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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  June 24, 2010 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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the strategy on the ground, with the uncertainty of the ground strikes that have been put in place? >> first of all, i would add, for those who have been serving a long time, i would i go back to my opening statement in terms of why the general mcchrystal -- like general petraeus was asked to do this. my greatest concern was that somebody who came in new to this fight in a leadership role, who did not have a personal relationship with key afghan figures, not just president karzai, but the president of defense and the head of the military.
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somebody who did not have familiarity with the campaign plan and the operations going on in afghanistan, who did not know the brigade commanders and the generals who are in charge of training and so on, somebody who did not have those assets, i worry would take months to get up to speed. there are other generals we could have chosen. we talked about other generals, but my concern was that we not lose time and that we not lose focus during a transition period. there was only one general officer who was in the position to move in with hardly a missed a beat and continue with this campaign. the president has established a strategy, but from my
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perspective, general petraeus will have the flexibility to look at the campaign plan, and the approach, and all manner of things when he gets to afghanistan assuming senate confirmation. >> the only thing i would add is that bench strength is something i pay a lot of attention to. when you look at the number of general officers who have commanded in combat over the course of the last several years, that bench is much deeper and stronger than it was. i think it portends positive strength in the future. >> you both have admitted that some of the troops feel that they have to fight with one hand tied behind their back. are you satisfied that those
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roles or in place? do you want to see been changed? >> any new commander, general petraeus included, will go in, assess his command and at what it will take to achieve a mission, and it will have the flexibility to make the changes he thinks are necessary. my expectation is that is what general petraeus will do whitely and make adjustments. he is aware of civilian casualties. he is very aware of the tactical directive. he was involved in approving it. now, he will be on the ground to see how it is executed. he will make the changes he thinks or appropriate. that does not portend changes. i just do not know. >> general petraeus is credited
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with the successful search operation in iraq. does that strategy in iraq translate to the operations in afghanistan? admiral, you said that this change in leadership does not change the strategy. given the fact that the operation is underway have bogged down somewhat, should there be a change in a strategy? >> i will reiterate what i said. the strategy has not changed in any way nor has the policy. we clearly are at an enormously difficult time in the execution of the strategy. at the same time, a third of the force the president approved last year is not there yet. we have made progress in marja.
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it has not been opposed. we recognize that. there are things going on in marja that were not going on. that does not mean that the taliban is not invading. this is classic counter- insurgency. we have not put of -- we have not put off the operation. it is a complex operation. we understand that. we need to make sure that we get the forces there to execute that. a significant part of this last 10,000 will be included in that. in any operation, you make adjustments. i have felt for any month that it would be the end of the year before we understood where we were in kandahar. we are executing that operation.
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it involves, not just the security and military side, it involves the government's peace and be corruption peace. i do not want to understate the challenges. >> i would say this, i do not believe we are bogged down. i believe we are making some progress. it is slower and harder than we anticipated. but, the -- i think we are moving forward. the kandahar campaign has been underway for several weeks. what general mcchrystal was talking about was that it will take more time to set the political framework aroundd kandahar before proceeding.
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i spent probably 35 minutes alone with the president tuesday afternoon discussing the situation with general mcchrystal. one of the central themes of their in that conversation was white i described in my opening statement, my concern that however we proceed that we minimize the impact of any change on the conduct of the war. it was the president's idea. it was the president who raised petraeus' name. it immediately answered a lot of concerns that i had. the admiral and i talked about it tuesday night and we talked about it more with the president yesterday morning. i think we are headed in the right direction.
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i would not underestimate the challenge in front of us. i would use petraeus' own praise, it is hard, but not impossible. the selection of general petraeus was important. >> what kind of message does this send to the taliban that there is such internal disarray that we have to make a change in command? >> the taliban would be making a very serious mistake if they drew the conclusion from this. what we have had is a decision that challenged the civilian leadership of the military and
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the president's decision to address that. we have followed it literally within hours with the selection of a successor coming in. the overall strategy stays the same, but obviously a new commander will see it there are tactical approaches that he may want to adjust. that does not change the strategy. the president was very clear about that yesterday. >> when you first read the piece, did you immediately conclude that it was insubordination? most of these quotes are from aids. there is one "about the eikenberry from general mcchrystal. what was it that mcchrystal did that was so bad to warrant being relieved from opposite?
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did you immediately conclude that he needed to be relieved? >> honestly, when i first read it i was sick. it made me literally physically sick. i could not believe it. i was stunned. secondly, general mcchrystal is responsible for his people. he has every bit of responsibility for what was in that and what his people said as the individuals who said it. the accountability that goes along with that, as general mcchrystal understands that completely. it is reflected by the fact that he offered his resignation. the essence of it, it was clear that it challenged civilian control which is a fundamental principle for us that is not
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challengeable. it was not, it is not, and it will not be in the future. >> military media relations, which are always full of tension, are deteriorating. officers will not want to engage because of what happened to mcchrystal. what do you tell that kind of mindset? >> general mcchrystal has a responsibility for this. i think to let it impact the relationship that i have with the press would be a mistake.
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i have communicated the message to both civilian and military leaders that the press is not the enemy. when there is a story that is critical, the first thing to do is to go out and find out what is true. it is, gathered the data to show it. do not get into a defensive crouch. i hope that people will not do that. i think that people clearly need to make smart decisions about how they engage in the circumstances in which they engage, what they talk about. there is, in my view, a greater need for discipline on our part and a greater understanding that someone in europe may not understand the impact in asia. we need to be a little smarter
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about how we approach this. i would say those are improvements that are needed on our part. >> you said that you thought this episode had nothing to do with travesty. the tension that came out from this episode may have something to do with the fact that the general has all of this pressure to show progress quickly. this is a long-term effort. some people will say that there is tension in the strategy itself. >> the position that i have taken all along is that what we want to make sure is that we
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have the right strategy, but it also requires keeping the effort enough time to be able to demonstrate whether or not it is working. we are not asking for a victory by december or by july of 2011. we are not asking that afghanistan be stabilized 13 months from now. what we are asking is that, by december, we have enough evidence to demonstrate the proven concept, that the approach we are taking is showing progress. i think the expectations on the civilian side or realistic. i let the chairman speak to this, but the reality is that every step of the way the military is deeply involved in the development of the president's strategy and signed
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on to the president's strategy. >> completely and from the standpoint of july, 2011, the need to make progress by december and in that review look at the strategy and validate that it is the right strategy. clearly, if not, from the military's perspective, be able to make adjustments. we are not there. we are not to july, 2010, yet. there is a lot to do between now and the end of this year. to get to the point where we start to return some of those surge troops based on conditions on the ground, the numbers, of places, we are not close to
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understanding that. it is too early. getting there, using this strategy with everything that we understand right now, is still the right decision. >> might velocity is going to have a press conference with russian president medvedev in 10 minutes. i think we have time for two quick questions. >> if you talk about the importance of the unity of effort, and yet mr. icahn very -- i can very -- was there any discussion about changing the u.s. envoy there? >> first of all, those cables were written six or seven months ago.
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a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that time. with respect to the civilian side, that is out of our plane here. my view all along is that the opportunity for a political solution in afghanistan for reconciliation will only come when the momentum of the taliban has been reversed and they see that the chances of there being successful are diminishing day by day. i think in that context, i think we all are cognizant of the importance of reintegration and reconciliation as part of the end of this process. my view is that the taliban need to suffer more reverses before that can happen. >> last question.
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>> general petraeus last week said that in a perfect world he has concerns about time lines as many in the military do. do you question his commitment to that? but there come a time when he says he needs more troops? what do you do at that point? >> first of all, general petraeus absolutely agrees with the president's strategy. he agrees with the december review and he agrees with the timeline to begin a draw-down in july, 2011, that is conditions based. when he gets on the ground, he will assess the situation for himself, and at some point he will make recommendations to the president.
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that is what any military commander should do. the president will welcome those recommendations, but at the end of the day, the president will decide whether changes are to be made in the strategy. i will tell you, we are all on board for beginning this process of draw-down in july of 2011. that is the president's decision and that decision stands as far as all of us are concerned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> this is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy. general petraeus participated in our review last fall.
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he helped to design what we have in place. general david petraeus has been on c-span more than 40 times. watches hearings on line at any time on the c-span video library. it is washington your way. >> c-span recently joined members of an environmental group on a visit to grand bayou, louisiana, and a village of native american fishermen. one fisherman gave a tour of oil polluted marsh areas. >> this is the grand bayou village. we have been in this region for centuries upon centuries making our homes and having a life peer in this region. we are native american.
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we have lived in this region, as i said before, forever. we have seen over a period of time the changes that at come to the environment. some of it is natural, but the majority of it has been human induced. we have managed to adapt and adjust our way of living in order to remain here. we are facing a situation right now with the gulf disaster and the oil and the dispersants used to sink that oil. we are facing something we had never faced before, the unknown. we have no idea how this will impact our communities and the marine life we are dependent on for our food and our source of reveeue. we are looking for answers. we are watching and waiting for
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what comes up the bayou. >> what happened here during to train up? >> the village was impacted -- what happened here during kat rina? >> we are still in recovery. we have only managed to get five homes rebuilt. three homes have been renovated. we have three more in the works. people want to come home. there have been many problems to that recovery and the effort we have been making. now, with the lack of resources -- lack of funding coming into the village because we cannot go out into the waaer and earn money to put back into the community, this will be a problem to the effort that we
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have been making to help people come back home and reclaim their lives. katrina was a natural disaster. we knew how to deal with that as devastating as it was. it was kind of a norm. storms have always come into the coast. we have been here through part of its perio. loss and recovery -- we are used to that. we can't prepare for that. at the very least, we are able to feed ourselves in the aftermath. with the oil disaster in the gulf, we cannot do that. our livelihood is threatened to the point that we cannot even eat our food. our food source is poisoned. we have no idea what to do. >> how many homes were destroyed during katrina?
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>> all of them, really. we have three renovated in place. it is very hot today. we have three homes renovated in place. everything else has been rebuilt. everything else will have to be new built. all of the homes had been compromised by the 50% mark. it is impossible to renovate those homes. they have to be taken out and something else put in their place. good and bad, it is lessening the time of recovery. the homes are now elevated to alleviate flood losses. the structures are sound. they are better than before. they had been impacted from previous storms.
