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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 28, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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you certainly are seeing the blow, but they are adding production fast enough that even were there to be a significant correction, you know, so sort of cold fusion being invented and price even a correction in oil markets barrel, which i think most of us think is the low end of where it will end up in the modern economy thomas iraq is adding 400,000 barrels a day production per year. azerbaijan'sng worth of production in three years, so they can out run any cuts, which i think might be countered. there is no plausible scenario where you can go to the government of iraq and have to diversify your economy. they really do not. they really should. it would be healthy for all , and expandings
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of the tourism center is good but not sufficient. >> one of those issues that we often do not -- there is a disconnect between the way the united states talks about iran iraqis way -- so many will complain that the reason they cannot get their manufacturing base stronger where they cannot break through new businesses and so forth is because the iranians will continue to dump cheap, substandard goods on iraq. store,into any grocery aside from tabasco sauce you do not see any other american exports there. you see iranian goods, air at&t -- iranian tea. there will be some friction iraq and a ran.e
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often we see this through the lens of resurgence violence, especially over the last couple of years, and certainly there has been active other countries in the region -- saudi arabia and turkey -- who have been pushing the narrative with regard to the reasons al qaeda is making a rise. you cannot ignore syria, and the rivalwar between the militant islamic factions who have been conducting terrorism. i would ask you to give us a sneak peek, if you will, of the center for american progress' conclusions on this with iraq's future. >> i hope not. with the conflict in syria, i hope we can bring it to an end. president obama is giving a speech tomorrow at west point, and as i understand, it is the
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start of a more extensive effort to rethink and talk differently about our counterterrorism ,trategy, including syria, iraq and piecing all of these together is important. people get it that the conflict inside syria is very much linked to what is going on in iraq. it is quite complicated when you think through what is a coherent strategy to tamp down that conflict, because today u.s. policy is rightly backing and trying to increase the capacity of the iraqi government to deal with the terrorist threat. ,t is slow, inefficient foreignt in terms of military sales and how do you help the iraq is developed the capacity that i think was on the ground when the u.s. had a presence there. the ability to target the terrorist threats currently that exist, and how do you do with border security and things like
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this. squeezere trying to a the extremist elements of the opposition, and on the other hand gradually increasing our support to the so-called moderate syrian opposition, at some point all of these need to come together. my fear inside of the u.s. government, inside the u.s. iraqnment -- the portfolio, managing it with syria in integrated way is very difficult. it sounds bureaucratic, but to this day linking these two challenges together into a more cohesive strategy -- it is a critique i have had of the bush foreign policy as well as the obama administration foreign-policy. i think that is one of the big challenges, that makes sense -- quite clearly the terrorist threat is linked between syria and iraq. clearly we do not have a strategy that has put us in the strong driving seat to deal with this.
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nobody has brought it together in a coherent way. reelection, has that made it better or worse? and then we will turn it over to the audience for questions. >> i do not think it has made it better or worse. this is largely outside of iraq's control. i think the iraq he government in 2010, moving into 2011 when troops left, more or less had a handle on the al qaeda problem in iraq. was it going to drop when the united states left? absolutely. working at to did -- how to do targeted terrorist work is rocket science. malikiy, prime minister
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is doing an imitation of what the u.s. army was doing in 2003 and 2004 before it figured it out. it is a very high bar to expect this government to do, but i think in 2010, 2011, they had a handle on the situation. while we can never do counterfactual's, were it not for the conflagration in syria, the problem in iraq was more or less manageable by the security forces they had. the invasion by a number of foreign fighters -- not to say there are not native auxiliaries that are fighting along isis foreignraq, that the fighters gave them a problem that their institutions are not strong enough to handle. to cope there are lots of other issues -- >> there are lots of of the issues that we can discuss, with relations to how the american political cycle and the current debate and the growing isolationism in the united
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the future american policy toward iraq -- what i would like to do is to bring the audience into this. i only demand would be that when you ask a question that you identify yourself and keep the question as brief as possible. does anyone here have a question? yes sir. i am from syria. -- howot hear this panel foreign policy. we cannot take it out of the equation and only talk about domestic issues. >> i will take a first crack at that if i may. states makes a mistake all too often in assuming that, number one,
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shiite communities outside of clones of iranian influence, and nothing could be further from the truth. if anything, iran is more afraid of external shiite communities because they see them as an achilles' heel as a challenge to the iranians' own concept of how their government is organized in how the clergy should be involved. that is number one. number two, this is always a danger to the united states when we interact with the kurds specifically. just because the kurds tend to be pretty western and cosmopolitan, at least as they interact with the united states, it would be a mistake to assume that iranian influence is any less among iraqi kurdistan than it is in the rest of iraq tom a period.
