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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 8, 2015 12:30pm-2:16pm EST

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the floor. but here's why it matters. what we know right now is that over the last 12 months isis has lost about 25% of their territory in iraq and syria. that's not good enough, and hopefully we will be able to join together to put even more pressure on the so-called caliphate, to shrink it down eventually to elimination, but the growth of isis is dependent on two narratives. one, this narrative that the so-called caliphate is growing, and, second, the narrative that east is at war with west, that the muslim world is at war with the christian world. and as their first narrative is becoming less powerful, then the second one becomes even more important. and so as shocking as paris was, as shocking as san bernardino was, it's not surprising in the respect that these attacks
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outside of syria and iraq are now becoming more important, more necessary to this terror organization in order to perpetuate this second set of mythologies around the islamic world being at war with the christian world. and so it is a moment now where republicans and democrats have to come together around hardening our country from potential attackers and potential attacks. and to recognize that because these attacks may be more important than ever before to the future expansion of isis, that we have to take steps to make sure that they don't occur. and so one of the simplest ways we can do that is embodied in senator feinstein's piece of legislation. let's just say together that those that are on the terrorist watch list -- --s and a list tht
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you get on if you have -- and this is a list that you get on if you have reason for the f.b.i. or other lawful to believe that -- law enforcement to believe that you are affiliated with a terrorist organization, you haven't committed a crime yet but you affiliate with terrorist organizations. let's just afree that peoplagren that list should be, by default, prevented from buying guns. now, importantly, this bill has provisions in it for individuals to get off that list. to be able to say they were poue put on that erroneously. but let's just say that if you are on the terrorist watch list, you shouldn't be able to purchase a gun. research tells us that the vast overwhelming majority of americans support this law. and in addition, the vast overwhelming majority of american gun owners support this law. in part because they've seen the statistics and it bears repeating.
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my colleagues have talked about these numbers but they really stun -- reallyare stunning. over the last 10 years, 2,223 times swown th someone on the tt watch list has attempted to purchase a weapon. and in 2,043 of those instances they were successful in purchasing the weapon, taking it home. that's a 91% success rate. now, it may be that one or two of those 2,000 shouldn't have been on that list, but this legislation gives them the power to contest that and to get off that list eventually, as it should. but let's not live in a fantasy world in which the majority of people on this list shouldn't be there. this list isn't foolproof. but the vast majority, 95%, 99% of those on the terrorist watch list, are there with reason and they shouldn't be able to walk out of a store with a weapon. that's why three-quarters of gun
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owners, 90% of americans support this legislation. and while today it's become partisan -- republicans are standing almost in lock-step against a bill to stop terrorists from getting guns -- historically it's been bipartisan. this was initially proposed by president bush and then-attorney general alberto gonzales. and so let's make it bipartisan again. let's today on the floor of the senate decide that we're going to have a debate on this and that we're going to bring it for a vote. because that's where the majority of our constituents are. they want us to take steps together to stop terrorists from getting guns. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. murphy: mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 551 and the senate proceed it to its immediate consideration. i further ask that the bill be read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip.
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mr. cornyn: mr. president, reserving the trite to object. would the senator modify his request to include the cornyn substitute amendment which is at the desk? the presiding officer: does the senator so modify his request? mr. murphy: mr. president, reserving the right to object. it's my understanding that this substitute would require the federal government to go to court in order to stop someone on the terrorist watch list from purchasing a weapon. as a default, we should all agree that if you are on the terrorist watch list, you can't walk out of a gun store with a gun. and it simply shouldn't be incumbent upon the federal government to go through a court process in order to stop you from doing that. there are ways in which if you shouldn't be on the list, you can get off the list. but there is absolutely no reason to delay the process of stopping one of these would-be terrorists from getting a gun by requiring complicated court processes every time that someone on the terrorist watch
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list walks into a gun store. so for that reason, mr. president, i would object to the motion to modify. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i'm astonished by the proposition of our friend, the senator from connecticut, that you can be on a secret watch list by the federal government and just by virtue of this secret listing of an individual on a government watch list, you can be denied some of your core constitutional rights without any necessity of the government establishing probable cause or produce any evidence that would justify the denial of a core constitutional right. and i guess if it's good enough to take the government's word by this list without proof or showing of probable cause to deny a citizen their constitutional rights under the
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second amendment, then i guess that's good enough to deny your right to worship according to the dictates of your conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of association, all of the other rights enumerated in the constitution. it's a -- it's an outrageous proposition. and i would say to my friend, if it is -- if these people are true -- on this government watch list are truly dangerous, why isn't the obama administration and the obama justice department indicting them, taking them to court, trying them and convicting them of crimes? instead, you have this secret watch list without any proof, without any evidence. i would just say that i would -- that the senator has mischaracterized the amendment that i proposed last week and which i've now offered by unanimous consent. what would happen is if an individual on the watch list goes in to purchase a gun, there
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would be the national instant criminal background check syst system, which would then access the watch list. and if the department of justice was worried based on that notice that somebody was attempting to buy a gun, then they could intervene for 72 hours to stop the individual from purchasing the gun. if they were worried about this individual further, they could go to court and produce before a federal judge evidence to detent individual to take them off the street. this is a complete response to the concerns raised by our friends across the aisle. but i'll tell you what's really motivating all of this. first of all, the feinstein amendment, which was offered last week, was a complete substitute to the obamacare
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repeal bill that we voted on and passed last week. as such, this was a means -- syrusirsurreptitious means, rear to us repeal obamacare which only has about a 37% approval rating. and our colleagues across the aisle dmie knew that. under the senate procedures, a complete substitution to the reconciliation bill that we passed last week, would have been accomplished if the feinstein amendment were agreed to. but they went even further and are trying to distract the american people from the fact that the president of the united states and commander in chief has absolutely no strategy to deal with the isis here in the united states. i presume the immediate motivation was what happened in san bernardino, this terrible tragedy. but our colleagues across the
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aisle are trying to capitalize on that particular tragedy in order to justify this unconstitutional attempt to deny american citizens their core constitutional rights without any proof and without any evidence. i would just add that if our freandz crosfriends across the k that this watch list is so perfect and so infallible, they ought to read an editorial that was produced by "the new york times" in 2014. where the american civil liberties union and others objected to the watch list as being a secret government list without any evidence or any proof. they cited a 2007 audit of the 71,000 people on the watch list on, the government watch list, and noted that half of those
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71,000 were erroneously included in the watch list. so we all understand what's going on here. this isn't about finding solutions to real problems. this is about trying to change the subject and to detract -- distract the american people from the fact that the president and this administration has absolutely no strategy to deal with the threat of isis. and the president tells us merely to stay the course. so i understand what's going on. i also would say that the main -- the other main purpose of our friends across the aisle, other than to defeat our ability to repeal obamacare, which we successfully did in the senate last week, this is to create a "gotcha" moment for senators and candidates that are running in 2016. already the senator from
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connecticut's appeared on national news shows. the president of the united states on the -- his weekly -- weekly speech to the nation. the senate democratic leader have already misrepresented what was in the cornyn substitute to the feinstein amendment last week. to suggest that people who voted against the feinstein amendment really, really wanted to make sure that terrorists got guns. that's an outrageous accusation and it's -- it's as false as it is outrageous. so i think it's pretty obvious what's going on here. this was an effort to undermine our ability to repeal obamacare. it's a effort to distract from the fact the president of the united states, the commander in chief, has no strategy to defeat isis. in fact, the democratic leader yesterday said, really what we need is an isis czar.