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the construction is a top-notch. we are out of the flood waters. we had approximately 23 families here. we have nine families here and now with three more planning to return when the homes are completed in the coming year. so, less than half. this place was very hard hit. this is where the on wall of the hurricane made landfall. all of the surrounding areas were just a hop, skip, and a job away. this area was devastated. it was very hard hit. the people are resilient. we are fighters. we are not people who just give up and roll over and say we are donee our continued presence here is a testimony to that.
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we lived in this natural world. we are part of this natural world. how many hits candace and barnett take before it is no longer able to recover -- how many hits can this environment take before it is no longer able to recover? we are part of the suffering. we see our own demise in what is happening in the natural world around us. something needs to happen to change all of this. we can no longer look at nature and see what we can take from its without minimizing power and pat and our footprint and restoring -- without minimizing power impact and our footprint in restoring. people look at the marsh grasses
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and they see grass. these are nurseries. these are habitats. there is a lot of marine life and birds that come into this region. we cannot just say that it is only going to impact brass. it is impacting the entire eco system in which people are just one component of that environment. we need to see to it that lessons are learned from this. this has happened in other places before, this gulf disaster. it is sad to say that it is business as usual today. when will it not be enough? when will we stop and say, " let's learn from this. or whatt in safeguards
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ever." we cannot allow ourselves to be hostage to one source. we need to diversify. oil is included in that, but we should look not only to oil. i think what is happening in the gulf right now is a testament to that need for diversification. >> this is where people come to get away from it all. >> we are 815-year-old nonprofit environmental advocacy operation. we have been around to a number of environmental crisis. five years ago we sell the hurricane come through. it was probably the worst environmental disaster. i think we have seen its match. we are the only environmental
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advocacy organization that focuses exclusively on the gulf of mexico. we have been doing independent monitoring of the crisis of the containment and cleanup efforts. we want to protect the natural resources of the gulf of mexico. as we are going to the wetlands, we will see a lot of pipeline canals, things that have been done to this coastal ecosystem that have benefited the nation. the pipelines did not necessarily make new orleans rich, they made the nation which. the impact that we are seeing right now are incredibly insignificant. they are large -- they are a large piece of the problems we are having.
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since 1930, we have lost 2000 square miles of louisiana marsh. it just turned into open water. part of the reason is because of the oil and gas activity. if you dredge a canal, a few things happen. you allow salt water to get into freshwater ecosystems. as they dredged a canal, they create a mini-levy system. when a high tide and went brain -- when a high tide and when bring that into the ecosystem, --
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this is something that should have been addressed when the oil company's first started developing oil here. it has been an ongoing crisis. unfortunately, the obama administration is getting hammered for their handling of this crisis. i will not defend have the resources have responded to clean up the oil. a road map for restoration has laid out a vision and a plan to create a sustainable colors. the way you do that is by putting the river and the sediments back into the ecosystem. will we build the levees in 1927, the mississippi river built all of the land south of baton rouge. it was built by the flood plain
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of the mississippi river. the river put fresh water and sediment into that system. there is o bed rock around sap louisiana. it is all sinking sediment. it is naturally combated by the river. when we him in the river with the levees and the jetty system, it was a national benefit, but a local environmental impact. we need to put the river back into the system. we can do that through these controls floodgates and diversions. we can also do it to saddam that piping. -- sediment piping. it is not cheap or easy, but it has to be done. the nation has benefited from what has happened down here. >> what is your background?
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how did you get involved in this? >> i have been an environmental organizer for 16 years. i have been in louisiana for 10 years working on environmental policy and issues. right now, we are in grand bayou community. we are heading out to the day. we are going to find some of the oil that is out there. >> oil, oil sheen -- you can see it up in there. we have a problem with the russian. this is compounding the problem. the entire coastline is covered in oil as far as you can see. we.
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-- we have booms. the you see the sarcasm in that? how effective was that. i look at that and it makes me sick because i know what this means. there is more to come because it is still going on. they have not stopped the flow. all of this time that it has been flowing and it has been allowed to reach year and there is more to come -- this is their response to stopping it. how can we plan our next step when this continues right here? >> [unintelligible]
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we have 4 acres on the coastline. we have 7 acres over there. >> tell me what you see? >> i see a lot of disaster. i think it will kill all of the oysters. there is no way possible they will survive this. nothing good is going to come out of this.
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[inaudible] it will be 20 or 30 years before we get oysters out of here. >> it is a way of life for my husband and a lot of fishermen. you are looking at deaf. no more fishing, no more trapping, no more rate -- no more oystering. >> this is your shrimp boat? >> yes. >> can you tell me how long you have had it? >> i had it when before katrina. i sold it to get me a fiberglass
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one. >> what was the lifelike before the oil spill for the shrimpers? >> i look forward to it every year. it is like a kid with a new toy. i just lost a toy. i cannot see myself not doing it. it is wonderful to go out there and compete with other boats. it is enjoyment. it is something you look forward to doing every year. >> is the money pretty good? >> it is pretty good. the price of the fuel is worse.
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you can make a decent living doing this. >> when did you have to stop shipping? >> we stopped about two or three weeks ago. a lot of the areas that we go to are covered with oil. >> who tells you to stop? >> they come out and show us the areas. >> have you been getting any help from bp? >> we got one check already and
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should be getting another one. the way we were working was better than waiting on $5,000 a month. we make that in a couple of days. >> what you think the federal government should do to help? >> i would expect them to pick up where bp is not going. i expect the federal government to pick up the pace. >> this is a way of life he has known since he was a little. it is gone. what is he going to do next?
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he cannot continue to do this. he has to have an income coming in at some point. how is he going to survive? everything that he has and it worked for all of his life is all jeopardized. we were in the middle of raising our grandson, the next generation learning how to do these things. he was getting familiar with the water and the boat. now, you may as well throw a fishing rod with no hooked on it. the fish will be contaminated or non existent. i mean, him and his cousins,
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they will not be able to enjoy the waters like we did. >> and you are? you said you were a driver for many years? >> i was a driver for about 47 years. we still work on the boats. the oil is about 4 miles out. >> if you live around here? >> yes. >> all of these boats, they belong to the grand bayou community? >> that is my nephew's boat. that is my brother's boat. if it is not brothers and
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sisters, it is brothers and cousins. the whole village is related. >> how has the oil spill affected your community? >> how? our livelihood. the shrimp, the oysters -- we have no way of making money. it is real bad. >> how quickly after the accident did you see oil here? >> it took about a week. you can imagine how much is on the bottom. it is going in the grass. i do not know. >> is it one year? is it five years, 10 years, 20 years? there is no way of knowing.
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we had these agencies and scientists who are looking at this. they are monitoring conditions. we ask, how long? they say they do not know. >> can you tell me about two weeks ago? >> i went to check on my oyster beds. there was a little bit of oil on the water. i just wanted to see what it looked like all my oyster bed. it was covered. miles and miles of oil. i picked up a pelican that was covered with oil. we called the president of de parrish and told him.
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>> was there boom out before? >> no, they put the boom out the next day. >> you called the president of the parrish and he did not know it was out here yet? >> no. >> this entire region is in peril. do we plan to hold tight for five years and that we will see some type of relief? do we have to wait for 10 years? what kind of planning do we do? what is the worst-case scenario? our livelihoods are in peril by what is going on right now. that is the worst-case scenario. how do we maintain our life until that time?
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where is that going to come from. we have no idea. >> that is my home. >> we have a website about the oil spill. it has all the features and links to other web pages as well as links to live bp video. we have also set up a twittered section for your comments. in a few moments, president
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obama and russian president medvedev will have a joint news conference. also, a house debate on campaign finance reporting rules for corporations, unions, and interest groups. after that, defense secretary robert gates on why he supports the president's decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal. "washington journal," we will have more on line anna mckay against -- alan k. against. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 eastern. >> starting monday, start the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee elena
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kagan live on the c-span networks and see replace every night at 9:00 eastern on c-span to. to learn more, read c-span's latest book about the supreme court. it provides a unique insight about the court. it is available in hardcover and as a e-book. >> president obama and russian president medvedev spoke to reporters yesterday. they were asked about president obama's decision to replace stanley r. mcchrystal in afghanistan. this is a little less than an hour. ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the president of the russian federation.
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>> good afternoon, everybody. please be seated. after many meetings around the world, i am delighted to welcome my friend and partner, president medvedev to the white house. this is also an opportunity to return the wonderful hospitality of the president and his wife. michele and i enjoyed a wonderful evening at the president's home. our daughters will never forget having team -- having tea in the garden. we just concluded some excellent discussions, discussions that would have been unlikely just 17
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months ago. as we have both said before, when i came into office, the relationship between the united states and russia had drifted, perhaps to its worst point since the cold war. there was too little work on issues of common concern. that did not concern the interest of either country or the world. we firmly believe that america's security interests and priorities could be advanced more -- could be advanced better with cooperation with russia. i am committed to our relationship. we have found a solid and reliable partner in president medvedev. mr. president, i am very grateful for your leadership and partnership. by any measure, we have made significant progress and achieve concrete results. together we have negotiated and signed the historic treaty
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committing our nations to significant reductions in nuclear weapons. today we reaffirmed our commitment to ratify this treaty as soon as possible so it can set the stage for further cuts and cooperation. together we strengthen the global nonproliferation regime. other nations will meet theirs if we meet ours. they will be held accountable if they do not. we passed and are enforcing a new united nations sanctions against north korea. we offered iran the prospect of a better future and when they refused, we joined with russia and our partners on the security council to impose the toughest sanctions ever faced by the government of iran. our nations have deepened our cooperation against violent extremists.
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today, we have agreed to expand our cooperation on intelligence and counter-terrorism. russian chance to grips now play a vital role in supplying american and nato forces in afghanistan and prevent terrorists to -- prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons. together we have coordinated our efforts to strengthen our economic recovery through the g20 which will continue in toronto this weekend. to date we agree to coordinate our diplomatic and humanitarian efforts following the tragic outbreak of ethnic violence in kurdistan. -- cure stand.
