tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 26, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT
>> i'm afraid so, yes. >> thank you. mr.[laughter] >> mr. harris, welcome to the committee. and it's very good to see you. once again, i think you know quite a few people around the table here: we'll ask you for an opening statement, and you could probably include -- [inaudible] maybe telling us as long as you want why scotland should vote to leave the european union. >> i think for many of the same reasons that the u.k. should
leave, but there are specific scottish reasons. some of which may appeal to individual members of the committee and others which may not. for example, the scottish parliament would inherit some very important new powers. no need for another smith commission, for -- [inaudible] by default automatically new powers, particularly in fishing, agriculture would be automatically devolved on the day we left the e.u. my own view is scottish fishing would be far better done by -- [inaudible] second thing is it would give us the power to -- [inaudible] at the moment an e.u. student has exactly the same right to free tuition as any scottish student. unusually, any university
student from outside the e.u. must pay full tuition fees. if we were able legally to charge e.u. students, we would not only save the 80 million that we're spending at the moment on free tuition, but they would also pay whatever the overseas student level would be. now that was supported not by the mp but by other parties yet european court of justice struck
it down and we don't have it because of our membership in the e.u. another report says alcohol sales through supermarket, we're selling per head 20% more alcohol in scotland than england. whether or not you think that was the right solution is actually not relevant. what is relevant is a mandated of political party introduce its policies in this particular occasion it wasn't allowed to because the i interference by the european court of justice. last, mr. chair, it is the bonus. however much we might want to argue that the payment is scotland or scottish taxpayers contribute as part of e.u. memberships dues, when we're at the e.u., that money is simply not having to be spent. that money will come to the scottish parliament, partly because there is more money available because of the difference between what we're paying and what we get back.
also the ability of the necessity to have money to spend. so for example, agriculture payments that is something that scottish ministers again would be in charge of. and on agriculture, recently saying the government have fallen victim to how complicated agriculture payments are in scotland. they could if we leave the e.u. construct their own way, a much simpler method paying agriculture subsidies. that is power of scottish ministers and should be. >> sticking on the issue, leave case 350 million-pound per week to the scotland's share of 1.5 billion. this is u.k. es rebate there is model i saw at bbc before which come to the committee. support for the private sector. this figure significantly diminishes.
just how realistic is this as a figure? do you accept there is money that comes back to the u.k. which therefore goes back to scotland and all the rebates by the sector and support the treasury? >> i absolutely accept we give some of the money we give to the e.u. is spent in britain. none of that e.u. money is all scottish taxpayers and without our control back in scotland. for instance this year i have a tax bill which i will pay. next year i will get a rebate on that. that doesn't affect what i pay my tax this eyear. the he e.u. repate is similar. it is not a rebate on this year's payment, a rebate paid retrospectively a year later. 350 million pounds a week comes from the office of national statistics pink book. it is not made up. it is quite legitimate to use the gross amount f we want to
have a debate the difference what we pay out and what we get back that is absolutely fine. people should be aware the level of money we're paying for privilege of being in the e.u. is hundreds of millions of pounds a week. >> the u.k. we got a treasury, how confident are you that scotland therefore once that goes to treasury would secure a fair share and spending would really come back? a conservative government making them benevolent of we're spending in scotland. just trust the man from the treasury to insure scotland gets its share? >> i'm not asking anyone to trust the conservative party treasury or other party organizations but we do have the bonnet formula. conservative ministers made quite clear for example, to agriculture which is one of the biggest budget areas, payments
to agriculture would inevitably continue, political reasons as well as cultural. we understand why. if that means public spending increase in england there will be related public spending increase for the bonnet formula. there is in nobody's interest, i totally understand the political dynamic, no one interest in westminster to start a spending war. the fact there will be extra money available. it is question how the extra money will be divvied up. >> we have opening question. i think the case for and debate about the european union can be characterized about trade and sovereignty and immigration but increasingly about immigration. do you recognize as the leave campaign, scotland's requirements are significantly different from the united kingdom and issues we have as it comes to immigration, is possibly enat that abrasion and sluggish population growth
compared to the rest of the u.k.? >> i absolutely recognize that different reality but it is interesting, i was listening to scottish mp on questions and defense of our e.u. membership, i paraphrase, we have skill gaps in the scottish economy. we need to attract people with those skills from the e.u. he is absolutely right. what a pity that would be illegal under the e.u. we can not decide which professions, which qualifications we can attract anyone from the e.u. we must accept anyone from the e.u. irrespective of their qualifications. there is unlimited immigration from the e.u. which we can not control or manage. therefore the u.k. government has to limit immigration from non-e.u. countrieses. if you're a businessman in india who want to get a visa to come to britain it is much more difficult because of the
relationship we have with the e.u. and non-e.u. citizens are being stung particularly badly on this. if you forgive me, chair, i think -- >> don't want try to create therefore the e.u. citizen should be treated as any other citizen from the anywhere in world? the type of model applied to scotland we would have this free movement of populations across the european area and anybody who wishes to come to scotland to live and work would have to go through the same sort of test and checks as people without the e you. speed those up? >> essentially yes. immigration is popular. first of all it is being recognized economically beneficial. secondly, ever since the second world war immigration has been limited and been managed and they have been reassured by consecutive governments that is the case. in fact every single mainstream
party agrees in principle that immigration must be managed and limited. within the e.u. we expand not manage or limit immigration. so what i'm saying is, what has held sway ever since the second world war was the right policy. that that policy has been undermined by our membership in the e.u. and that if you are a dentist or doctor from beijing, you have to wait in line behind a non-skilled worker from poland. that is not helping our skills gap in scotland. >> we saw an example today that prime minister's questions about the scotland who -- european union. what we're observing the u.k. government not particularly acting benevolent towards them and forcing deportation next week. just astounded to think and suggest we would like to treat the rest of people from europe in same sort of manner and how does that assist some. issues we deal with in scotland? we're looking at that gap which is greater than the rest of the
united kingdom we need to quickly close. what you're suggesting we should have further controls on immigration. how can that help the development of scottish economy. >> with respect i think you're looking through the wrong end of the telescope. the reason the u.k. government it has to be strong with non-e.u. citizens because if you have unlimited and unpredicted number of e.u. citizens coming in irrespective of qualifications something has pressure. we can't do anything about the e.u. numbers. we have to put it on non-e.u. numbers coming in. if you could actually have the same numbers applied to everybody you can afford to be realistically more flexible with people of all nationalities. >> can i just say that i never detected in any of the speeches that have been made by nigel fair remember, one of the partners of your exercise to
increase entry from people outside the e.u. i get the impression what this is ail about controlling immigration and immigration to the u.k. has stopped. never have anything from some of your colleagues within the leave campaign, this is all about equalize equalize and encourage without from the e.u. to come to the u.k. >> if you forgive me, nigel forage is the partner of mine of the leave campaign than david cameron is of yours. nigel is in different campaign. i'm the scottish leave, officially recognized campaign. the. >> christine. >> we heard from the fact a lot of people talk about red tape but can't give us tangible examples where it has been issue. can you give us tangible examples where red tape has been concerned? >> yes i can. before i do that, let me put it
in context because i think there has been some concern about u.k. serve servants. that is historical thing, because of the legal system in europe is different from the legal system as it pertains in thetic and scotland and england whereas the continental tradition if something is unregulated it tends to be illegal. in britain regulation only applied if you want to limit excess. so there is a different coined of political and cultural approach to regulation. but i will give you an example. certificate of professional competency, mainly for the college industry, where every few years the drivers have to get a qualification which is e.u. qualification or obligation. now there isn't a pattern on it. once you start the test, you've got your cpc certificate are to the next few years but there is no class of field. the time it takes drivers to
take off to get to sit that test is basically eight hours. that is where the cost -- there is ce which applies to the construction industry. so any company that hopes to bid for local authority contracts or which hopes to apply for permission for projects they must use any product that user must be ce approved. ce mark is quite difficult to get. i have had reports from people in the construction trades that bar to new people coming in from the construction industry. the cpc doesn't guaranty a level of quality or standard. it is just, it is an approved european mark which all of these companies must apply for or else they're not allowed to, to operate. now, i think it is wrong to leave the e.u. because of all these regulation.
that is not what it is b. it is e.u. regulations only should apply to companies that do import or export into a single market. it shouldn't apply to companies that don't. should only apply to one in 20 companies in scotland. we're saying regulation doesn't have to be done on transcontinental basis. it should be done on a national level on appropriate circumstances. >> just to follow, i heard good things said about things like ce market, people do consider a mark of quality and in terms of the the red tape and e.u. rules and gold plating and things and i'm not sure what you said is necessarily an issue with the e.u. rules. is it a way the local government, for example are implementing these rules or making them happen?
