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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  December 15, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

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another policy that has been important and will be even more important in the coming years and decades is shown on the next slide, which is the large increase in investments in college education, which we document in one of the report. slide, we have an entire chapter on inequality and it documents the affordable care act cutting taxes for low income families and raising taxes on those most able to afford it. have resulted in a historic result -- the largest under any president on record with data going back to 1960, and the largest investment in tackling inequality since the great society. that is paying dividends. the report includes an extensive analysis of the affordable care act.
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as you see in the next slide, and a lot of people are familiar with, the percentage of people without health insurance has gone down dramatically. to below 10% or the first time on record. ,s the slide after this shows this really meant something to everyone, not just the people that did not have insurance. people who have insurance get a range of protections like free coverage for pre-existing conditions, and no lifetime and annual limits. he had seen a dramatic slowdown in premium growth, and if you count out-of-pocket growth, the slowdown has been larger. by saying thate none of this is an accident. you can draw a direct line between policies and areas we have not had a chance to talk change, accramate economic policy, health care, education.
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between not just the outcomes we have seen today but also putting the economy in a better position to have a market -- more stable financial position, slower health care cost growth's, a more competitive economy overall going forward. >> we have time to take if you questions. >> two things. that yellen said yesterday ,ax cuts with the labor market falling unemployment, and the ifitional debt -- i wonder you agree with that and if you would encourage president-elect to stay with the policies you have advocated. -- [o wonder where we are
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indiscernible] >> in answer to your first question, the economy i think is almost all the way healed from the great recession. these have really long-lasting consequences and other countries are not healed to the degree that we are. our unemployment rate is back to where it was before the crisis. there is probably some additional slack in terms of people working part-time and participation, but not a lot tiered and i think our economy needs is -- but not a lot. -- wek our economy needs have proposed substantial infrastructure spending, and last year congress did a down payment on that, a five-year infrastructure bill with a 5% increase in inflation. that was welcome and that is something we should do more of going forward. it is important when you do it
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to make sure you are getting new infrastructure out of it and that you are not doing an expensive medium and long-term deficit. the president explained how he would pay for that increase and infrastructure. a policy like that is something -- think about is a little bit less on the demand side, but something that would help us expand aggregate supply overtime. in terms of your second question, economists have studied this question and the way they like to put it is that business cycles do not die of old age, which if you are a older, you have a higher probability of mortality than a person who is younger. that is not true of the economy and business cycles here it you look at where we are now, 70% of our economy is consumer spending.
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the confidence that consumers have, the fact that they are deleverage means that we have a lot more potential in our economy going forward that does require continuing to have sensible and sound policies that have undergirded that economic strength. >> let me ask about inflation. the fed raised interest rates yesterday and are proposing array several times next year. -- posing a raise several times next year. >> we have our final forecast in the final economic report so you can look at what we forecast inflation to be. it was pretty similar to the blue-chip, which is gradually rising to what the fed said its target is, 2% for inflation measured by the pce. all the signs we have seen are exactly what you would want to see, which is a process that has been very gradual.
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the goalstent with the policymakers have set out, unlike some other parts of the world that are still worried about deflation. that is a conversation we had not had in the united states for good reason. >> if the new administration were to come in with bigger deficits, more deficit spending is that more of a concern? processnk we have made does progress on the deficit, cutting it to about 3% of gdp. it starts to creep back up again into medium and long-term which is why you have to create a budget to lower the deficit and keep it on the path we have been on. i think it would be unwise to do something other than that. the economy needs additional investment to help it grow, but those should not be coming at andexpense of a large
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costly reversing of the progress we have made on getting the deficit down. criticismshe biggest of obamacare is the cost, and yet you said that you are now seeing the lowest growth in premiums versus pre-obamacare. could you go into that more, and why is that message not more successful? >> i think once people have read the chapter on health care, which is 105 pages, they will all fully appreciate this set of points. pull an all nighter and read it. just to give you the facts, if you look at health care prices, since before the affordable care act they have grown at the slowest pace in over 50 years. if you look at health care costs per enrollee, they have slowed
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dramatically in private insurance, medicare, and medicaid. if you look at insurance premiums they have also slowed and are among the lowest growth we have seen. if you include out-of-pocket costs, it is the case that deductibles have gone up and were going up before the affordable care act. people now get free prevention and get health insurance plans that have out-of-pocket limits, as they did not used to have. you take all of that into account and the growth of those has slowed as well. i think it is certainly the case that the health system is not perfect. dissatisfied with also the aspects of it, and that is completely understandable and that is why there is a lot more work remains to be done. but the health system is in much better shape in terms of cost have, and quality that we
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hospital infections and readmissions have come way down. you control some of the lines we to the way the private sector has adopted those reforms to improve the health system. people wanted to continue to be better and that is why there remains a lot of work to be done. [indiscernible] theory of why it slowed and how big of a problem you think it is for the next administration? >> i think you are asking exactly the right question and like every question, somewhere in this 594 pages is the answer. productivity has been a global phenomenon. you have seen growth slow everywhere. if you look at the g7 economies have the united states has had
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the fastest productivity growth of all of the g7 economies in part because of the tremendous innovation we have seen here, whether it is in the tech industry, mobile computing, unofficial intelligence, personalized medicine, advanced materials, and all of the other things, that will continue to be adding to productivity growth in the future. the problem that a lot of the advanced economies have seen is a slowdown of capital accumulation. a lot of that appears to be a fallout from the deep recession, and something that you expect to see in the wake of something if capitaland that investment rebounds which historically it has, you would expect to see some strengthening . that being said, if you look at the underlying trend in the work,y that require more productivity is a part of that and that is why we have put forward infrastructure investment and science,
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expanding international trade is a way to raise productivity. >> i just want to get you to percentage ofe gdp, would you call it robust or something less? are you satisfied with the rate of growth, especially given that excessive jobs growth we have seen over the last eight years, and yet as a percentage of gdp i would not say it is overwhelming? how would you describe it? >> the united states has outpaced what you would expect after just a massive financial crisis of the type we went through just eight years ago, outpaced some of the historical benchmarks and other countries around the world. in particular if you look at where it matters most to people, the job market, the unemployment 4.6%, wages growing
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at the fastest pace they have of any expansion since the 1970's, and growing faster for people at the middle and bottom than for those at the top. this is an economy that really is generating gains for american families. of course a lot more work remains to be done. of course we should be raising the minimum wage, making investments to raise productivity growth to do even would beut you building on what i would describe as a very solid foundation in doing that. >> as far as some communities doing better than others, in particular wage growth among college graduates has certainly been on the rise. for those who are not college graduates, for those with two-year degrees unless their wages have been relatively stagnant. i think you would acknowledge that, would you not? eventher part of this is,
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all the great reporting we just heard today and have heard consistently from josh and others, the american people certainly did not feel that way on november 8. is there this disconnect because they are not seeing it? is it because you are not explaining it properly? tell me where that is not syncing up. >> that is a lot of different questions in one. i would say i do not agree with your statement about wage stagnation. many,r statement is for many decades there was wage stagnation, that is true. two 2007 wages grew at 1/10 of 1% per year or 27 years. if you look at the last couple of years they have grown at nearly a percent and a half per year. you are growing at a much faster rate. that is not enough to make up for 27 subpar years in a row.
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there is a lot more work to dig out of a hole that was many decades in the making. i think it is indisputable that we are moving very much in the right direction, and that you are seeing larger income gains with households at the 10th percentile and 50th percentile and the 90th percentile. it has made up for several decades of problems -- has not made up for several decades of problems but it has been a quite a reversal. feeling it,people the data i look at on it, or consumers confident? yes. our consumer spending money? that is one of the strongest indicators of our economy. they are voting yes and voting their confidence in the economy. chairman, for this final report.