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kyrgyztan. this includes a change in the attitudes among the russian people so that they have made for more favorable view of the unitee states. that creates more space for additional partnership. indeed, this has been the real focus of our work today. we are broadening our relationship. 20 years after the end of the cold war, the u.s., russian relationship needs to be more than security and arms control. it has to be about our shared prosperity and what we can build together. that is why we created the u.s./russia bilateral presidential commission to form a new partnerships. today we agreed to forge new
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cooperation across a whole range of areas. in particular, we are expanding trade and progress. this afternoon, president and the deaf and i will join american and russian business leaders as they move forward in investment deals that will create jobs for americans and russians across many sectors such as aerospace and the automotive industry. consistent with my administration's export initiative, this includes the sale of 50 aircraft worth $4 billion that could add up to 44,000 new jobs in the american aerospace industry. i reaffirm our strong commitment to russia's ascension to the world trade organization. today, we reached an agreement that will allow the united states to begin exporting
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poultry products to russia once again. i want to thank president medvedev and his team for resolving this issue which is of great importance to america. therefore, i told president medvedev that our team should accelerate our efforts to work together to complete this project be -- complete this process in the very near future. russia belongs in the wto. it is good for russia, it is good for america, and it is good for the world economy. visit toe president's silicon valley this week, he visited the headquarters to twitter where he opened his own account. i have one as well. we may be able to throw away those red stones that had been
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sitting around. american companies and universities were among the first to invest in president medvedev initiative to create a silicon valley outside of moscow. mr. president, the united states will be your partner. we will and use these. -- spirit of innovation to our economy. we are renewing partnerships to about our society's. . we will explore new ways to cooperate in education and to help him and rights in combating corruption. in the spirit of the president's visit, -- finally, our partnership spans the spectrum from space, to
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science, to sports. recently i welcome to a group of young russian basketball players who were visiting the united states. we went on the white house basketball court, and i have to admit that some of them out shot me. they represented the hope for the future that brings our country together. those were the same hopes of another generations of americans and russians, the generation that stitch together as allies turned the second world war. we recently marked the 65th anniversary of our shared victory in that war, including the historic moment when american and soviet troops came together in tranship in germany. a reporter who was there at that time all those years ago said that if there is a splendid
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world in the future, it will largely be -- it will largely because the u.s. and russia get along together. if there is trouble, it will be because they did not get along together. the decades that followed saul to many troubles. 65 years later, it is still as simple as that. our countries are more secure in the world is safer when the united states and russia get on well together. i thank you for your partnership and your commitment to the future for this and future generations. with that, let me introduce president medvedev. >> thank you, mr. president. distinguished colleagues, of course, i must start with the thinking of my counterpart, president barack obama, for allowing me to visit the united states of america and for the exceptional hospitality and
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generosity we have observed here. there is no doubt that everything is the result of hard work. our -- we appreciate the hospitality. in moscow, we visited many places. today, i manage to dine with the president in and interesting place that is typically american. it is not quite healthy, but it is very tasty. our delegation had a very busy schedule. we started in california, which is an unparalleled the debt and a very beautiful place.
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i hope this is a symbolic plunge. we spoke about it today with the president. we had dialogue to build cooperation between our countries. we have made it steps aimed at establishing for the construction of our relations. this is not enough of our bilateral economic ties to change. this visit is most and at achieving these goals. our american partners are ready for the same thing. the president and i agreed to work together. the main parts of our talks were economic.
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we discussed the membership in the wto. we made headway. i am short that this has been a mutually beneficial, including the new products made in russia. . .
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>> on our mutual understanding, a lot depends on the g-20. we spoke about our economies responses to the crisis. we believe that much is done but much more has to be done. the president told me about many innovations for the congress to
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make. exit measures -- a helpful exchange of opinions. i hope that in a cooperative way we will together to discuss the issues of establishing a new financial order during the g-20 meeting. there are some things that should be substantially changed. the investment climate which should provide a stimulus to business to be more attentive toward each other to invest in each other's economies. business communities of our country'ies and we will talk abt future steps so that investments communication is in line with the u.s. and russian economies. we created a number of useful
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tools. the presidential commission that has been mentioned by mr. obama. there is a mechanism that provides for effective interaction which is in line with the current spirit and level of our friendly partnership relations between mr. obama and me. so i hope all the colleagues that are here and members of the commission will actively work to implement the plans that we have. so we went through the national agenda [unintelligible] meetings were devoted a lot. we manage to do something. we spoke of the malaise crisis in the last -- resolution of iran, the peninsula development, and some other most complicated
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issues that are currently on our plate. we also spoke about good security. we believe that's in europe should have a good security system. have some differences. the effects of the conflict that was initiated by george's leadership in 2008, but these differences do not prevent us from discussing the future and launching new mechanisms of contact. we discussed the situation around the new start treaty. the goal of the two presidents is to ensure tranquil ratification of the treaty are parliament. i hope it will be done in the near future. in congress there are hearings, as far as i know, as well as the
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senate for active discussions to synchronize the process of ratification. we are thinking of our next picture steps, and this is a serious responsibility of the government of the united states. we will keep in touch, and i am always ready to discuss various issues with my colleague and my counterpart, and we are succeeding in these discussions. the last time the president and i spoke, it lasted one hour and 45 minutes. the results, i will not review on the nuances of the topics we discussed. we are both interested and submersed into the topic.
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only our ides and ministers should be -- i am thankful to my counterpart for his cooperation and for a warm welcome here in washington. thank you so much. but as we are going to take some questions. we will start with carol from "politico." >> thank you, mr. president. does the change in command in afghanistan changer timetable for withdrawal? is there likely to be any disruption? secretary gates seemed to contradict by president ion's comment that we can bet on troops withdrawing in july 2011. do you expect anyone else to leave? to president had better, given your country's history and experience in afghanistan and your ability to talk candidly
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with president obama, have offered him any advice on the afghan war, and do you believe that a foreign country can win in afghanistan? >> the short answer is, what we saw yesterday was a change in personnel, but not a change in policy. let me flesh that out. when we engaged in an extensive review last year, general petraeus was part of a group that included secretary gates, my national security team, that discussed extensively what are various options were in afghanistan. and what was determined was number one, that we have to be very clear on our mission. our mission, first and foremost, is to dismantle and destroy al qaeda and its affiliate so they
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cannot seattack the united stat. the reason we are there in the first place is because 3000 americans were killed from an attack launched in that region. we are not going to have that repeated. in order to achieve that, we have to make sure that we have a stable afghan governments, and we also have to make sure that we have a pakistan government that is working effectively with us to dismantle these networks. what we then said was we would put in additional troops to provide the time and space for the afghan government to build up its security capacities to clear and hold population centers that are critical, to drive back the taliban, to break the momentum, and that beginning next year, we would begin a transition phase in which the afghan government is taking more
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and more responsibility for its own security. here is what we did not say leicester. we did not say that starting july 2011, suddenly there would be no troops from the united states or allied countries in afghanistan. we did not say we would be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us. we set as we begin a transition phase in which the afghan government is taking on more and more responsibility. that is the strategy that was put forward. we have also said that in december of this year, a year after the strategy has been put in place, at a time when additional troops have been placed and have begun implementing strategies that we will conduct a review and make an assessment. is the strategy working in parts
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and there are other aspects that are not working? how is the correlation between civilians and military? hell are working effectively with our allies? -- how are we working effectively with our allies? we are at the midpoint of implementing the strategy that we came up with last year. we will do review at the end of this year. general petraeus understands that strategy, because he helped shape it. my expectation is that he will be outstanding in implementing it, and we will not miss a beat because of the change in command in the afghan the hitter. keep in mind that during this entire time, general petraeus has been the centcom commander, meaning he has been responsible in part for overseeing what happened in afghanistan. that is part of the reason i think he will do such capable job. not only does he have extraordinary experience in
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iraq. not only did he helped write the manual for dealing with insurgencies, but he also is intimately familiar with the players. he knows president karzai and the other personnel already on the ground. so our team is going to be moving forward in sync. it is true that i am going to be insisting on the unity of purpose on the part of all branches of the u.s. government. that reflects the enormous sacrifices being made by that young men and women who are there. every time i go to walter reed, when i visit afghanistan and i visit the hospitals and you see young men and women who are giving their all, making enormous sacrifices on behalf of the security of this nation, my expectation is that the leadership is true to those
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sacrifices, that the strategy we are promoting, the manner in which we are working together at the leadership level, fully reflects and honors the incredible dedication of our young men and women on the ground. that is what i expect, and i believe that is what i will receive. was there one last aspect of the question? >> about the chain of command. >> i am confident we have a team in place they can execute. i am paying very close attention to make sure that they execute, and i will be insisting on extraordinary performance moving forward. one last thing, i just want to remind everybody about. the issue is what general mcchrystal that culminated in my decision yesterday were not as a
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result of a difference in policy. i want to be very clear about that. he was executing a policy that i had laid out. he was executing the orders i had issued, and that were reflective of the review process that took place last year. >> i will try to be even briefer than my colleague, mr. president. i have quite friendly relations with president obama, but i try not to give pieces of advice that cannot be fulfilled. this is a hard topic, a difficult one. we believe that at present, the united states and some other countries are assisting in
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obtaining the much wanted statehood and restorer of the basis of a functioning an effective stake. restore the civil society and economy. in these terms, we will support and back [unintelligible] as far as our own experience, i would very much like to see the afghan people in the near future and having an effective state and a modern economy, which requires toiling more than a year, but this is the past to guarantee that the most bravest scenarios of the last time will not repeat.
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the question that you discussed about the w-2 joining your talks, the state that they promise to facilitate raises injury has been heard for a decade. can you more specifically named the time frame you are referring to finalizing the process in that figure? in the visit of the silicon valley, how did your conversations on future cooperation in the -- change, and what indicator should be reached so you can call the cooperation successful? >> on the wto, i emphasized to
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president medvedev and to his entire delegation, and i want to emphasize to the entire russian people. we think it is in the interest of the russian federation, the united states, and the world, that russia joins the wto. this is something that we want to get resolved. in terms of time frame, let me give you a sense of perspective from our u.s. trade representative, ron kirk, who has been in close contact and negotiations with his counterparts on the russian side. the way he described it is that 95% of the issues have now been resolved. the remaining 5% to 10% are difficult issues and will require some significant work.
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but that should give you some sense that a lot of work has already been done, even in the last few months. it makes an enormous difference. in our joint statement, we are wrong to instruct our negotiators that they try to come to terms -- going to instruct our negotiators to try to come to terms with the technical issues that remain by default. we will keep putting pressure on negotiators, the same way that during the start treaty, so that there is a sense of urgency on the part of our team. a lot of the technical issues, the resolution of those technical issues may be an hands of the russian government's. we have already made progress on issues like encryption, for example. there may be certain international standards that require modifications in russia.
