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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 9, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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andrks by senator tim scott senator james lankford. later, we will have more from the summit, including remarks by donald trump. that begins on our companion network, c-span2. >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. friday morning, new york republican congressman tom reed will join us to talk about his endorsement of donald trump and the statements that congress has made on the record saying mr. trump needs to be reined in if he wants to win the election. then new york democratic congressman jeffrey meets will be on to talk about the latest campaign developments, including hillary clinton and donald trump outreach efforts as well as immigration and the congressional agenda leading up
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to the november election. be sure to watch "washington journal," beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> republican vice presidential nominee mike pence spoke at the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. he spoke about similarities between donald trump and president reagan. this is just over an hour. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. i have the >> good morning, everyone.
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reagan presidential candidates and -- foundation. [applause] for joining us this morning. in honor of our men and women who defend our freedom around the world, please stand and join for the pledge of the allegiance. >> pledge allegiance, to the flag of the united states of america. to the republic, a nation, under god, indivisible and -- with liberty and justice for all. please be seated. get started, very few people in the audience i would .ike to make sure we recognize governor pence's daughter charlotte. if you would stand. [applause]
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foundation and the board of trustees, governor pete wilson and his lovely wife. [applause] and our former advance man for president reagan, andrew with his wife karen. [applause] forget our former congressman and his wife. great to have you here. [applause] i want to introduce the district attorney but i don't think he could stay. he brought with him the supervisor of her chair county venturare a county -- county.
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valley, and from thousand oaks, rob mccoy. [applause] last but not least, director of the reagan library. [applause] ok. honored to welcome all of you to our mountaintop. it is not a geological surprise visitor and time special guest, but it is good practice. his statesof topography in 1980 recorded that there are no mountains and indiana and there is no could that there ever was. [laughter] i realized our special guest
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mike feels that he has done quite a bit of climbing these past few weeks with a few peeks ahead as he works his way and fights his way toward the second highest office in our land. i think i can say that for all of us gathered here, we are glad to join you in the climb. [applause] some might, some sage advice from president reagan, he said, i look to the hills from whence cometh my strength. paul clement aside, i can say that i am sure president reagan would have felt an immediate kinship with our guest, after all, knowing that he grew up just one state west. he was probably acquainted with hoosier hysteria.
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he commented come indiana, babies are not born with silver spoons, they come equipped with basketballs and high top speakers -- sneakers. [laughter] indiana may be considered the capital of american basketball, it does not take long to realize that it is also the breeding ground for fine character. in the words of hoosier poets, there are quote the good old-fashioned people, the hard-working people. 1947, thed, in general assembly of indiana adopted the resolution serving notice on congress of the united states that the people of indiana are fed up with subsidies, paternalism, described as federal grants. [applause]
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that kind of thinking fits right into our 40th president correa wheelhouse and that they can has brought our get the forefront of american politics. like ronald reagan, i was interested to learn that governor pence is a recovering democrat. [laughter] who crossed to the site -- right side of the road. perhaps you heard him on the radio in the early 80's. the mike pence show. rushville, indiana, he called decaf. rush limbaugh on [laughter] and this is where he began his political journy to congress. -- journey to congress. his journey continues. we recognize that those partnerships can even involve the give and take and differences among running mates. president reagan successful
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economic program for the nation became known as reaganomics. before becoming the president, the vice president tonight -- presidential pick, george h bush economics.he voodoo he ended up becoming the most reliable wingmen resident reagan ever had. we also recognized the similarities are guest shares with the president reagan. a belief in god. american exceptionalism. the power of individual liberty. the importance of fiscal responsibility. the capacity for american business. the need for a strong military to provide a safer world. and a desire to be home with his wife for dinner every night. to ensure that you will make it home tonight, i shall be seated. ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to introduce to you
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governor mike pence. [applause] gov. pence: thank you for that overly generous introduction. i'm very humbled by that. and frankly, quite moved. move that so many of you would come out to welcome me. as well as my favorite oldest daughter. [laughter] this great and important place. the governor wilson and gail, john high bush, the trustees , it, my former colleagues
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is a joy. it is a privilege to be in reagan country. [applause] it really is. [applause] grateful that so many of you would come out. particularly some of the young people here from local schools. in the last few months, i've gotten used to bigger crowds. opportunityh the that i was afforded a little more than six weeks ago to run and serve as the next vice president of the united states of america. [applause] things have changed for me a little bit. it was not too long ago i was running up to an event in indiana and a fellow who organized it was in a local
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school auditorium and i was a little late as it was today. i was racing past him and him were three people in the front row and i said to them, did you see there are just three people there for the speech. he said, yes. i saw that. said, didn't you tell them i was the speaker? and that he said, no, i will find out who did. [laughter] so, thanks for coming. this is very humbling to me. it really is. [applause] i want to speak about two men. one who has inspired my life in so many ways that it makes this moment very humbly to me and more than a little bit emotional.
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and one who has become my friend. and is inspiring and movement across the country that will make america great again. [applause] before i do that, let me express a word of appreciation to all of you. all of you who have supported dos place and all that you to support the library. the memory of this man. i said to a few members of the me, thistairs that for is my second visit here. that iabout 10 years ago brought charlotte and audrey and michael and their mother here. would you join me in thanking here today for keeping the life, work, mission and the legacy of ronald wilson reagan alive for future
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generations. thank you so much. [applause] the hospitality here has been overwhelming. i really do want to begin, i would like to begin the -- open the good book every morning and what my favorite verses is if you owed debts, pay debts. honor, honor. respect, prospective. more than anything else, i'm here to pay a debt of honor and a debt of gratitude. eloquence, example, broad shouldered leadership in summary ways has inspired my continue tond will inspire any contributions i make. we came here because i wanted my children to get a better look at this man who is part of history. i probably only told him about a thousand times that i met ronald
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reagan. ok, 1001. [laughter] 1988, irtunity i had in was a 29-year-old candidate for congress was invited to the white house. the governor, it was just a photo op. i was standing there with my new bride in my wife 31 years. we were waiting to go into the blue room for president reagan was waiting. the political people have told me i should talk about something indiana. if we needed a bridge or a road. said, this care and man is the reason i became a republican. i would just like to say something to him i could tell my grandkids. she looked at me like she still doesn't said, speak from your does and she said,
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speak from your heart. if the letter was talking to mount rushmore. it set me at ease. said, mike, how the campaign going. ? i said, i something to tell you. he said, go ahead. i said i would like to thank you. i said i want thank you for everything you have done to inspire my generation to believe in this country again. life, and the my rest of my life, i will always believe that in that moment, the 40th president of united states of america blushed. [laughter] he said, that is a nice thing of you to say. [applause] it is an incredible moment for me.
