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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 18, 2013 2:00pm-9:01pm EST

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living this program cause the u.s. house is about a gavel in and members will start their legislative day and hold one minute speeches on any topic. legislative work starts at 5:00 eastern. members will debate by bills including one to create a website to list all government any votes requested will take place at 6:30 eastern. now, live to the house for.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. help us this day to draw closer to you so that with your spirit and aware of your presence among us, we may all face the tasks of this day. bless the members of the people's house. help them to think clearly, speak confidently and act courageously in the belief that all noble service is based upon patience, truth and love.
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may they be great enough to be humble and good enough to keep their faith always regarding public office as a sacred trust. give them the courage and the wisdom to fail not their fellow citizens nor you. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from the northern mariana islands, mr. sablan. mr. sablan: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentlelady rise? ms. foxx: i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: sure, without objection. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. the panic and frustration felt by millions of american families is real. they all heard the promise, if you like the health care you have, you can keep it, and they believed it. but families in my district are experiencing something different. canceled plans, premium hikes and uncertainty. mark from north carolina tell me, both and my wife are over 60, retired and self-insured. we received letters saying our health insurance policies are being canceled. the replacement policies cost more than twice as much.
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if we accept the policies, we will be paying $798.20 more per month for insurance. the same goes for john from advant. he writes, my wife has had her premiums increase from $200 to $600. we've had this plan for six years and thought we could keep our insurance. mark and john were given a promise by president obama. telling them to wait one year when the promise is broken for good isn't an honest solution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from the northern mariana islands seek recognition? mr. sablan: i rise to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, 40 years ago, hosea -- jose, a visionary from the northern mariana islands, founded the acific insurance underwriters.
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hotels, tourists and investors were starting to appear. yet, we were still in our economic infancy. insurance was hard to obtain, many did not appreciate the value of insurance. it took courage for him and his partners to invest in pacifica. but over 40 years the business has flourished and pacifica has lived up to the great responsibility of every insurer. when the need arises, they have been there for their customers. pacifica has set an example of corporate responsibility with contributions towards causes and volunteer activities throughout our community. we all feel proud to witness a homegrown company with humble roots do well. so join me in congratulating the owners and employees of pacifica insurance underwriters on their 40th anniversary. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition?
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mr. burgess: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to rise to aaddress the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. burgess: mr. speaker, last week i asked the question, what does it take, what does it take for someone to get fired by this administration? we are faced with the serial incompetence of the rollout of the website. well, then late last week someone was fired. but not for incompetence but for daring to criticize the administration. the district of columbia insurance commissioner, william white, criticized the president's ruling on allowing people to keep their insurance. the next day, commissioner white was fired for being public in his criticism of the administration. well, if the president is so eager to see people lose their jobs over the problems with the -- with his health insurance takeover, i've got some suggestions on where he could start. what about the director of the center for consumer information and oversight, this was the person who was supposed to oversee the building of the website and misled
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congressional committees not once, not twice but three times over the past year. what about the chief information officer for the center for commear and medicaid services? mr. president, what about the secretary of health and human services? instead of people losing jobs for simply disagreeing with the president, we should be holding those people responsible whose overwhelming incompetence has caused these problems in the first place. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from the virgin islands seek recognition? mrs. christensen: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. christensen: thank you, mr. speaker. republicans just can't take yes for an answer. the president not only addressed the unintended consequences caused more by insurance companies in the affordable care act and the law has benefited millions of people across our country and republican and democrat -- in republican and democratic districts. no one is happy with the problems with the website but i've been on other websites recently who have been around
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longer that had glitches. c.m.s. is reporting progress every day. even though they expect to have it fixed at the end of the month, anyone who knows about technology or wants to be honest what they're going through, improving the website will be pretty much a constant process. the republicans need to stop on the repeals they know are going nowhere and focus on jobs and the economy that will speed up our sluggish economy. and the cohorts need to stop telling people not to sign up for insurance as is being reported. they need access to reliable, affordable affordable care act. the affordable care act beginnings to give that to us and they wants the benefits of the a.c.a. and for us to work together to upholds the law of the atlanta, not just some but all of them. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition?
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mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, the president has broken his promises to the american people. because the administration's strained interpretation of health care plans under obamacare, millions of families continue to receive policy cancellation notifications destroying jobs. last week the president made another unrealistic promise when he offered to provide a quick fix to this problem. at the same time, he threatened to veto the keep your health plan act, the bipartisan legislation that passed the house last week, which allows him to legislatively follow through with his pledge. common sense tells us the president is putting politics over policy when it comes to implementing his signature health care takeover. the administration is out of touch with the struggles of american families who are experiencing a result of this destruction and intrusion of our health care system. the best way for american families to experience relief
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from this law is for the president to work with house republicans, to repeal and replace it with sensible solutions. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. i appreciate the dedicated personnel of the u.s. naval hospital. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from princeton, new jersey, seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> nearly 13 million americans have benefited from rebates from health insurance companies. 105 million americans have received access to from presentive services. nearly 30 million women are receiving free preventative services, up to 17 million children with pre-existing condition health conditions are no longer denied coverage by
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insurers. mr. holt: young adults up to age 26 have obtained insurance on their parents' plan. nearly 100 million americans no longer have a lifetime limit on their insurance coverage conch. more than seven million seniors in the doughnut hole have received $8.3 billion on their prescription drugs, more 4.4 million seniors had annual wellness visits under medicare. mr. speaker, rather than making the affordable care act successful, republicans are telling americans they want to rush to the days when insurance companies could tell those with pre-existing conditions, sorry, you don't deserve and cannot purchase health insurance. 46 times republicans have told americans that if they reach their lifetime limits, that's just too bad. 46 times they've said if they want to keep medicare part d doughnut hole and keep medication unaffordable, that's the way it's going to be.
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mr. speaker, americans deserve access to affordable, quality health care. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approx president obama is having senators from both parties over to the white house tomorrow. reuters reports they will discuss the nuclear program. ony are due to meet again
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wednesday. the u.s. and other suspected is aimed at developing atomic weapons. the pan -- the plan has been andsed by israel and france also by republicans and some of obama's fellow democrats in congress who argue more sanctions are needed. the impact of digital currencies will be examined. c-span will have more live coverage of that hearing. johnson love to show off the texas hill country and her home. it gets to the ranch would gather here. we have a few things that speak to her connection to the room here.
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she had an eye for copper and collected various items. mrs. johnson gave a tour of the featured1968 where she some china seen here. mrs. johnson spent a lot of time here at the ranch. it was important because it .rovided the rest >> first lady, lady bird johnson, tonight on c-span and c-span 3. >> now a panel discusses legal challenges to go u.s. drone strikes. they examine obama
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administration policies regarding to drones and other policies. after the panel, you will hear from two other speakers who talks about how her community has been targeted by u.s. drones and a pakistani member who says his country's sovereignty is being violated. summit that of a was held in washington, d.c. someone from code pink introduces the panel's moderator. this is one hour and 20 minutes. >> we want to bring up our next speaker. you can come to the podium when your term comes -- when your turn comes, but i want to introduce the moderator. panel isator of this somebody who has many qualifications to speak on this issue.
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is a professor of human rights at the thomas jefferson school of law. she is the former president of the national lawyers guild. she is also a criminal offense attorney. many booksuthor of and her latest one, which will be coming out next year through the university of california press is called "drones and targeted killing." marjoriee a hand to cohn. much, and all the courageous work you stop theanize us and madness and stop the killing. thank you.
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besides being immoral and ineffective in stopping terrorism, in fact drone strikes and targeted killing make us more vulnerable. drone strikes and targeted killing off the battlefield art you legal. that is what this panel is about. we have some wonderful speakers today. i am honored to be on the same panel with them. i will briefly tell you about them. that we will get the international law work for drone strikes. and then i am going to talk about the u.s. governments justification for drone attacks and targeted killing and talk pendingme of the
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legislation and then we will open up to questions and delay -- and answers. she is a research professor at the -- that's notre dame. she has held that position since 2005. shared the use of force committee from 2005 2 2010. she is currently vice president of the american society of international law. from 1995 to 1998, she was a professional military educator in germany. she challenges government abuses
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including abuses at guantanamo. it seeks accountability for the killing of three u.s. citizens in drone strikes in yemen. and i'll a lot in a cases obama -- against the government kill list. it is my pleasure to introduce mary ellen o'connell. [applause] >> my title is international and drone strikes the on terror
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zones, but my point today is to clear up the mounting myth that it is lawful to kill people with the use of military force represented by the drones which fires the hellfire missile, a weapon only lawful on a battlefield under international law. as one of the questioners posed we are seeing increasing problems with the law through the campaign. also, god's natural creation which we never hear about -- or wildlife, landscape. in addition, the law is being mangled through the use of drones and the president's attempt to try to justify the use of drones. medea said,, as
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we'll be marking the fifth anniversary of president obama's very public drone attacks in these three countries -- yemen, somalia, and pakistan. the first of the drone attacks outside of an armed conflict zone occurred in yemen in 2002. the los angeles time did extensive reports but the bush administration never formally acknowledged the attacks because it was supposed to be a covert mission that they would not comment on. drone. operated that they launched it from djibouti on the african west coast -- east coast. six people were killed, including a 23-year-old american from upstate new york. timeng in yemen at that amounted to a conflict. for the ciaenough to send a helicopter to the
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attack site, send to agents down .o the ground by rope get back into the helicopter and fly away. no danger to them at all. target, was not even involved in 9/11. the bush administration then expanded its drone campaign to pakistan in 2004. again, it refused to comment on any reports of drone attacks and in fact never commented on whether there was any legal basis for drone attacks. they moved on in 2006 to 2007 2 somalia where it again applied drone attacks. heard criticisms from mr. obama that the so-called global
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war on terror under which guantanamo was allegedly , where techniques of torture were justified was not something we could tolerate in a war with no limits in terms of geo graphic space and time. -- geographic limits in space and time. he said there was no such thing as a global war on terror, yet in january 2009, just a day or two after he signed those executive uses of harsh interrogation, he authorized drone attacks in pakistan that killed, according to a report, killed 20 people, including an entire family, including a local leaders. his entire family died,
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including three children and a five-year-old. to presidentlead obama hesitating for a moment. in fact, the drone attacks continued. president obama authorized it doubling in pakistan over his predecessor, president bush when compared with 2008. by that time, with its hundreds of victims, i had already published numerous articles and a book chapters explaining, as clearly as i could that under international law, there could be no such thing as a global war on terror. i criticize that concept as well as i could and specifically how places like guantanamo word -- by the law. as was torture and targeted
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killing. 2009, i had put online a book chapter i have been working on. a case study of unlawful killings with drones in pakistan. there was some attention to this rather loan voice. because in the spring of 2010, at the american society of international law where i was dean who cared a about his reputation as a champion of human rights, he was working for the obama administration in the legal advisers office. he was obama's lead international lawyer. he stood up in front of an audience of 700 and tried to tell us why, under international
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law, it was perfectly lawful to kill all of these people in non- armed conflict zones with drones. i stood up and said to him, but harold, what you are saying is nothing different than the global war that obama criticized. he shouted back, mary ellen, i did not use those words. i did not call it a global war on terror. armed conflict against al qaeda, the taliban, and the associated forces. [laughter] i have been harold, a law professor almost as long as you. i see no legal difference tween those concepts. [applause] apparently, they were feeling a little bit uncomfortable by then. after harold spoke to us about his attempt, we kept hearing more attempts. different ones.
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by now, i count five or six different, very complicated arguments drawing on international law here and there , but to really manipulating the law. it trying to find something that might convince allies, the public, congress, that's what we are doing is lawful and ethical. anotheruments and then three. in fact, those sympathizers have now moved on. many of my colleagues, particularly in this country have been trying to make arguments that change the law. thereonnell is right and is no legal basis for this, fine. it is so important that we will change the law. this is my own personal activision -- activism. to meet those arguments and call marjorieolleagues like
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and to continue to support the law as it was written. i am going to talk in a little bit more detail with you and not allow this manipulation to change to whitewash this unlawful killing with drones. [applause] have, the critical and important law that we have begins here. it this is the heart of the united nations charter. this is article two, paragraph four. president,ten by our franklin roosevelt. at the end of that cataclysm of the second world war. stand --u.n. was to stand for was to save succeeding generations from war. it is a general prohibition on resorts to military force.
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it is a general prohibition on resorts to military force. it does not permit you to use force if you think it is necessary. if you think it will show your country is more powerful than other countries. you are not to use military force. the un security council told us we could invoke after 9/11. that was article 51. but to look at article 51. this is the provision on self- defense. it allows only a very narrow to force inort self-defense. if an armed attack occurs, we know the armed attack has to be drawn to a state if you are going to counter attack on the territory of that state. that is critical for our understanding of the law related to drone attacks. at the president says we are ofng this under article 51
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the un's charter, it has to be against an armed attack. there's only one thing to purchase told this is a significant case in law to bring that attack. that is afghanistan. to be from my own failure critical in reading their case against the taliban in afghanistan, but when the u.s. worst invaded, at least until the taliban fell, it seems to me where we a case believed our legal case for state responsibility for 9/11 lay. it did not lay in pakistan or indonesia ora or any of the many other cases where members of al qaeda exist. in fact, my committee on the use of force, which comprises 18 people. some of the world's leading international experts, from 15
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countries including five continents. the only places where you can say that there is such a thing as armed conflict are where you have the existence of organized armed groups that are actually engaging in armed fighting. one placere is only where the united states is in such a war and that is that war under the premise of self-defense and that is in afghanistan. since 2002, it is not been a war of self-defense. another impossible basis, but that does not extend to any other place. to lawfully use force in , westan, yemen, or somalia
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have to meet these principles. there has to be at basis. as i just mentioned, under article 51, perhaps it is self- defense. but none of these countries have attacked the u.s. or with a u.s. security authorization. it has not authorized the u.s. to attack anywhere except under their state responsibility under article 51. we have one invitation. that is an apt gena stand. which not have an invitation to use military force in pakistan, certainly not by the elected president of that country. an appropriate invitation from yemen because i do not believe their current leader has set legitimacy to invite the united states in and nor is there really, at this point, is the u.s. effort in yemen's based civil war in yemen. basis, you must also meet these important principles. look at what necessity requires.
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last resort. you tried everything else. you tried negotiation. you tried law enforcement measures and those do not work. even if you had a basis, and i tell you that principle alone excludes the lawful right of using drones. also, you have to think that you have a chance of success. the best counterterrorism information shows is that law enforcement is what works to ine long-term success suppressing terrorism. we do not have a chance of success using military force. abouty, we have to think proportionality. we heard about the kill list. apparently president obama has been trying to get no more than about two dozen people on his kill list. how many have we killed? the bureau of investigative journalism figures well over 4000 persons killed. this is not a proportional way. if you do not meet the
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principles of legality, you are not meeting our modern understanding of just war or morality. so, all this killing has been going on, but we already knew in 2003 when the brave pakistani u.n. rights lawyer, the rep told united nations that that first attack in yemen in 2002 was extrajudicial killing and unlawful. we do not need all these new reports from the u.n. in 2003.y knew nevertheless, we have had report after report and they all continue to criticize. and apparently our attorney general knows that to this kind of killing is unlawful because he said it is not lawful to do it here in the united states. [laughter] if there is no global war
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on terror here, how can this be other places? this is where al qaeda did their worst attack. but he knows it is not lawful. rather, what we're doing here in united states is meeting the principles of international human rights laws. we are holding our police forces to this and support as they may only apply lethal force to save a human life immediately. that is what international human rights laws requires with authorities resorting to leave the force where there is no armed conflict zone. that is the law we apply here in our own country because that is the law we have to apply to meet our fundamental legal obligations to protect the right to life. if there is a division between war and peace. we have definitions in international law what an armed conflict is. outside those areas, we must
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hold our authorities to law enforcement and you cannot deploy law enforcement using a hellfire missile. in may, at the national defense university, president obama indicated the week international basis for these killings. he referenced again this renamed global war on terror. he referenced article 51. medea benjamin broke into his attacks -- [applause] wrong.not say, you are what i'm doing is lawful under international law. i have the best international minds agreeing with me. , the voiced was is of that woman is worth paying attention to. [applause]
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so far, the president has not done so. continue, theyks are still continuing. yes, the numbers have gone down and we should be grateful for that. we should praise the president for that. but in some ways, i am even more concerned about the attacks of gone on since may 2014. in october, bureau of investigative journalism reported that one strike killed five people including eight man. this strike came after the pakistan military -- administrative defense released a figure of 67 civilians killed in contrast to the ministry of foreign affairs which had just of over 400.igure i find that very suspicious. after the death, the planned
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peace talks came to an end. i believe we are yet to hear from good investigative reporters more details on this sequence of events. at a very friendly figure of civilians killed right at the time when international amnesty are giving high numbers and getting the attention of the international community. documentaries are coming out. and then this low number comes out in direct defiance to the administrator of foreign affairs own numbers. and then this man is killed. somebody who we know. and i think we know that those two branches of pakistani government were not interested in the president's peace talks. that has me very concerned. if the u.s. is carrying out drone strikes on behalf of the
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unelected military of pakistan in defiance of the president's own wishes. we have yet to see good reporting on that very important message. 'snesty international excellent report on civilian deaths has this young girl asking, will i be next. we know that her chances today of being killed by a drone attack continue. but it is far more likely she will be the victim of an internal terrorist attack in pakistan without lawful and effective counterterrorism measures. i would like to see the u.s. begin a program of reparation for all of the violence we have done. [applause] but i want to see it in a very particular form. i want to cede united states begin to support he's, provides, peace talks,
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the kind of support and resources necessary to rebuild the criminal justice system of the three countries where it has been attacking, to help build the economy's where there are jobs. through its actions. to reject the unlawful use of drones and take concrete action for keys. it thank you very much. -- action for peace. thank you very much. [applause] >> hi, everyone. thank you for being here. it is energizing to see this size of a crowd. thank you for hosting this. i am an attorney in new york. [applause]
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my work in this area, along with my colleagues began in 2010 when we filed a case challenging the obama administration advance's of the targeted killing. i will talk more about our investigation in a minute adjustment to back up and remind us of the impact of this program. talked about numbers. we know about the fact-finding reports that have been out. it iso say, because staggering and i think we lost a sense of scale. 2005 people have been killed. that is conservative. on the high-end, over 5000 people have been killed. that does not include injured. injury is a sanitized word. it doesn't describe what that means. ebola beennd turned,
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traumatized. psychologically terrorized. it does not include their families who are struggling with loss. the impact of this program is really staggering. strikesjuries are from outside the war in afghanistan or outside of hot battlefields as the administration says. we do not know exactly where else because the government won't say. didou heard mary ellen say, ministration claims that all of this is lawful because the united states is engaged in an ongoing 12-year world war against al qaeda and unspecified associates and may use force outside of actual war zones. it is the universal principles that mary ellen discussed that war was meant to be an exception . the laws of war are meant to be exceptional rules.
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the result of military force is meant to be generally prohibited and that killing is meant to be generally prohibited except for narrow exceptions. there is something fundamentally off-base about the government's position. the exceptions have really swallowed the rules. in his speech in may at the national defense university that marjorie will talk more about in detail, president obama talks about or suggests a scaling back of this program. he announced a new presidential policy guidance which all for a few new criteria that seems narrower. he says there must be a continuing and imminent threat. there must be the in feasibility of capture and there must be near certainty that civilians will not be killed before the u.s. will conduct strikes and areas outside of active hostilities.
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.hat guidance is classified so what we have about it is a speech and a white house fact sheet. far as immanence, let's look at what we know. thatow from a leak discussed the government's belief of its authority to kill u.s. citizens that the justice lawyers,t, or its defines imminence as not requiring evidence of a specific attack in the immediate future. [laughter] imminence is not required -- this is in the memo. or on the white paper. it does not require clear evidence of a specific attack in the near future, but yet it is imminent. byt the administration means capture being unfeasible is completely unclear. we have a speech and a fact sheet. how meaningful it is to say
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there must be near-certainty that civilians will not be killed depends how the administration is defining who can and cannot be lawfully targeted. even if these are meaningfully tighter standards, they are policy standards. they are discretionary. they are not the government's statement on what it believes it is legally bound to. in his speech, obama re-asserted the same world war premise, even as he talked about a future where the u.s. would no longer be continued in warfare. which -- theally means the far edges of its authority are far broader than the criteria it outlined. in august, the washington post quoted senior u.s. officials who said that an alleged threat to the u.s. embassy expanded the of people the
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administration believed it could go after in yemen beyond restriction. we have anonymous statements saying these are discretionary policy criteria. the government can decide to go beyond them when it believes necessary. mary ellen talked about a strike in pakistan in may. saying to, redistribute the force and scale it back. there were 11 reported strikes, people, including children. this is after the speech. officials anded saying they were not limited to striking a legend leaders and even that person is not necessarily a lawful target under the laws of war. but a rising stars and drivers of al qaeda.
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one official suggested that the criteria were looser. that is the criteria that was suggested. litigation.our i mentioned our first case challenging the authorization or constitutionality of the authorization for the killing in yemen. he had been added to cia and joint operations kill lists. counterpart to the cia military. on september 30, the cia carried out that authorization and killed him along with another u.s. citizen. 14,weeks later, on october 2011, u.s. transpired missiles, and at a 16-year-old
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least five others. case,ed a second challenging the constitutionality of those killings. that case is tending in district court. we had oral argument in july and we are waiting for the decision now. our legal argument was pretty similar. it was asserting that the u.s. is not at work in yemen at the time of these strikes. that's the usual rules that theect life apply, not exceptional rules of war. under the usual constitutional and international rules, the government cannot take life without process except as a last resort in the face of an imminent threat.
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it is a very tight standard. and that the circumstances of all three killings violated those standards. for example, carrying out a standing order to kill and ordered that decides in advance to kill a person, decides that there must be imminence at the force is ahat legal last resort at the time it is applied. out a strike that results in the death of seven people, including two children, suggest that a reasonable precautions were not taken to protect by standards from harm. we have an argument in the alternative to it says even if you accept that the laws of war applied, the killings were still violations of the laws of war which still have constraints. just because we're talking about war and the laws of war, does not mean there can be indiscriminate killing. there are constraints on who can beat targeted.