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the iranians have a sophisticated strategy when it comes to all of iraq. that said, they iranians tend to -- the reason they tend to is because they want to impose through a force of arms, which is not necessarily in the hearts and minds of the iraqis. the problem for the iraqi government, as i see it -- and i do not know whether you would disagree with me -- is that it is not a uniquely iraqi strategy. all the states in the region surrounded by big powers come a whether it is saudi arabia, whether it is iran, whether it is the united states, tend to try to play these big powers off each other to carve out independent space. when the united states has a military presence inside iraq, prime minister maliki could tell the americans i cannot do what
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you want because the iranians will object. at the same time they could tell the iranians we cannot do what you want because the americans are here. withdrew, iticans upset that balance of the iranians have much more influence. ask anyone who neighbors iran -- it is like neighboring russia. you learned to resent your neighbor very quickly. they tend to grow to resent the iranian mentality, which tends to be quite condescending, to put it mildly. that said, just because what is in people's hearts and minds don't necessarily matter if you are willing to use fear and other brute force to impose your will. theis still forget president of iran. to imani as the brute
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force. when you have barzani and maliki and iraqher, the kurds is down in baghdad both acknowledged it was not the americans who brought them together, it was the iranians who wanted some sort of soeement meshed out, ultimately anyone who becomes prime minister in iran -- in a iraq -- is going to need to get the iranian field of -- the arabian seal of approval. who is capable of getting that iranian seal of approval? llawi is like a loa probably a nonstarter. at the same time, does the american seal of approval still matter? i would say it still does, although not to the extent that it did. obvious point -- and i have said this before. michael and i disagreed, but i
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was against the war for many reasons in 2003. the biggest one for me was the end of the strategic policy of containment of both iraq and iran. it is a national consequence -- it is a natural consequence of the way we went in, you see a rapid increase of iranian influence. it is natural. it is important to note that this introduced a unique new phase of engagement and introduced a different kind of dynamic inside of iraq. the second point, i fully agree with what michael said. the force of iraqi nationalism is very strong, so for those who i think we often use catchphrases and things like this and say malik he or so and so is just a puppet of iran, i think it is inaccurate because there are all of these checks within the system, and a lot of
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that is the inherent competition between these two countries. the third point, especially in relation to syria, is quite clearly, at least since the malik e-government -- when prime minister maliki was here, any people raise this issue, and it has been raised by the obama or administration many times. the end of, -- by 2012, the region was looking and aweak, and hezbollah number of forces with the won 2013. iran, they not that they have won the whole country, but he would not have been able to do what he could do without the support of people inside of iraq. which leads to the last point, i would say to read i often likened today's middle east less
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of a gain of -- less of a game of risk where you put the armies on the board and the armies crossed borders. i look at it more like jenga . it is very hard, i think -- it is very easy to oversimplify and of -- and say the rise persian influence, they own and iraq, a piece of iraq on a risk board, on a game board. it is a much more sophisticated, fluid environment in the middle east right now. sometimes it is quite deadly, but often right now you see different actors like iran, including iraq, trying to exercise influence in multiple ways. that all leads to a point of how do we end the syrian conflict. we need iraq's support in that.
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counterterrorism piece, but i think there needs to be a much longer, well thought out strategy to figure out how we actually help the region stabilize itself. we need what i think has been missing for years in terms of u.s. foreign policy in the middle east, which is statecraft. the conception of how we not only use our military tools but also diplomacy and how do we guide the efforts of others to end the conflict in syria to reduce the threats of some terrorist in iraq. that is what i think is still missing in this region of the world. talk to people about iranian influence in iraq, do a thought experiment as if iraq did not exist. let's use iraq's syria policy as an example. iran is not there, and the ocean comes up on the other side of iraq.