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saw realoment, i humility. before i leave you today, i will share with the rest of the what the conversation topic. in this moment, the moment of int margaret thatcher said her message at the national cathedral where i had privileged to- sit and prey on that sad day. she said, we hear still move in twilight but we have one begin to guide us that ronald reagan never had. we had his example. reagan example and for my entire political life and informs it still. his ideals inspired me to be the party of might -- leave the uth.i don't yo know what it was that made the connection with reagan. i was a young democrat. kind of a kinky organizer if the
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truth be told. organizer if the truth be told. there is something about the man. my grandfather immigrated from ireland. was because he was in unambiguous irishman. started my career like he did. i worked in radio. i would go on to serve in the if iess with the likes -- only had 12 years left to live, i would want to live as a member of congress. because that was the longest 12 years of my life. [laughter] the truth is, it was a great privilege to represent indiana. and to fight for the very things. late arrival was a
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to the reagan revolution. i had run in 1980 but it was not elected to congress for another 12 years. when i got there, i met with other reaganites. we will work shoulder to shoulder for all the principles of the reagan revolution. less government, less taxes. less regulation. in traditional diets. and traditional moral bias. i will also say the governor of indiana inspired me. when it became governor of the great state of indiana, i made a deeper study of california's history. you can think this great ofernor and this tradition republican governors, governor wilson, i am honored to happy here. [applause] i looked at ronald reagan as the
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governor and i saw his commitment to lower taxes and education reform. i saw him as a solutions conservative. he inspired me in the state of indiana. my predecessor in the state of indiana works for president reagan. helped lay a foundation of fiscal responsibility. after i was governor, we rolled our sleeves up and passed the large estate tax cut in indiana history. largest increase in india to -- education funding. we now have one of 12 states with a aaa bond rating and more features are working than ever before. those reagan principles still work. [applause] you that it is exactly the kind of leadership that donald trump is going to bring to washington dc when he is president of the united states. [applause]
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it is remarkable to think in the times that we live. it is remarkable to think that 36 years ago, ronald reagan crisscrossing the country as my family and donald trump has to do. we look back and it seems so obvious. so clear-cut that the republican party and minds of democrats would make the decision to unite behind a leader as one of our nation's greatest presidents. at the time, as most of you know, it was a little different. back in 1980, that was hardly the prevailing view. not by a long shot. dismissed thed california governor. he was referred to as a simpleton by some. they said he was little more
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than a celebrity and entertainer who entered politics late in life. sound familiar? truth be told, initially, reagan even made some inside the republican party uneasy. his rhetoric sounded too strident, too unrefined. then the hinge of history began to swing and freedoms direction. since something amazing began to happen. unexpected. millions of people started flocking to his campaign. working-class democrat families like the one my mom grew up in. , folks who never voted in a presidential election all began to lean in and listen to the voice and eloquence and common sense of his -- this uncommonly talented man. they heard the sound of a man unbound by washington niceties.
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in his voice they heard for the first time in a long time, the truth. ronald reagan spoke the truth to the american people. just like donald trump has. [applause] that is no small thing. honesty is the axis on which leadership spends. if you respect someone, he tell them the truth. even when it is hard. ronald reagan's police were straightforward. they were as american as the white plains of the midwest where we both grew up. god, thea loving goodness of this country and the collective wisdom of the american people. in so doing, he set out to change the nation and ronald reagan changed the world. it is extraordinaire to think -- extraordinary to think.
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it truly is. [applause] how did he do it? like my running mate, ronald reagan knew his own mind. courage and the conviction to know what he was for an know what he was prepared to fight against. reagan tells a revealing story. his dad lost the republican nomination to gerald ford in 1976. michael asked his dad was going through his mind. what disappointed him the most was that now he would be unable to face the leader of the soviet union at the negotiating table. , my dad said to me, michael, i want to sit down with the russian president, i was going to allow him to choose the place, even allow him to choose the room, to the table,
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choose the chairs. i wanted to sit there and listen to him, was into him tell me everything the united states would have to give up to get along with the soviets, then i was going to get up very slowly, while he was talkingto walk around to the other tape -- side of the table and whisper in his iet.""n [applause] isn't that great? he had the courage of his convictions. today, we are no longer called upon to say no to a soviet union. i believe we are called upon to start saying no all the same. i think it is time that we should say no to weakened american leadership on the world stage that apologizes to her
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enemies and abandons our friends. our enemies and abandons our friends. [applause] no more to the deep cuts in the arsenal of democracy and no more rent some payments to state sponsors of terror. [applause] no to ahould say sputtering economy that has pushed millions of americans out of the labor force, made those who are fortunate to have jobs, make do with less and less and we should say no to anyone who deadthe american dream is for the future of this country. [applause] it is a different time. different men. but i want to tell you that
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, the heartp's heart of his campaign for president is the same impatience. the same dissatisfaction with the status quo. and donald trump's heart and on this team and campaign, the belief in the greatness of this country and the same confidence in the boundless potential of the american people to set things right. [applause] ronald reagan was an actor from a small town in the midwest. donald trump is a builder from the empire state. they are different men with different styles. a long way from dixon, illinois to manhattan. i should know. [laughter]
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will tell you, knowing my running mate and having come to know him on a personal level, i truly do believe and i'm here to say that there are fundamental similarities between these two men that the reflection. -- their reflection for all of reflection from of us who want to meet this moment. their honesty and toughness. supposedeve in the that have -- principles that have always made america great and strong. thatcans know deep down politicians pilot mouth of the policies and plans. those promises oftentimes me nothing. when they come from a dishonest candidate. the reason reagan's bluntness ushered in a republican landslide is fairly simple. he meant it. and so does donald trump.
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[applause] honesty transcends party. democrats areny what some he once called tr ump-ocrats. they are rallying to the same clarion voice and same truth in that voice. donald trumpeagan, has the honesty and bluntness to confront the challenges facing the american people. also, like reagan, i don't have to tell anybody in this room, reagan who is willing to walk out and was anxious to lean over and say no, donald trump has the economys to rebuild our and command the respect of the world. [applause]
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truth and toughness. , denominators between these two uncommonly strong people. those are qualities that expand why so many blue-collar republicans across the country are joining this movement. it's one of the things donald trump tells me most often. like when we were at the fair just the other day. we were on our way to the fairgrounds and it was labor day. we thought stopping by the fairgrounds would be a good thing. donald that now you are in my strikes on. i affairs. -- i know county fairs. [laughter] get a corn dog. lemon shakeup. you are there.
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i was briefing him on that. the only thing is, when you go to the pair with donald trump, it is a little different. we arrived and you can look at the pictures, we arrived in the streets were lined with so many people. people heard that this good man, our nominee for president would be there at the camfield fair. before we would lead, we would stand on the railing about car, both of us waving to the crowd. it was as far as the eye could see. we were told there were 50,000 people that came out to the county care around -- county fairgrounds. [applause] they know a better deal is coming. know that they are part of a movement.
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donald says that to me more often than anything else. when we see the crowds, he will say, this is a movement, mike. it is bigger than us. he says it with the kind of humility that we so admire leaders. in leaders. i admire him as my running mate. america's choice has never been clearer. the most straight talking candidate since ronald reagan is running against one of the most dishonest candidates ever. [applause] let me say, as i stand in this hallowed place, the american people picked a bold truth teller in 1980 and i know they're going to elect a bold
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truth teller in 2016. [applause] these challenging times, let me reflect on the policies and then i will close. challenging times are similar to the times we faced in 1980. then, as now, we stand at a fault line of history. an economy and decline. joblessness stretched as far as the eye can see. upheaval inial america pushed around abroad. we need smart and decisive leadership to fix america's problems while there is still time. respects,old, in many elites in both political parties, then as now have failed to give us government as good as our people but that is about to change again.
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[applause] how will it change? it all because of security. americans of every act ronald reagan at the common dangers we face. this week it will be 15 years since 9/11. it is hard to believe. the threats and dangers have not receded. in fact, as you have learned and shocking and heartbreaking tragedy here in california, they are closer and more serious and never before. during a trump residency, i can assure you we will restore the arsenal of democracy. we will restore the alliances that keep a strong and secure. you will have a commander-in-chief as you have heard last night, and heard yesterday who will take those resources and of those new alliances and we will hunt down and destroy those who threaten
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our people and inspire those who would bring us harm. [applause] donald trump, like ronald reagan, will rebuild america's military. it is extraordinary to think that since 1991, our active duty armed forces have diminished from 2 million to just 1.3 million today. our navy has shrunk from a fleet of over 500 chips down to 272. the air force is roughly one third smaller. the armed forces deserve better. knowseagan, donald trump that we can only have peace if america is strong. on day one of a cap administration, donald trump will submit a new budget to rebuild our military and active army of 540,000 soldiers. he will build a remain core --
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marine corps of 36 the times. improve the navy. our air force will have at least 1200 fighter aircraft. we will modernize our naval cruisers and force our last vacation roles, command relevant department to conduct a thorough iniew of cyber defenses america, america will once again .e known as the arsenal [applause] as a proud father of the united commanderg, our new -- marine, our new commander-in-chief will support our soldiers, sailors and airmen with attorney did need to get the job done safe and come home to us.
