tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 28, 2011 5:00pm-7:59pm EST
i would argue there's a broader point, which is that those countries that have met these aspirations with reform actually have a chance of success and progress, those that have met them with repression are actually finding that is not the answer. i think that's what we'll see across this region. >> there are a great many members trying to contribute, but there is pressure on time of a heavily subscribed debate to follow, and therefore if i'm to accommodate most colleagues, extreme brevity is now required. >> returning to the question raised in terms of close relations with colonel gaddafi's son, was the prime minister surprised as i was to find he also had very many meetings with the previous business secretary and had actually described the previous prime minister tony blair as a close personal friend ? >> my honorable friend makes a good point, which i think highlights the issues i was raising earlier.
the point i would make is this. as i said, it was right to restore relations with libya, but parameters in judgment needs to be brought to bounds as well. >> in congratulating the honorable gentleman on the vote cast by the united kingdom and the security council on israeli settlements, may i ask him if he, like chancellor mer kel, received a reproachful telephone call, and did he tell him that he is a principal of negotiations and he must get on and negotiate? >> as it happens, i didn't get a reproachful phone call, but if i had done, for once i'm in full agreement, i'm sure he would have responded robustly the way he suggests. >> does the prime minister think the ability of the west moral leadership to those seeking
freedom in the middle east owe something to the change implemented by president bush and prime minister blair eight years ago? >> i think we should stop arguing about some of these points in the past and actually try to build a stronger argument about what our engagement with this region should be like. it's also wrong, a very hard-core, realist approach just saying we have to deal with what is there. we should recognize that putting in place the building blocks of democracy, having elections, yes, but also the rule of law, independent judiciary, a proper place for the military in society. many rights that we had years before having the vote. that is what we should be focusing on in our relations with these countries so actually we can help point them to a
better future. >> abandoned by this government. >> i think the honorable gentleman is being slightly unfair. these are not easy things to get right. clearly there are lessons to learn here. i don't think it's a complicated process of learning the lessons. i think there are a number of steps, as i've said, about defense assets, about redundancy, about the use of scheduled flights, and i think they can learn those lessons relatively quickly. i think it's a relatively straight forward and easy thing to do. >> given that colonel gaddafi's recent behavior is no surprise to anyone, does the prime minister understand that the
vast majority of people in britain share his anger that the last government, in collusion with the scottish government, did all it could to secure the release of the lockerbie bomber? >> i think it was wrong to try and facilitate this release. i think the british government should have taken a clear view. this was the largest mass murder that took place in british history and this person should die behind bars. it would have been a clear view, it would have been the right view and would have taken the country with them. >> i share the experience of my constituent's family. james was released last night. i spent most of last week trying to contact the office. despite numerous phone calls were unsuccessful. when we did get through, we were asked the same questions over and over again.
he was asked repeatedly if he could make his way to tripoli. >> i'm sure the foreign office minister is listening to this and i'm sure he will be able to take up this individual case. i myself have visited the crisis center and the foreign office and actually seen the very hard work they're doing. obviously they were coping not only with the crisis in libya, but also with the earthquake in new zealand as well and taking calls on both of those. i have to say i've been impressed by the work they do. i'm sure the foreign office will take it up with him. >> the prime minister mentioned earlier the african union, that colonel gaddafi is a former chairman of the african union, would he share with me the hope that the african union would exclude such dictators from its
membership? >> i can say we are on the case of this issue. my friend is going to be talking to a number of african leaders about what we believe african unions to make a point about the unacceptable behavior of colonel gaddafi. >> he said the hopes and aspirations were to stirring, and if we are to build a new relationship with the middle east based on mutual respect, is it not the case that we do need to get rid of our reputation for double standards? that not only means, standing up to dick todayers to, it also means saying very plainly that the occupation of one country by another is wrong and has to end? >> well, i would have some agreement with the honorable gentleman. i think we should be clear in the case of israeli and palestine, very clear that the settlements are wrong and the vote that we cast is absolutely clear about that. i think we should also be clear
that we want to see the advance of civil society, open societies, pluralism, democracy and freedom, in countries across north africa and the middle east. what i found talking to leaders in kuwait and qatar, imam and elsewhere, it's not a message that friends in the gulf reject. it's one they accept and see the sense of. we should be pushing and explaining it, done so recognizing different countries have different rates of development and different traditions. but our belief in democracy and open societies shouldn't be negotiable. >> in light of colonel gaddafi's 40 years of violence abroad and tyranny at home, did he agree with me that it was morally and ethically wrong for the previous government to sign those defense contracts and are we sure that those are public domain so they can be fully scrutinized? >> i think my honorable friend
makes a good point. i do think when you look at the so called deal in the desert, there was a deal of credulity on behalf of the last government that signed it. i'm very happy to look at them so people can see the mistakes that were made. >> the dilemma in libya that led to the resources, the least lukely option is that the gaddafi regime will be brought to a quick end. he's already encoaching his position in tripoli, the capital, and the real worries that there will not just be a humanetarian disaster, but there will be a human right disaster. the prime minister has indicated some areas just looking at. will he redouble efforts, not only nationally, but internationally, to be sure to stand by and see that to happen? >> i agree, if colonel gaddafi uses military force against his
people, the world cannot stand by. that is why urgent discussions need to take place. that is why america needs to be fully engaged about what needs to be done. what we can't know is exactly what happens next. if someone has predicted that half of libya would be under control of rebel groups a few years ago, people would have said, that's impossible, with the security apparatus that colonel gaddafi has at his disposal. what is exciting is that the other dictator has been knocked over so quickly. >> i thank the prime minister for the interest shown in the work that is being brought home. i also mark my personal thanks for helping a number of years ago while patrolling the gulf at that time against iran. the prime minister is aware of the real threat of the oil price
hike in this country from the constant ongoing instability in the middle east. will you put our minds at rest? >> i think the lady is trying to get me to prejudge what the chancellor might say on the budget, which i can't do, but she makes a number of good points. let me say how brave those pilots and the crews of those aircraft were, extremely difficult mission, involved a number of stops in desert areas, very uncertain about what exactly they would find. i thank them for the incredible work that they've done. >> the prime minister please tell the house what reports he has received about the killing of people in tripoli who were celebrating after listening to inaccurate reports from authority forces that gaddafi has fled to venezuela? >> i haven't seen those specific reports, but clearly a number of the people have been murdered in
tripoli and the rest of the country by that murderous regime, and the responsibility with colonel gaddafi and the people who run that regime and not with anybody else. >> on the point about the changes that we're seeing in the middle east, will the prime minister agree with me that it's actually britain's national interest that we pursue a policy along the lines of what he was saying to promote democracy and support opposition movements where people are moving toward a design for greater democracy in these countries? >> i very much agree with that. and in terms of the so called soft power that he refers to, we do have incredible assets, whether it's the british council, bbs, all of those things should be brought to bare. the soft power asset sometimes can achieve the greatest success. >> can the prime minister explain the procedure used to
trigger unleashing of the cobra emergency response. there's some criticism of the delay. was it because the deputy prime minister would have a role in that? will he review it and will he publish that review? >> typically, cobra, even though he is triggered by the prime minister, that is the typical way of doing that. let me just be clear that on monday, the foreign office crisis center was publiced, which had m.o.d. people imbedded into it. so the idea that they are cooperating i think is wrong. cobra is normally exercised by the prime minister. it meets regularly at official level as well. a range of different activities that we have to deal with. and it's been in activity all over the weekend. >> can the prime minister say --
special force of what is left of gaddafi's regime being used against people? >> well, i'm not aware of that, but i do think the full terms of the deal in the desert need to be made clear. perhaps they'd like to issue it themselves. >> does the prime minister not accept that the government needs to be very careful before they make statements about dictators fleeing that country as we have seen murder on the streets of tripoli as a result of foolish remarks? >> the murder on the streets of tripoli is the responsibility of colonel gaddafi and his murderous team. for members to make some fake political point is truly pathetic. >> i welcome the prime minister's statement.
