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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 7, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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bill that would release a large quantity of people. >> we are not talking about releasing low-level offenders. the federal prisons are full of significant drug traffickers. if you look at the statistics, lessyou will see is that than 5% of the individuals incarcerated in federal prison were found by district judge to have the sentencing judge, to have a mitigating role, that is to say they had a >> the claims of those with view is, for the most part, many drug traffickers are wrongly portrayed as a victim of the crime they have committed because they are incarcerated for too long. the system that is currently in place has done what it was intended to do, reduce the amount of drug gangs and drug traffickers in the u.s. he believes are camilla justice system has succeeded -- our criminal justice system has succeeded. hascrime rate overall
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decreased since mandatory minimums. the issue for many is how justly that was accomplished. a fair criminal justice system should be talk more about in the 2016 election because camilla justice reform gravely impacts our economy, social welfare and public safety. -- criminal justice reform. it is a problem that will affect everyone around us in a direct or indirect way. we must all come together as one to fully solve this issue and create an effective and fair incarceration system. my presidential candidate must address this issue and explain their approach works blending the problem of --s incarceration best explain their approach for addressing the problem of mass incarceration. >> to watch all the prize-winning documentaries in
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cam year's student competition, visit studentcam.org. jennifer of "the new york daily news." john kasich and heading at that campaigning at -- john kasich campaigning ahead of the new york primary. he made a speech in marietta, ohio, just across the river from west virginia. west virginia's primary is may 10. [applause] [applause] [cheers and applause]
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[applause] >> now that we have had the obligatory selfie and you have seen that the ohio general assembly is one big family, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to introduce to you our great governor, john kasich. [cheers and applause] gov. kasich: thank you all very much. [applause] gov. kasich: thank you. thank you. [applause] gov. kasich: thank you all very much. thank you. well, you know, i couldn't resist that baby. when she gets to be 18 and decides to vote, i will be out of politics, but that's so sweet. congratulations on the beautiful baby. she didn't even cry. there you go. thank you, mr. president, mr. speaker. i want to thank you, the members
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of the general assembly, for bringing this joint legislative session. i hope you are all beginning to realize that getting this out of the capital is a good idea and i hope it will continue for a very long time. and it's in his dark day for our -- it's a historic day for our first permanent city. special thanks to the people of this great community, the local officials, law enforcement officers, and other community leaders and staff and trustees of this beautiful people's bank. this is a phenomenal place. and all who have helped make this year's state of the state possible. justice o'connor is here, along with justice french. where are they? can we recognize them, please? [applause] gov. kasich: i hope you will join me in welcoming mary taylor. where is mary? would you please stand?
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[applause] gov. kasich: and of course, the other members of my cabinet and staff are with us tonight. they have been out all over this town all day long. where's the cabinet? if they could stand and be recognized. [applause] gov. kasich: and finally, i'd like to say a word. i said to my wife, our kids are 16, sophomores in high school, a lot of demand is on them, and they are now driving. just so you know. i said to my wife, "if you can't make it down here, i understand, everybody will understand, you have things you have to do." so i came down here with the expectation that my wife might watch on television, but she shocked me and surprised me. love you, sweetie. if you will stand and be recognized. karen kasich, the first lady of ohio. [applause]
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gov. kasich: tomorrow, april 7, will mark 228 years to the day that 48 daring adventurers first settled here in marietta. the pioneering spirit of those early settlers remains alive in marietta today, as do a number of their descendents. one of them is with us this evening. nancy putnam hollister, our first female governor. where is she? [cheers and applause] gov. kasich: you know, those first settlers couldn't imagine at the time, but by opening the door to america's western frontier, they were opening one of the most important chapters in the history of the new american nation. think about this. in 1788, no one conceived that the states that began with those pioneer homesteads would go on
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to be the birthplace of the first man who walked on the moon. it's a pretty incredible thing when you think about that whole movement, from the first settlers to neil armstrong on the moon. in ohio, in its earliest stages, was the frontier state, and although the frontier kept moving westward, ohio, in so many ways, remains on the frontier, a pioneering leader in entrepreneurship, agriculture, invention, industry, and innovation. from its earliest beginnings and for generations after, ohio has been a place that people wanted to be and a model to which many other states aspired. i would say that, sadly, over time, we kind of lost that edge, and after sometimes times, tough times, in a world that seem to be
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moving on without us, ohio wasn't always able to hold itself up as america's model. take for example -- we have to think about this -- how troubled we were just five short years ago. our budget was busted, our reserves were empty, and the credit outlook was in the tank. we had an ineffective economic development program, high taxes, heavy-handed regulation, and we had lost 350,000 jobs. that's 350,000 families that really got bad news. we were $8 billion in the hole. and as you know, i have done a bit of traveling in recent months here in ohio and a few other places, and in many places, i've actually met people who have been struggling with some of the same challenges we faced right here in our beloved state. i've been grateful to give them hope, by holding up a we have -- holding up what we have been doing here, how we are getting back on our feet, how we have made progress, all of us, and i mean all of us, by pulling together. that's the funny thing about
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hope. it's powerful because it can be contagious, and the progress we are making is giving hope not only to ohioans but to many other people across our great country. one of the most important things we did to get ohio back on track was to get our fiscal house in order with common sense management, sound budgeting, and conservative spending restraints. sometimes it would have been easier to be looser, but my judgment was we needed to remain conservative in our estimates. we went to work cutting taxes by $5 billion, more than any other state. we're streamlining regulations, and mary taylor has done a great job with the common sense initiative to create a jobs friendly climate, and for those businesspeople, particularly small business people, that feel strangled by excessive regulation, you give her a call. the formula is working. fiscal responsibility, commonsense regulations, and of
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course, always looking to cut taxes. with a prosperity that comes from job creation and economic growth, we have the resources to go further and reach out to those who might otherwise be ignored. we should also take into account the fact that because of the prosperity and the additional resources, we have been helping the mentally ill, giving hope to the drug addicted, the disabled, and the working poor. we should all be proud of that. when folks around the country look at ohio today, they see a state beginning to do a lot of things better. our budget is sound. we have $2 billion in the bank. and ohioans have created more than 417,000 new, private sector jobs, and wages are growing faster than the national average, right here in the buckeye state.
