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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 21, 2015 10:00am-8:01pm EDT

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quorum call:
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mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. is there objection? seeing none, without objection. mr. hatch: madam president i ask unanimous consent to call up the following a.m.s en bloc: boxer 1371, whitehouse, 1387, three brown 1252 to level l playing field feinstein 1424, menendez 1340, paul, number 1383 paul, number 1408, sullivan number 1246, sessions number 1233, cruz number 1384,
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cardin 1230, paul, 1408 -- is there objection? mr. hatch: mr. president i reserve the right to object -- the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: again i appreciate the generosity of senators hatch and i think wyden on this. this is 200 amendments have been filed by 46 senators. we've had two votes. we have six pending but the six pending have had some interesting adjustments in terms of second-degree in terms of not being actually called for votes. now we have an offer of nine more. that's a good step. but the majority leader came to the floor at the end of the first full day of debate to file cloture to shut down debate. we had only two votes all week.
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i'd like to have more votes. i think all of us on all sides of this discussion in this debate the pro-free trade reerntion the anti-free trade republicans, the pro-free trade democrats and the overwhelming majority of democrats who don't like the rules the way they are under t.p.a. would all be willing to come together and pick out 20 or so amendments of the 200 that have been offered by 46 different senators and have that debate, with time limits. we should do all of that. instead, we have nine amendments here as i said -- in case i didn't say it three times we've only had two votes here. most of these amendments, including leveling the playing field, which is seems to have unanimous support, it is non-germane, so if members vote for cloture now then all of those nine germane amendments are dropped and most of these nine will not see the light of day. so, madam president i object to the u.c. officer sphe objection is heard. mr. hatch: well, mr. president, i just want to point out that we tried to bring
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this bill up last thursday, then friday. it was objected to. then we brought it up monday. we only had two amendments. then tuesday wednesday and now today there have been -- there have been longjams all the way through. now look, i've tried to be as fair as i can be on this. i've tried to accommodate my colleagues on the other side. we're not making any headway. and so i thought by calling up these 12 amendments, that would resolve it. but if not, we should proceed with the vote. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i would again reiterate our offer. i don't know that i can do it exactly in a u.c. request but reiterate our offer that we sit down the leaders sit down, the the -- sit down and discuss 15 amendments a side, 15 republican amendments 15 democratic amendments, we have a serious negotiation without cloture hanging over our head that will
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drop all these nongermane, very serious enforcement amendments. we had a vote, madam president last tuesday where for the first time in 25 years a trade motion was actually defeated, and the whole point of that vote was we wanted enforcement as part of t.p.a./t.a.a. that's what this has been all about. but in this u.c. request there -- the -- most of the enforcement -- for instance, level the playing field but also some other things -- will drop because they're nongermane. so i would just offer to senator hatch if there's a way of having this discussion and really moving forward. a senator: regular order mr. president. the presiding officer: all time has expired. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the hatch amendment numbered 1221 to h.r. 1314, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, and so forth. signed by 17 senators.
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the presiding officer: by unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on the substitute amendment number 1221 offered by the senator from utah, mr. hatch to h.r. 1314, be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 62, the nays are 38. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. the majority leader. could you please take your conversations out of the well.
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the presiding officer: can we have order in the senate, please. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: madam president, i'm very happy the senate has decided to take another step forward on this very important initiative not only of the president but of the majority party as well and i thank the folks on the other side who are also similarly inclined. and let me just make it clear senator hatch and senator wyden have done a terrific job on this. they are hope to continue to try to get amendments. we still have the opportunity to do that. as everyone knows it requires some level of cooperation because anybody can object to somebody else getting an nlt a. but -- getting an amendment. but senator hatch and senator wyden are anxious to do additional business, to open it up for more amendments and with everybody's cooperation, that could be achieved. i yield. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i think it would be appropriate that we've gotten to where we are now that we have a
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quorum call so we can find out where we are on amendments. there's an agreement out there. we just have to see how we can get it arrived at. so i would suggest the absence of a quorumment mr. hatch: would the senator withhold just so i can make a short speech? it will be less than a minute i think. mr. reid: of course. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i thank my colleague from nevada. madam president, i want to thank all our colleagues for their support in helping us get this far. this last vote was a major step forward on this important legislation. we've got a few more votes that we're going to have to do and we're getting very close to maybe doing this very important bill. and i hope that now that we've taken this step, we can find a way to let us finish this legislation in short order. i'm willing to work with my colleagues to get us there. once again i just want to thank everyone for the support -- who supported this today. it means a lot to me personally.
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okay. i yield the floor. mr. reid: would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, today the u.s. coast guard and the national oceanic and atmospheric administration are responding to yet another oil spill in the water r. and even though the
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coastlines look vastly different, this photograph that i will show you in a minute of a fresh crude oil on the beach in rufago state park in california, it brings back the images in my mind to five years ago the images of the oil coated pelicans the tar stained beaches that were once sugar white. and yet the gooey mats of oil from the deepwater horizon oil spill five years ago a lot of that oil is still sloshing around out there in the gulf ever since 2010. and last week the department of the interior told us that the
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oil leaking in the gulf since 2004 from taylor energy wells could continue for a century or more if left unchecked. now, this mr. president is the oil spill that is -- has just happened in the last few days. it's fresh crude. it's on the beach. it's in california. and, of course, when i see this kind of picture it brings me back to that experience that all of us on the gulf coast had five years ago which we don't wish that upon anybody. and remember, to begin with, oh, it's gist a few hundred barrels of oil even though it was
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ruptured one mile beneath the surface of the water until we got the streaming video. we actually put that video on my web site. the chairman of the environment committee, senator senator boxer put it up on her committee web site and once scientists could see how much was flowing, they could calculate and then they saw that it wasn't going to be a few hundred or even a thousand barrels of oil a day; it was approaching something like 50 times that. and we know that what in fact, happened it's almost 5 million barrels of oil that were spilled and the court in louisiana the federal court that is hearing this case against b.p. indeed
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has concluded that those that are going to be responsible on on -- under the pollution oil in the water act is something right around 4 million barrels. that's court decided. and a lot of that oil is still out there. and yet mr. president appallingly, today the economy and the environment of the state of florida are again under attack because i have just been informed that senators from louisiana, mississippi and texas are seeking to invite oil rigs within 50 miles of florida's coastline you now, of course, that goes
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against all logic. it certainly is not what the people of florida want and i.t. not what the department -- and i.t. not what the department of interior has said is appropriate or necessary under the next five-year leasing plan. florida is a unique state. well there's just another casualty of what we're seeing that is happening this week, the casualty of a dead dolphin covered with oil. mr. president, the reason i'm here today with these senators threatening florida back in 2006 in a bipartisan way because the other senator from florida, senator martinez, a
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republican and me a democrat joined together to put in law the outer continental shelf off of florida off-limits to oil drilling. we were successful in doing that even though no other outer continental shelf off the united states is off-limits. and in the administration's five-year plans, they have complied with that because our off-limits to oil drilling is until the year 2022. and, therefore, in the next five-year plan, from 2017 to 2022 the administration honored that. it is, after all the law. but why is florida different than others?
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well, in the first place, there is no oil off of florida. you think where the oil is. it's off of louisiana. the sediment came down the mississippi river for millions of years and was compacted by the earth's crust and that formed these oil deposits, and there's a lot of oil in the central gulf of mexico and indeed, that is what is happening. a lot of oil is being produced there. that's the first reason. there's not oil off of florida. but there are other reasons not the least of which is of all the gulf coast states, who has the most beaches and therefore whose economy is directly
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charged with the fact of having those pristine sugary-white beaches as such an attraction for our guests to come to florida and enjoy nature's seaside. well we found out in the gulf oil spill -- undeed, what we found out is, even though just a little oil reached florida pensacola beach was blackened harassharmatz came in, destin got oil on the beach some tar balls got as far east as panama city beach beach. but what happened, mr. president mr. president, quais was that people saw those pictures of oil
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covering the beach and they thought that was the entire state of florida and they didn't come. and for a whole season the guests the visitors, the tourists did not come and so the motels were not filled, and the restaurants were not filled and the driet cleaners and all the -- and the dry cleaners and all the ancillary businesses associated with a tourism economy on the coast they did not come. now, there's also obviously the environmental interests because we do have a lot of the bays and estuaries and marsh grasses where the critters spawn so much of the marine life in the gulf of mexico that starts in these
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bays and estuaries. that's obviously a reason. but there's a special reason why we have kept oil oil off of our shores. bottlenose dolphins in the gulf has been dying at unprecedented rates over the last five years. this is one of those sick dolphins. so from the b.p. spill science is showing in fact what we intuitively knew. and just yesterday a team of scientists confirmed the deepwater horizon oil spill contributed to the highest number of dead bottlenose dolphins strandings on record in
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the northern gulf of mexico. so it certainly makes little sense that we would seek more drilling in even riskier areas when we are still picking up the pieces from the last major oil spill. so mr. president today i am introducing legislation that implements many of the hard lessons learned in the wake of the deepwater horizon b.p. oil spill. this legislation is going to make sure that noaa and the coast guard have the tools to prevent, to prepare for and to respond to marine oil spills. the bill is going to give gulf coast communities a seat at the table in the decisions about oil drilling that affect their way of life. it will strengthen state-level planning for oil spills or
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seismic exploration. but, most importantly the bill will protect florida from big oil's reach by keeping the eastern gulf of mexico off-limit off-limits beyond 2022 in statute until 2027. back in 2006 we passed the bipartisan gulf of mexico energy security act. in that act that's what we did in establishing this off-limits in law. but now some of our neighboring states, at the behest of big oil oil, are trying to drill again and to drill off of florida. we're going to do everything that we can to make sure we
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don't lose another tourism season. we're going to do everything that we can to make sure that we don't lose an entire year for our fishermen recreational, charter boat fishermen as well as the commercial fishermen. drilling off the coast is not what the people of florida want. we want fishing vessels hauling in prize catches not coast guard vessels skimming oil. we want dolphins rolling in the waves, not washing ashore. and we want sunbeigersbathers on the beaches, not hazmat workers. mr. president, thank you for the time. i yield the floor. and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: mr. president, we are going to be voting, we hope, on an amendment that's called the antidocking amendment. it basically says that -- it observes by reading the partnership, that there is no -- that there apparently is a path for the executive branch to allow another country to become part of the trans-pacific partnership without a vote of congress. in other words the world's second largest economy china could decide the administration, this president or the next president could decide, well,
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china should be one of -- join the 12 countries already part of t.p.p. if we affirm this vote down the road with t.p.p., that china could join, the second largest economy in the world and they would back-door if you will because of the administration's willingness to do it with no input from the public with no input from the united states congress. our amendment's really simple. it sets up a process over a 90-day period. if department wants to bring a country into trans-pacific partnership, that country would have to meet certain criteria, same kinds of criteria as we've seen with these 12 countries including sex trafficking labor law and other things, and then those -- then congress would actually vote. so congress will get 90 days to decide up or down whether a country could join t.p.p. after it's up and running. the country that most concerns us, of course, is china so when you hear this amendment discussed, mr. president, you
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will hear china uses an example because its economy obviously is so large. it passed japan as the world's second largest economy, i believe, a year or so ago and we just want to make sure that our integrity and the integrity of these 12 countries, 11 other countries is preserved and the way to do that and the public to be heard is that countries that they can actually -- that congress has to make the decision on whether or not a country can be -- another country can join. so that's what our so-called docking amendment does, mr. president. i can -- and i know senator franken is about to take the floor. a couple of other things. this amendment is in no way meant to kill t.p.p. or t.p.a. it simply spells out the process for future countries to join. here's exactly how the process would work. the president would notify congress about tenth to enter the negotiations that would require certification from the two committees ways and means in the house finance and the
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senate then it would ultimately come to a senate vote. that mr. president is how this would work to protect i think the public interest, to give the public input into what countries actually join the t.p.a. -- or the t.p.p., and it makes sense i think for all countries involved. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. mr. franken: mr. president, i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. franken: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that my counsel detailee, samantha chaff chaff -- -- chavitz be granted floor privileges for the remainder of this session of congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. franken: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to speak in support of the u.s.a. freedom act of 2015.
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i am proud -- a proud cosponsor of this bicameral bipartisan bill which brings much-needed reforms to the federal government surveillance programs including an end to a bulk data collection program that the intelligence community has said isn't necessary, that the public has said that they don't support and that the second circuit has ruled as unlawful. i am particularly proud to have developed the bill's transparency provisions with my friend senator -- dean heller of nevada, and we are greatly indebted to senator lee and to senator leahy for their leadership and their tireless work. americans understand, as i do, their job here is to strike an appropriate balance making sure
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on the one hand that we are safeguarding our national security without trampling on our citizens' fundamental privacy rights on the other hand. but the public can't know if we succeed in striking that balance if they don't have the most basic information about our major surveillance programs. that's why my focus has been on transparency because i want to make sure that the american people are able to decide for themselves whether we are getting this right. i support the u.s.a. freedom act because it moves us in the right direction on all of these fronts. now, on june 1 several national security authorities will expire. the house acted responsibly and passed u.s.a. freedom a bill
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that reflects the combined efforts and agreement of republicans and democrats members of the intelligence and law enforcement communities and advocates for privacy and civil liberties as well as members of the tech sector and business communities. this legislation ensures that the necessary authorities continue in force through 2019, and it makes important reforms that will actually improve national security, and you don't need to take my word for that. the director of national intelligence and the attorney general have told us in no uncertain terms that we ought to pass the u.s.a. freedom act and promptly. yet, some of my colleagues are attempting to present us with a choice between reauthorization of the soon-to-expire
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authorities with no reforms whatsoever or complete exploration of those authorities. that is profoundly unfortunate because we have a compromise bill that has the overwhelming support -- was overwhelmingly approved by the house of representatives. a vote of 338-88. and draws broad-based support from business, from civil society and within the government. i believe that the only thing that would stop this bill from garnering similar strong bipartisan support here in the senate is if republican leaders who oppose this bill pressure my republican colleagues to filibuster and i -- i really hope that does not happen.
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i hope it does not happen because u.s.a. freedom's reforms represent real and meaningful progress. the bill ends the old program for the bulk collection of telephone metadata which according to reports discussed at a hearing last year principally gathered called records for land lines. it replaces that program with a more targeted approach that permits the collection of called detail -- culled detailed records, including prospective collection of those records. you do a warrant you collect those prospectively based on the government's reasonable, articulable suspicion of a link to international terrorism. i believe that is a much more sensible approach.
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i know that some of my colleagues disagree. last november, one of my colleagues suggested that bulk collection is preferable to a target approach because americans' privacy would be at risk if the government were -- quote -- going to have to go to those companies and ask for the data unquote. but of course no matter what, we have to go to the companies and ask them for the data. the records at issue here are the phone company's business records. that's what they are. i should also note that those companies have both legal and business records for why they retain and protect these records as they do, from the potential for billing disputes to commercial analytics to regulatory concerns.
