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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 25, 2016 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT

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the president of the united states. your reactions to hillary clinton's speech this afternoon. we have divided the lines between hillary clinton supporters, donald trump supporters, all others, and nevada residents. covered the hillary clinton speech today. we will cover her running mate, speaking friday afternoon in tallahassee. all of our coverage leading up .o the beginning of the series the presidential debate getting september 26. on sunday, the ninth of october, washingtonat university in st. louis. and the last debate is october 19 and the university of nevada. the vice presidential debate
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will be on the fourth of october. today.out mike pence he left the 2016 trail to deal with the storm at home. there were tornadoes yesterday in indiana. chicago,r from luke in supporting others. who do you support? i am supporting donald trump big-time. ahave never supported presidential candidate, but what i see is a lot of vile corruption among the participants. on his first day in office, will single-handedly weekend this country at home and abroad. it will be good for this country to start over.
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donald trump can wipe away the quality of life we have today. i am an anarchist. i think it will be great for the country. he will start us from zero. in thisbe day one country. people fighting for their property, defending it with their hands. host: looking at your comments on twitter. this one from hosea. jose. arlington, virginia, go ahead. to hillary'stened speech. i really like whoever her speechwriter is. i am sure she believes what she is saying. i just have a hard time .elieving she wrote any of that i have been a republican most my life, a conservative, but i don't feel like trump represents
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much of what i believe. andi will be voting forever mcmullen, not because i think hillary is not going to win, but for as in mcmullen , not because in think hillary is not going to win, but just on principle. the candidate from utah. wendyhe twitter feed, win did not like the speech. let's get one more call from entree. are you there? andre, are you there? wrap it up there, thanks for your calls and comments. you can participate online on
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facebook.com/c-span. to take you to josh ernst talking about the syrian conflict and the federal funding fight still happening on capitol hill over the zika virus. josh ernst: good morning, everybody. nice to see you all. straight to your questions. kathleen, would you like to start? ani wonder if you have update on the situation in italy at all.
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mr. ernst: i do not have any more details. officialsen italian significantly increase the number of people who died in the earthquake. i know secretary kerry had an to consult with his counterparts. the u.s. office of assistance .emains open even in an event like this were the devastation is so widespread, the italian capabilities are significant and .hey have significant resources we are obviously going to stay in close touch with italian officials. and if there's any way for us to offer them assistance in the ,ftermath of this tragic event we will be prepared to offer it, but i am not aware of any
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specific assistance that has been offered so far. >> the u.n. human rights chief is calling for an international investigation into the conflict. i am wondering if the white house is concerned about the rise of civilian casualties in that war. been concernede thequite some time about degree to which civilians in yemen have been caught in the crossfire. it has been a source of significant concern. we have encouraged all sides to be mindful of civilians in that conflict. states why the united has been so strongly supportive of the u.n. and other
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multilateral efforts to try to conflicts initary that country to an end, but that is a place that has been plagued with problems for quite some time. our partners in saudi arabia have been understandably concerned about the conflict in that country causing turmoil along the border. widespreadbeen reports about civilians being caught in the crossfire, and we have encouraged all sides to be theful about responsibilities they have to prevent and avoid civilian casualties. >> is there a way to apply additional pressure? unfortunately, there have been reports for years, or at least for more than a year, about situations in that
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conflict were civilians have been harmed or killed. we have expressed concerns about that many times in the past. we continue to have those concerns and to publicly remind people on all sides of that conflict that they have a responsibility to avoid civilian casualties. >> florida gov. rick scott on wednesday was complaining that the federal government has not delivered on the zika virus. do you have any response to that ? why hasn't florida gotten all of the antibodies? ernst: i would refer you to my colleagues at the cdc who might be able to provide you with an update on the provision of that assistance. but i think what is clear is that the federal response has been negatively affected are the republicans in
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congress to act on the funding request president obama put forward six months ago. it is clear that there is more that the federal government can and should be doing. there is no reason this should devolve into a partisan fight. fundingident made a request based on information he received from his security team, health officials, and top scientists. scientific that request, republicans engineered a political strategy to block it. and that has been quite disappointing, particularly when congressionalhat representatives in congress, in , whoepublican party represent states that are most directly affected or at the highest risk from the zika virus, there were republican representatives from florida who opposed the president's request. i understand governor scott's
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thetration, but the end of day, the president, the vice president, the top scientists of the u.s. government have appealed to congress, appeal to ,epublicans in congress encouraging them to act in this funding request, and congress refused. at some point, leading republicans from the states directly affect did are going to need to echo this call. are going to need to see republican senators from florida and from louisiana and from contact mitch mcconnell. we are going to need to see senators from texas, alabama, mississippi, appeal to speaker the same case that president obama and the leading scientists have made about the necessity of congress acting on
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the zika virus. they will say that they passed a funding bill and that the white house did not support some of the provisions in it. mr. ernst: it didn't pass the senate. they have a strong majority. the president put forward a proposal that got bipartisan support in the congress. ultimately, there is a responsibility that leader mcconnell has as the leader of the senate to do things that are important for the american people. that was why he got the job in the first place. he wrote an op-ed in the wall street journal saying now we can get congress moving again. apparently, he did not note that he would not get congress moving when it relates to public health emergencies. he has failed on that. republicans have failed, and republicans have to account for their failure to get this done.
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>> russia has agreed to a 48 hour humanitarian cease-fire in aleppo, but there are some on the ground.ns i wonder if you have any , thense to the agreement temporary cease-fire. ernst: it's important to understand the context here. over the last month, the assad regime launch an offensive in cityo to try to cut that off, to try to enhance pressure on not just the civilians, but also the opposition forces that are based there. -- in an circling the city an circling the city, the assad
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blocked the very read the u.n. was using to provide humanitarian access. very road the mary wro u.n. was using to provide humanitarian access. that is why you're not going to see me standing here and giving russia credit on this. to united states is trying broker all sides to come together around an agreement that would allow humanitarian assistance to reach people in the city who so badly need it. we certainly would welcome the russians and others engaging constructively in the process and reaching an agreement so that the badly needed humanitarian access can be provided. >> donald trump's recent win overto try to
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african americans -- donna brazil called his comments delusional, i think. what does the administration tonk about his pitch african-american people? havernst: i don't think i a specific response to the appeal being made by the republican nominee. what i will say is something the president has said. the president does believe these are the kind of debates we should have in the context of the presidential election, that partieses from both should put forth their agenda and that comments made by the candidates should be carefully scrutinized by the news media and the voters. people who are interested in understanding the priorities of the candidates should look at their records, listen to their ownoric, and draw their
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conclusions about whether or not that person is likely to represent their views in washington, d.c.. obviously, the president has strongly held views about the ideas that have been put forward by both sides, but ultimately, people are going to decide for themselves, and they should do so based on a careful examination of the record. >> people are feeling offended by what he said. the president, not only being african-american, but feeling strongly about this issue, has he responded to what was said? just ernst: i have -- mr. ernst: i have not heard him speak directly about this, but he believes the candidates should be judged based on their record, their history, the policies they are laying out, and the comments they are making
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on the campaign. you are all doing that. it's important for voters to do the same. >> not only did he say god willing there will be enough itdence, he said he wished would be in another country. ts that a slip of the tim ongue? the point i think that vice president biden was making was that there is a treaty that governs how these requests are resolved, and i think what he is alluding to is the fact that this issue in theated some tension relationship between the united notes and turkey and its
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tension that's going to be quickly resolved. it's important for this process to be followed, for the rules to be followed, and for the treaty to be at here too. the administration has made a firm commitment to the turkish government and we have followed promises with action. there are justice department officials in turkey right now meeting with their counterparts, and i think that is an indication that we are committed to following the process. what the vice president has issue iso is that this not something that is going to be resolved overnight. it's not a decision that can be made unilaterally on short notice by the executive branch. the administration is committed -- ollowing