>> i think that justifying as valid. the latest gold plating from what i hear over the last five years, i think the coalition made some advances in reducing the level of less of gold plating. not as much in the gold plating but number of e.u. regulations but particularly number of e.u. regulations that apply to companies, and you wonder why does it apply to -- has no import or export relationship with the e.u.? if you're a foreign company outside the e.u. exporting into a single market you must comply of course, absolutely right, with the standards that the e.u. dick tights but that doesn't mean every single other company in america for example, have to comply with the same rules. only companies that export to a single market have to apply them and i think that is just common sense. >> thank you. >> john stevenson.
>> we're all taking interest in opinion polls and the view of the opinion polls that scotland or scottish voters are more in favor of the e.u. than the rest of the united kingdom. would you agree with that? >> we'll see. you know, i think clearly had been a, i think some ways the gap is exaggerated but there is clearly a difference. i'm asked about this a lot. from a personal point of view, not an official scott like leave point of view there is number of reason for that. last 50 years we have debate in constitution in scotland and it has not been about europe, it has been about scottish independence. the certain extent the e.u. debate hasn't really gotten a level attention but i think also importantly the demands for so-called "brexit" have been
seen as a peculiar obsession of the conservative party and in scotland that means it's been, you know isolated, it been cast aside, people not paying too much attention to it because it is not a tory argument. i think there is some validity to that. i think that is a shame. these are issues should have been debated much longer in scotland. that is my view one of the reasons why tory's think it must be good attitude. >> you don't anticipate scotland voting to come out of the rest of united kingdom voting to stay in. >> i'm optimistic kind of person so i still aiming for a majority of scots. that is absolutely my aim, but if you look at you know, most important assuring that s-mp reporters understand the reasons are more likely to be the ones that leave and smp voters i know from personal experience, largest group of voters in
scotland and so, that is something i actually welcome. you can understand why an smp elected members, the chair, you can he see why an smp voter off the chance for new powers for the scottish parliament by default is a big argument, big rally in westminster, you can understand why that is attractive prospect. >> majority of smp members would see much more movement in the opinion polls about leaving quite something to characterize this as conservative issues because conservatives like it, therefore there must be something the scottish people must react against. that is just a fact that the scottish people actually welcome membership of the european union. something we think it is important and something we have enjoyed in the course of the past 30, 40 years. >> there remains to be seen,
chair. economy will dictate how strongly they will feel about and engaged they are in the debate but from my own discussions i've had with fellow labour party members, with neighbors and i don't detect a great deal of knowledge and i don't mean that in con do sending way. i just think it is something become are almost not interested in. its almost fact of life and there on share shoulders rather than enthusiastic. i think, i said this before. i think sport for the e.u. in scotland is very, very wide. i don't think it is very deep. i think one people hear middle of the road, reasonable argument against it is membership i'm confident they will listen to them and act on them. >> i will start with this now. tell me why the leave campaign has no white paper?
it is kind of basic thing people need to be. what the is case for leaving the e.u. a few stories and few remarks one of the benefits. but why isn't a white paper for clearly everyone to see? i think you said 25 years this has been going on. surely plenty of time to produce a white paper, is it not. >> what do you mean 25 years? >> you said they brought the argument 25 years so waiting for vote for 25 years, so surely there should have been a white paper by now. >> john edwards. >> my apologies. >> that's a valid criticism. if you're a member i don't want to address personal grieves grieves personal referendum. the smp did produce a white paper. i actually that did their campaign any good. i think all it did was set up a number of targets for the other
campaign to attack. now, i come into this campaign relatively later stage back in march. i had not been involved in senior levels until march. and i was not involved in any debates about a white paper. there is a lot of advice and information on the vote leave website what would happen after june 23rd if we vote leave in terms of informnal discussions followed by formal negotiations, followed by actual practical effects of leaving and implementation of whatever new agreements were yet i think is is perfectly reasonable criticism to make. i'm not personally convinced it would help the campaign. >> just to have a white paper in scotland or white paper before the public, white paper for the campaign, 2 a 5 to 28%. by the referendum 45% i think it what it was.
surely that is showing it did work. what i'm really astonished in all these years there has been this campaign for "brexit" not a single white paper has been published. i would also like to ask you questions about things you brought at beginning of presentation. scottish students lose out from tuition fees from e.u. isn't other way around when they go to schools within the e.u. they don't have to pay tuition fees. >> that is benefit. >> that i'm not going to be one of those campaigners that say everything with the e.u. is dreadful and everything we're leave something wonderful. i think there are benefits to e.u. and you mentioned one of them but the corollary with that, fewer students sat scottish university than 10 years ago, 5% fewer. i'll give you actual figures but concomitant increase in number of e.u. students. so for example, it is not just in grants and in free tuition we have to treat e.u. students and
scottish students at level playing field. it is on actual applications to university. i think if ira scott applying to scottish university you should be given prefer lendings treatment. that can not happen under e.u. law. the result is fewer scotts are going to university in scotland. they may well be going abroad. that is great for them. i'll be honest i'm more concerned about access to scottish universities. >> why is it the case not a single university in scotland indicated they want to join the leave campaign? every single one of them is joined to the main and one is neutral. >> you're right. i'm not aware of a single organization in receipt of huge amounts e.u. money advocated. >> you so you're saying e.u. does benefit the universities? >> no, i'm saying money we get back from the e.u., once we pay for every single penny of activity and investment that the e.u. nominally gives to any british institution we have a lot of money left over.
we can afford to pay university exactly what they're getting from the e.u. at moment. if you are receiving very large quantities ostensibly from the e.u., there is not very surprising that those academics are going to advocate remain vote. >> much more money available for universities in your scenario but suddenly rushing off to join their campaign. >> presumably they are skeptical as you are, chair. >> talking about the campaign movements there is two, isn't there? there is one craft it out and one is leave. the people's front not to be excused with the people's front. can you tell me what the difference between the two and one is comprehensively already covering the key evidence of the other? >> the two campaigns are, have to be by for real reasons completely separate. so we can't coordinate activities.
they have a separate budget. we have a separate budget. electoral commission would frown quite rightly on any coordination, it would look like a single budget. we don't want that to happen. we need them to be entirely separate from the vote leave campaign. i'm not particularly familiar with them. i've only been involved in this campaign since march. there is a long history to, i think more than just two organizations originally. and there is a long history about why there are separate organizations and personalities involved. i feel quite privileged not ever having been involved in any of those discussions. >> because i understand that liam fox is leaving up the grassroots campaign in scotland talking about that in april. i'm a little bit confused what the difference are between the two. if i'm confused what are the general public perceiving between the two? >> i don't think the public could care less. we're not asking for support for particular campaign.
we're asking support for a leave vote. if the vote leave because someone grassroots spoken to them or i have spoken to them. we don't really care. we want people to vote leave. >> okay. >> john stevenson. sorry -- [inaudible]. >> i just wanted to come back because -- points are cu marked. the mark of the toy being safe. means it is safe for children to have. surely you're not suggesting that unnecessary red tape. >> no, i'm not. let's be honest, outside the e.u. we would still want the safety markings. but that particularly safety marking as it applies to the construction industry are call government contract or, in those circumstances, in the construction industry is not only barrier to entry into the industry but it is actually, it doesn't guarranty any level of
quality at all. you have vote leave campaign is in favor of safety. >> thank you very much. >> the prime minister has said that the leave campaign rather than the u.k. government any sense of the questions about the u.k. will do in the event of a leave vote. what do we do in the event of a leave vote? >> can i preface my answer by pointing out if there is a leave vote on the 23rd of june, every single member of parliament, including everyone around this table, will be full square behind making sure britain get as good deal out of any negotiations. irrespective how feel whether you're disappointed or whether you're angry or whatever, surely anyone in public life right, let's get behind the u.k. negotiating a new deal. and so people should be reassured there is not going to be the leave campaign negotiating. it is going to be the british
government, going to be scottish ministers, going to be i hope talent from across all the societies and civic society and from business however they feel about the result. all working together for the u.k.'s benefit. so that, i just think it is important to say that because people should be reassured that it is not going to be a minority interest. just on that. >> very simple point would you therefore agree every single european government and politician in europe will be doing their absolute best to make sure europe gets absolutely best deal for them in i in negotiations with the u.k. >> i would certainly hope so. good deal for europe would be a good deal for the u.k. on the day we leave the e.u. we become the largest export market for the e.u., however many jobs depend on trade with the u.k. so i mean there is no contradiction there. there is no conflict of interest. what is very good deal for the u.k. would be a very good deal for the e.u.
