tv Sens. Mc Sally Duckworth Others CSPAN March 26, 2019 1:32am-2:03am EDT
the same freshman class. [applause] and our years in congress, we have seen many changes. 1989 was the time before the internet, email, cell phones, it was before terrorism had struck our shores and our city. it was before israel and the plo signed the accord. while much has changed, much remains the same. today, -- in 1989 like americans from all corners from both sides of the i, supportive of the u.s.-israel relations gathered every spring. our numbers were much smaller now and so was the room. our mission was the same and yet
ours, we were here, too. i have served to 30 years in congress, but -- [applause] years in congress, this is my 32nd aipac conference. [applause] >> we hoped that by now this work would be easier, but it isn't. today, the work aipac does they each of you does is is critical as ever. elliott and i are as committed as we have ever been throughout our congressional careers. [applause]
>> you represent the very best of american democracy with your passion and knowledge and commitment and number a few help all of us in congress to understand what the majority of americans already know as support the importance of the the-israel alliance and importance of bipartisan support. [applause] america is stronger because we have a dependable democratic ally like israel in a region characterized by instability and brutality. america is stronger because you take the time and effort to fight back against a those who try to question that basic loyalty. [applause]
thank you for being such spectacular american citizens. thank you. [applause] ekuit and i share many things in common. we take pride in our work, our jewish heritage. we also take pride in the asortunity that we now share committee chairs. [applause] i serve as of the chair of the house appropriations committee and eliot is chair of the house foreign affairs committee. [applause] two of the most important foreign-policy committees in the congress. it is our honor to lead the committee's that right in nearly every piece of legislation that advances the strong u.s.-israel
relationship. [applause] which of benefits the united states and meaningful at a media to ways. -- and immediate ways. rep. engel: we need all of you to keep up making the case to our colleagues and to everyone to keep sharing this incredible story with your members of congress to build relationships on both the size of the aisle. this is how our democracy works.
[applause] >> good evening. this is my 29th aipac policy conference. [applause] 2 guests are trailblazers. andt as decorated veterans now members of the united states senate. duckworthenator tammy is an iraq war veteran. [applause] heart recipient and former assistant secretary of the department of veteran affairs. to the unitedn states senate, she rubs in illinois eighth district and the house of representatives -- she represented illinois's aphid district in the house of representatives. [applause]
she served in both iraq and afghanistan and was the first female fighter pilot to fight and come back in the first to lead a combat any u.s. history. [applause] and she served in the house representing arizona's second district. the two of them will join us to discuss critical security issues related to the u.s.-israel relationship. a warm aipac welcome to tammy duckworth and arizona senator martha mcsally. [applause] hello, senator. hello, senator.
jeremy: welcome back to policy conference and as we heard, both of you have had a distinguished military career and have been pilots. i want to start by asking each support -- has that how does that impact your support of israel? sen. mcsally: it is great to be here working in the senate and house. i wouldn't say, i was deployed to the middle east five times. i have seen the dangerous neighborhood. a long story, but i fought for eight years to make sure u.s. servicewomen do not have to wear i know firsthand, israel is of the only democracy in the middle east that protects human rights. [applause] thank you. and those of us who served from
we understand the threat. have never been there. i ran for congress because i was tired of yelling at the television and wanted to be a part of solving problems to keep our country safe and make sure we protect our ally, israel, in the region. [applause] andave unique perspectives a unique approach for the week both served to protect america, to protect our way of life and freedom and our vital interests including the region, the protection of israel. [applause] jeremy: thank you. senator duckworth? sen. duckworth: having served as the military over 2 decades, i learned to take care of my true and make sure i watched out for their well-being and their ' well-being. that function of an officer is what i bring to congress when i
think of serving my entire state and nation. you have to look at the totality of the whole issue. i have to reach across of the e to find ways to come together. unitedis one of those things that can unite for it is about only true democracy in the middle east. it is something we can come together on a. we can talk about issues of national security not only in terms of helicopters, but also the fact we need to sell more defensive measures so they can defend their own citizens. let me say how much i am praying for the families of those affected by the rocket attack that happened today. the seven injured and not just of those injured. i will start with you senator duckworth.
the strengthening american security and the middle east. you voted for it and so did you senator mcsally. vote?s it an important let us give them both a round of applause. it was a hard: vote for me to take and an easy vote for me to take. there were issues that i thought had serious implications to first amendment rights. it is about strengthening america's ally with israel and proviso for more definitive support and support for jordan. support for our own national security long-term. that was the easy vote bury at the end of the day, though totality of the bill. not a just better for israel but the united states' security. [applause] it was a very easy bill for me to take.