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there must be precautions to .rotect civilian i standards we argue that even under those rules, the deaths of these three people were illegal. but in order for their claims to be heard in court, our clients have to first get through the courthouse door. the government has tried to keep nationaln every security-related case since 9/11. whether we're talking about orchard, rendition, or chilling. or kilure, rendition, ling. in our case, or this case, depending on the government, the -- the government moved to dismiss arguments about the separation of powers and immunity for these officials that basically boil down to an assertion that the courts should have no role at all in reviewing claims of constitutional violation of u.s. citizens in this case when those claims may
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relate to national security. we are now waiting for the court's decision. in defending the government's position, administration officials have protested that their actions are not unchecked because congress retains robust oversight. [applause] it's ok if the court -- that does merit a laugh. [laughter] robust internal processes within the executive. the executive is not an effective check on the executive. [applause] but that congress also has robust oversight. eric holder said in a speech and -- at northwestern law school that the executive branch regularly inform the appropriate members of congress about counterterrorism activities, including the legal framework,
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and would exert the same practice. that was in a speech to northwestern law students. one year later, after the doj white paper was leaked and sparked the greatest moment of debate we have had in congress -- it was about u.s. citizens, even though thousands of foreign citizens have been killed. putting that aside, the head of thatommittee told holder he was considering subpoenaing the administration for its legal memos on targeted killings out of frustration that he had asked her repeatedly and they had not been run -- had not been provided. this is one year after holder said to the public, do not worry. there is robust congressional oversight. since then, there are certain senate and house committees that have been given access to the memos discussing the legal
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authority to kill u.s. citizens but not those discussing foreign citizens. therefore, not the memos to discuss the legal authority about most of the program and the vast majority of congress has not seen any of it. for informingh congress. as for informing the public, the numbers i stated that the outset come entirely from non- governmental sources. many of the journalists and activists you here in this room, there is not a single data point the administration has provided in terms of who has been killed, why they were killed, what the legal basis was for each of those deaths. more potentially who have been killed, the administration has openly acknowledged for. all -- 4. eric holder sent a letter to
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congress, openly, directly, acknowledging what the world new but that the united states had in fact carried out targeted killing operations that resulted in the death of four u.s. citizens. , and others in pakistan. forhose four, it went on several pages about accusations against anwar al-awlaki. it had one other line about three others who were not specifically targeted. for the thousands of others, it continues to refuse to say anything about who, why, where. what it has seen fit to disclose dozengain, and half a speeches, a white house fact sheet, and it anonymously to the press. is as far as our
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one last point i wanted to make before closing and turning it our to marjorie, alongside efforts for accountability and all the issues, the most consensus on trans. she -- transparency and judicial review, alongside those demands i think it is clear we need to equally press a strong, legal, moral, and political critique of what we do know on what has been said and what we do know. i say that in part on someone who has worked on guantánamo for years. [applause] from thatearned experience where there was a great deal of focus on transparency and getting these guys into court and judicial review. we got to the review we fought for four years. it has ultimately been empty. that experience for
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me has really underscored the importance of a deeper critique up front alongside those legal strategies. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, pardiss, and thank you for your critical work in this area. both the bush administration and the obama administration have justified their targeted killing allah sees with reference to the authorization for the use of which congress passed one week after 9/11. it authorizes the president to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines -- and listen to this -- land, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that 2001red on september 11,
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or harbored such organizations or persons in order to prevent any future act of terrorism against the united states by such nations, organizations, or persons. this organization is limited to groups and countries that supported the 9/11 attack. specifically rejected the bush administration's requests for open-ended military authority to deter and preempt any future act of terrorism or aggression against the united states. but deterrence and preemption are exactly what obama is trying to accomplish by sending robots to kill suspected militants. i also want to say that even if did cover whatmf he is doing now, it would still be illegal for the reasons that mary ellen pointed out -- it
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violates the un's charter. it is the granddaddy daddy, grandmother treaty of them all. u.s. laws part of under the supremacy cause of the constitution that says treaties shall be the supreme law of the land. one of the takeaways from this session is that the next time you hear someone drawing a dichotomy between u.s. law and international law, make sure you tell them that if we ratified a treaty, it is part of u.s. law. some people on the supreme court do not understand that. [applause] in in february 2013, a department of justice white paper was leaked to the press, and parties referred to this. it describes the circumstances under which the president could order the targeted kidding of -- killing of u.s. citizens.
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there had not been a large outcry about the targeted telling of non-u.s. citizens, thats many people learning usa could citizens would be targeted, there was an outcry. there was a filibuster and people were upset that citizens might be killed. tutu torred desmond write a very poignant letter to the editor date in "the new york times" saying how dare you saying u.s. laws are more precious than lives of other people? so i put together this anthology that was referred to >> of course, archbishop tutu, and he agreed and that is the premise for the forward to the book, he that is one of the key things, based of course thomas this
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decision between u.s. citizens and non-u.s. citizens, based on nothing other than, but certainly overwhelmingly aced seen acism and also this phobia that america is exceptional, that u.s. citizens are more viable than citizens of other country, and that is something we have to take head on and just disabuse that notion every time we can. [applause] in may 2013, as international droneism targeted obama's policy and the continued indefinite detention at guantanamo, where detainees were starving themselves to death and military guards were violently force feeding them, torture, the president delivered a speech and parties refer to that speech. obama explained -- and i will go
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like this when i'm quoting -- the united states is at war with al qaeda, the taliban, and their forces. he did not define who those us were seated forces are. although he suspended his use of targeted killings, obama proclaimed america does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists . our preference is always to detain and rescued them. obama refer to the killing of bin laden as exception, because capture, although our preference, was remote. yet it was clear in the u.s. soldiers arrived at the compound of the people there were unarmed and bin laden good had been captured and brought to trial. obama admitted the cost to our relationship with pakistan and the backlash among the pakistani onlic over encroachment
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their territory was so severe that we are now just beginning to rebuild this important partnership. in view of pakistan's considerable arsenal of nuclear weapons, obama took a substantial risk to our national security in breaching pakistan's sovereignty, like an assassination operation. as obama the liver to his remarks, the white house issued a fact sheet containing policies and received cheers for counterterrorism operations, but did not release the full presidential policy guidance. the fact sheet says the policy of the united states is not to use lethal force when it is feasible to capture a terrorist suspect. it provides that lethal force will be used outside areas of active hostilities only when certain preconditions are met, but it does not define areas of active hostilities. a target must, according to the
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fact sheet, must pose a continuing imminent threat to u.s. persons. the fact sheet does not find continuing or imminent, but as parties said, the leaked department of justice white paper says a u.s. citizen can be killed even when there is no clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interest will take place in the immediate future. that renders the imminence requirement a nullity. there must be near certainty at a terrorist target is present, that capture is not undefined.lso left the way the obama administration defines civilians is very creative. [laughter] if someone is a male between the ages of about 16 and 65 and located in an area of suspicious
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activity, then you are not a civilian unless you are posthumously declared to be a civilian. there can be a clarification that you really were a civilian. obama mounts two different kinds personality- strikes for individuals and signature strikes that do not target individuals, that target areas of suspicious activity. if you are found in an area of suspicious activity, happened to be walking through, you're fair game for obama's targeting, and as you know, "the new york times" had a large exposé on obama's kill list, which john brennan, was involved in cia torture during the bush administration, then became to counterterrorism adviser for obama and is now our cia director, which should warm your once a-- this till list,
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week on terror tuesdays, they sit down and obama makes a final decision on who he is going to assassinate that week. back to the fact sheet. eight chilling -- that governmental authorities cannot or will not address the threat to u.s. persons, also left undefined. a shelling must be made that governmental authorities in the target country cannot or will not -- i am sorry, already said that -- and no reasonable alternatives exist. a legal basis is required for the use of lethal force, but the fact sheet fails to define that legal basis. whenever it may involve, it surely includes -- it surely theate treaties ratified by u.s., including you and charter, but unfortunately, from what mary ellen said about a position, that may not be the case. would excuse all
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of these preconditions when the president takes action in extraordinary circumstances, which are both lawful and necessary to protect united states or its allies. no definition of extraordinary circumstances. now, the concern about drone strikes has entered the national and some in congress have begun to hold hearings and some legislation has been introduced in congress, and i am just going to briefly talk about some of that. the first hearings on the use of drones for targeted killings took place in april of this year , and the hearing was called by durbinmajority whip dick . the obama administration failed to participate, although they were invited, not sending any witnesses. what we should be asking is, why not? been passed, but
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some have been introduced into congress. let's briefly look at some of these bills. presented of mike were just and chris -- representatives mike burgess and chris gibson have introduced legislation about weapons'used within the united states. presented a bill for those outside the united states. although there is a reference to that. ted cruz -- you have heard of him -- mike lee and rand paul have introduced bills outside the united states to kill u.s. citizens. from my neck of the woods, and other representatives, including republicans, have introduced a know about rocketed killing. it is more specific than the other ones. and it reads, a federal
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department or agency or the armed forces may not deliberately target a citizen of the united states or a citizen of a strategic treaty ally of the united states in a preplanned lethal operation unless the preplanned lethal operation is planned and executed resort to a written determination signed personally by the president. confirming the status of the targeted citizen as an enemy combatant, and authorizing the deliberate lethal targeting of the citizen, be articulated for such action. it says nothing may be construed to authorize the deliberate targeting of a u.s. citizen inside the territory of the united states. now, i just want to say a few words about the use of alarms within united states. -- the use of drones within united states. in february congress allowed
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drones to fly in u.s. airspace by 2015. four states have passed legislation limiting the use of andes within their borders, 32 state have pending legislation to limit the technology. past may,earing this the house judiciary committee subcommittee on crime, terrorism, and homeland security and investigations discussed legislation to protect fourth amendment rights without limiting the potential benefits of drones, and there are some attentional benefits. they can be fined -- they can be used to find missing children. i have a friend who has a photography drone, who has an iphone hanging from the drone, as it flies around and takes pictures. that is not the drones we are concerned with. police used drones force
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surveillance. they are doing this more and more. us is not just to catch the criminals. it is also to surveillance people engaging in lawful dissent, because the government has a history for many, many years them from the beginning, in fact, for targeting dissenters, notwithstanding what the first amendment says. the border patrol -- ok, this is my last sentence -- [laughter] to useder patrol wants armed but nonlethal drones. i think that means rubber bullets -- the police the border. that has not been approved yet, but there are some moves to include that in an immigration bill. we need to use the same sentence. we need to use all the tools we have. we need to use political polls, through congress. we need to use political tools to direct action, and legal tools to stop this madness. thank you. [applause]
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-- we do not have any, ok. we have answered all your questions, so it is probably not a problem. [applause] you can catch any of us and ask us a question, we will be happy to answer. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> i know it is difficult, and you should get up in your seats and do some stretches, because
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what we're doing now, and we run a tight ship, is we are going to have our first yemeni delegate speak about her experiences being under drones. yemeni allominent addition, a powerful young female, who is instrumental in the revolution that overthrew the president, and now she is part of the influential national dialogue conference that is deciding the next yemeni government. she comes from where a lot of drone strikes take place and can speak profoundly about what goes on there. heruld like to introduce and her translator. [applause] foreign language]
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youhe would like to thank for coming here, and she will not be talking in english, so i hope you bear with her for the translation. thank you. [speaking foreign language] >> i am from an area that is considered desert like. it is very urban. it is not like what you see in the united states. [speaking foreign lanugage] when i came to washington, i
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realized how beautiful it is here. i love their life. i realized how amazing it is. theyuestion is, why don't let us live the same life in yemen? [applause] language] iforeign >> as a child, we all knew what the united states was from tv and movies, and that is for us who could afford tv. recently, the u.s. has become well known against -- almost all yemenis from adults to even children.
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[speaking foreign language] strike happened in 2002 in my specific area. [speaking foreign language] >> 2010 was the first dramatic drone strike, and that was the one that completely shocked us all. [speaking foreign language] another was the first one who
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act against terrorism, and he was working against the government, and he was the first target. [speaking foreign language] and hads the first one, nothing to do with the terrorist attacks. from then on is continued on. we always thought drones in the sky and constant noises -- we could not sleep or do anything. our days were completely disrupted.
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the drones are supposed to be targeting one specific whatrist, but that is not happens. it actually targets thousands of people who are in a particular area. these drones go around for four days in the sky, and we are always wondering, who is the next target, who is it going to be question mark so we live in complete fear for these four days.
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during this time i cannot explain the fear we leave under. you are standing there, wondering what is going to happen next. something is flying in the sky. you know either you or the people with you are going to eventually die. and we always wonder what is it that we did, that we did that bad for this to happen to us, when we had nothing to do twith this? we live under fear. we are thousands of people, and al qaeda if this, if has children or women in it? are these innocent victims the people who are supposed to be
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targeted? the ironic part is the target, that is mostly terrorists, they are constantly victims that are from 16 to 30 years old. as yemenis, we are against terrorism. we do not support terrorism whatsoever. we wonder, who we have to pay for this cost? do we have to with this terrorist attacks? do we have to be a part of this?
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my tribe in specific witnessed this. we cannot get help from the government or anyone else. the most recent one was during eid, a holiday that muslims celebrate. imagine this having this occurring during this time. what had happened was there was a drone and there was a car, and what we were told was this happened right at my area, exactly.
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and the three innocent victims were young boys, of law, ssan, and theyl-ha were actually in school during this time. the question is do these people deserve this, and if so, is there any type of questioning whether these people really are part of al qaeda summit these innocent victims that are constantly dying? do we have a confirmation that these people were part of al qaeda?
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these drones that are supposedly here to target al qaeda, my place, we have never even heard what al qaeda was them so how are these people coming and trying to get these al qaeda members when we do not know there are al qaeda members there question might -- question mark -- ? before the united states came here, we did not even know what al qaeda was. ever since then, since these young kids were introduced to al qaeda, they have been trying to take revenge from the u.s. because they do not know what is going on. they have strangers coming in at attacking them and their
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families. and once again, i would like to repeat that us as yemenis, we are completely against terrorism, but that means we are against al qaeda as well. if you all are against al qaeda, then you must be against road as well, because if you are for drones, then you are for terrorism. [applause] my one dream, to go back to my country, to my area, and live in peace, just as you live in peace here, and i hope one day these
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drones will completely be put to an end. [applause] thank you. [applause] >> thank you for giving entesar the kind of welcome she deserves. and thank you for doing the translating. theid not have her on schedule, because we thought it was so important for the c-span viewers to hear from the yemeni
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delegates, cause their panel is in the afternoon after c-span is filming. we will have time with entesar and the other yemeni delegate for questions, but we want to thank you for sharing with us, i give for coming all the way from yemen to deliver such an important message to us. [applause] we apologize for what our government has done. off ofalso going to go the program for another couple minutes, because we have a special guest who is here, and we also want the c-span viewers to be able to hear from a representative of the pakistani government. we are very honored that you have joined us here, and i'm very proud to introduce a person who is a member of parliament for the party, the pti, that has
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spoken on the issue of drones. welcome, and thank you for joining us. [applause] >> [indiscernible] thank you. ladies and gentlemen, i am from pakistan, and my country is a victim of drone strikes. , and iou for inviting me see some faces who were there in
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pakistan, and we together and to which isiristan, protesting against drone strikes. thank you for coming there and for raising awareness about this fundamental issue for our country. the government says that drones our precision weapons. they say that they only kill terrorists. but we know that that is not true. what they are saying is not true. we have documented hundreds and thousands of people who have been killed, women have been killed, children have been noncombatants, civilians have been killed, and it has led to a great reaction in our country. it has led to a great reaction within the area of where these
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drone strikes happen. they say that drone strikes reduce terrorism. we say actually what is happened is that drone strikes have increased terrorism, have actually increased latency. if you look at what happened five years ago and you look at what happens, is the situation today, you would find that militancy and terrorism, instead of going down, has gone up. strikes.op these stop this because otherwise we will never be able to all -- to overcome the problems that we face. we would never be able to overcome the constant barrage of terrorist attacks that pakistan is going to. they say that they are for peace. , on the ground, the
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situation is that just last week all the10 days ago, parties in pakistan had decided that we need to move forward and find a negotiated, peaceful solution to the insurgency that we have in pakistan. just a day before, when the parties were about to meet, there was a drone strike, and that drone strike completely anytaged and destroyed possibility of negotiations and peace. and as a result of the person who was killed, we are no friends of his. he was an enemy of pakistan, and he was an enemy of the people of pakistan. but that is not the issue. the issue is not that a certain
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person was taken out. the issue is that the entire process of negotiation and the peaceful solution to our problem was completely destroyed by this drone strike. when we talk to them, they say, well, it was a target of opportunity. it just so happened that it occurred at this particular time. but in our country, we are very apprehensive that why was it done at this particular time? apart from the fact that our sovereignty is constantly violated, apart from the fact that we are made to feel weak and helpless, but the fact is that these strikes have now pushed back the possibility of peace now for us. i do not know how this thing will start to take off again. because we are really now back to the drawing board.
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gentlemen, this conference is very important to us. your supports is critical to us. we deeply appreciate and value what code pink and other friends are doing, because it is only action by civil society that will bring about change. if it is only action by citizens that will bring about change. and i have absolutely no doubt actions, whatour you have been doing, your activism, is beginning to change the environment. i was here as a part of our parliamentary the location, and he went to the hill and we went everywhere protesting against drone strikes, and we see now that at least a lot of people are willing to listen now, and it is only because of your
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activism and your efforts. so we deeply value and appreciate that, and the message that i will be taking back to pakistan is a message that the people of the united states, a vast majority, at least, of the people of the united states to leave that this lethal weapon, this weapon in which the perpetrators are distant and far away and not present and had no that this is just drawing lives, killing people -- this is destroying lives, killing people, and creating insurmountable problems for the people in this part of the world. thank you for giving me this opportunity, and i will certainly tell the people of pakistan when i go back and the parliament, because i'm a member of parliament, i will go and tell them what a great support that our cause is receiving in the united states.
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thank you very much. [applause] >> the house gavels in in at 5:00 eastern to debate five bills, including one to create a website to list all government spending, and another raising the pay for the district of columbia chief financial officer. later, bills dealing with energy drilling. we will have live coverage of the house when members gavel back in here on c-span. johnson as first lady loved to show off the texas hill country and her home. the guests to the ranch would informally gather here in the den, and various heads of state came to visit. we have a few things that speak to her connection to the room here. one of the things she wanted to highlight was the native american heritage here in the hill country, and we have a small collection of arrowheads
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over there. she had an eye for copper, and collected. items to the years and had kids from various friends. mrs. johnson gave a tour of the house in 1968 that was filmed, where she featured the china that you see here, purchased in mexico, very colorful. mrs. johnson spent a lot of time here at the ranch, and it was important because it provided such a respite from all the turmoil of washington, particularly later in the presidency, where the johnsons could come home, recharge the batteries, and make that connection back to the land and this place that they valued so much. >> first lady lady bird johnson tonight live at 9:00 eastern on , also on c--span3 span radio and at . >> panel looks at the dangers running the proliferation of military drug operations around the world. speakers include a journalist and film maker. human rights advocate and a professor who teaches artificial intelligence and robotics. this discussion was part of an
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all-day international drum summit held in washington, d.c.. introduces the panel that runs about an hour and 20 minutes. >> this panel looks at drone proliferation across the globe, something that is so critical for us to get a handle on it order to build the global movement. and the moderator is somebody who i admire tremendously. , he livess chris cole in the u.k., and he is one of those people who is both a fabulous writer. report he did called convenience killing is a very important report to read, and he is constantly writing new articles and analysis. he also runs an important website that you should look warsuk, and herone runs a network in the u.k.
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i had the honor of visiting chris in the u.k. when he is brought together members of this network, and it is groups that are human rights organizations, faith-based groups, and they are people who not only walk the walk, but they talk the talk, and they have as chris has done numerous -- organized numerous of civiland acts disobedience. chris himself has been to prison many times for the cause of peace. he is a writer, and activists, and it is a great honor to welcome him from the u.k., chris cole. [applause] thank you very much. i am delighted to be here and bring greetings from activists and campaigners in the u.k. and across europe. like others, i want to extend my thanks to medea and code pink
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and the others. we all know of the great public work that code pink does raising these issues. but behind the scenes, there is an enormous amount of work that goes on, too. many of us do not see that, but we thank you and ignores you for doing that great work. -- we thank you and a knology for doing that great work. [applause] this panel is about the proliferation of armed drones, and it is extremely important for us at this time. we have heard -- there has been lots of focus on how drones reach international -- breach international human rights law, and that is appropriate, and we think ariella and marjorie for ellen and mary marjorie for pointing that out the story. drones are a threat to international security, and that
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is what this panel is about. i want to talk about the u.k. and why drone proliferation is such an important issue for us. before i do that, i want to welcome and introduce my fellow panel members. first, speaking after meet will ch, a founding member of the german drone campaign, a member of war resistance international, and also an active member of code pink in europe. will be speaking about the challenges and drone proliferation's from a german and eu perspective. on the extreme -- on your um, who left is dalit ba i am pleased to meet. i am looking forward to speak with you asterisk. she's the director of the middle east program of the american friends service committee and cofounder of who profits from the occupation, which many of us will know is a fantastic
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initiative and many of us have used the great research from that, and dalit will be speaking about the israeli issue of drones, so thank you very much. mcmullen unfortunately could not be here from the robert f kennedy center. he was going to look at latin america, but he could not be with us. that gives us more time for the audience to participate. sharkeye, we have noel with us, an old friend, and is the person who has been working on this issue and speaking about this issue the longest. he is professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the university of sheffield in the u.k., and is founder of the international committee for robotic arms control, and is currently very involved in the campaign to stop killer robots,
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as it is called, and will be to bang about the push autonomous weapons, which is a very important issue for us in relationship to the growing uses of drones. . so at the moment three nations have so far used armed drones, the u.s., israel, and the u.k., and about 12 nations, we do not know the exact number, of nations have seen drone strikes on their territory. afghanistan, pakistan, yemen, libya, mali, the pseudo-,es, egypt, about 12 -- sudan. about 12 countries. one of the big issues is the secrecy surrounding them.
