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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  November 5, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST

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in 45 minutes, talkshow host armstrong williams on the 2016 presidential race and the ben carson campaign. and we will talk to karen bass about criminal justice efforts. ♪ ♪ host: welcome on this thursday, november 5. the front page, reddish fair a-bomb is what -- british fear a-bomb is what brought down that jet. the wall street journal front page, iran hacking surges in the united states and officials say the islamic revolutionary guard has routinely conducted cyber warfare against american government agencies for years but attacks have increased in recent weeks. the u.s. and its allies are boosting aid to syrian rebels with shipments of arms
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and supplies all aimed at -assad andbashaar al countering russia in the region. house lawmakers this week are spending hours debating and voting on infrastructure spending in this country with a six your bill for funding the nation's transportation system. we turn to you this morning to tell us what it's like in your community. if you live in the eastern central part of the country -- mountain pacific -- you can also join the conversation on twitter. facebook.com/cspan. what is the condition of infrastructure in your community? take a look at the debate on the house floor yesterday. the top democrat in the house transportation committee talks about how there is not adequate funding in this secure bill.
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>> the biggest and most glaring omission by the rules committee is any attempt of not allowing any attempt by this house to fund the bill. that's pretty extraordinary. we probably don't have three years of pretend funding in the bill because of the offsets in the budget deal. i don't know what is left. it sure as heck is nowhere near six years of funding and at not six years of funding at a more robust level which is necessary. even if we funded this bill for six years, at the end of that come our infrastructure will be more deteriorated than it is today. it's deteriorating more quickly than we are investing. that's a problem. we need to increase investment and have not raise the federal gas tax since 1993. that's a user fee created by president dwight david eisenhower and raised again by ronald reagan and then finally, by bill clinton. it's a bipartisan idea.
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user fee, fund infrastructure for transportation with a user fee. the u.s. chamber of commerce supports an increase in the user fee. the american trucking association supports the increase. where virtually being banged by interest groups representing consumers and commercial users of the system. do something. vote on something. i offered a simple amendment. let's index the existing gas tax so we don't lose more ground. if we did that, gas would go up 1.7 cents per gallon next year. i think consumers would not be outraged. that weld be pleased would fill in the potholes and doing away with the detours around bridges that are closed. that was peter defazio yesterday talking about the bill that does not raise the gas tax. take a look at the federal gas tax. 18.4 cents per gallon. 24 point four cents and no increase in taxes
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since 1993. the gas tax would be $.29 per gallon if it had gone up consistently. this is according to the congressional budget office. let's show you what rob woodall had to say yesterday. the federal role the government has in local infrastructure projects. [video clip] >> i represent a very conservative area in the great state of georgia. we don't much care for taxes of any kind. taking care of one another but we feel like we do it better ourselves some folks from far away. my local jurisdiction rejected federal gas taxes, rejected a 200 millions, dollars bonding initiative, to bill rhodes locally because they believe they would get it done. users are paying for those roads. there is not a conservative in this country i would posit that is unwilling to pay for what it
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is that they use. it's our job to go sell that to folks that if you use it, you need to pay for it and there's no shame in that. it's a constitutional responsibility we have in this body and one we should be proud to stand up and support. i would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle that we will have to have discussions in this legislation. my folks back home don't believe that if they send one dollar to washington that they will get one dollar worth of roads back in return. they downed, they believe 10% will come up here and tempered sample come up there and it will be raised on regulatory compliance and wasted on silly federal mandate and they will get $.50 per road for a dollars worth of taxes. i don't think they are wrong about that. i think there is a lot of wisdom in that suspicion. debate yesterday in washington as house lawmakers debate and vote on a very large infrastructure spending bill.
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six years, they say they have funding in it for three years and will have to come up with funding for the rest of it. the senate has their own version of this legislation and the two sides have to come together and end something to the president for his signature. because of that debate in washington, we want to turn to you to tell us what is the condition of the roads and bridges where you live. what is it like? we divided the lines regionally this morning the phone lines are open so start tiling in. we have a transportation reporter joining us on the phone this morning. let's begin with this debate over the gas tax. countrythe need in this for more funding and that is why people are talking about raising the gas tax? talk about the need across the country. what is the state of our transportation system. guest: the problem that
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lawmakers have been facing for the past 10 years is that the about $34ly brings in billion per year at its current rate. it has not been raised since 1993, as you mentioned. the federal government typically spends about $60 billion per year and transportation projects. a lot of folks a that is barely enough to maintain the system we have, not nearly enough to make the improvements and keep up with growth in metro areas and those sort of things. they are looking at a shortfall of about $16 billion they have to address each year to just maintain the current level of spending. last time, that's the they pass the highway bill that lasted longer than two years, they have been patching the system and turning to other areas of the federal budget and this bill on the floor now does some of that that's what the debate about the gas tax was
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about. the transportation advocates have been saying that the easiest way to close that shortfall for good is to raise the gas tax indexed to inflation, about $.30 per gallon. but that has been a nonstarter in congress for a long time. there was some belief that there was some momentum in the beginning of the year when gas prices dipped to lowe's that had not in semen tenures but republican leaders said they were not in favor of it. voting on 81are amendments yesterday on the highway bill, they refused to allow a vote on a proposal to increase the gas tax by $.15. democrats were unhappy about that because they did allow a vote on what's called a sense of congress amendment that was proposing a nonbinding resolution in favor of reducing the gas tax through devolution
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to about four cents per gallon and turning responsibility for most transportation projects over to state and local governments. was defeated but a lot of democrats were not happy that that got a vote but proposal to increase the gas tax did not get a vote. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] the american host: the american society of civil engineers is given the united states infrastructure low grades in 2013. how does this bill address the need for bridges and roads repair across the country? guest: supporters of the bill say this would provide state and local governments more certainty. you hear that a lot in these funding debates. ist has been happening congress is coming up on transportation deadlines and passing very short extensions. this deadline they are facing now on november 20 was the result of a three-week bill that was passed for the last deadline on october 29. that was set up by a three-month bill passed in july.
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a lot of state and local governments say they cannot even begin to contemplate these longer projects that are needed to make those improvements because they don't have any certainty of the funding available from the federal government. the backers of this bill say it's not a perfect bill. it's not six years of funding but they've got three years of guaranteed funding and it authorizes the collection of the gas tax at its current rate for six years and it would provide more certainty to states than they have had a long time. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] host: give us a couple of the big amendments. what else was offered yesterday? forward, final vote, and then what happens? guest: there were several amendments related to trucking. there was an amendment to allow states to decide if they wanted
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to have heavier trucks on the roads. there is currently an increase with,000 pounds on trucks five axles and there was a proposal to allow states to go up to 91,000 pounds if they moved to six axles and that proposal was defeated. there were several amendments related to transit funding. there were a host of amendments last night that were debated related to the controversial export import bank which is a separate issue that has been included in this highway bill. like they should be able to get to a final vote today, hopefully. the idea is that they can get this bill out and get to a conference with the senate. lawmakers in both parties have said they anticipate that once they get to a conference, they should be able to bridge their differences because the senate bill is similar in its approach
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and his three years of guaranteed funding as well. they would have to get a bill to the president by november 20 to prevent an interruption in transportation funding. host: we appreciate your input. we turn to you this morning. where you live? what is the condition of infrastructure in? maria's in boulder, colorado, good morning, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate the subject today. colorado,ve seen in right after the 815 alien dollar -- $850 billion financial spending plan to jolt the economy -- host: the stimulus bill? caller: yes, thank you. coloradobeneficial for and california. thatsited california after
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as far as bridge construction and roads. enough asy was not paul krugman and other economists have said -- have predicted. we saw some improvement. we had a big flood here a couple of years ago. came through and it was devastated around boulder, colorado. they cleaned it up pretty .uickly money toobably enough help not only the bridges but around the state, highways and things like that. listening to your introduction iday and the comments before, guess we just need to spend more money, have more infrastructure
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spending because it is falling apart. host: would you agree to raising the gas tax? >> absolutely, i have been an agreement with that for years. caller: that would be key, absolutely key. we bought guess the other day at $1.99 per gallon. more just toised help the infrastructure, it's falling apart, and i believe that's true. thank you for taking my call. host: take a look at this map put together by the tax foundation. how high our guest taxes in your state? this is from july, 2015. this is the cents per gallon. ,n colorado, the state gas tax taxes and fees on gasoline, the state is $.22 per gallon. huntington, west virginia, good morning. what's it like in west virginia? highways especially
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our interstates are gerrymandered just like congress. host: what do you mean? we don't have the same interstate highway. [indiscernible] the price of the cost of living increases and we don't keep up with it. that means our cities or counties have to make up the difference. in west virginia, what you see is highwayrstate coverage where they are attempting to spread out a few dollars and keep up with the cost of living. it's not working. you can see the deteriorating infrastructure.
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when you look at the state road and the county roads, they are full of potholes. they are still resurfacing. they can't even keep up with that. host: do you have told in west virginia? caller: yes. host: do you agree with them? caller: what did you just say? host: do you agree with paying a toll to get on a highway? caller: no, i would not do that. i would raise the gas tax. [indiscernible] the state gas tax and west virginia for your stay is $.34. it looks like you are number 12 for the gas tax. that's in cents per gallon. we will go to baltimore, good morning. caller: hello there.
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thank you for c-span. you look mighty pretty this morning. host: thank you. caller: in baltimore, the highways are in very good condition. the interstate is excellent. fact thatuse of the they violated the original eisenhower law and put tolls on most of the roads. connector intercounty that is charging outrageous amounts of money. as far as the infrastructure goes, i would say it's from excellent, and i'm an engineer, excellent to superior. e of civil the afc engineers says there is self-interest. they can sure use the business. host: you think it's excellent where you live, why is that?
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do you give credit to your state legislature or the governor? why is it? caller: absolutely. goods been pretty regardless of whether we had a democrat or republican administration. when mostly have a democratic administration. we now have a republican governor. closelyn is fairly paid. likeorkbarrel projects putting new curbs in front of my [indiscernible] and tolerable. i worked with congress for many years. i am 88 years old. it used to be the way you set of congress was 80% of the laws would be general in spending.
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of anuld go to a sort allotment so the congressmen could come back and say they got something -- some road bill passed that in a fitted their community. the final 10% was just plain pork. that has changed. 50%/oks like now it's more 40%/10% with 40% being the port. host: thank you, georgia is next. caller: i just have a comment i would like to make. the infrastructure in georgia is not good. there is a bridge i cross every and there are broken pieces of concrete as you get on the bridge on both sides. that has been that way for a long time. my comment is it appears in --rgia, i drive from atlanta
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from dalton to atlanta a lot and they are spending all the money on the exits. they are building these lavish exits to get on and off of the interstate but there is no work going on between the exit. for the bridge you're talking about, have you seen news reports about other people being concerned? you see bridges across the -- uc news reports of bridges falling and minnesota a few years ago. caller: this would be on a state road. it has a chunk of concrete missing. they come and patch it and then it wears off again and the same hole is there. it has been that way for several years now. i don't know what it's like underneath. i have not seen any reports in the newspaper about it, just word-of-mouth, citizens talking about it. that was my comments. host: great falls, montana, good
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morning. caller: good morning. infrastructure here in this state is absolutely excellent. i think they do a pretty good job of spending the money. what i would like to see happen is the federal government totally get out of the infrastructure business in these states and let the states handle the money placing the blame back on the states when they don't handle it correctly. when how do you do that you have an interstate system? caller: absolutely, it's interstate but it goes through that state. as soon as the money gets to the federal level, just like anything else, it gets mishandled to a certain percentage like the gentleman was saying and it's less effective. moste that money the effective way, the states could handle that.
