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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 20, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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nonpartisan truth telling group politifact when it said the lie of the year was your statement that if you like your health care plan you can keep it? related to the health care problems we have seen over the past year, the fallout from that seems to be making democrats particularly in the senate a little rambunctious and independent of you, evidenced most clearly in the debate over iran sanctions. . .
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>> how about i separate out the iran question from the health care question? on the health or question that care question, i have answered several times, the bottom line is that we are going to continue to work every single day to make sure that implementation of the health care law and the website and all elements of it, including the grandfather clause work better every civil day. as i said in previous press conferences, we're going to make mistakes, and were going to have problems, but my intentions have been clear throughout. i just want to help as many people as possible feel secure, and make sure that they do not go broke.
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we're going to keep on doing that. on iran, there is the possibility of a resolution to a problem that has been a challenge for american national security for over a decade. that is getting iran and in a very viable fashion to not pursue a nuclear weapon. we had the first halt, and in some cases some rollback of iran's nuclear capabilities, the first time that we have seen that in almost a decade. we now have a structure in which we can have a very serious
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conversation to see if it is possible for iran to get right with the international community in a verifiable fashion, to give us all confidence that any peaceful nuclear program that they have is not going to be weapon iced in a way that threatens us or our allies in the region including israel. as i've said before, and i will repeat, it is very important for us to test whether that is possible. not because it is a guarantee, but because the alternative is possibly us having to engage in some sort of conflict to resolve the problem. i've been very clear from the start, i mean what i say. it is my goal to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,
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but i would rather do it diplomatically. i'm keeping all options on the table, but if i can do diplomatically, that is how we should do it. i would think that that would be the preferences of everybody up on capitol hill, because that is the preference of the american people. we lose nothing through negotiation because there are provisions in place. we will have more insight into iran's nuclear program of the next six months than we did previously. we will know if they are violating the terms of the agreement. they are not accelerating their stockpile of enriched uranium, they have to reduce their stockpile of highly enriched uranium. ironically, if we did not have this six-month time in which we
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are testing whether or not we can get a copper has a solution to this problem, they would be advancing even further on their nuclear program. in light of all that, what i've said to members of congress, democrats and republicans, there's no need for new sanctions. not yet. if iran comes back and says we cannot give assurances that we are not going to weapon eyes, if they do not address the capabilities we know that could address capacity for weapons, it is not going to be hard for us to turn the dials back, strengthened sanctions even further. i will work with members of congress to put even more pressure on iran. there's no reason to do it right now.
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and so, i am not surprised that there has been some talk from some members of congress about the sanctions that make the politics of trying to look tough on iran that are often good when you run for office, or if you're in office. as president of the united states right now, who has been responsible over the last four years, with the help of congress, with putting together a comprehensive sanctions regime that was designed to put pressure on them, what i'm saying to them what i said to the international community, and what i've said to the american people, let's test it. now is the time to try to see if we can get this thing done. and i've heard some logic that says well, mr. president, we think it is really useful to have this club hanging over iran's head. these are resulting in a ron losing billions of dollars in
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lost oil fields. it is not as if we're letting up on that. i have heard arguments that well, this way you can be assured, and the iranians will know that if these fail, new and harsher sanctions will be put in place. i do not think that the radiant have any doubt that they would be willing to pass more sanctions and legislation. we could do that in a day, on a dime. but, if we are serious about negotiations, we have to create an atmosphere in which iran is willing to move in ways that they are uncomfortable with.
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in contrast with their ideology and rhetoric. if we do not help them get to a position where we can actually resolve this, by engaging in this kind of action. ok, everybody. i think i'm going to take one more question. >> thank you. one of your longtime advisers is leaving the white house, and some others are coming in. as you reshape her team, how does that change the dynamic here, and how does that impact what you think you got a couple is going forward? >> i have one who is leaving me. i love that guy, that will be a
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significant loss. he will still be in town, and hopefully i will be able to consult with him on an ongoing basis. i think that the fact that john is coming it will be terrific. i've been trying to get him in here for quite some time. at that time he was still feeling that he wanted to develop other organizations. john is a great strategist. he is as good as anybody on domestic policy, and i think you will be a huge boost to us. he will give us more bandwidth to deal with more issues. i suspect that we may have additional announcements in the new year. there is a natural turnover that takes place. people get tired, people get worn out. sometimes you need fresh legs.
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but, what i can tell you is that the team i have now is tireless, and shares my values. believes the things i have repeated in this conference, which is we get this incredible privilege for a pretty short time, and as much as we can for as many people as we can, to help them live better lives. and, that is what drives them. the sacrifice of being away from their families, soccer games, birthdays, some of them will be working over christmas on issues like iran. the fact that they make those kinds of sacrifices, i am always thankful for. if they need a break after four or five years, i completely understand.