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three nations have launched drone strikes, 12 have been victims, but that will be the tip of the iceberg unless we raise our voices and challenge the proliferation of drones. the u.k. first began using an armed predator drone about 10 years ago, when crew began piloting u.s. churns over direct and afghanistan in 2004, so it is almost exactly a decade ago. givenf like a mark being my pusher, written has been hooked on the drone wars ever since. u.k. has now five armed drones in afghanistan. we're in the process at the moment of doubly the fleet, despite the supposed imminent withdrawal from afghanistan, and
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i guess the word "imminent" is fixable in those circumstances as well. we are also -- u.k. is also developing a new drone, a watch keeper, with an israeli company. as a nation, we have spent already more than $3.5 billion fighting and developing drones, to despite tests -- cuts social services that the u.k. has seen here, and austerity budgets, we are about to invest another $3.5 billion developing another brand-new drone under the scavenger program. has seen britain its hand in the glove in developing the drone wars. those of us who have been opposed in war, military inventions -- interventions for many years can sense a sense of
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war wariness among the public. the public is growing more war wary, and that is a good thing. in our country, specifically, around the vote to intervene in syria, which took many of our politicians by surprise. [applause] so will that were we're in this that war wariness -- their interests come first? not likely. unfortunately, and parr has learned many times how to cope with war-where he citizens, and that is important why we are seeing the rise of the drone wars. it is part of the strategy to ipass they need to -- to bypass the need for good telegram. it is part of the strategy to bypass the need for public affirmations for such military adventures. and it is part of the strategy and mediapublic
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scrutiny of military action overseas. and this is not just speculation on my part. a british terry policy document -- a british military policy document was released a few we cigar that shows u.k. military thinking on how to deal with -hat it called a casualty adverse public, and they of course mean our casualties, not casualties, and that includes lowering the profile of repatriation ceremonies, the hiding of the body bags and the coffins when the comeback, reader use of military, private military companies, and of course greater investment in unmanned drones. the fact is that drones simply make it easier to carry out military intervention, and drones enable secrecy and much lower public accountability. besides the direct impact on the
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people living under the drones, and of course, as we have heard this morning and yesterday about -- thate house and should always be the center of our attention. but secrecy and lies comes as part and parcel of the package when you buy in to the drone wars. like the u.s.'use of armed drones in pakistan, there is a great deal striving the british use of drones in afghanistan. it may surprise many people here to know that the u.k. has launched the same number of drone strikes in afghanistan as the u.s. has launched in pakistan, although, maybe a few more weapons will have been used by the u.s. despite having only a very small number of armed drones in afghanistan, compared to the u.s., it is like five british drugs in afghanistan, somewhere drones in, 200 armed
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afghanistan, u.k. is carrying about 40% of drone strikes in afghanistan. the reality is that there is more information about the impact of the secretive cia use of drones in pakistan and the of drones ine pakistan. as we know from reliable reports from organization like this bureau for investigative 2500 andm, between 3500 people have been killed in the number of strikes in pakistan. somewhere between 400 and 900 have been reliably accounted for as civilians. many more will have been civilians, but the recording underizations are pressure of who they can cap. just across the border in afghanistan, is exactly the same
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weapon, exactly the same way, the british say that only four civilians have been killed. is 100 to 200. times that are than the u.s. about drone strikes, or there is something wrong with this degrees. i know what i believe. along comes with the proliferation of secrecy and lies. one lie we are constantly told deaths are a rare occasion. very rare occasion we are told. they hardly ever happen. yet we know from information prized out to freedom of information requests that on average there is about nine weapons launched by a british drug each month, so that is drone strikes, two british drench issa week per afghanistan. twice a week. is that rare or very rare? not by my definition. these people i think cannot help
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but start lying once they are involved with the drug wars. and another big lie that surrounds the drone war that has been proliferated right along with the drones themselves is pinpoint accuracy. is accompanied by the word pinpoint or precise. night, five suspected terrorists were killed in a pinpoint strike. it is almost as though the media believed the missiles are not called hellfire or brimstone, but are called pinpoint or precise. if you listen to advocates of drone warfare, they believe it is like some in first version of the rapture. evangelicalico -- krishan's believed at the end of the day god will take all the good people away and leave the bad people behind.
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rome warfare is like some inverse version of that, where the bad people are taken away, the good are left behind. it is a myth. there is no such thing as a -- as aed accurate guaranteed accurate pinpoint missile strike. it is not me saying this. i went to a military briefing a few months ago but the royal united services institute in london, the british military think tank. it was a session on precision strikes, and senior military commanders for their saying exactly the same thing. yes, of course, weapons are much more precise than they were 40 or 50 years ago, but it took 1000 bomber years to be guaranteed to hit one talker. weapons are more precise than that. the hollywood idea that you can launch a missile and it would kill the exact person is just that, i hollywood idea. we know from the thousands of innocent peoples have been killed. particularly, when you are
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launching weapons from five miles high from a drone, aiming at a moving target, 10 or 20 miles away, through clouds, to bad weather, and when the pilot in lincolnshire hits the button secondn 2 1/2 and a four- delay before the weapon watches. there is no thing as a guaranteed pinpoint precision hit. some of the weapons are 500 pound weapons, and u.s. military says to be safe from a 500 pound explosion you need to be more than i've hundred meters away. -- van 500 meters away. an 500 meters away. the big lie that they have proliferated along with drones is that they aren't effective means of obtaining peace and security.
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tell that to the thousands of peoples who have been victims of drone strikes or the thousands of people who have lost family members in suicide bombings launched in response to drone strikes. who said that the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it? even bigger than that lie, even bigger than the lie are that drones aren't effective means of measuring security is that they are the only ethical option. i didn't know about people here, but i often get told that drones are the ethical option because is what, masson ground troop invasion of waziristan or mass use of tomahawk cruise missiles. we are told that drones are the only game in town, as leon panetta put it. according to that argument, of course, anything could be ethical, you know? biological weapons could be
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they cause less harm than nuclear weapons. any option, anything to be ethical if you can think of a worse option. that lie is worthy of joseph goebbels. [applause] are you rooting the laws of war and human rights built over the past six years -- 60 years and have we have heard the story, but the proliferation of drones around the globe are doing serious damage to global peace and security. drones are seducing politicians away from engaging in political and diplomatic solutions to international problems. out is in favor of taking the bad guys. these people are becoming gangsters. drones are luring us away from proper, long-term counterterrorism in favor of wack-a-u call it,
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mole, here in the u.s. justice advocates is to stop the rise of the drones by stopping their proliferation around the globe. thank you. [applause] >> i would like to welcome elsa now. thank you. >> i'm glad you mentioned goeb bels, because i am coming from a now for threenows toerations what does it mean violate the rule of law, to destroy the rule of law, to consider your country to have an
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certain people in your country to have an unlimited right to kill? and even if the drone strikes are not as massive as the holocaust, and even if guantanamo is not as large as the concentration camps, qualitatively it is the same. and this is shocking to germans. this is shocking to people throughout europe. and my belief, and our believe in the drone campaign them is that the reason the u.s. and israel, also, are pushing their drones, besides wanting to make sales, is not the they are really looking and thinking germany is going to compete with them military or or france, either, they want them to join the gang, they want little signs of approval from the heart of civilization that it is ok, sayce, germany, english
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rule of law. we know that england is not really part of europe. you do not have a euro. you spy with impunity, together with the u.s., on the rest of us . and you guys basically see us as not really allies, but sort of in the middle, between allies and enemies. but of course there are people in the german elite who would like to be in the same position and taken into the club, and there are others who feel differently. anyway, a lot of what i am going to talk about is about -- but it is about three things, and i hope it is not going to be too long. one is the u.s. violation of german law him on german soil, by the use of illegal drone strikes, which has been coming out more and more in the press, and also involving german intelligence agencies in
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murdering german citizens in places like -- the second thing i want to talk about is the driver of certain into german military and government to acquire weapon --ed drones -- what a nice weaponized drones. in germany the parliament absolute strives -- absolutely to strives -- absolutely describes whether we get drones or not. pressure thatical the people can bring to bear in a certain way in germany that is not the case here. and the third thing i want to talk about is the interest of the weapons manufacturers, and you read many news reports. what chris said is true. only three countries have so far used our drones, and only two of
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a declarede battle area, and that is the u.s. and israel. he would like more in the club. it is my job that they would like more and club. it is our job in europe to stop them. regarding german complicity, now, germany acts as a headquarters for secret u.s. wars in africa, and germany is a european hub for cia operations and the training ground for the expanded u.s. drone attacks worldwide. agreements going back to the cold war period have given the u.s. intelligence services and military a free reign in germany , but a series of investigative articles that began appearing at the end of last may in germany has revealed that he the u.s. is using germany as a key base are targeted killings. [indiscernible]
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ok, that is germany, that is all you see that a lot of the u.s. occupation is clustered in germany still, and these are from a new website investigating all this in germany that is done and e -- a major newspaper the ndr tv. this weekend.ive i want you to see that germany is still where the most u.s. bases are in europe by far. 43 thousandis some american soldiers in germany operating a total of 40 with terry basis, one of which -- operating a total of 40 military bases. [indiscernible]
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are your numbers out of order now? i am sorry. ok, so to the right here is where the american soldiers drones, flying even over germany and civilian areas, and they also train with drones. to the left is, because is peopk where it is. it is not on this map, but where you see the big hospital, about five miles from there is ron , it was thestein key for all the wars in iraq, afghanistan, and so forth. that is the central command where they have now being directed. and then in stoop guard we have --ro calm -- stood guard
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stutgart we have agrocom. -- africom. the the permission of german government on the condition that the u.s. would keep it quiet. that the place would not be known. so they had already previously been doing some things there. so, show me -- let's see. on my computer. [inaudible] ok. these are all the bases that have been established lately out in stoop guard. secret the hub of the operations in the middle east targeting eminent -- yemen.
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thethiopia they host flights over somalia. there are many, many more, all of them directed around stewed cart. know aboutt to target identification, they are working on 1500 computers in ramstein, surveying on huge monitors reconnaissance drones in african airspace, guiding the drones to the victims who have been targeted. the actual pilots are in the u.s.. ands really over ram stein it goes to these bases in africa where the actual drones are launched. anyway, there is a lot coming
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book ismy coming out -- he was a collaborator -- the decisions on who will be executed comes from stood guard. but when this came out the chancellor's government claimed to know nothing about it. many legal scholars and political people in germany were outraged. also, the opposition in the parliament, they said perhaps criminal proceedings needed to be taken against the german government for allowing this. they said that the killing of suspected individuals with the help of armed drones outside of an armed conflict situation is being an excess or he in abuse of international law. your team members of the party in parliament filed a criminal lawsuit against chancellor merkel and several other leading
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government figures. that was dismissed by the which is oferal, course in the executive himself. the attorney general has stated that his office is doing an investigation as to whether there was criminal implications towards germans regarding what is happening here. also -- also clear now that ramstein is also being used for drone strikes in pakistan. it is also the click -- the case the german authorities systematically provide information from asylum-seekers. the information is used in u.s. drone attacks. like if you come in from whatever, from somalia, you want asylum, then they interview you at blank and pass the information on to the u.s. and the u.s. can do a drone strike on them. on the fourth of october we had one case where a german citizen
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came before the legal , germanies in germany citizen of turkish descent was killed by four other people with the u.s. drone strike in pakistan. of october, 20 10, possibly with the assistance of german intelligence. the attorney general was required to investigate as to whether war crimes had been committed against their citizens. on july 1 it was announced that after three years of investigation and a long time trying to determine if they had jurisdiction they said that they would not prosecute, claiming that they believed that he was a member of an armed group involved in an armed conflict and not a person protected under international humanitarian law, but the way they got this information was they were holding his brother in prison in frankfurt.
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even if they did not believe the information, supposedly the brother said that his brother was a terrorist. i do not know what kind of pressure the brother in frankfurt was under, but in any case there had been a prime time german television show interviewing the family and all of that -- i really have to hisy here -- saying that german employer, he was working as a gardener, saying that he was a wonderful person and it was very hard to believe and maybe it would be challenged. the second debate is about if the german military should acquire use of armed drones. been now germany has leasing three surveillance drones for the war in afghanistan. they occasionally request of nato partners to carry out drone strikes in afghanistan. minister andfense the ruling party decided they really wanted armed drones.
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they went around and negotiated withthe u.s., negotiated israel. they did not really discuss it with the parliament. when the parliament found out about it, there was public outrage also. this was the point at which we launched -- this all started in the summer of 2012. we were on the campaign in march of 2013. and now i have to explain something briefly or you will not understand anything about german or european politics or how we could actually challenge them. just one second here. ok. this inys hear about the news, but some of you know this and some of you do not, but a sickly we have many parties in the parliament. the parties, when an election
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occurs they almost never have a majority, to parties or three parties have to join together to make a majority. yeah. basically, were able to win over for the drone campaign re--- the green on the left. we got the spd to surprisingly, before the election, say that they were against drones and for an international ban of folia taunus weapons. wereow the cdu -- yeah, we -- fully autonomous weapons. and now the cdu -- the situation is that they are negotiating to do a coalition government, to come up with the policy for this new government. even though it has been very important, what they are saying now, there was a story in der spiegel that came out on
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tuesday, everything is ok with subsequent report saying it is more complicated. i would just like to read you the short excerpt of what this government thing will say, because it is still a coalition agreement that is very good for us. we categorically reject extralegal killers using armed vehicles. both parties together. reading three threat -- three work for germany will the inclusion of armed, unmanned vehicles in arms control agreements and work towards a binding international ban on autonomous weapons systems where humans are not responsible for the decisions regarding their deployment. both of these statements are new. this is where they waffled. before making the decision about these qualitatively new weapons theems, they will examined
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constitutional law, security policy, and ethical issues. germany is too complicated, more complicated than england, especially all of europe, to go over weapons development, but we will have to talk outside about that. >> thank you. [applause] thank you. >> ok, ok. >> hello, everyone. i am very glad to be here today.
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i am going to talk about [indiscernible] and i am going to be cheating a bit, because i will be doing -- will not be doing a lot of talking about drones. i should be, israel has become the largest exporter of drones in the world, responsible for warty one percent of all drone exports. it is also a huge financial business, four point $6 million in exports in the last seven years or so, which i am sure also influences political decisions and decisions about how to use them on the ground. i am going to say a few words about why is that the case. fabulous,ael such a fabulous success in exporting and using those drones. i will not give the entire reasoning. i think i am going to focus on one or two reasons.
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one reason being, of course, the israeli occupation and the great impunity that israel enjoys in continuing their occupation and how it is used as a laboratory for new weaponry. more specifically i am going to focus on data. do not know if you can see the map, that is a map of the west bank and the way it has been administered. one more click, this is gaza. a very small piece of land, about 185 miles from south to north. between three and four miles in the narrow area. that is all, it is a very small piece of land, 1.6 million people are living there. there are refugees, refugees from what is now called israel, refugees that have lived in that area since 1948.
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what is really striking about is israeli control of gaza that it really is controlled from the outside. you can say that this is a fantasy of control. i would call it an ocd fantasy of control, where everybody and everything is considered a source of contamination. people are treated as ticking bombs. and how the control from the outside includes the control of the population, for example. no persian would be born there that would expect any kind of identification without being registered with the israeli authorities. they have lists of everyone's names. it is so crucial that when they attacked in 2008, they sent text messages to people whose houses were about to be bombed. they have -- they had the numbers for the people according to geographic location.
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ever cross a terminal in and out of gaza, i have not, but i have seen them, you see how the fantasy of control goes. these terminals are machines. machines with special i call talkingat to the wall. the wall is talking and you can respond. you do not see people, no contamination because of the potential risk of getting too close to people. there are balloons in the air , all of the internet and phones are controlled. there is a total control of the food coming in and out. a special army unit in the israeli army that has all of these dietary discussions of what the gazans should and should not eat. the control goes into the very detailed people's lives,
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it --ated on the idea of of the expandability of these people. they are exposed to the israeli state power. they have no advocates outside. they are also refugees from within israel. israel has a vested interest in keeping them locked up, keeping them there, not having any kind -- i don't know, negotiated solution to that historiography of them being refugees. there are drones in gaza, of course. in fact we have reports of in the healthng hospitals, saying that people systemfrom immune syndromes, they are the most susceptible to diseases because it.iving in under
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but i am actually going to talk to you about three separate stories, none of them are about aerial drones, but it will make it clear what happened with the switch to remote-controlled weapons and autonomous weapons. about theis caterpillar bulldozers that were used extensively by israel in low intensity. the idea is that you go with a ,igantic 50 foot tall vehicle heavily armored, into the very narrow streets of the refugee camp. in my story is the refugee camp from 2002 in [indiscernible] going through the different bombs that were put there to protect the camp being shot at, nothing happened, destroying houses and the inhabitants, taking care of the insurgency in the refugee camp just like clearing it out.
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at the time the palestinians claimed there was a huge massacre as it was cleared out manner, theer -- israelis called it a lie, but there was a well published report in their leading newspaper from may of 2002 interviewing one of the operators of this -- of these monsters. i will read some of the things they said. "i took down a few more. they were just in the way. it raced and erased. the people in the houses that we were destroying would come out. i never saw people dying under the scoop or buried under the rubble, but if there were any, i .o not give a shit i am sure that people died in those houses, but it was hard to see. if anything i feel bad that i whole camp."oy the
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this guy worked for 75 hours straight inside the bulldozer. he could not come out because things were exploding around him. he was very safe inside, taking down house after house. when asked out he did it, he said he had a bottle of whiskey with him and he was not wearing anything. naked guyagine this with a towel? very drunk on whiskey? taking down houses? 45 hours straight. i apologize for this, this is from a soldier's blog. one of the things that happened after 2002 was the used unmanned bulldozers. this is what they use now. in the latest incursion -- in the two latest incursions they used a tremendous number of these going in as a line of
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unmanned bulldozers that were remote -- were remote controlled , destroying the houses. ofs was done in the interest saving lives of soldiers. there was never a d nine operator killed in action in israel. they are very safe inside the bulldozers. it is about perception. the idea of not having such. the next story i want to tell you is about women in the israeli military. the israeli military takes great pride in having women in military combat -- not combat, never in the battlefield, but military duty. there is in fact a draft for women in israel. traditionallys associated with women is being observers, spotters. wouldare these -- what you call them? sentry towers all along the border.
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they have these sophisticated century equipments. there are women very far from specific watched the areas next to the fence up to one kilometer. these are all women, it is only women. these sentry boxes were also equipped with guns. the women were allowed to use guns and shoot and kill. they were granted the license to kill for the first time. i will show you some more. these are only women operating the system. this is a very gendered language, in the feminine, very obviously it is women. they can detect anything unusual happening in that area. this is an area where people live, work, a very fertile area. they can decide to criminalize the actions.
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they get some kind of ok and they can use their right hand, i think, for the guns, the left hand is for the camera. i want to show you a short video, but i want to apologize first, because it is a snuff video. if you do not want to look, look away for a minute. average your eyes, if you will. you can see people being killed here. use your imagination. this is at nighttime. this is a night vision system. a heatseeking system. and this was after midnight, 2009. three people were killed, one injured. according for -- according to the center for human rights these were better when young youngnarmed -- beduin men, unarmed.
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medical supplies were not allowed in until the next afternoon. i think it is important to kind of see what we are talking about. can you go back to the powerpoint? where were we? thing are doing the right . >> one of the big discussions around this system was not about the automated use of weapons or the human touch or something like that, but the idea of who is a warrior, because women were not allowed on the battlefield before. the claim was at this time that the killing was being done by what they called females and geeks. to as kind of a threat class of masculinity, i think. a romantic notion that what grants you the right to kill is being endangered, yourself, or being exposed to danger. ok? ok, let's go on.
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i will just show you two more systems that are used. i think we have one more on the map again? the computer mixes them up. if you look at the map, you can see that around the land border, the pink area, this was covered by the sentry towers. the area in the middle, of course, is all covered by drones . they also do surveillance. and then there is also the sea border. only three nautical miles are allowed after the failed attack on gaza last year. as you can see, this is a huge part of the gaza area. i have the number somewhere. of all theike 35% agricultural land is covered by this no access zone. 85% of all the viable fishing
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fields are covered by that no access zone. around there, there is also an area of light blue, and i do not know also if you can see the dark red around their, to get there you would die, that is it, you are dead. used, this iss one, it is not taunus vehicle that was developed by the israeli aerospace industries. you can see the areas highlighted in red. these are all saying to reduce harm for human life. it is all about reducing harm to human life. even though these cars are doing something that soldiers have not done before. they are not there to replace soldiers or save the lives of soldiers, they are allowing the army to do things i have not done before. for theseent around
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surveillance and patrol machines armed with guns. they patrol not only the gaza borders, but also the northern borders of israel and the areas around the west bank. another brochure shows how they scatter warriors on the border, or something like that. in some of the promotional videos these machines stop and say go no further. block, block, block --blah, bl ah, blah. these machines do not have microphones. you, you talk at cannot talk to them. to control this border there are these cute little animals that are called desk chart. they are sold as the protector of unmanned vehicles, something like that. they are used to attack fishermen.
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one more -- again, they can shout at you and they come with the same idea -- i think this will be the last thing i want to share with you. the idea is very similar to the idea of sentry boxes. we have a surveillance system .hat is there to detect risks there is a huge confusion that comes with using these technologies. it is not just the between the warrior and the non-warrior, or between civilians and enemies, or between the war zone and the all of these distinctions that are being erased by the use of these technologies, but there is sort of big confusion about what is risk. they detect the risk, which is some sort of a shift from the normal thing that happens in that area that they have been looking at for months and months. there is no room for any error
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with the risk. we cannot allow any case in which there is risk. because there is no room for any error, the systems are calibrated in such a way that there is huge room. because you have to calibrate it somehow, and that is what they do. it is better than people looking for work. what if they are? withhe risks are confused risks that have to be eliminated immediately and have to be eliminated by force. once the surveillance system is in place, looking for the worst possible scenario, 9/11, i do not know what, but in the israeli military language it is called closing the circuit. it means i have to call it in to come and shoot the person. so, the women sitting with visual equipment, they call in the troops. they call in a helicopter to
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come and bomb. the circuit is only closed when the risk is eliminated. then comes the engineers and they say that they can close the circuit much faster and more efficiently by letting the person with the binoculars have begun. that is called closing the circuit. now in the israeli military the same words that they use for the name of this system are used across the military. for many the types of systems in the battle are not like that. you detect it, you destroy it. point and shoot, there is nothing in between. this is a real shift from orveillance to armed drones armed killing. i think we should think about that when we think about the surveillance in the cities of cameras everywhere. what if someone comes and says there is a killer outside shooting people? what if we have just a big machine gun on top of the empire state building or something? i think that is a cautionary tale. thank you.