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>> do you think he misspoke when he said god willing there will be enough evidence? mr. ernst: i was not in turkey when he made those remarks and i have not had a chance to speak to him or his team, but i think the intent of his message is consistent with what we have been saying. no also, anded get we talked about this yesterday. guantanamo also, and we talked about this yesterday. feels it will be closed by the time he leaves office, but there are people who have not been cleared for transport to other countries. is the process and the plan that they will eventually be cleared? how is he going to get this closed? we willt: again, what continue to do is work to overcome the obstacles congress
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has erected to prevent the closure of guantanamo bay. unfortunate, particularly when you consider that democrats and republicans, national security professionals in both parties, agree with the conclusion obama has reached, which is that the american people are better served by the closing of guantanamo bay. we know that it has been used as a tool by extremists to recruit followers. save taxpayersd money. it's a fiscally responsible approach. and it's not just the obama administration making the case. democrats and republicans who are experts have made the case. best tooing to do our get it closed, and that is what we plan to do. -- lay out theut path exactly right now, but the
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president a this a priority in his earliest days and it remains a priority in his last several months as president. congress wille you saying have to be involved for it to completely close? >> congress has erected an enormous barriers. --would welcome construction constructive engagement from congress to complete these goals. but policy experts having knowledged that this is the right goal. bill. apart from funding, governor scott has called on the administration repeatedly to outline ways in which florida should cooperate with fema to prevent the zika virus. he says that has not been forthcoming. is there any reason the administration cannot do that? is it connected to the funding? mr. ernst: i know public health officials at the cdc were
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engaged with the florida department of health even before the zika virus was detected in florida. we have been focused on robust, local, andtate, federal coordination on this. if there are any differences of opinion, i would refer you to the cdc for how to work through them. >> just that there have been notated requests that have been answered. >> i am not sure what they are, but you could check with the cdc. if there is a hold up, they could explain what it could be. it's possible the holdup is related to the insufficient funding republicans have provided for this effort. kevin. thanks, josh. can you give me the administration's reaction to the u.n. report that the u.n. report that the assad regime is using chemical weapons on the people
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of that country? mr. ernst: what we have seen for years now is the unconscious ou use of violence directed at civilians, -- unconscionable use of violence directed at civilians. left thebasically country in tatters and it is a failure of the assad regimes political leadership that we that theyed the point are directing the might of the military against innocent people who oppose assad's leadership. targetingncluded medical facilities and other that everybody knows , and its are located included the
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weaponization of an industrial that haslike chlorine created innocent victims. there is nothing particularly but it is here, something that has rightly earned international condemnation and is an indication of the tactics employed by the assad regime that have cost him the legitimacy to keep leading that country. as far back as 2007, at the pens were going for $57 -- epipens were going for $57 each. byy have raised the price 500%. the company today said they would do something to help people access them, but what is of the president,
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to say nothing of americans who may not be able to afford a $600 at the penn -- epipen? mr. ernst: this has gotten a lot of attention and we talked about it yesterday. i cannot talk about individual pricing strategies of a company because that company is regulated by the federal government in a variety of ways. i will let the regulators do ther job, but i will make observation i did yesterday. other pharmaceutical companies have tried to style themselves as innovators and people committed to advancing public health through the discovery of life-saving medicine. other pharmaceutical companies have run into problems when they have sought to -- in a morally questionable way -- morally question noble at best -- questionable at best -- jack up the price of life-saving
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medicine. that's inconsistent with a stated mission of providing life-saving medicine. other companies have found that a pricing strategy like that doesn't just raise a lot of moral questions, it has proven to be a poor business strategy when you consider the toll it has taken on the public reputation and stock price of other pharmaceutical companies. this administration has made reducing the price of drugs a priority. there is certainly more that we .ould do allowing medicare, for example, to negotiate prices.
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therethere were proposals in the president's budget to give the government agency that runs medicare that kind of authority. republicans in congress have resisted that, and that is unfortunate, because we believe the public would be well served by that. but apparently republicans are more interested in serving the interest of the pharmaceutical companies. >> to want to go back to the question of the iran payments. you and i talked about this broadly. it dates back to 1979. people have gone over that ground. i am interested in the new york sun reports that talks about .9,000,009 hundred $99,999.99 i reached out to treasury to find out why they were using that specific number.
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outside, it seems like they were trying to block some sort of reporting threshold. i think that's a curiosity, to .ay the least the president has previously said we use hard currency because we didn't have a formal banking relationship with the , and yet you talked about a fund from which the treasury could draw to spend this money. i am trying to line these up. mr. ernst: some of it i can explain. i think it is difficult to make the case that somehow the administration was trying to obscure these payments when the dollar figures you are citing
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came off a government website that we self-report on. >> but it sounds like structuring. if you think back to basic banking, and i don't want to dive back to speaker has to, but if you are avoiding reporting it by saying there's a $10,000 threshold, that is kind of what it looks like. i think you are mixing two entirely different things. on one hand, you have a republican official engaged in nefarious activity, trying to avoid the attention of law enforcement by structuring his payments in a certain way. we self-report of these payments. they are on our website and that's how you know about them. we were not trying to hide
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payments we self-reported. to the judgment fund. the judgment fund -- and you can have experts talk to you about -- but we used people at the hague to settle the financial situation. this fund exists. that was the pool of money used to make the interest payment that, again, because we were for to settle the dispute $1.3 million in interest, we did taxpayersy save billions more in interest. that is why we continue to make the case that this agreement is ond for the american people the merits. is used to make
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payments for a variety of settlements. that is separate from the question you are asking about how exactly the funds were transferred. what we have it knowledged is that we were able to courtney with the central bank using the money in these funds to be a partner in hours -- of hours in a secure eating. theave not disclosed identity of that bank because we are trying to protect the privacy of our partners who have essentially done us a favor here. there are significant limitations that prevent transactions from the u.s. central bank to the iranian central bank and those are in place because of this administration's commitment to olating the assad regime for their support for terrorism, their menacing of israel, their frequent violations of human rights, and our concerns about
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their ballistic missile program not being consistent with united nations security council regulations. yes, the regime in tehran. so the best explanation, i ink we have acknowledged all along the situation is complicated but the fact the funds were disclosed on this website you are asking about is an indication of complexity. we've tried to provide as much information as possible about what exactly happened and explain to the american people why exactly it is in their interests. in this case it saved the american people potentially billions of dollars. >> to make sure i'm understanding from this bond say the money goes from this bond to a central bank, yet nnamed, and from that bank they convert the money into euros or other currencies and it ends up on the way to iran. is that kind of how it played out to the best of your knowledge? >> i think what we have
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acknowledged is generally speaking that is how the initial $400 million principle payment paid out was by working with the central bank where we were able to move the currency to iran. we haven't been as specific about the mechanism of the payment for the $1.3 billion in interest other than to say that we had a similar arrangement ith a central bank, also unnamed, to move money from the judgment fund to complete the commitments that we've made in the context of this financial settlement. >> do you think the american people deserve to know about that central bank? is that an unreasonable expectations? >> well, look. i understand the curiosity some people may have. but i also think that people can understand why there are are a lot of other countries that probably don't want to advertise the ties between their central bank and iran because iran is a country that
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is isolated. they do have a bad reputation. you can certainly understand the interest our partners would want to have in protecting their confidentiality and our ability to work, our ability to maintain our credibility and work with central banks around the world is contingent upon us living up to our commitments. we made a commitment to protect their confidentiality and so that's what we've done. okay? mike? >> could you say wlt white house is heartened by donald trump's apparent change of heart when it comes to immigration policies that he would pursue as president especially since some of the fate of the president's own --
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people have to work through
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their own assessment of the situation and it means paying the attention to extensive candidates that -- comments that candidates on both sides have made on this issue. all right. ick? [question inaudible] >> we've seen the assad regime carry out acts of violence against his own people. that is consistent with the seen s that we've previously including the