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the state can take care of that, just send the money back to the states and get the federal government out of it and you infrastructure projects started and finished on time, under budget, and better rewards for the taxpayers. host: do you believe the argument of some that say you have to invest in our nation's infrastructure because it's about global competitiveness? companies don't want to come and have their headquarters in the united states because the infrastructure around them is falling apart. caller: to a certain point, but the free-market enterprise will also dictate a lot of that. thatridiculous to say these democratic candidates saying we have to invest in infrastructure right now or the world will fall apart. i don't buy that argument. as a rallying cry for these people who want to get elected.
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i don't buy that. the free market will dictate a lot of this. the states are way better at handling it. host: what do you think of the way republicans put this bill together? sayingrd peter defazio there is funding in here for maybe three years. it is not think it gets done for three years, it's a six-year bill. later on, they have to find ways to fund the rest of it for the remaining years. caller: absolutely, if we get a republican in office in the presidency, they will find the money. if we get a democrat, there will be no money and they will have to borrow more and our taxes will go up and our debt will go up. i think they can find the money of we get a responsible president in there that can cut back on these wasteful spending that this president has enacted. host: what about raising the gas tax? caller: that's a tough one. when you are out here in a state like montana, you have to drive lots of miles to get anything done.
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burdens like an unfair to raise the gas tax. that's a tough question. it might need to be raised a little bit. philadelphia, what do you think? things are going pretty well. at the street level. where is the help? people want the federal government out of the way but where's the help at? where's rand paul? what is going on out here? there should be a truthful backlash. host: we are getting your thoughts this mooring on the condition of infrastructure where you live. are spending the week debating a multiyear infrastructure bill.
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we turn to you to let washington know what it's like where you live in what you want them to do when it comes to transportation policy. here are the headlines -- running for the ways and means chairmanship and got it yesterday from the gop steering committee. the leadership awarded him that position. the steering committee has the power to award gavels. he is a republican of ohio who had touted his strong fundraising abilities to the republican of texas. he set down with our own boat newsmakers" program and talked what he'd like to do. you can go to our website, www.c-span.org,o to watch that. newspaper," --
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then there is also this from hope will politico" -
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also this morning, "the hill" says they have released the text of the transpacific partnership deal. it has 30 chapters and has been released by the white house. they have 30 days to do so after they came to an agreement with the other nations. now there is a 60 day review policy and it's available on her website. there are a lot of you out there that track this. it's available on her website. go there and you can start rolling through 30 chapters of , 60 day public review and then congress will take this up. that debate is to come in the coming weeks. we are talking about the condition of infrastructure where you live. let's go to rochester, new york, go ahead. caller: good morning. i want to make a couple of
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comments. we have a highway in western new parkway, the the hamlin beach parkway. it's kind of a scenic route. it is impassable. you cannot drive down that road unless you damage your car. the other comment i have is we have a thruway authority in new york state. we pay to go everywhere from east to west or even downstate. the majority of those tolls go to the pensions of the people that collected tolls and to the dot workers that i see fixing guardrails but not roads. in fact, roads are done privately here in new york state. i have yet to see a department of transportation vehicle takes a road other than maybe a pothole and you have to call a one 800 number to do that. one more example of the new york millionste-we spent $25 giving to kraft foods to stay in new york state to save 400 jobs.
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those jobs probably could have been saved if we had an infrastructure that was viable and the state did not waste their money on a free tax break to these businesses. we do it all the time. with got a lot of problems in new york and we have one of the highest tax rates in the country. host: bill in canton, illinois, good morning. caller: my suggestion -- good morning -- my suggestion is they steadye price of yes a three dollars per gallon with the x is going to the road fund which cannot be touched no matter what. the infrastructure in illinois, the bridges are terrible, the main roads are ok but the city streets are horrendous in the big cities. governor who is in prison who rated the gas tax fund for two years to give state workers one of the largest unions in the state of illinois pay raises and better benefits.
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$130 billion in debt to the pension system and our state is 3.5-$4 billion in debt. that is my suggestion. what are your state and local officials talking about doing to resolve this? passingthey are just the buck. they are waiting for a highway bill to be passed. up debt charging repairing some of the main highways which are in pretty good shape, believe it or not. the other thing i wanted to add to that three dollar per gallon -- when the price of gas goes over three dollars per gallon, the gas tax would be stopped. but the funds that are collected from that gas tax should never be allowed to be rated. that fund has to roll over until it's used for that purpose. inglewood, ohio, good
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morning, what are your thoughts? ohio, at theyton, 70-75 interchange, they have been working on it for years but it's in pretty good condition. at the federal level, they are doing a good job and even at the state level and local level around here, they keep the roads pretty good. there is not a whole lot of potholes. the bridges are good and they replace them regularly. i cannot really complain about my area of ohio which is southwest. fayetteville, north carolina, good morning. what's it like ryu live? caller: the roads are horrible here. they arehink appropriating the use of funds appropriately for the last four years. obama has said he is working on the infrastructure. the only thing he has done his work on the underground bunkers. right, we told you
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yesterday that donald trump and other candidates for the white house are starting to go after marco rubio as he rises in the polls. he spoke to tempt down the fiscal scrutiny to release more data on his personal expenses. areld trump and others asking reporters to dig deeper into the finances of marco rubio. it's about the finances when he was a political leader in florida. here's what marco rubio had to say. [video clip] >> it's a discredited attack. the democratic activist, when i ran against charlie crist, they filed a complaint and somebody looked at it and dismissed it. it was a charge card from american express and i was secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the republican party. i would go to the bills every month and it there was anything personal, i paid it. if it was the party, the party
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paid for it. when the media reported income of the convoluted this and it creates the stories but it has been largely discredited. we have no problem address it. ofm running for president the campaign has to be about the future of american what kind of country we will be in the 21st century and that's what i will continue to focus my attention on. host: marco rubio responding to critics yesterday and there is this in 2016 news -- there is also this about a new
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book coming out about george h.w. bush. in interviews with his biographer, mr. bush said that mr. cheney built his own empire and asserted too much hardline within the george w. bush white house and pushing for force around the world. mr. rumsfeld he said was an arrogant fellow who cannot see how others thought and serve the president badly. - it goes on to say that the book describes mr. bush is evil lucian -- evolution.
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then there is this from new hampshire this morning -- it's in "the wall street journal" - he has always run promise as an independent and describes himself as a democratic socialist.
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that is from this morning in 2016 news. to gregory in baton rouge, louisiana, what's it like there? are the bridges and roads adequate? caller: it's nice. we have bridges under construction down here. in thes the people residential neighborhoods because they have to find ways to get home. token, they've got to fix meals and everything. by the same token, when infrastructure money was given obama'sg president second term to put people back to work, the attorney general would not take the money and he turned everything down. the federal government tried to give them the money. what can you do?
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host: rick in philadelphia, good morning to you. caller: good morning. i think a good place to start a good for money is take hard look into the patronage jobs that are associated with these highways. in pennsylvania, we have the pennsylvania turnpike commissioners. assistant turnpike commissioners, we have the deputy assistant commissioners and the list goes on and on. i think that's good place to start looking to save some money. brian, pittsfield, massachusetts, what's it like up there? i think i pushed the wrong button. there you go. caller: i think the problem is sometimes -- some states of more -- some towns have more money than others. some people would large mansions have school systems that all debts that have all kinds of money. i think you should get rid of the property tax and have a 5%
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tax for the average person paying rent and property taxes paying about 5%. the rich people are paying less than 1/10 of 1%. if you own an apartment building, you should have to pay a little bit extra. it would eliminate having to deal with all the paperwork. then you would distribute the money evenly per capita throughout the cities and towns so everybody gets the same amount of money. look at what lawmakers are saying on capitol hill over the debate over the transportation bill -- and then representative johnson says bernie sanders says --
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i want to share this headline with you from the front page of " the washington post" - this is from "the washington times." a few more headlines for you -- the chairwoman of the federal reserve, janet yellen yesterday
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signaled a possibility that the fed will act in december. "the wall street journal" reports that president obama's thinking about executive action when it comes to closing guantanamo bay, something he promised when he campaigned. sendinginking of several proposals to capitol hill on this and he will go around congress to try to do heldarea guantanamo bay 112 detainees as of october 30, down from 240. the detention facility and closing it has been his priority. also on capitol hill- jason chaffetz has introduced a bill that would restrict cell phone trafficking by local law enforcement agencies.
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below that is the headline that the senate is investigating launching an investigation into pharmaceutical prices. that is all happening on capitol hill. delaware, what's it like ryu live? caller: it's not too bad. it's just that delaware is so congested, think they want you to make you feel like the state is bigger for putting so many traffic lights in. the biggest problem we have is the relationship between contractors and government officials. it seems that they are repaving the same roads over and over again every season. the road breaks up and they have to have these guys leaning on shovels and redoing the job. i don't think they use the right kind of materials to make rose last. -- roads last.
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the contractors are making apportionment taxpayer -- are making a fortune and the taxpayer is footing the bill. to be more reports on the grade of concrete and asphalt they use. they have been working on this one road to keep it from flooding and no matter what they do, it still floods and they spend millions of dollars on this project. there has to be a wall between the state inspectors and the small amount of contractors they get all the business in delaware. i think that costs the people a lot of money. issuedo you think it's an that's happening because of local government and state government or do you think it's because of the federal government? said thisf callers money should be sent to the local governments and they should decide how it's spent. ofler: look at the cost college -- you put more federal money in it and the price goes up. it's a sign thing with federal
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transportation money. people will fight to get a piece of that pie. you have contractors who want the money and make the contributions to the politicians who help them get through the bidding process. then the inspector is possibly getting some sort of payment. it's general corruption any time the government is involved. when there is a lack of oversight, you will have foul play going on. it's just the nature of the industry. it's the nature of government where one hand washes the other. i would like to see more local control. there is more local oversight. unfortunately, everything has to be financed through federal and state nowadays. the closer it is to home, the harder it is to have corruption, i think. host: all right, the house is continuing to debate and vote on amendments today. the final vote is coming as
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early as today and the senate is still working on their version they haveghway bill to reconcile before they can send something to the president for his signature. we will see how this shakes up as the debate continues in washington over infrastructure in this country. we will take a break and switch gears when we come back and talk with armstrong williams, an advisor to the ben carson campaign and talk about the rise of ben carson and later, a member of the house judiciary committee him will talk about criminal justice issues in this country including sentencing reform and the recent release of 6000 federal prisoners. we will be right back. ♪ ♪
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>> every weekend, the c-span networks feature programs and politics, nonfiction books, and american history. we commemorate veterans day saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern. we will be live from the national museum in new orleans as we look back 70 years at the end of world war ii and its legacy and tour the museum exhibits and take your calls and tweets. starting this week and every sunday morning at 10:00 a.m., road to the white house rewind takes a look at past presidential campaigns through archival footage. this sunday, we will feature ronald reagan and his campaign 1979. on c-span saturday night at 8:30 p.m., the steamboat freedom conference debate, the effect of legalized marijuana in colorado and other states around the country. sunday evening at 6:30 p.m., our
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road to the white house coverage continues with former maryland governor and democratic presidential candidate martin o'malley who will speak at a town hall meeting at the university of new hampshire in durham. saturday afternoon on c-span two booktv starting on -- at 4:00 p.m. eastern, the boston book festival featuring non-fiction author presentations. sunday night at 11:00 p.m., a book discussion with the former first lady of massachusetts, ann romney, on her book. about her journey with multiple sclerosis. get our complete we can schedule at www.c-span.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back to our table, radio tv talkshow
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host armstrong williams an advisor to the ben carson presidential campaign. thanks for being here. guest: thanks for having me. host: what is your role in the ben carson campaign? guest: i have no role. it's friendship that has developed over time, through good times and bad times. havethe last 20 years, we forged a brotherhood with dr. carson and his family and all of his sons at work for me at some point. mey have gone to alaska with producing shows and gone to israel. we have vacations together. my mother and my family have been guest in their home. it's just a long family relationship. host: you are an advisor to him -- how often are you talking
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with him about what's happening in the presidential campaign? it's no different than in the past. we speak often but especially now. he is a candidate for president of the united states. when you are a candidate for the president of the united states and you have the arrows slinging at you and you have the overwhelming praise and at alicia and, some -- and adulation, sometimes you need to fall back on the friendships you have forged with the trust and confidence. those people are in your life for the right reasons and they don't care whether you are rising high like the sun or lowering like the darkness. those people will always be there to steady you and support you. it does not matter if he is running for president of the united states or he is at home playing pool with his family. friends are not seasonal, it's for lifetime. host: when did dr. carso
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start thinking about running for president talk about how he has prepared for that journey? very smart man, a nurse surgeon, but there is a learning curve there. when did he start thinking about it and how did he start preparing? and his wiferson candy, their intellectual giants. often times, we would sit around the dinner table was some of us would have a fascination with medicine, the carson's always had a fascination with the country, america, and politics. dr. carson and i would always have conversations in the wee hours of the morning when he was driving to johns hopkins or one of his many surgeries. was something about health care or a terrorist or 911, the economy, creating jobs or strife in the city, something going on
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with the eu and what was it about when they were forming the eu in bringing the currency under one umbrella, how is it you will balance how some are stronger and some are weaker. he always had that curiosity. remember having a conversation where he spoke at he had been re-invited back to the national press club breakfast. it's unusual to get a second invitation. for some reason, the white house was inquiring about his speech. they were curious. host: this was an 2013? guest: they were curious as to what he was talking about. dr. carson never gave speeches. he spoke from the heart but at the same time, he had been trying to reach out to the white house and the president as they were beginning to talk about affordable care and how it would look and the details. he had serious issues with it. that's his profession is health
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care in hospitals. he thought the president was being misled. he cannot get an audience with the president and the more and about theought speech, he knew it should be about the speech, he knew it should be about faith and uniting people together and you should not venture off into politics. he agonized whether he should even mention affordable care. even at the last minute when we were at the hotel, we were in the holding suite and he said i'm still not sure what i will say. ken and i were sitting at the table and he made this gesture and we knew he had come to peace and he was going to say to the president and give his thoughts on affordable care but in a respectful way. once he gave that speech, i will never forget, we were headed back to the suite and someone i think from the cia or the president security approach dr.
