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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 12, 2014 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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are artificially low. they are not what they should be based on our population, proximity, and the quality of our educational institutions. the quality of our educational institutions. and so we have to help get those numbers up. the exchanges are not going to make the difference in creating the workforce we need. but they do help us demonstrate that what the global workforce in the 21st century looks like is what i like to call mobile learners, they are people who have had experience in more than one culture, they speak more than one language, people who can operate in the multinational environment, whether in government, the private sector, or academia. we are going to have to be able to operate in that environment. amount there is a huge
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we can do with mexico and there was a real desire to move aggressively on education and so in a complementary way to the 100,000 strong in the americas, the mexican government has sought to create binational structures that really go further to do things together with united ontes and we created a forum education to be able to expand opportunities between our countries and in particular to expand the research and the innovation opportunities with technology, with incubators, so that we can do more to develop that workforce in these countries. and i know that you understand why that is important. the university of texas at our explored at el paso
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the specific potential of the border region in increasing the bilateral collaboration in this area. the borderarea where will be able to help us and show us how this kind of interaction exchange is possible. on infrastructure, i'm going to speak briefly because i think you have had a conversation about that and no more than i do. but i do think one of the things i hear when we talk at meetings like this over and over again is get itvernment does not on infrastructure. we are not doing enough and we as well as weand should. the infrastructure deficit we have had the border. all of the efforts we have been undertaking to make the border competitive will not actually mean much if people in vehicles
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and goods can't get across the border. the studies we have looked at have shown the border traffic congestion and delays $7.2d an additional billion in gross output and more than 62,000 jobs. given where the u.s. economy is right now, we can't afford that. noah conley can afford those kinds of losses. economy can afford those kinds of losses. in 2010, we a college star shared increase -- we acknowledged -- allill take more effort by of us. under that initiative, we have infrastructuren at the border, we have been coordinating a number of the port of entry projects and i know many of those are moving
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forward, creating headaches in the interim, but getting us to a better place at the end. theously the biggest -- busiest border crossing is going undergoing a renovation and that will be a boon to the region when it is completed. phase one is proceeding and we are beginning phase three construction on the mexican side of the border for the cross-border facility at the tijuana airport, which i'm excited about that one. the u.s. is nearly completing for thetion in mexico international bridge. the expansion of the bridge was completed between -- and we are working on the sadernization of the maripo port of entry. all of those capacities also
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mean we need to collaborate to waitother ways to reduce times because we are going to be helped by the additional capacity, but also that will bring greater expectations. mexicostarted to work on in 2003, i will tell you there me thereit seemed to were not this many projects going on. many of theset had been in process for a long time, there were about three new crossings in about two or three years. it was the first time we had that in about a decade, new crossings opening. there is a sense some of the slow processes are coming to fruition or initiatives are beginning to take hold because people have demonstrated the utility of them. we have convinced the pulley have money, whatever the reason.
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i think there is momentum for the direction and that is important to make up some of that deficit we face. on the security side, there has been a lot written about the pause on the security side the united states and mexico underwent at the beginning of administration. i think it has been overplayed to a great extent. it is extremely natural for any new administration to say we would like to take a look at what is going on and we would like to take a look at our own priorities and ensure that the projects that are underway fit our priorities and talk to you about making sure that the things we think are important have projects that reflect that. that was undertaken, as was coordination changes within the mexican government, over the
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last couple of months. probably six months or so, we one seen a rapid movement the bilateral security projects with the mexican government. we have moved ahead on some 85 or more projects under the initiative that were on hold. other projects were ongoing throughout this period. suspensionas never a of all programs. with hundreds of millions of ahead, of funds moving the outline of emphasis with the mexican government remains the four pillars under the there is a focus on police professionalization at the federal and state levels, a focus on strong communities, and working to prevent crime. there is a focus on the border and security at the border, making sure we never see
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security inefficiency a zero sum, but as inc. that have to be -- as thingsher that have to be working together to reinforce each other in a positive way. we are in a position right now where the relationship has moved and where thel security situation, as tough as it is, for the mexican government and the mexican people, you have seen significant victories against leadership in mexico in recent months. obviously the detention of the most but very significant targets, many numbers of them, have been detained. and i do think this is the result of years and a renewed
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commitment to the kinds of law thatcement cooperation goes on every day, in particular at the border, the twin professionals on both sides. -- between professionals on both sides. just as ouron, economic and commercial ,elationships are intertwined for better or worse, criminal activities are transnational. none of us can confront them alone. that is recognized on both sides of the border as well. this is a relationship that is going extremely well. obviously i'm not spoken specifically to the reforms that have been undertaken in mexico. we have seen some extraordinary beenent on what have called 20 years of reforms in mexico.
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things that will have a positive impact on the economic relationship with the united states. we are very excited about the relationship and very positive about the relationship and believe that well, as always, be reflected and initiated at the border itself. thank you very much. [applause] the assistant secretary has agreed to take questions from the public here today. >> i am only taking the easy questions. to thoseial thank you sponsoring this lunch. i hope you enjoyed it. these guys footed the bill for it. [applause] i have one question, let me say i have studied mexico over 20 years.
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so often it has been a negative conversation, what is extraordinary is how positive it is and constructive. when you gave testimony in congress, the number of people who have come out -- >> that is an amazing point. recently onestimony the house side, which can be the thing i am most afraid of, just saying. the committee was a full committee hearing. had 33never in my career or 34 members show up for hearing. not all at once, but there were a lot of them therefore much of the time. and certainly as you know, not all from the border. everyone was interested in what was going on in mexico. not every question was all positive, but it was terrific.
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mario lopez, thank you for your talk. what is your opinion on what the role is of order communities? that we could send comments, we sent comments from , but we are trying to find out what it means to border communities and the best way of communicating what is happening, high-level economic dialogue, with the local issues. thank you. >> it is a really good question. i think the most important thing is to make sure that washington of,nderstanding, or aware
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let me start again. washington is famous for the law of unintended consequences. for taking decisions which are not intended to hurt parties on the ground, or have effect in local communities, but do. x are intended to have benefits, but have y affect on people. in making things more efficient, reducing paperwork, moving to electronic forms, whatever it might be we are trying to make more efficient, the effect on the local community or how a infrastructure project may be affecting the community is far too often invisible to many of us. for it not to be by being in touch with organizations and visiting, but it is not always good enough.
