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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 20, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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compared to the propaganda machine that goes on in this country on the left and on the right. host: i have to leave it there because we're out of time for the program today. another edition of this program comes to you at 7:00 tomorrow morning. you uo ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> and in the presidential race, after last week's democratic debate, nbc and "the wall street journal" showing former secretary of state hillary clinton with 58% of support without vice president joe biden in the race. nd if he enters, her numbers
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drop to 49%. vermont senator bernie sanders, 33% support without the vice president in the race. dropping to 29% with him in. the vice president himself garnering 15% without declaring. and former senator jim webb showing 2% in the nbc/"wall street journal" poll. senator webb says he will be holding a news conference today on his political future. after saying that last week's debate was rigged for hillary clinton. you can watch that news conference over on c-span2. and later this week hillary clinton will be on capitol hill testifying before the house benghazi committee which is investigating the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate there which killed four people. you can watch our live coverage thursday morning starting at 10:00 eastern over on our companion network c-span3. and today the house gavels in
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at noon for general speeches. starting legislative work at 2:00 with six bills to debate. including some that would allow u.s. citizens to sue over privacy violations. tonight, house republicans are meeting in private to talk about their leadership elections and the house agenda. and later this week in the house, work on the federal debt ceiling. and a look at the reasons for the current refugee crisis in europe and possible solutions with the commission on security and cooperation in europe. it's also called the helsinki commission. we'll have that discussion 2:00 eastern time on c-span3. at 4:00, a house ners subcommittee hearing on legislative -- energy and commerce subcommittee hearing on legislative proposal. also live on c-span3. >> c-span has your coverage of the road to the white house 2016 where you'll find the candidates, the speeches, the debates and most importantly your questions. this year we're taking our road to the white house coverage
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into classrooms across the country with our tuned cam contest, giving students the opportunity to discuss what important issues they want to hear the most from the candidates. follow c-span student cam contest and road to the white house coverage 2016 on tv, on the radio and online at >> homeland security secretary jeh johnson addressed security threats during a discussion at the association of the united states army annual meeting last week. he outlined his department's efforts to counter homegrown terrorism, foreign fighters, cyberattacks and criminal illegal immigrants. secretary johnson also discussed the security review and vetting process for syrian refugees who are resettling in the united states. this is about 45 minutes.
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secretary johnson: good morning, everybody. that was pretty good. good morning, everybody. >> good morning. secretary johnson: you know, it's good to be here as general swan pointed out this is my second address to the ausa. someone may get the impression that i actually like the army and i do. as usual, i have taken my prepared address given to me by my speech writer. i read it. said oh, that's very interesting and i prepared my own remarks, which means that i will tell you what i really think. within limits. i asked my staff last week, what should i say to the ausa? very simple, sir. just tell them how great the army is. you love the army. well, ladies and gentlemen, i am here to tell you, you are great. the army is great.
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i love the army. why do i say that? for real? when i left the department of efense at the end of 2012 as the senior lawyer for the department of defense, i was , ck in private law practice perhaps the thing the most i miss about public service was the character and the quality of the people that i worked with in the department of defense, in the pentagon, in the united states military, the character and the quality of the people with whom i worked. -- er it was in 2010 or 0-10 or 0-4 or e-6. just within the united states army i have come to know, respect and admire a number of people.
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retired general carter hamm, for example. general lloyd austin, just to name a few. general tony thomas. these are people i worked with , almost a daily basis on a daily basis for two years. someone from the joint staff down in the basement of the pentagon, j-2, a young army major. i won't name him because he would be embarrassed if i did, would come and brief me when i was general counsel about intelligence matters, about counterterrorism matters. he did his job, he was modest, he did it well. after he was reassigned, someone told me about this army major, this young man who would never say these things himself had been on, according to what i heard, 16 deployments, had
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broken his back when his parachute failed to open, lost part of his leg to an r.p.g., was shot in the back and had been the victim of three i.e.d. attacks in afghanistan. this young man, after service in the pentagon, went on to run triathlons and 50-mile races. that is the quality and the character of people in today's united states army, which i find remarkable, and it's the thing i miss most about public service, which is why part of me at least is pleased to be back in public service. i have the job of secretary of homeland security. perhaps the army general officer who i got to know best, aside from carter and others,
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was brigadier general martins. many here probably know brigadier general mark martins. he's chief prosecutor at guantanamo bay in the military system. i got to know mark as an advisor. i spent time with mark in afghanistan when he was dealing with detainee matters in afghanistan. i visited bagram airbase in 2011, greeted by then colonel or perhaps one star mark martins. showed me around the base. nighttime fell, we were about to hit the sack after a long day and brigadier general mark martins finished first in his class at west point, rhodes school a harvard law revureks i'm told better grades than the president of the united states at the harvard law review.
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brigadier martins asked me what i thought was a very profound deep question coming from a rhodes scholar. he said, sir, look up toward the sky, the night sky, what occurs to you? looked up up, i above the -- up at the stars above. it was a clear night at bagram airbase. i wondered what general martins was thinking of so i searched for a deeper meaning to his question. i thought about the brave men and women of the united states army surrounding us, and i thought about the inspirational words. i'm a student of history. the inspirational words of winston churchill. and so i answered general martins with the quote from winston churchill. we shall fight on the beaches,
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we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. we shall fight in the hills. we shall never surrender. general martins replied, sir, look up again. what really occurs to you when you look up at the sky? i gave it a second try. i thought of f.d.r.'s inspirational words on d-day, of the united states army with the so-called pride of our nation remarks. they fight not for the lust of conquest. they fight to end conquest. they fight to liberate. they fight to let justice arise and tolerance and good will among all thy people. they earn but for the end of the battle, for their return to the haven of home.
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i said to general martins, how about that? he said, sir, look up again. what are you really thinking? what really occurs to you? finally i thought of john f. kennedy's inspirational words in june, 1963, at american university about the inherent nature of armed conflict. and international tension. kennedy in june, 1963, uttered these words which i gave to mark martins in the hope i was going to answer his very profound question. quote, our most basic common link is that we in all habit -- inhabit this planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future and we are all mortal. general martins said, sir, what really occurs to you when you look up at the afghan sky? and i said, mark, i give up.
