down here, we down here don't
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have the power of the money. we don't have the cameras, we don't have the voice. we cannot project is loudly. you saw what happened in sandy. cindy was horrible. i had to evacuate for a week, but they got in and got it done because that is what has to happen up there. .here are a million of cameras people don't have to parachute into the hamptons and wonder what is happening. people parachuted into new orleans and realized there was poverty. [laughter] >> really. i want to say, hi, shep. >> hello. >> i'm an assistant producer for fox in d.c. anyway. i've been to new orleans. i survived the hurricane, lost my home to a hurricane, i survived. that is good. i'm here.
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i would love to get a sense of, as a producer, i'm in the newsroom or out in the yield, i've covered a hurricane, but nothing is tragic or as emotionally stressful as katrina. maybe you could give an afternoon of what your newsgathering was in between live shots. as a producer, there was a lot of downtime, but there is a lot of hustle to get the sound and things like that, but you are in this element, you are in this natural disaster, this something that mother nature caused and human error. day one,the like from day two, or just an afternoon of a snippet? >> i won't go into great detail since we are almost out of time. i have covered a lot of bad tragedies. all of the big ones you can think of, i was at all of them. there is a rhythm to tragedy. there are cycles of tragedy. , therehurricane andrew
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is confusion, separation, anxiety, stick to a dimness, crime, anger. the cycle is there. you know what they don't know yet. this one broke all the molds. the army did not come. the people said it was there, there was water, there is food, no there is not. i see it. it is right there. because you have decided these people are all criminal, you are not going to let them go. that is it. you've just got to leave them there to die. that is how it felt. i only know my area. we would go down the bridge, which for more people to come up out of the water, ask them if they had family. , weearned on day four figured out that a lot of people went to their attics and a lot of people were dead in their attics. we had not thought about that before because it did not occur
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to us that people went upstairs and died in the radix. -- in their attics. tragedy was growing, you would only have time to think about it at 3:00 or 4:00 at night, because there was no sleeping. you realized, this is different, they are not coming. right now, people are dying and there is nothing i can do about it. i cannot scream and a ladder. say,, the partisans would your emotions, you acted like a spoiled girl, i'd never seen you like that. i had never seen a position wher e someone had to scream. they were not there. it was not that they were there and they were failing. they did not come. that are to keep in mind this was also an international news story.
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i remember being contacted by australia, south american, press all over the world. stages ofthe early both the iraq and afghanistan wars. portrayed in abe fashion that it cannot even respond to the challenges of its and our ability to demonstrate competence in the face of human tragedy, we should not forget that element. it is not the kind of thing that people want to talk about. there were numerous conversations that i had that said that it raised questions about our standing in the world because pictures tell a powerful story. what you saw was not a movie? what you saw was people
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suffering, people dying on live television. >> that is a good way to end. thank you all. let's give it to them. thank you all. [applause] >> people can ask us informally afterwards if you have questions. thank you all. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> all this week, c-span is marking the 10 year anniversary of hurricane katrina with special programming. tomorrow night, it is a look at what new orleans looked like one year after the storm.
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that will be followed by a 2005 house hearing featuring testimony from new orleans residents who left the city or who were trapped by the floodwaters. here is a portion of that hearing. we held hostage? i did not go anywhere. and not we held hostage allowed to rescue our people? we have proof of it. why was that the case? you know what, baby, i'm from the 1960's, call the police, i'm going to stop talking when i finish with the messages from my community. i did not come to represent me. i came representing the people brick madeund a
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fireplace because that is the only heat we have in december. somebody needs to hear. >> hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast region 10 years ago. this week, you can see the entire hearing tomorrow night and we will show scenes from new orleans to her hurricane damage -- and tour hurricane damage. then we will show scenes from st. bernard parish after the storm. that will be followed by a 2005 town hall meeting moderated by then mayor ray nagin. president obama has returned from his vacation and is back at the white house. withll be live on c-span
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the white house briefing with spokesman josh earnest. the new orleans mayor mitch landrieu marked the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina last week. mayor landrieu responded to questions submitted by members of the audience at the national press club. this is about an hour. bloombergeditor for first word. that is our breaking news desk. guest is new worland's mayor mitch landrieu. who joins us near the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina.
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first, i want to introduce our distinguished head table which includes club members and guests of the speaker. from the audience's right, adam shapiro, ceo of adam shapiro public relations. pat mcgrath, former international correspondent for wct gtb -- wctg tv. bill loveless. the acting assistant secretary for health in the u.s. department of health and human services and she is a former health commissioner for the city of new orleans and she is a guest of our speaker. the senior business editor for national public radio and a national press club board member. donna brazil, a clinical strategist and syndicated columnist, she is a guest of the speaker. she is a new orleans native and she served on the louisiana recovery authority. a reporter for the salt lake tribune and vice president of the national press club. a reporter with energy wire.
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he also organized the national press club katrina rebuilding trip in 2008. betsy fischer martin, a new orleans native. peter harkness, the founder and publisher of governing magazine. glenn marcus, a freelance documentary filmmaker and a member of the press club's press freedom committee. [applause] i also want to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow today's lunch on twitter. use #npclive. hurricane katrina was the
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costliest natural disaster in the history of the united states. it forced the evacuation of nearly 90% of the residents of new orleans. nearly 1500 of them lost their lives. 15 feet of water covered many neighborhoods. five years later, the city's recovery was steady, but slow. thousands of houses were vacant or uninhabitable. the pre-katrina economy had yet to reappear. that's when our speaker stepped up. he was louisiana's lieutenant governor at that time. he said he wanted to take over the recovery effort, as the city's next mayor. this was a job that his father had held in the 1970's. when mitch landrieu was elected in 2010, he became the first
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white mayor of a black authority -- majority city in the united states since his father held office. he enjoyed broad support across racial and demographic lines. when he was reelected in 2014, he nearly matched the 66% winning percentage he had posted four years earlier. now, as we near the 10th anniversary of katrina, data on tourism and the economy show new orleans, in many respects, is a strong as it was. a recent poll from the kaiser family foundation and national public radio found that many residents feel the city has made significant headway. at the same time, the poll exposed deep racial disparities in the recovery. it also showed concern that the rich cultural gumbo that makes the city special is changing. where do we go from here? let's leave it for the speaker to tell us. ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm national press club welcome to new orleans mayor
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mitch landrieu. [applause] mayor landrieu: thank you, to the folks that are in the room. thank you to the head table. thank you so much for having me. 10 years ago, hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast. in the blink of an eye, everything changed. american citizens, 1800 of my brothers and sisters were killed. one million were displaced, one million homes were damaged. 250,000 were destroyed. communities were torn apart. and scattered to the wind. in new orleans, the levees broke. infrastructure man-made failure of epic proportions. that resulted in floodwaters surging over the rooftops of a
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great american city. 80% of the city was under water. $150 billion in damages. in a moment, everything was gone. homes, roads, schools, hospitals. police and fire stations, grocery stores, parks -- our lives as we knew them were gone. as the floodwaters swallowed our neighborhoods, it became a life or death struggle for thousands, who are still stuck in the cities. those stories are seared in our souls forever. the rushing flood, pulling people under. survivors trapped for days with little or no help. hundreds on the rooftops, people trying to keep their heads above water. the blazing louisiana sun. american citizens crowded in front of the superdome in held masses at the convention center. more stranded in the port of st. bernard. floating, bloated bodies on the streets of america.
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our nation sat, jaw dropped, gaping at the images. considering the possibility that an entire city could be gone, and wondering how this happened in our beloved country. in the midst of all of this death and all of this destruction, something else happened. the sun came up. in the hours, days, and weeks that followed, another flood came in. this time, it was a torrent of people. louisiana state department of wildlife and fisheries agents and the u.s. coast guard, with our friends and neighbors pulling thousands of people out of the water. at their side, the cajun armada, a small navy of private vessels from all across coastal louisiana, recreational boaters of all kinds, saving lives on the flooded streets of new orleans.
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backing them up, a whole legion of people coming literally from everywhere. in came the national guard, the military, along with policemen, fire, ems, medics, and other relief volunteers from coast to coast. within days, canadian mounties had boots on the ground in a small city outside of new orleans. israeli relief workers followed, and countries from australia to the uae gave millions of dollars and sent supplies. the red cross, second harvest, salvation army, catholic charities, united way, habitat for humanity, and so many others. united by faith, civic purpose, rushed to our site and to our aid. and together, together with started to clean up. clearing away the devastation of putting our lives back together. together, crying over photos that somehow escaped with a -- the deluge. together, sleeping on church floors, in tents. a mostly still dark city lit by campfires, midwest and
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northeastern accents blended in with the southern drawl. americans helping americans, citizens helping citizens, neighbors lifting of neighbors . it was a teacher in baton rouge coming -- showing kindness to a child on her first day of school outside of new orleans. a nurse in atlanta who helped in a vacuum we get medication. a landlord in shreveport who found places for families to stay. as former houston mayor bill white said, people saw this as an opportunity for us to do something that was right for our country, as well as for our fellow americans. it was one of our country's darkest moments. but we found salvation, light, and hope from the angels among us. those angels made real for us the song of david, that joy cometh in the morning. now, as we approach the 10th anniversary of katrina, we new orleans want to remember all of those that we lost.
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and we want to again count our blessings, and again say thank you to those of you that helped us survive. over the last 10 years, new orleans has been through hell and high water. not just katrina, but hurricanes rita, ike, gustav, the bp oil spill, and the national recession. all of it. but we won't bow down. because we don't know how. by our nature, we are resilient, we are a hopeful people. even after all we have been through, a recent poll in new orleans done by the kaiser family foundation with npr found that a whopping 78% of residents are optimistic about new orleans future. new orleans has gone from literally being underwater to being one of the fastest-growing major cities in america. with thousands of new jobs, new industries rapidly improving schools, rising property values, and a new flood protection that will relist -- reduce the risk from future floods.
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this is one of the most remarkable stories of tragedy and triumph, resurrection and redemption. in one word -- resilience. we are america's comeback city. in new orleans, necessity really was the mother of invention. after katrina, it was do or die. the storm laid down a gauntlet, and with this huge tragedy came a huge responsibility to make it right. during katrina, many died. and for many more, the storm was a near-death experience. it changed us. and those who have endured such pain will tell you that when everything is slipping away, the natural instinct is to tighten your grip on that which used to be secure, struggling to hold on to just what was. but here's the thing. the people of new orleans took up the challenge that fate had laid at our feet, resolving not just to rebuild the city we once were, but to create the city that we always dreamed she could be.
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to do it, we had to fight through the agony that comes with disaster and change. there is no doubt that our progress has been anything but a straight line. and lord knows we have a very long way to go. after all, the storm did not create all of our problems. our issues are generations in the making, and are shared by every other part of america. after katrina, i've often told an old joke that my dad used to tell me. boudreau and thibodeau got a pilot to go all the way to canada to shoot moose. they bagged six moose. as they were loading on the plane to return, the pilot says you can't put all six moose on the plane, we will crash. thibodeau and boudreau said last year we shot six in the -- and the pilot let us take them in the plane you are flying right now. the pilot gave up, got in the plane, and took off. even on full power, the plane couldn't handle the road, -- handle the load, and crash.
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thibodeau and boudreau survived. they are lying in the pile of rubble. boudreau sees thibodeau and says do have any idea where we are? thibodeau says we are the same place we were less your we crashed. -- last year when we crashed. [laughter] mayor landrieu: that's just some home cooking from the south. the problem is obvious, it is especially clear after katrina. if we do the same thing over and over again, we should expect the same outcome. after years of angst and anxiety, after years of fits and hearts, we made the decision to change. and what has emerged on the other side is a premier example of urban innovation in america. because we had to. because we had to, new orleans is taken on the toughest challenges, showing the whole nation what it takes to make progress. forever proving that where there are new solutions to all of the old problems that we have.
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for example, 10 years ago, new orleans schools were considered some of the worst in the country. two thirds of our kids were failing, in failing schools. we moved past was a broken top-down system and have created a new way, defined by choice and equity, defined by accountability. i hope that we can join together to celebrate the remarkable progress that has been made for our kids. i want to thank all of our students, administrators, but those from new orleans and those who have moved in to help more recently. they worked tirelessly on behalf of our kids. today, nearly every student attends a public charter school. families who used only have one choice for their kids can now apply to nearly every school in the city. in new orleans, geography is no longer a kid's destiny, and we have raised the bar across the board, insisting that schools serve every child. in new orleans we know every child can learn and every child has the right to a great education. in addition, we set our kids need to clean, healthy, safe school buildings. $1.8 billion in federal funds is
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being invested to rebuild, renovate, and refurbish nearly every school in the city. that means outstanding new 21st century learning spaces that can help our kids arrive and realize their god-given potential. before katrina, the achievement gap between the kids in new orleans and the kids and the rest of the state was over 25 points. now, the gap is nearly closed. before katrina, the graduation rate hovered around 50%. now 73% are graduating on time. fewer kids dropping out, more kids enrolling in college, also this year, hundreds of new orleans seniors have earned scholarships at over 300 different colleges and universities. one of these high school graduates is a kid named jairon, a few years ago he wasn't going to pass the 10th grade, let alone go to college. his mom and dad sold drugs, unfortunately, they both went to prison. he struggled. he enrolled in one of the new schools with a special focus on college.
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for him, and for us, it has made all the difference. he said in life, you have two choices, to be defeated, or to conquer. i choose to conquer. and he did. this fall, he will be a freshman at morehouse college, and a big-time shout out to this great historically black college and university, and fisher graduated 400 new leaders for the country. i say go tigers, i'm proud of them. [applause] mayor landrieu: thank you. mayor landrieu: jairon's story is inspiring, but it's just one example of a very real impact of our new system of schools. however, that is not to say we are anywhere close to perfect. anyone that comes to new orleans can see that we have a long way to go. but we're improving faster than anywhere else in america. besides schools, we've tackled improving health care delivery system as well. 10 years ago if a kid got an
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earache, that meant his mom had to take him to the emergency room at charity hospital, sit there for 13 hours just to get him checked out. now in new orleans we say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and a network of neighborhood health clinics initially funded by a federal grant after katrina have endured. i am so happy to see one of the principal architects of this new system with us today, dr. karen desalvo, a former health commissioner of new orleans and now president obama's acting assistant secretary for health and human services. because of karen's hard work and a lot of other folks and so many people, today new orleans has the st. thomas health community health center. prevention is the name of the game. soup-to-nuts health care in the neighborhood, from chronic disease management to pediatrics with a focus on women's health. that means thousands of mammograms done every year at st. thomas. lives being saved through prevention. all told, neighborhood health
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centers like st. thomas serve 59,000 patients across the region every year who would otherwise get much more expensive health care at emergency rooms. add this to the billions we're investing right now. we're building two world class hospitals right downtown in the heart of new orleans, one for our veterans at the new v.a. hospital, and the other our new university medical center. for generations to come our honored veteran warriors will get the care they need and deserve. taken all together, ours is a real model for the rest of the country. you know what? it works. 10 years ago katrina was the last straw which broke the back of an economy that had been struggling for 40 years. now we're creating thousands of new jobs and spurring promising new industries like water management, digital media, and bioscience. plus, world-class companies like g.e. capital are expanding in new orleans. here's the thing. we can't leave anybody behind. we have to create prosperity that anyone can follow. so in new orleans, we help entrepreneurs like a young man with a dream to open his own business, a grocery store in the
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lower ninth ward. he got support from the city and now you know what? he's done it. this is the exact spot where 12 feet of water sat for weeks following the levee breach. and at our hub for entrepreneurs called the idea village, new vibrant ecosystems have yee merged where talented people can get the training to support what they do to turn big ideas into new businesses with new jobs. plus, in new orleans, we're in the midst of a retail and a restaurant boom. now, no other place in the world would lose 100,000 people and gain 600 more restaurants than we had before katrina, but we did. and only in new orleans. these businesses are opening and thriving neighborhoods where top of the new private investment, more than $1 billion in affordable housing, is available or coming online. 14,430 units for low income
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families are there. new orleans's notorious big four public housing developments which were run down and dangerous -- they did not give the people what they needed or deserved, so we converted the public housing into mixed income communities with amenities like schools, health care, and transit. we can see this at the old st. bernard development. now known as columbia park. the st. bernard was one of the oldest public housing developments in new orleans, first built by the roosevelt administration during the depression. over the years, it had fallen on hard times, and by the time katrina hit, 25% of the 1300 units were empty and the area was known for its violence. and then the levees broke. and as the sun rose the day after the storm passed, the st. bernard development was 10 feet under water. like everything else, we resolved to build back st. bernard, not as it was but like it always should have been and the way people deserved. now columbia park is a world class example of mixed income public housing that embraces public-private partnerships and
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true place-based development. the master plan for the neighborhood includes newly built schools and early childhood learning center, a recreation facility, library, playgrounds, retail, and green space. plus, crime is now way down in columbia park. in fact, since katrina we've made tremendous progress citywide on crime reduction, and this is good. when i took office our murder rate topped the nation. now we've changed our approach and put special focus on prevention paired with tough enforcement. last year new orleans hit a 43-year low for murder. but we still have a very, very long way to go on this issue. this year, unfortunately, across the nation and in new orleans, murder is ticking up. and with nearly 15,000 americans lost every year to murder in this nation, a disproportionate number, young african-american men, is clear that this crisis goes well beyond new orleans. it is a national disgrace and a
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moral outrage that so many american citizens are killed on the streets of america every day. stopping murder should be a national priority. black lives do matter. and we should act like it in america. [applause] mayor landrieu: but, of course, across the board fighting crime and preventing murder is just one part of the criminal justice system. 10 years ago when katrina hit there were about 6,000 inmates in new orleans parish prison. it was a prime example of mass incarceration at its worst. we were the most incarcerated city in the most incarcerated state in the most incarcerated world in the country, and now we are pushing back against mass incarceration like nowhere else in the country. we've cut our daily prison population down to about 1800 inmates, a 2/3 reduction. we have sought to be tough and at the same time lock up the violent bad guys who threaten everybody, but make fewer unnecessary arrests.
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provide alternatives to incarceration, pretrial services, improve case processing times, create wrap around services for those citizens returning home so they don't go back. there must be justice and peace. black lives matter whether lost to shootings or to years in prison. we're also making tremendous progress on combating homelessness in the city of new orleans. in the years after the storm, new orleans had 11,600 people on the streets. now we are down to just over 1700. this year we became the first city in america to officially functionally end veteran homelessness. we have a long way to go but are making great progress. finally and importantly, new orleans has become a global leader in emergency preparedness. 10 years ago none of us were prepared for a storm like katrina, and we suffered the terrible consequences. now everyone is on the same page. in partnership with a local not
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for profit, we developed a city assisted evacuation plan. now during a mandatory evacuation, officials along with the faith based community and community organizations are seamlessly coordinated. we provide transportation to residents and to those why unable to self-evacuate and have extensive registries so we can take care of the bedridden and the sick. since katrina, we had a broader cultural shift and now emergency preparedness has become ingrained in our daily life. you will see art displays, landmarks across the city called evacu spots, our physical symbols of our preparedness. then there are other physical manifestations of our continued renaissance. $1.63 billion being invested to reinvigorate neighborhoods with new roads, new parks, new playgrounds, new community centers. $320 million for public transit
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infrastructure, and we're about to break ground on our new airport. new orleans is on a roll. like 78% of our residents, i am optimistic about our future. but we have big-time unfinished business, and like throughout the last 10 years, our ongoing future efforts will be supported by our partners. one of the key partners is with us today, the rockefeller foundation. through the 100 cities initiative, next week we'll unveil a new strategy to ensure new orleans is a global model for resilience in the 21st century. we are already on our way with new modern infrastructure and levees. with the bp oil spill settlement and new revenue sharing taking effect we finally have partial payment for hardening our assets.
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the oil companies helped break it and they need to help fix it. really, all americans have a stake in the future of our coast because contrary to popular belief, gas does not come from the pump. it comes from us, and every year the gulf coast via louisiana provides america with more oil and gas than we import from saudi arabia. we are the tip of the spear when it comes to energy independence and as we protect louisiana's coast, we also protect america, our economic security, and our national security. but here's the thing -- to be truly resilient, we can't just build up levees or change how we live with water to protect our wetlands as important as those are. we need to do all those things. but to be truly resilient as a society it means combating other stressors like poverty, inequality, violence, racism. to be truly resilient, we must create a city that can adapt and change no matter what may happen with climate change or the
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global economy. that means a government with a regional mindset which can both respond to a shock like hurricane katrina and prepare our people for the future. that means a 21st century education system, broad-based economic growth, so nobody is left behind, being inclusive of everyone in the community, breaking down the walls that divide us and coming together in unity. our goal is nothing less to create a city of peace, opportunity, and responsibility for all, a city for the ages. we're not there yet, and we're far from perfect. but the people of new orleans are committed to their city and know we are on the right path. indeed, this is what we do as americans. we work hard. we dream of something more, something better. we should always remember our history in its totality and remember how far we as a people have come. in 1776, the aspirational words
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found in our declaration of independence, that all men are created equal, certainly ring hollow to many and must have been especially ironic to the slave. for them, neither liberty nor equality were in reach at that time. through more than two centuries of tumultuous change, we have made progress in a million of ways. but, still, this is the big message the nation should take away from what we saw 10 years ago at the superdome and the more recent unrest on the streets of baltimore, ferguson, and across america. we have still fallen short. we still have not fulfilled the promise of being one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. but here's the thing -- we can get there. as we turn the corner on the 10th anniversary of katrina and look forward to new orleans's 300th anniversary as a city in 2018, our challenge is to continue to move forward because we have a long way to go. it is critical to understand where we are in the broader context sitting in the deepest
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of the deep south states, once called this nation's backwater. well, that backwater has well, that backwater has changed, and now new orleans has become a beacon of light. the capital of what some have called the new south. so i believe that the south will rise again, but not the old south. the old south of slavery, civil war, confederate flags, monuments that revere the confederacy, separate but equal, i'll go my way, you go yours, that south is gone. the new south led by new orleans is a place where diversity is our greatest strength, not a weakness, where our collective wisdom and energy is combined to be something that will benefit everyone, a place that understands the totality of our history and the importance of our culture -- faith, family, or friends, a place which combines old and new into something truly special that people want to be a part of, a place that understands what it means to come together in unity and wrestle with the good, the bad, and, yes, everything in between. at the mouth of the mighty mississippi river, we in new
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orleans lie at the heart of this ongoing struggle. but we've shown what's possible. that from the worst disaster there can be rebirth, out of despair there can be hope, out of darkness there can be light, out of destruction, beauty, hope must bring eternal faith. the motivator of all that seems lost. and with your help, we have changed. so on behalf of the people of new orleans, i say thank you. thank you to the american taxpayer. thank you to the federal government. thank you to presidents obama, presidents bush 41 and 43, and president clinton and president carter for their work. thank you all for your support and for your prayers when we needed them most. thank you for caring for us during our time of need. thank you for your donations and thank you for your support. thank you for caring about a city that care forgot. but we are unbowed and unbroken. we in new orleans will press on one step at a time.