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have a great holiday, everybody. i appreciate you. happy new year. bashhould recessed for if among the items on the agenda when congress returns in january, the 2014 spending bill based on the budget agreement reached between house and senate negotiators. or more on the congressional agenda, we spoke with the capitol hill reporter. >> david hocking's is senior editor at roll call. will those bruises from the filibuster fight still be sore the senate >>
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proposed carrying over the nominations that did not get voted on in the past week until the new year and he was rebuffed by the republicans. this is usually a plain old courtesy that very few people notice. it is suggested that the republicans have not lost their sense of anger. -- the hardriting part, three weeks to apportion $1 trillion. looking ahead, what is the number they have to work with? >> the grand total. one trillion and $12 billion.
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i think it is the first time we have ever had any discretion he -- discretionary over a trillion dollars. it brings with it an enormous amount of decision-making for the appropriators. workay it is supposed to is congress is supposed to write 12 different bills to apportion out all of the discretionary spending for the year. they did not do any of them this year. the senate did not pass any of them and the house only past a handful. every single spending decision for the final two thirds of the budget year is being rolled into this one enormous bill. that is quite literally thousands of line items and hundreds of policy tweaks. they are facing a january 15
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deadline. the appropriations chairs have drafted these bills as a take it or leave it measure. >> that is their intention. since the timing is extremely --ht hama their hope is extremely tight, their hope is to do the drafting within the coming two weeks. fewer lawmakers are hanging around to noodle into the process. plenty of lobbyists and advocates taking a little bit of time off. by januaryle means 2, they're hoping to have this negotiatet done to the few remaining disagreements by january 6 or seventh. the house byh january 10. gated on the senate floor by january 7 -- january 13.
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in order to make that extremely tight timetable, the only way to do that is to come up with a legislative vehicle that makes finalill look like a agreement that has been to the process of amendment on both sides, which means it is not amenable anymore. >> what is going to happen when the social issues, up? come up? policyr of those social questions will be tackled in this coming than the republicans would want because to do otherwise would be to bog it
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down. that is the gamble. they do not want to be seen as pushing this process any further than they have to. politically, the narrative is the republicans did not do much to benefit themselves with the shut down in october. they do not want to risk being -- risking any shut down again or budget bring men ship again. -- brinkmanship again. that is what the democrats are gambling. we will see when these house members are home for the holidays and talk to some of their constituents and include what their reelection prospects are like. back moreey come loaded for confrontation. >> february 7, the debt ceiling
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day. jack lew riding congressional leaders, calling for them to authority borrowing for treasury well ahead of that date. will that issue be dealt with as part of the spending debate? >> it will be a standalone issue. there are aand, it couple of weeks after that deadline where he has some discretion to move money around to cover the bills. they are looking more like the second half of february for the true deadline on that. the republicans have made clear that they are going to demand something in return for their votes to raise the debt ceiling. they have not made clear what that something is. who knows? maybe it will be -- some will be talking about more restrictions
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on the health care law. that would be one sort of obvious candidate, but they have not made it clear. it will be interesting to find out what the president's attitude is towards any negotiation over anything before raising the debt limit. he was not amenable to negotiating at all in october. >> giving us a sneak preview of 2014, senior editor at roll call . you can follow him on twitter. week, white house task force released recommendations for the president on the national security agency's electronic surveillance program. we will talk about that on tomorrow's washington journal. environment and energy news for discussion on what is ahead for some of the
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country's prominent environmental groups. washington journal is live tomorrow morning on c-span at 7:00 eastern. thet now, a conversation on upcoming year in congress, the white house, and the campaign season of 2014. we want to introduce you to carmel martin, executive vice president for policy at the center for american policy. first time on "washington journal." give us a taste of your background. the executive vice president at center for american progress. i help manage our policy work. we are a progressive thing ta -- think tank. we try to generate ideas for policymakers. in april of this year coming off a step as an assistant secretary at the department of education. the entire first
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term. prior to that i worked on capitol hill, in the senate for chairman kennedy when he was chairman of the health education labor and pensions committee. nt atars ago i had a sti the center for american progress. host: where did you grow up? guest: new york and new jersey. host: how did you end up getting a masters degree at ut? and a jd? guest: i always knew i wanted to be a lawyer. , texased to law schools is a terrific school. i went there initially for law school and decided to get a masters degree. host: c-span covers a lot of events at the center for american progress. what kind of events? on keywe hold events policy issues facing the
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country. we do a lot of work and economic space, trying to help think of the best ideas for growing our economy. we have a team working on energy and climate issues. national security issues. health care, immigration, education. we cover the gamut of policy issues. ap's website says you are a nonpartisan organization with a progressive agenda. how can you be nonpartisan and have a progressive agenda? guest: we support progressive ideas that are designed to help treat and economy that helps everyone, not just those at the top. promotes things like energy climatehat will stem change. national security to keep our nation safe. we believe in a progressive agenda and are open to anyone from any political affiliation embracing that. convince mission to