the litch the u.k. forces are showing in coordinating. given the experience we've had in libya and egypt, can he tell the house what steps are being taken to develop con tin gin -- con tin general si plans. >> the general makes a very good point. we are doing extensive work looking at the number of british nationals right across the region and preparing for all eventualties. don't want to do anything to encourage those sorts of issues, but of course plans are being covered. >> we share the objective of a successful and stringently controlled defense export sector in the u.k. but does he not think he could have made progress -- if he had reconsidered the timing of his mission last week? >> well, i don't agree with that. i would like to make people
happy. but i don't agree with that. it was a long arranged trip. it was worthwhile going to cairo and being one of the first people to make it to tahrir square and to meet some of those protesters. and also going to kuwait on the 20th anniversary of its liberation and be able to make a speech in the kuwait parolment about the importance of spreading democracy and freedom, i think that is extremely important. in terms of who accompanied me on the trip, i had a little check, and i have actually checked out that in november 2008, the former prime minister took many of the same companies, including british arrow space, which -- aerospace. large employers in this country, i think it is important that we help those businesses and make sure that they employ people, not least in his constituency. >> i'd like to congratulate the prime minister on the quick
action they took. take against any country that breaks the u.n. resolution. >> obviously the most important thing is to try and encourage countries to take action in respect of the u.n. resolution and put in place its terms as quickly as possible. that's why we held a privy council yesterday, putting in place the asset freeze. i think it's encouraging others to take that step before we then consider the next step and widening the net and putting even more pressure on this regime. >> before the prime minister takes too many trips down memory lane, perhaps he should recall that the last tour to iraq was never paid for. will he look into the role the department plays in providing
cover for unstable countries. >> the trip down memory lane i was taking was the fact that 20 years ago this country played the part in an international coalition to bring about its liberation. i think should we continue to have a strong relationship with that country, which frankly has a part -- it's not a democracy like us, but has a parliament, is taking steps to greater openness. should we have a closer relationship with those? i say yes, we should. >> i thought it was impressive that a prime minister was in the middle east so early and i think most people on this side absolutely agree. will the prime minister pay credit to our personnel who did the two desert rescues, but in particular point out that 95 british nationals were rescued, but 270 foreign nationals were rescued, shows that we were leading in evacuation of
nationals. >> i know my honorable friend has an interest in this. i do think that what the british military has done is outstanding, both in terms of the royal navy, but also the air force in terms of the desert mission. he's right, it's over 32 different nationalities have been rescued and brought back by the british, and there's also a coordination going on by the british and providing a lot of the air traffic control. i think this is something the whole country once again can be very proud of. >> the deputy prime minister once said that the prime minister is amazingly flaky on foreign affairs. flaky or not, will the prime minister accept at least that he showed poor judgment last week in prioritizing arms sales to the region? >> i think that was the definition of flaky, to answer
that question. but i point the make is this. i went to egypt, an important country that we should be encouraging in terms of democratic transition, made a speech in the parliament about democracy. links with the middle east and with middle east countries are important. one of the reasons for going is country after country has said to us they were completely ignored and down played and downgraded by the last government. and i think actually making sure we are building those relationships is important. and i think his judgment on this is completely wrong. >> libya is a real wake-up call. afghanistan is not the only country that matters in this world. and it shows that we have not had a balanced, moderate foreign policy. would the prime minister agree that this is a reason to accelerate the drawdown of resources from afghanistan so we can meet the many crises in the world which will confront us over the next decade?
>> i don't think this is an either/or. i know my honorable friend has considerable experience in afghanistan. but i think the drawdown should take place. we've set an end date for it. but between now and then, it should be done with our nato partners to make sure we're doing on the ground what we need to do so that that country can have some chance of controlling its own affairs, providing its own security. but our aim in afghanistan is no more than the afghans themselves should be able to secure that country so it doesn't require the presence of foreign troop. it's as simple as that. >> the last two weeks have shown that not everything in the middle east is necessarily contingent upon the israeli palestinian conflict. but does he agree with me that it's important to ensure that whatever democracies emerge in north africa and the middle east, it's important they recognize the legitimacy of israel and that they function as democracies and act as a
counterbalance to iraq? >> i don't think we should be pessimistic about the effect of greater demockerytyization, because some of the more auto"grey's anatomy"ic regimes use the conflict as a way of keeping their own populations happy without having democracy. so yes, the road may be quite difficult and bumpy, but in the end, deals between democracies i think in the end will be stronger. >> my constituents were stranded in an oil field. he returned home last friday. initial contact was difficult because of the circumstances on the ground. but the family feels particularly let down by their employers, o.p.s. international, who didn't make available all the information to the embassy, so that coordination could be brought about effectively.
what action will the prime minister take to ensure the sharing of information is done as quickly as possible? >> there are lessons to be learn about how information is shared. it is a difficult picture, and an ever-changing picture. we just look at the numbers of people that we think are in libya and want to come out of libya, even in the age of internet and mobile phones, computer data bases, getting a real grip of those numbers, as i believe we now have and will go on publishing more information about that is difficult. but companies working with the government is clearly an essential part of that. >> would the prime minister agree with me that much of what we've heard over the last week at the height of the libyan crisis is nothing short of opportunism and that the deputy leader of the labour party should apologize for comments he posted on twitter, -- >> i'm always interested to hear
the honorable gentleman, but i'm afraid he's asking the prime minister about something which even the prime minister doesn't even have responsible. -- responsibility. >> the growing refugee problem on libya's borders, are efforts being coordinated to prevent the turmoil becoming an immigration problem for italy and southern europe? >> there
are urgent conversations under way about that. at the moment, the pressure is on the borders. along with that is actually migrant workers from tunisia and egypt returning to their countries. my honorable friend will be revisiting the region soon. i think it's a real job for the european union to work together and make sure this doesn't turn into a refugee crisis. >> i must thank the prime minister and all colleagues.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> secretary of state hillary clinton polled the human rights council in geneva today that libyan leader muammar gaddafi must step down. this is about 25 minutes. >> good afternoon.
thank you, mr. president. and i want to thank the high commissioner and all my colleagues for their strong words here today as well as during the special session on friday. today the world's eyes are fixed on libya. we have seen colonel gaddafi's security forces open fire on peaceful protesters again and again. they have used heavy weapons on unarmed civilians.
mercenaries and thugs have been demonstrators. there are reports of soldiers executed for refusing to turn their guns on their fellow citizens, of indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests, and torture. colonel gaddafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency. through their actions, they have lost the legitimacy to govern. and the people of libya have made themselves clear, it is time for gaddafi to go. now, without further violence or delay. the international community is speaking with one voice, and our message is unmistakable. these violations of universal rights are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
this council took an important first step toward accountability on friday by establishing an independent commission of inquiry. on saturday in new york, the united nations security council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing an arms embargo on libya, freezing the assets of key human rights violators and other members of the gaddafi family, and referring the libyan case to the international criminal court. tomorrow, the united nations general assembly should vote to accept the recommendation to suspend the gaddafi government's participation here in the human rights council. governments that turn their guns on their own people have no place in this chamber. the arab league deserves our praise as the first
multi-lateral organization to suspend libya's membership, despite the fact that libya was serving as the arab league chair. we hope to see our friend in the african union follow suit. we all need to work together on further steps to hold the gaddafi government accountable, provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, and support the libyan people as they pursue a transition to democracy. today i've had the privilege of consulting with a wide range of colleagues here in geneva, and president obama is meeting with the u.n. general secretary. we will continue closely coordinating with our allies and partners. the united states has already imposed travel restrictions and financial sanctions on gaddafi and senior libyan officials. we have frozen assets to ensure
libyan people. and we have halted our very limited defense trade with libya. we are working with the united nations, partners, allies, the international committee of the red cross and the red crescent, and other n.g.o.'s to set up a robust humanitarian response to this crisis. as we move forward on these fronts, we will continue to explore all possible option for action. as we have said, nothing is off the table, so long as the libyan government continues to threaten and kill libyans. ultimately, the people of libya themselves will be the ones to chart their own destiny and shape their own new government. they are now braving the dictator's bullets and putting their lives on the line to enjoy
the freedoms that are the birthright of every man, woman, and child on earth. like their neighbors in tunisia and egypt, they are asserting their rights and claiming their future. now, while the circumstances in egypt, tunisia, and libya are each unique, in every case, the demand for change has come from within. with people calling for greater civil liberties, economic opportunities, and a stake in the governance of their own societies. and the world has been inspired by their courage and their determination.in the world as b. we see in their struggles a universal yearning for dignity and respect. they remind us that the power of human dignity is always underestimated until the day it finally prevails. this moment belongs to the people, particularly the young
people of the middle east. on behalf of president obama and the american people, let me say that we are inspired by what you are doing and heartened by what it means for your future. the united states supports orderly, peaceful, and irreversible transitions to we'll democracies that deliver results -- to real democracy said deliver results for their citizens. our values converge, because supporting these transitions is not simply a matter of ideals. it is also a strategic imperative without meaningful steps toward representative, accountable, and transparent governance and open economies, the gap between people and their leaders will only grow and instability will deepen. what might have been possible in the 20th century, with new technologies and the power people now have to connect, is
no longer possible. and to hang onto systems that are unaccountable and do not respond to the legitimate needs of the people poses a danger, not only two leaders, but to all of our interests. by contrast, history has shown democracies tend to be more stable, more peaceful, and ultimately more prosperous. democratic change must grow from within. it cannot be implanted from the outside. and let me be among the first of many to say, the west does not have all of the answers. the steps to change must come quickly and dramatically. it is proving tragically difficult in libya. in other nations, change is likely to be more deliberate and
methodical. in all cases, the united states will support citizens and governments as they work for progress. we are well aware of the challenges that come with these kinds of transitions. you cannot create jobs or economic opportunities overnight. these changes can be chaotic, and in the short term there will be voices and political competition is emerging for the first time. and as history has shown, these new births of democracy, freedom, human rights can be derailed by autocrats who use violence, deception, and rigged elections to stay in power or advance and undemocratic agenda. but like colonel gaddafi, leaders to deny freedom and opportunity will face the very
instability they fear. the process of transition must be protected from anti- democratic influences. political participation must be open to all people come up across the spectrum, to reject violence and agreed to play by the rules of democracy. yet those who refuse should not be allowed to subvert the aspirations of the people. and leaders cannots claim -- cannot claim democratic legitimacy if they abandon these principles once in power. free and fair elections are essential to building and maintaining democracy, but elections alone are not sufficient. sustainable democracy is built on strong institutions, including an independent judiciary that promotes the rule of law and helps ensure accountability and transparency that stands against corruption recent days have underscored the
importance of the freedom of expression -- whether it is in the public square or on the internet. journalists and of broadcast images of oppression -- have broadcast images of oppression around world. and the young people of tunisia have shown how formidable the open exchange of ideas can be. not only in the middle east, but around world, a citizen activists and civic organizations are emerging as strong voices for progress. they help develop solutions to tough problems. they hold governments accountable. they empower and protect women and minorities. united states is committed to broadening our own engagement with civil societies, and we urge leaders and governments to treat civil societies as partners, not adversaries.
