tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 12, 2011 8:00pm-1:00am EDT
so when we look at the american jobs act that the president brought here to this house with a speech standing right there, a speech to the joint session, and he said, pass this law. let's go back to work. let's go back to work, america. we are a strong, vibrant nation. . we are a nation that wants to work. and what we need is a government that's willing to help americans go back to work. and that's what the president has proposed in the american jobs act. so where is the american jobs act? died in the senate earlier this week. did it die? i don't think so. americans are wising up across this nation. they are in the streets.
we often talked about the arab street and the arab spring. well, this is the ottoman america and the americans are back in the street and demanding jobs and demanding that wall street bankers get with the program putting america back to work and stop playing your games. stop all of your computerized trading games and make the loans. make the loans to american businesses. that's what the people in the street are saying. they want fairness in this system. they want a job. they want to be able to get an education and want this government to do the kinds of things that the president has proposed in the american jobs act, education, teachers in the classroom, renovating the schools, building the infrastructure, putting the nation back on its feet. that's what we must do.
let's look at the other things that are necessary if america is going to make it. if america is going to make it, we must, once again, make it in america. make it in america. this nation is still, even though we have lost more than half of our manufacturing jobs in the last 25 years, that's right. in this nation of manufacturers, in this nation where we once built the armaments of the world and built the cars of the world, where once we built the great earth movers in this nation that once was the strongest manufacturing nation in the world, we have lost half of the manufacturing jobs. how did that happen? it happened with tax laws that encouraged american corporations to go global. to offshore american jobs and
get a tax break. you heard me right. american tax policy, until last december, gave american corporations a tax break for every job they shipped offshore. before the democrats lost the house of representatives in january of this year, we passed a law that repealed those tax benefits, more than $12 billion, returned to the united states treasury, taken out of the hands of american corporations that were shifting jobs overseas. $12 billion. not one, not one republican voted to end that tax break. let's understand there's a very different way in which we look at how to make it in america. end the tax breaks that allow corporations to shift jobs
offshore. trade policy. my view today is a sad day in american trade policy. today, this house and yesterday the senate, passed three trade bills. they were called free trade. they were certainly not fair trade in my estimation. those trade bills are going to cost the loss of american jobs and i'll tell you what the proof is. no sooner had those three trade bills passed out of this house and then a fourth bill came up. you know what the fourth bill is called, trade adjustment act, providing billions of dollars for those workers that lose their job as a result of the three trade bills that pass this house today. do you get it? what's going on here?
you tell me these are going to create jobs and not more than 50 seconds later pass a bill that provides unemployment benefits and educational benefits for the very same workers that lose their jobs as a result of those fair trade acts? excuse me, free trade, not fair trade. any way, trade is an important issue. this nation has opened its world to the world, you send your stuff here and we'll buy it and the doors around the world open a tiny bit. it's not fair. nonetheless, the president will sign it and we'll go on our way. let me talk about one more thing here that's really important. here we go.
i think i'll leave that up there. again, it's tax policy. i suspect most of you have been offered an opportunity to buy photovoltaic system for your roof and i suspect many americans have seen the wind turbines and wind farms going round and round generating electricity. this is important policy for this nation. it is extremely important that we move to these renewable energy sources. however, it is part of the energy american policy to encourage investments in solar, wind, biofuels and other kinds of renewable energy and we do that in a variety of ways. we do that by loan guarantees. we do that through direct
subsidies and tax credits. all of those are our tax money being used to encourage the appropriate and correct energy policy. however, there's one thing missing. where are those pieces of equipment made? where is our tax money going? where is it going? is it going to american-made solar panels? american-made wind turbines, or is it going to solar panels that are made in china? or germany? korea? where are those solar panels made and where is that gigantic wind turbine made with blades 300 feet across? are those made in america? our tax money is using it to buy it.
this is my legislation. house resolution 487. and it says this. if you're going to use our american tax money, your tax money, my tax money, the american tax money, if you are going to use that tax money to subsidize the purchase of a solar panel, a wind turbine, a bio-elect system, then that tax money is going to buy american-made equipment. we are going to use our tax money to buy american-made equipment. and i think we ought to be passing this with the american jobs act. if we are going to be spending $50 billion, it ought to be american-made concrete and steel and we can make it in america if
we have the right policies in place. couple of more things. any of you buy gasoline? any americans out there buying diesel fuel for their trucks or pick-ups or cars? when you do, you are paying a tax. it's the excise tax on fuel. little over -- what is it 18 cents for gasoline and 24 1/2 cents, 25 cents for diesel fuel. every gallon, you are paying tax. where does that tax money go? it goes to build your highways and repair your highways and builds your bridges and buy trains, and light rails for san diego, heavy rail or transit
systems for washington, d.c.,. that's where the money goes. and we need it. we need that money to be spent on our basic transportation systems, whether they are the rails, the concrete for the highways or steel for the bridges or for the buses and trains that we travel in. however, is that money being used to purchase american-made concrete, american-made steel for the bridges? is it used to buy american-made buses, american-made trains, light-rail systems? not always. but if my legislation, h.r. 613 becomes law, it will be american-made and once again, we will make it in america, because we are using our tax money to buy american-made equipment.
we can put americans back to work and we must put americans back to work. we can do these things. we can use our government in coordination and cooperation with the private sector to build this nation once again, to build the infrastructure of this nation, to educate our children, to do the research that's necessary for tomorrow's innovation. we can do this. we can use our tax money wisely to buy american-made equipment, american-made buses and steel. we can do it, but we need good laws to do it and wise laws to do it. we need not just to abandon the american worker and say nothing can be done. just back up and let it go. it doesn't happen that way. we wish it did, but it doesn't happen that way. there are no economists out
there saying continue to cut government spending and there will be jobs created. you cut that spending now and you are going to lay people off. surely, we have to deal with the deficit and it's going to take five to 10 years to do it. and what we need to do now in a balanced way in the american jobs act is to put people back to work, to let those who have pros period so much, those who have made out so well in this economy, those whose annual income is $1 million or more, in fairness and equity and what is right for this nation, let them share the burden, let them help, 99% that have been struggling this many, many years, let them help. their taxes, they can afford it. they aren't going to go belly up
and not going to be hurting or out in the street homeless, they are going to continue to do very, very well. but fairness demands, as the president has proposed, as the democrats in the senate have proposed, that the millionaires, those whose annual adjusted gross income is more than $1 million, that they pay a little extra, that they contribute to the future of this nation. and in doing so, the american jobs act that the president has proposed could become law, not increasing the deficit, but, in fact, reducing the deficit by giving americans the work, by restarting the great engine of the american economy, by making it in america once again. that's where our future lies, and that's where we must go. so as we go about the debates
this week, as we talk about those things that are before us, let us think about making it in america. let us find ways to use the wisdom of 535 members of congress and the senate and the administration, to reflect the wisdom of the american public, use our tax money here at home. put americans back to work. educate. create a fair and equitable tax system. we have to do it and have no choice but to do it. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california for a motion. mr. garamendi: i move to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning for morning hour debate.
year's c-span student cam competition? [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> you do not need the best you couldn't. do not let that stop you. -- you do not need the best and video equipment. do not let that stop you. >> c-span will help you stay organized. read the rules very carefully. make a checklist of all you need to do. do not worry. the process gets clear once you become started. >> you can work alone on the project or you can work with the team. for example, if you are a good writer, but not handy with a camera, get a printout. you can increase your chances of winning. >> you do not need to be an expert a video production or interviewing to make this work.
you can make your parents, other students, teachers, and c-span for resources for you along the way. this is fun and extremely rewarding good with a little bit of effort, anyone can do this. [applause] >> today, secretary of state hillary clinton spoke on the alleged attack on the saudi arabian investor. she talked about arab democratic movements and free trade negotiations. from the center for american progress, this is 45 minutes.
>> secretary of state hillary rodham clinton is here with us today. i want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to join us. welcome. will the last few days, we have looked to our past and we have looked inward to what has made our country great and the challenges we face to build a more perfect union in the months ahead. we have been encouraged to embrace connection and complexity. the complexities and connections of today's world have created a
new global america moment as well. when those things that make us who we are as a nation, our innovation, determination and devotion, corvallis, they are more important outside our borders than ever before. today, we're here to look outward and consider the american idea we are exploring today. secretary clinton hardly needs an introduction. she has been an advocate, an attorney, a citizen, a first lady, and a senator. as firstly, she fought for health care reform for working families and traveled to more than 80 countries around the world as a champion for human rights, democracy, civil society, and comparing women and girls. as a senator, she did something
seemingly impossible to read as we watch -- impossible today as we watch the work of the senate. she worked across the party divide to expand economic opportunity to make the u.s. stronger and more secure. tercet -- her historic campaign for president made a crack in the glass ceiling and made it clear for every girl in america today that anyone could be president of the united states. [applause] of course, as secretary of state, at a moment of great change in the world, secretary clinton reasserted and redefine america's global british shilea. she sought sustained leadership is a key to a dancing our values -- a key to advancing our
values. she has elevated the rule of economics and foreign policy and transform the way american ducks to the policy and development, using -- and transformed the way america those foreign policy and development. she is america's rock star diplomat. [laughter] [applause] .ecretary clinton, welcome [applause] >> thank you, john. [applause] thank you, all. [applause] it is wonderful to be here with a lot of familiar faces. it is good to see new ones.
i want to thank my longtime friend john podesta and everyone at the center for american progress. this organization has grown dramatically. i remember when cap was just a twinkle in john podesta's eye. now, every day, your contributing to the national debate and increasingly in the global debate. we see the trend lines beyond the headlines. i thank every one of you for being part of this important mission. before i begin to address some of these trendlines that are really part of america's leadership and how we define it and how we promoted, -- promote
it, i want to say a few words about the conspiracy to assassinate the saudi ambassador in washington. it was directed by elements of the iranian government. this plot, very fortunately, was disrupted by the excellent work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals. it was a flagrant violation of international and u.s. law and a dangerous escalation of the iranian government's longstanding use of political violence and sponsorship of terrorism. this is not just, however, about iran and the united states or even just about saudi arabia could targeting an ambassador violates the convention on the protection and punishment of crimes against internationally protected persons, which of
course includes diplomats. iran is a signatory to this convention. iran is also in agreement with the security council resolution to implement it. this kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. iran miss b -- iran must be held accountable for its actions. the united states has increased our sanctions on individuals within the iranian government who are associated with this plot and iran's support for terrorism. we will work closely with their international partners to increase iran's isolation and the pressure on its government. and we call upon other nations to join us in condemning this threat to international peace and security.
i want to thank you for thinking about tomorrow and for devoting this day and many other days as well to discuss in the sources of america's greatness, the power of our ideals, and the prospects for our future. at the state department, we work in an international landscape defined by half a century of exceptional american global leadership. leadership from both parties rooted in our most precious values that put the common good first and rallied the world around division of a more peaceful and prosperous future. securing and sustaining the leadership for the next half century is the organizing principle behind everything i do. that is because our global leadership holds the key. not only to our prosperity and security at home, but to the
kind of world that is increasingly interconnected and complex. whether it is opening new markets for american businesses or breaking of terrorist plots or bringing the words of the last decade to a successful close, we have to be guided by both the responsibilities of leadership and the values that undergird us. american leadership also continues to be a uniquely powerful force for dancing human freedom and universal rights around the world. i recognize that these are difficult times. as we grapple with significant challenges, at home and abroad, many americans are understandably wondering what lies ahead. but everything i know tells me that the united states has the talent and ingenuity to come through our current difficulties
and to emerge stronger. if you live long enough and i see my dear friend sarah bergman here, you know that we have lived through times of anxiety before. even when i was growing up, the fear was that we were falling behind the soviets in technology and ambition. when i began practicing law, our country faced stagflation and will shock. when i became first lady, -- and oil shock. when i became first lady, it was the decline of american competitiveness. and our entrepreneurs and innovators proved the naysayers wrong. our leaders found ways to work together at home and abroad to a dance in our interests and values around the world. we out worked, out-innovative, and simply out-competed every rival could when it mattered most, would put the good of the
country ahead of ideology, party, or personal interest. today, the sources of america's greatness are more durable than many realize. yes, our military is still by far the strongest. yes, our economy is by far the largest. but our workers are also the most productive in the world and our universities set the gold standard. our core values of freedom and opportunity are inspiration's still to people everywhere. you have been talking here about the american middle-class which remains the greatest economic engine in the history of the world and the heart of the american dream. this is where our values, our economic strength, and our global leadership converge. every country has rich people and poor people. that is the way that it has been
historically. but america pioneered something different, a middle class. generations of american leaders from all walks of life have invested in the middle class, expand the circle of opportunity, rewarded responsibility and hard work, and focused on the common good. that commitment made america strong, made as prospers, and made as exceptional. -- made us prosperous, and made us exceptional. if you worked hard and play by the rules, you will be successful. there are no limits on what you can achieve. renewing his promise will go along way in reassuring to america's future, not just here, but everywhere. last week, we lost one of our 21st century giants, steve jobs. but the american dynamism that
embodied lives on. our next icons are in a rush developed in the next breakthrough, changing the way people live. yet i feel and sense that there are those among us and i hear their voices were filled with doubt. if i can in any way deflate that dow, i would like to do so. -- that doubt, i would like to do so. this is a core strength to build on. people everywhere share the hunger for opportunity and the urge to create. wherever they live, entrepreneurs are not just a catalyst for growth. there catalyst for positive changes.
so they are natural allies to the united states. in fact, it is easy to forget how important the idea of america really still is the people around the world. over the past two and a half years, i have trouble with the 600,000 miles. i have visited -- i have lost count, but i think 90 countries. [laughter] i can report that american leadership is still respected and required. president obama and i hear this wondrous across the table from four leaders in nation's big and small. they look to america to help meet so many of the challenges they are facing, from responding to natural disasters to resolving ancient conflicts to spurring sustainable growth. in the town hall meetings that i hold in some the countries, citizens stand up and talk about the importance of american leadership to their daily lives and their hopes for the future.
but me hasten to say that they do not always agree with the choices we make. but they recognize that no one else can do what we do. no other nation even comes close to our reach or resolved. and they see what we sometimes miss amid all the noise in washington. america is and remains a beacon of freedom, a guarantor of global security, and a true opportunity society. we do have real challenges, it is true. but america has the capacity to grow our economy, solve their problems, and continue our global leadership. but this outcome is not inevitable. last year, the council on foreign relations, i said that the complexities and connections of today's world have yielded a new american moment that must be seized through hard work and bold decisions.
a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must almost always leave in new ways. a lot has happened in the past 12 months, from revolutions in the middle east and north africa to the death of osama bin laden to renewed fears over economic default in europe. these changes have only reinforced my conviction. seizing this moment and leading the world in the years ahead will chase the clearer choices and commitment to shared service and sacrifice that built our country's greatness paired with fresh thinking and new strategies that match the circumstances of today. yes, there will be real consequences if we fail to live up to our own promise and potential. our allies will lose confidence. our adversaries will be emboldened. and other powers will start to fill the vacuum.