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people from all sides of the political spectrum that our ideas should be pursued. host: what is a progressive economic idea that you support? term, we the short need to raise minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance for people who have -- this will be unprecedented if we do not extend unemployment insurance 7%.n on employment is at it will be good for the economy to do so. if their insurance is cut off, we will lose jobs. we need to invest in growth. washington dc has been overly focused on budgets and deficit. that made sense for years ago when we were facing unprecedented deficit levels. we put out a paper a couple months ago laying out the case that we have reduced the deficit
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, the debt trajectory has changed. we need to focus on investing in growth. cost 30 policies have not worked around the world -- austerity policies have not worked around the world. our focus is trying to inspire policy makers to invest in growth and create jobs. that the budget agreement patty murray and paul ryan came up with, what do you think of it? guest: it is good they were able to get past the crisis mode. it is a positive thing and that our constant running to the creating the level of uncertainty in our economy, this has been a bad thing for the country and economy. it is good that they have come to a resolution. the deal is not as good as we would like. we think that if folks on the conservative side were willing to consider putting things like closing corporate tax loopholes
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on the table, we would be able to get a deal that would alleviate more of the cuts sequestration brought. we think it is good to have stability in terms of our budgeting. we are applauding both senator murray and congressman ryan's leadership and being able to get us to that point. we want to turn to the things that we need to focus on. things like immigration reform. things that will really help to grow our economy. host: "the washington times" has an op-ed. peter with the national tax limitation foundation. the end of the progressive era. place them in up theter and turn
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heat. the frogs are unable to jump out and save themselves. that is what president obama and democrats have had in mind with obamacare, which they planned to leave -- which they planned would end up with socialized medicine. americans are reacting with reproach. it is progressivism and the democratic party that is getting burned. issue withuld take just about everything you just read. i think the american people want to have access to good, affordable health care coverage. i think that is what the affordable care act is offering. there have been glitches in terms of implementation. that is a problem that needs to be addressed. the administration is working very hard to do that and to
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provide flexibility in the transition. these kinds of implementation problems are not unprecedented. they happened when medicare was established. -- whoople who dedicate benefit from medicare are very pleased with the program. when george bush expanded medicare for prescription drugs, there were glitches in the implementation. people need to focus on -- -- the of the aca october november numbers shows that 680,000 have signed up through exchanges. 1.2 million people are benefiting from health care they did not have previously through expansion of medicaid. in california, we are seeing 15,000 people signing up every day. people want coverage. once this is implemented, you will see people with better health care coverage at lower costs. that is the right thing to do. host: tweeting in.
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we are $17.2 trillion in debt. you are going to have a hard time to convince me our problem is lack of investment. guest: there is a long-term issue about that. we need to look at long-term deficit reduction. i think there are ways to do that. in the short term, we need to grow the economy. theave brought down deficit. if you look at the targets, bipartisan targets of the simpson-bowles commission. we have met those targets. it does not mean that there is not more to be done. thing -- ifortant we grow our economy, that will reduce debt. we will bring in greater tax revenues and that will reduce debt. it is not that that is no longer an issue that is off the table. we need a short-term plan and a
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long-term plan. in the short term we need job creation. talking with carmel martin, executive vice president for policy at the center for american progress. 585-3881 for republicans. four democrats. caller: good morning. comee state of the union, to -- good ways maybe nancy and harry could sing to him. have you got any better ideas? i am sure the leaders will take your advice to mind. we are going to be focused on
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ideas that the president can support in the state of the union. host: tweet in. i do not think she agrees with you. how do you feel about the redistribution of wealth? the fraud on global warming. two different questions. we have the greatest level of income inequality in this country that we have had since we have been collecting data on the issue. and this economic recovery, the people at the top are recovering. ceos salaries are that two. session -- ceos salaries are back to prerecession levels. incomes are stagnant for average americans. it is hard to argue that a good way for us to proceed as a nation. the u.s. has been known for its commitment to mobility.
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destiny is not determined by where they start in life and that they have the ability to do better than their parents. we are seeing a trend moving away from that. we think it is time to re-examine things like the tax and notit is more fair focused on benefits for those at the top. but also looking at the broad majority of people. we need to grow our economy from the middle out and so the top down. host: john, tampa, independent line. caller: good morning. i am being very serious. why don't we raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour? the reason you do not want to do that is because it would be disruptive to the economy. just like the affordable health care act, instead of helping people, you are destroying lives.