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we are one team, one fight, we are one city. we are one united states of america. thank you very much. [applause] mr. hughes: thank you, mr. mayor. we invite you to come back up now for some question and answer. of course, you noted the progress made and you also mentioned challenges remain. of the things you're still working on, of the things that haven't come back yet, what are the one or two things that bother you the most, the biggest challenges that you still face do you think? mayor landrieu: well, more than one or two. i would just say that one of the things that we've spent a lot of time on the last five years is structurally changing and institutionally changing the way
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new orleans addresses long-term chronic problems. there was a great article written about detroit that said detroit didn't go bankrupt overnight, it took 40 or 50 years. so one of the things we really concentrate a lot of time on when i became mayor was changing the institutions in government, changing our relationship with the public-private sector. digging down deep and tearing out the foundations that created bad results. as a consequence, we are now much better at being able to resolve the issues that were with us before the storm. and we share the same issues with every other major city in america. in the city of new orleans, crime continues to be a problem. we have too much of it. we need to get better at it. blight reduction continues to be a tremendous challenge even though we've taken down more blight than any city in america. i think only detroit had more than we did. we've taken down about 15,000 properties in three years. we now have a system moving in the right direction. because of the new system we've set up, we now have people complying.
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blight, primarily, are private citizens who did not come back to take care of their property that left it for everybody else. we have challenges in that issue as well. the economy, though it continues to do better, you have to continually be vigilant. finally, within that framework that i mentioned, and the npr poll showed this, not with standing the fact that 78% of the people are optimistic about the future of new orleans, that doesn't mean everybody is happy about the situation that they're in today. and there continues to be in new orleans, like there is all over america, and this is now being discussed in the presidential campaign under the guise of income inequality, opportunity inequality, different people talk about it different ways. i think it is clear some americans are doing better than others, and my best guess is the numbers you see in new orleans would be almost identically reflected in some of the other major cities in america. we have to continue as we have redesigned the city of new orleans to be prepared for the same kind of difficulties we're seeing all across america. i would put them in generally the same category. our education system, though we
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have made tremendous progress and are moving in the right direction, is not perfect. there are some holes in it. we have to continue to work on that, and we will do so in the same way and with the same amount of intensity and aggressive leaning forward that we've done in the past couple years. thank you. mr. hughes: is it your sense that the npr kaiser poll that you just referenced was accurate in finding the large disparities between whites and african-americans in their view of the recovery, and another questioner says, i notice on a recent visit to new orleans extensive gentrification of many formerly black neighborhoods. is this good for the city in the long run? mayor landrieu: well, you know, polls have a lot of good information in them. i think this is a well-done poll, and i think the poll is an accurate reflection of the way
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people in new orleans feel. it is very good to get a poll that says 78% of the public thinks you're heading in the right direction. and -- or 73%, you know, feel good about the recovery. that is a very positive thing. but that poll, again, revealed difficulties that we not only have in new orleans, but all across the country, about the way, the difference between poor people and wealthy people, african-americans who don't have and african-americans who do have. my sister donna will tell you a lot and remind you maybe the best quote was the one who said when it gets hot the poor get hotter and when it gets cold the poor get colder. that is universally true and certainly in the city of new orleans. although the damage was $150 billion, the amount of reimbursement after the levees work was less than that, so there is a gap and consequently what we found in rebuilding the city is those who had got back faster than those who had not. that does cut across racial
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lines in some way, but it really has as much to do with class. so we have 73 neighborhoods in the city of new orleans, and you will see that a good manny of them, black and white, have come back and done well, but some have not, most particularly the lower ninth ward, though we've invested $500 million in with new schools, new community centers, new fire stations, continues really to struggle. that is going to be an issue that we mayors across the country really have to think about in terms of rebuilding our relationship with the federal and state governments because we believe we're partners in that. and that partnership is frayed over the last years. so as congress continues to fight about the things they fight about and hopefully pass an infrastructure bill quickly because we need it, we have to get to the next big issue about how to integrate cities into the lifeblood of the relationship between the federal, state, and local governments. 85% of people in america now are living in cities. the demographic trends have completely reversed and people are moving back into the cities. we'll have the same challenges as the rest of the nation. i just think we're in a much
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better position now to deal with those things. you have to earn this every day. if you let it go or stop being vigilant or stop showing up, it can go back and is not going to be as good. we just got to keep at it. mr. hughes: how prepared is new orleans to respond to another storm like katrina if there is one? is the hurricane protection infrastructure strong enough? mayor landrieu: ok. i'll put my parochial hat on. the levees broke. this was not a manmade -- this was not a natural disaster. this was a manmade disaster. if a category five rolling in at 12 miles per hour of speed that has winds of 150 miles an hour hits any city in america, you should hope you would have gone by then. i think hurricane sandy demonstrated to us that we have many, many vulnerable cities. guess what --
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on the scale, new orleans isn't even on the top. i think miami is number one. charleston is up there. new york is up there. i have said many times in defense of our great city that has had ridiculous things said about it, by the way, by seemingly educated people, that the storm did not just hit us because we were bad people. it just didn't. there is this modern myth about that. you can get a gold cup on bourbon street for 24 hours somehow hurricane katrina came in and wanted to smack you. that is really not what happened. we have lots of hurricanes that come in and out of the southern part of the country, come in, go out, a wind event. i don't want to out anybody but sometimes people have wine parties on their porch. and the wind comes in and goes out. catastrophe did not occur in this instance until the federal levees owned and operated by the federal government broke. new orleans is a canary in a coal mine for this country. for those of you too young to understand that, please ask your
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parents. but on infrastructure investments, on income inequality, on housing, all of that stuff, the rest of the country can learn from the things that new orleans suffered through and then learn hopefully from the ways that we have learned to fix them as we have paid the debt back to you over time. the third thing is this. the city is much safer than it was in terms of hurricane protection before. because we have spent $14.6 billion federal dollars on fortifying the levees to what they call category three standards. and if another event came in just like this one, at the same speed and at the same time, we have really good reason to believe that we would be fine. now, having said that, that is not an invitation. when the mayor calls for a mandatory evacuation in new orleans or in new york, right, or in south carolina, to just think we're going to beat mother nature, you're not. so our hurricane evacuation plans are better. our building plans are better. this is where the coast comes in, too. the coast that you hear us talk so much about that protects the oil and gas infrastructure, that protects the nation's national
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security and energy security, also protects the physical space of new orleans because as the storms come in, if that coast retreats, the storm surge is higher and that storm is not only the protector of the cultures and people that live there, but also the buffer for new orleans, so the coast is important, the levees are important, rebuilding is important, having a plan is important, all of those things. that's why the corps of engineers calls it a risk reduction strategy. you can't ever guarantee that you're not going to get hurt but today new orleans is much better prepared and we're much stronger. mr. hughes: do you believe that the bp oil spill is still having a negative effect on the bayous and coastal environment of louisiana and, if so, what is being done to counter any long-term effects of this spill? mayor landrieu: well, again, as i started the speech, tried to remind everybody that the city of new orleans, because at the time we were a massive tourism
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destination, had suffered dramatically after the attacks of 9/11, that the whole tourism economy went to nothing, that we were in a weak state but we had just gotten back up after three years of devastation. then katrina hit us. then three weeks later rita hit us. then ike, gustav, then the national recession, then the bp oil spill. a lot of lives lost in the bp oil spill. an untold amount of more physical damage that was done. i would say our relationship with bp had been somewhat strained since then. i do think that there is residual damage from that storm. i do think that recently bp and the state of louisiana and most of the litigants have now resolved their differences. i think we are on path to cleaning up and making sure that not only does that never happen again, but that the money that is coming down through the amount of money that bp has to pay in fines through the restore act that senator landrieu
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passed, or the fair share act, that we have now accumulated, -- that we are now accumulating a portion of money that is necessary to fund the master plan for restoring the coast and for cleaning up the coast. we have a very long way to go on both of these things and there's not enough money in it to actually make it happen. louisiana has been in an historic fight, led my sister senator landrieu, on the shoulders of those going back forever to make sure that in louisiana if we offer ourselves to the rest of the country as a place that is going to provide oil and gas that we have to get revenues back to restore that which we bust up. this may seem really common sense we've kind of lost. you can drill but you've got to restore. that is called being a good steward of our national resources. we are not in the debate of drill, don't drill. we've found a way to do that and trying to find a way for the fisheries and authentic cultures and the oil and gas
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industry -- everybody has to be doing it for the purpose of helping the people of louisiana and the people of the country. if it's just to benefit other folks and share holders and you don't put money back in to fix it, then you are going to basically give away the possibility of future energy independence for the country. we don't want to do that. i don't believe that yet we have had a complete communion between the private sector and the public sector, washington, the state, and new orleans about how to come up with the complete solution. i think we're well on our way. i believe that our relationship with bp has gotten much better. i think now folks are starting to come to the table. i don't think we're there yet. i do think at the end of the day what it has to be about is preserving the livelihoods of the people that live in louisiana, that work in the industry, protect the land so that the nation can be energy secure and economically secure. mr. hughes: you have something called the nola patrol, a group of civilian officers who handle quality of life issues and crimes, and it was created in 2014. it was touted by you and others
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as a way to help make the streets safer for residents and tourists alike. the first patrols have been on the streets for some months now. have they had any real effect on crime, do you think? mayor landrieu: well, first of all, they are not police officers. they were never meant to supplant police officers. what they were meant to do was take away from police officers the need to do mundane things that enforcement folks could do so the police officers could actually fight crime. yes, i think they have made a great difference. one thing that continues to be a challenge in the french quarter, which is a residential neighborhood, a business neighborhood, and receives a lot of tourists is to make sure laws get enforced so there can be safety on the streets and civility on the streets and that traffic can keep moving. many of you have seen this in new york. you may not notice the difference in the colors of the uniforms, but some of the officers are in police uniforms and they actually have a traffic division just like the one we
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have just created that is designed to make sure that the quality of life issues are taken care of, traffic keeps moving so the police officers themselves can work on violent crime. we've made great success in the french quarter. we continue to do that. we continue to have challenges in the city of new orleans relating to crime, just like we do all over america. in this instance, protecting the french quarter is critically important. guess what -- so is protecting every neighborhood in the city. we have 73 of them. and i want to protect all the tourists that come in town, and i want to protect every resident there. we're making great progress. we've been under federal consent decree for five years. the city has been forced by the justice department to pay most of that by ourselves. we continue to work with the judge and our federal monitors to retrain, supervise, and hire more police officers, and we will continue to do that. that is like fixing the plane while it's flying in midair. it is not an easy proposition. i feel pretty good about the progress made, but like anything else i would say it's a work in progress and we have a way to go. mr. hughes: what are you doing to improve police-community
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relations, particularly in the african-american community? mayor landrieu: first of all, that is a great question. in new orleans, we have always spent a lot of time on this. you see this manifesting itself all across the country. when there is an event that takes place between a police officer and a citizen, there is a fraying that is evident all over america. in new orleans, we spend a lot of time with community leaders. we have in each police district something called qoco officers quality of life coordinating officers. we have liaisons with the community, advisory boards in every police district that we have. we have regular meetings with the faith-based community to make sure they know who the captain of their district is, our police chief himself is an elder in his church, who spends
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a huge amount of time across the community, and staying in touch makes a big difference. the people of new orleans have demonstrated time and time again that they are amazingly resilient, and thoughtful and reasonable. we have had a couple of police involved shootings. one of them resulted in the arrest of a police officer. and he is serving time because he did a bad thing. one of them did not, because the circumstances indicated that there were guns that were drawn, the police officer was trying to defend himself. in both instances, after the shootings, the justice system worked. the independent police monitor showed up, the federal police monitor showed up, there was an open, transparent analysis of what happened. there was due process, and that justice was done. and in those circumstances, when you have that, everybody is fair-minded about it. i'm not saying that in all instances, the families are always happy with the police are
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always happy, the system of making sure that there is equality and fair judgment, and a fair look, that justice was done is something i think we've got right in new orleans in the last five years. everybody knows about the events to -- events that took place during katrina. those matters have been winding through the court system. in some instances, those things are still pending. but there's a dramatic difference in this new police department and the work that we are doing. again, this issue is not just about police in the community. it lays on top of economics. it lays on top of geography. it lays on top of how historical inequities lights. when stop talking about crime in america, this is not just about the police showing up after the fact my whether or not they arrest of her really were secure appropriately, although that is important. there's a much deeper dive that the united states has to do, as it relates to how are we going to make sure that everybody in america has an opportunity to do well? i don't think we have scratch the service on this.
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i don't think we talk about it easily in this country. race is something that scares us. race is really sending that is hard. the way we like to say this in new orleans is you can't go over it, you can go around it -- you can't go under it, you can't go around it. you have to be thoughtful and give each other a lot of room if we are going to get there. i think it is really clear that in this country, as much as we have aspired to be in a post-racial world, i think it is pretty clear that we are not there yet. i think we can get there, and i think there is demonstrable evidence, given what's going on in south carolina and across the south that people really are ready, although it's really hard it hurts, and their histrionics on both side, to have a discussion. finally i would say, this is not an either/or between the community and the police. we have got to get back to where the community and the police are one. i think a lot of police officers feel under assault in this country.
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in many instances, there are bad police officers that have done bad things. by and large, most of them do the right thing for the right reasons. the same thing is true of the community. i think a really sober discussion that's been taking place in the u.s. conference of mayors, that's been taking place all across this country, are things that we have to move to come out away from, because of the problem we know we can solve, because hasn't always been this way. john: do you have any authority to pardon or commute sentences of nonviolent drug offenders? if not, would you support such legislation or approach? mayor landrieu: i don't have the authority to do that. a lot of things are settled in baton rouge of the state house rather than on the local level, which are pretty significant. when i was lieutenant governor, i lead something called juvenile justice reform commission. it was designed to look at the juvenile justice system and determine whether or not we were arresting the wrong people, not arresting the right people, whether we were spending our money the right way, spending
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too much or too less. we actually looked at the state of missouri and found that in misery, they released her thinking about a right. what they found was that we were resting the wrong kids for the wrong reason and putting them in the wrong place and not arresting the right to. as the consequent we are spending way too much money. we want a good result, the recidivism -- we weren't getting a good result in the recidivism rate was higher. that exact thing is happening in the adult prison system in america as well. as a consequence, i am heartened by the work that i see on the federal level. this is one area where the feds are outpacing the states. you got a bipartisan coalition, funded by the koch brothers, of all folks, and some of the folks that come together and decided that we have an upside down. a lot of this has nothing to do with violent criminals that are committing violent crimes. this has to do with people that are committing nonviolent crimes after a whole bunch of reasons, do not get a -- inappropriate help or substance abuse treatment. i have a federal judge ordering the people of the city to become -- the hospital for mental care
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for prisoners. we're about to spend more money, by a lot, on a few people that are incarcerated. if we spent one half of it on the outside of the jailhouse door, the circumstance would be 1000% better. the consequent of those kinds of policies that are not really lining up with each other, you find a huge number of people that are in prison. usually, on a cost per day for taxpayers, a lot of money. if there's a better, smarter when they do it, the cheaper, the next and get healthy, that makes the streets safer and reduces the recidivism rate, why wouldn't you want to have a serious discussion about that? this is one thing i think we are ready to talk about this country. i am very hopeful that the state of louisiana come on the state level, will participate in a just what the feds talk about the 20% of folks that are in the
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country that are in jail. most of them are in state prisons. and there encouraged by it and would like to participate. at the end of the day, the streets have to be safe, but we have to be smart and make sure that when folks come out of jail, we don't put them in jail select the right back. that doesn't seem to be very fiscally prudent, it's not good for the streets either. john: this questionnaire, mr. mayor, says residents and visitors alike regularly lose front-end their alignments driving over new orleans the tory asleep crumbling streets. is there any plan to systematically tackle this problem -- the historically crumbling streets. [laughter] mayor landrieu: intended to tell you a story. was sworn in, i went to my dad, i was looking for father advice, i was looking for a hug, i love you son. i said tomorrow, and taking office, is there anything you want? to tell me?
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he said my wichita, you own every pothole the city. never was a more pressing things said from one layer to another. we have literally repaved moore street in new orleans in the last three years and most mayors have in the history of the city. the city was wiped out. if you go down any major street in the city, and by the way, it cost $7 million a mile repave the city. we've got a lot of miles, that we will $9 billion we were going to fix all of them. because we have limited resources, and because the reimbursement didn't match the damage, that's what we focus on. almost every major city, every street in the city has been done. select the issue of lights. i can tell you we are taking in more light than anywhere else in america. and that's true. i hope it will get an award for that or something. but it doesn't really matter, my letter to somebody, governing magazine that we did that. it doesn't matter to the person that's next-door to the white house that is blighted.
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same thing is true about potholes. the city of new orleans was built on a swamp. we have terrible interior streets. the truth of the matter is that have -- as we have been rebuilding all of the stuff of the city, from schools to airports all the things we need, we have a major problem with interior streets. which are sitting on top of a sewer system that was destroyed by katrina, the leading 40% of its water. i'm still in a fight with the federal government about nicking sure that they reimburse us adequately, so we can actually put that plan together, that you me about, that will allow us to impart, to put the interior streets back together. that negotiation is not yet done. fema has been a really good partner come over there give you anything. you got to wrestle. you got to make your case. because the american public has a right to make sure that we don't get reimbursed for anything we are not entitled to, and have a right to make sure
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that we do get reimbursed for everything we are entitled to. when that is done, we will put together a long-term plan. because that's the next big major in the structure freeze. it goes to sending the u.s. conference of mayors has talked a lot to congress about, every mayor in america says this, every commerce and says it, but no one will vote for it. if a structure in this country and lack of investment is making us noncompetitive with other major countries that are going to eat our lunch. that's true about airports, ports, roads, bridges, interior streets, exterior streets. we are way behind. is something we've got to work on in this country that will require a national conversation, and a federal partnership. and not necessarily the same thing, but they both have to matter. this has been a clarion call in the u.s. conference of mayors across ideology. republican mayors, democratic mayors, big mayors, small mayors who are on the ground living this reality.
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they're actually yelling out to congress the one thing we all agree on is massive infrastructure investments so that we can compete on a global level. john: before i ask a final question, i have some housekeeping. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. to learn more about the club, visit our website, to donate to our nonprofit journalism institute, visit i would like to remind you about upcoming speakers. this thursday, august 20, republican presidential candidate rick santorum will discuss his immigration plan. on september 2, south carolina governor haley will address a luncheon. the topic, mr. mayor, is the new south. on september 5, the press club will hold its annual 5k to raise
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money for journalism scholarships, training, and press freedom. i would now like to present our guest with the traditional national press club mug. [applause] john: i think there are many suitable beverages in new orleans you could enjoy and that mug. we will list them all, it will take too long. louisiana is well known for its colorful politicians. in your opinion, how does donald trump compare with governor hugh elong and former governor edmund edwards? [laughter] mayor landrieu: i'm looking forward to nikki haley's speech, she does nothing special and south carolina. [applause] mayor landrieu: i think elected
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officials across the south, republican and democrat, put that behind us and look forward, do it in a way that makes the south but was strong. the south has a lot to offer the united states of america. we actually think that, without getting competition, we can act -- actually lead the nation, but got to put down this issue of race. we have to make sure everyone in this country feels included. i'm thankful to her for leading this effort and i look forward to partnering with her come all of our friends across the south to talk about with the new south looks like for the rest of the country. donald trump would fit in real good with you long, and with edmund edwards. one of the things we've done in louisiana is kind of ads in color to the word colorful. no matter what you think about the donald, you have to say, he is spicing it up. he would fit real good on the farm were they make tabasco sauce. come down to louisiana, we would love to see him. john: how about a round of applause for our speaker? [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] john: i hope you come back and
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see us sometime soon. i would like to thank the national press club staff, including its journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's events. if you would like a copy of today's program, or to learn more about the club, go to that website, thank you, we're adjourned. >> we are marking the 10th anniversary of hurricane to train of this week with special programming. he will show you scenes from universal -- new orleans year
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after the storm. here is some of what see tomorrow night. is not for us to say if it should rebuilt or rebuilt. that wesonable to ask have a flood protection system is going to work. when you see this, just a few blocks up the road, there is holy cross with all of that vacant housing. you would think, first things first. maybe get people to higher ground. that house cannot be rebuilt. it's not possible. you can still smell of that death smell. you'll notice it later when somebody tells you you smell bad. this is the kind of house
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with they are still finding people. when they tear down a house like that, they bring the dogs first. this is typical. this is a house when they would find a body still. >> hurricane katrina at the gulf coast 10 years ago this week. we will show the entire tour of new orleans. that will be followed by a house hearing featuring residents who were trapped by floodwaters. coming up wednesday night, scenes from st. bernard parish a year after the storm. we speak with those on the ground. that will be followed by a townhall meeting. president obama will visit new orleans thursday. c-span withive on
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the white house reefing. -- briefing. hurricane katrina at the gulf and displaced one million people in the killing it nearly 2000 and hud held a briefing. >> good morning. we want to welcome you for the media briefing ahead of the 10-year anniversary of hurricane katrina. today you will hear from secretary castro and senior policy experts who have worked tirelessly on the gulf recovery from day one. before i turn it over to secretary castro, i want to let you know we will be taking questions from the media as well
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as viewers on the webcast and c-span2. link urge you to send questions via twitter -- we encourage you to send questions via twitter or by e-mail. that is h.u.d. public affairs at .gov. please join me in welcoming secretary julian castro. [applause] julian castro: good morning. thank you for the introduction. let me begin by thanking all of the journalists here today at headquarters as well as those i know are joining us over the internet. in the coming days, americans will turn to you as we commemorate the tragedy that the felt our -- befell our nation a decade ago. a disaster so terrible that for all of us, it will be remembered by one word. katrina.
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they will turn to journalists to account with so many endured and what none of us can forget. amid the devastating numbers, more than 1800 lives lost, more than one million americans displaced, one million homes destroyed across five states, $150 billion in economic damage. amid all of those numbers, americans will also look for answers. how much progress have we made, particularly in new orleans? what are we doing to support the recovery in the affected communities? today is about providing answers, but it is also about more than that. we are also reaffirming american
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history tv -- h.u.d.'s commitment to the people of the gulf to continue working with them and for them until the job of recovery is complete. you see, as long as there are people who want to come home and communities that need to be rebuilt, our job is not done. that is the true meaning of commemoration. not to simply mark a date on our calendars, but to ensure remembering also renews our devotion to those we lost, our dedication to support those who suffered, and our resolve to see the promise of our nation made to new orleans and the gulf fulfilled. 10 years ago, i was proud to live in a community that stepped up to support the evacuees in the earliest days of katrina.