we were codifying between us and israel. i see that as the floor and not the feeling of our strong -- ceiling of our strong partnership. for us to come together to codify that as may sure they maintain their military edge and able to counter the bds movement around the country and the world. [applause] data legislation allowed states like arizona, for example, they are working on additional legislation and they did in the past. it allows of them to choose and say we are not going to do a part ofith anybody this bds movement. i thought it was important to speak on it. [applause] jeremy: the topic of missile defense. part of my family lives in central israel and they were in the bomb shelter this morning when the rocket phil about two
miles from where they lived. part of thelly, system is built in arizona and he the critical admiral donald has been for you talk about the importance of missile defense given the rockets at the rate? on the hearts and prayers are rocket attacks on going right now. we need to be vigilant and in prayer. i am so impressed about the young men and women that we visited and seeing these teenagers making split-second decisions to intercept these rockets. thousands of rockets aimed at israel. the one yesterday, about 75 mile range, north of tel aviv. the threat is real. some of the partners between rafael and raytheon is in my district, in my state and arizona, partnering together for iron dome and the army is moving
forward. there is really world experience every single day, every single year and israel to the effectiveness. we need to strengthen their relation and learn and grow from the lessons on the ground to make sure we protect israel and all the citizens against these awful attacks. [applause] jeremy: it is a combat zone. you know more about combat that everybody in this room put together. how do you feel about this moment and the state of israel? sen. duckworth: i think there's a existential threat to israel, every single day from the founding of israel and that is why we must remain strongly allied with israel. i was hit by a rocket propelled grenade and i know what iraq is due to human bodies. that is why i think it is incredibly important that we in the senate and the legislature support israel and defensive
capabilities. that is why i am calling for measuress of defensive so they can protect the people. [applause] jeremy: you flew combat and set historic records for women capability and conquer -- and talk to us about one player in the region, iran, and the impact it has. it is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world and could tease of the existential threat to israel. be and astinues to essential threat to israel. i do not support of the crappy iran deal. i supported the trump administration getting out of
the deal. it did not address their missile capabilities, ballistic missile capability, maligned activities in the region, support to the terrorism to hamas and hezbollah and the assad regime. across the way, they wanted a bridge to be the threat of israel and we need to stop them. the rightt was of having to do. i am disappointed in our european allies for trying to find a workaround. they are the real threat and this region and we need to squeeze the vice grip tighter using all elements of economic, diplomatic determined to stop that threat from israel. jeremy: your perspective on the iran as a threat it poses in the region. think iranian: i
regime is trying to oppose america and israel. i think there are four specific things. increased diplomatic efforts to publicly condemning, pull the continent -- public condemnation of what israel is doing. greater intelligence sharing. we should relieve unclassified information to educate the world on what iran is doing. the america people do not understand what iran is trying to do. we need greater military cooperation with israel, greater training exercises. i can but increase cell -- sales. we need to cut all the cash and increase sanctions. hezbollah. you have, all of these debts cut off the money and the funding an increase of the sanctions.
model ofhis is a bipartisanship, two women combat veterans, pilots who show you can achieve any height if you work together. thank you. [applause] jeremy: that was terrific. german: our next guest is chair of the senate foreign relations committee were he plays a vertical role in shaping u.s. foreign relations. he has a long track record of working across the aisle to craft a pass legislation and ensures israel can defend itself
by its self. and a shoe -- in a few short months as chair of the formulations committee, the center has made his presence known leading the efforts, the bill we discussed to authorize aid to israel and combat efforts. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, a great friend of the pro-israel movement, senator jim risch. [applause] thank you, mr. chairman. please have a seat. mr. chairman, thank you for being here. you are new and that's role of chairman of foreign relations committee, a critical committee when it comes to the u.s.-israel relationship. how are you approaching this new role? over a lifetime, i
have developed a system for handling. i started my career as a county elected official and spent almost 30 years in our state's senate. i was lieutenant governor, governor and now i have been here for 10 years on both the foreign relations committee for 10 years and the number two person. stranger to this stuff. the way i am going to approach of this and i have already is what you do is go out and assess the battlefield and see what you have and execute a plan. pretty simple. unfortunately, in this a lot ofr instance, times, things are out of your hands as far as what you want to do. the system drives you instead of you driving it. as we go forward in the the 21st century, i am convinced china
will be a real challenge for the united states. i think the 21st century unlike the 19th and likened the 18th and 17, a competition between great powers. , russia is not necessarily rising but very aggressive. those are going to have to be addressed. the middle east has always been a focus for the united states of america. i intend to keep it up that way. as far as other things are concerned, venezuela has come up recently and we are going to have to deal with that for i want to approach of this on a exercise. it should be. we're all americans when it comes to foreign relations. [applause] the very first ability you managed on the floor as chairman included authorization for security for israel. why is supporting israel so important to you? s1 is anh:c s --
important bill and it has several components and they should all be looked at. we have had a 70-year-old ship with israel. -- relationship with israel. we have cultivated an indelible bond. cooperate and business, scientific research and innovation. we cooperate on many governmental operations. deep sharedas values with the united states when it comes to believes about human dignity, freedom, freedom of worship, freedom of expression and all the kinds of things that make up the core of human rights for us. s-1 was about all of that. it was about supporting our close friend jordan and holding the assad regime accountable for the acts that have taken place in syria.