if we retreat from the world or we refuse to invest in america's global leadership, our values and interests will be undermined across the board. our economic recovery will slow and our security will suffer. to meet this challenge and lay the foundation for sustained global leadership for decades to come, the obama administration is working to strengthen the sources of american power here at home. we are leading internationally in new ways that fit a time of complex challenges and scarce resources. we are prioritizing our investment in the areas of greatest opportunity and consequence. each of these lines of action is critically important. i will leave the domestic discussion, as painful as that is, to others. [laughter] a except to say that, as we
debate the choices ahead, we must resist the temptation to turn inward and undercut our leadership by slashing investments and diplomacy and development which account, after all, for 1% of the federal budget. a small investment that yields -- [applause] that yields outsized benefits to the american people. it is important to remember that there are serious international consequences to the decisions we make here in washington. this summer, when i was traveling through europe and asia as the debt ceiling crisis dominated the news, some leaders i met were quite unnerved. they asked me some very tough questions. they count on us, the united states, for security and stability. they understand that our
leadership abroad depends on our strength at home. that is why the administration's national security strategy emphasizes the link between innovation, education, and infrastructure and our economic growth abroad. at the same time, we need to find new ways to leave in a changing world. this begins by understanding the current international landscape and the demand it places on american leadership. today, major powers are at peace. but new regional and global centers of influence are quickly emerging. these countries have benefited from the stability and security long provided by american leadership and from the dynamic and open global economy that we pioneered and continue to protect. their rise is a sign that our leadership works, not just for americans, but for people around the world in every country. working with these new players
in the years ahead, encouraging them to except the responsibility that comes with influence and integrating them more fully into the international order is a key test for american diplomacy. non-state actors, both good and bad, are increasingly shaping the international affairs agenda as well, from corporations to criminal cartels, from ngo's to institutions, to twitter. they are allow huge numbers of people around the world to influence events like never before. even as power becomes more diffuse, the challenges we face are growing more complex. the financial crisis, climate change, terrorism -- these are threats that spill across borders and defy unilateral solutions. as president obama said, the old international structure is buckling under the weight of these new threats. in this complex world, it is no
longer enough to be strong. you also have to be smart and persuasive. the test of our leadership going forward will be our ability to mobilize desperate people -- disparate people and nations all over and advanced shared values and aspirations. we do this both to the power of our example and the sample over- par, as my husband likes to say. we lead with purpose guided by the values enshrined in our founding documents for peace, prosperity and opportunity. we leave with partnership based on a principle of mutual responsibility, mutual respect, and mutual interest. leadership does not have to mean shouldering the burden alone. it means inspiring others to join you in doing the job. and we lead with pragmatism, keenly focused on results of that benefit, first and foremost, the american people.
but we offer an example of how this works in practice. and libya, which side dictator threatening to slaughter his own people after they demanded their universal human rights. the crisis threatened to undermine the drive -- the democratic transition underway in neighboring egypt and tunisia and send shock waves across region. we began a diplomatic offensive. along with our allies, we succeeded in putting in place an arms embargo and economic sanctions that froze billions of dollars worth of assets. when gaddafi refused to stop his attack, we lead an effort in the united nations security council to pass the resolution authorizing a no-fly zone in libya and all necessary measures to protect the libyan people. the libyan opposition, the arab league, and the african members to the security council all supported this resolution. now brazil, china, india, and russia abstained. yet they did not veto.
when gadhafi threatened to destroy been gauzy, military action to protect civilians benghazi, estroyed in gauz military action to protect civilians became necessary. the united states moved into a supporting, essential but supporting role. we continue to provide unique capabilities when necessary. but other countries, including arab countries, flew the vast majority of the air missions and put the forces and services on the ground to work with the libyan opposition. although it is not yet finished, the battle for sirte must be resolved. the libyan people have succeeded in ousting a dictator.
they are now in the process of forming a new government. it does not represent a one- size-fits-all solution. that is part of what we are arguing. there are no more one-size-fits- all solutions. we have to be more agile. we have to be smarter in analyzing problems and then seeking ways of addressing them. we know, of course, but the story in libya is far from finished and a stable democracy is far from assured. but we can still look at a successful part that the united states played there and draw some important lessons, consider the results. president obama promised that are foul line involvement with last four days, not weeks, and it did. we promised that no american ground troops would be sent into libya and they were not. not a single american died. by building a coalition and sharing the mission, we
demonstrated smart and effective leadership. and the approach has two important advantages. first, it is more cost- effective and, therefore, more sustainable. second, by involving more countries in the common effort, it increases international legitimacy and strength as the global architecture of cooperation that is crucial to our broader interest. now there will be times when the united states must act boldly, directly, and alone. the operation in pakistan that resulted in the death osama bin laden is one example. but that is no contradiction. her ability to do what is required, alone if necessary, makes us a more credible partner and negotiator. there were also be times when the threats we face will be more complicated, when legitimate interest will compete. when we find traditional avenues of cooperation blocked or insufficient, that is the reality of the world we live in
today. american leadership must be as dynamic as the challenges we face. we have to be ready to adapt and innovate. that might mean leveraging new groups of nations to work on specific issues, like the new global counter-terrorism form that we launched just this last september. it might mean going beyond traditional diplomatic channels and engaging directly with civil society and the private sector. and it might mean using the power of technology and markets to attract -- to attack problems in new ways. in the 21st century, the most important players in international fares will be the ones who make things happen, who get results, not those who block progress. the united states will stand with the problem solvers, because that is who we are. this model of leadership, both forceful and flexible, it is designed to help us continue to lead in this changing world.
to succeed, we also have to think just as carefully about where and why we lead as how we lead. responding to threats will always be central to our foreign policy, but it cannot be our foreign policy. in the decade ahead, we have to focus just as intensely on the places where we have the greatest opportunities. that, too, must be a hallmark of our leadership. today, that means engaging with the merging towers, finding areas where -- emerging powers, finding areas where we merge, address things that do not lie in a neat category like friend or ally. focusing on opportunities also been supporting the democratic transition sweeping the middle east and north africa. we know that the people of the region themselves must be the ones to chart their no course --
their new course. there must be no doubt about the outcome we see can support, strong and stable democracies that are able to give light to the aspirations of their people and play a constructive roles on the world stage. probably the greatest opportunities of the years ahead will be found in the asian- pacific region, which is why we have renewed america's leadership and preeminent roles there. i will speak more about this in hawaii when the united states hosts a pack their. president obama and i will be traveling to tunisia. i know there are those in washington who discount the value of face-to-face meetings, who discount multilateral institutions, but everybody else in the world invests in them. if we fail to do so, then we will fail in asserting their power and bring in about our influence.
in asia and around the world, focusing on opportunities means elevating the role of economic and foreign-policy. by opening new markets to american exports and attracting new investments to american communities. our economic statecraft is creating jobs and spurring growth here at home. and i am delighted that free trade agreements are up for a vote today. from what i am told, there likely to pass. just look at the new free-trade agreement with south korea could it is expected to create 6000 american jobs. we will be discussing what statecraft means in a speech so the new york this friday. we also have to work -- those of you who know me know that i can avoid any speech on american leadership without saying this -- we have to work on empowering women and girls around the world. [applause] the most consequential long-term
opportunity to promote sustainable development, democracy, and economic growth. we have to change the way we do business in foreign policy so that we use the 21st century tools, smart power to produce results as well. as we look to the future, let's invest in these opportunities to sustain and grow our global leadership half the time it is showing up. that means the united states cannot sit on the sidelines. this is the time to press forward, not to pull back. leadership is in our dna. we would do great harm to who we are as americans if we withdraw. in the last decade, we lived through terrorist attacks, two long wars, and a global financial crisis. through it all, america remains an exceptional country, exceptional for our creativity and openness that draws people from everywhere here to our
homeland. for our unwavering commitment to secure a more just and peaceful world and for our willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. president truman in his first speech to congress after the death of franklin roosevelt said that today the entire world is looking to america for enlightened leadership, peas, and progress. such a leadership requires vision, courage, and tolerance. and it can be provided only by a united nation deeply devoted to the highest ideals. these words are just as true today. i am confident that, when it is all said and done, as i told people in asia, it is not pretty to look at, but eventually we will get a debt deal. and i believe that all of these other issues, we will rise to our challenges and continue to lead the world.
we will make the hard choices necessary to keep the promise of america alive here and across the globe. thank you for your contributions for ensuring that we do. [applause] >> thank you for those remarks. the secretary will give us a few minutes. she has a packed schedule. i think we will have time for one or two questions. there are microphones in the audience. if you can please identify yourself and have a brief
question, that would be great. >> jim moody. wonderful speech. within the context you have laid out, how do we balance our commitment to israel and also take a vantage of what is happening in the countries around israel and help to lead that in a better course? >> first, i think it is absolutely true that our support for israel is rooted in these very values that i was just speaking about. we have so many of the same values that motivate and inspire us, our democratic traditions, both of which are, as you know, a little noisy and difficult sometimes. it is part of who we are to be stalwart, steadfast, supportive
of israel's security. at the same time, we also are trying to see more countries in the region have the same of opportunities to experience noisy, messy democracy. so we work closely with tunisia as it goes through its transition. we're working with egypt. we are obviously trying to support the libyans as they find their way forward. and we're doing it both by advocating for political reform and economic reform. we think they go hand in hand. the real core issue is whether these aspiring democracies will carry through on their reform agenda that will actually deliver results to people. that is what we are betting on and working towards. but it is challenging. we do not have the kind of
resources that might have been available in a prior time. i have spoken of this before. if you look at the opportunities that the arab awakening provides, it is really unfortunate that we do not have the kind of economic resources that could really be a mini martial plan. if you think about the marshall plan, a lot of people do not remember this -- it began the private-sector industry economies of europe. it would deliver the protectors of tunisia, libya, and others, the capital that they so desperately need to help themselves. this is no contradiction. we think that being in favor of democracy and human rights and providing as much support as we can to those who are trying to make this transition is very
much in keeping with our values. >> there is a microphone right behind you. >> jean hanson. a nasa scientist recently said that if we invest and our future in building this pipeline, it is game over. both from a climate change standpoint and that our resources are going to rocket fuels as opposed to the economics of a renewable energy market. can you help out with that? >> as you probably know, the state department is in the midst of the process to determine their recommendation about that. so i cannot really speak about it in any detail, other than to say that we have tried to not only listen to the experts, but also listen to people who have opinions and often very well
informed opinions about this particular project. we are also in the midst of soliciting views from the eight relevant federal agencies to comment on the national security aspect of this. it is a very emotional issue, which i am very respectful of, of people's opinions and feelings which are on opposite ends of nearly any spectrum you can name. but we are trying to follow the lot in the state department, first and foremost, go through the process that we are obligated to pursue, and then make a recommendation based on the evidence as it has been assessed. we will try to do that by the end of the year. >> i think we have one quick question. then the secretary will have to leave. >> good morning.
thank you, secretary clinton .ould i have a question about the afghan reconciliation process. use of the pakistan has an essential role in the afghan reconciliation process. considering what has undermined our relationship with pakistan and afghanistan to the ship with pakistan, how do you think it will go forward in the reconciliation process? >> that is a question that i and others i work with spending a lot of time analyzing. if you looked at the statements of president karzai since the terrible assassination of former you can seennirubani, how he and others have struggled with the difficult path forward. had you ended conflict -- how
you end a conflict? how do you create after more than three decades a semblance of normalcy for the people of afghanistan if you do not continue to follow the peace and reconciliation track? we wanted to support an afghan- led/afghan-owned reconciliation process. after a lot of very deep thoughts and consideration, president karzai believes we have to follow through on that. it is essential to see whether there is an opportunity with in the red lines that we decree upon -- that we agree upon and bring in some of the taliban and insurgents-related people to the table. we are continuing to kill them, as many as we can, to take them
off the battlefield, to try to neutralize them and the role they play in killing afghans, americans, and other members of the coalition. and they are continuing to fight us. so there is no agreed upon and point here. we're not say, ok, let's stop everything and talk. we believe, and i believe that the evidence is clear on this, that the decision president obama made upon taking office, the second decision he made to first stop and then reverse the momentum of the taliban, it has actually succeeded. it is a verywhat we're trying ts explore every possible route for any legitimate negotiation.
reminded, he was there as a legitimate and rep. q. is there as an assassin. it is their culture. it is very difficult for us to be supportive of them. everybody knows pakistan has a big stake in outcome for what goes on. they are going to be involved. part of what we have done is continue to push forward on what our expectations are. we hold them accountable on a range of issues. this is a very difficult relationship.
it is not one we can walk away from and expect anything will turn out better. denton of believe that will be the case. engaged in finding ways to enhance cooperation with pakistan and to further the afghan desire for a legitimate peace and reconciliation process. for sure there'll be more it to develop in the months ahead. there is a conference in istanbul. it is a conference for the region. they put a positive spin on it. to tell people we are for regional economic intervention, where selling it.
we are making money and getting into the indian market. this is a new road we're working very hard on. there is a great and positive response. movings a lot that we're simultaneously as he began to draw down our troops and we abide by the schedule. this is a long way of saying that pakistan has to be part of the solution or they will continue to be part of the problem. we're moving in the right direction. >> thank you.
>> live coverage of the association of the u.s. gala. he just received an award for his selfless service to america. there has yet to be a complaint. i stand before you this evening a diplomat among warriors. that i am here is a statement in itself. one of them would be the stunning lack of judgment. more fundamentally, i think it reflects the change face.
now we can continue that process with civilians from across the government, a code indicated -- colocated there of the country. we have found a way to work it. it is a very tough fight in afghanistan. we can only succeed if we bring all the elements with our smart power approach to bear. it is in a coordinated fashion.
cocker, the ambassador to afghanistan. he also served under george w. bush. tomorrow, leon panetta are talking national defence. you can watch that find starting tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. the house passed free trade agreements for panama and colombia. it is the closest. here is the debate before that vote. >> we have been waiting for that for a long time. this trade agreement for a long time. it has been a missed opportunity. at a time when our economy is struggling, these trade
agreements means more opportunities for americans. they mean more american exports and most importantly they mean more american jobs. we've already seen the benefits of trade in north dakota. our exports have more than doubled over the last five years. because of our renewed commitment to free trade. these trade agreements before us today could increase exports by $23 million in north dakota alone and $13 billion nationwide. if we're serious about creating jobs, if we're serious about getting our economy back on track and allowing the u.s. to stay competitive in a fast-moving global market, passing these trade agreement is a critical first step. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting them. thank you and i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized. mr. levin: i yield one minute to the very distinguished the gentlelady from california, mrs. capps. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for
one minute. mrs. capps: i rise in opposition to the colombia free trade agreement. first, colomboa does not meet the high standards we should be demanding of our trading partners. while colombia has made progress, trade unionists continue to be brutally murdered and attacked. we can't look the other way and hope things will get better. it makes permanent the trade preferences that has hurt california's cut flowers industry. it has millions of dollars in subsidies for colombia flower growers but has no support for our domestic growers. now, california's growers have planned to cut costs and compete globally but they can't do it alone. it's only fair that our domestic growers get a little help from their government too. this f.t.a. is a huge missed opportunity to help this valid domestic industry. for these and so many other reasons i urge my colleagues to
vote no on the colombia free trade agreement, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, is recognized. mr. camp: well, thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield a minute to the distinguished member of the ways and means committee, the gentlewoman from kansas, ms. jenkins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jenkins: thank you, mr. chair, for yielding, and thank you for your leadership in this area. it's been five years since we signed our trade agreement with colombia and although i'm disappointed it took this long i am so pleased we will be ratfying this agreement today. once this trade deal is passed we will finally have what our trade subcommittee chairman, representative brady, has correctly labored as sell american agreement with the third largest agreement in south and central america. exports of american goods will increase by more than $1 billion, and the i.t.c. expects our stagnant g.d.p. will get a boost of at least $2.5 billion.
not to mention kansas wheat farmers can look forward to an even larger share of the colombia green market. it is five years in the making but we are finally here. i urge my colleagues to come together and support the pro -jobs, pro-growth colombia free trade agreement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized. mr. levin: i yield three minutes to mr. lewis of georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i want to thank my friend and colleague, mr. levin, for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to the united states-colombia free trade agreement. now, some of my colleagues do not believe that the issue of human rights and the issue of the rule of law should be
addressed through our trade policy. some believe it is not about stolen land, ran shacked homes. it is not about activists whose family and friends were harassed and disappeared. it's not about murders of labor leaders, it's not about a crisis that is only akin to sudan. trade for the trade, money for the money, let someone else care, let someone else do it. let someone else work on human rights. let someone else fight for justice. let someone else worry about peace, order and tranquility. all we need to do is find the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to make a buck.