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[applause] that is probably why so many million families -- military families are supporting our campaign. why somebody veterans make their way to our rallies around the united states. any men and women who have for the uniform of the united states of america, could you stand or raise your hand to allow us to show one more installment of appreciation? [applause] thank you for your service. a strong military and a strong america makes for a strong america in the world. in america that the world takes seriously. whatd trump and i know
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ronald reagan knew, america needs to be strong for the world to be safe. of thispolicy record and ministers and has weakened america's place in the world. it's a store near to think of the policies of this administration. it was secretary of state hillary clinton. the picture of the middle east on the day they took office and look at the map of the middle east today, it does not look like the same place. civil war in syria. rise and role of the isis caliphate. civil war in libya. terrorist forces that have overrun the hard-fought gains that were secured in the last republican administration by our soldiers. libya, the wider middle of a greater and more emboldened russia and
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china, activities in the south china sea. russ's interventions in ukraine. it all has a big familiarity to it. vague familiarity to it. that the examples truth of history, reagan knows, donald trump knows that weakness arouses evil. week foreign policy by the united states of america embo ldens our enemies and abandons our friends. those days are over starting november 8. [applause] but semi my to those times as well as the times we live in -- similar to those times as well as the times we live in. policies that have stifled the american economy. there in the midst of
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slowest economic recovery since the great depression. we have a few days after labor day, we had the lowest river -- labor participation rate since the 1970's. do not be deceived by the low unemployment. the truth is that there are millions and millions of men and women in this country who are not counted in that number because they are not looking for work anymore. all, they aref nearly 7 million more americans living in poverty today in the day that barack obama became president of the united states. their nominee, her plan is more of the same. more taxes. more regulation, more obamacare and more of the war on american energy that has run our nations economy into a ditch. you, just as in those days that we celebrate and remember on this false, we are
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about to elected president who knows that the strength of the american economy is in the ingenuity and freedom of the american people. donald trump will empower the american people to revive this economy again. [applause] donald trump and the detroit economic club, a place that ronald reagan used to like. out ant a plan to lay revive our economy. i like to say that conservative ideas work every time you try them. they work in the future state -- hoosier state. they will work in washington dc. donald will sound familiar. lower marginal rates. we will end that taxes once and for all. -- death taxes once and for all. we will lower corporate tax
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rates so american businesses can compete with businesses around the world and keep jobs here. reagan also knew what donald trump knows that is regulation is a form of taxation. donald trump will do what we did, we will sign a moratorium on any new federal regulation and he will repeal everything one of barack obama's job killing executive orders. every single one of barack obama's job killing executive orders. [applause] donald trump becomes negotiator and chief. we also will have trade deals that work for american workers. [applause] donald trump and i believe in free trade. we believe in arms length transaction. we believe trade is to be a win-win. we need to renegotiate nafta to
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ensure it works for the people of the united days. we will get out of this multinational deals like the tpp . at the end of the day, we will hold our trading partners to the promises they make when they sign a deal with the people of the united states of america. [applause] lastly, the fact that we are running against someone who boasted, if she was elected president, we will put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. one, we will end the war on coal once and for all. we will unleash the boundless power of the natural resources of the united states of america. [applause] matterspeak to one other and then close and get to your questions.
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elects on, we will literally, as the calendar speaks today, on september the , we willwo months elected president for the next four years. it is so important for those of us that church the ideals and legacies of ronald reagan to remember that what we are electing a president for the next four years, the president will likely set the course and direction of the supreme court of the united states for the next 40 years. we need to think long and hard about that. donald trump for his part has made it clear, when he becomes president of the united states of america, from the supreme court on down, we will appoint to the federal judiciary men and women who will strictly construe the constitution of the united states and not legislate from the bench.
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[applause] ronald reagan said it so well. i quote, the importance of judicial restraint, the belief of our founding fathers that the role of the judges to interpret the law, not preempt the rights of the people and their legislatures by making the law. [applause] judicial restraint. the role of the judge. i have said throughout this breach that ronald reagan and views trump had similar on some key issues. similar ideals and several -- similar backbone. the me be clear, after my tenures on the judiciary committee on capitol hill, working in and around these , ronaldor a lifetime reagan and donald trump views on the supreme court are not similar, they are identical.
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he will appoint justices that will make the reagan tradition proud on our supreme court. [applause] finally, one last point, for too many in washington, for too many seems togton, politics have morphed into a rigged game of self-enrichment and cronyism. one great democrat that i'm pretty sure ronald reagan said,d, harry truman, he no young man should go to politics if he wants to get rich. he said an honest public servant cannot become rich and politics. [applause] -- in politics. [applause]
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past thatpence's test. -- pass that test. [applause] today?d we see politicians enter office with modest needs and merge as minors. auction access and policies. allentown,ike pennsylvania, youngstown, ohio, fort wayne, indiana, people do not know how to work the system. they just know how to work. all they ask for is that chance. in our ministry to come will make sure they haven't. americans are fed up. that is what independents and republicans and many democrats are reeling from the headlines that we see one day after another. reagan knew what donald trump
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knows. we must have the highest standards of integrity in the highest office of the land. we will when donald trump comes president of the united states. -- becomes president of the united states. [applause] 1980, 2016, 2 different men, two different times. seems familiar. the challenges that we face. the opportunity that we have. i cracked open that old but this bookng and i happened -- this morning and i happen to land in ecclesiastes. ago, there isnnia nothing new under the sun. what has been will be again. what has been done will be done again.
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boy, i sure hope so. [applause] you that i'mell very humbled to be in this place with you all. charlotte and i have the great privilege of laying a wreath at the final resting place of this wonderful couple that change their country and change the world. it was an emotional moment for me. i want to give you a word of encouragement as well. something big is touring in our country. -- stirring in our country. it is coming from the american people. thatpirit of 1880 propelled ronald reagan into the white house is alive and kicking. i see it every day. i just joined this ticket little
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more than six weeks ago. trumpgning with donald and for donald trump, i see in the faces of americans in big cities and small towns and thatism and determination i think is going to turn this country around. i see it in the faces of the thousands that we meet on the campaign trail. people feel that out of touch washington elites. i had a woman walk up to me and she said, thank you for running with donald trump. wait to vote. [applause] 61 days. an opportunity we have to restore confidence to our people.
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to have america standing tall again. .t home and abroad in economy working for all of foundationand the and constitution with people we all respect. i have faith. i think we will do it. it is not because of the polls. i don't pay a lot of attention to the polls. ago, you a long time get into a rough campaign, you have to turn on the television with a stick every morning. what is going to be there. it is something else. intos manifested conversations i will close with. one is with my running mate and one with a man whose name is on this building. the rest of the conversation with ronald reagan happened in
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the east room. i did a little photo op thing with him. i got up, started reading again. i walked into the east room and my wife was waiting there with some other couples. a were maybe 30 of us. we were there. we wait until the president the party. he burst into the room. you might remember those days. that i heard there were some ladies and here and i wanted to meet you all. -- in here and i wanted to meet you all. my wife got to ask him a question. several people asked about policies and important things. my wife raised her hand and said, where is nancy? [laughter] he really melted.