we are told that the remain cam be e.u. nations are our friends, they want to keep us close and can keep us prosper and that if you leave they will destroy you. i don't think that is single e.u. nation is saying that. once we're out, right to negotiate our own trade deals, which most people are unaware we're not even able to do at the moment. once we can negotiate our own trade deals, there is absolutely no reason, given out close we are in terms of regulation and in terms of the relationships already existing. there is absolutely no reason in the world why the e.u. wouldn't want to trade with us. >> what do you think we do the event we get out? >> number of technical things you have to do first of all, there is certainly no need to immediately resoak our membership in the e.u. right away. negotiations would last as long as they last. we would have to go into the negotiations on a trade deal first of all with the e.u. but
at the same time, we have got the facilities, got resources to start looking at trade deals with other big players like india, china and united states. and there is absolutely no reason -- i was speaking, interestingly i was speaking to the scottish whiskey association who are supporting remain camp and i was asking about the barriers to having a trade deal with india. now the e.u. representing 20 different countries have been trying to negotiate a trade deal with india for nine years we're still not there. scottish whiskey has only 2% of the market. tariffs of 150%. we need a trade deal. when i ask the scott whiskey association what biggest block to a deal was, it was visas for indian citizens to the u.k. now, they're not going to get what they want from the e.u. because they can't. because as long as going back to the immigration issue, as long as we've got unlimited
immigration from the e.u. we can not significantly increase the number of visas we give to non-e.u. countries but can outside the e.u. >> getting back to it suggestion and proposal that the u.k. government will be much more generously and benevolent giving visas to the people in the subcontinent there is no evidence. >> on contrary, chair, historically, given the political and cultural links we had with for example, the subcontinent, there is a reason why europe is the second most -- >> i think max leap of faith that the u.k. will change the immigration out with the e.u. more benevolently and generously. >> it is not about leap of faith. it is about what our vested interests in. >> hold on. >> interrupted the train of thought. just carrying on, with this, jut
out of interest, do you think the present government is actually doing enough with regards to planning for potential leave. >> i don't know what is going on behind closed doors with the secretaries. i imagine that civil service but i couldn't speak to that all, i'm sorry. >> thank you. >> i just want to come back to the scottish whiskey association and look at their position and chief executive said we believe it is important for the united kingdom to remain part of the european union. regulation of the are central to scotch whiskey success. so let us trade across the e.u. simply and easily. just says a little bit about the agreements could be statements and importance of a deep every and freer single market for the e.u. to be more ambitious and free trade international alley.
there so not talk of supporting leave or major criticism of e.u. this is vital to the future of scotch whiskey. >> i did say to the trade i made my comments of scotch whiskey they are unequivocally remaining campaign. i want to make that clear. i'm not having their support for my campaign. i'm pointing out i think a flaw in their strategy for achieving a trade deal with india, i don't think is going to be possible at least on the terms that will benefit us as if the e.u. negotiated on our behalf. to quote david frost, executive of swa, he did say last year actually the membership of the e.u. was not important. what was important was the quality of the product. this is an argument i've been making for a very long time. it is not about trade deals. you know you can trade without a trade deal. it is not about tariffs. it's about the quality of the product. the market will decide whether you have something that it wants
to buy and if we produce things of high quality, the world will buy them. so france, we sell more scotch whiskey than in a month than they sell napoleon brandy in a year. that is because it is a high quality product. we should have confidence in what we produce because people will buy it. >> thank you, chair. i just want to ask before i come on to the main question, i mean the e.u. single market rules are underpinned by a strong core of social rights, especially for workers. so for example, health and safety, temporary agency workers rights, parental leave, paid annual leave, what's included at the moment we actually see the u.k. government is wanting to downgrade human rights. i could go on and mention certainly and cosmetic regulations which i'm sure mr. heart would not be interested in the cost messic regulations.
i certainly am and safety of these products. we'll need to work at the traps atlantic treaty investment partnership as well where the law is not really a subject to e.u. law. that is just some of the benefits being part of the e.u. and having safety laws at the moment. >> first of all i can say the conservative government wishing to downgrade human rights by introducing our bill of rights, that is being done at the moment inside the e.u. the e.u. isn't offering any protection at all to what the government is actually doing. so inside the e.u., that is something that is happening. that is not because, nothing being done about the factories in the remain camp. secondly, if you look at some of the great leaps forward in workers rights in this country, protection against discrimination on grounds of
sex, protection against discrimination on account of race. national minimum wage, maternitity leave of a year, they were all brought in at the u.k. level. first two i mentioned on race and sex discrimination were brought in before we joined the e.u. >> members of the e.u. >> sorry? yes and completely separately but with no influence from the e.u. those were national minimum wage, for example, the government -- >> i don't understand your point. you say they happened as members. e.u. nothing would stop us from doing it as members of the e.u. >> absolutely correct. what i'm saying those advances were made completely outside institutions of e.u. they were made by british politicians elected here, accountable to our electorates. the biggest step forward in workers rights -- >> you don't have any concern british politicians here being sorely, sorely been charged in power when it comes to things like employment rights, things
like human rights, which is currently the decided at european level, we will have to leave it up to westminster. leave it up to conserve government, who don't take most lightened view on these issues. >> attack on human rights, introduction of bill of rights is happening at the moment still within the e.u. and done by politicians who support remain camp. actually yes, i am still a member of the labour party. i was a labour mp a year ago. of course i would rather have a labour government than a conservative government, make no apology for that, but i, you know, let's remember that is conservative government, any government still has to be elected. i am not convinced, people said when the minimum wage came out, i remember perfectly people saying, tourists get back in with the minimum wage. we have living wage. i'm not making defense of conservative government, governments do what they need to
do to get elected. le legislate -- >> isn't european guaranties these basic rights? doesn't the act ensure there will always be benefits of labour government which might do wonderful things or those of conservative government, wouldn't these mechanisms for these workers human rights across the european union we can rely on that, account on that, feature of democratic life? >> i would then ask you trade unionists how they -- >> trade unions. >> how they feel about the little of protection filed against the latest conservative government which is so, i think unpleasant areas to public policy. the european union i don't think has done very much protecting workers rights in that respect. >> you have further questions. >> one more question. you call a strong argument for leave vote on 23rd of june
but previously you said that you pretty much assumed that both would remain with the referendum. when the prime minister come back after his meeting in brussels and presented these deals, to quote you, you said the plus descend it and you changed your mind. what do you think the prime minister's deals fall short? >> we don't have enough time for me to tell you all my problems. >> [inaudible]. >> essentially, i have a particular problem with my own party who constantly will say yes, european union is flawed bus this wrong, that wrong, needs reform from within. what i realize belatedly when david cameron returned with nothing from his negotiations you can't reform it. if a conservative prime minister goes to the e.u., goes to other national leaders and says, look, i need these reforms.
i've got a referendum happening in three months time and britain's second largest contributor might actually leave the e.u., that is important unless you give me these reforms. they come in and say no. if you can't get reform under this circumstance, i promise you will never get reform. >> [inaudible] >> one minute left. >> can i just make the point as a personal representative today, steve hilson made that very point, when asked why the prime minister thought he was going to get a better deal, steve hilton said he genuinely thought the prime minister believed that he would be able to persuade his european partners that because he felt so strongly about this issue they would make concessions. because he didn't win those concessions, to use steve hilton's words, the prime minister and themselves in rather confused position. that is were steve hilton is
very strongly saying we must leave. going back to what you were saying earlier, you were challenging as to whether or not anybody else is saying as our witness is, we need to have control over all migration from across the world. what steve hilton said we have no control on e.u. immigration, we have to clamp down on everything else. in globally-connected world where talent lies everywhere this old-fashioned discrimination is countyter productive economically and culturally, turning away chinese students, indian mathematicians and so on. don't you think it would make more sense we have immigration policy open to the brightest and best from across the world, not just a small part of it? that is not possible within the e.u. doesn't the situation in scotland, which is always outward looking, that scotts would be much more prepared to have open borders with a whole of the rest of the world on the
basis of merit in same way scotts themselves made such a big contribution globally. >> if you could respond briefly. >> of course it comes back to the e.u. referendum. it is about skills. about one thing to attract people with particular skill set which we can do in the trade association. also about whether or not you have confidence in the government to provide the homes, the services, and the skill places for the three million new e.u. citizens expected by 2030. >> very good point. thank you for all these questions today. thank you very much for that. >> thank you very much. >> i thank you for that. [inaudible]
[inaudible conversations]. >> i'm very grateful to both of you for coming along to the session this afternoon. we haven't got much time. hope to rattle through as many questions as possible. no time for any opening statements. the prime minister's renegotiated the relationship with the e.u. and campaigning for the u.k. to remain in reformed e.u.