there is a commitment to make economic opportunity available to all. human-rights and economic development are inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. we have found help inequity and lack of economic opportunity drives people into the streets. governments have to deliver on the promise of improved lives there is no doubt that the most important goal for most people in the world today is a decent life for themselves and their families. at the very least, that must be the goal we deliver on. it is also particularly important for women and minorities to have access to opportunity and participation. nations cannot flourish if half the population is consigned to the margins were denied rights. we have seen how women play a vital role in driving social and
economic progress when they are afforded their rights and equal opportunity, and in so doing, they lived up not only themselves, but their families and their society. these are not western principles for american ideals. they are truly universal. lessons learned by people all over the world who have made the difficult transition to sustainable democracy. and as we looked at what is happening now in the middle east, of course, those changes will be shaped by local circumstances and led by local leaders, as people themselves determine whether or not change has worked. universal principles will be important touchdowns along the way. that is why if you watch what is happening in egypt, we hope there will be a broader array of opposition voices to ensure the reform process is inclusive.
we want to see steps taken, including enacting constitutional reform, releasing political detainees, and lifting the state of emergency. united states stands ready to assist in any way that is part of -- any way that is appropriate. in tunisia, we welcome the desire toadership's hold elections as soon as possible. we were heartened to hear from tunisia's state secretary for foreign affairs that it will welcome the human rights office and open its doors to all u.s. special representatives. we will support the people of tunisia on their long and difficult road ahead. and other partners, jordan, and bahrain, take the steps.
we will stand behind them and support their effort, because we are convinced they will help advance all of our shared interests. but now there is an alternative for the future of the region that only promises more frustration and discord. extremists and rejectionists across the millie's argue they are the ones to champion the rights -- across the middle east argue they are the ones to champion the rights of the downtrodden. all they have accomplished is to undermine progress. the success of peaceful protest has exposed the bankrupt arguments of the extremists. they have consistently pursued violent measures across the world.
in tehran, they have killed peaceful protesters, even as iran's president has made a show of denouncing violence in libya. iranian authorities have targeted human rights centers and political activist, ex- government officials and their families, clerics and their children. student leaders and their professors. journalists and writers. the united states has imposed new sanctions for serious human rights abuses. we are proud to be working with sweden and other partners to establish a special store on iran. its mandate would be to investigate abuses in iran and to speak out when the government there does not meet its human rights obligations. iranian human rights advocates have demanded this step to raise international pressure on their government. this will be a seminal moment
for the council, and a test of our ability to work together to advance the goals we represent. indeed every member of this council should ask him or herself a simple question. "why do people have the right to live free from fear in tripoli, but not to iran -- not tehran?" the denial of human dignity in iran is an outrage. the human rights council was founded because the international community has our responsibility to protect universal rights and to hold violators accountable. and in slow motion tragedies of chronic abuse -- such as burma and to north korea -- we saw this council at its best on
friday when it took decisive action on libya. we saw it in december when the situation was increasingly dire in the ivory coast. we must continue sending a strong message to laurent gagbo that his actions are unacceptable. we have seen it a strengthening in the council felt approach to freedom of expression. but too often, we are not seeing a serious enough response to use this institution to a man's human-rights sometimes the council does not act and its integrity is undermined. because it defers to regional relations, diplomatic niceties,
and cynical politics. membership on the council should be earned through respect for human rights. that is the standard laid out by the general assembly. this council's predecessor, the human-rights commission, lost its credibility in part because libya was allowed to serve as its president. it should not take bloodshed for us to create such regimes have no place here. i must add the structural bias against israel, including a standard -- standing agenda item for israel, is wrong, and it undermines the important work we're trying to do together. as member states, we can take this council in a better, stronger direction. in 2009, the united states joined the human rights council because president obama and i believe we could make a difference by working with you on the inside, rather than
standing on the outside nearly as a critic. over the past 18 months, we have worked together. we have reached across regional lines, we have overcome what hobbles this country more than anything else -- the decisions of the member states. we have an opportunity to continue that progress with libya. as we look ahead, we hope to set a new agenda based on three principles. first, the council must have the capacity to respond to emergencies in real time. and it must demonstrate clearly that it possesses the will to address abuses, hold violators accountable, and work with governments, citizens, and civil society organizations genuinely committed to reform.
second, the council must apply a single standard to all countries based on the universal declaration of human rights. it cannot continue to single out and devote disproportionate attention to any one country. and third -- and third, the council needs to abandon tired rhetorical debates and focus instead on making tangible improvements to people's lives. for example in this session, we have an opportunity to move beyond a decade-long debate over whether insult to religion should be banned or criminalize. it is time to overcome the faults divide that its religious sensitivities against freedom of expression and pursue a new approach based on concrete steps that fight intolerance wherever it occurs.
together, we can and must help this council live up to its mission and to ensure that it plays a constructive role in the days and months ahead. we will face new problems and new challenges, but if we have a firm foundation, rooted in the universal declaration of human rights, we will chart a steady course. make no mistake. the popular way for reform is spreading, not receding. each country is unique, but many of the concerns that drive people into the streets and squares in the middle east are shared by citizens in other parts of the world. too many governments are hobbled by corruption and fearful of change. to many young people cannot find jobs or opportunities. their prospects are shaped more by who they know them by what they know for what they can dream.
but it is not my mother's or even my world anymore. with the new technologies of the 21st century, young people know everything that is going on everywhere, and they no longer will tolerate the status quo that hampers their aspirations. young people in the middle east have inspired millions around the world, and we celebrate what some are rightly calling the era of spring. this is a hopeful season for all of humanity, because the cause of human rights and human dignity belongs to us all. for leaders on every continent, the choice becomes clearer, day- by-day. embrace your people's aspirations, have confidence in their potential, or they will lose confidence in year. those who were here on friday and many of us watching on our television screens saw the
libyan representative renounced gaddafi's violent rule. yet he said young people in his country were writing a new chapter in the struggle. we have categorically decided, he said, to represent the interests of the libyan people and their free will. yet this is the time for action. now is the opportunity for us to support all who are willing to stand up on behalf of the rights we cling to cherish. so, let us do that let us follow the young people from tripoli and cairo, echoing in our ears. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause]
>> i want to thank the secretary of state of the united states of america for her statement. >> our look at the events of the day surrounding events in libya continues. there is a no-fly zone around libya as one of the options considered by the u.s. and other countries. this is about 45 minutes. >> [unintelligible] the sabres made a deal this morning. >> [unintelligible]
>> you have acquired something. >> [unintelligible] >> it is trade day. ok. let's begin. good afternoon and welcome to the department of state. just a couple of things to mention. first in the back of the room, we have guests from the group's power foundation at semester and in washington program urea -- program. welcome to the state department briefing room. the secretary is on her way back to washington from geneva. she held earlier today a series of bilateral meetings with the wide range of leaders, including catherine ashton.
she also delivered remarks to the human rights council and met with the families before departing. just a procedural thing for the rest of the week -- the secretary will have testimony for the next three days. she will appear tomorrow before the house governmental affairs committee at 10:00 in the morning. on wednesday, she will appear before the senate foreign relations committee. and before the senate appropriations committee at 2:00 p.m. and on thursday, she will appear before the house appropriations subcommittee at 3:00 p.m. at this point, we probably will be gaveling for these three days -- gaggling for these three days and not doing televised briefings.