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as much as possible, what i have told my team is, we are going to do everything we can to get this done as quickly as possible, and we will be very specific and very clear about the technical issues that russia still faces. russia then will act in accordance with its needs and requirements internally to meet the demands of the wto in order to get this done. i am confident that we can get this completed, and i am confident that president medvedev and his vision for an innovative, modernized, a entirely consistent with russia joining the wto. i also wanted to say this. sometimes it is odd when you are sitting in historic meetings
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with your russian counterpart and spend time talking about chickens. but our ability to get results, a trade dispute around poultry is of multibillion-dollar export for the united states, was an indication of the seriousness with which president medvedev and his team take all of these trade and commercial issues. i very much appreciate the steady and consistent manner in which the president has approached these issues. that is part of what gives me confidence that we are going to get this done and this will just be one aspect of our broader strengthening of commercial ties, cross border investment, and expanded opportunities and job creation both in the russian federation and in the united states.
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>> i will set a couple of words about the wto because it is important for our country. first of all, some suustantive issues [unintelligible] we moved along all the lines starting with encryption and intellectual property and ending with other things like synchronous character changing of the russian legislation as the process of joining the wto. there are some remaining technical minor problems and our teams have been instructed to work as fast as possible, and we hope and have stated this, that the work will be finalized by the end of september this year.
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i am quite happy to have set the time frame not to lose all the positive momentum we have made and not to dilute the talks about the wto. in the issues of chicken meat or swine trimming, we are at different issues today. as far as cooperation in the silicon valley are concerned. everyone wishes to call the silicon valley the kremlin ballet in russia. -- the kremlin valley. in the kremlin ballet, it was very interesting b.j. the kremlin valley. we looked at the activities of major companies that we hope will become are close partners for modernization and
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technological advancement. we watched the activities of small companies situated in the silicon valley which set an example of being efficient and effective in the high-tech business. it is very good that our companies settled in the silicon valley. esther de eyebrows through -- yesterday i browsed through a search engine and we should learn how to work and non swagger, saying that we are clever enough. we have something to learn in terms of organizing business, and this is prompted by a the
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russian business communities that are here on a temporary basis. some are wishing to work with russian investors. many of them want to come back to russia, but they do have precious experience with the silicon valley in what is done there. only after -- they are not only after money and infrastructure. so we will carefully study the experience of the silicon valley, and without replicating, we will use the best practices that exist in california. >> thank you very much, mr. president.
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i would like to ask about the g- 20, since you are both heading to the summit. on china, you have already welcomed the decision on the yuan. how will this include your judgment on whether china is a currency manipulator? >> i think that china made progress by making its announcement that it is going to be returning to its phased in market-based approach to the renminbi. the initial signs were positive, but it is too early to tell whether the appreciation that will track the market is sufficient to allow for the rebalancing that we think is appropriate. i am going to leave it up to
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secretary to tim geithner to make a determination as to the pace. he is the expert when it comes to examining the currency market. i will say that we did not expect a complete 20% appreciate over not, for example, simply because that would be extremely -- overnight, for example, because it would be extremely disruptive to world currency markets and the chinese economy. all the lee, china has to make these decisions based on its sovereignty and its economic platform. we have said consistently that we believe the renminbi is undervalued, and that provides china with an unfair trade advantage, and that we expect change. the fact they have said they are beginning that process is positive, so we will continue to monitor and verify how rapidly
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these changes are taking place. i think that we will be able to track a trajectory, and if that trajectory indicates that over the course of your, the renminbi is appreciated a certain amount that is more in line with economic fundamentals, then hopefully, not only will that be good for the u.s. economy, it will also be good for the chinese economy and the world economy. more broadly, just to widen out the challenges that the world economy faces, we said in pittsburgh that it was important for us to rebalance, in part because the u.s. economy, for a long period of time, was the engine of world economic growth. we were sucking in imports from all across the world, financed
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by huge amounts of consumer debt. because of the financial crisis, but also because that debt was fundamentally unsustainable. the united states was not going to be a will to serve in that same capacity to that extent. we are still going to be open and the importing as well as exporting. but the economic realities are such that for us to see sustained global economic growth, all countries are going to have to be moving in some new directions. that was acknowledged in pittsburg. that means that surplus countries will have to think about how are we spurring domestic demand. that means that emerging countries will have to think, are we only oriented toward exports, or are we also starting to produce manufactured goods and services for the internal market? it means that deficit countries
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have to start getting serious about their mid term and long- term debt and deficits. that includes the united states of america, which is why i have a fiscal commission that will be reporting to me by the end of the year. the point is, not every country is going to respond exactly the same way, but all of us are going to have responsibilities to rebalance in ways that allow for long-term, sustained economic growth in which all countries are participating and hopefully the citizens of all these countries are benefiting. >> is said that you discuss the situation in kyrgyzstan.
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[unintelligible] be considered the opportunity to involve a military contingent. we have discussed this situation which is difficult at present. the state is not operating as it should. the country is split into parts, and civil unrest and clashes continued. on ethnic grounds, many people have perished and the authorities have been incapable of preventing what has happened. we are interested, but both russia and the states, and in
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the state's ability to be able to resolve such issues and looked at all the civil rights observed, and the task of ensuring food supplies and basic materials facilities are insured. russia is working with the temporary caretaker leadership of kyrgyzstan. we consider kyrgyzstan to be a strategic partner. them both in terms of money and humanitarian aid. we hope that during the election process, a full-fledged government will be shaped, able to solve and resolve issues that face the state. otherwise, kyrgyzstan will
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degrade and will break up into parts. all of us share a concern that under these circumstances, radical elements may rise to power in that country, and in this case we will have to address the issues addressed by us in other regions. are referring to what happens in afghanistan. we discussed the issue, and if we are talking about a possibility of some enforcing order. i believe that kyrgyzstan should on its own go forward with these problems. the russian federation does not plan any deployment of a peaceful contingent, and i got a letter from the acting president of kyrgyzstan. there is a consultations
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mechanism [unintelligible] had the security met to discuss the issue of security and of deploying up peacekeepers contingent. so far, there is no need, but things may start developing a much different scenarios. they will respond, and me being made the chairman of the organization anytime can convene a meeting of relevant bodies, and we hope that the united states does have an understanding. >> obviously we are monitoring the situation very carefully. there has been excellent coordination between the united states and the russian federation on the delivery of humanitarian aid. one of the things we discussed is creating a mechanism so that the international community can ensure that we have a peaceful
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resolution of the situation there. and that any actions taken to protect civilians are done so not under the flag of any particular country but the international community stepping in. so our teams will be in continuing discussions in the weeks ahead as we monitor the situation as it unfolds. thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> in a few moments, some of thursday's house debate on a bill setting new campaign finance reporting rules for corporations, unions, and interest groups. in a little more than an hour, defense secretary robert gates talks with reporters about why he supported the president's decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal.
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after that, but tour of one of the areas in louisiana affected by the gulf oil spill. >> on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, we will look at the financial regulations bill. more about the supreme court confirmation hearings on elena kagan, and hanna rosin will discuss her cover story. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the national press foundation and politico are hosting a quorum tomorrow morning on the gulf oil spill and energy and climate change legislation on capitol hill. live coverage on c-span3 at 9 eastern. >> c-span, our public affairs
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content is available on television, radio, and on line, and you can connect with us on twitter, facebook, and u2. signup for our scheduler e- mail's at >> in response to supreme court ruling allowing certain campaign spending, the house has passed a bill setting new campaign finance reporting rules for corporations, unions, and interest groups. the bill requires individuals and groups to disclose when they pay for campaign ads. this portion of the debate is a little more than an hour. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5175, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend the federal election campaign act of 1971 to prohibit forge influence in federal election, prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections and
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to establish diadecisional disclosure requirements in respect to such elections and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read for the first time. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman rom pennsylvania, mr. brady will control 20 minute, and the gentleman from california, mr. lungren will control 30 minutes and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brady: i stand with the american people and the house leadership inport of h.r. 5175, the democracy is strengthened by casting light on elections act, or disclose act. it's designed to bring greater transparency to election spending. it was reinforced by the supreme court decision that reaffirmed the constitutionally and necessity of laws that require this disclosure of political spending.
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our democracy requires transparency and accountability in our political campaigns. knowing the source of polital spending allows us to investigate the motives and better judge the accuracy of the statements of the spenders and candidates. the disclosure requirements for corporations, unions, and other brupes that make campaign-related expenditures for the purpose of engaging in campaign related activity this improvement to current disclosure requirements allows voters to follow the money and ensure that special interest money can't hide behind sham organizations and shell corporations. the supreme court has recognized it essential to hold people accountable. voters have the right to know who is trying to buy our leches. the bill requires c.e.o.'s and highest ranking officials of corporations that sponsor
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political adrtisements to record stand by your ad disclaimers as well as protest taxpayers dollars from misuse by preventing certain government contractors from making campaign related expenditures. the disclosure act also closes a loophole creebate citizens united to ensu foreign corporations and foreign governments aren't able to influence elections by spending unlimited sums through united states subsidiaries or affiliates. by allowing them to make campaign contributions, foreign players could use limitless funds to influence the election. the bill is designed to accommodate nonprofit issues advocacy group who have long participated in polical activity of which their members are aware. the bill must have more than 500,000 dues paying members in all 50 states, have had tax
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exempt status for the past 10 years and derive no more than 50% of its funding from corporate or union sources. it cannot use corporate or union money to pay for campaign-related expenditures. the narrowness of the existing law will make it impossible to have a dummm or sham group. those exempted will be required to file publicly available reports explaining their campaign related expenditures and staff will need to appear in and te responsibility for -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentman's time has expired. mr. brady: i yield myself 30 seconds. the disclose act ensures accountability and provides prompt and honest disclosure about those seeking to influence our elections.