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note eastern boundary. would iraq be any more excited about an unstable neighbor to its west, the instruction of its theets on that side, humanitarian disaster of refugees coming into its country, the uncertainty of not knowing what government you are going to deal with, not to mention the very real reality of a large jihadist group that is now in dating into your previously unhappy but somewhat minority no sectarian -- s no sectarian minority. have a still going to certain view of the civil war in syria put it at odds with the foreign policy of the united states, simply because of geography and its own interest independent of iran. which is not to say iran does not put pressure on iraq, but their interests are very much aligned. >> if you could make your way to the microphone --
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>> thank you very much. it is so good to see the three of you on the podium. the question i have is about the formation of the government, but before that, if i may, a question of its relevance. i would caution against reading into interference of the ayatollah into the elections. really is the head itself, the grand ayatollah at this time, whoever takes this position. but the others do not matter fact ofxcept for the their scholarly work. influence wise, they do not matter that much.
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the question that i have on the formation -- many people think given the constitutional constraints on the politicians and kicking the can down the road before, and the last time they did it by breaking the constitution essentially. but now we have a court case that says you cannot do that. how can they get that process along without risking the positions being in one basket? thank you for the discussion. have are fortunate now to him in the washington, d.c., area, so i believe you just started with johns hopkins. welcome. i turn the question over.
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>> there are constitutional constraints on government formation, constitutional constraints in iraq not what they are in other countries. it is quite easy to see this moving down the road constitution. it is not that the constitution -- the constitution in iraq is like road signs in mexico -- suggestions, not rules. i look forward to a day when the constitution is more literally -- more literally read. i am not a constitutional literalists, but in this case i would be all for it, but we are not to that point yet where we fully have a rule of law at the highest level. here,ave two lessons over and then -- two questions over here, and then we will go over to you, sir.
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>> i want to ask -- now that british exportation of oil to turkey and there have been several declarations from the state department that the regional government has to dial up with the central governments. transportation has begun. statescan the united have a role in this dialogue? if they only indicated that they have to put the central government of iraq and they do kurdsnt to make with the on this issue, the united states will be excluded in the situation, and at the same time i think the conflict between the kurds and the central government will be bigger. so if the united states
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juxtaposed and makes a better deal for the central government so that it will be more positively built as a future for iraq. kurdsndicating to the that they have to die. what do you think the united states could do in this case? look, i mean, i think the statements are about as far as they are going to go inside the government because i think there the recognition that overall posture, the obama administration would make comes to inter-iraq issues, although we have people engage there with the secretary of state and others deeply engaged -- we are not going to solve these issues for them. i would be surprised if you had
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a much more activist posture. the second thing i would say -- and i do not know this realm as well as doug and others do -- but the role of the private sector, what companies do and actually made -- and actually do not do, will determine what the outcome might be. everybody is testing the limits of what they can get away with in this framework. u.s. policy, i understand why it is they preferred this to be negotiated within the framework of the central government. they want a cohesive iraq. iraq that works cohesively together. i would be surprised if we get so deep into the details of trying to broker some sort of solution to this issue right now. brianargely agree with that i simply do not see the united states getting more involved than we already have.
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in effect, as an analyst rather than an advocate, i would see the united states fall back on .he iraqi central government there are other issues that could mitigate that or change it slightly. one of those issues is one we do not often talk about, a sheer number of former american , the influence of oil, which they have, talking and lobbying among current american officials. that is something that when you see people standing behind barzani at the opening of one facility or another and they are labeled as an ambassador -- i don't think people understand that they are no longer acting in their official capacity, but so be it. another issue that creates the opposite effect is the kurdistan regional government does not have representation in the united states, ever since talabani went home.
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many kurds i talked to suggest baghdad will have a government before the kurdistan regional government does. you have a situation where they do not have enough family members for the ruling parties. they are not fully staffing representation, it means even if the iraqi kurds get frustrated, they are not having their case heard. they have no one to blame but themselves. turkey, of course, the democracy party, has very active representation. you. just wanted to break down everyone to their ethnicity, iraq has a powerful representative here. but he is the ambassador of the -- of iraq in the united states. i hear the frustration. i don't know how the kurds expect to get around this, though.