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targeting of medical facilities and the dropping of barrel bombs out of helicopters even in places where the assad regime knows civilians are located. so this is part and parcel of what we had seen from the assad egime for years, and it is obviously immoral. in a ust the latest series of unspeakable acts of violence against insouthwest people, and it's throwed a terrible situation inside that country and has threatened to tear that country apart. it's tragic. >> obviously three years ago you had a deal with russia to eliminate assad's chemical weapons. obviously that didn't happen. does the president regret not having taken more forceful steps at that time to deal with assad? >> david, it is important to draw a distinction between what we indicated that we were prepared to do and have succeeded in doing, which is getting the assad regime to acknowledge that they had a
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sarin gas for example, a weaponized chemical weapon, that they could not legitimately have. and until the united states engaged in effective diplomacy with russia the assad regime refused to acknowledge they had those weapons. we did succeed to get them to acknowledge they had those chemicals and disclose the whereabouts and cooperate with efforts to collect deans troy those chemicals. that's made the world a safer place. as bad as the situation is in syria right now, it would be even worse if we knew that the assad regime's stockpile of serin gas for example was floating around the country that had essentially been overrun by extremists but that has not happened because the united states and russia
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succeeded in destroying their chemical weapon stockpile. that is the situation we described and what has improved the situation on the ground. unfortunately, that has not prevented the assad regime from taking a compound like chlorine and weaponizing it. the assad regime is creative in wreaking havoc and violence and bloodshed against innocent people and apparently it knows no bounds. that's tragic and it has rightfully earned the assad regime international condemnation, vigorous condemnation. the fact of the matter is, the ituation would be even worse and even more dangerous to american troops in the region if the declared chemical weapons stockpile the assad regime previously had were still in existence, but it's not, because of the efforts of the united states and russia to
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round up all that russia -- all that syria declared that they had and destroyed it. >> does the administration believe that you did get all of the chemical weapons at the time and he made more or he hid some from everybody or you just don't know? >> well, what we know is that we rounded up and destroyed tons of it. there has been an ongoing investigation by international experts to determine if there's more. and they're still looking. and we should be vigorous about checking that out. >> what is the administration willing to do at this point to prevent --? >> again, i think what we have tried to do and with mixed success at best, is to try to deescalate the military conflict inside of syria to get countries like russia and iran
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to use their influence with the assad regime, to implement a cessation of hostilities, and expedite the kind of political transition that everybody acknowledges is necessary to resolve the situation inside of syria. you know, earlier this year there were several weeks of time where the cessation of hostilities actually worked better than just about everybody expected. and that did allow for humanitarian organizations to get access to communities in syria that had been denied it for a long time. we've seen especially in places like aleppo that cessation of hostilities fray and that's cost innocent lives. that's why we continue to make the case to the russians
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primarily that they should stop aiding and abetting an assad regime that's making the ituation worse by continuing to claim innocent victims in their military operation. we've made the case to russia that the continued action of makes the gime situation worse. they exacerbate the chaos. also they're not in the interest of russia and russia does risk this and it's not in their interest. it is not just a matter of the united states making the case to russia that they should do the world a favor. rather, making the case to russia they need to reconcile the internal contradiction in their strategy. on one hand they say a political transition is necessary inside of syria but on the other hand they aid and abet the military operations of the assad regime that only
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allow assad to hold on to power. and reconciling that internal contradiction is something that russia has to choose to do at some point. the question is, how many people have to die before they do it? how many innocent people have to die before they do it? >> josh, you spent a lot of time discussing the public health aspects of zika and the ensuing weeks and weeks. but i've heard very little discussion on the physical impact that zika is -- the fiscal impact zika is having on the business in florida, puerto rico, and the virgin islands. has the president been in touch with anybody from the small business administration to ask for additional support disaster relief through their loan programs, etcetera, to support the very struggling economy right now? >> we've been mindful of this concern and have tried to be as specific as possible in
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describing the risk that individuals, in particular neighborhoods of south florida and in puerto rico face. and some of that is driven by a erroneously raise fears. people are understandably concerned particularly in the neighborhoods we've identified as legitimate concerns, but we're encouraging people to consult the c.d.c. and their doctor for advice about whether to travel to these particular regions. that we do so mindful of the potential economic impact of this disaster. or at least the situation. i think this goes to why we continue to make the case with republicans in congress that there are a whole lot of reasons why an effective, robust response to the zika virus should be properly and
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adequately funded and should be funded a the level our public health professionals say is necessary to stop the spread of zika virus. that's not happened. and that is a tab the republicans in congress are responsible for. >> financially, this is becoming the tourist season in that area. and there are hotels and there are restaurants, etcetera, folks i've been in touch with who are very frightened no one is going to show up, basically, because -- and they are losing revenue already. that was my question about the f.b.a. and any kind of funding that is in place that could be supporting the big industries down there. >> there are certainly contingency pro-fwrams that could be maintained by organizations like the f.b.a. i don't know whether they've had to use it in this case yet but you can check with them about whether those funds have been tapped. okay. >> just curious. so what you're saying sounds
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like it is still the administration's position that even now that there is confirmation of the use of the chemical weapons, use of chlorine, animation that isis also used chemical weapons hat the united states president still does not see the reason or rationale for an american military response directed at the syrian regime. >> well, again, i think our approach here has been focused on isil. that's been what the president has perceived as the primary threat. >> i know you said a number of times the president does not see a military solution to this. now, given the chlorine attacks and as you say the infinnist creativity that knows no bounds of the assad regime, it is still the president's position that there is not a military
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response directed at syria that is in america's national interests? >> well, there is a military response that's been directed at isil as you know. but our approach to the assad regime has been to make it clear that they've lost legitimacy to leave that country. that is not just based on our own concerns but the morally reprehensible behavior of assad, but based on the fact that the people he is counting on to support his government are people he has attacked militarily. so it's just not possible as a practical matter for him to continue to run the country. russia shares this assessment. and russia is the country that has as much influence as anybody else with the assad regime because russia has used their own military might to prop them up. we've made the case to russia that they should encourage the assad regime to cease these kind of attacks, agree to the -- live up to the commitments they made in the context of the cessation of hostility, and actually pursue the kind of
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u.n. led talks that will lead to the political transition that even the russians acknowledge is necessary. >> we all know the complications and you're probably aware of some of the commentary that suggests that one area where president obama's legacy is tarnished where he should have done more where people may look back and of course we'll let history deal with that, but this was the thing that he really didn't deal with and perhaps should have. he must be aware of that kind of commentary and do you have a sense what his thoughts are about that? >> well, the president has had an opportunity to speak to this a couple times and i would vigorously disagree with the suggestion that there is somehow a case that should be made or can legitimately be made that the president didn't do anything in syria. the fact is the president has built an international coalition with more than 65
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members now that has been focused on eradicating the threat from isil and other extremists including al qaeda's presence in syria that does form a threat to the united states and our allies in the west. we've been very focused on that threat and there are significant resources to mobilize including militarily to attack that threat and we've led an international coalition to mobilize and initialize international resources against that threat. >> but not against the regime and that is clearly a distinction. >> i guess the point we've made, ron, and this is a lesson that surely we learned from 2003, athe regime doesn't necessarily address the concern. it just doesn't. you don't have to take my word for it. we have a test case just over the border in iraq about what the consequences are for the united states implementing a regime change policy and trying
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to impose a military solution on the situation that didn't play out well for american interests. and that's what the president has been mindful of throughout this particular situation. i would also point out that the critics that you cite and i'm not denying their existence, we i am suggesting that haven't seen an alternative solution put forward. there are very few people who e willing to make the case with precision about what the president should be doing instead. there are some people who do suggest that somehow the united states should invade syria. they are welcome to make that case. the president doesn't agree with them. i think they'd be hard pressed to make the case that would be in the best interests of the united states.