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made a point to reach over and shake her hand before he left the room. he said something that day that i will never forget. i guess a couple other people must have said to him what i said. i wanted to thank him for what he had done for the country. said, several, he of you made a point to thank me for what i have done for this country for the last eight years. it was august, 1928. -- 1988. the soviet union was on it tells -- heels. he said several of you have thanked me for what i did for this country. then he said, i want you to know that i'd don't think i did anything for the country. said, i think the american people decided to write the ship ship and i was
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just the cap they put on the bridge when they did it. we were running over to the convention. the night of his speech. donald trump, ever the coach, ever the ceo was sitting next to me. he said, mike, we have a great opportunity. he said, we will have to work. it felt like i was in a locker room. [applause] we're going to have to go after it and roll our sleeves. and,e get to election day we get this thing done with the iraqi people -- the american people and it will be great. this confidence. i had not heard that since 1988. men, i justhese want to tell you that there is so much that is different in terms of style and background. , oath ronaldore
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reagan and donald trump are ronald reagan and donald trump are united in a boundless faith in the american people. that is where i know that if all of us will do all that we can to as the 45thood man president of the united states of america, if we put that new know weon the bridge, i will make america great again. thank you very much. god bless you. [applause] thank you for the honor of being here today. [applause]
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>> just a remarkable speech. think you very much. -- thank you very much. we have time for one, maybe two questions. some people are nice enough that they came to read questions. we have a whole stack here. propose a lawou or rule that would prevent influence selling by anyone in government so a clinton foundation type fiasco does not happen again? gov. pence: donald trump has
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already laid out policy points. and he will continue to lay out those plans. regard to individuals in their ability to advocate for four interests. it is one of the things that is so troubling about what we see unfurling and becoming more public every day. foreignlking about contributors to the clinton foundation. there are some schoolkids here. and foreignrest contributors cannot participate in american politics. vehicle that there is a while she was secretary of state for foreign companies and four interests to donate -- foreign interests to donate to the clinton foundation come i think it should be troubling to every american. and thanks to the associated press, three found that more than half of the private
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meetings that the secretary of 85 of the more than 150 meetings were extended to people who are given millions of dollars to the clinton foundation in many cases, for contributors. senator richard lugar who is an icon in indiana and a man of enormous integrity warned senator clinton of this issue in her confirmation hearings. he warned her against the interest that foreign companies and for individuals would have in contributing and seeking access. thepromise you, the days of pay to play politics in washington dc are over the day that donald trump becomes president. [applause]
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>> second and final question. what is the biggest misconception about donald trump? [laughter] gov. pence: someone came up to of theother day and said donald trump for a long time and i really like him. that said, i have not known him very long at all and i really like him. we have had the chance to get to know the trump family. even before this opportunity was extended to me. when they were considering a number of highly qualified men and women for the position. they graciously invited us to come and spend a weekend with him. we tend to make decisions as a family. the trumps are the same way. to know donald trump is to know
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very quickly that he loves his family and he loves this country. thingshink one of the that i was most touched by was his graciousness and kindness. as i said at the republican national convention, we have a larger than life nominee. very charismatic. out, charlotte was with karen and me. what we found is that all that energy is there in person. my daughter might be mad if i quote her. but we got on the plane after we spent a weekend with him.
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the wholehe was trump weekend, but he is so nice. [laughter] [applause] gov. pence: you like that? thank you. him, aa kindness about consideration about him. here is a man that built buildings to the sky in the world's largest city. he is just as culpable talking able talkingcomfort to the bricklayer and the groundskeeper as the people who run the executive offices. i think it comes from an upbringing that is, in many ways, similar to mine. his grandfather immigrated to this country. my grandfather immigrated to
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this country. his dad was a self-made man. had a business as a builder. andad married my mom started running gas stations. that is where i showed up. donald trump and i were raised to believe that to whom much is given, much will be required. the man decided to go to manhattan island and build on what his grandfather had built. for me, it was a calling into public service. zeros, he and i have an awful lot in common. [laughter] gov. pence: what we have in were raised inwe a family with the foundation of faith, raised to treat people the way we want to be treated.
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we were raised to believe in the american dream. i will leave you with that because of the special place we are at. i think you can boil everything down ronald reagan ever said -- and i have read a lot of it. conservative. i am. what you hadore, in ronald reagan, god rest his soul, and what you have in men whorump, are two were fundamentally raised to believe in the american dream, and they spent their whole life living it. and they spent their life defending it. that is what is most in common between the two. [applause] gov. pence: let me thank you all. thank you to the reagan library. to the patrons who are here, the
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youd, the governor, thank for all you are doing to continue to keep alive the life, work, and the ongoing mission of ronald reagan. let me promise you that, come november 8, you will see the reagan revolution lives on. thank you. god bless you. [applause] >> for campaign 2016, c-span continues the road to the white house. >> i will be a president for democrats, republicans, and independence. >> we will win with education. >> ahead, live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates on c-span.
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the c-span radio app and monday, september 26, the first presidential debate. on tuesday, october 4, the vice presidential candidates debate at longwood university. in farmville, virginia. on sunday, october 9, washington university in st. louis hosts the second presidential debate. leading up to the third and final debate, taking place at the university of nevada las vegas on october 19. live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates on c-span, listen live on the free c-span radio app or watch live in a time on demand at >> next, a hearing on the cash payment made to iran by the u.s. government. shortly before the release of u.s. prisoners. after that, the heads of the fpi and cia talk national security.
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today, a hearing on the federal response to the flood in louisiana. the louisiana governor, john bel edwards testifies along with representatives from fema and other local officials. today, the family research council hosts the 20 16th value voter summit in washington, d.c. starting at 8:45 a.m., remarks from james lankford of oklahoma. live coverage on c-span3 and later, we will have more from the summit including remarks by donald trump. the begins at 2:05 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span2. c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, tom reed
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will join us to talk about his endorsement of donald trump and the statements the congressman has made on the record saying donald trump needs to be pulled in if he wants to win the election. and then gregory meeks will be on to talk about the latest campaign development including donald trump and hillary outreach efforts to african-americans and other minority voters as well as immigration and the congressional agenda leading up to the november election. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. next, a hearing on a cash payment for an unfulfilled arms deal in the 1990's. the payment was made shortly before iran released u.s. prisoners. democrats who objected to the hearing left before the second panel. this is 2.5 hours. >> the subcommittee on oversight
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and investigations will come to order. this is titled fueling care. the dangers of ransom payments to iran. ae judge has authorized recess of the subcommittee at any time. without objection, all members will have five legislative days within which to submit extremist materials to the chair for inclusion in the record. without objection, members of the full committee were not members of this subcommittee may participate in today's hearing for the purpose of making an opening statement and questioning the witnesses. the chair recognizes himself or two and a half minutes for an opening statement. today's hearing will examine the obama administration's $1.7 billion cash payment to iran to settle long-standing claims predicting the iran revolution. the settlement was disclosed in january, new details about the payment surfaced in august when the wall street journal reported that $400 million of that
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payment was converted into swiss francs and euros and flown to iran in cash on the same day that five american detainees were released from the islamic republic. on tuesday, administered and officials were forced to admit that the remaining $1.3 billion was handed over in cold hard cash as interest. despite vigorous denials that there was any link between the payment and the release of american prisoners, the evidence by the administration makes it difficult to believe. iran official certainly believe that this was a ransom payment. a revolutionary guard commander said on state media quote, taking this much money back was in return for the release of the americans. ". prisoners recall that when he to be free come he was told that we are waiting for another plane.