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the f.c.c. regulations require them to hold onto telephone call records for 18 months. none of that is changing. and it bears emphasizing that the relationship u.s.a. freedom calls for between phone companies and the government is nothing new. our nation's law enforcement intelligence agencies have long worked with phone companies to obtain specific records either historic or prospective records when conducting domestic criminal investigations or carrying out sensitive national security investigations like fisa wiretaps, so we have been doing this. for a long time. so the intelligence community national security and law enforcement experts and american businesses not to mention the
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united states house of representatives, they all understand that we have got to strike the right balance. we need to safeguard our national security, but we need to do it in ways that don't unduly tread on privacy and civil liberties. and leaders across these different public and private sectors manage to come together to strike that balance in the u.s.a. freedom act. and that is where my work with senator heller comes in. we recognize that when the public lacks even a rough sense of the scope of the government surveillance programs, that they have no way of knowing if the government is getting that balance right so there needs to be more transparency. since the snowden revelations came to light two years ago a steady stream of news reports has provided details about
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n.s.a. programs that collect information about both foreign nationals and the american people. despite these disclosures it remains impossible for the american people to get even a basic sense of the real size and scope of these programs. americans still don't know the number of people whose information has been collected under these programs. they have no sense of the extent to which u.s. persons are affected. in particular, they have no way of knowing how often the government has searched that information like call detail records of americans. senator heller and i crafted transparency provisions to make sure that americans get that kind of information. that way the american people can better judge the government's surveillance programs for themselves.
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under u.s.a. freedom the government would be required to issue detailed annual reports for each of the surveillance authorities at issue. importantly, the government will have to tell the public how many people have had their information collected and for certain authorities like those permitting the targeted collection of call detail records or the communications of foreigners abroad, the government will also have to say how many times it has run searches of americans' data. the u.s.a. freedom act doesn't just require the government to be more transparent we also make it possible for american businesses to provide their customers with more information about what they are asked to turn over to the government. this is not only good for transparency it's good for the economy. it has been estimated that the snowden revelations are costing american companies billions of
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dollars because people have lost trust in those companies. often assuming that all companies are handing over all of their information to the government. so by allowing companies to report the size and scope of the government's requests, the public can get a better sense of what information is actually being turned over and the bill makes clear that a company that has not receive any national security requests from the government is free to say so. all this will calm fears both here and abroad and allow american companies to better compete with their foreign counterparts. the provisions that senator heller and i wrote will expand the options that companies have to issue their own transparency reports and allow companies to issue those reports more quickly. but we also listened to the
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intelligence community to make sure we were striking the right balance and ensuring that ongoing investigations are not jeopardized by additional transparency. now, look, to get the broad bipartisan support that we needed senator heller and i had to compromise a great deal. we didn't get everything we wanted when we initially negotiated our provisions last year and we had to compromise further still this year, particularly with regard to government reporting under section 702 which authorizes the collections,,the collection for intelligence purposes of communications of foreign persons abroad. i am disappointed that the bill doesn't include all of the requirements we agreed on last year and that were included in the bill -- the senate bill
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last congress which had 58 votes. but i am committed to pressing my colleagues to revisit this issue in the future, hopefully before the sunset of section 702 in 2017. that, of course, is the internet traffic of foreign persons abroad who are suspected of being terrorists. but in the meantime, the good news is that after all the give and take, our provisions that did get included in the bill will usher in a new era of transparency about our nation's surveillance agencies. this will allow the public to see on an annual basis whether the government really makes good on its promises -- on its promise to end bulk collection. and they will give those of us in congress important tools as
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we work to continually improve our country's laws. the transparency provisions are an essential part of u.s.a. freedom, and the bill overall is a step in the right direction for reforming our nation's surveillance laws. it is a step that the house has already taken on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis. this is a step that the senate should take as well. thank you mr. president and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: thank you mr. president. i wanted to speak about an amendment i have filed regarding a crisis we're experiencing in the h-2b visas. in north carolina we have a large seafood industry and we have a crisis shared by a number
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of other states with respect to the availability of h.r. 2 b visas in the busy time that's about to start in a couple of weeks. it's the worst possible time for this industry. we literally have jobs that have been created by people like don cross and bros and pamlico in north carolina, they simply can't find workers to do those jobs. it's going to ruin their business and it's unacceptable. these are jobs these folks have created like the crosses that can't be filled. the jobs are waiting to be filled. and it's affecting other businesses. we have in the shrimp and crab industries but also affecting other businesses, like grocery stores and restaurants and other industries like tourism across the country. the problem that i have and the nature of the amendment i'll speak to briefly but i've reached out to the department of homeland security to ask a series of questions and i simply haven't got any answers that's why i decided to offer the amendment or to file the amendment.
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it was has -- d.h.s. has refused to issue for visas even foe the cap of used vees has likely not been reached. d.h.s. claims it's been reached and that's odd because it's unusuallily early for them to take that position. here's what i think the real truth is. not every business applying for visas are using them. so d.h.s. normally approves more visas so that we make it more likely that we reach the cap. but we don't believe that they've done that this year and that's why we've asked for an audit to make sure that we know how many applications were actually approved, how many visas are actually used by the state, within the states and how many of those visas are actually putting legal migrant immigrant workers into these jobs. this year they haven't even done an audit. we simply want to know why. i think d.h.s. is playing games with the numbers and i demands answers. d.h.s. seems eager to help illegal population get acclimated but don't seem to
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place a priority on american businesses that need these people to come and work in our seafood processing facilities not only in north carolina like don cross' packing company but packing companies across the coast. i've had a discussion with a number of members on the other side of the aisle they share our concerns, and we're all working trying to simply get the answers. so what my amendment does is until we get the answers until we solve this problem, we want to suspend the travel for all d.h.s. employees to government conferences and symposiums until the agency provides more transparent data as to how the program is being administered for this year and the previous three fiscal years. i want answers and action. we have businesses in north carolina and across the country in the coastal states that need these workers and we want answers now. thank you mr. president. i suggest the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. manchin: mr. president i come before you today and i like my good friend, the senator from massachusetts we are very concerned about the lack of transparency in this whole process of trade agreement. very concerned. i saw the t.p.p. text. i went downstairs and i saw that. i have to say the whole process was extremely disturbing to me. members must go to a classified room. now, we do go to classified rooms as a bipartisan group on many issues that are very important to this country. i've gone down because i wanted to see for myself the transcript of the t.p.p. and what they've dealt with, how far that are along right now in the negotiations. the view of the documents that
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are very technical in nature as we all know oftentimes is a trade staffer with appropriate clearance. so here i am, i'm not able to take staff or only staff that has had secured clearance and it might not be the staff on my staff that has the expertise in this. so that takes that equation away. we are unable to take any notes or consider what we just saw unless we have a photo graphic memory and, unfortunately, i do not. i've tried to remember and look at things i knew i was looking for but still it's almost impossible to walk out of there having the ability to sit down and evaluate what you just saw. and then we're unable to talk to anyone about it, even to my staff that i would like to get their input since i have been basically looking at the details. especially the public, too has no idea about any issues that concern them. the secretive nature of the
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largest free trade deal in america's history truly lacks common sense. and let me just explain. in july of 2001, president bush, president bush at that time released the draft text of the free trade area of the americas agreement the ftaa. he did this months before he was granted fast-track authority. he wasn't afraid to let us see. he wasn't afraid of the american public to know what was in that and we were -- it didn't squelch the deal. it didn't harm anything. they released the text of the ftaa the different positions of the 34 countries and important -- in important areas as intellectual property rights investor state dispute settlements and antidumping duties. all very important to our country and the jobs that we have in this country. now we have a massive 12-country trade agreement that is currently being negotiated and the president wants us to grant
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him the fast-track authority before, not only the american people have even seen the text, but mostly even our staffs who we delegate to work on these intricate documents. our bill that we will be asking for consideration would simply require the president to release the scrub bracketed text of any trade agreement at least 60 days before congress would grant the fast-track authority. that's pretty sensible, pretty reasonable. just release the scrubbed document that you have agreed on so far 60 days before you ask us to give the fast-track agreement. before any member of congress is asked to vote on the most expansive trade bill in u.s. history the american people deserve to see what is in the bill. and that's why they elect us. to make sure that we're able to
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confer with them, have a dialogue and explain why we are or why we may not be for a certain piece of legislation especially a trade agreement. if this bill is as good for the american worker as proponents claim, then the administration and anybody else should not be objectionable to let the american worker see the details before congress is forced to grant the president trade promotion authority. i will only say this mr. president -- in my beautiful little state of west virginia as i go through it, we look back through the trade agreements that have been already granted since the nafta, we not have -- we not have seen an uptick. in fact, we've lost 31,000 manufacturing jobs and i for one am not willing to put one more job in jeopardy in west virginia. and that's a concern we have. so what we're asking for is a very modest, very sensible very reasonable commonsense
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approach to do the job the people elected us to do. at this time i yield the floor to my friend, the senator from massachusetts, mr. president. ms. warren: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. ms. warren: mr. president, i want to thank my good friend from west virginia, senator manchin. i want to thank him for his leadership i want to thank him for his independence, yap i want to -- yap to thank him for his tranches. in the past few weeks the public has heard a lot about the trans-pacific partnership a massive trade deal the u.s. is negotiating with 11 other countries. the public has heard from supporters that it is the most progressive trade deal in history, a deal that will benefit working families and small businesses. and they've herds it will only tilt the field in favor of multinational corporations and leave workers and everyone else behind. the public has heard a lot but in all that time they've never
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actually seen the deal itself. in fact, the press hasn't seen the deal, economists haven't seen the deal, legal experts haven't seen the deal, most everyone in america hasn't seen the deal. why? because the administration has classified the deal making it illegal for any of those people to read it. members of congress, as senator mansion said, can read it so long as they go into a secret room and don't leave with any notes. but even members of congress are prohibited from talking about the details in public or discussing the details with the people that they were sent to washington to represent. and yet in the next day or two the senate is scheduled to vote on whether to grease the skids to make that secret trade deal, the t.p.p., the law of the land. this isn't how democracy is supposed to work. one of our fundamental
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principles of representative government is transparency. our government is supposed to keep things secret from the people only if it has a really, really good reason to do so. so why is this trade deal a secret? i just want to go over the answers that i've heard so far the reasons. some say the administration can't release the deal because the deal isn't finished yet. okay so maybe there are some unresolved issues. but everyone agrees that the deal is nearly complete. it's close enough to being done that its supporters can confidently claim that it is the most progressive trade deal in history. if you're sure that's right then show it to us. if some parts aren't finished, then show us the parts that are finished. don't keep every single word of the deal classified. now others say releasing the text now would be tipping our hand in continuing negotiations.
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but that doesn't make any sense either. our government has already shared the details of our positions with the other t.p.p. countries, and those countries have shared details with us. that's how negotiations work. publicly releasing what our negotiating partners have already seen couldn't possibly undermine our negotiations because, by definition, our negotiating partners have already seen it. here's another argument i've heard, that releasing the text of an unfinished international agreement simply isn't done. it's a breach of protocol. well that's not true either. as senator manchin pointed out in 2001, president george w. bush publicly released the scrubbed bracketed text of the free trade agreement of the americas several months before seeking fast-track authority for that agreement.
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at the time his u.s. trade representative said that releasing the text -- quote -- "would increase public awareness and support for the trade deal." and guess what? congress still approved that fast-track deal. of course it can be done. it has been done, and it should be done. still others say that publicly releasing the text would endanger state secrets. wow, but this agreement is not about nuclear weapons programs or military operations. there isn't any national security information in this deal. this deal is about things like copy right rules and labor standards. and i know the president doesn't think there's any sensitive national security information in the deal. that's why he's already committed to publicly release the entire text. he just won't do it until after congress has already voted to grease the skids to make it law. and that brings us to the last
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justification, that we should all be satisfied that the administration will release the text of the deal a few months before congress has to vote on whether to approve it. but by then congress would have lost the ability to amend the deal to stop the deal or to slow it down. in other words by the time you the american public, can read the deal, your elected representatives will have lost the ability to use your input to help shape that deal. that sounds like a lousy arrangement to me. so if there are no good reasons for secrecy here, that leaves only a bad reason. and believe it or not it's a reason i've heard people give multiple times. we should keep the deal secret because if the details were made public now the public would oppose it. well that's how our democracy is supposed to work. if the t.p.p. is mostly done and the public wouldn't support it
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if they could see it, then it shouldn't become the law. that's why i've introduced a simple bill with my friend from west virginia, senator manchin. this bill would require the president to publicly release the scrubbed bracketed text of a trade deal at least 60 days before congress votes on any fast-track for that deal. that would give the public, the experts, the press an opportunity to review the deal. it would allow for some honest public debate, and it would give congress a chance to actually step in and block any special deems and giveaways that are being proposed as part of this trade deal before congress decides whether to grease the skids to make that deal the law. if this trade deal is so great if it will work so well for america's workers and small businesses then make it public. we should pass this bill today
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and give the american people some time to read the deal before we tie ourselves to fast-track. whether you support fast-track or oppose it, whether you support t.p.p. or oppose it, we should all agree at that we should have a robust, informed debate on something that is this important. anything less is a disservice to the people who sent us here to work for them. and so, i ask you unanimous consent, mr. president, that the finance committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 1381, the senate proceed to its immediate consideration the bill be read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i reserve the right to object. one concern i've heard from the
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opponents of trade promotion authority is the trade agreements currently under discussion have been negotiated behind closed doors. that by renewing t.p.a. congress would be enabling, even encouraging further secrecy. i'm going to talk more on this in a minute. 30 days before the president signs, 30 days after he signs or 60 days after he signs will this bill become well known. i have to object to my dear colleague's bill -- i guess it's a bill at this time -- and if i can -- well, i'll just have to object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i've heard this concern from opponents of trade promotion authority from time to time that trade agreements currently under discussion have been negotiated behind closed doors and that by reviewing t.p.a. congress would be enabling even encouraging
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further secrecy. these arguments are particularly being made about the trans-pacific partnership or t.p.p., which is not before us. of course we need to keep in mind that every senator complaining about the supposed secrecy associated with t.p.p. has had an opportunity to read through the current text of the agreement. and the agreement is not concluded yet. it won't be until we pass t.p.a. at the same time i'd be very surprised if these same senators decrying the secrecy of the t.p.p. negotiations also believe the contract negotiations between unions and management should be made public or that it would be a wise negotiating tactic for a private citizen negotiating to sell their home to post all the offers they've received on the internet. my point mr. president, is that in the midst of any high-stakes negotiations some level of confidentiality is essential to getting a good deal, especially in this case. that said, i certainly
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understand concerns about transparency particularly when a government is negotiating on behalf of our country. fortunately, our t.p.a. bill strikes a good balance to address these very concerns. our t.p.a. bill goes further than any previous version of t.p.a. to promote transparency and congressional oversight in the whole trade negotiation process. under our bill, the full text of the completed trade agreement must be made public at least 60 days before the president can even sign it. and giving the american people unprecedented access of all trade agreements before they are signed and well before they are submitted to congress. in addition, the president must submit to congress the legal text of a trade agreement and a statement of administrative action at least 30 days before submitting an implementing bill.