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what are you thinking? someone stole our tent. [laughter] secretary johnson: the army is great. the army is family to me. some may be interested to know my grandfather was a sergeant major and a combat veteran in world war i. my father was an army sergeant during the korean war. two uncles in the army air corps who were tuskegee airmen. when i say the army is great, i love the army. my words are matched by deeds. i am stealing people from the united states army. colonel tia johnson, united states army, now my assistant secretary for affairs. colonel today brazil, united states army, retired. now my acting assistant secretary for public affairs. rio flores, frank lehan work
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directly for me. dr. jennifer mcdonald, my current white house fellow and army physician. pete verga, whom i'm sure many in this room know. janette, former united states army one of my cybersecurity experts. it is the case that the army and the department of homeland security work together closely on a number of matters, the army corps of engineers, the army guard when it comes to disaster response, for example. i saw this in person in south carolina last week. when it comes to the department of homeland security, i am a native new yorker. i was present on 9/11 in new york city in manhattan that day when i was back in the private sector before my service for the department of defense. i witnessed the tragedy of 9/11 that devastating and shocking
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terrorist attack, andand it was out of 9/11 that the department of homeland security was born and my commitment to lead the department of homeland security and my commitment to homeland security was born. as many of you know, the department of homeland security is the third largest department of our government. we have about 240,000 people, 22 components. we are responsible for, among other things, along with our partners counterterrorism, border security, chief fischer is here. port security, aviation security, maritime security, cybersecurity, enforcement and of our immigration laws. nuclear threats to the homeland. response to disasters, natural and man-made. deputy administrator of fema
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joe nimitz is here. and we include customs and border protection, which is itself the largest federal law enforcement agency. immigration customs enforcement. citizenship and immigration services. t.s.a., the secret service, the coast guard and fema. i want to take a moment to highlight the extraordinary work of the secret service and other elements of the department of homeland security just a few weeks ago. just a few weeks ago we had what many would consider the perfect storm in terms of the protection of visiting heads of state, heads of government. we had in late september 170 world leaders and their spouses in this country in new york city pretty much all at the same time. and the responsibility, the lead responsibility for protecting them all was the united states secret service.
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we had the president of china, we had the leaders from afghanistan, iraq, iran, israel, the united kingdom, france, italy, russia and, of course, the pope, all in this country at the same time. no other agency of our government, except the united states secret service. and i submit, no other protection service in the world could have pulled off what the secret service did, probably the largest domestic security operation in the history of this country. flawlessly and perfectly. with other components of the department of homeland security -- h.s.i., fema, the coast guard. i'm awfully proud what our folks have done. i'm told that the topic
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here is to win in a complex world, that is the theme of this conference. i could not agree more that that is what we in the department of homeland security find is our challenge too. winning in a complex world. i have spoken many times about of the evolving global threat now. there is a new reality to the threats to the homeland which you and i are responsible for guarding. there is a new reality, the global terrorist threat has volved from terrorists terrorist-inspired attacks. when i mean terrorist directed attacks, i mean attacks or attempted attacks conducted by
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people who were recruited, trained and equipped overseas and directed by a terrorist organization overseas and then exported to our homeland. and the most prominent example of a terrorist-directed attack in this name is, of course, 9/11. the operatives were trained, recruited and directed overseas and exported to our homeland. then, the attempted underwear bombing over detroit in december, 2009. the attempted times square car bombing in may, 2010. the attempted package bomb plot in october, 2010. these are examples of what are likely -- what were likely terrorist-directed attacks from those overseas. today, we see in addition to that threat the threat of
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terrorist-inspired attacks from those who are homegrown or even home born. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula no longer builds bombs in secret. it now puts out an instruction manual and urges the public to do the same thing. we see the threat of the potential lone wolf actor and the foreign fighter. the foreign fighter who leaves their home country, goes to syria, for example, and returns home with an extremist purpose that we have to be vigilant about the foreign fighter phenomenon. so in this new wave of attempted attacks, terrorist inspired, caused by those who may be homegrown, home born, the boston marathon bombing, april, 2013. the attack in t.w.a. on the parliament building at the more mollial building october, 2014,
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almost a year ago. hebdo ack on the charlie headquarters, january, 2015. the garland city, texas, attempted attack in may, 2015. and then, of course, chattanooga in july, 2015. this is the new reality of what we face. terrorist inspired, it is more complex, it has led to a more omplex world and in many respects harder to detect. our government has become pretty good at detecting overseas plots at their earliest stages. the homegrown actor could trike at any moment and is inspired by something he sees. this threat is in many respects more complicated and harder to detect. it involves a whole of
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government response. so what are we doing? first, we continue to, as we have in the past, taken the fight militaryly to terrorist organizations -- militarily to terrorist organizations overseas, and through our efforts and through the efforts of the united states army and others, we have taken out of the fight by killing or capturing many of the leaders of terrorist organizations and those who've been plotting directly to attack the homeland. osama bin laden is dead. was killed on may 1, 2011. if 9/11 was my worst day as an american being present in new york, perhaps my best day as a public servant was may 1, 2011, the day we got osama bin laden. other terrorist leaders have been taken off the battlefield. cleed sheik mohammed awaits trial in a military commission
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prosecuted by mark martins. others have been killed or captured. we have to a very large degree been successful in degrading the terrorist threat to our omeland from overseas, but there is much more we need to do given how this terrorist threat has evolved. law enforcement, the f.b.i. has a key role in this. the f.b.i., almost on a daily basis, has become very good at detecting, investigating, prosecuting and interdicting terrorist plots to our homeland here at home. it's become all the more important that the department of homeland security and the f.b.i., given how this threat has evolved, work closely with and share intelligence with state and local law enforcement, which we do on a daily basis through joint intelligence bulletins and the
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like. in response to the attack last year in ottawa, i directed we enhance our protection of federal government buildings in major cities around the country, and that enhanced protection continues to exist today. much of the terrorist threat, as it has evolved, continues to center around aviation security . so we're building what i refer to as preclearance, a preclearance capability where on the front end of a flight from overseas to the united states you'll see our customs personnel screening passengers before they get on the flight to the homeland. any opportunity i have to push out our homeland security from our 1-yard line to our 30 or 40-yard line i want to take. so we are establishing preclearance capability. we've done this now in 15
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airports overseas. we've screened a number of people and denied boreding to a number of people as a result of preclearance, including some who have been in our terror screening databases. we want to build more of this, and so we've engaged in discussions with a number of countries and a number of airport authorities around the country, and this is something we will continue to build. under the leadership of the new t.s.a. administrator, we are implementing reforms to our aviation security, both in response to the inspector general's report this summer and other things. i will tell you that when it comes to aviation security, there is a new emphasis on security that the administrator and i have directed in the field. frankly less managed inclusion.
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what does that mean? less instances where when you go to the airport and you're not a member of t.s.a. precheck, you get put in that line anyway. we want to renew our emphasis on security. so we're stepping up our efforts at the airport and hopefully it will not sacrifice wait times. but there is a renewed effort on ave use security -- aviation security. in response to the concern about foreign fighters, we have done a number of things. particularly a number of foreign fighters come from countries for which we do not require a visa to travel here. european countries who have foreign fighters in pretty large numbers are in our visa waiver program. there are 38 countries in our visa waiver program for which we do not require a visa. so out of concern for our security, we have added
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information requests whenever anybody travels to this country, they're required to fill out additional information. and then last august, i announced the series of security enhancements to our sa waiver program to require countries in the program to make better use of passenger name recognition data and a.p.i., advanced passenger information. we're requiring that countries in the visa waiver program make better use of interpol to screen for stolen passports, to make better use of our federal air marshals on flights from overseas to the united states. as the new reality has emerged, as the global terrorist threat has evolved, we're asking the public for help. if you see something, say something has to mean more than a slogan. we're asking the public for
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help, public awareness and public vigilance. i will tell you that we are nsidering revising our in-task system, the national threat advisory system, which we never used. we left the color-coded bars to an ntas system. we never used. i asked our folks whether we should revise that system to accommodate how the terrorist threat has evolved. hat review is under way now. importantly, given how the global terrorist threat has evolved, we have embarked upon aggressive efforts at what we in the beltway refer to as c.v.e., countering violent extremism. what does that mean? that means that members of my department, other departments,
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d.o.j., literally go out into communities, muslim communities in this country to talk to them about countering violent extremism. i've personally traveled to boston, new york city, brooklyn, northern virginia, suburban maryland, chicago, minneapolis, l.a., houston, columbus, ohio, and elsewhere to meet with leaders of the muslim community. our conversations are almost lways three-pronged. first, to listen to them about issues they face at airports with our immigration system and to build trust with this community, to build bridges with this community. i hear repeatedly from muslim leaders in this country the hatred that they feel for the islamic state. they say over and over to me, mr. secretary, they're trying to hijack my religion.
