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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 7, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EST

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definition. so, we got to get away from this early warning para dime in my view and move to sort of this strategic fore site approach. >> even then we don't necessarily know what to do about it. >> that's a whole other issue. >> it's a problem, though because you can have these little shocks to the system like what happened in ukraine even though we saw lots of bad things simmering. even when there's a long simmering crisis and see it happening, we still ring our hands and wag our fingers and aren't quite sure what to do. that's part of the work that you do. how do you think through how to prevent what is potentially likely to happen. that stymies a lot of our ability not to only act in advance but act at all. that's part of the problem as well. in the back. i think we have time for this may be the last question. >> jim lobe interpress service. just to go back on what mr. brooks said.
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global governance should be the focus. what are the implications, if any, of a increasingly republican u.s. congress. >> do i give that to paul? >> be my guest. >> you know i'm optimistic actually that certainly with time we're going to realize and i think we're probably already there or nearing on the verge of a breakthrough that american politics is about inclusiveness and working on both sides of the isle and we're going to move away from being bitterly opposed on two sides of the isle and get back to actually having conversations, substantive conversations that will move us back into a position to reassert ourselves in a global leadership role that's positive to support the development and diplomatic maturity of smaller governments around the world and to really
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do what we wanted to do for the last couple of years is push the cost of their security back on to them as their burden and not shoulder that so much within the u.s. economy itself. >> my comment is from your lips to god's ears. but -- and i do hope that that in fact, occurs. i will say, though, that it does seem to me the one test will be the degree to which there is a bipartisan response on the series of the issues that we've been talking about. on ukraine that needs to be a really thoughtful effort to help that country move towards and in a sense push them towards the reforms that everybody knows need to take place internally. on libya, when i talked about two too little, too late and departing too soon dealing with those illegal armed militias in
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libya early on was the major reason we are where we are today. and it seems to me that there's a way to have a bipartisan recognition of that and a greater degree of active, positive support for making that happen. i will just say that this same kind of issue about getting in early and doing something on african republic before it exploded was also available and hopefully in the future we'll see greater bipartisan willingness to deal with those issues. >> i'll seed my time to one last question. >> right here in the middle. >> thank you. i'm amy hawthorne from the atlantic council. we saw today the terrible attack in paris. and obviously we don't know exactly what took place or who was behind it but assuming that it was a jihadist group acting
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in some fashion against not just civilian targets but civilian targets for a very specific political reason using a level of sophistication, this seems to me to be a potential game changer. i'm wondering if we wor to see other attacks like this in the west, first of all, do you think that's possible? and secondly if that did happen, what would the impact be in the international system on u.s. foreign policy, european foreign policy and so forth? thank you. >> i'm happy to start with that. while i'm not going to speculate on the details surrounding today's incident in paris, i will say that certainly if we look at from a european perspective, i see no possibility of a sustained terrorist campaign across europe in any way. i think we will continue to see sporadic localized incidents that occur. you know same thing we see within africa itself.
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i think certainly the counterterrorism campaign going on globally which is frankly a concerted international effort, is going to keep at bay any large-scale global networks, sustained attacks on a global basis itself, so i think that is the good news. i think the home-grown terrorist, the lone actor those sorts of things we're probably going to see more frequent, localized attacks occurring in europe in africa depending west and east africa perhaps spreading down to tanzania next year as well. >> i agree. i think actually i would also say that it's unlikely that you're not going to see some individual actions like that that hit the united states. we were successful at the u.n. in getting the resolution adopted to go essentially to work to prevent foreign fighters from coming back, but it's impossible to stop everyone.
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but it does go again to what i said earlier which is we need to do a better job to focus on those pools of disenchanted young people and figure out how we can encourage governments around the world to offer greater opportunities to them. and otherwise strengthen civilian law enforcement in the process, not to take actions which reduce civil rights and civil liberties here or anywhere else. >> fine line. >> i think this is going to play out in three ways in europe. one is in terms of the debate in europe at the moment about immigration and as you know, there's surprising anti-immigrant sentiment in many countries and i think again, we don't know the details of what happened here, i think this could sort of resonate in that debate. it's going to, secondly, have an impact on this whole question of
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surveillance public surveillance, of communications media and so on. and i think it could affect how people, what they are prepared to accept in that area. and i think thirdly in terms of certainly again in european context internal border controls and checks, is anyone who travels in europe knows once you're in that region in europe you can travel right across europe without any kind of check on who you are what you're doing and so on. and it's a nice thing but i think that's going to possibly change certainly if there's another incident of this kind. >> very good. >> well, we're out of time. any wrapup comments very briefly. >> thank you all for coming here again and keep answering the survey each year. >> go on each of their websites
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our on cfr, control risk and get more on this topic. thank you very much for coming. have a great day. [ applause ]. on our next washington journal, connecticut ronk nan jim himes discusses the democratic agenda for the 114th congress and some of the issues facing the republican-led house. after that, former congressional budget office director douglas holtz-eakin discusses cost of obama regulations in 2014. plus your e-mails phone calls and tweets. washington journal is live each morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. thursday the defense department holds a briefing on
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the u.s. military in europe and the consolidation of bases. see it live starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span2. this sunday, on "q&a" we talk about the ground-breaking 1915 film "the birth of a nation" its depiction of former slaves after the civil war and william row and trotter. >> part two of the mu scli is after the war reconstruction is really the heart of the protest in the sense that this is where the blacks are just appalled by the portrayal of freed slaves. and this is a scene showing what happens when you give former slaves the right to vote, the right to be elected, the right to govern. it's a scene in south carolina legislature where their first and primary order of business is to pass a bill allowing for
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interracial marriage because again, in griffin ice hands, black men are solely interested in pursuing and having white women. ♪ ♪ author dick lehr on the controversial story behind "the birth of a nation" sunday night at 8:00 p.m. and c-span's "q&a". next the annual state of state's address. nga chair of colorado and vice chair of utah discuss current conditions and challenges facing states and efforts to create better partnerships with the
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federal government. this is just over an hour. [ applause ]. thank you and good morning, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for coming to the third annual national governor's state of the state's address. as my -- boy it's going to be a tough one, i can tell. must be the snow. it's my privilege to serve as the governor of colorado and as the chair of the nga. joining me today is my good friend nga vice chair and governor of the great state of utah gary herbert. i would like to take a moment to
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acknowledge the chief of the national bureau who is here today, general frank grass who is also a member of the joint chiefs of staff. we are welcoming many new colleagues this year as governors, already four new governors have been sworn in, alaska arizona, hawaii and the virgin islands. as of today governor ramundo will be sworn in as the first female governor of rhode island. over the next few weeks another seven new governors will take the oath of office. many of these colleagues are relatively new to politics. they entered the realm of elected office after many successful years in the privet sector. tom wolf the governor elect of pennsylvania, spent years running a family business specializing in kitchen cabinets. arizona's new governor doug duesy was his state's first treasurer but before that he was the founder and chief executive cold stone creamery. governor didn't step into office until four years ago like governor duesy she was her
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state's treasurer, but before that, she launched one of rhode island's first venture capital firms. for the last three decades, larry hogan, governor elect of maryland has been an entrepreneur running the real estate company he founded decades ago. pete rickers will nebraska's governor thursday. he held several leadership positions in his family business including president and coo as mare trade. these are only a few of the new governors who come to public service after years in the private sector. these new perspectives will be of great benefit not only to the individual states but to the whole country. public service and political experience is critical to creating an effective government, but so is private sector experience. knowing what it's like to take a risk and start a business. having had to meet a payroll and not only keep the lights on but turn a profit and succeed. this experience can help state governments empathize with the
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business community and with its employees. all of which helps cultivate responsible, economic growth. today, also marks the swearing in of the 114th congress and our former colleague mike rounds of south dakota. he joins nine other former governors who realize that having been a governor will help make them a better senator. i tell you all of this because we have a clean slate a fresh start. as the house and senate and the administration put their agendas together, we are asking them to look to the states. gridlocked too often may be the norm here in washington, d.c., but that does not hold true in the states. later this afternoon, governor herbert and i along with members of the executive committee of nga will meet with the president to talk about the upcoming year and areas of mutual yal concern and interest. identifying challenges and finding solutions that work for everyone are the hallmarks of state capitals. it's worth noting also the hallmarks of successful business
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leaders. we have demonstrated we can work together to solve our nation's most pressing problems, indeed, is this is has it should be as our founding fathers intended states to function as laboratories of democracy. i would like to highlight a few of the things happening in states and how we are delivering results for the people of our states. then governor herbert will outline how the federal government can partner with us going forward. let's start with education. every governor i know wants to be the education governor. research has shown repeatedly that to have a strong, competitive education system early learning needs to come first. already most states have invested more state dollars in early care on education and those states are creating policies to increase the likelihood that money is spent on high quality learning opportunities. governor malloy has led efforts in connecticut to expand high quality early care in education, make sure those opportunities are rampant.