how would these reforms affect scotland. with we figure from you, first, mr. livingston. >> i think this in terms of how the, how the reforms achieved in february specifically will affect scotland. i think in particular, scotland, like the rest of the u.k., will benefit from the principles that will define the future relationship between those countries in the euro and those that are chosen to remain outside. i think we look to the long term. this was a very important element of the overall renegotiation because, i believe, that economic logic will require our neighbors who have committed themselves to currency union, single monetary policy, single interest rates,
single central banks over time to integrate fiscal economic policies more closely. that in turn will require some mechanism to create political accountability at eurozone level for those decisions. so the test in europe, for the union as a whole is, how to make that possible, and i believe that it is in scotland and u.k.'s interest that the eurozone should be stable, as a currency and not moving from one crisis to another. how you do that while at the same time respecting integrity of a single market of 28 and right of those countries who are outside of the currency need to have ire interests properly respected. principles agreed in february, nondiscrimination on grounds of currency against any company or government. principle that eurozone integration must take place in a
way that does not compromise single market at 28, including financial services at 28. no liability of non-euro countries for bailouts of eurozone countries. to those are really important principles. other thing since our time is limited and i prefer to in the february currency council conclusions, declaration of economic competitiveness and commitment on smarter regulation because those touched on matters that were of particular concern to the scottish government when they put forward their own proposals on european association. >> there is lots of wants which i'm struggling to sort of process. i think what we have now we have the three negotiations, prime minister secured this february. i think 100 people in scotland exactly what the prime minister owe secured and next to none tell you what they were or those sitting around this table here would be hard for anybody to recall exactly what the prime minister secured and negotiated back in february.
there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the renegotiation and it is more about the things sovereignty of a trade and about immigration. >> well i think both trade report issues but i think if i had to sum up the central achievement of february, it was a commitment by all member-states of the european union at head of government level that the future model for development should be one where we all accepted the different levels of integration could be chosen by different e.u. members. that it is no longer a question of perhaps different speeds for a single destination but of a permanent choice by some countries, not to proceed to the degree of political integration or the fiscal, economic, integration other members of the union for their own reasons may
choose to do. >> we tried to identify what the big themes are in scotland. things people are facing when it comes to the breck it. and seems pretty much similar to what is happening in the u.k. sovereignty, less about trade, because the leave campaign are less likely to fashion that. mainly about immigration. it has become a case for immigration. i would like to ask the scottish secretary this question, given this has become such a big theme, do you recognize there is different immigration requirement in scotland than the rest of the u.k.? this is a debate that is possibly not helping as we all consider cases in scotland where people look at the issues involved? >> well i don't recognize a, a chairman, your characterization of the debates in scotland. i think the focus of a, the debate in scotland is really around the economic issues and the economic benefits of
scotland gains from being within the single market. the impact that has on the hundreds of thousands of jobs in scotland affected by membership of the e.u., what likely impact of individual citizens on scotland would be if scotland and britain left the e.u. that's the debate i hear in scotland. obviously i think we all accepted maybe scotland is at a different place because we've had the scottish parliamentary elections which have been the focus of the electorate's attention in scotland the last couple of months but my interpretation of the debate as i see it in scotland is actually focused on those economic, economic issues. >> in your conversations have you noticed the distinctly scotland and leaving e.u. is there anything emerged that scotland is looking at this question that is distinct from the rest of the u.k.?
>> well i think, i wouldn't say a distinct in a number of issues could arise in other parts of the united kingdom but obviously a, as was raised in scottish questions last week, scott whiskey industry is enormously important industry to scotland and scottish whiskey asking have been very, very clear for their industry it is vitally important they remain in the e.u. because of all the trade arrangements, because of all the arrangements in place in relation to labeling, tagging and all these things that are in place that would have to be opened up if britain was to leave the e.u. obviously farming i think, is, an industry which has dis proportionate importance still in scotland compared to other parts of the united kingdom. was very, very clear, you took
evidence yourself farming community in scotland is very clear to the benefits of that industry, which then lead through to the food processing industry. so i think, you know, distinct elements within scotland are necessarily shape our debate. but i'm sure the farming interests in england. there are spirit producers in england. you know who would echo those arguments. >> i'm just wondering, last questions and opening question from me, do we need perhaps different type of conversation in scotland given the experience of the, that you and i are on other sides of ref he ren dumb debate. -- referendum debate and you and are other side of this one. exaggerated claims particularly from the u.k. government, earnings this you and i would remember as scare story and fear. do you think this has, a more negative impact in scotland given experience on the last referendum? is there anything you can do to
caution the minister speaking on behalf of the u.k. government, tone it down a little bit when it comes to more exaggerated claims? >> well, my first point, it is one that, you know i would make again to the first minister, yourself, colleagues in your party, i have the calls for positive campaign. they're usually followed up by a whole range of negative statements about the way the campaign has been run or process or even the impact that it would have on having second independence referendum in scotland. i think those people who are positive about scotland remaining in the e.u. should be out there making a positive case and that is all of us. i think we can all shape the debate in scotland by making a positive case. and i think, you know, it is not enough just to say, make a positive case. you've got to go out and do it. so you recall 10 days ago i
appeared on the question time on a program from aberdeen making a positive case for e.u. person making the case scotland leaving e.u.s was jim stilis the leader of the fn. >> before we move on, things like mentioning war and pest still lens and -- pestilence and economic ruin, things we get from the -- do these things really help? keep us informed and how any of these things, be characterized -- >> i caution the chairman against reading too much into headlines in some of the tabloid newspapers but if you look, for example, at the prime minister's recent speech about the security and policy dimension of our relationship in the e.u. you will find there is a very positive case being made, both for the way in which the e.u. has been able to reconcile
ancient hatreds that did in the past lead to bloodthirsty conflict between the nations of europe but also the prime minister of how the membership of the european union emphasized the united kingdom's own ability to secure our global diplomatic and commercial objectives. there are issues that face us all. instability and poor economic growth in many countries in africa which is one of the key driving forces behind the mass movement of people northwards towards the european continent. not us, not france, not germany can solve that on our own. working methodically together, icing development aid, using diplomatic action, training police and military borders forces in those countries, using trade access agreements to give
people in those countries some hope of a decent living and fulfilling their ambition without having to move we stand a chance over time of managing those challenge. >> thank you. john stevenson. >> thank you. the prime minister recently said there was remarkly little difference between scotland, wales, northern ireland and people support referendum. there is more evidence scotts are more enthusiastic about the e.u. than the rest of the united kingdom. what do you make of that? >> the remarks which i think were end of some questions, mr. bishop agrees with him in committee whether there was demand in scotland for a referendum. the last time that a specific call was taken in scotland, indicated 58% of people in scotland supported there being a referendum on whether scotland remains within the e.u. i think having a referendum on e.u. membership is entirely
consistent with having a referendum upon whether scotland remains within the united kingdom which obviously we did in 2014. i think people in scotland just as people across the united kingdom will be able to have their say in the debate. clearly i support scotland and britain remaining in the e.u. we have to acknowledge there are people in scotland that will vote to leave. i don't think it is right to characterize people supported to the leaving e.u. in scotland as number that voted for him in scotland elections. i expect scotland to vote and i expect the united kingdom to vote to remain in the e. >> you. >> you don't see significance of voight in the scotland significantly higher than others in the united kingdom of support? >> we had number of debates
obviously as the e.u. referendum bill was passed but this is u.k.-wide vote. everybody's vote counts the same and the result will be determined on the u.k.-wide vote. >> i'm just very conscious of the time. hope to get as many questions as possible. if i could ask colleagues to ask question and -- [inaudible]. >> i speak to you on the prime minister said a vote to leave the e.u. could lead to the disintegration of the united kingdom. so the sense that the u.k. government accept ad vote to leave the e.u. would means there would be a second independence referendum in scotland and that is what did the prime minister mean by that statement? >> i think, i certainly don't believe that a, the prime minister meant or, would wish to
indicate, and i concernly would not wish to indicate that the e.u. referendum had anything to do with the scottish independence referendum. we had scottish independence referendum. people skied he hadly voted to remain in the united kingdom. this referendum is not about the scottish independence. it is vote whether it is bet for scotland and britain to remain in the e.u. what the prime minister was clearly indicating if britain does vote to leave the e.u., there will be a a pretty can chaotic situation within the country as we adjust to the changes that would bring about and likely lengthy period that would take to negotiate a new set, a new settlement of what every kind of relationship that we were going to have with a remaining e.u. >> can can i say i'm not exactly sure that was the prime minister
was intending after listening to comments carefully. can i ask you, is there no possibility, even a likelihood that scotland will vote to remain within the european union, as every opinion poll is indicating and suggesting that, we have opinion polls some seem to be 50, 50, some for, some against, the possibility scotland would be pulled out of national collective will given the remaining in rest of the u.k., what would be the u.k. government's message to the people of scotland and in that scenario. are we doing going to shrug our shoulders. that smart of being in the u.k..