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carson and whispered something in his ear. i wondered what the guy said because he looked serious. he said to him that the president was not too pleased with his speech. yes, this happened. dr. carson asked why. i was honest and respectful. some people would say it's not the place or the time. it was not something that was planned. i said to him as a friend, i said this speech has launched 1000 ships for you and your family. your likely never be the same again. from that moment on, people started the drumbeat of his running for president. he was going to retire in west palm beach. the more it became louder and -- last julyarson in west palm beach, florida, he gathered a team to discuss the probability of running as to what it takes and how someone runs for president.
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we had to organize this for him. finally, he had not announced and people started saying we are not going to give you our hard-earned money. we will commit to another candidate. hundreds of people said we are not -- we do not think you are serious about running for president. dr. carson knew it was an overwhelming commitment. people, ie said the believe they are sincere that they want me as the candidate. he and candy discussed it. she is still getting accustomed to the idea that her husband is running for president. but then he decided in march of this year, late march, that he would run. if the people support me financially, if they honor their word, then i will be their candidate. when he announced it in early ,ay, the overwhelming support
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the donations that of come in -- think about this -- , 820,000, $10ons million raised during the month of october. his favorability ratings are soaring and he had in the most stable and consistent of all the candidates. the people asked for it and he trusted people and he is their candidate. host: his likability numbers are very high. he is now leading in the national polls. there is this opinion piece in "the washington journal" -
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guest: listen, that is a fair editorial. of course written in a vacuum. let me find a vacuum. when you get to respond and make in one second, that such an injustice of the substance that a person understands. that's for all the candidates. what i would say to the writer of that piece, go on the road to iowa, south carolina, nevada, new hampshire, ohio and florida. sit in a room with dr. carson to go back-and-forth and forth on the issues whether he is discussing the grid isis were talking about how to create
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jobs in a city or he's talking about affordable care how to make it better, whether he is talking about his tax plan in more detail. dr. carson needs a form that requires great detail. in those forums across the country -- this is why americans see dr. carson in the debate form versus the dr. carson in their churches, at their events, it's a different person. the debate will never play to his strength. i don't think he will -- they will ever say he is who he is but when he is on the road, the kind of things this writer talks about which are fair, he delivers with the next commission point. -- he delivers with an! host: let's get to the calls. caller: good morning, i would like to know what dr. carson's position is on immigration reform. guest: listen, dr. carson does
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not leave you can just round of millions of people and send them out of the country. he believes that being an american citizen is a privilege and an honor and there is a process that we have in place where you too can be a part of those people who have waited so long and made the sacrifice to become a u.s. citizen. dr. carson wants to make sure that people understand we are a nation of law. for the immigration process, while he may grant a temporary guest worker program, citizenship, you must create a path to citizenship. and we have to do a better job of the kind of people we let into our borders. talking about putting up a wall is not enough. here, many come times they make their money and send it back home. the money does not stay in our economy. aat happens when you have flood of immigrants coming in,
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it overwhelms the system weather is the legal system or the medical system. we need thewill say immigrants because most americans don't want to do that work. that is still debatable but dr. carson wants a sensible program in place where he thinks about the children through no fault of their own were here and the american people and our economy and many of us to pay a price that our immigration laws are loosen it does not respond to stemming the tide of immigration coming into this country. doesn't want to kick people out but he does believe in strong immigration policies for the american people going forward. host: we will go to george next in pennsylvania. caller: hello. what dr.ike to know carson's views are on medicare. hee hee talking about wanting to eliminate it but he never says what he is willing to do to replace it. we need medicare.
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as a senior citizen, i'm 72 years old, and medicare is important. he never talks about the issues. he only talks about generalities. host: we will get your answer. guest: dr. carson is a strong advocate and talks about -- host: these are those the health savings account? guest: we have for this often from people across the country and dr. carson is putting together his policy with details on policy on medicare but the policies on immigration and taxes and foreign policy. he realizes his personal story is just not enough in terms of if he is going to be taken seriously and people embracing him as someone who can lead this country across the board. what you'll find over the next couple of months with his campaign manager and his senior you will begin to see
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dr. carson get more into substance and begin to see that he will release to the press and have on his website more policy information. you can find detailed positions on other candidates like when mr. trump released his tax plan. some plan. other people ridiculed it and said it had holes in it. at least he gave everyone an idea of how he would fall on taxes. process.n is in the and by december or january 1 he will begin to roll out detailed policy plans. host: there is this headline, dr. carson's medicare model. do you agree he has kind of muddled the issue? he is not giving a timeline of when that will come out. you can always understand
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why it is confusing. dr. carson speaks like a physician, someone who has dealt with this firsthand. he also has a team of experts who understands these issues in a much more expansive and detailed way because this is what they have spent their lives work doing. so what you are seeing now is that he is learning more in .epth, not just his perspective he is betting other perspective. i was with him a few weeks ago in palm beach, florida when they had the debate prep and some of these issues came up. he would just lean back and say yes, that is an absolutely serious perspective that i need to consider. you are absolutely right. thes being challenged by policy experts that are on board right now so that he can put together ideas that are thoughtful, that make sense, and not an opinion.
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york, duane,, new independent. caller: good morning. i have a question for you. do you really think that dr. carson is going to win the gop nomination? and another. i am afraid for dr. carson just as i was afraid for president obama because no one is actually going to give him a chance to as a black man in this country. your thoughts. guest: you know, greta, you and i have one vote. that is what we have in the election. ignore thatcannot someone has said to you and the millions of people watching was broadcast, that someone would say -- who has grown up in poverty where there is bridges and mice -- roaches and mice, who is given no chance of succeeding, to go on and become
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a world renowned surgeon, the first to put together a team to separate conjoined twins. anwas an impossibility that early november, 2015, exactly a year away from the election that dr. carson would be the top-tier candidate. that is not just about armstrong williams believing in him. the american people, the more they see him, the more they believe that he is the outsider that they are looking for to lead them a year from now in 2016. so to say that the american people would not support dr. carson -- they have already shown as a port, they have already shown their enthusiasm. they have already shown their trust in this man. can we sit here today and say the dr. carson is going to be the nominee? no. but this race is not a sprint. it is a marathon. i think there are many candidates that would welcome being and dr. parsons position today. host: mr. trump yesterday, or tuesday in new york, said the
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field needs to narrow. does dr. carson think that way as well? caller: he does not -- guest: he does not talk about it. he welcomes the betting -- vetting system. at the people that support them, it is their decision. he also realizes, by the grace of god, it -- he could be one of those candidates hovering around 3% or 4%. he always walks in someone else's shoes. we will get to slidell, louisiana, louis, a democrat, you are on the air. caller: i am a 74-year-old black and ben carson, the way , they willings fizzle out. appreciate callers like
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that gentlemen, much respect. voicesdon't understand like dr. carson, and mine sometimes. and i grew upn differently, we still believe in america. we believe that despite the history of america, from human to whereo segregation we are today, that anyone in america, if you're willing to work hard and make sacrifices, discipline and have strong faith in god and be willing to always look for the best in mankind and also the best in yourself, you always have options. just because i am a man who happens to be black does not mean that i am the only person in the world who faces obstacles and turbulence in life. they may not talk about them. it may be an illness, it may be a family member, it may be a job. we all have challenges. how you overcome these struggles
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determine what you become an life. i think president barack obama has shown us and reminded us why we build the shining hill in the city. no one ever believed that america would elect a first president to happen to be black and i think president obama has paved the way to show us the best of america. some people would say today that the gop is racist, they would never embrace a black man, but what we are showing you is we are not racist. we are interested in your ideas, your policies, your beliefs. progression is a tribute to this incredible and why wemerica will remain the envy of the world, because there is no place in europe where someone like dr. carson or president obama could ever become prime minister head of state. that is why we are america. host: you yourself in the headlines, armstrong williams
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leads largest minority owned tv group, seven of the 12, now under your ownership. guest: i blush. wonderful business partner. i have known them for a long time. they miss me as i have worked with him for a lot of years. a lot of it is about relationships. none of us get to where we are by ourselves. relationships, you develop character, loyalty, trust, and honor, and you sure you have a little common sense and imagination. if people believe in you and you believe in them there are some special things that you can do in life. my life is the tribute to the many people who have been in my life that continue to believe in me and i believe in them. we have been able to do something very special. certainly we enjoy ownership of television stations. we get to do town hall meetings around the country.
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there is no such thing as freedom of speech. we take it is a privilege, we don't take it likely -- lightly. it is just another milestone for us. is next ina springfield, massachusetts, a republican. good morning. carson first of all, dr. , anybody that calls themselves a christian has no business running for the government of this world. if you are looking for the kingdom of yahweh then you have to quit -- be telling people that he is coming soon. before he comes america is [indiscernible] thatan he call himself when you know he is going to get adopted in the church. he is going to adopt the bible.