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progressive policies are bad for america. the establishment in washington does not seem to understand not. -- understand that. that is why we voted for tea party candidates to stop the agenda. we could not stop the health care act and look what it has done to america. thank you. guest: i respect your point of view but i disagree with you. the majority of americans believe we should raise minimum wage. it is not fair that a ceo salary is going up exponentially. the average american salary is in real terms the same as it was 30 years ago. in terms of health care i have totion -- respectfully disagree. i think the millions of people who did not have health insurance prior to the affordable care act will now have to -- have it. they would also disagree.
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healthople who have insurance, there are a lot of parents that are happy their children can stay on their health care plans. there are 3.1 million individuals who will benefit from that. 129 million individuals will benefit from the changes around pre-existing conditions. big problemsally for average americans. they wanted a solution. i am open to hearing that the affordable care act is not perfect. we need to address the problems with it but not scrap it. this is something that people do want. they want support for health care. is a carmel martin, this column in "the wall street journal," it is called the prozac presidency. he is talking about a speech the president gave on income distribution. guest: we hosted that speech.
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host: the president's thoughts thdeserve comment. it said a lot about mr. obama's idea of america. the speech, by my reading, was a wallow and presidential pessimism. he believes the debt has been stacked against individuals. those are his words. work,tter how hard they the deck is stacked against them." thinks america must be reeducated to belief they inhabit a country that is unfair. guest: i take issue with the characterization of the speech. i think the reality is that for many americans, need to feel like the deck is stacked against them. we see that in surveys of what
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people think. i think it is the job of the nation's leaders to ensure that one of the things that makes america great is the sense of mobility. i am the daughter of immigrant and i benefit from that sense of coming in working hard and being able to provide to your children something better than you had. we need to make sure -- college is getting more and more unaffordable. they have make sure the ability to go to college. the ability to get a good job and support their families. if you look at the stagnation of toes and people's inability make ends meet, it is something that is appropriate for the president and other leaders to be able to tackle. host: one more paragraph from the column. speech reflects yingobama's habit of bur
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everyone in listening distance be need guilt -- beneath guilt. it is done to distract from obamacare. this president has a reductionist view of the u.s. system in place for nearly 200 years before he graduated high school. no basis foris that. what the president called for not callinge was for hopelessness. he was calling for a renewed effort to help the vast majority of americans. by ensuring they have access to andth care and education skills and training. so that they can advance. he called for a very important priority for the center for american progress, investment in preschool. he was calling for investing in our people. that is a positive thing.
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he pointed out that instead of putting our focus on helping corporations and those at the of the economic spectrum, we need to help those who are struggling to make ends meet. and struggling to advance in the economy. host: that speech can be watched at i am sure at the center for american progress's website as well. howard, california, republican line. caller: good morning. i am just about worn out. i am 73 years old and have lived through a caller: my first one was barry goldwater. i went through the great society and the war.
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i have lived with $17 trillion in debt. the one question i would like to that reducing taxes fine. we have to concentrate on job creation. what i think she means is that that areo create jobs available. she wants to stimulate the job market by adding more debt. since that of giving industry -- opportunity the app instead of giving industry the opportunity to expand. abilityhem to have the to move this economy. as they have done forever. i would ask one more question. what has government for produced
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-- ever produced to create a profit and create a better living standard for this country? host: we got your points. we appreciate your call. guest: first of all, when i talked about job creation, i do not think that means creating progress. you are referring to the recovery act. it was effective in jumpstarting the economy when we were at a low point in the recession. i can think of a lot of ways that we could support job creation and industry in creating those jobs. for example, raising the minimum wage. that would lead to job creation. spend,have more money to you could create consumer demand. we expect that the corporate world would be responsive to that. we are not advocating like it
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tax increases. we are talking about having a tax system that is more fair to the average american. there are a lot of loopholes. for example, we have a corporate loophole that supports executives in the corporate world. that money would be better spent with tax reductions for middle income families. people would create consumer demand. host: by the way, this just came out. harry reid's statement from this morning. he is not feeling well. as a precaution, he has decided to go to the hospital. everything is normal. he is resting and feeling better. doctors have asked that he remain in the hospital for observation. he will not be working today. that is a statement that could
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affect what will happen with the schedule that we talked about earlier this morning. keep your eye on the senate for the next day or days. greg in sioux falls, republican. he e-mails in. spendy he sees things, we dirty $500 a year and bring home $2900 per year. if you add nine zeros, you have idiotder who the in dash was who gave this money away. if you add nine zeros, you have to wonder who the idiot was who gave this money away. host: -- guest: we have put forth ideas for reform. we could reduce spending. we put forth a plan that would reduce government spending by $400 billion in terms of cuts to
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medicare. that would be cuts that are targeted at what we think are unnecessary expenditures. without cutting benefits to recipients. i would just urge the person e- mailing to take a look at the website. we do have a lot of ideas in terms of how to spend money effectively. who: here is a twitter-er is responding to the last caller from california. he says caller, you are old enough to know that it is not the governments job to produce a profit. the next call comes from scott in deep river, minnesota. democrat. caller: hi. river, minnesota. i think you are doing a good inc. here. a lot of progressive ideas.