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roughly 25,000 35,000 people fleeing the storm came to san antonio. we were just one of many cities whose residents opened their arms to families in need. across the nation, h.u.d. played an important role to help displaced families find housing and get back on their feet. h.u.d. partnered with more than 300 public thousand authorities -- public housing authorities in 39 states to provide housing for nearly 39,000 families. in the gulf coast states, louisiana, mississippi, texas, alabama, and florida, h.u.d. worked closely with disaster recovery leaders to support an ongoing recovery. through our community develop me initiativen, we havet, -- initiative, we have devoted
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nearly $20 billion. nearly $14 billion of that funding has gone directly to support the region's housing market. h.u.d. has provided compensation for 158,000 affected households. we have also helped nearly 2900 families to buy new homes and have created almost 36,000 new units of affordable housing while rehabilitating another 13,000 housing units. h.u.d. is also central in the redevelopment of damaged housing throughout the gulf, especially in what were known as new orleans'big for developments. katrina displaced 3000 families living in those public housing buildings. today, in 2015, four new, attractive, mixed income developments are a vital part of community life in new orleans. the new orleans housing
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authority, which once was the set -- beset by mismanagement and under-receivership by h.u.d. has made an impressive turnaround and was returned to local control in 2014. as part of h.u.d.'s to support the broader economic recovery, our agency invested $1.6 billion to replace and improve streets, utilities, sewer lines, schools, hospitals, and dams. in new orleans alone, h.u.d. has helped build 82 new schools as well as 11 colleges and universities.
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our agency also helped open more than a dozen hospitals, clinics, and other health care centers. we have helped rehabilitate 20 parks and more than 20 fisheries and completed dozens of water and sewer projects. i'm also proud to say that h.u.d. has played a role to help nearly 5500 businesses, most of them small businesses, three open their doors -- to reopen their doors. this morning, you are going to hear from some of the men and women whose service was essential as h.u.d. supporting families in the gulf. earl randall is our new orleans field office director, an outstanding leader. and right at the head of our response to katrina. not only did earl and his team work around the clock to rick -- aid the recovery effort, they did so while grappling with their own personal loss. they were among the storm's heroes. i want to personally thank earl
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for his excellent work in these last few years. he continues to represent the very best of our federal workforce. earl is going to be joined by todd richardson, h.u.d.'s associate deputy assistant secretary in our office of policy development. i have to say todd knows more about these issues than just about anyone. but even more importantly, he cares deeply about getting the policy right for those who count on us. i know he and earl have put together a great presentation for you about the human aspect of this tragedy. following that, they will be joined on stage by three more of our colleagues, mary mcfadden serves as assistant secretary for grant programs in h.u.d.'s office of community planning and development in she oversees a number of programs that were instrumental in the recovery effort. she has also done great work on the long-term hurricane sandy recovery, so be sure to ask her
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a lot of good and tough questions. lynn's executive director in our fair housing and equal opportunity office of enforcement. lynn brings a wealth of knowledge concerning how we are working to ensure all families, no matter the background, regardless of what they look like or how much money they make, can take part in the gulf coast's economic future. and finally, they will be joined by the deputy assistant secretary for public housing and voucher programs. milan was central to our work to not only rebuild damaged public housing but also to help turn around new orleans' want struggling housing authority. i don't have to tell you that over the last decade, the road to recovery that they are going
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to discuss has been long and challenging. but i think you would agree with me it has also shown that while that storm was tough, the spirit of the people of the gulf coast has been even tougher. their resilience continues to inspire us at h.u.d. because as much as we have accomplished in the last decade, all of us are very aware our job is not done. today, the city of new orleans, for example, continues to grow. more than half of the city's neighborhood have recovered 90% of their population from before katrina. and 17 communities are larger than they were before the storm. but there is still so much more work to be done.
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i am proud to say we have worked with local leaders to build a stronger new orleans and a gulf coast that all can be proud of for future generations. as we mark 10 years, our work continues. we will keep working hard every day until the gulf coast come back -- come back -- comeback is complete. thank you. with that, i would like to turn things back over to jaime. [applause] >> thank you, mr. secretary. we are going to take a brief cause to prepare for the next part of the program and be right back.
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jaime: next, i would like to welcome will randow -- earl randall and todd richardson. earl not only responded to the crisis, he lived through it. todd is one of our data experts that when h.u.d. works on something, it is not just about the output of dollars, it is about the impact those dollars make. todd has vast knowledge about our work on the ground. so i will turn it over to them. [applause] todd: the dust bowl of the 1930's, the chicago fire, the galveston hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 san francisco him earthquake.
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these were catastrophic events that changed lives forever and transform leases. -- places. katrina joins these disasters of the last century and our language about transformative events. as the secretary noted, over one million damaged of homes and tens of thousands of lives disrupted for many years. 1833 lives lost. our colleagues at fema can tell you the story of response. h.u.d.'s story shared with a number of federal, state, and local agencies is about the recovery of the last 10 years for the families and places most impacted by the storm. as noted in the introduction, i'm todd richardson. my role after disaster is to find the data and make sense of it. earl: i'm earl randall, iii. i provide the on the ground and the human perspective behind
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the data todd presents. todd: the winds of caused damage over a large part of the southern u.s. but the catastrophic damage of katrina was in louisiana and mississippi. the storm was the same, the disaster manifested differently. for mississippi with the storm surge crushing houses along the oceanfront, pushing them up against the raised rail bed. earl: in new orleans, it leveled thousands of homes. as you may have recalled, floodwaters continue to rise until september 1. todd: the word we heard most often by victims and first responders was devastation. earl: the slide you see now is the night toward where the levee breached and the floodwaters devastated all the homes in its wake. there were dozens of homes completely washed off of their
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foundations and people suffered a tremendous loss. todd: the debris removal effort led by the corps of engineers was massive. this is a transfer station for debris. as noted by the secretary, more than one million housing units were damaged across five states. over 278,000 homes suffered major and severe damage. earl: you may have heard the statistic that 80% of the city of new orleans was underwater. large portions of gulfport and biloxi were inundated with water due to the storm surge that approached. todd: more than 1800 people lost their lives and one million displaced residents. we are now going to pivot from the destruction of katrina to the recovery. these next at a points are made possible by the united states postal service.
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this slide from "the new york times" shows one year after katrina where folks had relocated to using u.s. postal service data. 270,000 households in the new orleans area filed change of address forms. one year later, 200,000 were still living -- still having their mail forwarded. earl: as a result of katrina, new orleans residents were spread across the country. in the immediate aftermath, these residents were placed in various modes of transportation and sent out to different parts of the country. what did this mean? this meant lives were changed forever, and stability had to become an essential factor in surviving. the pre-katrina life of everyone affected was temperately frozen . on a personal note, going back into the new orleans field office three months later, i went to my desk. the calendar was set on the date we left.
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people had left coffee mugs in the same position. it was an eerie feeling walking back into the office and seeing it the way you left it three months prior. that was the symbol of what people's lives were. when you left, when you evacuated whether voluntarily or you were involuntarily rescued, your life was frozen at that moment in time. todd: how long does recovery take? the postal service can tell us about active addresses. my friends at the data center have been tracking the number of addresses taking mail by zip code. account of active addresses is now 90% of what it was before the storm. one year after the storm, it had been 50%. two years, 67%. three years, 72%. gradually each year, until 90% at 10 years.
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the recovery has been at a different pace for different neighborhoods. in lakeview, it was 85%. that is the bottom line. in new orleans east, which had the most houses affected of any of the neighborhoods, the top line, the redline, 82% of addresses have returned. earl: in these two neighborhoods in particular, they both shared something in common. there was a higher rate of home ownership. there was also a higher rate of insurance in those areas. that is what attribute it to 85% and 82% of those residents coming back. todd: these two middle lines are the neighboring communities of st. bernard parish and the lower ninth and bywaters areas. 72% of pre-katrina addresses have returned.
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in st. bernard parish, 63%. earl: they were the most devastated communities in the city of new orleans. they were inundated with a significant amount of floodwater. their rate of return has been much lower due to the lack insurance as well as the home ownership ratio and mentors. -- renters. the was a lower number of homeowners in those areas at a higher proportion of renters. type: the research supports this. the more severe the damage, the greater the concentration of damage, the longer it takes to rebuild, the less likely to rebuild. if there is inadequate or no insurance, the recovery process is slowed years. we have a few aerial photos thanks to my colleague, dana.
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this is a picture of an area in the lower ninth ward. in 2003, it had 95 homes. earl: the aerial shot in october of 2014, there were 47 homes. if you looked at the previous slide and saw the cluster of homes, that was the cultural aspect, a way of living. my grandparents lived in the lower ninth ward. both sets of my grandparents lived around the corner from each other, so we had cousins, aunts, in almost a commune setting. that was our way of life. that was our culture. once katrina hit, that changed not only for my family but all the families that lived in the same type of environment in the lower ninth ward, all of the neighborhoods affected by katrina. life changed at that moment. things you used to do on a daily basis, you could not do any
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longer because of the change in the dynamics. todd: in st. bernard parish, a few blocks away, this lowers -- borders on the lower ninth ward. in 2003, it had 84 homes. earl: 2014 shows only 15 homes returned to that area. todd: h.u.d. is the recovery funding of last resort. we only provide funding when there is a sense the existing mechanisms, insurance, disaster loans, fema assistance, the corps of engineers, will not be enough recovery. h.u.d. received three rounds of supplemental appropriations through the disaster recovery program to fill those gaps. we had an initial appropriation of $11.5 million -- billion dollars. that was followed by $5.2 billion and a final $3 billion when we realized the homeowner recovery programs in louisiana
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had more needs than anticipated. as this slide shows, private insurance played a big role. $41 billion, $18 billion for homeowners. the national flood insurance program played a big role for 211,000 claims. philanthropy has been very important to recovery, $6.5 billion. tax credits have been an important part of rebuilding. as noted, h.u.d.'s program filling the gaps at $20 billion. this slide notes how much of the funds went to each state. the majority of the damage and returns went to louisiana followed by mississippi. earl: as todd mentioned, the disaster funds were the funds of last resort. on the ground, those funds were the driving force in recovery. it was with those funds that were flexible and caused the
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community to think how to meet their specific recovery needs. what it would entail and how we address the plight of homeowners, how we address the plight of renters, filling in the gaps for businesses that were shuttered due to the disaster. our disaster dollars filled major gaps in recovery dealing with housing, economic development, and critical infrastructure. these funds still had to a tear -- adhere to requirements that have the funds used had to serve low income. they must follow the environmental, civil rights, and labor laws. one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with disasters cdbg is it does not come with a preset structure. it is inherently incumbent on those communities to design and implement their plan of recovery. it gives them a template to address housing, infrastructure, and economic development.
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but they must design a criteria for recovery. to simplify a lot of these matters, louisiana and mississippi both adopted a compensation program for homeowners. it was providing substantial grants to homeowners to cover the gap in funding left by insurance and other resources. by accepting these grants, homeowners agreed to rebuild by a certain date. if homeowners chose not to rebuild, those homes would be deeded over to the state. in louisiana alone, 130,000 families received compensation. this was an average award of $69,224. 92% of those individuals selected the option to rebuild. 8% chose to deed their homes to the state rather than rebuild. todd: again, how long does recovery take? from its low point in july of
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2006 of 98,000 active addresses to the 179,000 active addresses today, an increase of 80,000 active addresses over the decade. most of these were likely supported in some form by the community development block grant or low income housing tax credit assistance provided. 42,000 of the grants were in orleans parish. approximately 15,000 affordable rental units have been developed in orleans parish. many through the tax credit program as well as with small rental repair program using cdbg funds. my read on the arc of recovery is the first bump through july 2007 was likely due to people who had insurance or needed just enough of the rebuild funds to recoverelatively quickly. but the rebuild from years 327
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-- 3-7 was slower as many families struggled to manage construction and others still did not have enough resources. in 2011, we surveyed the property owners who have not rebuilt. their top two reasons for not rebuilding were they did not have enough money to do the work or they were not able to get a loan to get the work done. earl: from the neighborhood standpoint looking at the speed of recovery, although 11,000 chose to sell their homes to the state, the concentration of those that did not choose to rebuild were heavily concentrated in st. bernard parish with 4300 units and the lower ninth ward with 1100 units. that is why we see the lack in recovery. -- lag in recovery. with the property being sold back to the state, it left a void. we saw that void in the aerial photographs. the resilience of individuals that you choose to come back is evident by their willingness to
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come back, but also to come back under circumstances that things will be different. things will be different from the way they were. utilizing some of the vacant properties to do green initiatives, to work on drainage and other aspects of the neighborhood to reduce rainwater runoff, so there were some aspects were individuals took the opportunity to take a more palatable palette to rebuild and recover. this was some evidence in st. bernard parish and the lower ninth ward. todd: from our survey in 2011, we asked movers and those who chose to stay about the satisfaction they had with the current home they were living in. both movers and those who chose to stay had about the same level of satisfaction. in 2011, those who have chosen to move are much more satisfied with their neighborhoods. 70% were very satisfied.
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those that had chosen to remain and rebuild, only 48% of them were very satisfied. earl: as we look at that data point, when we talk about the satisfaction of the individuals that decided to come back and rebuild, we have to delve into why they came back to rebuild. a lot of those chose to rebuild because they did so with a passion that they wanted to rebuild things like they used to be. as i stated before, as of 8/29, things totally changed. the dynamics were completely different. when you choose to rebuild, you choose to rebuild your plot in life. when you look to your left and right and your neighbor does not come back, that is a difference. that affects your psyche when it comes to rebuilding. if you walk to the corner store that you frequent and it did not reopen, that changes the mindset to rebuild. when you come back to rebuild
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and your church does not return or anyplace you socially frequent is not return, that add -- does not return, that does something to your psyche of rebuilding. we can look at this and see the individuals that chose to rebuild were less satisfied. they were less satisfied because the passion with which they approached rebuilding was different. they had to reshape how they want to rebuild and live in what is called a new normal. todd: let's switch gears to another important topic. what happened to the pre-katrina renters displaced by the storm? two years after katrina, fema was still providing rental assistance to more than 40,000 families through temporary housing units and direct payments to landlords. over 3/4 of those households, none have been receiving housing assistance prior to katrina. fema asked h.u.d. to use its infrastructure and agencies to
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take over the rental assistance responsibilities for these families. the disaster housing assistance program was funded by fema and h.u.d. coordinated the work with the public housing authority. from august 2000 72 november of -- august 2000 72 november of 2009 h.u.d. provided assistance , to over 32,000 households. 306 public housing authorities in 49 states participated. in addition to providing housing, h.u.d.'s partners also provided case management assistance. the average income of participants was $18,500. the transition for some was fairly easy. for others, it was quite difficult. this difficulty lead to more than half of the participants eventually to transition from the fema-funded dental -- rental assistance to h.u.d. rental assistance, primarily vouchers.
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in 2010, 55% of the participating families were receiving h.u.d. rental assistance. we looked at this for 2015. only 35% of those folks are still receiving rental assistance from h.u.d., so they have been gradually transitioning off the rental assistance. but it has taken 10 years. of those nearly 13,000 participants still receiving assistance, we can tell a story about where they are today. we can see today that of those 13,000 still receiving housing assistance from h.u.d., 38% are in orleans parish. 21% are in other parts of louisiana. 6% are in mississippi. 22% are in texas. 13% are in other states. earl: one note on dehab, a lot of times we miss the true story of what it did for individuals assisted -- previously assisted
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with public housing. but it stepped up to the plate and assisted individuals that were not assisted with public housing before the storm. individuals that lost everything in the storm, did not have a job, they were able to lean on h.u.d. for assistance in the aftermath of katrina. it not only took care of all of the h.u.d. assisted individuals affected, but it also stepped up to take care of individuals that had no place to go with nothing left. h.u.d. also worked with privately owned multifamily housing as well. in alabama, all 225 impacted properties have been fully restored. in mississippi, 420 of the 422 impacted have been fully restored. in louisiana, 387 have been fully restored.
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this leads us into a longer conversation about the journey h.u.d. has taken with new orleans over the past 10 years. the symbol of that journey has been the redevelopment of the big four housing developments. approximately 3000 units of occupied public housing for -- before katrina was demolished. approximately 1500 unoccupied units was also demolished in the redevelopment. of the redevelopment called upon express developers to redevelop -- experienced developers to come in and redevelop these sites. the funding sources ranged from h.u.d.'s investment, tax credits of $250 million, fema's $29 million. but significantly cdbg kicked in an additional 15 million dollars at a critical time in the financial crisis to get a lot of these developments over the finish line. todd: prior to that, it had over
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7000 total public housing units. only about 4000 occupied. -- only 5146 were occupied. families who wanted to return to new orleans have generally been returned and houses -- housed. we have data that shows in 2015, 3303 are still living in housing assistance. >> we will leave these remarks to go live now to the white house press briefing room with spokesman josh earnest. i hope he took advantage of the opportunity to do the same for a portion of that time. comments.couple i wanted to review, prior to taking your questions. the progress the administration
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has made in terms of building support for the run deal -- iran deal. since i was standing at this podium two weeks ago, we have seen 16 members of the senate come out and indicate their position on the deal. announced their support and endorsement for the deal. last 24 hours,e democratic leader of the senate harry reid and just this morning, senator debbie savin of michigan. last week many of you may have seen an op-ed from the national security advisor to resident george h.w. bush. lending his full support to the agreement. you've heard me refer in the that thishe idea
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debate where having about the current deal breaks down along similar faultlines that we saw around the debate leading up to 2003's invasion of iraq. you who covered that, that he made clear the concerns he had about the invasion at that time. he was indicating his strong support for the agreement. a couple weeks ago we saw a letter from 29 different engineers and scientists. they indicated the inspections regime imposed on iran to verify their compliance could be a model or should be a model for the way that the iaa conducts investigations of foreign countries nuclear programs. we saw a letter signed by a wiper righty of retired military leaders indicating that they believe there is no better option for printing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in
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this agreement. we also saw a letter signed by 26 different jewish leaders across the country indicating they believe this option was what they described as the best available one. from morew a letter than 300 rabbis from across the country indicating their commitment to lobby the united states congress and encourage them to come out in support of the agreement. we also saw an interview at the end of last week from a former mossad chief who indicated in an interview with pbs that he believes this was a very effective way of bringing the community to come together and take action against iran from developing a nuclear weapon. finally, i wanted to call your attention to comments of president bush's secretary -- treasury secretary.
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obviously, the department of the treasury is responsible for implementing the sanctions that have been effective in come to theran to negotiating table and enter into constructive talks with the international community. i raise this quote because many critics of the deal have suggested that what congress inuld do is kill the deal the united states congress and go back to the negotiating table and get a better deal. ratherry paulson had a them view of the strategy. he said it somewhere in between naive and unrealistic to assume that after we have negotiated something like this with the five other parties and the whole world community watching that we could back away from that and that the others would go with us or that even our allies would go with us. paulson said the
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previous an assertion is quite a bit about the way that sanctions are applied and certainly raises significant questions about the strategy as advocated by critics of the iran deal. we have an opportunity to take time away the last couple of weeks but the news related to the iran deal, i just wanted to recap. if any of you would like to take a look at this, we have those at the ready. with all that, thank you for accommodating me and i will take your questions. before the president's vacation had been open on vetoing a resolution of disapproval and you are mostly trying to get votes, do you think there's a chance now that he will not have to use his veto? beenrnest: our view has that we want to engage as many members of congress as we can to
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advocate for support of the agreement and this started from the night before the agreement was even announced. when other senior murmurs of this administration reached out to try to give a heads up about the imminent deal and some of the outlines in the agreement. characterizedis on the intensive communication between senior and ministration officials and members of congress. to get as muchen support in congress as we can. what we focus on is building the kind of support that we need in both the house and senate to sustain a presidential veto. again, we will have to see what congress is choosing to do. we will build as much support as we possibly can in both the house and the senate. concernis the level of
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the administration has about the slowdown in china and the potential ripple affect. as it relates to, we have seen a lot of volatility in china stock markets over the last several weeks. the treasury department has been closely monitoring global markets, including financial markets in china. you have also seen readouts that have been issued by the treasury department, conversations at secretary lewis had with senior chinese officials in the last couple weeks. most conversations have focused on the recent shift in china's exchange rate. caseis consistent with the made to china, that they should continue to pursue financial exchange rateease flexibility and to move rapidly toward more market determined
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exchange rates. that is a case that we continue to impress upon the chinese, being a priority. >> what do you think americans watching the volatility, about how things in china could affect the u.s. economy? mr. ernest: there is no doubt that the global economy is more interconnected than it has ever been and there are a variety of reasons for that. technology not the least. what i would encourage people to evaluate is the ongoing strength and resilience of the u.s. economy. u.s. businesses over the last 55 consecutive months have added 50 million jobs. the longest -- 15 million jobs. the unemployment rate here in the united states is at 5.3% which is the lowest level in seven years. looking at economic growth more broadly, if you look at the more stable components of growth, the
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combination of personal consumption and fixed investment, we've seen that growth rate, that those two measures of economic growth have increased 3.2% over the last year and that is faster than the growth of the overall economy which is an indication of how durable the u.s. economy continues to be, even as we have seen increased volatility overseas. the administration and certainly the president is mindful of how this would be a bad time for a self-inflicted wound. it is why we continue to make we case to congress that need to take care of business and we talked about this earlier this summer. one of congress's most important responsibilities is to pass a budget. to argue that they should pass a budget on time that reverses the sequester and avoids the shutdown.
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we want to see congress take the long overdue step of reauthorizing the xm bank. we certainly believe as we have for some time that a longer-term increased investment in transportation and infrastructure would be best. but also laying a foundation for the long-term strength of the u.s. economy. , while weainly is continue to be confident about the longer-term trend when it comes to u.s. economy, we would like to see congress take the thatof common sense steps would build on that momentum that the u.s. economy continues to enjoy. china's president is coming to the white house september, is the topic of the u.s. -- chinese economy a top agenda item.
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mr. ernest: the economic relationship between the united states and china has been a priority for our two countries. it has been true while president obama has been in office. previous u.s. presidents would say the same thing. that relationship has only become more important. the importance of that relationship manifest itself in a variety of ways. including discussions we had with the chinese about protecting intellectual property rights. certainly continued discussions about chinese efforts to move toward a more market-determined exchange rate for their currency. abouto raises questions the concerns we have expressed in the past about china's behavior in cyberspace. espionage andber
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economic consequences for our relationship. these are the kinds of things that have remained high on the agenda whenever president obama sat down with his chinese counterpart. i'm confident that we'll be true when president obama has the opportunity to welcome president chi to the white house. >> even now with his counterpart and china or other officials? aware, the i am not president has not made any calls to chinese officials about this but the president, as a matter of course, is updated on developments in the economy and he has been even while on vacation. --will this flotilla that he relatively have an impact on elections this fall? mr. ernest: i don't want to speculate on anything that is the jurisdiction of the independent federal reserve but i'm sure they would tell you that they are paying close attention to the volatility and broader economic -- any
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conclusions they reach will be theirs and i would not speculate. >> do you have a reaction to the north korea and south korea and conflict and efforts to reduce tensions? theyrnest: i heard that had resolved, or completed their talks shortly before i walked out here and a more formal announcement will come from the two sides in terms of what they agreed upon. we will withhold any reaction until they have announced. then we can follow up. paul. of marketre a lot analysts who give chinese estimates of the economic growth which have fallen from about 10% down to 7% now. the world bank and imf now say china will slow to 4% over the next couple of years despite that there are a lot of analysts that say the chinese figures of growth cannot be trusted.