the debate around the independence referendum. i think all the many occasions who favored scotland leaving the uk arguing the eu referendum and there was a potential for scotland and britain to leave the eu and that referenda. i think the issue has been -- >> my message to people in scotland, and i would hope it was s&p's message was come out and remain. but you've got to follow through. between the uk with 1.5 billion people voting snp, the scallop parliament election when
1 million people voted snp, so i think your energy should be out there getting people out to vote to remain in the eu if that's what you really believe in. >> can't i say to you, the support for the remain, all opinion polls is a difficult higher than a whole of the united kingdom. >> votes and polls a number of people who turn out to vote in election two quite different things. those of us of what's going to bring in the eu, our effort is to get people out to the polls to cast these votes so we get up vote across the united kingdom. >> i think i've asked you the ts got us questions will ask you again here today. in scotland is a drive out of the european union against its collective will, what will the uk government do in response? >> a message from the uk government is this was a uk wide a font which was to come across the uk. i think it's very interesting to
note the polls, we're talking about polls which indicated very clear that the majority of people in scotland, if scotland was to leave, would've vote to leave you can be the scotland have remained in the eu would not favor a second independence referendum. i think that is, that was very, very clear. >> a few hands have gone up. >> just a very quick question. in terms of encouraging people to vote, the best way is to make it relevant to the. so can you tell us the tangible benefits to individuals and families in scotland of remain in the uk, the eu? >> i can so relate to this. the latter is, employment or the are hundreds of thousands of people in scotland who have come for any job because of the opportunities for scotland
within the eu. the opportunity for scots to move around the eu, to secure employment in other parts of the eu. the opportunity to pay lower prices within the shops and within household bills than would otherwise be the case. i think these economic arguments are the ones that are the strongest, but i also believe we are safer, that we are more secure, that we have more influence as part of the eu. i think that the eu in scotland has been positive for our remote island communities. for example, i delivered on the specifics of there. so i think people's lives generally in scotland have been enhanced by being part of the eu. i don't come on the other hand, except to set out that i think it would be less so because it
is negative campaign, and it's important we do set out to people -- >> we are grateful. >> and i just have? let me just give a list of some of those games. scottish people, when they travel to any other country in the eu, will be able to have very low mobile phone data charges. those charges will be phased out entirely within the next year or so. if you are running a financial services company in edinburgh or aberdeen or glasgow, your company has a passport to operate anywhere in india the 28 european countries, employing people, making love work back in scotland. you can fly from a scottish airport inexpensively to all
parts of the european union because a common system of aviation regulation across europe, single european skies, and swept away the old national restrictive practices and protected national flag carriers that kept the european airfares at prohibitive levels in the past. if you are a lorry driver in scotland or you on a road haulage business you could drive from aberdeen to athens with just a single set of paperwork to cover your driver and your consign without any extra customs or inspections anywhere along the way. if you're producing food or drink in scotland, the scottish cup the uk, also for the european and other standards can be sold freely anywhere around the european union. and, of course, scots can travel your they can take work. they can study at universities
or colleges anywhere else in the european union on the same basis as the citizens of those other eu countries. so a real positive. >> thank you for that. christopher choke. >> to win a i could address this to suggest it for scotland, so when the prime minister said, so let me just say this about scotland, you don't renew your country by taking a decision that could ultimately lead to its disintegration, that's what he said on the ninth of may, in a prepared speech. was that negative campaigning, scaremongering or what was a? it doesn't fit in with the interpretation. >> i think you would be clear from some of those remarks and some of the things that are said within scotland, that there's no doubt some people would attempt to use a vote by the uk to leave
the eu as an opportunity to put extra effort into a campaign for a difference of scotland from the rest of the united kingdom spent so scaremongering. because you already said they wouldn't succeed in that. by reminding the people of england and the rest of united kingdom that prime minister wasn't scaremongering, wasn't he? did you agree this should be a fair and free referendum? if you believe that, why do you think it is acceptable that at this session of our committee we are not able to have evidence from the united kingdom minister on the very important issue of fishing. were not able to have evidence of united kingdom justice secretary, because both those members of the government happen to take a different view and support the leaf camping. is not unfair that they are not
allowed to give evidence to this committee because of the steps they're taking? >> my understanding, both of those ministers have set out clearly their views. if you wish to know what their views are you would be able to clearly understand the. but i think you do, would accept that there is a uk government position in relation to this referendum. and in terms of setting off a position that's the role of uk ministers who are not for leaving the eu. that is the basis on which it was agreed, that members of the cabinet and other members would still be able to remain members of the cabinet and a minister whilst making the case against the position that the government has adopted. so i don't deny that these are somewhat unusual circumstances,
but i think when the process began and prime minister made clear the modus operandi for ministers who did not accept the government position, i think everyone did understand where we stood. i think it would be unlikely that the ministers offering a different position with the giving a few as part of the government. >> i mean today, i you may not have had the chance to be president, that the former advisor to the prime minister was making a speech, basically saying that all conservative modernizers should be supporting the leave campaign because that was where the optimistic future decentralized, devolved and global lay. i don't know whether you regard yourself as a conservative modernizers. i'm waiting for you -- as result of what has happened or i can ask you this?
the chancellor has said the financial transactions tax may apply to united kingdom, extraterritorially from those countries which wish to introduce big he said he will fight that in the european court courts of justice. but in the same way as the european court of justice ruled against the scottish government in relation to minimum alcohol pricing, the european court of justice would do exactly the same on financial transactions tax, and then which of the scottish financial affairs industry. >> well, on the first point, you know, i've always had a high regard for mr. hilton but i think he was someone who always to be the of producing a number of ideas, some of which would be accepted and some which wouldn't. so i prepared to look at these and statements and take different views a different statements he's made. i don't agree with this
statement that he's made today. i do think that if you aren't a member of a larger organization, those organizations have rules and, indeed, a legal framework, and you have to accept, you have to accept the judgments that come from that. you can't, within that environment, have always your own way and get the judgment that you would want. but likewise i don't accept that if britain was out with the eu we would just be able to do everything that we wanted. of course we would still be validated by the realities of the international community. >> we've only got two much for so left side like to get to the questions. speed very quickly. a supplementary question and most people back home are watching. tell me, it seems every party in
the cancer fairly strong position when it comes to conservatives, both south and north of the border. some of which are brand-new to scotland. when you talk about the uk position, how do you include or exclude the 141 that are not going to be supporting down here and down in the north because i don't think that you're going to argue that every single person in scotland supports -- >> the political party members. >> you mentioned scottish parliament. i think would be completely come it would demonstrate the scottish bar that is not in touch with people of scotland if every single member of the scottish market was a bit of scotland remaining in the eu. that would not be reflected of public opinion in scotland. i expected there to be a decisive vote in scotland to remain in the eu, but i'm not pretending that every single person in scotland is supporting remain in the eu.
i know one person in the shape of june show is is not. the report in the sun newspaper today it was going to be an snp group for brexit. >> but my point is -- >> public opinion is reflected in the scottish parliament, i have enormous faith in the people of scotland and the people of the united kingdom. the people of scotland being so i consider to be the biggest decision in our lifetime by voting for me in the united kingdom. i trusted him with the decision. if they voted to leave, i would have respected that decision. i trust and respect the people of united kingdom to make this choice. >> so my point being is, do you not agree that the elected members of the conservative party are ill-defined over this very issue? >> i think that when we see the results in the eu referendum, a lot of people will vote remain in the eu, hopefully a large majority, and a large number of people go to leave the eu.