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>> thank you very much, scarlet. thank you very much. we appreciate that. [applause] welcomeery delighted to noble sharkey to speak to us about the growing push towards much more autonomy. they were talking there a bit about some of the systems in israel that are being used that are autonomous. knoll is going to speak to us much more about the push towards autonomous systems. >> cannot rely on technology, no. [laughter] this is all deliver it, by the way, just to show you how
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difficult technology is. [room noise] >> is there a microphone working here? ok, good. let me just start my timer. trust other people
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timing me. i would really like to say that i am very pleased to be here again this year. but i will not, because i am not. i am disappointed here again this year. how many more years will we have to have drones summits before we stop this nonsense? i am going to be talking about advances in technology. the only thing i have to say about the cia this year is -- will you stop killing civilians and saying it was collateral damage? will you stop murdering children and saying it is necessary because it was high-value targets? do that and we all love you? like hell we will. [applause] what i am going to talk about
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are the next steps in the technology and what we are trying to do about it. this is jody williams, by the way, who got the nobel peace prize for banning landmines. i will be getting to her in a few minutes. the other two are terminators. my question is -- who in their right mind would automate the decision to kill? i am going to be talking about autonomous robots and autonomous weapons systems. i am not talking about abandoning autonomous robots. i do not want to ban my autonomous robot vacuum cleaner. what we are trying to get and is to kill function. plans at the moment are to develop machines that would select their own targets and kill them with slight human intervention. imagine how bad it is when we do
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not have anyone supervising. it will get really bad. i will show you some of the challenges. sevenb --e export he x47b, the future of unmanned navy navigation. it has been designed for use aboard -- python]e from monty >> you get my opinion of these weapons, i think. [laughter] i am going to show you the proper video of this. this thing, you see what it does. it is a toy for the boys. x47b, thee technological dream machine that is the future of naval navigation. it has been designed for use of
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aircraft carriers. it will become the stuff he is unmanned system ever to take to the sky. >> this is working completely without a pilot. range on0 times the board the u.s. air force fighter jets. weapons getting better so we need to get further back from the pacific weapons that do not have pilots deciding on the targets. one of the big issues, these are vast subsonic aircraft. one of the big issues is that it there are faster and faster weapons. if it is getting so fast, slow down a bit. what is the hurry to kill people?
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>>, aircraft that can think for itself. .> that is the british mantis fully autonomous intercontinental aircraft. about here is everyone talks about things in the sky. these are not the only robots being used in warfare. these robots are about this size. you do not want he and -- people being killed by bombs. made by the same people that make my vacuum cleaner. look at this. it has little robots on top of it. you can see a black box.
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[explosion] is for minet that clearance. of course it is. really use that in autonomous mode, it is so small that you could just knock it into a pit, really, you could aid a little bit. the defense advanced research agency of the united states have developed this thing, fully autonomous, it is called the crusher. seven tons. >> we teamed up with the defense advanced team for carp -- darpa to create the crusher. onthis has been going secretly since 2002, 2003. you can go onto the internet and read the u.s. military roadmaps and the is all there. here is the guardian. we have already seen that.
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china, russia, israel are developing these on the grind. it appears to be on autonomous submarine hunting submarine. it is getting absolutely ridiculous. draw a moral line somewhere. we were late getting a rack together for the drones, but we cannot let it get to the next step. let me say a bit about international humanitarian law. not much. we have lawyers here. we have you guys and on the other side we have the necessity or he ends -- necessitarians, saying that you do whatever it takes to win a war. they do not like me putting this as a tug-of-war. they say there are more shades of that. look, we do not care what they say, do we? is thatlem with robots under international humanitarian law we have a principled distinction -- distinction that
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any weapon must undergo a test that you can distinguish between a civilian, a child, a soldier, a wounded soldier, a surrendering soldier. these have got to be done. you have got to do these tests on all the weapons. you can misuse them, but the problem with these weapons are they are indiscriminate weapons. i have been working on intelligence for 30 years. if it is in the woods or near the woods and there is a truck with a tree branch behind it and you think it is a tank -- we are at a crude level here, pushing forward beyond the limits. the idea of proportionality, providing it is proportionate, robots cannot do that kind of judgment, cannot make that kind of decision. it is crazy, really. and they cannot be held accountable either. what we are doing here, i will
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quickly go through that. you cannot see this very well, but last year in october, 2012, a small group got together and we collected new york on the wooden initiative there with jody williams. we have the human rights watch re, article 36, the harvard , weclinic arms control began to hatch a plot to get these weapons stopped. human rights watch delivered a report on this. of november of last year, on the 21st of november, the u.s. department of demand released a green light for research and development on autonomous weapons systems, but they said they would not use them for the next five or 10 years, so that is all right.
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so, what we did next was in -- ourf this year we plot came into fruition and we launched a campaign to stop killer robot from the u.k. parliament. we bagged 44 from 22 countries that included drone wars in the u.k. and they think they have joined us as well. [applause] now, since then we have been pushing like crazy. i admire that we have been allowed to be arrested and convicted, but we do not do that, working at a diplomatic level. we do not have maimed limbs or anything to show, just scientists saying that this will not work. we are pushing hard. every time the u.n. and i meet
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you try to educate the delegates. that is our big thing. what has happened is in may, one month after we give it, one month after we launched, in the human rights council at the u.n., the anti- drone guy for the extra special killing at the u.n., he went to the human rights council and asked for a worldwide moratorium on autonomous lethal robot. [applause] this was good, we helped him a lot with this, 24 nations showed up to the event. against nation spoke the moratorium. i am embarrassed to say it was the united kingdom, of which i am a citizen. ringing] whoops. not quite my time done.
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it is autonomous. the u.k. said -- we do not want to moratorium. i was very embarrassed, it being my country. the next day i went out and applied for my irish citizenship and am now an irish citizen. [applause] what can we do about this? we can try to get a treaty, just like custom in landmines, but in the meantime there is something at the u.n. called ccw, where you have five protocols that prohibit things like biological and chemical weapons. we have been pushing them, speaking to the new president. the new president is from france. i have been talking to the french military about this for years. we spoke to the french president of the w, he was on-site and he proposed we put this over for discussion at the u.n., but that requires a mandate.
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there are 170 nations and anyone of them could veto it. we spoke to the u.s. delegation, we had a good long meeting with them and they said they would not block it. that was good. they would manipulate it, but they will not block it. we spoke to a lot of nations about this. we just spoke to the u.n. in geneva and we ran the site passed them again, explaining the weapons to them. all of the nations came to that event, it was really packed. yesterday we got a mandate for discussions, funded discussions to start next year. [applause] >> so, my big worry, though, i have to show this, these are my youngest grandchildren. i just like to show them. they are very cute. these are the people i am worried about, the people who are going to suffer from these weapons. these are the people who every
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four or five years become to government and governments say they will not use them, we will do this and that and be very careful, but the next government inherits them and they might not be so careful. on it goes. if we do not stop these by the time they grow up, they will be everywhere. as my friend over here says, they will already be used for border control. we have already seen traces of this. i am going to the u.n. workshop gainingry to talk about access to access denied areas. i do not even know what that is report back will next year unless we stop them by then, which would be lucky. i do not want these children moving into a time. where we have the complete automation of warfare. this is the peak point of the industrial revolution. this is a factory of clean and sanitized killing where we do not even have to think about it, we just have to machines doing
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it for us. really what i want to do here is stop killer robots. [applause] >> thank you very much. i am extraordinarily delighted to say that we now have some time for questions from the audience. we have about 10 minutes, 15 minutes before we go to lunch. if we could have short contributions from the audience? this gentleman over here? >> [inaudible] engineer at these sort of events. [inaudible] there is a common perception technologicalnd
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development is inherently neutral and we use it to others to decide. the example they are protesting , i feel that equally at fault is the fact that we are engaging in this work and this kind of technology development. how would you -- what would you recommend -- how would you change the work that we do? i do not want to leave it to others to decide what to do with my work. how can i inherently blame something else? >> i will take a couple more questions and then come back. thank you. >> [inaudible] pakistani students were change. i have questions i will go over quickly. one is specific to pakistan.
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there was a report in "the washington post, the --," talking about an agreement between pakistan and the usa on drones. it was very frustrating for people like me, pakistani citizens against drones, against what they are doing in pakistan. talking about how anti-drone he is, you see that there were very few other incidents with one face on the cover. i just want to understand how this splits with the spread of drones. haveand more governments agreements that they are not able to control on their territory, with the u.s. intervening on their behalf. how can they prevent that? the second question is -- try to look at it from the necessitist's point of view
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-- i do not know if i pronounce are we talking about getting rid of killer robots but having people and interventions by actual u.s. citizens? what is the actual reporting here? >> that is three questions. about thequestion, scientist? you want to do that? >> very little. there is nothing much you can do about science, it progresses all the time. you cannot stop people from developing autonomous robots. it is not doable. what i think is they will take, especially in the united states, if you are running a robotics lab in the united states, you take funding from the military. that is who gives out the funding. they come to you with big piles of money in your hand and they put words in your mouth.
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they tried to put words in my theh about this, that, other thing. the trouble is that scientist to need the money sit there and nod their head and keep the money. what i say to scientists all the sake, tellfor god's them the truth about the limitations of the technology. the military, the politicians are being given a sci-fi notion of how this stuff works. that is what you need to do. the one thing you can do, why we want a new protocol or treaty to totally ban the kill function is because otherwise scientists will develop it. that is the easy bit, the kill function. you just have to strap a rifle on and put censures on it. we have to have a treaty to stop it. >> the second question, if that is alright? i am really sorry, could you
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summarize your question again? >> she was asking about the implicit agreement in pakistan. >> what i wanted to say about that, i do not know about the implicit agreement, but i do know that the violation is taking place all over the world. not only in the targeted countries. basically what has happened in germany is there is an implicit agreement that is not actually legal. it has not been agreed to by any -- by any parliament, by any courts. this is a worldwide problem. it is not a good answer for you except that we have to create a climate of public opinion and i believe europe plays a key role, but certainly pakistan and other countries need to start speaking up and saying, which they are in their government program, that this is not possible.
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wethe short answer is that have to go by what the pakistan government and pakistan people say. no secret, implicit agreements. you just wanted to come in as well? >> for the first question i wanted to add one sentence, in israel it is very evident that when the industry and military are on the ground, it goes both ways through the developments and needs of the military, but also in the development of specific military actions for the needs of industry, she had a second question about the strategy. there are some problems that cannot be solved by force. just saying. applause]d
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>> anymore questions? >> [inaudible] ,ll of us who are paying taxes the handful of money comes from all of us, maybe all of you. i always say that it has got to be a moral to continue to pay $.60 out of every dollar for warmaking. listening to these lawyers, their -- it has got to be illegal. it feels like torture. if these weapons are illegal and nor am bird tried people for complicity in illegal actions, is it not illegal for us before -- court of god or law
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[cheers and applause] >> [inaudible] only canadian here. i do not know. here is my only question. >> [indiscernible] [laughter] >> thank you. my question, i want to be clear on this, about these how to arrive in our midst autonomous drones with license to kill. this license to kill, do you think they will be given like actual identities? or will these be more like signature strikes? this type of person, you must kill. is there an answer to that, yet? >> how will we get our younger people more involved and aware,
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to be more active? i look around the room and most of the people here are older people. [lots of people shouting] the younger people need to be more involved. >> thank you very much. answering these three questions, that is all the time we have this morning. -- shouldthe question we stop contributing and paying our taxes? no. i want to answer the other one, actually. i think we should when we have a campaign starting in germany to do that. i wanted also to briefly in germany -- i feel it is a wonderful campaign but at the same time in most of the world, we are trying to stop from
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getting combat zones. i think that for a victim it does not matter if it is a fully autonomous system or has a pilot. we brought our petition here, the english version. we would like to have as many signatures as possible. for our german petition, no combat drones. i will not read the whole petition, but we are seeking -- we have to say that the waffling forces in our government say that they are against autonomous, but the strong force is really fighting against the band combat drone in countries that do not have them yet. >> one sentence on the taxes. i never save a when i talk about this military stuff, i always say we because i feel responsible as well. i am a taxpayer. we are all responsible for this.
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it is nonsense of the distance being doing this. they are doing it on our behalf. we should be able to stop that. in terms of the drones, yes, there are attempts to look at the signature strikes, but they are useless, you cannot do it. you just kill everyone. what you will do is try every to comply with international humanitarian law. that is what we will do to begin with. but there will be massive proliferation. killing peoplee left, right, and center. >> thank you very much. i am sorry, we are out of time. this is just been the beginning of the drones summit this morning. in answer to the person about how to get more young people involved, come tomorrow. tomorrow is about the campaigning. >> do not go, i want to say before we lose the c-span feed in one minute that we want the
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people not only here but who are watching this else where -- and this will be played many times by c-span -- to get involved in these issues. tocan go to find out more information, but we need a lot -- much larger movement. join us and you are joining in with a global group of people who believe we can solve a lot of these world problems by peaceful needs. we do not need killer drones or killer robots. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] facebook, people knowing your dog's name, all of these things. one security analyst said that
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if the government had asked you directly for that sort of information, it would have taken money, it would have taken lawyers, it might have even taken guns to get you to cough that up, but we routinely do so on social networks. we also do not think about the fact that our google searches are tracked. i like history books. google searches, if the fbi chose to look at them, would be very incriminating. i am looking at different date rape drugs, things like that, for my mysteries. people sitting there with their computer think they are engaged in some secret activity not knowing there is a big eyeball on the other hand keeping track of the things that you do. >> i know you are and i sell you laurie anders on "the communicators." johnson as first lady love to show off her home.
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ranch were often here. we have a connection to the room here. one of the things she wanted to highlight was native american heritage. we do have a small collection of arrowheads over there. she had an eye for copper and collected very i -- various items through the years and had various gifts from various friends. she gave a tour of the house in 1968 which was filmed which featured the china seen here. mrs. johnson spent a lot of time here at the ranch and it was important because it provided a respite from all the the turmoil in the presidency. a could come home and recharge their batteries and make the connection back to the land and displays they valued so much. >> first lady lady bird johnson tonight at 9:00 eastern on c- span and c-span three.
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also on c-span radio and c- >> the house is coming back in session now to debate bills.
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20, the chair will postponefurther proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? -- virginia. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek
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recognition? >> i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2061 as amended. 2061, a bill to expand the federal accountability and transparency act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency in federal spending and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. issa, and the gentlewoman from from the district of columbia, mrs. norton, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. issa: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. issa: mr. speaker, substantially the same bill was passed in the previous congress,
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the digital accountability and transparency act or data act is an important piece of legislation in that it will create the opportunity for government to be more efficient, more effective and more transparent. the american people deserve real accountability on how the taxpayer dollars are spent now more than ever. it is unacceptable for federal spending on data currently to be so inaccurate, unpredictable, inconsistent and quite frankly, expensive. nobody can follow the money at the federal level these days, in spite of the fact that we spend over $82 billion on i.t. political gain is often had or lost every time a major funding -- program funding proves to lead to a deadened, whether it's a billion dollar program for the
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department of defense and now the challenge faced in, it is often easy to point fingers. if we are going to handle large data in a which we get predictable success rather than failure, we have to start by demanding that data be structured from the day it is created and form ated in a way that makes it capable of search, downloading in bulk and manipulating both for the benefit of insiders trying to find accountability and outsiders, legitimately exercising their right to know how government is spending their money. it will examine ways to streamline reporting requirements. this will decrease the burden of federal financial reporting for agencies and for states, school systems and other recipients of federal dollars. we found during the recovery act that the recovery board using
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data act-type transparency was able to find huge amounts of waste, fraud and abuse and do it in a transparent way in real-time because they required recipient reporting. recipient reporting in a perfect world would already have taken place, but we recognize that consolidating and improving the way in which data is compiled needs to come first. therefore, between the pilot in is bill and in fact, the requirement that we begin structuring data the way the s.e.c. and other agencies have, will, in fact, make this legislation a money samber for the act. this is widely supported. a companion legislation was introduced in the senate. their legislation is substantially similar and will be made into a son sole dated bill, one the american people
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can have confidence, was thought of over multiple congresses and well vetted and assured the american people that we will not congress and in congresses beyond, some of the mistakes that have been made in the past. with that, i ask for early consideration of this version of the act and would note that we passed out of our committee unanimously and by voice, not just in our committee, but in the last congress, a bill substantially similar. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from from the district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i rise in support of r. 2061, the data act and am pleased to work with the chairman as we continue to
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reconcile this bill with the senate bill. the data act will provide the public with information about how the government is spending its money. this will hold agencies accountable for their spending and it will result in a more effective and efficient government. the president emphasized the importance of access to data when he issued an executive order that requires government information to be released in ways to make it easy and find and use. it would require government spending data to meet those same requirements through data standards issued by the office of management and budget. it requires that spending data be available through a single eb site. h.r. 2061 authorizes in addition, the recovery act board through the year 2017. and requires the recovery board to conduct a pilot project
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involving direct reporting of spending information from recipients of federal money. there are a couple of issues hat i hope will be resolved as the bill moves forward to the senate. during the committee markup of this bill, ranking member cummings requested that the bill be amended to address two specific concerns. one of those concerns was the need to ensure that stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback before o.m.b. decides whether to extend the pilot project on recipient reporting. the other issue was the need to ensure that o.m.b. has the option to extend all the requirements under the pilot project or just some of the requirements if a director determines that is the best course. just as the chairman led h.r. 2061 through our committee on a bipartisan basis, i'm hopeful that chairman issa will work on
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the same basis to address these outstanding issues. this, however, is a good bill, mr. speaker. and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield to the gentleman from virginia, leader of the house and big supporter of data reform one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman from california and i want to thank him as well as the gentlelady from district of columbia for their work on the data act. mr. speaker, i do rise in support of the digital accountability and transparency act. the american people deserve a functioning government that is both open and accountable. the data act is an important step to achieving this goal because it will publish federal spending money and transform it from disconnected documents into
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open, searchable data for people to see and read through online. this easily accessible data will create an abunt dant amount of resources and opportunities for innovation to occur. it will bring about new start-ups and innovators which will be aimed towards turning this data into actionable information. this information can be used to help solve some of our nation's most pressing problems and help all of us better determine where we can better eliminate waste. over the last year, mr. speaker, i had the privilege of visiting a civic startup called code for america in california. it is an organization that is committed to helping solve problems primarily at the local level. it has a long list of programmers and developers, who are ready to take action across the country. they want to use their skills and apply those skills to help government and its citizens be
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more efficient. but they first need to know when they go into a locality, whether the kind of information they need is going to be accessible. we can begin to do that today here at the federal level. with the passage of the data act, we will be one step closer for american people holding bureaucracies accountable. federal spending data will be easier to access under this bill. there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the rollout of obamacare over the last month and beyond the core problems causing the cancellation of individual insurance, beyond the core problems of the laws causing increases in cost for millions of americans, one of the more frustrating issues is the lack of transportation on the part of government bureaucracy. we just continue tell what the
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information is. how many people have really signed up for obamacare? we don't know whether it's people who purchased it on the web site. very, very frustrating not only for folks around the country but those who want to try and help the situation so government is not cramming down on to anyone its present subscribed method of health care coverage. the data act is an opportunity for both parties to come together and to demonstrate that we're serious about creating a more open and effective government and about holding government accountable. let's pass this bill so we can restore trust with the american people. i thank the gentleman from california, chairman issa, as well as the gentlelady from the district of columbia and other members of the government oversight and reform committee
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for their work and i urge my colleagues to support the bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. ms. norton: i have no further speakers and i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. issa: i yield myself such time as i may consume in closing. i thank the gentlelady from the district of columbia and note this has been one of those shining examples of behavior by the committee and i suspect the entire congress. i might note earlier this month, the senate homeland security and government affairs committee voted unanimously to pass the senate version of this act. we will be very shortly in an opportunity to begin making these kinds of changes. look forward to that and look forward to this kind of legislation in the future and i urge all members to vote positively on this fundamental
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reform. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2061 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the -- mr. issa: mr. speaker, i call for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california requests the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r.
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3343. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 43 -- 3343, a bill to amend the district of columbia home rule act to clarify the rules determining the determination of the compensation of the chief financial officer of the district of columbia. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. issa, and the gentlewoman from district of columbia, ms. norton, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. issa: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative day within which to revise and extend their remarks around include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. issa: mr. speaker, a capable chief financial officer is paramount to the fiscal health and integrity and defensiveness of any organization that he or
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she oversees. the district of columbia is no exception. just the opposite. the federal city is perhaps the most important place for people to look at a microcosm of whether or not the federal government can be fissically responsible. in the 1990's, when the district of columbia was bankrupt, congress at its discretion and the direction of this committee stepped in with sweeping legislation to help the city's sinking financial ship. included in the reforms, the establishment of an independent chief financial uffers to oversee the city's finances. since the creation of this position, congress has come to rely on the d.c. c.f.o. to give an objective, unvarnished pick tchoifer city's finances. the d.c. c.f.o. is our best window into the financial stat tutt of -- status of the federal city. the bill before us today spends no federal dollars, it allows
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the district to use its own locally generated funds to pay its c.f.o. as much as a member of the federal government senior executive service can receive in total compensation. i know that men and women here on the floor understand the senior executive service but for those who may not, we have throughout the government hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of positions that are very senior that make, in fact, at times, more than members of congress. these are specialists. these are highly trained career professionals that in fact make up to, but not more than, the vice president. back in the 1990's, when we created this position, we established an amount that seemed reasonable at the time. today, establishing a more flexible amount, one that can change over time as the senior executive service changes, makes more sense. ultimately, there are c.f.o.'s
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throughout government, some of them controlling less responsibility and smaller amounts of funds and certainly significant less and complex relationships than that of a city of over half a million with countless different departments, including obviously the education of children, the security of the federal city and the like. for that reason, it seems only fitting that we link it to a salary that is at least, can be at least as great as a senior federal service. now ultimately, we are not mandating a salary. we are only allowing the city to recruit someone who is created by act of congress to serve this body as a window into our oversight of the federal city. this legislation was supported unanimously by the government form and oversight committee last month and i urge all members to support this important technical change to
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the charter for the city of the district of columbia and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: thank you, mr. speaker. i associate myself with the remarks of the chairman. i rise in support o-- of this important legislation with special appreciation to majority leader eric cantor and particularly to chairman issa and ranking member cummings. for quickly marking up this bill so it could come to the floor expeditiously as the district is in the throes of hiring a new c.f.o. i will have more to say on their indispensable support presently. the district of columbia's independent chief financial officer is a unique office in the united states, created by congress. the city cannot obligate or expend funds without the c.f.o.'s approval and the c.f.o.