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it's been considered by the house and senate with 30 expert witnesses. citizens are concerned about the citizens united decision urging congress to quickly consider legislation that addresses the problems created by the ruling. i yield myself 30 more seconds. this support in the disclose act reflects the will of the american people and commands the support of the -- the support of the representatives. in dition to that, with 140 co-sponsors and a broad spectrum of support, it promotes open politics. if we don't pass this, the public will be left to wonder who is being served by the negative advertising dominating campaigns. i urge all members to support thregs and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. lungren. mr. lungren: thank you, mr. speaker. obviously if you attempt to speak on the floor and your microphone is not near you, or they have turned it off, you can't exercise your right to represent your constituents here. i yield myself such time as i may consume. that is the problem with this bill. it does not allow the free exercise of the first amendment right to speech. the constitution of the united states refers to that first amendment and unfortunately, in many, many decissons by the supreme court thaverbing talked about everything other than political speech. yet in the citizens united vvrsus federal election commission case, the court finally got it right.
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the majority opinion says the first amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints, prohibited, too, are restrictions prohibiting different speakers, allowing speech from some and not from others. that's exactly what this bill does. benjamin franklin stated, whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must again by subduing the freeness of speech. unfortunately, that is what we have here before us. mr. speaker. or mr. chairman. just because you call something disclose or disclosure doesn't make it so. when you phibit speech as has been done here, when you have onerous disclosure obligations placed on some but not all, when you make no distinguishing, that is,
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constitutionally justifiable distinguishing differences between groups, that is you cause some to be subjected to provisions of disclosure and others not, when you specifically have five or six provisions in which you exempt unions as opposed to corporations of all stripes when you've rendered the bill unconstitutional. mr. chairman, i would have asked, if it were proper, to have unanimous consent request to extend our deba for four hours. but i know that's not in order. the majority has decided to stifle debate by allowing only a single hour on the debate of -- of debate on this issue %% dealing directly with the first amendment. we have spent in excess of 10
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hours in this congress talking about the naming of post offices. but we have determined we do not have more time than%% an ho to discuss something as important as the first amendment to the constitution. when we allow ourselves to become an auction house for the first amendment, where some, because of their power and influence, arallowed to exercise first amendment rights, unfettered, and others are not, it is a sorry day. and to do it under the rubric of disclosure is even worse. but that's what we have here. mr. chairman, in the time given to us, i hope we can explain exactly what thissbill does and what it es not do and why it, in fact, not only is dangerous to the first amendment, but is directed at the heart of the first amendment, wwich is
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vigorous political speech, particularly close to an election. it may make some members uncomfortable. in some of the hearings and markup of this bill we had members saying, if i had my way, i'd make sure no one could say anything about our campaigns except those of us who are candidates. unfortunately, there's something called the first amendment. i know it's bothersome to some on the other side. i know it's an obstacle to what they want to do. when i came here, i took oath to uphold thh constitution in all parts, not just the second amendment, by way of pecific exemption, but by -- of all amendments, the first as well as the second and every other. with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: ladies and
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gentlemen of the house, this is the most disturbing debate that i have engaged in in the 111th congress, and to hear what i have already heard from one of the most distinguished members of the judiciary committee is a little bit dismaying to me. let me say this. i'll answer one of his questions. what does the bill do? i agree. i'd love four hours. perhaps we'll be debating this bill after the vote regardless of its outcome. this bill rolls back the decision, blatant decision of citizens united and the supreme court by using the three tools
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that the court said that we could do to make their decision different. first, we can increase disclosure. two, youan require disclaimer requirements on advertise -- advertisements. and three, we can limit foreign influence in our elections. one, two, three. now, the danger of citizens uned decision, the most shocking decision i have read and the supreme court and many, many years -- in many, many years is the threat of groups who attack candidates for office wiihout ever having to tell people which corporations are
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are bank rolling these ads. this is what the disclose act, the bill on the floor, is designed to prevent. this bill permits some long established advocacy groups to follow some of the new disclosure requirements, but if these groups take more than 15% of the money from corporations, then all the requirements. discle sure act kick in. -- disclosure act kick in. and they have to stand by their ads just like candidates do. and citizens united, justice stevens, who argued that the much more persuase -- with much more persuasive reasoning, his position in is case, dissenting, said this, the constitution ds, in fact,
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prevent numerous restrictions on the speech of some in order to prevent a few om drowning out the many. for example, restrictions on ballot access and on legislators' floor time. he stated that corporations are categorically different from individuals. and the context of election to public office, the disticks 2003 -- distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. although they make enormous contribbtions to our society, corporations are not aatually members of it. they cannot vote or run for office. because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents,
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their interest may conflict in fundamental respects with the interest of eligible voters. then they close with this sentence. our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not a democraticuty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially dilatorious effects of corporate spending in local and national races. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. chairman, i would like to yield to the gentlelady from california, zoe lofgren, a +
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valued member of house administration, four minutes. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for four minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, the supreme court's decision in the citizens united case fundamentally alters the political landscape as a result of the court's ruling all organizations, corporations, and unions are free to take unlimited corporate money and make unlimited political expenditures. this could allow corporations to simply take over the political system. according to a report late last year by common cause, the average amount spent for winning a house seat in the 2008 cycle was $1.4 million. during the same cycle exxonmobil recorded $80 billion in profits. if exxonmobil chose to use just 1% of their profits op political activity, it would be more -- on political activity, it would be more than all 435 winning congressional candidates spent in that election cycle. that's just 1% of the profits of
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one corporation. according to the supreme court, we cannot limit what corporations can say or what they can spend, but we can require them to disclose what they are doing to the american public. i'll read you what the court said in its decision. i quote. the first amendment protects political speech and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. this transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper wait to different speakers and messages. that's what this bill does. it does exactly what the supreme court says that we could do and should d and that is to require disclosure, to require transparency. in the past transparency has been a bipartisan issue. senator mitch mcconnell was quoted in april saying we need to have real disclosure.
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why would a little disclosure be better than a lot of disclosure? republican leader john boehner in twetch said, i think we ought -- what we ought to do, we ought to have full disclosure and went on to say i think that sunlight is the best disinfectant. this measure, the disclose act, has been supported by government reform groups including common cause, league of women voters, and public citizens. senate majity leader harry reid and the chairman of the senate rules committee have released a letter indicating their trong commitment to senate action on the disclose act. the white house strongly supports the disclose act. the president says he'll sign this bill when it comes to his desk. now, i ask my colleagues, will you stand with the american people in calgary fo -- calling for disclosure and transparen in the political process? or will you allow corporations to overtake our democracy with
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the expenditure of undisclosed,% limitless amounts of money? i think that we should stand with the american people. we should vote for t%%he disclo act. disclosure is good. voters need to know who is saying what. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: at this time, mr. airman, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, a valued member of our committee. the chair: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. for how long? mr. harper: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. harper: if there is anything in the hearings on this bill and subsequent discussion taught us, it is that the bill is far from clear. theeauthors of the bill say it does one thing, the experts says it does another. the majority's own witnesses have said it will be up to the f.c.c. to decide whathe language means. this conclusion and am big gute
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would be bad enough in any bill, but it is especially bad here. this bill has implementing language that makes i take effect 0 days after enactment. regardless of whether the f.c.c. has published regulations. indeed one of the majority's witnesses said at a hearing it would be next to impossible for the s.e.c. to promulgate regulations before the november elections. that means as we move toward elections just four months away, and americans consider how to express their views, there will be no guidance to clear up the bill's am big gu, no instructions for how to comply, and no way to participate in the political process where your speech will not land you in jail. mr. chairman, this bill is going to impose civil and criminal penalties on speakers without them having any notice that their behavior may be against the law. what that means is that rather than exercising their first amendment rights, speakers are just going to stay silent.
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as former united states solicitor general ted olson statee in our committee's may 6 hearing, so we are saying that you have to guess what t law is because the government can't even tell you what the law is. if you guess wrong, you may be sent to jail or you may be prosecuted. thoswho seek to challenge this bill's ambiguous and potentially unconstitutional provisions in court are going to be faced with a judicial review process designed for delay and ppfrustration. the procedure in this bill conflicts ith the processes created in both the federal election campaign act and the bipartisan campaign reform act. opening e door to collateral litigation to decide what court to be in before the case is even heard. section 401 of this bill is congressional forum shopping. the only conclusion one can draw from the immediate implementation without regulatory guidance and protracted court process is that this bill is designed to effect the outcome of the 2010
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elections. indeed, one need not guess to know that this is true. a letter sent earlier this week fromenate majority leadership to house majority leadership pledged to work tirelessly so the bill can be signed by the president in time to take effect for the 2010 elections. there it is, mr. chairman. the proponents of the bill want this house to pass legislation in time to affect the outcomes of the 2010 elections. they have refused our proposals to make this bill effective in 2011 because they want to change the law this year to affect this election, no matter there will be no explanatory regulations and no review to ensure that the law complies with te constution. so the end result is -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: additional minute. mr. harper: the end result is the bill's proponents are rushing it into eect before the regulators or the regulated community are ready. doing what they can to delay
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court review and taking those steps despite their obvious expectation that par of the bills will not survive judicial scrutiny. the only reason it makes sense has to do with the elections coming up in just over four months. the house should reject this attempt to pass the bill that could alter the outcome of its own elections and let the voters decide this for themselves. i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield the gentleman from maryland, chris van hollen, author of the legislation, three minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to start by thanking chairman brady and ms. lofgren and the other members of the committee as well as chairman conyers and mr. nadler and those on the judiciary committee. and to mike castle and the other co-sponsors of this legislation. phich addresses the very serious
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threats to our democracy, created by the supreme court's decision in citizens united. which in a very radical departure from precedent said that major corporations, including foreign-controlled corporations operating in the united states, will be treated like american citizens for the purposes of being able to spend unlimited millions amount of money in our elections. this bill addresses this issue in three ways. first we say if you are a foreign controlled corporation, if you are british petroleum, if you are a chinese wealth fund that controls a corporation here in the united states, if you are citgo controlled by hugo chavez, you have no business spending money in u.s. elections, overtly or secretly. if we don't do something about that now, they'll be able to do either of those things. number two, we say if you are a federal contractor, if you are getting over $10 million from the american taxpayer, or you
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are a.i.g., you shouldn't be recycling those moneys into elections to try and influence the body that gave you the contracts, because there is a greater danger of corruption in the expenditure of those moneys. and third, we require disclosure. we believe the voter has a right to know. you would think from the comments from the other side of the aisle we are restricting what people an say. that's not true. you can say anything you want in any ad you want. what you can't do is hide behind the darkness. not tell people who you are. voters have a right know when they see an ad gng on with a nice sounding name, the fund for a better america, they have a right to know who is paying for it. they have a right to know if b.p. is paying for it. they have a right to know if any corporation or big bucks individual is paying for it. because it's a way to give them information to access the credibility of the ad. .