my friends, we're mistaken to believe that this is not about us but the crisis in colombia affect every part of our region. it affects millions forced from their homes. it helped create the drug cartels and international gangs. it impacts the costs of crack and cocaine on every single street in america. we cannot ask someone else to address the violence. we cannot lead the question of corruption and impunity to another leader, another generation. we must demand these answers now. if we don't who will? it is up to us. we can do better. it is on our watch. mr. speaker, today is a very sad day. we could have taken our time and done it right.
today, we are banning our duty to the -- abandoning our duty to the people who elected us and to the millions of colombians who now know that their cries fell on deaf ears and cold hearts. we can do better. we must do better. . this congress this administration must have the courage to stand up and do what a right and be the right side of history. it is a missed opportunity for change, for good, to do what is right. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: i yield two minutes to a distinguished member of the ways and means committee, the gentleman from illinois, mr. schock.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. schock: let me say thank you to the chairman for his leadership in support of these agreements and let me say, i agree with the president. the passage of the colombia, panama, and free trade agreements will mean 250,000 new jobs at a time when our economy needs them most. but these trade agreements, mr. speaker, aren't just about new jobs. they're about the millions of americans who rely on new markets and new customers. in my district in central illinois alone, illinois' farmers depend on customers in south korea, in panama, and in colombia. and when the united states of america does nothing, we lose market share. since the five years that this agreement was negotiated, five years ago, colombians purchased 60% of their wheat from united states farmers. today that number is 30%.
it's costing jobs, and it's costing opportunities here in our country, in manufacturing in my home area, caterpillar, one of the major manufacturers of our country, employs a lot of high wage, union jobs, manufacturing jobs, eight out of 10 of the tractors built in my district are sent to customers around the world with only 5% of the world's population in this country, it takes a pretty defeatist mentality to believe our country would be better off not selling to the other 95% of the world. mr. speaker, today the house of representatives will pass a jobs bill. a jobs bill that can pass the house a jobs bill that can pass the senate and a jobs bill, mr. speaker, that the president of the united states has already said he'll sign into law. this jobs bill, mr. speaker, does not require a tax increase. it does not require us to go into debt. this jobs bill has bipartisan support and is good not only for current americans, but more
importantly, it's good for future americans and the future generation of america. i urge passage of these three bills and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: i yield three minutes to the ranking member on the trade subcommittee ways and means, mr. mcdermott of washington. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, we are all proud members of the united states congress. we consider this the preeminent legislative body in the world that sets the standard for how the world should create laws an how we should govern or country. we believe in the rule of law, we talk about it all the time. we're for the rule of law. well that is the nub of this argument about why so many of us will vote against the colombian free trade agreement. now, we all know the horrors,
we'll hear them repeated again and again, but the fact is, we forced the government of colombia, president obama did, to sit down and write a labor action plan in which they said what they would do. we didn't listen for a couple of years to the previous administration, the uribe administration, promise, promise, promise, nothing happened. so this president said, i want it in writing, write down a a labor agreement. it set out the precis -- resice steps colombia had to take to address the problems faced in that country. for example, steps colombia could take to detect sham subcontractors and punish employers for using them to suppress worker rights. we went down to very special -- very specific things. why was that? many of us who have been here a while were here when we passed and a half tasm we thought we'd read it and understood what it
meant but we didn't understand a lot of what happened. because we agreaed that we wouldn't put the labor into the agreement, we'd write a side letter and we wouldn't put the environment into the agreement, we'd put it in a side letter. maquiladores would be taken care of, the rio grande would be cleaned up, but it department happen, it wasn't in the agreement. it did not have the force of law behind it. when it came to this, we didn't seal the deal. we said to the president, we want that in there. the president talked to republicans, back and forth it went, and the republicans were absolutely implaqueably opposed to putting in any mention of the colombia action plan. now if somebody says they're going to do something, you take them at face value. sure they're going to do it. then write it down here.
put it there so there's never any confusion about what it was you said you were going to do. but the republicans insisted that this be as wide open as the nafta agreement. that it not have built into it the one thing that makes this so difficult for us to deal with. if we believe in workers' rights and we believe in human rights in this place and we talk about it all the type, we talk about it for every country in the world, but when we write a trade agreement for colombia, we're unwilling to write in the demands for the colombian workers. that's what's wrong with this and that's why most of us will vote against it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp. mr. camp: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from arizona, mr. quayle. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. quayle: i want to thank the
chair for his excellent leadership in this. it's taken fiviers too long but finally the house will have the opportunity to vote on three pending free trade agreements. we have to understand that america competes in a flobal economy. if we ignore this we ignore it at our own peril. while these trade agreements have been languishing on the president's desk for five years, we have lost market share to the e.u., to canada. those will keep the economy from growing again. look at the colombia free trade agreement, since we have drafted that agreement, $3.85 billion in unnecessary tariffs have been put on american products. when we have these agreements in place, we're going add to our economy and add to the jobs here in the united states. in my home district, we have a very robust high tech sector, depends heavily on trade. last year we had $10 billion of free trade going out in exports. a will the of -- a lot of them have been going to countries we
have free trade agreements for. 35,000 jobs are directly related to that. i think this is a jobs bill. i urge my colleagues to support all three free trade agreements and i urge its passage. the speaker: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: how much time on each side, please? the speaker pro tempore: mr. levin has 23 minutes, the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, has 25 minutes. mr. levin: how many? the speaker pro tempore: he has 25, you have 23, sir. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp is recognized. mr. camp: at this time, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished member of the ways and means committee, mr. ryan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ryan: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank the gentleman, mr. camp, for his leadership. this is long overdue. this creates jobs. there is an issue that comes to the floor that has bipartisan
support rarely these days. the obama administration estimates that will create 250,000 new jobs, and we agree. with respect to colombia in particular, they have free access to our markets, but we don't have free access to theirs. this gives us a level and equal playing field. colombia is our strongest ally in the region. colombia has done so much to help stop the proliferation of drugs coming into this country. they've helped us at the u.n. more importantly, they want to buy our products. where i come from, mr. speaker, we make things and we grow things. 20% of all the manufacturing jobs in wisconsin require exports. $16.7 billion of our agricultural products in wisconsin in 2009 were in exports, creating 200,000 jobs in wisconsin alone.
95% of the world's consumers, they're not in this country, they're in other countries. if you're standing still on trade, you're falling mind. all our trade competitors are going around the world, getting better agreements and better deals for their exporters, freezing us out. it's high time we pass these agreements to break down barriers so we can make and grow things in america and sell them overseas so we can create jobs and that's exactly what these tree three agreements, especially colombia, does. i urge its passage. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized. mr. levin: it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to a very active member of our committee, mr. doggett, of the great state of texas. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman. we need a new 21st century trade policy that encourages more trade without encouraging a race to the bottom in conditions for our workers and
the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. trade agreements should not be measured solely with regard to how many tons of goods move across a border. but they must consider the impact on how our workers are treated, how our environment is treated. and that's the very kind of trade policy that president obama has said repeatedly he's committed to. trade adjustment assistance is just not a substitute for a new trade policy that recognizes too often american jobs, too often american jobs have been a leading american export. all three of these bush-cheney trade agreements are deficient. but this one in particular shows just how far those who think that the only thing that matters in trade policy is the volume of goods from one country to another to the exclusion of everything else, how that narrow view insists
today that we must have totally free trade with the trade union murder capital of the world. yes, supporters of this free trade agreement have forgotten, it's not free. it's not free to those who attempt to represent workers in colombia. last year, 49 trade union members were murdered in colombia and this year it's already up to 20. human rights watch has just reported that there is virtually no progress in securing murder convictions. they got six out of 195 union member murders that were actually convicted. in nine of 0 cases, the colombians have haven't -- haven't even identified a suspect in these murders. you can talk to have an action plan an that's fine. but it's just like talk of a new trade policy. it's just talk and nothing else. this agreement denies any enforcement provision on the action plan that would make it
actionable. lulac, the league of united latin american citizens opposes this agreement, quite rightly calling for a new american trade policy that promotes living wages and sustainable jobs, encourages human rights, labor standards and a healthy environment, not only here but among each of our trading partners. instead, today's agreement emplaces the principle that those making the goods being traded willing disregarded, will be overlooked, if we can increase the trade volume of what they make. reject this misguided agreement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, is recognized. mr. camp: i yield myself such time as i may consume to clear the record up. obviously the murder of any citizen in any country is something to be avoided but let's set the record straight that the homicide rate since
2002 against union members has declined 85% in colombia. this is an example that the efforts of the colombian government are succeeding. the homicide rate for the general population has declined by 44%. and it's now -- kidnappings as well have declined. the i.l.o. has removed colombia from their labor watch list they did that in 2010. and recognizing their collective bargaining rules, recognizing the measures they've adopted to combat violence against trade union members, we have a different picture being painted by the reality there. i would also point out that three main labor confederations have called the labor action plan the most significant social achievement in colombia in 50 years. with that, i yield a minute to the distinguished gentleman from florida, mr. diaz-balart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize. mr. diaz-balart: i want to thank chairman camp not only
for that great explanation he did but for bringing this bill to the floor. i keep hearing a lot about the horrors of colombia. a couple of facts. because of the trade pact renchable act, colombian goods that come to the united states already basically come almost tariff free this would even it out so our products, created by american labor here, can go to colombia with the same preferential treatment. fact numb one. fact number two, the chairman talked about this, i keep hearing about this colombia which is really frankly a caricature, an offensive caricature of what colombia really is. . as if we can throw these things out there, pretending it doesn't mean anything. colombia is a democratic ally, mr. speaker. they have taken incredible steps to move forward to lower violence, to lower crime, to lower narcotrafficking.
they are even now training police forces across the world, including mexico, in their fight against narcoterrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. camp: an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. diaz-balart: a democratic ally, a place that is fighting for democracy and for freedom and due process and the rule of law, we should recognize it, commend them, thank them for being such an ally. for being a democracy. mr. speaker, isn't it ironic a lot of people that want to do business with castro's cuba where labor unions aren't permitted complain about colombia because they are a democracy, because they are an ally, because they are doing the right thing. let's pass this commonsense thing. let's also thank the president for finally doing what he said he was going to do a long time ago when he said it was time to pass this. it's better late than never, mr. president. thank you for finally sending it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman from michigan
seek recognition? mr. levin: i do. it's my privilege to yield one minute to our distinguished leader, the gentlelady from california, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his great leadership on protecting american workers while promoting the global economy which we are proudly a part of. mr. speaker, i rise today as we consider the colombia free trade agreement to make the following statement. much has been said about this agreement creating 6,000 jobs in the united states. 6,000 jobs. now, we want to fight for every single job for the american people, but it is ironic or strange to hear a big fuss about
we have to do this because it's going to create 6,000 jobs when this, the leadership of this body is totally ignoring the fact that we are losing one million jobs, one million jobs because of the china currency bill. when it was discussed that these bills would be brought to the floor, many of us said we shouldn't even be considering these bills. 6,000 for colombia, perhaps 70,000 for korea, maybe 1,000 for panama. 77,000 jobs, that's significant. if in fact those numbers really bear out. let's assume they do for a moment. we are making a big deal out of 77,000 jobs which are a big deal, but how much bigger a deal is it to say we are ignoring the fact that we are losing over one million jobs per year because of
the china man national park plays of their currency? the distinguished speaker has said if we push this bill, we will start a trade war with china. my, have i heard that song before. many of us have been fighting for a better relationship with china in terms of our trade relationship, and for at least two decades we have been fighting for opening of our markets to china to stop the piracy of our intellectual property, the list goes on. but this manipulation of currency, ok, the speaker says we are going to start a trade war, 20 years ago when we started this debate following tiananmen square, our trade deficit with china was $5 billion a year. we tried to use our leverage with most favored nation status
to get the chinese to open their markets, stopping pirating intellectual property, etc. and everybody said if you do that you will start a trade war. just let the national course of events -- natural course of events take place. well, we didn't start a trade war, but do you know what china's surplus with the united states is today? what our deficit is with china? $5 billion a year two decades -- 20 years ago when we fought this fight and lost, it's now $5 billion per week. over, more than $5 trillion a week. over a quarter of a trillion dollars in surplus does the chinese government enjoy in their relationship with the united states. so you're telling me that if we say we want you to act fairly in
terms of your currency that they are going to give up a quarter of a trillion dollars in surplus? much bigger export to the united states, but in surplus. this man national park plays of currency is a subsidy of the chinese government for their product. by subsidizing their exports, they make it uncompetitive for us not only in the u.s.-china bilateral trade relationship, but also in the global marketplace. where we have to compete, our exports have to compete with china's exports and they have subsidized their exports on the man national park plays of about 25% -- on the manipulation of about 25% on the currency. this is not fair, a million u.s. jobs. so when our colleagues make a fuss about 6,000, every one of them is precious to us, yes. but why are we missing in action when it comes to a million jobs,
if 6,000 jobs are so important? i agree they are. last night in the senate they passed this legislation, they passed legislation to take action if china continues to man niche plate their currency -- manipulate their currency. we shouldn't even be talking about any trade bills until we do the same. they are not voting on china -- excuse me, on colombia, korea, and panama before they voted on china. they did that. they made their -- they staked their claim for the american workers. the speaker says we are going to start a trade war. the chinese government started a war with america's manufacturing sector a long time ago. they undervalued their currency as i have said, they violated intellectual property rights, they subsidized target industries, they dumped our
products into our country. this is a one way street to the disadvantage of american workers. look, many of us when we grew up we dug a hole in the sand at the beach and we said we were going to reach china if we dig, we were digging far enough. we dug far enough. it's a country we want to have a brilliant relationship with, culturally, economically, politically, and every possible way. economically, too. but when are we going to call a halt to something that is so obvious? we are talking about not an 800-gound gorilla, an eight ton gorilla lying on the floor of this house that we want to ignore so we can talk about 6,000 jobs and 70,000 jobs which are important. i don't want to minimize that. but why are you minimizing a million jobs at least that would be affected? it's funny to me because when we
were having the fight on most favored nation status for china, we were winning, we just couldn't override the presidential vetoes. and so they had to change the name. you have heard the expression pntr, do you know what that means? it went from most favored nation, which they said that sounds -- we can't win that argument, to permanent, permanent normal trade relations . you know what that means? surrender all your leverage in the trade relationship. surrender. this is a permanent -- permanent normal trade relations. so when specific things come up like manipulation of currency, by the way other asian economies peg their currency to china's currency, so we are getting an onslaught of this, is really, really important for us to say, who are we here for? who are we representing? we have a make it in america
agenda to grow and to strengthen our industrial and manufacturing base in our country. exports are essential to our success economically. small businesses are essential to the success of our economy. small businesses want to export as well, but why are we saying to small businesspeople, to our industrial workers, to our manufacturing base, you are now going to go into an arena which we have subscribed to that makes it -- you engage in unfair -- an unfair relationship because we will not speak out against this manipulation of currency. 61 republicans are co-sponsors of the bill, it has bipartisan support. the senate has passed the bill overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. they took it up first as a premise, planting a flag,
staking a claim for the american worker before they went on to consider other trade agreements. why can't we do that in the house? i think we should call a halt to voting on any of these things until we say to the american worker we are on your side, we are on your side when it comes to these trade agreements. we recognize that trade is very important to us. president kennedy is part of the legacy of all of us here talking about america as important in the world economy and free trade, fair trade i'd like to think as part of that. but after 20 years of violation of our intellectual property, subsidizing their products, the list goes on and on. we just sit by and say we are going to start a trade war if we do something about the war on america's manufactures that the chinese already have done. remember 20 years ago the --
they made the same claims, $5 billion a year. how did that work out for us? today, $5 billion a week at least. so the chinese are going to walk away from a quarter of a trillion dollars in profits? i don't think so. let's stop riding that tiger. let's do the right thing for our workers. let's not even consider any of these trade agreements. since we are talking about colombia i want to say the following. i really wanted very much to be able to vote for this legislation. i was very hopeful when the two governments, colombia and the u.s., negotiated the u.s.-colombian action plan related to labor rights. they addressed labor concerns and to start the process of ending the abuses. but the commitments made -- but
that didn't happen. the administration was advocating for this, but the leadership in the congress said no. and the leadership in this house said no. we are not going to put in language in the bill of a language that the two governments negotiated to address the labor concerns. if it's not in the bill, it doesn't exist. if we are going to implement these -- this action plan, it has to be part of the legislation. or else we are just saying, it's an incidental. it's something on the side. that's not fair to the workers in colombia or to the workers in the united states. so when the commitment made by -- our government and colombia to each other was not included in the bill, i lost my faith in the legislation. i hope that today we can get a
vote on china, manipulation of currency, get a colombia free trade agreement that can work for colombian workers and u.s. workers and get a trade policy that recognizes that it's a competitive world. we intend to be number one. we intend to be innovative. we intend to educate our work force so that we are -- our entrepreneurial spirit can prevail. it could be a very exciting time. something new, something fresh, instead of we are diverting to the same old, same old ways. i urge my colleagues to urge the leadership of this house to take up the china currency bill before we consider any other trade bills and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield three minutes to the lead chief democrat co-sponsor of the bill we are considering today, the
colombian trade promotion agreement, mr. farr from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. farr, is recognized for three minutes. mr. farr: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker. . mr. farr: thank you so much, mr. speaker, thank you for yielding. colombia is an important country to us. it has incredible potential. colombia is a big country, the 20th largest trade partner with the united states, it's our best ally in latin america, the first country to accept peace corps, allowed an air force base to be built in colombia, other cupries haven't allowed that. they are now fighting alongside us in afghanistan, help us with mexico and the drug cartels by teaching the mexican national police and military how to handle those drug cartels. it's the first country to adopt a labor action plan. let me speak to that. that labor action plan was adopted this year, april 11.