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cannot be terminated except for aws -- for cause. today's bill, which contains a formula developed by chairman issa is an important example of the chairman's continuing commitment to assist the city in improving and safeguarding its vital operations. when the current c.f.o. announced his retirement earlier this year, the mayor formed a c.f.o. search committee. led by alice rivlin, former head of the d.c. financial control board, the office of management and budget, and the congressional budget office. and former mayor anthony williams. the search committee determined that the allowable compensation that is in the bill is necessary for the recruitment and retention of a c.f.o. but the district government does not have the authority under the home rule act to alter the
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c.f.o.'s compensation. this bill would amend the home rule act to permit the d.c. government to pay its c.f.o. an amount that may not exceed the pay of members of the senior executive service and agencies with an office of personnel management certified appraisal system. currently the home rule act sets the c.f.o.'s pay at the basic pay for level one of the executive schedule. the bill's compensation standard , as was the term of an interim c.f.o. under the d.c. chief financial officer vacancy act, which we got enacted earlier this year, was established by chairman issa and is supported by the city. i am particularly grateful to the chairman and also to majority leader cantor for their continued partner shitch on
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legislation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the district of columbia government. as with today's bill, their assistance was indispensable last month as the congress was bipartisan -- as the congress, with bipartisan 4e7 from the senate, agreed to remove the threat of a d.c. shutdown by permitting the city to spend its local funds, its own locally the d taxpayer funds for entire fiscal year, 2014. federal agencies spending authority expires on january 13. t the c.r. -- but the c.r.o. that congress approved matches the city's responsibility to raise local funds with its right to therefore spend these funds consistent with budget autonomy
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for the district which majority leader cantor, chairman issa, and ranking member cummings have all supported. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i have no other speakers at this time. does the gentlelady -- is the gentlelady prepared to close? ms. norton: i am prepared to close. again i want to indicate the gratitude not only that i feel but the gratitude of the city, the city has chosen a c.f.o. but -- and fortunately, that matter is still pending because it does have delay over here in the congress so the city was faced with the kind of issue that happens when there are two sovereigns that must approve a piece of legislation and whenever i have had anything approaching that kind of emergency, the chairman has gone
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out of his way to see to it that we proceed and the city was not inconvenienced or dafere i say embarrassed and i very much appreciate the way in which he expedited this bill, guide on markup, there have not been a lot of markup bus made sure this got on the markup. i particularly appreciate his innovation in devising a formula that would in fact be i proved as, i believe and hope, it will today by this house. i yield back the balance of my time and thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. i recognize the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield myself such time as i may consume in closing. for my colleague from the district of columbia, eleanor, thank you, thank you for the work you do for the district. it is our committee's jurisdiction to oversee the it's an honor, but it wouldn't be possible if not for the engagement of delegate norton, if it wasn't for the cooperation we've had
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with the mayor and members of the council and with the outgoing c.f.o. so we don't often get an opportunity on the house floor to talk about, candidly, the fact that we are hosted by a city here. we have jurisdiction over it but ultimately the day-to-day operation is not a burden to congress, but rather a benefit to congress that we have by having this unique relationship. so as i urge all of my members to vote for this important change, i want to thank the majority leader and all those who brought this bill in a timely fashion to the floor so that we could make a decision and go to hiring a new c.f.o. so we would never be without a person to oversee the finances and to report to congress in a timely fashion so we can have confidence that the people who so kindly host us, in fact, will remain fiscally responsible and solvent throughout anything that may come their way.
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so again, to ms. norton, i thank her, mr. speaker, i thank you for this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3343. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3487.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3487, a bill to amend the federal election campaign act to extend through 2018 the authority of the federal election commission to oppose civil money penalties on the basis of a schedule of penalties established and published by the commission to expand such authority to certain other violations and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan -- the gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. miller and the gentlewoman from california, mrs. davis, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from michigan. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. miller: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. miller: i rise in support of this bill re-authorizing the federal election commission administrate i fine program this program, established in 2000,
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provides them with a consistent, transparent process for determining and administering fines primarily related to late or incomplete filings with the commission. it provides an inexpensive alternative to investigations and proceedings for minor violations. it takes into account length of delay and repeat offenses and assesses the appropriate fines associated with a minor violation. for example, a political action committee or federal candidate files their cart quarterly expenditures 24 hours past the submission deadline, the administrative fine program will automatically determine the financial penalty using this formula and send the notification. if there's no dispute, the fine is simply paid. h.r. 3487 also expands the successful program to include reports filed by other types of organizations. if the commissioners adopt a
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formula of fines for them this effective program saves the agency, saves filers and taxpayers money. without this program, the -- this bill the program will expire on december 31 of this year. i want to thank the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. brady, as well as other members of our committee, the house administration committee, for their support and -- they are all supporters of this bill and i urge my colleagues to support this re-authorization. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. mrs. davis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. davis: i rise in support of h.r. 34 7, a bill to re-authorize the federal election commission administrative fines program through 2018 this pral -- this program allows the s.e.c. to streamline violations. the a.f.p. has improved then forcement process, decreased
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late filings and assessed over $4 million in fines. re-authorizing the program is reasonable and an appropriate step it's a small agency charged with the monumental task of overseing the massive, complex and eroding campaign finance system. funding system. in the wake of citizens united we need them more than ever. instead, the agency has been mired in partisan games, distracting it from important functions such as conducting audits or issuing regulations, advisory opinions and enforcement actions, but now, now with a new slate of commissioners i look forward to it moving ahead instead of the partisan squabble of the past. my republican colleagues and i don't always see eye to eye, we
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agree that the program has been successful and i'm very proud to stand with chairman miller. i urge all members to support h.r. 3487 and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized. mrs. miller: we have no further speakers. mr. davis: i -- mrs. davis: i urge a aye vote. mrs. miller: i think this is a very commonsense, cost efficient and effective program and worked very well for the agency, f.e.c. and filers as well as taxpayers and i would urge my colleagues and port h.r. 3487 re-authorize the election
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commission program. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3487. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: i move to suspend the rules and concur in the concurrent resolution h. con. res. 25 which authorizes the use of emancipation hall for activities associated with the award of the congressional gold medal to native american code talkers. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentlelady calling up s. con.res. 25?
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the clerk: concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall in the capitol advice tors center for the ceremony to award the congressional gold medal to native american code talkers. pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from michigan, mrs. miller and the gentlewoman from california, mrs. davis, each will control 20 minutes. mrs. miller: i ask that members have five legislative days to revise and stepped their remarks and i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in very strong support of senate concurrent resolution 25, authorizing the use of emancipation hall on november 20, wednesday, for a ceremony to award the congressional gold medal to native american code talkers who assisted the united states military and our allied powers. this ceremony is a long overdue
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recognition of native american code talkers that served this nation in times during foreign conflict. the navajo code talkers have been the most celebrated, many other native american tribes deserve recognition and dedication to this nation as well. americans f native from over a dozen tribes saw the threat to humanity being posed and joined with our military forces to protect our common homeland and it was a call to action that they accepted and successfully accomplished. d i want to thank our former colleague from oklahoma for his leadership on the native american code talkers act which provides for this overdue recognition. mr. speaker, i urge all my colleagues to support this resolution. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized.
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r. davis: i -- mrs. davis: i join the chair for a chair to award congressional gold medal. i'm pleased to honor these patriotic americans to their service to our nation. this is well deserved and i urge my colleagues to support this resolution. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized. mrs. miller: i recognize mr. cole and recently named as week as the chairman of the subcommittee on legislative is a aappropriations and native american. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. cole: i thank my friend the chairman for yielding me the time and her gracious remarks. native americans have fought against, with and for the united states more than any other group of people in the history of our country. and it is still true today. native americans enlist in the american military at a higher rate than any other race or ethnicity. one's protection of one's place is deep and alive and benefited this country. as my friend mentioned, most americans are aware of the navajo code talkers in the second world war. what many of them are not aware of how many others served not only in that war but as far back in the first world war. this ceremony will recognize 33 tribes whose members are considered department of defense
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code talkers. 10 of those tribes are from my home state of oklahoma oak and three of them reside in my district. it's a privilege for me as a native american to support this resolution and urge its adoption. it's right that we recognize the contribution of these americans, the first americans who were so often in a time which they contributed to the defense of our country, discriminated against and in some cases in the first world war, still did not have the rights of other americans. most native americans did not achieve the right to vote until 1924. the fact they were willing to lay their life on the line speaks volumes about their patriotism and their commitment. i thank my friend for bringing the resolution to the floor. i urge its adoption by the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from michigan reserves. the gentlewoman from california
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is recognized. mrs. davis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized. mrs. miller: i recognize representative mullen from oklahoma who is a member of the transportation and infrastructure and gnat ral resources and also a member of the cherokee nation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mullin: cherokee nation has a rich history of pride and heritage. at a very young age, i had the special privilege of meeting a gentleman and former member of the cherokee nation, wayne russell. my granddad is a cherokee member who fought in the european theater. of e russell was a neighbor
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my granddad and my grandmother and granddad took care of him. at a young age, i got the privilege to know him. we share the same birthday and common bond for us. and wayne used to tell me stories how he used his native language to help this great nation win a war against a group of individuals that had very bad intentions, not just in their country but in this world. wayne never asked for anything. he simply stood up each day and did his job when he was in uniform, but when he came home, he didn't ask for a handout. he was just proud to serve. before i even knew what code talkers were, wayne told me about it all the time because he used to teach the cherokee language in the school i went to me inyne would talk
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our native tongue and tell me about the stories that he had over in the war and he didn't realize he was special and i didn't realize he was special, but today, i get to stand up and talk about him. what an honor it is for me to stand on this house floor as a member of the united states congress and i get to bring wayne russell's name up and i get to tell people what he did. now he's past and when he left, he left me all his medals and we get to stand up this week and get to vote on something to honor, not just a cherokee member, but the members of native americans who in indian country all across this nation, didn't ask for anything, just did their job. they didn't realize they were special but took what it took to win because we have pride in independentian country. we take great pride in this
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country we call america. for us to stand up today and speak out for them, what an opportunity that this house gets the opportunity to reach across the aisle and show bipartisan support to honor a group of people. it's an honor to stand up and it's an honor, mr. speaker, that the gentlelady from michigan has given me to bring up wayne russell and talk about something that is so important to me and all of independentian country. and let's stand together and say thank you to a group of people that is well overdue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from michigan reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mrs. davis: i hope all of us are looking forward to this ceremony because it will be an impressive one and give us a chance to honor these patriotic americans. i urge an aye vote and i yield
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back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized. mrs. miller: i don't know how i follow the two previous speakers who spoke about their pride in their heritage and americans and members of congress and with this bipartisan bill and it is a ceremony that we are all looking forward to. and as i mentioned in my opening remarks, a ceremony that is long overdue for the recognition of all native americans and particularly the code talkers and what they did to keep america free and great ambassadors for liberty freedom and democracy. and i urge my colleagues to support senate concurrent resolution 25 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: got yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to senate concurrent resolution 25. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3
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being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the concurrent resolution is agreed to. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 272 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 272, a bill to designate the department of veterans affairs and department of defense joint outpatient clinic to be instructed in marina, california, as the general william h. gourley federal outpatient clinic, a joint v.a.-d.o.d. health care facility the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from ohio, mr. wenstrup and the gentlewoman from california,s mrs. davis, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from from ohio. mr. wenstrup: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wenstrup: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wenstrup: i rise in strong support of h.r. 272, which designated the department of veterans affairs and department of defense joint outpatient clinic to be constructed in marina, california as general william h. gourley federal outpatient clinic. i thank representative farr for sponsoring this legislation. the late general gave this nation 36 years of committed and distinguished service in the united states army.
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that service took him to vietnam, korea, turkey and germany, where he had an immediate and positive impact on the soldiers and officers with whom he served. when the general's service was done, he returned to california to retire and became actively involved in the monterey community helping to see the restructuring of a base prior to shut down that army post. general gourley was instrumental n paving the joint v.a.-d.o.d. facility to be constructed in marina, california. that clinic, when completed, will serve our active duty and retired military, their families and veterans be named the general william h. gourley federal outpatient clinic. he dedicated his life to serving the military of the the clinic
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will serve as a reminder to those who will benefit. mr. speaker, i urge awe members to support this bill and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mrs. davis he was a soldier's soldier. his life can be summed up by the motto he took with him throughout his career, soldiers first he insisted the military must focus on the needs of soldier and this mantra soon became the standard across the military community. general gor lee continued fighting for the well being of soldiers and their families. his bigger than life persona and caring nature endeared him to
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soldiers and vet ans alike and he could be -- veterans alike and he could often be found at the commissary inquiring how soldiers and how he could help them. he was a fixture of the local v.a. clinic but dreamed of a larger facility that could seemingly -- seamlessly integrate care for the life of the soldier this led him to play an instrumental role in the planning and development of the soon to be joint v.a.-d.o.d. hospital. it would only be fitting to see this new and innovative facility named after an american hero. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. wine strup: at this time i have no -- mr. weinstrup: i have no further requests for time. i am prepared to yield back.
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once the gentlewoman has yielded. mr. davis: i urge support of this legislation. i yield back. -- mrs. davis i urge support of this legislation, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the -- i yield to the gentleman, mr. farr. mr. farr: i rise in support of the legislation but i appreciate the statements that are made here about general gor lee. he was a special human being -- gorley, he was an incredible human being. he was an incredible soldier who brought together the retiree community of the area, we still ve nine military installations, one where all the lang twheefpblgs world are taught, the manpower development center, camp roberts and so on, so we have a lot of military there. and he recognized that not only did the active duty soldiers, men and women in uniform who
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have a clinic at the defense language institute but their spouses and children who have to live off the fri care, a lot of doctors in the -- off the tri care, a lot of doctors wouldn't accept tri care because the reimbursement rates were so low. there were underserved populations, the widow population of retirees who weren't familiar with how to to use tri care or find tri care doctors. there was active duty military and there was this incredible veterans community system of for the first time in the history of this country, we got the department of veterans afares and department of defense together and decided that they ought to plan a clinic and general gorley was so instrumental in getting that one-stop, proud to serve opportunity to be in in the design of the building and
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operation building, it was no small task because while the agencies want to be joint, i remind people you can't be a veteran without having walked through the department of defense first, -- in the old days you had to -- when you left the department of defense, then you had to find your way, find your papers and get them all transferred and do all this heavy lifting and there was bureaucracy and loss of papers and loss of stuff. so this one stop system, which we all think is much more cost effective and a proud way to say thank you to those who served, is going to be implemented in this brand new clinic we broke ground for on veterans day a week ago. from my seat on the military construction appropriations committee, i learned we realy need to find this unity and so when we have found it and it was always advocated by general gor lee, unfortunately, he passed
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away, passed away a couple of years ago but just before he passed away i was able to do an oral interview with him to ar dive in the library of congress, because congress has developed this oral history archive and i would urge my colleagues in congress to do -- to take part in doing these interviews with veterans and to archive their experience because he served in many, many places in this country and he was always a leader and an outspoken -- critical of things that need to be criticized but he did things like when he was head of the war credge to -- in carlisle, pennsylvania, he insisted that soldiers couldn't come to class unless they brought their wives. it was those spouses who would come to understand that the army mindset and the -- in the form -- and to form a greater bond in the family around a shared duty and shared sacrifice. so in this sense of unity, he always used to say, leave a
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better army. leave it better than you found it. and i think he left this world a lot better than he found it. so one way the community would like to pay tribute to him for -- using his retirement to continue to bring this clabreags and thinking outside the box together is to name this new clinic after him and he would be so proud. i was at his burial at arlington national cemetery in 2008. and in honor of his lifetime ofer is vess to our country, to our troops, to our veterans, i'm really proid to introduce this bill to name the clinic after this american hero. i'm proud to have been his friend and i ask for your support in passing the bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mrs. davis: we have no further
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speakers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. when strup: mr. speaker, alth care -- mr. wenstrup: for our e is big active duty and veterans. to know that on the health care side we have their back. general gorley understood that. i urge all to vote in favor of this bill to give him the recognition that's due. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 272 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed -- mr. wenstrup: i request the yeas and nays.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman requests the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 18, 2013, at 4:21 p.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3204. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 6:30 p.m. today. >> the house voted friday , not a fanr a bill
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care act, andble his proposal is to keep your health plan act, was intended to get to the issue whose plans are being canceled. what is different than what the president was proposing, supporters would under law -- byld undermine the law allowing them to sign up for have theat do not benefits of the affordable care act. the upton bill would allow people to keep those plans, but sign up for those plans in 2014. the president plus proposal differs -- the president lost for postal is different, in that he is providing a grace time. one of the critiques of the votes in the house in related years is that they were meaningless.
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how important was one? guest: what is significant is 39 democrats sided with republicans , and so it showed a clear attraction to democrats, especially vulnerable who are up for reelection next year. while the proposal does not have a chance of passing in its current form, it showed more where the country is, and the politics on the health law these days. there is concerned that democrats are vulnerable. nancy pelosi step in this weekend on one of the sunday morning shows to talk about the mcgrath. -- about the democrats. here's a look. [video clip] tall inrats stand support of the affordable care act. we have candidates who are
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concerned about the economy and concerns the government was shut down because of a wilma on the republicans costing us 25 billion dollars. they are concerned of overwhelming the american people for immigration reform support, background checks, ending discrimination of people in the workplace, all these things are the concerns of the american people. jobs will be the major issue in the campaign as they are. this is an issue that has to be dealt with. it does not meet is a clinical issue so we will run away from it. americanluable for the people. what is important is the american people are well served, not who gets reelected. host: any follow-up? guest: the leader wants to turn the page on the crisis, and the
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democrats as a rule want to do that, and the question is will they be able to? there is hope among immigrants that this 80 a crisis will pass and they will be able -- the affordable care act and all the website problems that have played -- plagued it will become a blip on the screen and people will renovate -- will realize the benefits on a wholesale way, will realize the benefits on the campaign trail next year. whether they can actually get the health care off the front ending thehat, crises that are going on. host: our guest is kyle cheney. --have another fortune reporter who was not able to be with us. but we have kyle cheney, any information about the law, the rollout, it is happening.
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we are talking about the congressional bill already, and i wanted to follow-up on the house bill. the upton bill. we know the president is about to veto that legislation. is there anything like it in the works in the senate? or -- aocrat response democrat-sponsored bill. it does not go as far as the upton bill, but has the same effect, as compared to the upton bill being a rebuke to the affordable care act. this is a slap on the rich -- on the wrist where it chastises the president for his remarks and would take a swipe at the affordable care act in terms of enabling people to stay on certain plants that do not meet the requirements. the political fate of that bill is also an open question. it is not the upton bill, not as scary to democrats as the upton bill may have been, but is also a sign that democrats are uneasy
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about the politics of people losing their health plans. host: are there big meetings going into the end of the week? isst: i am not sure of what on the docket. i think the senate will consider that will in some form. the president tried to take that off the agenda, with his own fix, but has not mollified anyone. we have not heard the last of the landrieu bill another legislation like it. our first caller. good morning. thank you for c-span. i had my policy canceled. i may senior citizen. it -- my mate november 8, and he was six years older than
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i am. i am going to be 82. he got canceled because of pre- existing diseases. but he went on to hospice, which i cannot praise -- off just took a whole bunch of my shoulders. after listening to the president -- and i have already gotten a policy that was so much better than what they canceled me on -- no referrals. those referrals, you could be three weeks. i have scanned -- i have cancer of the skin, and it took three weeks to get a referral. by that time the cancer group twice the size. i called my interest of the and told him i listened to the president, and if this went through, would they reinstate me, even though i have another policyz/ -- ? this is their answer. we did not cancel you before the
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affordable care act. a year ago when you joined up with us, we were in the process of selling to another insurance agency. they changed their story completely, and i think that is what these people are going to find out, that it is not the affordable care act, it is the insurance companies. guest: i'm wondering if betty lou is on medicare, as obviously anyone over 65, will not be entering the new obamacare insurance programs. aboutu did hit on a point the fact that insurance companies in a lot of cases are the ones that are changing these plans, and the one thing the is priorse emphasizes to the affordable care act insurance companies companies were the ones making changes to people in the individual market , so ather own coverage lot of these cancellations were not correctly drive from his health law, and that is a point he has been trying to hammer
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home. stateyou wrote about regulators. states divided over complying with obamacare's fix. regulators are not rushing to his rescue. tell us more. guest: when obama announced his fix last week, the idea was he kicked the problem to insurance companies and state insurance regulators. not enforce the provisions in the aca that says you cannot keep a substandard plan, but the problem is state to not allow you to stay on that unless they change some of their regulations or even laws, his in cases, and the insurance countries have to play all come to. we have seen state regulators, not even if they want to comply with the president's wishes, they might be constrained because they have to do it quickly, and the only event two weeks to get their rules and regulations updated, and
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especially with a law change from those things can take a month or more. a lot of them are saying if we are were interested we cannot do it, and a lot of saying they are not interested because they do not want to reintroduce these substandard plants back of the market, and president -- it remains to be seen how many people the president's fix will apply to if states to not go all along. it could be a small number. host: let's hear from michelle in minneapolis. caller: good morning. six months ago, one of your ladies from the kaiser institute mentioned -- something that no one has really talked about recently -- the fact that these people, they keep talking about subsidies. apparently, it is in the law that if your estate did not expand medicaid, people in your state or not qualify for the subsidy because they did not have enough money to qualify for the subsidy. that is going to hit the fan.