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he has no business being in politics. politics has nothing to do with yahweh. host: i think we got your point. mr. williams? doesn'tbviously she feel that dr. carson should run for president because of his faith. theink that almost all candidates are running are christians. obviously i don't really know how to respond. host: how does his faith shaped his thinking on all the different policy issues? guest: all of us who are people of faith, the scriptures shaped our belief. they shape our value system. we have what is called natural law and we have man's law. our values or our virtues, faithfulness to your enemies,orgiving your
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paying tithes and giving back, empowering others because you cannot empower yourself. as an elected official we do have laws and we have a con edition. face would dr. carson's ever triumphed over laws that are on the books or the constitution. he is a man that respects them and will always honor those laws. host: from missouri, jeanine, independent. caller: yes. i have two questions in one comment. one comment is, how is it that we complain about the mexicans -- you know, people coming over to the united states. they are not here to harm us, they just want to work. versus the people that we are shipping money to overseas like iran and all the other places who want to hurt us who are over here going to school on our money and we are taking care of them. i don't understand why it is such a big deal for the people to cross the borders who want to
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work, versus these people who actually came here and said we don't need your god, we don't want your help. but you are using our tax dollars to bring these people over here. they are against us. it just seems crazy. host: do you have a question? let's get to your question. caller: i have a question. all these promises that are being made by these candidates, i noticed one thing when i listened to all this. why do they not have overseers of their promises they are doing? programs intoin action but why are there not overseers to make sure things are being done? i clearly understand her point. theoretically people make many promises of what they can do and how quickly they can do it, and people believe in them and invest in them with their money, their time, and resources. then when they are elected to office their lives never change. sometimes things are worse off and they asked themselves why do
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we continue to invest in leaders who do not honor their word? i think that is the reason why you see someone like dr. carson and mr. trump rise in this election, because they are outsiders. people care less now about whether you have this experience , whether your governor, senator, they want to know what it is that you have done to impact my life. even her point about refugees. we are already overwhelmed. if you go to certain places -- we just returned from tennessee. i was shocked at the overwhelming amount of homelessness. how do you take care from a stranger on the outside? when you hear isis and isil talking about a lone wolf and having their loan will have a treat our borders it is easy to
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drop someone in among these refugees that can come in and create harm and havoc. and yes, she is right. there are many people, -- who come in and would never want to harm us. host: donald trump believes you have to have more than just an outsider. here he is on tuesday in new york talking about dr. carson and the other candidates. [video clip] >> we need a person that has tremendous personal energy to get us back on track. when you don'tat have that. i think marco is highly overrated. he doesn't have it. all you have to do is look at his stance on things. jeb lacks the quality that you need. everybody in the world is ripping us off. you need a very strong person with tremendous energy. thank you very much. i will take the job. it is so important.
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way, ben carson does not have that energy. we need people with tremendous energy to straighten up the military, to straighten out isis, to straighten out our horrible trade deals. to terminate obamacare has come up with something far better for far less money. you need somebody with tremendous personal energy as president. you know, it is quite intriguing listening to mr. trump make the case that there is no one qualified to be president in this race except donald trump. he cannot even see the value or the goodness in his colleagues. he can only see it in himself. talk and rhetoric is very cheap. when you talk about leaving, we have had many people who have talked about leaving. when you face the realities of your rhetoric and does not
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always pan out. you have to surround yourself with good women and good men who have experienced and are trained . you have to surround yourself with good people and you have to be able to work with people, not alienate them because you feel that you are the only person who belongs in the room. while mr. trump has these incredible attributes that he has done some incredible things, i think a dose of humility and a dose of respect for others shows great promise and leadership, and great promise that you have what is necessary overall to lead america in the future. and hise to mr. trump handlers is that before you start looking at someone else's fault, clean up your own house first. then you better prepare for this thing you are talking about that you call leadership. host: oliver in tennessee, a republican. caller: i want to say something to c-span first.
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i have a quick comments that i think needs to be heard. i have called several times and they just rang and rang. it is not fair. i waited my turn just like everybody else. to mr. williams i want to say, i have a comment in a question. please give me the time to get this out. the first thing is you had previous collars talking about yahweh. they don't know nothing about the bible. the bible says we have people who have faith in authority, this country will change. when we start addressing the gay problem and stop killing babies -- we need someone who stands up and says that the bible says it is wrong. mr. carson has an open mind. mr. trump has a closed mind. we don't need someone in that office with a closed mind. that is when we get gridlocked. my question is about social security and medicare. we have poor people in this country. we have kids going to bed
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hundred -- hungry at night. we send millions of dollars to people who don't even like us and we have people going to bed hungry at night. that is wrong. until we have got someone in office who has faith and humility like mr. carson our country will continue to fall and the democratic party is nothing but evil. host: we believe it there. let me just go to nathan and i will have you responded to both collars. he is in connecticut, a democrat. caller: hi greta, you are doing a wonderful job as usual. good morning mr. williams. guest: good morning. caller: i have a question about dr. carson's belief in the law which you commented on. he is an admirable man and a professional. however he has said that he would not vote for a muslim for president. prejudice and it shows a lack of understanding of the bill of rights.
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i feel that it disqualifies him from being president. how would you respond to that? guest: dr. carson's statement, and thank you for the question, is that he would not embrace someone who embraces sharia law. sharia law is in conflict with our constitution and who we are as americans. sharia law does not respect women. it does not respect gains. family members are willing to kill their own. we do not embrace that. it is not an issue of muslim. it is an issue of the thing we call sharia law. when dr. carson stated was his choice and his preference. i think since that statement you will find that many americans, including myself, agree with him. host: joe in new jersey, and independent. caller: yes. i am an original supporter of dr. carson. cally when i got a phone
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about it i got right in and contributed. he is a man that has the same roots that i have. i'm a 59-year-old white man. i grew up in a building where i saw the white house -- ridges -- roaches and sodomites. the problem is today we have a clown in the white house who has sold the minorities down the river with 39 percent unemployment for young black men. and you know what, of course they are in crime. they can't get a job. i am hoping that by this man thatng with this integrity a lot of young black kids are going to see this and see that i can achieve this. host: mr. williams? guest: it is very difficult for the president.
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i am certainly a critic of president obama but there is just no way he would intentionally not want to empower people that are left to themselves with no opportunities. corporations have moved away. there is a breakdown of the .amily a lot of the young men have no idea what it means to be a man. they think pulling out a gun makes them a man and they never learn those values. what we have to do is find real policies that we can create opportunities. we have to give them a reason to keep their dollar in the community before it goes out. they have to see real industry to make them think that they can have an opportunity. difficultit is very in these places to work with people who are perceived as being on the bottom rung of the ladder. when a lot of the money comes to different communities like ferguson and baltimore and other places, it does not want to
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trickle down to the people who needed the most. that is more a reflection on the then on the officials. capitalism cannot cease to exist in america if you don't take people from the bottom of the ladder and bring them to the possibility of the wealth class. it takes a lot of hard interview work to make that happen and i'm not sure that people are willing to do it. let you go, give us an update on the debate negotiations are in dr. carson was something changed, but are the candidates making any headway? guest: i think it is a work in progress. there has certainly been progress in terms of opening and closing statements and that the focus of the questions stays on the subject matter that has been established for that debate and that the moderator exert more control. if he says 30 seconds at a 32nd, if he says it is a minute he says it is a minute. respect guidelines.
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if you say 30 seconds it will only be 30 seconds. he will never interrupt and just keep talking as if there is no moderator. send, they are making progress. host: so will you change your debate strategy? changewe always want to his strategy, we always wanted to get better and better. we wanted to answer with confidence like this is our guy. i am not going to say that we are going to see it in the debate next week, but dr. carson in terms of the debate progress -- process is a work in progress. host: appreciate your time as always. we're going to take a short break. when we come back we will talk with democratic representative karen bass from california. she will join us to talk about criminal justice issues.
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>> i have learned that you can do anything you want to. they used to ask me about that. it is just faith. to can do anything you want and it is such a great soapbox. it is just such a great opportunity. i would advise any first lady to do what she wanted to do. as another thing i learned you are going to be criticized no matter what you do. i could have tortilla to receptions that i would have
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been criticized. criticism. of but you learn to live with it. you just expected and you live with it. her husband's political partner from their first campaign. as first lady she attended president jimmy carter's cabinet meetings, championed women's rights and mental health issues, even testifying before congress. their partnership on health and peace keeping issues has spanned four decades since leaving the white house. rosalynn carter, this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series, first ladies, influence and image. examining the public and private lives of the women who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha washington to michelle obama. sunday at eight ago p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. booktvgnature feature of
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is our all-day coverage of book fairs and festivals from across the country. with top nonfiction authors. here is our schedule this weekend. he will be in massachusetts for the boston book festival. in the middle of the month it is the louisiana book festival in baton rouge. and at the end of november we are live for the 18th year in a row from florida for the miami .ook fair international and the national book awards from new york city. just some of the fairs and festivals this fall on c-span2's booktv. >> "washington journal" continues. host: representative karen bass back at our table this morning, democrat of california
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morning for those of you with experience in the criminal justice system.
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independent.go, in general when someone time,he time and then the they should come back to being a citizen and have the full rights a citizen. i have a friend who hires a lot of convicts. disagreement, it seems inconsistent with the obama administration and who they punish. lois lerner is walking free. she is targeted, by conservative groups and religious groups. there is no punishment for her. she should be imprisoned for abuse of power. i would like your of none that. i absolutely agree with the first part that you said.
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that is the way our society used to look at it. if you did your time, you paid your debt to society. when you got out of prison you did not permanently lose your right to vote, like happens in several states around the country. and you were allowed to work. to live inowed public housing, other housing. i think we need to go back to the way we used to view people after they served their time. in terms of lois lerner, as far as i understand it, they looked at all of those charges, those accusations and found that they were unfounded. i don't think she should go to jail after the charges were found to be unfounded. last week he said that they were going to start an effort to impeach the current thecommissioner over e-mails of lois lerner, etc.. guest: that doesn't surprise me. [laughter] guesthost: care to say more?
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guest: what we have seen from many of my republican colleagues perform ae to tremendous amount of investigations. host: independent line, good morning. caller: thanks for this channel. my situation -- i was at a local pub at -- watching a televised pay-per-view fight. i actually stopped a confrontation between two patrons at the bar. the cops got called. they did not even get physical, but they were really loud. bar -- thef the thing is, i'm a latino a mexican in heritage. i was with a group of people. they pretty much knocked us all out, the group that i was with,
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about five people. , peopleaurant was full standing at the door. i was parked across the parking lot. i got trespassed at that particular spot. they escorted me to my car. because of them escorting me to my car, it kind of provoked me to ask them to identify themselves. it was a group of four or three officers. they are like -- we are almost there, get in your car, it's all right. the thing is, behind them was a sergeant. host: we are running out of time with the congresswoman. i need you to get to the end and your question. jail.: i got thrown in i was across the street for trespassing and i did not get my maranda rights or any statements.
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the police sergeant actually had the ability to say -- here's the card with my signature, but that wasn't his point. his point was he wanted me to suffer for me standing up to ask for his identification. guest: that is certainly something that happens a lot. i think that there is a lot of efforts around communities now to look at police accountability and the way the police stop people, who they choose to stop in charge. one of the things that i believe very strongly has led to over incarceration, aside from the laws, is the fact that a lot of people when they are arrested, they don't have the resources to defend themselves. it cost them a lot of money. when we look at communities where people are incarcerated, when there is over incarceration , they are almost always low income communities. you find the police presence there visible, but they deal with those communities in a different way. i think that instead of viewing
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the communities from the perspective of a warrior, the police need to have more the perspective of guardians of communities. i think that that contributes to situations like you described. host: matt, concord, new hampshire, calling on the line with experience in the criminal justice system. good morning, c-span. good morning, america. representative bass, i have experience with the criminal justice system. i have done my time and i've gotten out. i don't believe in checking the box. guest: i'm a person who once you change that on the federal level. caller: i hear about this heroin epidemic that is big in new hampshire. there is this real outrage. you know what, that's ironic, there was no outrage when it was a crack academic -- and i am white. i am white, i know the
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population disparities. i've been in a prison. wake up, people. know, wake up and be honest with ourselves. host: i'm going to take those two issues you put forward. banning the box, where it says if you have ever been convicted of a felony, with the president is proposing and we have proposed this in los angeles as well, you take that box away. all that means is -- at least it allow the individual to go through a job interview and fill allowingplication, employer to make a decision about whether they are interested in the person. it doesn't mean that the employer can't ask the question down the line, but a lot of people are excluded even from an interview. host: this is what the white house is proposing. $8 million for federal education reentry in nine communities, clarifying the rules for former prisoners, the
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rules are aimed at banning the box in federal job applications, as the congresswoman was just talking about, expanding programs to train and place former inmates in tech jobs. the years with the war on drugs, everybody running for office wanted to prove that they were tough on crime and against drugs, so they passed law after law after law without stopping to say -- what are the consequences of all these laws repass? we have essentially criminalized entire communities. host: the question about heroine -- i want to put this out there, more than 46,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2013. the most recent year that the data was of arab -- available, half of those deaths were linked to prescription drugs, the other 8000 were heroine. guest: you know that prescription drugs lead to heroin use.
