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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 12, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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context is critical for strategic health diplomacy initialive. you need to be in it for the long term. you need to build the capacity and you need to be transparent and accountable. these are all lessons learn eed which we'll probably talk about. but when we looked at pepfar and looked at why was you can successful and also these second-order impacts, these are things that bubbled up and i suspect they'll be fortunate for zika as well. >> thank you. i want to follow up on your lessons learned, particularly with the regional and international response in some of our international partners. some have said the speed at which the w.h.o. declared zika a public health emergency was a direct reaction to the criticism they received over their response to ebola. as of now, what do you think of the international response? >> that's a great question. a couple of things, if you think about time line, at the end of
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march 2014, doctors without borders said we are overwhelmed. this is obviously in west africa and the context of ebola. we are overwhelmed, this disease is out of control. we need help. end of march 2014. in august, the w.h.o. declared a health emergency. about march, 300 people had died. by august, the disease had become far more widespread. that delay is what a lot of us have focused on and have asked hard questions about why was there that delay? and how do we make sure that doesn't happen again? i do think as a response, w.h.o. has been far quicker. there have actually been some people who said it was too kbik to declare this time. it's not the same disease, it doesn't spread the same way. w.h.o. did it very narrowly. they did it in the context of microcephaly and said this is a
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public health emergency. i personally don't think they overreacted. i think it's a personally reasonable call, but it doesn't reassure me and i'll tell you why. right now, there's a spotlight on w.h.o. and there is a real question about whether w.h.o. can play the role we all need it to play. and in that context, they're being far more responsive. this is not the stress test that we're looking for. the question is, what happens two years from now when the spotlight is off. when people aren't paying attention, will w.h.o. have put in the kinds of changes it needs to respond to the disease when it is not in the headlines? that's what we need w.h.o. to do. we don't need w.h.o. to tell us we have a problem when it's in the headlines every single day. i think it was a perfectly reasonable thing they did. it has not offered me reassuran reassurance. and there's structural reforms it needs to go through that it has not gone through yet,
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including being far more transparent, having far more accountabili accountability. we lay out some specific things. but until those things happen, i'm not going to sleep any better at night thinking w.h.o. has learned its lessons from ebola. i think they're doing what any of us would do, right? if you mess up, the next time in the spotlight, the same question comes up, you're going to get it rite. but it's not clear that you have learned the lessons for the long run. >> i want to ask uh yo about the idea of international cooperation here. you spent a lot of time at department of health and human services and now at bipartisan policy center. but what are the critical areas of international cooperation? what are we doing well, what do we need to do better in terms of the international response. >> in 2001, we had bird flu, then h1n1 then ebola. the three pillars of what people
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think about, this is really enshrined. everybody in this country, in the world ought to be able to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks, as well as emergencies. when you think about the key areas that we need international cooperation on, i think we're seeing it to a certain extent here with the zika response, first surveillance in the laboratory capacity, which is critical. there has been good cooperation here. you have scientists in brazil right now running case control studies to better see the association between zika and microcephaly. laboratory capacity is a critical piece in that. we're seeing a positive sign in terms of sample sharing right now. that's a critical piece in terms of responding to outbreaks. provider training is critical as well. making health care workers all
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around the world have access to protocols and the best level of evidence to care for whether it's women with zika, whether it's children with microreceively. in this particular instance, and lindsay, for diseases that are mosquito born, vector control is absolutely important as well. i think one of the most important areas of international cooperation, however, is education, communication and public messaging. making sure the general public understands the nature of the outbreak, what is causing the outbreak? that this isn't something that's sort of made up. making sure they understand how to protect themselves. so focusing on prevention. i think this is one aspect where -- i think the w.h.o. is leaning forward with respect to zika here. the importance of disspelling
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myths, the importancereduce ing stigma. the importance of meeting countries where they are and giving facts and information to the general public is a critical piece, and really the entire international community i think needs to work together on that piece. >> may i ask a question? i agree with that. i think the importance of communication and public health strategies and in global health in general are critically important. i would love the opinion of these two public health physicians about how you think we're doing so far in terms of zika communications. how is it going? >> i'll give a quick one. one thing that's clear is we dependent do a good job with ebola. i think we can begin with that. one of the key lessons on these things is trying to tell people not to worry is one of the most ineffective things you can do when people are worried.
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acknowledging the fear, understanding the fear and walking people through it. my general sense is that it's been much better under zika. people have not down played it. i've heard early from cdc, from other leaders in government, we know zika is coming to the u.s., and now we know it's here and it's going to be more substantial. in the ebola crisis, there was a sense of we know how to manage this, we have a great health system, this will not spread here and the first nurse who got it in dallas kind of blew that whole story up. the bottom line is it actually wasn't that badly handled. it was just the communication did not work very well. i think it's going much better but i would be curious if anyone disagrees. >> i agree. i think one of the differences i think between ebola and zika.
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with ebola, we were focused on three countries. with zika, it's 31 countries. in brazil, there are hundreds of thousands of health coaches going into the community trying to educate people. the public health infrastructure is a little bit more robust. colombia, another ally of the u.s., perhaps similarly. but if you look at other countries, el salvador, haiti, countries like venezuela where we don't really have excellent diplomatic relationships, we don't know. and i think it's an excellent question, particularly in some of these countries we just don't know how the public health communication and messaging is going. and i think that's sort of a key point as well. trying to meet countries where they are. there's some countries like brazil and colombia where we can be a little more confident in how things are going. there are other countries where we don't know a lot. there are some reports that we're not really getting good reporting back from some of these countries in terms of new cases and things like that. so it's unclear what messages
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are getting filtered to that population. so i think it's an important point. >> one of the lessons was not just what you're saying, how you're saying it and to who you're saying it. i don't know if you have an opinion on what the lesson was coming out of ebola in terms of local context. i know you all do work in central america. how do you ensure we don't have a one sized fits all approach to this communication problem. >> if i could, i mean, i think -- the point was made very effectively. a critical piece to any effective response was understanding the local context. and even understanding the individual context, right? it's a communication challenge. it's in social marketing terms, a social marketing organization, we look at that as consumer insight. how do we understand what drives the individual to motivate them to adopt a behavior that's good for them and the community.
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you made a similar point, ashish, in terms of fear not being the right way to motivate the effective sons. so if you'll permit me, lindsay, as a marketing organization, i sell things a lot. so i happen to have something here with me. because no salesman should be anywhere without something to show. and what is this? this is a prototype that our folks developed over the last couple of weeks as we took into account what w.h.o. was saying about potentially the need for something like a zika kit or a safe pregnancy kit. i think in the context where you're trying to motivate people to adopt the healthy behavior, it's important to give them something to do, something positive that they can do. and sometimes that involves a product. or a service. more than an example.
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a zika kit might have a cloth that could be used to demonstrate how you apply repellant. and inside we have this concept of simply a kit that would include various things. it might include repellant, and i couldn't bring it into the capitol because we had some cans of off in here. but you get the idea. repellant here that could be useful during a trimester of pregnancy. and the idea would be that a pregnant woman would have access to a kit like this and would come back to a health center for a regular check-up, maybe every three months and would get the contents refilled. then you might have condoms. we know now that sexual transmission is certainly has
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been documented. so how do we help women ensure safe pregnancy? well, safe sex. and then we might have something, for example, like a multivitamin that cowl help them during their pregnancy.m3ç;m5th mosquito net as part of this. but these mosquitos don't bite at night, as we know. you would have information as well that could be appropriate for low literacy settings. something like this. the idea is coming up with something that could be a tangible response to people who would want to be able to deliver something meaningful to pregnant women that they could use as a way to guide their response to the danger. the cost of this is prohibitive. mainly because of the repellants. there might be a do nation program that goths could broker. condoms aren't a significant
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cost, vitamins aren't a significant cost, but the repellant is. something like that, $20 beyond the reach of many of the low-income populations we're trying to reach. but with subsidy, you could use something like this. the reality of the consumer you're trying to reach. >> ashish, did you want to add? >> i'm going to keep harking back to ebola because i think the lessons do apply broad di. i had an option to chair a panel about a year ago with the health ministers of the three west african countries and the archbishop of guinea and talking about their response. the one word that came up over and over again in english and in french was the word trust or the
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lack thereof. you can have the best public health message in the world. you can have a great surveillance system, you can have a great health system. but if people don't trust it and they don't trust you, it's not going to work. and the truth is that trust is not built in the middle of a crisis. trust is built over the long run. and what they described was by the time these countries did sort of have a plan and were trying to get -- for people in the community, there was very little trust in the public institutions. maybe carl brought up the idea that there are weak institutions in west africa across the board. there was very little trust in these systems. so when somebody came, you have a spouse or a kid who's sick, somebody comes and says we're going to take them away to a hospital, you're pretty suspicious and they take them away and the person dies. and if that keeps happening over and over again, the next time you get sick, you avoid those public health officials because you don't trust them.