you'll hear a lot of complaints, it hasn't moved fast enough. it's already organized deprosers into youngs in six months. it's the stroppingest labor plan ever adopted in the history of the united states trade agreements. that's not my opinion, that's the preponderance of the secretary of labor of this country, it's the opinion of the congressional research office and frankly a lot of people say, this is another and a half tasm it's not nafta. nafta didn't have the i.l.o. declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work and the followup provisions. this is the peru free trade agreement we passed that has that, right here, under article 17. s the colombian free trade agrement, exactly the same, the principles are the same, number two reads effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. effective recognition. that means anything that stops that can be brought under this
agreement and action against the country. so look, you'll hear arguments today that it's a loss of jobs. it's going to be a loss of jobs if we don't do this. we have made a free trade agreement wever single country in latin america except colombia, panama, and ecuador. these will be the strongest. but if we don't lift those trade barriers, all the products we send to colombia have a tariff on them. all those other countries, don't. all those other countries entering into ageements don't have it, canada doesn't have it. we're going to lose jobs to people who make things there and send them here pause it's going to be too expensive to buy them. we don't want to lose jobs, we want to grow more jobs. there's a great market in colombia to d that. say say union workers are not protected, not aloud to organize. the only country that counts crimes against labor union is
is clomyasm it's the only country that set up ministry to have prosecute those crimes. you say they haven't prossculetted enough, but some of those happened in the 1960's, 1970's, they worked it out with the unions, a lot of unions are in support of the free trade agreement because of the labor standards we required them to adopt. i submit to you, mr. chairman, that the provisions in this colombian free trade agreements are the longest -- strongest labor provisions in any free trade agreement. mr. camp: i yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds. mr. farr: if we're going to encourage progress, we're investing in colombia, we have peace corps volunteers in colombia, if we are going to encourage growth in u.s. industries if we're going to deal we this culture of poverty, we have to encourage a
strong future for both countries. the only way to do that is to ensure the adoption of this agreement. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from california has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, rise? mr. levin: i now yield to another member of our committee, mr. thompson, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. thompson: i thank the gentleman for yielding me time. i rise in opposition to the colombian trade bill. trade agreements must be balanced, facilitating reciprocal, two-way trade between nations. it's necessary that we also take into consideration small family-owned domestic industries that are sensitive to cheap foreign imports. unfortunately, the colombia trade bill falls flat in accomplishing these goals. for more than 20 years, colombia has benefited from the duty-free eaksessdz to the u.s. market under the andean trade
preferences act. at the same time, some colombia industries have received big government subsidies from the colombian government and often time our own u.s. foreign aid dollars fall to them, benefiting them. these policies have slowly eroded one of california east most unique and innovative industries. california is home to the vast majority of domestic cut flower growers in the united states of america. they account for more than 10,000 jobs across our state. and represent hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity every year. because of these failed trade policies, colombia now has a strangleholded on 75% of the u.s. cut now every market. creating a marketplace dominated by cheap foreign flowers, produced with cheap, unregulated labor. this put ours small family-owned businesses at an
extreme disadvantage you can't tell me that it's cheaper to import nowers from colombia than it is to grow them in our own backyard. i drive through northern california on a very regular basis and see collapsed, dilapidated an unused greenhouses, literally littering the small towns and rural communities of california. it's clear this industry has taken a major hit over the last few decades due to this flawed trade policy. as we see more and more flower farms and greenhouses closing all over california, -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. mr. levin: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: this reminds us of the last time we did business with colombia. this is anti-family business an anti-american jobs. i urge a no vote on the colombia trade bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
time of the gentleman has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. camp: i yield one minute to the distinguished member of the ways and means committee, mr. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. davis: i i want to thank chairman camp and chairman brady for moving the three free trade agreements that are long overdue for our consideration. i urge my cloogs to support passage of all three free trade agreements. pass the -- passing the colombian agreement would signal our dedication to a faithful and strategic ally. in my service in the u.s. army, i ran operations serving jointly with the colombian military. watching the changes that have taken place, colombian troops are still serving in peacekeeping roles and serving internationally in counterinsurgency and countermarkets roles arneds the globe. they have gone through an economic and social change.
their region -- they're in a region that includes increasingly anti-american government, especially venezuela, let's strengthen our ties by ratifying the colombia free trade agreament. i urge my colleagues to support the colombian free trade agreement. thank you, chairman camp. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i yield two minutes to the distinguished member from nevada, a member of our committee, ms. buerkle. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. buerkle: -- ms. berkley: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to talk about what should be congress' top priority, jobs, jobs, jobs. the economic downturn has hit my state of nevada particularly hard and tamlies are still struggling with record unemployment. instead today we are debating
the job-killing colombia free trade agreement that will result in more gad-paying american jobs being shipped overseas. in fact, this trade agreement taken together with panama and the korean trade agreement will cost our nation over $2 -- over 200,000 more jobs. how much more job loss can nevadans be expected to absorb before we stand up and say, enough is enough. congress needs to get our priorities straight. job creation needs to be our top priority. we must create a level playing field for the american worker. last night, the senate took a step in that direction by voting to stand up to the chinese government whose unfair currency manipulation has cost our nation over three million jobs in the last decade including over 14,000 jobs in the state of nevada alone. the house should be following suit. instead of focusing on a trade agreement that will send more nevada jobs to foreign countries at a time when we can
least afford it, we should reject the job-killing trade agreements, pass the china manipulation bill and -- currency manipulation bill and let's get on with the job of congress to create jobs for the american people, the american worker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two mins to the distinguished gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia plrning moran, is recognized for two minutes. mr. moran: mr. speaker, i to understand the concern that my very good friends express on the democratic side about the threat of violence in colombia and the loss of jobs in america. but what i don't understand is how voting against this trade agreement helps on either front. a no vote does nothing to create more jobs in america, nor in fact to reduce the level of violence in colombia. the fact is that the rate of vibles in colombia has been cut
in half. the murder of trade union members is down by 80%. college enrollment is up by 50%. 90% of children are in school now. poverty is down 25%. why? in large part because of the $8 billion in plan colombia we provided. the colombian government wants to show their appreciation for our investment in colombian -- in colombia's future by letting us share in their new prosser pity. it's difficult to do that when they have arch tariff barriers of 9%, agriculture at 17%. the u.s. has virtually no tariff barriers. s that one-way street in our direction. the imports to colombia as a total of imports has dropped from 21% to 9%, pause of the agreements colombia has signed with brazil, canada and others. they are about to further eat into american jobs by signing a
trade agreament with the european union. we in america made the investment to help colombia become less violent, more democratic and more prosperous and now we want to disengage. rather than reap the benefits of producing jobs, products and services in america for export to colombia. seems to me my very good friends on the democratic side should support our president who is doing everything he can to create jobs here and he understands when we don't have tariff barriers we have to overcome in other countries we can better produce other services to sell to those countries and more jobs in this country. it seems to me on a yes vote on all three trade agreements is the right thing to do. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, seek recognition? mr. levin: how much time is there on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman michigan, mr. levin,
has 15 minutes remaining. and the gentleman -- 14 1/4 remaining and the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp has -- i think i got it straight now. the two gentlemen from michigan, that makes it challenging. the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, has 14 1/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, has 15 minutes remaining. mr. levin: i guess this gentleman from michigan goes next. i now yield two minutes to another distinguished member of our committee, mr. kind of the great state of wisconsin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. kind is recognized for two minutes. mr. kind: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. i'm grateful for the gentleman from michigan's allotment of
time and rise in strong support of the three trade agreements before us today, colombia, panama and south korea. for too long i feel the united states has been standing on the deadlines while other countries are moving on without us, opening up market share, establishing bilateral agreements with them, in the case of colombia because of our inability to come together and pass a trade agreement, in the last year alone, we've lost close to 50% market share with agricultural products that we'd normally be exports into the colombian market. being from wisconsin, the agriculture sexor is immensely important. the longer we delay, the more we're precluded from the market. i rise and share the concern of so many in regards to colombia. i think the colombia of today is not the colombia of 10 years ago or even five years ago. much to the credit of mr. levin who worked tirelessly to make sure we had a labor action plan to work with colombia, to
improve labor rights and protections, he thinks it should be a part of the body of the agreement. i think it's being implemented as we speak now and it's not necessary but the santos administration realizes it's in their best interest to do more to enhance labor rights in colombia and i think a large part of the credit goes to the gentleman seated next to me, mr. levin, but we're just 4% of the world's population. of course we have to have a proactive trade agenda the question is whether we'll be a member of a ruled-based trading system or not. these trade agreements now have core international labor and environmental standards in the bulk of the agreement, fully enforcement with -- enforceable with every other agreement of that's an attempt to elevate standards upwards rather than seeing the race to the bottom so many of my colleagues are concerned about. that's the question before us today, involving clom ark panama and the larger market, south korea. whether we're going to move
forward on trade agreements that have been much improved by the current administration, having inherited from the last or whether to continue to move forward withouty ewell -- without any rules with those countries have virtually unlimited access to ours and that's not reciprocal. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the yom from north carolina, ms. foxx, rise? . . ms. foxx: i send to the desk two privileged reports from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the tilele of the resolution. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 430, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 358, to amend the patient protection and affordable care act to modify special rules relating to coverage of abortion services under such act. report to accompany house resolution 431, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2273, to amend subtitle d of the solid waste
disposal act to facilitate recovery and beneficial use and provide for the proper management and disposal of materials generated by the combustion of coal and other fossil fuels. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. camp: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished chairman of the agriculture committee, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lucas. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee on agriculture, mr. lucas is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. lucas: mr. speaker, i rise to voice my support for this free trade agreement on behalf of america's farmers and ranchers. all three free trade agreements under consideration today are essential for our nation's agricultural industry. out of every $100 in agricultural sales, more than $25 comes from exports. so market access is critical to the success of our farmers and ranchers. colombia's particularly important to our producers because without a free trade agreement we have begun to lose market access.
tariffs on american goods have made them more expensive and:ians are choosing to buy other countries' products instead. lost market access means lost income, lost jobs, and we cannot afford that. right now colombia imposes duties on all american agricultural products. they range from 5% to 20%. yet we still sell more than $830 million in agricultural products there. that's because america's farmers and ranchers produce high quality crops and livestock and those goods are in demand. under this agreement colombia will eliminate tariffs on 70% of our exports. we can be sure that when american agricultural products are no longer subject to tariffs and become more cost competitive, we'll see substantial benefits. in fact, the farm bureau estimates we'll see 370 million more dollars in farm exports to colombia annually. while our farmers and ranchers will benefit from increased market access, they will not be alone. farm exports create jobs throughout the economy in processing, packaging,
transportation, just to name a few industries. a vote to pass the colombia free trade agreement is a vote for job growth in all sectors. it's a vote to create income and opportunity for our farmers and ranchers. i strongly urge my colleagues to support this free trade agreement, keep america's agricultural industry competitive. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from oklahoma has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. levin: i yield two minutes to the yeal from california, maximum -- gentlelady from california, maxine watt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, is recognized for two minutes. ms. waters: i thank the gentleman from michigan, congressman sander levin, for the time. i rise to oppose this so-called free trade agreement. i find it deeply disturbing that the united states congress is even considering a free trade agreementle with a country that holds the world's record for assassinations of trade unionists, and would cause a loss of 55,000 jobs in the united states.
the congressional black caucus has been working hard to create jobs. we held job fairs in five cities in the country. we have been working hard to create jobs because the unemployment rate in this country is unacceptable. 9.1 throughout the country. 11.3 for latinos, 16% for african-americans. we need jobs. not an unfair trade agreement. additionally according to colombia's national labor school 51 trade unionists were assassinated in colombia in 2010. that's more than the rest of the world combined. in addition, 21 unionists survived attempts on their lives. 338 unionists received death threats. 35 were forcibly displaced. 34 were arbitrarily detained. and seven just disappeared in 2010. another 23 unionists have been assassinated so far this year. and a total of 2,908 union members have been murdered in colombia since 1986.
and the colombian attorney general's office has not obtained any convictions for these murders for the past four years. the people of colombia don't need a free trade agreement. they need a government that respects the rights of all of its citizens. let's vote down this trade agreement and tell the government of colombia that there can be no free trade without human rights and human dignity. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. camp: at this time i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from new york, mr. meeks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. meeks, is recognized for two minutes. mr. meeks: i thank the chairman. i thank the chairman for his work. i thank the ranking member. let me start off by thanking mr. levin also, because indeed i know he's been back and forth to colombia. he made this a better trade bill by -- with the action plan. and it's your hard work and dedication, mr. levin, i thank
you for doing that. yesterday i had a chance to talk briefly on the floor in regard to the economics of it, but i'm hearing about a lot of people talk about the past of colombia but not something that's taking place on the ground right now. i have heard a lot of individuals talk about how it may be devastating in its reference specifically to the african-american community. let me bring facts to the issue because i think oftentimes when i look and talked to president santos and the civil rights struggle here in america, i see some similarities we have to think about. there are positive things. a lot of positive things happening on the floor. for example for the first time we have the victim land restitution law passed by the government of colombia. we have the development projects. we have the mining and consultations law. we have addressing discrimination, anti-discrimination laws that have been passed. we have the african-american colombia and indigenous program that has been passed by the colombia legislature. the leadership and scholarship program.