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but i'm still happy that there is a discussion around health right now. when crack cocaine was happening and is proportionately impacting inner cities, those were the differences. powdered cocaine was used more by middle-class folks, that was the perception. we have completely different sentencing guidelines. so, that has finally changed. how we go about prosecuting the drug problem, race and class are absolutely a factor. host: georgia, charles is watching us there. independent. good morning. caller: good morning. here at the state prison in georgia, most of the inmates are african-american. offenders.peat they cannot a find a job after being released. the african-american unemployment rate -- rate, from what i have read, has been in the double digits for the last eight years. guest: longer than eight years.
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african-american youth, 45% plus. this is kind of like putting the youest before the cart -- haven't created jobs, but that's one of the main reasons that most prisoners return to prison, they cannot find jobs. guest: you are raising in a cylinder point. however, on the other hand i don't think that we should keep people locked up until we get the jobs. i think you have to create that social safety net for them when they get out. let me give you an example. even very small, community-based organizations that are support that help individuals learn how to use the bus -- you'd be amazed, people who have been locked up for a long time, the way the technology has changed over the years? they need assistance reintegrating into their communities. we can do things like pass laws that say you couldn't live in public housing if you had a
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felony. or you cannot associate with other people who have felonies. what if people in your household have had felonies? this is something we learn from ferguson, by the way. you see an entire community criminalized over traffic violations. what was the percentage of people in ferguson that had warrants? those are the pathways that lead people to be incarcerated and then provide roadblocks for them once they get out. we have to have a comprehensive look at this when we do criminal justice reform. it's not sufficient just to release people. host: this viewer on twitter asks this question -- she said it was the black caucus that push for tougher drop -- tougher drug laws, why now this hypocrisy? i have been in congress for five years. i doubt very strongly that they were the only people asking for stiffer drug laws. but i do remember, being very
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involved in this in the late 1980's and early 1990's, when crack cocaine hit, people were desperate and did not know it to go. i was fortunate, i had a medical background and i understood the problem from a different vantage point. i started an organization in south-central los angeles, which was at the height of the crack cocaine intersection with gang violence. we went about organizing the crime,ty to reduce reduce the drug problem. we were fighting for a comprehensive approach. drug treatment. we were fighting to get rid of nuisance locations like liquor stores and hotels that were all actors in the drug trade. communities were desperate. -- rather, passed many people pushed for stiffer laws and in hindsight that was a major mistake. host: cedar park, texas, you are next. guest: -- caller: i thought that he was doing an executive order
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on banning the box. anyway, my brother-in-law just got out of jail for 14 years. all he ever did was have a job problem and he was like 23. his whole life is just totally messed up. i've been to jail and proud to for being ae times, dissident and speaking up. they don't like that. i am white. my husband is a dispatcher. he says i have to follow a script. and you're right. obama says we have to work from the bottom up. that's basically the story, but there is a lot of prejudice and it runs deep. in texas, especially. whether it is a white man problem of hair when these days, it doesn't matter as long as we get here. let these people go. don't send them to jail for three or four years for talking back when they are high or stoned out there. people roam when they get on pills and they get thrown in jail and their lives are messed up.
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>> definitely we really have to push for drug treatment. i'm very concerned about that. in many of the communities experiencing the heroine crisis, if there are not enough drug treatment beds, what happens? people continue in their addiction and that's connected to crime, they start committing crimes in order to get drugs. until we really go about this from every front, looking at the health, looking at education, looking at housing and unemployment, we will continue to have this problem. host: republican line, springfield, virginia, you are on the air with congresswoman bass. caller: i was going to reference the ad earlier that was officers notut wanting to get involved. i think that what that is referencing is not that the officers don't want to get involved, but that the officers
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are afraid to get involved if they are of an opposite race and the situation may involve force. i believe that the officers after ferguson are afraid of possibly being accused of racism if they have the appearance of using too much force. wast: my point that i making, robert, is that that is beerception, it needs to backed up with data. have surveys been done? are there any measures that have been used to determine whether or not that is the case? essentially what you're saying is that police officers have stopped doing their jobs. one thing that i think they absolutely should do is take more caution. to say that violent crime is spiking because officers decided and will not enforce things, that's an indictment on the police force. until someone tells me they have data to back that up, i think
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it's an irresponsible message. i think it is especially irresponsible when it comes from someone like the head of the dea or fbi. host: another tweet for you -- else a couple that, what can be done for foods are in prison? -- on top of that, well to be done while folks are in prison? west: another thing that did, we eliminated programs inside the prison. there were a lot of rehabilitation and education programs. at least in california. i know that this has happened in many other states as well. we said -- they are not there for rehabilitation. they are there for punishment. when we do things like that, it's very shortsighted. the truth of the matter is that 85% of the people who are incarcerated, come home, it's in their interest for them to be able to integrate well.
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what has changed in our country is that if you are incarcerated, you have a life sentence. when you get out, you are awesome sized to you are prohibited from any areas of legal employment. people are going to survive by any means necessary and sometimes that means resorting to criminal behavior. we were very shortsighted in the war against drugs and the war on crime. host: paloma city, you are on the air. -- oklahoma city, democratic line, you are on the air. i get frustrated when we talk about the heroine addiction it a medical issue. of course, it is, any addiction is, but all of a sudden, you the suburban america story has risen 100% among white maless, 125% among white
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in the suburbs. that's the reason why now you are calling it an addiction. her utn you werefucking asi if to say that the black people are on heroinel h is balls come on have always been the ones who did heroin. heroine addiction among white america has been around since the 40's. i think it we should push against this narrative that it is the black people who are on drugs and end up in prison. laws because of the racist . they make black people a commodity. thatbecame the commodity stock to the for-profit prison system. guest: let me just say that if
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you look at drug trends -- let's put heroine aside for a minute. even crack, cocaine, marijuana, whatever, the rate of drug usage has never been more in the black population and statistics bear that out. yet if you look at the prison population, who goes to prison for drug use, or drug sales, it's predominately folks of color and people who are low income. i agree with you, you know, but i do think, though, now we are looking at heroine as a health issue, which i think is really important, but just recently some states a couple of years ago, i think it was the state of kentucky, they passed legislation that would criminalize a pregnant woman using drugs. how does that help anything? to tell her that we are going to take her baby and put you in prison, do you think she's going to come forward to see treatment? abandon the baby and continue to use because she is afraid to come forward.
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kentucky doing it one way, than others looking at it another way -- we need to be consistent. texas,rlington, democratic line, you are next. good morning. how are you doing this morning? i was convicted of a felony back in 1998. something i bought from a store, to sell it back and the guy wanted to buy the gun back for me. he thought i was trying to sell the gun. my friend of mine did not have a record, they came to my door three months later they said that sure, i sold that gun. they said i was making a fictitious statement with the acquisition of a firearm. i've had this felony conviction since 98. i'm a college graduate twice over.
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i was convicted of the brady bill in 1998. i was recently denied an apartment, they took my $225 application fee and told me i was denied because of my felony conviction from 1998. i do have a very good job, i make a good salary as a technician, but the overall discrimination that comes along with becoming a convicted felon is basically a life sentence. that's why i said that. you are sentenced to prison, you get out, and you carry it throughout your life. an example that he gave is a perfect one, where i think we need to change that, to say that you cannot rent an apartment? that happens is that if you were incarcerated in some states and they took her children away, you might not get your children back. if a relative wants to take care of a child and say she has had a
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conviction many years ago, she's not eligible to care for the child. host: if you change the policy, hadi make sure that if you change the rules for housing, how do you make sure that the employers and employees at the new job are safe and that the people who live in the other apartments that a person might live at our safe? thingsone of the proposed in the pieces of legislation that hopefully we will be looking at when we come back from break is -- there are tools, assessment tools that you can use to determine risk assessment, for example, that have been studied. they have been tested. they are valid measures. i think that what we have done is just had blanket situations. banning the box does not say that the employer cannot ever ask whether or not there has been a conviction. the whole point is to at least
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let the person get through the door. the employer can ask again later on. clearly there are some in this is where it's not appropriate, but we overdid it. i gave you the example where we couldn't be a barber. we were literally training them to be barbers and then not letting them have a license. i think that what happens is politicians -- i was one of them -- i wasn't passing laws, but they went crazy because it's a great campaign slogan. to say that i passed a law that says felons cannot rent apartments. they were not thinking about the long-term consequences of the laws they were passing. next, d.c.,'s independent caller. caller: good morning, i listen to c-span every single day. don't expect a concrete answer. i really don't. but i have two questions. i know how it goes with politics. i don't expect a real answer,
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but two questions, all right? the first one is a common and a question. the reason why we have drugs in this country is because they are brought here. cocaine is not produced here in america at all. heroine, the number one country producing heroine right now is afghanistan. heroine, opiates, it comes from an opium plant, as most people know. opium plants are not produced here in america. the stuff is getting flown or brought over, thousands of miles and brought to our country. my question is, what concrete things are we doing to stop these drugs from coming over in the first place? my second quick question is -- why is it you don't see any high-profile arrest of any importers for people with trucking mechanisms or planes or anything?
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it's always the low-level street drug dealers caught up because they cannot find a job and they need to make money to support their family so they decide to sell the drugs. i think you make an excellent point. heroine and cocaine are not grown or produced here. it does get in some way. the dea is our first line of defense in that. i do think that you hear and see a very high profile drug arrest. i do think they make a lot of efforts to do that, with drugs coming in from so many different areas, clearly it's something that we need to improve on. to me, without the demand, the supply wouldn't go anywhere. so, i am focused on reducing the demand. one of the things you have to do to do that is provide viable alternatives for people. provide drug treatment when people become addicted. the: about the situation on
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foreign affairs committee, the president recently announced that he would send under 50 of the special forces into syria. the headlines today in "the wall street journal," u.s. allies bolstering a syria with weapons, supplies, all in an effort to put pressure on and contain russia while they fight isis they are in isis in iraq. and isis in iraq. guest: i'm very concerned about that. it's such a shame, if we had never invaded iraq we would not be talking about syria or isis today. i know the president calling for special forces. we had a hearing about this yesterday. all of us are concerned. i don't want it to be a slippery slope. i don't want to see u.s. troops fighting in syria at all. host: how could it not be a
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slippery slope if these advisors are in the reach of isis? capturesens if isis one of these american special forces? we had a special forces guy recently in iraq, that's always a special ability. it's a difference between special forces and tens of thousands of american troops. i hope that that certainly doesn't happen. host: howard, a couple of minutes before the house gavels thatr their morning let morning legislative session. go ahead, howard. caller: sorry it's the end of the show. it's a very good topic today. that the legaly career for you, as a california , toslator with legislation the point with the drugs i have
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been friends now with the gentleman i have known for a year and a half. he has been in and out of prison since he was just 13 or 14 years old. juvenile detention. all because of his abusive father and his inability to help him. but the point i would like to make -- and you are making great sense today -- host: howard, i got a ask you to hurry. the house is really the doors are about to open. caller: yeah, the point i want , weake is that, ms. bass need to get industry to work with the prisoners that are coming out. host: right, going to take that point. guest: i think that that's right. people do need to be open to the fact that people can turn their lives around. we used to be a society that believed in redemption.