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is to be asswer loud as you possibly can. electednd is through representatives who are aggressive on your behalf. is --s the other thing one of the things, and i have said this before, so i apologize, one of the things that has frustrated me on commonn is i have seen interests on the northern and southern border. it is not the same. i am well aware of that. there are some things order actually -- i hear echoes. if community organizations in both places could occasionally
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work together on things, you would be powerful indeed because the number of congressional representatives would basically win. i have yet to see, and i don't know whether he would agree with me on this, but i have yet to see southern border caucus folks on the hill really work that effectively with northern border congresspeople. part ofy, and this is our system, everyone sees it as zero sum. it takes it away from the southern border and vice versa. instead of saying, we have some of the same issues. folk should be beating out everybody in the middle. itonder whether some of could not be done, whether there might be some economies of scale
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on both borders. i don't know. of the waysme you've got to try to continue to get our attention. a fence like this are important, really important to bring -- like this are really important, really important so you areshow what facing. every time i go to an event like does,r my folks, my staff we go back with something we had not heard before, honestly. good and it is bad to be surprised because you don't like to think you have not been paying enough attention, but it is good because that is the point. and we say, wait a minute. we were not paying attention to this environmental issue, or this agricultural issue, whatever. i am glad that you took the
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north american approach to this. bilateraltly do the analysis. >> he would be so proud you are channeling him. hearam sure you're glad to i am doing my share of mexican students, i have three daughters at various universities in the u.s. >> well done. the point,besides what is your opinion, having worked on mexico for so many that hasur pet project been stalled, for whatever reason, what is it that frustrate you? the airport into one it was my pet project.
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the person said over my dead body. fortunately he is dead now. [laughter] >> yikes. take my death not to do something. that is a good question. i am not sure i have seen a project i really wanted to move ahead stalled. i have a huge commitment to the education stuff. i am a little bit worried, that -- i am worried by forces outside of our control. concerned -- iit do think this is changing. my concern had been the security -- and it in mexico is clear, it has inhibited u.s. students, in some cases legally, physically prohibited them.
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i think that is changing a little bit with the perception there were plenty of jesus -- can studyre students in mexico and have wonderful experiences. the state department tried to do ensuring thehat by travel advisory were much more specific than anything we wherely put out in noting violence has been a problem and where it has not. we don't normally do that. somewhat controversial, but we felt like it was important enough to be sure that people did not have the impression of the whole. , and i knowhink this from my own teenage kids and their cohort, i work on
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these issues every day. so i hope i have a little bit better understanding than the front page of the american newspaper. i hope. if that isdon't, your perception of country x or then for a while you are not going to send your kids to the place where all you saw were pictures of the morning after the latest attack. think thespect i do focus on theic full range of things going on has been very good for the bilateral relationship in mexico and the potential to send students back to mexico and terse back to mexico -- and ists back tour
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mexico. when you talk about going to anta rica, you have interesting conversation about how great costa rica is, as if nobody actually understood the geography of central america. and that is not to disparage costa rica. it is a wonderful place. there are problems that affect the entire dismiss, not just the northern triangle. this is not just spin, this is an important ability to project the reality in mexico. that is what the peña nieto administration wanted to do. there were concerns it was to spin something differently. we have helped with our partners do a better job at conveying what israel -- is real. my hope is we can advance on the educational side. but i also hope, and this is a
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-- seemed ofn mine, if we get the same group whosedents who come here, parents and grandparents came here, if they are the same kids that keep coming, i will not have succeeded, and i don't think you will have either. we have to broaden that pool, for the kids who never thought they could come here. so the kids were not coming here, with all due respect to not daughter, the kids were coming to stanford, but to community college. they're coming to technical schools and they're coming here because they're going to learn how to operate the computer machinery in a production plant. trying really what i am to expand. that is hard. we have been working with miami-dade college and others. that is hard because those kids may be older. they may have families. they may have jobs.
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they are not coming for junior year in spain. they are not doing that. maybe they can come for a month, if i guarantee a job at the other end. where the private sector does. that is what i'm talking about, expanding that pool to the kids who have not had that opportunity before, in the united states and overseas. that is what i want to get at. i'm not sure what is stopping me. i'm still having trouble. my personalve you thank you, for a more formal handciation, i'm going to the microphone over. >> thank you very much. i was listening to you and thanking you for attending this beautiful chat. i was just listening to roberta saying she did not come prepared. in the sense of preparation, it itquestionable, but i think
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reached out in this semi circle room. i can't express how lucky we are. express howanted to good partners we are. and listening to your speech about security and what is it you have done, your view on security, seeing your speech, listening to your speech, nothing less than emotional whense you really think people understand the issue, you do not want to see medical doctors, you do not want to see engineers or lawyers driving taxi cabs. from time to time, in countries you see anywhere from mexico to aires,ssess -- to buenos
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that is a waste of economic resources. the education you're talking about is exactly what we are, we have to focus on. we did organize the university, which did not exist, because the industry asked for that. and the industry was the one that asked for the subjects to be taught in that university. university which was to house aerospace business. the more i hear you, the more i am convinced education needs to be pertinent. and your emotional linkage between girls, boys coming to commuters to colleges is nothing but necessary. necessary for the industry.
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otherwise we will continue to unsatisfiedthat are because of the lack of connection because what they think they know and what the industry or the society needs from them. youvery happy and i thank for coming. you have graciously supported an initiative of select usa, partnering with pro mexico to do things together so we can show the world that, yes, we can become a power plays, a place to do business together. myother words than appreciation to you, once again. thank you. i am thrilled and we back you up on education and thank you for coming to this wonderful education, this wonderful lunch. thank you. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] we will need to learn again how to work together. how to compromise, how to make pragmatic decisions. in the upcoming midterm elections, americans will have choices about which path they want to go down and whether we will make the investments we need in our people. i will leave that discussion to others. the private us, in and nonprofit sectors, we have work to do. the government does not have an monopoly on good ideas, obviously. could not wanted, it and should not try to solve all of the problems by itself.
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we have responsibilities to do with we can. >> hillary clinton's book is called "hard choices," about her time as secretary of state. friday on c-span2, watch coverage of secretary clinton starting at 6:00 p.m. eastern followed with a book signing in arlington, virginia at 11:00 a.m. eastern. book tv, television for serious readers, every weekend on up next, vermont congressman peter welch talks about the november elections stop from washington journal, this is 30 minutes. journal" continues. host: we want to welcome back peter welch from vermont. let me show you "the washington times" editorial.
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guest: there really was probably a lot of anger in the republican base in that district and they express it against eric cantor. verycantor was a constructive member of congress. we disagreed, obviously, but he had a tremendous step in i saw the way he treated them. he was helpful to vermont when we needed to get federal emergency management agency since. he had the best interest of the country and frankly his party at heart. i was sad to see him thrown out.