the martin luther king scholarship program. we have the equal opportunity -- employment opportunities initiative. all of this is done by the santos government. we have the pathway to pros parlte. women and entrepreneurs mentoring network. we have scholarships for african-colombian police. we have the humanitarian assistance program. these are just some of the programs that is happening on the ground right now that are benefiting african colombians. when you talk about the leadership there, there is a devout leadership in -- diverse leadership in colombia just like here in america. just as the goal is to make sure that we enact certain things into laws so that we can make changes to make it better for people for tomorrow. that is what president santos has been doing. that's what has happened and that's what is happening. and so i say with, some say, santos is not going to carry out. in my estimation when lyndon baines johnson became president --
mr. camp: yield additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. meeks: he did. he came with some of the most landmark legislation with reference to civil rights and voting rights in the history of this country. the same thing i see happening right now on the ground with president santos. landmark for the first time ever legislation addressing the rights of african colombians, and because of the work of mr. levin also landmark rights addressing the rights of all in labor. i think it's a positive thing we should pass this colombia free trade agreement because the right thing, we are moving in the right direction. we are not there yet but we are moving in the right direction. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from new york has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, rise? mr. levin: i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, the distinguished member from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich, is recognized for two minutes. mr. kucinich: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i have listened carefully to
this debate and i know that my good friend, mr. levin, and my friend, mr. camp, have worked to try to craft an agreement they feel is in the best interest of this country. but this debate cannot pass without pointing out some facts that concern those of us who are opposed to this. and according to the global trade watch, colombia's the world capital for violence against workers, with more unionists killed every year than in the rest of the world combined. unionist murders have been growing from 37 in 2007 after the deal was signed to 51 in 2010. even though colombia has been under maximum security. only 6% of the nearly 2,680 unionist murders that have occurred have been prosecuted to date. the deal doesn't require colombia to end the unionist murders or bring past
perpetrators to justice to obtain special trade privileges. colombian unions oppose the deal and agree with u.s. unions that a recent action plan will not fix this horrific situation. colombia has the highest number of displaced persons in the world. outpacing even sudan because of forced displacement and land grabs often with colombian military involvement. i know there's been an attempt to try to address these, but i think that we have to get the government of colombia to answer these things first before we pass a trade agreement. don't believe that they have sufficiently done that. in particular they haven't brought to justice those who are responsible for the murder of all these unionists. i think that as a country which supports the right of people, freedom of association, right of free speech if we do not stand for it in these trade agreements, then we can expect the same kind of conduct to occur.
this is a concern that i have notwithstanding what i know are the honest good faith efforts by my colleagues who support this even though i don't. i urge the bill's defeat. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from ohio has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. camp: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from kansas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kansas, mr. yoder, is recognized for one minute. mr. yoder: i thank the chairman for the time, and i thank the speaker. if my colleagues listen to this debate today, if we listen to our states at home the constituents are asking to vote on one thing, jobs. we have talked about a lot of issues today, we talked about unions, all sorts of issues. at the end of the day the american people are asking us to focus on jobs. these trade agreements allow concern companies to export more products to colombia. they level the playing field. and they create jobs back here at home in america. colombian is the third largest u.s. export market in latin america and for farmers and companies and places like kansas exports have grown 667% in the last 1 years, even with the
one-side tariffs colombia is imposing. if we level the playing field, allow companies in kansas and across the country equal access to colombian markets, exports will go up, as will the jobs those exports create. mr. speaker, every day we don't pass these agreements we are falling behind in our companies and workers are at a disadvantage. our top priority is jobs, then it's time to open up these markets. put our businesses on a level playing field and crealed jobs -- create jobs at home as opposed to exporting them overseas. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from kansas has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, rise? mr. levin: how much -- how many speakers do you have left, mr. camp? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is asking the gentleman from michigan -- mr. camp: we have several speakers left. we were trying to determine the number. mr. levin: i reserve the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, rise? mr. camp: does the gentleman from michigan have any additional speakers? mr. levin: i think not. i'm going to sum up myself. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, reserves the balance of his time. mr. camp: at this time i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from texas, mr. canseco. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. canseco, is recognized for one minute. mr. canseco: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm pleased to be able to cast my vote in support of the colombia free trade agreement. even though it's taken almost five years to get a vote on it, and i thank chairman camp, chairman dreier, and chairman brady for their leadership in this cause. the colombia free trade agreement is important for several reasons. first, it will create jobs here in the united states. the international trade mission has estimated this will increase
-- commission has estimated this will increase exports by more than $1 billion. it will grow our nation's economy by over $2 billion and create thousands of new jobs here at home. in the case of the 23rd district of texas, the colombia free trade agreement is of particular importance as i have a great deal of agriculture in my district and more than half of current u.s. agriculture exports to colombia will become duty free immediately and almost all remaining tariffs gone after 15 years. . this common strait ours commitment to a steadfast ally in latin america against oppressive regimes like chavez's venezuela. fundamentally it's about the freedom of the american people to have a wide array of choices and to have those choices because of a power trade composition. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, continue to reserve
in mr. levin: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, is recognized. mr. camp: at this time, i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from arizona, mr. flake. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. flake: i rise in support of all three free trade agreements that will be on the floor today . in an era when we have a near constant supply of bailouts and federal spend, it's refreshing that the congress is doing today what it should be doing, that is creating an environment in a bipartisan way, under which businesses can create jobs and the economy can flourish. it's the appropriate role of congress to take these kinds of steps to simply create an environment and then step out of the way and let business create these jobs. arizona alone had more than $15 billion worth of merchandise exports aloan in 2010. more than half of this was exported to countries with which we have free trade agreements. these will expand the
opportunities for that to increase. these arrangements will allow the private sector to create yous of new jobs an strengthen the economy in the long-term. again, that's the appropriate role for government, to create an environment where the private sector can create jobs. that's what free trade agreements do. that's why i'm pleased to support these agreements today. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from arizona has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp rise? mr. camp: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, rise. mr. levin: you're going to close after i do? i yield myself the plans of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, is recognized for nine minutes. mr. levin: let me be clear what's at stake here on the colombia f.t.a. i feel so deeply about it.
free trade agreements set the terms of competition between nations. it's more than about the mathematical flow of goods, the conditions for workers in the country we trade with are fundamental to that competition. workers in colombia have long been without their basic worker rights. more than any other democracy in the globe, there have been extreme levels of violence against workers and their leaders. there's been a universal, really a universal lack of justice for murders of union activists. and there have been extension -- extensive flaws in colombia's labor law and practices. these conditions and the insistence of democrats that they be effectively and fully
enforced are what held hundred consideration of the colombia free trade agreement. what has been long overdue was work on these conditions, and there wasn't by the bush or the uribe administrations. yes, it's taken five years, because most of those years were taken up by inaction by our administration, the bush administration, and by the administration previous to mr. santos. so earlier this year, an action plan of labor rights was negotiated between the new american and colombian administrations and it included some commitments and deadlines at long last for colombia to address issues of worker
rights, violence, and impunity. regretfully, some key obligations have not been met in a meaningful way. let me give you one example about a condition that i saw firsthand in visits to colombia. their employers have a history of using sham cooperatives and other contract relationships to camouflage true employment relationships and thereby to rob to rob workers of their rights. the i.l.o. has long identified this type of practice as among the most serious problems facing colombian workers. in colombia, only workers who are directly employed can form a union and checkively bargain. colombia committed to stop such abuses in the action plan.
it passed some far-reaching legislation and proposed effective regulations. but unfortunately, it then has becomed -- has backed away. it's allowed -- aloud employers in colombia, including a major beverage company and palm oil producers to begin converting cooperatives to other contract forms to continue denying workers their basic rights. so we privately, we democrats in the house, push the colombians for -- pushed the colombians for months to try to stem this problematic shifflet. but even a clarification issued on the eve of the markup last week, after public pressure had been brought to bear, fell short. so this problem highlights
precisely why it was vital to link the action plan to the f.t.a. we're voting on today. but regrettably, the republicans blocked any reference at all to the labor action plan in the implementation bill and unfortunately, the adnrgs -- administration acquiesced in that position. i just want to emphasize, explicitly linking the action plan to entry into force of the colombia f.t.a. was necessary as a vital step to ensure effective, meaningful implementation of the action plan. without such a linkage, we have no leverage to ensure that colombia lives up to the commitments it's made. i also want to emphasize, it provides no context and meaning for the enforcement of the
f.t.a. workers' rights standards in the future. the language in the f.t.a. is the basic international worker rights language. it is general in its provision. it has to be given meaning. and the action plan would help to give it meaning. if in the future action needed to be taken under the dispute settlement system system of when there's no linkage between the implementation bill and the action plan, it takes away the context for future action. other obligations under the action plan have not been meaningfully met. despite minimal requirements set in the action plan, colombian employers continue to use direct negotiations with workers referred to as collective packages to thwart workers from organizing and i
saw first hand the use of those collective packs -- p.a.c.s on up with of my three visits. another pervasive problem was highlighted, the problem of investigating an prosecuting murders of people trying to -- trying to exercise their rights. even those cases designated as priorities. colombian authorities obtained just six convictions of 195 union murders that occurred in the four-plus years leading up to may, 2011. it's told that the i.l.o. left off clma on its list. that's because ememployers vetoed colombia being on the list.
and notwithstanding clear commit. s under the action plan to improve the situation through reforms and investigatory policies an methods, colombia did not take the first step to do this, namely the analysis of union murder cases, on the eve of the markup, even though the action plan called for its compleags, it's clear that additional leverage is necessary. interviews by human rights watch with colombian prosecutors reveal there's been no clear direction to implement the new policies and methods as committed to under the action plan. i wish i could stand here today and say that colombia had fully. mented the commitments under the action plan to date and very significantly, vitally, that the legislation incorporated the action plan
and conditioned the f.t.a.'s entry into force on its effective implementation. i cannot in good conscience do so. therefore, i urge my colleagues to oppose the colombia free trade agreement. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan, mr. camp, rise? mr. camp: i yield myself the hance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. camp: i would say, mr. speaker, that well before the labor -- labor action plan was signed by president obama and president santos, colombia had raised their labor standards and aided union members in the exercise of their rights well before the action plan ever occurred. colombia now has implemented all eight of the i.l.o. core conventions, six more than the united states. the statute of limitations for murder was raised from 20 to 30 years. the minimum prison sentence was raised from 13 to 25 years and
the maximum raised from 25 to 40. the authority to declare the legality of strikes is now in the purview of the judiciary, not the executive branch. which depoliticizes these decisions and shows the transition and progress that colombia has made in this area. employers no longer have a unilateral right to force a strike to arbitration. the constitution reforms in 2004 shortened by 75% the time it takes to prosecute a homicide case. as i mentioned earlier, the murder rate in clom ark the murder rate against union members, has declined by 85% since 2002. as my democrat colleagues in support of the colombian trade agreement have said, the action plan, the labor action plan is the most stringent labor action plan anywhere in the world. that has ever occurred. and with regard to the cooperative issue, the u.s. trade representative testified
in the ways and means committee when we marked up this legislation that that loophole has been addressed and has been closed by the colombian government. this is something the administration agreed has occurred as well, not just myself. let me aggress the -- address the issue of the labor action plan being placed inside the trade agreement. i would just say that to force the entry -- to condition entry into force of the trade agreement with compliance with the labor action plan is completely inappropriate. that's why there was bipartisan opposition to doing that. i certainly welcome the gentleman's statement that i was able to get the administration to acquiesce to not having the labor action plan put into the agreement. frankly, there was bipartisan agreement, the administration agreeing as well on that point. but let me just say, the trade
agreement's labor chapter, there is a labor chapter in the agreament itself, that addresses the labor issues that appropriately fall within the scope of the agreement and the labor action plan goes well beyond that scope. let me say why. the much of the implementing will -- bill. the pup of the bill before the house today is to make changes to the united states laws necessary to implement the agreement the labor action plan doesn't require any changes to u.s. law so therefore it should not and is not in the bill. apart from being inappropriate, it's really unnecessary to condition entry into force on a labor action agreement that the colombiaen -- colombians have agreed to. they have demonstrated their agreament to fulfilling the terms of the labor action plan, they have satisfied, and on time, every single action item that's come due this far and the administration, our administration, has certified
they have satisfied those conditions. there's only a few conditions that remain which are due at the enof the year and a few due in 2012, which we fully expect they'll completely agree to. let me just say that it is high time we took up this agreement. last year, colombian exporters paid virtually no tariffs on goods coming into the united states but our exporters paid a tariff on an average of 11% trying to enter into their marget. this agreement removes that implans by eliminating the colombian duties. this need is urgent. our exporters have paid nearly $4 billion in unnecessary duties since this agreement was signed and has been pending over the years and we know from experience these agreements will yield the benefits that we say they will. between 2000 and 2010, total u.s. exports increased by just over -- just over 60% but our exports to cupries in which we have to trade agreements
increased by over 90%. . our exports to peru have more than doubled sips the passage of that agreement and those are very important statistics in these tough economic times. this is a major economic opportunity, delay has been costly. there are major economies whose workers and exporters compete directly with ours. they have moved aggressively to sign and implement trade agreements with colombia, canada, argentina, brazil. those undermine our competitive edge for our nation and our workers and our families. we have been falling behind. we have been losing export market share that took years to build, frankly, and for example just a u.s. share of colombia's corn, wheat, and soybean imports it fell from 71% in 2008 to 27% in 2010. after argentina's exporters gained preferential access.
obviously we have seen also a decline in our exports of wheat since canada signed its trade agreement with colombia two years after they entered into their agreement with colombia which was signed two years after ours. we owe it to u.s. workers. we owe it to our exporters to approve this agreement now and press the president for prompt implementation. >> the columbia deal passed and garnered 66 votes in the senate. the panama free-trade agreement got a degree hundred free -- 300 votes. 83-15 in the senate. part of the urgency to pass the
treaty was to finish it before a state visit by the south korean president. he will speak to a joint session of conference at 4:00 p.m. eastern. a next, the senate commerce committee hold a hearing on broadban internet access. hillary clinton speaks at the center for american progress. another chance to see the debate on the colombian a free-trade agreement. >> it has been 30 years since a group proposed building a memorial to honor doctor king. this sunday, or watch the official dedication of the memorial in washington d.c.. live coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern.