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an isis czar? i thought that's the job of the commander in chief, the president of the united states to fight and win the nation's wars and to keep us safe here at home. give me a break. and then this foolish idea that we ought to just simply take the federal government's word without any proof or any necessity of producing evidence in a court of law and meeting some basic minimal legal standard before we deny american citizens their core constitutional rights is just outrageous. so, mr. president, i -- i think it's pretty obvious what's going on here and i think the americae the american people render their judgment. for that reason, i object. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut.
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mr. murphy: i ask unanimous consent to speak for five minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. the senator is correct, that last week senate democrats out that it was more important to talk about terrorism than was to talk about the repeal of the affordable care act for the 16th time in the united states senate, 55 to 60 times in the house of representatives. we did think that it was more important last week to be talking about stopping terrorists from getting weapons. and i'm sorry that we didn't find that bipartisan consensus last week. but what we're talking about here today is a different threat than we've ever seen before. and what we want to do is to stop terrorism before it happe happens. so the senator from texas is right that many of the individuals on the terrorist watch list have not committed a crime. but in order to get on the terrorist watch list, you have to have been in communication with those that are trying to create radical jihad here in the
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united states. and so by denying those individuals from getting a weapon, you are serving to prevent a terrorist attack from happening. why would we wait until after the terrorist attack has occurred mured t in order to std from buying a -- to stop that individual from buying a gun? this provision precludes individuals from that list if you're not on it. it is our tradition of supporting the right of law-abiding citizens to buy and purchase a weapon, but to suggest that the only pathway to stopping an individual from buying a weapon is a criminal prosecution when we know there are people right now in the united states that are in contact with radical ideologies, may be contemplating attacks against the united states, misunderstands the way in which we are going to prevent future
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terrorist attacks from happening in this country. and, mr. president, this notion that those of us who want to change the law in order to better protect americans are capitalizing on a tragedy? that's ridiculous, and it's insulting, frankly. a lot of people say, you can't talk about policy changes when it comes to guns right after a mass shooting. you know what? there's been a mass shooting every single dmai this country, on average. if you had to wait 24 hours or 48 thowrgs tal hours to talk abt strategies to keep people safe, then you'd never talk about people safe because there is a mass shooting every day separateway from the people who die from the drip, drip, drip, of gun values al violence all as country. i don't think any of us mean to suggest that those who oppose
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this bill supported by three-quarters of american gun owners, 90% of americans, are rooting for terrorists to get guns. that's not what i'm saying. but what i am saying is that those who oppose this are more concerned with protecting the rights of potential terrorists than they are protecting this country. because that's what we're talking about here. we're worried about the rights of people on the terrorist watch list more than we are about taking steps to protect this country. because what we're talking about is a temporary inconvenience. if somebody is on this watch list who shouldn't be -- and it is a very small number -- then they have, through this legislation, a means to get off that list. and so they have to wait a couple days, maybe a couple weeks in order to buy a weapon
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a tiny mu number of people who e inconvenienced is the cost of protecting the country from potential terrorist attacks is the benefit. that's a trade that my constituents would take in a heartbeat. i'm sorry that we aren't able to proceed with a debate on this bill, but i think i can speak for my colleagues that we will be back on the floor in the days and the weeks and the months to come to continue to ask for a vote on simple legislation to make sure that potential terrorists cannot get their hands on dangerous life-ending weapons. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands in recess until senate stands in recess until
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>> later today pakistan's ambassador to the united states discusses future relations between his country and the u.s., and security challenges in the middle east. he will speak to an audience at the world affairs council and you can see the event live 6:30 p.m. eastern also on c-span3. >> she was such an authentic person. i've always thought there was more to the story of lady bird than anybody had covered come story that i would wonder what the the book on all first lady. she became i think the first
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first first lady to work outside the home. teaching in a private school. she lobbied congress for funds to great the first white house library. mamie eisenhower's hairstyle and love pink agreed fashion sensations. stores result clip bonds to women eager to replicate women eager to replicate are women eager to replicators dr. jack lincoln was responsible for the aggression of the white house historical association, nancy reagan as a young actress suffered a mistaken on the blacklist unsuspected time its sympathizers in the late 1940s. she appealed the screen actors guild had ronald reagan for health and but it became his wife. ththese stories and more are featured in c-span booktv first lady's. the lives of 45 iconic american women. the book makes a great gift for the holidays giving readers a look into the personal lives of every first lady in american history, stories of passing women and other legacies resonate today.
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favorite bookstore or online bookseller. be sure to order your copy tod today. >> we take you now to the white house briefing room where in just a couple of minutes press secretary josh earnest will hold today's briefing with reporters. this is live coverage on c-span2. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everybody. good to see you all. before we get started i wanted to follow up on one piece of business from yesterday. i was asked at the end of the briefing, francisca, i think asked this question, about the prospect of the president possibly be partisan by raising the no fly know by loophole in
quote
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his address to the nation. and i pointed out to you at the time that the republicans who supported this. i went back and did a little checking on it. this is a loophole that pete king described as quote incredibly dangerous. john kasich, republican candidate for president, said quote, on the no fly list we probably could keep them from getting guns. and even governor chris christie, another republican candidate for president said about the no fly know by loophole quote from entry i do have a huge problem with it. consider that governor christie has a huge problem with just about everything the administration does, that's saying something. congressman king put forth legislation on this. i believe in the previous congress. among the cosponsors was bob dole from illinois, daniel donovan from new york, leonard lance of new jersey, chris smith from new jersey and ileana
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ros-lehtinen from florida. one thing that all those members of congress have in common, they are all republicans. so this is something that has bipartisan support. it is something that is consistent with common sense, and for the sake of our national security smh in pairs of little over a week ago. before congress goes home for the holidays they should pass legislation to close the no fly know by loophole. and with that question. darlene, would you like to start? [inaudible] likely have to pass a short-term cr. i know them so back and forth about this in the briefing yesterday. could you be more clear about whether the president would sign legislation like that, give them another day to work through the weekend? >> we have been clear that its members of congress get an extra day or two in order to pass legislation, that the president
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would ensure the government did not shut down while they were going through the legislative mechanics of passing a bipartisan budget agreement. but congress has had ample time to negotiate and the only thing that is blocking negotiations right now is the insistence on the part of republicans to use the budgetary process to advance their stalled ideological agenda. that's not appropriate. it certainly is not an appropriate way to manage the affairs of the greatest country in the world. and the president is not going to give, signed a piece of legislation to give them more time to negotiate on a set of ideological writers. those should not be a part of the process. what should be part of the process is finding common ground, to pass a budget on time that adequately fund our national security priorities, of course but also our economic priorities. i hope that clarifies a look at what our stance is. >> i think at this point they're
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just talking having to work through the weekend. >> okay. >> follow-up speed hope you are right. >> to follow-up on donald trump, his proposal to ban all muslims from entering the u.s. could you say if the present will be doing anything more beyond what he said in a speech on sunday in terms of calling for more tolerant towards muslims? will he be talking about this more? will be be maybe having a public meeting with muslims, maybe traveling to a muslim community to counter the sentiments against muslims that seem to be growing in the u.s.? >> i don't have any updates to the president's schedule about this. this is something the president talked about quite extensively and most recently in his address to the nation on sunday. let me just step back and say that help campaign for months now and saturday was spent of history quality to it.