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last year he established a new office of early childhood new office of early childhood to build a cohesive high quality system of care and education for young children in his state. he also worked with the legislature to expand their voluntary preschool program. states are also elevating the quality of their education by raising their expectations of stubts and moving the quality of the assessments used to measure student's progress. with testing it's about quality, not quantity. when done well students are better prepared for post secondary education, avoid remedial classes are on the path to enter the work force and ultimately the middle class ensuring that students leave high school ready for college or a career is a top prior to for governors everywhere. govern haslem has led tennessee with this approach producing the largest gains in student achievement nationwide over the last four years.
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as states set higher standards what students learn and how they will learn will not change much unless we improve the quality of teaching and leadership within all our schools. states are revamping the preparation of teachers and principles and are significantly changing how educators are evaluated. in colorado we passed legislation several years ago -- excuse me -- to elevate the quality of our teachers and our principals principals. today, teachers and principals are evaluated according to a system based on rigorous standards. they receive feedback based on multiple observations of their practice as well as their contribution to student learning. along with this feedback, teachers and principals are given the necessary professional development opportunities to improve their performance. but as we all know, education is not stopped in the classroom. it continues throughout their careers. the work force is constantly
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evolving and learning which is absolutely necessary, which is absolutely necessary in our modern economy. where we can create opportunities, that means well-paying jobs. and well-paying jobs mean upward mobility. upward mobility, economic growth and job creation depend on a well-educated and well-trained work force. there is a growing recognition that the united states will benefit from more advanced on the job training opportunities to develop a skilled work force for businesses and for well-paying careers for workers. that is one reason states have focussed on creating apprenticeships. governor bullocks main-strait montana project elevates the role of apprenticeship as a work force solution for the state's key industries. several states are offering task credits to employers who hire apprentices. others are offering tuition benefits and reimbursements when
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workers take relevant courses. some states provide support to state-wide and regional agencies to help businesses develop apprenticeship models. this year governor bran stad signed the iowa apprenticeship tripled it to over $3 million to support classroom-based instruction for apprentices in high-demand sectors. governor herbert continued commitment to aligning utah's education and work force training systems with the needs of its employers in the state is paying great dividends. utah's unemployment rate is one of the very best in the nation additionally, his support for reforms that emphasize science technology engineering and math, the so-called stem careers, it's helping utah realize its goal of 66% of all adults obtaining a degree or post-second certificate by the year 2020. while also preparing today's students for modern
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technology-driven economy. we governors are occasionally competitive but it's always good having one governor standing out so it pushes the rest of us. but we also must look at the talent pool when creating economic development strategies. among that pool of talent are our returning veterans. after returning from the armed forces, many veterans find that they cannot transfer easily their skills to a civilian job without the additional burden of -- without the added burden of additional certificates or licenses. because of this, 20 states already have enacted legislation just in the past year to assist veterans and their spouses in transferring and obtaining occupational licenses. six states illinois iowa minnesota, nevada virginia and wisconsin are participating in an nga project to ease veterans' transition -- to ease the transition of veterans from military service to civilian employment by accelerating the
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occupational licensing and certification process. in minnesota governor dayton signed the legislation reducing the number of years of military experience necessary to take the police officer reciprocity exam and in wisconsin governor walker created an accelerated program that bridges the gap between military training and civilian credentials, especially in high-demand nursing and health care occupations. in every state, education and health care remain the top two expenditures. all states continue to focus on improving health care, raising quality and containing costs. increasingly, governors are aligning economic incentives across public and private payers, moving away from traditional fee for service models and toward value and quality. many governors are starting the transformation with medicaid. for example, governor bentley proposed a demonstration waiver in alabama to implement regional
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care organizations to provide care to almost all of the medicaid beneficiaries within the next few years. governor in washington has a demonstration waiver proposal to provide statewide health care transformationings by consolidating and maximizing their value. for its part, nga is woing with governors to create and medicaid transformation framework in concept with the federal government around common state-wide transformation themes. that's flexible federalism. oregon transformed its medicaid program by delivering the -- dividing the state into 15 regional coordinated care organizations that emphasize prevention and chronic disease treatment to reduce the need for emergency room visits and hospitalizations. arkansas has implemented a novel system of bundle payments for
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select procedures and conditions. these payments cover the entirety of services needed. physician hospital pharmaceutical post care post acute care for each episode or treatment thereby establishing incentives for the most efficient care. governors are leading the way improving the health of the people of their states by focussing on the wellness of the whole person and optimizing individual health outcomes. a key aspect of these efforts includes integrating medical and behavior health care systems. missouri is a pioneer in this effort. governor jay nickson places a premium on evidence-based practices such as support of housing and employment for people with the most serious needs. the missouri model shows promising evidence of significant reductions in hospitalizations and improved
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outcomes for serious chronic conditions such as diabetes high blood pressure and cholesterol. as states drive towards high quality and more efficient health care, governors are also developing an accessible, well-trained and flexible health care work force to meet both the current need and that of a transformed health care delivery system. many states report -- many states report provider shortages across diverse practice areas including adult primary care oral health behavioral health and a range of other specialties. more over, delivery system efforts are creating new work force needs that significantly changing the composition of the health care work force, along with how individual providers are expected to practice. governors are carrying out a number of efforts to support that new health work force including addressing prestrixs,
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creating incentives for providers to practice in rural and underserved areas, partnering with economic development and labor agencies to collect work force data and funding education and training programs to recruit, retain new types of professionals. in maryland they established a loan repayment program funded by both public and private stake holders which includes an advisory council that scores potential applicants according to the likelihood they will continue serving the underserved once their term ends. in north carolina the governor has created a program linking emergency rooms to behavioral health providers who are able to initiate treatment through video conferences. even with the gridlock in washington, governors are using their authority to effectively improve the quality of health care for the people of their states. while education and health care are top of mind for all governors, we also have focussed on infrastructure, the roads,
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rail waterways, the runways, broad band networks and power grids needed to accelerate economic growth and job creation. governors know that you can't build a competitive economy without the foundation provided by modernized infrastructure. to be frank, too little federal investment in infrastructure is handicapping u.s. business in global markets. what was new 65 years ago now has to be either rebuilt or repaired and in response states are increasing their funding. fiscal year 2014, transportation spending grew by more than 4% with state funds increasing more than 10% at the same time that federal funds were declining by more than 1%. in order to bridge that gap, states have turned to creative funding sources and innovative ways to help their dollars go
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further. one approach that has been made sense in many states is creating new public/private partnerships that leverage private sector financing and expertise to deliver new public roads, bridges, ports and tunnels at a lower cost and more quickly. we've had success in colorado with the public/private partnership transit project that opened last fall and there's a new road project underway. our state along with maryland illinois and north carolina held retreats with the help of the nga to think through these new opportunities. including how to identify the savings and structure for these projects so that they can really work. energy policy is another area where governors have been leading the charge. governors have been crafting state energy plans and developing a variety of innovative policies thanks to technological advances including increased production from
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hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, these past few years have seen a reversal in the 20-year decline in the domestic production of crude oil. ? september, montly production was back up to 256 million barrels on par with its peak in 1996 a far -- more importantly a far cry from the low point of september, 2005, when it was less than half that amount. we expect to see continued high levels of production for some time to come even with the drop in oil prices that's part of a -- in part a consequence of more production in the united states. there's a similar story to be told about natural gas development where production saw ten-straight months of growth from february to november of this past year. reaching 67.9 billion cubic feet per day on the average. as such, the united states now leads the world in national gas production.