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is that a view the administration in any way, how trustworthy do you think these figures are? my colleagues of the treasury department can give you a more sophisticated assessment. this is an issue that has been raised publicly and a variety of ways. financialve consequences for how reliable the data issued by the chinese government actually turns out to be. one thing, one of the cases we have made to the chinese government is that a more is one thateconomy will benefit not just the chinese economy but the global economy. we hear from business leaders in the united states that are interested in doing business in china that a more transparent business environment would make them more likely to do business there.
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we welcome and want to advocate for businesses looking to grow overseas because that indicates a good economic opportunity here but these are the kinds of decisions that chinese officials have to make and the message they hear consistently from the obama administration is one that , a lot of which is focused on the need for china to pursue financial reform and to move rapidly toward a more market determined exchange rate system. intomproving transparency their economy is something we believe will would be good for the global economy and also good for the economy and china. to the report that china internally talking about transparency, they have of about 2 force million government workers who do nothing but monitor their own people online.
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does that tell you the administration that kind that -- china is a company government that will monitor people to that degree? is it confident or fearful? mr. ernest: we have long made the case that human rights is of the top of the agenda whenever the president meets with his chinese counterpart. in a variety of settings including when the president travels to china, raising significant concerns about the chinese government's respect for the basic universal human rights of people including access to information and freedom of its russian. -- expression. that is a concern that is a concern the president obama will continue to raise. >> about the possibility that the u.s. government could encounter or run into a recession anytime in the next year? mr. ernest: as i mentioned
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earlier, i am not in the business of prognosticating the economy or elections. taking a look at some of these are anterm trends, indication of the strength of the u.s. economy and whether you evaluate job creation or the an employment rate or broader measures of economic growth. confident. can feel at the same time, there is more that congress can and should do to build on some of this momentum that the u.s. economy has built up and on the resilience this economy has demonstrated. we are hopeful that when congress returns from their recesses that they will be focused on passing a budget on time that reverses the sequester and will reauthorize the xm bank in a timely fashion. and that we will hopefully get congress to actually take action on a increase for long-term
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investment infrastructure. would you say the fundamentals of the economy are strong? mr. ernest: that is a phrase used by others in different settings. theink there's no doubt u.s. economy is far stronger now than it was in 2008. there are a variety of ways to measure that. one way is to take a look at the impact of wall street reform legislation. that now we know that u.s. banks have reduced their leverage and have added more than $600 billion in capital since 2009. some of that is related to wall street reform. the banks are less reliant on unstable short-term funding and are better able to withstand short-term volatility in the financial market. one thing that has been a part of wall street reform is annual stress testing. that's another reason we can have more confidence in the
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strength of the u.s. economy. >> you mentioned what congress can and what they might not do. is there a danger that if congress fails to act on a the debt ceiling which is coming up as well, on infrastructure, congresses action or inaction on those fronts could put us into a recession? mr. ernest: there is no doubt that congress failing to act in a responsible way to pass a budget and reverse the sequester will have negative consequences for the economy. in particularly at this time, we are seeing so much flotilla the in economies around the -- volatility in economies around the globe. seenld acknowledge we have a lot of errors from congress over the last several years. errors, we those have been able to build up momentum behind the economy. what we would like to see is
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congress take the kind of action that would build on that momentum as opposed to take steps or not take steps to undermine that momentum. >> quick questions on the other topics. a quick readout from the president's lunch with vice president biden. mr. ernest: it was still ongoing. i have not gotten an early date out of them. >> we have the development over the weekend with the vice president coming back and how would the president deal with it if he actually decides to run? having his current vice president against his former secretary of state. mr. ernest: i think it's what everybody is pretty interested in finding out. what decision the vice president is going to make. the president has indicated his view that the decision he made seven years ago to add joe biden
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to the ticket as his running mate, was the smartest decision he made in politics. that's a give you some sense of the president's view of the vice president and his aptitude for the top job. so what he support vice president biden if you were to run? was the best decision he made. mr. ernest: it was. the president spoke at some length about the appreciation and respect and admiration he has for the service of secretary clinton, particularly in her four years as secretary of state. i think all of you and your coverage of some of the president's comments and bu secretary clinton were. the vice president is somebody who has artie run for president
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twice, he has been on a national ticket through two election cycles, and 2008 and the reelection of 2012. i think you could make the case that is probably no one in american politics today you has a better understanding of exactly what is required to mount a successful national presidential campaign. collect alle will the information he needs to make a decision and has indicated he would make a decision and announce a decision before the end of the summer. those of us who enjoy the summertime i think would assume that means there's another month to think about this and announce a decision. >> will the president remain neutral? will he or will he not endorse somebody for the primary before it is over? i have indicated the president does plan to vote in
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the illinois primary. ultimately, it will be democratic voters who are responsible for choosing the democratic nominee. i would not speculate at this point about whether or not the president would offer an endorsement. >> you can say he endorses joe biden or hillary clinton? mr. ernest: i would not rule out an endorsement of bernie sanders , or the possibility of an endorsement for the them aquatic primary but i am sure he will support the democratic nominee in the election. >> this conversation of the vice president possibly running. i have not had make senate conversation with the president about this and i am not privy to the conversations that take place between the president and vice president like the one that presumably is ongoing right now. i would not describe the president as torn because this
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is an intensely personal decision someone has to make to decide to run for president. spoken about has the decision to run for president and how that was requiring a lot of consultation and consideration when it came to the impact on his family. considerationsse with vice president biden at this time as well. decisionsthese are that individuals have to make for themselves. i mentioned to john, i think of viceident's view president biden's performance as the vice president of the united states should give you a sense of the president's belief in his aptitude for the top job. >> you said nobody has a better understanding of what it takes to mount a national campaign. do you think that should enforce -- is it too late? is itnest: what it does
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means that he is somebody who understands exactly what he needs to know to make this decision. it's not as if he needs to ask himself a bunch of questions of which is unfamiliar. i think he will be able to conduct this process and have conversations he needs to have in order to make the best decision. >> would be healthier to have the vice president in the race? for the democratic party? not asked thehave president that question, you may have the chance to do that. i think what the president would say is that individual candidates will have to make your own -- make their own mind up on who is going to run. >> part of this drives from a democrats privately, some pundits publicly and some donors not so privately that
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hillary clinton is in trouble. the e-mail situation has caused her campaign to stall. it is a serious ongoing issue as far as trust and possibly legal consequences though. what the u.s. the white house think about the e-mail controversy itself in the source of all this consternation? mr. ernest: what i would observe of 2015.t is august the election is not until november of 2016. certainly, somebody who worked on president obama's campaign in 2007 and 2008 will recall pretty visibly august of 2007. i think it's safe to say there is a kind of confidence in the likelihood that then senator barack obama would be elected as president of the united states. i think what i would do is want
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people against drawing conclusions in the early stage. >> are you unduly overwrought? reachnest: they can whatever conclusions they can reach, whatever conclusions it would like. i would just observe it is rather early in the process and certainly if you want to consider president obama as a presidential campaign, there are dangers in associating -- assuming the outcome. >> the agreement for what iran would have to disclose as far as its military applications go? the associated press last week published what others observed to be a side agreement that kept its publication secret indicating that iran's deal would be able to inspect itself and be the only interlocking
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group about what happens there and what it means. what is the administration's reaction to that? is are any doubt in the authenticity of that? why should it not undermine this part of the understanding? whatrnest: i think undermines that contention are the on the record statements of the director general of the iaea. they indicated that there would be -- the suggestion that there would be self inspections was misleading. the fact is that the arrangements between the iaea and iran are sound and consistent with the long-established practice. in developing this inspection did not compromise safeguarding standards in any way. view thates to be our this agreement is not a side
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agreement and is not a secret one because this administration went to great lengths to breathe every member of congress about the contents. now that we have seen what appears to be, or at least what the associated press has assessed to be a near final document that has been released, i think it's hard to make the case that this is a secret agreement. typically agreements between the iaea and countries around the world are held confidential. the iaea has agreements with this with countries of hundreds of countries around the world. including the united states. the idea that it would conduct its own independent inspection, that the iranians would not be the ones to carry out the inspection. i'm confidentat of is the iaea will get all access to information they need and all the access to the site that they need in order to conclude that report.
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some republicans in congress who have suggested that the iaea will not get enough access in order to write that report. pretty bold statement, considering some of the same republicans in congress say they don't have enough scientific knowledge to determine whether or not climate change is occurring but somehow they claim to have enough knowledge of nuclear physics to assess what kind of access the iaea will have. again, no, i would say, what i am saying is that the iaea has indicated that they need a certain amount of information and access to write their report and the united states, alongside our partners, went to the iranians and said that if you don't give them the access to information they need to write this, you will not get sanctions
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relief. that is why i have quibbled with suggestions that somehow this is some sort of side agreement. we have made clear the disagreement in full will not go theard unless the iaea gets access and information they need in order to write this report about the in a multi-dimensions. if the director general comes forward and says we have reached agreement with the iranians to get all the access we need that is consistent with our standards, consistent with long-established practices, then we can have confidence in the ability to make that assessment and the good news is we will have the opportunity to read the report which they are planning to complete before the end of the year. about -- airstrikes against isis in syria. withetails of this deal ground troops from our country.
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at this point, i cannot confirm any agreement between our two countries as you know, senior u.s. officials and their turkish counterparts have been engaged in discussions states andhe united turkey can beef up our cooperation when it comes to implement in our strategy to destroy i still -- isaiil. those have gone past what was part of the original agreement to allow the u.s. and other coalition forces to use airbases isilrkey to launch counter strikes. incontinue to engage conversations with turkey about how to deepen cooperation in a way that will advance our strategy to kanner -- counter i
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sil but also in a way that would improve the security situation along turkey's border with syria. >> we have a different understanding from you? mr. ernest: i am not contradicting what the foreign minister has said, i am suggesting that these talks are ongoing and we have been interested in agreements that would deepen the cooperation between the united states and turkey on a range of the efforts that are underway to counter i sold. -- i confirm the result cannot confirm the results of those talks. the and edits it has been conducting airstrikes for more than a year. you would have to talk to the turks for any plans they have. obviously, even in the context of an agreement, the turks will
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make decisions about military action. they understanding is that talks are between multiple countries. if congress does not support the deal, can the u.s. unilaterally push forward or does it have to negotiate? why would these other countries work with the u.s. again on other deals if congress cannot push forth a deal? mr. ernest: what we have said is that if congress were to take the stance of killing the , it would send a pretty dangerous signal to the international community, not just to enemies but also to allies. we have gotten great cooperation
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parties whoh those were negotiating beer agreement with iran. we have worked closely with the japanese -- and other large economies in asia to implement the sanctions. in a way that had a very negative impact on the iranian economy and that coordination was crucial in pressuring iran to come to the table and agree to this deal that has been reached between iran and the international community. if congress were to kill the deal in terms of the u.s.' ability to implement, that we would like to see is international cooperation fracture in a way that would allow iran to enjoy the benefits of the deal that is sanctions relief while being under no obligation to curtail their nuclear program or to submit to inspections. that's why we have made a strong
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case from the administration that it would be dangerous for congress to kill this agreement and ultimately, it would put iran in a position to benefit from sanctions relief without having to submit to any restrictions or inspections that are central to this. >> we have heard that everything is on the table and military intervention is on the table. --ely iran said so military attacks -- do you think that the iranians really believe the u.s. wants to attack? mr. ernest: the president has made clear that every option remains on the table.
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you are also highlighting why the diplomatic option is so important. the first is that it could that does seemnd likely if this agreement were killed by congress. it's not hard to imagination arielle where congress kills the deal, the it in international unanimity of the opinion fractions, iran gets sections relief and is no longer constrained when it comes to the nuclear program and what you would see is people all across , andorld, particularly even some in the u.s. that are critical of the agreement coming president,say mr. you vowed to do everything in your power to prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. then the president would be under a lot of pressure to prevent iran from obtaining
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nuclear weapons, something he has described as his own goal. he would have fewer tools with which to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. that is how we start to go down the path of war. another thing to recognize is that even the sharpest critics have suggested that the reason the agreement has somehow been flawed is because it only result in the meditations on iran's nuclear program by 10 to 15 years. the fact is, our military analyst have indicated that it would only set back the nuclear program by two or three or maybe four years. that is why you have these senior military officials in the united states, those who understand very clearly the consequences of u.s. military power. that's why even they say a diplomatic agreement is the best way to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and is the most effective way for us to limit iran's nuclear program.
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is this deal not already done? a pretty strong secretary already met with iranian president and foreign minister in terror on today, he said he believes sanctions to be listed -- lifted by spring. already building their relationship back in terms of number sanctions with iran in tehran. is it already a done deal? mr. ernest: it's not. insisted, iran take significant steps to curtail their nuclear program before they get any sanctions relief. the concern you are raising is a legitimate one which is if the united states congress were to kill the agreement, and save the united states is not going to you highlight the,
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concern of the challenges associated with trying to get the international community to again impose those sanctions. that is what our critics are saying. that we should back out of this agreement, reimpose sanctions and go back to the negotiating table. but it is not at all clear that the international community is going to reimburse sanctions merely because congress has taken a vote at we disagree with. i do think that it's reasonable in the president certainly thinks it's reasonable that the international community would reimpose sanctions in our new -- nuclear program. ultimately the concern that we have here is that if congress were to kill the deal, it would ultimately allow iran to benefit from the sanctions release. the international coalition that have been formed to impose
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sanctions would fracture and iran would get all kinds of sanctions relief that would not be phased by imposed nuclear program sanctions. oreither they are confident they are going ahead anyway. icannot -- secretary earnest: cannot speak to the actions of other countries but those will not begin to iran until they take the wide variety of steps that we have outlined. reducing their stockpile by 98%. unplugging thousands of centrifuges. essentially gutting the core of their plutonium heavywater reactor and rock. and agreeing with the iaea's request for information and access that is required to complete the report. james? james: three subjects really quickly, if we can.
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first, on the economy. since january of 2009, has the united states economy grown more or less dependent on the chinese economy? i think itarnest: what we have seen is that the world is more interconnected. there is no doubt that economies around the world have a greater ability to influence other economies. why the unitedly states has distinguished itself among other economies since 2009 for the strength and resilience of economic growth in this country and the president is hopeful that the united states congress will take advantage of the momentum that we have the to do things like reauthorize the export import bank and make a long-term increased investment in infrastructure, the kinds of things that we know would be good for the economy in the long term. secretary earnest: -- james: there is nothing that you can point to that indicate that the president has undertaken efforts
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to uncouple the u.s. economy in a significant way from the chinese economy? secretary earnest: i don't think that anyone would make the case that the economies are coupled. from a 21st century global economy, countries of the world see their economy as more intertwined. that is why the president has taken the kinds of steps that would actually capitalize on many of those relationships that already exist. that is one of the reasons the president has been such an aggressive advocate of trade giving uspromotion more leverage as we try to capitalize on these relationships that exist. view of the united states government that the united states government is legally enjoined or prohibited from moving forward on the deal until the congressional action is resolved? secretary earnest: the legislation that congress passed back in the spring
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that the united states would not take steps to implement this deal until congress had had sufficient time to consider it. they set a timeline for themselves, ready days, later appended to 60 days for complicated reasons. so, the administration will not move forward with implementing the agreement until that 60 day window has been completed. >> does the administration have any understanding of the process that is underway in iran and what is necessary for the implementation of the agreement to ensue or commence once that process is finished? secretary earnest: it is my understanding that there is a process moving through the iranian parliament where this is getting some consideration there. i will acknowledge that i am no expert on what that process actually is, but we can
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certainly have someone talk to you about that if you are actually interested in that. >> do you know how many they had installed as of january of -- january of 2009? secretary earnest: not off the top my head, but we can get those numbers for you. >> the best estimates of the are thatgraham allison there were 5000 centrifuges, more or less, in iran at the time that president obama took office. as you have all noted many times , at the start of these negotiations in november of 2013, iran had 19,000. , ite accept those numbers would indicate that 75% of those were installed under the watch of obama and biden. do you accept that to be true? secretary earnest: i don't have the numbers in front of me but i do think you are highlighting an important story here.
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that the international community was fractured about how to theirly confront iran and nuclear program. we did see a program that was racing to upgrade their capabilities and infrastructure. of the president's success in unifying the international community we put in place in agreement as you pointed out in 2013 that actually brought the program to a halt. that did put a freeze on the number of centrifuges that they were operating and if this agreement is to move forward and we are hopeful that it will of congress does not kill it we will see thousands of those centrifuges unplugged. that will be a significant constraint on their nuclear program and speaks to the importance of building and maintaining international consensus around the implication . that's the danger associated with congress killing the deal and fracturing international opinion and unanimity of effort. >> does president obama regard
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vice president biden is the legitimate inheritor of the obama legacy? >> yes or no. [laughter] me sayry earnest: let this. there is so much that has been sixmplished over the last or seven years that president obama is a norm is proud of. a large portion of it would not be possible without the wisdom, council, and leadership of vice president biden. that will be true whether he chooses to run again or not. grexit was very true some months ago that warmer secretary of was publicly critical -- quite fit -- >> it some months ago that former secretary of state clinton was publicly critical. you don't challenge any of the predicate, do you? i guess not.nest:
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>> is president obama aware of any instance in which the vice president has criticized the president's decision-making or record over the past six years? secretary earnest: off the top of my head, no. i'm certain that there have been situations where vice president biden has agreed in the context of he them that she did discussions -- heated discussions -- >> have there been instances where he has described the council from vice president as fantastical in nature? secretary earnest: i'm confident that there have been situations on important issues where they had a disagreement. it was the responsibility of president obama to make the final decision. i will say that it is something that the president has said
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about the vice president on many occasions. he has long appreciated the willingness of the vice president to speak up when he disagrees and his willingness to offer contrary in -- contrary -- contrarian the president certainly appreciates the vice president's approach to that kind of constructive engagement. >> asary earnest: as -- titular leader of the democratic iny and someone interested seeing his legacy in the executive branch carried forward for the next four years, and as just a general proposition, would president obama prefer to see is the democratic nominee the businessed in of bringing evidence to the fbi, or someone who is not? secretary earnest: at the end of the day the president is confident that democratic voters will choose someone who can ably represent
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them in the democratic election but someone who would do and on job of leading the united states of america over the next eight years. least 11 freedom of information lawsuits against the state department over information between secretary clinton and her aides. can you acknowledge that this is that theyandard set lived up to in the state department? secretary earnest: i think i would disagree slightly. i think that the administration has gone to great lengths to try to comply with a significant number of requests that they have received. from the united states congress and members of the public for information. they are engaged in a process now of reviewing tens of thousands of e-mails that
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secretary clinton has turned over to the state department. secretary clinton has asked that those be made public. that is an extraordinary step. it certainly is consistent with the kind of commitment that president obama has made to making transparency a priority. >> regardless of whether they asked to be made public, they are public record. lawsuits have been pending for years, including the associated trust lawsuit against the state department. are you certain that they are responding in an adequate time given that there is a presidential candidate running? i'm confidentest: that those whom made the request set a sense of urgency associated with it, but i cannot confirm for you -- i can confirm for you that the state department is working expeditiously to try to both handle the information appropriately to protect sensitive information and also to be as transparent as possible
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and to do it all as quickly as possible. they are balancing a wide variety of equities, but are certainly very focused on responding to those requests and living up to the high center of transparency. >> one more. secretary of state clinton described the investigation into her as the same old partisan game. is the fbi investigation a partisan game? is the intelligence inspector general investigation part of the game? or are these legitimate questions? secretary earnest: i am obviously going to be reluctant to have much to say about ongoing investigations. my understanding, though, is that most of those investigations are geared towards the handling of that information and are not targeting secretary clinton. michelle?
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is part of ant investigation you usually refer to the investigation. doesn't the administration have its own questions about how e-mails were handled during that time? if you did have questions, have they been answered adequately by clinton's team? secretary earnest: the expectation that the administration set is for individuals who serve in the obama administration to use their official government e-mail when conducting government business. in those instances where used fore-mail is official government business, it is the responsibility of that individual to turn those over to the agencies so that they can be properly archived and used. that is what secretary clinton has done. that is what they are trying to fulfill. waselle: you feel that it all done according to that expectation?
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i feel thatrnest: we have been very clear about guidance and what employees should do to fulfill it. have saidhat they publicly, that is what they have done. michelle: [inaudible] [indiscernible] the president was on vacation? secretary earnest: i don't know the answer to that. i will say that the president and vice president have the opportunity to speak frequently. weekly forsly meet lunch and that is something we typically make public. >> is it safe to assume that they have discussed -- we talked so much about the possibility of running and how much the president values that relationship. we can say that they've spoken about this possibility, right? i'm going tonest:
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be cautious and not good on the path of discussing private conversations between the president and vice president, other than those conversations tend to be wide ranging cover everything from work to family. i will leave it to you to decide if you think that that is sufficient based on the vice president and whether that falls into other categories. michelle: [indiscernible] secretary earnest: so, it's not just me? impossible is a word that has been used. is it a difficult position, politically? so many people within this administration are now working with former secretary clinton. what would you say about that? that he is in this terrible position. or a difficult one. that it is going to be hard for him to deal with. look, theearnest:
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president is refocused on the job that he has now. length aboutd at the long list of priorities that the president has. particularly for things coming up in the next four to six weeks. visits i the president of china to trying to get this iran deal pushed through congress. to making sure the government does not shut down again. to trying to reverse the sequester. reauthorizing the export import bank. we have not talked about the popes planned visit. there are a long list of priorities. that is what the president is most focused on. there will be a time for him to focus on the presidential election and certainly he has something at stake here. have aipate that we will progressive and robust discussion regarding that the -- the direction of the country.
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i feel confident that at this point the democratic nominee will have a vision more in line with the president than the republican nominee. i think you will find the president is an advocate for the democratic nominee at that point , but right now the president is focused on the job at hand. michelle: is the president going to keep reaching out to individual members of congress? secretary earnest: he will. michelle: you feel that that is still necessary? secretary earnest: we do. we want to build as much support as necessary. it means he will continue to see senior members of the administration traveling to capitol hill when they return from their break. i would anticipate that you will continue to hear about phone calls. not just between senior administration officials and members of congress scattered across the country and the world during their august recess. has the president himself and will continue to pick up the
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phone and engage in these types of conversations. this is a top priority. >> and he did some of that on vacation? secretary earnest: he did. go ahead. >> i think that we all agree that the events of last week were amazing. position of the administration that we all become vigilantes? secretary earnest: you saw the actions of three brave and quick thinking americans who took some bold steps to avert what could have been a terrible, terrible tragedy. these individuals acted bravely, but themselves in harms way and i know that one of them sustain some minor injuries in the confrontation. again, this is an indication of what three quick thinking brave
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individuals can do. what i would also say is that certainly aon is reminder of the priority that the president has placed on trying to stop the flow of foreign fighters into syria and the rack. -- iraq. almost one year ago the president was in a meeting with other leaders at the united nations to discuss efforts to better integrate and coordinate our efforts. to stop the flow of foreign fighters. that is work that is not glamorous. it does not get a lot of attention. it certainly is an important part of protecting the american public. >> what is the line between vigilance and vigilante is him? i think thatnest: is a question for many people to ponder. there is no question that those americans who left at the
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defense of their fellow passengers in europe over the weekend acted heroically nbo them a debt of gratitude. inc. you. a debt ofowed them gratitude. thank you. >> in july you talked about the groundwork of budget negotiations. do you have any new information? secretary earnest: unfortunately, i do not. democrats in congress for weeks and months have been urging the republicans in congress to come to the negotiating table. we've attempted to find a common ground to avert the shutdown. we've seen republicans refusing to engage in those kinds of consultations to discuss in a bipartisan budget agreement. unfortunately what i think we will here is congress coming back to work in a couple of that and they will say they haven't had enough time to reach a broader agreement, so they will have to do a continuing resolution.