she is traveling to london, cobble -- kabul. he will attend the international contact group meeting and meet with key partners and allies and continue ongoing consultations. and assistant secretary for european and eurasian affairs be used for travel to bulgaria, greece, and slovakia. >> good. >> that is it. >> on libya, good to be a little more specific about these teams that are going to egypt and tunisia and what exactly they're going to be doing, who they are trying to help, and what exactly is the outreach to the opposition that she mentioned before leaving on sunday in mentioned again today?
are these contacts with the renegade or defecting military people who are trying to organize themselves? or are they political types? >> let's start with the second part first. among others, the ambassador has been reaching out for the past two days to talk to a range of figures within the opposition, to both dean understanding of what is happening on the ground, and to identify going forward what needs and concerns they might have. in terms of usaid, we are dispatching two expert teams to tunisia and egypt.
i do not have a lot more detail than not. usaid has acquired an additional $10 million of assistance. our bureau of population migration is working closely with iom, the international works it -- international organization for migration, and the u.n. -- those are details we will provide in an e-mail. >> has any thought been given to offering support to the people, the military officers who were planning to organize -- >> i think it is premature to talk about that. our focus is our concern about the humanitarian situation. there are tens of thousands of
refugees who have crossed over into tunisia and egypt. our immediate focus is what do they need? >> [unintelligible] are any of the rebel forces, particularly given one of their ammunition depots was said to have been bombed and destroyed this morning? >> we have a wide range of options. we've not decided anything at this point. we will be monitoring and we will take a proper steps and let me know if we do. >> [unintelligible] >> i actually do not have -- >> [unintelligible] so, when you say he is reaching out trust he is in the building. >> for the most part, those who
evaluated on friday are making their way back to the united states, and the nea bureau is going to put them to work here on libyan in north africa issues as they are available. >> will be the so-called caretaker government which is constituting itself under the leadership of the former libyan minister? >> that is something we will continue to evaluate. the issue of the definition of what constitutes a caretaker government is complex. it is something we are studying as we speak. >> these are all people who love
worked quite happily under gaddafi, in some cases for decades. one might argue they are part of the problem, not the solution >> first and foremost, there is a legitimate question of the legitimacy of the gaddafi government, and there are specific legal criteria we go through, were we to consider de- recognizing libya as a government. there is a flip side of that. what is this opposition about? who are they? were they trying to achieve? we're beginning and outreach to try to understand what is happening on the ground and base future judgments on that. >> are you reaching out to anyone in particular? the former justice minister? >> i am not aware -- the ambassador has been doing this for a couple days. i do not have a catalog of whom
he is in touch with. i would just tell you, we were informed by the government of libya but they have withdrawn the recognition of their ambassador. he no longer represents libya's interest in united states. >> he said he was going to nomography representing the regime itself and instead the libyan people -- he was going to no longer be representing the regime itself and instead the libyan people. >> right. as a legal matter. on friday afternoon, we were unaware of any change in the ambassador's status. this morning, there was a formal change. now they are saying the charge d'affaire at the embassy has
been authorized by the government of libya to represent its interests. we may still have conversations with draws -- >> do you regard the libyan government as still the legitimate government? you have said it is time for gaddafi to go. >> there are separate considerations. as a legal matter, there is a legal aspect of the formal representation of a government, and that has at this point not changed. that said, we believe as the president, the secretary, and others have said that given that he is turning weapons on his own people, the people of libya believe he has forfeited legitimacy. but there is a separate legal matter.
there is a charge d'affaire at the embassy here. as a legal matter, we have the option of dealing with that individual. >> [unintelligible] >> again -- >> [unintelligible] >> i have not checked in this morning to see. >> could you update us on the status -- and i have a follow-up on the minister of justice? just to follow up. he said that he denied he had been in touch with any american on the other hand, hillary clinton said that they were in charge -- they were in touch. >> again, i've not identified
any one we have talked to in the so-called opposition. perhaps now from a defacto standpoint the ambassador is part of the opposition. we are reaching out to contact individuals in libya who are in active opposition to the gaddafi government. that is the process. i am not going to say we've talked to this person, we've talked to that person. the process is underway. >> you can confirm you are in touch with the opposition? >> in not going to put a location on that. yes, in fact, we are reaching out to opposition figures in libya. >> just to follow up, over the past 48 hours, the united states government has declared that the gaddafi regime has no
legitimacy, the united states government has called on gaddafi himself to relinquish power, and you have just told us that you're only at the beginning stages of assessing a potential next government that might be formed or knots -- not, so if colonel gaddafi were good enough to oblige the wishes of the president and secretary of state and relinquish power, you of not sketched out what you would see him -- you have not sketched out what you would see replace him. you do not know who really exists in the opposition camp. you tell us you're just the beginning of assessing that. so, who should replace gaddafi in the u.s. view? >> ultimately, that is a matter for the libyan people. we want to give the libyan people the opportunity did choose their future leader. as for what will replace gaddafi, we cannot say.
as a practical matter, remember on friday when we announced the suspension of our embassy, we still have diplomatic relations with libya. i just want to clarify where we stand. clearly, the president and the secretary has made clear -- gaddafi himself has lost legitimacy to rule. >> p.j., i do not know how you can freely engage in the business of prescribing a leader stepped down and not pay attention to what happens thereafter? would you like to see libya plunge into further chaos? >> no. we hope to do everything we can to prevent further violence and bloodshed. that is why we have taken the aggressive action from a national standpoint and through the united nations, the
resolutions passed on saturday trust -- -- >> what do you see happening next? >> we will reach out to those in the opposition to understand fully what is going on. it is not for the united states or anyone else to oppose a solution on libya, not withstanding one exception. ok. it is for us to provide an opportunity for the people of libya to have a choice. >> the ambassador here in the letter -- that letter was from the foreign ministry? [unintelligible] >> it is from the secretary of
the general people's committee on the foreign liaison. >> even though you said gaddafi has no legitimacy, you still regard that letter as legitimate? >> what we are saying yes, if we have something to -- what we are saying is, if we of something to communicate to the government of libya, there is now a charge d'affaire in washington. let me finish. we have had contact with the foreign minister and other officials. we are doing this last week out of concern for a run at american citizens. we have had -- i am not sure we'll have a high level contacts in tripoli since friday. we are trying to make sure the government of libya understands
our position and we reserve the right to communicate it to them. >> understood. you said that the leadership of the country is not legitimate, and yet -- >> our immediate objective is to do everything we can to prevent further violence and bloodshed. if we believe that communication with the libyan government can avert that, this channel remains open to we will not be a critical eye and saying we believe mr. gaddafi should go. >> but you regard this charge d'affaire as the legitimate representative -- >> the government of libya has informed us -- >> does the former ambassador lose all of his privileges?
>> does a good question. i will take that question. what did he have to leave the -- >> did he have to leave the country? >> again, i will take that question. >> [unintelligible] >> i -- i just keep giving you the address. i do not know what their relationship is with the foreign ministry. >> he said that he does represent the committee, and there are committees throughout the country. [unintelligible] >> again, i am simply stating a fact, that the libyan government has informed us there is now a charge d'affaire at the embassy.
whether we choose to communicate with this individual is a completely separate matter. from friday, when we said there was no change in the status of the ambassador, and simply informing you from the libyan government's standpoint as of this morning there is a change. there is our representational aspect to this. >> so this bag is, you're saying he is the representative of the gaddafi regime. i think the larger question is -- who are you recognizing as the legitimate government of the libyan people? >> i do not mean to cut you off, but there's a question of legality and a question of the legitimacy. as a legal matter, there are still the government's -- >> as a matter of legitimacy,
are you recognizing him as a representative of the libyan people? >> no. it would appear based on the actions of the libyan government that he is formally opposition -- again, and not cataloguing. -- i am not cataloguing. we're reaching out to determine what is going on there, and what they're likely actions are. >> ok. you said you did not recognize the gaddafi regime as illegitimate. are there discussions -- you did not recognize the gaddafi regime as legitimate. are the discussions about recognizing the opposition? >> again, this is ongoing. >> [unintelligible]
>> again, right now, we hope to do everything in our power, working with the international community to prevent further violence and bloodshed as developments fell one, we will evaluate the situation based on events that occur, but we are urgently focused on the matter. we are and evaluating our range of options. there is growing concern about these humanitarian situation in libya. >> have you cornyn with anyone in the administration, or is it -- have you coordinated with any money in the administration, or is it on their own? >> [unintelligible] >> the possibility of the no-fly zone is under active
consideration. that seems like a much more viable option them when you discussed it last week when you suggested this is a difficult thing to do. >> those are not mutually exclusive. >> i did that. -- i get that. but the sense we got last week was this was not something you looking to do because of the interested difficulty. >> we have a range of options available to us. a no-fly zone is one of them. we have a lot of planning going on to develop options for the president and the secretary. but clearly, there are some steps of which have to occur to enable the authorization for that kind of action. >> such as? >> if you look in the past, when we have had those kinds of
activities, you need international authorization to do it. you need to have rules of engagement on what happens when aircraft entered the airspace of another country. these are things -- the gulf war is one example -- where there was no international authorization. there was significant international cooperation. and there were clear rules of engagement that were revised of the time. i interesting, you cannot snap your fingers. -- i am just saying, you cannot snap your fingers. >> is there a security council resolution specifically? >> i am just saying reject -- we
are looking at a range of options that can be done as the international community. obviously, this is one of the options. >> when you state international authorization, do you mean a security council resolution? >> that is an option, it is not the only -- >> is a security council resolution necessary for no-fly zone, but not the invasion of a country? >> again, as secretary said, the no-fly zone is something that is under active consideration. obviously, we are talking to our allies about that. how would you do it? obviously, nato would be one logical organization that could undertake this.