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[applause] gov. kasich: over the past five years, we have improved opportunities for students in our classrooms, and we are absolutely working to make college more affordable. we're taking on the scourge of addiction, streamlining state government, and continuing to chip away at taxes and regulations in ways that can continue our economic push into the future. together, all of us, republicans, democrats, across the state, we have actually lifted ohio out of the ditch. we started moving again and we are picking up speed. the state of our state is getting stronger every day, and the outlook is bright and hopeful here in the buckeye state. [cheers and applause]
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gov. kasich: but make no mistake -- it's not just me behind the wheel. we have all been in this together, and everyone of us are responsible for keeping ohio moving forward toward our goals. that goal is to build more speed sustain it for the long-term, for our children, for everyone's children, and for the generations that follow. we want them to remember us. while state government is taking big steps to pare down barriers and some power back to ohioans, and returnn barriers some power back to ohioans, that only means that the real work to push ohio forward is being done by ohioans, and frankly, it is up to ohioans to put their power that we returned to them back to work to keep us moving. the progress we've made and that we must continue to make only happens one person at a time. one community at a time, in every county, all across our state. and that is because the spirit of ohio, just like the spirit of america, is in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in our
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communities. you see, folks, it's where we live. it's where we work. where we go to school or teach, where we worship, where we look after our neighbors and care for others around us who may be lonely. people who may be discouraged or people who are hurting. you see, i want you to think about the fact that the spirit of our state is in the people that sit next to us and the people we know at home. i want to look at a few examples, in the schools, thanks to our work together, children have new opportunities to succeed from the earliest age we take care of them. by the end of 2017, ohio will be helping three times more young children have access to early childhood instruction than just six years ago. [applause]
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gov. kasich: and we are making sure that all early childhood education is up high quality so children can start school ready to learn. it is expensive but a high priority for us, early childhood. then there is the third grade reading guarantee, because we are making sure children are not just being shuffled along, but that they have the learning gills -- learning skills they need for the progressively more rigorous material in higher grades. this is great news, folks. this year, even with the tougher standards, 94% of third-graders passed the reading guarantee thanks to the hard work of everyone, educators, librarians, mentors, and families. 94% of third-graders can now pass that test. [applause] gov. kasich: schools are also developing new
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strategies for identifying students at risk, who may drop out. we need to keep them interested in school. if they have already dropped out, we have to help them find a way to their diploma. we have one of those new diploma holders in here with us today. jill hawkins. jill was an adult, graduated without a high school diploma. she had very narrow career options but now she is on a much better track because she made the choice to take ownership of her future and to get that diploma. congratulations, jill. where are you? where is jill hawkins? is she here? ok, jill. [applause] gov. kasich: we also have new mentoring efforts underway to motivate and inspire young ohioans to find their purpose and reach for the stars.
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folks, we know that mentoring makes a difference because we see the results in great programs like the cincinnati youth collaborative where 95% of this -- of the students graduate from high school, 95% graduate from high school in a system where the average is about 63% and 83% go on to college, career, or military. it was part of the inspiration for our community connectors program which brings mentors dedicated to gd values and career education into our schools to help shape young people's lives. today, community connectors has 150 local partnerships statewide in more than half of ohio's counties to inspire kids at about learning, their futures and their god-given potential. this was a critical program that
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we passed to create mentoring. it is now in effect in over half of ohio's counties. if you do not have this program involved in your county, and in your schools, let us know. we want every child in the state of ohio to be mentored and told about how great they can be and how much they are loved and appreciated. can we do it, please? let us get every kid mentored. [applause] gov. kasich: right here in marietta where the city schools have volunteers from the community to mentor seventh and eighth graders, to help guide them and explore different career paths. i want to say to all of you that are here tonight -- you think back to who inspired you. it might have been your principle. it might have been your coach. for me, it was a couple of barbers that cut hair in the keys rocks and when i would want
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-- walk by, they would come out "johnny, someday you are going to be something." i remember penussi's and love them for what they did. we need to do this for children across our state. another tool for young people is ohio means jobs. that website. with the parents, teachers, and others who mentor young people and provide kid friendly tools. to help them mentor about careers. more than 220,000 students in our k-12 system have already used this site to begin exploring careers. direct your constituents to the ohio means jobs. it can change a life. so many people as well as employers in big cities, small towns, and moral areas tell me -- rural areas tell me that one of their top personal concerns is drug abuse and addiction.
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i talked about it earlier today. the attorney general and i have worked on this for some time. they backed that up with very personal stories about the way drugs have torn apart their own lives, their families, and their neighborhoods. oh, yes -- i have met mothers and fathers who get up every day and wonder whether it will all come tumbling down. put yourself in their shoes for a moment. we have to win this war. here in ohio, we took the battle on in earnest five years ago. we knew then and we are all to aware that this is not an easy war to win. the progress that we want cannot happen overnight. it takes a comprehensive and community centered plan of action, one based on four pillars. education, prevention,
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treatment and enforcement. and that battle will not be fought and won just by actions that we take in columbus. the front lines of this battle are in every urban center, town, and farm community across ohio. we do have one powerful tool that is free for any community, any community to use. it is called start talking. if you don't already know about it, you must learn about it. the name says it all. start talking. by simply having a conversation with our young people about the dangerous consequences of trying drugs, we can reduce the likelihood, reduce the likelihood of starting kids down a path of drug addiction by 50%. many schools are using the resources that we have provided
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including goshen, claremont county, the city of chillicothe. we can also do more. i am not asking. i am begging. i am begging our teachers, andparents, our mentors, all adults to have a conversation with children they know to have a conversation about the dangers of abuse. to the men and women that are struggling -- do you want to win this battle? go do it. get out of your comfort zone. you grab a young man or young woman and you tell them about god's purpose for their lives and a -- if they take these drugs and end up addicted they will of secure or destroy that purpose. -- they will obscure or destroy that purpose. let us win this in our great
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state but it takes all of us. this is a scourge that we must defeat. in keeping kids off drugs is a big part of our moral calling to help every ohioan to fulfill their purpose and god-given ability. i believe that as our state's leaders, our number one moral obligation is to foster a jobs friendly climate. our next mission is then to create quality education and training so ohioans can acquire the skills they need to compete for the new jobs our businesses create. it also means helping ohioans at the bottom of the economic ladder move up. in a few months, ohio will begin implementing legislation passed in the last session to help ohioans who are just entering the workforce -- those between 16-24 years old break into careers and break out of the cycle of poverty.