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these increases have lowered costs, increased reliability and enhanced energy security and furthered economic development. lower energy costs have added anywhere from 500 to $1,000 annually to household budgets across the united states. much of this new production is from shale, both in oil and gas. and meanwhile states are working to ensure that they are responsibly managing the development of this new shale energy. in colorado we created rules to elimination me than emission leaks and the releases from natural gas production processes along with a number of other rules that protect water and land resources. governors are working to ensure that development is done safely and responsibly so that we can all use natural gas to heat our homes, to generate electricity to fuel our vehicles in a way that lowers omissions and decreases our energy supply.
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from the 21st century production, let's jump now to 21st century threats. like not enough water. that's not in the script. the continued growth and sophistication of cyberattacks against the united states makes cyber security a critical issue for all governors. crime, like commerce, is now done often on the internet. what used to be stolen in person is now stolen with a keyboard. cyber security is considered one of the largest homeland security threats that we face. governors have made significant progress on this front. last year the nga resource center for state and cyber security under the leadership of maryland governor o'malley and michigan governor schneider, released a call to action outlining essential steps governors can take to improve their state's cyber security practices. i'm happy to report today that
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according to a recent survey, two thirds of the states have adopted or are considering adopting those recommendations. in addition for the governors for the council of governors are leading national efforts to improve a whole of government approach to cyber security. at the twoush nga summer meeting, they ratified the jint action plan for state/federal unity of effort on cyber security. this strategic document will help improouch coordination of state and federal governments efforts to strengthen our response to cyber security. but as we all know, there is still much work to be done to ensure that our networks and critical infrastructure are secure from cyberattacks. governors will continue to improve the security of our vital systems. another threat that nations governor's recognize is prescription drug abuse. prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the entire country and it's critical that we have a
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coordinated and effective response. last year, along with governor bentley and i cochaired the first round of the nga's prescription drug abuse project. now under the leadership of nevada, governor sandoval and for vermont governor, governors from michigan, minnesota north carolina and wisconsin have conceived -- have convened high-level teams of policymakers with the goal of implementing strategies to reduce overdoses and deaths. these states are building on the lessons learned from the first academy, developing plans that are able to use data and evaluation to drive policy to rely on evidence-based practices and to expand the availability and effective treatment and ultimately change prescribing behavior. i know in our early implementation, colorado has reduced prescription drug abuse by more than 20% in the first two and a half years. public health, law enforcement, and other stake holders must
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work together to find a solution to the growing problem. governors continue to lead the way encouraging greater collaboration and coordination to reduce overdoses and death. now, what i've outlined are just a few highlights from the state's many accomplishments. we know we will continue to grow and continue to do more that's why i've chosen to focus my chair's initiative this year on delivering results. my overall goal is to make state government work in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible through innovative management and hiring practices through government process improvements and through appropriate regulations. many of my fellow governors are already taking full advantage of the innovations used by businesses, universities and others to address the fundamental issue of how to deliver people better results. for example, a number of governors are cutting bureaucratic red tape making
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government work better for its people and businesses. one way is to make it easier to obtain licenses and permits. for example, in south dakota they launched a new red tape review eliminating more than 148,000 words and 900 sections from their state regulation. new jersey governor chris christie created a commission to review all pending and proposed rules and regulations for their effect on the state's economy. on a related note he signed into law in november -- signed a law in november that will revise appeal unnecessary or burdensome statutes that were identified by the commission. my fellow governors also are ensuring that taxpayer money is spent wisely. for example, in michigan a new website provides information to the public on performance in key areas such as economic strength health in education and public safety. governor ensly has instituted results washington, a wide-reaching effort to ensure that all of state government is
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focussed on achieving a set of high-prior to goals including world-class education. healthy and safe communities and a prosperous economy. in colorado we're focussing on delivering results as well. one of the things we did immediately after taking office four years ago was travel around the state and ask communities and business leaders what we could do to help their businesses. to help their business development. and part of what we heard was to get rid of unnecessary rules in essence get government out of the way. in response, we established what we called the pits and peeves initiative. i signed an executive order that required all state agencies to conduct periodic reviews of all their rules to determine their need, their appropriateness and their effectiveness. thus far, in colorado we reviewed more than 13,000 state regulations and either improved or eliminated almost 50%.
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the order wasn't rocket science but common sense, which we all have learned sometimes illudes bureaucracies. similarly, we have adopted lean process management systems in the state capital and that means that in colorado government processes are done more quickly and efficiently than ever before. to expand on these things is the right direction for all governors. these experiments in bringing modern management techniques to state governments are taking place all across america. and we are beginning to find solutions to secure this -- solutions to some of this country's most nagging problems. state governments exist to improve not complicate the lives of their citizens. to expand mor issues and how federal government can partner with us, i turn it over to my good friend from the great state of utah governor gary
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herbert. [ applause ]. >> well thank you governor. welcome, everybody. it's an honor to be here with you today. it's a privilege to join my good friend here as we lead the national governor's association. i enjoy serving with him as we work together with the western governor's association. i'm excited about this opportunity to continue to work together with the governor here in washington representing the governors of this great nation. as governor hickenlooper said a new congress provides a clean slate. it's a new year and a new opportunity to reset priorities and focus on solutions. like many of my fellow governors, i too have been frustrated by the stalemate that seems to pervade washington. ideology is important and guiding principles should guide but they should not be used to impede government. governors have to get things done. today, governor hickenlooper and
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i speak on behalf of the nation's governors to build upon the innovation and the activity in the states and call for a federal agenda that focuses on solutions and partnerships rather than extreme partisanship. this new congress provides us with a unique opportunity to reauthorize several major programs with a backlog of work that has been left undone by the previous congress we now have the opportunity for meaningful reform to ensure that state/federal programs work more effectively. let's start with education. 43 states are operating under waives from no child left behind. while waivers are important tools that provide states with flexibility to innovate and manager programs, government by waiver is a sign of underlying laws that do not work and are in need of reform. governors are calling on congress to reauthorize the elementary and secondary
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education act. this should be done in a way that protect state's rights to set standards and also recognizes the need for maximum flexibility as state's meet goals and advance education for all of our students. the new act should re-enforce the principle that accountability and responsibility for k through 12 ex education rests with the states. low-performing schools and ls include flexibility for governors to empower teachers and school leaders to prepare all students for success. the objective of k through 12 education to prepare students for college or career training and provide the basis for a successful future. in oklahoma, the governor hosted a summit in her state that brought together for the first time leaders from education, the business community and state government in order to lay out a plan and make a joint commitment to improvement education in her
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state. other states are also doing similar things to ensure state-driven education excellence. other major education bills are also pending, including reauthorization for head start and the higher education and perkins career in technical education act. this sets the stage for building innovative education pipeline aimed at preparing far more students success in the workplace and in their communitying. by leveraging these bills to re-enforce one another, states will have the latitude necessary to create a koe harnt system that is better for our students. as we all know better education leads to a better work force. as governors, we are continually working to ensure our work force systems are ready to sustain a skilled work force for today's global economy. the work force investment act of 1998 gave governors additional tools to ensure an effective and
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responsive system to meet the needs of workers. 16 years later, the law was in need of an update to allow governors to address new challenges that confront workers in our modern-state economies. we applaud congress for breaking through the gridlock to reauthorize this law which provides flexibility for governors to grow employment capacity and spur economic development. unfortunately, though, appropriators failed to fully fund the 15% set aside, a critical tool that governors have used to build innovative work force programs that attract and retain businesses and create jobs. we look forward to partnering with the federal government to fully implement the law and with congress to restore the 15% set aside which by the way can be done with no tax increase. let me also recognize that our nation's veterans are a valuable part of our american work force. we as governors know military
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service members and veterans are an asset to the nation. we're focussed on providing veterans with ready access to the benefits the services and the economic opportunities that they so rightly deserve. specifically, the governors are dedicated to sharing innovative state initiatives that seek to ease veteran's transition to civilian life. we're partnering with employers to hire more veterans to expand their access to benefits and services and to better support military spouses and families. in addition, governors will continue to work with federal agencies and congress to address on going state/federal challenges related to information sharing records management and elimination of the disability claims backlog. another significant concern for the governors is health care. we agree with the th and quality of care while doing everything possible to contain costs. last year, we came together as states to make more than 40 recommendations to the department of health and human