it's quite right that the views are reflected in parliament. we've said it's not for mps to decide. it's not for the prime minister. it's not for me. the people of united kingdom will decide, then we will respect that result and move forward spent i full fully appre that they keep on him to make make your is uk government's official position -- the point is from a public perception, the parties is divided over this issue and is very difficult to get a clear message to remain within the eu. >> my colleagues who are in favor of remaining in the you, part of the remain campaign, we are part of, colleagues who are part of the leave campaign want, wanted to leave. it's as simple as that.
do have knowledge people want to leave the eu? yes. they are. are the people who want to stay? yes, there are. if they will decide whether britain rebates into you. the people of the united kingdom will decide. >> this is a very much a tory referendum. i think someone said, sorry for joining here, it's like two people fighting over -- this is how it is perceived. i'm sorry about that. you brought this referendum. tory party -- it seems like you are putting scotland to the very brink of getting hold against a row. how do we make it much more about what's going on in the conservative party? how do you achieve this? there was no desire and i know there is a public opinion poll again, but they were forgive apart is the one to have an eu referendum and you are part of
the manifesto commitment and everybody else returned to the basis of the north. >> i am very happy to take your advice in such matters to obviously we had two referendums in the last parliament, one to change the voting system to 80 and one for scotland to leave the united kingdom. i think snp was on the losing side of both of those referendums. but what happened in the 2011, the 2011 election with the snp supported adoption, people of scotland rejected it but still voted for snp majority coming. so i think that shows how savvy the scottish public or. they can separate out these issues. they can separate out where they stand on the issue of scotland remaining in the eu. but if you what scotland remain in the eu, be positive about it. i haven't heard a single positive, i haven't heard a single positive thing from you, mr. richard a pitiful session.
>> i'm asking -- >> you would be positive as well. your party be positive, the first minister because it held all achieve our common objective of scotland and the uk remain in the eu. >> on a relative newcomer mr. chote does represent a significant number of people on the subject of european come in scotland as well as you can as well. we can't ignore that reality. those aren't used by chip at it is a position many people do hold. i think, toward your question directly, chairman, i would say go out and say first of all how people in scotland benefit from the free trade single market in the european union, how people in scotland benefit from the leverage in global trade of 500 million people. scottish businesses benefiting greatly from the korea free trade deal negotiated in 2010.
tell the people in scotland of uk shape the eu and the global position on climate change. tell them how eu membership makes scott safer because we can opt into the european a west -- arrest warrant and share police force across europe and tell them how it has magnified our diplomatic reach globally. brought i rented negotiating table over the nuclear program, and enabled piracy in the indian ocean that was a fearsome menace to be weakened in all sorts. >> i think we need the chancellor to give that dyer of positiveness. >> we rarely see it. >> in the uk does leave the eu, there will be significant changes to the powers of the scottish parliament. as it is a policy controlled by the eu within the agriculture,
to name a few. have you learned how brexit would affect scotland demolition settlement? >> we haven't made, as has been indicated, on a number of occasions, a contingency plan for brexit because that is not the uk government's position to the uk government position is to argue scotland, and the rest of britain remain in the eu. obviously, the point you may do so is evident that they could be significant changes for the scottish parliament as well as the rest of the uk, if there was a vote to leave. >> it would be a huge amount of uncertainty. to take one of those issues, fisheries, it is open up the cases against the uk left the european union they would be instant control by uk authorities over uk waters. we would still be subject to
united nations conventions governing fish stocks and national maritime frontiers. the uk would have to plan to negotiate rights of access to third country waters, which our fleets fish in but which ago had been negotiating to eu wide agreements with those countries. and we would also to do with the issue of, many cases, long-standing reciprocal rights of access by our fishermen to other european countries waters and there's two elements of our waters. and yes, it is right that under the terms of the scotland act, the operations of such a regime within large i think fall to the devolved administration. but they would be massive uncertainty, which i fear we drag her over a period of years. >> you are responsible for this. you brought this referendum and
50 are taken out, this conservative government will have delivered that and to the protected state said there is no contingency, i think that people will find out that a polling. most of the decisions, you will -- as a form of the scottish parliament, as proved by the eu and subject to eu law, are you seeing there is nothing plenty of scotland is taking out of the european union? >> i'm surprised given that the snp to play a significant part in the first debate on the eu that you of not heard that stated before, because that's pleased that position. the position is the uk government are arguing for scotland and britain to remain in. he has made it clear that a vast number of areas everything would have to be been subject to negotiation. i think that you under colleagues for example, would want to echo the points that
mr. livingstone made in the complexities of fishing across the you because what i was in aberdeen for the program is a large number of people in that audience who were from the fishing communities who are wanting to vote to leave the eu. because they believed it would make this change, but clearly it wouldn't. >> i really, really grateful to you. this could go on for another half hour and i think we've all enjoyed this session. as i said, i would like to see more of the ministers. rudderless anyone has pressing questions we have to get set up for scottish parliament but we are grateful to bring you two coming around and answering the questions. thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> today another hearing on increased wait times at tsa airport security checkpoints.
a house homeland security subcommittee whether from representatives of airports most of them impacted. you can see their testimony live at 9 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> dr. tom frieden, direct of the centers for disease control and prevention, discusses the zika virus outbreak today at the national press club. you can see his remarks live at 1 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> this sunday night on q&a, u.s. senate historian talks about various events in senate history and/or her office does. >> i came in june of 1998 as a newly minted senate historian. my colleague dick baker and don ritchie said to me it's going to be nice and quite. we have an election coming up. you have lots of time to settle in and get comfortable danger job.
within a few weeks the house i decided to impeach bill clinton and we got very busy very quickly. and had a good deal of research on impeachment trials. we did not have a presidential impeachment since 1868, and the senate leaders at the time that lott and tom daschle really wanted to follow historical precedent as much as they could. >> sunday night at eight eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> this memorial day weekend booktv features three days of nonfiction books and authors. here are some programs to watch for.
about the time he captured atlanta, his thoughts on the matter but slowly matured. once again a rebel army had been defeated and another major city had fallen, and still the confederates would not give up. so rather than continue the futile war against people, he would not wage war against property. >> georgia historical society president on union general william tecumseh sherman argument that sherman's march was hard war rather than total war, that his targets were carefully selected to diminish southern resolve sunday evening at six on american artifacts, take a tour with mitch mcconnell, doing some of the oldest rooms of the capital like the republican leaders sweet, conference room and his private office. >> and i the good fortune to actually begin on august 28, 1963, when martin luther king made "i have a dream" speech. i confess i could hear a word as i was down at this end of the mall. he was on the lincoln memorial looking out at throngs,
literally thousands and thousands of people. if you knew you were in the presence of something really significant. >> then at eight on the presidency, former aide to lyndon johnson and richard nixon talk about the role of the president during the vietnam e era. >> lbj languish about the war every single day. a daily body counts, the calls either to or from situation room often at two or 3:00 in the morning to see if the carrier pilots had returned. >> historian h. w. brands is joined by former lbj aide tom johnson and former nixon aide alexander butterfield to explore the president's foreign policies during the conflict. monday afternoon at 1 p.m. eastern on we'll america our five part series on the 1975 church committee hearings convened to investigate the
intelligence activities of the cia, fbi, irs and the nsa with testimony from director william colby, the fbi's jame james ada, nsa director-general alan fbi informant, and others. >> we are here to review the major funder of our full of fbi domestic intelligence including the colin kahl program and other programs aimed at domestic targets. fbi surveillance of law-abiding citizens and groups, political abuses of fbi intelligence, and several specific cases of unjustified intelligence operations. >> for the complete american history tv weekend schedule go to c-span.org you. spent the u.s. senate continues debate on the defensive programs and policy bill. it authorizes $602 billion for the pentagon in fiscal year 2017. the bill would require women to register for the draft, and
continues the prohibition on transferring guantánamo bay detainees to the u.s. but the bill allows the pentagon to design a new military prison in the u.s. that could potentially want a house guantánamo bay detainees. the senate has a procedural vote on the defense bill at 6 p.m. eastern today. this is live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by dr. benny tate, senior pastor at rock creek church in milner, georgia. the guest chaplain: let us pray. our most kind gracious heavenly father, as we bow our heads and hearts before you, we come with a grateful heart.