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on top of that, our bill ensures that any member of congress who wants access to the unredacted negotiating text at any time during the negotiations will get it. in addition, members of congress will once again at any time during the negotiations be able to request and receive a briefing from the united states trade representatives office on the status of the negotiations. our bill also creates in statute a transparency officer at ustr that will consult with congress and advise ustr on transparency policies. this will help ensure there are consistent transparency policies across the agency and promote greater public understanding of trade negotiations. now let's be clear mr. president. i as well as other authors of this legislation understand the concerns we've heard from both inside and outside congress
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about the need for greater transparency in the trade negotiation process. we've really worked hard to address these concerns in this legislation, and in particular, the concerns of the distinguished senator from massachusetts, who is a friend, who i admire, who i think has brought a certain dimension to this senate that is very, very important. but in short any member of congress who is concerned about a lack of transparency in trade negotiations should be a cosponsor of this t.p.a. bill. that is of course if they are also supporters of expanded market for u.s. exporters and the creation of high-paying american jobs. those who oppose t.p.a. and trade agreements outright will likely continue to use the supposed lack of transparency as an excuse to oppose the bill. but those with genuine concerns,
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i think they will see that this bill is the right approach. and we've tried to make it the right approach. i believe it is the right approach. i believe the administration says it's the right approach. i know the trade representative says it's the right approach. he's bent over backwards to inform us and to open his office and to open matters into these not-yet-concluded agreements. but there's plenty of time for us to be able to look at those agreements any agreement that comes and make up our own determinations at that time. so i don't believe the distinguished senator from massachusetts will be deprived of an ability to look into these matters completely test the transparency and look at these at these agreements in ways that i think will please any reasonable person. so with that, i've had to object and i hope we can -- i
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hope we can pursue this bill and get it through as soon as we can because it will be a better day for the president, i have to admit. he's my president but he's not my party but he's right on this. for the life of me, i can't understand why we're having so much difficulty with his and my friends on the other side, because we ought to be supporting a president who has bent over backwards through his trade representative and those around him to be as open as he possibly can on this matter, at least at this particular time. and i believe afterwards as well. so i always feel badly when i have to object to a person's motion but we do object. mr. manchin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: my good friend, the senator from utah yield for a
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question? mr. hatch:ite -- i'll be glad to yield for a question. mr. hatch: i have the utmost respect for you and the job you do here every day. i have the utmost respect for you and the job you do here every day for all of us and i appreciate that. we have a difference here. i have to look at the people in west virginia, less than two million people, but they depend on the opportunity to make a living for themselves. they have hard, strong feelings of what we have done over the years in trade agreements and they haven't seen an uptick in opportunity for themselves or their families. with that being said, what we've asked for here, myself and the senator from massachusetts, is not something that's never been done before. i can't explain why president george w. bush would have done this maybe on his own volition, saying that i'm going to put out this agreement that's been scrubbed basically everything's been agreed on, and let you see it. and let you see it and discuss it the american people and the congress that represents those
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people to see if we have total buy-in and support. if not we can make some adjustments and changes. he did that. that's really what we've asked for here. if we don't get this -- and i respect your right to object, and i understand the process here. but the american people, we don't have input from this and has a 51-vote threshold from this day forward. so pretty much any of us who have any objections or maybe something that would enhance this bill, we don't have that opportunity, sir and that's the reason we've asked for this. and i would hope that you would -- i know that you were here and very much involved in 2001. what was your -- what was your position or your opinion when president bush released a draft text of the free trade area of america, the ftaa? do you recall by any chance? mr. hatch: i don't personally recall at this time, other than
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it did pass. mr. manchin: i'm saying but he granted -- he let everybody see it months ahead of time, you know before he was granted the fast-track authority. he never even asked for t.p.a. until he released, and i'm sure you all were the majority at that time. everyone had to support this position i would think. mr. hatch: if the senator would yield, yeah, we did we supported the president's position, if i recall it correctly. there's nothing that says the president can't do that. but this bill says he must have withstood certain things. politburo manchin: that's because he hasn't offered it to us. mr. hatch: this is a six-year bill. there is going to be definitely another president in 2016, whether republican or democrat or otherwise. so there's nothing that says the president can't do that, but i -- we're making sure he does do that.
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and we've done it because of questions that have been raised by people who are distinguished like the distinguished senator from massachusetts and yourself. so -- and we think we put reasonable time constraints in there, especially since you can review the t.p.p. as it exists, although that may or may not be the final agreement. you can review that now if you want to. and that's well in advance of its approval. mr. manchin: senator again i know you understand it. i'm sure you have probably gone down into the room, into the secured room and maybe looked through some parts yourself, but it's quite an onerous process. i couldn't take my staff who had expertise in that arena because he did not have that clearance so i had to go in with a -- and i couldn't take notes out. and then on top of that, i
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couldn't even speak to him about what i saw because he didn't have that clearance. i have never been through something like this. for me to go home to west virginia and say with all full knowledge and my ability to make a decision on the facts i have in front of me, i support or i did not support for these reasons, i can't really do that. i'm not really sure if i could support -- maybe i can support t.p.p. but i am really objectionable to t.p.a. by not having that opportunity to have input in t.p.p. i think that's where i fall. and with a 51-vote threshold i'm not going to have any input to represent the people of west virginia sir. with all due respect that's where i am on this. mr. hatch: i understand the distinguished senator. let me say we all have to make our own individual decisions here. i would encourage you to reconsider because i think we have got a good bill here that is far better than it's been in the past and much more open than it's been in the past.
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frankly, it's your administration that is putting this forward and i have done everything i had to help this administration to get this through because i believe -- remember, this is the procedural mechanism that gives congress the right to really know what's going on and to really look at these matters and that's why we put in these particular provisions that as far as i know are better than they ever -- than it's ever been so that members of congress will have an opportunity to know what's in these bills. i don't know fully what's in t.p.p. myself, and i am going to be one of the most interested people on earth when that comes if not the most interested, you know when they finally agree. but there is -- it's still not a completed agreement as far as i know. and all i can say is i think we provide enough time in this bill for us -- for anybody who is sincere enough and dedicated enough to look at it, to they
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and their top -- mr. be manchin: senator, if you do see something let's say as the bill unfolds and it comes to its completion, if you see something that you really think are going to harm the people of utah you're not going to have any input to change that harm. only 51 votes it is going to take to pass it, even if harm's in there for utah. mr. hatch: we will have the ability to take this floor and those in the house take the house floor and fight against it if you disagree with it, and you know, and it starts to get 51 votes. so the administration knows that. they know that they can't do a sloughenly agreement. they have got to do a good agreement in order to get both sides up here to in a bipartisan way accept the agreement for our -- for our country. mr. manchin: i feel very strongly that this most
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reasonable thing that we have asked for is something that was done under president bush and i think in his wisdom to put it out there before. it had nothing to hide. as you looked into their dialogue back at that period of time they felt it was necessary, as senator warren mentioned, to get the public's buy-in to get support from the public, so they were proud of what they put into it. i'm not saying that things in here aren't good and won't be good for this country, with but there might be some things that could be improved upon, would make it much better for this country. i've lost 31,000 manufacturing jobs since nafta. it's hard when i go through my state and i look at people struggling and the jobs have not returned, not come to our little state. we did not see the uptick. i'm not saying my state represents every state but i'm sure there are parts of every state that have been hit pretty hard by this, and we want to make sure we get this one right. that's all we have asked for. i'm sorry you had to object. i hope you understand our position on this, sir. mr. hatch: i do, and i
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appreciate the distinguished senator and his efforts to represent his state. i know you do a very good job and i know that the senior senator from massachusetts is doing a very good job. we're friends. this isn't going to change that. all i can say is that we disagree respectfully, and i think i have made this as palatable as we possibly can under the circumstances. and, you know, even the point that i have been making is that the agreement is available 60 days before it's even signed. so it isn't like people will not have the chance to look at it or to fight against it or to talk to the president whoever that may be. the fact of the matter is that, you know, i'm not sure that you should be longer than 60 plus 60 plus i think another 60. all i can say is i have to -- i
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have to -- i have to object, as the manager of this bill. i never feel good about objecting to something my colleagues want, and i respect your desire to have as much information as you can. i respect the senior senator from massachusetts. mr. manchin: senator, would you be kind enough to yield to ask a question from the senator from massachusetts. i will yield to the senator from massachusetts. mr. hatch: i will yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia has the floor. mr. manchin: i would yield to the senator from massachusetts for purposes of a question. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. ms. warren: mr. president i just want to say to the senator from utah how much i respect your leadership in this senate and your leadership on so many important issues. all i want to say about this is we're just asking for the trade deal to be made public before we have this crucial vote about whether or not there will be any opportunity in the future to
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amend the trade deal, to slow down the trade deal, or as the senator from west virginia says if we really find objectionable parts to be able to block it. we're just asking for some transparency before we have this crucial vote on the t.a.a. we don't want to see fast-track until the membership can evaluate the deal. that's all we are asking for here sir. mrs. boxer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i would like the floor, but i yield to senator hatch for a u.c. agreement and i would ask my friends to stay on the floor for just a minute. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i thank the distinguished senator from california. i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each and that the time during morning business count postcloture. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senator from california.
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mrs. boxer: mr. president i want to thank my colleagues, senators warren and manchin because what they tried to do here is -- is give the people the same -- and i say the american people the same opportunity they had when george w. bush was president and a trade deal was being negotiated and before fast-track came up, everybody saw the deal, and i would ask unanimous consent that i be added as a cosponsor to their bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i appreciate that, because i'm proud to stand with them on this, and i do respect senator hatch. he's my dear friend, but let's be clear. when you go down to that secret room -- and i had the same experience as senator manchin -- i couldn't take the proper staffers because they didn't have the clearance. this isn't about fighting isis or the war in syria or any other
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very high security matter. it's about a trade deal that is supposed to be negotiated in the best interests of the people of this country. all my friends are saying is before we give this president the ability okay, to fast-track this deal, let's look at it, because here's what happens when he gets fast-track authority. not one member of this united states senate and not one member of the house can offer any amendment whatsoever, and i think the senator from west virginia was very clear on the point. what if we find out that there is something horrible in there for our state? and the senator from massachusetts pointed out there is whole parts of this deal -- and i know i'm not speaking out of turn here -- that it just says it's still being
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negotiated. so how the heck do we know what we're even voting on, and here we've given away the store in this last vote so that we will not have an opportunity to make it better. when my friend talked about how many jobs were lost in west virginia after nafta my heart said that's a lot of jobs in a smaller state. my state is a large state. we lost about 80,000 jobs-plus. that's a lot. we're a larger state though, so percentagewise yeah, you had two million. at the time we had about 30 million. so in terms of percentages your people suffered mightily. but we suffered mightily. more than 80,000 families lost their jobs. and i just -- i don't want to keep my colleagues on the floor but i'm only going to speak for 60 seconds more because my friend from delaware is such a pal and said i could go before him. i have a very simple amendment.
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i'm fighting to get a vote on. listen to what it is. it simply says you cannot get fast-track authority to negotiate with any country that doesn't pay at least a $2 minimum wage. and i know if i ask the people who are watching this debate here and at home, do you know that out of the 12 countries we're negotiating with, seven seven of them have less than a a $2 minimum wage. let me be specific. chile has a $1.91 minimum wage. malaysia has a $1.21 minimum wage. peru has $1.15 minimum wage. mexico has an 80-cent minimum wage. remember nafta? oh let's do nafta. it's going to raise the standard of living in mexico and the mexican people won't come across the border. we had -- we had all those
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factory jobs leave. and this -- mexico's part of this deal. how about vietnam? 58 cents. and how about brunei and singapore? no minimum wage. what kind of a chance do our workers have? i don't care how productive they are. we have the most productive workers. the people in these countries are very smart. they're terrific. mr. manchin: on that amendment -- i would like to ask unanimous consent mr. president, to be on the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: absolutely. very proud of that. proud to have senator warren. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: what kind of chance do our workers have? do you think a manufacturer in their right minds are going to stay here when they can go to vietnam and have some terrific people? i know the vietnamese community in my home state are fantastic. they're fantastic leaders they're fantastic workers and
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sad the ones that are left behind, 58 cents an hour. what chance do our workers have? now, we have 12 million manufacturing jobs left in this nation of ours, this great the greatest of nations. what kind of chance do they have? do you know i cannot get this amendment up for a vote. i think i know the reason. they don't want to have to vote against it. i'm still hopeful i'm holding out hope, i'm fighting for it. but it seems to me when you're saying to american the american people do you want your senator to have to go downstairs to a secure room, give up your electronics to a clerk, be told if you take notes have you to leave it behind so the clerk can read it but your staff can't can't discuss it, for a trade agreement, then have you to have the amendment that senators warren and manchin have offered.
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we -- which simply says make the trade agreement public before we give exceptional fast-track authority to any president, i don't care who it is democrat, republican, this is not a partisan issue. and i have voted for half of the trade agreements. so i have voted for many trade agreements but not with countries that pay slave wages let's be clear. so this is a tough day for the united states senate and i know we've been split up every which way on this. but i think there are certain things that we've friend this debate -- learned from this debate. secrecy is no good. and i respect my president i've talked to him and i know in his heart he's doing what he thinks is right but when he says this isn't secret and everyone's got access to it, honestly i say to my president and i say to my friend, senator
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hatch, this is not an open process. the secrecy is ludicrous. it's ridiculous. and it's against the interests of the people we represent. and i represent close to 40 million people, and as senator manchin said, those people count on us. if we don't know what's in an agreement, how can we be wise about what we want to say about it what we want to do about it? so i want to thank my friends for coming down here this afternoon. i know this is hard on the senate and we're probably going to be here a very long time, but the fact is the people depend on us and i'm proud to stand with them. and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the gentleman -- the senator from delaware. mr. carper: mr. president i've come to the floor today to discuss the need to strengthen the transportation system of our country, our recognized, our
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highways our bridges our transit systems. a long time ago the question was asked what is the role of government? and if you ask about a hundred people you'd not get a hundred different answers but a lot of different answers. abraham lincoln was asked what is the role of government and this is what he said. the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. let me say that again. the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. sometimes i go to schools and young students ask me what do you do? kids in elementary schools third, fourth, fifth grade pen i tell him i'm a united states senator and what do you do i tell him i help make the laws for the country the rules, i do that with 99 other
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senators and the house of representatives and the president and the vice president. they say well, what else do you do? i tell them i help people. the best way you can help somebody is to make sure they have a job make sure they have a job. i had the privilege of being governor of delaware for eight years, i'm told that in those eight years more jobs were created in delaware than any eight years in delaware history. i cannot create one of them. we've seen in the last six plus years in this country i think some 12 million jobs created. i didn't create one of them, my colleagues did not create those jobs. the president the vice president did not create those jobs. what we -- what we are responsible for doing here is creating a nurturing environment for job creation, access to capital, for money businesses that need to raise money. a world-class work force public safety. a clean environment, public
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health a tax code that's fair and reasonable. regulations that embody common sense and reflect common sense. one of the other responsibilities of governing i actually have believe it or not we have on each of our desks here on the floor a book called the senate manual. we don't look at it that often but if you go to one of the sections about two-thirds of the way through the book you find the constitution. and the constitution lays out who is responsible for what generally in our country. for different responsibilities that do fall on government. there's a section in the constitution i'm not going to read it, but jim hoof of oklahoma has oftentimes referred to -- jim inhofe of oklahoma oftentimes has referred to it where we talk about the responsibility of the federal
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government to post roads. for years that's been read and interpreted to mean to build some roads. to build some roads some highways some bridges and as time goes by and we have more and more people to build transit systems as well. and as it turns out as we go along in time after being a country for almost 225 years or so, one of the most important things that we do in creating a nurturing environment for job creation job preservation is to help make sure that our country has a transportation system roads highways, bridges, transit systems that are worthy of this great nation that we are. as a former governor i like to say as a recovering governor but as a former governor, i have seen firsthand the impacts that roads, highways, bridges and transit systems have on the economic growth and success in my state and the regional in which we live and across this country. it's how we move people. it's how we move goods.