that is exactly what the secretary went to geneva, to review the current situation with allies and partners, to evaluate the options available to us. there is planning being done so that as the decision -- as the situation develops in libya, we have options available to the president and others should it become necessary. >> [unintelligible] >> again, i am not -- i cannot give you the kind of -- the label of the land. with options available. decisions have yet to be made. >> there was an address to gaddafi supporters that said more weapons are on the wide.
how many more weapons? >> we do not know what is going to happen the day after tomorrow. we do not know yet. >> on the no-fly zone, he said one option to authorize it would be tight security council resolution. water the other options -- what are the other options from your point of view? >> if you look back in history, as i recall, the air campaign against the former yugoslavia was a nader-authorized mission. as a statement of historical fact. -- was a nato-authorized mission. you do have different ways of approaching this. >> two things. >> i'm just giving you an example. >> sorry, i already treated
that -- tweeted that. [laughter] >> the chinese embassy. >> you know how to hurt a guy. >> has there been any discernible change in the picture and in terms of how much of tripoli the u.s. believes gaddafi is in control of? >> mr. gaddafi does not have control of his entire country. that is about all i can say. >> you're not ready to make any statement about tripoli? >> if he has once were meter less today than he had yesterday, i cannot say. >> this united states government believe the libyan people are ready for democracy? " the libyan people are
entitled to democracy. >> de believe they are ready? >> like we're doing in tunisia, like we're doing in egypt, to the extent that the people begin the transition to democracy, we are prepared to work as a partner and to help them with the kinds of technical aspects, so opening up a system too broad political participation, having free, fair, and legitimate alexian's, these are not -- particularly for a country that has been ruled by a dictator for the past 20 years, the deal will require support from the international community to transition to a functioning democracy. we're fully prepared to support that effort. the libyan people are entitled to democracy. we will give them help that they
need it. >> at least you were not willing to call the dictator of the last resort. >> [unintelligible] >> the un security council resolution passed on saturday was clear. there is an arms embargo. it is prohibited to provide arms. it is also prohibited to supply mercenaries. it also authorizes states to use examined suspicious cargo. this includes countries like zimbabwe. we honestly insist that country's respect and he their obligations. -- heed their obligations.
>> on the question about are you thinking of forming the opposition, you said -- are you actively considering forming the opposition? >> we have a range of options available to us. we have not excluded any options as we continue to focus on what is happening, and we will make appropriate judgments based on ongoing events. >> what about the opposition. -- what about the opposition? >> i am not saying this is a position we will or will not take. we have the options and we will make judgments based on trust -- >> [unintelligible] >> did you say you were urgently
focused on armenia opposition? >> i did not. on humanitarian aid. >> our focus right now is on the humanitarian situation. we are trying to find ways to stop the violence and to stop bloodshed. we will do what ever we think is prudent and opprobrious -- appropriate. >> when you talk about the elections in egypt -- >> colonel gaddafi gave an interview this afternoon in which he remained defiant. he says he is going to stay in power, that the people are behind him. i was curious to your reaction to that. >> he should get out of his tent. and see what is really happening in his country. >> so, at least one human rights
group argues a timetable should be laid out for the elections in egypt, that october is simply too soon and is likely to perpetuate military-dominated rule there. do you think there is a veneer of the democratic process? >> we have reprogrammed $150 million in bilateral assistance to support the egyptian transition an economic recovery. this transition is really at the beginning. there are a number of questions that remain unanswered. what is being done on constitutional reforms. there is work being done to help opposition parties organize themselves.
there's a lot of work that needs to be done to ensure free, fair, and credible elections, alternately -- and ultimately is for egypt to decide how this will unfold and whether it needs the aspirations of the egyptian people. they clearly want to work toward a genuine democracy, and we will be a friend and partner and felt as best we can. >> specifically on the economics, i understand there is money from democratic groups and but he said specifically the economic recovery, -- what steps are you prepared to take on the economic side? >> bill burns just returned an hour or so ago from his trip to tunisia and egypt.
there is no question that on the economic side, tourism and as one of the pillars of the egyptian economy. it has been hit hard. their stock market has yet to reopen. there has been significant capital flight from egypt. and on the other side, the reform said, clearly you do have an economy that is dominated by the egyptian military. perhaps 40% or more of the economy is controlled by the military. as we look at what kinds of economic reforms can be done, this is work we are supportive of having come in international financial institutions finding ways to help egypt. we will be supportive of that. clearly, we will be working and in the short term. in the long term, there are
economic needs egypt will need as it makes this transition period as the secretary said -- this makes this transition. as the secretary said, we will need to move these countries in the fundamental direction. >> there is a difference though between economic recovery and economic reform, isn't there? >> there is both. >> to you have any intention of helping egypt with the economic recovery? >> i believe the foreign minister and others have been very clear and vocal, saying egypt has immediate financial needs. that is part of what the $150 million will try to accomplish. beyond that, there are broader economic means that each task. the secretary need around of
calls two weeks ago, trying to encourage and rallied the international community to help egypt economically. you are quite right. there is the recovery aspect. in egypt has -- and egypt has felt the significantly over the past 30 years. there is also the long-term aspect. >> [unintelligible] he also said he felt betrayed by the united states. >> the the trail is between mr. gaddafi and his people. he has betrayed his people. >> [all talking at once] can you have a free and fair election? does the u.s. government think, or not? >> can it be done?
to do. a lot of work >> thank you. >> [unintelligible] >> we strongly condemn the iranian government's organized intimidation campaign and arrest of political activists, student leaders, journalists, and bloggers. it clarified that they are not really addressed, but there really in some kind of attention. you have people who are standing up for more responsible governments, in view of governments that are engaging these protesters and moving towards reform. and then you have iran, trying its best to sign this is oppositional figures -- to silence its oppositional figures
and news police tactics to prevent people from standing up and demanding more of their government. >> [unintelligible] >> the last statement from iran said they were under some form of house arrest or detention. >> [unintelligible] are you in touch with the government? >> we are quite aware their demonstrations in oman. we have been in touch with the government withoman. -- oman. we encourage them to move toward greater economic opportunity in inclusion of people in the political process. you know, we have been in touch with the government. and i have encourage restraint
in to resolve differences through dialogue. we have a report of a small number of people killed. you know, we express our regret to the families of those who have been killed. this is something that we continue to watch and engage oman, among other countries, to engage in dialogue. >> secretary clinton met with the russian foreign minister today. what was the topic of conversation? >> i have not -- i would expect the most significant issue -- >> the hunt -- the 127 commission demanded strong reforms. especially in light of plans for the administrative -- for the
march 11 and 20th. >> again, and go back to the secretary. she encouraged governments to engage their people. in a peaceful dialogue. that includes saudi arabia. king abdallah has been a reformer, and we have recognized the steps he has taken over the years during his reign, and we continue to encourage him to advance the pace of reform. >> is he maintaining a proper pace? >> he just got back from a lengthy trip, but we certainly continue to encourage saudi arabia along with other countries in the region to engage their people to promote
political, economic, and social reform. >> [unintelligible] >> definitely. [laughter] >> we are leaving the last few minutes of this, would you can see at c-span.org to go live to the house. tomorrow the members will consider a republican plan. that is for two weeks. . we're waiting for members to come in. the following communication. >> the honorable, the speaker,
house of representatives, sir, i write to inform you that i have notified california governor jerry brown of my resignation of the house effective today to assume the responsibilities of president, director, and chief executive officer of the bulson woodrow center for international scholars. the privilege of representing the people of california's 36th congressional district for 17 years has been an honor without equal. i look forward to working with you to ensure an orderly transition for my successor. signed sincerely, jane harman, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: under clause 5-d of rule 20, the chair announces to the house in light of the resignation of the gentlewoman from california, ms. harman, the whole number of
at any time on wednesday, march 9, 2011, for the speaker to declare a recess subject to the call of the chair for the purpose of receiving in joint meeting the honorable julia ga lard, prime minister of australia -- gallard, prime minister of australia. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house will be in order. members, please take their conversations from the floor. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests.
the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. hanna of new york for today and the balance of the week, mr. jones of north carolina for today and mr. young of florida for today and march 1 . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. spoit -- spoipt chair will entertain requests for one -- the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? without objection.
mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise to recognize a man who has served the youth of america in the professional service of the boy scouts of america. ronald brown currently serves at the area six director of the northeast region boy scouts of america. ron retires on april 1 after an astounding 48 years of service. ron's b.s.a. career started in 1963 as a district executive in birmingham, alabama. he has served as a field director, camping dreckeder, director of support services, dreckeder of field services, scout executive and area director. his service has led him from alabama to posts in texas, illinois, new jersey, pennsylvania and even germany. ron received his bachelor of arts degree in mathematics in birmingham, alabama. he has been a frequent staff member of camp schools and numerous other b.s.a. training events. ron brown has served the youth of this nation through the boy scouts of america with great distinction.
i wish ron and his wife all the best in retirement. well done, scouter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? without objection. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker, and members of the house. i rise today very disappointed with the governor of the state of florida, rick scott. last week the governor told the transportation secretary lahood that the state of florida could do without the $2.5 billion in federal highway funds for rail. this money posed no risk to the people of florida and would create over 60,000 jobs for floridians. unfortunately governor seemed to
be much more interested in politics than creating jobs or improving the transportation system for the great people of florida. turning down high speed rail funds would do nothing to bring down florida's 12% unemployment and in some areas 15%. indeed, the high speed rail plan for florida serves as a true example of a successful public-private partnership and the d.o.t. statistics show that for every $1 billion spent in rail, it generates $42,000 -- 42,000 permanent jobs. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise to congratulate minnesota's 2011 2-a girls state champions in
their first ever tournament appearance, the skippers skated to victory with an impressive 3-2 victory win over the hornets. after nearly three periods of nail-biting action, amy peterson scored her second goal of the game, solidifying their place in minnesota hockey history. mr. paulsen: under the direction of head coach eric johnson, the skippers ended their season with a remarkable 29 wins, one loss and one tie. the message on the team's t-shirts says it best. all out, all game, all season, all it takes, all you've got. the girl's hockey team gave it their all all season. their talent, dedication and passion makes the team champions. congratulations, skippers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is
recognized. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. today is the last day of black history month. a month when we reflect back on african-americans who have contributed so much to our country and our world. one man whose life encapsulates the african-american struggle was thurgood marshall. and george stevens produced a play called "thurgood" at the kennedy center. the play has been put to film on hbo. i think it's still available on hbo, at least on demand. it's a story of a man who was committed to justice, through the naacp he argued brown vs. board of education. most significant civil rights, maybe the most significant supreme court case of all time. he became the first african-american supreme court justice and served honorably on that court. . he was a man who never forgot where he came from and his responsibility and duty to see he carried on justice and the fight he carried with him as an
attorney on the court. and to see the social justice in america became the country that it was promised and the constitution and the declaration of independence but has not become except through supreme court ruling. thank god for thurgood marshall and i encourage everyone to watch the production on hbo and learn about this great man's life. thank you, mr. speaker and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> we have come to the end of a long chapter in american history. the lone u.s. survivor of world war i frank buckles died at the incredible age of 110. at 16, frank buckles lied about his age so he could join the army in 1917 and go over there to fight for the cause of america. he drove an ambulance in world war i in europe and during world war ii buckles was captured by the japanese and
philippines and held as a prison of war for three years. mr. poe: until recently buckles continued to drive his tractor on his farm in west virginia. it was buckles' passion to have a noirl built on the capital mall to honor all the doughboys. he we have memorials for all the other wars of the last century but not one for world war ii. i met corporal buckles when we introduced this legislation named in his honor. it's time we build such a memorial and time we also allow frank buckles to lie in state in the capitol rotunda. history must remember this last patriot of world war i and the four million other americans that served and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: just last week in
houston, texas, in a private home called jackie's daycare, seven babies under 3 years old were subjected to a horrific inferno, a fire. as the caretaker or the owner of this childcare facility, as the facts unfold we believe federal funding was involved, first there was a representation that she was in the home and had fainted, but over the last 72 hours it was determined she had gone to the grocery store. four babies are dead, two are in a burn unit and one is fighting for his life in another facility. i am standing here today, my voice can be heard to say how many people need daycare and have to subject themselves to these kinds of homes? she was 22, maybe she cared for the children but right now she has fled the country. ms. jackson lee: i am asking her to return.
i am asking her family members to return so that she can receive justice so these families can heal. this is not the way to address responsibility. four families are burying babies who would have had wonderful futures who simply attempted to work and have a place safe and secure for them to be. now they are dead. ms. patah, you're 22 years old. come back in this country and get in line for the justice you deserve. we are coming after you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from minnesota, why does he seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: very well. without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. ellison: we're going in congress having been in session many days now. we've actually had seven weeks where we've actually been in washington working in another several weeks where we've been at home in our districts
working and we haven't seen one single solitary republican jobs bill yet. my question is, you know, when are they going to get to the business of the people elected them for? the republicans ran on a where are the jobs agenda? i remember it ringing in my ears so many weeks ago and here we are 10 weeks in and they haven't done anything. ms. speaker, i was in my district last week talking to people about jobs, talking about unemployment. i was in the work force center, i was at job sites talking to people and i'm telling you, people with jobs are nervous and afraid they might lose them and people without them are losing hope. they're losing houses. they're losing their lives, really. and i just implore the majority caucus, mr. speaker, to get on the question of jobs and stop this republican no job agenda. it's time to bring some job bills to the floor to heed the call of the american people. jobs now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? >> to ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. wassermann shultz: i rise to recognize the gentlelady's strong leadership. since 1999 ms. armstrong served as mayor of plantations, promoting small businesses and revitalizing parks and neighborhoods and enriching the local community. as the first female council member in plantation, a position she held 16 years, ray carol armstrong was known for supporting recreation groups. her special ability to work with a broad array of interests allowed mayor armstrong to shepherd the city in the new millennium while maintaining the close-knit appeal. her building leadership
benefited not only the residents of plantation but the entire south florida community. in that spirit, all of south florida thanks her for her many years of service and we wish her great success in her future endeavor, thank you, rae carol. and thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. are there any further requests for one-minute speeches? further requests? under the speaker's announced policy of january 7, 2003 -- under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentlelady from the virgin islands, ms. christensen, is recognized as the designee of the minority leader. mrs. christensen: it's an honor to recognize black history month and some of the people who have written that history through their life's contributions. but also to talk about how the cuts the republicans are proposing to everything except taxes for the wealthy threatens to take us back decades, if not
centuries to a place where america was not in her finest hour, a time when the poor, the rural, and people of color were denied equal opportunities to education, health care, jobs with decent wages and protections and the possibility of homeownership. we cannot and must not go back there. i'd like to invite to start this hour with us, a leader in his district in south carolina, a leader of had his state of this congress and of this country, the assistant minority leader, congressman james clyburn. mr. clyburn: i thank the gentlelady for yielding me this time and i want to thank her for organizing this special order in honor of black history month. i want to take a few minutes to talk about the future. last december when faced with
the prospect that tax rates for the richest 2% of americans would rise to where they were in the 1990's, when we balanced the budget and enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, republicans decided that extending these unnecessary and unaffordable tax cuts was their number one priority. as you all remember, they gave much--- held much needed relief to the middle class hostage. that relief to the middle class was held hostage. and they got their tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. according to the joint committee on taxation, this tax is adding $39 billion to the deficit this year and will add even more next year. speaker boehner said our national debt is a moral issue,
and i agree with him. we need to act to curb our exploding deficit and debt. but republicans and democrats have different approaches to the problem. the republicans' approach is the irresponsible continuing resolution that was passed by this house 10 days ago. republicans would cut $600 million from the cops program and $256 million from the state and local enforcement assistance program which will make our streets less safe. republicans would cut $75 million from the legal services corporation which would deny legal services to the victims of domestic violence. republicans would cut $53 million from the food safety and inspection service which is
threatened public health. republicans would completely eliminate family planning which would result in more unplanned pregnancies and more abortions. adding insult to injury, republicans would cut $758 million from women, infants, and children, which would deny these mothers and children the nutrition they need to begin life on the right track. republicans would cut pell grants by 15%, which would deny young people the opportunity to get a college education. i could go on. but i think you get my point. the cuts in the republican's continuing resolution are shortsighted, counterproductive, and the
wrong way to cut the deficit. and the one community, or the communities that will suffer the most, are the minority communities in this country and that includes the black communities and black students , black mothers, black infants as well. m, ud zandy, the former economic advisor to the mccain campaign said that these cuds cuts will destroy 700,000 jobs and stall our economic recovery which would lesson future revenues and further exacerbate the debt problem. and a goldman sachs economist warned the republican plan could reduce our nation's economic growth by 1.5% to 2% in the second and third
quarters of this year. maybe i should amend my previous statement, the cuts in the republicans' c.r. are shortsighted, counterproductive, and may even not cut the deficit. we need a smarter approach. we need an approach of shared sacrifice, not sacrifice by the most vulnerable. we do need to cut the deficit. but there are different ways to cut the deficit. and i believe the republicans have chosen the wrong way. democrats offer a better approach. we cut the deficit by at least $61 billion in such a manner that helps, doesn't hurt, struggling americans. our economy or our shared future. first, as i mentioned before,
we need to get rid of once and for all the tax cuts for the richest 2% of americans. it is too late to save the $39 billion we wasted this year, but we could save more next year. next, i think we need to get rid of special tax preferences for oil and gas companies. many of which were instituted by republicans the last time they were in the majority. this would save $44 billion over the next 10 years. . there is good reason to keep -- there is no good reason to keep these subsidies in place. the oil companies have said themselves that they don't need them. the former c.e.o. of shell oil said on february 11, in the midst of sustained high oil
prices, it was not an issue for large companies of needing the subsidies to entice us to looking into and producing more oil. next, secretary gates has called for $78 billion in defense couldn'ts over the next five years -- cuts over the next five years saying that these funds can be cut without putting national security at risk. we should listen to him. and i want to thank my friend from the virgin islands for allowing me to speak here this evening. i do believe that if we focus on these continuing resolutions that we have been debating, we can have a much better future than the history has been for african-americans in this country and i yield back the balance of my time.
