tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 14, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT
got us started in the effort to make the needed reforms to protect our seniors is a direct result of the leadership of my friend and colleague, senator orrin hatch. .. senator hatch was key to forging a bipartisan solution to a challenging, long-standing problem. so what i'd like to do, mr. president, in beginning is recognize that effort by senators hatch, my predecessor as chairman of the finance committee, senator baucus, house ways and means chair dave camp, house ways and means ranking member senator levin, house energy and commerce chair fred upton and house energy and commerce ranking member henry waxman. waxman. >> the work that they have been doing over the last few months,
in my view, is exceptional. and, in effect, they've given us the opportunity to take this flawed system of setting a kind of medicare budget known as sgr, sustainable growth rate, they've given us the opportunity to repeal and replace this slogged system with one that i think is going to make a huge difference in the days ahead by pushing the goal of good quality affordable care up and doing it in a bipartisan way. and i hope that these colleagues will take it as a compliment that the sgr bill now before the senate incorporates all of that good bipartisan work that they've been doing along with the work that was done on the senate finance committee.
i see our colleague from north carolina here who has contributed mightily to that effort. of course, the president of the senate, senator brown, who has been such an eloquent spokesperson particularly for those without political power and political clout. and i thank both of them for their efforts. now, to be specific, the legislation that i introduced last night incorporates what those six members agreed to, the six members that i just named, three democrats and three republicans, came together with s. s. 2000. and, in effect, that legislation along with the health extenders passed by the senate finance committee is, essentially, what we have opportunity to move in the days ahead. every single thing in this bill has had strong bipartisan support, and i hope that we can all come together and with
resounding bipartisan support get this bill passed before march 31st. now, there are a variety of reasons why democrats and republicans, in my view, can band together and repeal and replace what, again, i have characterized as a flawed, really dysfunctional system that we have today known as the sgr. but before or -- before i go through the list of reasons, i want to make clear to my colleagues and colleagues who have known me, i'm interested in sound, sensible policy, that we move in a bipartisan way. not politics, not message, but sound policy. and that's why i'm here on the floor today. i've always tried to make it possible for both sides to secure their principles, principles that are important to them, and still allow us to go forward in a bipartisan and
innovative fashion to get things done. and i will say to my colleagues it is not possible any longer to just put one patch or another up and say we're going to fix the medicare challenge. it's just not going to work. now, for the last ten years congress has always blocked these cuts. well, i would say i think it's time to stop pretending that these upcutting cuts, fittingly scheduled for april fool's day, are any more real than the 16 other times that the congress has intervened. what we ought to do, colleagues, is stop playing medicare make believe. it's time to set aside a flawed formula that prevents the congress from really moving ahead constructively on medicare and to start with a clean slate. i thought "the wall street journal" editors really summed
it up very well on february 19th. what they said many talking about the -- in talking about the bipartisan bill that i laud tonight, the editors of the "wall street journal" said and i quote: simply pass the bill as is and forgo the pretense of fake paying for it. colleagues, think about those words. the editors of the "wall street journal" basically said that this was all a bunch of fakery, because the cuts aren't going to be made, the savings aren't going to be realized because we've tried that route, and "the wall street journal" said pass this good bipartisan bill. now, if the congress fails to fully repeal the flawed medicare payment formula now, i believe there will be cuts to other providers, hospitals, home health care providers, drug companies, skilled nursing facilities. make no mistake about it, those
providers are going to be the ones who pay for yet another patch. so a lot of this budget fakery isn't real, but the people who are going to pay for the patch, they are going to face very real cuts. now, in total the 16 band-aid patches have already cost $150 billion. colleagues, that is the same cost as fully repealing and replacing the flawed sgr plus taking care of the health extenders. and those cuts, as i've indicated, have largely been paid for in the past by cuts to other providers. in the last two years alone, the hospitals have forced -- have been forced to produce nearly $30 billion to pay for the temporary patches. under the status quo, the sgr will always call for cuts that are too steep for providers to bear, and congress will step in
with yet another patch paid for by still more cuts to other providers. how can you make a case for more of the same? especially when you have an opportunity to not only repeal the flawed formula, but also to enact reforms that finally move medicare away from the flawed fee-for-service approach that rewards quantity instead of quality and value. second, i offered the medicare sgr repeal and beneficiary access improvement act of 2014 horde to eliminate -- in order to eliminate the ongoing threat to our seniors and the providers who serve them. under this legislation, which reflects the bipartisan, bicameral legislation that senator hatch and senator baucus offered last month, physicians would receive annual payment increases of .5% for five years. for the following five years, physicians would not receive automatic increases, but rather would be eligible for payment
increases based on performance. medicare would transition to a new focus on greater quality, value and accountability. this legislation would strengthen medicare physician payments in a number of withdraws. it would reward -- in a number of ways. it would reward the quality of care. it would improve payment accuracy, expand the coordination of care for patients with chronic care needs and encourage participation in alternative models of payment. and the bill addresses other critical medicare and medicare issues. they're known as health care extenders. and with these extenders which would be possible for the congress on a bipartisan basis to insure that low income seniors can have affordable medicare premiums and guarantees that beneficiaries will have access to the therapies they need. under the bill rural
beneficiaries will have the security of knowing the hospital s and physicians will be there when they need them, and i foe that rural health care -- i know that rural health care for my friend from north carolina, from my friend from iowa, from the senator from ohio, it's a priority for them. you pass this bill which was put together by a bipartisan group in the house and senate, and you give a big, big boost, colleagues, for rural health care and the services that seniors depend on under medicare. and finally, something i'm especially proud of because senator grassley was good enough to work with me for a number of years on it is this would significantly expand medicare transparency. this legislation would open up medicare's treasure-trove of payment data and, and patients would have the information they needed to make informed choices about their care. and researchers and professionals will have the data
needed to develop evidence-based medicine. so this afternoon in addition to thanking colleagues that i've already mentioned, i want to thank senator grassley for all those years in working with me and senator harkin knows senator grassley has been a strong, strong advocate for transparency in health care and other vital services, and you see his food work this -- his good work in this bill. now, this bill is bipartisan, mr. president. it doesn't cut providers or increase cost sharing for the seniors, and i defer to my colleagues to decide if it's better to offset costs for sgr repeal by reducing future war spending or unpaid for, but the bottom line is the same, we ought to act now. act now and put this flawed formula known as is -- as the sgr which has produced medicare migraines for frustrated
providers and seniors alike. let's put this behind us. every single thing in the bill that i offer today has a had strong bipartisan support, and it represents a compromise. now, i know that this isn't an easy vote for colleagues on either side of the aisle. but i submit it sure means that we'll be able to accomplish what we were sent here to do; to find a way to do what's best for seniors and the doctors who care for them. and with that clean slate, and i've enjoyed talking to the president of the senate about this because i think what this bill is all about is doing what's right for seniors, doing what's right for the doctors, setting in place a plan for the future that insures seniors are going to get better care that in many instances will cost less,
and that's what i hope senators will take home after we break tomorrow for the work period. that this is a chance to do what's best for seniors, what's best for doctors and what's going to pay a off for taxpayers in the long run. nobody wins with medicare make leave. make believe. and after these 16 patches when you have the "wall street journal" editors joining with seniors and providers and you have a bill that has strong bipartisan support, i think this is the kind of measure that senators ought to flock to. and i'll just close by saying we all know that the public is frustrated with a fair amount of what happens up here in the congress. and there's a fair level of
disappointment. the senator from north carolina and i were talking about a variety of issues on this point this morning. but i look around this chamber, and i see senators who have spent a significant amount of time in public life and a number of colleagues are on the floor. i'm old enough to remember joining them in the other body before we came here, and we're here for a purpose. we're here to get things done. and on this medicare issue, which suffice it to say, mr. president, has been one of the most polarizing in the american public debate -- in fact, i'd venture to say on the domestic side of the budget there are few issues that have been as divisive and polarizing as medicare -- this is an opportunity, colleagues, to check the partisanship at the
door, come together and set in place a new system of paying providers under medicare that is going to produce better quality at lower costs. we ought to support it if many a bipartisan -- it in a bipartisan manner and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> the senate failed to move forward a ukraine aid package last night. we'll look at the senate foreign relations bill next. and a state department official will testify this morning about u.s. relations with taiwan. live coverage starts at 9:30 eastern here on c-span2. >> what a unique challenge in defining, you know, war in cyberspace. what war is, what hostilities are, what military action is. >> clearly, we're from a policies perspective we're still trying to work our way through those issues. the ten innocents, i think, that
are applicable here that whatever we do within the cyber arena, international law will pertain. that if we find ourself toes getting to a point where we believe that cyber is taking us down an armed conflict scenario, that the rules and the law of armed conflict will pertain every bit as much in this domain as it does in any other. i don't think cyber is inherently different in that regard. i think those sets of procedures, those sets of policies and law as a nation have stood us in good stead, and i think they represent a good point of departure. >> this weekend on c-span, senate armed services takes up intelligence and military nominations. saturday morning at 10 ian. and -- 10 eastern. and on booktv, amy performance and jonathan allen look at hillary clinton's political career since her 2008 primary defeat. saturday night at 8:15 on c-span2. and on c-span3's american history tv, from march 1964 poet