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and so a part of communication that is contextualized is beginning to have a communication strategy that begins to build that trust. what we try to do is we try to do it in the middle of a crisis, it doesn't work. i think that's a major part of what slowed down the response. i think we've done it much better, we don't know how well it's happening in venezuela, for instance. we don't know how well it it's .haing in other places. i think zika has gone much better. my only fear is we're going to feel like, we figured this out after ebola and we're done. i see this as we've gotten lucky. this happens in a much better place with much better systems. the next one may not be so lucky. >> i want to ask you one more question. then we're going to turn it over to the audience. going off this kit, it's a prevention kit. how do we change the paradigm from dealing with emergencies to
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preventing emergencies. how do we go from reactive to proactive on these issues. what's the political will? what will it take for the global community to shift the way we think about these things so we're not fighting the current emergency, but we're planning for the next one. we're doing both at the same time. if you could all actually chime in and then we'll turn it over to the audience. >> that's an easy question, right? i think we have to -- we do have to sort of understand the context of what's happening here. we spend enormous amount of resources and do it over the long run on things like preventing nuclear weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists. why do we do to? we never had this, thankfully. it's never happened before. we understand that if that were to happen, that would be a nightmare scenario, and we are perfectly willing. and rightly so in making investments on those kinds of
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things. i think we have not seen p pandemics as posing the same kind of existential threat to the people of this country and to people around the world. and yet it does, right? i'm going to go back to ebola -- the average ebola person spread it to two other people. the average case of measles, the average person who gets measles spreads it to 18 other people. if you imagine a disease where it spreads quickly and it's fatal and lands on the u.s. shores and it's a disease we never heard of, it can be quite devastating. by the way, preventing that, yes, it's about building health systems. but it requires a long term sustained effort. how do you create political will to do that? and we clearly have figured it out in other arenas. my take is that we have to think about pandemics nuch in the way we think about other issues as national security risk. if we do that, i think we're
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going to be much more open and willing to make those kinds of investments. i chaired this panel for harvard and the london school. there was another panel that the institute put together called the global health risk frame work. they made an estimate that it would cost $4.5 billion a year. i don't know if that number is right, it's probably close to right. it's the best number i've seen out there, but it's a trivial investment if you think about this as a national security risk. really globally, we' got lots of partners in europe and other places that can help pay for that. so i think we need to get started and get moving on that. the only way we're going to do this is not to see this as, this is about ebola or zika. this is really about keeping the american people safe. >> very briefly, we're always going to face as individuals and as a society the problem of
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prevention versus cure. we all know there's many things we should do personally for prevention in the future. it's true for us individually and for society as a whole. i'm an optimist. i came to global health really through the foreign policy national security avenue when i started working in africa 30 years ago as a foreign service officer. i realized then and, you know, the american embassy where i was stationed realized that issues around hiv were clearly important to our national security. and you look at, i think, your report demonstrates this. you look at the success of programs like pepfar and the president's malaria initiative in the u.s. context, and really the tremendous progress we've seen in global health over the past 20 years and you have reason to be optimistic about
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our ability to get this right, or get it better. get it better than we would have said 30 years ago. so i look at this as glass half full. >> i think an important principle of emergency preparedness is from a health perspective and a cost perspective. it's always better to be in front of the curve instead of behind the curve. and if we think that preventing potential outbreak would cost x money, it's going to cost exponentially more if we wait for the crisis to occur. ensuring that political leadership and understands that i think is critical. i think it's also an important mindset to instill amongst our political leaders that outbreaks and pandemics, you know, they don't necessarily always just come and go. it's very important to continue the ebola investment that's being made in west africa right now to ensure that the public health infrastructure is strong,
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otherwise ebola will come right back. this idea that we're done to ebola, let's move to the next one, you know, let's treat outbreaks one at a time i think sort of misses the point. the point is you need to be invested in the long term. you need to build relationships with countries. you need to invest in capacity building. that's what establishes the bilateral ties that you can work with these countries on for so many other topics. that builds the trust that i think ashish was talking about as well. so i think prevention is critical, not looking at individual outbreaks sort of one at a time. all right, we've done that, that's done, let's move to the next one. i think it's important for us to remember. >> why don't we take two questions and have the panelists respond. go ahead. say your name and organization.
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>> my name is alisa waxman. i work in the ebola unit. i'm working on the lessons learned for coordination for the ebola recovery efforts. and one thing that's really important to me and my team is to have the lessons that we learned actually influence policy and how we structure ourselves around responses in the future. what would be some key things to look at or ways to draft these recommendations so that they don't just kind of get shelved but can be used to influence things a the a higher level? >> great,ty. >> i see a couple of other hands. >> i saw a couple of hands. >> i'm with act associates.
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i have a quick question about diplomacy and ensuring that funding is inclusive. we all know that global health funding is frequently siloed. this pot of money is for hiv, this pot of money is for malaria and this pot of money is for ebola. we also know that human beings can have ebola and hiv and also malaria. i think one of the lessons that came out of west africa was coordination and collaboration between different programming. i don't anticipate that we'll start funding things in different ways. so my question is, not to pick on haiti, but i will. how do we collaborate as donors and also within our u.s. government organizations, whether it's u.s.aid, cdc, nih and these other countries to ensure in areas we're already working, whether it's in vector control or condoms for hiv that we're collaborating and not recreating the wheel or adding secondary programs. for example, haiti has a very
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large prevention for condoms from pepfar. >> we have practical recommendations and the importance of collaboration, not just within the u.s. government but international as well. if anyone would like to start. >> let me take a second one first. i think the time for -- and i completely agree with what anna and carl have said about the phenomenal success of pepfar and the president's malaria initiative. i think the time for the president's initiatives on disease x is now behind us. they were exactly right for the times. they've done great work, and they need to keep going. but there are several reasons why that time has passed, a lot of which you have articulated. but one of them is we can't predict what the next disease
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will be. we don't need an initiative on ebola, on zika and a disease to be named later. it's not an effective strategy for a variety of reasons. you start to deliver parallel infrastructures. there are countries like rwanda that have taken their pepfar resources or other kinds of those vertical programs and started building broader systems. so that is doable. i think we have to figure out ways of encouraging that and make broader investments in health systems. we heard a lot about strength strengthening. this is a phrase that on one hand is exactly right. and on the other hand, people say what does that mean? do we commit to build health systems for the long run? and the answer is there are real important ways in which we can be helpful, but countries will only be safer and more secure and more effective if they have health systems that work. i think that's a shift in global
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health that needs to happen. why don't i stop there. >> i did say i was an optimist before, but on these questions of vertical programs versus the logic of a horizontal approach, i'm going to have to confess i'm a bit of a pessimist. i understand why these things grow in vertical fashion. pepfar is perhaps the global context. p p pepfar was a tremendous and remains a tremendous bipartisan success in the recent congressional history because the humanitarian and the national security and all the other aspects were brought together in a bipartisan fashion. it's been sustained because of that. if the approach had been the
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president's emergency program for health systems strengthening, it would have totally failed. we know that. that's a political reality we have to reckon with it. it's inefficient, it is regrettable in many ways, but it is the way we have mobilized many of the resources that we have to deal with the global health challenges that have delivered a lot of success. we have to recognize that. and i would rather take that vertical program that's got resources than a horizontal program that doesn't. just the last point on condoms in haiti, we're responsible for the condom market in haiti such as it is. and i totally agree with you, first of all, it's important to have a functioning condom market in every country. and condoms have multiple
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benefits, as we know, in the hiv and family planning context, and certainly in the zika added on as well. lots of different actors ensure a condom market functions well at the national level. and it involves donors, private sector, social marketing, commercial marketing, and we're passionate about it and i know a.c.t. is, too. >> i'm not an expert in usaid and state department global health vertical programs, but in an ideal world, we ought to be able to be nimble, right? so when it comes to zika and we understand there's a need in the area of family planning and repreductive felt, we realize a lot of these countries have graduated from us receiving support dollars from usa aid, if
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a crisis could potentially be challenged to these countries where there's a need. take vector control and malaria. there's a crisis here. the mosquito could be different for malaria. we ought to be nimble enough to take resources in one area and when there's a crisis, be able to apply them. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. and i think as carl said, there are realities here. i think being nimble when we can i think is very important. >> great. /'m sure the pam lists will have times if for your questions.