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leader and majority the president speaking on a lot of these issues that you are proposing right now. i also think that, as far as difficult to very get much done. -- the last colors caller was 73 years old. democratic. thinks that the democrats put up programs and do not realize that -- that is the stimulus to. without that going out to the communities, like small communities, it would be very devastating if privatization of
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social security or volunteers for medicare. these are the things that progressive stands for. thee also stimulate economy. even though many progressive ideas do not get out, i think that the mere fact that we have a president and a majority leader -- a lot of things that would have been enacted do not get enacted. i think that is progress in and of itself. host: thank you. guest: thank you for those comments. i do agree. i share your frustration about things not getting done. i hope that will change. perhaps this will help to create the momentum. there are a lot of ideas that are good for the country and good for people in this country. they do have bipartisan support. i would point to immigration reform is one of those.
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the bill has not been perfect from any vantage point. the senate did produce a bipartisan bill that had leadership on both sides of the aisle. that should be able to move forward. i also hope that there are a lot of ideas around in the long- term. investing in education for children. that is no investment for which there is good data that every dollar we invest gets seven dollars back. that is something that many governors at the state level have embraced. i share the frustrations and the lack of progress. i do think there is reason to believe that future progress is possible. tweet -- if we want higher wages, we need more workers. that will raise prices for the poor. another says that inequality is the greatest moral issue of our day.
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even the pope agrees. -- anothernomic, and economic comment -- three comments via twitter. we have an e-mail as well. i read about the dude -- the difficulties stem from loss of manufacturing jobs. i agree that we need to invest in manufacturing. i do think that there is reason to believe that we can bring back jobs. they have been taken out of the country and brought in. that is important thing to focus on. comment,of the other the point about minimum wage is good. we're not asking for to be raised. we are asking for parity.
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balancedairly initiative. there is recent polling that shows that most americans agree with that. it is the right thing to do and it will increase consumer demand and help to stimulate the economy. --t: correlation tweets in progress is curing cancer and putting a man on mars. nothing to do with taxes. guest: i think i would say they curing cancer and putting men on mars cost money. it is not that i think that we rich, unfairly tax the but our current tax code is an equitable. we should bring more balance to it. rather than giving corporate ceos deductions for their corporate jets, we should be investing in things like research and development that
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could lead to curing cancer are reporting a man on mars. that is a rational choice for us to make. host: a call from farmington, new mexico. republican line. caller: this is fantastic. i have been wanting to talk to a progressive for a very long time. i do not think we get a conversation going. until anever have known couple of years ago. you were interviewing a gal named ebony. she had written a book called "the forgotten man." saying shehillary wanted to be known as a progressive. the progressives back then were card-carrying members of the communist party.
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obama -- telling you that he had a stimulus plan. he admitted to it. he said it. the jobs were not as ready as he thought they would be. every time the government tries to get in the business of manufacturing jobs, whether with , might as well be $15 per hour. if someone is not putting out a product or service that is worth $10 per hour, he will not hire that person. you end up not having jobs. you have congress sold on your program. even though it is ego and terry and to raise the minimum wage, they will not create jobs with it. the reason you'll not is because employers will not hire somebody
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who is not making them a profit. unless they are trained to do something. host: hang on. let's have carmel martin respond. guest: i guess i would say as a progressive that i am not a communist. i believe strongly in a democratic government. in terms of minimum wage, i think there is good evidence that when we have raised minimum wage in the past, states are doing it. it does not lead to reduction in jobs. it does increase consumer demand. i think that it is a good strategy for helping the average american. it also helps to build the economy. i think there are other things that we should be doing to help promote the economy. that includes research and development and the building of infrastructure. therek that it is time --
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is room for debate, but we have not had that debate. the focus has been on x close of has beending cuts -- exclusively on spending cuts. congress will help us get past that and have a healthy debate about what are the best ways to support the economy. host: response to that. caller: i would prefer the guest to use numbers and statistics. they are available to anybody. when you raise the minimum wage, you reduce unemployment. people cannot afford to hire people at minimum wage. it is called the invisible effect. you cannot see somebody who did not get a job. the employer could not pay them the amount of money that you want them to pay. there is nobody saying i did not get that job because you raised
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the minimum wage to high. that is what happened. host: thank you. we will leave it there. any final comments? guest: take a look at our website. we have information about the impact on the minimum wage. we look at unemployment data. it does not lead to large increases in him and pointed. host: you call it middle economics. am i saying that right? guest: the idea behind it is that for decades, there has been a push for trickle-down economics. if we help the people at the top, they will help to grow the economy. if you look at the times in our history when that has been the prevailing policy, that has not been the case. we believe that the way you grow the economy is from the middle out. have people move into it and stay in it.