i lift this esteemed body of individuals to your care and blessing. my prayer is that you will illuminate their understanding because, as ben franklin reminded us, you are the father of lights. i pray every member would follow the direction of president abe lincoln and be driven to their knees with an overwhelming conviction they had nowhere else to go. god, give our leaders direction and guidance. i ask you to unify the hearts of the men and women serving in this body, for unity is where you commanded the blessing. may every member remember the goal is more important than any role and our lord teaches us that the greatest is the one who serves, and anyone can be great because anyone can serve.
we pray this prayer, respecting all faiths, but we pray this prayer in the name of our lord and savior jesus christ. until you come, we pray. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: i want to take a moment to recognize dr. benny tate of rock spring church in milliner, georgia, for being here and delivering this morning's prayer. benny is my personal pastor, my dear friend and inspiration for both my wife and myself. he offered us constant prayer and support as i entered this political journey and continues to do so today. before i was sworn into the united states senate, we joined benny on a personal mission trip to haiti. it was a life-changing trip, mr. president. we went to a community that had been stricken by the earthquake in 2010. we saw kids who were still sleeping and eating on the ground in tents. yet we saw hope, and that is hope i will carry with me the rest of my life because of this man, benny tate. so thank you, brother benny, for your faith, your life, and your service. we're all honored to have you here today. with that, mr. president, i yield back. thank you.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: here's the headline too many kentuckians had to wake up to this morning -- "health insurance rate hike request averaged 17%" in my home state. the story noted that these double-digit premium increases continue a national trend of hefty hikes as insurers adapt to the market reshaped by president obama's signature health care law. in other words, more unaffordable premium increases, thanks to obamacare. it was unfortunate to hear some of obamacare's defenders try to pretend otherwise and blame these rates on something like uncertainty over connects future. as the story notes, the only company that will offer plans statewide on the exchange next year said the requested rate increase has nothing to do with
the end of connect. yesterday i shared stories from kentuckians who continue to suffer under this law. thanks to what we learned last night, i'm afraid we'll be hearing even more. obamacare's defenders need to own up to what their partisan law is doing to the middle class and not waste another moment trying to deflect attention elsewhere. they need to work with us to relieve the pain of obamacare and start over with real care. now, on another matter entirely, the men and women who sign up to defend our nation don't ask for much, but our nation certainly asks a lot of them. they sacrifice on our behalf every day. they deserve the kind of support that the national defense authorization act before us can provide. it will honor commitments to veterans, service members and
their families. it will authorize raises, support wounded warriors and improve military benefits and health care. we need to pass it. the democratic leader needs to stop preventing us from doing so. yesterday, in his opening remarks, he claimed he was holding the bill up because he hasn't had a chance to read it. he then talked about a new book he's reading. today in his opening remarks, he will surely make more excuses for democrats not to do their jobs. then head to a press conference titled "do your job." you can't make this stuff up, but it's not funny. look, we get it. democrats want to run tv ads claiming the senate can't get anything done. they know that's a really tough sell. they know the only chance to make it work is by slow-walking even bills they actually support. but democrats don't actually want to be on record opposing
our troops before memorial day, so they support the bill in public, then bog it down in private and cover with one embarrassing excuse after the next. we haven't read it. it was written in secret. the dog ate it. it's just embarrassing. as the chairman of the armed services committee said, we need to move forward on this legislation, and we need to move forward with it now. for the sake of our men and women who are serving and defending this nation and putting their lives on the line. he's right. so here's an idea. how about democrats skip talking about doing their jobs at a press conference and actually do their jobs instead? they can follow the lead of this republican leag, a majority that continues to do its job and show how important things can be accomplished for the american people as a result. so no more needless delays, no
more embarrassing excuses, no more blocking benefits for the men and women of our military. let's work together to get this done. we've already seen what's possible in the republican-led senate when we do. so much has changed since the american people elected a new republican majority to get the senate back to work. americans told us to break through the gridlock, get the senate focused on real solutions again. we have and we are. this doesn't mean our colleagues across the aisle will always cooperate. we have certainly seen an unfortunate example of that this particular week, but what's clear is how the underlying fundamentals have changed. committees are now functioning. legislative processes are now working. we now continue to get important things done for the people who sent us here. it all started with a simple philosophy -- give senators and the people they represent more of a say in the legislative
process, and they will take more of a stake in the legislative outcome, regardless of party. so we did. and the results have been encouraging. this is how we have been able to transform gridlock into progress and dysfunction into solutions. to give you an example of what i mean, we recently took as many amendment roll call votes on one bill, the energy policy modernization act, as the senate took in all, all of 2014. under the previous majority. it's remarkable how far we've come in such a short time. consider what we were able to achieve for our constituents in 2015 alone. some said congress could never break old traditions of short-term fixes and patches and punts, but we repeatedly proved them wrong with meaningful and substantial reforms instead. that's certainly true of the new education reform law we passed.
it replaced no child left behind with the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a century. it's a hugely changing reform that has a notable conservative achievement. the same can be said of the decisive action we took to enact permanent tax relief for families and small businesses or to bring an end to a job-killing energy embargo from the 1970's, or to place on obama's desk a bill that would finally end obamacare's cycle of broken promises and pain for the middle class. we secured pay raises for our troops, help for our veterans and hope for the victims of human trafficking. we passed a landmark cybersecurity law that will help safeguard americans' personal information. we achieved the most significant transportation solution in years, one that will finally allow us to rebuild roads, bridges and crumbling infrastructure without raising taxes by a penny.
we got a lot done for the american people in 2015. we're continuing to get a lot done for the american people in 2016. in just a few months, the republican-led senate has passed legislation providing real solutions on a range of issues. addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that's ravaging our country with critical comprehensive legislation. modernizing america's energy with the first broad energy bill since the bush administration. improving airport security and consumer protections with the most pro-passenger, pro-security f.a.a. reauthorization in years. deterring north korea's growing aggression with comprehensive sanctions. keeping the internet open and accessible by permanently banning government from taxing your access to the internet. supporting american manufacturing by reducing tariffs that make it harder for american businesses to compete and to grow. defending american innovation
and entrepreneurship with protections against the theft of intellectual property. and just this week, combating sexual assault and human trafficking with new protections for victims and enhanced tools for law enforcement. now, these are just some of the things we have been able to accomplish the past few months alone, but we're not finished. none of this would have been possible without functioning committees and capable leaders to guide them. those chairs often choose to focus on ideas where republicans and democrats can agree, not just where the two parties disagree, and we've gotten some really important legislation passed as a result. we've seen some truly notable anecdotes, too, like the fact that the finance committee has approved more bills to date in the 114th congress than any single congress since 1980, like the fact that we got the appropriations process started this year at the earliest point in modern budgeting era. in other words, in about 40
years. like the fact that we passed the first of these three appropriation bills at the earliest point in modern -- in the modern budgeting era as well. it's good to see the appropriations process finally getting back on track after so many years of disfunction. it's incredibly important for the senate. it's definitely healthy for the democratic process, and it will certainly allow us to address a variety of funding issues in a more thoughtful and deliberative way. take zika, for instance. combating the spread of the zika virus has been a priority for both parties, so republicans and democrats deliberated and forged a compromise in committee, senators debated that compromise out here on the floor and voted to pass it. now members of the senate and the house are preparing the process of going to conference so we can get this measure down to the president. this is how you get good legislation to the president. that is what is known as doing your job around here.
of course it won't be easy to get the appropriations process back on track completely after so many years of dysfunction, but we're committed to doing all we can. we're clearly -- we have clearly demonstrated strong and steady progress already, and that's something that benefits both parties. it means more members get a say. it means more scrutiny is brought to bear on the funds that are spent. it means more regular order and a senate that functions even better for everyone. so i'm proud of all we have accomplished in such a short time. we have put the senate back to work. we continue to get our jobs done, and that's allowed us to pass important legislation for the american people who, after all, sent us all here. i thank the senators from both sides who have worked with us to restore this chamber to a place of higher purpose. i know there is more we can accomplish together, so let's keep working to ensure that we do.
mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: it's not necessary to go into great detail about the past but it's important to talk about the past. so we understand what's going on now and what the future holds. the biggest change coming from the republican minority is the -- i'm sorry, the biggest change coming from the republican majority is what the democratic minority has done. we've cooperated. we are not in the business of filibustering everything. during the first six years of the obama administration, the republicans initiated more than 600 filibusters. they filibustered everything, everything. the energy bill, as an example. we tried to do that for five years. each time we tried, we were brought -- it was brought to a
standstill by the republicans. now, we have a republican bill that we worked on. it's the same bill that we did with senator shaheen in the past with some additions to it. but what's happened to that now? it's gone to the dark hole in the house. they stripped everything out of it that we've done. it's gone. we did our utmost to cooperate. for my friend to talk about this republican senate that has done so much, he would have tremendous difficulty finding any one thing that we didn't try to do, any one thing. i talked about energy. it doesn't matter what it is. it was filibustered. i repeat, more than 600 times. the record will never be broken, i hope, because it has been a real detriment to our country, to the function of the united states senate. for my friend to come here and
talk about how great the senate is really absurd -- senate is is really absurd, absurd. i don't know if he's taking the pages from donald trump. you say enough stuff that's wrong, people say well, maybe it's not so bad. this republican senate is a do nothing senate. he talked about opioid legislation. there isn't anyone, not anyone, the centers for the disease control, any of the public health agencies around the country that think what happened here in the senate helped them. why? because there's no money. they shuffled things around. there's no money. opioid legislation needs money and they have refused to fund that. it has been i don't know how long but at least four months since the people in flint, michigan, came to the realization that they'd been
poisoned. their children had been poisoned with lead. we tried so many different ways to get the republicans to help that beleaguered city but no, not a chance. the people of flint, michigan, are still drinking and bathing with bottled water. the children are still suffering the awfulness of lead. it's so detrimental to little brains. the zika virus, he talks about the zika virus. how sad that he would think that giving no money to this program is a good deal. i'll talk about that in a little more detail, but the zika virus is extremely serious. could affect as many as 39 of our united states. no money. there is no money, and the president said and i say in a minute and i will say right now, we should not go in recess while
there's no money for zika the way things are now set up under his great plan. the disifersz will be fund -- the zika virus will be funded sometime this fall. the mosquitoes will be dead or gone home, wherever that home is by that time, and the american people will be infected. there was a mistake made by his staff dealing with renewable tax credits, which is so important to the presiding officer's state and other states. and there has been efforts made to correct that mistake. it hasn't been done yet. the house of representatives led by the republicans can't pass a simple budget. it's -- this great senate he talks about over here couldn't pass a budget. we don't have a budget. we have no district court
nominations. we have emergencies all over the country because too many people want to litigate and there are no judges to do that. no, they're not going to move on judges because barrack obama is an illegitimate president. and they created donald trump. what's happened the last seven and a half years, the republicans are opposing anything that president obama tried to do. they created donald trump. and they're not only failing us on district court nominations, sir kit -- circuit court nominations, we have a supreme court that's bare. we don't have a full complement of the supreme court justices. for my friend to stay here and say we're doing our job is absurd, absurd. so on the defense authorization bill, he wants to talk about that again, we'll be happy to do that. here is a quote from mitch
mcconnell. "that is basically what today's vote on the defense authorization bill is all about. the defense authorization bill requires four to five weeks to debate. ". that's what he said. now he's changing his tune. i'm not saying it's going to take four, five weeks but this bill with almost 2,000 pages to which we received the night before last at 5:00, shouldn't members and their staff be able to read these 2,000 pages before we dive into litigating and offering amendments? and i say again, the chairman of the committee, the senior senator from arizona has said, i'm going to violate the budget agreement we have by bringing in $18 billion more for defense. now, the budget agreement says you can't do that unless you fund equally non-defense.
so shouldn't we take a look at that? shouldn't we take a look at a 2,000-page bill -- actually 1,60 pages not counting the annex which came on board wednesday night as part of the bill. shouldn't we take a look at that? there are all kinds of earmarks, little goodies in that bill. we need to take a look at it. is there anything wrong with that? i don't think so. so we look forward to considering this legislation. we did much better than the republicans, if you want to go back, a little insight into history. they not only -- once we got on it, they wouldn't let us get off the bill. that's not where we're coming from. so, mr. president, we have a lot of things to do. we've -- i hope he would find time in his busy schedule, his great accomplishments to work on a bill that we've been trying to complete. i worked on this bill for the first time 28 years ago in the senate. i was chairman of the subcommittee in the senate
trying to take -- i did my best to take on the chemical industry, and i'm sorry to report they won. america lost. but now we have an opportunity to have the american people winning for a change. so what's the holdup in doing that bill? it's a conference report. we should get that done. four weeks ago i stood here on the floor, and i said we shouldn't go on break without giving president obama the $1.9 billion he needs to fight the zika virus. so four weeks later we're still off next week, not going to worry about those pesky mosquitoes. the senate is going to recess for another week. we're going to come back for four weeks and then we're out for seven weeks. so this great plan of my friend, the republican leader, is somewhat misleading. anything he's been able to get done and try to boast about is
things that they held up our doing for six years. president obama said last friday we could go tomorrow. we should not leave here today without having given public health officials the resources they need to combat the spread of zika here in the united states. researchers, doctors, health officials not only in the united states, all over the world need this money. this money will be spent in america but there will be a lot of effects around the world, a lot of problems in central and south america. we'll be able to help that. if we do it the right way, they can develop at n.i.h., centers for disease control a vaccine. they can't do it with no money. and again, there's no money. they shift things around. they say well, we've got a plan. don't worry about ebola which was 18 months ago, a ravaging --
ravaging fear in the american people. it's still there once that disease pops up again, that condition pops up again in africa because it affects americans who are over there. but they've taken the money from ebola, most of it, and the house is going to take it all in it great plan that he has. they need this money. they need to prepare for this public health threat which is here. to leave now without putting an emergency spending bill on the president's desk is the height of irresponsibility. no matter how you boast about that, that's a fact. as reported by "the washington post" this morning, the new england journal of medicine released findings from a study of the zika virus. here's what they found. women infected with zika in their pregnancies have as high as a 13% chance of having a baby with microcephaly. what is that? the brain doesn't grow. the skull caves in.
it's a devastating birth defect involving very small heads and incomplete development of the brain. mosquitoes have caused problems to the world for generations, many, many generations, but never have we had a report that the mosquito would transmit a virus that would cause 13% of pregnant women to have these deformed babies. the republican leader needs only keep the senate in session next week so we can pass a stand alone zika bill that gives our country what it needs now, not this fall. we need to act before local transmission starts occurring in the continental united states. that's going to be soon. this fall is not going to do the trick. this fall is too late. it's time to act, not take a break. the republican leadership should not send the senate out of session until we've done all that we can to protect the american people from this
horrible virus. mr. president, it doesn't take into consideration the other things we're just living, flint, michigan, opioids, so many things that we're just walking away from this institution. yesterday, mr. president, i'm so happy to have my friend talk about obamacare. i'm happy to have him talk about that because he's making himself not look very good, and that is a gross understatement. yesterday the commonwealth fund released its fourth survey of obamacare. here's some of the things they found. since enactment of the obamaca obamacare, -- through marketplaces or medicaid. 28 million americans.
in the last three years, the number of uninsured americans has been reduced by 13 million people. that's 13 million more people who have insurance now than they had three years ago. 82% of american adults enrolled in private plans or government coverage said they were satisfied with their plans, 82%. those numbers are further evidence that affordable care act is helping the american people. it's getting people insured for the first time than many times in their life. yesterday a woman came to me and said thank goodness i, a diabetic, have been able to buy insurance because of obamacare. it's giving families important subsidies so they can afford the plan they need. and it's providing options allowing americans to cater their health shurns plans --
insurance plans to their needs. much has been made recently about premiums. my friend has made a big, big deal about premiums, especially by republicans looking for any opening to spread misinformation, falsehoods. they love to come down here and talk about obamacare, how horrible it is for the american people. allow me to set the record state again. at this point we're all looking at proposed increases. this of course is preliminary information. let's consider arkansas as an example. i picked arkansas because one of the senators from arkansas is usually presiding. i want him to hear this. three out of the four companies offer policies in arkansas, health insurance marketplace proposed high premium increases for their enrollees. all of these increases or hikes of at least 10%. fortunately for the people of arkansas, affordable care act
helps. for starters, the vast majority of enrollees in arkansas are protected from premium increases. why? because obamacare tax credits actually cap health premiums for 85% of consumers. in arkansas 87% of consumers receive tax credits that help make coverage affordable. 6 262% have the option to selects plans as low as $75 per month after tax credits. but there are other obama care provisions that safeguard against these rates, any rates that are out of line, thanks to a provision within the law, state leaders have the resources to conduct a thorough review of the proposed rate increases. in arkansas' case, the state received $9.2 million to study a proposed premium increase. now it's up to arkansas' governor and insurance commissioner to do their job and examine their rate proposals. state leaders have until august 23 to approve final rates