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you point out the role of the private sector and perhaps get the panel's reactions with thoughts about the global security agenda for some of the framework for this work. thanks. >> i've only heard about the microcephaly problem and i was wondering how sick does this make any person who gets it? is and if it doesn't make them sick enough, i think maybe it could spread more because they don't go to the doctor. >> we mentioned the condoms in the kit and family planning and so forth in the context of zika. the microcephaly issue and the sexual transmission ability are now pretty tight, right? and the complication of zika
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being present in largely catholic countries really complicates that conversation and i'm wondering if we're making any headway on women's reproductive health in light of the zika epidemic. >> great, thanks. why don't we take this one right in front here and then we'll have all of you pick and choose. >> zika, like ebola has affected the poorest of the poor. we need community health workers who can get to the poorest communities. i would like to hear about the platform that becomes the security that we seek. >> thanks. i think what i might recommend is we have four questions on the table. if we could just kind of go down
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the line. don't have to answer all of them, but we're running out of time quickly. ashish, we'll start with you. >> let me take the second one about zika and how sick do you have to be. this is a little bit more medical than policy, but it's worth knowing. you keep hearing about, well, the alleged connection, it is true we have not nailed this down. it's pretty convincing there's a clear relationship between zika and microcephaly. there's probably a pretty clear connection between zika and another disease that people can get after the disease. the thing that i think has been the biggest surprise in the latest data that's coming it, two things you don't have to be all that sick. you thought you have to have high fever and a bad rash. we're increasingly finding that a lot of women had a very mild disease. may not have been aware that they're sick.
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some get sick for a day and they're better and yet can still have quite substantial neurological effects. mic microcephaly can be mild, but most of the time it's pretty devastating. this is not a mild disease and it's not a life thing. if you think about how widespread zika is across 31 countries, this is a very substantial human toll. i do want to just make one other point and i'll turn it over to my panelist. i completely agree with our colleague from partners in health. these things always affect the poor the most. this is the nature of illness, people who are wealthy or have more resources can respond more effectively, have a lot more abilities to find their way through the system. and, you know, the lesson of global health i would argue over the last two decades, but certainly the last five years is again that notion that we're only as safe as the most vulnerable in the most vulnerable places in the world.
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i completely agree and understand with carl, the argument that the president's emergency program for health system strengthening for building community health workers doesn't have quite the same saf shea or the same contraction. how do we make sure the resources that we have, we try to grow those resources and also invest them in things like community health workers. again you can have the best technology and the best diagnostics. you have to think about how to solve that end of the problem as well. >> i completely agree with that. we know what the right thing to do is here. it's politically challenging, but it's certainly the right thing to do. i feel like i've been on a mosquito tour this week. on monday and tuesday, i was in conchasa. the context there is malaria. different mosquito, different bite pattern.
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now we're talking about the zika mosquitos. but just a sobering fact in terms of primary health care, the weakest link point that you make, i was astounded by this. but, you know, congo, about 70 million people, total government expenditure for all purposes in the congo this year will be about $5 billion. that's all that the government of congo spends on everything. so you see the scale of challenge. building a primary health care system in the congo worthy of the name would cost many multiples of $5 billion. that's everything. we're talking about everything. so it's back to this point about weak infrastructure, weak institutions. sobering. coca-cola, we've collaborated in different places around the world. fantastic supply change skills, capability to move product. world class ability to influence
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behavior. that's what marketers like co a coca-cola do. and obviously you have a work force around the world. i think it's very important to learn how to partner with private sectors like that. i wish it were the case -- i think it's too soon to say. i hope it's the case that public health emergencies like this opens up wider space for women's reproductive health issues. it's a hope at this point, certainly not a reality. >> i'll just add very quickly, in terms of public/private partnerships, we've had tremendous success and there's a lot of need for water, san sags and hygiene. i think vector control would be a nice area if we could get some more public/private partnerships. it helps us on the vector born disease side and helps us on the
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wash side. so i think i'll just put in one plug there. i think we've already covered the microcephaly piece and really touched on the importance of reinstructive health here and family planning. this is one of the most important things for any health care system including ours here domestically. any country, if there's anything we can do here to help support the primary health infrastructure of these countries i think would be tremendous. it's about a smart global health. >> if anyone has a question, feel free to come up afterwards. we also have both reports on the side table if you're interested
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in those as well. >> thank you, lindsay, thanks for doing such a good job moderating. with such brilliant minds we have on our panel weshtdn't worry, but telling people not to worry isn't effective. so please worry. >> we have the tools and the experiences and lessons from past examples to think about working on zika and more ambitiously thinking about how to avoid the next pandemic. so hopefully all of you will keep thinking on that and definitely, we in conjunction with others will as well. so i want to thank you for their work today. and thank you all for coming.
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this weekend on book tv, live coverage from the tucson festival of books from university of arizona. it begins saturday at noon eastern and sunday at 1:00 p.m. eastern. featured authors on saturday include douglas brinkley on fdr. author and activist jonathan kozal on education, linda
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hirschman on the supreme court. sunday's featured authors include market regan on immigration, and politics panel with ari burman on voting rights. throughout our live coverage of the tucson festival of book, many authors will join us to take your phone calls and comments. on sunday night at 9:00 eastern, it's afterwards with michael eric dyson, author of "the back presidency." blchlt dyson is interviewed by april ryan for american urban radio networks. >> the practical considerations were, once you get elected you want to get re-elected. it's one thing to be elected the first black president, but to get re-elected as the first black president may be even more remarkable, may be even more difficult. and he had toover come barriers. when he ran the first time he had no record. he was a senator for a little while, but he was a tabula rosa,
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he was a clean slate on which people could inscribe their hopes, visions, fantasies, and project on his thin body their eye deals. but now when you've got a first term, you've done stuff. the people like or don't like. they're against you or for you. they're supporting you or they're critical of you. >> go to for the complete weekend schedule. >> john king is the acting education secretary and president obama's nominee. his confirmation has already passed out of the committee and the full senate will vote on i a proving his nomination monday. he sat down with an interview with the editor and chief on education week. he talked about the importance of k through 12 education. this is half an hour.
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>> moving on, you're going to get a chance to hear about a very important player in k-12. acting u.s. secretary of education john b. king jr. who is on his way to being confirmed as u.s. secretary of education. secretary king is a career educator who taught, served as a principal, operated a charter school and was new york state's education commissioner before joining the u.s. department of education last year. now with less than a year to go in the obama administration, secretary king is charged with reauthorizing law. so please join me in welcoming secretary king to the stage. thank you.
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>> good afternoon. wow. that was low energy. good afternoon. >> good afternoon! >> that's better. it's a privilege to be here with all of you, grateful to leslie for the introduction, grateful to education week for being a voice for students and educators and also for being a place for constructive, thoughtful dialogue. we're not always going to agree on every policy issue in in education in the united states for sure. it's important that we have places for thoughtful, well informed dialogue and education week is exactly that. i'm grateful to be here. i'm also grateful for the opportunity to talk with a room of leaders who have a tremendous opportunity to have impact on behalf of our nation's children. so i know we're going to get to a q&a so i won't speak for long. but i wanted to first try to frame a bit about our progress that we've made over the last
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seven year, some of the challenges that we face and the tremendous opportunities we face ahead. since the beginning of the administration, we have seen significant reductions in the dropout rate. that's thanks to leadership from folks in this room. it's a very encouraging sign. it's encouraging that we have tens of thousands more students who have access today in the high quality early education. we have millions more students who have taken advantage of opportunities in higher education. we recently graduated not only our largest ever graduating class from college, but the most diverse ever in college. also because of work that folks in this room have done.