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aboutated questions -- the united states government's stand on this issue -- do you agree with the administration policy? the official majority is against for the unityrade of iraq. do you agree that this trade will divide iraq if they keep doing that? question, the lobby that you referred actually. is it sustainable, this policy of united states? the united states is against it, but the american government is isng business, and there united leadership coming to houston as well. businessnies are doing
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. is it sustainable in the long run? do we expect any change in the united states policy on this issue, according to the realities on the ground? >> i am going to answer the first question with regard to independent kurdistan. a couple of points. without a doubt, the vast i kurds inf iraq the kurdistan regional government area would like to go independent. that said, it is easier said than done because there is not the full recognition of whether iraqi kurdistan could be viable within itself. a lot of americans have seen this in "the new york times" and "the washington post." they go over, and look at the marvelous development. in all of those skyscrapers and hotels there is a 90% vacancy rate. all the moneyis
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going into construction, it is a bubble. politiciansurdish blaming the central government in iraq, then you have other reachedying the money -- there are always rumors that someone invested it, they did not have liquidity, and so forth. kurds can get so much of its revenue -- curtis stan -- kurdis revenue,o much of its it would be a landlocked country. this is symbolized by the dispute between syria and kurdistan and so forth. it is symbolized in the fact that despite serious having -- are the the fish murder n kurds unified enough for this,
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or are you going to have division upon division? the point of this, very briefly, that while i see the kurdish leaders using the rhetoric of kurdish nationalism to rally people around the flag and themselves, i am not convinced that people like massoud barzani want to go independent, and for all of the kurdish nationalism, remember massoud barzani just 18 years ago invite it saddam hussain and tanks into kurdistan itself because of the kurdish dispute. let me quickly move through all parts of your question. that the oil in the ground belongs to all of iraq and has to be exported to baghdad is long-standing u.s. policy now through at least two administrations. so i do not see that policy
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changing anytime soon. that has been the american consensus reading of the iraqi constitution, as we may have had something to do with. is bringing a very important issue to the forefront. we have two overlapping red lines. as i understand the iraqi kurd position, they believe the resources underneath the krg belong to the iraqi kurds. baghdad believes all of the resources in the ground belongs to all iraqis. there is certainly posturing on both sides, but fundamentally when you push that aside you have two very different beliefs about the way the resources are to be distributed. baghdad honestly believes that the oil in the ground in kirkuk mra'ssra belongs to the as much as a belongs to everyone else. the kurds have a different issue.
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this is being brought to a head by the tankers starting to land wherever, and this will be resolved through international dispute mechanisms. you have the icc case being with paris against turkey, and i suspect that any american firm that touches that oil will be slapped with a lawsuit that is so large that their stock price will have to go through the floor. uglywill be resolved in ways. this is going to be like a very ugly domestic dispute, the one that does not involve domestic violence. i am all about legal mechanisms figuring this out rather than force of arms. >> i do not have much to add, but you will hear president tomorrow outline his overall vision on foreign policy. it does not get into the weeds on dispute resolution, on energy resources in northern iraq. ,here was a time when the u.s.
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our debate was actually fixated on that, on things like that. disputes that should be settled weother countries' politics, hope, in fundamental ways. it should be a wake-up call for the region in a sense that not that you are on your own, but these are issues that the overall region needs to mediate in some sort of way. hopefully peacefully, but anyone looking for a u.s. big brother z come in and say x, y, and must happen -- it has been tried but has not succeeded. >> a question, sir? >> thank you. gerald chandler. they havell me what said in other countries -- iraq, egypt, and so on -- in the political media and social media about this development of democracy in iraq that is not violent but at least is going in the right direction?