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by using common sense to better align job-training and human service efforts, these counties are better able to assess young people's overall needs and skills and then they can offer them the training and the education to get and keep a job to help them start moving up on the economic ladder. we start early. we work with them. we can get great results. we are also eliminating unintended barriers in the ohio safety net that once discouraged working moms from moving up. now, by making it easier for them to keep their support for child care, even when they get a promotion or a better job, we show them that hard work pays off. [applause] gov. kasich: and a word about medicaid expansion because i believe it is making a difference. together, we have worked hard to improve this stems quality and -- the system's quality and
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accountability so taxpayers get the quality they deserve and ohioans get quality care. for example, more than 330,000 more women in ohio now have access to health care. that means he can get healthy, -- they can get healthy, stay healthy, and better participate in the workforce. expansion has also delivered new resources to help our communities addressed mental health and addiction issues. it is working for our people. [applause] gov. kasich: we have also made important progress in improving community and police relations. over the past few years across this nation, we have seen growing tension, between communities and police. and the divisions have been severe and often times violent. we have always known that this has to be dealt with because we will not have a for
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fe neighborhoods if there is mistrust between our communities and law enforcement. thanks to your help, i am so proud to say that ohio is leading the way. our efforts began when we pulled together a diverse group of law enforcement experts, community leaders from throughout the state to recommend strategies for strengthening the bond between our communities and the police. they were a bipartisan group. of all philosophies. and understood that it was not a time for politics. they knew that they could not practice politics if they were going to get it right and they have been able to get it right. to continue their work, we established an ongoing collaborative to put those recommendations into action. for the first time in our history, ohio now has statewide standards for law enforcement agents these on the use of wars -- agencies on the use of wars
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includingforce, deadly force and the hiring and recruitment of law enforcement personnel and we are asking our local agencies, our local police departments to start using them. i am pleased that we already have some early adopters such as cold water, sydney, and montgomery county. we know there is more to be done. and that our ultimate success depends on our follow-through. we are going to keep it up but for all that we have achieved, still more work to do. but for what we have achieved, i'm grateful for the leadership of my good friend, former state senator nina turner and the support of senator saundra williams, representative of alicia reece, as well as our community leaders, pastors, and law enforcement community. we are a model for what works in this country and the country would be wise to adopt our model. for harmony and collaboration. [applause]
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gov. kasich: these are all areas where ohio is solving tough problems, we could have put our heads in the sand and it is clear that we know how to make things work. we need to keep doing that. to keep our momentum going, our cabinet and i are in the process of coming to the general assembly with important new reforms and initiatives. some of which are already being considered. education and training. as i mentioned to one of the democrat leaders that was with me today, education and training continue to be priorities. we need to do a better job of connecting ohioans at an early age with a wide range of career opportunities open to them. and then we need to find them that help them find the pathway to the career with the greatest potential and are small satisfaction. if you look right now at our job
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search website, ohio means jobs, this is unbelievable. you will find more than 170,000 job openings. i understand that about 20% of them pay over $80,000 a year. these are ohio businesses searching for well-trained, motivated workers. we need to prepare our students and job seekers of every age for these openings and the careers they represent. the powerful resource for helping students find their way are our school guidance counselors. these are professionals with the training to help students learn about career opportunities, and connect them with the training that they need. i am really a believer in the
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importance guidance counselors and think ohio should do even more to support them. guidance counselors are not just a extra set of hands. they are people that can put our young people on a pathway to a lifetime a success and that is why last year, ohio adopted new evaluations sanders for counselors to support them with a clear vision of how they can help students with career planning. each local school district is adopting their own policies to implement these new supports for counselors by the next school year. students can also get a jumpstart on their chosen career with recognized pre-apprenticeship programs in high school, like those for carpenters or electricians, making them even more worthwhile by counting them toward the apprenticeship requirements that many locations have. it is another way ohio is strengthening our vocational
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training efforts in helping students connect with quality employment. we will also recommend expanding what has been known as stem education to all grade levels. we all know the letters in stem stand for science technology education and math. personally, i like to call it steam. steam education. to add an "a" for the arts. any student that will succeed later in life including someone choosing a technical rare will need creative skills and know-how to apply critical thinking, and those skills are best developed by exposure to the arts. [applause] gov. kasich: science, technology, engineering, math and the arts. did you ever think you would see a conservative republican ever say that? [laughter] it. kasich: we believe
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these are all essentials to success in the 21st century careers. we also want to give extra support to the students of our active duty military families that have to move from place to place. our new scholarship program will help provide relief by giving military families new choices to best meet their children's education needs. it is the least we can do for families that give so much to support our family. -- to support our country. [applause] gov. kasich: and going forward, we will study ways to expand it to children of members of the ohio national guard, reserves, and veterans. for many young ohioans their path to a rewarding career requires more than a high school diploma. for some, it means professional certification or specialized training, but for others, it can mean a college degree. there is a very big barrier in our way. it is something i hear wherever i go, anywhere in our country. too many young people in america are struggling with the cost of advanced education.
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we are going after that problem in ohio, attacking the root cause of high tuition, by encouraging colleges to get their costs of doing business under control. we created a task force of business leaders who are experts in controlling costs and balancing the bottom line and i am happy to say our college presidents are taking this very seriously and they are starting to put those recommendations to work. the university of toledo in bowling green are working -- and bowling green are working together to jointly, jointly offer courses that traditionally have had low enforcement on their separate campuses. ohio state, cincinnati taking with otherrtner
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partnerships with the state. to take advantage of economies of scale instead of taking on constant upgrades or new construction on their own. we recently brought the general assembly some important new initiatives to strengthen pathways to a lower cost college degree. we are proposing everest to study for three years at a lower cost on a community college campus and then transferred to a four-year university for a final year to earn their degrees. this could cut their costs by 75% in getting this degree. [applause] gov. kasich: let me just say -- if we do not begin to control these costs, these four-year schools, many of them will be just a memory. because people will figure out a way to get their education, their credentials, at a much lower price. these colleges and universities are going to have to make very tough decisions. i would like to salute gordon
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key one more time. he leased the parking lots and garages at ohio state to great criticism. he carried out his hand and he plan -- carried out his and he was paid for leasing those facilities $500 million that was put into scholarships. this is the kurds and vision we need across our state and this goes hand in hand with another earlier step we took with college credit plus program. think about this one. it gives ohio students the ability to earn college credits in high school before they ever step foot on a college campus or pay a college tuition. in one semester alone, these efforts have saved an estimated $50 million for the students across ohio on their college costs, just by doing college credit plus. [applause] gov. kasich: we want to work
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with you to allow community colleges to offer a limited number of four-year degree programs in fields where we will not have overlapped with others goals. students can earn a college -- overlap with other schools. students can earn a college diploma at a lower cost and meet the needs of local industry. if we want to make it easier for ohioans to earn a college degree, we have to think about the adult learners. they have already built-up considerable knowledge and hands-on experience in their field. they probably know enough to teach some of the courses and they should not have to pay to sit through hours of the classroom. we want to give these folks away -- a way to use what they have learned and earn their college degrees more quickly. and through all of this, the need to guide students is essential. and for that, we require the budget for every institution to somebody who guides
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students all the way through to get them a degree and a job that is available where they can have success once graduating from college. we need to do this. [applause] gov. kasich: lorain county community college, edison state, they made a lot of progress in this area. miami, the university of cincinnati, just as with guidance counselors, higher education advisors is a priority. these schools are going to do this. the important work we are setting in motion all across the higher education system especially on affordability. they will provide ohioans for strong futures. we have more work to do. i am proud to hold up our progress to other states as a
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model that they can all learn from us very these new reforms of proposals we are bringing you will build on this is best of all on the success of all of the programs we have brought you. and i am sending to people around this country the recommendations that i think can help solve this problem across our country. our economic growth is increasing the number of jobs available as well as the types of jobs available. if you ask people about ohio, many will say it is the football team, agriculture, or steel. it has always been our goal to bring about a significant broadening of the base of ohio business and we see that in the positions that have been greeted by some of ohio's newest by some of ohio's newest employers. think about this. amazon. three investments in the state including in wilmington, amazon picking us in the midwest to carry the ball for them. how about the automotive glass maker? they talk about losing jobs. the chinese have now hired more
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than 1000 ohioans with maybe another 1002 higher. -- 1000 more hired. as i discussed earlier, cutting taxes are an important part of creating a job friendly economy. we have cut taxes by 5 billion more than any other state in the country. there is more that we have to do. i will send you to let ohioans keep more of their hard-earned money by accelerating the benefit of income tax cuts that we passed last year. there is no reason to wait. you can although for it. -- you can all vote for it. the money is there, let us this move it up. [applause] gov. kasich: i say to my friends -- the democrats, we already passed it. just move it up so people have more money in their pocket. this is not complicated. you don't have to buy into all of the philosophy on this.