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there's tremendous progress to look back on over the last seven year, but we also all understand the scope of the challenges we face. the fact that despite that progress we have high schools in this country with graduation rates below 50%. despite that progress, we see significant achievement gaps, persistent achievement gaps for african-american students, latino students, english learners and students with disabilities. we also know that we face an enormous challenge of mass incarceration in this country. as you look across this country, we are -- we should be leading the world in investment and education and too often we are leading the world in incarcerati incarceration. if you look across country and see places where young people, particularly young men are more likely to end up in prison than they are to end up going on to college. so we face enormous challenges as a country. education alone can't be the
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answer to be those challenges. education is a part of the answer. and surely we understand that schools are embedded in communities and the challenges our communities face. the kmaj challenges of poverty of homelessness and adequate access to health care. those are community challenges that we've got to face together. but schools can play a pivotal role. those in the room who know me know that i believe that not only as a matter of public policy, but i believe that deeply from personal experience as an educator and as a student. i grew up in new york city and brooklyn. went to ps 276. oh, you're from there. that's good, that's good. when i was 8, october of my fourth grade year, my mom passed away. i lived with my dad who was quite sick with undiagnosed alzheimer's. and he passed away when i was 12. my life could have gone in a lot
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of directions in that period of life. teachers could have looked at me here's a latino african-american student with a family in crisis, what chance does he have? they could have said the obstacles he has outside of school are too great. what chance does he have? but teachers saw hope and possibility and created spaces in schools that were transformative. they created spaces in schools that were interesting, engaging, challenging, compelling, where we did productions of "alice and wonderland" memorized the capital and leader of every country in the world. i had amazing teachers in new york city public schools who are the reason -- that's right. they are the reason that i'm alive today. they're the reason i'm doing this work. they're the reason i became a teacher and a principal. they're the reason my life turned out differently than it could be if folks had given up on me. and it wasn't a straight line. when i was in high school, i moved around from different family members and schools and i
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went to boarding school and i got kicked out of boarding school. i was angry as a teenager. i was angry, frustrated, i was disappointed. i was struggling with the experiences i had had as a kid and any frustration with adults in my life. and i got in trouble. and folks again could have given up on me, but they gave me a second chance. and so as we think about what education makes possible, it's not just about creating safe places that give students an opportunity, but it's also about ensuring that students have those second chances, that we never give up, never throw away one of our children. and so we're at this moment, i think, of tremendous opportunity with the new every student succeeds act. and i hope our conversation today will focus on that wi. we have the opportunity to rethink how we define educati educational excellence. we know that english and math performance are necessary for long-term success. but they are not sufficient.
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a quality education must mean more, a quality education must mean a well-rounded education. it must mean what we all want for our own children. science and social studies and access to the arts. and opportunities to have physical education and develop personal health. opportunities for emotional learning, acquiring the kinds of personal skills that carolyn has worked so hard to help us understand and describe. we've got to broaden our definition of a quality education. and every student succeeds act gives us that opportunity. so we're at a tremendous moment where as district leaders, educational leaders in new york communities, you need to be a part of those conversations about how we define quality, what it is we ask schools to focus on. we also have, i think, a tremendous opportunity in the discussion around every student succeeds act to focus intensely on issues of equity.
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the new law is a civil rights law. it is an update of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965. it matters that it was adopted in act of 1965. it matters that it was adopted in 1965. it must be viewed in the civil rights context of 1964, it is a civil rights law intended to protect equality of opportunity. we must be laser-focused on opportunity. are students of color getting the same access to international placement and courses? are african american and latino students getting equal discipline? are they getting science, and social studies and the arts? are english learners getting the support they need, not only to acquire english, but to become bilingual, because we know their
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home language is an asset. and are schools focused on ensuring they get those skills. we also have an opportunity to think differently about school interventions. one of the weaknesses of no child left behind was a one size fits all approach to school accountability. if a school is doing poorly, you must do x, whether it matches the reasons the school is doing poorly or not. we have an opportunity to rethink that. states have an opportunity to rethink that. the department will set guard rails, but states will make decisions about what kinds of interventions happen when a school is struggling. ensure teachers are ready to work with students to become bilingual and multi lingual. it's an opportunity to bring in teachers who have succeeded with english language learners to help coach and mentor and change the program at the school. if a school is in a community of
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concentrated poverty, it's an opportunity to ask, are there wrap-around opportunities that would make a difference for kids? i was in houston and they have an on-site dental clinic and health clinic, and they're seeing the benefits in their school. so intervention will look different, but that will require thoughtful decision-making at the state level. we also have the opportunity in the new law to focus on expanding access to high quality preschool. we know the return on investment is clear, 8 to 1, 9 to 1. states can use the new law and new resources which we propose in the president's budget, to drive opportunities for more of our kids, particularly or low-income kids to get access to high-quality preschool. but you've got to be a part of these state conversations to make them transformative. want to ask two more things for
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us to think about before we go to the q & a. i think it's important to gather our energies to lift up the teaching profession. we have to acknowledge that over the last ten years, the conversation around teaching has felt to teachers and principals like they're being attacked or blamed. and we have to acknowledge that. and then we have to ask, once we acknowledge that, we have to ask, how do we change that? how do we shift the narrative? how do we make sure we are lifting up the teaching profession? that we are celebrating teaching excellence, that we are creating time in schools for teachers to collaborate and do the kinds of professional development, common lesson planning, watching videotape of instruction, looking at student work together, the kinds of collaboration that places like singapore are using to drive outcomes -- great outcomes for students. how do we ensure that our teacher preparation institutions are equipping students with the skills they need to succeed on
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day one with our diverse classrooms of students? if we want teachers to succeed with english learners, we need to ensure they get the preparation. that needs to be a part of the conversation in our teacher prep and school leader prep programs. and we've got to ensure that our teacher and school leader prep is delivering a diverse pipeline of candidates. the majority of our students are students of color, but only 18% of teachers of color, and only 2% are african american men. we must do better. that is about better preparation strategy, better recruitment strategy, and better retention strategies. ensuring that folks have the working conditions and salary and support that will lead them to stay. so, excellence in equity, lifting up the teaching profession, and then finally, i wanted to raise a tremendous opportunity we have to tackle the issue of college readiness and college completion, career
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readiness and career success. we've done a lot of work together as a country to try and raise standards over the last decade, to point schools to college and career-ready standards. but requiring those standards is not the same thing as ensuring that they happen. so we've got to work together to ensure that the experience of students in the classroom, give them the skills of writing and problem-solving and thinking that are essential to college success. that they are acquiring the kinds of skills around perseverance and grit and determination that will help them overcome the struggles they will face as they transition into college and careers. and we've got to make sure that our high school students -- i was a high school social studies teacher. we got to connect what students are doing in the classroom to what they will do afterwards. whether it's the ap class, the ip class, the dual enrollment
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program, or the career experience as an internship and help them make the connection between high school and what they'll do afterwards. so, college and career readiness are our shared responsibility. there's work we can do in the higher education sector to focus higher ed institutions, is not enough. got to make sure institutions are focused on them graduating. in the k-12 sector, there's more we can do to ensure our students are prepared for college and career success. i want to get us to the questions and answers. i want to say three final thank yous. i'm grateful to the folks in this room who believe that all means all. when we say all means all, are we living that every day? did we mean the kid who just got back from the juvenile justice facility? when we say all means all, do we
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mean the kid who's had interrupted formal education, and is many grade levels behind and doesn't have english language? when we say all means all, are we taking responsibility to create school climates that are safe and supportive for our lgbt students? and so this question of all means all, i appreciate that folks are gathered in this room because we're committed to this principle and together we must live that each day. i'm grateful that we're in a room of people who understand that the best ideas come from classrooms, not conference rooms. we have to be vigilant. even if the principal sometimes ge -- principle sometimes gets challenged. singapore's teacher leadership and supporting teachers, are creating opportunities for teachers to help their students succeed, it's the central goal of our work and that we have to
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build up teacher leadership. and finally, it's a pleasure to be in a room of people who understand the centrality of education to the american promise. who we are as americans, is a place of opportunity and opportunity begins with schools. it's not that schools can do everything, but it is to say that access to an excellent education is foundational, it is a civil right, and it's a pleasure to be in a room of people who are not only committed to that principle as an idea, but are working to ensure its reality every day. so, again, thrilled to be here, looking forward to the q & a. thanks. [ applause ] >> thank you, john, very much. so we're only going to take 10, 15 minutes or so. and so i'm gonna try to be somewhat lightning round in my questions, to see if we can
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cover off a fair amount of terrain. how many of you knew that john was on the colbert on cbs late night last night? i stayed up to watch it. i stayed up. what was that experience like? >> it was very fun. we were there for a donors choose event, celebrating folks across the country who committed to pay for teacher projects that our donors choose, it was very fun. the most important thing for my 12-year-old, ana kendrick was also on. my daughter was very precise, i needed to meet her and tell her how much my daughter appreciated her, admired her, wants to be like her. so i waited to meet ana kendrick. mission accomplished. >> nice, dad, nice. [ laughter ] okay, so in looking back ten months from now, what are the couple of things that you want to be able to say that you feel best about having accomplished?