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services through our health care sustainability task force. these key recommendations include, streamlining the approval process for medicaid waivers, like we've done in my state of utah. or as we've seen in arkansas and oregon. developing a path of permanency for long-standing successful state programs as they've been done in arizona. and also allowing states to share in the federal savings that result from state-driven reforms. we are an on going discussion with hhs and administration to make sure these recommendations become a reality. in particular, i would like to acknowledge the work that's been done through the new medicate accelerator program. looking ahead governors will continue working with federal partners on these and other opportunities to improve the quality and efficiency of the nation's health care system. two areas where governors have broad consensus are in the call for reauthorization of the children's health insurance program, otherwise known as
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chip. as well as the need to coordinate efforts to combat prescription drug abuse. congress should act quickly to reauthorize and fund chip. since 1997, the program has successfully provided children and pregnant women and working families with affordable health insurance. governors believe chip should be reauthorized until those children and pregnant women have access to other affordable alternative coverage options. as governor hickenlooper mentioned, prescription drug abuse is a major public health and safety crisis confronting communities across the united states. while governors are leading comprehensive initiatives to address this issue a coordinated national response is needed to effectively turn the tide of this epidemic. the federal government should work in close coordination with governors to develop policies that compliment state efforts and focus on specifically one enhancing public education and
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awareness, two maximizing the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs, three improving provider education and prescribing practices, four providing safe, convenient and cost-effective options for disposal of unused drugs five encouraging the development and use of abuse deternlt formulations and finally, six, expanding access to addiction treatment and alternative treatments for pain. another priority for states is restoring, rebuilding and expanding our infrastructure for the 21st century. if congress does not act early this year, federal reimbursement from the highway trust fund for state spending on contracted transportation projects are at risk as soon as this spring. additionally, unless congress reauthorizes or extends federal surface transportation laws and programs, they, too, will expire on may 31st of this year. the uncertainty created by these two pending events will leave
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jobs and economic growth at risk in all of our states. therefore, we call on congress to strengthen the economy and invest in the future by passing a long-term reauthorization. a multi-year authorization should include flexibility for states to maintain innovative financing options, such as the public private partnerships which can serve as critical tools at a time of uncertainty for the program. however, innovative financing mechanisms alone cannot replace the continued federal investment necessary to create a cohesive national transportation system. this commitment by the federal government to our service transportation began in the 1950s under president dwight d. eisenhower and continues to this day. support for infrastructure investment must also include support from municipal bonds. bonds have financed most every
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major infrastructure project in this country in the last century. ending or capping the federal exclusion from income from bond interest would increase the cost of financing infrastructure projects. this would in turn slow future projects and require states and local governments to find alternative sources of revenue. while we are on the subject of infrastructure and tax let me take a moment to express governor's disappointment with congress for not passing legislation addressing marketplace fairness regarding online and remote sales. legislation was proposed that would have helped level the playing field for all retailers and allowed for the collection of taxes that are already owed to the states under existing laws. not only is it unfair to other taxpayers who pay their taxes this failure to act distorts the marketplace in effect favoring remote sellers who often have no connection to our communities over the businesses that are
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hiring our people, serving our families. this discussion has been going on for over 15 years. it has strong bipartisan support, it is time, in fact, i would say it's past time for congress to act and to resolve this issue. already 23 states have taken matters into their own hands and passed so-called amazon laws to collect a portion of the tax on their own. more will follow because, as you heard from governor hickenlooper earlier, states are not afraid to govern. however, to fully resolve this issue at the national level congress must act and we ask them to act now. we do appreciate the work congress has done with regards to the national guard. last year, congress did the right thing by saying no to a pentagon plan to cut the army national guard and remove much of its combat air capability. this year, a commission will review the role of the army national guard.
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we fully intend to communicate how the guards cost effectiveness and more than ten years of combat experience should be leveraged to meet the new threats and the economic realities facing the nation. we already know that the pentagon intends to recommit plans to reduce the size of the army guard and to remove the guard's apache helicopters. governors in congress said no once and we will say it again. the guard is the most cost-effective combat ready force in our nation's arsenal. as a former staff sergeant in the utah national guard i know firsthand how the guard faithfully serves this country abroad and here at home. governors understand the need we have as a nation to make adjustments to meet financial realities, but this is the time to invest in value and the national guard is the best bang for the taxpayer's buck. one example of how useful and versatile the guard can be is its potential to help state's
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address cyber security threats. states counties and cities are all experiences the same attacks we hear about with regard to the retailers and the banks and other businesses. as governor as the governor said, nga has taken the lead to provide states with plans and strategies for combating cyberattacks. since the men and women of the guard come from our communities and our businesses, some of best and brightest working in the area of cybersecurity also serve in the guard. as the federal government develops its strategies policies to thwart attacks and protect us, it should partner with the states and recognize the value the guard can bring to this new front. let me now address the subject of energy and the epa. much work remains to be done at the federal level to ensure that the united states retains its newly found position as a leader in world energy production. american energy producers have made enormous progress in developing both renewable and
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traditional sources of fuel. it's critical that we cultivate a regulatory climate that allows for safe, efficient and environmentally responsible innovation in each of these areas. the epa's rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants will require states to submit compliance plans soon after the resumes expected finalization date in june. it's important that states have the flexibility and the resources needed to develop these plans. additionally, the epa's proposed waters of the u.s. rule would alter which waterways would fall under federal jurisdiction versus state jurisdiction through the clean water act. the epa must continue its coordination with states in order to ensure that the epa does not overstep its bounds affecting states' jurisdiction and authority. speaking of water, which we have spoken of today, i would like to thank our congressional partners
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for strong bipartisan passage of the water resources reform and development bill. governors developed a set of guiding principals for the bill's reauthorization. we are pleased that many of these principals were included in the final bill. as the bill is implemented, governors are committed to ensuring that key provisions, such as the public private partnership for the corps of engineers of finance, are 2%s developed with input from the states. for more than a century, our governors have been working for the national governor's association, a bipartisan association in a partisan town. in order to discuss mutual concerns and act collectively for the betterment of our states, initiatives and policy recommendations we have worked together on have served as the catalyst for positive change in our country. as elected officials, we are expected to make government work. i look forward to working with
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the governor and all of my fellow governor on the priorities we've outlined here today, and with partnering with congress and the administration to find solutions for the american people in 2015. the challenges we face as a nation require the full measure of american brains and braun and best innovation each state has to offer. our success depends largely on our ability to overcome divisiveness and to form unprecedented partnerships which, in turn, will lead us to unlimited possibilities. i have seen it work in utah. and i know it can work for our nation. a greater partnership between states and a federal government is essential for a people driven to create security, opportunity and prosperity for the next generation of americans. no less was done for us by those who preceded us. and we need that vision and that commitment now more than ever. thank you very much.
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may god bless these united states. [ applause ] >> questions? do we have any questions? this many journalists in one place. yes? [ inaudible ] >> yeah, just raise your hand. >> sorry. >>p"q there we go. >> hi. you guys had mentioned transportation bill. i was curious if you guys had any suggestions for how you would like to see them fix the highway trust fund issue. >> i think our recommendations have been more general in nature in terms of making sure that we don't lose ground. i don't know any governor or any
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responsible legislator who is not concerned as we see the increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles that are revenues -- the primary source of revenues for maintaining and expanding highway infrastructure are going to diminish. we have not made a specific recommendation along those lines that i know of. >> again, as a matter of getting it done, sometimes they are not getting things done. it sits and gets kicked on down the road. one of the things that we have suggested to the president and the congress is that although we need to balance the budget, we understand the fiscal constraints and we applaud them, in fact, living within their means. we also ought to have the monies that give -- as given to the states under the transportation and reauthorization to have less strings attached. we believe we can do more with less if we are not hampered. we have the ability to innovate and create and do things with more flexibility.