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i think we can do it together. there is not any real reason to wait. we can apply the benefits to family finances and our economy right now. i do appreciate the legislatures tax study committee and i look forward to seeing their recommendations. it will come down the road. but, we are going to come with another comprehensive tax reform package early next year with more tax relief and reforms to better align our tax code with the weight ohio works in today's -- the way ohio works in today's economy. that fundamentally means, lower income taxes. ok? [applause] gov. kasich: while we have worked to create economic growth by cutting taxes and restraining the growth of a government, we have not left other areas of focus behind. for example, i am a firm believer that economic growth and protection of our natural resources and go hand in hand.
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[applause] gov. kasich: we continue to invest it into our state parks and we has ve spent more -- [applause] gov. kasich: thank you, keith. [laughter] gov. kasich: and we have spent than $3.1 billion in order to improve water quality from lake erie to the ohio river. $3.5 billion. [applause] >gov. kasich: the quality, the well-being and beauty of our natural environment are and essential part of a jobs friendly business environment that we want to maintain and grow. it is also central to the
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success of our $40 billion travel and tourism industry and all of the local businesses that depend on tourism. it is such a very important part of the local economy here in marietta, isn't it, governor? as ohio continues to benefit from the growing shale opportunities, we will need to keep pace for the industry's continuous innovations by proposing updates that support its continued success and ensure that we remain one of the nations leaders in protecting public health and safety as well as the environment. i spoke a few minutes ago about the epidemic of drug addiction, particularly prescription drug abuse that has inflicted on ohio at every level of society. fighting this battle takes everything we have got and the comprehensive approach is the best for our strategy.
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a big part of that is the medical community. with the help of doctors, we have tightened up prescribing guidelines to make sure that people can get the pain relief that they need, but not more than what they need. the number of prescriptions for pain medicine have gone down 12% over the past four years and with tighter control, dr. -- doctor shopping by patients has fallen dramatically to 70% in the last five years. [applause] gov. kasich: we know that ohio's pharmacies are key players. and not just pharmacist, but also the thousands of pharmacy technicians who work side-by-side with them. right now, however, we have no uniform standards or registration requirements for them. we need to join other states who registered technicians to make sure that they get ongoing training and education to help them identify opiate abuse and will also allow ohio to track
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and discipline bad actors. we need to invalidate any prescription that has not been brought to the pharmacy within 30 days of issue and we also need new scrutiny on drug clinics to make sure they are using best practices to treat people. and not perpetuating their addiction. these and other proposals we will bring to you this spring will provide additional tools that ohio can use to improve the places where we live. these like the other tools provided are only valuable if they are put to work. as i said earlier, the spirit of our state is in our communities. the more that each of us has a chance to contribute to crafting our state's future, the stronger the future will be because it benefits from the talents we'll bring did the table. -- we all bring to the table.
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making sure we all have a chance to contribute and that we all have a voice is why we came together last year across party lines to reform the way ohio's legislative districts are drawn. our goal was the right one. to make the process less about politics and more about inclusion. we need to go further however which is why i am calling on the general assembly to look at how we make these same kinds of reforms to the way ohio draws its congressional districts. [applause] meritasich: ideas in should be what wins elections, not gerrymandering when pure politics is what drives these kinds of decisions, the result is polarization and division. i think we have had enough of it. gerrymandering needs to be on the dustbin of history. we can solve so many of life's problems i working person to -- by working person to person, neighbor to neighbor, by
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coming together. that is where the best solutions come from but in that of looking to government to do things for -- instead of looking to government to do things for us, we use the tools and gift that we each have and take control of our lives. yes, i know that government can create an environment for success and tear down barriers but in the end, the responsibility for our lives and the strength of our communities lies with what we do. i happen to believe that we must each strive to live a life bigger than ourselves, to take our special gifts that the lord has given us. he has given us these gifts to live a life bigger than ourselves, for purposes of healing this world. the gifts are all unique and varied. together, they form the mosaic that makes our state and our country so resilient. i have had the opportunity as i have traveled the country by the
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grace of god to be able to look people in the eye and remind them that they are made special. all of us, unique. all of us, created for a purpose. to literally live a life bigger than ourselves and to make a commitment to lift, to heal the world. that is what is expected of us i believe when we were created. no one has ever been made like us before and no one will ever be like this again. we are here at the unique moment of time. we find satisfaction in life. when we ignore some of the silliness, the fighting, the division, the ego, the turf
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protection. when we do our job, when we are a teacher and give up salary because we are changing a young life, we are changing the world. when we are a physician, and we make that call at 1:00 in the morning, we are changing the world. when we are a nurse, and when the time for us to stop, we filled our role in the job and yet we spend 20 more minutes to reassure a family that things are going to be ok. in westerville the other day, i , "youcustodian, i said are special." do you know how i know that? "yes, i know how you
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that. because you know those kids will tell me something that they never tell anyone else and i will take care of them." and even taking that widow -- 50 -- and evenng to talking to that widow -- 50 years old. she had been married for 50 years. she lost her husband and her phone does not ring anymore. you call her monday and say -- we are going to dinner this weekend. you know what she does on thursday -- she gets her hair done. by saturday, it is still all in place. when you pick her up, she wears that dress she has not worn in six months. did you change the world? i think you did. i have always been so inspired by people who understand this and they live lives bigger than
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almost all of us. that is how i got this whole idea of the governor's courage award. to recognize those ohioans and hold them up as models from which we can all learn. one such person is margot hutson. a longtime cleveland resident who grew up on the outside of chicago. she had it tough. no stranger to the hard knocks of life, without a high school diploma, think about it, she struggled for years. moving from job to job that did not pay much of anything. well into adulthood, she was inspired to go after her high school equivalency. it took her 11 tries. she stayed at it. she did not get discouraged. and she finally prevailed. now, with her ged certificate, margo, believe it or not, is an active tutor and a mentor for young clevelanders who are also seeking a second chance to earn their diplomas. she is an enthusiastic champion for the power of adult learning. margo has been honored are the -- by the commission for adult
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basic education as a 2016 national adult learner of the year. her courage in the face of so many challenges is inspiring and i am proud to present her the governor's award for courage this year. margo -- [applause] [applause] gov. kasich: you look beautiful. may i put it on you? congratulations. [applause]
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wallace peck of colombus is an exceptionally talented artist who has overcome significant developmental disabilities, significant disabilities and personal challenges, including homelessness. health problems. and an upbringing with little support. or support. -- or very little education. through all of this and with support from some equally remarkable friends and volunteers, he has become one of ohio's most honored and self-taught artist. his paintings are primarily of people, especially of those he knows but also includes wildlife and nature. he uses bold colors and a style all his own to express the joy he finds in this world. my wife stuck all of your work in the governor's residence so
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you know -- ok. [laughter] gov. kasich: his most recent exhibit sold out in a single night. it is a testament to the acclaim that has increasingly drawn the attention of museum arts and art festivals. the columbus museum of art purchased one of his paintings for the permanent collection. for his life of courage, perseverance, and positive outlook, after so many years of living in the shadows of society, i am proud to oh word wallace the governor's courage award, accompanied by the first lady. [applause] gov. kasich: come on, wallace. get on over here. [applause]