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to the outright lies to even the fake hair. the whole -- the whole carnival barker routine we've seen for some time now. the question now is about the rest of the republican party, and whether or not they're going to be dragged into the dustbin of history with them. and right now the current trajectory is not very good. earlier this year house republicans elected their leadership. some who famously bragged to reporters that he is david duke without the baggage. earlier this month we saw the executive director of the senate republican campaign committee was advising candidates about how they could ride the 12 wave. and just -- trump way. yesterday, today the newly elected speaker of the house said that he would vote for donald trump for president if he is the party's nominee. now, i know that each of the
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republican candidates has already taken an oath pledging to support donald trump for president of the trade if he wins the nomination. but the fact is the first thing a president does when he or she takes the oath of office is to swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. and the fact is that what donald trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president. and the republican candidates for president, to stand by their pledge to support mr. trump, that in and of itself is disqualified of all. spiff what are speaker ryan and other republicans supposed to do if trump, let's say trunk does end up winning the nomination. would you like them not to supporting? >> they should say right now that they would not support donald trump for president. what he said is disqualifying. and in the republican who is too
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fearful of the republican base to admit it has no business serving as president either. julia? >> a lot of details have emerged about the investigation in the santa anita shooting. increasingly frequent about who has supplied the weapons, who these people may been in touch with. i know you are -- you're not in a place to confirm any of these details but can you talk how quickly the president is updated on this investigation, and he was updating input is a director comey, isn't homeland security, secretary? walk us through the discussions and how frequently they're happening. >> the president is being frequently updated. the president gets a national study briefing every morning to start is scheduled. and i know that there's ongoing
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threat at this act of terror is a part of those discussions. and host of the president's national study team participates in those. a group of officials from the president national security participates in those conversations. so that is a mechanism for them to get regular updates, but i'm confident that if he is seeking more information or feels as our for additional pieces of information people not hesitate to pick up the phone and call his attorney general or call as fbi director or call the director of the counterterrorism center. >> once that they? >> at least i guess is the way i would describe that. >> also following on the omnibus discussion. there's some discussion on deal about putting a measure on the omnibus that would put a ban on the crude oil. stood as i mentioned, there are a host of things that are out of their that are being considered
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for inclusion in the omnibus. the one thing that you said is a provision, legislative provision that the administration has consistently opposed. our position on that is, we continue to a post that legislative provision. i'm just not going to get into sort of a detailed list of all the things that we're going to veto or not to veto. our position on that is from. we oppose it. also opposed other things that have been floated for possible inclusion on the omnibus. and we have been aggressively advocating to republicans in congress that they should focus on the budgetary priorities of the country and try to advance ideological aspects of their agenda that had been stalled in other places. so ultimately what we need to see is we need congress to pass
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a budget before the end of this week so that the national security council economic priorities of the country can be fully funded on time. >> obviously, you're not send it whether not it's enough? >> are not going to say at this point on a one off basis. all of the right thing set up in floated for potential inclusion in the bill about whether or not there would be a potential deal breakers come. our position continues to be that republicans should not seek to use the budgetary process in a public to advance the most controversial aspects of their ideological agenda. chip. >> back on trump. jeh johnson come homeland security secretary said today that trumps rhetoric is harmful to america's national security. does the white house believed
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that come and why? >> absolutely of the president described his at some length in his speech on sunday night. ththat is isolate going to advae the narrative that suggests -- isil -- they reject in waging a war against the united states and the west. that narrative is false but it is a fantasy. the fact is that millions of muslims are actually on the side of the united states and our international coalition and try to degrade and ultimately destroy a isil. the of muslim-americans serving in our armed forces right now putting their lives on the line for our national security. and to suggest otherwise only advances the narrative of the isil. >> does his rhetoric, you fear, that his rhetoric actually will turn some muslims in this country against this country
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because of the way that he is talking about muslims, who normally would not have been involved in perhaps the radicalism that some are. love this in fact backfire and hurt the country's? >> we believe this is harmful to the country and is contrary to our values. but me just say that as defensive and toxic as mr. trumps rhetoric is, it does not condone or justify any act of violence. at the concern that we have come and again this is something the president said in a speech on sunday night, is that the united states government, our national security officials are going to be most effective if they're able to work in partnership with leaders of the muslim-american community to prevent those who are most vulnerable to this radical isil ideology from being inside and aspired to carry out an act of violence. and rhetoric like the offense of
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bluster that we hear from mr. trump makes it much harder to build and solidify that relationship. >> finally come is a practical. is his plan anyway practical? could, in fact, the administration whether it's your administration or his administration, prevent and find out who is muslim and who is not from coming in this country's? >> first of all that sounds like a good question for him. we certainly are a lot from mr. trump. that seems far-fetched and unrealistic come in addition to being grotesque and offensive. i guess you'd have to ask them. i think the president has made quite clear his view that imposes some kind of religious test of those seeking to enter or return to the united states runs counter to the constitution. april. >> josh, i'm going to go back to the trump rhetoric. is it possible, do you creates
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harmful to national security -- this white house had to talk to world leaders about what trump has said? has the white house sent you some of the rhetoric and some of the height of some of his anger to talk to world leaders about it since he made us david? >> i don't know if in the last 12 or 18 hours am not aware of any conversation with world leaders have been focused on this issue. >> what are you hearing from leaders from muslim countries but what are you hearing? [inaudible] >> this may come as a source of some disappointed to mr. trump and i'm not sure they are paying that much attention to him. >> and lastly, as you've been so eloquently describing mr. trump and what he's done, what really
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was -- disqualifies himself at this point? he talks of mexicans and his wall with a screen door. what is the final nail in the coffin for him say that he is disqualified as a candidate for president. >> there has been an accumulation of offensive and incendiary comments from mr. trump that this is only the latest, but again, if your first act as president is to put your hand on the bible and swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states, the kind of policy, if i could call it that, that mr. trump is advocating is entirely inconsistent with the values that are enshrined in our constitution. >> will we hear president obama, specifically at anytime speaking of donald trump and the rhetoric that you're calling him by name now something that you don't like doing and kind of -- today you can click about where the
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whiteheads -- with a wider stance about mr. trump? >> i'm not aware of any specific plans for the president to address this directly. >> in the past when trump would say something controversial, you know, some were on the scale of controversy, he would always say, well, i'm not going to get into it, it's all rhetoric. i believe that a robust debate is good for this country, good for democracy -- >> yes. >> so is a trump now not good for this country and not good for democracy, along with his rhetoric is? >> well, i, this is not the first time i've addressed something offensive that mr. trump has had to say. but i think many people have observed something materially different about his comments from last night, and coming on the back end of an accumulation of offensive comments, it is
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clear that what he said is disqualifying. and for the other republican candidates who have pledged to support him, it's disqualified for them to continue to hold that position, to support somebody for the presidency who articulated these views. i think it's a pretty clear indication that you don't have the right judgment to serve as president of the united states. it certainly is an indication that you don't have the courage of your convictions to stand up and speak out when something so offensive is uttered. >> do you feel it is an accumulation of things culminating in what he says yesterday. i mean, that's what put you over the edge. in terms of this not just in rhetoric or good for america stick with i think the secretary of homeland security indicated is contrary to our national
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security interests. it makes it harder to defend the country. >> so this is a longer a debate that is good for america and good for democracy speak with should have a robust debate about foreign policy and the president alluded to that even in his address on sunday night. he made clear we should have a debate about what is necessary to protect the country, the best strategy for degrading and destroying isil. but that should be a debate about policy that reflects the values of this country, that are enshrined in our constitution. and what mr. trump said runs directly counter to those values. it undermines them, it tarnishes of them. and it's why so many americans lined up in offensive. >> so this is no longer, you think this is beyond robust debate that is good for this country, is that what you're saying speak with well again, people well, let me just go back to where i was. which is that what mr. trump
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said he was deeply offensive, and as the second of homeland security said, has consequences for our national security. but the real question for the republican party and for the republican candidates is, are they going to be dragged into the dustbin of history along with donald trump wax and right now if you look at the current state of the republican party, one of their leaders in congress is someone who bragged about reportedly bragged to reporters about being david duke without the baggage. you have somebody at the republican senate campaign committee trying to design a strategy that will allow republican candidates to benefit from mr. trump incendiary and offensive rhetoric. and yet this big without saying he would vote for donald trump. so that does not indicate that the republican party has joined the rest of us in the 21st century. century. >> lastly, you know, so many things that have been said have