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we have talked to the secretary of transportation regarding this very issue. it seeps to have been received well. the proof will be in the pudding if we can, in fact, get a reauthorization and have a reauthorization that has less strings attached so we have more flexibility to stay level. >> the other thing we have talked -- the white house has been receptive, as well as members of congress -- in the process with the funding we have, to reduce the red tape that when we're doing major projects, many times the sequence of requirements in terms of getting your -- satisfying the epa and various federal agencies could be done in parallel instead of being done sequentially, which could dramatically reduce the amount of time and preparation for the large projects. the white house and department of transportation have already done that in communities with some of their efforts to expand port capacity in anticipation of the expanded panama canal is a good example.
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>> good morning. when you guys are meeting with the president today, you have a long list of stuff that you would like the federal government to look at, but probably a very short time. what are your top priorities when meeting with the president today? >> well, i think probably the highest priority of everything we are talking about is to build that relationship between state governments and the federal government. in terms of healthcare, if we've gone out -- and we now have a number of states using the same waiver successfully, let's make it easier to get those done and make them, in many cases, permanent. 35 or 40 states that have a waiver, say, in education, maybe it's time to change the law. you have that many people using
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waivers, there's obviously something wrong with the structure. so that's going to be a primary focus. also, i'm sure we will talk about marketplace fairness. that's a primary concern of many states. it's just not fair to our local businesses that are part of our community and, you know, really support community in many ways, support not just through payment of taxes but support the non-profit, the third leg of the stool that helps societies grow and prosper. i think it's only fair that what was originally intended to help the internet get started -- well, the internet is pretty well started now. i'm not sure we need to keep continuing to giving them this rather large tax break. >> let me just add, in addition to the list that i had given in my portion of the presentation here today, the concept of the need for congress and the white house to listen to the governors
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is an important one. we are on the front lines. we are the laboratories of democracy. we're doing a lot of things out there that are having success. we learn from each other. we are getting together and sharing best practices and learning from each other. what works in colorado may not work in utah, but we learn from those things and develop our own policies. it helps us to become more effective. we think that the white house and the congress can learn from states. and when they go to implement and change policy, they ought to ask for input. we are going to try to proffer the opportunity for them to hear from us. but the healthcare reform attempt or the affordable care act i think would have been better if the congress and the president had engaged with the governors first and said, how do you think this is going to work in your state, what do you see some of the challenges as well as the opportunities. i think we would have had a better law if the governors had been asked in advance of passing the affordable care act, their input.
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>> yeah. >> hi. military times. earlier you mentioned issues regarding the national guard. in many ways, that mirrors recent issues with the air national guard structure in fiscal '13. can you talk about how things have changed with your interactions with that service, the structure the air force has played into that and how it has created the next budget proposal? >> sure. i think, if i'm speaking for all governors, which i am, it requires a certain amount of delicacy. i think every governor wants -- is committed to making sure that we have the appropriate structure throughout our entire military system. that being said, governors look at the benefits that we receive from national guard and
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disasters. you know, we've have had 13 federally declared disasters in colorado in the last four years, floods, fires, all manner of things. yet, repeatedly, the national guard has come to our support, and not just colorado national guard but neighboring states. utah. we were rebuilding roads after the flood of september of 2013, we had a team of national guard engineers came and allowed us to continue design work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, so we got roads open before the first snow well. governors have a bias. general grass knows well that bias and has been a great mediator and facilitator between that. but in the end, we recognize if we want what's -- we want to make sure our country is absolutely safe and our military has the resources it needs. we just, in many cases, we look at that resource of trained
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national guard military infrastructure in place ready to serve should they be needed. it seems to us, at least, that that creates a level of flexibility that should be cost-effective. >> let me say amen to the governor's comments. and just add that if there's ever an issue that ought to have bipartisan support, when we talk about the proper role of government, democrats and republicans, independents agree that public safety and national defense is something we ought to have the government involved with. for the collective good and the protection of our citizens. a great tool that we have to complement the regular army and air force, the full-time people are our national guard air and army guard, as well as the army reserve. it really is a collective effort. so we feel very much committed to support the national defense as we collaborate together, as i mentioned. one of the best bangs for the buck, if not the best bang for
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the buck, is in fact our national guard. >> a question back there. >> thank you. i'm a reporter with the washington post. i have a related question. about a year ago, your state legalized marijuana. i would be curious to hear how you think that has gone so far, if you have any concerns. relatedly, the two neighboring states of colorado have actually taken action and sued the state over the law. i know a lot of sheriffs have complained about it. are you concerned about spillover? is that action you might consider taking? thank you. >> do i have concerns about marijuana? of course. i will say that after the initiative passed several years ago, it was an initiative that i and almost every elected official in colorado opposed. if you asked me the day after
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the election if i could magically change the -- how the voters turned this around and voted it down, i would have said yes. that's a good idea. as bad as the pre-existing system was, the war on drugs, is in many cases, has been a failure, i was -- doing something without federal support, without infrastructure we have and things like the enforcement of alcohol regulations. we were concerned that we could do it well enough. i think now a couple years down the road, we have an industry that is, i think in almost every case -- there are always a few exceptions. but working hard to create a system that is well regulated and abiding by the law, that we're not having a black market on drugs. obviously, are focused on adjusting the tax structure to make sure we eliminate drugs. the concern that we still have and that i still have is whether young people will view this legalization as in some way
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saying that, to them, that marijuana is safe. literally, every neuroscientist i have talked to is very concerned that the modern marijuana, the high thc marijuana, especially when kids are younger, but even up to age 24 or 25, that even once a week, you can permanently diminish long-term memory, which is reducing your iq. kids don't see that. we are very concerned about 6bc that. we're about to launch another $6 million marketing campaign towards informing not just kids but their parents as well, that just because it doesn't seem to have these negative affects on adults, that does not mean that we should in any way make it easy for kids to get it. on the other hand, one teenager told me about a year ago, he was interviewing me for something and i asked him the same question, should i be worried about kids and their attitude toward marijuana, and his response was, if you eliminate the black market, you are going to do a great job, it's going to reduce the ability of kids to
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get access to marijuana. he says, if you think when i was in eighth or ninth grade, i a couldn't get access to marijuana, you are kidding. drug dealers don't care who they sell to. if we eliminate the black market, we will have a more secure system to make sure kids don't get access to marijuana. with adults, we have seen basically that people that were smoking before it was legalized seem to still be smoking it. and they seem to be paying taxes and doing it appropriately. the people that weren't smoking marijuana before it was legalized don't seem to be smoking it at all. and, if anything, if there is any increase, it seems to be very infrequent smokers, people that smoke once or twice a month. at least so far in the data that we have seen, we don't seem to have a spike in frequent users, which obviously was a major concern. >> let me answer it this way. as i mentioned earlier, justice isvz
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brandice in the 1930s talked about states being the laboratories of democracy. they really are the laboratories of innovation, piloting programs, testing theories and issues and seeing what the results are going to be. so utah, like many other states, is observing colorado and other states that have legalized marijuana to see what the consequences are going to be. intended or otherwise. and we will probably react accordingly to what we see taking place there. the good news is if it works, we will learn from that success. if it doesn't work, we will, in fact, learn from the lack of success. if it doesn't work well in colorado, the good news is it won't destroy the rest of the country. we will learn from the experience and that experiment. so, again, it's a great system, these united states, these laboratories of democracy to see what's going to take place with
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this and the unintended or intended consequences. lastly in utah we legalized canabus. a derivative of marijuana. as a controlled substance, for those that have seizures and have a need for the medical application of that. so we're trying to make parts that make sense to utah and avoid others we think maybe would be pushing in a direction that's probably not warranted for our young people. we have no plans to sue colorado. i know others are concerned about that and the -- that is as of today. >> next question. >> yeah. >> the concern for some are, we have a colorado law that's in contrary to a federal law. that's not being enforced. there's issues there that need to be resolved. i expect over time they will be. >> there's a question.