and novel u.s. robert penn war remember interviews martin luther king jr. saturday evening at 7 and 11. >> a number of senate republicans temporarily blocked the measure last night that would have authorized sanctions against russia and provided economic assistance to ukraine. the senate foreign relations committee voted the package out of committee on wednesday. here's a look at the legislation. >> markup will come to order. we're here today to mark up legislation that sends a message to russia and the world that we will support the ukraine and the sovereignty of the ukrainian people. the russian invasion and occupation of parts of ukraine is the most recent example many a series of events requiring little imagination to connect the dots of disruptive russian behavior throughout the world. this my view -- in my view, president putin has miscalculated by starting game of russian roulette with the
international community, ask we will never accept this violation of international law. this committee and the u.s. congress have a role to play which is why i am offering, along with the ranking member, the chairman's mark of this legislation which includes the following components: first, it provides for ukrainian loan guarantees consistent with the billion dollars announced by the administration in recent days and mirrors the house bill. it provides for the obama administration to assist the ukrainian government to identify, secure and recover assets linked to acts of corruption by viktor yanukovych, members of his family or other form or ore current -- former or current ukrainian government officials. it authorizes $50 million for democracy, governance and civil society and $100 million for enhanced security cooperation for ukraine and other states in central and eastern europe. it allows for additional
sanctions, complementing the president's recent executive order against ukrainians and russians responsible for violence and serious human rights abuses against anti-government protesters and those responsible for undermining the peace, security, stability, sovereignty or the territorial integrity of the ukraine. it provides for additional sanctions on russian officials complicit in or responsible for corruption in the ukraine. and fumely, it provides -- and finally, it provides needed reforms to the united states' participation in the international monetary fund which would allow the united states to leverage significant support from the imf for ukraine today and for similar unforeseen crisis crises in the future. now, as far as offsets, the imf reform section of this bill does carry a cost, and we have worked very hard to make sure that we have a real offset. cbo has scored it at $315 million. we've identified offsets working
with the appropriators that cover the full amount. in some cases these funds are drawn from underexecuting programs and available from unobligated balances. in other cases some programs have been terminated. but in all cases the offsets were carefully considered 2007 the national security interests -- given the national security interests of approving the imf reforms. i want to say in conclusion that any support this committee, this congress or our nation ultimately provides to the ukraine will be nothing new. it will be another milestone in the long 20-year road of american support. but today ukraine faces a menacing threat that challenges its very existence, and we need to stand with the ukrainian people to choose their own destiny without russian interference. let me thank the ranking member, senator corker, for husband leadership and his -- for his leadership and his cooperation and work so that we could get to this point today to address american interests in a spirit of bipartisanship, and i'm happy
to recognize him now. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i want to thank you and your staff and everyone on this committee for getting us to the point that we are today. i think it's been another one of those excellent bipartisan processes. i hope we're going to have a very successful markup today and look forward to this becoming law at some point soon, very soon. you know, this bill, in this piece of legislation that we're dealing with today cements more fully 60 years worth of u.s. national interests, and that is insuring that europe remains democratic, whole and free. and that's what this legislation is about. we all know that we signed with the bucharest memorandum we signed a treaty that said we would insure the sovereignty of ukraine when they gave up their nuclear weapons, when they were a former part of the soviet union. when they did that in 1994, we
agreed we would support their sovereignty as did russia, as did europe. i believe we're at a defining moment right now, and i think the friends and allies that we have in the lawyer are watching to see -- in the area are watching to see if we're going to do those things that are appropriate to insure that that sovereignty stays in place. and i think this bill absolutely meets that test and generates that balance. as the chairman mentioned, first of all, this is paid for legitimately. these paid-fors are real. that was a part of our discussion. this is not some pay for down in 2024. this bill really is paid for, and i want to thank the chairman. i know that's one of the more difficult things that we deal with in these processes. i want to thank you so much for working with us in that regard. as was mentioned, this bill has serious sanctions on individuals at multiple levels. matter of fact a, sanctions that we have never put this place before. sanctions for economic extortion, sanctions for corruption. this is a very, very strong
bill, and people on the committee, members of the committee have made it much stronger. as loan guarantees, as was discussed, civil society democracy, technical assistance, imf quota reforms. let's face it, this is an issue that's going to be, this is going to be a little bit more difficult on our side of the aisle, i'll put it that way. this is something to me that's incredibly important. our nation agreed to these reforms back in 2010. ukraine is a poster child for why we need the imf doing the things that it is doing in order to help transition ukraine, transition its government, transition the way it deals with fuel, transition the way it does its budget, transition the way it deals with corruption. and i strongly support the imf reforms, and i know there'll be members of the committee on our side of the aisle that likewise do that. so with that, this bill, i think, helps insure that we have
significant geopolitical effect to what's happening. this is a great calendar. i want to thank you for the amendment process we're ready to go through and hopefully passing a bill out of this chief in the next -- out of this committee in the next 30 minutes or hour. thank you. >> thank you, senator corker for a very strong statement and support of the bill. let us get started. i have a technical amendment to offer that makes several technical fixes that do not affect the substance of the bill, and i'll go through them quickly. in section 6b, there was an error made in the draft sent to members to clarify that we are authorizing 50 million for democracy, civil society and governance. the earlier draft was missing a zero. two additional edit, the offset for the imf reform without changing the total amount and the word "act" in section 11 is amended to say the plural, "acts." so let's start off there with that technical amendment to the bill. is there anyone who wants to speak to those?
>> so moved. >> it's moved by senator corker, seconded by senator boxer. all those in favor will say aye. >> aye. >> the ayes -- no? ayes have it, and the technical amendment is adopted and, therefore, the underlying text now starts with that technical amendment. are there those who wish to offer any amendments? senator mccain? >> [inaudible] >> i said are there any member who now, the legislation is open to amendment. any member who wishes to offer an amendment? >> [inaudible] >> senator cane? >> i have an amendment, number one. first of all, i would, if i could, mr. chairman, i would like to thank you you and senator corker for the hard work and other members for the hard work you've done on this legislation. obviously, there are issues still that may be controversial,
but associated with the legislation, but the legislation itself i am confident has the support of the majority of our colleagues and the american people. and i want to thank you and senator corker for -- and our incompetent staff for the effort they made on this legislation. i thank you. the amendment that i am proposing would give the president authority on imposed, targeted sanctions, that it would be asset freezes and visa bans on the most corrupt officials in russia. it would be permissive and not mandatory. it gives the president the discretion, it includes a waiver. what the mcin its key act did for human rights in russia, this would do for corruption. the amendment would not target the russian people or the russian economy or russians' financial institutions. it would focus be squarely on the most corrupt officials in
the russian government and their close associates. the sanctions that we have in this legislation are good, but we should not only focus on russian corruption in ukraine, we should target russian are are corruption in russia -- russian corruption in russia. we don't want to send a message to the russian people that we care about russian officials involved this corruption in ukraine but not their corruption in russia. this amendment would provide the president with additional authority that he does not possess currently to impose further costs on putin if events call for it. this is a pro-russia provision. corruption is the most salient issue in russia today. it is what motivated the protests in ukraine to drive yanukovych from power. by passing this amendment, we can show the russian people that putin may tolerate and reward corruption, but america does not. we could tell putin's top cronies and partners in crime that he can't protect them or their money. in short, this is a cost that i
believe ordinary russians will cheer and putin's revenge will fear. i thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] >> mr. chairman? >> thank you, senator mccain. other members wishing to speak to the amendment? senator cardin. >> mr. chairman, let me thank senator mccain. as i'm sure the members of this committee know, this committee passed the mcanytime sky bill that would have applied universeally. it would have been applied to any gross violations of human rights anywhere in the world. and if we had that bill in the form that passed this committee, then the president could act with the authority of congress if this type of episode occurs again. we hope that it will not, but we know that, unfortunately, we're seeing too often world leaders
and individuals commit types of actions that require the united states to show leadership. so, senator mccain, i support your amendment. corruption is one of the issues that we want covered under the mcin its key act. i think your language makes that very clear and clarifies the provisions as it should be, and i would just urge this committee -- i was contemplating offering an amendment to make these provisions global. after talking to the chairman, i have determined that that could slow down the progress of this particular bill, and it's critically important that we speak as one voice on ukraine. and what's happened in ukraine. but i do hope that we will look at a global bill. senator mccain and i have filed that legislation. and ask that it will incorporate the type of amendment that senator mccain has offered today and that we can, therefore, give not only the
authority of the administration to react to world circumstances, but also involve congress so that we can have degree of impact on u.s. action if this occurs in the future. >> thank you. mr. chairman? could i just say i want to thank senator cardin. he was the leader on the magnitsky act. already it's had significant impact for the good, and i look forward to pursuing under his leadership a global magnitsky act, and i hope that over time the committee and its members will push for its passage. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to thank senator cardin for husband leadership in this regard -- for his leadership in this regard. i thank him for his willingness to withhold at time, and i share -- as i did in his underlying legislation -- his goal and purpose be, and we look forward to working with you to make that happen. any other member who wishes to speak to this amendment? if not, all those in favor will say aye. >> aye. >> opposed will say no.
the ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed to. is there any other member wishing to offer an amendment? senator paul. >> i believe that we should send an a unam buttingous -- unambiguous signal and message to the russians that their incursion in ukraine is unacceptable. i support the sanctions on the russians. i support the military and technical assistance. but i have trouble with the loan assistance in the sense that the loan assistance, i believe, will be a gift and a benefit to russia. ukrainians owe about $20-$30 billion to the russians, both private russian banks as well as a couple billion dollars to the gas entity in russia. bailing out russian indemnity in the ukraine i don't think is a way to punish the ukraine, i mean, the way to punish russia or send a signal. in fact, i think it sends the wrong signal. there are other questions you might ask the you're going to loan money to ukraine. i would ask for a show of hands
of those who would personally bayou crane yang debt. ukrainian debt is rated ccc-. not one person in this room would buy it. there's no expectation they can pay it back. ukraine is rated as one of the least transparent nations in the world. what senator mccain has pointed out with corruption is precisely why the imf quit sending money to ukraine. so while i think we're in a big rush to send russia a signal, i think sending ukraine loan money that will go to russia is not a great signal, and i think sending money without the precondition that we know that this is a brand new government, this is a government that just came into an existence with maybe many questions as to how they came into existence. we don't currently have a president in ukraine. so i think there are some great deal of questions about loaning them money. we have two billionaires from the ukraine who have been
recently appointed as mayors. i'd be more inclined to loan them money if they'll put their name first on the list of creditors that would be first up for a call if loan's not paid. so there are a lot of questions i have here, but primarily the question is when you loan money to ukraine, are you sending a signal to punish russia, or are you sending a gift to pay off russian creditors? so i am quite concerned about the loans and oppose that. my amendment would strike the loan guarantees and the imf. one of the reasons for striking the imf reform is in the imf reform you'll be giving russia an enhanced voted on the imf. their vote percentage will increase by 8%. you'll be giving russia more power within the imf with these imf reforms. so i don't think that you're sending the signal you want to send by allowing russia to have a greater deal and greater power within the body of the imf. really should be going in the opposite direction. moody's says there's $20-$30
billion owed by the ukraine to russia. i think we just need to think this true, and i know -- think this through, and i know the impetus is to hurry up and act and send a signal, but i don't think we're sending the correct signal by sending loan money that will find its way very quickly into russia's hands, and i would urge support for this amendment which is paul amendment one. >> senator paul, just for purposes of understanding, you have several, is this your amendment number one? >> yes. >> okay. senator corker? >> first of all, i always enjoy hearing from my friend from kentucky, and he always makes interesting points, and i want to thank him for his activity on this bill. the russia quota expands further reforms from 2.5% to 2.71%. this was done to bring growing economies into the imf in a more appropriate way. so while that may be 8% of an increase for them, i just want
to say to everyone that's 2.5% to 2.71%. and while russia may be with a creditor, ukraine has lots of creditors, and somehow or another they've got to make a transition from where they are when in doing so, in offering this loan guarantee it's the stated policy of the state department that this does not happen unless they've entered into an imf agreement which would move the country, hopefully, towards these processes that we'd all like to see happen. so i thank you so much. obviously, i don't plan to support the amendment. >> mr. chairman? do we have copies of the amendment? >> and, mr. chairman, could i make one quick response? no? >> [inaudible] >> yes. yes. >> [inaudible] be happy to return to you and then go to --
>> just the quick response would be that i think we have more leverage to try to get reform from ukraine. see, the corruption's been on both sides. you know, it's been on both sides. there's been a lot of corruption over the last ten years. transparency international ranks them as one of the most corrupt nations on the planet. we have more chance of actually getting reforms if the money's dependent on the reforms rather than you give them the money and say, hopefully, this new government will institute reforms. >> senator cardin. >> well, let me point out, first, it's in our national security interests to have strategic partners that have a stable economy, that take care of their people and respect the human rights of their citizens. ukraine's gone through a difficult past. ukraine is critically important to the united states. it's in a strategic location, it is very important to regional stability. we have a lot of our nato partners many that region.
this is -- in that region. this is a very important country. the corruption that you'reererring to was under -- you're referring to was under the previous administration. that prime minister, as you know, is now hiding in russia, and ukraine is starting a new government, an inclusive government, a government that will represent all the people of the ukraine. and that it's critically important that they have the economic underpinnings so that they can gain the confidence of the people. that's why the imf provisions are particularly important, because it allows for the international monetary fund to be able to go in, do the necessary audits, put the country on the right path and to allow it to become a viable economic country. the loan guarantees is part of a package. as senator corker pointed out, it only becomes real under the imf plan, otherwise it doesn't become real. it's also not just the united states, it's europe. it is a coalition partnership that understand the importance of the ukraine. and, mr. chairman, this path --
getting a country stable -- is so much more cost effective for the united states and the world community than the alternatives. and this is a relatively small investment to get the type of strategic partner, stable partner in that region which is important for u.s. interests. so i respect deeply senator paul's views on this, but i would urge my colleagues to reject the amendment. >> senator murphy. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. just briefly building on senator cardin's comments, with all of the anticipation on crimea what has been lost in this fog is the fact that only about two million of ukraine's residents live there, and the actions of russia have e educate -- effectively predestined that the 43 million who live outside ukraine now have the opportunity to make good on the wishes of their people and join with the e.u. but the only way they do that is if we stabilize their economy in
the short run. this is a matter of weeks before you crane faces default -- ukraine faces default, and there is only one alternative to support from the united states and europe, and that is russia. if you want to guarantee that ukraine falls back into the russian orbit, then withhold aid from the united states and from europe. i know it's never an easy decision to commit this amount of money, but ultimately, this is a sign of russian weakness as they lose their foothold in ukraine the way that we guarantee that continued path into the e.u. is to make sure that we are an option and that they aren't forced back to russian funding and, ultimately, russian controlment -- control. >> any other member? >> mr. chairman? >> senator mccain. >> at risk of being redundant, if we allow the ukrainian economy to collapse, all kinds of bad things happen.
i have great confidence that the new leaders of ukraine are absolutely committed to erasing the corruption which has plagued that country and brought an otherwise rich country on the brink of economic collapse. i'd say to my friend there kentucky the prime minister of ukraine is here, and i hope that he would have a chance to hear from him how dire this situation is. and it isn't just the $1 billion in loan guarantees. they need a lot more help than that. they're going to get $15 billion from the europeans. but it's a sign, it's a signal, it's a clear signal that this congress and this president working together are willing to help them and assist them at a time of the most critical need that they have. and, frankly, if we adopted the pending amendment, it would send exactly the opposite signal. and this whole situation in
ukraine is, treatmently fragile. is extremely fragile. i would think the worst thing we could do right now is say that we aren't going to assist you. of and i also would point out again imf loanses, which is really the long-term solution to their economic difficulties as senator murphy pointed out, they require reforms to be implemented. as they give the money in tranches to this government. and i, aye seen the imf -- i've seen thics mf in action before in these kinds of situations, and i'm confident they would insist on the kind of reforms that are being promised now. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> seeing no other member other than senator paul, i'm going to recognize you for a final comment, then i'll have a comment, and then we'll call for a vote. >> you know, i think when if you were a bank and you were going to give a loan, you would have some analysis of whether or not you can pay back the loan, what your assets are. i don't know that we've had any
testimony on whether or not ukraine has the assets to be able to pay a back any of this loan. so the real question would be if we're going to be more honest, we could just say if we really want to do this, we're just going to give them a gift maybe and not call it a loan. that'd probably be much more honest. because i don't know. i mean, if a person owes $150,000 on their house and their house is only worth $100,000 and is they can only make payments really on $90,000, is it a good idea to give them more money? i don't know. i think maybe sometimes restructuring your debt and starting over might be a good idea, particularly if a lot of that debt's owed to the russians, you know? really the money goes to somebody, some very wealthy people will profit off of this. maybe not the people of ukraine, but some banks will get, you know, their payments from this, very wealthy countries, countries that we aren't particularly happy with will make money and profit off of this money. they owe $2 billion to russia directly through gas prom.