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it was like the chicago bills not re-signing michael jordan because they only won four championships. . he was for the republican base and for that district. they made the decision zero have to respect the voters. i think it spoke to an enormous amount of frustration that a lot of people have about their economic circumstances. i heard the caller from texas and she expressed a feeling that an awful lot of folks have that they are falling behind. the middle-class is not keeping up. profits are back, wall street is back but wages, people who punch a clock or get a salary, they are still where they were 10 years ago. there is a lot of economic anxiety out there. a lot of that, anxieties misplaced print this is not a function of immigration were giving relief to the dreamers or having us embrace has always been a strength of this country, our ability to incorporate people into our
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country who have the goal to achieve the american dream. believe that it's consistent with their history and is good for our economy to have comprehensive immigration reform. a lot of the impediment is because many folks people feel that someone who comes in as a dreamer and wants to get ahead will be treated special and it's a feeling in part because they are not making ends meet and they are having a tough time themselves. my view is we need immigration reform but also policies to revive the middle class and help hard-working americans who feel they are not keeping up. host: is there a lesson here for democrats as well? guest: yes, you got to stay connected with your voters. eric cantor lost but lindsey graham one. that's no disneyland for democrats in south carolina. lindsay graham is full on into the immigration reform initiative.
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having thes is just individual connection that a member of congress or the senate has to constantly nurture and maintain. one of the challenges of anybody isleadership on either side there is a suspicion and skepticism that are voters have. forgetting us are about them and would have to demonstrate in every way possible at every moment possible that we know we work for those people who sent us to congress. i think that was a bubbly a challenge for mr. cantor who had a lot of leadership responsibilities and traveled the country. you pointed out how much money race for the party and networks for the party but it does not necessarily work for him in his district. what's that got to do with me is what voters asked. that's a fair question. host: here is the "politico" headline from yesterday -- think this changes the
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equation for democrats taking back the house? guest: it's too soon for me to tell. i think there is a lot of dynamics here that are at play that are more within the republican party. what you are seeing for both is [inaudible] it's not about immigration reform but eric cantor was the vehicle were folks who are frustrated had it been ability to express their anger. i see in vermont where we have a low unemployment rate, a lot of folks have two jobs, trying to make ends meet. some families have three jobs. insecure andirly the cost of higher education and health care continues to be a big cost and property taxes -- there is an enormous challenge
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for all of us in public life to try to get policies back to reviving the middle class. host: here is the upshot column in "the new york times." guest: it's a pretty pessimistic view of human nature but there is some truth in it. here we've got a job to do in politics to move
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the ball forward and make progress. why is it that with something were both sides know we've got potholes in our roads across the country, we don't pass a transportation bill? we will have a highway fund that will be bankrupt by the end of the summer. that's just irresponsible. aconfident country and competent political system understands it has to solve problems. we did that, things about infrastructure or immigration reform and we did it together, a lot of people who are divided, their fears about what we were going to do would be mitigated enormously by taking concrete steps on infrastructure or immigration reform would create a bounce in our step and help us move forward. whatever the differences, we have to find a way to work together. host: one issue democrats are pushing as their campaign
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strategy is student loans. in the senate yesterday, elizabeth warren's bill dealing with interest rates of student loans installed. it did not get the 60 votes required to have it considered on the floor and another vote would be required to end debate and vote on it. what's your reaction? guest: it's disappointing. the cost of college has gone up 1000% in the last 20 years. incomes have not kept up with that. students are graduating, as we know, with a mountain of debt and that's a hard way to start your young professional life. 50,000 dollars in debt -- that stuff on the young people but it's tough on the economy because those are people who in the past were starting to save money to put a down payment on a condominium or starting to buy furniture. they were starting to be consumers in the economy which had a benefit of helping boost
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demand and create jobs for other people. this challenge is really important. we've got to provide really particularly where he cut -- when it comes to interest rates. the federal government is borrowing a 2.8%, why are we charging middle-class families seven or eight percent? we should not make money off of them when they are financing their kids education. host: lamarr alexander, the former education secretary was on the floor arguing against the legislation and explained why. . [video clip] >> it does not one thing for current or future students. if you are in college today or going tomorrow, this does not do anything for you. don't let the red are full you. number two, what does it do for people who used to be in college , who might have a loan to pay off? here's what it does according to data supplied by the congressional research service -- it will give you one dollar per day. this is for about half the
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people, for students, who have loans. a taxpayer subsidy of one dollar per day to help you pay off your student loan. how big is that loan? 85%undergraduates which is of all the loans, is $21,000. for graduates with a four-year degree, its $27,000. $27,000 -- probably the best investment you'll ever make. the college board says if you have a four-year degree, your lifetime earnings will be $1 million more, $27,000 when you have no credit rating and you have a right to get it and earns you $1 million? that's a pretty good deal, i think. it's about the exact amount of the average car loan. what are we going to next week? instead of dealing with lines of veterans at clinics, somebody going to come on the floor haver loan, let's raise taxes and raise the dead and give them a
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dollar a day to pay off the car loan. host: he is saying he does not agree with the policy. guest: it will not help a lot of people. this will help 5 million new students who get some relief on their loans. for those 5 million, this is going to be helpful. there are millions more not affected by that. the president is doing it under executive authority. if we're going to do more for the other people that senator alexander is talking about, it takes legislation. congress has to participate. we should be doing more to help those folks. i disagree with senator alexander. you want to get a college education. if you talk to recent college graduates and see what their unemployment rate is, it is high. it is tough in the job market. i am running into people who are
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theting to question whether proposition that senator alexander spoke about -- is it still true today? it is a challenge. that is old school thinking. what is worse? students college loans or the inability to learn to live within their means? they are both true. we know if we want to get ahead, we want to be meeting society. we have to educate people we have to give them a shot at going to school. -- they have to graduate with a mountain of debt and then they have to live within their means, but we have made it difficult for that to happen, then we have a problem with the funding of higher education. we have to live within our means, but let's make it possible for people to do that.
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host: let's get to phone lines. i am calling because of the immigration reform. we talk about reform. we had reform in the late 1980's. i was in favor of the amnesty. voted, promised when we we gave our ok for that, that the people who are working here illegally, these people and the companies they are working for, we have no way of knowing they should not be working here. that was before they came up with the e-verify and then they made it voluntary. this country is going down hill. whotched debates on people
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were going to be working and bringing people onto nuclear power plants. down all attempts at making those people use easier five. -- use e-verify. it is becoming the party of the illegals. host: let me have the congressman respond. guest: i do not agree with you. this country has been built on immigrants. on new people coming in. earn citizenship and that they should pay their bills and employers should be required to obey the law. there are strict responsibilities for employers. if there is a failure to implement a legitimate basis for criticism. that is not a basis to deny
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necessity. all of these people, as eric cantor said, through no fault of their own, have nothing to say about becoming an american citizen. caller: thank you for the opportunity. i wanted to get back to eric cantor. -- coined the phrase. eric cantor and the leadership on the hill on the republican side, they have done absolutely nothing tosolutely help this president or nation. they never considered him as president. arrogant in the way he walked through those
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, setting upgress hearings and gathering people to come after the president of the united states. inwe do not get out and vote this off year, they are going to try to impeach that man. they're going to try to impeach him. there has been opposition hasverything the president - been trying to do. i agree with you on that. we have the republican majority in the house that can stop anything the president wants to do. repealed the health-care bill 55 times instead of focusing on whether some of the billems the health care has. in the senate, we have the filibuster rule that is harmful.