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gov. kasich: pretty clear, isn't it? the lord has made everyone special for different reasons. i spoke about the battle we are
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waging against drug abuse and addiction. we've talked about this three times tonight. tonight, i am proud to recognize the courageous work in gun in inwork that is being done this fight right here in washington county. sheriff larry minx. thanks for making youth drug prevention a big priority. [applause] gov. kasich: just down the road, we have another champion, and i love this guy. the superintendent, tony done. -- tony dunn. this guy rocks it. tony, thank you. you will get every
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superintendent to start talking come along you? -- every superintendent to start knu? g, won't you, i he will. he has been one of the most active in the start talking program. folks, the fight against addiction took on special urgency in this community last hummer with the death of hunter -- summer with the death of hunter burkey, a talented and energetic 17-year-old. hunter was just ready to begin his senior year in high school with of promising future when that future was tragically cut short by a heroin overdose. i do not know how they do it. sometimes, it is beyond me. but they are doing the best they can. to try to protect others. hunter's mother, kelly oldman, is also here tonight to share in this award after her son's death
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, kelly found the strength and the courage to rise above her pain and by the way, the undeserved guilt that is too often felt by parents. who have lost a son or daughter to drugs. she is standing up and helping others in this fight. she is determined that no other mother should ever know the pain she has had to carry. i am honoring these three first and foremost for their own individual efforts and personal courage, but also representatives of all of the ohioans, thousands of them who are fighting against this epidemic every day. the award will be displayed forever in the high school trophy case as a reminder of the futures that have been cut short and our resolve to do all we can
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to fight addiction and abuse. so folks, please come to the stage. please, ladies and gentlemen, honor them for their work and the courage of kelly oldman. [applause] gov. kasich: kelly, i am going to give you the medal. [applause]
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[applause] gov. kasich: we thank tonight's heroes. let us also take time to think about and thank all of the people that we know who have inspired us and to live lives -- who live lives bigger than themselves. their example, of course, can inspire us within this creativity and leadership we need to go further and build on the strong new foundation we have laid for our great state and restore our position as one greatest states.
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with it, i have optimism and hopefulness that our state will be a place of freedom and prosperity for everyone. we are getting there. it is happening. the changes we have made together have taken us very far, very far in a short time. the changes we have made have taken us very far in a short time. we have more work to do. i am confident we can keep moving forward. why am i confident? i have traveled all across this country. and i am always reminded of one thing again and again. there is no place like ohio. there is no place like home. [applause]
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you know i have known it since i was a young man. traveling across the pennsylvania ohio line with my uncle harry shouting as we entered the buckeye state. johnny, we are in the promise land. of course as woody hayes said, our people. the first ohioans showed our nation the great things that can be accomplished when people work together for a common and righteous purpose.
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we are still doing it today. together we are getting a job done and by rededicating ourselves to the mission and with the spirit of servant leadership, we will keep lifting up our fellow buckeyes. mr. president, mr. speaker, members of the general assembly, let's tear down all the barriers , all the roadblocks in our way, and together we can move ohio further down the path toward that vision of freedom, prosperity, and opportunity we all share and believe in. together we can do it. god bless america, god bless ohio, and god bless our futures together. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2016] >> c-span takes you on the road the white house as we follow the on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> later today, live coverage of president obama's remarks from university of chicago law school to talk about his nomination of judge merritt garland at the supreme court. republican state senators are blocking the nominee, saying they will not confirm anyone the president nominates. the president is speaking at the school where he taught
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constitutional law. you can see the q&a with an audience of students and faculty year on c-span starting at 3:30 eastern time and we will get your reaction on the phone, facebook, and twitter. a look at the pentagon briefing earlier today with u.s. africa command. >> in east africa, the big threat is al-shabaab inside of somalia. we work with five of the two contributing countries as well as developing a small army in order to continue to support the somali government and help and provide stability in the region. and the growing threat of isis in the region. we have worked with many partners there to help that situation out, from the european
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union, which has a strong mission in the mediterranean sea to mitigate the challenges of migration, to tunisia, where we are continuing to build from a asnificant partner capacity, well as chad, who also are challenging borders in the area that continues if you look from libya down to the southwest border, a challenge. the french are leading the effort there and we support the french and their leadership in the task force across and although he over to molly, where they are leading the efforts there. down in west africa, the challenges built around boko the threat in northeast nigeria which also thereps and we're working toh all of those partners
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help them improve their capacity to defeat boko haram, doing significantly -- significant intelligence sharing leading the effort there. with that, i will take your questions. >> on libya, what is your of theent right now number of islamic state fighters that are in libya? on how some perspective fromhreat is changing isis. the president during his the possibility that perhaps nato might be able to help the islamic state fight there. how do you see this going forward? is the u.s. hampered taking straights there now because of the government chaos or is it the lack of intel? >> first of all, in libya, u.s. intelligence community has says
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it -- said it is around 4000 to 6000, probably about doubled in the last 12 to 18 months based on what their assessments were last year. first, the huge effort around libya by all the african , leters have insignificant mainly by tunisia, which has done a tremendous job of holding capacity and working challenges asoss the border, as well who has had a long-term effort to disrupt lines of , as well as chad who is worried about challenges in southern libya. you asked about nato, they are looking at what they can do based on the discussion you mentioned.
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if you remember a couple of years ago, nato had signed up in that situation to help with some thehe capacity building and institution and strategic planning effort for libya. on your other question about what we are hampered by, right , we are continuing to go after targets that pose an personnel andt to that was the case with the leader of isis as well as the effort recently. we continue to do that. >> as a follow-up, since the number has doubled, are you not it ato see targets, and is lack -- we understand training libya, what are the
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hurdles you are seeing? >> going after continuing threats to u.s. personnel, we are continuing to do that. we will continue to develop situations in our efforts in accordance with their development. thank you. yes, ma'am? >> where are you seeing most of these fighters coming from? where are they coalescing? are they developing a capital in libya? gen. rodriquez: for the threat
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of isis in libya, their largest and biggest strong point, they have a presence out in the east and benghazi as well as over in the west. as far as where the fighters are coming from, the foreign fighter flow goes back and forth across north africa, not only internal to north africa, which get -- which generates all the foreign fighters across syria and iraq, but the fighters who have come some have just moved over and pledged allegiance to isis, who were already there. >> in the past week or 10 days, al-shabaab specifically, one targeted like 150 fighters. has there been a change in the last several weeks? is there some imminent attack the u.s. is aware of?
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what has changed in the last few weeks? are these targets of opportunity? do these have a real impact? gen. rodriquez: yes, in al-shabaab over the last several months, they have evolved what their tactics and mode of operation in somalia. the they have done is pattern they gather and trained a significant number of people, they disperse an attack and , that has had a negative impact on a companies because they have lost multiple types of these attacks. mentioning ise defensive fire to protect.