and lastly, finally, we need to mention very importantly the elephant, the donkey in the room and that is the part that dealt legislation for bds is pure, unadulterated racism. there is no place for that in america. [applause] the jewish people have been really discriminated against for centuries. bds is an attempt by people to continue that. it is wrong. it is un-american. it should not be allowed. this bill addresses of that for you i hope when you dissent on peoplel,, remain the that it passed with a 73 out of 100 votes in the senate. the house,ends and pick a that bill up, pass it and do not use it bds as an excuse
to get out of passing it. [applause] jeremy: there are voices the arc is supporting israel is not in america's interest a you have been a advocate against of them. how do you respond? sen. risch: israel is absolutely critical to the interest of the united states and the middle east. we all know from a geographical standpoint what a dangerous neighborhood it find it self and. it is the only democracy in the middle east and our best friend there. it absolutely is important that we have that relationship with a such an important actor in a such an important place. we all know what i'd read has been doing, combating their behavior is incredibly
important. , partnership with israel and doing that is most important for you jeremy: i want to pick up about iran in the region, its influence in syria and iraq and yemen. is ae iran and him as a missile program. what should america be doing to address iran's influence? sen. risch: we have done something important. i spent a good share of the eight years before trump fighting very i was full about it, a lot of us so strongly about it. when president trump became president, i personally lobbied him to get out of the jcpoa. i cannot be more proud of our president and doing that. [applause] i argue with our european friends all the time. i do not get it and i tell them, i do not get why they want to
hold hands under the table. they should be joining us to fight the things that iran is doing, not of the least of terrorism. the europeans has as much of an interest in it than we do. we will continue to bring our pressure on iran permit last week, that administration sanction an additional 31 individuals involved in the regime's of various programs that are unlawful. one of the most underreported things that i hear about to various sources is how bad conditions are on the ground in iran. america is america is still the 900 pound gorilla when it comes to financial matters. our sanctions are really, really important. they are having a great effect on iran and we need to continue those sanctions and prosecute those sanctions, and eventually
that is going to undermine the regime enough that the iranian people themselves are going to rise up and do something about what the horrible things that the regime is doing. we ought to support them. [applause] the other important thing is the demographics in iran. i forgot the exact statistics, but there's a tremendous percentage of the population that is under 30 years old, and they have a different view of the world, generally, than the current regime in iran. that is one of the lights at the end of the tunnel. [applause] >> one place where iran has enormous influence is in syria, obviously on israel's northern border. we saw the announcement this week from the administration about the golan heights and wanted to get your perspective on that. again, syria has been a real
problem for us, and it dovetails in with the problem we have with iran. iran is causing tremendous difficulty in syria, and i applaud the president's decision to leave limited ground forces in syria, and i encourage our european allies to make similar contributions to that. it would be a very, very bad thing if iran was able to construct an overland road through syria to connect with lebanon and with hezbollah, who we all know is merely a puppet of the tehran administration. >> and senator, mr. chairman, finally there's the perennial debate in foreign policy about the proper role of the united states. should we be more involved? should we be less involved? should we follow our interests? should we follow our values? should we be more parochial, more global? how should we work to advance our shared interest that this critical time? >> i think one of the things
that struck me when i first started 10 years ago on the foreign relations committee is how big this planet is. it is shrinking, obviously, because of communication and every regionn, but has some kind of a problem. the united states cannot be the policeman of the world. having said that, we also have to pick the places where american interest are very important, and when they are important, we need to step up aggressively and we need to do something about it. i think the united states should continue to promote our values, to promote our shared vision for prosperity, and for human rights all over the world. >> thank you very much. all americans are grateful that this man is the new chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. thank you, chairman jim risch. >> thank you. [applause] ♪