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the minority and republicans have it near a veto power over presidential appointments. carol on twitter. what does the guest feel is the answer to the mess due to the thousands of illegal now children crossing our borders daily? parents are putting kids unescorted on the trains to come up to the united states in hopes they will have a better life. how desperate can you be? caller: thank you for taking my
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call. ought tocan people wake up. andrid of the sore heads put someone in there we know and do the work. thank you. you give me the name of that person and i will be with you. right tohas a criticize us. we are not getting things done that need to be done. so much to gost to college? why have we not been able to simplify the tax code? why can't we have an energy policy? obviously it has to do with members of congress who have to come together to compromise. beenpediment to that has the gerrymandering of our districts.
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the last time there was gerrymandering, it was largely the republicans who chose it. member is concerned only about the primary and not the general elections. that gets in the way of having reasonable cooperation. in your everyday life, you make compromises. you listen to another person. host: the washington times says key legislation is now in jeopardy. every bill is in jeopardy. it will make it much more legislative advance agenda in a bipartisan way. tria. them is
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the highwayplenish trust fund and the reauthorization of the export-import bank. guest: it will be tougher on the republican side. their leader was defeated in the primary. everyone is going to be apprehensive about what was the reason for that. are going tongress be hesitant to make a decision. ,hose of us in congress including those on the republican side, we cannot accept that. we have a job to do. america is moving. fail to make decisions that will result in america being stall speed. we have to fix our potholes.
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i am trying to encourage my colleagues -- we do some of these things and we do it together. people will forgive us that it is not perfection. we rarely achieve it. not be an excuse for us to fail to move forward. he is serving in his fourth term. go to jeff, orlando, florida. the congressman asked us why we cannot pass the transportation bill. here is an example. you are talking about -- you listed about five things that are important as it relates to transportation. you pack it with all sorts of other things that have nothing to do with transportation whatsoever.
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when we passed the health care law, what did the student loans have to do with the health care? nothing to do with it. that is one problems you have in congress. if you listened to c-span the other day and you listen to the voters who want to justify their existence, he was never in the district. many complain about we do not voters will -- decide. you come on and have the audacity to compare cantor to michael jordan. i get the point you are making, but respect the voters and the decisions they make, whether you like those decisions are not. i do respect you and i like the fact that you try to be a little fair, although you are liberal. i wanted to make those two points. guest: they decided and said
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that is the lesson because we work for them. areof the reports we reading indicate the voters have questions about that. it with not have respect to lindsey graham. you have a point. the second point you make, i also kind of agree with. we should not have bills be what they are about and not be vehicles to load everything else on the train. that has gotten better because of the reaction of people like you. , let is a student aid bill it be about student aid. then you get to decide whether you agree with me. the potholes do not fix themselves. have a transportation fund. voteme point, we have to
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to fund the infrastructure. if we vote on that, then you get to know where i stand. yesterday, the first phone call came from a voter who voted for it dave brat. he felt like eric cantor was out of touch. the new york times has a front-page story. roots, votershis contend. if you missed that yesterday, go to and you can watch that. chuck, democratic caller. that theyhave an idea should just ban all of the one year.for
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i do not think they are crooked, but can sway their views. i would be ok with that. it isot sure constitutional. -- they want to have their issues considered. we saw an enormous amount of money that cantor raised. the money and the gerrymandering are two huge problems that face .s
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we have boutique districts designed to have a guaranteeing -- guaranteed democratic or republican candidate to win. there is no incentive for that member of congress to reach across the aisle to find legitimate common ground. gerrymandering and the money are two major problems getting in the way of us making progress. coming, but saw it they should have. when virginia districts were -- in 2010, they moved heavily democratic precincts from the richmond area -- area. cantor had misjudged where his real threat would come from. a threat was growing within his
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own party, in which some tea party members had begun to conclude he was not conservative enough. he performed worse in new count -- new kent county. guest: it was designed to have it be safely republican, but it became the real threat to eric cantor. there are two things about politics. one is aspiration. what are our ideals? people engage in these debates and run for office because they want to make this a more perfect union. the reality is you have to make concrete decisions.
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it you cannot fund the programs you want. you may not be able to cut taxes as much as you want. cooperations some and compromise. it requires goodwill and mutual respect. we get these districts where the politician is trying to make that step is going to be thrown out of office because there is such a narrow definition in the electorate. that is not good in the long run. on the money spent and how much money eric cantor spent versus his opponent, he spent producing and airing television ads. buy inn with a small late april. ads repeated brat's name again and again, alerting many voters to the fact that he existed at
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all, and that was the threat to cantor. guest: they are running ads promoting mr. bratt. i don't know who his consultants were, but whoever they were, they were paid way too much. i have so many issues now. mr. welch onwith one thing so far. that is the gerrymandering. chicago, i am a republican. i do not have a vote. every district is divided. they are like snakes and lizards that you look at. host: what should be done about it? done aboutt can be it? we can divide it up into squares. not a bad idea.
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in california and iowa, they have a nonpartisan commission. they take the authority away from the politicians and design their own districts and they put it in the hands of a nonpartisan or bipartisan commission and they do it more like squares, or the districts are contiguous and it has to do with the community of interest rather than the convenience of the politician. you have a good point there. fda cheese comments raises a new stink. there is a warning about bacteria from aging on wood that is alarming our tees and all makers. guest: the fda was going to prohibit cheesemakers from aging their cheese on wooden boards. we have been aging cheese on wooden boards since we made cheese.