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paul ryan -- every time he gets in front -- one of these congressional hearings, he mentions. when he is talking to these representatives for the health care plan, he mentions to them, by the way, there is a clawback feature. if they accidentally give someone a subsidy that is not supposed to get a subsidy, technically, they go back out of the next year when that is fleshed out with the tax system, they are supposed to claw this money back. also, when these congressmen say you can get a subsidy, they don't understand, people cannot even afford with a subsidy. what is really different about this, people are not used to paying a monthly payment for their health care. a lot of these people -- it is just -- they do not realize that people out there cannot afford these plans.
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especially, you get somebody who is only paying $200 a month, that is 2400 dollars a year. then they find out there is a $6,000 deductible. that is before the insurance companies have to pay anything. host: let's hear from our guest. guest: you touched on the issues people are concerned about. on medicaid expansion, i'm not sure if there is a relationship with subsidies on the exchanges. you are right that states that have not expanded medicaid, it is not that they cannot give out subsidies, they lose out on billions of dollars for the medicaid population. their existing medicaid programs, no matter how ungenerous they are or how narrow they are, those would remain in place for the most part in states that are not accepting medicaid dollars.
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you said that people who get a subsidy that they were not entitled to have to have that clawed back. that is true, it is a process called reconciliation at the end of the first year when people file taxes in 2015. they will say how was your income, was it what you expected it to be? if it was higher than you thought, you have to give back a portion of your tax credit. host: by the states, a little bit about where we have been and where we are headed. signup again october 1. coverage was set to begin a little more than a year -- a few months. january 1, 2014. consumers can now wait as late as march 31, 2014, to sign up without a penalty. some other facts and figures here. through november 2, 106,000
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plans are out there. 74.8% were state-based, 5.2% were federally facilitated. just under one million people have gone under the process but have not picked a plan. just under 400,000 are eligible for medicaid or chip. of course, the numbers who have actually signed up have been very much in the news lately. what has the government said lately? what will they report again? guest: on a monthly basis, early to mid december. i will be a lot more significant. it will show progress they have made fixing the website, which has really blocked people. we will get a sense of the progress they are making. we're going to find out if young people are signing up. what is not in those numbers is the mix of people that are getting covered. the obama administration needs
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young people to sign up to help offset the cost of the older and sicker population. we're supposed to get a clearer breakdown of that in december. those numbers will matter more than the first round, which set the baseline going forward. the number you described, that 945,000, that have gone through the process but have not selected a plan, that is buoying the white house. all people have to do is click on a health plan. what they are hoping is that people are actually shopping, comparing plans, and taking their time, they are not stuck at a blue screen error message. they are hopeful that those people are in the marketplace. host: 975,407 according to hhs. november 1, that is the date that the administration -- guest: november 30.
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host: a lot of dates. that is the next key date, explain what you are looking for to happen. we have already seen over the weekend expectations being lowered. guest: it has been a steady process of lowering expectation for what november 30 is going to mean. the enrollment system on, where most states are going to sign up for the new subsidized tax credit- based insurance plans on the exchanges, it has not worked well. it has barely work. it has slowly gotten better. the white house has called in a team of tech experts to fix the site. they said by november 30, we will have the enrollment system up and running for the vast majority of users. that has been the amorphous part we are trying to pin down. we have seen reports suggesting that that is 80% of people trying to sign up.
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it is going to be hard for us to pinpoint on the outside whether they actually achieve that. that is the metric they are working with. host: as we go back to calls, one tweet. "congress is using the aca as an excuse to do nothing." baltimore, you are on with kyle cheney. caller: thank you for c-span. i was curious about something, you did touch on this somewhat. considering the fact that aca was enacted three years ago, not last month, three years ago, obviously, there has been some transitioning in 2010, 2011, 2012. transitioning people out of the bad plans into other plans. has there been analysis on how many people were rotated into new plans during that period,
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and what the real numbers are with respect to cancellations? whether these were cancellations that happened last month or an accumulation of policies that have been canceled over a period of 3 years? guest: you are right that there have been studies done, some figures show that this churn in the individual market, where people are losing their plans, they have been losing their plans for a long time. their benefits have been changing. these plans change constantly. they are always transitioning people. what is different about the recent wave is that a lot of the cancellation letters specifically cite the affordable care act. you could argue that that is insurance companies using the cover of the health law to do what they have always been doing, moving people off their old plans and onto new ones. in some sense, it is the result of the affordable care act implementing more stringent and
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comprehensive benefits. host: phil from florida. caller: i was recently hospitalized for three days, i was charged tens of thousands of dollars for services that should have cost a minute fraction. the primary problem with health care is obviously the cost of services. obamacare does not address that. the insurance policies that are available are very expensive. my question is, how many people do you think will actually sign up for these policies? do you agree that the problem with health care is the cost of services? thank you. guest: from a consumer perspective, cost is king. everybody wants to know are they going to pay more in premiums? what will happen with personal health care costs. the affordable care act has
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mechanisms that limit out-of- pocket expenses. if you're insured, you should not pay more than about $6,350 in out-of-pocket expenses a year, and that is with a bare minimum plan. the law does take aim to some degree the share of costs that fall on people. the number of people who sign up, the white house is hoping that about 7 million enroll in the new exchanges in his first year. that is the goal of the cbo and what actuaries think needs to happen. host: retailers are wary of the health law, they are afraid of losing business. walmart and true value, two of the big companies pointed out here, saying the aca will take a chunk out of consumers' pocketbooks.
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they might be spending less and -- in stores. there is a tweet here. how are the sign-ups going in states that started their own exchanges? guest: there is a clear division. when they released numbers, the states that elected to run their own exchanges, by far enrolled more. 14 states, maybe a couple do not report fully, they all had far more sign-ups. even if those did not meet their targets, the division was clear. states running on had a fraction of the enrollment. host: three governors write in "the washington post." washington, kentucky, connecticut -- how we got obamacare to work. they have an op-ed in "the
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washington post" about their efforts in their states and how things have been going. they make a point that the aca has been successful there. in our states, political and community leaders grasp the importance of expanding health care coverage and have avoided the temptation to use health- care reform as political. guest: it is hard to say that there weren't politics and play here, too. but for the most part, they are right. governor beshear in kentucky have the ability to establish an exchange and expand medicaid, he could bypass a legislature. because he could implement that without the resistance of the legislature, they were able to see with the law looks like without the political wall or trip wire at every turn. kentucky is an example that everyone points to, this is a state where it is working it was
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designed. host: kyle cheney is health policy reporter for politico. he is with us, taking your questions and comments about all things health care. the policy, the rollout, the politics as we have been talking about. one of the voices out there this weekend was senator john barrasso of wyoming. he was on one of the morning shows yesterday to talk about health care. [video clip] >> it is time to start over. this health-care law is terribly flawed. it is broken. it has failed the american people. they are losing insurance, losing their doctor, their premiums are going up. there is going to be a massive taxpayer bailout needed just to deal with the impact of this health-care law. this is not what the american people wanted. the president did not need to destroy a good health care
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system to try to make a better one, but that is what we have now. host: one of the gop voices out there. guest: senator barrasso is a doctor, he tends to come from the perspective of someone who has lived in the health system. i think he would be hard-pressed to find people who agree that today's health care system is good. his argument is that the system under obamacare would be far worse. he is talking about starting from scratch, an idea that republicans continue to speak very fondly about. increasingly difficult, the longer the affordable care act is implemented and the more people that sign up. even though the numbers we talked about on the low side, it is still about 500,000 people who now have health care or are in line for health care in january who did not before. talking about starting from scratch and ripping obamacare
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off the books is a tall order now. host: speak more about that. in "the weekly standard," they asked the question what will republicans offer to replace obamacare? that word "replace," what might happen? does anything significant come? guest: this has been the republicans' problems is the affordable care act passed, articulating what a replacement would look like. we hear ideas like allowing states to sell across state lines. they use the catch phrase "patient-centered care" a lot. the few other ideas floating around in republican circles that do not have the sweeping nature of the affordable care act. maybe that is by design. also, the affordable care act does rely on republican ideas that were culled together in a way republicans can no longer support quickly. a lot of those ideas were from
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the republican tool chest, making it hard to articulate the alternative. host: here is a tweet. "will the dems who voted for the upton bill have a primary challenge so we can vote them out?" guest: they were reacting to their districts. it is a great question, whether they will draw -- there will be a more robust debate on the democratic side about the future of health care. one of the things we have heard, if the affordable care act falls apart or if democrats run away from the affordable care act, one of the places they will turn is to single-payer. the idea does not have a lot of political support. it is something a lot of people on the left would like. if the affordable care act continues to languish, you may start hearing those voices on the left. whether they challenge people in the primaries or not, i don't know. you may hear that argument
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raised a little more. host: pennsylvania, lauren is on the line for republicans. welcome. caller: thank you for c-span. i appreciate it. i am commenting on nancy pelosi's statements. and barack obama's statements. you can keep your health care plan if you would like to. those of us in the republican party and the tea party warned about this when we spoke about how people were going to lose their insurance. it is a very simple concept, when you have more mandates to provide free services, they are going to increase the rates. just like any company what, they cannot afford to pay for that. taxpayer money does not support them like the government does. it was a complete lie.
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had the president not said that, he would not have won the election. that is the simple fact in regards to why he said what he did. he had to say it or he would not have been reelected. after the election, this whole year before all this happened, all we heard about was how it was a mandate, the people elected him were in favor of the health-care bill. they were in favor of the bill because they were told that they could keep their current insurance policies. they were not bad policies, it did cover what they wanted. it did not cover new mandates by the health care bill, mental health, men paying for maternity care, women paying for prostate cancer. for them to say that the health- care -- that barack obama's reelection was showing favor of the health-care bill,
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sure, it was, now it is not. guest: you raise some interesting points. one of the things that people sometimes forget is that the president and insurance companies were pretty much allies in getting this bill done. you mentioned the mandates, a good point. on the flipside, there is the big mandate, the individual mandate. that requires most people to purchase insurance or face a penalty. that is one of the most reviled provisions of the law. that was a provision favored by insurance companies, it would put more people in their plans. including younger and healthier people who do not cost as much to cover. you're are right about new mandates that cost more and can add cost, but by adding millions of new people into the plans -- into these private plans, the hope was that they would balance out that cost and make the law work financially. host: fred, texas, democrat. good morning. caller: good morning.
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i want to remind everyone what has actually occurred in the years since president obama took office. you will recall that there was a meeting on the night he became president of gop leaders. they promised one another that they would not vote for anything that he was supporting. they have followed through on that in the years between. recall that the gop members of congress had the opportunity and did participate in planning for the act. and then they just quit. and would not vote for it. the main thing that i want to
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say is that the gop members of congress are in direct opposition to the terms of the constitution of the united states. the constitution specifically states the responsibilities of congress, both of the house of representatives and the senate. host: let's hear from -- guest: what that alludes to is how difficult politics have been. one of the things that have been used as a bludgeon, not a single republican voted for the iteration of the affordable care act that passed into law. because of that, it has been easy for republicans to look back and say this was a democratic bill that passed purely along democratic lines. this was not some great
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bipartisan entitlement. this was purely ran through by a democratic congress. that has made it difficult to gain traction around the country. it has been easy for republicans to fight it. the president points to massachusetts, but that law had huge bipartisan support in the state legislature, making it easy to go back and fix things when they did not work and tinker with it. host: here is a little bit from the president late last week. [video clip] >> those who got cancellation notices do deserve and have received an apology from me. they want whether we can make sure that they are in a better place and that we meet that commitment. by the way, it is important to note that a whole bunch of folks in congress and others who made
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this statement, they were entirely sincere about it. the fact that you have got this percentage of people who have had this impact, i want them to know that their senator or congressman, they were making representations based on what i told them and what the white house and the administrative staff told them. it is on us. it is something that we intend to fix. host: kyle cheney? guest: the president has been getting an earful from congress, democrats in congress, about the fact that they stuck their necks out for him when he said if you like your health plan, you can keep it. democrats parroted him and believed him, believed what he was saying was correct. that made it politically salable to their constituents. now he is out there covering for them.
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saying if they said that based on what i said, it is on me. i was not -- i did not asterisk that with the fact that some people would lose plans. host: kyle, new hampshire, independent caller. caller: hi. my problem with the whole thing, maybe it should have been called the deplorable care act. it does not address all of the other medical insurances that we have. we have insurance is on our workmen's compensation, on our houses, our businesses, our cities, our states. all of them have medical coverage is. why do we need that? why not one single-payer, then we just take and eliminate all the other insurances? there is more than enough money. why have medical costs gone from 5% when i was a young man to
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16%? guest: the cost of entitlements, and the fact that health care consumes 1/5 of the u.s. economy. that is something that both sides identify. the debate has been how do you address that, reforms to medicare and social security, now the affordable care act. the partisan divide has prevented the wholesale look at how to attack those. as for single-payer, i alluded to this earlier, there has not been a whole lot of political constituency pushing for single- payer because it has been a nonstarter politically. particularly in the center and on the right. >> going live now to the house. by the yeas and nays. h.r. 2272 by the yeas and nays.
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first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic vote will be conducted as a five-minute vote. the unfinished business is the vote on motion of the the gentleman from california to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2061 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to extend the federal funding accountability and transparency act of 2006 to increase accountability and transparency and federal spending and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 388, the nays are one. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from ohio, mr. wenstrup, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 272 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 272, a bill to designate the department of veterans affairs and department of defense joint outpatient linic to be constructed in mariana, california.
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a joint v.a.-d.o.d. health care facility. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 388, the nays are zero. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and bill is passed. the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended.
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the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? mr. bishop: i send to the disk a privileged rule from the committee on rules for filing under the rule the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: resolution providing for consideration of the bill .r. 1965 to streamline and onshore leasing and give certainty to oil shale development for american energy security, economic development and job creation and for other purposes and providing for crrgs
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of the bill h.r. 2728 to recognize states' authority to regulate oil and gas operations and promote energy security, development and job creation. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the house will be in order. please take your conversations out of the chamber. he house will be in order. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. >> the house is not in order, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
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house will be in order. please take your conversations out of the chamber. he house will be in order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to address what's really been going on behind the scenes of the affordable care act. you see, if millions of people didn't lose their coverage, the architects knew that the sick and elderly and without healthier populations subsidizing those plans. the president's broken promise should concern us. we were promised we could keep our coverage now these choices are being denied. many of us are not surprised. for the fact of the matter, the affordable care abblingt is not about consumers' choice but government control, control over our lives. this is social engineering at
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its worse. unfortunately, the insurance cancellations and cost increases are going to continue regardless of an executive order or another promise from the white house. the american people deserve better and surely can't afford more broken promises. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, today, there was a memorial in washington in honor of a great geraldo i. t, hernandez, the first transportation security officer duty. in the line of
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died on friday, november 1, in los angeles of gunshot wounds while he was doing his duty. he was the first one to be killed in the line of duty. he was born in el salvador and became an american citizen and married in 1998. they have two wonderful children. in 2010 he joined the transportation security administration. everyone indicated what a great public servant he was. he was excited to go to work and enjoyed the interaction of the passengers. always smiling. took pride in his duty for the american public and t.s.a. mission. i offer my deepest sympathy and ask for a one-minute acknowledgement of this fine and public servant. thank you, mr. speaker. thank you. may he rest in peace. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, from bubba in southeast texas to the pope, no one is off limits to the surveillance of the national spy agency. americans are fighting the soviet-spy by filing thousands of record requests on the n.s.a. they want to know if they have been monitored. resident transparency to citizens have received a form letter with no answer to their question, all because it's a spy secret. citizen joel writes, i should have the right to know if i'm under surveillance and grant open records requests. the n.s.a. is addicted to spying and snooping. it has no authority to impose
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surveillance on citizens. this is a clear violation of the fourth amendment. n.s.a. acts like people are the enemy of the state. this activity is the enemy of private-personal privacy of the united states. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. in the past week, we have seen yet another devastating storm that claimed the lives of people in the philippines and storms that cut through from new york to tennessee. recovery from their destruction takes years. hurricane irene began as a tropical storm on august 20 in 2011. by the time it completed its path on august 29, it wreaked havoc from puerto rico to new
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england becoming the most seventh most costly hurricane in our history. it lasted a mere 10 days. no more than 36 hours in any one spot. in my district, people are still recovering. infrastructure still needs to be repaired, replaced or improved upon. many families are still struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives. the costs continue to amount. we have denied our responsibility to deal with climate change for far too long. the time to act is now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> i rise to express my strong concern about the discriminatory trade and investment environment in india. united states and independent yeah share a trading
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relationship, but it's being threatened by inconsistent actions indecisions recently. this is particularly the case in the area of intellectual property. this drives the u.s. economy. the attacks not only harm u.s. economy but chip away at the framework that is essential to the innovation of new medicines. since 2012, independent yeah has denied or revoked patents. these decisions hurt patients and their families who rely on the development of new cures and treatments. representative john larsen and myself were joined by this body in urging the body to raise these issues with the independentian government. it's critical that we send a strong message that we will not sit by while india discriminates
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against our businesses and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i was visited today in the district office by an individual, one of my constituents, one of my bosses who told me about his disappointment with me and our government here in washington, and our inability to positively affect his life and he told me a story about him losinging his his health care policy and his wife losing her health care policy and what's worse is, he told me about his diagnosis of cancer that had racked his body, was spreading throughout the organs in his body. he told me how he felt, that washington didn't care about him, didn't care at all. and how he'd been lied to. mr. perry: and he wanted someone to fight for him and other people in the middle class and i just wanted to come to the floor today, mr. speaker, and echo that account so that he knows that someone
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is here fighting for him and dedicate myself and rededicate myself to fighting on his behalf and the other millions of americans just like him. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, where i come from, in northeast georgia, a promise made is a promise kept. this is my constituent, teresa, from commerce, georgia. she wasn't initially opposed to obamacare. for 12 years, she's been playing on a plan that provide noes deductible and reasonable co-pays. as a 54-year-old on a fixed income this plan has worked well for her. a few weeks ago she found out that her plan will be terminated at the end of this month. alternative coverage will cost her at least $5,000 more a year and will not provide as many benefits as her current plan. she says many of her family and friends will have their health insurance premiums double thanks to an unaffordable
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affordable care act. house republicans don't just talk about giving americans the opportunity to keep their insurance coverage if they want to, we've acted. we're listening to the american people even if the president won't. mr. collins: with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there any other requests for one-minute speeches? the chair will entertain requests for any further one-minute speeches. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. conaway of texas for today, mr. culberson of texas for today and mr. danny davis of illinois for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced the of january 3, 2013,
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gentleman from nevada, mr. horsford, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. horsford: thank you, mr. speaker. first i would like to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials into the record on the subject of this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. horsford: thank you. and i would also like to request that a statement from the honorable eddie bernice johnson from texas be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: your request will be covered by general leave. mr. horsford: thank you, mr. speaker. this evening we come to this special order to bring attention to the issue of hunger in america. in just a little more than a week, many of us will spend time around our tables celebrating thanksgiving dinner. and as we give thanks for the
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incredible benefits that we enjoy, there are many americans who will go without. they will go without a nutritious meal, they will go without meals in the classrooms or after school. many of our veterans will go without meals as well. and so tonight the congressional black caucus uses its hour, this special order, to bring attention to these important issues, particularly at this time in the debate about our budget. earlier this month, on november 1, the 2009 recovery act's temporary increase in funding for supplement nutrition assistance program or snap, expired. resulted in an additional benefit cut to all households. according to the center on
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budget and policy priorities, this is approximately a $25 per month or $300 a year cut to knew trirble benefit programs -- nutritional benefit programs for a family of four. snap benefits will now average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2004, down from $1.50 previously. now, bringing attention to these issues is critical, particularly as i said, that we are entering negotiation on the farm bill, as well as negotiation on the budget. and so tonight you will hear from members of the congressional black caucus, who see these issues as priorities in these negotiations, and i would like to extend time now to the chair of the congressional black caucus, a lady who serves on the agricultural committee and who has been a champion for the
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issues of snap, as well as other food assistance programs in the farm bill, and i'd like to yield to the gentlelady from ohio at this time, representative fudge. ms. fudge: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and i'd like to thank my colleagues, congressman horsford and jeffreys, for continuing to lead the -- jeffries, for continuing to lead this special order and tonight to lead on a special order hour that addresses another important topic and that is hunger in america. in 10 days americans will come together with family and friends to celebrate thanksgiving. but for many families around the country, their thanksgiving tables will be sparse and even some bare. as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it is shameful that this nation has not and will not address the issue of hunger. as ranking member on the house agriculture subcommittee that oversees our country's nutrition programs, i am
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working hard to end hunger in america. one in every six americans struggle with hunger or food insecurity. and this is an issue that plagues nearly every community, from our inner cities to our rural countrysides. and while americans are still struggling to rebound from the recent secession -- recession, many families have already seen a setback as they experience the reduction in staff at which my colleague talked to you about just a moment ago. the center on budget and policy priorities reports that this reduction is equal to the loss of 16 meals for a family of three. when children are hungry, they're not able to focus in school. when seniors have limited resources and limited incomes, they are forced to make the difficult choice between purchasing medicine and sufficient groceries. mr. speaker, when the house adjourns this thursday, many of us will go home to spend the thanksgiving holidays with our families. some will serve the less
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fortunate in our communities. but let's all take the time to talk to workers at food banks and other charities. ask about the impact of federal benefit cuts, the increased demand on charitable antihunger programs and what has been done to fill the gap. just a short discussion with those who have fallen on hard times can be a sobering reminder of the impact a little help can provide. and to the american people who are struggling this thanksgiving, please note that the c.b.c. has not forgotten you. as the conscience of the congress, we continue to fight for you every single day. the fight is long from over but as long as one american is suffering, we will fight on. i thank the gentleman and i yield back. mr. horsford: thank you to the chair -- the congressional black caucus. and as she said, we will fight on. these are issues that are not going to go away. i am optimistic that with the farm bill negotiations that despite the fact that -- when
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that bill was brought here on the house of representatives, despite the fact, in october, there was an uncomprehensible $40 billion cut to snap, that we can bridge that gap between now and the end of the year and pass a farm bill that includes he important policy for farm subsidies in this country, that are necessary. but do so by not including special subsidies for big agriculture and other corporations while cutting $40 billion in snap food assistance to the poor. and again, these are issues that are critically important to american families across this great country. they are issues that we are hearing about daily from our constituents. and many people don't realize
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that it's not only good for the individual who's on food assistance, but it's also good for our economy, because this is money that goes back into our local grocery stores, that keeps people employed, and that helps our local economy. so, it's a benefit in two ways. i'd now like to turn the attention to the gentleman from indiana, representative carson, from the seventh congressional district, for his remarks during this special order at this time. mr. carson: thank you, thank you to my dear colleague from nevada, congressman horsford. also to my colleague from brooklyn, representative horsford, also chairwoman marcia fudge of the c.b.c. mr. speaker, a special ed teacher contacted my office last month worried about cutting to -- cuts to food stamps and the impact that they would have on her classroom.