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some of them do. the truth is i actually give them credit for having the courage of their convictions as opposed to just standing on the sidelines and criticizing the president saying the situation is very terrible. and saying that it's all the president's fault. the truth is the situation in syria is terrible. but they haven't proposed -- they've put forward their own proposal for what the president should have done instead. >> let me ask you about donald trump and the african-american population. hyperbole and rhetoric, perhaps aside, the charge essentially that the african-american community is worse off in some ways than -- under president obama than before over the last seven or eight years or so. i know part of the answer is the unemployment rate has been cut significantly in that particular community but there are other measures as you know, the rate of poverty, home ownership, median income, and others that are worse off. again, some of the hyperbole aside and some of the rhetoric
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aside isn't it a fair criticism that the african-american community in some ways is worse off now eight years after president obama? >> even the republican leader in the united states senate acknowledged that a year ago that the american people are better off since president obama took office. so i think you'd be very hard pressed to make a case that somehow the african-american population of the united states is somehow not better off. >> home ownership rates, labor force participation rates, poverty rates, they're 1% and 2% changes but these are significant in terms of income inequality, wage stagnation, we know that these impact minorities. >> i think what the president would say is -- i think the
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point here is the president never made the case that the work is finished. that the job is done. i think the point is that president obama is interested in being followed in office by someone who is confronted to building on the progress he has made thus far as oppose today tearing it down. the kinds of proposals that have been forward by the other side would erode our progress primarily because they would have a devastating impact fiscally and economically by doling out significant tax cuts to those at the top of the income scale and leaving the rest of us to pay the tab. the president believes that is a strategy that we have tried and it has not worked. to go back to that strategy now would make the situation worse. for everybody in america including the african-american population. >> on the kabul attack yesterday is the assessment that the local security forces performed as they should and at the global consequence of
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12 or 13 people killed -- isn't the assessment the local security forces -- the u.s. and coalition forces were not needed to intervene? >> let me start by saying the united states condemns in the strongest terms yesterday's attack on the american university of afghanistan. it appears that attack resulted in the deaths of as many as 11 students and security personnel. many others were wounded of course. we do in fact support the quick work of the afghan security forces who responded to the attack and secured the university. our thoughts and prayers are with those who were killed. we mourn the loss of innocent lives. we mourn the loss of life. and it is an indication there is additional work that needs to be done to address the security situation in afghanistan. but the afghan security forces are making progress and they
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are making that progress both because of their commitment to fight for their country but also because of the support they are receiving from u.s. and nato trainers and advisers who have helped them improve their performance in securing the country. kay? >> yesterday you said the attack highlights the huge challenge facing the people of afghanistan, particularly as it relates to their security situation, as you mentioned the number of folks that died there. earlier in the month -- this has been threatened for years. is security improving at all in that region? >> i don't have any metrics to provide you. e'll see if we can try and provide some statistics to help you understand the situation there better. i think what is clear is that we see security ebb and flow
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across the country that where the afghan security forces are able to make progress in one in we see the extremists that country try to capitalize on weakness somewhere else. it's a constant push and pull. over the long-term trajectory there is no denying the important progress that's been made. given the situation in afghanistan and even five or the progress made has been undeniable. it is going to require patience but also determination to extend this progress and the afghan people and the afghan government should know that they will have the ongoing, resolute support of the united states and our coalition partners as they address the security situation in their country. >> earlier in the month a u.s.
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soldier died while advising afghan special authorities in the helmand province. how much longer will these soldiers need to train and advise? any idea when they'll be pulled out and afghan forces will be able to manage on their own and -- >> i think what's likely is the next president has to make some decisions about this. president obama has pursued an approach where he has consulted closely with his national security team including his military advisers including his commanders on the ground in afghanistan to ensure that the strategy he's implemented reflects the situation on the ground. and that's why we have succeeded. you'll recall early in president obama's tenure in office there were more than a hundred thousand u.s. military
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personnel in afghanistan. now there are less than 9,000 i believe. that's a pretty significant draw down and does reflect important progress that our military has made in that country and it reflects the important progress that afghan forces have made in that country. but there still is a threat. there is still a risk. and it's one that afghan forces with the advice and assistance of the u.s. forces is working to counter. >> and the president -- can you provide any preview of what the president will be talking about with ash carter? is there anything specific they'll discuss or --? >> this is part of the regular weekly meeting that president obama has with his defense secretary when both are in town. it's been a couple weeks since they've both been in town so it will be an opportunity for them
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to meet. i suspect -- i don't know if they'll have an opportunity to meet next week but i suspect the president's upcoming trip to asia will factor into their discussions. i know secretary carter has traveled quite extensively to asia on more than one occasion over the past six months or so. so i would think that would be part of their agenda, but this meeting was not called to address any emerge ent -- emergent need but cover the range of issues they cover on a weekly basis when both are in town. > one last question. [inaudible] what contribution if any did the u.s. make in colombia and this rebel group? >> well, obviously the united states is quite pleased to see the longest running war in the western hemisphere come to an end. and for years the united states
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has been an important partner of the colombian government as they tried to bring this conflict to an end. you know, this is i think an indication of the united states being able to work effectively with an international partner even across party lines. that president bush invested a lot in this effort to support the colombian government and the obama administration if anything doubled down on that commitment and continued to support them. enjoyment in resolving this conflict benefited from the important contribution made by the american government and the american people and that's certainly, you know, this is certainly going to be an important part of president obama's legacy. it is going to be an important part of president bush's legacy, too. he deserves credit for the work that he had done in this area. would also note that the
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cuban government played an important role in facilitating and e end of this conflict the improved relationship between the united states and cuba, i think, could only have helped advance that process even further. okay? >> yesterday on cnn, secretary clinton said that donald trump is taking to main stream and giving a speech about his embrace of the albright movement and wondering does the white house share her sentiments about donald trump and his -- >> well, i'll let the candidates make their own case and offer up their own opinion about the tactics employed by either side. i think what is clear is that there has been a willingness on the part of republicans in congress to appeal to extremists in this country to try to build political support for their party. we talked about the zika unding bill being saddled with
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a provision that relates to the display of the confederate flag. house republicans elected into their leadership somebody who . scribed themselves as -- we've seen republicans come forward and support republicans congress come forward and support religious tests on people who enter the united states to try to keep people of the muslim faith out of the country. we've seen republicans in voting rights measures. that some states have implemented to disenfranchise minority voters.