they owe another 20 some odd million to banks. it's unclear how much is sovereign debt and how much will find it way into government hands in russia. but realize when you give money to ukraine, you're giving it to russia. and you may think you are sending one signal, but i think you are in an unintended fashion sending the wrong signal. thank you. >> appreciate the senator's view. let me say, the chair opposes the amendment. first of all, let's understand what the amendment does. it strikes all loan guarantees, the imf reform and, however, while it strikes that, it keeps rescissions that were originally included in the bill to offset the imf reform. so it doesn't seem to me we should be having rescissions if we were to adopt this amendment. the, there is no question for those who want to stand with the ukraine, for those who believe that in doing so it is in the national interests and security of the united states, for those who are concerned about security
issues, that it is the imf that is going to play a critical role not only in the economic recovery and stability of the ukraine, but in doing so, playing a national security issue. and it is also very clear that the imf is not going to give the ukraine a single dime if, in fact, it does not meet a series of standards and obligations in order to do so. so our best guarantee of insuring both what has been stated on both sides of the aisle which is to promote the stability of the ukraine because it is in our national interests and national security as well as, obviously, the people of the ukraine and to have the imf be the vehicle to be able to insure that that happens in terms of the key role in developing an international assistance package to stabilize ukraine's economy, help implement critical economic reforms and reassure global
financial markets. with regards to the loan guarantees in section four, this part of the bill closely reflects legislation that was passed by the house of representatives 385-23. the one thing that we do here that the house did not do is we actually have offsets to deal with the loan guarantee. so i think that for all of these reasons i'd urge my colleagues to vote against the paul amendment, and i don't know if the senator's seeking a voice vote? does the senator accept a voice vote? >> sure. >> all those in favor will say aye. aye. all those opposed will say no. no. the nos have it, and the amendment is not agreed to. is there any other member wishing to offer amendments? senator barrasso. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to call up barrasso amendment number one. mr. chairman, i see that "the new york times," thursday, march 6th, headline above the fold page 1, u.s. hopes boom in natural gas concur putin, easing
on ukraine. in this week in in the "wall street journal," moscow tightens squeeze on ukraine over energy. my amendment requires the united states department of energy to approve u.s. liquefied natural gas exports to ukraine and to our nato allies. if we are serious about helping the people of ukraine, we need to immediately expedite the approval process for american liquified natural gas. russia has no problem with using its energy sector to intimidate and coerce other countries. the united states has the opportunity to be a strategic energy! er of lm -- energy supplier of lng into the ukraine. by making it easier to support lng, this amendment would allow increased energy security among u.s. allies, help reduce their need to pressure oil and gas from countries such as russia and iran. as the international relations emergency unfolds, it's clear that a exports to ukraine and other nato allies further both the public interest and national security for the united states. it would allow us to our
newfound abundance of natural gas to help nations diversify their energy imbolters in order to break -- imimportants in order to break russian dominance over them. >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? >> yes, senator corker. >> i want to thank senator barrasso for his efforts if that regard, and he's been way before crisis out there on this issue. i have a second-degree amendment that i believe would bring this amendment more fully in line with wto issues which i am afraid that the base amendment bumps up against. and i also know there are some complexities. i know we had a discussion the other day about lng and how you actually cause it to get to the place you want it to get to. but i'm going to not offer the second-degree amendment because my sense is this amendment is not going to pass. and i want to say to my friend from wyoming that i'm going to vote for this, and i hope though as we move along if it's offered
again on the floor, we might work together to try to overcome some of the issues we feel make this relative to wto issues, make this work better. but i really appreciate the thrust, and for that reason i'm going to support your amendment. >> before i recognize other members which i will, and i appreciate senator barrasso's being a continuous voice in this regard -- and there are others on the committee who join him on the issue -- however, i, just to let members know it is the chair's intention to rule senator whereas sew's amendment -- barrasso's amendment out of order because it's not in our jurisdiction. the bill that senator barrasso's amendment was based on has been referred to the banking committee. i know that the energy committee also has strong jurisdictional interests on the matter. our committee has not examined the issue, and i certainly want to work with my colleagues who have strong feelings about this issue, senator barrasso, senator kaine, senator markey in a different context and others to build a record and to try to
forge where we might be be headed. but for right now this amendment, which is, i believe, not in the jurisdiction of the committee. also i would urge that it be set aside because if it were, in fact, to pass, we would ultimately have this referred to two other committees, and we have the urgency, i think, of the moment. there is also a view that because we have that urgency of the moment that what is proposed on lng would not have an immediate impact for the ukraine because ukraine does not have the import infrastructure to accept natural gas. it does not currently have the wherewithal to build that import infrastructure, and turkey, which controls the basra strait, has told the ukraine if it ever did build infrastructure, it would likely block lng shipments out of safety concerns.
so we can have a debate on all of that. but above all, i don't believe the amendment is within the committee's jurisdiction, and i also believe that we would ultimately delay consideration of the pill. senator boxer -- of the bill. senator boric, then senator durbin. >> mr. chairman, i strongly support the underlying bill, and i'm so happy and pleased that you've worked across the aisle with senator corker and all my colleague it is to stand with ukraine. but i have to say this type of an amendment, which will lead to increases in electricity prices of up to 36% to our people, deserves more than just a cursory vote attached to a ukrainian bill. and what's interesting is for those of us who support putting a price on carbon, we're yelled at every day because it might lead to a 20% increase in electricity. this is a huge increase. and for all the reasons you cited, we can't today resolve all these issues. now, someday it might be a terrific idea and might work
real well. but right now i want to help ukraine. i don't want to hurt the american people. so i hope that we'll table this or perhaps it could be withdrawn. it needs a much longer discussion than we have time for today. and, again, congratulations on the underlying amendment -- bill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator whereas sew raises -- barrasso raises a legitimate and important issue. we know that the ukraine as well as georgia, the baltics, the former warsaw pact countries and former soviet republics are all subject to extortion by vladimir putin and the russians as well as the european union, i might add, every the availability and cost of natural gas. he has played that card every chance he gets to put pressure on them. i think we need to address this, and i won't rule out the possibility. but some of the questions that have been raised here -- not just the environmental question
and the cost of utilities in our country, but we are seeing a mini resurgence of manufacturing jobs in america because of the low cost of natural gas. i think it is incumbent upon us to ask the important question, what cost to the american economy will there be? how many jobs will we lose? i mean, we may create some jobs in luck bifid -- liquefied natural gas transport facilities and the like, but how many will we lose if the price goes up in our country because of this decision? these are all relevant, important questions. i don't know how they'd be resolved, but i think the chairman's right, this really needs to be brought to several committees of jurisdiction to make sure we have a thoughtful approach. >> senator udall. >> thank you very much, chairman menendez. and let me say to senator barrasso i think the thrust of where you're going with this is a very good one, and i have supported it. i believe that the export of lng
is something that we should be doing as a country. we somehow have to shake up the do to e process that -- doe process that's going on right now because it is, in my opinion, going too slowly. there are several bills that have been introduced, senator barrasso. as you know, my cousin and our colleague, mark udall, has introduced a bill that would expedite approval of exports to all wto countries from existing or future export facilities. i support this effort. the volume of our exports will be determined by the price of gas and the cost of facilities, and the gas will likely go where there's the most need. and there's a strong interest, i think, in eastern europe given russia's aggressive economic behavior. last summer i joined a bipartisan letter with both democrats and republicans to support further lng exports, and i understand there's also a
bipartisan opposition to this policy. but what the letter said, and these are both democrats and republicans saying this and it's even more true today, the world is hungry for u.s. natural gas. and the geopolitical implications of lng imbolters are tremendous. so -- imports are tremendous. so what you're doing i would really like to work with you on, but i think this could derail this very important bill we're working on, and so i'm going to support the chairman in terms of referring the jurisdiction and the ruling that he has made. thank you, chairman menendez. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chair. and to senator barrasso, i think just from listening to the discussions on this topic over the last few months because it's come up a number of times, i can see at least three positions on this committee, and i imagine there'd be three in the body. one, the position articulated by senator boxer and that was articulated by senator markey, that it would be a bad idea to export lng because of domestic pricing concerns.
second, that we should be exporting lng. it's a commodity like other commodities. and there's a third position, which is mine, that we should export it in a limited way to accomplish certain national security objectives. if this bill were just about the ukraine, i might be willing to support it, but frankly, there are three different positions about a pretty complex issue. i feel strongly about my point of view, but i acknowledge there's some good faith arguments that make me want to dig into it more. and i think doing it in the context of this bill when i hope we would send a strong support, a strong message of support for the ukraine, i think would complicate it. and so for that reason i'll support the chair, but i hope we will be able to get to that debate because these three positions ought to be threshed out, we ought to have the debate senator markey was talking about last week and get to the bottom of it and, i think, adjust our policies. >> any other members? senator markey. >> mr. chairman, thank you so much. you know, we need a timeout on this issue. you know? we don't know enough to make an
informed judgment in this committee on an issue which is fundamental to american economic security. and i think that the more the people understand about this issue is the more reluctant they're going to become in exporting our most valuable resource, you know? our oil, our natural gas. we're not in surplus in the united states at all. we still import natural gas, we still import oil. so we're not in a situation where we should just be sending this valuable element in our security overseas as we export young men and women over to the middle east to defend imports of oil into our country. that's a big decision for us to make in a foreign policy context, by the way, in terms of what does, in fact, enhance our security. last year natural gas prices went up 27%. as a result, there was fuel shifting back over to coal.