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and it's the key to an efficient and growing economy. for more than a decade, however, we have faced a funding shortfalls for the federal highway trust fund. this stop-and-go funding mr. president, this lack of certainty has undermined the potential for economic growth in america for years. that has to stop. in fact, since 2008 we've had to transfer nearly $65 billion out of the general fund, nearly $65 billion out of the general fund which is far from running a surplus to patch holes in the transportation in the highway trust fund. i like to use mr. president the example of the glasses and we have glasses here that the pages are nice enough to fill with water and to bring for us from time to time and i like for this glass here to be the federal highway trust fund.
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it's empty. there's another glass here, this is the general fund of the united states, it's empty. and we have another glass over here that's -- it's full. it's full. and when the general fund is empty, and the transportation fund the highway fund is empty, what we do is we go to this glass over here and say how about some water or how about some money. and we borrow money all over the world. all over the world. one of the places we borrow a lot of it is china. and when the chinese lend us money they don't want to be bothered when we feel they may have been manipulated their currency and they'll say to us we thought you wanted to borrow money so leave us alone on currency manipulation or they
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may say leave us alone when it comes to taking unfair advantages in terms of trade or when the chinese are pushing around the vietnamese and the philippines in the south china sea where i used to fly as a flight officer they say you can't do that and the chinese just might respond we thought you wanted to borrow our money. we find ourselves in a very difficult position to be obligated to a lender who is doing things that we think are inappropriate or just wrong. and, unfortunately with this example like the one i just gave you this actually does happen. mr. president, we haven't had a transportation bill that lasts for more than two years for i think now seven years. it used to be commonplace every six years we would pass and fund a transportation bill for our country. we called it a highway bill. but it was for roads highways bridges and for
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transit systems. every six years almost like clockwork. the money provided by the federal government provides roughly one and a half of all the money that is spent in state highway budgets state transportation budgets. half that money is federal money. appropriated by the congress, approved by the president. and while we haven't passed a transportation bill lasting for more than two years since 2008, we have passed some short-term funding provisions and authorization provisions for transportation the last as little as a few days, a few days. this undercuts governors undercuts mayors around the country, prevents them from making long-term investments in critical transportation projects. earlier this year -- a good example, state 1 delaware from 95 in the north down to the north and south of the state over the state capitol patching
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dover air force base to the southern part where we raise more chickens and soybeans in sussex county, delaware, than any county in america. it has more five-star beaches than any county in america. when i was privileged to be governor of delaware we built and expanded and modernized state route 1 replaced about 40 traffic lights with a five-lane, a limited access highway that cuts not in half but largely greatly eliminates it and eliminates bottlenecks and expedites the flow of traffic in my state. it took over a decade. maybe a dozen years from start to finish. and why did it take that long? it's because these projects need some things. they need one you have to take some money and some time to plan the project have to take some time to fund the project, you have to take time to contract the project through competitive bids got to get the permits for the project sometimes
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there's litigation to work through, and all -- this is part of what has to be done to build a major road, highway bridge in a state. my friends it doesn't take just a few weeks to do this. it doesn't take just a few months to do in. it can take years. in the case of state route 1 in a little state it took years. roughly a dozen of them. and without the certainty that future federal funding will be there for a project that's almost impossible to do it well and frankly without that kind of certainty it's really expensive to do these projects. stop and go, stop and go means stop and pay a lot more money for the projects we're trying to build. yet even though we know that our states our counties and businesses are counting on us here in this body to do our jobs we let them down time and time again. what's worse congress has known about this problem for
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almost a decade. it was in 2005 congress included provisions in transportation legislation to create not one but two blue ribbon commissions, and for what purpose? to help us figure out how to pay for roads highways, bridges and transit systems. we say we're not smart enough to figure this out. why don't we put together some commissions and let the experts come in and they can help us out. and, frankly we just never received -- received the reports, received the recommendations, we just never acted on them. 2008 these two commission delivered reports summarizing the advice of countless experts and giving us a road map to fixing problems for good. among their recommendations one idea was stressed above all the rest, that is gradually raise transportation user fees and then index them to inflation going forward. and still despite understanding the problem and the smartest
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solutions for nearly a decade, we've only shirked our responsibility to agree on a solution again and again. rather than take advantage of those blue ribbon ideas we've continued to kick the can down the road, continued to avoid doing what voters sent us here to do and that's make decisions, tough decisions in the best interest of our country. so i stand here today to say it's high time we finally take care of business, do the job the american people sent us here to do. my concern about this issue should come as no surprise to any of my colleagues. for years i've been outspoken about my desire to fully fund a multiyear transportation bill. government does have a clear role in ensuring our country has modern high quality roads and bridges and transit systems and that's why the framers of our constitution had had the constitution to as much as say so in that constitution. unfortunately, it seems that our courage and willingness to
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fulfill this responsibility continues to escape us. instead, we avoid tough choices, simply do things like we smooth pensions. we steal customs fees. sometimes we steal customs fees that are not due for seven eight years in the few are tour and use them for roads highway and bridge construction today. we borrow mine safety funds. we apply other dandies as well. the standard justification for these short-term patches mean we need la little more time -- need a little more time, and we will work this out. but as usual during the ten months we gave ourselves when we passed the last short-term extension which was last, as i recall last early august, last
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early august. the 12th time we've done this in six years. in case anyone has lost count we've come no closer to a solution. "the washington post" last summer may have put it best, and this is what they said: "congress doesn't need more time. congress needs more spine." albert einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. today i'm asking our colleagues to join me and others to help stom this insanity -- stop this insanity. as we work together i know we can find a way to invest in a 21st century transportation system that our states, cities and businesses deserve and need in order to compete in a global marketplace. in an effort to do that, senator boxer and i introduced a measure that will at least get us started taking a constructive step that will align the aspiration of transportation
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programs with the funding available in the highway trust fund. what we have right now mr. president, is at the end of this month the authorization for spending federal money for these roads, highway bridges transit funds around the country the authorization to spend that money expires effectively stopping the use of federal money for these purposes at the end of this month. we can't let this happen. the authorization ends at the end of may in about ten days. meanwhile the funds actual funds in the transportation trust fund, the highway trust fund is good until the end of july. so the legislation that senator boxer has joined me in offering, at least if we do nothing else, let's align the end of the authorization, now may 31, to the end of the funding so that we can at least continue the work being done in states across the country in the meantime. if we work together, i know we
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can, can find a way forward. but anyway, we've introduced this legislation and this adjustment will keep the congress from putting this issue, we hope, on the back burner yet again. we hope this will increase the likelihood that we can finally sit down and agree to a long-term solution not this fall not next year, but this summer. and i know there are some who say let's put this off until december. we've done that before, we can do that again. i just say to my friends, we have a way of getting to the elections, and in an election cycle for president later this year and maybe there are some who feel maybe that will be helpful to us in finding a way to come together and fund transportation projects. i would beg to differ. and i think if we don't get it done sooner rather than later if we don't make these tough decisions now we're not going to make them when the caucuses are gathering in ii and primarily --
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in iowa and primary voters are starting to get riled up in new hampshire. that is not going to help us do our jobs. there is a friend of mine who loves to talk about stopgap funding and the need to make a long-term commitment to america's growth and success. he says it's something like what we do now. it's something like taking a road trip, maybe a summer road trip across the country with family and stop to fill up our cars our trucks, our minivans with gas one gallon at a time. instead of filling up, we stop the a a gas station we get a gallon. and we go down the road and a little while later we stop at another gas station we buy another gallon. it's wasteful, it wastes time, it wastes money. it's no way to take a trip across country with your family. and i can assure you it's know way to build a transportation system for a world-class power
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america. in any event i said earlier i took two or three ideas away from the elections last year. one, americans want us to work together. number two, they want us to get things done. and number three, they want us to do everything we can to enhance and strengthen our economic recovery. finally finding agreement on a way to pass a fully funded six-year transportation bill would help us do all three. we would demonstrate that we can work together. we would demonstrate that we can get stuff done. states cities and counties across america. and, number three we really would strengthen our economic recovery. we wouldn't just put 600,000 or 700,000 people to work building roads, bridges and transit systems. we'd do a lot more than that. that's important. those jobs need to be filled and a lot of people need to be able to do that kind of work, and they'd love to. as it turns out the mckin sey
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global institute created it could add 1% to annual g.d.p. growth and create at least 1.8 million jobs. let me say that again. a major effort to repair and improve our roads highways, bridges and transit systems could add about 1.5% to annual g.d.p. growth. keep in mind g.d.p. growth, i think, in the last quarter was only about 1%. but this kind of investment could add another 1% to annual g.d.p. growth and create almost two million jobs. by failing to pass a long-term transportation bill, we are sacrificing this potential growth and job creation. it's a little bit like leaving money on a table. in this case, a lot of it on a table. the federal government shares the responsibilities with state governments to make investments in their aging infrastructure. as i said earlier the federal
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government when states spend money on roads highway bridge projects whether it's new hampshire or delaware, roughly half that money is coming from the federal government. our states are counting on us to be partners in funding our transportation system that the families and businesses we represent count on every day. when a federal policy fails to plan for the future, we leave these people in the lurch. the highway trust fund has several dedicated revenue streams in the form of various user fees, as we know. these fees haven't been adjusted for over two decades. during that time the purchasing power of our transportation has nearly been cut in half. increases in the price of concrete asphalt steel and labor. the 18.3 cent federal gas tax we set up in 1993 is now less than a dime. the 24 cent diesel tax is worth less than 15 cents. the congressional budget office put together a chart here on my
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left. it shows the growing difference between the highway trust fund the moneys we put out for transportation projects and the money we take in from user fees. actually we're doing reasonably good from 1998 to 2014. every six years you see it go up and it drops down. it goes up and drops down. that's that six-year transportation authorization bills. look what happens starting this year. i might add in the last several years here a lot of this money was just transfers out of the general fund, it wasn't money actually raised. we borrowed most of that money from around the world. we get to here, 2015, and look what happens. the end of the year every year up through 2025, this is the money -- this is the shortfall. this is the shortfall. i think it adds up -- if you look to about $140 billion by 2025.
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you don't have to be an accountant mr. president. you know you've got a problem when you're spending like this outpaces what you collect more and more each year. i'm almost done. we need to find a long-term solution that we can agree on to fix this problem and we need to do it this summer. we don't need to do it this fall. we don't need to do it next winter. we need to do it this summer. again, i talked about kicking the can into a presidential year. if we don't do it this summer, my fear is we won't do it at all. at least not for a long-term bill. many of my colleagues have said that we must wait until we can enact a comprehensive tax reform that creates revenues to solve this problem. as a strong support of tax reform i hope we can find a way to reform our tax code, find a way to generate revenues that can be used to invest in our roads, highways and bridges and transportation systems. i understand this idea has support not just from president obama but also from our house
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ways and means committee chairman paul ryan. that is encouraging. one thing i know for sure is that that idea is a lot better than kicking the can down the road. but we've been talking about doing tax reform for years. let's be honest. it's one of the most complicated tasks that congress is facing. we can't just wait around letting our highways and our transit systems that people count on to deteriorate while we negotiate this incredibly tough decision surrounding tax reform efforts. tax reform only offers onetime revenues that won't fix the long-term problem of the highway trust fund. i believe we have to have a viable backup plan in case a bipartisan deal on tax reform continues to elude the congress. that's why mr. president i've talked literally to dozens of members in the house and senate from both parties asking them to share with me their most thoughtful ideas into what i hope can become an all of the above transportation proposal.
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i share with my colleagues thoughts on how to shore up the highway trust fund to bring up their ideas and join this effort. i hope to present such a plan, as i said earlier very soon and to make sure we don't once again kick this can yet again down the road. there's a time to act. it's not next year. it's not around christmastime. it's this summer. gas prices this memorial day weekend will be lower than any memorial day in recent memory and likely to stay there for at least awhile longer. i read recently that the prediction is they're going to start dropping again as we get into the summer. there is an amazing coalition of stakeholders from all parts of the community -- all parts of our country geographically and throughout the business sector and government as well. and they support a long-term transportation bill. there are businesses, there are labor unions, there are construction companies, there are transits, retail businesses, there are manufacturing businesses and a lot of american families.