>> thank you, mr. clyburn, and thank you for raising what was said today. i just want to quote something that he said. mark zandi is a chief economist at moody's anly thic said today, and i'm quoting, significant government spending restraint is vital. but given the still halting economic recovery, it would be counterproductive for that restraint to begin until the economy is creating enough jobs to bring down the very high unemployment rate. mrs. christensen: end of quote. at this point i'd like to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the statement of congresswoman eddie bernice johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's request will be covered by general leave. mrs. christensen: thank you. and it's my privilege to yield to the immediate past president of the congressional black caucus, who led us with great distinction, congresswoman barbara lee of california. ms. lee: thank you very much. let me thank the gentlelady for
yielding. but also thank you and your staff for coordinating not only this special order but each special order, each and every monday night or night when is we're in session. and especially tonight as we close out black history month. this is such an important time for this discussion. but also i want to thank you, congresswoman christensen, for your visionary and bold leadership, as you continue to make history. truly, you've done remarkable work here in this body. it's really especially poignant that this year during black history month the republican leadership has proposed a budget for fiscal year 2011 that will fall most heavily on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society, african-americans, latinos and poor, those who have been shut out of the american dream. at a time when we should be remembering and uplifting the accomplishments and contributions of african-americans to the history, culture, civil rights and economy of america, we are
literally during this month debating steps that will severely undercut and undermine that legacy. we can, mr. speaker, cut nearly -- excuse me, can we, mr. speaker, cut nearly $750 million from the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children? that's the wic -- w.i.c., program -- program, while we have a record unemployment rate throughout our country, but especially among african-americans? we cannot do. that the unemployment rate among african-americans is 15%. many african-american women rely on w.i.c. while they seek jobs, which we're trying to hopefully create. how can we cut $317 million in funding for vital family planning health services, provided through a network of clinics throughout the country that serves nearly one in five women? these programs are vital, not just in saving lives, through cancer screening, h.i.v. and s.t.d. testing, but for
providing a link for the many poor and low number women -- low income women in terms of their link to the public health system. many of these women are african-american women. and how can we cut nearly $1.1 billion from the head start program, which will effectively knock out 200,000 children from participating in this critical early education program which helps provide health, nutritional and support services to prepare children for school? many african-americans who were part of the head start program are now making history in our country, because of this great early childhood education program. the other side has made it clear that no matter who is impacted by these cuts, women, infants, children, the working poor, people of color, african-americans, their response consists of only three words, so be it. so be it if 800,000 jobs are lost. so be it if people are put out on the street with no access to homeless assistance grants and
temporary housing. so be it if people don't get enough nutritional support or if kids have to go hungry. so be it. that's not what the civil rights movement was about. we should be working together to build up a nation instead of tear down the very programs and institutions that have contributed to our nation's broken success. we should be working together to reduce inequality, help the unemployed and get our economy moving again and above all we should be working to create jobs. that's what so many prominent african-american leaders have fought for over the years, from those who are well known, the -- well known the world over like dr. martin luther king jr., to people who are sometimes well known just in their own neighborhood. tonight there's one person i want to mention who influenced my life and the direction i took , our late beloved former congresswoman shirley chisholm. in 1968 congresswoman chisholm
was the first african-american woman elected to congress and she was a founding member of the congressional black caucus. we celebrate this year, 40 years of this great institution in our congress, the conscience of the congress. this year, actually it's the 42nd anniversary of the election of congress woman chisholm who represented her brooklyn-based congressional district with grace and distinction for 14 years, earning a reputation as one of the house's most eloquent orators and greatest champions of human rights, social and economic justice. in 1972 congresswoman chisholm again made history when she became the first african-american to run for the presidential nomination of a major party. that campaign captured the imagination of millions and inspired countless individuals to engage in the political process for the first time. and i know for a fact that congresswoman chisholm paved the way for our great president obama to be able to win the presidency two years ago.
congresswoman chisholm was a catalyst for change, giving voice to the overlooked and under-represented members of our society, people of color, women and children. the african-american community. and she fought for the unemployed. she fought for those who wanted to work, for those who were seeking the american dream. and i can't help but wonder what she would think right now if she knew this was taking place? i'm sure she does know this is taking place and i can feel her telling us that we have to fight the good fight bazz her legacy is so important -- because her legacy is so important within the context of creating jobs. later this weekley be introducing two pieces of legislation to honor the work of congresswoman chisholm. the first would recognize and celebrate the 40th -- 42 nt anniversary of her election to congress -- 42 nt anniversary of her election and the second would be to issue a stamp honoring her life. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support
these bills. as we work to finalize funding for the 2011 fiscal year, let us remember that budgets are moral documents. and as congresswoman chisholm said when morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses. so we have to stand up for morality. reverends challenged us, they asked us, what would jesus cut? programs to help the poor or wasteful weapons systems at the pentagon? they asked, ending the war in afghanistan or programs to feed and shelter the poor? this weekend once again i will be participating in the faith and politics civil rights pilgrimage. we're going to selma, montgomery, and birmingham, alabama, the epicenter of the civil rights movement. we will be led by our hero, a warrior, a great civil rights leader, our colleague, congressman john lewis, who sacrificed so much for civil and human rights and economic
justice. i participated in this pilgrimage many times and i always feel a sense of gratitude to congressman lewis and to rosa parks and to dr. king, to cheryly whiss am, to all of those who fought -- chisholm, to all of those who fought so hard for equality and jobs and freedom. this year, however, i feel that many of these games, mind you, many of these games -- gains that awful our great civil rights leaders fought for are about to be eroded due to the increasing income inequality and the reckless budget cuts which will gut so many of our country's response to the civil rights movement. so as republicans fight so hard to enact budget cuts that will destroy nearly 800,000 jobs, be assured that in honoring the legacy of our great black leaders, we will fight back. thank you. mrs. christensen: thank you very
much, congresswoman lee, for your leadership and for joining us this evening. i'd like now to just, before i recognize the next member, to ask unanimous consent that all members might have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add extraneous material to the subject under discussion this evening. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mrs. christensen: thank you. and now it's my honor to yield to the gentleman from texas, a person who has long been a fighter for equality, fairness and justice, not only in his own state but for this country, the honorable al green of texas. mr. green: thank you very much to the honorable donna christensen. i appreciate greatly your organizing this opportunity for us to speak this evening on something that is exceedingly important to this country. and that is the history of
african-americans in america. african-americans are no different than any other americans. we're all the same. there's only one race. the human race. and to a certain extent i always have some degree of consternation whenever we have a black history celebration or occasion such as this. and i have this degree of consternation because i really think we should just have one history and it really should be american history. but we have these occasions because some of the accomplishments of some americans have not been properly acknowledged and as a result we want to make sure that american history includes the history of
all americans. so today we talk about the history of african-americans, the history of africans in the americas. in the united states of america, if you will. and there are many names to come to mind, we always mention thurgood marshall, we always mention rosa parks, we always mention the great heroes and her wins who have been on -- heroines who sbr have been on the forefront of making america great. today i'd like to just mention nameless faces, persons who have never made headlines, work full time, take care of the family, pay taxes, never complained by way of a protest, a march. they have done their duty as
citizens in this country. and i want them to know that there are those of us who pay attention to the fact that they too have made america great. they are nameless faces in the crowd, but they have made a great statement by being honorable, hardworking, law-abiding citizens. and to these who continue to do their duty as citizens, we thank you for what you have done. we want you to know that we who have been honored to serve in the congress of the united states of america will not allow the roll back of the clock on many of the programs that are of benefit to all americans and this will include, of course,
african-americans. we will fight to protect the department of education. it means something to have a department of education in this country. especially to persons who at one time were lawfully denied the right to get an education. we will fight to protect laws that fight discrimination, lilly ledbetter vs. goodyear involved an anglo lady, but that case, that case had implications far beyond any given ethnic group. and we will fight to make sure all persons are treated equally on jobs and this will include african-americans. so that those of who you work in the trenches, who never or rarely if ever complain, i want you to know that there are people in this congress who are working every day to make sure