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do they write in their social media and so on that this is a trend that we should have? >> quite obviously the answer is no because it is still a violent place. but i think we should not been achievedhas inside iraq. you should be clear where i stand. i was against the war. i think it is the biggest strategic error that we have done as a country, and to this day that is where michael and i disagree. we have had the debate respectfully, and it is important to have it. even as we see more gains, more pluralism taking root despite all of the violence and terrorism inside iraq, it is hard for any country in the middle east to look at any other country at this point and say that is the model. the only one that sometimes comes up a little bit these days is tunisia, because they have had a mediated transition that
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has not been terribly violent. from the not suffered problems and i think structurally they were in a much better position not having the sectarian differences and not having -- they had more institutions and things like this. nobody looks to iraq, but i think it is a broader phenomenon. there was a spell where the turks were saying we were the model for the region. i think what we are seeing in the middle east is people are thinking for themselves and trying to think what is the model that is most appropriate struggle forhe freedom, the struggle for human rights and democracy, which takes place in its own individual context. in the case of iraq -- i am constantly reassessing my positions -- but i still think the war was bad for our sake. when i went to iraq in 2003 in a nongovernment context, you see
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the brutality of what saddam hussein did. i also tell, quite quickly we need to get out of there. i generally believe and subscribe to president obama's overall strategy. but the main thing that is interesting that has not been captured in the press these days whenme a what is going on we see it inside iraq? people showing up to vote is really awe-inspiring. things thatk at the they face today -- the physical security, the lack of it in this country. themselves iraqis sees this moment. the costs to get where we are right now have been very high. >> i will push back gently. in that, for example, when i was in syria after the last iraq he
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election, you still had campaign posters up even in areas inside syria which are traditionally -- in damascus and so forth. syrians were actually talking about how ironic it was that the iraqis could vote and you could have posters up in damascus, but of course no syrians were allowed in this context. when it comes to some of the violence that has occurred, a theof iraqis will embrace conspiracy theory, but there might be some truth to it. that might be one of the reasons why the neighboring states were so intent on disrupting the iraqi experience, be it iran or syria. -- back in the 2007 timeframe, the underground railroad of suicide bombers was coming through syria, and therefore people said reason why iraqders do not want
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democracy to succeed is simply because it would set a negative precedents home. that set this model, because of the tremendous violence and terrorism has not had the domino effect which some american officials hoped it would had. with that, i want to thank the audience if i may. you can follow what brian does bkatulis.r @ you can follow douglas @ douglasollivant. you for theank discussion. i want to thank my panelists. have a good day. [applause]
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>> on the next "washington journal" a look at the role climate change is taking in the 2014 elections. chor.uest is elana s then james brown discusses the obama administration cost plan to train more science and math teachers. later, our spotlight on magazines features paul barrett of "bloomberg businessweek." journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. today, neurosurgeon and author ben carson space at the ub.ional press club to rid
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live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. the problem now is future peace. that is your job in germany. by your conduct and attitude while on guard inside germany, you can lay the groundwork of a piece that can last forever, or just the opposite. or just the opposite, you could lay the groundwork for a new war to come. so other soldiers, your sons, might have to do it again another 20-odd years from now. germany today appears to be beaten. hitler, out. swastikas gone. propaganda off the air. concentration camps empty.
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ruins, you will see flowers three you will see some mighty pretty scenery. don't let it full you. you are in enemy country. , suspicious of everyone. take no chances. you are up against something more than tourist scenery, you are up against german history. it is not good. >> in the first of a five part look at hollywood directors who made u.s. government films during world war ii, "reel america" features frank capra. sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern, part of american history tv this .eekend on c-span3 >> the house this week takes up its third of the 2015 spending bill, the commerce, justice, and sides pending bill. joins us fromn capitol hill. first of all, this is a
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wide-ranging bill. give us an idea of what is in it and how much congress is proposing to spend. they are proposing to spend 51.2 billion dollars, about $400 million less than currently enacted spending levels. this is a super wide ranging spending bill funding the departments of commerce and the department of justice and science agencies like the national science foundation. it also touches issues like abortion and guantanamo, so this truly is a wide-ranging bill. >> i want to ask you about the gun issue. "cq,"iece you wrote in after democratic gun provisions turned aside." appropriations committee came up this month. because of the shootings in
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santa barbara, we are spiking to see many of the same gun amendments we saw in committee, in addition to perhaps some new ones. >> tweeting about the bill, you chart breaking down obama's fy 15 request for agencies under the commerce justice science appropriations bill. national oceanic and atmospheric administration getting a fair chunk of the money, also with the patent office and as well for the national institutes of standards and technology. you said it was less than last sames, but is it about the in terms of percentages? >> it is about the same, but one interesting thing house appropriators are looking to do, they want to cut 24% from the climate research side of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and move a lot of that funding to the weather satellites. an interesting shift there. democrats are opposing some of that. they want to see some money
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continue to go to climate research. we will see what happens to that on the floor. in addition to the gun issue, there is also the issue of medical marijuana and law enforcement. is an interesting combination of lawmakers from california looking to back this on the floor. we have states rights, very conservative republicans as well as your most liberal members, who are looking to include a provision that would bar the justice department from prosecuting any medical marijuana users who have your prescription for it in states where it is legal. this is a provision that has been brought up in previous years, and it was turned down in committee. but given the increasing poll numbers for the legalization of marijuana nationwide, the number of supporters this will get on the house floor, something we will be watching. bille group opposing the is the heritage foundation. they write that, "congress should also require nasa to expand its contracting with
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private firms to survive space transportation and rockets. food items to a trip to mars despite the fact that nasa has no current plans for a manned martian expedition." wing groups like the heritage foundation put together a piece like this, does it have a impact on members? >> absolutely. we will see how many of them break with groups like heritage and support the measure. >> the last cjs appropriations bill for subcommittee chairman frank wolf of virginia. what will his legacy be in terms of this bill out of the all for all -- out of the overall appropriations process? >> particularly rated to gang violence -- particularly related to gang violence in his northern virginia district, he cares about that and also about science funding.