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my message to them is, help us help you. help us help you when it comes to public safety. help us protect the homeland. help us protect your communities. if you see someone heading toward violence, let us know. help us to help you. in my view, we must enhance our c.v.e. efforts beyond where they are now given how the threat to our homeland security has evolved. just two weeks ago, i announced the creation of a d.h.s. office for community partnerships to spear head and lead our c.v.e. efforts within our department of homeland security. we want to take our c.v.e. efforts to a new level. we want to encourage the participation of the tech sector, the digital community to help muslim leaders amplify their counter message to counter the isil message.
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we want to engage philanthropies. we want to develop our own grant-making programs to enhance resources and support communities engaged in c.v.e. just a few more words on cybersecurity. i've directed an aggressive lan to enhance our civilian cybersecurity. frankly, it is not where it needs to be. i've directed an aggressive timetable for covering the entire federal civilian system in terms of monitoring, detecting and blocking sprishes and unwanted in-- suspicious and unwanted intrusions in our system. this system, the einstein system, is deployed across lmost half of our civilian dot-gov and infiltrate and the rate and we are on
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path. we are urging cybersecurity legislation in this congress. the house has passed a good bill. the senate now is considering a good bill. my hope is that the senate bill comes to the senate floor for debate and passage this month. there is an urgent need for help from congress when it comes to our cybersecurity efforts. we want tone courage the private be sector, represent bid a number of people in this room, to share cyberthreat indicators with the department of homeland security. information sharing even for the most sophisticated of private cybersecurity actors out there among you in the defense industrial base. benefits from information sharing. we want to encourage that. the pending cybersecurity legislation is a good effort to do that. we hope for the passage of that
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legislation so that our efforts become law. as the president and others announced when the president of china was here, we reached agreement with the chinese government on some cybersecurity norms, an agreement to cooperate on combating cybercrime, an agreement that the theft of commercial property for commercial purposes by a state actor is improper. time will tell whether the chinese will live up to these agreements. e've appointed and created a ministerial level of dialogue on my side represented by the secretary of department of homeland security, myself, and the attorney general. time will tell. we want greater cooperation in our international cybersecurity efforts. in terms of border security,
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chief fischer and his people is year saw only about 332,000 apprehensions on our southern border this past fiscal year. what does that mean? apprehensions are an indicator of total illegal attempts to cross the border. the misperception in this country is that illegal crossings reason our southern border, the misperception is that they're going up. the reality is they have been going down dramatically. the high was fiscal year 2000 where there were 1.6 million apprehensions on our southern border. in recent years, it has gone down to about 400,000, 450,000. this past fiscal year, actually f.y. 20 14, the apprehension on our southern border was 479,000. this past fiscal year, 2015, the number will come in at
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approximately 331,000 or 332,000, which since 1972 is the lowest number of apprehensions we have seen with the exception of one year. this is the result of a number of our border security efforts, including the investments our government has made in border security, more personnel, more surveillance, more technology. that must also be the future to strengthen even more our border security efforts. and our new immigration policy, we're focused on convicted criminals. we're focused on enhancing public safety. i've directed that our immigration enforcement personnel go after the criminals, go after the convicted criminals. invest the time in the interior to go after threats to public safety so that there are fewer undocumented criminals on our streets.
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we're engaged in our overall unity of effort initiative in the department of homeland security which has involved more centralized decisionmaking at the headquarters level, fewer stovepipes, fewer component stovepipes, more centralized decisionmaking when it comes to budget decisions and acquisition decisions. i have directed or new undersecretary for management, russ dio, former client of mine, former johnson & johnson executive to reform our acquisition process, for example. we are building like the defense industrial base a homeland security industrial base. we are reforming our acquisition process for our 12-year-old department. most of all, we're just about helping people, like the united states army. a reminder of that for me was
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last friday in south carolina inspecting the cleanup efforts from the floods in south carolina. every time i do this, i'm reminded of the basic mission of the department of homeland security, to help the people of this country. and so in south carolina and in other places i visited where disaster has hit, public servants, republican and democrat, come together. the governor, the senators, the congressmen, myself, the president of the red cross to basically help the people devastated by the floods. thloss of their homes. that's what we as public servants are all about, helping people. more than political ideology, we are public servants. three thoughts i want to leave you with in my prepared remarks and then i'll take a few questions. first, speaking for the
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department of homeland security , we need the congress to repeal sequestration. i cannot do my job as the person responsible for protection of the homeland with a sequestered, decapitated budget. i cannot do all the things that the congress and the american people need us to do for border security, response to natural disasters, aviation security, cybersecurity, maritime security with a sequestered budget. so we're urging congress to repeal sequestration. homeland security is the front line to national security. homeland security is the front line for our national defense. homeland security is the department of government that interacts with the american public more than any other. 1.8 million people a day
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interact with t.s.a., so we are the front line, but we cannot do our job with a sequestered budget. it is time to repeal sequestration. next, and i want to repeat to you something i said last month in fulton, missouri, at westminster college as part of the green foundation lecture series. the most famous green lecture was given by winston churchill himself in 1946 where he gave his famous iron curtain speech. in 1954, former president harry truman gave a green lecture entitled "what hysteria does to us." decided to echo those remarks . at westminster i said, all of us in public office, those who aspire to public office and who command a microphone owe the public calm, responsible
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dialogue and decisionmaking, not overheated, oversimplistic rhetoric of superfirble appeal. in a democracy, the former leads to smart and sustainable policy. the latter can lead to fear, hate, suspicion, prestigious and government overreach. this is especially true in matters of national security and homeland security. y final point is something that is consistent with the soldiers creed. it's a quote in the soldiers creed which is consistent with my own mission. quote, i am a guardian of freedom and the american way of life, end quote. that matches almost word for word what i tell audiences at almost the end of every speech
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i give. the army is not just the guardian of our safety, the guardian of our national defense, the army is the guardian of freedom and the american way of life. so i tell audiences that in homeland security we must achieve a balance between basic physical security on the one hand and preserving our laws and values in a free society. homeland security means striking that balance. as the uardian of one other. so i tell audiences, i can build you with all of our resources a perfectly safe city but it would resemble a prison. i can build you a perfectly safe commercial air flight, but nobody would be wearing any clothes, no one would be allowed to get up, no one would have anything to eat and no one
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would have any carry-on luggage. i can build you a perfectly safe email system, but you'd be limited to a conversation with 10 people without access to the internet. so we can build more walls, we can interrogate more people, we can make everybody suspicious of each other but if we did we'd risk the things that are most valuable to this nation. we are a nation where we cherish the freedom to associate, the freedom to travel. we cherish privacy. we cherish our laws. we cherish diversity. we cherish these basic freedoms and in the end of the day, in the final analysis, those are the things that constitute our greatest strength. thanks a lot. [applause]
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secretary johnson: ok. i think i'm available to take a few questions if anybody here is not star. >> hi. i'm penny star with c.n.s. news. can you please address the syrian refugees crisis and how bringing them into this country affects homeland security? secretary johnson: yes. e have committed to resettling 10,000 syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016. and we're looking at more for fiscal year 2017. at the end of -- by the end of 2015 we will have resettled approximately 2,000 so we want to do more. we believe we need to do more. i'm committed to doing that and
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ensuring that those who are resettled are vetted properly and receive the appropriate security review. that means dedicating the resources to this increasing number, this increased number of refugees and making sure that they are vetted against all the right databases we have for that security review. we've gotten better at that over the last couple years. but it is a time-consuming process and one of the challenges we will have is that we're not going to know a whole lot about the individual refugees that come forward from the u.n. high commission on refugees for resettlement and vetting. so it will be a challenge but we are committed to doing it. it is meeting our international commitment but also for the sake of our homeland security ensuring that they get the right security review. i'm committed to both. es, sir, right here.