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if the plaintiff not come, we never let you go. sounds like a ransom payment. an effort to corroborate the administration's claims, this committee requested records about the payment from treasury and the department justice more than a month ago. today, the supper claimed most transparent administration in our history has failed to provide any document to this committee. the witnesses are today only agree to appear under the threat of subpoena. over tariffction financing, this committee has a right and the responsibility to understand the facts supporting -- surrounding this particular payment. while there is much we do not know, we can be sure that iran is committed to its support for terrorist groups and hezbollah. the enemy of israel and the west whose leader earlier admitted that he gets all his funding from the iranian mullahs. iran support also goes to --
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ran support also goes to assad. i look for to nation from our witnesses why we would make it so easy for iran to continue to fuel terrorism. with that, my time has expired. to the gentleman and raking member from texas for five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate greatly the opportunity to bring some clarity to this issue and to a good many other issues. he is right. truth crushed to earth shall rise again. today, i would like to take the opportunity to resurrect the resuscitate the the truth is that the genesis of this hearing is a meeting that took place at or near the time
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president obama was being sworn in. when a group of very powerful republicans met and made a conscious decision to do everything they could to block any and everything the president attempted to do, at that --ting, the top meetings leaders of the house of representatives. at that meeting was a person who sits on this committee in people from that day forward have been committed to blocking everything that the president brings forth. and truth be told, they have done a fairly good job. i don't agree with the style of the hearing today. i think a better style for this hearing will be don't bother me with backs. my i just made up think a better style would be, we kept our word
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because that is what is happening today. wheree a circumstance americans were being held prisoners. they have been brought home. the exchange was money that was owed to the people who were holding them. we are condemning that. you would think we would have a parade. the president would be selected. the people who negotiate would be applauded. chooses to do what it has consistently done and that is to deny this president any success that they can walk. frank, they fought tooth and now and are still fighting it and what if they could today eliminate the consumer pride and protection bureau. obamacare, they have not replaced it. they don't have a replacement
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for it. they will repeal it but they do not have a replacement. we voted more than 50 times to repeal obama care. bank, something that has traditionally been agreed upon it has been a great and 50 this country. we had to have an unusual process to take place to keep the xm bank functioning and still we cannot make loans over $10 million because the committee on the senate side refuses to appoint additional appointees to the board. , not we, theed republicans, to even discuss the budget. usually the budget comes up in the hearing is discussed. discuss thefused to budget. finally, the supreme court. thought that we
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would hold up the supreme court nomination simply because of an to makehat has been set sure that this president does success.a record of here's where we are. keep bringing it up. this will not be the last time today. here is where we are, we have people on this committee were at the hearing, at least one person. we have two members of the senior leadership in the house who were there. they are honoring their commitment. that is what this hearing is about today. keeping their word. making sure they do everything they can to stop this president. as a matter of fact, what onrted out as a simple stop the president has gone on steroids. it is a liver -- an effort to destroy the presidency it seems to some.
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disgraceful if you want to know the truth be i do not believe that this is the conduct that a committee of the statue financial services should be engaged in. we will become the kerfuffle committee if we are not careful. i yield back the balance of my time. >> >> the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the chairman of the full committee, the gentleman from texas for two and a half minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for convening an incredibly important hearing today. any person here today can take out their iphone or electronic device and google merriam webster's definition of ransom. quote, money is paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped. the american people want to know, did this administration
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pay ransom? does it meet the legal definition. and if it doesn't, did it -- did the actions of this administration tragically achieve the same end, and that is to incent terrorists to kidnap american citizens, to put a price on the head of every tourist, soldier, sailor, airman, and marine who serves or visits overseas. was the cash, cash transaction legal? my guess is if any private citizen had done what this administration had done they would be indicted on money laundering. instead, the administration calls it diplomacy. was the cash transaction legal? if so, should it be legal?
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and if perfectly legal, why did the administration go to such great lengths to hide it from the american people? why did it take a "wall street journal" expose to bring the true nature of this transaction to our attention? why did i have to threaten subpoenas to get the administration to show up in the first place? did the iranians demand that this payment be made in cash? we we have a terrorist finance task force here that knows it is cash, cash transactions that fuel terrorism. and it is the obama state department which has labeled iran, quote, the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism. it is the president's treasury department that has classified it as, quote, a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern. then why, mr. chairman, why were they given $1.7 billion, $1.3 billion of which was interest taxpayer that could have gone to
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the united states army, but instead is going to the iranian revolutionary guard. the american people deserve answers, mr. chairman. thank you for demanding the answers and calling this hearing. i yield back. >> the gentleman and chairman yields back. i want to welcome our panel and witnesses today. for introduction, the state department deputy systems secretary for iran affairs and coordinator for sanction policy. ms. gross, in the house of internal claims and investigative disputes. ms. mccord is the principal deputy assistant in the national security decision of the justice department, and mr. ahern, enforcement and intelligence at the treasury department. welcome to all of you. the witnesses in a moment will
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be recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation of their testimony. without objection, the witnesses written statements will be made a part of the record following their oral remarks. i don't believe you have provided written statements, but i anticipate those statements will be coming. so, the chair intends to submit any witness statements pursuant to general leave for inclusion in the hearing record. once witnesses have finished presenting their testimony, each member of the subcommittee will have five minutes within which to ask the panel questions. on your table, i would just note there are three lights. green means go, yellow means you have one minute left, and red means your time is up. the microphones are sensitive. so please make sure you're speaking directly into them. with that, you are now recognized for your opening statement for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as you said, my name is chris beckenmire. i welcome the opportunity to
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come before the committee and the american people to correct some of the misunderstanding about the settlement reached in january of this year. president obama and secretary kerry announced the settlement on january 17th. when it was concluded and specifically noted that it involved $400 million for the fms fund and $1.3 billion as a compromise on interest in this sum. this was also posted on the state department website. we received inquiries from congress and offered to provide briefings to members and staff. one member requested such a briefing, which we did provide. it resurfaced and again we received questions and offered to provide a closed briefing. we provided two such briefings to houstone staff and senate staff. i should note at the outset there will be limitations to what i and my colleagues can
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say in an open setting. we've previously offered closed briefings because there are a number of litigation and diplomatic securities that could jeopardize u.s. interest. specifically, the settlement in january addressed a significant part, but only one part of a much larger multi-billion-dollar claim which is being actively litigated. this includes statements that have been made in congressional briefings. as a result, it is extremely important that we not say anything in a public setting that would jeopardize our defenses to iran's remaining claims to the tribunal. i think the best way to start is to take a moment to summarize the series of events that occurred on the weekend of january 16th and 17th where we finalized a number of diplomatic interests that advanced u.s.
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interests in certain ways. we sought to finalize on or around the same time in mid-january. first, we were on the verge of implementing the nuclear deal and the iaea was in the process of verifying iran had met all the requirements under the deal. 98% of its enriched uranium stockpile was removed. we were pushing to get several wrongly detained american citizens, including rezaian, abedini and head mady safely out of iran. it was a top priority for us and one that i know congress shared. we had been pressing iran to release these americans and continued our efforts to secure release over 14 months. they were facing lengthy prison terms.
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lastly, our lawyers were working to finalize the settlement of a long-standing claim that the iranians had filed at the claims tribunal. the issue of settling the large remaining claim a number of times -- sorry. the issue of settling the large remaining claims at the hague had been raised by the iranians a number of times over the years. we knew they were eager to settle the case to address critical economic needs. we realize that we could take advantage of the importance that iran attached to recovering the principal from the fms trust fund in order to drive a bargain on the 37 years of interest. there's been much attention paid to the timing of these various issues. it's worth clarifying some of the mischaracterizations here today.