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you cannot understand how they do this. of money for a lot our cheesemakers and it would set off a trade war. we have a bipartisan bill. we are asking me cheese lovers of congress to unite to stop the takerom requiring us to our tees off of cheese boards. it is an example of what frustrates people. you have to have clean services when you manufacture cheese. aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, it is about whether it is clean, not what the surfaces. the fda is going overboard. host: have you heard from them yet? guest: they are starting to back day after -- back down. these are young people who are , they back to agriculture
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are disciplined, they are entrepreneurial. jobs.ates good give them a helping hand. host: coming up on c-span, president obama and members of congress respond to the situation in iraq. sunni militants capture key areas of the country. we are live at 9:00 p.m. with the radio and television correspondents dinner all stop from the new york times today, iraq's fracturing defense. kurdish forces poured into the strategic oil city of your cook. there was a new sign of disarray. sunni militants seized important northern cities this week. they moved closer to baghdad and issued threats about destroying sought -- shrines. that is from a new york times
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story. president obama spoke about the situation in iraq will stop he spoke about the possibility of u.s. action. we have been in close consultation with the iraqi government. over the last year, we have been providing them additional assistance to try to address the problems they have, in the northwestern portions of the country as well as the iraq he and syrian border. that includes, in some cases, military equipment, intelligence assistance, a whole host of issues. what we have seen in the last couple of days indicates the degree to which iraq will need more help. it will need more help from us and it will need more help from the international community.
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my team is working around the clock to identify how we can provide the most effective assistance to them. i do not rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadist's are not getting a permanent foothold in either iraq or syria, for that matter. part of the challenge, and i have said this directly to the prime minister and the vice president has said this in his very frequent interactions with the iraqi government, is that the politics of shia and sunni inside iraq is either going to be a help in dealing with this jihadist situation or it will be a hindrance. frankly, over the last several years, we have not seen the kind of trust and cooperation develop between moderate sunni and shia leaders inside of iraq and that accounts in part for some of the weakness of the state, and that carries over into their military capacity.
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so i think it is fair to say that in our consultations with the iraqis, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily and our national security team is looking at all the options. but this also should be a wake-up call for the iraqi government. there has to be a political component to this so that sunni and shia, who care about holding a functioning state that can bring about security and prosperity to all people inside of iraq come together and work diligently against these extremists. that will require concessions on the part of both shia and sunni that we have not seen so far. the last point i will make, what has happened over the last couple of days underscores the importance of the point i made at my west point speech, the need for us to have a more robust regional approach to partnering and training partner countries throughout the middle east and north africa. we are not going to be able to be everywhere all the time.
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but what we can do is to the sure we are consistently helping to finance, train, advise military forces with partner countries that have the capacity to maintain their own security.
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that is a long and laborious process, but it is one that we need to get started. that is part of what the counterterrorism partnership fund i am going to be calling for congress to help finance is all about, giving us the capacity to extend our reach without sending u.s. troops to play whack a mole wherever there is a problem in a particular country. that will be more effective, more legitimate, in the eyes of the people of the region and the community. it will take time to deal with it in the short term. >> we will take one question. david.
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>> mr. president, [indiscernible] where is the line drawn? >> i gave a long speech about this. i would probably refer you to that as opposed to repeating it. but the basic principle, obviously, is that we, like all nations, are prepared to take military actions whenever our national security is -- the issues to do with the border, humanitarian concerns, borders around, writes to navigation, concerns around our ability to deal with instability or fragile worst failed states, populations there and refugees flows, wherever we can, our pressure and -- we should partner wherever possible.
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we should be more effective if we work with nations. that is part of why australia is so important to us. there are a handful of countries in the world we always know we can count on, not just because they share our values, but we know we can count on them because they have got the capacity. australia is one of those countries.
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we share foundational fell use about liberal democracies and human rights and a worldview that is governed by international law and norms. and, aussies know how to fight. i like having them in the foxhole if we are in trouble. i cannot think of a better partner. part of our task now in a world where it is less likely that any particular nation attacks us or our allies directly, but rather, more typically, that you have disorder, asymmetric threats, terrorist organizations, all of which can be extraordinarily disruptive and damaging, but are not the typical types of war equipped to fight, it becomes that much more important for us to start building new partners who will not be as capable as the australians, or our own troops. that will take some time and resources, but we need to start now. we have learned some lessons over the last decade. we need to start applying them. >> following a closed-door briefing on the escalating violence in iraq, senator spoke to reporters about possible action in that country all stop
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we will hear from house leaders. they have a specific agenda. that is to create an islamic state. the question for the united states is, does it matter? if it does matter, what are we willing to do? there is no scenario where we can stop the bleeding in iraq. it would require american air power. the army is on the verge of collapse oh stop i would urge the administration to get all of our people out now. we have another benghazi in the ,aking all stop the airbase
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where you have iraqi aviation assets, they will be grounded when our guys leave. at the end of the day, the advantage that their forces would have would be lost. time beforeer of that becomes the central theater of battle. i do not know if the government should be on baghdad. the information we're receiving is that the vehicles that are being abandoned and the happy weapons are now flowing into syria. what i worry about is the king of jordan. he has been an incredibly good ally. i think he will get caught up in this. this goes back to our mistakes in syria. it goes back to our inability to deal with syria on sibley oh stop there were 500 foreign fighters.
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it has led to a foothold in syria. it has been a launchpad against iraq will stop lebanon and jordan are next. to the american people, i know you are tired of doing with the mideast. the people moving into iraq and holding ground have this as part of their agenda. the head of the fbi said that the high point the next 9/11 attack is likely to come from there are numerous american citizens. european jihadist announced area. there coordinating in syria and iraq. it is my worst fear come true. the president is willing to adjust his policies, i am willing to help them stop president bush got iraq wrong
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will stop i remember meeting with him and senator mccain will stop senator mccain. what they are saying is not accurate. it is not in his interest. the place is falling apart. resigns, thed search came about and the president corrected it. if president obama does not correct his policies regarding syria and iraq, we will be in a world of hurt all stop -- world of hurt. i think the president should rethink his withdrawal. what you will see will surely happen in afghanistan. it will happen to the american people. when people put their trust in youand they fight alongside and they wind up getting subjected to radical islam and getting killed, it makes it hard
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to have reliable partners. collapsesee with the of the security forces, it is lacking confidence. if it had been a solid force of americans in iraq, they probably would have fought much better. is a vacuum, people go back to their sectarian quarters. one of the biggest mistake that president bush made was not understanding what would happen after the fall of saddam's and. -- saddam hussein. i will blame on myself for not appreciating the situation. i learned the hard way. the biggest mistake was to leave iraq without any forces behind. they were clearly willing to of american forces. 10 or 15,000 would have made a difference. notamerican air power is injected into the equation, i do not see how you stop these people. they are moving rapidly.
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>> we got evaluated. the people have as part of their agenda to attack our homeland. the next 9/11 is in the making syria has become the afghanistan before 9/11. it is a safe haven for training. they want to drive us out of the region. i want to hit us throughout the world. any overseas location, particularly in the mideast, is at risk. >> look in the obama administration do? . >> they can call their commanders together. they have to decide if it matters if this continues to develop. the president probably needs to get on television and lane to the american people what is going on.