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you vote no on this, tell corporations say what you want, but we're not going to let the voters know who you are. the reason the league of women voters, common cause, public citizen, democracy 21, all organizations that have devoted, devoted themselves to clean and fair elections, support this legislation. because they understand that the american voter has a right to know who is spending all these moneys on these ads and they don't want foreign controlled corporations dumping millions of dollars into u.s. elections. so my colleagues, i hope%% that we will move forward on this to make sure that the voice of citizens is not drowned out by secret spending by the biggest+ corporations, including foreign
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controlled corporations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i'm pleased to recognize the chairman of the constitution scommittee, jerry nadler of new york, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. nadler: thanyou, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the disclose act. earlier this year, the supreme court reversed decades of precedents and ruled that corporations are individuals like you d me and can put as much money into elections as they want. it distorts our political process. the very real danger now is that corporations will be able to use vast sums of concentrated money to further corrupt our political process and drown out the voices of everyone else.
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without objection action as a result of this latest activist supreme court decision, our electoral system will be at the mercy of large moneyed interests. this bl takes several critical steps to reclaim our elections. the most important one is that it would requiredisclosures of donors providing money for political purposes in certain circumstances and mandate that they appear in political ads to say they, quote, approve this message, just as candidates do. it would set some limits on money in politic, not by limiting the money but by requiring disclosure of the source of the corporate money to sh which interests are behind which advertising. i no many people opposed contributions previously said don't limit the political expenditure the solution is
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disclosure. let eople know who is sponsoring the ads, that will safeguard the elections. i don't think disclosure is enough but it's all the supreme court will a lou us to do. now people who argued for disclosure for years are saying it's a restction on fe speech, it's disturbing. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. nadler: it's important that ads from citizens for a cleaner environment are from b.p. or the sierra club to know how it affects their decisions. there are obligations to disclose contributors. to limit -- by limiting it to
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those that have been in existence for at least a decade have members in each of the 50 states and receive no more than 50% of it funding from unions and corporations. we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the gheesmed disclose act would make a vast and substantial difference in protecting the integrity of our elections andky not think of a more important bill. i urge all my colleagues to support this bill despite its perfections. i thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: at thii time, i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy a valued member of our committee. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: mr. chairman, just a block away from this building, the capitol, stands the sueme court. like many other courthouses across this country, it bears
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the image of the goddess of justice. many of you know the statue. she holds a set of scales symbolizing the fairness and equality of law. she wears a blindfold, symbolizing impartiality. unfortunately, this bill does not represent eher of those issues. like so many other bill this is house democratic leadership has forced oo the floor this bill suffers from the same taint, the provisions in this bill are the result of backroom negotiations and special deals to exempt powerful interest groups at the expense of smaller ones. but the unfortunate thing about this bill today is that rather than represent -- than respect the first amendment promise to prooect the speech of all americans, it attempts to use the first amendment as a partisan sledge hammer to silence certain speakers in favor of others. especially unions.
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mr. chairman, this bill bans corporations with government contracts over $10 million from political speech. thsponsor says that's because the contractors might try to influence decisions by government officials. but this bill does nothing for the labor unions who are parties to collective bargaining, agreements with he governments. even though unions have huge amounts of money at stake and every incentive to influence decisions about the contracts by government officials, it does nothing. we offered an amendment to upheld the fairness and equality but that was rejected in the committee. a second example, mr. chairman is we all agree that foreign citizens shouldn't influence our leches, whether they are foreign citizens that are part of foreign corporations or foreign citizens part of a union with interests in the united states. this bill requires c.e.'s to
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certify under penalty of perjury that their companies are not foreign nationals. under the newlyy+ expanded standard of the bill. but the bill does nothing to ensure that when labor unions are spending money on elections, that money did not come from people who are themselves prohibited from spending noun influence american elections. again, we offered an amendmeet to treat corporations and unions equally under the bill by requiring the same certify scation of labor union chiefs but again, it was rejected. mr. chairman, a third example. i point to the centerpiece provision of this bill. the so-called disclosure requirent. the bill requires organizations to disclose information about the individuals who gave more than $600. but the federal election committee asked everybody else to do it at $200. as one of the majority members of our committee -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
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mr. lungren: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: as one member of the committee asked, where did the money come from? it's enough to make unions not have to report any of their dues. the average for a union is $377 in 2004. it treats them different than we treat every other american and every other campaign. 10 while candidates and political partiesave to itemize contributions from donors about $200, we have a different rule in this bill. a rule apparently designed for the convenience of unions. we offered an amendment to make this disclosure requirement the same as how all federal laws long require ared disclosure of donors but it was rejected. rather than spending time today listeninto americans and addressing the number one priority in this country, helping to create jobs and grow the economy, again and again i watch this congress mired in
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its partisan priorities. i listen to the gentleman from maryland. he happens to be the chairman of the democratic congressional committee. the chair: the gentleman is -- the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mccarthy: the back room deal was not done. i started this speech thinking of the goddess of justice and i go through this bill, the blindfold is taken off and the thumb is put on the scale to weigh to one side. this does not honor the first amendment or the fairness of what this buildinggreesents. i ask for a no vote and yid back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: how much time is left on both sides. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 150 minutes, the gentleman from michigan has 2 1/2 minutes, and the gentleman from california has 17 1/2 minutes.
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mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from california, another valued member of the house administration, ms. san davis. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the disclose act. under current law, yes, it is correct that groups must disclose their name, their name and advertisemeets and file a disclosure form. but you know, that doesn't tell anyone very much at all. right now, voters see tv ads sponsored by organizations they've nevereard of. groups like the american future fund. american leadership project. citizens for strength and security. common sense in america.
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and today i'm getting calls from the campaign for liberty. but they will not tell us who they are. does anybody know who they are? in 2008, there were over 80 of these groups and they bought $135 million in advertisements. i for one don't think our constituents should go through another election cycle in the dark. voters want to know who is %% behind that ad? who stands to gain from it? why isn't an actual -- sit an -- why isn't an actual person, corporation, or union taking responsibility for it? the sclose act will finally put that information in voters' hands with tough disclosure and disclaim requirements. i want to tell you, because the disclose act also sets important limits to protect
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taxpayer dollars. i ask those opposed to the bill, do we want ads from banks that still have are tarp funds? do we want subsidiaries of foreign controlled companiesed meling in ourlections? well, i would think the answer is clearly no. the disclose act is just like other consumer protection bill this is body has passed. i can think of no single time i've regretted giving my constituents morenformation so they can make wise and informed decisions. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. teague. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. teague: mr. speaker, i rise
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today in strong support of the disclose act, a bill i'm proud to co-sponsor. several months ago in the citizen united case, the supreme court made a dangerous decision to allow unlimited corporate and union money into our elections. the consequences of this decision for our democracy are dimplee until we act, massive corporations can secretly funnel hundreds of millions of dollars through shadowy front groups to influence elections. a foreign company like british petroleum could retaliate against members of congress who want to hold them accountable by secretly funding millions in attack ads. if we don't act to stop this injustice, limitless corporate money will flood into our political system and drown out the voice of the american people. debates by cdidates will be replaced by ads. some people say this is a free speech issue. of course it is. the court decision lets foreign corporations influence our elections.
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whathis bill does is protect the speech of american citizens. the disclose act says free speech is for people. it also says, pick a side. do you suuport protecting the voice of the american people? thank you. i ask everyone to support the dill. -- bill. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield two minutes to the ranking member of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman is cognized for two minutes. mr. smith: i want to thank my colleague for yielding me time. in citizens united vs. federal election commission, the supreme court struck down several provisions of federal law on the grounds they violated organizations' first amendment rights. yet, the disclose act would have more regulations that unduly restrict their freedom of speech. it would do this while unfairly sparing unions and other preferred groups from the same regulations. this legislation is plainly
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unconstitutional. the sclose act would unconstitutionally ban political speech by government contractors and companies with as much as 80% ownership by u.s. citizens. it would unconstitutionally limit the amount of information that organizations can include in ads stating their political opinion. it would unconstitutionally require the disclosure of an organization's donors in violation of their right to free association. and it would unconstitutionally exempt favored organizations from its requirements. the disclose act is unconitutional and it should be soundly rejected by the house today. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yield it's back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to jared
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polis, the gentleman from colorado. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: people enjoy their constitutional rights but corporations aren't alive, their sons can't be sent off to war. corporations are political zombies only knowing the pursuit. the econommc reason that corporations exist. but in the political context, there is negative civic value to such advocacy, especially without the reasonable expectations that was tossed out in the supreme court decision in citizens united. when they give them an advantage over their competitors, everyone suffers and it undermines the confidence of liberals, conservatives, all citizens. that's why the disclose act is
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so needed, the flood of special interest money in our political system and to protect the free speech of individual americans and i yield back. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. chairman, i'm pleadsed to recognize mr. hall from new york for one minute. the chair: the gentlan from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. hall: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to strongly support h.r. 5175, the disclose act. the citizens united was disastrous and gave corporations not just the rights of persons but way more rights than persons have. any citizen has a limit on how much they can donate in any given campaign cycle whereas under the current court decisions corporations have no limit. one of the most important provisions of the bill we're talking about woulprevent foreign-owned companies from buying u.s. elections. and i would like to thank
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chairman van hollen, mr. van hollen's willingness to work with me in including a similar provision in the bill to one that i introduced in my freedom from foreign-based manipulations in american elections act from keeping companies like b.p. deciding who is elected to congress. this is about representing our people. our friends oboth sides of the aisle like to say that we represent the people. well, a poll came out showing 87% of republicans and 91% of independents, 91% of independents support this bill. i urge all members to vote for it. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield myself such time as i may consume. thchair: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. lungren: mr. chairman, there has been a discussion about the different groups that pport this bill. interestingly enough as debate started on the rule today we received word from 18 more groups that they oppose this bill. now we're up to 456 groups that oppose this bill officially, including the american civil liberties union, national right to life and the sierra club. let me quote, if i might, from the aclu's letter that is dated june 17, 2010, because much has been made on the other side of the aisle of groups that support this. but yet why not talk about groups that are own for protecting the first amendment? the aclu says in their letter,
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"to the extent that restrictions on free speech might be tolerated at all, it is essential that they refrain from discriminating based on the identity of the speaker." and they're referring specifically to this bill. the aclu welcomes reforms that improve our democratic elections by improving the information available to voters while some elements of this bill move in that direction. the system is not strengthened by chilling free speech and invading the privacy of even modest donors to controversial causes. that, of course, refers to the seminole case on this by the supreme court i believe in 1948, naacp vs. alabama where they showed that revelation of members or donors to certain groups that are disfavored can lead to intimidation. they go on to say here, "indeed
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our constitution embraces public discussion of matters that are important to the nation's future and it respects the right of individuals to support those conversations without being exposed to unnecessary risks of arrests, embarrassment." own forms that promote speech, rather than limit it, and apply even-handedly rather than selectively will bring positive change to our elections. because the disclose act misses both of those targets, the aclu opposes its passage and urges a no vote on h.r. 5175. i made a mistake earlier when i referred to the amount of time we are allowed to debate the naming of post offices in this congress. as a matter f fact, 41 hours have been granted by the rules committee or under suspension under our rules to the debate on the naming of post offices, but we could only give one hour
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to this debate. ironic, isn't it, that they talk about this being the disclose act. the guts of the bill were not disclosed to those of us on the committee. i even asked if i could see a copy. in fact, i asked a member of this house who had received a copy, and he was toll that he was prohibited from showing it to uon the republican side because the leadership on the democratic side did not want us to know what they were doing. the disclose act. they didn't disclose the actual bill we have here until two hours before we went to the %- rules committee yesterday. and maybe one of the reasons theyidn't want to disclose it is in addition to those exemptions spifically given to labor unions allowing labor unions to be exempt from the disclosure that all other corporations -- not just the major corporations you keep talking about.