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>> good afternoon, everybody. before i get started, i appreciate jason and jen offering of the presentation. as you get toward the end of the administration you have to start acknowledging some departures, and today is a special day in the briefing room not just because it was jen's first time behind the podium but likely the last time she will be attending a white house briefing. at least this year. over the course of her service to this president she has taken on a variety of assignments and my deputy.ot mean she served at the department of homeland security, health and human services, and treasury. services that nobody else would take on.
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she performed even better than people assumed she would. to borrow from the economic parlance we have been hearing, i am certainly bullish about the prospects for jen's career when she leaves the white house, but we owe her a debt of gratitude for her service to the country and the administration. as somebody who fit just spent five years serving as the white house press secretary, i cannot think of anybody who has been more effective and taken on more .esponsibility than jen has we wish you well as you pursue. [applause] way,that out of the kathleen, do you want to kick us off? >> thanks for all your hard work. i wanted to start with the latest reports on the russia hacking story. as the white house been told
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vladimir putin was personally involved? >> i do not have an additional intelligence assessment to share from the podium. as we have seen in the last several days, there are officials in the intelligence community who apparently are calling all of you to anonymously share their thoughts and conclusions and opinions. i think what is relevant at this point is to consider the statement that was made back on october 7. this was the statement issued by the intelligence community. it reflected a unanimous opinion and conclusion of all 17 intelligence agencies, and they reported publicly that russia cybergaged in malicious activity to erode public confidence in our democracy. they included another sentence is worthlieve repeating, so let me read it.
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that statement included in part -- we believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts that only russia's seniormost officials could have authorized these activities. that is the statement from the intelligence community that was made public on october 7. editorializing, when i read that statement for the first time in early october, i did not think it was particularly so. -- subtle. >> are you confirming [indiscernible] >> i have seen those reports and him not in a position to confirm them. the report on october 7 may give you some insight into what they were thinking. there you worried about situation? >> one of the challenges of any
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white house press secretary regardless of which administration they are serving in, they have a responsibility of coming out in public and answering questions on camera and on the record. others are allowed to offer their opinion anonymously. and that is country , toainly what people are some extent, allowed to do. in the past you have heard me expressing concern about that habit. it is particularly concerning in the circumstances when people are sharing information that is classified or sensitive. but this is not a new phenomenon. it is one that previous press secretaries have had to deal with, something that has come up in the context of my tenure -- tenure, and i presume others will encounter the same. >> we are hearing a little bit
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,bout how donald trump might and his daughter might have a different arrangement in the white house. she may be in the east wing and take on some of the first lady role and an advisory role. i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how the president and first lady do that, and talk about [indiscernible] >> presidents throughout our history have in part, based on the structure of their family, but together a system that works for them and works for the country. obviously, when secretary clinton, for example, was first lady. in somea hands-on role policymaking efforts at the white house. other first ladies including mrs. obama have refrained from engaging at that level on a lot of policymaking, but what we
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have seen from mrs. obama is an effort to focus on some priority areas that are near and dear to her heart. that includes offering support to military families, giving more girls in the united states and around the world access to quality educational opportunities, and of course encouraging americans of all ages to have a healthy and active lifestyle. she has pursued those initiatives because of her interest in them personally. she has also pursued those issues because she believes that each of them is important to the country. she has certainly, as is obama has certainly established quite a legacy for the effective and strategic and impactful use of limelight thatnd
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comes with serving as first lady. she has directed that to a lot of good use. and i certainly wish the trump family well as they figure out the best way to design a system where they can do the same thing. what kind of government -- how concerned is the white house about that very large hack? how likely are we to see information provided by the government about who was responsible? speak to the potential scope of material that could be vulnerable. what i can say is that the fbi is investigating this matter. there is a previously reported breach. the fbi had previously indicated and were investigating,
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they are investigating the situation as well so i will let them speak to what they have found over the course of the investigation thus far. when it comes to attribution, the principle that our investigators have applied is to ensure that it would not undermine the investigation to go public with some information about what we have learned about the investigation. for example, we would want to be sure that before we indicate , or who who we believe the intelligence community has concluded is responsible for the breach, we would want to make sure that revealing that information did not undermine the ability of investigators to learn more about what happened. that will be the chief criteria in determining how and whether the fbi should make public who ,hey concluded is responsible including whether it is a state actor, a criminal organization,
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or some other entity. >> to have been some questions about the deployment of the antimissile systems in south korea and the upcoming change in administration here. i am wondering if you have any update on whether it will display a threat or whether there has been a hold on it? >> i'm not aware of any change in plans for the deployment of this anti-ballistic missile battery in south korea. months, last couple of political situation has ouristed, i have repeated commitment to the strength of the alliance between the united states and south korea. our two countries have been discussing for some time now the
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potential deployment of additional equipment and technology to south korea that would ensure they can protect themselves from the missile threat that emanates from north korea. commitment to the safety and security of the south korean people have not changed. that hasommitment persisted through transitions of the u.s. presidency. it has persisted through transitions of the south korean presidency, and it is our hope and expectation that the u.s. commitment that alliance and support for the south korean people, even as they faced this change, threat, my despite some of the changes in government that are slated for the months ahead. i want to get a reaction to president do care day d --uterte
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[indiscernible] >> those comments are deeply troubling and they certainly are at odds with the philippine government's stated commitment to do process and rule of law. the united states continues to be concerned by the widespread reports of extrajudicial killings by or at the behest of government authorities in the philippines. the united states strongly supports the idea of a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation. the united states stands with the people of the philippines as they confront the drug problem and it is having a negative effect on the security in the country. the united states has provided significant security assistance to assist in the investigation of those crimes, and to assist the filipino government in handling this threat to their security.
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but we continue to believe it is critically important that the government in the philippines observe and even protect the basic universal human rights that are central to that democracy and hours. o --urs. that is an important principle that we believe is worth upholding. >> we have had a lot of conversations about what the at theould have done sign of trouble. your reaction to a range of comments from the president du terte has been to express concern but not to cut off the support or change our relationship. dot does he have to say or to prompt some official reaction from the u.s. beyond these expressions of concern? >> you have heard me say on a
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number of occasions, we often dur rhetoric from president terte or other senior officials from the philippines, vowing to carry out radical changes in their policy of cooperating with, or investing in the u.s.-philippines alliance. in almost every situation, that rhetoric has not been matched by action. so you have also heard me say that we certainly are paying attention to the words and comments that are being expressed, and we are paying more careful attention to the actions. that is certainly true in this case with regard to our relationship with the philippines, and that is why the united states remains committed to working effectively with the government in the philippines to advance our shared interest, everything from the domestic
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situation in the philippines and the drug trade, and our support for their efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to some of the competing land claims in the south china sea. thelso relates to some of economic and cultural ties between the united states and the philippines that extends back for multiple generations. this is an important relationship, an important alliance, and when we believe is worth investing in because it benefits not just the american people but the people of the philippines as well. >> kellyanne conway was on tv this morning saying it was thatdibly irresponsible donald trump call for hacking by russia. saidof his supporters have he was joking at the time and was speaking after the hack occurred so it is not really relevant. i wanted to get reaction.