meaning that our greenhouse gases actually end up 2% last year. went up last year because of the shifting back to coal because of the price of natural gas went up. so that's a big decision as we talk about climate change in this committee. we all have jurisdiction over any climate treaty. we should talk about it. as we influence that and america's ability to meet its commitments at copenhagen, the 17% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, we have a responsibility to talk about that. we also have a responsibility to talk about the impact on the manufacturing industry, the natural gas vehicle industry and the you adult industry. and utility industry and consumers in our country as well. the more that we export is the better it is. and by the way, the this oil -- this natural gas is highly unlikely to ever go to the crew -yard line, let's just say that -- to the ukraine, let's just say that. they don't have plans to build an lng import facility, they don't have the capacity to build the terminal, and the turks say
they would oppose even giving access to it. this is a highly volatile, cryogenically-frozen fuel that would have almost a nuclear bomb-like impact if there was a terrorist attack or an accident that occurred as it was being transported. so i understand turkey's objection, but ukraine's unlikely to ever build an import terminal. moreover, as we look at this issues, we -- as we look at this issue, we have to insure that we think about american consumers. there's always been a debate over what impacts a climate change like waxman-markey would have on american consumers? well, this would have a dramatically larger impact than anything else that's ever been done. the energy information agency pretty much has concluded in its statement back to the congress that if four or trillion cubic
feet of lng are exported and they've already been permitted, that it would lead to close to a $62 billion increase in costs for american consumers. american consumers. now, if we talked here about a $62 billion tax on consumers each year in any other context but national security, people would be outraged, huh? and if i came from an energy exporting state, i understand that perspective. but 37 states are energy importers. they don't have any natural gas or coal or oil. we have to import it. so i understand the perspective of those states that export -- >> [inaudible] >> but this is our most valuable commodity; oil and gas. it's not like a watch manufacturer exporting, it's not like the kumquat industry exporting. this is special. oil and gas drive our foreign policy in the middle east. and we're going to be talking about a country which is not in
surplus right now, the united states, for short-term diplomatic reasons to be sending a signal, well, the signal is going to be to rio, to seoul, to tokyo and to beijing, get ready to purchase all this very low cost natural gas. that low cost natch a algas goes out onto the open market, our prices go up because we have less of it. but the bonanza is in these other countries. and we have to talk about who the beneficiaries are in terms of their manufacturing of goods sold back to us. because the control of this is not in the congress, and it's not, for sure, in the white house. the control is in the ceos' offices of energy companies in the united states. they're going to take it to the highest price, and the highest price by far is china, by the way. and japan. and rio, okay? going south and going east, okay? but it's not going west to europe. the hand on the tiller of those ships is controlled by rex tillerson at exxonmobil, and
he has a fiduciary responsibility to his schaffer holders to get -- to his shareholders to get the highest price. and the ukraine can't compete and europe can't compete. it's the bottom line. and so that's just the reality where it's going to go, but the reality is the american consumer who's going to have this energy tax put on their shoulders, and it'll hurt all aspects of our economic growth. i thank you, mr. chairman. ..
again that's what i certainly appreciate about this senator barrasso's amendment. thank you. >> senator shaheen. >> mr. chairman, i certainly applaud senator barrasso for raising this issue. i think it is a conversation we really need to have in congress as we think about how we can use this issue to address our strategic interests around the world but given that you're intending to rule this amendment, and i assume the other out of order, i would hope that we would discontinue our debate before we lose our quorum. >> i appreciate the senator's observation. mr. barrasso. >> mr. chairman, i recognize you
have the power to make certain rulings in this committee and i obviously disagree with this conclusion that this amendment shouldn't be considered today but the underlying bill include other provisions not in the jurisdiction of this committee. sections dealing with loan guaranty and sanctions under the jurisdiction of the banking committee. different issues regarding reprograming of fund from the department of defense. not necessarily in the jurisdiction of this committee. i appreciate many kind comments of members of the committee. many members of the committee said they want to take real steps to help ukraine. i'm offering congress to help ukraine and help our nato allies and the mess we're sending right now we're more willing to protect russia's energy monopoly. the irony what is happening discernly not going to be lost on the people of the ukraine or our allies or leaders in the kremlin. it is clear by not voting we're rewarding russia with more power at the international monetary
fund while denying ukraine important allies and the opportunity to be more energy independent from russian energy sources. if members are willing to provide american taxpayer dollars to ukraine to pay russian bass bills, congress should work to insure that ukraine has the opportunity to buy u.s. natural gas. i say by passing my amendment the united states has the potential to be the strategic energy supplier to our nato allies and the ukraine. it is worth noting, mr. chairman, my amendment on lng exports has strong bipartisan support in the body. i will offer the amendment in the full senate. i expect our bipartisan coalition to pass an amendment that helps ukraine and eastern europe escape the russia and i look forward to traveling to ukraine tomorrow and directly speaking with leaders in the region about their desire to buy american natural gas to escape russia's grip on their economy and future. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> i appreciate the senator's remarks and concern and commitment to the issue. the chair rules the amendment out of order as a topic outside the jurisdiction of the committee. in the interests of the committee's interests the chair would ask unanimous consent other could comments entered at this point in time and relates to other elements about senator barrasso's other jurisdictional elements in the committee. i would be happy to go through this, but i think in the interest of time we'll put that into the record. without objection so ordered the amendment is ruled out of order. is there anyone wishing to submit an amendment? senator johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to offer my amendment number one. my amendment just strikes section 9, the imf reforms and section 11, the related offsets in the department of defense. the amendment leaves the international assistance recisions in place in order to help offset the cost of section
6, democracy, civil society governance funding and enhanced security cooperation in section 7. my primary point and senator cardin said earlier, he didn't want to slow down the progress on this bill. wanted us to speak with one voice. i certainly don't believe, i realize there are differences of opinion here, i don't believe this is essential for this bill. in any way, shape or form. it is controversial. it will divide us. we will not be providing a unified front in a situation where i think we should. so i do not support senator paul's amendment where we struck out the loan provision. again i think it is important we send that very strong signal but i'm highly concerned this provision, simply not needed, does divide us, weakens that unified front. so i hope to give some support for this. thank you. >> is there any other member wishing to speak to -- >> just very previously. we covered this point i think in senator paul'sment.
without an effective u.s. participation in the imf you're not going to have the type of input with the type of economic plan that can work in ukraine. the, the loan guaranties are part of a package. ifm -- imf is in ukraine. they're coming up with a plan. these imf reforms are fully participate in these type of decisions. the costs are fully offset and i think that has been one of the controversial issues, so i would hope that we would recognize that for the united states to be able to fully engage on this economic package which is in our national security interests and one other point that senator murphy made, ukraine was being pulled into two directions. whether they're going to have a alliance with russia or whether going to be part of europe. it is so much in our interests, ukrainian people want to be with
europe. we shouldn't force them economically to have to make a choice to be dependent upon russia. imf is part of that solution. the united states has to be part of the modernized imf reforms and these changes are desperately needed. >> senator murphy. >> just very briefly. this isn't theoretical. this is practical. it is no secret that the developing nations are increasingly hesitant to join with imf efforts to provide relief with the proper strings attached in places like ukraine, so long as the united states stands on the sidelines. so this has real practical consequences for our ability to help lead the imf into situations where they are best equipped to do so. and if we continue to sit on the sidelines and this committee continues to be unwilling to have the united states join all other nations in approving these reforms there will be
justification for those developing nations to provide roadblocks to the type of assistance that ultimately adds to u.s. security interests here in the case of ukraine. >> if there are no other members let me just say that i respect senator johnson's views. i disagree on the imf in particularly in this package but i disagree in a broader context. the imf is playing the central anchoring role in developing international assistance package to stablize ukraine's economy, help implement critical economic reforms and reassure global financial markets. the reason we seek to strengthen the imf efforts by approving the pending 2010 quota and governance reforms it, would increase available imf emergency funding to ukraine by 60%, sending an important signal to other potential donors such as the e.u. and world bank. it is crucial to insure that the
united states maintains its preeminent leadership and influence within the imf and increasing the effectiveness of the imf in protecting global financial stability, including the 2010 reforms in this bill will insure the fund has the necessary resources to support structural reforms in the ukraine and the wherewithal to respond to and prevent a financial crisis in the ukraine that could spill over to global markets and threaten u.s. national economic security interests. the events in the ukraine are the perfect example why the world needs a strong, international financial institutions and particularly a strong imf to serve as first responder to global financial crises. all the parties are looking to the imf as the lead actor in developing a financial stabilization package in the ukraine, thus preventing an economic crisis that would only exacerbate current tensions and further damage u.s. geopolitical
interests and priorities. so i think for all of us who want to support the ukraine, for all of us who are concerned about stability and security, for all of us who are talking about the next crisis, i mean i heard voices complain about the administration not responding to the ukraine sufficiently enough at a different time and that the west wasn't responding sufficiently enough when putin was making its overtures. you have to be in a position to do that. the position to do that is through the imf. even our loan guaranty which is certainly desirable is nowhere near what you need to accomplish to the imf. so you, know, we need to get this done for the ukraine and we need to get it done for the next global crisis and for us to be in a preeminent leadership position with influence over what the imf does and we do that by meeting our obligation.
and so, i think it is very important to do so. i oppose the gentleman'sment. i respect his views. i think we've had a full debate here. does the gentleman want a roll call vote. >> i would like a roll call. quickly to the respond i don't believe the u.s. would be standing on the sidelines. i don't believe the u.s. would not be fully engaged. i do not believe the imf would not be able to act. i refute the charges coming back. this is simply not necessary for package. i would request a roll call vote. >> i would say to the gentleman i spoke to christine lagarde today. she sees this as an essential element of being able to move forward, not only in this crisis but in others that unfortunately will likely come. so, part of my remarks is reflecked from my conversation with her. senators asked for roll call vote. clerk call the role. >> no by proctor & gamble.