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>> i am bob barron, homeland security national defense executive reserve. as you may know, at one time we had a very active executive reserve which was comprised of senior members of military and industry. for approximately the last 10 years, none of us have been le to get any answers from our parent organization where we stood, who was in charge, where do we go, what do we do. we, as i said, we carried all the expenses. the only thing that we utilized the military or the u.s.
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government for was open seating at certain military training sessions. could you please tell me what happened to the national executive reserve? secretary johnson: well, the short answer is i don't know. but we'll look into it. outreach to u that the private sector, to industry is a priority for mine for the sake of improving the manner in which we conduct business. and so part of our acquisition reform efforts is to establish a council of industry experts to advise us, for example, on the acquisition process. i don't know the answer to your question, sir, but i will certainly look into that. yes, ma'am. >> sir. thank you for your remarks today. dana hudson, government relations for mutual link. just want to ask you what is being done at the enterprise
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level with d.h.s. to solve the cross-agency communication challenges we faced for decades. secretary johnson: well, the communications challenges and meeting them is part of our unity of effort initiative. the ability to communicate across components in interagency is pretty basic, and as part of our unity of effort, less stovepiping, more centralized decisionmaking, improving our ability to communicate is a priority. thank you. ok. got time for one more. if there is one more. yes, sir. >> good morning, sir. staff sergeant campbell. i'm just curious where are you base -- secretary johnson: i'm just curious, where are you based right now? >> at the pentagon. secretary johnson: i'm sorry.
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made a great joke which i'm sure is not reflected upon you, sir. cab driver is driving past -- driving down i-10 with a fare and said, that's awfully a big building. how many people work in that building? he said, oh, about half. [laughter] >> no comment, sir. secretary johnson: anyway, thank you for your service, sir. welcome to the pentagon. >> thank you for your service. i'm curious if there is an estimated cost of bringing a lot of the number of syrian refugees over here, sir? secretary johnson: well, that's a great question. i don't know the estimated cost. within d.h.s., the principal responsibility for the vetting belongs to uscis, citizenship and immigration services, which is a fee-based agency. so with the exception of everify, c.i.s. does not get an appropriation for conducting
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its business. it depends upon fees from those who utilize the services. so refugees, there's no applicant to be a refugee so c.i.s. must pay for the vetting through fee collections it gets from other aspects of its business. so it's not an appropriated amount from congress. so it's an agency -- it's an agency -- many of you didn't know there was such a thing. it's an agency of government that pays for itself through fees. ok. imagine that. ok. thank you, all, very, very much. have a successful conference. i see a number of friends out here. gotten a little grayer, but i still recognize them. and thank you for all of your efforts. thank you for your efforts, your continued efforts to help secure our nation, to work with the army, to work with the department of homeland security. appreciate it. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> and a look at the presidential race. after the first democratic debate last week, a tweet from "politico" saying former virginia senator, jim webb, is going to be dropping out of the democratic race. the former senator has announced he's going to be hold agnus conference today on his political future after saying that last week's debate was rigged for hillary clinton. we'll take you live for his comments this afternoon 1:00 eastern time over on our commanon network, c-span2 -- companion network, c-span2. and on thursday, hirlt clinton testifying before the house benghazi -- hillary clinton testifying before the house benghazi committee. you can watch our live coverage thursday morning starting at 10:00 eastern time over on our companion network, c-span3.
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and the house gavels in at noon eastern today for general speeches starting legislative work at 2:00 with six bills to debate, including one that would allow some foreign citizens to sue u.s. foreign agencies over privacy violations. and tonight house republicans are meeting in private to talk about electing new leadership and the house agenda. and later this week in the house, work on the federal debt ceiling. the president of south korea was in washington, d.c., last week, and she talked about engagement with north korea, calling on the international community to remain unified on denuclearization. president park spoke at a forum hosted for the center for strategic and international studies in washington, d.c., that included a question and answer session. his is about 45 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm victor, senior advisor and
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chair here at csis and professor at georgetown university. i want to thank you to the statesman forum and thank you for this special event. in the runup to the visit of president park to washington, d.c., c.s. has held a series of events. over the summer we held a number of conferences about korea and in the past few weeks, we held a series of briefings for our friends and partners in town previewing the visit of the president to washington. and today we're very honored to statesman forum with president park. before we proceed, i want to give a special thank you to our partners and friends for korea going forward. we want to thank in particular our good friend and sponsor, capital management and friends of the korea chair. without their generous support, the korea going forward series could not have happened.