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been passed off as a just, you know, it's a campaign year and this is rhetoric. so how is this not just, okay, you don't believe -- how is this not to you just rhetoric that should be brushed aside or something that would come in your opinion, the ridiculous? >> because it is morally reprehensible. it runs counter to the constitution and it has consequences for our national security. and the problem is is just another bunch of republican candidates standing by the pledge to supporting for president if, in fact, he is nominated by the republican party to do so. that's a problem. >> the factors leading so much in the polls should tell you that many, many americans agree with everything he has been saying at least up until this point. point. >> well, we will see. we will see. jerry. >> josh, staying on this, fortunately or unfortunately,
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when trump made his remarks in south l.a. the last and he was greeted with a standing ovation. there is a sizable portion of the population, the statistics are all over the place, but these people exist who believe that -- [inaudible] that islam should be illegal inside the united states picked up residence response on sunday, his statement on studies largely presented a reasonable and rational argument that may not find quarter with those americans. he's the president for those americans, to pick what is the white house message to those who would stand up and applaud mr. trump, who would believe that islam should be illegal inside the united states? >> well, i think the message thawasdelivered has been quite consistent over the last seven
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years, and a religious test like the one that mr. trump is a jesse runs directly counter to the constitution. and as the second of homeland security indicated, has negative consequences for our homeland security. >> when you're making an argument that is based on what this administration believes is a rational basis, but the opposition to your argument is stoking fear, it doesn't seem like the rationale is always winning out. and the president reach those americans that he represents who are afraid and may find some solace in the argument being presented by trump and plenty of others? >> i feel confident standing here today in telling you that the vast majority of americans believe in defending the values that are enshrined in our constitution. cheryl. >> thanks, josh. back to the omnibus -- [laughter] the other crisis.
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government shutdown. republicans have also prepared a tax extenders package which is typical for the end of the year. have the white house saying that tax package? is it acceptable and what would it be okay if i were on the omnibus package as well? >> well, the white house is aware of the ongoing conversations on capitol hill between democrats and republicans about this so-called tax extenders package. ultimately congress will have to make their own determination about what's included in that legislation with the best best way to pass it is. our principal in general on those kinds of measures has been to insist upon relief for middle-class families, and the tendency of republicans is to focus on relief for special interests and big businesses in those discussions. and our position and our passion
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for looking out for the middle class is not going to take a backseat in these negotiations. right now those negotiations are taking place in capital between democrats and republicans, and i've got a lot of confidence that the democratic members of congress who are participating in the debate at the same passion for the middle class that the president does. so we will see what eventually they're able to come up with, if anything. >> my understanding right now is it's not fully speed is my understanding that those conversations are ongoing. mike spit balls on -- [inaudible] digital content others on capitol hill have a proposal they're trying to attach to legislation that would delay these fiduciary rules of the administration would like to put in place. the rules would require investment advisor to act in the best interest of retirees.
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is there any kind of delight in this that you folks would find acceptable even if there was a lesser delight? >> we know this is a rule that was, has been in consideration for some time now. that the president believes it's important to us as a rule that essentially requires investment advisors to act in the best interest of their clients when giving advice on retirement accounts. right now because of this room isn't in place, the estimate is billions of dollars every year is lost because this rule is not in place. so we are looking to put the rule in place, protect the money to protect our current investment of working people. factor for us at paramount here is that those investment advisors who are already doing the right thing, this does
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impose an additional burden on the. that's what we believe this is a common central, consistent with the valves and priorities the president outlined which includes getting more middle-class americans access to a retirement with dignity. and so we are going to aggressively opposing effort by republicans to water down the that rule. [inaudible] >> we are going to aggressively oppose any effort by republicans to water down that rule. [inaudible] >> as you well know there's a visa waiver bill, legislation upon a hill. does the administration back that legislation in its current form? >> the are a couple of different proposals that are out of there. there. there is what announced that does have bipartisan support and that is something that i previously indicated the administration supports. so this is still working its way through the process, but our position on that legislation has not changed, okay?
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margaret. >> does the white house think that pakistan has been helpful so far in its inquiry into the attack in san bernardino given that one of the attackers was a pakistani national? >> margaret, this is something the attorney general was asked about on sunday and she refrained from specific describing the love of coronation we've gotten from a bright of international partners in investigating this incident. so for that reason i'm going to be low if you delve into any of the details of those conversations. >> can you give us, given the interest in blocking people from entering the united states, perhaps talk to us about some of the ways that you're working on a security basis, block some of those time to get access through k-1 and all that. you look at and called for a review of those standards. can give us any kind of timeline, the white house expects to dhs and from state on pointing out -- >> let me say this a couple of
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ways. i would draw a distinction between the religious test that mr. trump apparently wants to institute for those who are entering the united states, and the improved or reforms that could improve the screening process for those seeking to enter the united states using a k-1 visa program, regardless of their religion. so i think there's a pretty significant difference between what mr. trump is advocating and what the president has asked, tasked his team was working on. i don't have an update for you in terms of the timeline window review will be completed or a set of reforms would be proposed, but i think given the events of the last week or so this is a sense of urgency about conducting that reviewed and completing it. >> and when you say it's on the verge, that are perhaps some weaknesses in the existing --
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>> i think it is an explicit acknowledgment that this is at a minimum something we need to check out. >> can you also, taking a step back, looking at the comments we've seen from others today, speaker ryan did come out and say the way donald trump is talking is not reflective of conservatism. you also spitted but why would he say he would vote for him? that's what i don't understand. >> in terms of the commentary at the need to condemn these comments. you've also had other republican presidential candidates out of there, lindsey graham one of the more colorful ones, condemning his remarks. du at a minimum see this kind of condemnation as helpful in terms of what you are seeing from some republican candidates? >> i think what i would save those comments don't mean that much if they're going to go ahead and vote for either i think what we need to see is a definitive statement from every
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candidate for the presidency about whether or not mr. trump is somebody they could vote for. i think it's as simple as that. if they are willing to walk the walk when it comes to their news releases or the tweets that are submitted by their campaigns, then they should say so. by the way it shouldn't take that long. there's not a lot to analyze about what mr. trump has said. and i think -- [inaudible] >> i think their statements about this pledge that they've taken to support mr. trump will speak volumes as well as the silence if nobody says anything. spirit so you want to hear something grabs not only more direct about not voting but maybe you need something from the rnc? what exactly are you looking for people to come out and say in terms of distancing themselves? >> right now what we need your from the other candidates is one that they could vote for
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mr. trump. what he has said is entirely disqualified from serving as president. they continue to stand by him and pledge your support to him? if he were to become the republican nominee is in and of itself disqualifying and that's why think people are going to be interested to hear what the candidates have to say about it. >> so continue to support them as a possible candidate itself a threat to national security? >> well, i don't think i would quite go that far but i think that what is, that his comments, again based on what the secretary of homeland security has said, are not helpful to our national security. i think the question for other members, other candidates for president is simply this, do they have the courage to stand up to mr. trump supporters and say that they're going to side with the constitution over mr. trump, even if mr. trump is the republican nominee. and if they don't come if they
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don't have that much courage, if they are so cowed by mr. trump and supported that they're not willing to stand by the values enshrined in the constitution than they have no business serving as president of the united states themself. >> all of us you have asked a question it would seem with very few exceptions about donald trump. do you think when you were coming out here, did you weigh distancing am i helping elevate him from helping to elevate what is political rhetoric to a higher state? i know you do things just about what want to say from the podium on behalf of the white house. what is it important to come from this podium this message? >> because these are, we are talking about values that are fundamental to the creation of this country. and those are values that people who sit at this podium, representing both parties, have long defended. that's the responsible of anybody who stands up here. i think that's why comments
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today reflect. >> why do you think, and begin them is easy to dismiss mr. trump because what he said, but the reality is that he, months and months later, and it is this group of people out there, i guess we'll find out soon, why does that and do are and what is the present think that what he might need to do know going for to really deal with that particular mindset in the country speak with one reason it is indoors because you a bunch of people on the republican party who say they will vote for them. cannot talk to people entering polls that i've talked about the other candidates who stand on the stage with him on debate night. on talk about the chair of the rnc to talk about the leadership of house republicans. i'm talking about the strategists at the republican campaign committees are trying to get the best way to maximize the advantage for the candidates if mr. trump is their nominee.