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i've got to tell you, in the view of the president that's not the best way to run the greatest country in the world. we do have an opportunity for us to capitalize and make the kinds of investments that will strengthen our economy and act in the best interest of middle-class families. and a do all of that financially responsible, fiscally responsible way. we can also make investments that are critical to our national security. but we will not be able to do any of that until they talk to the republicans in congress to get it done. mike? about thee talking import -- [inaudible] secretary earnest: to sustain a veto? the administration continues to think we have enough support to sustain a veto in the congress. than one knows better
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barack obama and his political team what it takes to take down the democratic front runner in the primary. [laughter] is it too late to do that? secretary earnest: the only person who knows as much as about that is someone like you, who comes at it from the beginning. i will say that i think again the lesson of many of us who worked on that campaign, what we ed is that it is too early to be drawing a lot of conclusions about the outcome. the most effective way to run a campaign is not to focus on what the other candidates are doing, but be focused on your own campaign. i have complete confidence that that is what all of the democratic candidates that are already declared a doing. that is what they should be doing. >> about the currency devaluation and movement to a market exchange, have you been conveying from the administration your view that
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that is a favorable development? moving the exchange rate is it to the market base? or an unfavorable development in the view that it is a devaluation as some have , moving to other parts of the chinese export? secretary earnest: to be frank with you, i don't have that detailed of a readout of the conversation to provide with you. done is reinforce what has been a consistent message from the administration. we would like to see china take additional steps to move more rapidly towards a market determined exchange rate system. a message that the secretary has been reinforcing not just over the last couple of years, but even the last couple of week, as we have seen increased volatility in the chinese financial market. >>, do you love these biden questions?
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-- how much do you love these biden questions? [laughter] secretary earnest: there are certainly other topics i would like to discuss. >> how about the quit -- clinton questions? do you have a strategy, pumping yourself up to come out here and deal with us? [laughter] secretary earnest: there is no doubt that over the next 15 or 16 months that the president has remaining in the white house that we will be spending some time talking about who the neck president is going to be. we have had a rather protracted and drawn out practice in this country for determining that. some really to important and illuminating debate. -- debates. while speculation, the potential candidacies of one individual or another is less ,roductive in my point of view
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is less productive than some of the policies being prioritized by some of the candidates. i do relish the opportunity to continue to highlight what i think will be some stark differences between the priorities championed by some republicans and the kinds of priorities that this president has been fighting for in his seven years in the white house. that willo doubt that be in the backdrop of many of the conversations we have in this room, but i relish the opportunity to have those conversations. >> isary earnest: -- there a sense that the primary will be a challenge for the administration and you? an excruciating time where we try to get you to take a position? [laughter] secretary earnest: look, i'm not particularly bothered by it. this is part of the process. yes, i would certainly prefer to be focused on a more policy
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specific discussion. but that time will come. when it does it will be an opportunity that is important for the country to examine these priorities. having a robust debate like that is something i am happy to participate in. >> two questions. one on the stock market. you were very careful about reacting to the news today about the markets. one of the candidates twitter and elsewhere were not as careful. without evaluating the content, whether it is trumped calling it china's fault or bernie sanders saying that wall street executives and regulations, or republicans calling it the president's fault, without theuating the content, but cavalier nature of that and tother you have a reaction the public attention and how they use that celebrity. secretary earnest: you are
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asking if i have a reaction to anyone else's reaction to the market reaction? >> when you say it like that, it sounds silly. [laughter] secretary earnest: that was sort of my intent. [laughter] but i will take it seriously. i will say this, i think it illustrates the difference between campaigning and governing. there is a different responsibility that i have when i'm standing here to be more cautious and judicious about the way that i described market from those who are campaigning and making political arguments. they don't have as much -- they have a different responsibility. that does not mean they are doing anything wrong, it just means they have a different job. the level of heads up that the white house gets when something like the vice president meeting with elizabeth moran happens? -- elizabeth warren happens? known about this
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particular weekend? what is the tab on the vice president's schedule in general? secretary earnest: i do know that the vice president sintering being engaged in the process of becoming a candidate for president. i know that he has engaged in some private meetings, some of which do not remain private. tois certainly entitled spend as much time and talk to whomever he would like to make a decision. the meantime i will like all of you, will be eager to hear what he decides. >> in terms of this meeting, was the white house made aware ahead of time? let me putarnest: all of my cards on the table here. i will not the in the position of confirming individual meetings that the vice president participates in. you are implicitly asking me to
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confirm his meeting with senator warren. i'm not denying that that occurred, but i'm just telling you that i won't be in a position of confirming individual meetings. >> did the white house have any information about this in advance? i'm not asking about what you know now, just what you know then. again, i'marnest: not going to get into the details of those individual, private meetings. thanks, everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] stabenow spoke up iran on the president's deal. she is the 28th democrat to publicly backed the deal. 34 senators are needed to heat the plan in place. the senate is going to consider
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a resolution disapproving of the deal when they return to capitol hill on september 8. the defense department is holding a briefing today on the state of the u.s. air force. secretary debra lee james and mark well will -- mark welsh will discuss their prospects for the military. c-span2 will have live coverage of that this afternoon. c-span is walk -- marking the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina this week with special programming. tomorrow night, scenes from new storms one year after the as they tour hurricane damage. house hearing features testimony from residents who left the city or who were trapped by the floodwaters. of thes a portion testimony that here's a portion of the testimony before the committee.
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-- here is a portion of the testimony before the committee. >> why were we would -- why were we held hostage? le? and not allowed to rescue our people? why was that the case? going to stop talk when i finish with my messages from my community that is the only reason why i'm here i didn't come to represent me. i didn't come representing dyan french cole i came representing the people sit song the street right now around a brick made fireplace because that's the only thing we have in december, hurricane happened in august! somebody needs to hear. why we are less than 500,000 people spread over 50 states is a question one of
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>> hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast region 10 years ago this week. we will show you scenes from new orleans one year after the storm and a tour of the hurricane damage tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. storm, c-span the tours hurricane damage and speaks with those on the ground. followed by a 2005 town hall meeting in new orleans, moderated by then mayor ray nagin. again, this week's marks the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. the class three hurricane hit andcoast on august 27 displaced one million people, killing nearly 2000. gulf region members of congress spoke about the anniversary before leaving for their august recess. we will show you those speeches now. this is just over one hour.
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the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for 60 minutes. majority leader. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. speaker. august 29 of this year will ark the 10-year anniversary of that -- when hurricane katrina struck ground, causing massive devastation throughout southeast louisiana, as well as other parts of the gulf coast, mississippi and alabama. mr. speaker, i'd first ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scalise: mr. speaker, tonight we're going to talk about the devastation that was caused by hurricane katrina and of course it starts with the that were ,800 lives
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lost. people from louisiana, mississippi, florida, alabama and georgia, who all lost their lives through this devastating storm. but, mr. speaker, we're also going to talk about something else. that's the strength and resiliency of the people of the gulf coast who persevered, who rebuilt and ultimately, mr. speaker, we're going to talk about the recovery of the people of the gulf coast from this devastating storm. i'd first like to yield to my friend from the great state of alabama, mr. robert aderholt, as much time as he may consume. mr. aderholt: thank you. mr. speaker, i want to just mention to you that it's hard to believe that it has been 10 years ago, in the early morning hours of august 29, just a month from today, that
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hurricane katrina slammed into the gulf coast. as a category three hurricane. with sustained winds up to 140 miles per hour and a storm surge over nine meters high in some places, the impact of the lf region was very devastating. while the economics can cost of the storm -- economic cost of the storm is very difficult to measure, some estimates have $100 damage over billion. hundreds of thousands of refugees scattered across the country, most importantly no price tag can be assigned to the loss of the nearly 2,000 lives that were lost. in the aftermath of the tragic storm, there were many hearings, there were many inquiries, studies, investigations, reforms and policy changes that were conducted and most of those were for good reason. the initial emergency response to katrina was far less than what should be expected of our federal, state and local governments. however, this evening i do want o thank my colleague for his
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allowing this, putting together this time. as he said, we're not here to talk about the failures so much as we are to talk about the spirit of the people that were affected. it's easy to sit back and to point fingers and to place blame. but this evening we want to talk about and bring attention to the spirit of the people that were affected, both directly and indirectly by hurricane katrina. in the days after the became clear n it that thousands of people would not be able to return to their homes, thousands of people from louis were given housing -- louisiana were given housing, and in fact housing that was purchased by fema and stationed in, actually in my home state of alabama, in the state parks. the outpouring that came the following days of support from the local community was i think
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best described as just overwhelming. as soon as the people found out that the refugees were headed into our area, supplies were starting to be gathered together and drives were started immediately. a member of my own staff organized one of those numerous drives on his own initiative. thousands of pounds of food, of clothing, personal hygiene products were collected. they were distributed to the people. and these people that were helped had little more than . st the clothes on their back i'm also proud that after this show of support, that many of the refugees decided to make the fourth district, the district i represent, their home. in one particular case, a refugee from louisiana need -- ended up working for a state park where she had been housed. finally, the resilience of alabamans who lived along the
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gulf coast was also inspiring as well. though the gulf coast of alabama was not the hardest hit of the region, the gulf coast of alabama was severely impacted by hurricane katrina. while there are some healing that still needs to be done, the gulf coast is not only back in business, but has returned to life as usual and it is thriving. new shipyards are being constructed, new businesses are opening up and tourism has returned to the region. this, i believe, is a testament to the spirit of the people of the state of alabama, as well as our neighboring states, as mississippi and louisiana. and as we move forward as a country and as a region, i hope that we'll not only look to the lessons we've learned from the failures of this response, but also to the lessons we learned about kindness, the lessons of charity, being a good neighbor and actually the spirit of this
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great nation. i thank my colleague from louisiana to draw attention gain shes not to place the blame on the organizations that we could point blame, but to the spirit and greatness of all those involved in the kindness, charity and spirit that arose. and i yield back. mr. scalise: i thank you. i appreciate my colleague from alabama, mr. aderholt's comments. so much of the national attention on hurricane katrina focused on the city of new orleans and we all remember the ficts, the visuals of people that were displaced of floodwaters that sat for two, three weeks, but then, of
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course, we also remember the many things that happened along the way for people who rebuilt, who came back, who per see veered. my colleague and friend who represents the city of new orleans along with me, obviously was deeply involved in the recovery efforts. i want to yield to my colleague from new orleans, mr. rich morned. mr. richmond: thank you mr. speaker. and thank you to my colleague, congressman scalise who represents the neighboring district from me and part of the metropolitan area of new orleans along with myself. let me start off by saying something about new orleans and the people of new orleans. the people of new orleans are a very, very resilient people and it started from the beginning of the history of new orleans up
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until today. we started off, and you can go back to 1788 when there was a fire in new orleans that burned 856 of the 1,100 buildings that made up new orleans. that was 80% of the city burned. six years later, 212 buildings burned, but the good thing about the people of new orleans, we to s pick up ourselves up rebuild and make a better life. o to 185 when we had a yellow fever and epidemic. almost 8,000 people died. and if you look at the time 45,000 185 and 1905, people lost their lives. the city picked itself up and
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dusted itself off. 1965, and rward to that was the year that hurricane betsy devastated the city of new orleans and that was the first storm to wrack up the cost of $1 billion in damage and i will talk about hurricanes katrina and rita that hit new orleans and devastated the entire gulf coast, but significantly damaged new orleans. and let me say for the record, even after we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off and to rebuild after hurricane katrina then comes the bp oil spill. better ed to create a new orleans and better louisiana. going back to hurricane katrina,
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which my good friend, steve scalise talked about, that the total loss of life in hurricane atrina is over 1,800 people. 1,577 of those people were from louisiana. and let me break down some of the causes of death. 40% of the deaths were caused by drowning. 25% by injury and trauma. and heart conditions caused another 11%. and if you remember the devastation and destruction on the tv's that covered it, you understand the anxiety of the people that were down there, suffered. let me go into the other statistics, to just say, many people always say that hurricane
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katrina was one of the largest natural disasters in the history of the united states. i appreciate the sentiment, but factually that is not correct. hurricane katrina was a result combined e disaster with a natural disaster. the army corps of engineers noticed that the levees in -- that protected new orleans in the metro area were not sufficient. and when the storm hit, the evees washed away. there was a mississippi gulf outlet, it was designed by the corps of engineers to allow ship traffic to the new orleans, it was designed to be 100 widse wide. by the time katrina hit, almost 30, 0 years after it was built,
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it wasn't 100 widse. it was a mile wide in its sections and that water coming out of the gulf of mexico caused a lot of the deficient administration. i wanted to clear up the fact that this was not a natural disaster. to do with e part mankind having their hand in it and inadequate building by the corps of engineers. before i yield back to congressman scalise, let me also say when katrina hit, although the government response was lacking, the american people stood up, recognized the situation and opened their hearts to the people of louisiana, the people of mississippi and some of the people of texas. 300n ruge alone handled
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,000. houston, texas handled right around 250,000 people in terms of bringing them into shelters and other places so they could be safe and have some housing. now you still have 111,000 people in houston that are from the louisiana area. i watched the extraordinary work of the representative jackson lee and al green to provide for the new orleans area. in nta, 100,000 aevacuees shelters with hank johns and and john lewis. atlanta still is home to 70,000.
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san antonio, texas, held 35,000 people at the time and hold 18,000. and birmingham housed 20,000 ople and housed 1,500 to 13,000. back i attempt to yield or prior to yielding back, i want to cover the population decrease. i will cover more in-depth with y good good friend and benny thompson. but i would just say. the population of new orleans was 884,000 before katrina and right now after katrina it was 230,000 people. and that's a decrease of almost
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half of the city's population. so when you look at the damage 3 d the fookt that we lost 1 ,000 housing units, you and thend the magnitude difference the station. we will start building a better new orleans and better future. we still have many needs and many things that we need to right that didn't go right during the storm. i wanted to talk about how the people of new orleans were during this storm. and with that, mr. speaker, i will yield back to congressman scalise. mr. scalise: you talked about
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the devastation in the 18 3 lives we lost throughout the gulf coast still live with us and we remember the people that lost their lives in this devastating storms. some of the things that you saw from the people of sweast louisiana. i saw firsthand, the strength the resiliency of the people, back in the time where there were people questioning whether or not new orleans would be rebuilt or should be rebuilt. you saw that conversation start around the country. but mr. speaker, that didn't last long before you saw the nation come together and make a commitment and saw the people of new orleans make a commitment and the city would be rebuilt. this is where the sorry of
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recovery comes out so bright and strong, mr. speaker, and that is how the people of the gulf coast, how the people of new orleans responded. they weren't going to rebuild what was broken. you saw people demanding that we build better, stronger, more efficient. people started demanding that government work different, that government work bet are. those levees that failed caused so much of that devastation. people said we need to reform the way that levees are bit. that w a citizen uprising led to changes. we changesed the constitution of louisiana to refire that people who serve on levee boards vr experience in engineering,
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hydrology. you saw citizen groups. and 50,000 people signed a petition not long after that demanded that laws be changed, mr. speaker, to make those kind of reforms in levee boards. and when you look at that and the work of fema. when you look at those levee, they are better. the flood protection that didn't happen by accident. you look at the political reform. and as we all know, every state has got its problems. but louisiana had a bad history of political corruption, going back over 100 years and the people of louisiana demanded a better political system, you
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actually saw citizens picking up the telephone calling the f.b.i. if they saw an ounce of pliltcrups. that was a zero tolerance. people went to jail. but it was because the public said we demand better and that helped lead to the recovery that we see today. look at the school system today. before katrina struck, norms had one of the most failed and corrupt public school systems. we had a high school top student who couldn't pass the exam. people said we are going to rebuild and demand a better public school system. and you saw sweeping reforms move through the state legislature setting up charter
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schools that are touted as model reforms. that didn't happen by accident but the people demanded better from government. we saw government fail. it's well documented. but the story of new orleans today, 10 years after the storm is a story of a strong and resilient people who said we will absolutely rebuild, but we aren't going to rebuild the same way as it was before with all of the flaws and problems that existed. we are going to demand bet are. you can see the recovery. it's not over. some nadse are working to rebuild, but so many neighborhoods that are stronger today, more thrivinging today. young people coming in from part of this o be
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recovery. exciting time to be in the new orleans region today. but as we reflect on the devastation of crib katrina 10 years ago, we know how much it took it come and worksing with the pastors resource council, who came together to say while government had its failings, communities came together, churches came doing, faith-based groups like we know they have done to help to give people to ople and so we obviously reflect on and pray for the lives that were lost and the devastation that was horrific but celebrate the recovery that is still so evident in the people of louisiana. .
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mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. graves, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the majority leader. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, 10 years ago, the scene flashing across our television screens showed what appeared to be a third world country. literally bodies floating in the streets, people that were homeless, homes washed away, one of the worst natural dasters in america's history. mr. speaker, over 12,00 of our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, our neighbors, our friends, perished in the disaster. on august 29, 2005. we lost over 1,200 people, mr. speaker. and these vulnerables were not
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lnerables that were un-- vulnerabilities were not vulnerabilities that were unknown. times pick union there were a series called years before n -- hurricane katrina. it accurately predicted the outcomes of a direct hit of a storm like hurricane katrina on our communities. we saw what happened. homes, businesses, monuments, schools, our history. our dreams. our hopes. our future. were all flooded. as a result of hurricane katrina. 10 years ago. mr. speaker, this wasn't a third world country. it was one of america's great cities that was under water. many people look back at hurricane katrina and they view the impact as being parochial. things that impacted louisiana and mississippi and alabama.
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not something that impacted the nation. but mr. speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. when the mississippi river was shut down and all the ports associated with it across the gulf coast as a result of the devastating impact, the farmers in the midwest had no way of getting their crops out to market. there was no capacity within other transportation mediums to get these crops out. so therefore, the farmers in the midwest suffered as a result of hurricane katrina's impact on the gulf coast. mr. speaker, rail lines. louisiana is one of only two places in the united states where we were all six class 1 rail lines. in many case the rail lines and associated infrastructure was destroyed. therefore once again, severely impacting america's intermodal transportation system. the economy. one of the places that has this amazing -- has these amazing
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natural resources, the petrochemical industry, and many, many others, severely impacted. causing impacts not just again to the regional economy but to the national economy. mr. speaker, one great example of that is gasoline prices. following hurricane katrina, we watched gasoline prices spike 75 cents a gallon. let me be clear, not in louisiana. nationwide. 75 cents a gallon in the national average price increase as a result of those 2005 hurricanes on the gulf coast. 75 cents a gallon. as i recall, i believe that translate into $450 million in higher consumer payments per day as a result of the impact those storms had, the 2005 hurricanes, hurricane katrina and hurricane rita, haden the gulf coast -- had on the gulf coast and had on really the nation. importantly, mr. speaker, the deficit.
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much of the recovery that was funded by the federal government, in fact the majority of it, was funded as a result -- funded by deficit spending. funded by deficit spending. this wasn't spending that was offset. this wasn't reserve dollars that the federal government had sitting there waiting for this unbelievable disaster. this was deficit spending and our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren will be paying for decades for this. i want to be clear, mr. speaker. this was preventable. which i'm going to talk about in a minute. but also the impact to the environment. here you see the u.s. army corps of engineers and you see the e.p.a. out there talking about the importance of wetlands and the importance of watters of the united states and writing all these extraordinary rules. to grant themselves more aggressive jurisdiction. larger jurisdiction over our private lands. yet, as a result of those storms
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alone in 2005, we lost over 200 square miles of coastal wetlands in the state of louisiana alone. mr. speaker, i'll say again a lot of people looked at this, watched it on tv, and saw it as being a parochial problem, a problem of the gulf coast a problem of louisiana, mississippi, and alabama. mr. speaker, you could cut and paes that situation, you could paste virtually any other coastal city, any other coastal state in this nation and they potentially could face the same repercussion the same outcomes as we experienced in 2005 because this nation continues to have a reactive policy to disaster. and it's something we've got to change. we could have take then 100-plus billion dollars that congress appropriated following the 2005 hurricane to help recover, to help get these communities back on their feet across the gulf coast. we could have taken a fraction of those dollars and we could
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have invested them proactively and prevented it from happening. mr. speaker, any city on our coast could have experienced the same disaster we saw, and i are -- and i remind you, just in 2012rks we saw hurricane sandy cause profound consequences in new york, new jersey and other communities on the east coast. i'll say it once again. disasters that were preventable. so this is something that we all need to be paying attention to. while in new orleans, while in south louisiana, mississippi, and in alabama. there were amazing stories of communities coming together, of people coming together, of resilient families coming together to ensure that while this did knock them down, they were getting back up again, they were going to recover. strong resolve from these communities all across the gulf coast. mr. speaker, one other thing that was truly amazing is watching the incredible outpouring of support, not just from the gulf coast but from all
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over this nation and countries around the world, committing to come help us recover. across the gulf coast. it was an amazing opportunity for people to come together. to put down differences. and to all come together in support of the recovery of these communities. the recovery of these families. the recovery of these businessfuls. the recovery of the hopes and dreams of these communities across the gulf coast. mr. speaker, we're going to continue to see this play over and over again. we're going to continue to see these types of disasters, over and over again until we turn the policies around in the united states. until we see fundamental changes. but mr. speaker, i want to pivot back to the recovery. i want to pivot back to new orleans. i want to pivot back to st. bernard parish, st. tammany. i want to pivot back to lower jefferson parish. these communities in many cases
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were destroyed. everything was under water. everything. i'll say it again. the homes, the businesses, the schools. the hope the dream the future. under water. 10 years ago. 10 years ago. unbelievable. i think that most people would have told you these communities aren't coming back. they can't come back. they've been so profoundly impacted they simply can't recover from this. but that's not what happened. as you just heard mr. scalise discuss, people came together. we now have an amazing progress, amazing recovery of our schools in south louisiana. amazing recovery in our economy. as a matter of fact, mr. speaker, we now have tens of billions of dollars in economic development projects on the horizon while in other areas, you're seeing people losing jobs, seeing businesses close. you're seeing small businesses shut down and a trend of more small businesses closing than
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opening across the nation. t in louisiana, mr. speaker, tens of billions of dollars in new economic development projects on the horizon. as a matter of fact, we have the largest foreign investment in u.s. history committed to projects in south louisiana. we're seeing a manufacturing renaissance. and it's happening because our people are so resilient. because we've come back. because we've come together. and because we've plotted a path to the future. using the natural resources that louisiana is so blessed work the amazing maritime transportation system we have. and the amazing natural resources in regard to the inexpensive, readily available natural gas, oil, petrochemical industry, the rail line the internodal transportation facility. we have been able to accomplish a manufacturing renaissance, not in mexico, not in asia, but right here in the united states, in south louisiana.