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the circuit court in north carolina recently found that a republican bill was almost surgically focused on black americans from voting. all of that has been supported by republicans in congress. in fact, republicans in congress have opposed the renewal of the voting rights act that would give the federal government tools to try to address those kinds of obvious inequities. so there is a long track record of the cynical political congressional republicans to appeal to extremists that move their agenda forward and to win elections. and this is something we've
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talked about quite a few times. and i think it's why you see a lot of republicans, not just here in washington, d.c. but across the country quite concerned about the state of their party. and the years long willingness of leading republicans to engage in these kinds of cynical tactics. appears to be taking a toll on their party. >> there are recent reports that iranian vessels intercepted a u.s. destroyer. do you have any comment on that? any reaction? >> my colleagues in the department of defense talked a little bit about this yesterday. are aware that four iranian ship and proached the
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as my colleagues at the pentagon noted yesterday they assessed that the actions taken by the iranian vessels were unsafe and unprofessional. at this point it is not clear what the intentions of the iranian ships were but the behavior is not acceptable given that this u.s. ship was in international waters. these types of actions and incidents are concerning and they have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions. now, i know that there is a similar incident last month the ving a ship that commander general was aboard, the u.s.s. new orleans. general votel noted that the strait is a relatively compressed space and that
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exacerbates the potential for miscalculations on either side. the united states is not seeking to escalate the already volatile situation in that region of the world. we don't want anybody else to, either. okay? kate? >> tomorrow, a little lighter -- [inaudible] have you seen it yet? is there a copy at the white house? do you know what he thinks about it? >> i haven't talked to him about the film and i don't know whether he's seen it. we can get you some information about that. >> okay. >> okay. john? >> i just wanted to get back to the president's comments he made today. >> okay. >> he said that it is his hope and expectation that the detention facility at guantanamo is closed by the end
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of the president's time in office. i get the hope part. the expectation part i'm a little confused about. i understand as you do that the president has signed into law legislation which prohibits any detainees at guantanamo from being transferred to u.s. soil so explain to me how that would actually work? >> well, as i think in answer to michelle's question on this, we have seen congress -- you've just alluded to them -- erect significant barriers to our success in achieving this foreign policy goal that democrats and republicans alike agree is worth while. and we -- >> actually the position that is opposed to closing guantanamo is bipartisan -- to decide whether guantanamo remains open not that people are out of office. >> i understand that but there are bipartisan experts who dedicated their lives to protecting the interests of the united states around the world
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including leaders of our military who agree this is a foreign policy worth achieving. there is strong bipartisan support among foreign policy experts for it. you're right. the people who are playing politics don't share that view. that includes democrats and republicans. so we're going to have to work through that political opposition, and i can't sketch forward the path for you. i don't know exactly what that path looks like, but the president is determined to make progress and accomplish this goal before he leaves. >> so do you not share the vice president's optimism that the prison at guantanamo bay will be closed in january of 2017? >> i think what i would say is your pessimism is understandable. but we're in the business of hope around here. >> as it relates to guantanamo, i know you are, but as it relates to guantanamo, democrats control both the
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house and the senate early on in the president's time in office. >> yes. >> why wasn't then guantanamo closed during those first two years of the president's first term? >> yes. the president was disappointed early on we weren't able to make more progress. we've acknowledged that previously as well. at some point democrats and republicans have to come together in congress to do the right thing for the country. and, you know, i'm not diminishing or trying to political e of the concerns that have been raised by some, but those political concerns are rooted in individual members of congress own re-election. at some point our national security has to take precedence over that. the president will make that case and make the case to democrats and republicans. okay?
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[question inaudible] -- it was organized and orchestrated by people in asking and also called him to take action against the terrorists. what do you think of that? >> i haven't seen those comments. as i mentioned earlier we condemn in the strongest terms yesterday's attack but i am not aware of any specific assessment the united states has drawn about who was ultimately responsible for that attack. we'll obviously be in touch with leaders in the afghan government as they investigate the situation and take steps that are necessary to try to prevent it from happening again.
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>> what does the president think about the progress made --? e india u.s. bilateral >> the president has devoted significant time and resources to strengthening the relationship between the united states and india. the president has visited india on three occasions, i believe, and each of those trips has strengthening to the political relationship between the two largest democracies but also the economic ties between the two countries. the president believes more effective communication between our two countries can improve the economy in both our countries and create jobs and promote economic growth. the president has found the prime minister to be an effective partner in pursuing those goals. and the president is pleased by the progress we've made over the first seven and a half years of this presidency and
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we'll spend the remaining five months or so here trying to do all we can to advance it even further. >> i don't have the bilateral meetings president obama will engage in to announce at this point. we're obviously still putting together the schedule for the president's trip and will keep you posted. okay? you'll be the last one. >> in the past the president has said that gun control should be a single issue to ich voters examine the candidates this november. earlier this week voters and sed senators too manie the president and vice president have endorsed their challengers. mcginty and duffy. is this just people disagreeing -- what explains the president
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and someone like former congresswoman giffords -- >> listen, i think they can draw their own conclusions about this. i think the promise the president made was to not support anyone that didn't exe gun commitment to safety legislation. you referenced congresswoman duckworth and ms. mcginty. those are two candidates that enthusiastically share president obama's commitment to those common sense notions that positive uld have a impact in reducing gun violence in this country. that's why the president went forward with endorsing them and that is the decision the president and vice president made together. >> former congresswoman giffords said her organization believed that senators too manie and kirk would also work to make sure common sense gun reform -- and specifically
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there were comments after the connecticut shooting and talk about how they supported legislation and they're willing to put that endorsement -- does the president agree these are two people he could work with? he won't be around obviously for the next term but is it something the next president should be able to work with on gun reforms? >> i would acknowledge i haven't scrutinized the records of the two senators you have mentioned on the issue of gun afety. congresswoman giffords is drawing her own assessment and certainly is entitled to do that. the president's decision in -- is these races are rooted in the priorities and agenda indicated by both candidates congresswoman duffy and mcginty. that agenda doesn't just include their strong and enthusiastic support for common sense gun safety legislation
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but also their strong support for a variety of other measures including things like job aining and support for efforts to tackle climate opportunity pend for everybody including middle class families. that is the reason the president supported those two candidates. everybody has to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions. >> using just gun control to decide who to support in these races -- >> i did not suggest that was going to be the case. >> the president said it should be a single issue for voters. >> that's why if there are candidates who don't -- i think you're making it more complicated than it actually is so we'll leave it there. thanks, everybody. >> thanks, josh.
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>> in about an hour and 15 minutes a debate between candidates for leadership positions and the teamsters union. fred zuckerman candidate for general president on the teamsters united slate will debate ken hall who is a candidate for general secretary treasurer on the hoffman hall 2016 slate. the teamsters are required by federal law to hold direct elections for leadership positions. see tonight's event from the national press club live at 6:30 eastern time here on c-span. earlier today hillary clinton held a campaign rally in reno,
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nevada and spoke to supporters about donald trump's political philosophy and why she feels some of his remarks are insulting and ignorant. here is part of what she had to say. >> i want to address something i am hearing about from americans all over our country. everywhere i go, people tell me ow concerned they are by the divisive rhetoric coming from y opponent in this election. i understand that concern because it is like nothing we've heard before from a nominee for president of the united states from one of our two major parties. from the start donald trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. he is taking hate groups main stream and helping a radical fringe take over the republican
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party. his disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous. in just this past week under the guise of outreach to trump has icans, stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms -- poverty, rejection, horrible education, no housing, no homes, no ownership, crime at levels nobody has seen. right now he said you can walk own the street and get shot. those are his words. when i hear them i think to myself how sad. donald trump misses so much. he doesn't see the success of black leaders in every field, the vibrancy of black owned businesses, the strength of the black church. [cheering]
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he doesn't see the excellence of historically black colleges and universities or the pride of black parents watching their children thrive. he apparently didn't see police chief brown of dallas on television after the murders of five of his officers conducting himself with such dignity. he certainly doesn't have any solutions to take on the reality of systemic racism and create more equity and opportunity to communities of color and for every american. it really does take a lot of nerve to ask people he's ignored and mistreated for do you have to lose? because the answer is everything. >> that was just part of what hillary clinton had to say earlier today at a campaign rally in nevada.