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concretely. >> that's a great question. i think creating the framework and guard rails for every student succeeds act implementation in a way that empowers folks in this room to make a difference on issues of excellence. the other, it's actually on higher education, trying to, in our regulatory work, and our work with congress, to focus higher ed institutions on not just getting students too college, but through college, to graduation. >> and i'm going to rift off what you say and not just following my questions here. what's your timeline for the reg -- getting the regulations, because you're going to be right up against even when you get the regulations, you're going to have -- there's going to be a change in administration. are you gonna want to start being able to approve state plans before you leave? >> right now, we're still in the input and comment-gathering phase. we've started the negotiated
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rule-making process, the regulatory process around assessments. we're developing our timeline based on all the input and public comment we got from hearings and published request for comments. our hope is that we will be able to create a good framework by the end of the year and that states will then be positioned to have their plans in place for the 2017/2018 school year. >> the end of the calendar year. >> exactly. >> so by definition, it will be the next administration where most of the approving and moving toward implementation -- >> i think that's right. but our hope is, and one of the goals, you know, in this conversation, is, folks have to start now, thinking about what are those accountability indicators, what are those interventions, what are the changes that people are gonna make. that's not a conversation that should wait until after this whole regulatory process is done. >> i've actually had a couple of conversations with people who say they're already on, like,
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state teams. how many of you are on state or district teams to work on this kind of work, to be able to transition? good. so there are some. so, john, how do you think about the bully pulpit that you have? i'm very interested in this notion of what the narrative is, and how you build demand. as you said, i think we've got a lot of work to do to really flip that. how do you think about your role in that? >> well, you know, i -- part of why i try to share my own experience is to make sure that we remember the difference that school can make for kids. and it's both a celebration of what's possible in schools and a reinforcement of the urgency we all need to have. because i had teachers who didn't know. they didn't know what i was going through at home. they didn't know how difficult an environment it was.
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but they made school great. and every person in this room has somebody in your classroom or in your school building who is going through a crisis outside of school. and your building may be the only place they get a good meal, it may be the only place where they have an adult who they feel cares about them. your building may be the only place where they get to be a kid. we have to remind ourselves of that. the people who take on that responsibility ought to be valued and celebrated and supported. >> you were intentional in making sure your message was an inclusive one and that was expansive in the way you were putting it out there. i think that's been some of the problem in the way some of what has been going on in k-12, it feels like we're trying to -- at times, i'm talking very generally -- show where the negative things are instead of saying, wait a minute, can't we all -- so talk about this
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message of inclusiveness. >> yeah, yeah. we have a tendency to get into a lot of debates where we try to have good guys and bad guys. we sort narrowly define the options and i think, in the way the new law helps us by saying, okay, what do we think is best? what do we think it right? what do we think ought to define a high quality education? and also leaving room for variation. states and districts will take different approaches. but i think we have an opportunity to have a more nuanced conversation, instead of a binary winners and losers conversation. >> so, with -- are you saying e essa or if we say essa, i'm dead serious about that.
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[ laughter ] >> i worry about these kinds of things. what part of essa do you think people aren't paying enough attention to? >> that's a great question. two things come to mind immediately. one is the english language learner dimension. and we just covered this, but i think there has not been enough conversation about now english language proficiency is a required part of the accountability system. as it requires folks to look at long-term goals, students who seem stuck in that, and those who have disabilities, a category which is often underattended to. so that's one. the other is the title 4 program, which is a grant program that folks will be able to use to do things like arts and school counselling. and physical health and access to ap classes. that's an important conversation for states and districts to have
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now. how are people thinking about using those dollars to advance their definition of what great schooling should look like. >> as you know, there's a lot of conversation about the states' lack of capacity to be able to take on what it will be just by definition, more work. the pendulum is swinging, you know, to some great degree from the federal government to the state government, and on down. what will the department do to attend to the capacity issue? >> so, i think school officers have really jumped into this work eagerly. tony efertz from wisconsin has made equity the theme of the year and i think they're very focused on it. we're trying to work with them, to think about technical assistance that we'll provide, technical assistance that they'll provide to states. i think one of the keys here is that the state level
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conversation needs to be robust and needs to engage educators thoroughly. this is not about making tweaks to current systems, just to satisfy the new law. >> to get a check. >> to get a check, exactly. so if folks see this as a compliance exercise, we'll have missed a very important opportunity. so it's good that there were hands that went up, that you're involved in your state process, but i wish every hand would go up. i think these conversations need to be driven by innovative, courageous, local leaders. >> so i apologize to you all and to john, that this is very superficial, but i'm trying to hit some topics. talk about testing and accountability, that too is going to the states more. and the idea of different ways of piloting new approaches to assessment. >> yeah, two quick thoughts on that. in the fall, the president announced a testing action plan, with the idea being that we need to acknowledge that in some places, yes, we think it's important to get information
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about kids' performance, but the assessment has become excessive in some places and is crowding out good instruction. so one thing to do about is a process where folks would audit what assessments are given, review those, decide if they're necessary, eliminate ones that are redundant. and replace those of lower quality with more thoughtful performance tasks. so replacing just a simple low-level bubble test with a research project or a science experiment that students write about and write about their analysis. there's that opportunity. so there's local assessment that we've got to reflect on, and the other piece around assessment, i think, as states think about this, we've got to make sure that the assessments and the work we're doing on curriculum and instruction are lined up with each other in a thoughtful way. >> yeah. >> and i worry that there's --
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again, if folks just rush to satisfy the new law, or rush to participate in the assessment pilot without thoughtful analysis of how the assessment work fits in their broader vision, we'll have lost an opportunity. people say to me, we want to do what new hampshire's done. because they're doing this work on performance-based assessment. they've been at that for years. working closely with teachers and principals to put that work together. so this is something that people need to be thinking about now, if they want to build that system long-term. >> so what was the lesson you feel like you best learned from your experience in new york as you're talking about this next stage? >> well, so, the testing action plan, this idea of folks doing audits and bringing students and teachers and parents together to look at the assessments, we started that late. we should have done that right from the out. we also had a program about teacher and leader effectiveness that asked people too use the
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evaluation work we were doing, to perform mentoring, induction support, professional development, coaching, and that grant program helped shift how people were think about the evaluation from just being about putting people into performance levels, to, how do we use this information to inform their work. i wish we'd done that earlier. there's a recent study on tennessee and how they're using their evaluation around teacher coaching. i think that's powerful work. and we started that late in our race to the top effort. and i wish we'd started that work earlier. >> so i'm going to ask a last question. i have lots of questions. early childhood, career technical, you did a good job of making sure those bells were rung. you and president obama have talked about a new federal program to incorporate socio-economic ways of thinking
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about what immigratintegration look like, there's been a little pushback from folks who think that may be a retreat from talking about race. talk about your intentions there. >> we did a similar version of this in new york. basically incentives for locally driven, voluntary efforts to create greater socio-economic integration. if you think about where we are more than 60 years after brown versus board of education, we have places today that are more segregated than they were a decade or two ago. clearly some of that is about housing policy. a lot of that is about housing policy. but there are many places in the country where the schools are more segregated than housing because of systems of school assignment and school enrollment. so there's an opportunity to think about great work happening in hartford around this. can a dual-language program be a
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program that attracts a diverse population of students? can a arts program, an arts magnet attract a diverse population of students? can you take two k-5 schools that are socio-economically isolated and make one a k-2, and one a 3-5 and achieve socio-economic integration. one of the things i love about the schools that my kids attend -- [ applause ] that's good, montgomery county, folks. they're diverse, and it's because of intentional efforts by adults in the community to make that happen. we have to encourage that. >> and it would be an rfp that would put account guidelines for like -- >> exactly. there are places where the district lines that create those
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barriers, so maybe a partnership of districts. they would apply for funds and use it for implementing new socio-economic initiatives. >> join me in thanking acting secretary john king. thanks so much. [ applause ] this year's student cam documentary competition was our largest yet. nearly 6,000 middle and high school students took part alone or in teams of up to three. in all, we received nearly 2,900 entries from 439 schools across the country. even from schools as far away as taiwan and the united arab emirates. now it's time to award $100,000 in prize money to our winners. for this year's contest, students were asked to produce documentaries using our road to the white house theme. specifically, to document what issue they most wanted the candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign. through their entries, students told us that the economy, equality, education and immigration were all top issues.