>> c-span radio is another way to keep public politics and public affairs, offering a mix of the most relevant events from the three c's and television networks. and some exclusives -- c-span television networks. and some exclusives. and on our iphone and blackberry apps. created by the cable television industry and now in our 15th year. >> in the telecommunications axed -- act subsidizes charges in the borough communities. the recently announced a plan to shift the focus to providing internet access. this committee hearing looks
into the proposal. it is two hours and 20 minutes to. . >> it is going to be started by john kerry who asked to leave immediately for that wonderful thing called the super committee. there are selling all of the problems of the east, south, north and west countries. go-ahead. >> and press it. i did not realize you put me ahead of yourself. i appreciate it. and my colleagues. especially the senator who made extra efforts to get here before me. an article that appeared in my "ate's paper was titled massachusetts and phone charges and fuel investments around the country." the point was to highlight
equity. telephone customers pay 1.47 billion in surcharges into the universal service fund but draw $450 million in benefits in return. at a time when the household budgets are squeezed, the middle class and working families are subsidizing phone customers, in very large amounts, the people are obviously concerned about the why and wherefore of that. the inequity between my state and others might be ok if you had a usf that was deficient in targeting only those communities that need it the most. you could make an argument for that. that is not what is happening. it might be ok if it did not have large pockets of geography without access and with spotty wireless service. but we do. we need to start getting a fair
share of the fund and in these two target areas of need in the financially responsible way. in a speech to last week, the universal service fund is outdated. it's still focuses on the telephone while high-speed internet is becoming our platform. usf is wasteful and inefficient. it is $40,000 a year for a phone line. usf is unfair. some parts are committed -- connected to broadband while others are left behind and. the program does not direct money where it is most needed. it is broken and the compensation system, a complex system of payments, does not work. those are all the chairman's
words. i agree with that assessment. i do not want my constituents to be able to spend their money this way any longer. the details of the proposal for reform are in circulation at the fcc. none of us can the judge them but i support the intent. i have written two letters and one was with senator warner asking the fcc to focus on efficiency and deployment where it is most needed. another one was sent a focusing on providing a greater equity and distribution. to the most costly of the universal service fund programs to. i support universal service as a concept. uni on this committee, when we were struggling, i remember in 1996 when we wrote the
telecommunications act which was completely outdated. when the entire system was moved -- moving. we have a huge opportunity to learn the lessons, to recognize that modern communications system proses -- poses new challenges. i think we have to find the services with the end user in mind. thank you for letting me make that statement. >> thank you for the work you do here and at what you spend all day, every day at. with the permission of the ranking member, i would like to ask if dan would like to say something. >> i appreciate this very much. i wrote commended the sec for
its efforts to reform the universal service fund. to support broadband growth and implement a national plan. the draft circulated a report based on these cases -- scarce details available. it appears to be a concrete step forward and will encourage new investment in a broad band infrastructure. i am pleased the proposal recognizes the adjustments that must be made to recognize the unique needs. i am concerned the proposal will not go far enough to help native communities and remote areas. for example, although would
dedicate special funds for tribal areas, the amount is inadequate. the native americans and native hawaiian community is face similar hardships and the challenges when it comes to the broadband services and should all be eligible for funds dedicated to assist in native communities. with respect to remote areas, many of my colleagues have heard me speak over the years about the unique challenges facing these communities and the need to target and ensure the availability of affordable communications services comparable to the services available in urban areas. to this end, during day of deliberation on 1996, i advocated the inclusion of a
provision to recognize the needs of remote areas including the state of hawaii and the american territories. there is no question there are severe and geographic and at -- economic obstacles to providing broadband in these areas, including isolation, a volcanic activity, difficult terrain, severe weather, high transportation costs. they are challenged by the limited capacity of a microwave links and the need for inter island and distribution facilities. i have been disappointed the fcc never completed this study to identify how to give meaning to the term in similar -- insular.
i appreciate the need to target remote areas. " i question whether sufficient resources will be dedicated to meet these needs. for many of us in the pacific, satellite is not a viable option hawaii has been subject to discrimination for satellite video services. this results in the services that are inferior to those available to the rest of the united states. reform is a difficult task and i wish to thank all of the witnesses for being here to share their thoughts with the members of this committee on how best to reform this program. it is my hope that at the end of the day, reforms to the program
will result in the promised benefits to consumers throughout this land. thank you for this consideration. >> haven't you chaired every committee? >> i try not to. >> i want to make a statement and then we will go to thes senator from texas and virginia. i will repeat the some of what has been set but it needs to be said again. as far back as 1934, this country had a history of making sure that all of us have the opportunity that comes with access to modern communications. that is why universal service is a cherished principle. in years past, it meant that we connect every community with
basic telephone service. in the years ahead, it means that we connect our communities with something called broadband. let me start by saying that i applaud, and have told them so, which fcc chairman for his efforts to reform the system. it is a huge effort and complicated. it will help bring broadband to all americans. he wants to do this. he is working at it. he is good at it. we have been talking about reform for a decade. it is time to do something about it. this committee understands the challenge is not an easy one. it is going to pit sector against sector. reform almost always means and
that some stakeholders will be unhappy because they prefer the status quo. that is the definition of reform. there are going to be unhappy people, customers, constituents. who are not as happy as they might otherwise be. our nation's communications infrastructure is the background of everything we do. we cannot put this off until we get everybody happy. never will. mr. chairman wants to move ahead. let me tell you why this is important. for too long our universal service has in me upon the challenges of the last century. -- leaned upon the challenges of the last century. we are analog. obviously it is the digital age.
we have not made the switch. to the extent it has been made, it has not been made psychologically or formulas typically. broadband is not just a technology, it is the essential infrastructure of our day. the essential infrastructure of our day. it is how we will grow in america, expand businesses and foster innovation, increased access to education, even transform entertainment. there is no doubt that having access to high-speed service is what this country requires to compete internationally. something we do poorly. if we get this right, we can close the digital divide in rural america. we can provide the access that is essential for every community to have a fair shot at prosperity in this century.
reform will require hard choices. the fact is, there are big sections of this country that universal service policy barely benefits today. the fact of the matter is that in some places, reimbursement is based upon the company rather than the constituency. the fact is, most people are unhappy about what they are getting, especially for the size of their bills. we have to start targeting universal support to areas of the country without service that need it. not just to them. this is not just about west virginia. some states are underpaying, some are overpaying. as long as those people hold onto the status quo, we will not progress. they can block it and from getting out of this committee
and onto the floor. the american people deserve better than an inefficient system that was designed to support the technologies of another era. to many members of this committee, many have had experience. they know it well. making hard choices means developing a universal system that works for the entire nation. a movement inly, that direction. insular is an important word for alaska and hawaii. that is in our bill. that can be taken seriously. he said there will not be enough money. probably true. the way things are these days. does that mean we do not make changes? we do not set the framework? no, it does not.
there is no one right reform plan. there is not any perfect one. more work needs to be done and is being done. i know there are questions about how to provide support in areas of the question where the towers are too few. west virginia is among those. i know there are questions about the impact on consumer bills. i look at mine at very closely these days. it is very interesting. consumers need to get more value for what they pay, not less value. i know there are questions about how state commissions and the role they play fit into the reform. i know that more accountability of the system is critical. i know that the deployment is the focus of this effort. we would be remiss if we did not
also consider efforts to promote broadband adoption. that is an essential part of our mission. we have an opportunity now that we had that trustees. -- better seize. how people get tired of this stuff. senators will lobby. somewhere there has to be a breakdown so that we can reach a common purpose and pass a bill, out of here and that of there. waiting only relegates to many communities to the wrong side of the digital divide. haven't we waited long enough? this is not just my clarion call. comparable services at comparable rates in a matter of
law. i look forward to hearing from the witnesses. i turned to my co-chairman. >> thank you. thank you for calling this hearing. clearly so much good has happened since we had the universal service fund started in 1996. just about every area of our country is covered by telephone. now is the time, with all the other options available, for a clear reform. the fcc has recognized the problem and i am pleased that their reform efforts seem to be beginning to move forward. i do not know what -- i am glad they are seeing this issue was something that needs reform. i am going to lay out of the things i hope are in the reform bill.
i believe we need to ensure that the fund does not keep growing unsustainably. consumers cannot afford the increasing fees and i hope that we will be able to utilize what is there without further raising the rates. the high cost program is to focus on supporting carriers only where no one else is providing unsubsidized service. that should be clear that we do not want to get in the way of free enterprise. while we have been subsidizing broad band 4 years, it is time for the universal service funds to become a broadband high fixed center program. we are in a digital age. we need to adapt to that. this will lead to more efficient and effective use of the usf dollars.
americans get broadband from a variety of technologies. the usf these to be technology neutral so that reflects the marketplace. the rates telephone companies charge each other needs to be rationalized. the transition has to be done in a gradual manner. providers who have made investment under the current system must have time to plan for and adapt to a new system and use what they have invested in. otherwise consumers could get a disruption during the transition. i hope that the fcc will stay on course and will be measured and the reforms they put forward. i look forward to working with you, our experts, but also the fcc to address this problem in the right way.
>> thank you very much. this is such an important hearing that i am torn. but not for long. senator warner said, let me put mine in the record. that is an amazing thing for him to say. he has strong ideas for a very good reasons about everything we are discussing. what i would like to do, what we should do here is those who want to say something, let them so do. those who want to put it in the record, let and so do. -- them so do. >> can i keep my time for the questions? i want to commend the chairman and ranking member for doing this. we know where we are at.
we need $23 billion. $55 billion if we have to do fiber to the home. we have to figure out a smarter way that did that is technology. my concern and why i am so anxious to get to the question is there have been some good faith efforts to together by the industry already. i would like to thank all of our members who like to see this reform take place in a timely way. they are still under serb. they get that. it is absolutely critical.
>> it is unique needs of rural america. these are points that need to be made. we need to make sure it does not embrace one technology over the other. many to ensure the best technology receive support. carriers willing to invest, a primary goal of 20 a century. it is not impeded by anti- competitive regulatory framework. i thank you. thank you for this hearing. i will put my statement in the record.
there is broadband deployment. it is a commissioner. they are the law this region largest provider of broadband. during the last century, at the mission was ensuring that everyone in area had access to this. it is the main means of this. it has become the essential communications technology. they are committed to employ in
customers. this is exponentially higher than in the most densely populated areas. even given the phone network, we recognize this. it also forms a compensation scheme. they announced that they are moving ahead with this proposal. we have been working with our other characters in support of what we call the broad bank connectivity plane.
it forms key areas. it better direct the resources. i want to stress that this is necessary to u.s. reform. it has been a critical component of how they recover their costs. it is outdated as technology has shifted. they offer up a constructive solution of charges with replacing revenue schemes and greater targeting. this reform will limit coverage
shanties that make no sense. the plan meets the four principles articulated. it transitions the current voice support mechanism to 14 broadband. it does not increase the size of the funds. it requires accountability funding. it has market-driven policies. it reflects the compromising consensus. it is balanced to provide ongoing workability. >> thank you. thank you very much for inviting
me here on this issue of great importance to all americans including those living in rural communities. they worked hard to repurchase high-speed broadband. we believe that the goal should be to invest funds efficiently to deliver assets. wireless currently capped at $1.2 billion. it to be reduced while carriers would see their support increase. it does not make sense. consumers are moving very rapidly. 1/3 of households are wireless only.
it will affect the development of broadband for a decade or more. it is probably the most important thing they will do for a long time. it must put the interests of consumers purse. mobil broadband is critical to our nation's ability to compete in global marketplace. it insures our citizens have access to tools they need. thank you very much. >> is a privilege to be sitting at this again. thank you for posting this hearing today. as you have no doubt
ascertains, it is downright mind-numbing. the subject is important. the getting it right will advance our communicating goal. getting it wrong will retard it. despite the deaths of detail, there is one overarching principle that can guide them to the right place. focus on the consumer. it is not designed to protect any business model. it is meant to give service. it brings us complex issues. because it is the public interest that is paramount, they
have to what the plan. no one would expect to drafted this. they haven't viable starting points. what companies get the money, is consumers and give the check. it is a fund that would jeopardize public support with this critical program. we expect the goals are critical. it becomes clear when understand
that consumer share the cost. do not collect our spend any more that is necessary. their areas that need support for our citizens. they have pressed for a fund to require target team and areas. it dispelled by an american consumer. competition is what favors consumers. policy-makers except it the market was best served by government supported monopoly.
this was claimed in 1907. it is justifying the efficiencies. the government accepted this at a time when only 35% of american homes have phone services. they did this for nearly 80 years. it was not without regret. 90 aids terms -- 98% of homes have telephone services. competition is not a risky experience. is more prudent and a monopoly business model. it is the leading competitive industry. it is a leading provider of broadband.
it brought it to 93% of american homes without government subsidies. we want universal reform to give us a fair chance to compete to bring broadband to those remaining areas where it is economically difficult to do so. we are not competing with companies. this is why we project propose ideas. why should it be that only an incumbent. they want broadband. i would note that all the devices he developed become magical 20 put and i -- magical when he put an "i" in front of
them. people without access are being left out of the information age. the matter what can be serviced, the regulatory regime to treat all technologies equally. they should be able to share equally. we recognize this stuff is hard and complex. the fcc hash that h the expertise. we're working to get it on the right path. adobe another decade before it forms again. -- it will be another decade before it forms again. it to be a travesty and a lost opportunity.
it pays expensive homage to our past. thank you for your time. i look forward to your questions. >> as thank you very much. thank you for allowing us for this discussion. remarks are here. we represent the vast majority. they hold a deep commitment. be tarnation and create americans to the rest of the world. it has a multiplier effect.
they create sam to this. it is a benefit to urban economies. with that backdrop in terms of this, we are eager for reformist. it allows them to deploy this when possible. it deters even the most optimistic business. our members have leverage this investment they have made. they have taken these speeds. they have got them available to over 92%. even as revenues have declined.
this is a good option program. what it does is keep these prices affordable to americans. not withstanding success. we have our trust that is undermining the system. things are needed to ensure there is predictability. they have to be done where it is surgical. it has taken many terms. they tried to assess the cost of providing broadband. there have been discussions that have generated. it has created a great deal of uncertainty. we have seen that. it is modernizing the
accountability. and wanting me the old cement objective. with these principles, they cemented a very detailed proposal to redefine the cost system. they promote budgetary goals. we made good efforts. we're reaching agreement on changes to the plan as part is the free market. it provides a very good reform. a few days ago there were 15 days ago. medical groups included the literacy organization.
the time to do something about this is now. we agree. i've been grappling with the other panelists. the focus on targeting is good. we will find these subsidies. fighting a budget is a good thing and a bad thing. the need for broadband is great. we're making a big transition from telephone service to broadband. if we impose a budget of $4.5 billion it becomes a limiting factor. the issue of competitive
neutrality becomes less important than living within that budget. it is the abc plan. they would prefer to go with the same members plan. i broke my testimony into the good, bad, and ugly. the ugly part is mandatory. as some of the you know, there were two ways proposed. one was voluntary. one was mandatory. he appears to have gone with the mandatory approach.
this with the role of protecting consumers. it does all the other things that we currently do. we believe that it is a service that acts like a telephone service. it is being used as an information service. they should have an ability to do with that. we get complaints of a time. we have been switching to sopped switches. can the carriers' sever the traffic and identify it? it appears that they can do its. we are wary of the attempt to
not allow us to have any jurisdiction. semifinished with call termination. -- let me finish with call termination. these are not being terminated to washington state patrol officers. the terminating access rate is too high. the carriers are using a system of call to use the best and cheapest way to terminate a call. sometimes they do not terminated. it is creating a public safety hazard. it gets that the basis of the public telephone network. what are the duties of carriers to originate and terminate traffic? says there a few points i would make. the rest is in my testimony. to correct thank you.
-- >> thank you. i spoke about opposition to reform. i decline to glorify this. they want to keep the status quo. the status quo is not acceptable. to many areas are untouched. it requires them to do the broadband access. i have been served in the state of the represent. there are endless numbers of companies.
you are spending the money. because these are high cost areas, they cannot support multiple areas. some will be benefit. we cannot support multiple entities. that has to be targetted. you have to except a regular exception. >> fairness means the role of wireless is recognized. to their plenty part of the country.
the current proposal dramatically reduces funding that is not go without businesses look at it. accountability is critical. we're not asking for funding to go higher. i think the consumer is the one that pays the price. it is important to have both. it is very important for people to work and have the ability to look wirelessly. >> this focuses on consumers and not real companies. it is a subsidy program. we achieve a social theme.
or make sure you have fiscal restraint. these would keep to a bare minimum. with cannot emphasize the importance of what we attribute to competitive focus. that companies do what they do best. let them be part of any plan. we would be very unfair if we did not support this. we do this to ensure we are incensing investment. it will grow and migrate. they all have the ability to benefit. >> thank you.