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we'd like you to remain in your seats after the president has finished her speech and when she leaves the building. we'll inform you when it exit. and when he does inform you, we hope you'll join a reception that we have in the atery up afterwards. -- ate ream afterwards. -- atrium afterwards. the u.s.-south korea relationship is the best it's ever been. greatness of the relationship stems not just from common interest but common values and a deep reservoir of trust. president park will meet with president obama tomorrow morning. confidence that policymakers and people here in washington have with regard to korea is due in no small part to our guest of honor tonight. so ladies and gentlemen, ladies
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and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the president of the republic of korea, her excellency, park geun-hye. and csis president. [applause] >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. thank you all for coming. his is an enormous privilege geun-hye.honor park it san enormous pleasure to welcome here to csis. president park in some sense personally embodies, you know,
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the glory and the tragedy of korea. you know, she has an interesting history. she was a young student, graduated in electronics engineering. i didn't know that. went to grenoble and it was there when she received an urgent message saying she must -- n to sowell as soon as seoul as soon as possible. she walked past a newsstand and it had her mother's picture on it and it said assassinated. the tragedy that korea has had to endure. and she had to endure. she became the first lady of korea at the age of 22. and it was the starting point of a career that is still unfolding in a great and marvelous way. this summer korea went through yet another one of the great crises that periodically ineffects the peninsula, and it
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was a test. every crisis has two crises. one involving the immediate effect and the other is the question, will the government be up to this crisis? president park proved she had all the strength that korea needed to be successful. and may i humbly say, she won. so with your applause, would you please welcome and congratulate the president of the republic of korea, park geun-hye. [applause] president park: ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to eet you.
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my thanks go out to the csis staff who worked so hard to organize this event. late last month, i was in new york to attend the united nations general assembly. here i am later back in washington, d.c. my trip to new york and back to seoul and back is a testament to the korea-u.s. alliance which is being guided by the envision of the -- vision of the united nations and continues to evolve into an ever stronger and dynamic alliance. in my key note address at the u.n. general assembly, i spelled out korea's commitment to contribute to international peace, security and shared prosperity. for korea itself has been a beneficiary of the postwar orlando and a trusted partner of the united nations. the -- order and the trusted partner in the united nations.
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in the seven decades of the war, it was a provide sess of bringing to life the values and ideals of the united nations and also history of the korea-u.s. alliance that continues to evolve. the korea-u.s. alliance was a steadfast buttress as they defended the free market system and human rights on the korean peninsula and developed into a vibrant economy. our two countries have ventured together on this great journey spanning 70 years, and now we stand poised to make another leap forward. the journey ahead will be charted together by our two countries as staunch partners n the service of humanity. distinguished guests, countless opportunities and challenges will await us along our quest. as our wealth grows with economic interdependence and as the frontiers of space and technology are gradually pioneered, mankind in this era
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of hyperconnection has enjoyed unprecedented levels of abundance. but we know only too well that risks and challenges abound in our world. as threats, both old and new, become blended, problems, both regional and globally, exist and the line between geopolitical and geoeconomic becomes blurred. these risks and challenges will only become more complex and multidimensional. we now live in a world where no country can remain untouched from the events that occur across the globe as new threats of climate change, infectious diseases, violent extremism and cyberattacks go across borders. from syria to yemen, ukraine and north africa, many regions are riddened with strife. the result, 60 million refugees . the single largest humanitarian
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crisis since the end of world war ii. northeast asia is not an exception. in my speech to a joint session of congress 2 1/2 years ago, i pointed to the asia paradox, a paradox that continues unabated. the phrase, return to geopolitics no longer sounds out of place. long-standing disputes and tensions are rearing their ugly heads and the stage has expanded to include the seas, outer space and cyberspace. 20 years ago a doctor warned in a book, that asia has potential political volcano could erupt. unless we carefully manage the situation, the economic dynamism of this region, which has led for decades, to be severely impaired. one area where problems old and new are so intermeshed the
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fighting of solutions seems to be bewilledering is no other than north korea. even as i speak, the eyes of the world are set on north korea. the korean peninsula stands at a crossroads distinguished guests, challenges and threats are arising on various planes. the korean peninsula, northeast sia, and the global level. these form a complex complex, and the center of which lies the u.s. can korea alliance. right here in washington two years ago, president obama and i laid out a vision on the way ahead for our alliance through the joint declaration of the 0th anniversary of the u.s.-korea alliance. that vision of our alliance later the ground for peace work on the korean consulate -- peninsula, moving forward with global partnership. the korea-u.s. alliance has been
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evolving into a resilient and dynamic alliance by creatively adapting to the shifting environment. both foreign and necessaryic. -- domestic. now, our two countries are going into partners as we display our joint leadership in issues off and beyond scope. oiler reliance has grown through mutual trust and inspired each other. now we will rise as an alliance leading to the common good of humanity. for the last 2 1/2 years, korea and the united states have creately resolved all our sensitive issues. we have reached agreement on the condition based transfer of operational control--upgraded our combined defense posture. the korea-u.s. cooperation agreement, which was revised 3 years after originally entering into effect, constitutes one of the three major frameworks of
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our alliance along with the korea-u.s. mutual defense treaty. the nuclear agreement will not only enable in mutually beneficial nuclear cooperation, but also interviewed two ventures in foreign markets -- core reee exhibits both maritime states and geopolitical and geoeconomic strategy load in the region. as a nation that has overcome the devastation of abject poverty, the both economic development and democrat zakes, korea has the will and capacity greater than any other to contribute to regional peace and cooperation. korea's building relations with fellow nations in the northeast asian region. that's only to bilateral but also through many multilateral and multilateral cooperations. in two weeks, we will host the korea-japan-china try lateral summit in seoul.
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the upcoming try lateral summit will be an important occasion to pursue peace and stability in northeast asia, as well as improve korea-japan relations. i hope this try lateral summit will provide an opportunity for korea and japan to clear away obstacles and have closer bilateral ties and discussions on the way forward towards the common future. furthermore, i believe we must make newly consolidated efforts on korea, u.s., and china in dealing with north korean issues. the diverse forms of try lateral diplomacy are new endeavor in northeast asia, and these efforts will make valuable contributions to enhancing the bilateral and multilateral relations within the region. the northeast asia peace and cooperation initiative, which i proposed in my 2013 address to a joint session of congress, aims to accumulate the trust in
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northeast asia, the only region in the wrormed that lacks mechanisms for multilateral cooperation. so far there has been notable progress. we are holding discussions on concrete measures for cooperation and many fields including nuclear safety, health security, climate change, and disaster relief. this initiative is compatible with u.s. efforts in advancing regional multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the a.r.f., and e.a.s. this will, of course, also contribute to resolving the aforementioned asia paradox. economic prosperity is also vital to building peace within the region. there is korea and the united states have triggered trade global zeags throughout the region and laid the foundations for new economic progress. in this context korea welcomes the t.p.p. agreement reached last week. having already signed trade agreements with 10 of the 12 t.p.p. member countries, i
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believe korea is a natural partner for the t.p.p. as well. distinguished guests, korea and the united states are embarking on unprecedented partnerships in various fields of global health, development assistance, climate change, and peacekeeping operatns. wejoin forces in fighting ebola in africa, encountering% in korea. at the second global health security initiative high level meeting held in seoul month, we reached an agreement to support developing countries with capacity building to counter infectious diseases. as part of this effort, the korean government committed to he provide a total of $100 million to 13 developing countries. korea and the united states are also working hand in hand to light the flame of hope in developing countries around the globe.