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that's the reason he endures. >> there's also something to what people are thinking and feeling, fear. we live in an age now where there's greater income inequality than ever before. arguably that's got to be part of it, isn't it? >> mr. trump has been rather cynical indicating to people's fears and anxieties, and that has proven at least in the short term to be an effective strategy for advancing his own narrow political ambitions. but not good for the country, not good for our homeland security. it's not consistent with the values enshrined in the constitution, and again i think it's mr. trump risks pulling the anti-republican party into the dustbin of history with him. >> the no fly no buy, you said you talked about it as a national security issue.
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i'm not sure if you did that before. ..
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>> to use his executive authority to try to make these things happen? >> i think the president's interest in this has been -- well, let me say it this way: the intensity of the president's view about the importance of us implementing some policies that make it harder for those who shouldn't be able to get their
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hands on guns from getting them has not waned in its intensity. and i'm talking about common sense measures like making sure that you can't avoid a background check just by purchasing the gun over the internet. or, you know, even reinstituting the assault weapons ban that would prevent or at least reduce the likelihood that weaponses of war end up on our streets. there's no denying that those weapons claim thousands of innocent lives every day, even when it's not connected to terrorism. and so that's why the president believes that -- he's going to do everything he possibly can using his own executive authority to weigh in on this. but the easiest way for this to get done is for congress to rely on their own common sense and make the country safer. >> you've been reluctant to say anything about the work of this group that's -- [inaudible] has the san bernardino incident in any way intensified their efforts, focused their efforts or are we now more likely to hear something about that or about what the president might
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do? >> no, quite frankly, because their efforts were intense already. ask and their intensity continues to this day, okay? kevin. >> josh, i want to follow up on something ron was asking about -- >> what's that? >> for those on the hill who would say, listen, this' been pretty successful at getting things done in congress whether it's obamacare, debt limit, i mean, i could go down a long list of successes, what's happened here? why hasn't he been able to move the ball? on gun legislation? >> well, kevin, the president's talked about this, and it's been a source of some frustration primarily because the president knows and public polling indicates that a majority of the country agrees with his view, including a majority of gun owners according to some surveys. there are some common sense things that congress could do that would not undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding americans, but yet would make it a little bit
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harder for criminals, tradition, to get their hands on guns. >> so why the failure? >> well, i think part of it is there are an inordinate number of members of congress who are terrified of the nra. that's the first thing. the second thing, this is a little more raw critical analysis, but you have this minority -- again, according to the polls -- who have much more intensely expressed their opposition to those common sense gun safety measures than supporters of those measures have. and the president's been, you know, pretty candid that until we see the same intensity on the side of gun safety, it's unlikely congress will move. you know, it remains to be seen if the incidents that we've seen more recently, this terrible shooting at the community college in oregon, you know, the assault on planned parenthood facility in colorado springs or even this terrible incident, this terrible terrorist attack
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in san bernardino, if that will be enough to prompt congressional action. we'll have to see. >> i want to ask you about aumf. does the president enjoy full support from his own party to get a new aumf? if not, why not? >> well, again, i think we've been create crystal cheer that we these to see -- clear that we need to see democrats and republicans come together and finally vote to authorize the use of military force against isil. right now the president has the legal authority he needs under the 2001 aumf that congress passed. that does give him the authority that he needs to order the actions that are currently underway -- >> but there's been pushback even from some democrats who say this deal in syria with sending special operators, maybe he's gone beyond the intention of the 2001. what does the president think about that? >> our lawyers make crystal clear that's entirely appropriate given the 2001 aumf.
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>> okay. >> but what we would like to see is congress fulfill their responsibility. we hear a lot of carping and second guessing about what our counter-isil strategy should be. it's ironic for them to be complaining when it's hard to point to a single step right now that congress has taken in the fight against isil. the president ordered military action against them, against isil more than a year ago. but i'm not sure, at least off the top of my head, i can't name a single thing that congress has done. but i've got four things that congress can do. congress can pass a reform to have the visa waiver program, that would make the country a little bit safer. >> and they're working on that. >> and her, so maybe that would be the one thing they would get done. but there are three other things. they could confirm adam zubin, the financial expert to shut off thr financing, he's somebody who's served both republican and democratic presidents, and there's nobody in congress who's
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expressed misgivings about his expertise or his ability to do the job. the third thing is we could see from congress full funding of our aviation security efforts that would enhance our ability to do more screening of passengers overseas before people board planes entering in the united states. there's a possibility that they could do this in the context of the omnibus. that is, after all, a funding bill. so we would welcome that step. and then the fourth thing is, you know, pass a bill that would close no-fly, no-buy loophole. those are four things. the fifth thing that we've talk thed about, kevin, is the authorization to use military force. the aumf be, presumably, would require more debate, and that's understandable. that's probably a debate they should have been having over the last year and a half. they haven't. t if they want to start that now, it's understandable they wouldn't be able to wrap up that debate before the end of the year. but there's no reason those four other things couldn't get done before the holidays. >> my apologies to my colleagues, donald trump.