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that is the way to generate growth. it makes sense. people are doing well and have enough money to support their families. they are able to buy things in the market. that is helpful to the economy. host: we have a another tweet. i will let you explain. the center for american progress is up by billionaire brothers. i forgot their names. that is what they say. i think they might be thinking about the koch brothers. guest: yes. i do not know what the relationship is. i would assume that is what they are talking about. we have no relationship with them. they are not likely to be considered supporters, cents our policy is different. ant: recently, there was article in the washington post that said you took corporate how else to get
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funding? guest: 50% of our money comes from individuals and 50% is from foundations. we have a very small amount of funding that comes from corporations. about six percent of the total budget. i can assure you that the funders have no direction for what we worked on. we're very focused on what is the best idea out there. we're happy to get support. we needed to keep operating. we are fiercely independent. that -- i know firsthand the donations do not drive the work we do. host: john is going back to the white house. guest: he is. host: he is one of the founders, right? guest: it is a sad day for the center for american progress, but we are thrilled that he is going to push progressive ideas
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for the president. we think the president is very lucky to have him. he has tremendous strategic and subsystem policy -- substantive policy decisions. host: democrat in illinois. hello. caller: hi. i am very much progressive. i think that is the only way to move the country forward. the status quo has not been this anywhere. i do not see much change. all i see is the neighborhood crumbling. high rates are going up. sickness and everything else. domestic violence -- everything goes up. on a collective society. when we are better off, guess what? take a bucket of water and get the desert what. i am throwing it in the ocean.
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if i get the desert wet, i will throw that water on the desert. we can use the policy correctly. that puts us against third world nations. they expect us to compete. we were already a lucrative economy. already against people who are not as advanced as we are. host: we're going to leave it there. response to that call? guest: i think what people want is a country that provides opportunity for them. where they are determining their own destiny and the government will help. we need to focus on making sure our youngest children have access to preschool education. make sure that families can afford to send their children to college. make sure that we invest in
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research and development to help spur innovation. we support people in terms of offering them health care. i think that these are all positive goals. i think there is room for support from all sides. i think that is what we really need to stay focused on. kevin isumbus, ohio, calling on the independent line. caller: good morning. first time calling in. thank you for taking my call. basically, earlier i heard some calls about the health care act. a quick comment on health care. i do think it is a good idea. i do not support everything that is going into this. i do not think anyone should before it.
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even if you're forced to buy something, like car insurance, you do not necessarily want to use it. a lot of people complain about obamacare. you cannot make someone go to a doctor. i think that what the president is trying to do is good for the country, but i do not support everything that he has done. i spent a few years working in the health care industry. one of the things that i remember -- they supported ss plan, where you had a choice of doctors and paid for services. the doctor charges a fee and you go for your primary care doctor to see a specialist. knee problem, you go to the best knee guy. health care reform -- it seems
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like there are a bunch of agendas out there. just to make sure that the president is doing what he wants to do. has he made some mistakes? absolutely. i think that congress needs to work together to get this thing fixed. thingsre a bunch of where people have petitions to sign to stop affordable health care. even someone in a wheelchair. he was not on the health plan. my question was, would you buy this wheelchair? his answer was no. host: can you wrap this up? caller: his answer was i have medicare. that is a government health plan. host: carmel martin. guest: he brings up good points. the existing flaws may not be perfect. it does provide a much-needed insurance. one of the things that we do not get enough focus on his the
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missed opportunities. there are governors that are choosing not to take advantage of the medicaid. we wouldere to do so, have 4.8 million americans with access to health care. that is something that people talk about. how can we move forward in those places? by and large, this provides people with a much-needed opportunity. it is not a single-payer system. it is a market based system. it was based on ideas that were generated by the heritage foundation. that is a conservative policy think tank in d.c. it was championed in massachusetts. is -- what people need to focus on is how we improve upon it.
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make sure that people are able to hold onto their health care. host: wanda in evanston, illinois. democrat. you have the last word. caller: hello. i am with this lady. i am 70 years old. when i got out of high school, my parents could not afford to send me to a state university. i do not understand what is so obvious. can you see that there has already been a redistribution of wealth? you can't see that? less than five are sent own 90% of everything? come on. as long as i have worked, i have never worked for less than five dollars and $.25. and i worked in the service industry. polluter and they get fined, they can write off the fine.