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the usaid, m.o.u. signed last year will be a steppingstone for countries like ethiopia, ghana, vietnam, and cambodia as they pursue a brighter future. two weeks ago as a u.n. sustainable development summit in new york, my government pledged $200 million over the next five years to fund the better life for girls program which will help improve the livelihood of girls in developing countries. the topic 6 climate -- of climate change, korea will play its part at the conference to be held in paris a great success. korea has led the founding of the global green grow institute and will implement or commitment of $100 million to the green climate fund which will help developing countries cope with climate change. korea is an active participant in efforts to counter violence extremism and to alleviate the refugee issue.
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our government is currently assisting refugees from syria and neighboring countries. as the first asian nation to enact a refugee law, we have granted humanitarian status to over 600 syrian refugees in korea. korea's also participating in two counter isil coalition working groups and announced new commitments to provide engineering units and medical facilities for peacekeeping operations in the middle east and northern africa. the g-20 summit, the nuclear security summit, and global health security agenda high level meeting are all over global commishtiffslaunched by the united states and carried on to the next level by korea. this pattern of collaboration between korea and the united states on global issues demonstrates that the korea-u.s. alliance is indeed evolving into a global alliance. distinguished guests, 25 years ago in october, 1990, germany
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was reunified. yet the division of korea continues for seven decades and the core rein peninsula remains the last vestige of the cold war in this modern world. vietnam, myanmar, and now cuba are all headed in the direction of reform and open door policy. iran has struck a nuclear agreement. yet north korea clings to the past of isolation by continuing its missiletary provocations and developing nuclear capabilities. i believe the korea-u.s. alliance must exert our leadership in inducing north korea to abandon its nuclear program, open up to the world, and undertake internal reforms. in this process of dealing with north korea, consistently adhering to the principles of our polcy, will be a way to bring about a sustainable peace on the korean peninsula. we must not burn our bridges for dialogue and cooperation. we must not allow military and
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military issues to turn our backs on the military situation in north korea. around this time of year four years ago i wrote an article in the prestigious foreign affairs outlining my thoughts on a new kind of korea. last year in my speech in germany i proposed three agendas as ways to establish peace and lay the foundations for unification. agenda for humaniedity, prosperity, and integration. i sincerely hope the new korea will be a place where freedom and dignity is guaranteed for all and all can realize their dream. the ultimate path to creating such a korean peninsula is none other than unification. unification will transform this divided peninsula into land of opportunity. a unified korea will be a generator of peace. no longer will nuclear weapons and long-range missiles target our neighbors. a unified korea will be a
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stalwart guardian of freedom, democracy, and human rights. these universal values of humanity will not only spread across the korean peninsula, but radiate from the peninsula to the far corners of the earth. a unified korea will be a promoter of prosperity. the diligent and creative peoples of both koreas will come together to create new economic opportunities on the korean peninsula, in the region, and beyond. so far the korea-u.s. alliance has written miraculous success stories in the southern half of the peninsula. now is the time to spread our history of creating miracles to the entire peninsula. the korea-u.s. alliance, which will be upgraded through unification, will continue to evolve into an alliance which stands for humanity. distinguished ghosts, the world we live in is at a crucial
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crossroads, depending on how we respond, we can venture into the new frontier mankind dreamt about or fall into stagnation and decline. for the last 70 years, the korea-u.s. alliance has always stood on the right side of history and has overcome countless difficulties and challenges to achieve great accomplishments. our two countries will be trustworthy companions as humanity ventures the road toward the future of hope to open the gates of peace. i have the utmost confidence that you will all join us on this journey of hope. thank you. [applause] mr. hamre: we have a little bit f logistics to go.
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just why don't we come up and get the hardware. >> [speaking in korean] mr. hamre: we are in the final stages, so let me say how i was moved by your speech, madam president. i have a korean god son. i offer prayers every day for korea, and i am so proud to have you. we chose to use modern technology to get questions
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today, so we asked, we tweeted to people, and said if you have got questions, let us know and we will pick them out, and i have four questions i will ask that have been submitted by our audience. we would welcome your response. i think several of the people who submitted questions may be here. i know stanley is here. he wrote this -- he said, when you entered office, you launched a major new initiative in an effort to enhance security on the peninsula, but north korea has regrettably not accepted it and instead has undertaken a number of destabilizing activities. in that light, what steps can the republic of korea and united states take now together to enhance deterrence on the peninsula? > [speaking in korean]
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>> [speaking in korean]
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resident park [interpreter]: as i am sure you know -- i thought it was being simultaneously interpreted. as i'm sure all you he know the korean pin anybody sue la trust building process to repeat the gist about it is about responding decisively to provocations and enhancing the degree of trust between the two core reas. we remain continuing with the effort. it is not seeking to uphold stability. with regard to the recent provocations inside the dmz this ugust, we had applied in its entirety the principle in response to north korea's belligerence. they would engage in unspeakable acts of belligerence and words, but we responded, pushed back very decisively, and made sure they realized they would have to pay a price for whatever act
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they engaged in. we make sure not to turn off the loudspeakers despite their threatening blackmailing if we were to continue to move forward with the loudspeakers, so we made sure we kept them on. because we held firmly to these principles, we see how that firmness paved the way to dialogue and how that in turn led to meetings and how that led to an apologize being issued on the part of north korea as well as agreements on other steps as well. this is evidence of how we put in action the north korean peninsula trust building process. i believe the recent instance shows our response works, this trust- building process works, and all of this had been predicated on a combined defense posture and that there was international unity that includes not just korea, japan, and the united states, but also the chinese and the ussians. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: and the russians have expressed their opposition to north korea's provocations.