>> i know washington counts and you need --, all right the amendment is not agreed to. is there anyone else wishing to offer an amendment? senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you have an amendment from me, the amendment, what the amendment would do is to add number 8 to section 6-a which would support the efforts of the government of ukraine, civil society and international organizations to enhance the economic and political empowerment of women and to also address violence against women and girls in the ukraine. i want to thank senators johnson, boxer, durbin, for cosponsoring the amendment and senator cardin has also asked to be added as a cosponsor. and, let me just point out the reason that i thought this would be important to add to this legislation is because if we look at how ukraine fares it comes to their treatment of
women, they rank very low in terms of women's political participation. there are 119th out of 136 countries. only 10% of women in parliament in ukraine are women and 45% of women in the ukraine report that they have been subject to violence at some point in their lifetime. so i think this is an issue that is important for us to continue to focus on and i hope the committee will support this amendment. >> mr. chairman? >> senator corker. >> i want to thank the senator for her amendment and i hope we'll adopt it by unanimous consent. >> i share senator corker's sentiments. is there anyone who wishes to speak to the amendment. if not all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say nay. the ayes have it and amendment is agreed to. is there any other member wishing to offer an amendment?
senator risch? >> mr. chairman you have the risch amendment, that is simple amendment. we prepared a report regarding chinese military activities and modernization. this does the same thing for russia. admittedly a similar report was included in the defense authorization bill but it was for one year only as opposed to chinese type report which goes on every year. given the activity the of russia recently, it appears to me we need to have this as an ongoing report t add as few other things to what was in the annual report that was asked for in the defense authorization bill such as an update on russia's nuclear modernization programs and weapons proliferation and some others but it should be relatively non-controversial. i know the bill attempts two things. number one to support the ukraine. number two to at least take a hard look at the russians. it is not actually doing some appropriate discipline and this
falls in the latter category. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i generally am supportive of what the thrust the what the senator wants to do. the amendment asks the dod to preach an unclassified/classified report to congress on the current and future military power of the russian federation. it would assess the security and military strategy of russia, that's fine. but the amendment also requires a full accounting of our military to military engagement with russia and russia's military cooperation with other countries. asked detail summary of topics discuss and questions asked by russian participation that would likely curtail for any productive meetings between u.s. and russian defense officials. if aproceeded to as written the amendment would likely enhance, would likely end any chances of future u.s.-russian military cooperation should the appropriate time be there.
would the gentleman consider taking that section out of his amendment which case i would be prepared to accept his amendment? >> yes, i would, thank you. >> okay. so -- >> mr. chairman, just. >> yes? >> i think that is a pretty broad interpretation. having said that, get your support i will be happy to take that out. >> okay. so i'll make a motion that we, that i, that the menendez amendment to strike the language that i just referred to be accepted is there a second? >> second. >> second all those in favor say aye. all those opposed will say no. the ayes have it and senator risch's amendment is amended as per the menendez amendment. senator risch, are you willing to accept a voice vote. >> i am. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes have it and the amendment as amended is adopted. is there any other amendment,
yes, senator risch you have another amendment. >> mr. chairman, although mr. rubio is not here he is here in spirit. he has jury duty today and asked me to offer on his behalf, rubio numb per one. i'm doing so. and i do so enthusiastically. rubio number one adds some language to paragraph 15 of section 3 and that language simply strengthens the language regarding the situation with russia's participation in the g8. the most language that is in this bill puts side boards or restrictions if you would on russia's participation in the g8. this simply adds language and that in that particular language, i think it is very strong, talking about the not invading your neighbors which is a neighborly thing to do.
this adds additional language, accepting at hearing to the norms and standards of free democratic societies as generally practiced by every other member nation of the g8. that would be added after discouraging them from entering and violating territorial integrity of its neighbors. thank you, mr. chairman. >> is there anyone who wishes to speak to this amendment? may i inquire, senator, that you are offering on behalf of senator rubio. >> no. that will all i'm offering. >> because i'm incoo indto be more accepting if limit -- >> i already gave you my -- >> especially when i'm not, i'm not getting underlying vote on the bill. so, okay. is there any, any member wishes to speak to this amendment? if not, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes have it. and the amendment is agreed to. >> mr. rubio thanks you for your
consideration. >> we thank him for his civic participation in jury duty. senator paul. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i still contend that we're sending mixed messages to russia on whether or not we're encouraging them by sending them loan money via ukraine or whether we're here to send them a message that their behavior sun acceptable. i offer this amendment to make it clear that we would like to send russia a message and one the ways we'll send this message through paul amendment 3 is reduce money we send to russia. this would strike epa grants of $9.3 million and also end a $50 million fund the u.s.-russia investment fund. i've been made aware apparently there are clever washington mathematicians concluded cutting spend something actually increasing spending. i don't agree with that assessment and i think this would send a good signal, if not a great deal of money but would
send a signal to russia we are unhappy with their behavior and we are putting our money where our mouth is by reducing some fund sent to russia. >> is there any other member who wishes to speak to this amendment? >> if we could have a roll call on this one i would appreciate it, thank you. >> well, while i appreciate senator paul's thinking in tapping the u.s.-russia investment trust fund recent events in my mind have underscored the need for morsi stance to democracy rule of law and civil society and organizations in russia, not less. the senator's amendment is also technically not possible. the fund is not fry for reprograming.
it must score. it is an independent capital fund incorporated in delaware with special restrictions on its expenditures, one which the money needs to be spent in russia. since we already have offsets in the legislation that are drawn from accounts from underperforming programs, that have been counseled, i think that what we need to do is help democracy rule of law in civil society in russia, not take away resources from it. so i would have to oppose the senator's amendment. >> mr. chairman, if i could briefly. >> senator corker. >> i know the house looked at this same approach and realized that cbo would actually score this as spending, not as reduction because they already counted on this money coming back to the treasury. so, just for what it's worth, appreciate the intent of reducing spending but, i think it has been indicated they're going to score it exact opposite direction. not only take money out after
>> clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, nos are 11, yeas are four. >> thank you very much, the amendment is not agreed to. is there any other member wishing to offer any other amendments in one final comment then before we vote on final passage, with reference to the recisions to the defense appropriations under this bill, these are rescinded from unobligated balances from other procurement. it's a fund that is currently under executing and funds are available from unobligated balances. this is out of a $6.4 billion appropriation that procures various types of equipment. so we're talking about 40 -- $157 million in budget authority out of $6.4 billion. it is also out of a program which the army, due to the recent termination of a certain
program, has ultimately decided to retire all of what they call the kiawa warrior helicopter program and the update program is not needed and that is proposed for cancellation in the budget request and bottom line on all of these defense appropriations realities it has been vetted with the appropriators. we are talking about underperforming and or programs that the department itself has canceled. so therefore we feel it is fitting and appropriate when we have a national security issue like the ukraine to share with both the state department and the dod. senator durbin. >> mr. chairman, we were happy in our subcommittee to work with you to find these revisions. you have -- recisions. you accurately described them. i was informed by the comptroller's office in the department of defense they have mo objection to these defense offsets. >> i appreciate senator durbin
in his role as chair of the subcommittee on appropriations to give us that insight. with that, i hope that doubts any questions, eliminates any questions. the vote is now on final passage of the bill. >> mr. chairman? >> senator risch. >> mr. chairman, briefly, i'm going to vote against this and i tell you i'm really disappointed in this. i truly wanted to do things we all want to do as far as ukraine concerned. i'm deeply disappointed we included matters with the imf should be debated separately i and others have strong feelings on. as a result i will cast a no vote. i'm hoping when it cops back from the house and that is out of there, i'm going to be able to cast a positive vote. thank you, mr. chairman. >> is there any other member? if not, all those in favor -- >> chairman, roll you will call vote. >> senator asks for a roll call vote. clerk will call the roll. [roll call vote]
>> after the committee approved the ukraine package, it was temporarily blocked by the full senate last night. way open ming republican john barrasso objected to the bill because it included changes to the imf the senate is expected to take up the ukraine measure again when it returns from recess. >> we're live this morning in. rayburn house office building on capitol hill.