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i do not know what his foreign policy is. i just know it is not working. , number one,litary want to hear from the president. i am tired of telling him what to do. it is not my place to tell them what to do. the president should address the american people about our options. one option is to stay out of it. we can articulate the upside and the downside. that is clearly an option, to let it play out. my view of letting them play out is that it would be a disaster for us regionally, a disaster for us at home all stop that at home. we could get involved without boots on the ground. i would have to listen to our commanders. putting boots on the ground is something that no one wants to envision. the interim step would be some
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kind of american heirs of work. -- air support. with that change the equation? i do not know of stop experts would have to tell me this. at the end of the day, our president needs to and or mars as a nation, does it matter about syria and iraq. what is he willing to do? as a republican, does he believe he needs use air power to change the equation? do our generals advise us to do that? i would be willing to support it. withember the conversation president bush like it was yesterday. this is not working. i was in a rock at the time will stop -- in iraq at the time. people are telling me that it is falling apart. i do not know what the president is being told. when i heard scared the hell out of me. the worst is yet to come.
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the place is falling apart. here is another question from me. maliki should consider resigning. i do not have faith in him. . i do not think anyone who has observed a rock believes that he can hold the country together. are we supporting a government that would have a chance to rehabilitate itself? would it maintain any gains that it could achieve? i do not see malki as a political figure being able to do what needs to be done. >> is there no scenario by which you can stop the bleeding? >> something has to change. >> the president needs to
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replace his entire national security team. they are the ones who described our departure from iraq as a great discuss that success. there are many quotes that can attest to that. just because the president declares a conflict over, it does not mean it is over all stop -- it is over. he needs to have a reliable team that can provide him with the options available to him. and the course of actions that would reverse this disaster. >> you mentioned airstrikes. >> i'm not saying it is not enough. i'm saying that we need to get the smartest guys, the people who one the war with the search, and get their pricing council. airstrikes might be part of it. i would rely on their judgment. i am not calling for airstrikes.
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i'm calling for the advice and counsel of the smartest people who won the war in iraq. >> do the iraqis want our help? >> they are begging for it. there was in your time story today. they are begging for help. >> what do they want? >> you will have to read the article. they want assistance. >> do you consider boots on the ground? >> definitely not. >> thank you. we are going to have to make some decisions quickly and see what will be the recommendation. they made this decision by not
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signing the agreement. help.ey are asking for i'm very concerned about how we are going to and whether we should engage. that is very concerning. it is alarming how quickly things are changing over there. >> would you reauthorize airstrikes? >> it might be the only way that we can get some support for them to regroup. the iraqi army could get itself together. reason as toiven a why we haven't done anything yet? >> this was a surprise. , they are going to have to make some calculations and decisions about what we will do. the airstrikes were talked about. we have to see where that develops. i don't think anybody is supporting engaging and on the
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ground. we are concerned about the issues. we have better accounting on that. . i'm sure we will be briefed more >> what happened? >> that was a surprise but everybody have. there was not even a fight. . that is a concern. . we did not have more knowledge of that. that could have been the situation. . we have not seen that. it blended back into the crowd. we are staying out of the fight. . they are trying to rally around baghdad they are getting more support. it is all unfolding. we are being briefed on it. he is the person in charge.
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>> john mccain said that the entire national security team should resign all stop >> playing politics with this is not the time to do that. this is very dangerous and concerning. might with military change that part of the world, we would have done it by now. to fight andlling die for their country. until that happens, we will not change anything. >> how concerned are you? >> what is our discussion about today? >> what should the u.s. be doing in iraq? >> if they call for a, we should provide it. , we shouldl for aid
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provide it. we left the situation in a weakened state. he has not been a good prime minister. they have been more accepting of what he is doing in the country. he has helped create those conditions. our lack of a policy has exacerbated that. we would be leaving troops behind. some small level, it has accommodated the problems there was stop we should do whatever is necessary. with the airstrike, which is typically the way we do things to minimize casualties on our side, it is getting out of hand.
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iraq feels like a vacated lot. something where u.s. policy was just to check the box and leave. this is something that all of us have been concerned about. on both sides of the aisle. we had a lot of people lose life and limb. we spent billions of dollars. when the agreement was reached, this was the thing we were concerned about. -- we haden unable some degree of influence in the region. diplomacy program. he has done none of that. syria has exacerbated the.
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we find ourselves where we are. risk get dragged back into the iraq conflict? >> discontinues as it is. it provides a risk to the entire region. it could go up in flames. what is happening again in syria and what is happening in lebanon, i think that for a short term basis, until we can say there is strength in themselves, i think we should be very open to helping on a short-term basis. they do not have the capacity to do that was stop i have supported the sale of the equipment. it has been held up. this is what the helicopters were utilized for. out.s been drug
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this was the concern. but they would not deal with it. >> thank you. >> i would hope to talk to the administration. i am very concerned. was unableat malki to make any accommodations. the most violent of extremist groups has grabbed hold of the situation. they are on a march to baghdad. this could be devastating. i would like an opportunity, assuming i'm asked, to give my
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views personally. this is a very dangerous situation. >> is there a public stomach for airstrikes? -i will not comment on that at this point. no one has proposed it. we need to understand the situation first. my intelligence that has had a briefing. i have not had a chance to get it. but i will. this wouldn't have happened if the president had pulled troops out of iraq? >> let me say, this is not became -- time for a blame game. both sides must come together. we have lost a lot of people. there was a lot of suffering going on. iraqis have lost a lot of people. there needs to be an approach that everyone will agree with. if that is possible or not, that
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is what we should try to do. this, readessment of caught off guard? >> i will not comment on that. my assessment is that this is serious. we are essentially withdrawn. militaryn terms of a contingent that could respond. >> are you asking for a meeting with the white house? >> i would very much welcome a request to share views on this. this is a subject that we should all be together on. if the not be together initial consultation between the bodies does not occur. the armed services committee had a briefing. the intelligence that had a briefing. i have not had an opportunity to get informed about what was said. >> thank you.
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>> on iraq, should the u.s. be launching airstrikes? what should the u.s. do? >> we should provide the equipment and the tentacle assistance that the iraqis have been asking for. i do not know the details of the airstrikes. i do not know whether we should or should not. it is not what we have not seen this problem coming for over a year all stop -- over a year. it is not like we haven't seen these terrorists moving in and taking control of western iraq. now they have taken control of most all -- mosul. the president is taking a nap. >> on foreign policy, things have gotten very serious on iraq.