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mr. speaker, in closing, i want to say, i pray that there is not another community, that there's not another city, that there's not another state in this nation that has to experience, that has to go through the tragedy, the travesty we experienced in south louisiana. the loss of over 1,200 of our friends, our relatives, and our neighbors. to see the type of recovery, to see people come together, and to see us finally help to build a resilient protection system. resilient ecosystem. to ensure that the next storm isn't going to cause the same devastation to new orleans as we saw 10 years ago. i pray, mr. speaker, that that doesn't have to happen again. but it's only -- the only way we prevent it happening again is if people learn from the lessons of hurricane katrina. from hurricane rita. if they actually apply the lessons learned that we so
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painfully went through in south louisiana and mississippi and alabama. we apply those lessons around the united states, to make our communities more resilient, to make our economy more resilient. to make our businesses more resilient. to make our families more resilient. and mr. speaker, most importantly, to ensure we can all accomplish the american dream. mr. speaker, i reserve -- i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. richmond, or 30 minutes. mr. richmond: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to just thank my colleagues from louisiana for also talking about the devastation that we received in hurricanes katrina and rita, which we call the sister hurricanes because they were only separated by a couple of
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days and what damage that hurricane katrina caused just a few days later, hurricane rita came right behind it and exacerbated that damage. et me just hit on a few of the misperceptions of katrina. well, actually, since i've had a little time and i want to make sure that everyone involved has a chance to have time to speak on this, let me just, i will yield time to my good friend from mississippi, bennie thompson who at the time was chair of the homeland security committee, with made sure that some of the deficiencies in fema and some of the other places that caused us undue headaches during the rebuilding, that those headaches were relieved a little bit or eased a little bit because of the hard work of
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bennie thompson whose state also incurred some damage. so with that, mr. speaker, i will yield to the gentleman from bolton, mississippi, mr. bennie thompson. mr. thompson: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman from new orleans yielding time. rise for two reasons. one, to talk about what it is to e in the eye of a hurricane, and be without basic necessities for over 10 days because of the hurricane, and what it is that our government should do when those situations occur, both at the federal, state, and local level. so my comments, we'll talk a little bit about what
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happened in august of 2005. and how, in fact, so many people were impacted, and what we have done as a government, what we didn't do, and we should do going forward. for the most part, as the gentleman from louisiana has id, both hurricanes rita and katrina, ravaged, texas, louisiana, mississippi, alabama and little bit of florida. ut i'll limit my comments to katrina. hurricane katrina there were over 1,800 people from texas to florida who died. 238 individuals died in my district. and what we had after that, we had over 2. million housing
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units damaged. d in my home state, almost 80e,000 were completely destroyed. now in southern mississippi, that meant that over 60% of the single-family dwellings were ther destroyed or rendered uninhabitable and the statistics were worst for rental units. along the beautiful gulf coast, where we have the largest manmade beach in the united states, there were over 1 million people displaced. one month after the storm, 600,000 families that were still homeless and 114,000 were housed in fema trailers. mr. speaker, i don't have to tell you what happened to fema trailers. it was a mess.
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the government's response to the temporary housing situation could only be characterized as a mess. we fixed it. but during the time, we put people in trailers that had basically been pieced together and shipped to the good people of the gulf coast. many of them had chinese drywall in those trailers that impacted the health of everybody we put in the trailer for temporary housing. obviously, we passed legislation to address some of it in terms of the health costs and other things and ultimately a lawsuit provided some relief to the families. what we've done in correcting
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that housing situation, we directed fema to not be the response and recovery agency, but we want to understand that when people are trouble, not only do you come, but you come with the right resources to make sure you don't create and make life worse for them. so we now, after our katrina experience, we have a more anymoreble operation. we have far better individuals who are trained, so when it comes, we can respond. now the problem that i have goes back, mr. speaker, to the comments that the speaker on the other side made -- you know, when you are in a disaster, whether it's a hurricane or
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flood or tornado, the last thing you want is for somebody to say, who is going to pay for it. these are citizens of the united states of america. the only thing we should say in your darkest hour in your time of need, your government will not let you down. i would hope that people understand that we are a can great nation because we take care of all of our people, especially when the chips are down and have no lower place to turn to. i would hope we would not talk about issues of deficit spending when people are being plucked off the roofs of their homes and being dislocated hundreds of miles from their residences because they can't get back into
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their nadse. what i also want to talk about is the fact since katrina, we have made sure that first responders can communicate with each other. there are a number of stories talking about individuals who wanted to help who couldn't talk to each other. hopefully, we started fixing hat inopera built so those individuals, whether they are volunteer fire persons, law enforcement, whether at the state, local level, they can communicate with each other. when we are involved this any that is disaster federally declared, the constituents that need our help on't want us to get bogged
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down. and part of the help is making sure these individuals can communicate with each other. we had nonprofit organizations, the red cross, was serially criticized because in their response to katrina because of a substantial number of the citizens impacted for low-income minority communities, we started gettings responses from we don't know what to do in those areas, but if you are part of a national preparedness system, you go and help. you don't try to qualify that help, because part of that agreement we have with the organization is you will do better and respond when other organizations don't have the
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capacity and we will work on the natural disasters in this country. sometimes they do a good job. sometimes they don't. we have to make sure that every time they respond, they respond in a manner that's helping yone, regarding of socioeconomic status. i look forward to working on that. the other thing we have to work on is make sure that the monies hat are sent to the devastated areas don't get did he verted to other areas. in my home state of mississippi, our governor at the time diverted over $600 million that was directed to low and middle-income housing problems to a port expansion, which had
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nothing to do with housing but the flexibility. but we had a number of permit who lost everything they had and didn't have any means to come back and the monies we sent back from washington to attempt to make those individuals whole and the re-introducing them to the community they were displaced, hat money has been sent to the mons t but don't take from congress to go from middle and low-income housing. the requirements nor that money still has not meant the satisfaction of not only the hud
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officials but members in the community of the so we should not take monies in time of emergency and find pet projects. if those projects are worthy to be fund the and not emergency sources. i'm concerned we do that. i want to pay a special tribute to the mississippi center of justice who has done a wonderful job in mur suing the extended these funds are consistent are what the inat the present time of what those funds are and the national association for the advance mpt of colored people. they have provided witnesses and testimony and hearings in hearings as well as documentation about the
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questionable expenditures around hurricane katrina. as one of those individuals who experienced firsthand katrina, up government has to stop and me our people in need. we have attempted to fix everything that we've identified that didn't work. e saw the interopera built problem. we provided whack vacation routes so they know ohio to lead whether they are handicapped in some form. we have created opportunities so pit won't be left alone. all of those things are very important because it goes to who
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we are as a people. how we treat the least of these in their most desperate hour, goes to the character of who we are as a nation. so as we mark this 10-year anniversary of katrina, mr. speaker, i want us to understand it's still a work in progress that it doesn't matter whether u live in the house on the hill or you live in the house i a deade corner, that end. citizen.n american sit you ask be can be rest assured that your government will be
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johnny on the spot. s i step back from any microphone, i want to compliment the the gentleman from louisiana for having this time, because we shid really understand how difficult how katrina has been for those individuals. but let me also take a point of personal privilege to talk about the good jobs that the men of the united states coast guard did in response to katrina also. they did a tremendous job in working and managing a locality of the recovery and response to katrina also. with that, i thank the gentleman me louisiana for yielding
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the time. and i yield back to the gentleman. mr. richmond: mouch time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: gentleman has 17 minutes remaining. mr. richmond: before i get into some of the misconceptions and perpses that still remain from katrina let me finish where the gentleman from mississippi left off. one of the shining stars from the cane katrina after rescue and recovery was the unions coast guard. they rescued people with helicopters and boats.
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hey didn't care if they were hungry or tired, they did the job just like most of our servicemen. hey were the shining star. one the perceptions that was inarc rat was it was a natural disaster and not just many who calls it a manmade disaster, the judge ruled that the federal government was liable for the damages because of -- because the original purposes was navigation. it was overturned by the u.s. court of appeals by the fifth circuit. judge, 015, a federal said it is liable for damages of
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flooding for katrina and that the damage caused in both st. bernard parish which is not in my district and loehrl ninth ward was that the army corps of engineers was responsible and liable for the damage caused to their homes because the coast guard was responsible for the increased storm surge and flooding during hurricane katrina and it could have an ffect. so judge braden had the government enter into settlement gokeses -- negotiations with residents of the lower ninth ward and st. bernard parish. i would continue to urge the federal government to step up and do that because it's the right thing to do.
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some of the other things, and i just want to spend a quick moment correcting, was that after the storm, there was violence in the streets, people were shooting at the rescue boats. that was just absolutely untrue. as i tout the success of the coast guard, i have to now question and criticize the effort of both the red cross and our national guard. in the days after katrina, there were red cross buses on the side of the highway that lined from new orleans all the way to baton rouge because the buses were scared to go into new orleans because it was dangerous. the red cross and the national guard had 18 wheelers and military trucks full of water that were designed to go into new orleans but they were on the side of the interstate, opposite the buses, because they thought
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it was too dangerous to go into new orleans. well, mr. speaker, i just want to tell you. while the national guard, the red cross, and others were scared to go into new orleans, i, myself, with another councilmember, we were driving a mini van into new orleans filled with water with no security, no protection and the only thing we encountered were grateful people who were looking for some help, some water, some food, and some direction as to how and when this recovery would start. and what i don't want is people to look at new orleans and remember back to those days and just believe the misinformation about all of those other things. and while i'm correcting that, let me also touch on why people didn't leave. and many people have said people just chose not to leave for
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various reasons, they didn't know better. all of that is absolutely untrue also. the biggest reason people didn't leave was that the warnings were weak. and they were not enough notice. i remember watching the news and watching the mayor of new orleans say, well, i'm sending my family to dallas and if i were you, i'd evacuate. well, in moments like this, you need stern warnings and you have to be blunt. i was on the conference calls where fema and red cross said they were sending 10,000 body bags. we knew this was the real one and it was time to show leadership and tell people to leave the city, in no uncertain terms. i remember having a conference call with governor blanco which she talked about all these things along with the red cross and fema and by the time that it was my turn to talk i said,
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governor, i understand that this is the real deal. however, there's 1,500 people across the street from my house playing little league and they don't get the benefit of hearing what you just said on this conference call. and it was later that day and next morning that people pushed but it was only a day out from the storm. and we never talked about ex-tenses of evacuating, packing your family up, driving to another city, paying for a hotel, feeding your family, coming back. when that happens over and over again, and they were false alarm, you don't give them a stern warning when you know it's a real one, you know some people won't leave. and the last part of it, we came up with a bad idea of using shelters that were in harm's way. we had thousands of people in the louisiana superdome that's located in new orleans. well the superdome is right in harm's way. one of the other perceptions and you heard it tonight, the new
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new orleans has a great school system that turned around education and the truth of the matter is, it's a work in progress at best. the state came in and took over most of our schools, all but maybe five or six of them. out ofs those 5 schools they took over, seven are b schools. no a schools. 20 are c's, and 24 are d and f schools. we still have some work to do in the area of education. we've made some improvements, but we have kids now that are being bused and staying on the bus almost two hours to get to school in the morning, two hours in the evening and that's not a system that we want. ur good schools don't have attendance zones. it's become a maze to apply and get into our better schools. those are things that can be fixed if everyone is willing to
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come to the table and figure out the best way to do it and not look at everyone who has suggestions or criticisms of the school system as being the enemy. public education even if you look at the brun brown vs. board of education decision years ago, 50, 75 years ago, that decision came about because the justices talked about how an education is important to being a good citizen, thriving, and being a success. and because of that we should spend more time in working to make sure that the new orleans public school system is a system that educates all of the kids, whether you're black or white, poor or rich, whether you live in a great neighborhood or whether you live in a bad neighborhood. every kid should have the opportunity to succeed. another thing that people see a lot now, whether we're hosting the super bowl, final four, sugar bowl. people assume the city is back because the areas they cover on
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tv, those are the areas that are back. if you look at canal street and bourbon street and those areas, and the superdome and the new orleans arena, they're back. however, there's still areas that are not back. you still have areas where homeowners are still struggling to rebuild. you can look at the lower ninth ward. you can look at the upper ninth ward. you can look at gentilly and new orleans east. fighting are still to recoverer. and part of the reason, you can look at some of the complaints from homeowners when the road home process was set up. they complained they were fingerprinted and treated like criminals in the application process in the onset of asking for government assistance. we're talking about homeowners, the most responsible people in the community, being fingerprinted and treated like criminals during the application process. also, the federal government also prohibited grants exceeding the value of a property.
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so road home tied its calculations to a home's prestorm value as opposed to the actual cost of rebuilding. so when you look at the 36,000 grant recipient collection letters for alleged overpayments, duplication of insurance proceeds or failure to comply with the covenants, you see 36,000 people that are being unjustly punished by the federal government. and i would just say that we said it very early on in the process that using appraised value was going to harm minority communities. because an appraisal is subjective, depending on where you live. homes in the more affluent areas of new orleans appraised higher. i can just tell you, doing electrical work, doing construction world, to rebuild a 1,500 square foot house in lake view or in the lower ninth ward,
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sheetrock, plywood, screws and nails will all cost the same. instead of using apraised value, we should have used rebuilding costs. that's not just my opinion. i will tell you that the federal court rules that the method of calculating grants discriminated against african-american home onsers. that was back in 2010. the problem with the ruling was that in order for the state to stop using prestorm value to calculate road home grants but only for the future grants. by that time a majority of theant -- a majority of the grants had already been given out. i will just tell you that that $62 million in additional grants helped about 1,500 homeowners. but remember, we had over 100,000 properties that were damaged in the storm. so you see the vast -- you can see the abundance of people who
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did not get assistance. some of the other remaining issues with road home was that we still have people who need money to get back in their homes because they have an unmet need. and h.u.d. could have done something very simple to figure out where we are now. that is to figure out what people received from their insurance company, what people received from fema. what people received from road home. you add those up and then you figure out the cost to rebuild. and if the rebuilding cost exceeds those, that's the unmet need we need help with government. because there is money that is still available and i would say we need the federal government to actually take some time, investigate, and figure out how we can use the unused money to make people whole that were not made whole in the beginning. also, let me bring up just one other thing with -- so you can
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get a full idea of the picture of new orleans. if you just look at rent, in the nine years since katrina, the hare of people paying 50% of their income for rent is now 37%. so what you're saying is that secure housing cost burdens 50% of household income and that indicates a serious problem in housing affordability. in 2004, just to give you a reference in 2004, the share of severely cost burdened renters in new orleans was 24%. and now it's 37% in new orleans. and it's 26% nationally. that's a problem and we really need to work on it because if you can't live in the city, you can't work in the city, and this government is better than that. so the other thing i would just say is that people think we're
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back and we're rebuilt and that's not the case. but the other thing is that people think that we received everything we need to rebuild. i would say that congress and the government and the president did a great job in immediately sending down $14 billion to new orleans. and putting it in a fund. it's unheard of congress in take money and just put it in a fund and say corps of engineers, as you rebuild the levees, spend this money, protect new orleans, and they did it, they did a good job of doing it. but we still have outlying areas that need flood control and if you look at the cost of ka tria, and i'll give you a few figure, you'll see we still have a gap. $150 billion in damages. and most of the federal spending went for relief, not rebuilding. $120.5 billion in total spending. emergency relief was $75 billion and rebuilding funds was $45
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billion. so if you look at the federal funding, private insurance claims and charitable giving, it still leaves a gap of about $60 billion. and when you talk about a gap of $60 billion, i want you to understand what that means that means every community, every neighborhood, including mine, you will see five houses where people have come back, saved up money and rebuilt using both insurance, savings, retirmente, fema, government money, then you'll see a house or two that's not rebuilt at all. and then if you go down to the lower ninth ward, you'll see one house that's rebuilt and then you'll see six or seven house that are not rebuilt -- houses that are not rebuilt, where the grass is higher, just as high as trees, where if you're that one home oners that took time to come home and rebuild and you have to pass that every night, situation t a safe
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and we as a country can do better than that. what i would hope is that as we continue the process of helping new orleans and louisiana recover from katrina, that we look at the lessons learned and we find the people who still have unmet needs, we find the people that are still not back in their homes, who want to be in their homes, and we figure out a way to help them. that's what h.u.d. is for. we still have the money and in fact, citizens and community groups and i can think of a bunch of them, community voice, justice and beyond, all those groups have been asking congress and the inspector general to do an audit and investigation of where -- how much funds we received, where did they go, what's left, how do we move forward and make sure that everyone who wants to come home has the ability to come home? now, all of those things are things and lessons learned in this -- and misperceptions of katrina, i think we have to take those same things and look at
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sandy and other hurricanes but what i wanted to d before we went home far break and celebrate the 10th anniversary of katrina is to let people know we still have needs, still have things we have to do to complete the recovery and also thank congress for what they did do. with that >> this summer marks the 20 anniversary of digital television. "televisionaires" talks about the growth of digital tv. >> cbs convinced us thats" we should submit to the fcc for consideration for the next generation of u.s. terrestrial broadcast standards. we were not sure that we wanted to that because we were satellite and cable guys and did not have a lot to do with the terrestrial broadcast network
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business, but we ended up doing that. in june of 1990, our cover was blown, when we were doing. at first, everyone says it was impossible when we were claiming, but a year or so later, all of our competitors were following us and became a real race. at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2. >> i am so sorry.
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>> good morning, my name is john hughes the president of the national press club and an editor at bloomberg first word and that is bloomberg news' breaking news desk in washington. our guest is former senator rick santorum, the republican presidential candidate who will discuss immigration. first, i want to introduce a couple of colleagues. jerry's a risky is the washington bureau chief for the buffalo news a former national press club president and he is the current chairman of the club's speakers committee. to my left, jonathan is the
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washington correspondent for nj advanced media, that serves and "the star-ledger" and he's the speaker committee member who organized the event, and a former national press club president. i want to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences and those of you in the room. you can follow the action on twitter, use the # #npclive. our speaker today was the runner-up to mitt romney for the 2012 republican presidential nomination. he won the iowa caucasus and several other states. now in his second try for the presidency, senator santorum so far is lagging in the opinion polls, he was relegated to the happy hour or so-called kids
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table debate on fox news earlier this month. he was not happy about it, he said "the idea that a national poll has a relationship to the viability of a candidate, ask rudy giuliani that, asking phil gramm that. he was asked during the debate, has your moment passed? he said the message that worked for years ago will propel him again and pointed to his track record. that track record shows he was elected to the u.s. house twice from a democratic-leaning terms in the senate representing pennsylvania, which leans democratic in presidential years. in congress, he wrote the law outlawing the procedures some call partial-birth abortion and authored bills on sanctioning iran. he was a member of the house republican gang of seven that
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exposed the house banking scandal. he became the senate's third ranking republican, and he is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. today, senator santorum is here to talk about immigration. this has emerged as a major issue in the 2016 campaign. donald trump, the current front runner has called for deporting all 11 million unauthorized immigrants. trump also says he wants to revoke the 14th amendment guarantee of citizenship for anyone born in the united states. the washington post said that immigration proposals that "languished at the edge of republican politics" now are in the party's mainstream thanks to trump. senator santorum says his immigration proposal will take into account the millions of americans who cannot find jobs. he is here to tell us more.
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please join me in giving a welcome to the national press club senator rick santorum. [applause] mr. santorum: thank you jerry and jonathan, i appreciate this opportunity. thank you for being here. i am, as many of you know, the son of an italian immigrant, my father's journey to america rescued him from a childhood as a brown shirt in mussolini's core, and from being a cause --cog in the war machine. it was not as easy as boarding a ship and coming to america. my italian speaking grandfather - came to america to flee the new fascist regime in 1923 in spite of the emergency quota act of 1921 that limited italian immigrants to a few thousand italians a year.
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it turns out that my grandfather's hometown in italy was part of austria before world war i and my grandfather was considered an austrian by the american government. he was able to come, but was not able to bring his italian children with him. in 1930 he became a citizen after working most of that time in the coal mines of southwestern pennsylvania. he was then able to unite his family in america. when my father told me about his family story and journey to america, i asked him a natural question -- did you resent america from keeping you away from your father and leaving you in the fascist country for the first seven years of your life? he said no, america was worth the wait. he was right. america was worth the wait. because we have been a country that puts the law above the people making and executing the laws.
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the greatest protection each of us has is that no one is above the law in america. that includes presidents, justices, and yes, immigrants. the law that kept my father and grandfather apart was passed because our nation needed to balance labor markets and national security interests and a number of other reasons that were prevalent in the day for limiting new immigrants. but the immigration act of 1921 and 1924 targeted italians and jews in part because of concerns of assimilation and in part because of pure rank prejudice. oddly enough, the clause in place today were less significantly altered in 1990, a bill authored by ted kennedy, nothing like the laws of the 1920's which limited immigration not just in nationality, but in
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numbers to a mere 178,000 people per year for what turned out to be 40 years. the kennedy bill was designed to remove the need for illegal immigration by increasing the number of legal immigrants to one million per year. it has not worked, thanks to the incentives by president and bills like the gang of eight immigration proposal, last year the number of illegal immigrants rose to 700,000, bringing the total number of immigrants, both legal and illegal to a record 42 million. comprising 13.3% of the u.s. population, the high percentage -- highest percentage in 105 years. is this flood of immigrants in the national interest? that question is the question we should be asking. it is a question we should be asking about all of our laws. is the law in the national interest? immigration law should serve the interest of the american people.