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your comments. >> i have some comments. i think you would be surprised. defense -- first of all, is just a fact. you have it on tape. the republican nominee for russiant was encouraging to hack his opponent, because he believed that would help his campaign. it is not a controversial statement. i am not trying to be argumentative. i am trying to acknowledge a basic fact. all of you saw it. this is not in dispute. that thecognize position of the trump that he was joking. i do not think anybody at the white house thinks it is funny that an adversary of the united
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engaged in malicious cyber activity to destabilize our democracy. that is not a joke. house at the white thought it was a joke. nobody in the intelligence community thought it was a joke. i am not aware that any members of congress, in either party that was picked on this matter multiple times, dating back to the summer, thought it was a joke. senator rubio out a comment shortly before the election indicating he took it rather seriously -- senator rubio about a comment shortly before the election indicating he took it rather seriously. that is not a particularly persuasive defense being mounted president-elect's team. i know that they also objected to the idea -- something i said -- irday -- that somehow made the observation yesterday that mr. trump was obviously aware of the facts that russia
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was engaged in malicious cyber activity, and that that activity was having a negative impact on his opponents campaign, and it was boosting his. he is not the only person who does that. it was evident to anybody who is reading the newspaper. i do not know exactly what source he was using. he could have been relying on news reports, maybe somebody on capitol hill who had been briefed on the matter who had informed him or his team about it. it is also possible he consulted with one of his closest aides, july,stone, who, back in july 27, to be precise, tweeted, "of course the russians hacked at hillary clinton's email." again, i do not know if it was a staff meeting or he had access to a briefing, or if he was
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basing his assessment on a large number of published reports. knewr. trump obviously that russia was engaged in malicious cyber activity that was helping him and hurting secretary clinton's campaign. again, these are all facts that are not in dispute. wes is not a situation where are watching charges and countercharges or i am offering up my opinion and hoping it will be considered more persuasive than the opinion offered up by somebody else. these are just facts. i know that we have also heard teamthe president-elect's that they are concerned that there is some effort to delegitimize his presidency. well, i think president obama literally hours after the votes were tabulated and reported, that he and his
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team were committed to a smooth and effective transition to the trump administration. and all of the available evidence about our actions since then indicates how seriously the obama administration has fulfilled that responsibility that we have. but there are others on the are raising these questions and that is striking a nerve with the president-elect's team. one way to deal with that is to start answering these questions and not just relying on a defense suggesting that the rhetoric of the republican nominee was a joke when nobody thought it was funny. and there is plenty of evidence to indicate he knew exactly what he was talking about. it might be time to not attack the intelligence community, but
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actually be supportive. of a thorough, transparent, rigorous, nonpolitical investigation into what exactly happened, and two cooperate with it and to support it. -- and to cooperate with it and to support it. but they are probably not that interested in advice fo from me. i guess i am biased in saying i have tovice that offer based on years of experience, and i think it would serve them well to follow it. this be clear, when activity was detected, what did the white house do about it? ron -- ll, >> you often say the statement was put out. all, thest of statement was thoroughly investigated, and this was
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indicated in the "new york times" report from a couple of days ago. the work that was done to investigate these hacks and these breaches. the fbi, the department of homeland security, a variety of intelligence agencies were all investigating to learn as much as they possibly could. there were extensive briefings that were provided to capitol hill dating back to the summer, to learn was an effort as much as we could about what had happened. there also was an effort undertaken by experts at the department of homeland security to fortify the election administration's equipment to make sure they could defend themselves against potential russian action that would manipulate the vote count or interfere with people's ability to cast ballots. we had to look with -- we had to
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work with local jurisdictions in 50 states. strong had to put pressure on to indicate that this is a partisan effort. we did encounter some resistance to our efforts to do that. senator mcconnell in particular. reinforcing the voting -- josh: that is not an insignificant proposition. we do not just go to one agency, we have to go to agencies in 50 states to get that done. some agencies that are skeptical of the federal government. what the intelligence agency concluded is that there i was no increase in cyber activity from the russians on election day that prevented those votes from being accurately counted. the president determined once the intelligence community had reached this assessment that a
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proportional response was appropriate but at this point i do not have anything to say about whether that response has been carried out or whether additional responses could be deployed. >> how can it be effective if in fact you do not know whether it happened or not? will the russians know when it happened and that it happened? josh: i am not going to be in a thetion to talk about responses. i know that is frustrating. there may be an opportunity in the future where we can talk more in detail about what the response is, has been, or will be. how can the response be effective if it is not made public? josh: it is a difficult question to answer because the united ,tates retains significant extensive cyber capabilities that exceed the capabilities that are wielded by every other country in the world.
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those cyberl capabilities would be to potentially undermine our ability to use them. unfortunately, that is not something i can discuss from here. there are a range of proportional responses that the president and his team believe would be an appropriate response. >> a statement of october talk the highest levels of the russians. was that a statement to the finger at let 'er rip? finger -- wase that a statement to point the ?inger at vladimir putin josh: you have to ask them what
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their intent was. they reference to seniormost officials would let them conclude that based on my personal reading, not based on any personal knowledge that i have that may be classified or otherwise, pretty obvious. they were referring to these single most -- >> the russians say this is laughable, that this is nonsense. what is your assessment of that? josh: i am not surprised. kevin? i want to ask you about planned parenthood and the white house effort to ensure their funding. i am curious if you could explain to americans who are well aware that the federal government cannot legally fund abortion, with the exception of rape, in sestak or the of rape, int -- i
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est, or the endangerment of the mother. josh: the obama administration implemented a rule that prevents the federal government from discriminating against specific service providers, and again, i think this goes back to a principal that should resonate with a lot of conservatives. the obama administration is suggesting the federal government should not be getting of people getting access to quality, a formal insurance, quality, affordable health care. planned parenthood provides extensive healthcare services to men and women in communities large and small, all across the country. that is just a fact. what the obama administration has also done is carefully followed the law to ensure that that we arewing --
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rule.g against this with this that is consistent with the law that is on the books. it is also consistent with a principle that we have prioritized, which is that getting access to quality health care is not a privilege, it is a right. we want to make it possible for as many people as possible to get access to that health care, and that is the idea behind this rule. >> but there are those in particular in the states who feel this is an egregious overreach by the administration, who feel this should be a state issue that they can certainly layer without this added from the federal government. what would you say to that? are talking about federal funding and what the federal government can do with that federal funding. this is actually empowering patients to make their own choices about their health care.
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that is a principal that should really resonate with conservatives. i guess i will leave it to them to explain why it doesn't. bit faris a little afield, but i was reading an interesting piece about that ad shopping the of ball and being less focused on other issues abroad, in particular the growing threat from iran and perhaps even russia. or rather russia and china, i should say. what would you say to critics who say that the president was so dead set on making history and propping up the iran nuclear deal and pushing it over the finish line, that he did not perhaps react as quickly to threats from russia, in particular the cyber threat, as an example? josh: i did not see the argument that was made in the pc referenced. i would simply say that the successful implementation of the
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was notional agreement just a major national security priority of the united states but of our closest allies and partners in the region and around the world. israel was deeply concerned about the prospect of iran getting their hands on nuclear weapons. saudi arabia and other countries in the gulf were also concerned. countries in europe are within range of some of iran's holistic ballistic missile capabilities. concerned that iran could put a nuclear warhead on top of one of those ballistic missiles. so preventing iran from ataining a nuclear weapon is priority of not just the president but the international community. the international community was fractured in terms of designing a strategy that prevented them
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nuclear weapon. president obama actually had to organize the international community to achieve it, and that is exactly what we have done. russia andocus on china, and particularly with what has happened with russia running off to ukraine and whatnot, and thence china with the south china sea. it takes focus off those things. would you reject that notion? i would utterly reject that notion is not being inaccurate description of the situation. >> you look like you are chomping at the bit when i asked some of the rate numbers that u-haul -- that you all have been touting month after month, for some reason, being in the working class, they do not feel that. did you sense that? if you did, where was the disconnect? was it a lack of messaging, a lack of understanding how great things are? josh: i think the reason i reacted is, i am not sure there
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is much evidence to indicate that a lot of people supported mr. trump because they had more confidence in his economic policies than he -- than they did the president's. here,en what we hear often, what seems to be missing? the economy is going great, and that she really resonate with people, and continue the policy. josh: let me just say that we are voting on something else. they had other things influencing their decision. that is a testament to the strength of the economy that president obama has resided over. strong testament to the public support that exists for the economic strategy we have pursued. i am not surprised there is that support because the benefits of our economic strategy are obvious and widely felt. ok? stephen. nice to see you. welcome to your new seat.