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we were not sure exactly which one they were going through although we have multiple intel streams. there were 10 outposts in a couple of hours at that site. toy took defensive fires prevent that. one was a strike against the high-value target. there have been a couple of in defense of techniques to prevent casualties to the partners. thank you. back to libya for a minute? the foreignve that fighters and the fighters in , that their goal is to
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attack in the west where there is europe or the united states to plot and plan and train for external attacks? do you think that is their goal? gen. rodriquez: yes, that has been their aspirations all the time. they are continuing with the same threats isis is making. yes. understand, if the u.s. believes that is the goal, doubling the fighters in libya, i guess the question is, wyoming two strikes, essentially, against them? gen. rodriquez: their level of what they are doing. the strikes that we continue to do against the ones that have a continuing threat, they are not as far along in their ability to do that. >> i apologize, i really do not
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understand. gen. rodriquez: what we are going after and we continue to go after are the ones that have imminent threat to u.s. personnel and facilities. thethe intent to do that, ones who do that. ok? >> when you look at libya right libya, the presence in what is your top concern? gen. rodriquez: the top concern about that presence is really the challenge it presents for any movement for the government so they can reduce the chaos there. that chaos contributes to the migration issues. it continues to some of the threats to libya and the threats external to libya as in the
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situation with tunisia. >> two questions, on libya, how that the are you forces with whom the united might and its partners work or support in the future, the remnants of the libya national army, how confident are that they can set aside the differences they had is 2011 and especially 2014 to conduct the ground operations needed not just to clear isis out but to impose order throughout the country? that is on libya. the second question regarding al-shabaab, they are also following up on courtney's question. there were reports of an strike .ast night can you comment on that? gen. rodriquez: on the first the seconds really
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major challenge of the government and national word as they work with malicious and how strong their allegiance will be. there are more and more people focusing their efforts against isis and against each other. and that is part of the challenge, because of the conflicts between militias. i think because it is all about the power and the influence, it will depend how the government actually develops and bring those people alongside to be part of the future. tofar as the ability actually conduct operations and activity, it is a wide range of activities. some of them are really good and some of them are just fair, relatively speaking for the malicious and national army. it will really be determined by thosell an effective
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militias support the g&a that really makes the difference in the end. again, they were talking about the fires to protect the people we were working with. ok. >> i have a couple of shababons about the a girls. kidnapped. an outcry across the world. can you tell us what the u.s. military has done, what it plans to do and what is hampering you finding and helping to release these girls? gen. rodriquez: thank you. -- thethe shabbat girls shabab girls were taken by the
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book around milton's and taken to isolated places. the u.s., not just the military but the entire intelligence community, sharing information with the nigerian military as that they had anything to do with anything near the near cameron over the last just under two years. the efforts involved in that effort have reduced the area that boko haram maintains control over and has opened up major lines of communication. now, boko haram operates out of a terrain that is pretty tough to get at and to get to.
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all the international community and efforts continue to develop get theence to help growth back and also release not only the girls, but also a huge number of people they have kidnapped in are holding against their will. military have gained a lot of freedom for many of those overtime. found inhem have been different things. it is not an exact science and they are not all in one place. many of the people detained against their will include many of the girls who happen recovered. >> i wanted to take another stab at this unity government issue. have ana lot of us
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hearing folks say, it is on,blished, the light turns and allies could go in and u.s. could potentially get more involved in libya. i wonder if you could help make us a little bit smarter on what changes currently understand the idea of a viable partner on the ground, but what changes in terms of what the u.s. would be post unity government that you could not do in some fashion now? it reallyquez: depends on what that government wants the community to do. because the government is just getting his feet under itself today,as you can even one of the former political leaders is not now fledging allegiance as they were yesterday. this will take some time for
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them to move these things forward. the united nations and the international community, as well as many of the libyan people, are starting to move to support this. but it will be driven by their leadership and what they want the international community to do. a lot of planning efforts are going on if you look at what is happening in italy with the international assistant mission to assist the libyan forces integrated into a cohesive security forces. driveneally going to be on how the government and national court develops over time and where they need the support. >> part of the question is what is your assessment of the allies -- without a unity government and what is the risk of playing
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the waiting game? i think theez: allies will do it based on the threats to themselves. imminent threat to themselves. is where i think they would do that. that would be as until something changes in the government. >> i would like to ask you a little bit about the chinese military and ask you, what is intent for the facility, and more broadly, how much more chinese military activity are you seeing and to whatca extent is that affecting your operations? gen. rodriquez: the chinese activity throughout the military has been all inside the united nations missions, as part of the
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peacekeepers there, it is not that big of a number. they have no real impact on any of the activities we are doing. are starting to build, just like everybody expects us to live in accordance standards, there would be no impact on our freedom to conduct the things we desire to take. time had aor a long presence out in the indian ocean with the whole international community, reduce the piracy off of somalia. not only the u.s. but also the international nations. they are building a logistics
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ace and a support structure to help those efforts out because it is a long way from home. >> thank you so much for doing this briefing today. going back to those buyers you hearinged, i would just about them for the first time? also, is the definition broader because it talks about partners on the ground. it is no longer that they are a threat to america in forces. gen. rodriquez: it is a threat to both our partners and ourselves. there has been no change or broadening on anything. think thatngs that i have changed over time was the evolving tactics of al-shabaab, and the second thing is that as the contributing countries and the national army develops and grows, they will be more active
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and i think that is the thing that has driven that. >> and also german our increase in participation such as helicopter or for the somali forces? >> yes. because the only have the threat -- capacity to do some of these things. >> how many personnel are somalian and how would you characterize what the rules are? gen. rodriquez: i will not give you exact numbers because it fluctuates. what we're doing is advising and assisting to selected organizations in contributing countries and the somalian national army. thank you. >> are there any forces stuff in the growth of isis, and if there does the fact that a
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double over the last 12 to 18 months, do they run the risk of the same situation in syria where they could sweep out and start taking lines elsewhere? the libyansez: themselves, both the remnants of the libyan national, the militias, they have got you know significant numbers and groups of them. yes, they are stopping isis from growing and trying to do that the best they can. overhave had some success in the east and on benghazi. and have challenge them have not been as successful. they have also challenge them and have been a little successful. there are forces on the ground , mainly the foreign libyan national army or libyan malicious.