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since immigration involves labor markets, one key requirement of any plan is it improves opportunities for better jobs and better wages by stimulating growth. let's look at the numbers. without a doubt, immigration has held down the cost of labor, increasing profits for businesses. but has it caused growth that has led to higher wages, particularly for workers who these immigrants compete against for jobs. real hourly wages have increased by about one dollar in the last 25 years in real terms. it has slightly declined during this administration. from 2000 to 2014, there were 5.7 million net new jobs created for workers aged 16 to 65. all of the new jobs went to
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immigrants, in spite of the fact that there were 17 million more nativeborn americans in the workforce. democrats like hillary clinton say that they are for the american worker yet demand amnesty, and huge increases in the number of immigrants for one overriding reason -- votes. which leads to political power. they have no interest in fixing our broken immigration system. the president had a filibuster-proof majority in his first two years and did not bother to introduce an immigration bill even though he had plenty of time to push obamacare. to the president and m. clinton, immigration is about dividing america by injecting ethnic and racial politics into this debate. not doing right by struggling workers. immigration is another example of how mrs. clinton has
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abandoned the millions of americans who want the opportunity to work and to provide for themselves and their families by using divisive identity politics to gain more power. what i will be proposing today is in direct contrast to mrs. clinton's vision. my proposal says to american workers of all races, genders, ethnicities, that you are welcome to an america that will provide you an opportunity to rise if you work hard and obey the law. my proposal is based on hope and opportunity, not fear and bigotry. the establishment i might add, the big business community is not much better. macy immigrant workers as a way of diluting the worker pool and lowering labor costs, to them workers are commodities and increasing labor supply means more bottom line profitability. ladies and gentlemen, workers
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are not commodities, they are real people and real families who have real mortgages to pay and mouths to feed and they deserve leaders who put them first. that is why i'm here today. i am running for president not for power or profit, i am running for president to fight for the real people who have real families, and who are struggling to make ends meet. over the past 20 years, nearly 35 million legal and illegal immigrants have come to our shores. this is the largest mass immigration america has seen in our history, surpassing the great wave at the turn of the 20 century. these immigrants are largely unskilled and low skilled labor and they are competing for the same job that 74% of americans who do not have a college degree are looking for. because of labor supply and
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demand you see that concept in action, corporate profits are up because labor costs are down and executives and shareholders are doing very well. but the american worker has seen stagnant wages for over a decade. contrary to what the elites along the coast think, the economy does not start on wall street and end en route 128 area the economy starts with a family and includes streets and avenues and drives across this country, including main street. the american family is the first economy just like business, each family needs revenues, pays expenses, and at the end of the month the books must balance. as families struggle in this competitive labor market we must make sure our policies do not
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throw up for the roadblocks and dead ends to their ability to succeed. we must rebuild the first economy, and one step is to ensure we have a responsible immigration policy that puts the american worker and american families first. up until a few days ago i was the only candidate in this race who put forth a legal and illegal immigration proposal that puts american workers first. i wanted to use this opportunity today to flesh out those proposals and cast a vision for a stronger and healthier and more prosperous america. the plan will fix our broken immigration system that has served as a catalyst for economic stagnation and soaring government spending and lawlessness that threatens our personal and national security. i am not new to this debate, a decade ago i authored a border security legislation that stood in contrast to the legislation president bush and senator kennedy were advocating.
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unlike some who are running for president today, i was never a member of a senate gang, because i understood amnesty was not a solution but -- i will mess this one up -- will perpetuate the problem. there you go. amnesty will perpetuate the problem, not solved --solve the problem. where there was a path to citizenship in the gang of eight bill or the right to a permanent work permit supported by ted cruz and others, in any event it is amnesty. the workers who serve as groundskeepers and waiters, are genders and maids, they are hard-working americans who are hurt most by record levels of legal and illegal immigration. they are the blue-collar americans who are in direct competition with cheap and sometimes illegal labor. amnesty will make competition more fierce, not less. encourage more illegal immigration, not less.
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and further depress wages. as important as the debate is over illegal immigration, we cannot speak about securing our borders and turn a blind eye to an entire system that hurts american workers. until this summer, the only candidate who had a message focused on having american workers first and commonsense limits on legal immigration was me. this summer i was joined by governor walker who was first to change his position with a few specifics calling for limiting legal immigration. now donald trump has joined a majority of americans at me with ideas had to put american workers first, i welcome them both and encourage all candidates and all americans to listen to this vision of how we can make america stronger. let's face it, the problems with illegal immigration can mostly be solved immediately. it does does not require changing the law, it requires
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enforcing the current laws. the president has the authority and access to funds to secure our borders. let me be clear, i will do what five presidents have promised the american public to do, i will secure the border with mexico. i will build hundreds of miles of new walls, you -- use state-of-the-art technology, deploy what manpower is necessary to secure the border with mexico. i will end the catch and release program of this administration and have personnel deployed to maximize apprehensions at the border. it is time to stop the bait and switch of political discussions that happen during a campaign and then forget about the promises when you become president. i will not demand the governor -- government of mexico build a wall, i want u.s. workers to do that. i will make it clear to the mexican government that they must stop facilitating the lawlessness on the border and cooperate with our efforts.
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i will do all i can to change mexico's behavior for the benefit of both countries, but if they fail to cooperate, i am prepared to do several steps, beginning with authorizing the border crossing cards to be suspended until mexico cooperates. visa overstays is one of the largest, if not the largest factor contributing to the illegal immigration population. the defect or this administration is to track entries but not exits. the fact, i will do what no previous administration has done, i will enforce the law. i will implement a tracking system for every immigrant who enters so we can track who they are, and whether they overstayed their visa. anyone apprehended will be subject to fines and subsequently removed. i will end the practice of sanctuary cities by withholding
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federal funds from any city that refuses to cooperate with federal law. i support kate's law and with it, the policy that results in 30,000 criminal illegal immigrants being released from prison last year. because their native country will not accept them. i will exercise my authority already a law to deny visas to any foreign country that will not take responsibility for their citizens until they take their people back. the federal government has to in policies --end policies that have encouraged millions to break the law. in that regard, i will put an end to the presidents unconstitutional executive amnesty which is largely responsible for this latest border surge. i will require businesses to use e-verify and immediately encourage all businesses to use e-verify and hold them responsible if they do not play by the rules.
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other developed country in the world, save one, and put an end to the automatic citizenship for children born here to illegal immigrants. this enforcement of existing laws will dramatically reduce the number of illegal immigrants competing against legal workers in this country. however, reducing the number of illegal immigrants will not be sufficient to help struggling american workers. i am proposing two changes to the legal immigration system that will reduce the supply of lower-skilled adults holding wages down in america. like jeb bush, i am proposing eliminating both the visa lottery and chain immigration. unlike jeb bush, i will not increase other categories of immigration to levels beyond the current level. these changes will result in a
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25% reduction in illegal immigration. this is a stark contrast to every republican presidential candidate except, until recently, donald trump. he says he also wants to return to historical averages. some like ted cruz have proposed doubling the number of legal immigration, and he is not alone in the republican field. i believe immigration can be a good thing, but there can be too much of a good thing. when our labor markets cannot manage the influx we are receiving, it is time to recalibrate. this is not anti-immigrant. this is pro-worker, especially for those who are most affected by the waves of new workers. and those folks are recent immigrants, minorities, and younger workers. even skilled workers have been hurt by our current system. this year disney laid off americans and replaced them with cheap foreign labor. and southern california edison had the nerve to have its
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american workers train the foreign replacements under the h-1b program. both disney and southern california edison used this program to replace existing american workers, tech workers who were not supposed to be replaced by this program, but are. from all reports, there is an oversupply of american workers who can fill entry-level tech jobs coming out of our schools. they should be given the opportunity to get to work in their chosen field and grow in experience and rise. i propose overhauling the h-1b visa program so the highest skilled workers who can stimulate the economy and create more jobs will be eligible to come here. again, this is in stark contrast with other republicans, particularly ted cruz, who seeks to increase h-1b's fivefold. that is the current program.
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in the same vein, there is a sector of our economy that needs workers that are not -- that does not a sufficient amount of americans to do the job, some 400 categories in the department of commerce of job classifications. of those 400 job classifications, only a handful are there a majority of folks not born in america doing those jobs. i think you can safely say, as some like to say about a lot more jobs, these are jobs americans are not doing and will not do. but there are only a handful and, not surprisingly, they are all in agriculture. as a result, i will provide for an opportunity for illegal workers who are in these job classifications to stay here in america under a program that will allow their employer to pay a fee so they can stay, even
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know they are illegal, under a guest temporary worker program. it will be an annual fee, and renewable as long as they want to stay in this country. as my father said, america is worth the wait, and it is worth doing it right. this means we need an immigration policy that rewards those who do it right. an immigration policy that fits our economic needs, and an immigration policy that puts american workers first. i was asked in the first presidential debate how i would explain the enforcement of our immigration laws to the child of an illegal immigrant. i said our compassion as a government is found in our laws because we treat everyone equally under the law. this must be true of our immigration laws. having an immigration system that turns its back on american citizens and legal immigrants so more immigrants can come to our shores when there are not enough
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good paying jobs to meet their needs is not compassionate. what is compassionate is an immigration system that says we want you in america, but says we have an opportunity and a job here for you so you can rise and and each and every one of you, both those here and coming can live the american dream, something all of us strive for. that will be my policy as president of the united states. thank you very much. mr. hughes: thank you, senator. you could stay right there at the podium. i will stand next to you. questions. how does your proposal for a border wall differ from donald trump's? mr. santorum: as i said, i am for americans building the wall, not mexico. i will not make mexico pay for
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the wall. i want them to cooperate in stopping the influx of immigrants and the instability of the border. let's be very clear, immigration into america is big business for mexico. the estimates are $22 billion a year flows from people into mexico to provide a lot of economic support for people in that country. there is certainly every indication that mexico is doing next to nothing. in fact, some argue they are working to facilitate people coming into this country and doing so illegally. that has to change. a fence or wall is part of it. other measures are a part of it. as long as they are not cooperating with us to secure the border, it will make our job harder. that is why i have suggested i would suspend the border crossing card, the renewal of those as an initial step. i would look at other things if
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we do not see any additional cooperation from the mexican government to make the border secure. mr. hughes: outside of those differences, what are your thoughts of trump's immigration plan and how you differ from it, and perhaps also the things you agree with that are part of it? mr. santorum: there are differences, mostly because of the lack of specifics on the part of mr. trump on some of his proposals on the legal side, for example. i have been clear about what i would do to change the legal immigration system and changing two programs that most people feel have not been beneficial to our country. the idea of chain immigration and the visa lottery program. there is widespread thought on republican sides that those programs are not good programs and are allowing people,
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particularly the chain immigration idea, of allowing people to come into this country by virtue of the fact that they have a relative in this country and we are allowing adults to come in who are parents or siblings of that person. the policy prior to that was that if you were an adult, you had to earn citizenship on your own or entry on your own merits, not because you had someone here who was related to you. that should be the case again going forward. i have no specifics. he has talked about a return to historic levels, but he has not talked about how he will accomplish that. as far as on the illegal side, there are similarities between what mr. trump and i have put forward. i am glad to see that.
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everything from the wall and visa overstays -- well, i guess, birthright citizenship, all these things are similar. mr. hughes: how will you handle the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country? mr. santorum: as i said, the enforcement of e-verify. if you stop immigration from the border, if you require people who are here on overstays to leave, you contact them and move with the process of removal, we know who they are, and they made a promise when they came here that they would leave in a certain time, and so we would go through the process of contacting them and moving forward with their removal. the same thing would happen with other people who are in this country. we would move forward with removals as we find people who
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in most cases -- we would find people through people who have broken the law and have been known to law enforcement and, therefore, communicate with our ice agents to begin the process of removal. it would be a rather easy systematic way of going through that process, of again, simply enforcing the law of the country. mr. hughes: this questioner notes you're a politician who has made family the centerpiece not only of your politics, but as well as your life. how would you handle children who are citizens by birthright, but whose parents are here illegally? one other question related to birthright, i believe it was governor perry yesterday, i believe he said yesterday, that it could take a decade to change the 14th amendment, it is not
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practical, we should focus on the border and the wall. what is your response to birthright changes being practical? mr. santorum: i give a lot of talks on immigration throughout the country, and i would agree that the birthright issue is an issue. it is a legal issue that should be solved, and we should have a determination as to what the 14th amendment actually says. there are good legal arguments on both sides as to whether someone born here, irrespective of circumstances of their parents, should be considered a citizen of the country. i do not think from my perspective, looking at all i want to accomplish with immigration, that is not my highest priority. there are other things much more pressing. that is simply another one i listed, i think i listed it last, and all the things that encourage people to come in
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illegally, that is one and we need to eliminate those incentives that encourage people to break the law and enter this country. but there are many other things we need to do ahead of that. so i would agree with rick perry in that it is not our highest priority, it wouldn't be my highest priority. i want to be consistent in what i think the law should be, i want you to lay that out as a marker as to what the law should be in this country. mr. hughes: in terms of the children born to illegal immigrants and keeping families together, how would you handle that? would the parents be deported and the children stay, or would you give exemption to keep the families together? mr. santorum: i keep coming back to this premise which seems to be lost, the people who brought the children here did so breaking the law and with a full
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understanding that they very well -- when they came to this country without children and then they had children here, they knew fully what they were doing. it is like someone who robs a bank because they want to feed their family. do i feel bad that they do not have enough money and they felt the need to rob a bank and provide for their family? of course i feel bad. we all feel that, we hope people are not in that situation where they have to break the law so they can make a better life for their family. but that does not obviate the fact that they broke the law and there are consequences to breaking the law, any more than you would say, well, we cannot send mothers and fathers to prison because it was separate them from their children. no moms and dads would be in jail if we used the same argument being made here that we cannot separate the children. we are not separating them arbitrarily. we are separating them because they did something and put themselves in a position to
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jeopardize that relationship with their children. that is not the responsibility of the government to say, we made some mistake. no, they made the mistake in doing what they did. they put their children in that situation. they should have to deal with the consequences, just like any other american who breaks the law and as a result gets separated from their children. unfortunately, it happens every single day in america. it is a tragic thing. i do not like it. i wish they were not separated. we are a nation of laws, and to turn this to suggest if you are for separating that this is different than any other type of situation where we have people separated from their families because of the illegal actions of the parents is inaccurate. it is simply a consistent -- if we separate people who break laws then we should be consistent with respect to illegal immigrants who have done the same.
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mr. hughes: donald trump takes credit for bringing immigration front and center, and you said in your remarks you were ahead of the immigration issue, but either way it is seemingly the front-and-center issue in the republican presidential campaign. is that a good thing, does it belong here, or is a crowding out too many other issues that need to get focused on? mr. santorum: i announced my campaign from a factory floor in western pennsylvania because i think the most important issue facing the economy and most americans today is the opportunity to live the american dream, particularly for the 74% of americans who do not have a college degree, the millions of americans who have seen their wages flatline. they see they are losing ground with inflation. there's a lot of folks who do not feel america is working for them. when i announced for president, i listed things i thought could turn that around. one is to grow the economy and create jobs, particularly in manufacturing.
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which create good paying jobs and the ability for people to provide for themselves and their families. we have gone from 20 million people in manufacturing in 1980 down to 11 million, and it is dropping like a rock because of the policies of this administration. so i have focused my entire campaign -- what can we do to help those struggling the most in america today? i talk about tax policy that will help, regulatory policy, trade policy, and i have to talk about labor markets. what is the state of labor markets today? the reality is we have a lot of american workers who are not seeing their wages go up because of an increase in the supply of 35 million people. some would say it was a good thing and make that argument. here is the point -- this is a legitimate debate. you say, was it a good thing or
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bad thing we are having a debate? it is a legitimate debate. it has not been because many on the other side who have suggested anyone who wants to raise this issue, you raise it because your anti-hispanic or anti-immigrant. i am the son of an immigrant. i am not anti-immigrant. i want to make sure america is strong for the immigrants who do come, that there are opportunities for people who want to rise and live that dream. that is the promise of this country, and to suggest that reducing levels of immigration or enforcing the law with respect to the over 10 million people here illegally is somehow anti-immigrant suggests that the alternative is that we should allow everybody in and there should be no limits on immigration, because unless you are for that, then you are anti-immigrant. i do not see too many -- there may be some out there who are for open borders and anybody to
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come in at anytime -- i do not see too many people in public life. if you are not for that, then you cannot call anybody who wants to have a discussion as to what the limits are anti-immigrant. that is an appropriate public policy discussion that should be drivey by on facts. up until this point, i do not think it has been. it has been driven by an attempt by one party to try to make this xenophobic football. i am hopeful that as more information comes out about the impact of immigration on the american workforce, the impact of illegal immigration on our security and safety and economy, we can start to have a rational discussion about what the policies of this country should be to help people who are looking for the american dream. mr. hughes: so beyond immigration, what are the reasons for the growing gap between the rich and poor and how would you address that? mr. santorum: i mentioned how important it is that we have a
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manufacturing policy that makes us number one in manufacturing. that is the key economically for us to have a strong middle of america. i wrote a book one year ago, i'm sure all of you read it, it is called "blue-collar conservative," and i lay out in great detail how we will accomplish that. i talk about manufacturing and cutting taxes and making us competitive. we have the highest corporate taxes in the world. i will be proposing an economic plan in the next -- in september which we have labeled the 2020 perfect vision for america, 20% tax, flat tax on corporate income, and a 20% flat tax on individual income. it will be pro growth and allows for getting rid of the special interest provisions in the tax code.
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on the corporate side as well as the individual side. it is a simple, strong, growth plan that will get this economy going, particular provisions that will provide extra incentives to manufacturing, including repatriation of profits, a provision to lower the taxes on profits made by companies that are u.s.-based but those profits were made overseas to bring those profits back to america and not get hit with up to a 40% tax. as i mentioned, we have trade programs that we need to make sure we enforce our trade laws and at the same time open up markets. i know some people have suggested that my policy of being against the trade promotion authority, which i was, means i'm not for future trade laws. i am, i voted for almost every trade bill in the u.s. senate when i was there, same thing in the house. i voted against nafta. other than that, i do support opening up opportunities, particularly in the pacific rim,
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but we have to do so in a way that makes sure we are not undermining american workers at the same time. frankly, i have no faith that the president will do that. he has given me no indication he cares at all about american workers with his policies in manufacturing and energy and other things that are lowering wages in america today as we have seen. wages have declined. and they continue to decline under this president. finally, the american family. i mentioned in my speech, i always mention in my speeches, because every book you read and sociology textbook, every study that has been done of america and the reason for the hollowing out of the middle of this country points to a culprit that is first and foremost among them. that is the breakdown of the nuclear family in america. from robert putnam's recent book to the other side, charles murray's book. both of whom and many others have suggested the reason we have trouble in our education
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system and having trouble not rising and getting good-paying jobs is because of increased incarceration rates, it is because of the breakdown of the nuclear family, which continues to be a problem. i do not seeing anything being done by either party to address it. in fact, no one talks about it. i find myself oftentimes in these meetings that i refer to in party meetings as the only one mentioning what is the huge elephant in the room. it is even an elephant in the room in the democratic party. those on the left who are now suggesting this is a problem we can no longer ignore, yet neither political party wants to talk about it because it is politically incorrect. i think we have reached the point where political correctness has gotten us in a position we will not even fight for the lives of our children and their future. then we need to have politically incorrect people run for
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president and put those children on the front and center of the public policy debate, and i am doing that. mr. hughes: i mentioned in the introduction that you are down in the polls and said what you say you think of polls. but what is your own personal benchmark in your head that will tell you, i am going to get out? if it is not the polls, what is the thing that would make you leave the race? mr. santorum: sort of like the supreme court when it comes to pornography -- you know it when you see it. it is sort of the same, four years ago, it was apparent to me when we got out it was the time to drop out. some suggested it was too late. others suggested it was too early. i am the goldilocks. just right. i will know if that eventuality ever comes.
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i do not anticipate dealing with that problem. right now i feel very comfortable going out there articulating a strong, positive vision for america, having answers, and unlike everybody else, and this is the case with immigration, people say you will never get this done, i would make the argument that if you look at my track record on issues that no one thought could be passed, we have a good record of passing them. welfare reform, no one thought that could be passed. nd bill clinton vetoed it twice. we got a dozen democrats to join us in the senate and passed a welfare reform bill that ended a federal entitlement, something that was predicted could never happen in washington, d.c. it would never be allowed unless you have a super majority of republicans, you would never be able to get bit of a federal entitlement for the poor, and we did. i led that charge. i wrote the original bill in the
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house and managed the bill in the senate. if you look at reforming the health care system, we have a lot of folks trying to run around telling you how they will reform the health care system. unfortunately, republicans are bereft of ideas, no ideas of how to move forward and improve the private economy when it comes to -- and the power of patience when it comes to the health care system until rick santorum came along and introduced the concept of health savings accounts over 20 years ago and fought for them and pass them in spite of opposition by democrats and by this president. the reality is we have a long track record -- abortion bills -- how many abortion bills passed the senate and house? i can think of three in the last 50 years and i authored and led the fight on all three and got democratic support for all three. i share with you that we have a
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record of being a principled conservative and going out there and pushing the envelope on public policy to restore the opportunities that i think america has for everybody and can have for everybody by restoring our conservative principles back here in washington, d.c. but nobody in this field has a record of doing any of those things. you have a lot of people who will come out there in a very sharp elbows and tell you how everything is wrong and tell you why everything is broken. but they have no record to show they have been able to do any of those things, and most of the records of the people who are running who are united states senators is abject failure. i would suggest that we need to look at folks who accomplish things before we decide whether they should be promoted or not. i think we have a good track record of accomplishment. mr. hughes: you mentioned
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abortion the other day. i believe you said not only should planned parenthood be defunded, but prosecuted, in reference to the recent videos that have come out. do you have concerns that cutbacks to planned parenthood would affect the birth control part of its offerings and inadvertently lead to an increase in abortions? mr. santorum: i do not think there are any numbers out there that suggest that access to contraception reduces the number of abortions. there are pretty good and compelling studies that show there is no correlation and has not been for some time. having said that, i am not concerned about the link between contraception and abortion. contraception is part of a federal program and planned parenthood doesn't that those moneys, there are many organizations that can fill the need that planned parenthood is providing to provide these types of services.
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i am not worried about the access to contraception that would be coming through other organizations other than planned parenthood. i am worried about an organization that was founded by a eugenicist whose purpose was to eliminate undesirable races and people. it is stunning to me, the eugenicist who has such a horrific record of man's inhumanity to man is someone that the current day politicians are happy to receive awards in her name, including a black politician, because she was a racist who wanted to eliminate the black race. this is who planned parenthood is, what they had been about, started by eugenicists whose objective was to dehumanize certain individuals so they
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could be culled from society. i read a book a few years ago talking about the genocides that were going on then. it was a short book, a simple answer, could have been answered into words, "you lie." you lie to the people, and that is what this is about, a lie of what a child in the womb really is, just a blob of tissue, prehuman, not something we need to be concerned about. it is like, the argument from margaret sanger about other races and others who were in her mindset human and we did not need to be concerned about. that is what planned parenthood is doing, treating these children in the womb as if they are not real human beings, except the problem with these videos is that they are harvesting human body parts. it is hard to make the argument these are not human beings when they are harvesting human organs. the most recent video may be the
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most abhorrent, a video with someone who described a procedure where the child was born alive, made a point of showing the little boy's heart beating. so the baby survived an abortion and was still alive but it didn't deter her from taking out the little boy's brain while it was alive. of course, that does not horrify anybody who are supporters of planned parenthood, it does not bother people. why, because this is the ugly business of what abortion is. these are children who are not wanted and are subhuman and we can treat little children alive and remove their brains. and we can talk about it, isn't this cool? i can tap their chests and you can see their heart beating and it doesn't seem to affect the moral compass of the leaders in washington, d.c. that this is beyond the pale, that this does not speak well
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for who we are as a human race in america. but no, it does not seem to bother anybody because we have succeeded in dehumanizing, that is what this is all about. yet, we are dehumanizing children who are being harvested for human body parts. i guess i would say that hopefully the people who are looking at these videos will come to agree that this organization that fosters this type of behavior should not only not be receiving federal funds but the people doing this who are breaking the law, i was the author of the born alive infant protection act, which i wrote for this particular situation. and was passed with near unanimous support in the house and senate. it is said that if a child is born alive as a result of abortion you could not kill it,
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much less harvest is brain. while it is living. but in planned parenthood, they are doing that. that should be prosecuted -- should not just be defunded, it should be prosecuted and this organization that creates an environment for these things to happen should be put out of business. not be held up as some paragon of virtue of the left. >> senator, you have compared the supreme court decision making gay marriage a constitutional right to the dred scott decision justifying slavery. what as president could you do to fight back against something that you oppose on moral grounds but that is now a constitutional right? mr. santorum: i would say that i did not compare the recent decision of the court with dred
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scott. justice roberts compared the two, i was simply quoting justice roberts' opinion where he compared the basis for dred scott is the same that undergirded this decision and they had no constitutional basis for this decision. having read justice kennedy's decision, it is not a legal work. not a work of legal scholarship. it is simply a rambling of someone who wanted to get a decision and came up with all sorts of interesting ideas, not based on the constitution. the court has the authority -- let's take the case of birthright citizenship. there is a legal dispute to what the language of the 14th amendment means. to me, it is something that
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people on both sides of this issue have very legitimate arguments, i could not say that if someone said to me, the constitution does not permit birthrights, i cannot say for certain they are wrong and i do not think for certain they can say we are wrong. that is a situation where the court must step in. and has a role of stepping in. in making these decisions. what they do not have a right to do is to create new constitutional rights. that is not within their purview, there is nothing historically that congress and the president have said that they give the court broad latitudes to do whatever they want when it comes to the constitution. when the court oversteps its bounds as it has in cases, then it is the responsibility of the president, the people, the congress, to say that the court has to be held accountable and the law has to be changed.