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>> what are the chances you would run for president in 2016? >> you want statistical chances? one in 20,000. i don't know. that's off the top of my head. i think it's nil. i do think you should ask the question of governor herbert. [ laughter ] i have seen a lot of the republican candidates and personally -- - [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> an endorsement from a democrat is really going to help me. if his is nil, mine are less than nil. >> anything else? yeah. >> just one quick question.i pñ you mentioned that a lot of the governors coming in are coming
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from the pry vac says tore have that experience. it's something you bring as well. are there particular sort of traits or organizational abilities that you are looking for as, you know, former business leaders in how you run government or how you run a state? do you see a difference from the career politicians versus the people who came in from the private sector? >> i think to be successful, state government needs all kinds of experience and all kinds of people. but for many years, there was a dire lack of people that had any business experience. i think our private sector spends tens of hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide on how to do a better job of managing, how to be more efficient, effective, how to make people happier in their jobs, how to get better outcomes. too often if you look at the number of leaders that have advance management degrees, how
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many are in business versus how many are in government, business has the vast majority. that's a minority of what our total system of all the managers that we need. there's a fellow in colorado named jeff smart. he wrote a book called "leadocracy." he describes efforts in colorado and michigan, delaware, other states he worked on, of how hard it is to attract people from the private sector not just to run for office but to serve in cabinets. and i know that governor herbert and myself have both made it a priority to find people who have real on the ground experience. because they add great value not just to the agency that they're working in but to the cabinet. there's a real percolation effect there that's a benefit. jeff wrote a book that basically
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imagines a democracy of real leaders, people that have been trained in how to manage and lead in all the different levels of complexity. i think, you know, if you look at the list, we look back some -- two years ago there were some -- two years ago there were several of us talking, there were a half dozen -- six or eight governors in 2012 that had serious managing, people who built their own businesses. when you look at the new governors, i think it's ten out of 12. you go down the list and it's republicans and democrats. i think that's a reflection of maybe we do need some more business perspective in how states govern. >> let me also add that, again, the governor and i both come from the private sector and from business. i think that gives you a good foundation as far as management skills and how you in fact get things done. we're the executive branch.
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we have to get things done. and, but i would say this. government is not a business but it should be run like a business. meaning that, like a business person would have to -- you have to live within your means, just like our household budgets. don't spent more than you take in. you ought not to have unreasonable debt. you ought to save for a rainy day. you ought to anticipate the ups and downs of the marketplace and have money set aside. in utah, we have a significant rainy day fund to help us weather the storms which probably will come sometime into the future. that being said, it's not a business. i can't go out and have a state building built by my contractor brother-in-law. even though it might be cheaper, more effective. i can do it quick maybe save taxpayer ps' dollars. we must have openness and transparency in government.
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sometimes we sacrifice efficiency for transparency and open ps and fairness and level playing fields. that being said, the principles that guide businesses ought to be the same principles that guide us in government. and if we do that the taxpayer i think, would be much better served. >> thank you all for being dqjhere. >> thank you. [ applause ] thursday members of the
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senate energy and natural resources committee meet to mark up the keystone oil pipeline bill. live coverage at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. also on thursday9h representatives for the agriculture coalition for cuba meet. speakers including missouri governor and some senators. that's live at 2:00 p.m. eastern. here are some of the features programs for this weekend on the c-span networks.mns% on c-span 2, saturday night at 10:00, cass sunstein. sunday afternoon at 1:00, book tv's college series. we talk with professors at the university with the influence of up hop. and on american history tv on
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c-span3, saturday at 8:00= m p.m., anderson university!?tkñ professor brian dirk using abraham's lincoln's life to understand the american's views on ñ race and slavery before and after the war. sunday a discussion on birth control advocate. find or complete television schedule at and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-636-3400. e-mail us or send us a tweet at c-span #comments. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. next, the portrait unveiling ceremony for john conyers the ranking member of the judiciary committee. first elected to correct me if
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i'm wrong in 1965 and currently the longest serving member oí 8ç the body. speakers include vice president biden, eric hold e and democrat leader nancy pelosi. ieg we'll go ahead and get started. i'm going to assume that everybody has a program with -- when it gets a little too loud i'm going to stop. this is a very important occasion. we've waited a long time for this. all you have to do is look around the room at the portraits and it's going to be very interesting to have the congressman looking over at all of these individuals, all of these individuals looking over
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at the congressman. but i'mñ9 jo madison with sirius xm radio. i'm going to get started rightcep away as we should start. and that is with the invocation. and our good friend, the right reverend dr. windel anthony who is not only the president of the detroit ncaap but also the pastor of the great fellowship chapel. if he would come forward and give us the invocation. >> thank you, joe. let me say good afternoon to everybody. and i do want to say to congressman john conyers, the dean and longest serving
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congressman currently in the history of the u.s. congress for the historic -- [ applause ] -- for the historic occasion for which we have gathered. we are very proud of this international individual who has led the way for so many. i just have to say this when congressman conyers was the chair of the house judiciary committee several years ago, 2011, i remember sitting in this room for a congressional hearing and a judiciary committee hearing. and i looked at all of the portraits on the wall and i said to the chairman, chairman, i look forward to coming back to this house on the day in which your picture graces along with these other oas÷chairmen. well today is that day.
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y'all can do better than that. this is historic. we want to thançúa( god for this day. let us have a word of prayer. great god, we thank you for this occasion for which we have now gathered. we thank you for, since 1813 is there have been men who have graced these walls and this responsibility.ql cf1 o now john conyers, jr. as the first african-american chairman of the house judiciary committee as one whose life emulates your word. when you've asked a simple question, who does the lord require of thee but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our god. well, today, john conyers has actualized a dream of dr. king. he is standing because rosa sat down. he is marching because king did not stop.
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50 years after the voting rights act, 50 years after we have struggled on that bloody sunday, we now have this glorious tuesday by which we can come together to celebrate life and the ability of a nation to live up to a portion of its creed and to honor those whose very lives x*t honor the law and the lessons of liberty. john conyers has been a true servant for peace. he has been for women and minorities. he has been for labor. he has been for the majority. he has been for law and order. he has been for all of those things that you have asked by the least of these, if you've done it for them, you've done it for me. today we honor john conyers because his life has honored us. we pray that simply a mon couple of what he had done over his career, over his vocation, over
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his mission as a congressman in these united states willç's) j t as an example and a care oncall as he so eloquently demonstrated by his walk and his talk, that an injustice to anyone anywhere is a threat to justice to everyone everywhere. we thank, as we unveil this portrait, for it reflects not just a portrait of him but a portrait of us by which we might go out and do justice to love mercy and to walk humbly with our god. we thank you for this day. we thank you for john conyers. we thank you for his work and may we go out and do our own. in the name of the most high god do we pray, let us all "d÷say, amen. >> many of you have been to l@(÷
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occasions here on capitol at the rayburn building and as you know, members of congress come and go. and i've been instructed that i won't have the responsibility of introducing each of the members of congress. if you have your program, you know who you are and you know what order you're supposed to speak in and i would hope that you would then i have been asked to justí discuss the occasion. but what i would like to do is something that just happened to fall in my lap, congressman conyers this morning. every morning, i read on our show black history facts. one an hour. and in the 9:00 hour, i came --
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following factoid. the black history fact. and i wantz to read it. house resolution hr 40 was brought before the first session of the 105th congress on this very date, january 6, 1989. house resolution 40 was the first formal attempt to obtain reparations to compensate african americans for slavery since reconstruction. briefly, hr 40 read as follows. to acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, :v and inhumanity of slavery in the united states and the 13 xen'ñ
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american colonies between 1619 and 1865, and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery. subsequently the racial and economic discrimination against african americans and the impact of these forces on living african americans and to make recommendations to congress on appropriate remedies. hr 40, those words were written and introduced by congressman john conyers 1989 on this very date. history has repeated itself. ladies and gentlemen, now i will invite the various members of congress to come forth. congressman? thank you very much for being there. i'm sorry. there they go.x éñ
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and then congressman comes in and says you don't have the order. i've got the order. yes, leader, i do have the order. now if they will follow the order then we will move ahead. >> chairman a9 how are you. >> this is quite a turnout. it's not at all difficult to understand when you have the brand new, newly minted dean of the united states house of representatives.mod [ applause ] first we get to swear in the speaker of the house and then he gets a public hanging in the same day. but it's one that is well-deserved and i have long looked forward to as well.