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it was put out this morning that barack obama has never before now allowed a bill to become law without his signature. why did he not sign the iran were you aware that it has not happened since december of 1995? josh: let me go through some basics, and then i will explain the decision. we have been saying for quite some time that it is not necessary to extend the iran because thet, executive branch, the obama administration, retains all of the needed executive authority to implement sanctions against iran. we have the authority to waive ,hose sanctions, which we did in the context of the international agreement fro to p
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iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. and to ramp up sanctions against iran for their destabilizing activity in the middle east, for the development of their missile program, for their support for terrorism, for their lack of respect for basic human rights. because of our significant concern about some of those activities, we also have all the executive authority that we need. to snap sanctions back into violates the international agreement to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we obtain all the nuclear authorities that we need to carry out this policy. that is why the -- we have said for more than a year that the extension of the iran sanctions act was unnecessary.
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on the other side, a clean extension of the iran sanctions act like the one that landed on the president's desk is consistent with our commitment under the international agreement to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. that is in them because the president was rather forward leaning and making clear that he would veto any effort to undermine the nuclear deal. this legislation does not undermine the nuclear deal. in a find ourselves situation that i am not sure we have even counted in the years, does notthat the bill meet the standard of something we would veto. but it is also not something that the administration believes is necessary. so the president made a decision to allow that bill to become law without his signature.
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this will say that decision to allow the bill to become law without the president's signature is also part of the message that we are sending to congress. it is simply this. does pull up the deal that prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon, they will have to do with the consequences. and the consequences are great. and we have seen irresponsible efforts on the parts of some members of congress to advocate for and to write up and submit pieces of legislation that would violate the deal, that would cause the deal to break up, that would, in all likelihood, prompt iran to kick in specters out of their country. these are inspectors who right now are keeping closer tabs on
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the iranian nuclear program than any other nuclear program in the world. what they would also precipitate, by passing , it would cause the international coalition that we have built to shatter. and it would be very difficult for the united states to make the case to countries like india and china and japan that they should help us enforce those sanctions. we would have a hard time convincing them to help us enforce those sections because the reason the deal blew up is the fault of the united states congress. president obama is only in office here for another month. congress will have to deal with the consequences if they choose to pursue
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irresponsible legislation that would blow up the deal. just to be crystal clear about iss, the rn sanctions act consistent with our commitment under the international agreement here it -- the iran sanctions act is consistent with our commitment under the international agreement. there has been plenty of legislative work done on legislation that would blow up the deal. this is the message. if the united states congress blows up the deal that prevents iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, they will have to deal with the grave consequences. thank you for indulging me on the long answer. tom wheeler announcing his departure from the fcc today -- president obama has been pleased by the service of chairman wheeler. he runs an independent agency, so we are limited in how much we can say. the president appointed him to that job because he's a good manager.
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thecertainly shares president's approach in dealing with some of these issues. obviously the next president will have an opportunity to choose someone who shares his view of these issues. maybe the president-elect was meeting with one of them yesterday when he sat down with tech executives from all over the country. many one of them would be interested in taking this job. we will see. andrew? [inaudible] i have seen those reports. i cannot confirm them independently from here. i think the most direct response comes from the joint declaration that was signed by all the
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leaders of the aussie on february. this past affirmed "the shared commitment to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region, including the rights to freedom of navigation overflights and other lawful uses of the seas. the key part -- as well as non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities. we have been very clear that we make no independent claims to the land features in the south china sea. it is our view that competing claims should be resolved not by might or through military action, but rather through diplomacy and negotiation.
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that is what we encourage all parties to do. we certainly in pursuit of that goal are encouraging all parties to refrain from the kinds of actions that would heighten this tension. risk military conflict. because our ultimate goal is a resolution through a diplomacy and negotiation. the u.s. interest in the situation is in protecting the the flow of commerce and the freedom of navigation in this region of the world. billions of dollars in congress transit into this region regularly, and the disruption could have an impact on the global economy. that would have an impact on the u.s. economy. .hat is our chief interest in
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>> [inaudible] josh: i am not aware of a plan to do that. u.s. diplomats have been in close touch with russian diplomats, not just over the last several days but over the last several months on this issue. just yesterday secretary kerry communicated a phone conversation with foreign minister laffevrov. we do not need to summon the russian foreign minister to the united states to make clear out the concerns about the way russia has conducted themselves in syria. bloomberg today had a report on the staggering levels of wealth. i was wondering if those assets to individuals could be under sanctions or --
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josh: i am going to refer you to the treasury department about the details with the way those sanctions are likely to be implemented. ok? michelle. you have no dispute or quarrel with the information that has been put out there, saying bladder had a direct role in the hacking? that ihat i am saying is do not have new information to share from here. there was an october 7 statement from the intelligence community that spoke pretty directly -- lnd in my own personall subtlely -- to that question.
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they are aware of the facts firsthand, and they can try to describe to you exactly what their official view is of that circumstance. what is to say in a situation like this, if there is a head of state directly involved in something of this level -- would that change the proportional toponse that is formulated respond to it? difficult for me to talk about potential response options. as the president and his team responses,oportional a wide variety of aspects of the situation will be considered. proportionality includes things
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, thethe impact the attack,on of the malicious activity. so it will cast a wide net in considering exactly what happened, in formulating an response, proportional . i would acknowledge -- which is maybe what you are thinking -- that designing a proportional response seems inherently subjective. i would acknowledge that is true. president and the using the his team, best knowledge at their disposal and their knowledge of u.s. capabilities to determine what would be appropriate. isn't that much more serious
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if a head of state is involved in something like this than not? josh: i think we have known for some time, even before the election, that seniormost russian officials were involved. the u.s. intelligence community recognized from the beginning how serious this was. >> and you talked a couple times this week the cyber capabilities of the united states, but obviously they don't prevent the hacking of an individual's email and all of that taken together, we've seen how it could potentially affect a presidential election. you also tried to convey confidence a number of times leading up to the election and after in the system. but if we see this happen, like i think for many it's hard to believe we're even talking about this right now, and then days later we have more word of another hack, an unprecedented
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hack. how can the american public cut confidence in elections that follow if maybe the weakest link is going to be somebody's yahoo! or gmail account? josh: well, how our democracy responds to this situation is an important question and a question the president and his team is very focused on. and i would expect this is a question that the next administration will have to carefully consider as well. you know, as we stated in the -- as the intelligence community, just to be precise -- stated back in october, the goal of this russian effort was to erode public confidence in our democracy, and that's not an effort that can be countered solely in cyberspace. it raises questions about our democracy and about the kind of public debate we have in this country.