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give me a break. guest: i think you are right. we need to focus on college affordability as a very important goal. again, to give people an opportunity to get the education they need, to be effective members of the economy. i think historically, that was averagee within your americans reach. i think that is another issue get now hopefully, we can past this constant threat of crisis on the budget debate and have discussions about what can we do as a country to ensure that my children who are only 13 and 14, that college will be affordable for them and all americans. we have been talking with
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first time guest, martin. please come back. a white house task force released or conditions for the president on the national security agencies -- security agency's electronic surveillance program. elana schoroined by on a discussion on what is ahead for some of the country's prominent environmental groups. "washington journal" is led tomorrow morning on c-span at 7:00 a.m. eastern. president obama today held a year-end news conference at the white house. he answered questions about the national security agency surveillance program, the rollout of, and efforts to secure a nuclear deal with iran. one of the questions he answered was about russia's effort -- russia's record on gay rights and the winterland dixon russia. >> what was -- the winter
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olympics in russia. >> what was the message you were trying to send? all, i haven't attended a fix in the past and i , you know, me attending the olympics particularly at a time when we have all of the stuff that people have been talking about will be tough. although i would love to do it. of allbe going to a lot of the games post-presidency. i think it speaks for themselves. you have outstanding americans, outstanding athletes, people who will represent us extraordinary well. -- extraordinarily well. the fact that we've got folks like billie jean king or brian themselves have been world-class athletes, who everybody acknowledges for their excellence but also for their
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character, who also happen to be members of the lgbt community, you should take that for what it's worth. deal pickst comes to and athletic performance, we don't make the stations on the basis of sexual orientation. we judge people on how they court andoth on the off the court. on the field and off the field. that i think value is at the heart of not just america, but american sports. >> you can see the president and sire news conference -- the president's entire news conference tonight on c-span at 8:00 eastern. this year, c-span brought you thousands of hours of public affairs events. as we approach the end of 2013, we will take a look back at five newse topics that made
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this year. next week, our year in review series at 8:00 p.m. eastern. to start monday with a look at immigration. tuesday communist changes to the senate filibuster rules. wednesday, national security agency surveillance program. thursday, gun laws. and we wrap up on friday with a look back at the government shutdown. all nextyear in review week at 8:00 p.m. eastern. the european union are in negotiations for a free trade agreement. a third round of the stocks closed this week. spokeief u.s. negotiator with reporters today about how the talks are going. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for being here.
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we would like to start this press conference right now with they will make opening statements and we would like to open up to your questions. we do ask that you limit your questions to one per outlet so everyone gets a chance to ask a question. and we also ask that you limit your follow-up questions. i will open the floor now. >> thank you very much. good morning, everybody and thank you very much for joining us as we report on the third round of the transatlantic trade investment partnership negotiations or a t-test as we call it. ttip, as we call it.
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we began our negotiations this year in july with a week-long set of negotiations. within a few weeks of the administration having completed its consultations with congress and within a few weeks of the commission having received its mandate from the council. we had a weeklong set of negotiations. we had 24 different negotiating groups discussing the wide range of areas that we would anticipate would be part of a competence of trade and investment agreement. each of the groups compared their approaches to each of the different areas, look for areas of convergence, identified areas of divergence, and made plans for follow-on work on to the second round. the second round happened in brussels and in videoconferences during the week of november 11. stage, the negotiating
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groups continue discussing their ideas and began to talk about specific negotiating proposals. during the third round, this week, the negotiating groups have been meeting on virtually all of the areas that we would anticipate would be covered in the ttip. ttip. -- in the regulatory and standards group which focused on technical regulations, sanitary regulations, primarily in the area of food safety, regulatory coherence and particular sectors. we also discussed investments and services, including in the areas of telik vacation, electronic commerce, cross- border program -- cross-border services and financial services and we covered government procurement come and talk show property, labor, environment, state owned enterprises and the
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one of the issues of global sizeern, small and medium- enterprises, localization barriers to trade, competition, run materials and energy and legal and institutional issues such as dispute settlement. in each of these areas, the negotiating groups were fleshing out the earlier proposals and discussing new text and other proposals. groups, thef the teams were also continuing their discussions on what we call the architecture of the agreement, how issues we are dressing in each of these negotiating groups would be reflected in the testament agreement, how they would work together, how these different areas would relate to each other. area, wegulatory continue our discussions of the various ways to facilitate the development of regulation on both sides of the atlantic, that both achieve the revelatory objectives -- for instance, our
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chosen levels of environmental protection, consumer protection, but also minimize or eliminate the cost and barriers to trade and investments that are caused by unnecessary divergences in these regulations. so we are continuing to undertake work, this regulatory work, across several intertwined areas, including horizontal or crosscutting approaches to a wide range of regulatory and standards based activities, such as mechanisms or procedures that promote transparency, that promote participation, that promote accountability, as well as more and specific discussions in the range available to reduce costs in particular sectors. a major source of growth of jobs would be the elimination of tariff barriers.