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i think we need to go back there. host: representative, appreciate your time this morning. the house coming in early as we said. thank you for having -- being here. thank you for watching this morning. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. dear god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we ask your special blessing upon the members of this people's house, they face difficult decisions in difficult times with many forces and interests demanding their attention. we are grateful, o god, that you have given to them the goals of justice and the designs of freedom. remind each member that it is their work to develop the strategies of achieving those goals and designs, being
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mindful of the prompting of your spirit. you have given to each of them and to us all the abilities to do good works so we pray that we will be faithful in our tasks, responsible in our actions, and fervent in our desire to serve. bless us, o god, this day and every day to come and may all that is done be for your greater honor and glory. men. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from nevada seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, say no. the aye vs. t the journal
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stands approved. the gentleman from nevada. >> i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on the question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway. r. conaway: please join in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. rend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to introduce legislation declaring
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the christians of syria, iraq, pakistan, iran, egypt, and libya as targets of genocide. mr. rohrabacher: this bill will make them eligible for expedited refugee and visa processing for entry into the united states and give them priority over other applicants. the save the christians from genocide act is imperative at this time. the alarm bell is ringing. ancient long-standing communities of christians in the middle east are being murdered individually and in mass, targeted for extinction. under president obama's leadership our government has stood by and watched this crime against humanity. i call on my colleagues and members of this house to join me in co-sponsoring this bill to save the christians from genocide. hundreds of thousands of muslims are finding safety and economic handouts in europe, but what about the true targets of genocide? where is their safe haven?
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i ask my colleagues to join me to support the save the christians from genocide act to prioritize our immigration and refugee policy to save these christians who are facing brutal extension. i rise now and will ask my colleagues to join me in co-sponsoring this bill. but i at this moment will submit it to congress for consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from missouri is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i am very pleased to be here this morning. on sunday, november 1, the kansas city royals took game five of the world series from a very good new york mets team. they beat them in the 12th inning, and they bring the commissioner's trophy back to kansas city for the first time in 30 years. the royals' championship season had the best record in the american league, 95 wins,
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defeated the astros in five games, defeated the blue jays in six, and defeated the mets in the world series in five games. these unheralded comeback kids scored 51 runs in the seventh inning or after the postseason, chattering the previous record by 15 runs. mr. cleaver: it was made clear on tuesday that this championship was not only about the royals, but about their loyal fan bait. . speaker, 800,000 people, 800,000 people turned out for the celebration. every school within 100 miles was closed. the 2015 royals team epitomizes what it means to play like a team. our players never gave up, they have respect for themselves and the game, and they treat each other like family. i want to congratulate my team, the kansas city royals, and express sympathy for the losers.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. california and the west continue to be ravaged by wildfire each year. mr. lal mall if a: especially -- mr. lamalfa: much is done on suppressing fires as they happen to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars of sometimes unplanned emergency funds, and loss of the people's asset, forestland and trees, in that inventory. with it the habitat, all of that value not frequently accounted for on public lands. what i'm frustrated by is the lack of mobilization after the fire for important salvage work needed on public land and how important it be timely. large trees after fire, many can be salvaged within a year and their value sold to recover costs. this is important for many reasons such as habitat, the renewal of the forest, and critical prevention of mass erosion into our streams,
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rivers, lakes, and other waterways. after the fire the replantings would help remitigate. they should be looking at their own timely treatment of their own jurisdictional public lands first. we need timely issuance now of the permitting that forest service and u.s. fish and wildlife service are holding in their hands for even modest work still pending on 2014 fires. i urge these permitting entities to expedite the paperwork now to salvage what we can of 2014 timber burn that has little time left to salvage at a value that will help taxpayers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. speaker, today i rise with a heavy heart to convey my thoughts and prayers and support for the students, the faculty, and the staff of
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the university of california at merced in my district. one of the rising stars, the newest university in the u.c. system. 11 years old with 6,700 students. yesterday was a very sad and unfortunate day. an incident occurred where four individuals were stabbed by a student on campus. the good news is that i am told that they will all recover. but it was a tragic act of violence. the campus was shut down. my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families who are all part of the university of california campus at mer stead. a -- merced. a wonderful community that i am honored to represent. i'm touched but not surprised by the courage, brave that the students have shown during this difficult time. and i am also not surprised by the amount of community support that has come together over the last 24 hours.
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the university community and the chancellor, their faculty have built a tremendous support within the merced campus. it's very special and i know everybody is reaching out to support everyone at this difficult time. again, my prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. faculty, the students, and the administration. we, too, are all university of california merced bobcats. stay strong and courageous. we are all with you. god bless. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from west virginia is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to pay tribute to staff sergeant ryan hammond of moundsville, west virginia. he was one of six airmen killed
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ast month when their c-130 crashed. -- a kinley: a nayive native, he joined after high school. on tuesday i joined with his family and friends to honor his life, service, and sacrifice in arlington national cementtary. the burial service was a reminder that the expense of individual freedom is steep. row after row of whitehead stones with names of americans who gave their ultimate sacrifice. dozens of his fellow squadron members paid tribute to staff sergeant hammond during the air moany. as they filed past, they laid their wings upon his coffin. a final salute to a young airman who followed his dream of flying. there was not a dry eye at the gravesite. thomas payne said 200 years ago, those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of
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supporting it. i offer my condolences to his family, his wife, his parents, his friends, staff sergeant ham mon will be missed but his sacrifices will never be forgotten. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia yield back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today we are leading the way at the red hill bay to revive the sultan sea. it is the largest body of water and poses the largest public health and economic threat to california. mr. rue i -- . mr. ruiz: wind blown dust containing arsenic and pest at this tides can cause respiratory stress in kids and seniors in the communities. it may reduce home values and harm our tourism industry, costing billions of dollars, for too long there's been study
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after study but no concrete action. but today at the sultan seas red hill bay, we break downed on the first large-scale project to help prevent dust exposure and promote renewable energy development. imagine a sultan sea that hosts the largest renewable energy industrial park in the nation, creating jobs in southern california. while preserving wildlife habitat and preventing the noxious dust our children may breathe. imagine a sultan sea that once again attracts tourists from throughout the globe. this is my vision for the sultan sea and today we took the first step to making this vision a reality. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new hampshire seek recognition? mr. beginny -- mr. guinta: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. guinta: mr. speaker, i rise to salute the grizzly football team, a high school with just 1,000 students, having amazing
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story of perseverance and achievement. thanks to great coaching and hard work, the team qualified for division iii championship a few years ago and has since advanced to division i. toughest in the granite state. even their fans thought competing at this level would be a tall order. the grizzlies are undefeated this season. they enter saturday's playoff game ranked number one. they got there with exciting defense and special teams, blocking punts, and returning kickoffs for touchdowns. the grizzlies have the granite state's fiercest linebacking crew. their kicker boots 45-yard field goals, helping his team to average more than 42 points a game. the running back rushed for over 1,000 yards this season and scored over 20 touchdowns. they have new hampshire's most potent passing attack and incredible local support. their spirited fans make it easy to like the grizzlies who take on the second district's titans this weekend. i wish both teams well but the
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grizzlies a little better. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new hampshire yield back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from california is recognized for one minute. ms. sanchez: mr. speaker, i rise today to encourage saturday night live to disinvide donald trump from hosting their show this weekend. many may believe that mr. trump is just causing controversy so he can get media attention, but his divisive and racist rhetoric has very troubling and real world consequences. many businesses and individuals have severed ties with mr. trump and even snl's owner, nbc universal stated nbc respected dignity of all people are cornerstones of our values and they ended their relationship with mr. trump. perhaps this blunder happened because currently there is no latino cast member on snl.
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and there have only been two in the entire history of "snl." i hope senate night live's producers, right writhers, and cast members will consider how donald trump hosting "s.n.l." will compromise the integrity of their show. having mr. trump degrades the quality of "s.n.l.'s" humor because racism isn't funny it's lazy and cheap. comedy has the power to highlight hypocrisy of society and reveal important social truths. and political commentary. "s.n.l." has achieved that in the past. i hope it returns. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. conaway: mr. speaker, i rise today to congratulate the texas society of c.p.a.s on their 100th birth dafmente as a lifetime member and a past chairman of the texas state board of public accountantcy, they hold a special place in my heart.
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while not in plain view and often not recognized, c.p.a.s are a special part of our communities. they do important oversight and regulation work that is integral to the functioning of our society. bottom line, c.p.a.s are essential for facilitating a thriving commercial system. c.p.a.s plug t. financial preparation in the event of disaster. they are design to help general public improve their lives. they are teaching people out to fish. in a complex world, these financial skills will benefit them and their children for the rest of their lives. for 100 years the tscpa is throwing the profession, maintain the integrity, molding leaders, and helping others. its growth is the evidence of its success. since its founding in 1915, they have grown to 20 chapters and membership of nearly 20,000. i'm a proud member of the profession, proud to be a c.p.a., proud of the tscpa and i wish them happy birthday on
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their 100th birthday. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois seek recognition? without objection, the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized for one minute. ms. kelly: men face some unique health and health care challenges so i rise today on behalf of men around the world to recognize november as men's health month and to raise awareness for men's health issues. today, american men face a mortality rate 41% higher than women. life expectancy for men is 76 years compared to 81 for women. american men face a higher mortality rate for eight of the 10 leading causes of death including cancer, liver disease and heart disease. men are at increased risk of mental health problems and 4.1 times likely to commit suicide than women. these are serious issues facing
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men around the world. every november, men around the world grow out their mustaches to raise awareness for these and other issues facing men. while i won't be able to join growing facial hair but i encourage my colleagues to know about men's health and stay healthy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois yields back the balance of her ime. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any record vote on the postponed question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 1356, as amended.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1356, an act to clarify that certain provisions of the border patrol agent pay reform act of 2014 will not take effect until after the director of the office of personnel management promulgates and makes effective regulations relating to such provisions. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and xtend their remarks and insert extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for four minutes. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. speaker. first, let me say i very much value and appreciate the partnership that i have on the armed services committee with the gentleman from washington, mr. smith. i also very much value and appreciate the work of our staff on both sides of the
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aisle during what has been something of a roller coaster year. but let me take just a moment to review where we are and how we got here. mr. speaker, the armed services committee reported out the fiscal year 2016 defense authorization act on april 29, 2015, by a vote of 60-2. during full committee markup, 211 amendments were adopted. about evenly divided between republicans and democrats. then on the floor, 131 amendments were adopted, again, from both sides of the aisle. after weeks of conference with the senate, a conference report containing 647 provisions was reported out. now, that conference report was the result of bipartisan effort, bipartisan input every step of the way. the conference report passed this house 270-156 and then it passed the senate by a vote of 70-27. and then on october 22, the president vetoed the bill to
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try to force congress to increase spending in other areas. as "the washington post" wrote, it was historic but not in a good way. well, last week the congress passed and the president signed the bipartisan budget act of 2015, not because of the president's veto of the defense bill but because we were up against the debt limit and because speaker boehner was on the way out and was trying to get some things resolved. so what we have before us now is the same bill as the conference report with funding adjustments to reflect the bill we passed last week. otherwise, it's the same bill. now, i understand the white house press secretary has said that the president will not veto the bill this time, and so i hope, mr. speaker, that this year has been an anomaly, that never again does the bill that supports our troops become a political bargaining chip and a political game.