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you can see that entire event tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. on c-span 2 it's book tv with authors and books on the lower, middle, and upper classes in america and at 7:00 eastern on c-span 3 american history tv marks the 100th birthday of the national park service at the arlington house in arlington national cemetery. >> c-span washington journal live every day with news and issues that impact you. coming up friday morning robert bailey director of the kissinger institute on china and the u.s. at the wilson center will be on to talk about his recent trip to china and that country's view of the u.s. election. also how our next president could shape and change u.s./china policy. then the cochair of the super pac women vote trump will talk about why she cofounded the group with the ex-wife of donald trump supporter and
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unofficial adviser roger stone as well as what they hope to accomplish leading up to the election in november. and the white house reporter for "usa today" will join us to discuss president obama's decision to commute the sentences of 214 federal inmates. that is the largest single day granting of commutations in the nation's history. be sure to watch c-span "washington journal" beginning at 7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. book tv on c-span 2. 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. here are some featured programs this weekend. saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, on "afterwards" the presidential candidacy of donald trump is the subject of syndicated columnist anne coulter's latest book "in trump we trust" which argues that moderates, conservatives, and democrats should support him. she is interviewed by tucker carlson cofounder and editor-in-chief of "the daily
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caller." >> i think he is a genuine patriot, genuinely loves the country, and i think he looked around and saw so many things going wrong that he can fix. in that opening speech, he said something to the effect of if we don't stop this now it's going to be too late. it's going to be unsalvageable. >> on sunday at 7:30 p.m. eastern urban radio network's washington bureau chief april ryan moderates race in america. a panel discussion on race in relation to the news, politics, and american culture. including an examination of the rise in racial incidents, origins, and possible solutions. then at 10:00 eastern antonio martinez, former twit aerodynamic viser and facebook product manager, talks about his book "chaos monkeys" which gives an insider's perspective on the silicon valley tech world and exams the future and impact of online marketing and social media. also this weekend "the washington post" dan zack reports on america's nuclear
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arsenal. the former army sniper nicholas irving recounts his missions in iraq and afghanistan. sciu international vice president david rolfe on the movement to increase workers wages. go to book tv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> sunday night on "q & a" -- >> there was an average, imagine, of one racial lynching a week in the south. and it was a brilliant, psychological device to hold down a race. if you were black you were afraid this could happen to you. >> thundershower laurence leamer talks about his latest book "the lynching" the epic courtroom battle that brought down the klan about the trial ollowing the 1981 killing of 19-year-old michael donald by the k.k.k. in mobile, alabama. >> michael is this teenager. he's trained to become a brick layer. the youngest of seven children. he's helping his mother in
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their house and his aunt wants to ask him to go out and get a pack of cigarettes. gives him a dollar. puts it in his wallet. goes out in his old -- and this old buick pulled up behind him and james pulls out his pistol and orders him into the back southeast the car. he knows when he gets in that car what's going to happen. he's a black man in alabama and you know. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q & a." with the national park service celebrating its centennial anniversary today several park rangers went to the whate house to meet with president and the president tweeted this picture saying 100 years and going strong. thanks national park service for your service. so our kids enjoy our parks as much as we have. earlier today on "washington journal" we spoke with the park service's deputy director on what this anniversary means for the agency. here's that.
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host: good morning. mike reynolds is our guest. we are at wuven the most highly visited park sites. this is the national mall. the term already thrown out today is happy birthday to the park service. guest: thank you, everybody. host: talk about what is specifically happening on the national mall today. guest: the national mall is often what we call america's front yard and the place that all americans can come see their heritage. so today we'll celebrate with over 1600 people joining us just over here to do what's called a living arrowhead. if you've ever seen marching bands do their symbols on the ield we'll do something that will match the arrowhead on my sleeve which is symbolic of what the national ranger service has. we have events for kids to try and understand what it is like to be a park ranger and one of the more important things today is a naturalization ceremony and i understand 40 or 50 people will be sworn in -- 450
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people will be sworn in today. >> and the naturalization ceremonies have been happening all year during the centennial year. why is that such an important part for the park service of the centennial? >> not only must it be terribly exciting for people to become american citizens if that's been their dream but they can do it in a place that represents the heritage, history, resources of the country that they have decided to love and embrace. and so imagine being sworn in below mount rushmore here at the washington monument or lincoln memorial and what that might mean about freedom and what their lives are. >> 415 national parks. do you have a favorite? >> my favorite is the last one i was in. >> which was that >> the national mall today. i look forward to seeing our 415th just named today by president obama. it's up in maine. it's up near baxter state park which is a beautiful park in the state of maine and we're looking forward to being good partners with that state and
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those communities. >> a hundred years since president wilson started the national park service. what are the big threats to get you to the next hundred years? >> climate change is one of our very large threats. we have a very large science team working on that with partners in the science community and we're very concerned about how to deal with landscapes and maintaining places and even historic areas we have certain weathering that goes on now even in the monuments here in washington that we're studying. so climate change, staying relevant to our constituents, to the american people making sure we tell the full, diverse experience of the american experience. those are a couple things i'd be worried about. >> when you talk about climate change are there parks that may not be around in a hundred years? >> i think the parks may be around. we're trying to figure out how to change that process and mitigate those processes but we may have to tell stories and show parks in a different way.
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>> i hope not. >> when you talk about staying relevant who is your average visitor to a national park right now? >> we tend to have a loft the boomer generation that grew up in station wagons that faced backwards and families had two weeks or more and could travel the country. we still have many of those people and families. we are trying to appeal to the newer generation. a loft the millennial generation are coming up and we also have a very diverse country. it is growing in that diversity. we want to make sure everyone understands and knows what their heritage are in those 413 units. >> what is your pitch? >> come out. if you have any interest whatsoever, maybe a caller could even ask me what their interest is. there is a national park for that in this country. come and experience. >> some of our callers are concerned whether the park service has enough funding and is properly taken care of by congress. what are your funding challenges right now? do you have enough to keep 413 parks going? >> we do. congress has been helping us. of late we had a little modest
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growth this year celebrating the centennial reaching out to new generations dealing with infrastructure. we are a hundred years old so we have things we need to refurbish. we're on the trend. we think it is going the right way. we want to be sure the american people very much support that. >> you're here with us on the mall. where is director john jarvis today? >> in yellowstone national park. there will be i understand a few thousand people at the arch, the roosevelt arch where president theodore roosevelt dedicated it many years ago celebrating our country through one of our venerable parks. along with a lot of other people. >> director jarvis had an editorial in "the washington post." he mentioned that a lot of those who work in the park service end up staying for life. why is that? >> it becomes for many a job that is a lifestyle as well as a life. and i think maybe military families can understand that. you often live and work together in places. you are transferred and moved around. so you develop sort of a family across this but you also become very dedicated to the
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resources. we have very passionate people and we look forward to improving their lives, also, in the next century of service. >> how passionate people and look forward passionate peo and look forward to improving their lives, too, in this next century of service. john: how long have you been in the service? mike: 30 years. john: what are some of the parks you worked? mike: yosemite, olympic national park, fire island national seashore to my friend in new york which is right off the long island barrier islands and i've been a fortunate person to have this chance. john: mike rind is announcer: earlier today on the grounds of the washington monument, 1,000 volunteers honor of the agency's 100th birthday. here is a picture taken from the top of the washington monument. at 7:00 eastern on c-span 3, american history tv marks the anniversary today, the 100th niffs of the national park
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service, we'll be live from arlington national cemetary. more from today's "washington journal" looking at the past, present, and future of the national park service. thanks very much for being with us. if you pick up today's "wall street journal" or "washington post," two editorials commemorating the national park service including this from terry anderson. happy 100th birthday national parks and jonathan janis writing these lands are your lands, america. read them online at wsj.com. some background on the national park service. it was signed into law on this date by president woodrow wilson in 191. congress established yellowstone national park back in 1872 as the world's first national park. 1916, the date president wilson signed the law creating the national park service and the system began to include areas of historical significance back in 1933 designated by president franklin d. roosevelt.