the house foreign affairs committee is about to convene a hearing on the relationship between the u.s. and taiwan. the congressional research service says taiwan was america's 11th largest trading partner in 2012. the state department official monitors our relationship with taiwan and he is the only witness. should get underway in a couple moments. live coverage here on c-span2. >> again waiting for the start of this house foreign affairs
committee hearing on the relationship between the u.s. and taiwan. should get underway in just a moment. while we wait, remarks from house speaker john boehner yesterday. he called on the senate to approve a house-passed aid bill for ukraine. he also criticized the health care law, calling it a monstrosity and asked president obama delay for five years the penalty for not buying coverage. >> good morning, everyone. we reminded down in florida this week the jobs and economy remain american people's top priority. republicans have been focused on jobs since day one. and for three years the house has passed a dozens of bills,
part of our plan for jobs and economic growth. and for three years the american people have waited while the president and senate democrats have ignored these pro-growth bills. at the same time, we're reminded this week that the american people are still concerned about the president's health care law. families are seeing their policies canceled, their premiums spike because of the law. many seniors enrolled in popular medicare advantage program are losing access to their doctors and other benefits because of obamacare. so the administration wisely with drew a rule they were proposing on the medicare drug plan because of the significant bipartisan opposition. there are similar bipartisan opposition to the law's looming changes to medicare advantage. and the president should act in a similar fashion.
we also learned something new this week. quietly, without any fanfare there is a real question whether the white house just abandoned the individual mandate, the heart of obamacare itself. the president's claimed getting rid of the individual mandate is tantamount to gutting obamacare yet the white house quietly added a new hardship exemption for essentially everyone. and just seems that they're hoping that no one will notice. this is a huge public policy decision that could affect millions of americans. tomorrow the house is going to vote to delay the individual mandate tax and give everyone the same extension that the white house has already given them, yet the white house opposes the bill. frankly i think the american people deserve some explanation as to what the white house really is doing. finally i'm going to touch again
on the situation in ukraine. the house is acting on a loan guaranty package with strong bipaul sawn support. senate should pass the bill and send it to the senate's desk before leaving for the district work period. i also ereceived a letter from many of our central european allies urging action on the issue of american energy. and the defacto export ban on u.s. natural gas exports would not only help our economy, it would help keep putin in check. so i would urge the president to ahead this call from our allies and have him call the secretary of energy to begin to pass these export licenses. >> mr. speaker, is it possible for republicans to overstate how much health care was involved in the florida race? is there any lessons here that you would like to send to other republicans between now and the fall, how do deal with obamacare in the midterms. >> as you heard me say more than
once, the issue is jobs. the american people, there are not enough jobs out there. we're not expanding the economy. wages are not increasing and it is because of the president's policies. chief amongst those policies that are hurting the economy is the issue of obamacare. and so it is hurting jobs, it is hurting the american people because they're all paying more and a lot of people are losing their policies. and it is interesting, with all of these delays that the president has been announcing, all of these, that we're to go into effect before the election, now we're being pushed beyond the election. tens of millions of americans are going to lose their policies next year and the year after. every american is going to see higher prices for health care. so the president can continue to delay this but, i'll tell you, what i said yesterday. the worst is yet to come. >> is there any chance republicans could overplay their hand on health care. >> i think we need to stay
focused on what the american people are focused on and jobs and economy but don't underestimate the amount of impact that obamacare is having on the job market. >> on obamacare, your bill this week tying individual mandate repeal or delay to the sgr, the affordable care act according to the cbo over the long-term budget window will insure 13 million people. doesn't the bill essentially -- >> hold on. >> doesn't the bill -- >> the cbo says that 10 years from now we'll still have eight to 10 million americans with no health insurance. >> doesn't the bill in the short term, however, essentially charge doctors by repealing obamacare in order to pay doctors under the sgr? >> i don't see that analogy at. >> they're getting parishes through the door, patients who do get insurance, that is more business for doctors. >> there are less people today with health insurance than there were before this law went into effect.
now how does that help doctors? >> talk about what your strategy is for the rest of the year, legislatively on health care. do you expect, parts of law. what do you expect? >> listen if you watched what we've done on obamacare, we tried to protect the american people from the harmful effects of this law. that is what we will continue to attempt to do. >> how? >> jonathan. >> on ukraine, senator lindsey graham tried to reach out to you, condoleezza rice, a number of bush administration officials sent a letter to you on this imf issue. why not, why don't you take up the senate bill and pass that -- >> what senate bill. >> what passed the foreign relations committee. >> listen that is a big, big if. make sure we all understand something. the imf money has nothing to do with ukraine. i understand the administration wants the imf money but it has nothing at all to do with
ukraine. so let's just understand what the facts are here. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i'm following up on jake's question. congress is about to recess again, just several weeks really of legislative days left this year. what really are your priorities for this house and this con press more broadly to accomplish this year? >> well we do have, quite a few things yet to do. we've got a highway bill that we've got to reauthorize sometime this year. you've got the terrorism risk insurance program that has to be reauthorized. you've got the the reauthorization of the export-import bank. since the passage of the found bill, states found ways to cheat once again on stein signing up people for food stamps. i would hope the house would act to try to stop this cheating and this fraud from continuing. listen, the american people --
money. we send us here to when we impose taxes on them and expect us to spend the money wisely. we pass ad farm bill and states are finding ways around the law and perpetuating fraud we were trying to stop. there are a number of things on our agenda. >> [inaudible] minority leader said a few minutes ago there was absolutely nothing going on the floor. saying what is going on the floor doesn't count. what do you say when you have these charges levied, about your agenda. >> if i was minority leader i would make the same noise. the democrat in the white house i would make the same noise, all right? you know, there are two things that go on here. public policy, because we do it in a political setting you got politics going on. and you know i might add, it is even numbered year.
and so, why wouldn't be throwing noise around? listen, wee have serious work to do. we're at it. we've got a appropriation bills to do. i have talked to the senate majority leader last week. where looks like we have a real chance to rebuild the appropriation process which has been broken for some time. so we've got worked to do. >> follow up on that though. some might say you are the one that is are throwing this noise around in even numbered year. is i mean, some might say is this actually legitimate? >> for three years we've been focused on jobs and economy. why? because that is what the american people expect us to focus on. for three years the president and senate democrats have ignored the dozens of bills that we sent over there would help the economy. obamacare is not something we start talking about last week or last year. we've been talking about it since 2010 when they passed this monstrosity. so, we don't have to manufacture
noise. to do our jobs. >> on your list there of priorities answering lisa's question, highway bill, risk insurance, xim bank, couple big-ticket items wean there. health care bill leader cantor is working on. update on that? >> we've got, i wasn't trying to give you an exhaustive list. we have issues like immigration. i think are important ought to be dealt with. replacing obamacare. certainly something we intend to do. do in a budget. it is our intent to do a budget. we have a lot of work on our list. dave. >> thank you, sir. you said a minute ago fewer people today with health insurance than when the law was passed. make sure i understand. you're saying obama care has resulted in a necessary loss of insurance? >> i believe that to be the indicates. when you look at six million americans who lost their policies and some, they claim, 4.2 million people who signed
up, i don't know how many have actually paid for it, that would indicate to me a net loss of people with health insurance. and i actually do believe that to be the case. >> speaker boehner, ranking member of oversight committee elijah cummings sent a letter, darrell issa possibly lost his ability to hold lois lerner in attempt to congress the way he adjourned the hearing legally. do you still plan to move forward on contempt of congress vote on miss lerner? what is your response to mr. coupling. >> i and house counsel reject premises of mr. cummings letter. i do not agree with that analysis in any way, shape or form. i made clear more than one occasion miss lerner should testify or be held in contempt. >> will house counsel made available to press his opinion or her opinion? >> you will have to ask the appropriate people. >> you're the appropriate person though. they work for you. >> i'm sure that we will see an opinion at some point.
>> mr. speaker, wouldn't, imf reforms allow ukraine to increase borrowing from the imf by $600 million which would be about 60% more than it could under the current regime. >> that may be the case but it doesn't have anything to do with the money that people are looking for. >> last question. >> on policy, cbo says that the sgr thing you're looking at would increase the number of uninsured by 13 million, increase premiums by 10 to 20%. committee for responsible federal budget say it will add to the debt in the second 10 years. what is the policy argument sgr paid for this way or is it political thing? >> for those you not involved in the sgr, which is the doc fix, phony debate we've had around here for 15 years about cutting doctors reimbursements for medicare. we need to fix this. we have a permanent fix. it is agreed to on a bipartisan basis and bicameral basis.
and the question is, how do we find $140 billion to fix this once and for all instead of this annual year to year patch that we tend to put in place. the president has provided exemptions for big business. he has pushed off all kinds of other mandates on the business side. all we're say something basic fairness to take away the penalty for americans under the requirement that they have to buy health insurance. let's take the penalty away for the next five years. and the fact is, is that it's a responsible thing to do. it is basic fairness for the american people. that's why we're doing it, thanks. >> he is wrong then? then? >> house speaker john boehner, joining us his house colleagues as members debate medicare payments to doctors this morning. see live coverage on c-span.