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that takes all of those things, it takes the president, the people, the congress. if there is not support to do that, the court wins. even though they may have done something unconstitutional, the court wins. the other branches of government are incapable of successfully challenging it. here is my point when it comes to who should be -- if there is one branch of government that should have more leeway in changing the constitution, i would make the argument it is the president and congress. the reason is the president and the congress can be thrown out if the public finds their decisions to be objectionable. the problem with the court is we could be stuck with a court for 30 years and they are insulated and isolated from the american public and as a result their actions can be much more insidious than the actions of a
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president or congress. when the president or congress how many they stand up to a court and says they are wrong, and pushes back, as i did in the case of the partial birth abortion status where the court found a similar statute unconstitutional, i was undeterred and we passed an almost identical statute and sent it back -- and passed it and said we would enforce it, and the court backed down because they knew they were off base. that has to happen more when the court goes astray. >> before i asked the last question, i have some housekeeping. the national press club's is the was leading professional organization for journalists, we fight for a free press worldwide. more information about the club go to our website,
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and we also have an institute, to learn more about and to donate go to i would like to remind you about upcoming programs coming september 2, nikki haley will address a luncheon on the new south. on september 5, the press club will hold its annual 5k to raise money for journalism scholarships, training, and press freedom. on september 14, nasa astronauts mark kelly and terry burton will discuss their work aboard the international space station. i would like to present senator santorum with a traditional national press club mug. that would be suitable on a shelf a couple blocks away at the white house. in pennsylvania, wherever. it is very portable, could even go to iowa where you are headed next. final question, you mentioned your family and how much you like to talk about your family, in fact you brought family with
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you. mr. santorum: i should introduce my son and daughter, daniel, number three. daniel is a junior at the military college of south carolina, the citadel, he is taking off a semester to work on the campaign, when he graduates he will be heading to the air force. my number four child, my daughter maria, is a senior in high school and looking to what great plans she has in the future, an exciting year for all of us. >> you wrote a book about your youngest daughter. did.antorum: my wife and i >> our final question is how is bella doing? mr. santorum: thank you so much
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for that question. one of the great things i took from the last campaign, is the heart of the american people is beating strong and is wonderful and compassionate. i cannot tell you the number of people in all walks of life of all different perspectives who in the last campaign asked that very question and did so in a heartfelt way. it renews your faith that as divided as we seem to be, as rancorous as this town is, there are still some commonality that if we can use it as a touchstone that we might be able to work together in a more civil way and that is my intent. if you look at the history of me in the congress, that is what i was able to accomplish. my wife and i wrote a book earlier this year called "bella's gift." raising a little girl who had a 1% chance which -- when she was born, she had a 1% survival chance to reach one year. she is now seven, she just lost her two front teeth, so we know
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what we are getting her for christmas. we are excited that she is doing well. karen and i wrote this book to chronicle our journey. i always say we split the book in half, she wrote 11 chapters, i wrote seven. it is a discussion about how difficult, challenging, stressful, raising a child is, particularly one who has severe health problems, and in bella's case she almost died twice. how it is a great challenge to the family, but an incredible blessing. we have found in a world of the disabled, so many people who have come up to us and shared their stories with us. while it is a challenge, and i know in many cases in this world you see, for example, down syndrome children, reports are 80% to 90% of down syndrome children are aborted. people see disabilities as something not to be embraced and wanted.
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and that society says is just too hard or you have to look out for yourself and this is just too difficult a task to manage. what we found is, yes, it is difficult, it is stressful, but it is a blessing we thank god for every single day. thank you for asking about her. thank you for your prayers. we will continue to shine bella's light very brightly. >> senator, thank you for coming. [applause] i would like to thank the national press cup staff and broadcast center for helping us to organize today's event. if you would like a copy of this program, go to that website, thank you very much for coming today.
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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] >> your book is very inspiring. what would you do for medical research and innovation? mr. santorum: and always a big focusing of nih and our resources on what the greatest public challenges are. >> what do you see as the dilemma? mr. santorum: number one, we would defeat isis. i understand that. isis is the one threatening this country. i understand. from my perspective, first things first. the first thing is that we have an organization, isis, that is a great challenge to the security of our country and stability of the region.
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if it is not eliminated, it can be a serious national security threat to our country. that is our priority. i am not as familiar with the different elements that are fighting assad. that is something we will look toward and if there is something -- we have a very mixed bag as to whether we have any type of resistance that you want to align with. >> what about no-fly zone? mr. sanctorum: again, it depends on what our alternatives are in the country. >> you have challenges to -- you have backed challengers to sitting senators in mississippi and utah in the last two election cycles. do you expect that will help you in the quest for delegates in the states?
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mr. santorum: oh, i don't know. we have been someone with set up and fought for something we thought was the right thing to get washington off the old slide of just lurching toward a bigger government and more socialist state. whether i was in the senate, i try to get behind folks who i thought -- like ted cruz, i endorsed him in the primary, before the primary. i had done so with a host of other candidates. and will continue to use our influence as president to make sure we get our country back on the right track and to limited government and more freedom. >> what do you expect mexico to do? on immigration, what should they be doing? mr. sanctorum: if you talk to folks who are at the border,
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they will tell you that the other side of the border is pretty much a lawless area that allows for a lot of activity, everything from drug running to sex slavery. the first thing to do is get that control of that section of your country. allowing people to come through your country on their way from central and south america, into the united states, that is another area that the mexican government has not been helpful. i'm sure there are many others. >> you mentioned specifically the influx of migrants from central america. how would your immigration platform deal with that problem that was called a humanitarian crisis? mr. santorum: yeah, again, we would treat mexicans the same at the border.
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end the catch and release program, apprehend people at the border and return them to mexico, even though i know they are not mexicans. that is where they came from. our policy should be to return them where they came from. --family detention centers would you support the move to family detention centers? again, this is a very difficult situation. a scenario where we can work with the mexican government. they have responsibility then if they try to enter this country. that would be a part of what the mexican government should do is a stopping them from coming into the country in the first place. when it does reach our border, it becomes a shared responsibility. not a responsibility of the united states. mexico is facilitating these types of the border crossings. they have to take responsibility.
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>> [indiscernible] mr. santorum: i'm going to have to run. thank you. thanks. well, thank you. >> [indiscernible] really upset with the situation -- can i have -- mr. santorum: sure. it is more than a two-minute answer. that's another speech. thank you. >> c-span is marking the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina this week with special programming. tonight, scenes from new orleans one week after the storm. damagetoured hurricane
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and spoke with those on the ground. here is what you will see tomorrow night. >> you know, it is not for us to say should be rebuilt or not rebuilt. it is reasonable to ask that we have a flood protection system that is going to work. but when you see this, just a few blocks up the road, there is holy cross, but all that vacant housing, you would think, well, first things first, maybe get people to higher ground, because that house cannot be rebuilt. it is not possible. dd you can still smell that eath smell. you will notice it later when someone tells you you smell bad. this is the kind of house they
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are still finding people. they cannot go in there until they demolish it. when they tear down a house like that, they bring the dogs. this is difficult house where they would find a body still. hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast region 10 years ago this week. entire toow c-span's her of new orleans one year after the hurricane. that will be followed by 2005 hearings by new orleans residents who left the city or were trapped by the floodwaters. that begins tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. then, scenes from st. bernard parish, louisiana, year after the storm caressed c-span continues the tour of hurricane damage. that is followed by 2005 town hall meeting in new orleans moderated by then-mayor ray nagin. tonight on "the communicators," this summer
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marks the 25th anniversary of digital television. the author of "televisionaries" talks about the development of the medium in the early 1990's. >> in june of 1990, almost exactly 25 years ago, cbs convinced us we should submit it to the fcc for consideration as the next-generation u.s. terrestrial broadcast standard. we weren't rich or we wanted to do -- we weren't quite sure we wanted to do that because we were satellite and cable guys who did not have a lot to do with the terrestrial broadcast network business. but we ended up doing that and in june 1990 our cover was blown what we were doing. i first everyone said it was impossible what we were claiming. so sure enough, a year or later, all of our competitors were essentially following us and it became a real race. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on "the communicators" on c-span2.
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republican presidential governor wisconsin scott walker addressed supporters last week in a metal fabrication facility in minnesota. he outlined his plan to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law signed by president obama. this is about 40 minutes. steve: welcome. we are a proud minnesota manufacturing facility. we are in our 70th year of business. we make a lot of the parts you see behind me. the industries we serve are the lawn care industries, agriculture. we are honored today to have scott walker and his campaign today to unveil his alternative to obamacare. it is a little overwhelming as well. i would like at this time to introduce our speaker of the house, kurt daudt. he was first elected to the house in 2010 and elected speaker of the house in 2014. he's a private pilot and he is single, girls.
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[laughter] [applause] mr. daudt: quite an introduction. thanks, steve, for hosting us here. it is absolutely a wonderful facility that you run. we are proud to have you as an employer. i'm very excited to have governor scott walker in minnesota. governor walker is a bold conservative reformer and he has brought unbelievable policies that have turned around the state of wisconsin. when he took over in the state of wisconsin, it was a mess. they had a $4 billion deficit and lost jobs and had an unemployment rate above 8%. governor walker lowered taxes to spur job growth, but reforms in place that eliminated wage fraud. -- eliminated waste, fraud, and
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abuse from state government. and really turned the state of wisconsin around. we are really proud of the work he has done. i'm very proud that he has come to minnesota to announce his obamacare reforms. there is really no better place than minnesota to announce these reforms. we have seen the worst of the worst of obamacare in minnesota. 140,000 minnesotans have lost their health coverage because of obamacare. people have lost the choice they had. in some cases, they have only one option for health coverage. frankly, all the while during the worst of the worst, democrats gave the obamacare executives in minnesota bonuses to reward them. we need new, bold reform like scott walker has brought to wisconsin here in minnesota and all over the country. if you followed the news yesterday, you know scott walker is ready for the task and is on -- unintimidated.
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scott walker is the bold reform leader we need not only in minnesota, but the entire country. please join me in welcoming the next president of the united states, governor scott walker. [applause] gov. walker: thanks. thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. chris has done a spectacular job here in minnesota. i was pleased to be with you earlier in the capital. i appreciate your leadership for our team. we are going to compete for the caucus and we are pleased to have your leadership, grassroots will make a huge difference and i want to thank all the employees here. thank you for hosting. i was kidding on the tour, i know where not to stick my finger and where not to turn off the light curtains. you are literally fueling the economy here in minnesota and across the country.
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thank you for having us here and thanks to everybody else, all the friends and supporters for being here. and hearing a bit about what we are here for today. we will talk about obamacare. i want to point out that america is a can-do kind of country. we just have a government in washington that can't seem to get the job done. washington is 68 square miles surrounded by reality. when i think about washington, i have to tell you, when i talk to people across this country, people are fed up with washington. i feel your pain. i am fed up, too. we were told by republican leaders during the campaigns last year that we just needed a republican senate to be elected to repeal obamacare. here we sit. both chambers of the united states congress have been controlled since january by republicans. there is not a bill on the president's desk to repeal obamacare.
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i want to be clear, americans want more than just campaign promises. they want results. actions speak louder than words. that is something i know. i understand it, i am not intimidated. even yesterday at the iowa state fair on the soapbox, i was not intimidated by the people there. long before we took on union bosses in my state and before we took on liberal special interest from washington, we took on some of the establishment in my own party. back in 2010, when i was thinking of running for governor, i did so because i was upset with the direction my state was heading. i thought it was heading the wrong direction. a week after the election, we had all the republican lawmakers together and i said to them the voters, that voters had told us they wanted us to be big and bold.
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there were some republican lawmakers who were uneasy with the idea of taking on the status quo. the session was open to the public. i said to all of those lawmakers including some that were uneasy, i said it is put up or shut up time. that was the headline. it was important because we wanted to send a clear message. i heard what voters said. if we didn't do what we said we were going to do, they had every right to throw us out. i was proud not long after taking office, the very day i took office, i took the oath and authorized our state to join the federal lawsuit against obamacare. on my very first day. then we set out on a path of bold reforms. we took on union bosses. we won that battle. then we fixed the $3.6 billion budget deficit. we cut taxes by $2 billion. we defunded planned parenthood.
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long before any of those videos out there. we put a photo id requirement to vote in the state of wisconsin. as we were talking about we now , ensure that every adult in our state who is able to work must be able to pass a drug test before they get a welfare check. we did all those things. we went big and bold and we got results. [applause] gov. walker: we took action. in addition to that first day, authorizing the state to join the lawsuit against obamacare. not long after that, i turned down a state exchange under obamacare. as you mentioned, mr. speaker, having looked at minnesota and maryland, i am glad looking at the other problems states are having that i made that decision several years ago. and like my friends rick perry and bobby jindal, i turned down a medicaid expansion under obamacare. that was tough in a blue state like wisconsin.
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there were some republicans that wanted us to grab the money but we turned it down because we knew how difficult it would be to repeal. and families in charge of their healthcare decisions. other states were expanding to it and adding underneath it. we showed we could get results. i am proud to say the state of wisconsin for the first time in our history, everyone living in poverty is covered under medicaid. we took everyone above poverty and transitioned it to the marketplace. we did so in a way that still protects taxpayers. even the nonpartisan kaiser family foundation looked at what we did and said wisconsin was the only state out of all of the states that did not take the medicaid expansion, the only state that did not have a coverage gap. in other words, we got results while still staying true to our common sense conservative principles.
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if innovative reforms like that can work in a blue state like wisconsin, there is no doubt they can work for america. there is no doubt going forward they can work foamerica. i am willing to stand up against anyone, including members of my own party, to get the job done. we are not intimidated. [applause] gov. walker: the reason i say this is because talk is cheap in the world of politics. in our case, we fought, we won, we got results, we did all of that in a state that hasn't gone republican for president since 1984. not the easiest of circumstances, but we were not intimidated, we did what was right for the people of our state. the people paying the tax bills going forward. now we have a plan for america that i want to share with you. it is simple. it starts with a premise that on my first day as president, i
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will send legislation to the congress to once and for all repeal obamacare entirely. [applause] gov. walker: along with that we will replace it in a way that puts patients and families, your families, back in charge of your health care decisions. we call it the day one patient freedom plan. as i mentioned, the first part is repealing obamacare entirely. some ask how you will do that. you have a congress out there, it is simple. we have to repeal obamacare entirely, lock, stock, and barrel. we have to repeal every part of it, including the parts nancy pelosi did not bother to read. i talked to reformers like paul ryan and tom price and others
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out there. they are ready to work with us to pass reforms as soon as possible. asap. we need to have an incentive out there to do that, the great way to motivate the congress to pass the reforms we are talking about is to make sure they have to live under the same obamacare rules the rest of america has been put under. [applause] gov. walker: on my first day, i will issue an executive order that will pull back on the special deal that president obama provided for congress. they pulled out of this like they often exempt themselves from other things when it comes to other laws. we will do an executive order that removes the deal that president obama put in place and make them live under the same conditions. i think once they are susceptible to the obamacare premium increases that many americans have been under, i
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have an idea that will light a fire under congress to get things moving. a lot of candidates talk about repealing obamacare and we have a plan to make sure congress acts on reforms right away because they will have to live under the same rules that everyone else does. [applause] gov. walker: the next part is once we get established that we will repeal obamacare, the next screen i will show you is about ensuring affordability and accessibility for everyone when it comes to health insurance. we want affordable and accessible health care insurance for everyone. we will have lower premiums. once you repeal obamacare and get rid of those regulations, that is part of the plan, once you encourage more competition when it comes to insurers and health care providers, you will see premiums go down for everyone. including for people who get it from places like this. we will see a reduction of
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premiums, which is good for everyone. second, for those out there who may not get it from their employer, we will have an option there as well. we provide a tax that it that is not tied into age so it applies across the board so as people -- we have a great tax credit up there that will help people no matter whether it is someone who is working part-time and going to school or maybe somebody else who decided they wanted to start a new business. they are looking for a way to buy health insurance. this gives them an affordable way to get affordable health care. you all know this -- we provide, in addition, $1000 in a refundable tax credit to put into hsas. to put into health saving accounts. we lift the limits. we are raising the limits in terms of contribution limits for both individuals and families. we will allow you to pass it on
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to your children and other family members. we want you to be able to control more of your own money. you will do more to manage your health care and your health. if you actually have control over those dollars. it is putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and money. you are also seeing besides the credits and incentives, we will allow people to buy health insurance anywhere, in any state. in the past, you have been restricted over state lines. wherever you think is the best spot, you can buy it outside of those who get it from there employers, we will allow you to buy it anywhere in any state. we will make sure, this is important, while we are repealing obamacare, we want to make sure one concern that i have heard, we will make sure people with pre-existing
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conditions, you will not get bumped off your coverage. you will not have to face huge increases just because of pre-existing conditions or because you get sick. that is something we do to make sure that you as americans are taken care of. that is the first phase. ensure affordable and accessible health care insurance options for everyone. the next thing is make health care more efficient and effective and accountable by empowering the states. two parts of that. real simple. one part of that is the ability to oversee health care insurance back to the state. [applause] gov. walker: that's one of those where the speaker and i know this but i know across the country, it is more effective and efficient and more accountable when you send power out of washington to the state level. that is what we do with this plan. in terms of overseeing health care in our states, have it done at the state level.
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on top of that, we want to reform medicaid. that means fixing it and sending it back to the states. i have seen for years we have tried different ways of doing that. one of the things i am proud of is even under obamacare, we were able to find a way to make sure every person living in poverty for the first time in my state's history was covered. we did it without taking the so-called free federal money. there is no such thing as free federal money. we're the ones that pay for it out there. we need to put those abilities at the state level. it is much more effective. if you want to make sure that truly needy people get the care they need, you need to send the power back to the state where it can be more innovative and more likely to get the job done. they are caring for the people right here in minnesota, wisconsin, iowa.
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part of this is just taking power from washington and sending it back to the states. the next thing is improving and increasing the quality and choice through innovation. we allow people, consumers, to go out and pool together and purchase health care. it could be a group of farmers or small business owners. we want another option from the choices we have right now. we allow people to pool resources and go out there and purchase health insurance together. it is about giving people more freedom. we also put in place incentives for wellness. there are a lot of great employers working with employees on wellness programs that increase health. that is beyond just talking about health care cost. it is improving health. you deal with chronic diseases and things of that nature, that helps lower health care cost as
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opposed to alternatives. under obamacare, it leads to rationing. we want people to lead happier and healthier lives. this allows employers to participate in wellness programs. we also put in place reforms for long-term care services. reform the process for long-term care. that is important for those of us in the middle class. there's a lot of concern about financial stability. when you think about long-term care needs for your family. we put in place changes so you have more stability and confidence, not just for yourself, but for those in your family. we allow for more options out there. so that you can provide long-term care in people's homes, not just having to go to certain places. more abilities to provide long-term care. that is something we have heard time and time again. finally, we want to make sure we provide an incentive for states to pursue lawsuit reform as it applies to medical procedure.
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i want health care professionals to go forward with procedures and tests and decisions that are based on medically necessary decisions, not based on trying to avoid the adverse effect of frivolous lawsuits. we are going to let the doctors and nurses and health care professionals make decisions based on the medical needs, not just in trying to avoid frivolous lawsuits by practicing defensive medicine. these are things that will help lower costs and increase choices and push innovation. a lot of people say this all comes together but how will you pay for it and how does it apply to obamacare? for us, it is important to have financial stability for ourselves and families, but also for taxpayers. our plan is for long-term care, giving people more options whether you get it through
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employers. those without employer-based health care to increase tax credits and allowing families to get it at a reasonable rate. whether it is looking at putting more money into account. all of those things about putting more money and your pocket and giving you more control over your money. this is good for families and patients and your financial stability. for all of us, it is good for taxpayers. we are not sustainable under obamacare. i am proud to say that by repealing obamacare entirely, we are getting rid of the spending and taxes. which means this ends up being a tax cut to about a trillion dollars. we get rid of the taxes and spending. the trillion dollars invested in obamacare. we give that back to the american people.
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we provide more relief on top of that with the hsa. we put more money back in the american people's hands. i think it is probably one of the biggest tax relief plans we have had with economic development and tax relief plans in the past 40 some years. that'll have a important impact on the nation's economy. it is important as we think about obamacare, you think about candidates talking about obamacare and what they will do to repeal it. we are one of the few candidates that has laid a plan out, not just for how to repeal it but what to do in its place, but we lay out when you talk about this, you want to make sure to understand the nation is undergoing a critical financial crisis when it comes to our debt and deficit problems. none of these plans will add to that. in this case, our plan is cost neutral. we pay for this and the credits of the other components.
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by reforming the process by which the tax treats some of the goldplated health care plans and by reforming and fixing medicaid by sending it back to the states where it is more efficient and more accountable to the american people and to people served by these programs at the state and local level. that is really important because we want to repeal obamacare and want patients and families back in charge of health care decisions. we want to do it in a way that doesn't break the bank. this is cost neutral. going forward, we found an effective way to do that that doesn't add to the deficit problems, provides massive tax relief and puts all of you and the rest of the people across america in charge of their health care decisions. this is the layout. we think it is a great plan. it is a great way to repeal obamacare and not just talk about it. for a lot of folks, it is a good punchline in your speeches. we actually now have a plan to give the american people that shows exactly how we will repeal obamacare.
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not just saying it, but by putting in place executive action that will force congress to live under the same rules everybody else has to live under. we think that is the light, the fire under congress to make them act immediately. there are great reformers that want to. there are others that might not want to. we are prepared to take anyone on to get the job done. that is what the american people want. they want you to deliver on those promises. [applause] gov. walker: one of the things that makes us unique -- we don't just talk about things. we fight, we win, we get results and we do it without compromising our conservative principles. i think now more