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this demonstrates the importance of coordination in terms of deterring north korea behavior and impressed upon them that development of nuclear weapons capability is an exercise in futility and does not serve their future. we start to make them realize that point, and i stress the importance of international coordination and maintaining a principled stance in response and make sure we seek to put in -- an end to the vicious cycle of rewarded provocations. this is what we plan to remain committed to as we go forward. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: we also make it clear to them that should they abandon their nuclear aspirations there will be forthcoming economic assistance and assistance that will be furnished not just by the republic of korea but also the international community as well. sadly, we see how they seem to have no intention of abandoning or foreswearing their nuclear aspirations, and this approach does not seem to be working as hoped. we need to make sure they realized by encourage deeper isolation upon themselves and and seeing no brighter future for them, we need to engage in international coordination so
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they realize that they are left with no choice but to abandon their nuclear aspirations and only then can they expect to see t forthcoming. mr. hamre: thank you, madam president. david maxwell wrote about unification. you talked about unification, but his question is what are the critical obstacles that must be overcome to achieve unification? this is one of the things we know will happen, but we do not know what we have to do to overcome it. >> [speaking in korean] >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: my response to this question overlaps my answer to the first question. if we are to engage in discussions about unification with north korea, it is imperative we have a degree of principles or the that the discussions be defined by principles. if we see situation where the provocations are met with rewards and we have this ongoing vicious cycle, then the very idea of discussing the notion of unification would be lost. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: even as we make sure we maintain a principled approach, i feel it is important for the people of south and north korea to be able to restore a sense of common identity, of homogeneity. it is important because of after 70 years of division, it is important for us to pursue a greater interactions in nonpolitical fronts for instance cultural and support exchanges as well as on the environmental
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front as well. and by doing so, by further promoting interactions among the people, we can hope to overcome the divide that has defined the peninsula and therefore restore sense of homogeneity. >> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: from a humanitarian perspective, we are seeking to provide assistance to north korea that would assist them in terms of rural development and more holistic development in their vision that would also improve quality of life among people. at times we see that north koreans refusing to accept gestures, and when it comes to
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assistance, we see how we are not able to carry out things hat we desire. >> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: lastly, i would say this is predicated on north korea abandoning its nuclear aspirations. it is important they realize pursuing nuclear weapons is an exercise in futility and it merely deepens their own self-isolation. an turns their backs on the rest of the world. so it is important that the international community stands united in sending the message so
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they have no choice but to forgo their nuclear weapons capability. mr. hamre: madam president, the president and ceo of the korean economic institute placed this question -- both korea and the united states are right now plagued with high unemployment and underemployment, especially with young people. korea has the added problem that t has very low birth rate. can you tell us what ideas you have to address this critical problem for your country, and what role, if any, the government can play in finding a solution? >> [speaking in korean]
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>> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: i think i can point out three factors that can explain why we see such phenomena as in korea. the first being the continuation of the tendency of low growth in the korean economy, which in turn lowers the ability of
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the economy to create more jobs. second is the mismatch of the young people seeking jobs and the bists seeking to find and place jobs, to fill those jobs. third is the rigidity we see in our labor market. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: in order to further create new jobs, we have undertaken what we call the three-year plan for economic innovation, a key centerpiece which is the creative economy initiative. we will seek to transform our economic paradigm. weigh seek to marry i.c.t. to existing industries. culture with existing industries, and therefore promote convergence. and also create and come up with new style jobs. we are working to bring that about. i would make mention of the service sectors, which have very high potential for creating obs.
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we seek to cut red tape, i would call on the national ascending -- assembly to bold remove regulatory barriers and pass legislation that would allow such deregulation in the service sector. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: to deal with the issue of mismatch that bedevils the economy, we cultivate that kind of human talent that meets expectations and demands of society. we are working to cultivate such talent. we are seeking to pursue the dual system of learning and working at the same time. we seek to institute a national competency standard system. we are undertaking a multiple array of policies to alleviate issue of mismatch, thereby also come up with human talent that can better satisfy social needs. the humanities is a remarkable, admirable pursuit, but one cannot readily land a job by
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studying humanities, and we can provide them with coding education or furnish them with opportunities that are better matched with the need to society. >> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: s for mitigating rigidity in the labor market, the tripartite labor commission has been struggling for the past few months to work out a compromise, and they have succeeded in coming up with a compromise. once pursuant to that compromise, once the government institutes various guidelines and the assembly passes the
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relevant legislation, we can be confident looking forward to greater flexibility as well as security in our labor markets. mr. hamre: i one last question, submitted by glenn. he submitted it before your speech. you spoke about tension in history issues in northeast asia, and he wrote about that. let me just ask a very specific things. do you envision there is a chance for a formal bilateral summit between you and prime minister abe, and what role if any can the united states play to encourage closer ties to korea and japan? >> [speaking in korean]
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>> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: the trilateral summit meeting
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among korea, japan, and china will be held in early november, and being held for the first time in three years under the initiative of the korean government. the reason the korean government endeavored to bring that about was not only to serve the cause of peace, and because we had expectation that such a gathering would redound to improve relations as well. i feel i can have such a meeting with prime minister abe. >> [speaking in korean] president park [interpreter]: in order for such a meeting to be really significant, it is important that the two countries be able to move towards a more future-oriented change in our relationship if that meeting is to have real significance. >> [speaking in korean]
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president park [interpreter]: the korean people are keenly following this upcoming meeting, and for instance would note the
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issue of the comfort women victims, an important issue. most of these comfort women victims are now in their 90's, in this year alone we have seen nine comfort women victims pass away and we currently only have 47 remaining survivors. we do not have much time in terms of dealing with this issue and making sure we can bring closure to their pent up agony. the korean people are following this issue with great interest and keen interest, and once we are able to make progress, it is fair to say a meeting that leads to progress on this issue can be characterized as a meaningful meeting. mr. hamre: before i let you say thank you with your applause, let me say i am going to have to ask you to stay in the room after the president leaves. we will get her out to her car so she is safely on her way. she has more meetings. we are on our way home. [laughter]
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mr. hamre: when we are done, they will open up the doors in the back. we have refreshments. we invite you to stay for a few minutes to reflect on these wonderful observations. madam president, you are a leader, a real leader. we all want to say thank you for what you are doing, and we want to thank you for being with us today. will you please thank the president. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> a look at some of the poll numbers in the presidential race after last week's democratic debate. nbc and the "wall street journal" show the difference in the race depending on whether or not vice president joe biden
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declares. without the vice president, former secretary of state hillary clinton has 58% support. vermont senator bernie sanders, 33. if the vice president does decide to run, those numbers change. hillary loses 9%, drops to 49. and bernie sanders' support drops to 29%. the vice president himself without having declared, his polling at 15%. former virginia senator jim webb s at 2%, and 1% for former maryland governor martin o'malley. vice president gave a speech at a national dinner held in washington, d.c. his keynote address ran about 20 minutes. [applause] vice president biden cloon -- vice president biden: good evening. thank you. thank you very much.
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thank you very much. [applause] vice pres. biden: please, thank you very much. as adly stevens once said, flattery is fine as long as you don't inhale. i am here with a bunch of members of our administration, fred and megan, who, by the way, may be the smartest person i know. lisa jackson, and scores of people in administration with a record number of lgbt appointees, ambassadors, and enior white house staff. thank you for that ntroduction. a number of you have said to me over the last three to four
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years, thank you very much. didn't say that. anyway, what was i saying? [applause] i have been thanked for speaking up apparently out of turn on eet the press. but you know, i want to make something clear and i mean this sincerely. some of you credit me with taking political risks for thought i was doing something special. i was just answering in a straightforward, direct way, what i have known all my whole life. i mean this sincerely, it's based on the proposition best
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expressed by my dad to me when i was 17 years old. he was driving me into town into the town square called rodney square surrounded by corporate buildings, hercules corporation and the dupont company, dropping me off so that i could run in and get an application to be a lifeguard in the city swimming pool system. we were at a light before it changed, i was about to get out and i look to my right and there were two very well dressed conservatively dressed men who embraced each other and kissed and walked in different directions, to their jobs i assume. i remember turning and looking back at my dad. i will never forget what my dad said to me. he said joe, they are in love with each other. it's that simple. [applause]
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it has always been that simple for me and those who were raised by people like my dad. so there wasn't any chance i was taking, it wasn't anything about what i did, it was just who i think most americans are. but the speed with which things have changed from 2012 to today for marnle equality, where all marriages is recognized in all 50 states, is not because of any national figure that spoke out. not because of any of the celebrities that you will have standing before you tonight and have stood before you for so long. t is because of all of you and thousands of people like you who have had the courage to stand up and speak. speak their hearts and minds. the american people are so much
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better than their leaders give them credit for. not only did all of you, by the chances you have taken in your careers and life, not only did you set your love free, you heard me say this before. you have set free millions of straight men and women. you have freed them from the stigma they feared. f they spoke up and defended their lesbian or gay or bisexual or transgender brothers and sisters, friends, college roommates. i believe from the beginning that not only did the social aberration of society keep so many of the lgbt members from coming forward, it also inhabited the tens of millions of straight people from coming forward to support.