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remember, corporations are the usual associated legal apparatus used by most advocacy groups. so that's who you are talking about. and you keep saying, well, you can have foreign companies and foreign countries under this bill or under this decision by the supreme court, control the message in campaigns, that's just utterly untrue. it wasn't allowed by law before. it wasn't changed by the supreme court decision. at least you should talk about what the law is. it is not true. that's a dog that won't hunt and you keep putting it up here and keep putting it up here and either you haven't read your own bill, you haven't read the supreme court decision or there's anttempt to not tell people exactly what is happening. but one of the reasons i believthat perhaps we didn't get an opportunity to see the latest version of the bill is because it conins a huge new
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big union loophole. and it allows the transfer of all kinds of funds, unlimited funds among affiliated unions so long as not a single member is responsible for $50,000. i doubt many members are resnsible for $50,000 which means there will be no limitation whatsoever with respect to unions here. so let's get the facts straight. there was an auction in this housbehind closed doors, certain groups won the auction, other groups didot. that's one of the reasons that the aclu is against it. that's why we should be against it. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. e gentleman from michigan ii recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield the two distinguished subcommittee chairman -- yield to the distinguished subcommittee
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chairman 45 seconds. i only have two 45 seconds left and i yield him one of them. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 45 seconds. mr. johnson: let's get right down to it. why are the republicans opposed to restricting caaign donations in american campaigns, th local, state and federal? why? it's because republicans favor big business, and big business favors republicans. with all of these unlimited dollars flowing through, we'll see more republicans getting elected, both local, state and federal. what it means is that b.p., a corporate wrong doer, foreign corporation -- wrongdoer, foreign corporation, can influence elections. it means that goldman sachs can influence elections. no limit, no boundaries.
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that's what will happen if we don't pass the disclose act. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: mr. chairman, again, may i inquire how much time is left? the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania has six minutes. the ntleman from michigan has 45 seconds. and the gentleman from california has 11 minutes. mr. brady: mr. chairman, at this time i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman froo delaware a minute and a half, mr. castle. the chair: the gentleman from delaware is recognized mr. castle: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i do rise in support of the disclose act. i'd like to thank mr. van hollen, his office, for their work on this as well. i believe that this is relately simple. i think that all of us in this country have a right to know who is puttingorth ads for or against candidates as the campaigns go on. we do that as elected
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officials. the political parties do that. we also file all those who contribute money to us above certain amounts. in that i believe also should be done. this acttthat we are trying to pass basicay is one of transparency. call it disclose, whatever you wish, but it basically indicates that foreign corporations cannot spend dollars in u.s. elections, federal contractors cant get involved, but those who can, the corporations, unions, not-for-profits must disclose who is paying for it in terms of the c.e.o. coming forward, major contributors being posted so that people know who is paying for it. it does not limit what they can say. i do not believe it's in any way a violation of the first amendment, as has been stated here on repeated occasions. i will be the first to tell you i do not like the manager's amendment that was in the rule with respect to the exemptions for certain entities, not because there's anything wrong with the entities but my judgment is this should be applicable to everybody who would fall into these
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categories. perhaps that will be fixed in the senate. but the bottom line is this is a disclosure act so the people of this country will know who is advertising. we've all been subjected to it. you've seen the ads and you wonder who is running these ads. i hope everybody will support it. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from california. the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i would extend a minute of my time to the gentleman fm michigan who i understand needs more time. mr. conyers: could the gentleman spare us a couple minutes? mr. lungren: well, let's start with a minute and see where we go from tre. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. conyers: i'm very pleased now to recognize the distinguished senior member of
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the judiciary committee, sheila jackson lee of texas, one minute. the chair: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: thank you for your laidership and boldness on this issue. i hold in my hand a version of the constitution that is in this very distinct book of rules and clearly, i think it is important for the american people to understand really the% action items of this legislation. can you imagine a government contractor being paid by your tax dollars? they might be doing the right thing, we don't know. but advocating, with your tax dollars, for a position you don't want, without you knowing that is occurring. this bill is under the first amendment because it says that we give you more transparency. if we read the constitution in its entirety the opening says that we have come together to form a more perfect union that means if people are discity --
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dissatisfied with this bill they have a right to petition tote the courts we believer erring on the side of rightness, allowing people to be elected or run for office, dominated, slammed down on the basis of big money. this is a good change, i ask my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back. the chair: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. van hollen: i thank the chairman. i want to emphasize, as justice stevens pointed out in his dissent, the supreme court cision diddopen the door to foreign controlled corrations spenng money directly in u.s. elections. if you have a sub -- if you have a u.s. subsidiary of a
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foreign corporation, when the supreme court said all corporations could spend money in u.s. electton they opened the door very clearly to that and it's an area where it's also clear congress can move to legislate. number two it's no surprise you have lots of organizations on the right and tte left, love what they stand for or hate what they stand for, that are opposing this bill because they don't want voters in many instances to know who is funding their ads. that's not a surprise at all. that's why those organizations who are devoted solely to clean organizations and clean campaign elections likethe -- like the league of women voters and common cause, are for this bill while all the others are against it. let me say something with respect to unions there is no such thing as a u.s. subsidiary of a foreign union, this is a red herring issue. second, under u.s. law, we have
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never defined collective bargaining agreements as federal contracts like the contracts that go to corporations themselves. number three, i draw to the attention of the body a statement that was made by trevor potter, president of the campaign legal center, who was the republican commissioner on the federal election commission from 1991 to 1995, who said this. this bill requires funding disclosure for all advertising, union and corporate, and goes on to say, based on the legislative languages, equality of treatment, claims ofnion favoritism seem to be unsupported efforts to discredit the bill and stave off its primary goal, disclosure of those underwriting the massive -- that's the republican commissioner. thank you, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i yield myself five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is
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recognized. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, i find it instructive that one of the members onhe other side of the aisle, when she got down here to talk about the constitution, said, i have this version of the constitution. as far as i know, there's only one version of the constitution. except if you happen to be on the majority side dealing with this bill. why do i say that? because the constitution very clearly in the first amendment said congress shall make no law no law abridging free speech. what is it about no you don't understand? i would say rhetorically, because i can't address the majority on this floor. but i would say if i could, what is it about no you don't understand?
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it says no law. now some would say, wait a second. the courts do allow some laws in the area of campaign finance and disclosure and so forth. yes they do. but what are they predicated on? they say the countervailing principal -- principle or conce about corruption or the appearance of corruption. that's the only basis you can create the laws. they therefore say you cannot %% distinguish between two sets of groups where that same analysis would come forward. in other words you can't say, we're going to fare -- favor unions but disfavor + corporations who stand essentially in the same shoes in the area of pottial corruption. they say if you have a government contract over $10 million, they went from $5 million, up to $10 million to include certain group, we're not sure who they are, there have been some whispers as to
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who they are. but the argument is there's a potential corruption between those wwith government contract and those who have influence in giving those contracts. we said, ok, what about unions that represent the workers for those companies who pay -- whose pay comes fr the taxpayers by virtue of these contracts? it's the same argument. they said, we can't do that, that would be unfair to unions. what about the fact that you have union bargaining % agreements with government entities? twhoont be the same -- >> no, no. that's different than corporations. what's the basis? there is no basis. what they do by the terms of the bill is rend they are bill unconstitutional because the courts say you can't distinguish among different groups unless you use the same basis. and they use the highest level of scrutiny, strict scrutiny, why? because it involves an essential right protected under the coostitution. that's what's so disturbing
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here today. not because we disagree on legislation, because we do that often. but the fact of the matter is, we are so cavalierly dealing with the first amendment, we're so cavalierly dealing with free speech,e're so cavalierly dealing with essential political free speech, particularly when it's involved in elections. ppthat's when it's most important. yet we have seen a bidding war here, an auction, not on the floor, because it took place behind closed doors. and yet we're told, just look at the title. look at the title. you know if you put the nnme cadillac on a ugoh, itould still be a yugo. if it can't drive, putting another name on it won't make it better. to say thiis a disclose act when you refuse to disclose the parts of it to us until two hours before the rules committee yesterday undercuts everything you argue that this bill is about. this is not sunlight.