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it's important to remember, more than three decades we've had no diplomatic relations with iran and minimal diplomatic contact. there is significant risk that any one of these efforts could unravel at any time. the one we're most worried about was the consular dialogue where we feared our american citizens would not be freed. this process had gone in fits and starts and there were elements inside iran opposed. and we had pretty significant concerns that it would unravel. on january 16th and 17th, after the terms of the consular arrangement had been finalized, our fears were realized when we were unable to locate the wife and mother of jason rezaian. it was agreed they would also be allowed to leave iran as part of this deal. their disappearance was highly concerning. at this time, they verified iran's commitment and the nuclear deal had begun and my colleagues had begun the necessary arrangements to refund
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the princepal. when the uncertainty presented itself, we decided to take a pause. specifically the finalization of the payment for the settlement of the fms trust fund. after several high level phone calls, we were able to confirm the location of jason's wife and mother and get them on an airplane so they could leave iran. with that resolved, we moved forward in which we provided relief to certain iranian nationals including several dual u.s. iranian nationals. and we reinitiated our efforts to finalize the outstanding actions we had agreed to on the hague claims tribunal including the fms trust fund principal. the success of our diplomatic efforts was in serious doubt. we paused, assessed the situation and resolved our concerns before moving forward. through these negotiating tracks, we were able to conclude these issues in a manner that advanced our core interest,
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ensure iran could never have a nuclear weapon, saving taxpayers billions of dollars, and freeing wrongfully detained americans as well as their family members. it was analyzed and determined to be in u.s. interests. the release of several u.s. citizens was based on reciprocal humanitarian gesture on which we provided relief to several iranian nationals. the release of the monies was based on a settlement of iran's claims for those monies and for 37 years of interest. a settlement that was highly favorable to the united states. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i recognize ms. gross for five minutes. [ inaudible ] >> you have to touch your microphone. >> excuse me. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am the assistant legal advisor
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for international claims and investment disputes at the department of state where i've worked to defend the united states against iran at the hague tribunal for nearly 30 years. we have won some cases, lost some, and sometimes we have decided to settle. i'm here to explain as best as i can in this setting the settlement that was announced in january. as my colleague explained, this was only a partial settlement of a very large case. the rest of that case is ongoing at the hague tribunal today. because of that, i am limited in what i can discuss in this public setting. iran and its lawyers are vigilant in scouring the public record for statements or information that they can use against us in these arbitrations. in fact, i can recall being in the hague tribunal many times and hearing iran quote extensively from things that witnesses and members of congress said in hearings trying to use that to their advantage. these are multi-billion-dollar claims against the united
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states. for some of your questions i may need to defer the question to a closed setting like the one we did for house and senate staff earlier this week. the united states and iran entered into the accords in 1981 which created the hague tribunal. it was created to address claims of u.s. nationals, but also claims between the two governments. the agreement was entered into by the carter administration. it was endorsed by the reagan administration and debated by both houses of congress. in the end, it was determined that the accords and the tribunal process were of great benefit to the united states and u.s. nationals. in the first 20 years of the process, it focused primarily on resolving claims of u.s. nationals for debt, contract, appropriation and other measures involving property rights. received over $2.5 billion in awards and settlements from that process. there was significant government to government claims also filed at the tribunal.
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the majority and certainly the largest were by iran against the united states including iran's large contract claims arising out of its foreign military sales program. like other fms customers, iran paid money into a trust fund used to facilitate prompt payment to the u.s. contractors working on iranian contracts. by january 1979, iran had already been struggleing to make the necessary payments on its contracts. in february 1979, iran and the united states concluded a memorandum of understanding providing for the cancellation of many of the remaining purchases. the two sides worked on implementing the mou and to wind down iran's fms program over the ensuing months. in november 1979, the hostages were taken and those efforts came to an end. the dispute over the fms trust fund and interest which rultded in the settlement in january of this year, was part of iran's
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claims that it filed with the tribunal in 1982. so you can imagine the scale of it and the money involved. it covers 1,126 huge fms contracts. before the settlement in january, other parts of the fms claims were decided or settled sometime ago. settlement discussions over technical legal matters have been held in this channel for decades led by the state department legal advisor. since the early 1980s through the reagan, bush, and clinton administrations, some 40 rounds of claims meetings have occurred at this level. the prior settlements with iran of other portions of the fms claims occurred during the first bush administration. in 1989, the united states and iran settled -- paid from the judgment fund. in 1990, the parties enter into a partial settlement, same trust
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fund subject of the final settlement in january. they also settled claims for titled fms assets for $278 million and this was paid from the judgment fund. there were other significant settlements between the parties including in 1990 when iran paid the united states $105 million in settlement of certain u.s. national claims and u.s. government claims. these settlements, and in particular the fms settlements, were reached at key moments in the cases such as before key hearings or verge of going to decision. in the past two years, we revisited the possibility of settlement of tribunal claims through 2014 and 2015. these discussions led to settlement of small claims that were the subject of ongoing hearings. they involved architectural drawings transferred and for
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fossils transferred to the ministry of the environment. in the spring of 2015 after years of extensive briefing, iran pressed the tribunal to schedule comprehensive hearings in these remaining claims. they ordered both parties to file their respective proposal and iran filed on november 11th, 2015. iran was also pressing for a preliminary ruling on issues including the outstanding balance of the fms trust fund and interest since 1979. they sought interest based on a provision in the 1979 memorandum of understanding calling for unexpended fms funds associated with iran's fms program to be placed in an interest-bearing
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account. with the settlements concluded in december 2015 and the hearings and the fms claims on the horizon, we were able to achieve this most recent settlement which finally and fully resolved iran's claim for funds in the fms trust fund as well as interest. as we publicly announced in january, iran received the balance of $400 million in the fms trust fund as well as roughly $1.3 billion representing a compromise on the interest. the trust fund balance of $400 million was paid from iranian funds depositived it in the fms trust fund itself in connection with the program. the payment for the compromise on interest was provided out of the judgment fund, as was the case for the larger prior settlement during the bush administration. in the claims for the trust fund balance and interest had gone to decision, the united states could well have faced significant exposure in the billions of dollars. iran was seeking very high rates of interest for a period of over three decades. we were able to secure a favorable resolution and avoid potential for a much larger award against us. the details of why we settled for this amount is litigation sensitive. getting into that explanation would get into other
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issues still pending at the tribunal. iran's lawyers would try to use our rd woulds against us. what i can say here today, i believe this ettlesettlement was -- settlement was the best thing for the united states. thank you. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes ms. mccord. >> good morning. >> for five minutes. >> good morning, chairman duffy, ranking member greene and members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the deptdartment of justice's role in the settlement of iran's claims before the tribunal. this is further funds in the foreign military sales or fms trust fund as well as iran's associated claim for interest on those funds. as the attorney general has made clear when the deal was first announced in january, the
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department of justice fully supported the administration's resolution of several issues with iran including the settlement of the hague tribunal claim and the arrangements that led to the return of u.s. citizens detained in iran. with respect to the hague settlement, when there is a settlement of litigation that is pending against the united states, it is generally paid from the judgment fund unless there is a separate source of funding for the settlement. for a payment of a settlement to be made from the judgment fund, the attorney general must certify to the treasury that the payment of the settlement is in the best interest of the united states. here, the attorney general approved the settlement and certified payment from the judgment fund of the portion of the settlement that resolved the interest dispute. the certification was faced on the department of justice's typical assessment for a judgment fund payment. assessment of a settlement
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payment from the judgment fund includes consideration of the exposure that the united states faces from the claim proposed for settlement. it also considers the likelihood of an adverse ruling against the united states, the likely size of such an award, the background of the litigation, the tribunal, relevant legal arguments, relevant facts, and governing legal doctrines. the department certification of this settlement payment from the judgment fund was based on the assessment that was in the best interest of the united states. the payment was significantly less than the united states' exposure under the claims for the balance of the fms account and the interest on those funds. the department of justice was also involved in the consular negotiations with iran and in effectuating the ultimate arrangements that led to the release of the detained american citizens. in this regard, the department
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identified certain criminal cases involving iranian and iranian-american defendants for which relief could be provided as a reciprocal humanitarian gesture. they had been charged with primarily violating the u.s. trade embargo. none were charged with terrorist activity or other violent crimes. the ultimate arrangement involved the pardon or commutation of seven defendants who had been convicted or were awaiting trial in the united states and the dismissal of criminal charges against 14 others, all of whom were located outside the united states and for whom our attempts to obtain custody through extradition had failed or were assessed to be likely to fail. the department was also responsible for preparing and filing the paperwork related to the pardons, commutations and
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dismissals. i thank you for the opportunity to testify and i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. >> mr. ahern. >> thank you for inviting me to testify this morning. i'm very pleased to be here with my colleagues from the state department and the justice department. i'm the assistant general council for enforcement and intelligence at the treasury department. i'm here today to discuss treasury's role in effectuating the payments of the long outstanding claim at the iran/united states claims tribunal at the hague. regarding an account established decades ago with iranian funds as well as the compromise of its claim for interest on that account. the administration publicly announced the $1.7 billion settlement on january 17th, 2016, and that announcement is publicly available at the state department's website. now, for the first settlement payment, treasury assisted the defense finance and accounting service in crafting a wire instruction to transfer $400 million on january 14th, 2016.