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our judges have finalized their decisions for one grand prize winner and four first place winners. 150 prizes in all. there is one fan favorite selected by you. now we are happy to announce our top prize winners. our grand prize winner is olivia herd, a tenth grader from jenks high school in jenks, oklahoma. her winning documentary titled, up to our necks, addresses the federal debt. >> june 4th, 2015, the united states was $18.153 trillion in debt. that doesn't happen overnight, people. so how exactly did america get up to its neck in debt? every year a budget is formed. doling out large sums of federal money to three main areas. the first of these is discretionary spending, which in 2015 received $1.21 trillion. the second session is mandatory spending, which received $2.45
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trillion in the year 2015. lastly, there's the interest on the federal debt which received $229 billion. >> as our grand prize winner, she wins $5,000 for her documentary. and the c-span bus will travel to her school so we can present her with the check. our first prize winners for middle school are sisters. mia is an eighth grader, and ava a sixth grader in blacksburg, virginia. their winning documentary is, what should be done about money in politics? >> you see flyers in your mailbox. advertisement on the radio and tv and the internet. this is the way politicians try to get elected. politicians spend millions of dollars on their campaigns. as soon as one election ends, the fund raising for the next election begins. every day that congress is in session, there are fund-raisers all over the country. in 2012, the presidential election cost about $2.6 billion. you can't help but wonder where does all this money come from? >> the first prize winners of our high school central category
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are 12th graders. griffin olis, michael frazier, and zehn wani. they all attend troy high school in troy, michigan. their documentary is titled, the one percent. and it addresses the scarcity of fresh water. >> today americans are drowning in issues such as immigration, medicare, terrorism, leaked e-mails. although these are important, the issue that will affect the most persons is the issue of the 1%. >> 1%. >> 1%. >> 1%. >> not that 1%. this 1%. the shining blue jewel of the united states. the great lakes. >> truly one of the unique resources in the world. largest fresh water resource in the world. there's nothing like it. >> our student cam first prize winners from our high school west category are a 12th grader daniella mock-zubia, and tenth
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grader sofia taglienti. they attend a metropolitan art institute in phoenix. >> the prison systems around the united states have changed radically in the last 20 to 30 years. let me address arizona. 20 years ago, our prison population was about 20,000 people. now our state prison system is over 40,000. the composition of the prison population has also dramatically changed. >> finally, our fan favorite was selected through your online voting. we're happy to announce the winners who will receive an additional $500 -- our first prize winners for high school east category. 10th graders from montgomery, blair high school in silver spring, maryland, ben miller,
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william ederror and charles gryder. their documentary is driving forward and it tackles highway and bridge funding. >> americans love moving around. we love fast cars, big trucks, road trips, horsepower and 70 mile per hour speed limits. we drive farther and have more cars than any other country in the world. for all our love of what we drive, we tend to take what we drive on for granted. america's 2 million miles of roads and 600,000 bridges are aging, congested and often dangerous. >> thanks to all of the students and teachers who competed this year. congratulations to all of our winners. the top 21 winning entries will air on c-span starting in april and all the winning entries are available for viewing online at student next part of this year's conservative political action conference. we'll hear from fox news national security analyst k.t. mcfarland and talk radio host
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mark levin. first a debate about immigration with congressman louie gohmert and republican activist kate bryan. >> and now we have two takes on immigration. please welcome our moderator, vice president of external relations at the heritage foundati foundation, becky dunlop. ♪ ♪ >> good morning, all. we have a wonderful discussion this morning on a topic that is important to each of us in this room, in fact, each of us in this country. our first presenter is kate
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bryan. kate is a communication strategist and writer, living in washington, d.c. she holds her bachelors degree from franciscan university in steubenville, ohio. but she also attended and received a political communications masters degree from the dublin institute in ireland. she previously worked at the american principles project and at live action. she also worked in the senate in dublin, ireland. and she worked as the research director for two leading pro-life groups in ireland. she's appeared to numerous television and radio programs and she should be welcomed here today. please welcome kate bryan. [ applause ]
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♪ >> good morning. in 2016, there is one republican voice that we should be focused on when discussing immigration. this man has consistently dominated republican politics and continues to do so. this man is loved by many, despised by others. this man has captivated television audiences and is well known for his great hair. this man has addressed immigration in a powerful way and i truly believe that he is the man that we, here at cpac, should look to when discussing this contentious and important issue. this man, of course, is ronald reagan. [ applause ] we are gathered here today under reagan's famous words -- "our
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time is now." now, these weren't words of encouragement, these were meant as a challenge to us as conservatives that our time to lead is now. it is truly our time to lead on the issue of immigration. with the political rhetoric on immigration, it seems as though there are only two sides to this issue. you're either for obama's amnesty, or you're for self-deportation. however, this is a third way, a truly conservative approach to immigration that ronald reagan himself supported. an approach to immigration that is based on the rule of law, but also respects the proper role of immigrants within the makeup of our society. it's an approach in which principles form policy. we currently have 11 million people living in the shadows of our country. we have a southern border that is not fully secured and there are parts that are completely
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lawless. a circumstance that human traffickers, drug cartel, and terrorists are surely already taking advantage of. our nation is facing a grave immigration crisis that is putting our national security at risk. the conservative approach to immigration begins first and foremost with guaranteeing the national security of our territory and securing our borders. double your fencing, along with manpower and technology, would work to stop and deter illegal entry. we should also mandate, e-verify to ensure that only legal immigrants are employed, and fully implement a biometric, entry-exit tracking system to ensure all immigrants leave by the time their visa expires. but the truly conservative approach to immigration does not end here. it also recognizes that immigration has been good for our country and for our economy and that the market is better
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equipped than the government to regulate our country's migration flows. we all understand the plight of the middle class, stagnant wages and we're struggling to provide for our families. this is not due to immigration. rather our challenges are a result of flawed monetary policy, overregulation, overtaxation, and a culture built by elites at berkeley, harvard, and even right here in washington, d.c. the truth is, even in this slow-growing economy, america needs foreign workers, not just to do the jobs that americans don't want, but to do the jobs that are necessary to create other good-paying jobs for americans. now, contrary to popular rhetoric, immigrants are not taking jobs away from america -- americans. they're actually creating jobs
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for americans. and if we truly care about our middle class, we should work to facilitate the legal flow of foreign workers, rather than creating obstacles to it. take the current guest worker programs. they're now highly regulated and do not reflect the needs of our markets. what our country needs is an effective, guest worker program and this is a uniquely conservative proposal that is so conservative that president obama, democrats in congress, big labor, and all the leftist immigration advocates vehemently oppose it. under this program, an american company that cannot find american workers -- and i repeat -- cannot find american workers, can bring foreign workers into the country legally to temporarily work here. once their work here is done, they will be sent home and may re-enter, if and when they are needed again. this is the concept of circular migration that is consistent
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with free-market principles, that we as conservatives consistently defend. the majority of law enforcement experts agree that it's unrealistic to deport 11 million people or that they're going to leave voluntarily. especially when they've been here for decades and their families are part of our communities. and many have children who are american. which is why we need to see the face of each immigrant and deal with their situation accordingly. we should grant legal status, not amnesty, to some, but not all. who have acknowledged that they broke the law and paid the appropriate penalties for their offenses. this does not mean amnesty, nor does it mean granting them a special path to citizenship. if someone wants to become a citizen, they'll have to follow the current process established by law, just like everyone else. america has a long tradition of immigration. president eisenhower opened our doors to cuban refugees. president nixon and president
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ford did the same for the vietnamese after the vietnam war. and lincoln did the same for the irish. many of us here in this room today are the fruits of these immigration stories. the story of immigration is america's story. my ancestors traveled here from ireland during the potato famine. they suffered greatly under british rule and it was only because conditions were so bad that they had the courage to make the difficult journey to america. immigrants today are facing many of the same conditions. often fleeing violence, starvation and brutal tyranny. being american is not determined by blood, heritage, or faith, but rather by embracing our shared history and common democratic and constitutional principles. ronald reagan himself once told a story of a letter that he received from a man just before he left office. reagan said, i don't know why this man chose to write this
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letter to me. but i'm glad he did. he wrote that you can go to france, but you can't become a frenchman. you can go in live in germany or italy, but you can't become german or italian. we went through turkey, greece, japan, and other countries, but he said anyone, from any corner of the world can come to live in the united states and become an american. [ applause ] amen. our nation has always had the unique ability to embrace people from all corners of the world and make them fully american. and anyone who doubts that immigrants can assimilate and become full members of american society truly doubt america. america is not a nation of nativists. we are a nation of patriots. nativism is not a part of the conservative philosophy, nor it is a part of america's founding,
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but patriotism is. as conservatives, we talk every day about the dignity of the human person. we fight for the protection of life from conception to natural death, and we stand on the founding principles of our great nation. including the belief that every man is created equal in the eyes of god. and that every human being deserves the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the majority of today's immigrants, particularly from latin american, are conservative and stand with us on these principles. look at the march for life and the march for marriage, where huge numbers of the hispanic community turn out consistently every single year. it's time for us to remember our history and embrace ronald reagan's optimism. he described a tall proud city, built on rocks, stronger than oceans, wind swept, god-blessed, and teeming with people of all
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kinds, living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. while we were in the midst of a very passionate debate about immigration, we must always remember who we are as conservatives and remain steadfast and consistent in the founding principles of our great nation. the time for us as conservatives, to lead on immigration, is now. god bless america. [ applause ] thank you, kate bryan. our counter-point now will be brought to us by one of our
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heroes. congressman louie gohmert. [ cheers and applause ] congressman gohmert was first sworn in as a member of the house of representatives in january 2005. he represents the first district of texas, which encompasses over 12 counties. he boldly stands on america's founding principles and is constantly coming up with big, innovative ideas, solidly based on constitutional fundamentals. congressman gohmert is chairman of the natural resources subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and the vice chair of the judiciary subcommittee to crime, terrorism, and homeland security. prior to being selected to serve in congress, louie was elected to three terms as district judge in smith county, texas. he was later appointed by texas
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governor rick perry, to complete a term as chief justice of the 12th court of appeals. he received his undergraduate degree from texas a&m university and his law degree from baylor. he is also a veteran, having served his country as captain in the united states army. [ applause ] please welcome congressman louie gohmert. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> all right. it is great to be here with you. you know, i'm glad to be invited to cpac. for a while there, for a number of years, we didn't really want people who, like, might want a new speaker, or might talk about radical islam. so i'm thrilled.