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and earlier this summer, president obama commemorating this centennial anniversary. president obama: we have to have the foresight and faith in the future to do what it takes to protect our parks and to protect this planet for generations to come. and that's especially true for our leaders in washington. it's what lincoln did when he set aside this ground for all posterity. that's what roosevelt did when he inspired the national park system. that's what our generation has to do. we have to sum up that same vision for the future. we made good strides and we're reducing carbon pollution and preserving landscapes. we're rallying the world to tackle climate change together but we've got to do a lot more. and on this issue, on like a lot of issues, there's such a thing as being too late. the good news is i know we can rise to the challenge. over the last seven years we've proved it and if we keep at it, we're not just going to safeguard this place, we're going to protect our
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communities from rising fees and stronger storms and brutal droughts. but we're also going to protect our children's lungs from breathing dirty air and protect vulnerable people from displacement. we'll protect our national security because we won't be seeing refugees displaced because of conflict and scarcity. and we'll build on that legacy of all those who came before us, who stood in these parks a century ago and talked about an america that lasts through the ages. host: in june the president commemorating what is a summer of celebration for america's national park service. again, we want to hear from you. when you send us a tweet, if you have a photograph, if you've visited one of the national parks or historic sites, you can do so. tweet your photos at c-spanwj and show them on the air as we commemorate the national park service centennial. let me read what terry anderson
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writes in the op-ed at washington journal, a fellow at the institute, called happy 100th birthday national parks and writes the following, few federal agencies command more widespread support than the national park service. a 2015 gallup poll found 73% of americans were satisfied with the government's handling of national parks despite their overall dissatisfaction with the federal government. there are now 84 million acres in the national park system, including 59 national parks, 20 of which were added after 1980 and 353 national monuments, battlefields and historic sites. every year congress creates more marks, often referred to as park barrel politics. but loved as they are, the national park systems and monuments are not being treated well. adding more makes matters worse. there is already a backlog of maintenance projects including deteriorating roads, buildings and sewage systems that will cost $12 billion to fix. this morning from terry anderson and his op-ed in "the
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wall street journal." e're joined in washington with noel straub and covering for green wire and thanks for being with us on the washington journal. guest: thanks for having me. pleasure to be here. host: let me begin with the disrepair in america's national parks. what needs to be done that isn't? guest: as you heard, there's a $12 billion backlog with the national parks. there's a whole host of projects all across the country that need to be done. it's an astonishing task they have to accomplish. the park service in addition to the normal monuments you would think of also has more than 5,000 miles of roads under its care, 1,000 bridges. it's got pipelines bringing water into the parks that are often failing. so they have a lot of infrastructure that they need and it's easier to get donations to repair the washington monument or lincoln
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memorial and the well known parks and harder to get money for the basic things like keeping the water flowing into parks or keeping their roads paved. host: the washington monument having its own problems with the elevator which is now shut dunn because of disrepair and was recently renovated but still a lot of issues for those who want to travel to the very top of that iconic, historical ite. guest: it's going to be shut for nine months to fix the elevators. they've been closing it on and off for a day or two here or there and it's scary for visitors who get stuck at the top and have to walk down or get stuck partway up and they decided they need to take it out of service for a good nine months and go ahead and redo the elevators. host: that are the problems with the washington monument elevator and why wasn't it fixed right the first time? guest: some of the problems started with the earthquake which was five years ago. there was quite a bit of damage to the washington monument.
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some of the blocks at the top came loose and that sort of thing. but they've been having problems for years. and they've tried to do more temporary fixes to try to get it up to speed so people could use it but haven't done a full shut it down, repair the whole thing so that seems to be what needs to happen now. host: you put together a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the national park service. take us through from 1872 when yellowstone national park became the world's first national park to 1916, the law that president woodrow wilson signed. guest: yeah, we actually have 14 articles in our series on the national park service, the last one coming out today, is a look at how the park service was created, so it's right on topic for today's anniversary. but yes, the first park, as you mentioned, the world's first park was created and then 35 other parks and monuments were created, but they were being
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overseen by the interior department but not a specific agency within the interior department, just the larger department. and eventually, you know, lawmakers realized they probably needed its own agency so that there is unified management over all of these 35 parks that existed. so there's a lot of congressional wrangling as you can expect. it took about six years from the time that the first bill was proposed to when it actually passed. there were fights over jurisdiction and whether the forest service should get some of the sites or whether the park service should get them. there also is wrangling over whether there should be grazing allowed in parks, livestock grazing. so they deliberately -- the way they ended up passing the bill is they deliberately kept it a little vague and had an overarching mission statement but didn't have too many specifics so there wasn't too much people could object to, so they ended up passing the bill in 1916 and the park service went on from there.
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host: let me go back to the bill signing ceremony and what congress and the president hope to achieve, the fundamental service of the national park service, to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. and since 1980, we've really seen a huge growth in the number of designated areas of national parks and u.p.i. pointing out that president obama has designated more areas of national parks than any of its predecessors. guest: he has. yesterday there were 412 park units and then yesterday there were 413. president obama has created a dozen parks in his tenure. president bush, the younger, created one. president clinton created three. so as you can see, president
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obama has created more and there's been some controversy over whether additional park units should be created. both the president and congress can designate parks. congress by passing a law and the president by using the antiquities act which is a 1906 law that lets him bypass congress and do it on his own. but some people think given the $12 billion maintenance backlog and all the -- what the park service already has to take care of, it's not a good idea to give them additional parks to add to their growing list. host: we move into late august and the 25th of the month, the 100th anniversary of the national park service. we want to hear from those who live in the eastern time zones nd for those out west, 202-748-8001. your thoughts on the national park service or send us a tweet. there's this from dean who says walking down from the top of
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the washington monument is awesome. you get to see all of the artwork. let me go back to your earlier point about the new park that was designated just yesterday in the state of maine but not without controversy. what's this area about and why are some questioning the president's motives, including the governor? guest: the co-founder of burt's bees, roseanne quimbley, wanted to give 80,000 acres in the maine north woods which contains a lot of beautiful woods and streams and she wanted to donate it to make it a national park. there were opposition in maine and people were worried about restrictions as far as access, hunting, getting into the park, and they also, you know, wanted -- people were worried about the government taking more land. so yes, there was quite a bit of opposition. the park service leaders held
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several public hearings up there which were pretty controversial, got a lot of good comments on both sides. and the co-founder of burt's bees had been pushing for congress to make it a national park but the legislation stalled in congress so she then turned her attention instead of pushing it through congress to get president obama to create it through as a national monument and what he did yesterday. host: from "the washington post," these lands are your lands, america. and this tweet from jan who says everyone should see the ken burns series about the national parks. he is a national treasure. and we'll be joined by noelle straub and her work is available online at eenews.net. first we want to hear from you. michael from new kensington, pennsylvania. good morning. caller: yes, steve. thank for you taking my call and c-span as usual. it's a great program.
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i have done a good deal of traveling throughout the park system, death valley and the grand canyon are my favorites. but i do think you bring up good points with the maine acquisition. there's way too much parkland -- too much land under federal jurisdiction and i think the atistic was 75% of nevada or something was federal lands. i think that's outrageous. there was even a controversy when clinton was president, they took all this land in utah nd just for the escalate mountains and one of the mountains, the main purpose -- i think it was nevada.
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the main purpose was to keep them from the yuca mountain that was going to be used for a nuclear storage facility, to keep it out of the hands of the public -- of the private industries could not be used for that purpose. and i think that they could sell some of these federal lands. roles ep adding to the and can't roles and can't maintain them, as your guests pointed out, they keep it limited to the public in certain areas. host: thanks for the call. you're seeing some of the iconic scenes of just a few of the national parks as we devote the first 90 minutes of our program on this send tennial -- centennial anniversary of the national parks system. there's a tweet with a photograph of yellowstone national park and this from kybel who has a question, is the most visited national park
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still the great smokey mountains in tennessee? i know it has been for years. you know the answer for that temperature guest: yes, it is still great smokey mountain national park. host: you have been there? guest: no, it's high on my list and would like to make it soon. host: we'll go to allen who joins us from brooklyn, new york. caller: great topic. i noticed when you had the language of the act on the screen it said specifically to leave it unimpaired for future generations. when they passed the laws as when they pass laws about landmark preservation or species preservation, the intention is that we can look at the specific objects we're going to present from specific hark we can see and as president obama emphasized in his talk there are other ways we can lose these pressure -- treasures even if they're not attacked or taken directly and that's through climate change. i don't know if the people who started the park system can imagine that kind of threat but
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their obligations to be adult enough to realize that kind of threat and protect our parks and landmarks and our species from loss to future generations given that they're under the effect of climate change. this campaign has been marked by an infantile focus on distractions from things that allow us to act as adults. and we can't protect our parks from climate change unless we're did dult enough -- adult enough to realize we're responsible for our actions and responsible for the cause and effect knowledge of scientific truths about how climate is being harmed. and also we finally have to recognize the future has the property interest in the atmosphere and we cannot take it from them without violating the conti substitution spirit. we don't own it but are holding it in trust. host: thank you for the call in
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brooklyn, new york. we have an email from the great smokey mountains and this one with this photograph which is a spectacular place in tennessee. another tweet, i've been to many national parks, i believe one should tour the u.s. rather than europe for bragging reasons. and "the washington post" has this piece, national park service turns 100 and some sites are showing their age. the story available online at "washington post."com saying yellowstone national park interior secretary saly jewel is expected to kick off a commemoration of the 100th anniversary. on c-span 3 america history tv we'll have our own celebration and take you to arlington house at the robert e. lee memorial at arlington national cemetery across the potomac in northern virginia and our live coverage at 7:00 plm eastern time live on c-span 3, part of american history tv and check it out online at c-span.org.