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the $400 million came out of what is typically referred to as the fms account. it amounted to about $600 million until 1990 when the bush administration entered into a settlement. but returned to under $29 to iran. -- $229 million to iran. since that time, the fund has amounted to about $400 million. treasury worked with dfas and the federal reserve bank of new york to transfer to a european bank. they were converted to a foreign currency, withdrawn and physically transported to geneva. on january 2017, treasury disbursed the payment for transfer to tehran. the funds were under u.s. government control until their disbursement pursuant to the settlement. the second payment was disbursed out of the judgment fund. the judgment fund is the source of funding congress has provide the for use generally in paying judgments and settlements of
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claims against the united states when there is no other source of funding. awards and settlements of tribunal claims have been paid from the judgment fund in the past. though the payment to settle the dispute over crude interest was one payment, the judgment fund system as a technical limitation that prevents it from processing individual claims in amounts over ten digits in length. the single claim of $1.3 billion was broken into 13 payments and the remainder of 10,390,236.28. as in similar prior instances, it required a claim to be divided into these smaller amounts. they're displayed on treasury's judgment fund website. treasury disbursed the payment after receiving the appropriate approvals from the department of justice.
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the payment was initiated through a transfer to a european bank. it was held available for disbursement to iran. pursuant to an arrangement, the european bank converted the 1$1. 3 billion into a foreign currency and disbursed the funds as bank notes to an official from the central bank of iran. it occurred in two installments. i would note that the sanctions regime we built with our international partners that effectively cut off iran from the international financial system. iran was aware of the difficulties it would face in accessing and using the funds if it were in other form than cash. therefore, effectuating the payment of the funds and the subsequent interest payments in cash was the most reliable way to ensure that they received the funds in a timely manner and it was a method preferred by the relevant foreign banks.
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to settle the dispute, no direct transfer was made from any u.s. account to iran. they complied with u.s. sanctions law and did not require unique license, waiver, or other form of authorization. treasuries regulations at title 31 of the code of federal regulations section 560. 510 explicitly authorized all transactions necessary to payments pursuant to settlement agreements entered into by the united states government in which the united states is a party, such as a settlement of claims before the tribunal. thank you again for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> the chair now recognizes himself for five minutes. the panel has made a point of noting that you don't want any information coming from this hearing that could jeopardize your negotiations for future settlements. duly noted, but to the panel, any of the $1.7 billion that has
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been provided in cash to iran, is any of that going to be used for terrorism and can you guarantee me that that money won't be used to harm any americans? >> congressman, thank you for your question. it's our assessment that the vast majority of the money that iran has gotten from -- >> can you guarantee me that? answer my question. can you guarantee this money won't be used for terrorism. >> the vast majority has gone to the critical economic needs that iran has had. i can't speak to every dollar that's going to go in and out of iran as you know. we have a -- >> that's not -- i was looking for a guarantee. i just want to note that there is a risk that you have taken in providing $1.7 billion to the lead sponsor of terrorism in the world. i don't want to be chast -- chastised on this committee on information that can hurt your negotiations when i think this deal has endangered the security in the region and u.s. citizens. i want to quickly talk on the
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issue of ransom. on the day of the prisoner for cash deal, would the prisoners have been released in your assessment if the cash was not sent, the $400 million? >> congressman, i cannot speak to that hypothetical situation. this was not a prisoner for cash deal. >> so you don't know. they might not have been released if you hadn't sent the cash. is that a fair assessment? i'm trying to get to the hear of -- heart of this. you can't tell me that you're guaranteed our prisoners would have been released had your money not been sent. to put it another way, if the prisoners hadn't been released, would have we sent the money? >> as i noted in my statement, congressman, specifically after we learned we could not locate the wife and mother of jason rezaian, we put a pause on making this payment. not because it was linked to
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that particular transaction but -- >> so prudent step. you're telling me that you wouldn't have sent the money but for the release of our prisoners. yes? is that a fair assessment? >> had this deal not come together at all in the following week, i cannot tell you we would not have gone down that path. >> most common sense americans look at this and say, hey, this was a payment of $400 million for the release of five prisoners which in everyone's assessment leads us to believe, as the chairman noted, per webster's dictionary is a ransom payment. let's leave that aside. i'm sure my colleagues will get to that later. out of the tribunal, there's been settlements in the past. and have those settlements all been made in cash? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> every single - >> my experience has been that every single one of these settlements has been sue generous. most of the payments were before
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sanctions -- >> i only have two minutes. to be clear, when we had settlements, the payments to iran have been made in cash payments, not wire transfers, not any other form. it's a cash payment like what we did with the $1.7 billion. >> i'm not aware that they ever have, but they have all been done on their own merit. some were done by checks, wire transfers. >> that's my point. so this payment did not have to be made in cash. the payment could have been made in the form that others were made. whether it was a check or a wire transfer. you were not prohibited from using a wire transfer or a check. you didn't have to send cash is my point. is that correct? >> i -- i can't really, you know, speak to that. i do know -- >> you do -- >> -- banking problems because of -- >> you've used wire transfers and checks in the past, yes? >> >> we've used checks in the past. treasury doesn't cut checks anymore. >> if the president says the
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payment made in other currencies had to be made in cash, you're telling me that that's not true, we've actually made other forms of payment through the tribunal? >> congressman, i can speak to that. these other payments were before the period of the intense international sanctions that we had on iran. we worked closely with this -- >> so you put the handcuffs on yourself. i want to make a couple quick questions. did iran request the money come in cash payment? >> the terms of this deal for iran were that they would get an immediate refund of the principal. for them, the critical need was immediate access to address the critical economic needs that they had. and at the time, our people were facilitating these transactions about the only way to provide that immediate payment. >> they didn't ask for cash, but you made sure they got this money, the 400 and $1.3 billion. it's untraceable.
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per media reports, this money has gone to the military. my the iraqi benefit of people. my time is up. i now recognize the ranking member of the full committee, the gentle lady from california, ms. waters. five minutes. thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i'd like to thank our witnesses for being here today. but the first thing i want to say to our state department witnesses is this. much of what happened around this payment is classified information and i know that holding this hearing puts you in a position where you have to be very careful. and i don't wish you to be intimidated or wish you to make a mistake in trying to answer some of these questions because as i understand it every member of congress has been offered to have classified briefings by the
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administration and they could have had any of their questions answered. so feel free to resist any questions that will carry you into classified information. be very careful. in addition to that, i simply want to say to our administration witnesses that i am concerned that this may be a part of the strategy that is being employed by my colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle to discredit the president of the united states of america. i am reminded that on the night of barack obama's inauguration, a group of top gop quietly gathered in a washington state house to lick their wounds and ultimately create the outline of a plan for how to deal with the incoming administration.