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-- libyan militias. tim ewing to do that, they sometimes fight amongst themselves and based on power and history and everything else. challenge ofy the the court is to bring them , to get rid of isis. >> the situation sounds an awful lot like what is previously in syria where you have these groups fighting against one another. doesn't that offer a breeding ground for isis to do the exact same thing, to sweep out? i think it is: significantly harder for isis to do that inside of libya because the homegrownve
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people who know as much about libya like they did in the iraq and syria. it is different conditions. also differentre in the way they treat and respond to foreigners. all of that has an impact. the majority of libyan malicious, first of all, they can fight and have been fighting wrong time. they do not like external influences like that. different conditions. >> if the number of isis fighters doubled again, over the next 12 months, with the u.s. be willing to act? gen. rodriquez: that is a decision for leadership and authorities. you anticipate, once the ,ational government is set up
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do you anticipate the u.s. working with them, conducting airstrikes against libya? do you expect that is a real possibility in the future? the u.s. will: support the government and national court here. that will be determined between the national court and the international community and how that moves forward. we will just have to see. yes, that is a possibility, as are many other things. efforts,ok at multiple whether it is trying to get after the isis problem, or trying to build a libyan national army to bring together the militias in and around tripoli to help support the government, there is a wide range of things that can be done. the situation, and you can see wereis morning, some guys
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part of the solution and some guys were not. changed in the last few days. we will have to monitor that carefully. , how concerned are you, as you watch this, that the stumbles with setting up the government will really lead the door -- leave the door open for isis to call ask? coalesce? is that enough? are you worried they do not have the capacity or the ability yet to take actions you want to take because of the lack of a government or right now? -- partner right now? gen. rodriquez: the effort right to knees to remain on the imminent threats to u.s. personnel and facilities. we have all of the authorities
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and resources we need to continue to do that. and we will continue to do that. that is the number one concern for us right now. now, the question, i think what you asking is when that becomes overwhelming, which it is not, then what do you do? that would have to be a policy decision if it gets to that point. it is going to be a challenge for them to get to that point because of the libyan population of people and they are out there. possible, but right now, i am not concerned about it. >> by then, it is a bigger fight. it could be but by then, we are that carefully and taking action.
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>> following up on that, based on the idea the libyan population is averse to foreign elements, how much of a barrier is that for the international community on the ground? absolutely.ez: that is the situation any people would find themselves in. we just have to see how the governor national -- the national court develops and what they think is in their best what -- how we are willing to ask -- they like everybody want to do it themselves to protect sovereign people. like everyone else, we would be a little bit embarrassed. that all comes out. we just have to watch that very carefully.
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>> with military.com. the marine crisis response -- has this replacement been --ected by the invalid evolving threat of libya and elsewhere? first of all,: they get employed from old old reasons. they were a huge part of their reinforcement on the libyan embassy before we leave -- we reloaded -- relocated that. we provide reaction forces across north and west africa. support for forces as well as personal recovery. toy do a lot of things support our efforts across the region. thank you. >> thank you very much for the briefing. i want to understand a little bit better. of you saying the ability that theyitias now,
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have been able to do enough to limit the growth of the islamic state compared to how it has doubled previously? in differentz: places, you are in a different situation. in the east, in benghazi, they against theback islamic state and it has made it tougher to operate. they have had activities that have limited growth and they are out there. it is uneven. it is not consistent across the board. as they are squeezed and pushed other places and everything, we will have to see how the situation develops. contesting in several
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areas. ok? >> to what extent do you see the islamic state and libya as a threat to the islamic state in europe? how much more to the u.s. european outliers as well as to the self? gen. rodriquez: i think the providing to the neighbors is really tunisia first. that is the biggest one. then follow the european thing, the european threats. but they have not at this point been able to project that power toward europe. aspirational this point. ok? >> as you may know, there are many in libya right now. describe the
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-- ation relationship with egypt or ?ounter the situation in libya gen. rodriquez: diplomatic onorts are all focused trying to eliminate the focus is that are trying to shift the balance of power in libya. so the governments, as you know, the general national congress in do the best want to we can, that they can have self-determination instead of from external influences. theng to mitigate
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influences. >> i know the fresh take a lead on this, but we have seen a big jump in the last few months. you in putting aside how the french are doing and what can you do to work with -- how do you combat? gen. rodriquez: first, it is a effort.ternational trying to help the best we can. first, the french as well as the you then mission there, -- the u.n. mission there, with the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, we continue to move and support the efforts.
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molly and chat, and then we work of the partner military services, as does some of our partners who work some of their intel organizations in each of the different countries, different forces and elements to defend orn protect their capitals in this case. some of them are military and some of them are police. some of them are intelligence. we are working across the agency as well as our international partners. intelligence on all those threats, the second piece is capacity building. we have worked with several of those nations on a military force, as well as our partners in the international community and the interagency work and police forces to improve that. of that happening continues to grow, not only the three attacks, but also the threat to many of the regions
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forces. i think everybody is working together to mitigate the risk the best they can and i think it will continue to be a threat because of the challenges of what al qaeda wants to a comp which. i think the evolving tactics, when you go back a couple of years to somalia, they did the same thing. and i think all of the nation understand that and are working hard to not only keep pressure on them in the combat zone, but protect their soft targets. anybody else? ok. thank you very much.
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>> now with live coverage from to president obama's remarks about his nomination of judge merrick garland to this up in court and the deeper issues surrounding the court. their remarks are running a bit behind schedule at this point. we will take you there as soon as the president arrives. first, more on the nominee. republican senators are blocking this nominee. they willrland saying not confirm anyone the president nominates. the president speaking at the school where he taught constitutional law before being elected to the senate. and merrick garland will also be here. the judge was born in chicago, raised in lincoln would it will have that live as soon as things get underway. also a headline in the hill this week after harry reid and chuck
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grassley, the share of the judiciary committee traded fire over the supreme court's chief justice john roberts after senator grassley campaign the current -- make political achievements. we will take a look at the exchange between the two senators earlier this week. -- from earlier this week. >> a significant number of americans believe the supreme court is highly politicized. its approval rating has fallen over the years. , its approval rating has dropped most drastically in recent years following the president's appointment of justices justices sotomayor and kagan. there are four justices who vote in a liberal way effectively every case that the public follows. there are two justices who stick to the constitutional text and
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who vote in a consistently conservative way. one justice votes mostly, but not always, in a conservative way and one justice votes sometimes with the conservatives and sometimes with the liberals. all of the liberals were appointed by democrats. the conservatives and swing justices were appointed by republican president. but in a speech shortly before justice scalia's death, chief justice roberts maintained that the public wrongly thinks that justices view themselves as republicans or as democrats. of course it's irrelevant to the public how the justices view themselves. what's troubling is that a large
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segment of the population views the justices as political. it's appropriate and instructive then to ask why the public takes this view and whether or not that view is warranted. i believe the public's perception is at least sometimes very warranted. the chief justice ruled out that this perception has anything to do with what the justices themselves have done. instead he attributed it to the senate confirmation process. as he sees it, senators -- quote -- "frequently ask us questions they know it would be inappropriate for us to answer. thankfully, we don't answer the questions." end of quote. the chief justice also stated --
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quote -- "when you have a sharply divided political divisive hearing process, it increases the danger that whoever comes out of it will be viewed in those terms." you know, if the democrats and the republicans have been fighting so fiercely about whether you're going to be confirmed, it's natural for some members of the public to think, well, you must be identified in a particular way as a result of that process. that's the end of the chief justice's quote. now, on the one hand, the chief justice identified precisely why it would be bad for the court and the nominee to move forward in the middle of a hotly contested presidential election campaign. as you've heard me say, it would be all politics and no