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i will say our troops deserve better than that. this bill has a lot of important provisions. we talked about them on this floor before. acquisition reform, a new retirement system for the military that allows 83% of the people who serve, who leave with no retirement to put aside a nest egg and save for retirement, changes to the formulary so if someone is on a particular drug for posttraumatic stress when they're in the military they can stay on that drug when they move to the v.a. this bill takes additional steps for sexual assault. it authorizes assistance -- defensive weapons for the ukraine. it gives the president more options to assist the kurds, the sunnis and others who are fighting isis. we take steps to help prevent -- to protect the country against missile attack. it increases support for israeli missile defense by about $300 billion over what the president requested. it allows commanders the discretion to determine where
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-- when and where folks on their military base can carry personal firearms. it sunsets a number of reports. the list could go on and on. bottom line, mr. speaker, is this bill is good for the troops, good for the country, hopefully all the political maneuvering is behind us and as we move into veterans day we can do the right thing and pass this bill with a very, very strong vote. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for five minutes. mr. smith: thank you. i want to thank the chairman for his hard work on this piece of legislation. as always, i think he correctly described the process and the work that went into it. it's always a challenge in the house and senate, republicans and democrats. there are many, many provisions in this bill that we argued over and reached consensus but really this bill is a reflection of the way congress should function. it goes through committee, it
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goes through the house, it goes through the senate committee, senate and then we conference and discuss those issues and i think this year reflects that as well. we had a robust discussion with members participating. i particularly want to thank the staff for their outstanding work. they always have to work very, very hard on all of those provisions. i think it was 647 that the chairman mentioned to make that happen. our staff is second to none and i thank them for that and i thank the chairman and all the members who participated in this bipartisan process. as the chairman stated, we have a good product that takes some important steps on acquisition reform. it takes some critical steps on reforming our retirement system in a way i think will benefit the troops and it does all the other things the chairman said it does. i will say the political maneuvering that the chairman mentioned is not irrelevant because that is the one place this bill still isn't quite there and that is on getting rid of the budget caps and
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that's what all of that maneuvering was about was the original approach to this was to keep the budget caps in place and simply find o.c.o. money. now, the budget agreement uped the budget caps for a couple years, still used o.c.o. money. it made progress but still didn't get us there. make no mistake about it, that issue is all about our troops and national security. until we finally get rid of the budget caps and allow for a predictable at least five if not 10-year future for our defense department, national security will be at risk. now, it's great that we got two years. it's great that we got this one ll, but as many, many people in the department of defense, past secretary bob gates mentioned, the last five years have been terrible for the department of defense. the last five years of unpredictable budgets, c.r.'s,
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threatened shutdowns, actual shutdowns, budget caps, all of that has made it very, very difficult for the pentagon to plan in the way that they would like. so the maneuvering that we went through to get to this point is far from irrelevant to what's in the best interest of national security and what's in the best interest of our troops. i think it's central to it. and even now within this bill we don't have as much money for readiness as i think any of you would like and we don't have that predictability past two years. two years is great but we need to get past that, get past the budget caps, build in some predictability going forward. so while it was frustrating, obviously, to go through the process and have it vetoed, once the budget was resolved, we put ourselves in better position and we have a great bill and a bill i'm happy to support and i believe is in the best interest of our troops and in the best interest of our national security. again, i'll emphasize this house will not truly get there
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until we have a more predictable budget future for national security and the department of defense and not just the department of defense. as i mentioned in earlier defense, the department of homeland security, the department of justice, the treasury department, the state department amongst many others play a critical role in our national security. they, too, need some budget certainty and freedom from the caps and sequestration. so all of that i think was very, very relative -- relative -- relevant to making our national security stronger and adequately protecting our troops. so i'm pleased to stand up to support the bill today. i look forward to it moving forward again. i thank everyone for their very, very hard work for making it happen. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, as the house departs for the veterans day recess, i think it is particularly important that we honor veterans with more
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than our words. we should honor them and what they sacrificed for with our votes as well. so over the next few minutes, i'm going to be honored to yield to some of our colleagues who are combat veterans themselves, and i'd like to start first and in many ways foremost with the distinguished gentleman from texas, a true american hero, mr. sam johnson, to whom i yield two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. you know, today i come to the floor on behalf of all our service men and women. as a 29-year air force veteran and p.o.w., i know something about what it takes to achieve mission success. you know, for military to be successful, troops need adequate funding so they can carry out their missions safely and effectively. troops also need the support of
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their president, their commander in chief. because i speak from experience when i say this i say it because in vietnam we had neither. you see, due to consolidation at the defense department, the planes i flew in vietnam were really navy aircraft. they weren't equipped for air-to-ground combat. the pentagon hung gun pods on them but its success rate was about 50%. that's just not the type of odds you want going into battle. on my 25th mission in vietnam, i was hit from ground fire and tried to fight back but couldn't because the gun jammed. enemy shots caught my right engine on fire and i ejected just before the aircraft crashed. the viet congress caught me and eventually -- the viette cong caught me and i spent the
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almost seven years of my life. something i wonder about is if things would have turned out differently had the air force had properly equipped planes and my gun hadn't jammed. but i can tell you this, it's vital priority of mine to ensure our troops today don't run into the same problems i did. america can't defend its national security if our troops don't have what they need. i urge the president to sign this bill today. it's the right thing to do for our deployed troops who are in harm's way. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the tactical air and land forces, the gentlelady from -- subcommittee, the gentlelady from california, ms. sanchez. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you to the
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ranking member. thank you to the chairman of the committee. i'd also like to thank my counterpart, the chairman of the tactical air, land, force subcommittee, mr. turner, because we have worked in a very bipartisan way. so our committee really looks at the procurement of things both for land and for air. and we have a lot of help in doing that. i'd like to especially thank john, james, and john for their dedication and hard work in getting this done. i'm very proud of the parts of our subcommittee in the bill we have today. so working in a bipartisan manner we found hundreds of millions of dollars in programs that were behind schedule, that were not performing. some that just didn't make sense anymore. and we took that money and we diverted it into places that i believe are service -- our service members need. u.a.v.'s, armored vehicles,
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fighter aircraft, tactical missiles, national guard equipment, and a wide range of individual soldier items. i also want to highlight, for example, army national guard needs to replace its aging helicopters. so we have focused on that. that was within of my things that i focused on. for example, in the california army national guard they are deeply involved in fighting all of these forest fires that we have. but they can't do it with aging equipment. it's a priority for me in this year's bill to fund uh-60 blackhawk helicopters and to ensure the implementation of modernized blackhawks into the army national guard. i'm also proud this year's bill continues to eliminate unnecessary barriers which delay the services from expanding opportunities for women in the military. it is time for the u.s. armed forces to stop excluding service members from serving in certain roles due only to their gender.
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female service members have the right to serve in all units and all specialties. as long as they meet the standards. finally, as a member of the strategic forces subcommittee, i am -- remain concerned about the bloated nuclear weapons budget. i hope that in the future we will support more in nonproliferation programs. i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman from california yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to a veteran of the iraq conflict who also chairs our subcommittee on military personnel, the gentleman from nevada, dr. heck. the chair: the gentleman from nevada is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. deck: i thank the chairman for yielding. as chairman of the house armed services subcommittee on military personnel, i appreciate chairman thornberry's efforts to finalize this legislation. his dedication to our men and women in uniform, families, veterans, survivors is unsurpassed. supporting the men and women who raise their right hand, volunteer to pick up a weapon,
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and stand a post in a far off land that make our nation great is a primary function of the federal government. to provide for the common defense. today with the adoption of this legislation we achieve that goal. included in this bill are personnel provisions that will allow us to recruit and retain the best and brightest, maintain an agile military force, and ensure our brave service men and women receive the benefits they have earned and deserve. this includes a new retirement plan that provides a benefit for the roughly 83% of the force who serve less than 20 years and currently leave with nothing. it authorizes the special pays and bonus that is are crate cal to maintaining the all volunteer force. it protects important nonmonetary compensation benefits like a robust commissary and exchange system. it mandates a joint uniform drug formulary between the department of defense and the department of veterans affairs so that transitioning service members can continue to receive the medication that is are working for them when they leave active service. and it provides enhanced
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protections for sexual assault victims to include protecting victims from retaliation. i urge my colleagues to stand with our military men and women, their families, our veterans, and survivors and support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from nevada yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the military personnel subcommittee, mrs. davis from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for two minutes. mrs. davis: i want to thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith and my colleague, dr. heck, our chair of the subcommittee. along with the committee staff for working in a bipartisan manner to incorporate the budget changes from the bipartisan budget act into the ndaa. i'm pleased to see this very important bill headed back to the president so that it can be signed into law quickly. the bill includes many good provisions to improve our military. it takes important steps toward personnel reform by including recommendses from the military compensation and retirement modernization commission. a key provision is a
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modernization of the military retirement system. it's been mentioned before, this is very, very important, i think, for everyone, while maintaining the 20-year defined retirement the thrift savings plan is added not just for retirees but all service members. this will positively impact the 83% of the force that leaves prior to the 20-year mark. the ndaa also continues the committee's crit cat work towards the prevention and response to sexual assault. although the bill allows for some pilot programs to improve health care for service members and their families, we need to do more. i'm pleased that chairman thornberry has asked the military personnel subcommittee reforming rking on the military health care system. important issues clearly are addressed in this bill and i support many of the provisions and all the hard work that went into it, but as we know, national security is born from many factions, including the education of our people, investment in science and
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technology, and the support of sustainable resources and infrastructure. the bipartisan budget act provides for these investments over the next two years. we must capitalize on the time provided even fix the national budget so that we don't find ourselves back in the same situation we were in just a few weeks ago. our national security is far too important. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to a combat veteran from both iraq and afghanistan, the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. kinzinger: i thank shall for your hard work on this. there's a lot of negative out there in this house. we talk a lot about bad things that happen. a lot about -- i want to talk about some of the good. some of the good are the people that come from the united states of america that put on the uniform of all our various
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armed forces and stand as the line between chaos and the line between order. the line between good and the line between evil. we know in the last decade we had a number of troops engaged in iraq, afghanistan, and all over the globe in the war on terror, keeping americans safe. in some cases very distant from their family. and some cases they have to give the ultimate sacrifice. and we know that today in syria and iraq, and untold areas, and other place that is we have men and women still defending this country from the potential next attack. the best thing that we can do in this body, we debate budgets and that's important, but the best thing that we can do, the most important thing we can do, is equip the men and women of our military with the tools they need, with the pay they need, with the benefits they need to defend this country. to take care of their family. and that we can alleviate a little bit of the pain and loneliness they may feel when they are separated on a
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battlefield. i want to thank the chairman. i want to thank the ranking member and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and on this side of the aisle for working together. i would ask for this to pass in a unanimous way, if we could, and i would ask the president to sign this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the sea power and project -- scombroketted forces subcommittee, mr. courtney of connecticut. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. mr. courtney: i rise today in support of the revised defense bill which restores the strong bipartisan tradition of the house armed services committee. in particular, the sea power portion expands shipbuilding to ensure our nation today is building the ships we need tomorrow. the bill authorizes over $17 billion for construction of nine new ships, including two attack subsequent, two destroyers, a new oiler, and completion of an lpd am fib. it continues work on a new
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carrier and overhaul of one of our current carriers n this bill we are providing the resources to keep our navy on track to build a force of over 300 ships. this progress stands in stark contrast to where we were nearly a decade ago building only four or five ships a year. a critical mistake which decimated the size of our fleet. the bill also includes the national sea base deterrence fund to alout navy to build new ballistic subsequent. to be clear, this program is not about building one submarine class, it's about making sure the navy and our nation has the full range of ships and submarines it needs in the few tumplete building on our work to start the fund last year the bill today adds to the range of authorities the navy can use to design and build ballistic subs in the most cost-effective wafmente just last week the nonpartisan c.b.o. looked at the sea power initiative and found if we funded the purchase of higher replacement submarines through the national sea base deterrence fund, the navy could