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interesting, i was listening to rachel, she said something about maybe he is actually trying to implode his own campaign by being outrageous and just pushing the envelope as far and as wide as he can. what do you think of that? >> well, i've said on a number of occasions that it's difficult for me to understand exactly what he's doing. but the impact of what he's doing right now is corrosive. and, you know, i think the bigger problem, in my mind, is the way the rest of the republican party is not acting to make clear that they would never support him for president of the united states. okay? nadia. >> [inaudible] >> hopefully so. [laughter] >> i want to ask you about -- [inaudible] he said that one element is calling for a ceasefire in syria. today there is -- [inaudible]
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do you believe that -- to have this kind of representation without having armed groups who will -- [inaudible] in syria for this opposition to be -- [inaudible] >> nadia, i think you've put your finger on one aspect of this, that it is particularly difficult, that one thing we need to do to advance a political transition is just to organize the wide variety of opposition groups that currently existnside of syria right now. and there's a lot of controversy associated with which groupsan be appropriately included in those discussions. so i certainly don't want to leave you with the impression that there are a lot of easy steps to be taken here. but fact that we're able to get a hundred or so representatives of these groups in the same room to begin a discussion about the political transition inside of syria is an important step. and just the latest one. i also know that secretary kerry, i believe earlier today
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over in paris, announced that the next meeting for the syrian political process would actually take place in new york on december 18th. that will, again, be another important conversation among world leaders to discuss this long overdue political transition inside of syria. so there are some steps to indicate some forward progress, but i don't want to leave you th the impression that we think it's going to be smooth sailing here. >> the issue, president erdogan of turkey also said today he insisted on having safe haven in northern syria. does this cause the white house to change its thinking that it may be about time to consider having this area for -- >> look, nadia, this is an idea that president erdogan has advocated for some time, and it's one that we continue to believe is not the best strategy
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for moving forward. our concerns center primarily around the idea that establishing a safe zone like the one that he contemplates would require significant resources. it's not just a matter of having a few fighter jets patrolling the area. after all, isil doesn't have an air force. what it would require are significant resources on the ground to secure the area, and that would require a substantial commitment of ground troops that runs directly contrary to to the strategy that the president has laid out. even if you were to design a system that would somehow not require a substantial commitment from the united states in terms of ground troops or other resources, whatever resources were required would divert from the ongoing counter-isil effort. so again, having -- for example, just to use the fighter jet example, to dedicate fighter jets to patrolling the safe zone
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would mean pulling those fighter jets away from operations that potentially could be used to carry out strikes against isil targets. so, and the president all along has indicated we need to be focused on, focused on the isil effort. okay? mara. >> just a quick question, the dnc round table, which is closed, is there any particular agenda or what's the purpose of it? >> this is the, this is a, an effort to raise money for the democratic national committee. >> okay, i said round table, i wasn't sure -- round table around here usually denotes some -- >> understood. [laughter] >> okay. my other question, this might be nitpick key, but in your prepared remarks, you said something that struck me as trumpian and not obama-like. [laughter] that's a hallmark of trump, to comment on your opponent's appearance -- >> yeah. >> not something that i would ever expect to come from the obama white house.
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>> yeah. >> this was in your prepared remarks, what was the thinking behind it? >> i guess i was describing why it would be easy for people to dismiss the trump campaign as not particularly serious. >> because of his hair? >> because he's got a rather outrageous appearance. >> isn't that like what's considered so out of line when he talks about -- >> that's the hallmark of his campaign and his identity -- >> how do you know -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> i guess i'm happy to be fact checked. anita. did you -- >> you'll be so happy, i'm not going to to ask you a trump question. >> okay. i think i've been rather patient. >> we have something to say on the matter. [laughter] >> only republicans did. >> on the omnibus, you earlier mentioned riders and amendments that you, that were mucking up the process. senator reid, the hill is reporting that senator reid has an amendment that he wants to
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put on, a provision that would help -- [inaudible] by allowing them to restructure debt encouraged by a subsidiary out of court, and it has not gone through the normal channelings. it hasn't had a hearing, and i'm wondering if you consider that the same thing that you're talking about, is it mucking up the process, or do you support the amendment? >> well, i haven't seen the details of the amendment. the report that you're citing, this is the first time that i've heard of it. it doesn't sound particularly ideological to me, but that's only based on what you've read. >> so amendments are okay as long as they're not ideological? >> well, what we have indicated is that right now with gumming up the works here is the insistence on the part of republicans to add ideological riders that are in some cases described as poise to son pills to gum up -- poise to son pills to gum up the process. and they're trying to capitalize on the budgetary process that results in a must-pass piece of
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legislation to support an ideological agenda that, or to advance an ideological agenda that can't otherwise make its way through the legislative process. that's what we object to. >> [inaudible] >> well, again, it's not been uncommon. i'm not going to weigh in on that specific amendment just because i don't know anything about it, but i'll just say in general that it's not uncommon for omnibus budget bills to have other things attached to them. the concern that we have is that right now we're risking a government shutdown because republicans are insisting on including ideologically-motivated riders to that must-pass piece of legislation. they're preparing to shut down the government unless they get benefits for their biggest campaign contributors who don't support wall street reform or clean power plan. that's not an appropriate way to run the country x it certainly is not consistent with the way the budget process is supposed
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to work. does that make sense? okay. >> thank thank you, josh. [inaudible] what is his take on the rule of india and china -- [inaudible] >> well, i can tell you that the president continues to follow this closely. many of you may have seen the written readout issue by the press office last night that the president concluded a telephone call with the president of brazil to talk about the ongoing negotiations in paris. i can tell you that earlier today the president placed a telephone call to prime minister moti of india, and i would anticipate president would be in touch with other world leaders. he's following this quite closely, he's getting regular updates from his team in paris about the status of the negotiations. so it's something that he continues to follow closely. >> optimistic of a deal being
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reached? >> well, again, he is but primarily for the reasons he said when he was in paris last week, which is we have even in advance of the paris negotiations, we saw the international community mobilize to make significant commitments to cut carbon pollution. more than 180 countries brought with them to paris specific commitments to reduce carbon pollution. and those commitments were catalyzed by the historic agreement between the united states and china that was announced last fall to make significant reductions in the carbon pollution in our two countries. so the united states has been playing a leading role. 've seen that leadership result in significant, specific commitments from a large number of countries, and we're optimistic about the eventual outcome, okay? john. >> thanks a lot, josh. the president on sunday night spoke about the important role that muslim leaders have in terms of putting up a message
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that you can put up against isis. and i wanted to read to you some comments that the l.a. director for the cocil on american-islamic relations said last week on cnn. he said when we, the united states, support two leaders in egypt or other places, when we support dictatorship in present regimes around the world that push people over on the edge, then they become extremists, they become terrorists. we are partly responsible. then he went on to say "let's not forget some of our foreign policy as americans, as the west, has fueled that extremism." do you agree with those comments? >> well, i'm hearing them for the first time. let me just say in general that the united states is an ardent advocate around the world for human rights. and even when the president goes to places, some of the countries
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that that individual was describing, we're quite candid about the degree to which the president advocates for basic universal human rights. so i think that's the first thing. i think the second thing is there is nothing that justifies a terrible act of terror toism like what we saw in san bernardino. particularly one that targets innocent civilians like we saw in that attack. so there's nothing that justifies what they did. >> would you call those comments that i just read out to you grossly irresponsible? >> well, i think i've just done my best to describe what our view is about what that individual stated. >> do you support donald trump's first amendment right to the constitution to say what he said in the same manner that this religious leader from c.a.r.e. said what he saidsome. >> i have never, despite my
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extensive comments today, never once called into question mr. trump's right to say it. i do believe it disqualifies him from serving as@president of the united states, but i have not called into question his first amendment right to spew that hateful rhetoric he frequently utters. >> on a separate issue, the president tomorrow is going to be meeting with the president of israel. can you give us hints about what it is they will be discussing during that meeting? >> well, i describe this a little bit in the week ahead. i don't have an additional update about their agenda, but we'll see if we can get you something before the end of the day, okay? chris, the last one. >> the president during his speech -- [inaudible] a group of thugs and killers -- [inaudible] among the deeds committed by isis' lgbt -- [inaudible] in a damascus suburb by her breasts. some people are calling for the
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obama administration -- [inaudible] is the president aware of the anti-lgbt persecution conducted by isis s and will he direct the state department to reserve 500 slots for lgbt -- >> chris, the tactics of isil have shown a callous disregard for basic human rights, and it is certainly no secret there are a variety of ways in which they offend those rights and trample those rights. that's one of the reasons the president has mobilized such a strong international coalition to destroy them. when it comes to our refugee resettlement efforts, the united states does not set aside quotas like what you just described. but what the united states does do in terms of resettling ref pew gees is prioritize the -- refugee is prioritize the cases of those who are deemed to be most absolutely potential u those subjected to acts of
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torture, who have been singled out because of their minority status in one way or another. and that is, i think again, a testament to the values of the united states, and it also is another useful example to illustrate why essentially ending the refugee program is contrary to the basic values of this country. >> just to be clear, the instance of -- [inaudible] considered a priority under the refugee program as you mentioned. >> well, again, because -- again, there are no quotas that are set aside. but the process that we have implemented does prioritize the cases of those who have been subjected to torture including like the torture that you describe canned or might have been singled out because of their status as a minority, whether that's racial, ethnic or religious minority, you know, or
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even somebody, an lgbt person. so that's our policy and, again, i think it underscores the commitment of the united states to lead on this issue x it's why the president has strongly disagreed with the effort of some republicans who have suggested that it would be in our interests to somehow shut down the program. okay? thanks a lot, everybody. we'll see you tomorrow. [inaudible conversations] >> and the senate's in recess til 2:15 eastern, but earlier today they advanced that house/senate compromise on k-12 education programs, one which
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replace it is no child left behind act with a new act called every student succeeds act. a final vote on that scheduled tomorrow at 10:45 eastern. and the senate also needs to pass some type of 2016 federal funding bill. current funds are set to expire on friday. follow the senate live right here on c-span2. later today, pakistan's ambassador to the united states talks about future relations between his country and the u.s. and security challenges in the middle east. he'll talk to an audience at the world affairs council, and you can see it live at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span3. earlier today house speaker paul ryan and other republican leaders spoke on capitol hill about the upcoming house agenda. they also talked about recent remarks by presidential candidate donald trump to ban muslims from entering the u.s. this is about 15 minutes.