>> i would be remiss if i did not tell you you have this in west virginia. he brought in the penetration. this is a lot of this. we do have a coverage area. >> a couple of things. this is a list says if you're getting funding quassia taken on the obligation that you will risk every one of the subscribers. he will not cherry pick. -- you will not cherry pick.
this is a carrier based system. he made a point about the equity of that. when it comes up on terminating, state commissions played a role. consumers should have one body. few want to make it fair to all americans you could put a charge per telephone number or address or whatever. that would make it more fair in my opinion. >> thank you. >> i thank you. i think you really cover the waterfront.
we are agreeable to reform. that will mean a financial hit for our company. they'll have to find ways to make it up. we knew it was the only way to find reform. we make sure that it be thoughtful and these low enough so someone can figure out. the companies can and just this. he can find that balance. >> you have mostly gone into the
urban areas. ellen like to ask you how you invasion -- how you envision bringing it into the world. >> i would emphasize the first thing you said. we're very proud of this. where do we come from? began in rural america? the cannot receive service from broadcasts. we look for opportunities to extend. what they may be big companies,
>> the thought popped into my head. >> the fcc was not thrilled. it is very important that it happened. that thethat mean house would do it? of that strikes me as missing things. we're very much behind the effort. it is about a full complement. what i want to emphasize that it is very important we hear each
other. they should hear us. i support what they're doing. these of the things we have authorized them to do. revenue doing other areas, i would be there. >> on that note i completely agree with that. this is really important. it is an important focus. we keep it out to the millions. we do not have that broadband. i think it is great that you
have started an approach. i have some questions. i agree. there's a limited amount of money. we talked about the tax reform. there's a difference in terms of what we need to roll out. we should make sure that we do not sprinkle it around so much that we do not get quality service. i get the idea of what was behind here. it seems a blunt instrument. it is not within the spirit of
competitiveness care if you're one to hit that, you get a right of first refusal. why not let the market play out? if there needs to be a way to acknowledge previous investments, would it then allow them to support this? why not have some kind of sliding scale back so/ we will give oyu some ability. some way to give you an advantage is if there is wireless i do not think it
should give you that right. if you want to take that? >> the issue would be how do we must quickly get them to the plate to these market where there is no one else tax the only infrastructure is this. it needs to be subsidized in order to ensure ongoing deployments. they thought was we will get there faster than if you go through and tried to design an auction process. you've already accepted obligations.
you can talk about what is the right data capacity. he cannot do it without a wired network. some of these facilities do some of these services. in terms of this, and this is an important thing. >> it would raise this if you have this. you are pre designs. had we get that their decks -- there? as someone who lost a lot of money in the late 1990's with the promise of interconnection, some of them never came to pass. i do think the failure is really
they are not advantaging or disadvantaging either. >> you're welcome. we're hearing a lot about the issue of rural areas along the area. there is a cause of that problem. a workshop.ing do you think that the reforms would address this issue? >> the perspective is that is because it is high it is from the cost routing.
>> the plan doesn't address me. they have the time frame. so was always clever enough to come up with a new scheme. we do what is necessary. i think there is going to be another issue. >> we are finding that they do not even know who to go to. if you're having issues, but in a call. this has been the first step.
if we do not, the traditional ones have a larger amount of traffic. they may not have the ability to view the interconnection issues. the federal government will have exclusive jurisdiction over that period it will be worse off. >> thank you. consumers would be worse off. we would reach the communities we want to reach. if it is activated, it enables
our ability to even go when and provide service. if they get the funds through, they can go through the area. they would be hurt. >> they're not reforming the constitution at the same time. >> it is a remedy we can address later. we were hoping we could do it. this is almost passed. for whatever reason, they have
chosen not to put an end. the ip issues are somewhat complex. >> thank you. >> there is this a right of first refusal. it is in the proposal. i'm not as familiar. what is the time frame for a carrier to determine whether they will exercise their right of first refusal? >> our plan does not have a right of first refusal. how often they will be better situated. >> >> i'm looking at the time
frame. i'll have to be clear. you have -- it depends on how they pick out the plan. there be a period of time when their first identified. you calculate that service area and determine whether you want the fundinged with program. you'd have to either take the money our city will not take it and you could be opened up to option. >> is there a time frame? >> there is.
>> within the first year of generating -- >> what happens if you see the refusal of you in debt not deploying broadband? what happens? do you lose it? >> trichet there would have the penalties. demonstrate you were using this. it will be whether you use an option are first refusal. the big issue is the cost. >> you do it to get to your complete coverage over time.
it'll take a multi-year process. >> no. on senator rockefeller's question about fairness, he asks about fairness and have you define that. you mentioned accountability. does the accountability in your mind include the quality of the service that is being provided? is accountability just a onetime expenditure? >> under the world, accountability is every year and every month on the quality of
our service and how quickly we put things back when they go down. there are bundling obligations. we live in a world where we identify the quality of our service all the time. the issue that is the unknown is the ongoing >> mr. jones, let me ask you a question about the mandatory pre-emption that is in the abc plan. you talk about how consumers in washington state would be heard by that. give the committee a few
examples of how you think that might actually hurt consumers in your state? >> one of the traditional issues in examining entered courier proposals is to look at consumer benefits, consumer welfare. the abc plan proponents put out a paper on consumer benefits but a lot of that hinges on how the carriers price long distance services and held a bundle. a lot the services or bundled, sometimes with cable, wireless /were line service pyrrhic it is important to understand -- make no mistake, at&t and verizon and the other long- distance carriers are going to save hundreds of millions of dollars. it is difficult to see what the consumer benefits are going to be.
that is one of my issues, washington state consumers, if you are talking about large consolidated companies that have substantial market power that can bundle services and not break it out. as the chairman said, it is difficult on a line item basis to see in your carrier -- the other thing is consumer complaints. we don't think that shifting consumer complaints about billing and service quality to the fcc in washington d.c. instead of little rock or olympia washington is a good thing. they are going to be inundated with consumer complaints. those are just two issues i would raise. >> commissioner, chairman powell, i were to follow up with you on senator warner's
question that commissioner abernathy answered with respect to putting in -- replacing the right of first refusal. could you help us -- i am a strong advocate for this process to be competitively and technologically neutral. when we talk about what the commissioner said in terms of how long it would take to implement an option, can you help us understand, how do you think that process would work if the commission chose to go in that direction as opposed to this right of first refusal, and how long do you think that would take in terms of moving forward to address getting down to the user level of where consumers in new hampshire's might have greater access to broadbent. >> as i understood the principal talking point, you cannot do first refusal because somehow it will take too long as measured
against decades of not serving these communities, and somehow the bidding process is some order of magnitude worse. that is an exaggerated argument. it downplays help complex and time-consuming it will be too even built the model that is going to determine these areas. it ignores the fact that the commission will have to design an auction process anyway because there will be carriers who don't exercise first refusal. they won't have the luxury of doing one or the other. they will have to be prepared to have an auction system for areas that will not be subject to this particular model, and even in the cases of the model when people choose not to do it. the commission is probably the best expert in the world bond auctions. it has more technical expertise and capabilities and experience than any other regulatory body
on the planet. i am very confident, they have been tasked numerous times to develop a competitive bidding process for everything from wireless to other kinds of options. at the end of the day, being hasty and being efficient or two different things. the loss of ability and the sanctioning of a monopoly model over the efficiencies gained by competition over time are not worth a couple of extra months that might be gained by first refusal over a competitive process. >> thank you. i wanted to follow-up -- thank you for taking the time to come in and meet with me yesterday. as a follow-up to your testimony, when we met yesterday, one of the things that shocked me when i delved into this further was that new hampshire is contributing to the
universal service fund $25 million per year more than we are receiving back. in a state of 1.3 million people, that is a lot of money. what steps do you think the fcc should take to ensure a more equitable distribution of the universal service fund to those on served households in each state? in my state, there is a very significant part of northern new hampshire that doesn't have full access to technology. it would enhance our economic development in that area, so when i look at this number, we are giving $25 million more back to other people so that new hampshire consumers are paying in. that is really shocking to me. >> i bet there are some experts here. i am a new kid on the block in the industry.
that is one of the things that has me scratching my head, too. it does not make a lot of sense. i know the fcc is looking to refund usf. i am sure there are others who can speak more specifically on the right way to get at that, but that is a great opportunity for the reformist on the table. >> mr. jones, did you have something to add? >> i don't mean to be humorous here, but you live in a relatively small state, fairly densely populated. states in the west, montana, wyoming and others are less densely populated. it is just a fact of the way we design the system to support carriers and high-cost areas that states like yours and massachusetts and others have traditionally been a donor states, and other states are net recipient states. that is probably an issue of fairness that we have been
grappling with in this program for decades. it goes back to when congress and fdr developed the rural telephone service in the 1930's and 1940's. these were federal appropriated funds and the country decided to do this and extend service out to these rural areas. obviously there was a cost, proportionally more to people in your state than in these vast expenses in the west. that is beyond my pay grade. that is more your decision. >> any of you who come to visit new hampshire, i would like you to come to the northern part of our state. 90% of the population lives in the southern part of a state. we are underserved in many ways. it is tough for me to go home to my constituents and say we are
donating $25 million and we should keep doing this. i hope the fcc will take up this issue. >> that is where the carrier of last resort obligations will be powerful. they will say if you are getting the usf support, you must build out in those areas. to that point of accountability, it has the potential to shift where some of those resources are spent. >> one thing my focus on, whether the targeted areas are sufficiently granular that they will pick up in remote parts of the community and not be swept then buy it more populated density within the jurisdiction of boundary. change the life of the citizen in northern new hampshire who doesn't have the service, but in the sense of
being penalized, being captured by a study area in the model. a more granular the sec can be in the way it targets the program, the better chances are that you get a more fair share of that support. >> thank you. >> thank you for holding the hearing. when you make your comment about the one carrier, your picture of your mouth was all white, not red. we are not on the map, just so you know. we don't have that service at all. when you look at the data, 1% of the country is not served by wireless. , so when iof alaska' hear about new hampshire, which
is about the size of this little bit of alaska. i just point out the size of alaska. and my business card, instead of putting alaska down by mexico, i put it where it is in proportion to the rest of the country. the reason i bring up that point is, when you talk about high cost delivery system, there is no state, it may be hawaii -- first of want to get a general comment from each one of you, and i am absolutely parochial and biased about this. anytime someone says reform, it usually means a state that has become a state in a little less than 50 years and does not have infrastructure like new hampshire or west virginia or arkansas or minnesota.
how do you view alaska in comparison to these national plans? it is very unique and different place. my point is, and also, tribal lands are much different than the lower 48 states. we decided to take a different route which has been more beneficial for the first people in our state. we have done some things and have proved to be right. how do we address the high cost when they start capping or limiting capacity for landline as well as wireless? >> the sec has traditionally treated insular areas and alaska, hawaii, other ins or areas separate and apart from
what this plan would focus on because frankly, designing a plan for the other states just would not work in alaska. chairman powell and i had the opportunity to visit alaska when we served on the commission. until you have been there, you fail to appreciate the challenges. i believe the fcc will have a totally separate program. >> i agree with that, absolutely. i would just say that the whole spirit of the universal service fund is to make sure that people have access to the technologies they need. a state like alaska, the need for wireless technology, even if there are not lines, but we have plenty of licenses in areas where use microwave technology to move the signal from talbert to talbert. i feel strongly that wireless as
part of this equation needs to be adequately funded. >> i always knew that it was different. i did not fully understand until i spent 10 days there. it is a remarkable environment. it cannot be treated in the common, run-of-the-mill approach of the nation in that way. when we submitted our amended version of the abc plan, we just carved out alaska and it should be addressed uniquely. the commission always has flexibility to deal with outlying situations, and they should. two other points i would make quickly, and this is to alaskas benefit.
i think it is in alaska as interest to make sure there is a fiscal efficiency in the program. the beauty of the technology revolution is that it builds new tools and puts them in our toolbox. alaska is a multi technological problem. >> challenge. >> it is just a reality. you want wireless, you want wireline, you won't satellite, you want anything the wizards of technology and then spent. that is why we think technical neutrality is so valuable. >> we represent a lot of carriers in hawaii and alaska and some of the very tribal carriers. we are hopeful the sec will find a way to craft to those carriers of last resort await to do it
without taking away from other rural consumers. it would be helpful to have the carriers in alaska and hawaii coming to the fcc and open up their books and show their cost. their infrastructure is very unique. i am hopeful the fcc will find a way to carve out a different path. >> alaska is not only unique, but a good business partner of the state of washington. we know the unique needs that you have, and most of your needs are met under the rate of return carrier plant that was submitted jointly and july 29. i have not been an fcc commissioner like michael and kathleen, but i understand that always make exceptions for remote areas and recognize those
unique needs. >> thank you, and correct -- congratulations on your extensive explanation of alaska and how it belittles every other state. [laughter] >> we just like to make the point. >> thank you, mr. chairman. hearing about the distinctiveness of alaska explains the distinctiveness of the senator. >> i want to thank the chair and the ranking member for having today's hearing. this is an issue that is important to a lot of us that represent rural areas. we have lots of people who have an expectation and many of us have become accustomed to using home computers and mobile devices to pay bills and make
purchases and just communicate. it is essential that we have broadband service. it has become an absolute necessity. i am enthusiastic about the substantial group we have seen in the telecommunications sector, but it is concerning that we still have areas in the country that are still uncertain and lag behind the rest of the u.s. population. it is important to ensure that the fcc enacts usf reforms to help give all americans access to broadband service. senator clos bashar and i wrote the fcc basically expressing general support for the abc plan, that it was a good framework for u.s. reform and it it achieved a remarkable level of consensus on an area that is very complex and it defies a consensus of that type. we think it would be unfortunate
if that consensus after so much difficult negotiation would be destroyed. i would just like to pose a couple of questions today to the panel. mr. powell, your organization has voiced opposition to the proposed right of first refusal. i know you have addressed some questions about that today. i am interested in knowing your thoughts about tailoring the abc plan to take into account the cable industry's concerns but still permit a right of first refusal. >> i would reiterate that we generally still oppose right of first refusal under any modification. we should still be given a fair opportunity to compete at the end of the day. we have prospered alternative proposals that we would find
more palatable. for example, the current approach in the adc plant would allow right of first refusal for an area -- a company that serves 35% or more of an area. if you serve less than 35% you did the right of first refusal. at least the public benefits by you assuming an obligation to serve the remainder of that unserved area as opposed to receiving a subsidy for an entire area that you are substantially currently serving. i can give you the specific details of the proposal we submitted, but that was offered in the spirit of finding compromise. --doesn't the cable company cable industry benefit from achieving a reasonably acceptable result with respect that usf reform, rather than
having no results at all, or maintain the status quo? >> absolutely. we said repeatedly that we agree with the huge percentage of the abc plan. the plan we submitted to the commission in august of this year, we called it the amended abc plan. we have been discipline to focus on four or five discrete issues that are specifically important to the industry and to champion the importance of this opportunity to reform the system. i don't think anyone at this table believes otherwise, that missing this opportunity would be a disaster. i take issue with the idea that if the abc plan is not adopted in whole, that is the only path to an acceptable result. >> some have argued that u.s. up should not be used to support
universal broadband but used for other purposes such as deficit reduction. can you explain the importance of providing a usf support to deploy a universal broadband to unserved areas? >> broadband -- usf is the only tool that has gotten initially even communication services out to these very remote areas. when you look at these areas where you have no business model to lead you to deploy this infrastructure, then you go to the next debt, that becomes more expensive to do. the concern we have in terms of usx and the federal budget, first of all as we discussed in this panel, these are funds that go between different carriers. it is not money that is in the treasury. it is carrier to carrier support. to take that and turn it into a
public debt issue, if you are basically taking from different pots and creating a brand new tax on consumers. that becomes a philosophical budgetary issue. the other thing, these areas rely on usf funding to actually get the service. south dakota is a perfect example. you talk about taking that support away, i am not sure what kind of business model you could create to provide any communication service and what kind of enticements you would have to have someone put in infrastructure. western south dakota is a pretty tough business model. it is absolutely critical to have affordable and sustainable -- sustainable broadband. >> usf is critical for getting service, and transitioning it to broadband service. these are markets where there
will be a subsidized provider and there will be one subsidize provider unless we feel like we have so much money we can subsidize two or three. the challenge is, who gets the subsidy and how you get the deployment there as quickly as possible. that is what this plan focuses on how targeting resources, making sure it is deployed quickly, and making sure whoever is providing the service has carrier of last resort options. the only one there are the phone companies because we have usf and the money to deploy. as you transition to broadband, you have to have usf. >> i was just hearing from -- there is of wrestling going on,
hundreds of pigs going on because they are being stolen. tourism in northern minnesota, we cannot compete with the canadian resorts because their customers are not able to use -- we have major companies and we have been able to connect the number of these companies and get better broadband. i am convinced every day this is the key for these areas. a first question is about the bizarre situation we have right now where one small county will have broadband because of the universal service fund, but literally their neighbors across the way will not have it. i understand there have been incentives in place that have
created that situation. i don't blame anyone, i just want to get it fixed. i wonder how you feel the current reform effort will level the playing field and if there are other things we should consider in making a level playing field. >> under the abc plan, the idea is if the model works, it will target support to the areas not being funded today and turn it support to the customers, not to accompany, but to customers in an area. whoever is serving that area will provide service. right now these high costs areas are served by the wireline companies and there is nobody else who has shown up over the years, because it is not economic.