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one of her sixth grade students had burst into tears in the middle of her lesson because she heard on the news that benefits would be cut on november 1. mr. speaker, this teacher was compassionate enough to take the child's concerns quite seriously. she gave them a voice by contacting our office. i rise today, mr. speaker, to be this child's voice. and the voice of all of those who live in the wealthiest nation on earth. but still live in hungry -- in hunger. mr. speaker, if you look at the list of the most food-insecure districts in the country, you see populations of every race and every ethnicity. even in the state with the least food insecurity, 15% of
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families still struggle to find their next meal. so while i speak today as a member of the esteemed congressional black caucus, we stand with all americans. sadly my congressional district in the great hoosier state of indiana holds the dubious distinction of having one of the highest rates of food insecurity of the entire country. over 30% of families in indianapolis struggle to put food on the table and don't always know where their next meal is coming from. to be clear, this is not a criticism of the local food banks or not-for-profits that serve the poor very honorably. hoosiers take care of one another. which is why we have some of the best service organizations in the swire country. but sadly -- in the entire country. but sadly, even the best food
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banks can't pull food out of the thin air. over the past few years, mr. speaker, i've heard from many indiana food banks that donations are down as more people struggle to make ends meet in our economic downturn. and with high unemployment and underemployment, federal assistance simply isn't buying enough food to meet their demand. the shelves just aren't as full as they used to be. this leaves many low-income constituents to rely on snap. also known as food stamps. a program that will be cut by $5 billion next year as recovery act provisions expire. even with ideal funding levels, food stamps never means large multicourse meals for poor families. the average person receives less than $1.50 per meal. for many of these families, mr. speaker, a healthful meal is already a luxury that remains
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out of reach. these families just want to put food on the table. the program means a few hundred dollars a month per family, which is enough for some bread, cereal and canned food, but rarely fresh vegetables or meat. no one gets rich off of food stamps, but at least they can eat. the program remains a prime target for members of congress who are looking to cut four million people from this program and this is unacceptable and has real-life implications. in my district, we have the network, the indiana healthy weight initiative, indiana's family and social services administration and the indie food council.
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they are working with our local farmers to encourage people who are receiving assistance to re-invest in our economy by matching the snap dollars spent on fresh fruits and vegetables. these types of partnerships are not supported when we decide to cut benefits in eligibility. we must invest in these types of creative initiatives, programs that feed our community and incentivize healthy living. programs that create jobs and rebuild our economy so that people are fed and healthy enough to go to school, work and contribute to our economy. some of my colleagues argue that our debt is out of control, that e need to rein in spending and every american should be asked to sacrifice equally. but we have to put this thing
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into perspective. if you are a person who makes millions of dollars every year, you might lose hundreds, thousands of dollars, maybe. you own a business, might decide to invest a little less. by contrast, if you make the minimum wage and live under the poverty line year after year, what might you lose? nday tearl, very little, $50 here, $50 there, small impact in our debt. but that small amount, that few dollars here and there equates to food on the table. looking for so called equitable treatment. no one is ever asking a wealthy person to go hungry, but that is exactly what some of my republican colleagues are doing
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with their proposal to cut $39 billion to snap. they are suggesting that some americans, like those in poor neighborhoods in indianapolis, simply don't deserve to eat because it's too expensive. other republicans argue that snap is only meant as a temporary stop-gap. most people, mr. speaker, poverty isn't a temporary stop on the way to prosperity. it's a family. a family fortunate enough to pull itself out of poverty could take many years, maybe a decade. unform, our recession pushed many families in the wrong direction, costing jobs, incomes and homes, also moving people deeper into poverty. this means more children who go to school on an empty stomach
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and aging seniors already on a fixed new yorks, forced to hoose between buying groceries and medication. during the7 and 2012 height of the great recession, the number of food stamp users rose because more people needed them. i'm standing here with my colleague, representative horsford, representative jeffries, and the congressional black caucus because our districts are some of the hardest hit. this isn't a black issue, mr. speaker. this is a nationwide problem that impacts every color and ethnicity in every city, county and town. and yet, some of our colleagues in this house are willing to ignore millions of their
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constituents who are struggling to eat, just to pass a bill to cut snap by $37 billion. we should be increasing it and not decreasing it. we should learn the lesson of european austerity measures and should be debating measures to avoid benefit reductions next year. we should be focused on ending hunger in america not programs that reduce the debt. mr. speaker, as i close, many of us take for granted we can make a salad when we need to eat. most people here, most of us will celebrate next week with tables full of good food, some of the best food that money can buy. but for many, thanksgiving is another day spent in hunger. these people, a traditional thanksgiving meal is out of reach. we believe that struggling
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families would say they are thankful for any amount of food they can buy, the food that snap helps them buy. instead of taking this away, let's fight for a higher quality of life and stand together to make sure our neighbors, our children and our vulnerable seniors never go hungry. thank you. and i yield back. mr. horsford: i thank the distinguished the gentleman from indiana for his remarks and for highlighting that this is an issue that affects all americans, families across this country and that we all know someone who relies on snap benefits or has come into contact with individuals, our neighbors, our friends, our veterans who rely on these benefits as well. and so to somehow suggest this is an issue that only a certain amount of communities should care about is simply false and
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why we are having this conversation, mr. speaker. and this is a conversation. each and every monday that we have the opportunity to come to the floor of the house to raise important issues like the one we are raising tonight on hunger. and i want to encourage people who are listening right now to send us your comment, share your experience with snap benefits. you can do so by sending us a cbctalk. #at nd we will try to share your questions and have this conversation on the floor of the house because it's a conversation that many families america. i would like to thank my colleague from new york who i have the co-anchoring this
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c.b.c. special order with, and it's a debate opportunity to work with him on these important issues. i would like to start a bit of a conversation with him if we can on these issues and there are a number of things that i would like to touch on with the gentleman from new york. householdss on which are affected by this food insecurity across america. can you touch about upon that and i would like to talk about how the attack on snap plays into the affordable care act. i yield now to the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. mr. jeffries: thank you for yielding and thank you for the tremendous leadership that you have shown on this issue and for anchoring the c.b.c. special order this hour of power where for 60 minutes, members of the congressional black caucus consistently every monday that
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we are in session have the opportunity to take to the floor of the house of representatives and speak directly to the american people about an issue of great significance affecting their quality of life. and today, we are tackling an extremely important issue in a country that is the wealthiest nation in the world, the issue of hunger. and for the life of me, i haven't been able to figure out why in this country with all of this wealth, i come from the city of new york, where wall street is the engine that drives the world's economy but in the shadoogs of wall street, you have children and seniors going to bed hungry and waking up the next day without any hope as to how they will be able to satisfy their nutritional needs. across this country, it appears
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that there are approximately 50 million people who are food insecure. 50 million americans who go to bed hungry at night. and approximately 16 million of hose americans are children, born in a very difficult circumstance, not of their doing, they're not hungry by choice, they're hungry, based on the urgency of their situation. and it seems that in this great nation, we should be doing everything possible to deal with that food insecurity. now as it relates to americans and those who are most impacted by food insecurity and hunger, pproximately one in 10
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caucasian households are food insecure. one in seven overall households in america are food insecure. and approximately one in four african-american households, 25% in the african-american community go to bed hungry. not a single person, whether they're black or white, asian or latino, old or young, should be food insecure in the greatest nation in the world. but the reality of the situation is that as opposed to making progress on this issue in america, we stand here today on the floor of the house of representatives at risk of going backwards, because there are some in this chamber on the other side of the aisle who, for some reason, thinks it makes
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sense to balance the budget on the backs of children and seniors and those who are hungry in america. there's no other way, representative horsford, to explain the fact that in this chamber, you had people voting the $39 billion cut to supplemental nutrition assistance program known as food stamps. a $39 billion cut. now the explanation that's often given to us is that this is a fiscally responsible approach to the reality that from a financial stand point, we are on an unstinnable path in america. as a member of the budget committee, i'm aware there are some challenges that we have to confront moving forward, particularly as it relates to the growth of the older american
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population and people in america are living longer. those two realities are going to create a strain on health care costs in america and something we will have to confront moving forward. but when you hear doom and gloom statements about the debt and deficit in america and to unpack those statements and to evaluate what has driven the explosion of the debt in america because it hasn't been the fact that the hungry people in america we are trying to help. that's not driving the debt explosion in america. searchled war in iraq in of weapons of mass destruction that to this day have not and will never be found because they didn't exist.
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misprosecuted war in afghanistan. that's carried on much longer than it needed to be because we were off on a diversion in iraq. bush tax cuts that were passed helped to 2003 that explode the deficit that were unpaid for that benefited disproportionately the well-off in america. these are the reasons why we are in the debt and deficit situation that we confront in this country today. it's not because we have 50 million americans who are food insecure who we're trying to in in the greatest nation the world. now i'm thankful for organizations like the food bank of new york city that provide assistance to those who are trying to make it on a
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day-to-day basis with food banks all across the city, including many in the district that i represent. but there is a role for government to play in providing assistance to needy americans. these aren't individuals who have chosen poverty as a lifestyle. they have not chosen hunger as a lifestyle. . we should be doing everything we can to help them turn their lives around. now, in 2008 the economy collapsed. it was the worst situation financially that we find ourselves in since the great depression. since that moment, the recovery that we've experienced, as i've
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talked about from time to time on the floor of the house of representatives, has been very schizophrenic. it's been an uneven one. it's been a recovery that has benefited some in america while others have been left behind. earlier today the stock market crossed over the 16,000-point mark for the first time, i believe, in our nation's great history. he stock market is way up. c.e.o. compensation is way up. corporate profits are way up. the productivity of the american worker is way up. yet unemployment remains stubbornly high and consumer demand is stagnant and working families and middle class folks are struggling. income inequality has reached
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levels in some places in this country not seen since the great depression. and as we discussed, far too many americans are hungry. and it seems that in the midst of this uneven, schizophrenic economic recovery, where the corporate titans are doing well stock se with robust port foal rosie -- portfolios are doing well and c.e.o.'s and companies are doing extremely well, that we can find the compassion in this house and in the congress and in our great government to make sure that in america the richest -- america, the richest nation in the world, we chem brace the principle that no child, no senior, no individual should go to bed hungry. and that we can't rest until
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every single american has been able to benefit from the turnaround that began to take place under this administration, but that still has a ways to go in order for all americans to be included in getting up off the ground, moving forward and putting them in a place where they can pursue life and liberty and happiness, consistent with the principle included in that grand document of our founding fathers. let me close by making the observation, earlier this week or a few days ago, over the weekend, i had the opportunity farmers a farmer's -- market in the east portion of the district and in this
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farmers market there was a whole host of healthy food options that were being sold, many of which were grown in the community garden that was immediately adjacent to this farmers market and it was a wonderful sight, to see seniors and young people and others who were out with the opportunity to purchase healthy food options, fruits and vegetables, at an affordable price. it was an example, for me, of what can be done on a community level to help tackle this issue. and i resolved myself that as i came back down to the congress, i would commit to doing all that i can to replicating that effort for the people in the eighth congressional district back home, for the people in nevada, for the people all across this country. to deal with the hunger issue,
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but also to make sure that healthy food options are made more available. because we recognize that the consequence, not just of hunger bears a or diet, direct relationship to the fact that many in urban america and other parts of the country are disproportionately suffering from a wide range of ailments, respiratory disease, heart isease, childhood obesity, that directly relates to poor nutrition. and that's one of the reasons why we on this side of the aisle have remained committed to the affordable care act as something that's good for america. all of these issues that we work on here in this country,
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ultimately tied toward trying to do things that are good for america, for children, for seniors, for working families and for the middle class. and that's why i'm proud to stand with my colleague, representative horsford, as well as the members of the congressional black caucus, in tackling the issue of food insecurity, tackling the issue of the affordable care act and continuing to work on behalf of the betterment of america and with that i yield back the balance of my time. mr. horsford: thank you, to the gentleman from new york, the co-anchor for this special order hour, representative jeffries. i look forward to a dialogue on this. but let me just underscore what it is we are faced with in this house of representatives. our colleagues on the other side, the house republicans, proposed $40 billion in food assistance cuts to low-income families over 10 years.
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this would affect 210,000 children who currently receive free school meals and would ffect some 170,000 veterans. yes, veterans. who also depend on snap benefits in our country. and would cost an estimated 55,000 jobs in job cuts in just the first year of cuts alone. now, at a time when we should be growing the economy, adding jobs, helping our veterans, helping the poor and those who are striving to be part of the middle class, the bill that was passed in october has these devastating cuts to children, to seniors, and, yes, even to our veterans. i've said before and i'll say it again, we should not be cutting the safety net for our
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most vulnerable while maintaining costly government subsidies for the well-off industries. and that's what my colleague from new york just talked about. littered in this farm bill are subsidies for big ag, some of which they themselves didn't even ask for and they know should be expiring, in order for us to preserve funding for children, seniors and veterans. so it's not a nevada child in my district who receives just the $4 a day to eat who is problem with the federal budget deficit. the problem is corporate welfare and the special interest giveaways that litter our tax code and it is time hat we put a face to the individuals who are benefiting from these programs. and that's what we're here to spotlight tonight. i'd like to share just three quick stories.
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of constituents who have shared with me and my office their impact and reliance on the food assistance program known as snap. the first is alma. she lives on social security in my district. she currently receives $932 a month. out that have she pays all of her bills, her rent, her utilities, she gets all of her necessities and has very little left over. she has about $91 a month that she can live off for food. now, with these proposed cuts, it would be $54 based on a history of cuts and adjustments. she doesn't want to be on snap benefits. but without that safety social net, she will go hungry. another constituent, aaron, is currently a prelaw student and is unemployed and recently found out she is pregnant.
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she's working really hard to make a better life for herself and her family, but right now she can only provide for herself, but she has a child to take care of. and the snap cuts will hurt her ability to do that. and, finally, there's bertha. whose monthly snap benefit is $310 a month. she's a single mom of four children and that snap benefit gives her about two weeks worth of food. her paycheck barely covers daily expenses. so any cut, $10, $20, $30 will have a serious impact on her family. and oh, by the way, her kids are 9 months, 12 years old, 14 and 18. so these are the real people who are being affected by these cuts and it's not just the snap program. unfortunately these targeting
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of the poor for savings throughout the budget is nothing new by our colleagues on the other side. those who are striving to break into the middle class face serious barriers to entry because the house republican budgets cut job training, they're about to cut unemployment benefits, they've cut child care assistance and funding for head start. they're also trying to undermine the affordable care act, which provides health insurance to many who could not afford it otherwise. and i'd like to tell you some stories of constituents in my district who have voluntarily shared their stories and given me permission to share their story of the success of the affordable care act. one is michelle. she's a constituent about an hour outside of las vegas. in my district. michelle enrolled in a plan on the exchange that will save her
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$200 per month and allow her access to her ob-gyn services closer to home. she called her enrollment in the program an overwhelmingly positively experience -- positive experience. michelle is currently on a hipaa-guaranteed plan that costs her about $565 per month. if she gets sick and needs an urgent visit to the doctor or a mammogram or other ob-gyn service, she has to drive to las vegas which is about an hour away. after enrolling in the affordable care act, she will save more than $200 a month and have access to local urgent visits and ob-gyn services in her community. mr. speaker, now is not the time to turn back the clock or leave constituents like michelle behind. and there are other constituents who have also
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shared their stories with me. geronimo and teresa. they've been without health insurance for 10 years. and were finally able to receive affordable insurance through nevada health link. so if you're watching, go to and sign up today. there's another one, victor and yomaria. they had never had insurance before. they're a father and a daughter who were approved for a qualified health plan at an affordable price and they're very happy and thankful to finally have insurance. and then there's lisa who's also enrolled in medicaid for her and her family, of which she's entitled to based on the eligibility requirements. in my home state, there's some 21% of nevadans who are currently uninsured. more than 30% of the children in my state are uninsured. and so not only is it the cuts
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to snap, the cuts to head start, to job training, to vital services that so many families depend on, but it's this undermining of vital social safety net programs that people in the middle class are striving to be a part of. and so i want to ask my colleague, representative jeffries, from new york, what are some of the positive economic impacts to the snap program? how can we help to reinforce this message that not only is this good for the families that we're talking about, but it's also good for the economy, and what about those 55,000 jobs that could be cut in the first year alone if the house g.o.p. plan to cut these services goes into effect? i yield the time to the gentleman from new york. mr. jeffries: i thank the
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distinguished gentleman from the silver state. i think it's very important to note that in addition to the compassionate reasons to provide food assistance to hungry americans in the greatest nation in the world, that it seems to me should be sufficient enough reason for the government to act, but if that but if that, for whatever reason, does not provide adequate motivation for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to deem it significant, to allow for the robust supplemental nutrition assistance program to remain in effect, i would suggest that there are also economic benefits to making sure that we provide assistance to low income americans. every economist who has studied
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the sluggish nature of our economic recovery recognizes that perhaps the biggest problem that we confront is the inadequate nature of our consumer demand. that americans, for a wide variety of reasons, aren't spending enough. one of the reasons that the low sess yo e of the economic stratus is because poorer americans just don't have the resources. one of the reasons why i support an increase in the minimum wage is because independent economists have clearly indicated that if you put additional dollars in the hands of lower income americans, the likelihood is they will spend those dollars, which increases
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economic productivity because of the increase in consumer demand. similarly, if you have americans who are food-insecure, and you provide them with additional resources in order to deal with the hunger problem in their household, they are not going to save that money, they are going to spend that money. to deal with their food insecurity and that of their children. but that has a stimulant effect on the economy. it helps our economy grow. that was the reason why increased snap benefits were included in the recovery act. but as my colleague from nevada indicated, as of november 1 of this month, those increased snap
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benefits have lapsed. and therefore you've got people across america with $0 to $24 less per month that they can spend on trying to address the food insecurity issues that they have. that's a problem in america. it's one of the reasons why, when we as democrats talk about the things that should be done to turn the economy around, to invest in america, we support a balanced approach. the deficit -- to deficit reduction and economic retv tv -- recory. the other side supports an approach that balances the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society. my friends on the other side of the aisle will say, well, that's just hyperbole. what facts do you have to support that charge?
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well, is it hyperbole when you t $39 billion from the supplemental nutrition assistance program that your intent is to balance the budget on the backs of the hungry in america? when your budget cuts $168 billion in higher education spending, is it hyperbole to suggest that your intent is to balance the budget on the backs of younger americans and purr -- in pursuit of the american dream through a college education? is it hyperbole to suggest that en you cut $810 billion from medicaid, as your budget does, that your intent isn't to balance the budget on the backs of the sick and the afflicted nd the poor?
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in america? that's not hyperbole. these are the facts that your budget, your legislative actions, vlade on the table. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. jeffries: certainly. mr. horsford: i'd like to underscore a couple of points you're making here. the fact that this does disproportionately affect the poor and those striving to become part of the middle class, at the same time there are corporate subsidies, billions of dollars of corporate subsidies for the agriculture industry in the farm bill and in other legislation that's come before this house that they will move expeditiously and then leave the food behind in the farm bill, for the first time i'm aware of, we've approved a farm bill without also including the food assistance component to it. pthalater came back and included it but with a $40 billion cut.
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impact positive economic of this cannot be underscored either. i hear from representatives from the retail industry who tell me snap creates some $340 million in farm production for each billion dollars of retail that's generated, that some 3,300 farm jobs are created for each billion dollars of funding that's provided for, that for every billion dollars of snap benefits, it also creates between 9,000 to 18,000 full-time jobs? so not only is this the right thing to do, not only is it the morally conscionable thing to do, it's good for the economy. so as we make this aferingt, how important is it to debunk some of the myths surrounding snap. one of them being that there's
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fraud in the snap program and that's why the cuts aren't going to hurt the poor or those who are striving to be part of the middle class. mr. jeffries: if i had a dollar for every time a member of the other side of the aisle claimed waste, fraud, or abuse to excuse some egregious draconian cut, i'd be a multimillionaire right now. it's unfortunate that in the absence of legitimate facts, in order to justify going after these programs, that the allegation of waste or fraud or abuse without a sin till rah a -- scintilla of systematic evidence is laid on the table to justify actions. but let's be clear. the reason that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, mr. speaker, have made the decision to go after programs like snap
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and higher education funding and a wide variety of our social safety net programs that have ade america great in many ways is because essentially in the budget, supported by the majority, passed in this house, representative horsford, the take the top to 39.6%, and america, what they do in this budget after making all of these egregious cuts, is to lower that top tax rate from 39.6% all the way down to 25%. now, the argument is always made that the reason this is being
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done is because of stimulating the economy as a result of some well-worn, tired, trickle down theory that has been proven to be discredited based on the facts as we know them over the previous two administrations. i'll just briefly make that point, related to why in the world would you, in 2013, make the argument that if you drop e tax rate from 39.6% to 25% and then cut $39 billion from snap in order to try and do it, cut billions of dollars from higher education funding, voucherize medicare, cut hundreds of billions from medicaid, it's because you expect america to accept the argument that that is going to
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create a stimulant effect on the economy. well, when the top tax rate was 39.6% during the eight years of bill clinton's presidency, 20 million jobs were created. when under the bush administration the top tax rate was dropped, not to 25% but dropped to 35%, we lost approximately 650,000 jobs. the facts don't support the nature of your argument. and that's why we think that there's just absolutely no justification to engage in alleged cost cutting behavior fromas cutting $39 billion snap in support of an economic theory that has widely been discredited.