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potentially save several hundred million dollars per submarine. that's part of the bipartisan work this bill represents. i urge support of the revised ndaa. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to another combat veteran of america's recent wars who also serves as the vice chair of our subcommittee on sea power, the gentleman from rafment, -- california, mr. hunter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. hunter: adam smith from washington and mac thornberry from texas, we have wise leaders. wise leaders who are going to be here when the generals term out. when the administration terms out. when the secretary of defense changes over, over and over. guess who's here? it will be mac thornberry and adam smith, mike rogers, mike turner, randy forbes. we have people who love this country whose job it is who come to work every day in d.c. and they care about national
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security. because there is no social security without national security. that's the way it is. what this bill is, what the national defense authorization act is, is our solemn promise to our people who go fight for us. it's us promising them that we will look out for them. that we will fight for them. we will give them what is needed to do their job. i'll tell you, when the guys go kick down doors, when the guys are out in the freezing cold weather or the hot hue made weather, every day, day -- humid weather, every day, day in and day out, we are here in our suits and ties, air conditioned building, this is our solemn promise to them. we are going to hip. no matter where the president sends you, the congress will make sure that you have what you need to do your job. i did three tours. two in iraq and one in afghanistan. while my father was chairman of the armed services committee here in d.c. i'll tell you that gave me a perspective of congress needs to watch our backs. congress needs to do what's right for the men and women
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that are out there doing their jobs. on the ships day and night. that's what we are here doing. that's what's important. without this, nothing else matters. without this, the ex-im bank doesn't matter. without this the transportation bill doesn't matter. it's about national security. making sure that we remain a free nation. once again i want to thank the leaders who do this and put this bill together and work on this in a bipartisan way. i want to say thank you to chairman mac thornberry and adam smith. with that i urge my colleagues to vote for this for the country. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i thank congress manhunter for his kind words for mr. thornberry and i. it's really the whole committee, and thrick the staff that puts this together. i think the staff that i'm most impressed w they are absolutely 100% dedicated to the national security of this country. i think mr. hunter is absolutely correct. it is the first and most
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important responsibility that we have is to protect this country and to give the troops the equipment that they need to succeed in that venture. i was particularly moved by congressman johnson's comments about not having the equipment that he needed in vietnam. i thank mr. thornberry for his leadership on trying to make sure that we don't repeat that mistake. i think we work in a bipartisan way to achieve that goal to make sure the men and women who serve our country have the equipment, have the training that they need to perform the missions that we ask them to do. i thank congress manhunter and congressman johnson. i think both their words were very well said. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to another veteran of the iraq conflict, the gentleman from ohio, mr. stivers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. stivers: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the chairman for yielding time. this national defense authorization act is really
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important. as a member of congress and as a member of the military i have raised my right arm and taken an oath to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic. in fact, defending our country is our primary duty as policymakers here in washington. i'm pleased that the budget agreement that was reached a couple weeks ago will pave the way for a national defense authorization act to get passed now. it was really unfortunate that the president chose to veto that over domestic spending priorities. but i'm glad that we are here where we can actually fix some of the things that need fixed. this bill, as you have this bill, as you heard, protects 83% of our service men and women who don't reach 20 years of service, allows them to walk away with something. more importantly, this bill will help reduce the instance of suicide among our members of the military, and suicide is an
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epidemic in our military right now. they've been through a lot over the last 10 or 15 years, and we need to give them the help they need. this bill helps do that. this bill makes very important other reforms in the acquisition process, but most importantly, it gets the soldiers in harm's way the resources they need to do their job, and i think that it's really important that we pass this bill before veterans day to send a signal to our troops all across the world that we have their back, and when they answer the nation's call and we send them into harm's way, we're going to get them what they need to do the job and help them return home safely. for those reasons, i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this bill and i thank the gentleman and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i will reserve. we are waiting for a couple more speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is
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recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to another veteran of america's more recent wars and a member of our committee, the gentleman from ohio, dr. wenstrup. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. wenstrup: thank you. i served in the u.s. army reserves since 1998. in 2005, 2006, i deployed to iraq for one year. there were times during that deployment when we wondered if politicians at home had our back, but we never wondered if the president did. we knew he did. this president, let's not give our troops pause now. please sign this bill. troops serving overseas want to make sure that politicians in d.c. are behind him. with chairman thornberry and ranking member smith, i'm here to tell our troops right here right now that members of this body have their back. we have troops serving in harm's way every day, and their missions are expanding. let's leave no question in their minds about the support here at home. this legislation, the national
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defense authorization act, gives our troops and military families the certainty they need as they serve. troops stationed all over the world in dess per ate and dangerous -- desperate and dangerous places vetoed this act. a dangerous act in my mind. sign this bill so our troops know we have their back. sign this bill so our military can adequately plan for the threats we face and continue to face through 2016 from china to ussia to isis to iran to north korea. national security is something not to be juggled around. let's pass and sign this bill so military families don't have to worry. national security is our responsibility. let's give them some assurance in a world of uncertainty. veterans day is fast approaching. let's get this critical defense bill across the finish line in honor of every man and woman
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that has ever worn the uniform of the united states military. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the emerging threats capability subcommittee, mr. langevin of rhode island. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for two minutes. i thank the gentleman for yielding. thank you, mr. speaker. i first want to thank the chairman and ranking member, particularly chairman wilson and members of the emerging threats and capability subcommittee for their hard work and contributions to the legislation before us today. the ndaa moves us forward on so many important issues, from cyberspace to research and development to the integration of advanced technologies, such as directed energy, to the
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challenges of special operations, counterterrorism and unconventional warfare. the ndaa also invests properly in crucial capabilities such as the ohio replacement program, the virginia class submarines that are built, starting in my district in rhode island, the virginia payload module, the unmanned systems. i'm particularly pleased that the budget approach reflected in this bill is the result of the considered compromise that was reached last week. that framework paves a fiscal path that invests in all departments and all elements of national power and not just defense. that agreement and the ndaa before us this morning echoes that very point and it demonstrates when we work across the aisle we can accomplish the hard work of legislating that the american people elected us to do. i do believe that the bill gets
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it wrong, though, in a few areas. most notably on the provisions related to guantanamo. however, no bill is perfect, and in a net assessment, i believe this bill reflects a bipartisan compromise that will properly provide for our national defense and for our men and women in uniform and i look forward to supporting it. again, i want to thank chairman thornberry and ranking member smith for the extraordinary work that they did together in bringing the bill to this point. and the tireless staff who are not often recognized like they should be and their extraordinary work. i want to thank them for their work and all collectively on this ndaa this year, and i'm ready -- i'm already looking forward to getting to work on next year's bill. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to another combat
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veteran from both iraq and afghanistan, the gentlelady from arizona, ms. mcsally. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from arizona is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. mcsally: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your work on this bill over the last year and also of our colleagues working hard to make sure this is a good bill that gives our troops everything they need to protect our country and keep it safe. i commanded troops in combat. i know what it's like to make sure that we were ready to deploy anywhere in the world. we need to make sure that our troops that are at home, on alert or deployed in harm's way that they have the equipment, the training and the certainty that they need in order to keep us safe. right now we have men and women who raise their right hand that are right now out there on the front lines, putting their lives on the line, and the last thing they need is more uncertainty. the president's veto last week gives them uncertainty, and we need to stop that right now today. we've been able to push past some of the issues with our colleagues, and i urge everyone
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to support this very important bill. a couple provisions just related to my district. we got protections for the a-10, very important assets that are deployed right now in the fight against isis and other places around the world, saving american lives. this bill protects those assets from being retired. it's an important bill to pass to show certainty to our troops that we got their back. , asmeth ave missions rickal capabilities support -- , and rical capabilities unlike sam johnson and his experience in vietnam, we've got to show the troops that we got their backs. this bill has important provisions in it across the board to include those with retirement benefits, sexual assault victims. it's a good bill. the president should not be playing politics with it, and i urge our colleagues on both sides of the aisle that we need to work together to support this bipartisan bill, get it
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passed. our troops need to -- we need to make sure they know we have their backs. we have their backs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. my understanding is you are the sole remaining speaker at this point so we will close at this point and i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i just want to start on the last point about certainty and the president's veto. it had $38 billion in o.c.o. funding which the appropriators had not appropriated and which was highly unlikely to be there. if the president had signed that bill, the uncertainty would have been enormous. there would have been $38 billion promised in the ndaa with no guarantee whatsoever that it was going to show up. now, once we got a budget resolution, we were able to get $33 billion of that $38 billion, and that's good. still, if he had signed that bill we would now be scrambling
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out to cut that $5 billion. make no mistake about it, the bill that we passed and the president vetoed gave no clarity to our troops or to the department of defense because it had $38 billion in it that the budget resolution and that the appropriators were not going to approve. until we got that resolved, we could not legitimately pass a bill that would give our troops and the department of defense any degree of -- forget certainty. any degree of understanding of the money they were going to spend. so passing a ndaa with a bunch of money in it that isn't reflected in the budget resolution, that isn't reflected in the appropriations is hardly supporting our troops and hardly giving them sort of shall rnt clarity as to the money they are going to have -- sort of clarity as to the money they are going to have. i wouldn't say the president's veto of the ndaa was incentive
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of getting that budget resolution. i'm sure it didn't hurt. we wanted to clarify that certain security process. more importantly, there was $38 billion that wasn't going to be there. that's not keeping a promise to our troops. so i'm glad we got that clarity, glad it happened as soon as it did. i was skeptical we'd get the budget resolution so quickly, but i'm glad we did and it gives our troops and the department of defense a sense of clarity on the budget for at least the next two years. as i said, we need to go beyond that. we need to get rid of the budget caps. we need to get rid of, i believe, the budget control act so we can have some degree of planning ability for the next five to 10 years for the department of defense and for all these other departments that are important to national security but also important to economic security and that matters as well to our country. so i'm glad we arrived where we're at, and i, again, want to thank the chairman. i want to thank the ranking member -- sorry. thank myself. thank the chairman and thank all the members of the
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committee for all of their very, very hard work. but in particular, before i wrap up today, i want to thank betty gray who works on our staff who -- and if you look at her you would not believe this in a million years, who has been here for 40 years. i don't think she's aged in any of those 40 years. but she has served the armed services committee and, gosh, more members than any of us could probably count for 40 years. and she is the epitome of a public servant and the epitome of exactly everything that the house staff stands for in terms of always putting the troops first, always being concerned about our national security. i don't know how we would function without betty. she makes the trains run on time, makes sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing and has just done a fabulous job and is just truly wonderful person as well, has been a good friend to many,
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many members, many, many staff members. but also i think the great thing about betty she's always managed to do something that's difficult to all of us and that's balance both professional and personal life. her husband, dick, her children, zack and cal, has always been just, you know, number one priority for her. she takes care of them and she also takes care of us. so, you know, for 40 years she's been a dedicated public servant. a round of give her applause for betty gray and her 40 years of service. and i don't know what we'll do if she ever decides to retire. we like to think that no one is irreplaceable but betty comes as close as anyone i could possibly imagine. so i thank her for her help and leadership and for 40 years of dedicated public service, and with that i urge a yes vote on the bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i want to thank up where the ranking member left off and join him in honoring and thanking betty gray for her incredible record of service to our committee and through our committee to the country. and i think this is -- it is important to honor her but she epitomizes the kind of selfless service to the country that this bill and this committee is really all about. betty handles the most sensitive information our committee deals with, and she does it with a professionalism that is just beyond reproach to -- from anyone. and what you can't put in a job description is the personality, the person, the nurturing that comes to other -- to members and other members of the staff
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which is irreplaceable. mr. speaker, i think too much of the time we take, especially members, take for granted those people who are essential to getting the work done and through this institution serving the country. and i agree completely what the ranking member said, that betty gray epitomizes that sort of service. and i think it is a similar but different capacity but a similar sort of service that we've heard about today from the combat veterans who have spoken, starting with starting with sam johnson who talked about what happened when he wasn't appropriately supported. then spent the next seven years of his life in the hanoi hilton. we never know what could have been prevented, but his testimony, really, about what he has endured should stick with us all. i think mr. hunter was particularly powerful in saying

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