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there's new leadership in cpac and they would allow a guy like me to come speak. so it's awesome. it's great to be with you guys. i know that a lot of people like to paint a rosy picture, and i'm an optimist. my sister says you're the optimist among us four kids. well, i like to paint a rosy picture, and so many remember the line from "forrest gump," you know, "life is like a box of chocolates." i would submit to you, when you wake up and see the real world, it's really more like a jar of jalapenos. [ laughter ] because what you do today can bite you in the bottom tomorrow. so you gotta always be cognizant of that. and when we talk about immigration, you know, i did pretty well in school and -- but i'm still always learning things. sometimes i'm surprised that i
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remain a little naive. but i have learned, when you hear the word "comprehensive" in washington, that's a code. comprehensive means there's a whole lot of stuff we want to pass that nobody would vote for if they need what it is, so we need a really long bill to hide that in, so we can get it passed. that's what comprehensive means. [ applause ] you want to do it right. you don't have comprehensive bills. you have bills that are short enough for everybody to read. now, i've spent a lot of time on our nation's border. i've spent a lot of time, not just going on the little trips that the dog and pony show and the power point proposals and programs they have for you as a member of congress when you show up. i don't like those. i like to show up and just go out in the middle of the night, eventually, though, they do know who you are and they get word,
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but dana was telling me yesterday, boy, when we went out with you, in the middle of the night, you knew the dirt roads. that's the way to go see the border. when you're out there in the middle of the night with border patrolmen, with no supervisors around, they really open up to you. and one of them told me, you know what, the drug cartels and the gangs call us in mexico at homeland security? i said what? he said logistics. y'all seen the commercials for ups. you get us your package, we're your logistics. we get that package anywhere you want to go. well, it applies. in case you weren't aware as i've learned the hard way, every mile of our border, whole border, is under some drug cartel's control. you don't cross that border unless you have permission of the drug cartel.
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so when somebody comes across, normally they've had to pay the gangs to bring them in. that's why one of the border patrolmen had said late one night, we were out there talking. he said, you know, i speak better spanish, being hispanic, than some of the men and women coming across. and i don't let them get away with some of the things that others do. they have their list of questions they're supposed to ask people that come across. one of them is, why did you come across to america. and he said, you know, over 90% of the time, the answer is, to escape gang violence. he said, when they tell me that, i let them know in spanish, you may fool some gringo with that answer, but you and i both know, you paid a gang to get you into america. so don't be giving me that stuff. and he said, 90% of the time they'll say, well, you're right,
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but we were told to say we're evading gang violence by coming. they know. i've seen them in the middle of the night. when a group comes in, look at their identification stuff and start trading. and pass them around and they ask, here's mine. really? you guys are passing all this stuff around. and i'm still -- i still get messages from our border patrolmen, all hours of the day and night, and what they're telling me now is that the drug cartels are very smart. they send a group across, and they know when two or three groups come across, that's going to take up all the resources, because the obama administration has lessened the number of border patrol that are actually out there standing at our borders. so when a group comes across, they have to move in, especially if they throw in some kids, and of course all our hearts break when you see a poor little kid that's been drug across mexico from central america, other
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places. so we got compassion. but wouldn't it be more compassionate to say, you're not coming across mexico. you're not dragging your daughter that may end up as a slave to sex cartels. we're not going to allow that to happen. don't even bother to come. because we have secured our border. wouldn't that be better? [ applause ] wouldn't that be more compassionate? and how about the millions of people in the world that we're told want to come to america, and want to do it the right way. and all of those who have come the right way. isn't it more fair to say, wait a minute, you're not coming in unless you come legally? and if you've come illegally -- i guess we're all subject to how we grew up. but we had a community swimming
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pool at dellwood park, a little town i grew up in. and every year, they called it splash day. people would line up, the pool was opening, and mr. ellis was in charge. and he believed in the rule of law. and if somebody tried to cut the line, he wouldn't make them get back where they were before they cut. he would make them go to the very back of the line and it cut out all the line-jumping. because people knew it wouldn't pay off. now, we've had testimony before our committee -- judiciary committee, the immigration committee. we've had people telling us, look, these people are coming for more opportunity. they're trying to get away from bad circumstances and coming for opportunity. why would you want to deny them? well, nobody wants to deny people opportunity. but i would ask, why did they leave where they came from? well, they're coming for more
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opportunity. no, no, no. why don't they have that opportunity where they were? well, there's corruption, there's -- you know, they don't follow the law there. exactly. where they come from, they don't follow the rule of law. they don't apply it across the board. and so think about it. they want to come to this country and once here, say, now that we're here, we want you to be like the corrupt country we came from, we want you to ignore your laws and that would like us like the country they came from. we can't do that. we owe this country more than that. and one of the things that has been forgotten in this country, when we talk about voting rights, absolutely. every american ought to have those rights. and don't think for a minute that if somebody says no-no, we're going to let people come in legally and no path to
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citizenship, no right to vote, that's already happening. people that have come in illegally, they're jumping on the bandwagon to get citizenship, and if you think for a moment that people who are given amnesty of any kind, a legal permit of any kind, are gonna be kept from voting, you're sadly mistaken, because as soon as you give them amnesty, people will come right behind it and say, how dare you, you're being like the slave traders who say, slaves were only 3/5 of a person, of course those were all democrats and republicans don't believe in that. but that's where it will go. they'll get the right to vote. and we've got to train up people to understand, there are voting rights, but there are voting responsibilities and unless you're educated as to what it takes to keep this little experiment and democratic republic, we won't keep it. people cannot come in and get citizenship until they understand what it takes to
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maintain the greatest country, the greatest government in the history of the world. that's what needs to be done. [ applause ] folks, we're in trouble. this country is in trouble. and what happens from here, will determine whether we get another 20, 30, 100, 200 years. we have got to get this right or people will rise up in the future, and they won't call us blessed. they will curse our names. we have got to get this right. we have to stand for the rule of law. we've got to stand up and say, we're not giving special privileges to anybody. and if we will do that, we can say with lincoln, that this nation, under god, can have a new birth of freedom again. we can do it again. so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people will not perish from the earth. thank you. god bless you. [ applause ]
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>> well, point, counter point is always good at a conservative conference. you heard from kate bryan and congressman louie gohmert. i'm going to wrap up here by saying two quick things. one, i had the privilege of working for ronald reagan. it was a great privilege. he was a great president. and you know, when ronald reagan signed his reform bill for immigration, his deal was with tip o'neil and liberal republicans. so you can be sure that ronald reagan didn't get all he wanted, but he also said, this is the solution. if you pass this, and we provide amnesty for three million,
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you're going to fund enforcement of the borders. it was after that he reminded us many times -- trust but verify because part two never happened. so what we agreed on today, america's united states conservatives are for legal immigration, because we're a nation of immigrants. we're the melting pot and we should be. but a sovereign nation has to secure its borders. we agree on that. a nation that's based on the constitution must uphold the rule of law. no amnesty. no new comprehensive laws. let's enforce the ones on the books. [ applause ] we want immigrants to be assimilat assimilated. when legal immigrants come to america, we want them to be -- as ronald ereagan said -- we wat them to become americans. and we want to have economic
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growth so there are jobs for anyone in this country who wants to work. and when we have that economic growth and every american has a job, great. let's look for new workers. so we have lots to agree on in this business. i would say, if you're going to be making speeches on this, do stop by the heritage foundation book and get solutions 2016. so you have all of the articles and all of the ammunition you need to go out and make this case in your community and help lead the way on this issue. thank you very much. god bless you. ♪ ladies and gentlemen, please welcome national security analyst k.t. mcfarland. [ applause ] ♪
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>> good morning. did everybody watch the fox news debate last night? woo! fox news is pretty good, isn't it? well, that's where i work. how many of you watch fox news? okay, you'll get this. i'm the brunette. [ laughter ] and for the last six years, i've been on fox news on a regular and daily basis, talking about and analyzing the national security issues of our day. before that, i had a long career in government, starting when i was 18, working for henry kissinger in the white house situation room. i worked for nixon. i worked for ford. i went to graduate school, and then i worked for president reagan. at the pentagon, i was one of the highest ranking women. i i got the highest national pentagon award for the civilian service. and then in 1985, i did the absolute impossible, nobody would ever do it again, i walked away. i found love, i got married, my husband's right there.