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and that is a quote. and so it appears that this has been a continuing strategy that's been employed by members on the opposite side of the aisle, again, in this attempt to discredit the president. i i could ask you a lot of questions here today, and i suppose a lot of questions will be asked of you about why pay them in cash, wasn't there basically ransom, et cetera, et etc.. but i'm not going to do that because any questions that i have i'm going to take advantage of the classified hearings -- briefings rather that are being offered to all of us to answer any of the questions we may have. with that, if there's anything you would like to share with us having been -- [ inaudible ] --
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please do that at this time. i have no questions for you. would you like to share anything with us, please do it at this time. that's both of our state department representatives here. >> thank you, congresswoman. i think we've laid our remarks in our opening statements, but thank you. >> you're certainly welcome. well, can you help to clarify whether or not the members of congress have been offeredy classified briefings -- offered classified briefings. >> we have offered since january when these three lines of effort were concluded, we have offered with respect to this particular piece, we have offered classified briefings to all members of congress. we did have one such offer accepted and we provided that briefing. we also offered witness resurfaced recently to have closed staff briefings and we did have two days ago staff briefings in both the house and
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senate and a classified setting. >> would you please clarify how many members of this committee have taken advantage of that offer? >> congresswoman, i'm afraid i'm not familiar with the one offer that was accepted, so it would be hard for me to say. but but as i mentioned, there was one briefing provided or one briefing accepted and we provided it. >> are you saying there was a briefing where maybe several members of the committee came or one member was briefed? >> it's my understanding that it was one member. >> only one member. was that member a member of this committee? >> no, he was not. >> so basically it is correct if i conclude that the offer was made, the staff have been briefed, but not one member of the committee, including myself, have taken advantage of that offer. so all of what will be asked here today could have been ask and they could have had access
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to classified information in that briefing. is that correct? >> that is correct. and the full details of this process are best described in a classified setting given the -- >> is that offer still available to every member of this committee? >> absolutely. >> so today, they can only get information that's not classified but if they're truly interested, they can get a classified briefing and get every question that they have answered, is that correct? >> that is correct. >> thank you very much. i i have no other questions. >> gentle lady's time has expired. >> you have it. >> the chair now recognizes the former chair of the terrorism financing task force and the vice chair of this committee mr. fitzpatrick for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman duffy for calling this really critical hearing today.
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my first question is, if abedini had not disclosed the existence of the second plane which contained the pallet of cash, would either congress or the american people have ever learned of the existence? the reason i ask is because i found out about that fact probably the way most of my colleagues did because he spoke about it when he returned and we sought on the news. so how was congress ever going to find out about how that cash was delivered and why? >> have said publicly and we continue to say that mr. abedini was told was incorrect. the delay in the departure of his flight was due to a variety of complications related to the -- related to the prisoner release deal. >> they occurred simultaneously in the end, did they not? >> the prisoner release deal was held up because we could not located jason rezaian's wife and mother. there were also complications with respect to some of the iranian nationals in the united
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states. >> just ironic it all happened the same night? >> as i mentioned in my opening statement, we had a desire to conclude all of our lines of effort with the nuclear deal, the consular deal, and the tri -- tribuneal deal around the same time because we believed there was significant diplomatic momentum that allowed us to advance u.s. interests all at the same time, and we believed there was a significant risk if we allowed one or two of those to lag, we would not be able to achieve all of our -- >> moving to the issue of the timing of the payment and the release of the hostages, this is a follow-up of the question, who specifically made the decision to make this payment in cash? who at the state department, at the department of justice? who who made that decision? >> i cannot speak to who made the decision to make it in cash. what i can tell you is it was the determination of the people who had to facilitate this payment that the way to -- >> who could tell us who made it?
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you're you're here to testify to this subcommittee, who can tell us? was it a condition? was it a condition of the iranian government or was it a decision of the united states department of state? >> the condition of the deal was that there would be immediate payment. we knew iran had critical economic needs it needed to address immediately and it would not be addressed by the removal of the broader sanctions. >> certainly, there are other ways to make an immediate other than a middle of the night what appears to be a drug drop. what are the other ways we could have made an immediate payment? >> congressman, i understand your concerns about this, but what i will tell you is the power of the sanctions we had in place in iran and we still have in place, i will remind we have a full u.s. embargo on iran that prohibits transfers of funds through the united states, and there is a great reluctance by global financial institutions, sanctions aside, but doing these -- about doing these sorts of business. so we have seen difficulties with global banks being willing
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to engage in these particular transactions and this was the way, the mechanism we felt we could guarantee immediate payment. that immediate -- that immediate payment was critical to getting the favorable settlement we did. had we not been able to perform on that obligation, we would have likely not gotten such a favorable settlement for the american people. >> speaking of the favorable settlement, i think you mentioned in your opening statement, you don't want to say anything here today that might compromise united states defenses to other claims of the islamic republic of iran. was that your opening statement? >> that's correct. >> if this is a joint comprehensive plan of action, a settlement, what are the other possible claims iran still has? we have made a payment of $1.7 billion in cash. what are the other claims they have that we did not settle as part of this joint comprehensive plan of action? >> i'll let my colleague answer that, but that's a reference to the nuclear deal. it does not reference all of
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these lines of efforts. the joint plan of action was the deal we resolved -- >> you said in your opening statement there were other claims. do you know what they are? it it was your opening statement, sir. do you know what those claims are? >> if you would like more detail, my colleague can provide it. there are other -- >> let me move back to the previous question about other ways you could have made payment other than pounds of cash in the middle of the night. how we conducted payments with other actors such as north korea who are also cut off from the international financial system, we don't deliver cash -- >> i'm not familiar with any payments of that kind. i couldn't speak to that. >> i have nothing further. >> the gentleman yields back. we recognize the gentleman from massachusetts for five minutes. >> i would like to thank the panel. i don't really speak diplomatic. i have trouble when i listen to
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people who are doing it. i i have to kind of clarify what i think i heard. i'm not really sure. is there a difference between cash and a check? i guess people at treasury would know that. if somebody owes me money and they pay me cash or a check, does it matter? >> sir, there are a variety of ways to effectuate a payment, cash, check. >> doesn't matter, somebody owes me money, they pay me cash, check, transfer, green stamps if they still have them, it all counts, right? >> there are a variety of ways of making a payment. >> i would like to ask, i guess, it would be the state department people, regardless, if there was no hostages, no u.s. hostages, no iranian prisoners. by the way, no one wants to talk about the fact we gave up iranian prisoners, this was a prisoner swap in some ways. forget it, would we still have had to pay this money? congressman, the state department has been attempting, as i mentioned, for decades,
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been discussing -- >> i'm not questioning your judgment on the settlement. >> yes. >> i think -- questioning the judgment on any settlement is a fair question. questioning questioning the iran nuclear deal is a fair question. the question i have, once you made the decision to have a settlement, would we have paid this money whether there were hostages are not? would we have paid this money to iran at some point? >> it's clear to me that we reached a time when we were able to achieve a settlement -- >> look, i'm trying to help. you don't want me to help, don't go ahead, keep speaking -- very let me. go ahead, keep speaking -- very clear question. forget the hostages. you made a deal. at the hague, which is in the netherlands, not in iran. i'm not questioning the deal. i'm saying, okay, you made a deal. once the deal was made, would you have had to pay iran the amount that you agreed to pay? yes or no, kind of simple.


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