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should the united states use airstrikes? what should they do? things are getting so volatile. the united states has been in iraq for 10 years. should they move on? >> that is a multifaceted question. what is happening in iraq is very troubling, especially if you see what is happening in syria. and you can take a cab from one to the next. my understanding is, from the local metropolitan journal, that the state department said we are supplying some weaponry to their government. i do not think or is an appetite in our country to become engaged in any more military activity in iraq. why is it not? it does not matter why. it is a fact. the american people have been exhausted with wars. if you want to talk about iraq
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and the opposition they have always had to our military engagement there, we have to go back to 2003. go back to 2002, in the fall, when the bush administration misrepresented the facts to the american people, took us into a war on a false premise they knew not to be true, told the american people the world would -- war would pay for itself, it will be over soon, we would be greeted by rose petals, that we had to go in there because the smoking gun might be a nuclear plume. that is what they told the american people. of course, it was not true and they knew that. i said at the time, intelligence does not support the threat. you could not find in any available. they had to show us every -- any sign of that threat. so we go down a path, diverting
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our attention from afghanistan, where we should have just finish the job in 2002-2003, and instead, we take up another war, and here we are. warrant begets water -- war begets war. it is just not a good idea. what is next? that is what the american people want to know. what is next? was it hannah arant that said people think one more act of violence is going to end violence, but it is like a flywheel. one act of violence provokes another act of violence and here we are. this represents the failed policies that took us down this path 11 years ago. it was march 19. the feast of st. joseph. 2003, we got the call saying, the president called to tell you we are initiating military action into iraq in a few hours. my question was why?
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we have not exhausted any remedy. in terms of inspections in iraq. so, pardon me for going back forward, we have to know what is -- pardon me for going back, but before we go forward, we have to know what his going on. the american people do not have an appetite for secretary -- sacrificing our troops, our treasured -- presses -- precious treasure, first and foremost. >> today at the white house , jay carney answered questions on iraq. we will show you live coverage of this event before our live coverage of the radio correspondents dinner, which is scheduled to get underway at 9:00 p.m.. >> this is in honor of them winning the championship.
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i want to congratulate my son's team and all of the players and the coach. and that is the only announcement i have at the top. should i give this to you? the president does have an event. i just wanted to note that that is currently on schedule. if anybody needs to go over, that's fine. we will keep going. clarify on behalf of my colleagues, this is not the swansong today, is that correct? >> probably not. we will see. it depends on how it goes. can i decide that at the end? i might have one more in me. >> the president has said you're
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prepared to take national military action when our national security a start and. does the threat in iraq represent a national security threat? aboutare very concerned the extremist threat in thehwestern iraq and bordering region with syria. and there is no question that iraq is a strong and important partner to us. that is why we have provided substantial assistance to iraq including military assistance.
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there are challenges posed by the unrest, the civil war in syria. that has, in the last several days, caused great concern with what is happening in iraq. what the president made clear been providinge a significant amount of assistance to iraq including military hardware. i believe josh detailed some of that the other day. we are looking very closely at other efforts we can undertake -- iraqt the rack in and is very serious situation. alternately, as the president also made clear, iraq's future has to be decided by a unified effort among different groups and political parties in iraq toing together in moderation
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fight the extremist threat posed by isi l. theave had discussions with prime minister and others about that, and that continues to be the case. these considerations, have you specifically ruled out the use of any u.s. ground forces? answering --on was the president was answering a question specifically on airstrikes. considering our options as part is the overall effort to support the rack -- iraq and the overall assistance we can provide in this.
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when he said he was not ruling anything out, he said he was question abouthe airstrikes, and that is what he meant. >> is there a concern that this is too late? ramping up our assistance to iraq for some time now. what we have seen in the past several days is an escalation in the violence and movements by forces, jihadist, into the country, and the occupation of some towns and cities in the country. we have a near-term situation that we need to move very , and we are assessing
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what we can provide additionally, what we can do assist the rack. we also have an ongoing take steps to further unify the country, and also to assist them through the counterterrorism partnership fund, for example, to be better prepared to handle this kind of threat now and in the future. sudden use a by this showing of strength in the insurgency? something we have been monitoring for some time and been very concerned about. we are very concerned about the problems caused by the unrest in , the challenges that
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creates for iraq and has created and the need iraq, to have capacities increased and for iraq itself to meet the challenge. that is why we have taken the steps we have in the past, armsding missiles, small fire, tank ammunition, machine m-16s tonades, flares, the forces. 10 eagle platforms for surveillance are on schedule for delivery this summer. recently noted the sale of 200 additional
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humvees. under the strategic framework agreement, we have also expanded our training programs both in iraq and jordan where a second round of training will occur this summer. part of an ongoing effort to help the iraqi security forces deal with this threat. as the president noted, there is borderneed for unified taken.tion to be groups of an extremist and the members of the group who do not have iraqi national interests at heart, but who are bent on death and destruction in iraq and the threat they pose is to every individual within iraq and, therefore, we will continue our discussions, including in the ongoing consultation that the vice president has with iraqi leaders to urge more unity
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among the political parties and communities in iraq as they deal with this challenge. >> jay, let me just quickly ask you about immigration. the president last night said the immigration reform bill is not dead, so does this mean you're not ruling out the possibility of taking some sort of administerive action before the august recess? >> the president was referring to the effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform. we believe that the broad coalition that existed prior to this week's primary in the seventh district of virginia is as strong today as it was then.
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and the house ought to pass a bipartisan immigration reform measure that would provide extraordinary benefits to our economy, security, and to our businesses and would deal with this challenge in a comprehensive way. that imperative has not changed at all. that is what the president was referring to. yes. >> there has been talk about the surprised in seeing how fast what has been going on in iraq. regarding syria, what exactly is the scenario? >> as i have said, we have been very aware and have discussed here and in other venues the challenges posed i the war in
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syria and extremist activity there and isil as it formed and moved across the border into iraq. that has always been a great concern. that is why we have stepped up the assistance we have been providing to the iraqi security forces. >> [indiscernible] >> i think the president said moments ago in the oval office we cannot be everywhere at all times. whether it is iraq or elsewhere, we need to partner with other countries and their militaries and security forces to assist them in combating these kinds of extremist challenges. that is what that counterterrorism partnership fund is about that the president discussed in west point, and that is very much the manner in which we have approached our close relationship with the iraqi government and the support we give iraqi security forces. ultimately, a sovereign nation
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like iraq has to have the capacity to do with these challenges. we can assist and we are and we will look at all options in the current near term situation, but the medium and long-term solution to a challenge like this has to be one that is led by iraqi security forces? >> does this make an argument that the u.s. should have acted sooner in syria? >> i can remember answering questions before you guys can, michelle, about our concern and should we be concerned when it came to supplying with lethal assistance to the opposition in syria, in whose hand that assistance would ultimately end up and whether or not we could
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trust that that assistance would not find its way to extremists who actually had designed against u.s. national security interests or americans. that is why we took the approach we took and also why we have established now for quite some time a manner by which we can provide and have provided assistance to the moderate opposition, including to the opposition's armed elements. and that is the approach we took, precisely because we did not want and many others do not want for assistance from the united states to end up in the hands of extremists. justin? >> two quick ones on iraq. the first one is it was determined a year ago that airstrikes were wanted against syria. [indiscernible] he makes the same determination here. do you feel it is necessary to
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put [indiscernible] >> there are legal authorities that exist regarding the use of military force in conflicts not in, but elsewhere. we can get more for you on that. the president said today he is considering all options in
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response to the question about potential direct action by the united states military. but we would have to get back to you on how that would proceed if that decision were made. >> does this change your calculus for your withdrawal from afghanistan? [indiscernible] i am wondering if that changes anything about [indiscernible] >> it does not change the approach that the president announced recently, that we are taking in afghanistan. we are ending that combat mission this year, and pending the signing of the bilateral security agreement will keep a smaller number of troops in afghanistan focused exclusively on the missions the president discussed.