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and from them, their message to us is the same: it's time to do the right thing. it's time for us to do our jobs. it's time for us to give america the roads the highways, the bridges, the transit systems that we can be proud of and will help our nation to continue to grow and to be great. mr. president, thank you so much. i yield the floor. to the gentlewoman from new hampshire. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: thank you mr. president. i rise today to talk about a very important issue to my state of new hampshire and that is american trade and our ability to create more jobs in new hampshire and in the united states of america by giving our businesses the opportunity to sell to consumers around the world since our businesses are creating the very best products and technology, and their
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ability to sell those around the world are going to create more jobs in new hampshire and in this country. and i'd also like to talk about an important financing mechanism to businesses in new hampshire and to businesses in this country. that is the export-import bank. having traveled throughout new hampshire and meeting with businesses both small and large what i hear most often is in washington, please make it easier for us in terms of the regulatory environment the tax environment, for us to do what we do best, and that's create jobs and put people to work. and i've also heard very much that we want more opportunities to sell what we produce to other countries in the world. and we also want opportunities to make sure that financing is available to increase opportunities for new hampshire businesses to export to other
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countries around the world. and so an important tool for new hampshire businesses is the export-import bank, which is set to expire next month, at the end of june. and that is why in getting to the bill pending on the floor that it was important and i fought to ensure that there is a way forward to secure a path for a vote on the export-import bank reauthorization before it expires at the end of june. and i want to thank, i want to thank our leader for committing to allow us an opportunity to extend this important financing mechanism to businesses in new hampshire to ensure that that mechanism is still available and that those new hampshire jobs continue and that we can continue to grow our economy. in new hampshire the
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export-import bank supports $416 million in exports and has helped 36 new hampshire businesses over the last seven years and its continued existence is not only important to the granite state economy but it translates to over 29 -- excuse me 2,300 jobs that are supported by the opportunity to have financing available through the export-import bank to new hampshire. 2,300 jobs. and i've met with new hampshire exporters from around the state who have been able to grow their businesses and create more jobs by utilizing the ex-im financing to export goods and services overseas. in fact, in december, i hosted a roundtable in new hampshire at seaport international forest products in nashua. they have been able in the past
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to use export-import financing but they were gracious enough to hold a roundtable when fred hochberg the head of the export-import bank came to new hampshire and met with businesses in new hampshire to allow them to give feedback as to how the bank was working and how important it was to their ability to obtain this financing, expand their experts overseas. in fact, one of the participants in that roundtable jerry boyle who is the leader of boyle energy and technology services in concord he explained how he has been able to grow his business 75% in the past few years because of the opportunity to use ex-im financing. so failure to renew the bank's charter, make no mistake would cause us to lose jobs in new
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hampshire and lose jobs in this country and hurt our economy, at a time when we should be focusing on making it easier for businesses to create jobs, making sure that our businesses have opportunity and access to markets overseas to create more american trade. and i will continue to push this body to reauthorize ex-im so that new hampshire businesses can continue to have accessing -- access to this financing, can continue to grow their opportunities to create more jobs in new hampshire by using this financing and to sell their goods and services overseas to create jobs. and one thing i want to touch upon the critics of this bank i look at this and i wonder
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we're competing in a global economy and so many of our competitors actually are offering even greater financing mechanisms to their businesses and so without this opportunity for our businesses, we're putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage. and in fact, the ex-im bank actually has a lower lower default rate than commercial loans and returns money to the treasury returns money to the treasury. so i wish the question was for every federal program and every agency in washington, if the question were for me what the ex-im question is, it creates american jobs and returns money to the treasury to help pay down our debt, if that were the question with every federal agency, that would be a lot easier question, wouldn't it be, and we would probably be a lot farther along to dealing with
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our $18 trillion in debt. so to me this is one that allows us to create more new hampshire jobs more american jobs. we've got to get this done. i'm glad that we have a commitment to have a vote on it in this body to allow us to reauthorize it before it expires, and again returning money to the treasury and creating american jobs. imagine if we could say that about every federal program. i would also like to talk today about another issue that is very important to jobs in new hampshire, and that's trade promotion authority which is pending on the senate floor and we're currently debating. this is going to have a real impact on new hampshire's economy and create thousands of jobs in my state. in 2014, new hampshire exported $4.4 billion worth of goods and services in exports and supported about 23,000
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good-paying new hampshire jobs. over the past decade, we have seen granite state exports increase by 175%. as a testament to america's entrepreneurial spirit, almost 90% of new hampshire's exporters are small or medium-sized businesses. last week i had the opportunity to visit mercury systems which designs and builds defense and commercial electronics in hudson, new hampshire and since opening in hudson in 2014, mercury systems has more than doubled its work force from 70 employees to now 170 employees thanks in part to their opportunity to export what they manufacture. and in april i visited corfin industries in salem. they provide robotic processing services that are used by the
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defense, medical and telecommunication industries. corfin relies on exports and access to international markets which has helped create 23 new jobs in new hampshire and now they see a growing portion of their sales going to exports american trade-creating jobs. and there are many, many other important companies in new hampshire that support trade promotion authority and they view this as an opportunity to create more granite state jobs, including companies like b.a.e. systems, bosch thermotechnology in londonderry globe manufacturing company in pitsfield, general electric, doss international america's in durham intel corporation who has a facility in merrimack, new hampshire ball bearings in
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laconia. in fact, i had the chance to visit new hampshire ball bearings recently and to talk to them about the importance not only of ex-im financing as a supplier this is important to them but also the importance obviously of trade. sylvania located in manchester polartec in hudson, texas instruments in manchester that has a facility there and velcro u.s.a. in manchester. these are just a few examples of the many granite state companies that depend on american trade and opportunity to sell the great products that they produce overseas. here's what i have heard from my constituents in new hampshire about the pending bill on the floor when it comes to creating new hampshire jobs, good-paying jobs. in fact, tony ginta a city counselor for franklin's ward one, wrote to me and said our community is working diligently
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to boost its economic development. our priority is jobs and attracting new businesses to our city. it is in that regard i am writing to ask you for support on the pending trade vote in the united states senate. our president needs the flexibility to handle the details and present a full plan to congress for final approval. that precise system has worked for many years and i believe it should be extended for another five years. "the wall street journal" recently reported that our trade deficit rose to its highest level in nearly six and a half years and that the trend line is headed in the wrong direction. we need to do all we can to boost free trade in this country. our state's economy depends on it. my city's future depends on it as well. considering nearly one quarter of our work force provides goods and services that are exported abroad means this proposal will have a tremendous impact on our state's economy.
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here's what i heard from emily hasig, senior vice president of the new england council. that council is a very important council of employers in thank and new hampshire. she wrote to me, while interstate commerce among the states remains a significant avenue for business prosperity, the new england council believes that foreign markets must be cultivated to tap into the buying power of this vast and ever-burgeoning consumer base. indeed across new england more than 24,000 companies export to foreign markets and in 2014, that supported nearly 265,000 export-related jobs for the region. the value of goods exported from new england last year alone was $56.5 billion. and jim roach, the president of the new hampshire business and industry association the new hampshire business and industry association is a very, very
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important group in new hampshire that brings new hampshire businesses together, and he has written to me saying nearly 40 million american jobs depend on trade. this is especially true for new hampshire where trade plays a big role in our economy. trade supports more than 179,000 jobs in this state and our exports of goods and services last year reached nearly $7 billion. trade is especially important for new hampshire's small businesses. more than 2,200 of which are exporters. pete mcnamara, president of the new hampshire automobile dealers association, he has written to me and recently visited me in washington to tell me this in person. the new hampshire auto dealers association supports free trade. in this competitive world market the u.s. needs the t.p.a. america drives the world economy, but outside our borders
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are markets that represent 80% of the world's purchasing power 92% of its economic growth and 95% of its consumers. texas instruments has a very good facility in manchester. i have had the chance to visit that facility and meet the workers in these great-paying jobs and also jobs that are very very important with expertise on technology, and mark garry who is the vice president of the manchester site and manager of that site in manchester has said texas instruments strongly supports t.p.a. 2015 and urges its swift approval. renewing t.p.a. provides an opportunity for american companies and their workers to secure 21st century rules to govern international trade. innovation is the granite
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state's greatest asset. new hampshire's high-tech company start-ups and universities are generating breakthrough innovations and technologies. high-tech companies now represent 8.6 of the state's -- 8.6% of the state's economy and pay 92% than average wages. t.i. manchester is the heart of t.i.'s largest power management business unit. t.p.a. is critical for t.i. to secure market access, maintain a global supply chain and support our high value-added design jobs here in new hampshire. i've heard also from sylvia lenaris, director of engineering and new hampshire's site leader at intel in merrimack, new hampshire, also very important new hampshire jobs, passing t.p.a. will arm u.s. trade negotiators with a clear set of
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principles and objectives that support our nation's economic, social and technological interests. these rules have never been more important. in merrimack, new hampshire, we have a very specialized design team that stand to benefit from these rules. rules around intellectual property theft force technology transfer and compromise encryption standards. at intel we conduct roughly three quarters of advance manufacturing and research and development right here in the united states, investments which are supported by more than three quarters of our revenues from sales elsewhere in the world. we are proud to be part of the new hampshire tech community by spending more than $5 million annually with approximately 50 suppliers in the state. with 95% of the world's customers and 80% of the world's purchasing power outside the united states, we have to do
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everything we can to ensure that we have more american trade american stayed that supports jobs here, allows us to sell the great work that we do and our workers do here and the products that we produce overseas. that's why the bill pending on the floor is so important to creating more american jobs. since the 1930's, nearly every president has used the trade promotion authority to negotiate foreign trade policy. this bill contains the clearest outline of trade priorities in our nation's history. it includes almost 150 ambitious high standard negotiating objectives that will direct our trade negotiators to break down barriers that hurt american businesses to allow american businesses to have more american trade to create jobs here.
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the bottom line is that trade promotion authority will ensure that in the granite state, new hampshire businesses can create more jobs, and in fact the estimate in new hampshire is that if you look at some of the agreements like the current trans-atlantic and trans-pacific trade negotiations, those could spur international investment in new hampshire and create an estimated over 8,200 jobs in new hampshire. if the president is able to go forward and negotiate the right agreement that allows us to create american jobs. so mr. president the two issues that i talked to you about, we need to get ex-im bank reauthorized before it expires so that employers in new hampshire who have been able to use this financing mechanism and the many suppliers that also
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support companies outside of new hampshire but create new hampshire jobs can have an opportunity to continue to use this financing to put more people to work in new hampshire. and we also need to pass trade promotion authority that's pending on the floor because if you look at the list of new hampshire businesses that will benefit from this opportunity to create more new hampshire jobs and more american jobs in the united states of america this is something weeped to do to strengthen our economy in the granite state and to strengthen our country to make sure that there are more opportunities for people to work in this country. thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: first i ask unanimous consent i ask unanimous consent that amanda clinton a fellow in my office be granted floor privileges the remainder of the calendar year.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. murphy: this is christina from stratford connecticut. she is a small business owner. and she has a story that is becoming pretty familiar all across the country. she left a job a couple years ago that provided for employer-based health care and she wanted to start her own job -- excuse me, her own business in bridgeport, connecticut right next to stratford. so she stayed insured through cobra for a period of time until it expired and then she had to go out into the individual market. she recalls having to fill out a 15-page questionnaire when she was applying for individual coverage. she said it asked -- quote -- "about anything that i have even remotely discussed with my doctor and, unfortunately, for her, some of those things preexisting conditions, meant that she was denied health care coverage. so she had to go into connecticut's high risk pool which meant she was paying $1,200 per month. anybody that started up a small business from scratch knows that can be pretty prohibitive.
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her salvation came through the affordable care act. when it went into effect in connecticut's strange was -- exchange was established, she was able to find a plan that cost $430 per month which is frankly on the high end of plans but much more affordable than the one she had. she says that i'm thankful that there was a solution for me to be able to keep my business and have affordable health insurance that can't be taken away. mr. president, the stories like that can be told all over the country, but it's not just anecdotes that we have to rely on any longer to talk about the success of the affordable care act. i know that we're obsessed this week appropriately so with the patriot act and the transportation reauthorization and the free trade agreement
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fast-track agreement but the supreme court is likely upon our return after the memorial day recess to rule on one of the most important cases that it's heard during most of our tenures, that's the king v. burwell case so it's important to spend time talking about the subject, the affordable care act. christina's story is miraculous miraculous someone able to keep a business open because of affordable care act. but she is one of 16.4 million people across this country that have health care because of, most through federal and state exchanges, but some because they were able to stay on their parents' plan until age 26 or able to access medicaid. last month's gallup poll showed that the uninsurance rate in this country has declined by 35% over the course of the last year and a half since 2013. that is a remarkable number and we shouldn't hesitate from
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noting that it is just absolutely exceptional in the history of this country to have a one-third reduction in the number of people who don't have insurance in such a short period of time. and the good news is that most of the folks who have insurance are satisfied just like christina is. we heard opponent after opponent of the a.c.a. tell us this was going to be terrible health care no way the government could have anything to do with a health care plan anyone would want. it's not government run it's be cybersecurity actized by tax credits but it is private health care insurance with the exception of those medicaid plans. j.d. power surveyed thousands of a.c.a. enrollees and found that they like their exchange plans more than people like their nonexchange plans. so health care on the exchange is more popular than health care oft of the exchange. and the good news isn't just
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about the number of people who have coverage, it's that costs are coming down. the accountable care organizations which are this innovation in the affordable care act to try to build big integrated systems of care, the pilot program just dame in with their savings numbers. $384 million saved on this one innovation alone. that's $300 per patient. that's a big deal. because it speaks to a larger trend line in which we are for the first time in a very long time able to control health care costs on an annual basis last year we saw the lowest increase in medical costs the lowest medical inflation number in a generation. but costs are coming down in part because of things that we put into place through the affordable care act. my colleague senator barrasso was down here yesterday with a wonderful chart about connecticut and i appreciate him giving connecticut a little bit of
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extra publicity but his speech really was a wonderful advertisement for the affordable care act. he noted that several insurers in connecticut just came out with rate increase requests, and he had the numbers up there, they were i think 8% and 10%, they were substantial increases, not unfamiliar because prior to the affordable care act that's what individuals and businesses were facing every single year were double digit increases. and the rate increases that senator barrasso was referring to were completely in line with what those same insurance plans requested last year in connecticut. last year anthem, blue cross/blue shield requested a 12% increase. connecticut care requested 12%. and because of the affordable care act which allows states to do reviews and amendments to those rate increases anthem's request went from 12 to zero,
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connecticut care went from 12 to 3 and we had in connecticut one of the lowest increases in health care premiums on record because of the affordable care act. and so it's right that these health insurers are requesting big rate increases but now because of a law we passed they don't get those in states like connecticut, they actually have their numbers vetted, they have their actuarial analysis reviewed, and they get a different number to the benefit of my constituents. but this supreme court case that's going to come up is important because it puts millions of americans at risk for losing many of the protections that i just talked about. it basically says that the affordable care act was designed in a way to only provide these subsidies to help people get insurance on state-based exchanges and if you were on a federal exchange, you by design weren't supposed to get these subsidies. well, a lot of people talk about
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what the intent of the law is but you don't have to get into the intent of the law. on its face the text of the affordable care act is absolutely clear because yes there is a reference, one line, to the fact that subsidies will flow to state exchanges but the plaintiff's case ignores another section of the forged which gives the secretary the power to establish exchanges in states that don't do it themselves. that's what has happened by the substitution of federal exchanges for state exchanges. and, of course, the text of the bill just does not work if you believe the plaintiff's analysis. the plaintiffs say that this was supposed to be a penalty if you didn't set up a state exchange we are penalizing your constituents by withholding subsidies. there's not a single line in the affordable care act that suggests that this is a penalty and, in fact, the supreme court has said if you want to do that you've got to make it explicit,
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you can't have guesswork involved as to the carrot and stick approach afforded to a state. doug elmendorf who -- who was the head of c.b.o. at the time said i can remember no occasion on anybody asked why we were expecting subsidies to be paid in all states regardless whether they established their exchanges or not and if people -- if people had not had this common understanding about what the law was going to do at the time, i'm sure we would have had a lot of questions about that aspect of our estimate. and then finally, the bill doesn't work on its face if you believe the plaintiffs' argument. why? because the insurance reforms are national and yet the subsidies according to the plaintiffs are only for states that established their own exchanges. well the insurance reforms don't work if everybody doesn't have insurance in those states. you can't judge say folks who have preexisting conditions
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can't be discriminated against if people in those states don't all have insurance. that is actuarily doesn't work. so the whole bill false apart if you believe the plaintiffs' case. so i'm frankly totally confident that the supreme court is going to find in favor of the government because there's no other way to read the affordable care act other than to believe that subsidies go to both state and federal exchanges. it's plain on the face of the statute but certainly if you have to get to it in intent as well. but we're starting to see that republicans are thinking that they are going to need to have an answer if in the unlikely case as i believe the supreme court decides in favor of the plaintiffs. but this is a pretty good summary of what the republicans' plan is to respond to king v. burwell. the republicans' plan if king v.