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this is putting some in the cellar where there is no light and others get the light. this is allowing some to be involved in the debate and others not. our founding fathers did not think the ant doteo bad speech was to prohibit speech. it was to encourage robust debate and give others the opportunity. we can't agree on disclosure but not when you bring it in this form because it isn't disclosure that is fairly imposed on all parties. i am sure of this. this will be declared untugal. but the dirty little secret in this, you have put in here the appellate process so it won't be decided until after the election so that these who should be able to exercise their first amendment rights will be afraid to exercise them for fear they might make a mistake. what a tragedy. what a travesty. we should do better on this floor. we owe it to ourselves and if
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we don't think we're worthy, maybe the constitution is worthy. maybe our constituents are worthy. to hide behind the words disclosure, disclose, when in fact that's not what you're doing, is the ultimate in insult to the constitution. the chair: who seeks recognition? mr. conyers: mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i'll use the balance of my time. members of the house, i've been on the judiciary committee longer than anyone in the house of representatives. sand save one other court decision, there's been no decision that they have ever rendered that i consider more abhorrent and more onerous than the results that will flow from
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this measure of the citizens united decision. i say that because what we're doing is a matter of whether corrate control in the bodd politic now goes completely, totally without any halt or reservation whatsoever. so please, support this measure. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, at this time, it's my distinct honor to recognize the gentleman from ohio the distinguished leader of the republicans here in the house, mr. boehner for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from
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ohio is recognized. mr. boehner: i want to thank my colleague for yielding. congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. we all know that that's part of our firsamendment to the constitution. and it's first for a reason. because freed of speech is the basis for our democracy. but today, the majority wants to pass a bill restricting eech. violating that very first ammndment to the constitution. oh, no, they don't want to restrict it for everyone. they want to use their majority hear in the -- here in the house to silence their political opponents. pure and simple. for just one election. is there any other explanation for this bill? is there any reason under this bill that small business --
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businesses get muffled but big businesses will be fine. -- fine? labor unions won't have to comply with this, they're exempd from it. they get their right prospected. why is the national rifle association protected, but not the national righttto life organization. -- organization? obviously no one wants to answer. the national rifle association is carved out -- the national rifle association is carved out of this deal and given a special deal. they are big defenders of the second amendment of the constitution, the right to bear arms. but yet they think it's all right to throw everybody else under the table so they can get a special deal, while requiring other% to comply with all the rules outlined in this bill. frankly, i think it's disappointing.
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why does the humane society of america get to speak freely, but not the national farm bureau. why do aarp get protected under the bill? yet if you belong to 60-plus, no, no. you've got to comply with all of this. since the supreme court's decision to uphold the first amendment, democrats here have maintained their bill would apply equally across the board to corporations, labor unions and advocacy organizations alike. stead, they've produced a ppbill that is full of loophole designed to help their friends while silencing their political opponents. we in this hous take an oath to preserve, to protect, and to defend our constitution. anyone who votes for this bill today, i'll tell you, is
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violating the oath that they took when they became a member of this organization. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recoonition? mr. brady: i'm prepared to close, i have no more speakers, if the gentleman is prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. lungren: i understand the gentleman is going to close, so i will use the balance of my time. he chair: yes. the gentleman is recognized. mr. lungren: i yield myself the balance of my time. mr. chairman, i've been privileged to serve in this house for a number of years. during that period of time, i have had the opportunity to vote probably thousands of times on many, many, many different issues. sometimes the results of the votes, collective votes of this house and the senate and the signature of the president, during the course of time i've been here, has resulted in legislation which subsequently was ruled to be in part or in
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whole unconstitutional. and i have had conversations on the floor of the house that said, i'm not concerned about the constitution. do't let me worry about that, the court december side that. i've always said to them in response, we have an obligation when we take the oath of office to uphold the constitution and we ought to do it as we consider legislation. but i'm not sure that i have ever seen a frontal assault on this constitution as this bill is. why do i say that? i say that because this deals with the first amenent. it deals with political speech. it deals with political speech at its most effective. that is in the context of a political campaign. and we ought to deal with that very, very carefully. i will say to my friend from michigan, if he was so concerned about the
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constitution, why did our committee waive jurisdiction here after having this bill only for a day? other times we insist on dealing with constitutional questions, but yet we gave it up. you look at this bill andou see that it violates the contours of the decision by the supreme court. if you want to end the constitution, bring an amendment to the floor. it violates it in so many ways. and it's a continual violation as the auction block was established on the other side of the aisle. we kept hearing day afteray, week after week they don't have the votes, they don't have the votes. they are going to make this deal, they are going to make that deal. what did they do? they expanded -- they expanded the exemption. they said, yes, the national rifle association gott a specia exemption. the aarp did.
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the humane society d. they changed it from a million members to half a llion members. but we know most groups won't be exempt. just a privileged few. that violates the decisions of the courts going back decades tell you. you cannot discriminate among groups. you cannot have disfavored and favored groups. and that's what we're doing right here on the floor. not just about something dealing with the -- dealt with by the constitution,ut the essential of the first amendment. i am surprised that my liberal friends are not down here on this floor condemning provisions of this bill. and they say it's not a perfect bill. no, it's not perfect. it's unconstitutional. it is unconstitutional by its very terms. and in the last two weeks and even yesterday it became more unconstitutional becausthey carved out exemmtions even further for unions and for selected groups of large size. mr. chairman, we should do
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better than this. we should do better than this. if we're not concerned about protecting the constitution, who is? you know, as was said basically by our leader, we take an oath to protect and defend all parts of the constitutioo. the first amendment as well as the second amendment. the fact of the matter is, we take an oath to uphold the constitution. to only allow an hour's worth of debate when we give far more time to naming post offices is a disgrace in this house. a disgrace. to not allow amendments that deal with some of the very subjects that my friends on the other side talk about is a disgrace. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: mr. chairman, i ask for a no vote on this bill. the chhir: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. brady: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, first, let me thank the staff of house administration, jamie fle, matt pinkas for the hard work they've done on this bill. it was a lot of moving around,
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a lot of moving parts and to be able to put it back together they were able to have us here today. i appreciate all the help. despite all the rhetoric that we heard about this bill, the simple purppse is, mr. chairman, who's saying it, who's paying it? all i want to know if i run or somebody runs for re-election and somebody runs an ad against me i'd like to know who that is or if somebody runs an ad in my favor i'd like to know who it is. the unions pay dues and they have a checkup to go to a pack fund. they can say, i don't want to spend any money to a pack fund. but if and when they do they now vote. they sit and vote for every sing candiddte that that union is supporting, whether or not they want toupport that
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candidate or not, and every union has a tagline who they're supporting. and corporations, if you're a stockholder of a corporation, i could be a member of a stockholder in at&t and they can run an ad against me and i don't even know it. all i want to know, again, is -- and also those corporations don't vote. i'm a stockholder, i can't vote. i can't vote what they do with my money even though you spend money for an opponent against me. all we're saying is who's saying it and who's paying for it. with that, mr. chairman, i thank you and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gent
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>> the bill requires individuals and groups to disclose when they pay for campaign ads. in a few moments, defense secretary robert gates talks with reporters about why he supported the president's decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal. a tour of one of the areas in louisiana affected by the oil spill. after that, a confirmation hearing for two height-ranking military officers. after that, president obama and russian president medvedev have a joint news conference. "washington journal" we will have more about the supreme court nomination hearings.
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hanna rosin will discuss her cover story. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. c-span is now available in over 100 million homes. politics, history, and all -- and non-fiction books. created by america's cable companies. next, defense secretary robert gates on why he agreed with the decision to replace general stanley mcchrystal in afghanistan. admiral mullen joins the secretary for a pentagon news conference. >> we will have some opening comments about the change of command in afghanistan. first, i fully support president obama's decision to accept
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general mcchrystal's resignation. like the president, i deeply regret the circumstances that made this decision necessary. general mcchrystal is one of the finest officers and warriors of his generation. he has an extraordinary record of leading the fight against our most lethal enemies in iran and i guessed it -- i iraq and afghanistan. i recommended him for the command last year. like the president, i believe the poor judgment exercised by general mcchrystal with regard to the "rolling stone " profile has made him untenable. the attitudes reported in the news media are unacceptable and inconsistent with the high standards expected of military leaders. as i said tuesday, our troops
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and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices against al qaeda and its allies. our singular focus must be on succeeding in this mission without distraction or division. i am company that we will be able to achieve this goal under the command of general david petraeus who the president is a nominating to become the new commander. as i said before, general petraeus has already established himself as one of the great battle captains in american military history. his judgment, intellect, and proven record of success make him the right choice to lead the military coalition in afghanistan. this mission is, of course, an international effort. we continue to value the contributions of our nato allies and partners and they support the appointment of general petraeus. no one, be they adversaries, france, or our troops should misinterpret these personnel
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changes as a slacking of our commitment in afghanistan. we remain committed to that mission and to the comprehensive strategy or by the president to achieve our goals there. my primary concern over the past few days has been to minimize the impact of these developments on the conduct of the war in afghanistan. fully ands decision satisfactorily addressed that concern. this is the best possible outcome tt an awful situation. i will close on a personal note. general mcchrystal and many of his immediate staff have served and protected this country in combat with great courage, the dollar, skill, and devotion for many years. their outstanding record of service remains intact for posterity and is deserving of our lasting recognition and profound gratitude. finally, general petraeus'
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willingness with virtually no advance notice to accept this new challenge is testimony to his extraordinary patriotism and character. it would have been easy to remain a central command commander in to rest on his well-deserved record of success in iraq. yet, when the commander in chief ask, he saluted and accepted this new challenge. three years ago, general petraeus described our effort in iraq as hard but not impossible. this also describes the challenge facing us in afghanistan. i am personally grateful to him for agreeing to return to the battlefield. >> i, too, personally support the president's decision yesterday to accept general mcchrystal's resignation and to appoint general petraeus as a
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leader of the forces in afghanistan. general mcchrystal is a friend. he has served his country nobly and with great distinction for more than three decades, much of that last decade at war. he led men in places the rest of us could not follow and he thought man in always the rest of us could not fathom. i was proud one year ago to support him for the afghanistan command and i think it is worth noting his strong leadership and the foundation he has laid for future success there. i cannot excuse his lack of judgment with respect to the "rolling stone"article. the climate was disrespectful of civilian authority. we do not have that luxury, those of us in uniform. we do not have the right nor should we assume the prerogative to cast doubt on the motives of our civilian
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leaders. we are and must remain a neutral estimate of the state, accountable to and respectful of those leaders. no matter which party holds sway or which personals a given office. i think it is vital for us to remember that if we lose their trust and confidence for any reason, it is time to go. the job we are called upon to do for the nation is too important. the lies we are sworn to protect or too precious. we cannot permit any doubt or uncertainty in that regard. general mcchrystal did the right things by offering to resign. i think it is also critically important for us to remember the mission before us. there is still a war to be one. as the secretary indicated, our focus must be on succeeding in this mission,


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