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we've had former chairman brooks time, and i have been telling chairman conniers for a long time that it's about time for his picture to appear because of his long service, 50 years on this committee -- 50 years on the house judiciary committee. that is a remarkable achievement.[ but it's also one that has %h9:%9juájthár"es * of the aisle. because i look to chairman conyers in my work as chairman of this committee as someoneb"s who has lead this committee which deals with some of the mosthlwh contentious issues that we face in the congress with the kind of respect and demeanor that0lmr÷ we all would have to have. first of all, i have learned much from i have learned that we can disagree without being disagreement. i think that is one of the
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things that he likes saying the most. we have found many, many areas 3h]÷ú to work together on. i look forward to continuing that and perhaps, i think, another 50 years might be a lot but you might set the record for the longest service in the house of representatives. that's just another ten years. can you do that? i think he can. what do you think folks? [ applause ] absolutely. i want to commend you and your staff and all of the other good people who have worked for you now. and i think, i think in part this room is full because there are a lot of people who used to work for you and have gone on to do other great things as well. so it's an honor for me to be here. i look guard to seeing the new portrait. i look forward to hanging the new portrait and i look forward to working with you for many
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years to come. god bless you and god bless your service here.h0l general holder, it is a pleasure to have you here as well. i think we're going to be joined by the vice president soon. that's a sign of the respect that youwc have from that committee. thank you all for being here. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. joe madison wanted to introduce me, but i think he wanted to get back at i wanted to say things that may be -- may not be known by a lot of you. i recently released a memoir and i called it "blessed experiences." and the reason i called it that is because i view the
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experiences that i have had over my life, irrespective of how unpleasant some of them may have been, as real blessings. and among those blessings was way back in the late '60s and early '70s when i got to interact with john conyers. they have taken place across the country in those days. we were very interested in changing the paradigm. and one of the@xhzyttáhu thought needed to be made was in the chairmanship of the committee that runs washington. it just so happens that that committee was being chaired by one of my predecessors here in the congress. a gentleman from the sixth
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congressional district of south carolina who we felt needed to be replaced if we were going to get some modicum of justice for the people of south carolina. john conyers came to south carolina and i met him through my childhood friend who served on his staff. and we walked the streets of the sixth congressional district. and we were not successful the first time. but we believed in that old adage, if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. and we came back, and on the second time we were able to s replace john l. macmillan who
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shared the committee that kept the city of washington sort of as a plantation. i walked the streets with john. it was when that experience was over and i said to myself, i believe i could do this. and so, john, i can't tell you how proud i am to be here and to be a part of this program. and to say thank you. it's kind of interesting. but every time i have offered to chair a caucus, the one person who, when he heard the rumor that i might be running, john always came to me and said, now,e(be
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if the rumor is true and you're going to do this, i want to be part of your kitchen cabinet. i never had to ask him for help or a vote. i don't know what he saw in me but from that day, when i could only dream about being a member of congress way back in the '70s, he saw something in me.fdw and i want you to know, john, i always saw something in you. something that i would like to b f8 u5e)táhájjr(áhr row up. [ applause ] >> well, when i was first asked a u÷ to come and rejoice at the public hanging of john conyers,
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i wondered what kind of words republicans could add to these kinds of proceedings. then i heard that joe biden was 8jç going to come to speak, and you know he goes to a lot of funerals. and after thinking a little bit, i could say that thank heavens first impressions are not lasting impressions. i would just like to go back to when i became the chairman in january of 2001. and this committee had a reputation of maybe 20 to 30 +u years of being the cesspool of partisan arguments and not really accomplishing a heck of a lot in terms of legislation. i sat down with john and i said, look, i'm goingr$ñ!j to treat you fairly, i'm going to give you more staff than at that time the democrats were entitled to. i'm cj not going to surprise you
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and in return i said you know i want no fillibustering by amendment and if i would warn you two or three times. i never had too sign a subpoena either a lot of what has been going on here. that was because i found onjohn conyers to be a person of his word, a person of integrity.1ao a person who realizes that it's not partisan discourses that will set the type of history that is made of the judiciary committee. and as a result there were 115 judiciary committee bills in that six years that were passed
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and signed by the president. that required a lot of cooperation in this room and between staff.jx but it also required a lot of cooperation between the two of us and going over to the funeral parlor on the other side of the -"a>ú capitol and saying, hey, look, this will be good for the country and that both of us believe that good government is good politics and good politics is good government. john, this is a much deserved hanging. i am honored that you have asked me to speak here. this is not something that we talk about those who have come and gone from this place. i'm glad you're here and i hope you stayh god bless you. [ applause ]báx
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>> you changed on me. all right. >> no. i'm so pleased to put joe madisóm9 in his place. the leader is not here have been asked, as the assistant leader to introduce our next speaker. you knowf8:4ñ it's easy to introduce a person who needs no introduction. the fact of the matter4l 7úis, all of us know eric q holder. i'm not too sure that[nrrjt us knew him the real eric holder before he became our attorney general.b
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never thought we would see. he has shown the kind of compassion for the law that a lot of us, especially those of us looked for when we thought about the fulfillment of our dreams and our aspirations. i've sat down
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king, jr. said when he said, all of us can be great because all of us can serve. he is the epitome of a public servant. ladies and gentlemen, i'm presented to present him at this time. [ applause ] >> thank you sir. >> good i spent many an interesting day in this room. [ laughter ] brown, you can attest to that, right? here today for this occasion. a tremendous privilege to join so many distinguished guests, colleagues and friends, members of congress as we recognize congressman john conyers, the deñ,kp of the hospital of representatives for his lifetime of ked kated service as we
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celebrate his leadership and many invaluable contributions an as we unveil the portrait that will adorn the walls of the great institution that he has sos
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and his service has been animate animatedñdv by an unwaifrg commitment to the cause of justice. as one of the 13 founding members of the congressional blackf scaucus he helped to bring together other trail blazers and pioneers in order toá ç empower and give voice to people of color throughout our great4óx nation. years ago he led the fight to secure appropriate recognition for the reverend dr. martin luther king, jr. by introducing legislation to establish a national holiday in his hon for. a and in every stage of his extremely distinguished career, he's dedicated himself to advancing the principle of human dignity, fttolerance, as well as respect. as a majorqf proponent of the violence again women act, he joined with then senator joe biden and other congressional
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members, fighting to end the personal notion that violence in a person's home was aq$qiç private affair. as a champion of legislative efforts of the motor bill of 1983 and the help america vote ÷l ct of toot he's consistently worked to ensure that every eligible american will always have fair and free access to that most fundamental of rights access to the ballot box no matter who they are,]j no matter what they look like or where they live. he continued that work in the 113th congress with a former chairman 0ó÷ of this committee, crafting legislation to address the void that was left by the supreme court's unfortunate decision to invalidate one of the decisions of the voting rights act. representative conyers has ban partner in fairness in sentencing from his work in passing the law that reduce&áthe
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disparity in sentencing for crack and power cocaine to his recent partnership with other members of congress of both parties who realized that we must make common sense changes todnz+z our sen tentencing scream. as chairman of the united states house committee on the judiciary, he's been a key national leader and a vital partner in the justice department's ongoing effort to crime and to ensure the full rights and protections of our constitution for everyone in this country. time and again i and numerous other attorneys general are relied upí&qej connier's sound judgment his fierce advocacy and his honest council to strengthen the rule of law while advancing our most
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sacred principles and cherished freedoms. i've always appreciated the unique insightl wisdom and the consistent devotion tobñ service that he's brought to every challenge has come before him. on a very personal level over the years i've also come to regard congressman conyersdíkja not only as an important partner and valued friend but ams as a man who made it possible for me andebi barack obama to attain the positions that we now hold. we stand --ds# [ applause ] >> we stand on this man's broad shoulders. [ applause ] so congressman, i want to thank you once again for your outstanding service and for the e nun rabble contributions that you have made to the nation. and on behalf of the
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your unique place in this history of this great institution is much more than assured. and today with the formal dedication of this portrait we pay, i think, a fitting tribute to a legacy and a shining example that will continue to guide and inspire generations of lawmakers in this new congress and long into the future, just as it has inspired count llsk1y leaders and attorneys general over the past four decades, including me. thank you very much.' 5sñjf÷and attorneys general over the past four decades, including me. thank you very much.leaders and attorneys general over the past four decades, including me. thank you vecu!9ñ >> if the vice president is in the house, would he pleasey.8> come forward? [ applause ]=h+z
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>> i'll be honest with you, i didn't even know he was here.v0sfñ it's the fist time i'veúagú summoned the vice president of the united states and he showed up. you're in. >> all right. i'm in. hi, jim. how are you? well, what anr;ajñ " to be here. john you and i have been doing this a long time. and i was thinking on the way over, trying to calculate. i served in the judiciary committee on the senate side for a long time. but when we leave, we continue get portraits. but john you and i have worked on an awful lot. you long before me. but for over 25 years as counter
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parts on the committee. and it's an honor to be in the presence of the dean. john you'veudfoñ served this committee and this nation for a half a century now. and if you're like me, you probably don't like that being mentioned that often. but it's true. and youn5uz really served. but i's not really about the years the chairman has served. it's about
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principles that dr. king stood for. civil rights, economic justice, opportunity, equal opportunity. you made rosa parksñqz one of your faalp y and you stood then, as you do now, long before it was fashionable. you stood for protection and equal rights for women from the.' day you assumed office. and three< 4 decades lat)m stood by megne together in the house and therz senate to pass the violence against women act. you were a powerful voice here and nationally to get that done. john, aty brought us both to public service, john kennedy said, president kennedy said, our
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success or failure will be measured by85im the answer to four questions. were we truly men of courage? were we truly men of judgment? were we truly men of integrity? and were we truly men of dedication? john, by presidentrb-ñ kennedy's standard, you have been a great success, as everyone in this room and for two generations has known and understood throughout this country. you've@çcn:n your courage and your convictions time and again. a lot of people have convictions. but not everyone has the courage of their convictions to stand up for them and take the slings andj y arrows that come sometimes from being ahead of your time.