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burwell goes in favor of the plaintiffs is essentially a shrug of the shoulders. the predominant bill on the republican side as offered by my friend senator johnson from wisconsin. he claims that his bill is going to fix the problems in the affordable care act if the king v. burwell decision is decided in favor of the plaintiffs, but it is nothing except for just another attempt to repeal the affordable care act. it's disguised as an attempt to address king v. burwell but it is simply just an effort to repeal the law. and you don't have to read too deeply in the bill to figure that out. it preserves the subsidies for about a year and a half but after that period of time it ends subsidies in the federal exchanges and then it also ends subsidies in the state exchanges. let me say that again. the johnson bill doesn't just end the subsidies that the court
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might rule unconstitutional, it also ends the subsidies in the exchanges that the court won't rule as unconstitutional if king v. burwell is decided in favor of the plaintiffs. thus it is a repeal of the bill. it goes well far above and beyond what would be necessary to address an adverse decision. it then goes even further the johnson bill doesn't repeal the individual mandate repeals the employer mandate and when you do that the insurance reforms fall apart because even senator cruz on the floor during his filibuster conceded you can't protect people with preexisting conditions unless you also require people to get insurance. and lastly the johnson bill ends the essential benefits packages. so that this guarantee if you buy insurance you're going to get a basic floor of services is no longer. the republican response to king v. burwell is simply to repeal
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the affordable care act. and i hope that we never get to the point where we have to debate how we address an adverse decision in the king v. burwell skills but this is a nonstarter. and and everyone inside this building and outside this building 14 understand that. i don't think it's a convince department all 30-something cosponsors of the johnson bill also support repealing the affordable care act. but you can't deny that it's working from "the new york times" to "the washington post" to "the wall street journal," people understand that the affordable care act is changing people's lives. 16 million people with insurance. health care costs stabilize for of our lifetimes, quality getting better. the affordable care act works and i hope that our colleagues will come together and no matter the decision in the king v. burwell case to make sure that it continues to work for
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americans all over this country. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: i ask unanimous consent that morning business extend until 5:00 p.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. flake: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: i want to talk about trade for a bit. let me start by saying that i believe in free trade and i strongly support the swift renewal of trade promotion authority that we're considering today. we all know that the benefits have increased market access for u.s. goods and services is good for american consumers and businesses.
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the renewal of trade promotion authority will pave the way for trade agreements between the united states and other nations. countries around the world are not standing still on trade and we cannot afford to sit idle while they move ahead and engage with each other. and history has shown that without trade promotion authority, there is virtually no chance that the u.s. will successfully reach agreements to lower trade barriers with other countries. we've got to have this authority. mr. president, i'm pleased to have the opportunity to participate in these deliberations with the shared goal of making sure that the trade legislation that we're considering today ends up on the president's desk. toward that goal, i want to raise an amendment that i filed that is currently pending. the proposal is that the senate is -- i'm sorry. the proposal we are now debating will renew trade promotion
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authority for six years but it will also renew trade adjustment assistance. this program will be expanded as well. the flake amendment 1243 will strike the trade adjustment assistance or t.a.a. in its entirety from this package. it's unfortunate that congress has grown ak -- ak cosmed to tying legislation with this costly trade adjustment assistance. i reject the notion that these trade-offs are necessary. when congress takes steps to address trade liberalization, it is a responsible reflection of the changing realties in the global marketplace. almost 95% of u.s. consumers live outside of our borders and u.s. goods and services will continue to be a vital part of our economy. adjusting and modernizing u.s. trade priorities to increase
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economic opportunity is a realization that there is a necessary shift in our economy. changing economic trends and conditions are a recurring part of our country's history but no further than the emergence of digital technology to see a familiar example. but it is only in the case of trade policy changes that the federal government is expected to layer on additional benefits for impacts to workforce. when you look at this economy and you look at how we've grown and you look at the shifts in the economy from the industrial age onward, there have been shifts and there have been dislocations. but this is the only area where we say all right we're going to try to account for that with adjustment assistance beyond what we already have with the federal government. taxpayers can at least breathe a sigh of relief that an amendment offered earlier this week that would have dramatically increased the program's authorized funding t.a.a.
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funding, was handily defeated. if this program is approved, we can expect to see $450 million a year spent on training, employment and case management services and job search and relocation allowances alone. in fact, all told, t.a.a. reauthorization will likely cost the u.s. taxpayers about $1.8 billion. t.a.a. benefits were expanded in the 2009 stimulus bill, and those expanded benefits were for the most part continued from 2011 through 2014. now, this reauthorization will restore much of that benefit expansion from the manufacturing sector to the service sector and will cover any jobs moved overseas not just those related to countries with which we have free trade agreements. now, this is despite the application criteria for federal
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adjustments assistance having been notoriously lax most notably with employees laid off after the solyndra loan debacle were awarded t.a.a. benefits. to be clear, it is not as if those who claim to need adjustments assistance were somehow turned away from existing unemployment benefits. these trade adjustments allowance benefits provide a weekly benefit to those who have already received unemployment insurance benefits, including unemployment benefits. these payments can last as long as 130 weeks. duplication in federal job training benefits -- i'm sorry -- in job training programs has been highlighted extensively in the past. according to a 2011 government accountability office report, though some of these have been repealed nine federal agencies spent $18 billion to administer
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47 programs in fiscal year 2009. again, some $18 billion was spent to administer 47 programs in fiscal year 2009. supporters of trade adjustment assistance claim that the needs of workers impacted by vibrant international trade are somehow special in nature. but with the price -- when the price tag for all existing and newly authorized training programs and funding reaches into the billions, those arguments wear a bit thin. there also have been persistent questions related to the program's effectiveness t.a.a.'s effectiveness. the noncongressional research service noted that -- quote -- "estimating the impact of the program -- for example the differences in unemployment outcome of t.a.a. beneficiaries versus otherwise identical workers who did not participate in t.a.a. is extremely difficult."
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a 2012 study by mathematica policy research conditioned by the department of labor did a comparison of t.a.a. beneficiaries to those who weren't receiving them. they found that after three years, t.a.a. recipients actually had lower reemployment rates. however, after four years employment rates for both groups were statistically the same, though overall t.a.a. recipients ended up earning less annually. at best, the impact of the t.a.a. is a -- i'm sorry. at best, the impact of t.a.a. is a multibillion-dollar question mark. at worst research says it's ineffective and even counterproductive. now, mr. president while trade adjustment assistance is of dubious value we certainly know that renewing trade promotion authority is an incredible opportunity for the u.s. economy. it is my fervent hope that
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congress will move forward in approving legislation reauthorizing t.p.a. it's also my hope that one day we can recognize the benefits of trade and the fact that it lifts our economy. i hope that we can advance a sound trade policy without these costly adjustment assistance programs. with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. i come to the floor noting my friend and colleague from connecticut was just on the floor talking about the president's health care law. it's interesting that he would do so at a time when we're seeing headline after headline about obamacare plan premiums increasing again all over the country. now remember what the president said. he said if you like your plan,
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you can keep your plan. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. and he said premiums would go down by $2,500 for a family of four. well what we've seen is premiums go up across the country. and now my colleague from connecticut says in spite of all the money being spent on the president's health care law premiums are still going up. in his home state of connecticut, they're going up and they're going up across the country. there's a headline in the "connecticut mirror." "insurers seek rate hikes for 2006 obamacare plans." that's in connecticut. i heard my colleague talk about the upcoming supreme court case of king vs. burwell. the implications of that case, he said that the republicans didn't have a plan. where's the president's plan? he's the guy that made this mess. this is the president's law. this is the law that the democrats voted for.
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there's that old sign in the pottery barn, if you break it, you bought it. the president broke the health care system in this country. and if the supreme court rules the supreme court rules that he has acted illegally he's the one that made the mess. he's the one that created the problem. and when my colleague from connecticut says where's the plan of the republicans i say where's the president's plan? it's interesting the president does have a plan to protect the insurance company but he has no plans to protect the american public the american taxpayers. he has a built-in plan for the insurance companies so that when they wrote the policies this year, there was a decision made by the white house that those policies could be canceled by the insurance companies if the supreme court ruled that the president acted illegally. but yet, there is no path, no safe path for those american
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taxpayers who thought they were obeying the law if the court rules, as the way i believe they should based on the reading of the law. so of course people around the country are very concerned when they see once again the insurance that they're mandated to buy by president obama and the democrats the insurance they're mandated to buy by the health care law is going to be even more expensive next year than this year. in connecticut first paragraph of this article "insurance companies selling health plans through the state's health insurance exchanges are seeking to raise rates next year." it goes on to say that despite the carrier's projected increase for costs citing raising claims expenses a planned production in protection against -- a planned reduction in protection against high-cost claims -- why? it says from a temporary federal program intended to provide
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stability for insurers -- provide stability for insurers -- during the initial years of the plan, of the health care law. this was the bailout of the insurance companies that president obama and the democrats built into the health care law to get them to go along. it says the rate filings are proposals, not actual changes. proposals, not changes. said the insurance department will not analyze the proposals and accept public comments. this is the connecticut insurance department. well you know, a lot of members of the public in connecticut filed comments, and i have them, mr. president, to share with you and share with our listeners today. and these are the constituents of the senator from connecticut who comes here to the floor and says things are working great in connecticut. these are his constituents who say, i am barely making ends meet as it is. this goes on and says "i was
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under the understanding that this was to be a-- affordable. with affordable in capital letters. so far it has been nothing but a burden. this is a constituent in connecticut, was to be affordable. nothing but a burden. he says "i was happy with my previous plan." weren't so many americans happy with their previous plan before the president who told them if they liked it they could keep it well, that's why there's so much disappointment out there. and the president's statement was called the lie of the year. this person was happy with his previous plan, but it was eliminated as of january 1 2015. my health care he says went up $100 for less coverage. and democrats wonder why this health care law isn't popular. all across the country people are paying more, getting less, and the democrats are clueless as to why this is so unpopular.
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please don't allow the increase. that's just one of the constituents writing in to the connecticut insurance department public comment. here's another: please, no rate increase. i can't afford the insurance now, it goes on. i pay $594 a month for myself, a 60-year-old female in relatively good health. and then the next line: i have a $5,500 deductible. i can't afford to have some testing done because i don't have the deductible amount. we heard the senator come to the floor and say all these people have insurance. this person figures she has insurance but it is of no value to her whatsoever with her $5,500 deductible. can't afford to have testing because of the deductible. she says "it was bad enough that we have the big security breach and we have to worry about our
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personal information being stolen in the years to come, and you want to increase our rates." that's what we're seeing happening across the country. and that's what we're seeing happening in connecticut. and that's what the public is telling the connecticut insurance department dealing with these proposed rate increases. there's another: i'm writing you regarding the rate increase filing particularly the health insurance filings in general. i'm an individual buyer who doesn't qualify for federal subsidies due to my income level. i've been buying my family plan since before the affordable care act had been passed and implemented. " i had insurance doesn't qualify for a subsidy. since is then, since the affordable care act was passed by the family plan in connecticut has become almost financially impossible for me to do as it has become a real financial burden for me. currently, i'm paying some 22%
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of my federal a.g.i. for a high deductible. family deductible rate, $11,000. $11,000. now, the senator from connecticut may say hey great this person has insurance. insurance they can't afford, they can't use because of the deductible. it says as you are certainly well aware before the passing of the care act my premium for health care was much more affordable. why is it? well it's because the president decided he wanted to transfer money from one group to another and this individual who had insurance that he liked family liked worked for them, they could afford, now cannot afford, cannot use because of the deductible. they're still insured so i guess the president -- the senator from connecticut would call that a big win for one of his constituents who is clearly being hurt. now here's another one that's come in from connecticut. are you nuts, this person says.
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this cannot go on. my affordable -- and affordable is in quotes -- insurance has already increased $200 a month and now you want more? my income doesn't even increase this much. paying the penalty for no insurance is a better option than this. do not increase. learn how to live within your means like the rest of us. this is what we're seeing in -- is there a surprise that this continues to be a very unpopular law? should it surprise? it surprises the democrats obviously, when they see that in poll after poll, month after month, the health care law is more unpopular than it is popular, and the reason is people don't see it as a good deal for them. they feel in terms of their own health their own families, their own communities this health care law has been a burden on them and in their life and impacted them as a family. there's another one from
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connecticut. the a.c.a. raised our health insurance expense both premiums and deductibles by 67% for simple coverage. 67% for similar coverage. remember, the president told a lot of people that what they had coverage on wasn't any good. wasn't good enough for the president. it might have been good enough for that family but not good enough for the president. so they had to buy and for similar coverage premiums and deductibles up 67%. please do not approve this additional increase. the person says they would be fine with their old policy but they weren't allowed to keep it because of the health care law. mr. president, i could go on and on and on. it's astonishing to see what we're hearing from the connecticut insurance department
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with a response when they were asked and put out the filings of their requests for higher rates. it's just interesting. one nor from south berry connecticut. the alleged purpose of this school and the affordable care act -- alleged purpose. first nancy pelosi you have to pass it before you find out what's in it. the alleged purpose was to get and keep health care costs under control. the person goes on from south berry, connecticut. now my subsidized monthly premium is more than double. the subsidized premium is more than double what i paid before being forced into the pool. it said if the a.c.a. is a failure, then why am i being penalized? people all across the country believe they are personally being penalized because of the failure of the obama health care plan and this administration who chose to, with one party and one
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party alone force a very expensive, unworkable, really unaffordable unmanageable, unexplainable health care system down the throats of the american public. so we'll see what happens when the supreme court rules at the end of next month. secretary of health and human services burr well said that the -- burwell said that the administration has no plan. the president told me personally in the white house earlier this year he had no plan to deal with a supreme court ruling that says his actions were illegal and he has no plan to deal with so many people who thought they were following the law who have been hurt by the law but he has a plan to bail out the insurance companies and to protect them because we know where the president is in terms of looking at this and his proposal, his quintessential piece of legislation, the one named after
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him has clearly done significant amount of damage to families all across the country. i believe has harmed the health care system, which has always been the best in the world. we needed health care reform in this country. we did not need what president obama forced down the throats of the american people with people across the country saying no. people knew what they wanted in health care reform. what they knew they wanted was the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower cost, and they have not gotten that under the president's health care law. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you
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mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that at 5:00 p.m. today the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations -- executive calendar number 2526, 74 and 107, the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed and that following disposition of the nominations the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, no further motions being in order with the nominations that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. further, that all time in the executive session count postcloture on the t.p.a. bill. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president, i will not object. i'm glad to see some judges finally moving. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. we expect some of these to be by voice vote. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president i would also ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes as though in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president i listened earlier to some of the debate in between the efforts and i like to think we're making some progress towards getting a fair array of amendments for both sides. i listened to some of the discussion earlier this afternoon about this whole question of secrecy surrounding the debate about trade policy. and a number of senators were discussing it, and i just want to take a minute to be very clear, one that i think they have a very valid point with
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respect to the secrecy that has long accompanied these trade discussions, and i'd like to discuss how i made it my paramount reform to make sure that we would have a new era of transparency openness and accountability in the discussion about making trade policy. and i've always felt that if you believe deeply in international trade the way i do, and you want more of it, why in the world would you be for all of this secrecy that makes makes americans more -- just makes americans more cynical about the whole topic and make them think well back there in washington, d.c. they have something to hide. so i note my friend and partner in all this, chairman hatch is here, and so when we began our discussions and they went on for really close to seven months in our effort to forge a
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bipartisan package, i wanted the to take a very fresh approach with respect to transparency and i wanted us to be able to say for the first time for the first time in the history of debating these trade policies, we would no longer have the country and elected officials in the dark with respect to really what is at issue in these discussions. so here's a short assessment of what really has changed. and, of course right now we are working on the rules for future trade agreements. we are working on the trade promotion act that sets out the rules for future agreements. obviously, the first one will involve the trans-pacific partnership, what's known as t.p.p. and there are a variety of others that are under discussion particularly one with europe.