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it raises questions about how the media handles information that's been the target of a hack and leak operation carried out by an american adversary. it raises questions about how american voters view the news media and view the information that's presented by the news media. all these kinds of questions are raised. the president retains substantial confidence in the durability of our democracy and in our system of government and in the ability of news organizations like yours to respond to this challenge, but these are the kinds of questions that have to be asked. >> i mean, part of this debate and the harsh reactions leading up to the elections surrounded over the statements the election was going to be
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rigged. it was said in a much different context, but now we're seeing this, does it seem to you this election was rigged except it was rigged by russia? josh: well, again, i feel the need to restate something i said before so just bear with me on this which is there was reason to be concerned on the part of the intelligence communities about russia potentially attacking the election infrastructure from the country in cyberspace, and that is why a focal point of our efforts through the summer and fall was to mobilize substantial federal resources and to work to build political support for a federal government effort to help cities, counties and states defend their election's infrastructure from russia's hacking. and the good news is that the intelligence community has reported that they did not observe an increase in russian
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militia cyberactivity on election day that interfered with the ability of anybody to cast a ballot or any election official to count it accurately. that is good news. that didn't happen by accident. that was not a foregone conclusion back in october. that was not a foregone conclusion back in november. >> we're seeing the definition of rig depends on how you're looking at it. josh: it would matter had the russians hacked it. the reason i just keep going back to this is because it's important to -- and this sort of goes to ron's question earlier, what did the white house and the government do, this was an effort that took place behind the scenes and it had to, i think, for obvious reasons. but we shouldn't underestimate effort. me of that but you're asking a somewhat different question that's just , even if ate which is
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the department of homeland security can mobilize all the resources and work effectively with state and local officials to protect our election's infrastructure, isn't there still a vulnerability that still exists when it comes to the way that the 300 million people who live in this country consume information? and, look, i think that these are difficult questions, and i think everybody's got a role here, particularly the news media, particularly citizens who are trying to inform themselves and want to be good . nsumers of information but news organizations have had to adapt to a changing news media environment driven by technology for more than a decade now. so, you know, i retain
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confidence. i know the president remains confident if these questions are asked and the answers are carefully considered, that the u.s. system of democracy is durable and strong enough to withstand some of these changes and even withstand some of these threats. >> relating to this case, we're seeing the selective release of information. seeing reports that vladimir putin himself determined how that information was going to be released. as you termed it surprise results of the election. does the administration think russia has successfully rigged this election? josh: and michelle, what i said about this in the past is still true. that there are a lot of political analysts who have cited a variety of reasons for the surprising outcome of the election. some of them say that russia's litia cyber activity weighed
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heavily on the it. others discount it. others suggest the information of f.b.i. director como of his bureau's investigation of secretary clinton's email may have tilted the outcome. there are others who have suggested that secretary clinton was a flawed candidate from the start who would never win. others have suggested that she didn't pursue the right electoral strategy, that she focused on the wrong states. others have suggested she should have had a stronger message. look, there are -- there are a variety of potential explanations. that's more of a question for analysts of politics than it is for analysts of intelligence. ken. >> josh, one last question on russian hacking. just to clarify to get it on the record, was there a policy decision or even influence to not mention putin's name in that intelligence report? josh: again, for the wording that's included in the statement i'd refer you to the
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intelligence community. it was written by them. >> also, i wanted to ask about a tweet that president-elect donald trump said this morning which was, if russia or any entity were hacking, why did the white house wait so long to act and why did they only complain after hillary clinton -- i know you addressed that with ron's question -- but with that criticism from a tweet from conway's criticism of you, is this smooth transition, does it seem to be a bump in the road here? what's your comment about or reaction to that tweet from president-elect donald trump? josh: i think there's just a imple fact that i guess i'll break with precedent here and actually respond to a tweet from the president-elect. just by pointing to a simple fact, there was a statement that was issued by the intelligence community on october 7, a month before the election warning that russia was engaged in militia cyber
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activity in an attempt to erode confidence in our democracy. and it was obvious to everyone who was paying steanings texas, -- ding the gentlemen gentleman whose thumbs authored that tweet, that the impact of hat militia -- malicious activity benefited the trump activity benefited the trump campaign and hurt the clinton campaign. that is why the president-elect called on russia to hack secretary clinton's email. why the esumably coverage of the hack and leak operation that russia carried t was focused on emails from the democratic party and clinton campaign staffers and not the republican party and trump campaign staffers.
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it wasn't a secret. it's obvious what the impact was. there's a separate question about intent, and there are anonymous figures in the intelligence community that are weighing in all over the place. i'm not at liberty to do that from here. we're going to rely on intelligence assessments to try to get to the bottom of that if they can, but it's not the impact of this operation is not in doubt. it's not in doubt. it benefited the trump campaign, and it hurt the clinton campaign. that's why the republican nominee was hoping they would do more of it. that's why his staffers would do more of it. that's why in the days leading up to election day, the republican nominee himself was encouraging people to check out wikileaks. he thought it would help out
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his campaign, and he knew when people would go to wikileaks they wouldn't find evidence against steve bannon or priebus or the r.n.c. there is one instance of one republican being hacked and targeted by this hack-and-leak operation and that one republican was general colin powell, and the only information that was released was him being privately critical of secretary clinton. so there's no subtley, there's no security clearance required to figure out what happened. >> one more. the trump team claims the president of the united states did not have any conflicts of from by law. does the white house agree with that? what steps are taken for president obama to avoid those potential conflicts?
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josh: well, i know there are a variety of ethical legal experts in both parties that have raised profound concerns with that approach. resident obama, when he took office, didn't just vow to adhere to the letter of the ethics laws. he went above and beyond the letter of the ethics laws and actually converted all of his financial holdings to treasury bonds. as i pointed out earlier, that was a rather poor personal financial management decision because the fed was aggressively slashing interest rates. so president obama lost a lot of money, but it was worth it
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because freeing himself of even the appearance of a personal financial conflict of interest was in the best interest of the country. and the president has talked about how proud he is that his administration has not been buffetted by the kinds of personal ethical scandals that have plagued other administrations, particularly at the end of the second term. and the president atributes part of that to the example he set from the top about maintaining an extraordinarily high ethical standard, one that far exceeds even the letter and spirit of the law. and that is an example that we've all tried to follow. and the american people have benefited from that and his administration has benefited from that because we haven't seen these kinds of distracting personal ethical scandals that would otherwise shake confidence in government. and that's a result of the example that was set by the
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person at the top. ok. andre. given all the conversations about your country in here today, it seems only fair to give you an opportunity to ask a question. >> i cannot believe that we are having this conversation for weeks. josh: you and me both. how about that? we found something we can agree on. >> you never know what will come next. basically, i have two one. talk about the leaks. is the white house challenging the leaks? josh: of course not. >> [inaudible] josh of course not. andre, i think there's been one person that's tried to joke about that. unfortunately that person is the president-elect of the united states. this is an extraordinarily serious matter. and i think that's why you've seen such extensive conversation about it in this room, and i think that's why
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you've seen such a robust response from the intelligence community to this matter and it's because it's extraordinarily serious. >> want to follow-up. this is the essence of my previous question which is about president obama's leadership. i think you like the premise of my question. i've always thought that president obama is an extremely intelligent and different person, well-meaning person. o my question is, if we have -- how come wiki wanted the u.s.-russian relation a win-win for both sides? we are now in a situation obviously where it is a lose-lose no matter how we spin it, it's a lose-lose for both of us. . t this is not the only one america does not have one day
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where it was completely at peace. there was one war or another, and not all of those wars from encouraged by president obama. and here's another one. he's like the first african-american president, but the race relation in this country has become worse, not better, worse. it's also -- you say some things are facts. it's an impression i have that they are worse. but many people share this impression. then, hacking. america is all of a sudden vulnerable to hacking. after eight years of obama leadership, how come? and of course, the biggest of all is the result of the election. the leadership has been rejected. the preferred candidate has
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been rejected. so my question to come to the question is, who's at fault? is it russia that performed all of it? is it because of russia that the voters in the u.s. rejected the leadership? josh: well, again, i disagree with your assessment about the outcome of the election because i think there's ample evidence to indicate how strongly the american people feel about and support president obama personally and his legacy. president obama's poll ratings are higher than they've been in quite some time, and certainly exceed or at least in the range of or exceed every other recent outgoing president. and i think that's a pretty clear indication how strongly the american people do feel about his leadership. when it comes to the question about whether or not russia is at fault for the outcome of the election, that's not a question for intelligence analysts.