you have to target the resources more efficiently to the right high-cost areas, because as the fund works today, you can have two communities and one is getting sufficient support and one is not getting sufficient support. we struggle with that every day at frontier because we have so many rural markets. we have a pot of money and we have to figure are who will get support and who will not. >> you asked about leveling the playing field. we operate in 26 states, and much of that geography is rural. what you are talking about for your state is fixed and mobile.
there was a comment made earlier about the abc plan and the gap is not about reform, but to take -- most people when they think about broadband are thinking about both fixed and wireless. >> one of the things that is in conflict is we are working really hard to stay within a controlled budget. it is very clear that the fcc and congress are concerned about the size of the universal service fund. we are conflicted with all the things you would like to do in terms of broadband deployment and what you can do from a practical perspective. how do you have to match rural towns where one may be served by
a small telephone company and they have put 3000 subscribers, so they do a good job of making sure they have good services and customer service. that is their customer base. how do you then help those other companies that also provide service in a rural area but have different areas where they have to be competitive, like the city of chicago or denver. how do you do this with a limited pot of money so that the fund does not grow exponentially, and get as much service out there as possible? >> one of the things that has gone wrong with the program, all we have subsidized in the past was voice. what has been allowed is using that money to build a network with multiple purposes,
including broadband to some degree. it is a technical matter that goes beyond the scope of what is being funded. -- these anomalies where carriers use their funds in one way and others use them in other ways. we are now going to explicitly focus on the criticality of broadband in 21st century infrastructure. that is really what should not be lost. we have reached a moment in history in which the voice network is important, but it is not the ship we need to be in going to the future. this is the valuable first step in that journey. >> mr. powell makes a good point. the fcc policy, even though it is voice, we have been employing
broadband over dsl networks for years. we all know that. the sec has had a policy that cisco voice support, but to promote advanced services in these areas, go ahead and do it. talk about how much broadband they are deploying and it creates a level of discomfort and potential loopholes for states and the federal government because we do not regulate or we have no jurisdiction over these services because of the sec's lack of action in classification. we are looking at the carriers when they come in and saying northern minnesota, get a little more broadbent up here. it is estranged, outdated situation that needs to get fixed.
>> i thought you said big wrestling in stead of peak lingling j.pig wrest instead of pig rustling. >> i would like to just ask a couple of questions and clarify a couple of things. under the adc plan, would carriers be eligible for funds from both the connect america fund as well as the mobility fund? >> if the carrier provides both wireless and wireline services, and usurp one of these high-cost designated areas, yes, but i
think it is, and likely would have both a wireline and wireless in this last, hard to serve part of the country. i would find it highly unlikely. >> you said in testimony that $300 million for mobility fund is not enough, that you estimate the size of the fund should be a billion. given is not likely the fcc will go that far, is there a compromise in there? >> let me step back and said that even at a billion, that is a reduction from where the mobility fund is today. if it can be tapped into on the price cap side, we are advocating for a separate mobility fund.
i would say even a billion does not complete the job. i don't know what the right answer is. anything more than $300 million is moving in the right direction, but less than a billion is not going to get rural america to 4g. >> you would assume the cable industry is about wire, but we are also holders of spectrum and looking at creating business plans to allow us to use wireless functionality and parts of the country where you could extend your wireline network. i would say one more thing because it has come up a lot. the cable industry is more than happy to sign up for every obligation that would be required to serve these communities. as a plug for wireless, tps the every american consumer what service would be the one the most desperately rely on in a crisis, it would include
wireless. at the end of the day, i don't know the right number, but any system that does not take into account the way consumers want to embrace and rely on communication is a missed opportunity. >> the wireless amount set aside under the proposed plan is 10 times what the national broadband plan thought was necessary for were less mobility. 300 million was the total and under the abc plan, it is 300 million premier for 10 years. so it is much larger revenue stream for wireless than was ever envisioned by the fcc in its national broadband plan. >> let me ask about the life line program. that has been under fire lately,
lots of concerns about it. let me ask you, ms. abernathy. can you tell me how many duplicative clients for lifelines of or were initially found receiving benefits in your entity? >> i know that we went and were still going through to see if there is a lot of duplication. i don't believe we have a lot. i will get the final number for you. it is easy to track on a wire line basis. the duplication arose because you would fund both a wireless and wireline phone for a particular family member and that is where the challenges and duplication came. >> there may be some duplication from individuals duplicating with other carriers, which is another separate problem. >> correct. which is unfortunate, and i think needs to be corrected, but
having observed what the life line plan can mean for certain individuals, i don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. the important thing is to reform and improve life line because it is an important part in these difficult economic times, but the duplication needs to be addressed. >> senator, this is a big issue in our state. i am in the minority on this with my fellow commissioners. i voted against it, but we have prepaid carriers who have come in and got the support for the life line link up program. we had one carrier to be authorized for one year and then we said we would do an audit to see how much duplicative support was done. we have overstayed based wireline lifeline program as well as the federal program.
of course that was against the rolle -- against the rules to receive support from both. we found substantial duplications. it is a sub certification program. the states do not have an adequate database and the fcc does not have an adequate data base. it is real problem because the life line link up program is growing dramatically. this is a difficult issue because you need state cooperation and of federal data bank or you can key in these applicants when they apply. it is under investigation in our state. >> i think that is helpful. as you said, there are people who genuinely benefit from the program. there is a finite amount of money so we want to ensure that
money we designate towards that is going to the right people. we appreciate your study, and again, i think it is to all our benefit to make sure the system does have integrity. >> senator warner, you had some additional questions. >> first of all, let me commend the senator for his questions around this lifeline issue. i think we all concur during these challenging times is a needed program, but it has come to my attention not only some of the duplication but some of the robust marketing -- hal is that for a politically correct term? that's been going on in some of these areas that are not
necessarily targeted to what you think would be the target community and none of this is reported. not seeming to need to be the right way to send the right message, so i thank my colleague for raising this. we left off on interconnection, and my hope would be, to a degree, if cable is going to be the provider for that matter, don't you think we need some requirements in this universal service reform to make sure there is clear, understandable, and timely interconnection?
in building of the network, whoever it may be, if the incumbent then slows down the interconnection ability, you can put a lot of capital to work that looks good on paper but never gets into service that folks need. does anybody want to address some of those issues? >> there really is no incentive for carriers not to do interconnection. the more options you have for consumers, the more robust the network is. >> you would not have a problem if it wasn't requirement of robust interconnection >> among all carriers. >> is suddenly -- if suddenly
the incumbent carrier always had some reason or another one they just could not get to it right then and there, you would not mind a timeline? >> i think that would be very easy to live up to and it would be very important from a consumer perspective. i don't see that as being an issue. >> one issue we have that is evident in the abc plan is an issue related to interconnection, which is tandem switching services. under the adc plan, the largest in combat may play for having those kinds of connective services be regulated in markets that still desperately depend on good regulatory traffic distribution networks. otherwise we could be left in the situation to have to replicate that at great expense
or not have an adequate number of competitive alternatives to keep those rates reasonable if they are not otherwise regulated. one of the issues we put on the record is similar to the line of concern you are raising with respect to tandem switching in the abc proposal. >> i would point out that today the wireline companies are the only one subject to unbundling. we did this, and none of the other competitors do this. none of the others would think about sharing their networks with their competitors. this is what we do. it is just the way it is, and i think it comes along with when you take federal government dollars to provide certain services, there are obligations that go along with them, and that includes carrier of last
resort, they include performance magics, accounting safeguards, we do it all. >> i would take that as a sign that having a work permit for timely interconnection -- >> i think that will happen anyway, but if the parties think it needs to be regulated, we are used to regulation. >> center, the issue is not so much interconnection as what happens when the carriers do not agree on terms and conditions. sometimes the incumbents do not want to open up their networks. if there is a dispute, where does it go? under 251 and 252, we think we do that in a timely way. we usually complete our
arbitration disputes within nine to 12 months. if you want to give that to us, we would be happy to take it, but we have a jurisdictional issue. we have arbitrated disputes with some of michael's companies. formally, they are not subject to our jurisdiction. i think we carry out those disputes arbitrations for the benefit of the network, so we could do it here, too. >> have any of our colleagues gotten into the question of capping the growth of the fund at any point? >> i was just curious. we all know that usf has grown
to $8 billion. we know a lot of our consumers pay in more than we get back. there is some notion of shared responsibility on this. i would be curious, and i recognize there was a study that said $20 billion to build out -- to build out broadbent availability. what would you all expect or anticipate, should we cap the fund? what should it be? what would it look like an 5-10 years recognizing we all have this need for public support to ensure all of our folks get broadband services? >> the 10-$20 billion i quoted
was pork wireless, bringing 4g wireless throughout the united states. the notion -- >> is that more for fixed -- >> the notion of reform on the table is capping the fund, which we don't have a problem with. it is the balance of what is in that fund and how it is allocated. the balance of most of that fund if it stays at $4.50 billion should be in to fixed versus wireless. it flies in the face of where the world is heading. the fund should be capped, given that is the responsible thing to do. >> one of the things the 1996 act set out was that u.s. that
should be specific in predictable and it should be sufficient. that is actually a part of the law as it stands today. one of the things about a cap is, how can you ensure you are meeting your legislative mandate if you have a cap on the program? if you look at the high cost bonn, it is $4.20 billion. i listen to everybody talk about the infrastructure companies rejiggering you think about the broadband deployment that has been done with $4.20 million, it is an amazing job that has been accomplished with the very limited amount of resources. the high cost fund is only half of the entire u.s. debt. you have a low-income and a lot of other pieces out there. part of it comes down to what you policy makers want to try to achieve. a cap would not fit in with the
1996 law itself. one of the things we have done is proposed a very small growth factor, 2%-3% on an annual basis. 40% of the land mass of this country is the ability to build and sustain those networks. >> one thing or the of noting for the record, at every other part of the universal service program is capped. schools and libraries is a notable and worthy objective put in place by congress in 1996 and it operates under a cap, even though demand exceeds supply. even today we have a federal program paid for by the american consumers, some degree of fiscal constraint, and not suggesting that a word like sustainability can mean an infant level of growth.
it is not a fair balance of the various equities between the burdens associated with the program and the benefits. the rural healthcare program, also capped. caps should not be done without some predictive judgment, but the notion of that a program of this magnitude and size involving the american taxpayer without meaningful enforcement of fiscal restraint seems to be a big mistake. >> i would point out that the abc plan is built around a four $0.50 billion fund. it is not built around in the growth of the fund. it may be less some years and more other years, but it is supposed to stay right within that framework. it is challenge, but you have to
be fiscally responsible. >> obviously wireless has been very, very good to me. and i understand your concerns on the wireless side, but the whole notion of car valdez, even were something that has been a successful is wireless, -- the whole notion of carve-outs, how we square that with wanting to be technology neutral. >> the plan being considered is not technology neutral. it disfavors wireless because it takes wireless down. it should not be down to the point that it is incapacitated. that makes it more technologically neutral.
>> we talked about the 1996 act and we are not talking about ip. we want to make sure we don't box it out of a possible deployment strategy. >> i just think the very nature of a cap, and as michael said, schools and libraries and other programs have caps. whether it is eliminating the identical support role -- is it rational? probably not. is it rational to have multiple carriers in a study area when you are limited? part of the process of setting a cap will bring some inefficiencies, and the
retargeting will work. however, i don't think wireless should be excluded from the mix. wireless can compete in certain areas. u.s. cellular provides a very valuable service in our state. the trick is in the details to try to come up with bringing those inefficiencies out of the system. i support a cab or budget for the time being. i think the carriers are saying the word budget, not cap. let's give the budget a try and bring the inefficiencies of the system. my challenge to you is, if you have a need that is 10 million or 20 million and you have a budget that is 4.5 , it is very tough to do.
you have to make some hard choices. >> usf reform is long overdue, but this is a success story as well. trying to just give a framework to make sure we get the balance of the country covered in a way that is fair, that provides 21st century infrastructure that is needed is really helpful. i know there are differing viewpoints at the table here, but i would commend -- this stuff gets very dense very quickly when you put down a second or third layer, but the more you all can find some commonality -- one of my
carriers came and talked about the fact they did not realize the firestorm the right of first refusal mind-set of. i think i am glad to hear that i am behind on interconnection, so putting something like that in would be helpful because there still can be challenges around that. i know we touched on this briefly. ms. abernathy made a good comment that there is a transition period. they want to maintain higher access charges for yesterday's technology. these are things we have to keep
working on and sorting through. i appreciate you holding this open all enough for me to get another round in. >> thank you all really. i want to echo those comments, as we continue to work through these issues. the hearing record will be kept open for seven days. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> coming up next, secretary of state hillary clinton. then, u.s. ambassador to afghanistan ryan crocker, and later the senate commerce committee holds a hearing on subsidies for broadband internet access. >> on -- >> "washington journal," representatives charles bass and marcy kaptur on the program to discuss trade deals with south korea, panama, and colombia. the investigation of the fast and furious program which unintentionally allowed guns to reach mexican drug cartels. washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> today, secretary of state hillary clinton commented on the alleged plot to assassinate the saudi arabian ambassador. she made the remarks at the beginning of her speech on u.s.
global leadership. she also talked about arab democratic movements and treat -- free trade negotiations. from the center for american progress, this is 45 minutes. [applause] >> good afternoon. welcome back, to those of you who were with us yesterday evening and this morning. we have had a tremendous conference. we are tremendously honored to have a friend, mentor, an inspiration, secretary of state hillary rodham clinton, here with us today. i want to extend sincere thanks to you for taking time out of your schedule to join us and deepen our conversation. over the past two days, we have looked to our past and we have looked inward to what has made our country great aunt to the
challenges we face to build a more perfect union in the years and months ahead. this morning, bill and jose encouraged us to embrace complexity and connection. secretary clinton has said the connections and complexity in today's world have created a new, global america as well. when those things that make us who we are as a nation, our openness and innovation, determination and devotion to core values, or also more important outside our borders than ever before. we are here this afternoon to look outward and consider how the american ideas we are exploring today matters in the fight for progress around the globe. secretary clinton hardly needs an introduction. she was sworn in on january 21, 2009 after nearly four decades 2009 after nearly four decades of public service as an