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has brought the highest level of funding for the national science foundation i believe in the nations history. he will defend the science programs from some of the more conservative republicans who want to see the money spent elsewhere. >> tamar hallerman, who covers appropriations spending for cq roll call. thanks for the update. >> thank you. >> if you go back and look at coolidge, he was a conservative hero. his tax rate was a gold standard tax rate that we saw in the , he brought the top rate down to. he fought like crazy with wilson. when you look at what all the socialites said about coolidge in washington -- how cold he was, how he would not meet with them. you want to remember that they were all from families that would endorse different policy.
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here was coolidge, or c and cold and not giving out favors -- and col.d d. a -- he was from new england. farmers do not talk a lot because a cow my kick them. he was temperamental, a shy person, but he also had a political purpose. he knew if he did not talk a lot, he knew that people would stop talking. of course, a president or political leader is constantly bombarded with requests, and his silence was his way of not giving in to special interests. >> author and columnist amity hlaes will take your calls. "in-depth," line for three
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hours, sunday at noon eastern on c-span2's "book tv." tuesdaydent obama outlined his plan for keeping troops in afghanistan through 2014, which is the schedule of american combat mission there. shortly before he leaves office in 2016. his remarks from the gold -- his remarks from the rose garden. this is 18 minutes. good afternoon, everybody. as you know, this weekend i traveled to afghanistan to thank our men and women in uniform and deployed civilians.
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on behalf of a grateful nation for the extraordinary sacrifices they make on behalf of our security. i was also able to meet with our commanding general and ambassador to review the progress we have made. today i would like to update the american people on the way forward in afghanistan and how this year we will bring america's on this war to a responsible end. the united states did not seek this fight. we went into afghanistan out of necessity, as our nation was attacked by al qaeda on september 11, 2001. we went to war against al qaeda and extremist allies with the strong support of the american people and their representatives in congress. with the international community, and our nato allies, and with the afghan people, who welcomed the opportunity of a life free from dark tyranny and extremism. been in afghanistan
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longer than many americans expected, but make no mistake, thanks to the skill and sacrifice of our troops, diplomats and intelligence professionals, we have struck significant blows against al qaeda's leadership. we have eliminated osama bin laden. we have prevented afghanistan from being used to launch attacks against our homeland. we have also supported the afghan people as they continue the hard work of building a democracy. we have extended more opportunities to their people, including women and girls, and we have helped train and equip their own security forces. now we are finishing the job we started. over the last several years we have worked to transition security responsibilities to the afghans. one year ago, afghan forces assumed the lead for combat operations.
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since then they have continued to grow in size and in strength while making huge sacrifices for their country. has allowed us to draw down our own forces from a peak of 100,000 u.s. troops to roughly 32,000 today. -- 2014 therefore is a pivotal year. together with our allies in the afghan government, we have agreed that this is the year we will conclude our combat mission in afghanistan. this is also a year of political transition in afghanistan. earlier this spring, afghans turned out in the millions to vote in the first round of their , toidential election determine their own destiny. in just over two weeks they will vote for the ex-president. and afghanistan will see -- they will vote for their next
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president. their firstwill see peaceful transfer of power in its history. i have determined the nature of the commitment that america is prepared to make the odds 2014. -- beyond 2014. our objectives are clear. disrupting thrips posed by al qaeda, -- disrupting threats posed by al qaeda, even the afghanistan people to succeed as they stand on their own. pursue thosee will objectives. first, america's combat mission will be over by the end of this year. starting next year, afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country. anrican personnel will be in advisory role. we will no longer patrol afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. that is a task for the afghan
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people. second, i have made it clear that we are open to cooperating with afghans on two narrow missions after 2014 -- training afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al qaeda . today i want to be clear about how the united states is prepared to advance those missions. wethe beginning of 2015, will have approximately 98,000 -- let me start that over because i want to make sure we do not get this written wrong. at the beginning of 2015, we 9800 --e approximately 9800 -- u.s. service members in different parts of the country, together with our nato allies and other partners. 2015, we will have
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reduced that presence by roughly half and will have consolidated our troops in kabul and on bottom airfield. gram airfield. the end of 2015 our military will draw down to a normal presence in kabul with an assistance proponent as we have done in iraq. the international community will continue to support afghans rebuilding their country in the years to come, but our relationship will not be fun by war or it it will be shaped by our development assistance. our commitment to afghanistan is rooted in the strategic partnership we agreed to in 2012 and this plan remains consistent with discussions we have had with our nato allies. just as our allies have been with us every step of the way in