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mr. horsford: i'd like to debunk another myth, let the charities handle it. we've got a number of nonprofits, the church or faith-based community can step up and fill the void. i'd like to show you this chart, with all the great work that nonprofits and the faith community is doing out there on behalf of addressing hunger and food insecurity, that amounted to about $5 billion in estimated value of all food distributed by u.s. charities this year. that compares to $5 billion that have already been cut since november 1 because of the setback, the so-called hunger cliff, and this does not take into account the additional cuts that are on the horizon both in the senate plan, which is about $4.1 billion of adegreesal cuts,
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compared to the house g.o.p. plan which is estimated to be $39 billion. now, i support the charities in my local community. three square is our local food bank, they do a phenomenal job in southern neve helping our -- in southern nevada helping our rural and urban areas, getting the needs of the family the food they need in those communities. while my family and i will be making a donation to our local food bank and helping families get meals for thanksgiving, that is not going to absorb the $39 billion of cuts that are proposed by the other side. and this is just another one of those examples where the arguments don't support reality. we're livering in reality. the families who are struggling on these benefits, whose stories
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we have shared tonight, are dealing with reality. it's not a mother who is raising their children who is struggling to make ends meet who wants to rely on snap benefits. it's the -- that's the problem with our budget. it's not. it's not the veterans who are served our country with distinction and honor and who come back and because of the environment in their communities, they're also relying on snap benefits. they're not the problem with the federal budget deficit. it's not the seniors at the food bank i visited who literally are having their meals cut back cause of these draconian budget cuts. these american families are simply relying on a safety net
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that has been there and that should be there in the wealthiest country in the world. now, i agree with my colleague who says that from a budget standpoint, we have to tackle these problems. t there's a way to do it right, there's a way to do it without costing more in human toil, and there's a wrong way to do it. and the proposal by the house republicans to balance the budget on the backs of our children, our seniors, our veterans, the working poor and those who are striving to be part of the middle class is not it. now we'll work with you on other ways to balance the budget but it shouldn't be by making more families food insecure. mr. speaker, may i ask how much time we have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five minutes
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remaining. mr. horsford: in that remaining time, mr. speaker, i'd like to yield to my colleague, mr. jeffries, for any concluding remarks he has and then i'll close out this special order hour. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentleman again for his tremendous leadership on bringing to the house floor such toimportant issue of concern the african american community but really of concern to all americans. hunger is an issue that should be nonpartisan in nature. it affects urban america and parts of suburban america and certainly rural america, it affects individual whors black, who are white, who are latino, who are asian, all different religious groups and ethnic persuasions, it's an issue that we should be willing to work with on a nonpartisan basis to find common ground with folk osen the other side of the aisle
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to -- with folks on the other side of the aisle to address an issue that should trouble every single member of the house of representatives. how can it be that we accept the fact that there are 50 million americans who are food insecure in the wealthiest nation in the world? . and i've traveled all over the district that i represent and i hear the arguments of some on the other side of the aisle that the supplemental nutrition assistance program or food stamps as it's sometimes referred to, is a program that creates dependency. well, i haven't met a single one of my fints who chooses hunger -- constituents who chooses hunger as a lifestyle. seems to me that that's a rough lifestyle to choose. these are individuals who for one reason or another find themselves in a tough spot and we in the congress should be doing everything we can to try and help them out, to get them back on their feet, to put them
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in a position where they can move forward and make progress for themselves and for their families and ultimately that would mean progress for the community and for this country and so i just thank the gentleman againer to his leadership and i look forward -- again for his leadership and i looked for to working with you as we move forward. mr. horsford: thank you and thank the gentleman from new york for your leadership and commitment to this issue. you have come to this floor on many occasions to talk about the important issues facing our country and you are always inclusive and factual and you make a compelling argument for why this body needs to take up these issues and let me just conclude, mr. speaker, by saying not only do we reject $40 billion in cuts to the food assistance program, but we're actually calling on our colleagues on the other side to work with us to help make snap work even better for america's
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families. to build on the great things that snap already does. this program is actually one of the most successful antihunger programs that we have. it lifts more families out of poverty than most other programs. but let me just close by sharing one example that we can be addressing. the example i want to close with is the 2015y food plan. which is -- thrifty food plan which is how snap benefits are currently cal later. -- calculated. the t.f.p. is the lowest cost of the four food plans developed by the u, da and it is unrealistic for a family of four. $632 per month for a family of four doesn't go very far in buying those fresh fruits and vegetables that my colleague talked about at the local farmers market. the current t.f.p. formula fails to calculate difficulties associated with the lack of food
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availability, the fact that in many of our communities, both rural and urban, the accessibility to nutritious, wholesome meals and fruits and vegetables isn't even available. and so that falls disproportionately on the poor, to have to pick up those costs. and so it doesn't include the cost of transportation, for example, it doesn't include food preparation time, that so many working families struggle with. and it leaves the average family of four with a $200 monthly benefit shortfall. now, again, this is simply unacceptable. as the wealthiest nation in the world, no american, no american, not our children, not our veterans, not our seniors should be forced to survive on what is now $1.40 per meal. and that's why, mr. speaker, we are here this hour to bring attention to this issue and to
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call upon our colleagues to work with us, to not implement these cuts and to make these programs work, not only snap, but head start and the other vital programs that so many families are depending on as part that have social safety net and the fabric of the american society. i yield back my time and i thank you, mr. speaker, for yielding time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013,, the gentleman from texas, mr. flores, is recognized for one hour as the designee of the majority leader. mr. flores: mr. speaker, thank you for the recognition. this evening i would like to lead a discussion about the blatant abuse of power by the internal revenue service, specifically regarding its targeting of americans because of their political beliefs. in early 2012, the waco tea party contacted me to express
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concern about an overly onerous information request regarding their request to become a 501-c-4 organization. ubs i subsequently contacted the i.r.s. to get answers and i also contacted the house ways and means committee and the house oversight and government reform committee to inform them of the situation that i had been made aware of. unfortunately following my inquiry into the i.r.s., the issue did not go away and in fact it got worse. i began to learn that this targeting was wide and spread throughout the country. in april of 2012, i along with 62 of my house colleagues sent a letter to then i.r.s. commissioner requesting responses as to why the i.r.s. was targeting and intimidating conservative groups. we received a basic nonresponsive letter from the i.r.s. that outlined how amcations are processed and that in no way answered our questions of the targeting and the onerous questioning of the grassroots
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groups. on may 10, 2013, just a little over a year later, the i.r.s. officially apologized for inappropriately targeting conservative groups like the waco tea party. the house oversight and government reform committee and the house ways and means committee started and continued to conduct hearings into this targeting of conservative groups. news reports would go on to reveal that senior i.r.s. personnel knew about this practice as far as 2011, directly contradicting earlier testimony of senior i.r.s. personnel who claimed that they did not know of these practices. i along with my colleagues here on the house floor tonight are far from satisfied with just an apology. we have several letters from groups that we're going to share with you tonight. this needless and abusive targeting has burdened many conservative groups throughout the country. i have invited several of my colleagues to come to the house floor and to join me as we bring back to the forefront this
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blatant abuse of power from the i.r.s. on conservative groups. tonight i would like to present the injustice that has been done by reading letters to congress from these targeted groups which go into detail about their experiences. the first letter is from a group in my district, texas district 17. it's the wakeow tea party. and here's -- waco tea party. and here's what their letter says. we are writing to you to explain to you and to your colleague what is it is like to be targeted by the government via the internal revenue service. we're not writing to explain the facts and details. that is all a matter for public record and the courts. but rather to explain what happens to the united states citizens who simply exercise their rights under the law. when we began the waco tea party, we were regular americans who spoke out about being taxed enough already. we weren't political operatives or politicians. for the most part, we were new to the world of politics. we were naive, we believed our government had problems, we
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didn't realize that it would target citizens for their political beliefs. that it would put us on a be on the lookout or bolo list for short, using the words tea party in our name. that some members of congress would write to the i.r.s. to demand action against us because we held a different position on policy. we weren't targeted because we broke the law, we were targeted because we were compliant with the law. we were targeted because we spoke out, we were targeted because our viewpoints weren't acceptable to government bureaucrats at the i.r.s. the law was wrongly used against us in an toment to shut us out and to shut us up. the toll i.r.s. targeting has taken on our lives is immeasurable. the financial burden on a small grassroots group has been staggering. requiring many of us to dip into our household budgets to cover expenses. the sleepless nights worrying what would happen if we couldn't find someone to help us.
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the emotional stress of explaining to your spouse, your children, family and friends why you have to miss a special event or a special day because we had to work on inane and intrusive demands by the i.r.s. questions that have nothing to do with our application, but were instead used as weapons of intimidation. the countless nights that we have laid in our bed not able to sleep, the times that we quietly cried into a pillow because we don't want our spouse to know how scared we are or the isolation we have felt because of how the media and even some members of congress have demonized us. none of this matters to an agent of the government. we're not seen as people. we deeply love our country, we are patriotic and we are dedicated to preserving our birth rights guaranteed by the constitution and passing them on to the next generation. our grandfathers, fathers and others fought wars against countries that use government to squesm freedom and liberty. of their citizens. only to find out that our own
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government was now engaging in these tactics. we are not ashame ed of our country, but we are disgusted with our government and those who condone the i.r.s. tactics. we implore you to act to preserve political speech, free speech, to hold people accountable for what they have done to the american citizens, we pray that you and your colleagues will act to restrain government, punish those who were responsible and restore our first amendment rights to what the founders intended. sincerely, toby marie walker, carol wadell, becky and bobby keith, waco tea party members, supporters and volunteers. mr. speaker, as i told you, there are several letters we have to share tonight. the next person i would like to invite to speak is randy weber from texas district 14 and he'll share what some of his constituents have written to him. mr. weber: i thank my friend
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from texas and, mr. speaker, i appreciate your recognition. you know, as we all know, in may of 2013 it was unearthed, that's probably a pretty good word because they had it deeply buried in the government bureaucracy, that the i.r.s. was unjustly targeting conservative 501-c-4 groups and using aggressive intimidation tactics. today i rise with my colleagues to share the story of organizations that were unlawfully targeted by the i.r.s. or infernl revenue service as i like to refer to them as. in southeast texas, in my district, that's texas district 14, they're on the gulf coast, the clear lake tea party was just such a group, one of many. that fell victim to the i.r.s.'s illegal, and i want to
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underscore, that illegal maneuvers. on november 23, 2009, the clear lake tea party filed their 501-c-4 tax-exempt status and after having received no word from the i.r.s. for almost eight months, the founder of the clear lake tea party made an inquiry regardsing the status of their application. what she received back, what they got back from the i.r.s. should shock and appall every american. on july 12, 2010, and i quote, here's what they got back. quote, here's what mary hulls, president of the clear lake tea party, sent our office. quote, the clear lake tea party received an additional information request from elizabeth hofacer, in the cincinnati, ohio, office of the .r.s., demanding 19 more
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nontax-related items to complete our application. the clear lake tea party board was duly alarmed by the broad and personal nature of the information required which we would have to deliver and declare under penalties of perjury. we judged the questions to be far outside the normal purr view of a none nal request for a tax-exempt designation. for example, she writes, number one, they were requested to provide a list of speakers and their qualifications for events that the clear lake tea party have had in the preceding year, prior year. they were asked to provide copies of information that was easily found on facebook and twitter.
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and then, believe it or not, the clear lake tea party there in galveston, texas, clear lake, lake city, galveston county area, was asked to explain their relationship with the king street patriots, another tea party. now, mr. speaker, i was born at night but it wasn't last night. what in the world does that have to do with their application for their own tax-exempt c-4 stat news is. -- status? umber four, they were -- let me just add they were not asked to explain their relationship with acorn or or organizing for america. number four, they were asked to explain the operation pink slip program and to provide
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literature concerning this program. how did you decide who would be fired? of course, the clear lake tea party, their immediate reaction upon receiving this information, was confusion. you see, they had already been investigated by an i.r.s. agent. well, after the i.r.s.'s beyond intrusive and illegal, i might add, investigation of the clear lake tea party, the clear lake tea period's board met and made the executive decision to ithdraw their 501c-4 application and to file with the state of texas as a texas nonprofit corporation that pays taxes in order to practice and protect their first amendment freedom of speech. we got a subsequent email from the president of the clear lake tea party and she stated in that
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email that they would not be intimidated by this federal agency or any other. and they would go down a different path. so they chose to file as a texas nonprofit. mr. speaker, it is an absolute shame and i will say a travesty that the head of the i.r.s., the former head, could come up to testify before our committees, stick her finger in the face of the american taxpayer, the eye, i should say, and say, i'm going to choose to claim the fifth amendment, i don't have to answer your questions, i don't have to be accountable to you, i don't have to be accountable to the american taxpayer. i told my district, try that one on for size when you -- when they ke side to audit you. get in front of their agents, their henchmen and say, i plead
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the fifth amendment, i don't have to answer your questions, and see how that works. it is unbelievable, mr. speaker, that in the united states of america, we are scrutinized for the applications we file and words are chosen like conservatives, king street patriots, and we are so deeply scrutinized as to drive the clear lake tea party to withdraw status.4 tax exempt not in america should this ever happen. i'm urging my colleagues in the house to join me and my fellow patriots across this land to ontinue that cry, that justify fied scrutiny of the i.r.s., to make sure two things, that those who did this are held accountable, and that it never,
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ever can happen again in the land of the free and the home to have the brave. mr. speaker, i'm randy weber and i love my country. it's the government i fear. i yield back. >> i thank my friend from texas, mr. weber and i'm honored to recognize another friend from the great state of tennessee, marsha blackburn who represents tennessee 7. mrs. blackburn: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. in flores -- mr. flores has done a good job of outlining the problem we have come to the floor to address tonight. frankly, mr. speaker, it is a problem and a situation that so many of our constituents never thought that they would witness or experience in this great nation. they always felt that they had the right to free speech because
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it is a guaranteed right. how dare that they, or their groups, find themselves subjected to mistreatment by a federal government agency because of what they chose to say or to do, all in defense of liberty and the constitution of this great land. well, we had some of our tennessee groups that were unjustly targeted through this process. they brought that to our attention because they realized that they were the brunt of this mistreatment. that they were facing a federal government agency who came bearing the power of the federal government to try to fear and intimidate citizens. yes, indeed, it is the example of the government turning
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against the citizens and the power of the government being used to silence the citizens. so many of our constituents that were involved with this process said, what happened? how did this change? what is -- what has caused this to take place? and what they began to say to us was, if they can do this to others, what are they going to do to us? if they can do this to us, and our group, what will they end up doing to others? so we have worked very closely and continue to follow what is happening with these groups and of course -- and the court -- and of course have been very concerned as we have heard and watched the hearings for how the i.r.s. carried out this data mining and these searches, i have to tell you, mr. speaker,
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it is no doubt at all, no doubt in my mind at all, why the american people are so concerned about the security of the president's health care law. they know that their data may be used against them because they have living proof with the i.r.s. that they took information, applications, donors to groups and then they turned that information against ose donors from those groups in order to silence them and to impair their free speech. i want to read a letter tonight from one of the groups in my district in our state that has been unfarely and unjustly treated by the i.r.s. and this one comes from
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linchpins of liberty, it is stating their posture as of october 21 of this year and the gentleman who is the executive director of linchpins of liberty a gentleman named kevin kukagee, who started the organization because he loves his country, he loves freedom, he wants to preserve this for his children and future generations. so he did what a lot of americans do. decided to put together an organizational structure that individuals could come together under to further the cause of freedom. something more individuals could and should do. but this is what happened to him and i'm quoting from his letter, which i will enter, mr. speaker, as a part of the permanent record for the proceedings of
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this evening. dear congressman blackburn, as you know, i am president and founder of linchpins of liberty, an american leadership development enterprise. on january 2, 2011, we filed our application with the i.r.s. seeking to obtain a 501-c-3 status as an educational organization. now, mr. speaker, that date is important. january 2. january 2, 211. for -- 2011. for over 33 months now, the i.r.s. has unlawfully delayed and obstructed that application. under threat of perjury the i.r.s. has demanded that i disclose the identities of think students -- of my students, some of whom are minors. one letter from the i.r.s. contained in excess of 90 -- , 90 inquiries of
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intimidation intended to force me to disclose my donors and identify the political affiliation of my mentors. this has come at great cost to me. i have already lost a $30,000 grant from a reputable nonprofit whose executive director advised me that he had never seen such treatment of a 501-c-3 applicant in his 25 years of making grants. on june 5, 2013, the day after i testified before congress, i then lost most of my business when my largest client advised me that it was uncomfortable with the public expression of my political views in defending my constitutional rights. a few days later, congressman mcdermott suggested on national
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television that i may have lied before congress simply because i was not under oath when i testified. perhaps he was projecting because i don't make a distinction between whether or not i'm under oath -- i tell the truth all the time. if the intent of the administration is to intimidate and silence the voice os -- voices of freedom, then it has grossly misjudged its citizens. the government is not our master, it is our agent. we are the principals and we are delegate our rights. we do not surrender them. i therefore respectfully appeal to you to confront this abuse of power by the executive branch and in so doing, to protect, defend, and preserve human liberty for ourselves and our posterity. sincerely, kevin kukagee,
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president and founder, linchpins of liberty. mr. speaker, when you read the letters such as the one from mr. kukagee, such as the ones you're going to hear from other organizations tonight, what you realize is, there is an outstanding field of questions relative to what is -- what has transpired with the i.r.s. why did they go about this? what was their purpose? was it maliciousness? were their actions purposeful? was it intended to silence, to silence those that stand in opposition to the practices and the positions of this administration? those are some of the questions that our constituents are still seeking to find the answers to
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these questions. they would like to have their i.r.s. designation because they recognize we are a nation of laws, we abide by the law, and they would seek to operate within the law. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. flores: i thank the congresswoman from tennessee. >> would the gentleman from texas yield? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 1545 to ex-tent authorities relate -- related to global h.i.v.-aids and promote oversight to united states programs in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is
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recognized. mr. flores: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the words that were shared with us from the gentlelady from tennessee, from one of her constituents. we hear firsthand the agonizing feelings of her constituents as they've experienced the abuse of an overreach of federal power by this feared agency, the i.r.s. i'm now pleased to recognize another one of my good friends, representative lankford of oklahoma, will share what some of the folks in oklahoma 5 think about what the i.r.s. has done. mr. lankford: thank you. thank you to my colleague for hosting this. mr. speaker, about 3 1/2 years ago, americans started getting more and more frustrated. it was really a product of several years building, this sense of helplessness as they struggled and watched the nation
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-- i don't know how to begin to describe the emotions that welled up about four years ago when americans watched their health care beginning to slip away. this absolute divide that happened as a nation between republicans and democrats, when they used to try to work together and try to resolve things went out the window on a pure partisan vote to push through a health care change that not a single republican voted for and democrats in a skittish way pushed it with glee while others stepped back and said, i hope this works the way it's being advertised. as we know now, it is not working. it is working exactly as many republicans said it would work, and the impullings of the federal government to take other more and more would -- and the impulse of the federal government to take over more and more would cause serious problems. at the same time the united states government began to overspend more than it ever had in the history of the united states.
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$1.45 trillion in overspending in a single year. led millions of americans to stop and gather, many of the first time, to be able to gather in small groups and say, our government is struggling, this is not going as a nation how we thought it would go. and they gathered together in small groups spontaneously called the tea party groups. groups of patriots, individuals, housewives, moms, business leaders, guys that own locksmith shops and all these different places that were around just started gathering together to say, what can we do? just normal americans. as they began to as they began to meet in groups of five, 10, 20, 25, sometimes they'd meet with 200 people, but most of the time it was at somebody's house. most of the time it's at a v.f.w. meeting place or some other spot. they determined, well, we need to get organized and we need to be able to pass out materials
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and do some things. and to do that in our governmental system, they've got to try to find some way to be able to organize that money together, which means they need to contact the internal revenue service and to be able to get access and get a revenue number. well, they started that. one of those groups was in oklahoma. a group called oklahoma city patriots in action. this group of individuals are just normal oklahoma great folks. they got together, submitted their application, went through the process they needed to do and then they get a letter back. with 21 questions, some of them having up to nine subques -- subquestions to it, 65 total requests came back to this group of individuals saying, we'll give you your number if you'll tell us all of this information. and to accentuate it, the letter begins with, first they need to sign this statement, under penalties of perjury, i declare that i've examined this information, including the accompanying documents into and to the best of my knowledge and believe, the information
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contains all of the relevant facts relating to the request for the information and such facts are true, correct and complete. and then they go on to make 65 different data request, many of them incredibly long. there's no question this letter is intended to intimidate people. but i can tell you, from knowing these oklahomans, they tried to intimidate the wrong people. with this. let me give you an example of some of the things they begin to ask for in this. in this long list of questions. they ask things like, do you directly or indirectly communicate with members of legislative bodies? if so, provide the copies of the written communications and the contents of other forms of communication. in other words, if you redress grievances to your elected officials as our constitution allows you to do, please provide us a copy of everything you said when you went to your government for a redress of grievances. how about this? give detailed examples on how you will educate the public
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concerning key legislation and the positions of political candidates and elected officials on that legislation. please explain how you obtained the current legislative information, both state and federal, and the turn-around time to post them on your website. why in the world does it matter what their turn-around time is, whether they post it in a day or 10 days, for your i.r.s. application? how about this, please provide copies of your current web pages from your website. wouldn't it be easier to just ask for the website name and then go search it themselves? and here's two sets of my favorites of this long list. i could go on and on with it. this asks, you have conducted or will you conduct rallies or exhibitions for or against any public policies, legislation, public officers, political candidates or any other kinds? if yes, please explain and provide the following, state the time, location and content schedule of every rally or
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exhibition. provide copies of handsouts you provide or will provide to the public. the names of persons from your organization and the amount of time they have spent or will spend on the event. one last piece, and again i could go on and on with this. this is the one that, when i read through this, it continued to just make my blood boil. have any candidates running for public office spoken to you or will they speak at a function of your organization? if so, provide the name of the candidates, the functions at which they spoke, any materials drbtsed or published -- distributed or published with regard to their event, auto or video recordings of the event and a transcript of any speeches given. now, these are gatherings of 0 people sitting around in someone's house. they're not tribing every part of everything -- transscribing every part of everything that's