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so if the congress, the senate and the other body, adopts this package that chairman hatch and i in conjunction with chairman ryan have put together over many months, i think we will have achieved our goal of making sure that everybody in the congress and everybody in the united states who chooses to can have the information they need about trade agreements before a single vote is cast, a single vote is cast on the floor of the united states senate or on the floor of the other body. and here's how the reform would work mr. president. first, it is required -- in other words this isn't something that's discretionary -- it is required by law that these trade agreements starting with the
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trans-pacific partnership would be made public 60 days before the president of the united states signs that agreement. so what that means is, if you want to come to a town hall meeting that's held by the distinguished president of the senate in colorado, even before the president signs it, a citizen in colorado can come with the trans-pacific partnership agreement the entire agreement in their hands, to a town hall meeting and ask questions of the president of the senate or any one of our colleagues in the senate and the house. after that 60-day period of sunshine and exposure, mr. president, the president can sign it and then there would be close to two additional
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months two additional months before the voting on the floor of the senate and the house begins. so when i heard my colleagues -- senators i respect greatly -- talk earlier about secrecy and i think there -- secrecy was no good, why couldn't this be changed why couldn't that be changed it made me want to come to the floor and i'm going to do an overview of all of the progressive reforms that have been made to this package reforms that i thought were important for a new era of what i call trade done right, trade done right. i wanted to make sure that we corrected -- and chairman hatch is here and he remembers all of our negotiations on this point -- correct the suggestion that somehow everybody is going to be in the dark before the congress and the country saw
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voting begin here in the senate and the house. it is really going to be with the 60-day requirement for sunlight before the president signs the agreement and then probably two more months after it's been signed before we start voting it essentially means that a citizen could come to a town hall meeting utah, colorado any part of the country, have that trans-pacific partnership agreement in their hands in order to be able to ask questions about it. and i sure think that puts our trade negotiators and everybody else kind of on their toes because they know that the american people and the congress are going to have that, you know document, and that's going to start mr. president with the trans-pacific partnership agreement. now, chairman hatch and i made a number of other changes.
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in the future it would be possible for the discussion of negotiations summaries of the negotiations, to be made public so that people would also have more information about the process as it was going forward. and we've lifted a number of the restrictions in terms of members having access to the materials and staff having access to the materials, and because the chairman is here i want to express my thanks to him especially on this point. we spend a lot of time on a whole host of issues, how you can put the brakes on a flood agreement, i'm glad that the chairman can smile about our discussions on that point today, but suffice it to say they were pretty spirited, we had discussions on a host of these topics, and i'm especially pleased that we made
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these very substantial changes on the issue of sunlight, transparency openness accountability because i think my colleagues who discussed it on the floor and many others who have been concerned about secrecy in the past with respect to these agreements, i think when they get a chance to actually see the details that are in the reforms that chairman hatch, chairman ryan and i put together are going to see that we have made some very very dramatic changes. now, i'm going to go next -- and i think some specific changes here are areas that i would like to outline. i'm going to go to the question of major changes in workers' rights and environmental
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protections. because i know that a number of my colleagues when they talked earlier were concerned about these issues as well. suffice it to say on workers' rights and vierptality -- and environmental protections if you back to the 1990's in the nafta era these vital priorities were basically shunted to the side. it would be almost inflationary to say they got shortshrift. they basically got no shrift. they were unenforceable side deals. this meant that the united states in effect had to take it on blind faith that our partners would live up to their commitments. it was my view that many of my colleagues particularly on the democratic side of the aisle were spot-on in saying that that wasn't good enough. this trade package will say in
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clear terms that the united states is done allowing labor and environmental protections to be pushed aside and disregarded. our partners will be required to adopt and maintain core international labor standards -- core international labor standards are going to be required of our trading partners. they will have to adopt them and they will have to maintain them. that's not something that's to the side and is unenforceable. that's real. it's got teeth. and also our partners would be required to adopt what are really common multilateral environmental agreements and these would be backed by the threat of trade sanctions. so these are major changes that certainly that contribute to
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what makes this a major approach with respect to trade policy in the future. and for the first time, the president is directed under this piece of legislation to make sure our trading partners adopt and maintain key laws. and that's why, for example i mentioned labor standards. and here tion what here's what those are. freedom of association. effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor. the effective abolition of child labor and a prohibition on the worst forms of child labor. and the elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation. now, those are the keys with respect to the labor side. here are the key protections on
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the environmental side, which i have again highlighted here at the outset. the bedrock protections here are that there has to be recognition to ensure that there's compliance with the convention on international trade and endangered species act the montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone lakers the protocol on prevention of pollution from ships the convention on wetland the convention on the conservation of antarctic marine resources the convention on whaling and the tropical tuna convention. again, not stuck in a side deal. fully enforceable. no sirnot justrearranging inadequate policies of the past that are rearranging sinking deck chairs.
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this is better than anything that has existed before, better than the north american free trade agreement better than the central american free trade agreement. with these changes our country is saying that we will no longer take it on blind faith that other countries are going to adopt stronger standards for protecting workers and the environment. this is the first time that the united states is setting the standard and demanding that trading partners hit that mark. that is very real progress, mr. president, and i'll close with just this point: many colleagues who've been skeptical about trade agreements always raise the issue about whether trade is somehow going to be a race to the bottom. what i have just described mr. president, is a concrete way
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to have a new force for raising standards up, getting the standards up, because my colleagues are right that they've been inadequate in the past. so whether you're for this bill or not i hope my colleagues will take a look at the new sunshine provisions because the american people are not going to be in the dark about what's in the trade agreement before anybody votes often votes on that agreement here in the senate and the house. and i hope my colleagues will especially look at the new provisions with respect to labor rights and environmental rights, because the day is over, mr. president, when those considerations are going to be shunted to the side. they're going tock front and -- they're going to be front and strrks and they're going to have teeth. the and i steadand instead of a race to the bottom the united states will be where we've always been, at our best, forcing standards up. i note the chairman is here and
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i will yield the floor. mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i want to personally thank the distinguished senator from oregon for the work that he's done on this i will about. -- on this bill. and it couldn't have been done without him and the number of other people on his side have been very contributory and helpful. we're not there yet but we're going to work at it. and i just have to say how much i have enjoyed working with him on the floor so far and i think we can -- i just hope that everything will go smoothly so we can get this bill up and out and get the president what he needs to conclude these negotiations and especially our trade representative. mr. fro minute has done a very -- mr. fromin has done a very good job.
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we'll all have an opportunity to look at it. mr. president, let me ask that my following remarks be placed in the appropriate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: right before the vote on our utah judge jill parish. i was pleased to hear that the senate would soon be voting to confirm justice jill parrish's nomination to the district court court. judge parrish is well-prepared to fill this vacancy and expect my colleagues on both sides will support her nomination. justice parrish is a well-known and highly regarded leader in the utah legal community who has served with honor and distinction on the supreme court of utah. her sharp legal mind, breadth of experience and impressive judicial teem prants prepared her to serve on the federal
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bench and i cannot think of a more qualified nominee. i support justice parrish's nomination in the strongest possible terms and i urge my colleagues to do the same. as a former chairman of the judiciary committee i've long worked to secure confirmation for the most qualified judicial nominees. in fact, i have participated in the appointment of three-quarters of the junls who have ever served on the u.s. district court in utah. that experience has given me a sense both personal lands professionally of the kind of individual who will serve well on the federal bench. that experience gives me every reason to strongly recommend justice parrish. she is a talented jurist with an impressive background. after graduating from yale law school she distinguished herself in private practice before appointment to the utah supreme court in her 30-year service. she is has established a record of excellence, both before and
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behind the bench in both state and federal courts. in both the private and public sector and in both trial and appellate courts. the american bar association unanimously gave justice parris its highest "well-qualified" rating a distinction only awarded to experienced nominees with the most remarkable ability and the highest reputation for integrity. nominees who receive the well-qualified rating are also known for their breadth of experience their success in the legal community and capacity for judicial temperament. not only does she match the a.b.a.'s requirements in every respect, she exceeds them. the united states has the most respected judiciary in the world, and we expect the nominees to otofederal bench to have a record of accomplishment in their chosen area of legal expertise. justice parrish is remarkable in that she has not just one but
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multiple areas of expertise bringing keen judgment to an appointment that requires a broad range of experiences. mr. president, i have ever confidence that justice parrish will serve militiaably just as she has served honorably on the utah supreme court. i might say in supporting her nomination i wish to thank senator lee who is not only my colleague on the judiciary committee but also my partner in representing our great state. and in recommending the best candidates for judicial appointment. we agree that justice par rhode island sh is a well-qualified nominee and strongly recommend her swift and unanimous confirmation. i call on my colleagues to support her confirmation. i know this woman personally. i know her very, very well. all of the qualities i've been speaking about i have personally observed. and i think everybody here knows how important -- how seriously i
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take appointments to the federal bench. and in this particular case -- in this particular case, i feel very very good about this nomination and i ask all my colleagues to vote for her. with that, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. lee: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lee: mr. president, we have the opportunity in a few moments to vote on a friend and colleague, jill parrish who serves currently on the utah supreme court. she's been nominated to serve on the u.s. district court for the district of utah by president obama, replacing federal district judge do benson, with whom i've clerked. and i can think of no one better to replace judge benson than
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justice parrish. she's a friend, dedicated jurist and a dedicated citizen. she's a friend who all who know her. i'm honored to have the opportunity to vote for her today and urge all of my colleagues to do the same. thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nominations, the judiciary, jill n. pair rir risch of utah to be united states district judge. jose rolando olvera to be united states district judge corporation for public broadcasting patricia d. cahill of missouri to be a member of the board of directors. northern border regional commission mark scarano of new hampshire be to federal co-chairperson. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the parrish nomination.
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a senator: ask for the yeas and nays? the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator in the chamber wish to change their vote? if not the ayes are 100 and the nays are zero. the nomination is confirmed. the question occurs on the olvera nomination. there appears to be sufficient for the yeas -- there is. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators who wish to change their vote? hearing none, the final vote is 100 yeas and zero nays. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president i'm sure everybody is interested in the state of play and chairman hatch and senator wyden
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are meeting off the floor to try to identify a path forward. we'd like to get more amendments pending and set some votes for later this evening. i hope we'll have an update from the bill managers here shortly but i want to remind everybody we're going to finish this bill before we leave. we're going to deal with fisa and we're going to deal with highways. there's a path forward if people want to take it that could complete all of this work at a reasonable time probably sometime tomorrow, or we can make it difficult but the end won't change. and so i would just encourage at least some level of cooperation here because we're doing t.p.a., we're doing fisa and we're doing
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highways. i yield the floor. mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the cahill nomination. hearing no further debate, all in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the question occurs on the scarano nomination. hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session.
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mr. grassley: mr. president mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: free trade is very important to the united states of america and also to our future economic prosperity. anyone who does not believe that is in denial. that's my opinion. we live in a global economy and we need to lead on the issue of free trade. we must not make excuses and cower away from the opportunity that's in front of us. trade promotion authority legislation that we are considering is a critical tool for the advancement of our economic interests throughout the world. this legislation is also proof that congress and the administration can work together to increase economic opportunity for all americans all across the
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50 states. chairman hatch and ranking member wyden have worked for months to get us to this point. i commend them for this effort, and i look forward to working with them to finish this process. we know that 80% of the purchasing power in the world is located outside the united states along with 95% of the world's consumers. as the middle class expands in regions such as asia, we have to make sure our businesses and workers have the ability to take advantage of the opportunity that growth presents. some estimates predict the middle class and asia is going to swell from a half a billion people to over three billion people in just the next 15
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years. are we going to sit on the sidelines then while other countries gain preferential access to these billions of new customers? governor brain stead of -- branstead of iowa sent a letter to me this week outlining his support for trade promotion authority. the letter was signed by 74 other iowans who represent businesses and associations that also believe it is critical that congress pass trade promotion authority. the letter states, and i have just a short quote -- "quite simply international trade is important to iowa's businesses, workers and farmers. a vote for leveling the playing field in international trade is a vote for iowa." i couldn't agree more with governor branstead on that
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point. last year, u.s. exports equaled $2.35 trillion and supported nearly 12 million jobs. can any of us imagine our unemployment rate, what it would be without trade supporting those 12 million jobs? in iowa alone 448,000 jobs are dependent on trade according to the u.s. chamber of commerce. and those jobs pay 18% higher on average because they are tied to trade. americans know the benefits of trade and we know that american businesses and workers are some of the most efficient and productive in the world. we just need to make sure that they have the opportunity to succeed. that is why we are considering
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this bill to expand economic opportunities for american businesses and american workers. free trade agreements that lower trade barriers in other countries can do an amazing thing. they can stimulate our economy through exports without requiring additional spending. during testimony before the senate finance committee trade representative froman pointed out that the u.s. is already an open marketplace with tariffs that average just 1.6%, some of the lowest in the world. yet, at the same time, our companies face very high tariffs in other markets. some agricultural products face tariffs up to 400%. machinery can be up to 50%. we cannot let the status quo on
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trade where we have an open marketplace while our businesses face these extremely high tariffs, we cannot let that status quo continue. trade agreements set the stage for long-term opportunities. the citizens of ohio who may benefit the most from more trade with the pacific rim countries are probably very young people maybe still in school, but we can help their future today by passing this legislation. iowa exported $15.1 billion worth in 2014. that represents a 135% increase compared to a decade earlier. $9 billion or 60% of these exports went to the trans-pacific partnership countries under current trade rules.