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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everyone. i'm will herd, i represent the 23rd or congressional district of texas, i'm one of the freshmen here, so i've been up here in washington, d.c. for a whopping 11 months. i spent nine years as an undercover officer in the cia, i was the dude the back alleys at 4:00 in the morning chasing al-qaeda, the taliban. so when you talk about the threat of isis, it's a clear and present danger to the united states. there's many things that we need to be doing to stop this threat, and one thing we're doing this week is tightening up the visa waiver program. i also sit on the task force that looks at the threat of isis to the homeland, and one of the things we've found is many of our european allies are not sharing information the way they should be. and these are folks, you know, the europeans are only checking one out of every three travel
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documents of people going through their country. this kind of stuff needs to stop. we need to make sure that our european partners are sharing information with us and using the information we're giving to them, because one of the things i learned when i was in the cia, if you get the right information to the right people, you keep terrorists on the run and off our shores. thank you very much. >> thank you, will. six days ago our nation witnessed the worst terrorist attack on our soil since september 11th. i know right now that many americans feeunsafe and unsure. the people deserve to know that we are taking decisive action to protect ourselves and to tackle this threat. the day after the paris attacks the majority leader, leader mccarthy, put together a task force to weigh new actions congress could take including recommendations made by our homeland security. mr. hurd's a member of this task force. the first, the house voted to strengthen the certification requirements for our syrian
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refugee program. that was a big, bipartisan vote, a veto-override majority bipartisan vote. today the house will vote to strengthen the nation's visa waiver program, another product of this task force. this will help neutralize the threat from foreign terrorists entering our cup. we expect this -- our country. we expect this to be another big, bipartisan vote. so we're coming together to tackle this threat, and we are ready to do more. that is why we need the president to put forward a real, come prehencive strategy -- comprehensive strategy to defeat, defeat, not contain, isis. on sunday night we heard the president defend staying the course. but why would we stay the course when the enemy is evolving? if we lead from behind, we will remain one ten behind -- one step behind. defeating the enemy is going to take time. it's going to take all of our heart and all of our might.
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but we will persevere and, make no mistake, we will win. finally, when we voted to pause the refugee program a few weeks ago, i made very clear at the time there would not be a religious test. there would be a security test. and that is because freedom of religion, freedom of religion is a fundamental constitutional principle. it's a founding principle of this country. normally, i do not comment on what's going on in the presidential election. will take an exception today. this is not conservativism. what was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly, it's not what this country stands for. not only are there many muslims serving in our armed forces dying for this country, there are muslims serving right here in the house, working every day to uphold and to defend the constitution.
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some of our best and biggest allies in this struggle and fight against radical islamic terror are muslims. the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of whom are peaceful, who believe in pluralism, freedom, democracy, individual rights. i told our members this morning to always strive to live up to our highest ideals, to uphold those principles in the constitution on which we swear every two years that we will defend. that's why we are here, and that is why we are going to stay here to do the people's house and do the people's work. >> well, i thank the speaker, and i thank will for their work. a couple points i want to make. will talked about on suspension today we'll have the visa waiver program legislation by candice miller. it was a piece of legislation introduced in the last congress passed out of committee unanimously months ago.
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we took the task force that will served on in homeland recommendations. the few key points he brought out, there's 38 key countries in this program out of 196 around the world. but the program allows an individual to travel to other countries not by ever getting a visa or have communications or interview simply online. well, if there's a visa lost or stolen, who's that person coming into your country? if you don't have an e-passport biometrics like america does, do you really trace who that individual is? but the biggest fear i have and so many in this conference on both sides of the aisle is that you have more than 5,000 individuals that have western passports in this program that have gone to iraq or syria in the last five years. those are gaps that we need to fix. when the speaker asked us to put together the task force,
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counterterrorism and homeland security, we picked the committees that have jurisdiction. we'll meet again this week, but we're looking at short and long-term gap that is we need to fix in making sure we keep the homeland safe. so we'll vote on that today. i believe that bill will become law, and it'll be bipartisan. that's why it's on suspension as well. we have a few outstanding items still to take up this week for scheduling purposes. we told our members there's a good chance they could be here through the weekend. they'll be here friday for sure. we know we'll so deal with the short-term c.r.. we will not allow the government not to be funded, so we'll do a short term so we can finish our work because we also, when we finish the omni, the extenders, we want to make sure there's a lot of transparency for the country to be able to see what's inside those bills before any vote takes place. >> to defeat isis, it's going to
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take a strong strategy, and it's going to take strong leadership. our intelligence community tells us that isis is not being contained. if you looked at president obama's speech on sunday night, all he talked about was the existing strategy that clearly is not working. and so while we know from our own intelligence community that isis not only is not being contained, but is actually coming into america, the american people need to see that clear strategy by the president. rather than trying to take away the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, president obama needs to lay out a clear strategy that confronts this direct threat. no, the american people deserve to to know that our government is doing everything in its power to keep them safe, and that's why the house is going to continue focusing on direct threat by the legislation that we're moving forward coming out of our task force, working with our members who have the best expertise and who have been working on this for years. so today when you see us take on a bill to actually reform the
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visa waiver program, something president obama himself acknowledges has loopholes that need to be closed, that's an example of the house moving forward to do everything in our power to keep american families safe. >> if you've ever visited the 9/11 museum and memorial, when you first walk into the museum, you see the pictures of 2,977 people who lost their lives that day. and when you emerge out of the museum, you have a lot of clarity as to those that would do us harm and the fight that we have against those who want to destroy our way of life and the values that we live every day as americans. i was also reminded that we need leadership today more than ever. our enemies are constantly adapting, and our focus must be
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clear. in the speech that the president gave earlier this week, it was really just more of the same; pointing fingers instead of taking principled action. what you're going to see again this week in the house is important action as we wait on the president's strategy to destroy isis. the reform to the visa waiver program is only just one of the tools that we believe we must be moving forward on to insure that we're taking the steps so that america can be safe. more importantly, when a threat emerges, we have an obligation to target it and keep the fight against terrorism out of america. s that is, after all, our -- that is, after all, our fundamental obligation; protecting the safety and security of every american in this country. >> the safety and security of americans must be our top concern. it must be our foremost priority. that's why congress passed the
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national defense authorization act requiring the president to create a comprehensive strategy to defeat isis. additionally, this important defense bill -- which is now signed into law -- stops the president's plan to transfer terrorists from guantanamo bay to possible locations such as the united states' disciplinary barracks in fort leavenworth which i proudly represent. i urge president to listen to the american people, especially the folks in leavenworth, and drop this reckless and expensive plan altogether. we should be focusing on stopping terrorists from entering the country. that is why the house is already working to protect american lives in a bipartisan fashion by updating and strengthening our visa waiver program. this is another step to insuring the safety and security of americans from those who seek to destroy us.