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that is a question for political analysts to evaluate why people voted the way that they did and how -- and why the outcome was so unexpected. >> that's not my question. the question was about the responsibility of the top .xecutive in this country for all of this. josh: when you say all of this, can you be more precise? >> for the wars, for the deyoration with the relations with russia? josh: i disagree your assessment with race relations. with regard to wars, president obama is quite proud of the efforts that we -- that the united states in close concert with our allies around the world, with the steps we have taken to strengthen our national security, to make the united states and our allies safer. the united states has actually
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been effective and forceful in taking on isil. it's actually russia that had one operational gain on the ground inside syria against isil that's had that gain rolled back. in fact, the threat posed by isil is now worse because of russia's failed strategy inside of syria because isil didn't palmyra -- >> it sounds like you welcome it? josh: i don't welcome it. i am gravely concerned about the danger heightened because of russia's failed strategy. and according to what my colleagues at the pentagon are now saying, it's now u.s. service members, u.s. members of the military that are now going to have to go in and clean up the mess, again, that was created by syria with the backing of the russians. and when you consider the president's record overall, the fact of the matter is when you consider what he inherited, president obama walked into office, there were 180,000 u.s. troops in iraq and afghanistan combined. today, america is safer and
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there are only about 15,000 u.s. service members in those two countries. and that represents a substantial progress in enhancing our national security but also moving america off a permanent war footing. >> and that's why we have the results of the election. josh: ok. bob, i'll give you the last one. >> given all the talk about russian hacking, should the electoral college voters take into account the influence of russian hacking and the distribution of emails in their voting which is going to happen on monday? and do they have the constitutional right to do so? josh: listen, i another there are a almost of electors who have spoken publicly, raising some concerns and questions about how they should fulfill their constitutional obligations. i think that's evidence of how serious many of these electors take their constitutional responsibilities. but i'm not going to stand here and tell them how to vote or
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stand here and tell them how to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities. this is a responsibility they have been entrusted with. and there certainly is ample information about the election that's been made public, but ultimately it's up to the electoral college to fulfill their basic constitutional responsibility. ok. i anticipate that i will not be the one standing here tomorrow, but we will be able to confirm that for you by the end of the day today. thanks, everybody. if i don't see you, happy holidays. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> and on that issue, the electoral college reminder, they'll meet monday. we'll have coverage as electors cast in pennsylvania, illinois, pennsylvania and virginia. monday 11:00 eastern. the briefing started with jason on the economic report to the president. you can read that report. we've post it had on our website at and all of this briefing available there as well.
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next up, outgoing education secretary john king on the future of the nation's education system, including charter schools and education standards and the legacy of the bama administration. >> good morning. welcome to the center for american progress. my name is camel martin and i'm the executive vice president for policy here at caps. i want to thank you all for joining us to hear from secretary john king about his vision for education policy and why it's so important to continue to invest in our public education system and to continue to focus on both equity and accountability. nearly eight years ago when i began working at the department for secretary king's predecessor, arne duncan, our economy was reeling from the worst economic crisis since the great depression. state budgets were shrinking, hundreds of thousands of teachers were at risk of being laid off and student loan markets were barely
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functioning, putting our students and our schools at risk. amid this crisis, the administration focused on providing both adequate resources and a world-class education for all our students through the recovery act and other measures. hundreds of thousands of teacher jobs were saved by the state fiscal stabilization fund. billions were invested in title 1 and i.d.a. to protect the education of vulnerable students. pell grants were increased for millions of students, and access to student loans continued when all loan origination moved to the direct loan program. across the country, billions were invested in turning around dropout factories and improving low-performing schools. 46 states adopted college and career ready standards while also exploring innovative and cost-effective ways to both help students and teachers. secretary king has been a fierce protector of students and taxpayer dollars and higher
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education by cracking down on predatory colleges. through his leadership, states have access to high quality preschools using preschool development grants and race to the top early learning challenge. he championed diversity, announcing a new competition to promote socioeconomic diversity in schools. and on a tight timeline, he and is team have developed key regulations for the every student succeeds act which respects state autonomy and marginalized students but we still have work to do. and going forward we must build on president obama's achievements through arnie and john's leadership. -- arne and john's leadership. states will implement the every student succeeds act. but the next administration must play its part as well. as parents and policymakers we must embrace rigorous standards and accountability and we must provide districts and schools with the necessary resources to
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give every child a chance at success in college, career and life. no one understands that better than secretary king. as a son of two career educators in new york city's public schools, secretary king learned the power of education from a very early age. an when illness took his parents far too soon, it was his teachers who stepped in to play a critical role in his life. secretary king dedicated his professional life to public education ever since, serving students in puerto rico, massachusetts, new york, and now all across the nation. we are thrilled to have him here and honored to have him here at cap and count him as a partner in our efforts to build a better future for all of our children. please join me in welcoming the secretary of education, john king. [applause] secretary king: good morning. many thanks to carpelle and to
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the center for american progress for -- carmel and to the center for american progress for having me this morning. i want to thank all of you for being here, dynamic education leaders. we have invited you to be here with us because you represent the future. because you give me hope in our ability to continue making progress for america's students. i know you're working hard to bring about the day when the quality of educational opportunities available to our children is not determined by their race or zip code. the language they speak at home, or their family income, or their immigration status or whether they have a disability. i also know that you believe, education is a ladder. wrung by wrung, it helps people reach places that would otherwise be an impossible climb. when individuals have the chance to reach great heights, our society and way of life becomes stronger and better
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with every step they take. i am here today to ask you to act boldly on those beliefs. for all that believe that strong, equitable public education is central to a healthy democracy, in a thriving economy, now is the moment for us to set aside policy differences that we have let divide us and move forward together courageously to defend and extend this fundamental american institution. you have seen the powerful results that courage and hard work can deliver. i've seen them too. throughout my career as a public school educator, i have seen them in the district of columbia and the 31 states i have visited since i came to washington. as you may know, and as carmel mentioned, my life offers more proof. i lost both of my parents when i was a kid. my mom when i was 8, my dad when i was 12, growing up in new york city public schools. it was new york city public school teachers who saved my life, who made school a safe haven for me, that was a place
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that was compelling and interesting and safe. it was a well-rounded curriculum they provided that helped give me a sense of hope and understanding of what was possible in life. my commitment to this work is deeply personal. it's also rooted in my background as a high school social studies teacher and as a student of history. american history, like all human history, includes advances toward and retreats from our highest ideal. the history of public education in america also is a studer tep of incluesivity, equity and excellence. make no mistake, education has always been central to our progress. education gave thomas jefferson and alexander hamilton the tools and the vision to transform a colonial outpost into a great and powerful nation that inspires people across the globe. it allowed william lloyd garrison and frederick douglass to challenge the institution of
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slavery. education inspired susan b. anthony to demand the right of women to help shape our democracy with their votes. it was education that helped martin luther king jr. and john lewis find the words and the bravery to inspire a generation to march toward a brighter and more equal future. but the work, the work of forming a more perfect union continues as it ever has and always must. we must continue to press on firm in the knowledge that when we pull others up, they do not pull us down. when the light of opportunity shines on those who lack it, it does not dim for those already in its glow. the light of opportunity shines more brightly and more widely today than it thanks to the hard work of teachers and leaders, students and families, policymakers and advocates, the graduation rate is 83%, an all-time high. achievement gaps are closing
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particularly in science and the most recent graduating classroom college was the largest and most diverse in history. for all of our progress, more is required to meet the challenges our nation will face in the years to come. too many students still do not finish high school and when they do, too many are not ready for college. the relationship between poverty and educational achievement in the u.s. is among the strongest in the world. ensuring more americans get the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in our country matters now more than ever. as recently as the 1970, people with only a high school education could all five for nearly three quarters of the nation's jobs. today, the number is below 40%. one recent analysis found 95% of the jobs created since 2008 required some post secretary education or training.
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think about that. you did not finish high school or even if you graduated, you could knock on 95 doors looking for a job before one opens. everyone else without a higher education will be trying to squeeze through the last five doors alongside of you. it is not enough in a society for those already prosperous, to prosper, unless we are ensuring that all americans can meaningfully participate in our nation's growth, our nation will not succeed. the simple fact confirmed by research is reducing income inequality positively influences economic out that. when everyone has a fair chance, full societies are healthier, better off, and more productive. some will argue that equity conflicts with liberty. it is not liberty when the happenstance of birth binds a child to a life of limited possibilities. chew liberty is the opportunity to take your lives as are as our
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tribes and our talent allow. the pledge of allegiance heard in american classrooms every day affirms that in this republic, liberty and justice are the tool and enduring birthright of all. not some, but all. as long as that pledge stands, we can never separate the question liberty from the fight for social and economic justice. when i talk about these lofty ideals, i think about students who made it, as well as those who did not. i think all the time about a student of mine named herman, a middle school student at roxbury prep who was doing well at high school and had a bright future ahead of him. one day, he was mistaken for someone else and he was killed by another young man in his neighborhood, not much older than herman. at that moment, the world lost the benefit of both of their potential.