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afghanistan, we expect that our allies will be with us going forward. third, we will only sustain this military presence after 2014 if signs aan government bilateral security agreement that are two governments have already negotiated. this agreement is essential to give our troops the authorities they need to fulfill their mission while respecting afghan sovereignty. the two final afghan candidates in the runoff election for president have each indicated they would sign this agreement promptly after taking office, so i am hopeful we can get this done. line is it is time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in afghanistan and iraq. when i took office, we had nearly 180,000 troops in harms
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way. by the end of this year, we will have less than 10,000. in addition to bringing our troops home, this chapter in american foreign policy will allow us to redirect some of the resources saved by ending the wars to respond more nimbly to the changing threat of terrorism while addressing a broader set of rarities around the globe. -- set of priorities around the globe. it is harder to end wars than it is to begin them, but this is how wars and in the 21st century, not through signing ceremonies but to decisive lows against our adversaries, transitions to elected governments, security forces trained to take the lead and ultimately full responsibility. we remain committed to a sovereign, secure, stable, and unified afghanistan. toward that end, we will
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continue to support afghan-led countryto lead the through reconciliation. we have to recognize afghanistan will not be a perfect place, and it is not america's responsibility to make it one. the future of afghanistan must be decided by afghans. but what the united states can , is secure will do our interests and help give the afghans a chance, an opportunity to seek a long overdue and hard-earned peace. always keep our commitments to friends and partners who step up, and we will never waver in our determination to deny al qaeda safe haven that they had before 9/11. that commitment is embodied by the men and women in and out of uniform who serve in afghanistan today and who have served in the past. eyes, the character
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that sustains american security and our leadership abroad. these are mostly young people who did not hesitate to volunteer in a time of war. as many of them begin the transition to american life -- to civilian life, we will keep the promise we make to them and all veterans, to make sure that they get the care and benefits that they have earned and deserve great this 9/11 generation is part of an unbroken line of heroes who give theheir comfort to serve half a world away. to protect their families and communities back home and to give people they never thought they would meet a chance to live a better life. sacrificextraordinary , for them and for their families. but we should not be surprised that they are willing to make it. that is who we are as americans, and it is what we do. tomorrow i will travel to west
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point to speak to america's newest class of military officers to discuss how afghanistan fits into our broader strategy going forward. i am confident that if we carry can not approach we only responsibly and our war in afghanistan but achieve the objectives that took us to war in the first place. we will also be able to begin a new chapter in the story of american leadership around the world. thanks very much. >> house armed services committee vice chair mac thornberry space at the heritage foundation today about national security policy. he is considered by some to be the likely next chair of the
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armed services committee. live coverage of his remarks at 10:30 am eastern on c-span2. today, neurosurgeon and author ben carson speaks at the national press club. the former pediatric director at johns hopkins university will discuss what can we do to save america's future, live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. for over 35 years, c-span brings public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, readings, and conferences, and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house as a service of private industry. we are c-span, created by the cable tv industry 35 years ago and brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider.
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hd, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter. >> coming up, "washington journal," live with your phone calls and tweets. at 10:00 a.m. eastern, president obama delivers a commencement address at west point. the house returns at noon eastern for general speeches. at 2:00 come a work on several bills including the 2015 spending bill. in 45 minutes, a look at the role of climate change and energy issues in the 2014 elections. our guest is elana schor. at 8:30 eastern, james brown, executive director of the stem program. at 9:15, our spotlight on magazines features paul barrett
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of "bloomberg businessweek" on his recent article on why gm keeps moving from apology to aggression in the recall -- regression in the recall process. >> so much of our foreign policy was focused in the wars in afghanistan and iraq. when i took office, we had nearly 180,000 troops in harms way. by the end of this year, we will have less than 10,000. host: that was president obama yesterday at the white house laying out his plan for the u.s. troops presence in afghanistan over the next 2.5 years. this