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i moved to new york, we raised five kids. so for the next 15 years, i wasn't from washington. i was more concerned with who got elected class mother than who we were electing to congress. actually, i got elected class mother twice. [ laughter ] but, you know, i sewed -- i made christmas ornaments, we did the bake sale, we had the mothers association. so that's where my life was for 15 years. and then on september 11th, 2001, i dropped my two youngest kids off at school and i went to lower manhattan, and i saw the twin towers be hit by two planes. and that changed my life. changed all of our lives. i immediately started writing a memorandum to my former colleague, colin powell, who was secretary of state, to talk about, how should we fight radical islam and how do you bring the american people along with the fight. i was sort of minding my own
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business, doing a few speeches here and there until my teenage daughter -- any of you have teenage daughters? all right, she looked at me and said, mom, when are you going to go to work? when are you going to get out of the house and stop having lunch with your girlfriends? so she inspired me to go back to work and i did. as 15 years of being a stay at home mom, became a national security analyst. ran for the united states senate, lost to hillary, and then started working at fox news. so what i have observed in all those years, and the reason i tell you this, well, first so that you'll think i'm really smart, but secondly, so that you'll understand where i'm coming from. i want to do a little poll. and raise your hands. how many of you think the economy is not where it should be, that we haven't recovered economically? keep your hands up. how many of you think that we're getting kicked around all over the world, by the russians, the iranians, the chinese, you name
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it, even the north koreans. how many of you think we have lost our way as a nation? that the values that we thought made america great are no longer important to most people? they are to us, but not to most people. and how many of you think that the washington cartel doesn't listen to us anymore? okay, everybody, right? okay, even the waiter in the back of the room, his hand is up. [ laughter ] and you're right. if i had taken that poll in 1980, you would have had the same results. in 1980, the economy was flat line. we had to make up a new word for it. it was called "stagflation." the american diplomats were hostage in iran, we couldn't rescue them and get them out of there. and we had lost our way as a nation. we had a president, jimmy carter, who gave a speech in the oval office, a pathetic speech about the ways of the american people, that we consume too
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much, that we were polluting the planet, and that it was all our fault. okay. well, that's the -- does that all sound familiar to you? isn't that what you're hearing now? it's all our fault. we're no longer leading from the front. we're leading from behind and the economy is flat lined. so it's the same debate and conversation. let me tell you what reagan did about that in 1980, because i think it offers us a lot of examples to how you deal with it today. in 1980, ronald reagan came to cpac, he was ten points behind. he was running for president, it was a primary. he was ten points behind. the media said he's not smart enough to be president. the republican establishment said, he's a warmonger, he's going to get us in trouble. let me think. the democrats said he's going to crash the economy. wait, he wasn't smart enough, he didn't know enough about foreign policy, he was gonna crash the economy, he was gonna divide us.
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well, ronald reagan came to cpac, he made his case, and the republican party believed him and not the establishment. then he went to the nation, and he made the same case. again, everybody criticized him. you go inside the belt way, they thought ronald reagan was going to be the anti-christ if he came to washington. if they believed. but ronald reagan won because the american people heard him and he changed the world. he did what he said he was going to do. he fixed the economy, he cut taxes, he cut government regulations. he made it possible for small industries to start small businesses and by taking the handcuffs off of american ingenuity, he allowed the tech revolution to begin and flourish and that is what has kept america strong and powerful and at the head of the world economy for a generation. he also said peace through strength. he built up the american defenses, and he said, we're not just going to co-exist with the soviet union, we're going to
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beat them. not going to war with them, but we'll beat them economically, use all the tools in our toolbox. diplomacy, economics, repair our relationships with our allies. he did all that and launched the longest period of peace probably in world history. the third thing he did, he restored our faith in ourselves. and because he believed in us, we believed in us too. and because we believed in ourselves, the world believed in us. and the world looked to that shining city on the hill. so as you look at today and tomorrow, you're gonna meet all the people running for president, the establishment, the non-establishment, they'll all tell you how great they are. you make that decision. i can't tell you who to vote for. i mean, i could, but i won't. [ laughter ] i can't do that. you have to do that, because you're the people. but when you decide, go out and do something about it. i can tell you, though, that
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whoever you choose, here's what they have to do. first, do what reagan did. take a page out of his rule book. fix the economy, cut corporate tax rate, cut individual taxes, streamline regulations. let's frac, baby, frac. let all of the ingenuity that's in the united states come forward. we have a dozen new technologies just waiting to be developed. if you cut corporate tax rates, $2 trillion comes flowing back to the united states as the seed capital to make those. fix the economy first, mr. president, whoever you are. the second thing is, restore america's defenses and restore who we are as a nation. this leading from behind stuff has not worked. president obama -- and i think he probably is well intentioned. president obama came into office, here's the mind-set. america has not been a force for good in the world. we pollute the planet, we cause wars, starting to sound familiar. and he said, i'm gonna take
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america back a notch. and america's going to come back a notch, and then everybody's going to come forward, in a rules-based global international order, and it's going to be cumbaya, chocolates, roses and fairy tales. what's happened, we've stepped back, seen the chaos in the world. the russians trying to take over eastern europe, the chinese trying to grab the south china sea and fire and catastrophe throughout the middle east that goes from north africa to the levant to the peninsula, saudi arabia, all the way to afghanistan. that's the world he's bequeathing to the rest of us. but the thing that president reagan thought was the most important thing that he did and i think one of the worst things that president obama has done, he's divided us more than we've ever been divided before. and whether you like this candidate or that candidate, at the end of the day, you gotta come together. because our threats are real. the threat of radical islam, we've tried for 15 years to get
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rid of it, and we haven't figured it out. we had a big land war in the middle east, and that didn't work. president obama's totally ignored the middle east. that hasn't worked either. but we have new weapons at our disposal that even ronald reagan didn't have. let me show you what they are. see this? everybody has one. that didn't exist those years ago. that's an iphone. and if everybody in the middle east has an iphone, what happens? they topple governments right and left. who do our adversaries have in common? china, russia, north korea. who was that on the phone? that must be the chinese foreign minister. the chinese -- >> i'm afraid i don't know the answer to that. >> that's siri. be quiet. [ laughter ] what these countries have in common, they don't let their people do this. we could take down the cyber
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walls of the chinese, the russians, the north koreans, it's a weapon at our disposal. the other weapon is this. it seems to be shrinking, but this weapon what we have, we didn't have ten years ago. this is our domination of the world currency. the banking system of the world runs on dollars. it's an economic weapon that we've failed to use adequately. we don't use it lightly, but it's at our disposal and we can use it against our adversaries. we need to build up our military and remember our veterans most importantly. how many of you know a veteran or have parents or grandparents who were veterans? when i worked for ronald reagan, one of the things he did was to heal the soul of america. and on memorial day 1983, he
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stood at arlington memorial cemetery and he waited for the cason, the parade that was coming from the capitol building all the way across memorial bridge, to arlington cemetery. the american military it lined that entire parade route. and what ronald reagan accepted were the remains of the unidentified soldier from vietnam. 1983. it was almost ten years after the vietnam war. and none of our leaders were willing to talk about that war. and reagan said, i'm accepting this, and i'm putting these remains in the tomb of the unknown soldier. i was there at arlington that day, and i'm selfishly going to admit to you that i was there with my boss, cap weinberger, secretary of defense, hoping to hear ronald reagan use the words i'd written. and then i looked around where i was standing and i saw veterans. they were in wheel chairs. they were in camouflage.
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they had dirty old ponytails. they had their medals pinned to their t-shirts, and they were crying. because no president had acknowledged their sacrifice. and we have betrayed them and denied them. that was a stain on the soul of america, and ronald reagan cleaned that stain. [ applause ] >> so, ronald reagan came here and said, our time is now. so i have one last question. how many of you were born after 1980? old folks, don't even bother. young folks, i was part of the revolution that reagan launched. and reagan and us, while i was a foot soldier, we changed the world. we changed our country, we changed our party, our country and ultimately the world. it's your time now. and you have a choice. you can just sit around, watch
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it on fox news and go about your business, or you can become involved, you can give your time, you can give your efforts, and you can go out and change the party, you can change the country, you can change the world. so your time is now. go out and do it. thank you. [ applause ] [ applause ]
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>> thank you. it's a great honor to be with patriots and conservatives. god bless you.


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