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their families lost the benefit of both of their potential. chances are like herman, the young man who killed him, a bubbly five-year-old, hand raised, asking his question of his teacher, herman had the opportunity and the young man who killed him did not. i often find myself thinking about all of that lost promise. i ask, look at society and our schools have done to offer health -- help and hope so he did not wind up on that street corner, gun in hand, anger and hatred and his heart. i also think about my student, a quiet and shy sixth-grader. her math teacher noticed how well she was doing. she was encouraged to sit down and tutor her fellow student. school staff turned out to play -- watch her play soccer and cheer her on. with the opportunities to lead
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and recognition, she thrived and decided to become a teacher. graduated from boston college. returned to teach math to others just like her. she is now the dean of students at the school. what will it take to create an america where opportunity is plentiful and prosperity is widely shared? where we lose fewer hermits -- hermans and prepare more of her? making this vision a reality will take more hard work. it is work we can do together. we have a choice to make, continue to argue amongst ourselves about disagreements, or work together in pursuit of larger goals. i am not saying we will agree on every tactic or every strategy. i am saying we can reject false dichotomies and disparaging rhetoric. we can stop questioning our allies intentions and fight side-by-side for the belief that
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every student in america has a right to a great public education. the passage of the new bipartisan every student succeeds act marks a perfect time to set aside old debates and moved together. i think most of us can agree that the top down one size fits all approach of no child left behind was a blunt tool ill-suited to a nuanced task. essa rightly empowers leaders to develop strategies and address unique talents is -- talents and needs. it could usher in a wave of innovation and improvement in education. we should embrace it. that does not mean every district should go it alone without guard rails for protecting students, guidelines for carrying it out, or the good ideas forged by tears through years of trial and toil.
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essa is fundamentally a civil rights law, an extension of the promise of educational equity made in the original elementary and the educational act of 1965. we as leaders can embrace the potential of the law and do the hard work to see that it is implemented in a way that delivers on the promise. or we can fall back on what is easy, cling to cynicism, and take comfort in the status quo. we also have a choice when it comes to high expectations for every student. i remember the pride i felt as a fifth grader at 276, when my teacher taught us how to read and understand shakespeare. i remember the bright spark in the eyes of a student i taught in high school in boston who did not always work as hard as he should at there was a moment where he discovered a passion for social studies working on a research paper about the harlem renaissance.
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i also remember the pain and self doubt i've heard from countless students i've met across the country who arrived on college campuses only to discover they were not ready, and were required to take remedial courses. nearly every state in the country has established college and career ready standards. but we must fight together the inevitable efforts to water down those expectations and undercut efforts to improve the educational system when the work gets hard. more importantly, we have to invest in schools and teachers so they can help students meet the standards. we must have the courage to hold ourselves accountable for their success. without accountability, standards are meaningless. and equity is a charade. often folks hear the word accountability in education and i think of tests and consequences.
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but our choice is not between tests and punished policies based on redundant or poor quality assessments or no tests and little insight as to how or whether our children are learning. those of us who have stood up for reasonable assessments have a responsibility to make sure our tests are better, fairer, and fewer, as president obama has called for. we can do that while providing teachers and families without people information about how students are doing, and we can do it without overburdening students. let's agree there is a balance. let's encourage states to use the highest quality assessments. demonstrating what they're learning to creative thinking and problem solving rather than rote memorization. and it is about so much more than tests. together, let's help states of developed accountability systems that are rich and varied and
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include measures such as chronic absenteeism, access to advanced coursework, new approaches to discipline that help students improve behavior and academic achievements. as we choose to strike a better balance on accountability and testing, let's also resist the false choice between allowing public charter school and supporting traditional district public schools. the primary concern should not be the management structure of school. it should be whether schools serve all students well. the best schools in places like new york, los angeles, and rio grande valley, our public charter schools closing the achievement gap and preparing graduates who finish college. as i saw just last week in boston, charters and district schools in many parts of the country are forming partnerships allowing them to learn from and be inspired by one another. if we believe that public
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schools will always be the bedrock of american democracy and opportunity, as i do, we should welcome good public charter schools as laboratories for innovation that can benefit all of education and supporters of public charter school, myself and -- included, must recognize the grave effect that charter schools pose to the entire sector. we must demand that charter authorizes to set a high bar for granting a charter. rigorous monitoring of the academic performance of charters and close failing schools. we must be equally rigorous in monitoring the performance and working to turn around the performance of ineffective district schools. supporting public charter schools and supporting district schools means demanding quality for both. here is another false dichotomy.
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teachers are either the singular solution to all of our problem, or they are criticized for failing to solve them single-handedly. we can make the better choice and recognize the teaching is an incredibly difficult job. dozens of decisions, hundreds every school day and thousand through the week. teacher preparation and development, we welcome their expertise and leadership in issues that affect students in classrooms each day. over the past few years, i have had countless conversations with teachers here and around the country. they talk about becoming teachers to become the best and help realize that potential. i also hear their frustrations with the crush of paperwork and hours wasted in unhelpful in-service meetings and ride by professional development sessions. i hear about how they create the insights of trusted colleagues who, having watched them work,
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suggest a different way to ask a question or a project that could replace -- and i remember how hard it is to find time to hone your craft when you cannot even carve out a minute to use the bathroom between classes. teachers need more resources and the higher pay that they surely deserve, particularly those serving the highest needs of students. we also need to make sure they have the space and the opportunity, the rich preparation, quality professional development, collaboration time, career ladders to help them do the very they joined the fashion to do. quality, accountability, innovation, effective teaching, these are among the most important issues we argue about today in k-12 education policy. there are more issues we have not always had the courage to address. first, even successful strategies will fail without the funds to back them up. especially in the schools and
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neighborhoods where change is most needed. money is never the only answer but it doesn't matter. it pays for higher salaries for teachers and school counselors. it pays for building science labs and repairing a leaky roof. in districts all across the country, students who need the most still get the least. it is even worse when you look across district lines. many children into troy, chicago, or philadelphia, can only dream of having the types of public schools that their peers a few miles away and enjoy every day. federal dollars cannot begin to offset these inequalities. even a modest proposal to ensure that federal funds reach the students there meant for, has faced fierce opposition inside the beltway. but that is just the start of the conversation we need to be having about equitable access to resources.
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it is not about one parent's child over another or one community's needs over another's. it is about choosing to invest in each other. we cannot build high enough -- from the children across town and across state lines. as a nation, we share a common destiny. it brings me to one more choice, between inclusion and segregation. some of the most charged topics in education, one we must confront, our nation and our world are growing more diverse and interconnected. we need to recognize that the multicultural makeup of the country is an asset and not a liability. we need schools that embrace diversity. diverse schools are great preparation for all students. they help more children succeed, health perspective and help prepare them to participate in the global workforce. i am convinced that the growing conflict in this country over race and religion and language
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would be profoundly reduce if our children were able to learn and play alongside classmates who were different from themselves, and if they regularly encountered teachers and leaders of color in their school. given the battles of recent years in k-12, the goals might seem tame by comparison. but we have hard work to do and hard choices to make. there is a growing bipartisan consensus toward increased access to preschools, as well there should be. but our choices do not end there. access alone is not enough. the harder work before us to -- is to ensure consistent quality for all students. access to low quality programs is no access at all. we have seen similar momentum toward access to free community college and student debt, to put a college career within reach
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for every student. we must continue to invest in making college more accessible and affordable and that starts by refusing to turn back the clock to a time when tens of liens of dollars intended to help students went instead to wasteful subsidies for big banks. we do students and the nation a disservice if we focus on access and affordability without also supporting completion. across the country, some school, from the university of new york's program, to georgia state and arizona state university, are doing whatever it takes to help more students of every background and role in college, stay on course, and earn their degrees, by providing personalized ongoing support. we need to push more colleges, more state systems, more state leaders, to step up and adopt such evidence-based practices.