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it takes a lot to have the courage to stand by them even when it's very but you have. shown judgment through your leadership and theúq(k congress as a whole but in this committee in particular, you have shown judgment and the staff you hired and the people you have mentored. over these years. some really fine, fine people have come out ofzzyts your tut laj to go on to do great things. and john you've always shown integrity. the one highest point of the realm i believe in the congress is, do you keep your word.xqk do you do what you say? do you not conveniently say go~ made that commitment circumstances were different. i hope you understand now. you never once said that, john,
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that i'm apair of. at least never to me. and you have shownr john. you have never wavered from the goal that brought you to public service in the first place. when i4kqqu elected like you as a young man, at 30 years old, i was 29 when i got elected to the senate and everyone from delaware at that point on from general election would come and say, what's the secret. because they thought, hell, if ç;xñ won, anybody -- there must be a secret. it couldn't be just being able to run and campaign and there had to be -- i'm very serious. they didn't mean to bemq insulting, but they were like, there's got to be a secret. i tell them all the same thing, whatever asks advice. i say, you have to know what you're willing to lose over.q1 you have to know what you'd
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rather lose than have to change. john, you've never not known what you're about. you always had that north star man. and you never ever ever walked t dñ johnabi there are portraits and there are portraits. this portrait of t4 tjz of a uaw worker, who for over a halfh ,á@r(t&háhp &hc% century helped define an era. in literal terms you helped define an era, john. this is a portrait.f q it is a portrait that symbolizes that distinctly american commitment to service.g
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and john, 20 ' 30 years from now young members and their staffs will walk in and say, i_4rd of that guy. no, i mean it.xpdí they will say, i heard of that$si guy. that was the time of the profound change in the american l[xpñ landscape. the time of profound alterations.[6fçñ and who we define howt defined ourselves and who we were. and john, you helped that definition.&m93x and this country will be well served of everyone who sits on this committee and counterpart committee and the body which i served where to strive to meet the measure of the portrait. measure much a portrait of a mab, i might add who continues to serve beneath that portrait thank goodness. ladies and gentlemen it is a
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great honor to be here and john it is a great honor to be with you and be presumptuous enough to call you a friend. and i think i'm your friend. [ applause ]fgb1çhm ñ0÷"=3 í i'm going to press my luck. i summoned the vice president of the united states and he showed up and i looked around and said is the democratic leader of a house here and i hadn't seen her and so i'llé going to -- i guess i can summon her now. i'm in talksi
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in talk show heaven.bxz you get -- i tell you you get to stand there next to all of the people and you look out and i see my good7 =x friend michael eric dyson and his wife. and so many of you. but ladies and b 7eátá -d0 i've got a 14-month-old granddaughter. and i just can't wait until she gets of age so that ilqlcan tell her7f brtá someone says, where is the woman's/!n place supposed2fb4v to be i can !pu her, any place she wantsd it to be. and including the house of representatives. ladies and gentlemen the honorable nancy pelosi, house democratic leader. [ applause ] dt thank you, mr. madison, by the time your little granddaughter is of age it will be a long time also in the white house. so not just the house of representatives.g.ñ
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my friends since i ccyñm, i believe, the last speaker i'm standing between you and the portrait.@>añ y:p so i will be brief. but i will say that it is an honor to be here with all of you and the reason i wasbej arriving late ish($ñ because i was wishing don edwards happy birthday on his 100 birthday. and john conyers hez!v/ sends you òk1uñf regards. for some of us that's a lot oxçdx history in the >johroom. the vice president has spoken to eloquently about the conyers association with she convinced, itw&'t take much i'm n sure, reverend martin luther king, jr. to endorse johnbh@zñ conyers for public office. the onl{sonb king, jr. ever>%"zñ endorsed for public office. what more do you need to know. what more do you need to know.@3úeq
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that the vice president and john conyers are here with their values, violence against womeng÷ act that relates it hate crimes, ñ+ gun safety, alláiba f theínb things that have been a struggle>sç@ñ of security and civil rights and the rest. they have championed. to protect us, but to protect our rights at the same time. so i just have to say this one story, you tell me if it is appropriate or not. i just can't resist.
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be swearing in all of the member9"cz of congress as the dean of the house. and he went to the floor and did just that. the dean of the house where all of us took the oath at the direction of john conyers. so there is so much to be said. a statesman we will have this beautiful picture4 his honor. i have to tell you thisb/q story. so ron tells me when he was coming to congress, he worshipped at the shrine of john conyers. conyers. but everyone sue that ron dell yums was way out there andp wasx congress and look very regular and not too menacing to some teu think that he was too left wing, if that's a word. they come toyh 6 congress, he has his suit, hefoóñ all ready for the nextkañ day. he has to go in there and everybody will say 2+ñhey, i can identify with him. he is he a regular guy.
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and he gets a$ before from john conyers. i don't even know if this is even true. but this is the story. he'saojú all set. got his clothes all set out there.[p9p#1 o and he u1said john conyers called me and asked me if i would name him for speaker against carl albert the next morning.lz+÷:óhosd 8ñf ñ what do you say, man? regular order. that's what ron ñdellums does. so this man has been a disrupter from the start. and thank god he has been a disrupter from the start. andb ñ now as vice president says so beautifully and what an honor to have the vice president and members of the cabinet here all members of congress former and the leadership of the house of4-hañ
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representatives here from john for the unveiling of his portrait. as the vice presiyu beautifully,d$ s" come here to this capitol to this campus of the capitol, and they will see this painting and they will know that this was a person who has madejg! their lives, in their lives. in so ma4 ]p not just because he is the first african-american to ever serve on the judiciary committee. but firstéjjñ bringing that intellect, that set oflm"8d values to it. that was disruptive that made the difference in j1#ñ all of our lives and for generations to come. that's why it's so appropriateiéf9 that this


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