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constitution. and of course that was the thrust of another senator a few years back, chairman biden's argument in 1992. but in another respect, the chief justice has it exactly backwards. the confirmation process doesn't make the justices appear political. the confirmation process has gotten political precisely because the court itself has drifted from the constitutional text and rendered decisions based instead on policy preferences. in short, the justices themselves have gotten political. and because the justices' decisions are often political and transgress their constitutional role, the process
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becomes more political. in fact, many of my constituents believe with all due respect that the chief justice is part of this problem. they believe that the number of his votes have reflected political considerations, not legal ones, and certainly there are academics who agree. there was a recent "new york times" article, and in that article academics appealed to the chief justices' political side. these academics ask him to intervene in the current supreme court vacancy, suggesting that it could be a so-called john marshall moment for chief justice >> we leave this now to take you
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live to remarks by president obama at the university of chicago law school. president obama: thank you. >> mr. president, it is a tremendous honor. welcome back. president obama: it is good to be back. [applause] as some of you may know, i spent 10 years taking classes -- teaching classes and seminars here. it was really fun. i missed it and i thought, why don't we come back and say hi to everybody? there are a couple of people i want to it knowledge because they helped -- to acknowledge because they helped facilitate this. first, for closing down the
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school for a day. thank you. [applause] specially knowledge mints for werestone and doug, who great friends while i was teaching here and were partly responsible for having me take on responsibility straight out of law school to mold the minds of students who were just barely younger than me. i know that because some of them i saw and they all have gray hair now. which is a little troubling. have got a terrific congressional delegation here and i want to knowledge them. first of all, your outstanding senior senator from the state of illinois is here. [applause] and we have got congressman bobby rush, congressman danny foster,ongressman bill
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and congressman mike. we also have lisa, the attorney general of illinois. [applause] my former mate in springfield when we were both in the state senate together, and is doing a terrific job, and i want to thank david, who i was joking before we came out is one of the country's foremost cost to show experts -- constitutional experts and a nice guy. [applause] you guys are lucky to have him. in fact, when i was teaching here, i think i stole his law >> for a while and he graciously -- law class for a while and he graciously gave it up. despite grading 60 or 70 blue
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books, he apparently thought it was important for me to have that privilege as well. know, the last thing i will say by way of introduction, i had a chance to talk to some young people in the overflow room, mostly students, and i having nowo them, been in politics for quite some what lawyers are capable of doing every single day, working on a whole range of of huge importance to our democracy and our society, i hope that all of the students here are excited about the incredible changes and the good that you are able to do when you get out of here. newsw that sometimes the feeds cynicism and democracy at this moment seems particularly
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frustrating, but each and every day i see warriors not that much older than you -- lawyers not that much older than you who are helping young people get an education or making sure consumers are protected and helping to keep america safe, ensuring that our health care areem works for everybody, helping to preserve the planet in the fight against climate change. it is remarkable what you can do with your talents and it does not always get a lot of publicity, but you could make a really meaningful difference. one thing i want to come back is to recruit you. [laughter] to stay engaged, get involved, make a difference. it does not mean you have to run for office or even work for government. there are a lot of ways of serving but i do hope that one of the things you will take away from our discussion today and your extraordinary education here at the university of sick
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-- of chicago, the incredible high that you can get from serving this country. so with that, what do you want to talk about? >> let me start back when you were here as a teacher. you taught constitutional law p or you were thinking about supreme court and justices and what would make someone a great or successful justice. you are in a different spot now. [laughter] has your thinking changed? president obama: surprisingly not as much as you would have expected. obviously, we are having a substantial argument in washington now. not just a particular judge, but also about the process of appointing judges to the federal nomineesd appointing to the supreme court.
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way,t this out of the merrick garland is an who isdinary jurist qualified toy serve on the highest court of the land. nobody really argues otherwise. i just want to be clear here. if the question his qualifications and excellence, by notniformly viewed just democrats but also republicans, those who have served, lawyers, judges, legal scholars, members of the current supreme court, that he is as good of the judge as we have in this country right now. is smart, heir, he is objective, he is a consensus builder, he shows judicial appreciative of
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the unique role of the court but also respectful of the role of upper branches -- other branches of government. made anas plausibly argument that this is not the kind of person we want on the supreme court. the question then becomes, why is it so hard for the guy to just get a hearing and a vote? this speaks to what has happened therally when it comes to process of appointing federal judges. that people read articletitution and the is straightforward. it says the president shall make with theinations advice and consent of the senate, and unless there was problem withreal
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that judges character or qualifications, it was fairly routine at every level, both at the district court level -- and the supreme court, and the person would be confirmed in short order. there would be a hearing, people the potential judge a question or two or five, or 10, ,here would be questionnaires and was they had satisfactorily performed that process, then the , and it was vote presumed, it was understood that just as the president had a constitutional duty to make the appointment, that the senate had a constitutional duty to at least make a determination as to whether this person should be on the bench. what has been unique in this process has been the growing
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attitude inside the senate that every nomination, no matter how is, is aified a judge subject of contention. in some cases, it is simply because one party or the other wants to g the works, so they will dragum up out of nominations longer and longer, even if ultimately the judge gets confirmed by unanimous consent in the senate, they will drag it out for two or three months, because of you are bogged down with judges, it means other business cannot be done. sometimes it is just strategic. in other cases, the view has been that despite all the talk about people wanting objective judges who are just calling strikes and do not bring any views to bear, that there are litmus tests that are applied from gettingjudge
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even though they are qualified, because they do of meet the particular views the party that is objecting. this problem got bad enough in previous administrations but came to a head under my administration, where we had a situation where we were starting to see six months past 19 months past before a judge could get a hearing. was when democrats were in charge of a senate, but because of the particular rules of a filibuster that have previously been used for a few things and were now routinely deployed on everything, we just could not get judges through. you started to see the crisis in andncies across districts circuits everywhere.
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finally, the democrats said we're ending the ability for filibuster when it comes to district court and pella court judges -- justices, but we will presume it for supreme court. we now have a situation after judge shkreli a's passing, that it is not just that the republican majority in the senate intend to vote against a highly qualified judge. we now have a situation saying we simply will not consider the nomination itself to we will just shut down the process. as a consequence, we have a four quart tie on the supreme court -- four-court tie on the supreme court. this vacancy will remain. that is unprecedented. not only are they willing to -- not willing to hold a vote at
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this point, they are not holding hearings on judge garland and on some cases, mitchell -- mitch mcconnell and others have said we will not even show the courtesy of meeting with the judge to find out what he thinks. and i think what is important for all of you to understand, because you're going to be not just lawyers appearing in court, potentially, what custodians of our legal system and democracy, is if you start getting into a situation in which the process of appointing judges is so partisan, that in imminently qualified jurist , then even get a hearing we are going to see the kinds of >> we are going to see the kind
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of sharp polarization that have come to characterize our politics seeping into the system. ofwill be just an extension our legislatures and our elections and our politics. erodes the theitutional integrity of judicial branch. at that point, people lose of thence in the ability fairly adjudicate cases and controversies. and our democracy cannot afford that. our system is designed to make that this branch works. broad requires a consensus, even if we don't agree on any particular ruling, the courts' rulings itself are legitimate. with ourstent democratic design. and thas

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