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so you can easily imagine what is possible just in my state of iowa if we reduce barriers in that region. roughly $3.6 billion worth of machinery assembled by iowa workers alone was exported last year. the goal of this legislation before us is to increase that number of manufactured machinery exports. according to our department of agriculture, fiscal years 2010- 2014 represent the strongest five years of agricultural exports in the history of our country. we exported $675 billion worth of agriculture goods during that five-year period of time. the trans-pacific partnership would create more opportunities for our farmers and ranchers in a region of the world that
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represents 39% of the global g.d.p. you heard me correctly. we have a chance to give our farmers, our ranchers, and our businesses better access to markets that represent over one-third of the global g.d.p. and while i support and believe in the immense benefit of free trade, i also oppose countries tilting the field in their favor through actions like undervaluing their currency. and underdeveloped currency makes export goods cheaper from the country with the cheaper currency and also mawks makes it harder for consumers in that country to purchase foreign goods, including our agricultural products. i support addressing currency manipulation in our trade agreements. i have watched administrations
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of both political parties put their heads in the sand on this issue. everyone opposes currency manipulation, yet little seems to get done about it. this trade promotion authority bill represents the modern realities that we face from the global economy that need to be addressed by our trade negotiators. the bill includes clear negotiating objectives for standards on sanitary and phytosanitary regulations so that they will be science-based. having science-based standards will help limit disruptions to u.s. agricultural exports and even open up some new markets for our producers. negotiating objectives are offered related to digital trade
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in goods and cross-border data flows that are new and unique measures for the time that we now live in. so clear guidance from congress is also given for localization barriers and intellectual property rights. more transparency and consultations are also required of the administration to keep congress informed. this is a good bill that we need to pass so that we can finish the free trade agreements that we have been working on for years. the trans-pacific partnership and other agreements like the trans-atlantic trade and investment partnership known as tttip offer tremendous opportunities for our country and of course for my home state of iowa. throughout the world, there are an estimated 260 preferential
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trade agreements. that's a large number of agreements reached by other countries, but the united states is only involved in 20 of the 260. so this gives us an opportunity to do what we have done so well for a half a century. we must reembrace our role in the world as a competitive economic powerhouse that we are. america is a country that leads. we have a chance to enter into trade agreements that will set new rules and standards for one-third of the global economy. getting trade promotion authority through the congress and completing more free trade agreements in the future will unleash economic prosperity that leads to more jobs, more
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economic growth, and more opportunity for our workers. i will end by asking what our alternative is for future competitiveness. other countries are working on preferred -- preferential agreements. so are we going to sit idly by while other countries enter into strategic agreements, leaving us behind? in the case of china if not our biggest competitor, soon will be should we let china start setting the rules of trade throughout the world? should we allow other countries to continue blocking our agricultural products with nonscientific excuses related to not using sanitary and phyto phytosanitary science-based regulations? should we watch the growing
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middle class in asia -- and there is a vastly growing middle class there -- get their food and products from other countries without our trying to compete for that business? the status quo on trade guarantees us a future with less economic opportunity compared to passing trade promotion authority and new trade agreements. that is why we must pass trade promotion authority and then pass new trade agreements to help ensure america has a brighter economic future. i would suggest the absence of quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah.
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mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, i want to take a few minutes today to talk once again about congress' role in advantaging our nation's trade -- advancing our nation's trade policies, specifically on the increasingly important issues of digital trade and intellectual property rights. the last time congress passed t.p.a. was in 20026789 we fiscal cliff a very ditch world than we did 13 years ago. technology is vastly different. commerce is vastly different. for example in 2002, less than 700 million worldwide people had access to the internet. last year that figure reached nearly 3 billion -- with a "b" -- 3 billion people. in 2002, e-commerce platforms such as amazon and ebay were just beginning to gain widespread use. special media sites and other
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platforms that today drive so much internet traffic and user-generated content sites like facebook, youtube and twitter didn't even exist. in the last 13 years an entirely new economy has developed based on these online platforms. today facebook has around 1.4 billion -- with a "b" -- active use wears approximately 83% living outside of the united states of america. -- and canada. youtube has more than a billion users with local interfaces in 75 countries and compatability with 61 different languages. mobile technology has similarly been transformed since 2002 as the term smartphone has become part of our regular vocabulary. mobile phones were big and
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clunky in 2002 and were not tabooedgoodfor much more than making phone calls. today's smartphones prsm a myriad of functions including streaming video from the internet video calling digital photography and individual yoggraphy and g.p.s. locating, just to mention a few. the growth of the internet and mobile technologies has transformed our economy. the products and services we bind how we buy them. the advances have significantly reduced the cost of moving products and services across borders and boosted productivity in this country and around world. mr. president, digitally traded goods and services are growing and are expected to continue to grow. according to a recent study conducted by the international trade commission, in 2012, the u.s. digitally-intentioned firms
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sold nearly $1 trillion or nearly 6% of our total g.o.p. in goods and services over the internevment about a quarter of those steals sales were small and medium-sized enterprises. mr. president, the people behind these numbers are everyday americans just trying to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. fortunately our t.p.a. bill includes upgraded negotiating objectives that reflect the world in which we now live. to address this new digital economy, our bill for the first time recognizes the growing significance of the internet as a trading platform in international commerce. we would also extensively update and expand the e-commerce directives from the 2002 t.p.a. bill to require u.s. negotiators toento ensure that all trade
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agreement obligations rules disciplines and commitments apply to digital trade. the digitally traded goods and services receive no less favorably treatment than comparable goods and services and that they are classified to ensure the most liberal trade treatment possible. the freeflow of data across borders are critical to facilitating digital trade as it allows u.s. companies to identify market opportunities innovate and develop new goods and services, maintain supply chains and serve their customers around the world. unfortunately, an increasing number of governments are considering or imposing restrictions on cross-border data flows including requirements that u.s. companies store and process data locally. our bill directs u.s. negotiators to ensure our trading partners refrain from such restrictions and
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requirements. it also includes several new and expanded negotiating objectives to address common regulatory issues faced by u.s. companies in the digital economy. for example the bill directs u.s. negotiators to seek greater openness transparency, and convergence of standards development processes, and to encourage the use of international and interoperable standards. mr. president, i would urge any of my colleagues to who oppose this bill to explain how they plan to get american businesses and workers in the digital economy an opportunity to thrive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. they talk about wanting to preserve jobs and protect americans, but existing trade rules were written for a long time since past. mr. president, beyond
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transitioning our country into this increasingly competitive world of technological growth, our t.p.a. bill also takes a bipartisan bicameral approach to improving intellectual property rights protections. protecting intellectual property is critical to the development of the digital economy just as it is critical to overall economic growth. our founding fathers believed intellectual property to be so fundamental to america's future, prosperity that they explicitly granted congress the constitutional authority to protect it. since jefferson's mold board plow and eli whitney's cotton gin, america's intellectual property has spurred on growth and prosperity creating more competitive businesses here, right here in america. intellectual property, be it for mechanical products, software or
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semiconductors creates values for businesses and in turn these businesses create jobs, spur economic growth, and enrich our culture. mr. president, the simple truth is the countries that strengthen intellectual property intellectual property rights enjoy great economic benefits. they attract more investment, technology transfers increased innovation and ultimately more prosperity for their citizens. yet despite these fundamental truths intellectual property protections around the globe are ofnlg fundamentally deteriorated and continually at risk. our economic and strategic competitors are well aware that the u.s. leads the world in noinvation. -- in innovation. all too often they fail to understand why. instead of fostering policies to advance innovation, they seek
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shortcuts to undermine and even steal american intellectual property. the tools they employ are numerous and very sophisticated. some of these tools include nontransparent reimbursement and licensing regimes unfair standard setting and burdensome regulations. all of these mechanisms are designed specifically to pry away some of the most innovative and productive parts of our economy. tearing away the competitive edge our american businesses have worked so hard to create and stunting what could be a much more level playing field. if enacted our bill would represent a significant step forward in strengthening the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights around the world. it calls for robust intellectual property rules building on strong intellectual property standards found in the prior 2002 t.p.a. law.
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this includes requiring that trade agreements meet the same high standards found in u.s. law. our bill also requires countries to fully implement the "trips" agreement, particularly the enforcement obligations. to address the challenges and opportunities created by the digital economy our bill would ensure that right holders are able to keep pace with technological developments by controlling and preventing unauthorized use of their works on-line. mr. president, a growing problem around the world is foreign governments stealing valuable technology from u.s. businesses. this type of trade secret theft threatens to dmin tish u.s. competitiveness -- diminish u.s. competitiveness around the globe, puts american businesses at risk and poses threats to u.s. national security. to address this problem our bill calls for an end to government involvement in intellectual property rights violations including piracy and cyber theft of trade secrets. the bill also ensures that
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governments limit the unnecessary collection of trade secret information and protects any information that they do the collect from disclosure. this is the first time t.p.a. legislation has addressed these issues, these very, very important issues. the bill also requires the elimination of price controls and reference pricing which are used by many countries to deny full market access to innovative pharmaceuticals and medical devices. the bill further includes a new provision to direct the u.s. negotiators to ensure that regulatory reimbursement regimes that make pricing and reimbursement decisions are transparent, provide procedural fairness are nondiscriminatory and provide full market access for innovative pharmaceuticals and medical devices. our bill also calls for the elimination of measures that require u.s. companies to locate their intellectual property a broad as a market access or
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investment condition. finally, this legislation includes an expanded capacity building objective directing the administration to work with u.s. trading partners to strengthen not only their labor laws -- as was provided for in 2002 -- but also their intellectual property rights laws. once again mr. president we live in an economic and technological environment that is very different from the one that existed in 2002. advances in internet and mobile technologies have transformed whole sectors of our economy. our bill positions our country to take advantage of the opportunities and face the challenges presented by the 21st century economy. and that is one of the many reasons why it should pass.hould pass. mr. president, i urge each of my colleagues to work with me to help move this bill forward so we can negotiate strong trade
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agreements that serve today's economy as well as setting the stage for america's next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will the senator withhold his request? mr. hatch: i would be glad to withhold. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i rise this evening to speak about our nation's infrastructure. in just a few days, authorization for our nation's transportation programs will expire r. by august, the -- expire. by august, the highway trust fund will run out of money. our states and citizens will face the consequences of inaction in washington. americans depend on our nation's roads every day as they travel to work bring their children to school and transport goods to consumers.
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transportation infrastructure is an essential component of our daily lives and for the national economy. as such it must be efficiently maintained. but today all across america our highways and bridges languish in disrepair. our citizens are no strangers to potholes, road closures and expect "delay" signs. moreover, as america's population continues to grow expansion projects for our crumbling highways remain caught in bureaucratic red tape. for decades it's been apparent that excessive regulations coupled with inadequate funding and financing have delayed badly needed road projects. mr. president, i have firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing our nation's transportation system. in my home state of nebraska,
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roads and bridges connect vibrant urban communities with our open country. before arriving in the senate i served as chairman of the transportation-telecommunications committee in the nebraska legislature. and while there i spearheaded a bill that eventually became law. what is now known as the federal funds exchange program provides the state of nebraska with the ability to voluntarily exchange federal transportation funding for state transportation financing at 80 cents on the dollar. in exchange for giving up this federal funding counties and cities receive state transportation dollars with more reasonable regulatory requirements. this program has been a great success in my state of nebraska. for example in buffalo county,
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federally exchanged funding made a long-standing bridge replacement possible. a major artillery -- arterial street in south sioux city is up and running because of the program. scotts bluff, a city in the panhandle of nebraska, they're using our state program to conduct important maintenance on city streets. and the program has also enabled adams county to construct several bridges and a large culvert project. despite these accomplishments in nebraska states across the country suffer from very rigid regulatory requirements and a shortage of transportation funding options. our current system is broken. states not only need more options. they need some relief as well. in fact, the congressional research service estimates that
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a lack of flexibility has caused major highway projects to take as many as 14 years to plan and to build. the time has come to bring successful practices in nebraska to washington. for this reason, i have introduced the "build u.s.a. act." this bill will create a new funding structure for state transportation projects. specifically the build u.s.a. act establishes the american infrastructure bank. the bank will allow states to remit federal transportation dollars. states would then be able to receive 90% of this money back and retain control over the environmental construction, and the design aspects of highway projects. this new strategy will infuse
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more dollars into our transportation system and it's going to provide states with greater flexibility so they can build and maintain their roads. the revenues that are generated from state remittance agreements with this bank would also help fund other local infrastructure projects. currently, the federal government only offers large-scale financing options for states seeking core infrastructure funding. so as a result smaller communities are often ineligible to receive federal assistance for their projects while major metropolitan areas they benefit from easier access to financing. under the build u.s.a. act the bank loans would not be subject to a minimum project cost or size. the revenue from these loans could help local governments apply for core infrastructure
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financing at a rate that's going to be more competitive than in the private sector. the build u.s.a. act provides additional funding flexibility for those immediate transportation needs that we see all across this country. and what's more it accomplishes it without raising taxes. under this proposal tr a voluntary -- proposal, a voluntary three-day implementation policy would be generated to generate that seed money for the bank's revolving fund operations. recent estimates by the joint committee on taxation suggests that the first three years of a similar repatriation plan that could raise as much as $30 billion. although some members of congress wish to save these revenues for an overhaul of the tax code most of us do
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acknowledge that tax reform is unlikely to come to fruition in the near future. and meanwhile our nation's transportation needs they're immediate. we better address them now. these dollars should go toward solving problems that our citizens experience every single day. as such, revenues should help provide a long-term solution to highway funding not just a one-time jump-start or shot in the arm as some people have suggested. this proposal is a long-term solution. it's a solution to issues that have plagued our nation's roads for decades. individual states must have the flexibility to address the
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unique needs of their local communities. in order to address the transportation challenges facing our nation we need to have more options available. although this plan does not address the immediate challenges facing the highway trust fund it does represent a way to infuse new money into our nation's transportation system. while it's offering states new solutions to get transportation projects up and running. and, you know, it looks to the future. this is a proposal for the long term. it is time that we start thinking outside the box. it is time to offer nebraska's best practices to help the federal government help itself.
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our nation needs to get moving so i encourage all of my colleagues to look at this proposal, to consider this proposal because it moves us forward into the future. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will receive a message from the house of representatives. the majority secretary: mr. president, a message from
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the house of representatives. the house reading clerk: mr. president? the presiding officer: mr. clerk: i've been directed by the house of representatives that the house has passed h.r. 2065 authorizatio