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to howard. good morning. >> i don't know if your book touched on the homeless population in the national arks because -- hello? obviously the homeless -- and almost homeless people who can't survive, they can't pay their rent, they're literally starving in order to pay rent. and the park service has a crackdown on anyone camping for an extensive length of time in the park. i thought as a citizen i had a right to camp indefinitely in the national park and seems and that this service paid for by taxpayer
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money won't allow camping. i remember going to boy scout national park living in their cars in bad economic times in a national park and didn't seem to be a problem. what's going on? do you have any idea? host: let me turn back to noellestraub. she's the editor of natural resources issues and put together a series available online at eenews.net. what about the homeless and people who want to camp out in national parks around the country? guest: each park has its own set of regulations and rules where it will allow camping and where it won't. i'm not sure whether there is extended camping allowed or what the time restrictions are. it would be -- the park service mission is to protect and take care of the parks as well as allow them to be enjoyed by the public. they do need rules and
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regulations that would govern where and when people are allowed to camp. it can't be a free-for-all because the park service needs a little bit of management and guidance in there. there were articling saying it was a national forest more than the national park which is are dealing with the homeless problems. there are more people camping out in forests than actual parks. host: a related story available at nytimes.com with the headline focused on the homeless who want to visit national parks and camp out as they find refuge in the forest, the anger is palpable in nearby towns. let's go to derek, annapolis, maryland. caller: thank you for taking the call. host: have you visited the national historic sites? caller: i have and enjoyed many parks throughout my visit and can't say enough about the services provided there. i think the ranger staffs i've encountered at each park have
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been absolutely phenomenal with their wealth of history and excitement about and passion for the lands they are taking care of. i wanted to touch base on climate change and do agree with his point there. my question is, is there a movement coming from obama and maybe even other administration officials to get that groundswell population back, to have that ccc and wpa kind of atmosphere to help restore some of the parks that we have? again, thanks for the call. host: thank you. we appreciate it. let's go to cecil joining us from pittsburgh. good morning. >> i'm really thankful for c-span and i have to admit the first entrance into a park was grand canyon, but yellowstone was impressive because of the geyser. and i think we ought to preserve these parks. i had an easy time getting in
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and think you ought to know, i've been trying other times and i really admire the parks and the project that franklin delano roosevelt put people to work in because of this, we had a depression -- were coming out of the depression but everything but slowly entered slowly got de and us out but the parks are beneficial to this country. and really enjoyed it going across route 66. host: thank you for the call. we appreciate it. victor sending this fweeth, my best visits are yellowstone and the grand canyon. we'll be back. send us a photograph and we'll show your photos as we continue to look at the 100th anniversary of the national park service and we welcome our listeners on c-span radio.
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join in on the conversation, the eastern 000 on half of the country and 202- 748-8001. before his death, kennedy toured parks and here are some of the highlights. president kennedy: this country has become rich because nature was good to us and because the people who came from europe predominantly are also among the most vigorous. the basic resources were used skillfully and economically and because of the wise work done by theodore roosevelt and others, significant progress was made in conserving these resources. we made the proper position today in how we should use our
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our and air and land and ocean and unless we make the com probable efforts, an effort theodore roosevelt and others made years ago we're going to waste it. today the conservation moments are to embrace discipline well known in the past. it must marshal our vast technological resources and be part of our resource supply. it must concern itself with nuclear energy as well as agriculture with the physics and chemistry, as well as t.b.a. with the economic and engineering factors of open pace, we save our scenic treasures. our task now is to increase our understanding of our environment, to appoint but enjoy it without defacing it, use its bounty without detracting permanently from its value.
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and above all, maintain a living balance between man's actions and nature's reactions. for this nation's great resources is a lasting and productive ingenuity can make it. our national asset belongs to all of us. children born in the west will grow up in the east and the east will grow up in the west and define by contraiting our energy on natural resources on conserving them and not merely saving them but by developing and improving them, the united states will be richer and stronger. we can fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves and those that depend upon us. host: from september 24 to september 28, 1963, you're watching and listening to president john f. kennedy as he traveled to a number of national park services and site as and in fact was an 11-state
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tour and those were the highlights traveling from utah, california, utah and nevada. at 7:00 plm eastern time we'll look at the 100th anniversary of the park service and hope you tune in live on c-span 3 and every weekend we focus on american history tv. the national park service by the numbers, 307 million visitors in 2015 and counting. a budget of over $2.6 billion. 20,000 permanent employees as well as temporary and vonal workers and 246,000 volunteers that donate 6.7 million hours annually according to the national park service. ore details available at nps.goff. we're joined by a listener in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. good morning. you with us?
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pam is next in florida. good morning. caller: good morning. host: you're on the air. go ahead, please. caller: i wanted to say i've been to several parks and love them. i can see what happens, though. you have to draw the line somewhere because there's so many people that love to get out and camp and get out and see nature. i've been to the red woods and sequoia. i've been to the oceans. i've been up in washington. i just love going there and that's all i have to say. host: thank you for the call. let's go to noelle straub. she works for e and e green wire and someone saying we need more dollars to maintain them. how much more money does the park service need and want and what are its priorities?
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guest: the park service asked for $3.1 billion for fiscal 2017 so for next year. congress is still working on its appropriations bills so the house and senate are still working out how much money they'll actually give the park service. right now it looks like they'll probably give the park service $2.9 billion which is slightly less than the park service asked for. but on a separate track, both democrats and republicans have introduced separate bills in honor of the park service centennial that would provide additional funding to the park service. the democrats introduced the version that the obama administration would like which is -- which would provide the park service $1.5 billion over three years and would be a funding boost for the park service. republicans have said that that figure is not very realistic and introduced their own bill that would give the park service quite a bit less guaranteed funding but would change how some endowments work with the national park
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foundation, which is the charitable organization linked to the park service and change how money could be spent out of the endowment and make more funding available. they have different takes on that. the one thing both bills do agree on, senior citizens can for $10 buy a lifetime pass for all the national parks and both the republicans and democrats would like to change that to $80 for a lifetime pass and would also bring in a little more revenue for the park service. host: as part of your special report you take a look at hampton, virginia, at fort monroe and i want to focus on this for a moment because it's an area some question its historical significance and also struggling to maintain a lot of visitors. what are some of the challenges with the lesser known historic sites, monuments inside the national park service? guest: president obama, the first park he declared, it was
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a military base and it was changed through brac with the military realignment commission and handed it over to the park service. it is the fort where the very first slave ship bringing slaves to the english colonies,ening learn at the time, colonies came through and then in the civil war slaves fled to fort monroe and sought refuge and was given shelter by the northern side. so it did play a big role in the history of slavery. . and the park service hasn't gotten all its signage up and it isn't clear when you go to visit but it's actually national park property there. you still work on getting signs up and the word out that this is somewhere to go and visit, so it takes a lot of effort to get away with

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