we're live on capitol hill for a house foreign affairs committee on the u.s. between the u.s. and taiwan. >> it has been 35 years and for that period of time the taiwan relations act has served as the legal framework governing the important relationship between the united states of america and republic of china, taiwan. since the act came into force in 1979 there have been few other pieces of foreign policy legislation as consequential as the tra. indeed it is the steadfast support of the united states con crest that -- congress helped taiwan what it is is today. a thriving modern society that strongly supports human rights, strongly supports the rule of law and free markets and is democratic. the purpose of today's hearing is to consider whether the
administration is doing enough to fulfill the larger promise of the taiwan relations act. america's support for taiwan is now more important than ever and it is vital that we speak with one voice when it comes to our support for taiwan. strengthening the you're relationship with taiwan is one of the committee's top legislative priorities. in fact i led two bipartisan delegations to taipei in last 13 months. last year our delegation trip include advice it to taiwan's world with war two era submarines. and just last week the committee delegation of eight members of congress traveled to tinon to see first-hand the fleet of fighter jets that serves as the backbone of the taiwan east air force. the fact that the first batch of these jets entered into service
in 1965 is a stark reminder that taiwan needs continuous u.s. support in order to maintain a credible deterrence across the taiwan strait. on this front i reluctantly submit that we are not doing enough to meet the spirit of the taiwan relations act. we need to do more here in the united states. and just as necessary as defense sales are to taiwan, it is equally important that the u.s. actively support taiwan's efforts to maintain and expand its diplomatic space. when it comes to matters of public safety or public health. the u.s. must do its utmost to insure that taiwan has a seat at the table. for this reason, i authored legislation that was signed into law to help taiwan participate in the international civil aviation organization last year.
taiwan's absence from prevents it from obtaining air safety information in real time. the recent disappearance of the malaysian aircraft highlights the importance of cooperation in the aviation field. as a result of my legislation taiwan has finally been able to have a seat at ikao for the first time since 1976. taiwan's participation in the trans-pacific partnership free-trade agreement is an important opportunity that we must not overlook. by working to include taiwan in a high-quality, multilateral trade agreement, the u.s. would be helping to preserve taiwan's ability to do business internationally. the events unfolding in the ukraine remind us of the strategic weakness of relying on one major trading partner. i understand that the government of taiwan will soon announce its
intention to seek membership in tpp. as chairman of this committee i strongly urge the administration to support taiwan's inclusion in tpp. american consumers and exporters would benefit. the story of taiwan is really a story about transformation. from the grinding poverty of the postwar era, to a military dictatorship, to a thriving, multiparty democracy. the investment that the american people made in taiwan has more than paid off. today taiwan is a beacon of democracy in a region of the world that still yearns for freedom. the good people of taiwan have also been a part of america's own success story with many taiwan-americans participating in business and government in their own communities. as we acknowledge.
35th anniversary of the taiwan relations act, let us come together to support and strengthen the u.s.-taiwan relationship. our actions will directly impact the future of taiwan and our strategic and economic standing in the critical asia-pacific region. let me turn to mr. eliot engel of new york for his opening remarks, our ranking member the committee. >> chairman royce, thank you for calling this hearing on the taiwan relations act. i'm a big supporter of taiwan and have traveled there many times, most recently with you last year on your first year as chairman. i want to agree with everything you just said about taiwan. next month marks the 35th anniversary of the taiwan relations act. the act, passed in 1979 is the cornerstone of the relationship between our two nations. it has been instrumental in maintaining peace and security across the taiwan straits and in
east asia and serves as the official basis for friendship and cooperation between the united states and taiwan. i am proud to be a lead sponsor with you, mr. chairman on hhres 494 which rye affirms the importance and relevance of the taiwan relations act three decades after its adoption. taiwan is a flourishing multiparty democracy of 20 million people with a vibrant, free market economy. it's a leading trade partner of the united states along much bigger countries like brazil and india. over the past 60 years the u.s.-taiwan relationship has under gone dramatic changes but taiwan's development in a robust and lively democracy underpins the strong u.s.-taiwan friendship we enjoy today. our relationship with taiwan was initially definedded by a shared strategic purpose of stopping the spread of communism in asia.
with the end of the cold war taiwan's political evolution from thor tehran criticism to one of the -- authoritarianism, transformed the relationship one based solely on shared interests to one based on shared values. one of the main obligations of the united states under the taiwan relations act is to make available to taiwan defensive arms so taiwan is able to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability. despite improvement on the political and economic ties between taiwan and main mainland china, beijing's military buildup opposite taiwan is continuing and the balance of cross strait military forces continues to shift in china's favor. i encourage the administration to work closely with congress in meeting our obligations under a taiwan relations act and to provide taiwan with a defensive weapons it requires. in that light i am very concerned about the decision of
the us air force not to fund the so-called, capes program in next year's budget that would have upgrade the avionic system of f-16 fighter jets include about 150 of taiwan's f-16s. the taiwan defense ministry now face as tough decision how to move forward with the upgrade of its fighters at a reasonable cost and up grade that it desperately needs. i hope our witness will be able to shed some light on this issue and on a way forward for taiwan and the united states taiwan ace political, economic and social transformation over the past 60 years has demonstrated that a state can be modern, democratic and thoroughly chinese. taiwan's example is an inspiration for other countries in asia and throughout the world that linger under the control of one person or one party. the fact that taiwan has now held five direct presidential elections is a clear sign of the political maturity of the
taiwanese people and frankly a signal to beijing that any change in relations between taiwan and china can not be imposed by the main land. for many years i've been a staunch supporter of the people of taiwan and i will continue to lead efforts here in congress to demonstrate continued u.s. support for taiwan. i think it's a moral obligation for the united states to defend taiwan and to be supportive of taiwan and to stand with taiwan. so i look forward to the testimony of our witness this morning and in learing his view how to further strengthen ties between the united states and taiwan. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. engel. we'll have two more opening statements. two minutes from mr. chabot of ohio, chairman of the asia subcommittee and two minutes from mr. brad sherman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for calling this important hearing. i was pleased to join you in traveling to taiwan a couple weeks ago and i think we had a productive trip and certainly had a opportunity to meet with a
host of top taiwan officials especially president mah. i know my colleagues were happy with the warm reception and many courtesies extended to us by our host. we appreciate that. one of the original founding cochairs of congressional taiwan caucus i of course am a strong supporter of u.s.-taiwan alliance. taiwan is democracy and loy friend and ally and deserves to be treated as such as by the u.s. government. as we commemorate the 35th anniversary of the taiwan relations act this year it is only appropriate that we strive to move close toward policy objection tiff set out in that landmark piece of legislation. chief among which is the principle that our diplomatic relationship with the prc, the peoples republic of china is premised on the expectation of that the future of taiwan will be determined by peaceful means. for over three decades the taiwan relations act served as the corner stone of u.s.-taiwan relations along with president
reagan's six assurances in 1979, the taiwan relations act has played an indispensable role in maintenance of peace and security in the east asia-pacific region. taiwan has come a long way since 1979 it conducted direct presidential elections something that would have been unthinkable back in 1979. open and vigorous electoral campaigns have values of pluralism, transparency and rule of law. at the same time the threat of military aggression posed by the prsr taiwan has grown exponentially over recent years. when i came to congress income in 1995. china had couple hundred missiles pointed at taiwan. since then it grew to hundreds of them and is now 1600 short, mid-range ballistic missiles. i look forward to hearing from our witness this morning and, the continued relationship between the united states and
taiwan which is very important to both countries. thank you. >> mr. sherman. >> yes. i want to commend the chairman for putting together and leading an outstanding codel to asia, particularly to taiwan. i see mr. weber, mr. messer, and of course mr. chabot was on that codel and i remember mr. chabot leading us in our effort to seek the release on humanitarian parole of former president chen. i don't think we can conclude one way or the other about the judicial determination there but certainly given his poor health, given his service to the country and given the unifying effect this would have, i would hope that we would continue to press for humanitarian treatment and release of mr. chen. i think that it is important that we provide taiwan for the
tools to defend itself but taiwan need to act as well. taiwan spend less than $11 billion on its defense. less than 1/5 per capita what we in america do and god blessed us with the pacific ocean separating us from china. taiwan has only the taiwan straits. on the pestage of gdp basis, taiwan spend roughly half what we do. so we should be willing to sell them the tools and they should be willing to spend the money to buy those tools. i'm also concerned with the reduction in the reserve requirements imposed onioning people in taiwan for military service. finally i do disagree, only slightly with the chairman. i do want to see taiwan involved in the trade negotiations so long as america's out of those negotiations until such time as we revamp our trade policy which
has given us the largest trade deficit in the history of life on the planet. i yield back. this morning we're pleased to be joined by mr. economy, deputy assistant secretary foreshew asia and specific affairs. mr. moye previously served as deputy executive secretary in the office of secretary of state clinton. he was director of the executive secretariat staff and deputy director of the office of maritime, southeast asia. we're going to ask him to summarize his prepared statement if he would. we'll remind members that you all have five calendar days to submit statements or questions or any extraneous material you want to put into the record for this hearing. and so mr. moye. you have the floor. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. around members of the committee. . .