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>> questions? >> [inaudible] >> you concerned at all that donald trump's plan could make americans less safe, that it could possibly -- >> i've already given my response and what i think about his comments. >> speaker ryan, do you know -- you were very forceful in those comments. do you think there could be lasting dang to the party -- >> i'm not concerned about lasting damage for the party, i'm concerned about standing up for our country's principles. our party is dedicated to these first principles, and that's why i think it's incumbent upon leaders of our party like myself to stand up and defend what conservativism is and what the republican party stands for. >> mr. speaker, i know you're still working through this omnibus bill here, and -- [inaudible] some of the decisions have to be made by the leadership. so now we're just a few days, probably going to have to do a c.r. for a few days. where are we in the -- [inaudible] >> and so my answer will now evolve. [laughter]
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and that means i am not going to negotiate through the media as to what it is we will or will not do. these negotiations are ongoing. we know that we're going to get it right instead of get it done fast. we are not going to waive the three-day rule. we're going to make sure that members of congress and, therefore, the public have the time to read what is agreed to, but we're not going to let the arbitrary december 11th deadline stop us from getting this right. we're going to get the best agreement we can possibly get, and i'm not going to negotiate through the media. jonathan. >> two-year extender at this point? >> that is what we will do if we cannot get an agreement on a long-term extender package which, obviously, is our presents. >> without commenting on the -- [inaudible] how long of a short-term continuing resolution do you need if -- >> that's something that the leaders along with our folks over at the other i'd of the capitol will look like, but it will be a handf of days. we don't expect to do this for a
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long term. we need to get it right. i don't want us to go to home until we get this done. >> last question. >> in your role as speaker -- [inaudible] if trump is the nominee -- >> i'm going to support whoever the republican nominee is, and i'm going to stand up for what i believe in as i do that. thank you. >> and senate back in just a few minutes from their recess. in the meantime, we'll show you as much as we can of the house democrats talking about their agenda. >> hope everyone's doing well. javier becerra, chairman of the house democratic caucus, joined by vice chairman joe crowley, our task force chair on gun safety, mike thompson from california, and one of the champions on this issue as well from the state of illinois, robin kelly, is going to be speaking with us as well.
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pleased to have all three of my colleagues join us today. we had a conversation in caucus today that dealt with two very important issues. first, of course, we spent a good deal of time talking about making sure our government is providing security, keeping the trains running, doing everything we expect it to do because we pay taxes, and that is keeping government operating. and unless our republican colleagues can move forward with a proposal that is bipartisan, it looks like we're heading towards another republican shutdown of government. no one would like to see that because we're too close to the holidays now to disrupt all the activities not just of government, but of the lives of americans throughout this country. so it's time to get to work. two monthses ago we reached an agreement on the parameters for a budget, and now all we have to do is have our colleagues on the republican side stop trying to
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inject things that have nothing to do with the budget but a lot to do with their social agenda. those are not matters that belong in a fiscal measure that is meant to keep the government operating. we spent a great deal of time as well on a second very immediate and important subject, and that is how to keep americans safe. and the security of the american people is paramount. that is the principal responsibility of any and mr. thompson and ms. kelly will be hosting today a forum on this issue. many of our colleagues, including, i believe, the vice chairman and i will be attending as well to talk about this because maybe we want americans to know that we're thinking of those families that are right now suffering from the tragedies of losing their loved ones as a result of some of these shoongs, whether it's san
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bernardino, colorado springs, you name it, newtown. we're almost on the anniversary of shoot anything newtown that killed -- shooting in newtown that killed 20 children and 6 adults. but a moment of silence is not action. and if the only thing congress is going to do is hold moments of silence every time someone is tragically gunned down whether by someone who means us harm because we're simply americans or whether it's because that perpetrator didn't like the color of our skin or didn't like the content of our character, either way that's terror. and there are families that have been terrorized, and now there are families who have lost their looed ones as a -- loved ones as a result of this terror. we must act. and there are some very straightforward things that we can do. mr. thompson and ms. kelly will speak specifically about some of those things, but certainly where there is a sweet spot of what we can do together -- not
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as democrats or republicans, but as americans here in congress -- we should. so we're here to say it's not enough to do moments of silence. it's time to act. we need to sound the alarm. we need to sound the alarm for people like shannon johnson who died in the san bernardino shootings, was a constituent of mine. we need to sound the alarm for garrett swayze who was one of the police officers, one of the three people who was killed in colorado springs by someone who was out to do harm to people who were at the planned parenthood clinic in colorado. we want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to be free and to be safe. and for that to be the case, congress must act. it can't just do moments of silence. let me now turn to our vice chairman, joe crowley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. fourteen years ago today, as we're here today, men and women
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in new york city from all over the country were removing the debris from the attack on 9/11, looking for their coworkers, their loved ones, trying to find their remains. they didn't ask what the air was like or whether it was breathable air. they went in to do their job, and that was to to recover their fallen brothers and sisters and, at the same time, restore the city and their country, repair their lives. and today many of them are suffering from horrible diseases directly affiliated with that attack. many have stage four cancers and legions. they don't have much longer to live. they're as much victims of the attack on 9/11 as those who died that day. we owe it to them before we leave here, this congress, to pass the 9/11 health act, the zadroga act. i'm committed to do that. i will not leave until we pass that bill this year, and i hope that my feelings are shared by
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not just my democratic colleagues, but my republican colleagues as well. just moving to the issue of gun violence, how long will our flags fly at half staff? it's become so normal. it's unusual in this town to see flags flying at full staff. how often will congress stop for moments of silence on the floor to remember the victims of gun violence? there is -- this is a problem that has not necessarily a solution, but we could be taking steps to minimize the problem. and that right now individuals who are on the no-fly list, who are on the government list of suspected terrorists have the ability to walk into some states in their gun shops or gun shows and buy weapons without a background check.
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it sounds incredible that in this country that that could happen. a common sense person would just think, well, of course they can't do that. the truth be known is, they can. and we know that they've tried to do that and have been successful at doing it as well, those who are on the watch list. >> and we're going to break away from these house democrats from earlier today and take you back live to the floor of the senate here on c-span2. passage of the every student succeeds act. i would like to commend chairman alexander, ranking member murray and their counterparts in the house, chairman klein and ranking member scott, for their commitment to finding a common ground and path forward on this critical legislation. when president johnson signed the elementary and secondary education act into law 50 years ago he noted that from our beginning as a nation we have felt a fierce commitment to the idea of education for

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