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the broader question has to be when we talk about this is, should american men and women in uniform be fighting in iraq today, and is that the right approach for our national security interest should american forces the occupying countries for decades or should we be taking the approach the president took and he ended the war in iraq and establish a relationship with the sovereign government of iraq through which we can provide the kind of assistance we can provide? that is the approach he believes is right and it coincides with the strategy he has laid out in afghanistan. >> following up [indiscernible] >> the president laid out in his speech at west point a strategy that is focused on partnering with the security forces of other countries that helps them develop the capacity necessary to deal with these kinds of threats, because we cannot have u.s. forces around the world in armed conflicts without end.
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it is simply not a wise approach. we maintain as the president made clear to use military force unilaterally if needed. we should not partner with other nations' security forces and effort to the counterterrorism partnership fund that allows those forces to work more effectively against the threat these jihadists pose.
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>> the west point elements for [indiscernible] but given the fact that it continues to devolve -- >> when you are asking that about iraq, is the suggestion we should still have tens of thousands of troops in iraq? if that is the proposition, then we can discuss that, but certainly not the president's view. what we can do is consider requests from our partners in the iraqi government. we can provide the assistance we already provide and have provided to the iraqi
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government, including to iraqi security forces. that is military matériel, and we can contemplate other requests and take action as needed and necessary, but if the question you are asking is should we have a hundred thousand troops in iraq, the president's view is no. >> senator tim kaine said the president should present a clear plan to congress. does the president have any immediate plans to consult with members of congress? >> we are in active consultation with members on the situation in iraq and we will continue to do that. >> how would you would characterize what is happening in iraq right now? >> and islamist jihadist group composed of mixed nationalities threatening the sovereign state of our iraq. and the iraqi security forces need to confront that threat,
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and we are working closely with the government in baghdad and with iraq's political leadership to a valuate the kind of assistance we can provide in addition to the assistance we have already provided and the assistance on its way to help them meet that challenge. >> would you characterize it or are you not ready to be there? >> the way i characterized it reflects what is happening on the ground. >> the australian prime minister has been critical of the president in the past.
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some would say offensive, at times, about him. given that past relationship, how would you not describe it, especially since they disagree so much on climate change? >> what the president said reflected the very close nature of the relationship between the united states and australia, the alliance between our nations, the friendship, and the tone of the meeting reflected that high level of cooperation. the leaders discussed a number of issues, as you know, and climate change was one of them. they talked about the importance of confronting climate change. president obama emphasized the need for ambitious domestic climate policies as a basis of a strong international response. the united states will work with australia to advance climate change them a clean energy, and energy efficiency solutions, including in the context of the g-20. this is a topic of discussion,
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many, as you would expect in a bilateral meeting between leaders of such close allies. >> did you ask him to put it on the g-20 agenda? >> i do not have a specific agenda to lay out for you, but in the context of g-20, this is -- >> coming up shortly, the congressional radio and television correspondents dinner. we are taking a look at the marquee at the site of tonight's event. actor nick offerman from the sitcom parks and recreation will be headlining the dinner. the program should begin eastern about 9:00 p.m. on c-span. and till then, we will continue showing you the white house
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briefing on c-span. >> i would not characterize the situation on the ground militarily. the president is aware of that situation and that is why he has made clear we are assessing what efforts we can take building on the efforts we have already taken to assist the iraqi government. >> there are reports that forces have assisted in dealing with the isil forces. does the administration have confirmation of that? >> we have seen reports, but we cannot confirm them, and while we appreciate the seriousness of the situation in iraq and the brutal actions of isil, we urge the government of iraq to take prudent decisions on how to address is crisis in the spirit of national unity. this goes back to the point i was making earlier, that the only way forward where this
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could be effectively dealt with in iraq is for there to be political unity in iraq in combating a common enemy. there is no side in iraq that isil is fighting for. this is a jihadist extremist group that is bent on death and instruction within iraq, and it is necessary for the various factions within iraqi politics to come together united by this threat posed to the sovereign state of iraq to rebuff the challenge.
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>> [indiscernible] >> i think this is an issue for the government of iraq. in our view they are to make prudent decisions about how they deal with the threat in the interest of national unity. >> you used in your formulation about a unified effort that builds on moderation. can you in any way credibly up like either of those words, unified or moderate, to maliki's government in iraq and how much weight does this administration make on his decision-making process? >> i can say we agree that all our iraqi leaders including prime minister maliki need to address and need to do more, rather, to address unresolved issues within iraq to meet the needs of the iraqi people. the threat to iraq's stability right now is isil has an ideology that has little to do
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with domestic politics. their aim is to take territory and terrorize the people regardless of sect or ethnic or religious affiliation. its ideology would be the same no matter who was in power in baghdad. so that said we will continue to work with our iraqi leaders from across the spectrum to encourage the kind of collaborative approach and governance that would best address these unresolved issues. we urge their leaders to support leaders from all -- this has been an ongoing challenge in iraq, as it tries to build a future as a sovereign state. >> and in order to do that, iraqi leaders need to have a unified vision about iraq's
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future that is not sliced into separate visions according to politic -- political affiliation or religious affiliation. and that's the challenge that iraq's leaders have been grappling with for now. the threat posed by this extremist group highlights the need for iraq's leaders and other politic actors to set aside some of their differences to join together to meet the common threat posed by isil. >> [indiscernible] described iraq as a success story. when did it go bad? >> the fact we have described what was the case and that is that iraq has over the years taken


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