that your status as an american is always protected and will always be honored. you, too, deserve the rich and noble history associated with you that we associate with rosa parks, that we associate with dr. king, that we associate with thurgood marshall. you are as much a part of this history as they are. we honor you and we love you. god bless you and god bless all americans, god bless the united states of america. i yield back. . mrs. christensen: thank you, congressman green. at this time i'd like to yield to one of the newer members and am so cleesed he's joined not only the congressional black congress, but he represents new orleans and brings a welcomed insight and energy to the c.d.c. and the congress, congressman richmond of new
orleans. cedric richmond. mr. richmond: i'd like to thanked distinguished gentlelady from the virgin islands who i have the pleasure of serving with and who has done a remarkable job in planning our hour today to not only celebrate and reflect but also chart a path for this future that include everyone. as we come to a close of black history month, it's appropriate i remind our leader championshipened -- our cleed leadership and others -- our leadership and others that this is the land for all americans. i would like to remind our leadership we don't honor dr. king because of his dream, we honor him because of his hard work and dedication in pursuing his dream. his last call was for economic justice. here we are in 2011 with a 9.6%
unemployment rate in this country. however, in the african-american community that unemployment rate is 15.8%. we must ask why such a huge gap and what are we going to do to close that gap and bring unemployment down for everyone? at this time, and at this moment, we need king-like determination. we need king-like courage. and we need a king-like vision to create jobs in this country, not more campaign rhetoric. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, show me the jobs. show the american people the jobs. the congressional resolution that the republicans offer will not lower the unemployment rate in this country, it will do quite the opposite. the continuing resolution will
eliminate 700,000 jobs. if their plan passes, then 700,000 more americans will face financial uncertainty. that 700,000 more families who will depend on unemployment benefits to make ends meet, that 700,000 more families who return to safety net programs to make it through the tough times. that 700,000 more families who might now face bankruptcy . those 700,000 americans are demanding that we show them the jobs. i am here and willing to do that. i now invite my republican colleagues to join my colleagues on my side of the aisle to do just what the american people are asking. the house speaker recently stated the deficit is a moral threat to the nation. and i agree. but i would also add that abandoning the 24 million americans who are unemployment
or underemployed is a moral crime. cutting 700,000 jobs in one fatal swoop is a moral crime. balancing the budget on the backs of working folks is a moral crime. mr. speaker, this republican continuing resolution is not only a pass to family bankruptcies but is in itself an irresponsible plan that is morally bankrupt. i yield back. ms. christensen: thank you, congressman richmond for your contribution to this black history month special order and for pointing out the injustice in h.r. 1. and the proposed stopgap measure for the next two weeks. at this time i'd like to yield to the gentlewoman from texas, a person much admired by everyone across this country who represent her district, this congress, and this country with outstanding distinction,
congresswoman sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentlelady from the virgin islands and will join the ago a laids and my -- accolades and my fellow colleagues to express my appreciation for her leadership and as well to thank her for leading this one hour on the celebration of african-american history month. thank you very much, mr. speaker. and i stand to acknowledge that all of us who have this wonderful heritage and those who do not, who count african-americans as an intrigual part of the fabric of american culture and society to really commemorate the history of all people and certainly in this instance of african-americans, the entire year. because we are a very relevant and elaborate, if you will, part of american history.
i stand in the united states capital which was built by slaves. today congresswoman, i was in austin, texas, this morning at the texas black legislative caucus where some 2,000 people gathered under the leadership of the texas black legislature, chaired by representative sylvester turner and some members, total members of the texas black legislative caucus and combined of the house and the senate, and they were there to express their commitment to the values of this country and to lobby the state legislators to do the right thing as relates to education. and i heard a member stand up and say the texas capital was with the built by slaves. representative thompson said that. so we are clearly -- our history goes everywhere. as i spoke, i mentioned texans like jack johnson, the first
african-american, heavyweight champion, dori miller who won the naval cross in world war ii, a texan. betsy coleman, the first african-american to receive a pilot's license, mr. switt who was the reason for the establishment of texas southern university when african-americans, negros could not go to the university of texas. so we have a place in this country, a place in this society and what we do as we work in the united states congress, we have become part of the fabric of this nation, and we fight for all people. and so as we begin this budget fight, it is part of our history that causes us to be part of the challenge to make the right decisions on the continuing resolution and to ask our republicans to read what mark zandi has said, the economic advisor to john mccain, not to president obama, but to john mccain first who said, clearly, that we would
lose 700,000 jobs if we move in the direction that they want to move in. why do you have to have your way or the highway? why can't you read the data that says the fiscal bipartisan commission said there is no value that cutting funding in 2011 that we must work together to cut the funding and work together on how it should be cut in 2012 and 2013. that you actually will lose jobs and that you will stop the moving of the economy, the rebirth of the economy in its tracks. it doesn't make sense to simply be driven and shackled to campaign promises. it doesn't make sense to be able to speak campaign speeches and yet not understand the distinction of governing when you come into this body, yes, we have districts and the senators have states, but we must realize that we come to
govern for all of the people, and so if you stop us in our tracks, you deny the richness of diversity of people who are in need in this country. you deny the descendants of slaves, you deny the families of soldiers who are on food stamps and who are in iraq and afghanistan the opportunity to be able to survive. you take some $758 million from w.i.c., women and infant and children and deny dollars going to economic development for minority businesses and cut cops by $600 million or so. you take away from $-- away some $2 billion from a program that would generate economic opportunity. you cut the legal services, and you obviously are not concerned about how we balance it. this is in the middle of the budget year of 2011. and so this is not befitting of the final day of afternoon can
american history, a generation of people who came through -- of african-american history, a generation of people who came through the civil rights movement and now they have traveled a journey, being american, fighting in wars, and not yet 150 years from slavery and here we are fighting to equalize opportunities for all americans, because if you cut education, if you cut women, infant and children, if you cut small business opportunities, minority and women-owned businesses, you're cutting into the future of this country. we know this is a lopsided process. 16% to 18% of the budget and you're trying to get a way to bring down $1 trillion plus deficit, if you will, $1 trillion plus deficit. and so my plea in this process as we go forward is to remember some of our heroes, barbara jordan was a member of this body, her birthday was celebrated february 25, her
75th year. we're celebrating in houston. and she reminded us that the people drive the constitution but that those of us of african-american heritage were not in fact citizens as this constitution was written, nor did women have an opportunity to vote during that time. but now we come asking that we do work together and that we be reminded of her words, we the people. and we the people includes all people. is not the democratic party, the republican party, the tea party, it's all the people doing what is best for all of the people. that's the message of african-american history, striving to make america better. as we cite these great icons who went against the odds and i pay tribute in closing to ruth carol who passed just a few days ago, a friend of my dear friend dr. natalie carol daley
and warren daley. and as i read her obituary she will be funeralized tomorrow, close to 93 years old, born in 1918, born to two parents who died one year and two years after her death, raised by grandparents, blinded at the very early age by an ophthalmologist who i guess accidentally put acid in her eyes. then she had to go to the deaf, dumb and blind school. she graduated magna cum laude -- it might have been suma, if i'm crawling correctly but went on to become a premiere educator, went to the university of denver in colorado, worked at the university of texas, places that were segregated, got her graduate degree and became involved in library science, cataloged large libraries, someone who overcame obstacles
it. congresswoman, my tribute tonight are for those who daily overcome obstacles because they believe in the values of this country and they believe that through any mountain or any values, martin luther king told us about the promised land, that we could overcome. i'm asking my colleagues as we begin to debate this c.r., they'll look at us as outsiders, people who are always talking something that you might not understand or comprehend. look at us as americans who have a stake in this country whose history is imbedded in this country. let us work together. don't lop side a cut that hurts one population versus another. remember, 150 years minimally out of slavery, african-americans, new immigrants who are working every day, who are in the united states military. so let me just thank the gentlelady for yielding and thank you for allowing me to speak to the warriors who overcame adversity, contributed to this society, and my commitment to them is that
we'll fight for fairness and justice in this house and a way to reduce the deficit but fight for those who cannot speak for themselves. i salute african-american history month. i yield back. mrs. christensen: thank you, and i'm sure they're inspired by the eloquence of your tribute to them. and before i speak briefly on the proposed two-week c.r., i want to tell my colleagues and my fellow americans about the first black millionaire. it's my contribution to the black history month special order this evening. his name was william alexander litensdorf and born in my home island of st. croix which was part of the danish west indyies, the bicentennial of his biwa