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but as i said back in 2012, the vast majority of the american people agreed with me and what i said and have agreed with you for a long time before then. so you left the supreme court absolutely no choice whatsoever. i mean it. but to recognize the simple proposition my father taught me 50 years ago. we also know it wasn't simple for so many who went before us, just like chad did i want to take a moment to recognize the people i assume are in this room and some who are no longer in this room. all of you, all of those who came before us, from stonewall to today. harvey milk, matthew shepard gave his life. o many others.
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not only did so many of you do so much more than anything, you did something that was but only at the time in the moment consequential. you showed up. you showed enormous courage. in many cases, physical courage. physical courage. you risked your jobs, your livelihoods, your very physical well-being. recognize for a moment where we are and what you did, what was done, and realized that the great arc of justice is a journey of this nation and it continues to move in the right direction and we are moving closer to animating the spirit of america because of all of you. [applause]
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we become more of what america was meant to be. all men are created equal, all have a right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. we said so often that it takes on a meaning and loses meaning. he very fact that we finally recognize that love is not a political matter, it's a basic human right, the fact that we recognize that is because of you. jim and all the plaintiffs in -- and historic lawyers and judges. jim, i can't see them but i know you're here and i know john is with you, like he is every day. and tim cook. what does tim cook do by being so open? he makes young kids in the
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classroom, remember when you are in the classroom, worrying,? why am i so different? how are people going to look at me? what can i do? can i do what everybody else can do? and you look and see a man like tim cook, who has turned the world upside down, who understands that equality is not only a moral imperative, but it's the heart of our economic might and our dynamism. giving so much encouragement to so many brilliant young women and men, in the lgbt community. llen page, gifted actress. take the limelight on her and shines it on something bigger than herself. by the way, you won that debate
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at the iowa state fair. you won. there was a clear winner in iowa. [applause] i know we have said it over and over again in the last 50 years. hope will never be silenced, as harvey said. you and your predecessors have always had hoped. you have voice spoken out. as i said good and decent americans were exposed to who ou were and what their responsibility was. i want to pay tribute to the women and men who have taken great risk and had the courage to change things. you have changed the world in which my grandchildren will grow up, all for the better. ou have.
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we owed them and you. and i know now that what i do then, the american people are with us. after i had that interview on meet the press and some people were not happy, i made a point. i said you guys are out of step, the american people are already there. here's what i want to get to you. so much, there are still those shrill voices in the national political arena trying to undo what has finally been done, but they will not succeed. on't worry about it. [applause] [applause] [applause] the american people have moved so far beyond them. and the appeals to prejudice and fear and homephobia.
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and because of how far you have moved the american people. the remainder of the work, and work still has tobacco done, i promise you, will come much more quickly and more surely, it will increase in its a pidity the change that we need. i strongly support the equality act and it will pass. it will pass. it may not pass the congress, it will pass because it's simple and it's straightforward. the american people think the law already prevents an employer from firing someone because they are lgbt. he american people already think it is illegal to deny new housing. the american people already think what the act calls for. the problem is they don't know
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that it is still legal in so many places. the one way, if you could change this overnight, would be to infuse in every mind in america that there are still 40 -- excuse me, 31 states that can deny you employment and housing, etc. look, i am not your staff but i am kind of like your staff. here's the deal, i told this to chad. a lot of you are successful women and men. put your money into advertising. let them know it is it legal in their state to deny someone a job based on this. let them know. the american people are already with you.
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look at the numbers. there are homophobes still left. some of them are running for president. [applause] for the first piece of change is information. i really mean this. people are stunned as i go around the country and talk about how you can be married at 9:00 and fired at noon. try it out. try it, ask them. they look at you and say that is not possible. i really mean it. calling the people in each of these states and demand change that they think has already happened is not going to be as hard as you think. we have made great progress in don't ask don't tell.
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we made it clear in this administration that we're proud of the fact that so many members of the lgbt community are willing to risk their lives and serve their country, and many have given their lives for their country. in july, when i said, and i wasn't making a profound statement, i said transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. it took secretary of defense about 10 minutes in july of 2015, no longer is in any question, transgender people are able to serve in the united states military. [applause] ash carter is a decent man and said they should be able to serve in the military, it is simple. all americans who qualify to serve physically should be able to serve. as i said last year, transgender
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rights are the civil rights issue. but there's so much more to do. there are 680,000 homeless young lgbt people. half of whom are homeless because they were rejected by their parents and families. i can't think of anything that would be more sad. we have also, though, decided that finally put an end to changing our immigration laws so that a smex partner of u.s. citizen now has a expedited path to citizenship. there are nearly one million lgbt adult immigrants living in the shadows. unconscionable practice of conversion therapy. it must end. t just must end. as all of you have pointed out,
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need to deal with the disparities of h.i.v. aids treatment and prevention for black gay men and transgender women population has to be a focus. it's also necessary to make up for some past transgressions. that's why the president and i are working on all those who are dishonorably discharged because they were members of the lgbt community should have their discharge papers changed from dishonorable to honorable. [applause] these are things because of you we are already doing. more and more of our heroes are getting honorable discharges they rightly earned. for our other heroes, no longer will the benefits of public safety or officers program be denied same-sex partners because their colleagues, lover,
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husband, wife was shot dead serving the public. [applause] imagine we have to fight over that. and, folks, as we have been advocating for a long time, we can't have one standard in america and not insist on that standard worldwide. constantly lleagues point out to me, i'm always saying, and i think this is the hallmark of the obama administration, we should not only lead by the power or example, we should lead by the example of our power. [applause] both of them. both. the power of our example is more profound in the impact it has on the world than even our military. folks, there is no cultural justification for prosecuting or
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persecuting, putting in jail the lgbt community in any country, anywhere in the world. [applause] but the ugly fact is in 80 countries it's a crime to simply begin. folks, our foreign policy we are determined, will reflect our disdain for those perverted cultural norms. that's why secretary john kerry created the first special envoy for human rights of lgbt persons in this past february. [applause] for big got you can never be just or supported. and the basic human rights are the foundations thrown for our society. that's why people look to us. but if you're -- forgive me, there is a basic human right that should concern us all. i know it's not the subject of this meeting, and that's the
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freedom to be free of violence. whether at the hand of another person or the bullet of a gun. [applause] >> you can watch the rest of his speech online. take you live now to the floor at the u.s. house of representatives. about to gavel in. members beginning the day with general speeches. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the sproot, washington, d.c., -- the speaker's room, washington, d.c., october 20, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable john r. moolenaar to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 01


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