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there are also schools that deceive students, derail and defraud families and tax it -- taxpayers. there is no place for those schools in america. we have cracked down on these predatory institutions and the work must continue. the most expensive degree is still the one you never complete, or the one not worth the paper it is printed on. none of the challenges i've mentioned today are easy. here is the thing. solving them is not a mystery. the answers are out there. as amanda recently wrote in reflections on the recent results, "the smartest countries tend to be those that have acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective, directed or resources to children, and rolled most children in high-quality preschools, help schools establish a culture of constant improvement, and applied
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rigorous consistent standards across all classrooms. we do not need to look through the practices of our international competitors for all the answers. we have them close to home as well. that is why this administration has invested in i three, the innovation program, and the institution of sciences, together evidence of what is working, which meets the rigorous standards taken for granted in medicine and science. we need to continue to encourage innovation and use what we learn to keep improving and we do not need to wait for a brilliant scientific or technological discovery. instead, we need to act on evidence old late urgently and creatively -- create -- courageously. that means being united, from teachers in the classroom to business leaders, elected officials to union leaders, parents and also to community activists in balsam -- baltimore. we must all be a part of the solution we may disagree about tactics and strategies. but as advocates of public
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education, we cannot afford to disagree about the need to make the choices that reflect the best interests of students and push ahead bravely. for our children, it is literally a matter of life and death. it was for me, it was for herman, whose life was taken in the street by a young man who was failed by schools is -- and society. it is for the dean'students today, when she helps students. all of you who have worked in school have stories similar to those. let them inspire you to also make the choices that will help more young people know the success of the dean and fewer suffer the fate of herman. you can fight small battles tenaciously, or we can summon the collective will to work
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together on the big issues and be rewarded with an even greater, fairer, more profit or its nation to pass on to future generations. when president obama visited selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that turning point in the fight for civil rights, he asked this question. what greater form of patriotism is there than the believe that america is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide it is in our power to remake this nation to closely align with our highest ideal? i do not know yet what i will do when i will leave the administration but i can tell you this. whatever it is, i will choose to be the kind of patriot the president described. i ask all of you to join me. thank you so much.
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[applause] carmel: thank you. that was really terrific. i will kick it off with a couple of questions and then turn it to our audience to ask questions. we're really excited to have so many young leaders in the audience today. what advice to you have or them as they move forward in terms of engaging with state, local, federal policymakers around education issues? sec. king: i would remember our history. maybe i am biased but in moments of challenge, it may seem like this is the greatest difficulty we have ever faced. it is important to remember what john lewis faced when he walked across the bridge. it is important to remember the ways in which this country's's
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history is really about expanding opportunity, with zigzag zags. we have got to be resolute even when it seems the forces are aligned against us. keep perspective about the difficulties of past generations that have been overcome. the second is there are great things happening in schools and communities across the country. part of what we have got to do going forward is not only work at the federal level to ensure we build on the progress we have made and do not slip that courts, but we have also got to keep working at the state leaders to focus on service of equity, to get mayors to focus on how to ensure every kid in their city has access to quality preschool. there are things we can do at the state and local level even as we continue to fight a different set of battles. carmel: the next administration will have a different philosophy about education and different priorities.
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what is your hope for how they will move forward, particularly with respect to essa implementation? sec. king: i cannot say what the priorities of the next administration will be, but the task for them, whatever the party of the next administration, the task is how do you build on the progress of the last eight years? we have the highest graduation rate we have ever had because we significantly cut the dropout rate for african american students. that is progress to build on. the test for them will be how they build on the progress. four states, as the implement partnerships with the federal government, the task will be will more kit -- are more kids in high needs schools getting access to classes question mark our kids who are chronically absent -- absent getting support? the measure of the next administration and
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implementation is the same. do we build on the progress and keep improving outcomes particularly for the most vulnerable kids. carmel: you spoke in your speech about the importance of education from a civil rights standpoint. your office of civil rights last week released a report that showed a staggering number of complaints coming into it, about civil rights violations. 10 you speak a little bit to the great work being done during this administration? sec. king: yes. what is important for people to realize is an increase of complaints was in part a function of the good work being done, that people believe if you bring something to ocr, action will be taken that makes things better. i think about the issue of sexual violence on college campuses where ocr has led a cultural shift nationally, where now, higher leaders see it as their responsibility to make their schools safe. they are committed to that work
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regardless of what happens in the next administration. the culture has shifted and states are taking on a different level of responsibility beyond that work. we are hearing for more students on campuses because they know we are working to take action when we find that universities have not done a good job protecting their students and enforcing civil rights protection. similarly, if you think back to where we were on issues of the protection of lgbt students, nine years ago, we have done a lot of work to make sure kids are safe from bullying and harassment. all kids feel like school is a place where they are safe and welcome. there is more to do and we still get complaints. folks know we will take action and reach resolution agreements with districts to get them to change policies. we have to work on rethinking discipline. we have school districts around the country who have had a pattern of disproportionate discipline for students of color. we just put out something about
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states that still allow corporate punishments in schools, state sanctioned violence against students. we have been active in saying when there is discrimination against students, we will respond and reach agreements with districts that change practices, requiring district to do different kinds of training for teachers on things like bias, and focus everyone's attention on fair, safe policies in their school district. there is a lot of good work that has happened and there is an opportunity to keep building on the work going forward. there has been a culture shift and we are not going back. carmel: you talked about the importance of building evidence in education and i could not agree more with you that we need to have more of a cultural -- more of a culture around that. that was a priority for the bush administration as well. it has had bipartisan support. do you feel like that is something that will be lasting into the next administration?
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what is the next important thing the next ministration can do to help solidify the culture shift? sec. king: there has been bipartisan support. you see it in the fast that they are investing -- education and innovation research, is enshrined in essa bipartisan legislation. you see it in the way evidence has moved into the other areas of how the departments work. the programs that have a rich history of supporting first-generation college students and low income students getting to college. those programs now are working to build a greater evidence-based on what interventions work and that is shaping practice. the grant program we had in higher education is about evidence-based strategy. we are seeing not only the strategies payoff but we see other universities say that strategy is working around completion, particularly for low income students and students of
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color. so the next administration is to continue that investment and congress needs to continue that investment in building evidence. we need to maintain the independence of the research so we can have confidence in the quality of evaluations that are done. we have got to then take the evidence and use it to drive policy. you think about the work on early learning. we have countless studies that show the return on investment for high-quality early learning, 8-1, 9-1, and we are at a point where we have to ask, why are we not acting on the evidence? why do we only have 4% of our four euros in preschool programs? we have the evidence about what works and how we allow that to drive investment at the federal and state level. carmel: i will open it up to questions from the audience. does anyone have a question?
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>> hello, i am david smith of the guardian. what do you think is going to be the president policies outstanding legacy achievements from the past eight years, and how worried are you about whether it will survive a very different administration? secondly, what do you think of the arguments that your successor will not protect public schools? sec. king: i think ultimately, going back to something mentioned at the beginning, when the president came into the office and we were in the midst of an economic crisis, the president responded but he also said then a clear vision that strengthen public education would be vital to our country's's economic success and the success of our democracy, that we have to be able to do both, respond to crises and make smart long-term investments. you see that in the growth and quality in pre-k.
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31 states have increased their investment in pre-k p you see that in k12 progress we have made with higher graduation rates. you see it in the increased access to higher education and the improved affordability in higher education and the progress we are making around completion that we now need to take the scale. i think for the next administration, the question down to, will s we build on that progress or retreat? we know what's happened when state governors and legislators, you know what, we're going to in ease our investment public education. it's diminished opportunity. education, they have disinvested in public education. so


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