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we anticipate that this work will need to take place -- will continue to take place in the fourth round after our exchange of tariff offers early next year. this round, we also pursued and we will continue pursuing other important areas for market access, including government procurement and services. finally, in this third round, as in the previous two rounds, we continue to be guided by the important input that we received from a wide range of stakeholders. as you know, the united states and the european union summarize their objectives in a report of a high-level working group of levels of growth in february. the administration further described its objectives in a letter that it sent to the u.s. congress. that letter is available on our website. since then, we have
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held innumerable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to receive input on those objectives and to exchange views and most recently, this past wednesday, during the course of the round, the u.s. and eu negotiators took time to share information and hear viewpoints differenthan 350 stakeholders from environmental groups, consumer and other nongovernmental organizations, labor, business and academia. this included a three-our session that consisted of more than 50 policy presentations that covered a range of issues, including consumer and food safety. and agriculture. these assessments offered the stakeholders an opportunity to provide negotiators valuable feedback on the negotiating objectives for ttip as we proceed in the stocks. following that session, ignacio and i conducted a briefing of a
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large group of stakeholders for about an hour and a half. i think i can stay for negotiators on both sides when i say that we found this exchange with stakeholders in our ability to receive use and exchange views with the stakeholders to be extremely important as we determine the specifics of our way forward in these negotiations. we believe that this agreement has to be one that increases growth, increases jobs, increases our international competitiveness, and that has a solid stakeholder support. as i said, this is our last round of when he 13. 2013.of in 2014, we anticipate taking stock at a political level of what we have a converse of this year and what we need to move the negotiation forward in the year 2014. the exact timing of this assessment will depend on for
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the discussion in january based on the work this week, which as i mentioned is still ongoing until the end of the day today. and we are also working on a schedule for several negotiating rounds in 2014. thank you very much for your attention. i will turn the floor over to ignacio now and we would be happy to answer any questions. thank you. >> thank you and good morning to everyone. as don has said, we can be satisfied about this round of negotiations. we remind -- we remain on track ambitious investment agreement to boost our economy, deliver growth and more importantly for both europeans and americans. i can't emphasize how important this is at this point in time. we have had opportunity to be on topics. each side would like to be
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covered in this conference of agreement. this has been possible because of a very strong mobilization of our teams, including a very active participation of regulators from both sides. to the nextorward, to go skating rounds, i would like to emphasize a few considerations. i think it is critical that we maintain a high level of ambition on all the suite components. that is to say on tariffs, on procurement, and on services and investment. issues, it should probably be achieved across the board, both on the so-called [indiscernible] and on the specific sectors. in the next round, we should be able to intensify our work and
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our discussions on the very important issues such as competition policy, trade and sustainable development including labor and environment and, of course, other facilitation's. i would like to highlight that it will be critical that the for smallude benefits and medium enterprises. and that it be replayed -- it be reflected throughout the agreement and also in a specific chapter with related issues. we anticipate the political [indiscernible] early next year that will help guide us forward. it is very clear for us that this is not a routine training initiation. a strongnot just support from all stakeholders.
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directs -- we saw involvement from stakeholders. it is because of the nature of what we have to do. component of the negotiation in particular requires us to develop a much more substantial process of stakeholder consultation. we have engaged again this week with a very broad range of stakeholders. ofdedicated the full-day wednesday to input from the stakeholder presentations and engaging in the question-and- their haveem and been opportunities to have meetings with a broad range of stakeholders representing different interests, business, temperamental groups among
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consumer organizations, trade unions and found the engagement very productive and very interesting. and i would like to also take this opportunity to mention that the 14th of january, the european commission will be civil society dialogue that would be open to stakeholders. andill continue to innovate we are determined to get this right. on regulatory issues more generally, i would like to reiterate and i think i can speak for both sides that we are committed to ensuring that these negotiations will not the about lowering or compromising the highest standards of consumer, environment, privacy, health or other legitimate protections. and that each side will obviously maintain its
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regulatory [indiscernible] the ttip is not and would not be about a deregulation agenda. i am very pleased to announce that we will be organizing the next negotiating round which will take place in russell's -- in brussels. i would be happy to communicate that you very soon. thank you. >> so happy to answer any of your questions. >> just a question on the transparency issue, we note that in the rounds here in washington, the u.s. had negotiators hearing presentations from the stakeholders and there were press negotiators and they were all coming together. but in the second round in
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brussels, the commission chose not to do that. i am wondering why the commission is not allowing that model and, if there is a plan for a change in the fourth round, will the commission be doing something similar with the stakeholders? >> as i said, we are always ready to innovate and to include participants. it is to come second round made was organized in a -- in somewhat special circumstances. i am very pleased that come in this round -- that, in this we had a round of discussions. we believe that is very important. we will see about what is the best way to organize that in the next round. i can assure you at any case that this continuous process of
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dialogues, we are receiving inputs from all of the aspects of the negotiations. perhaps it is important that we hear what they have to say but we also have the opportunity to andge in the discussion reflect the best way to organize these, not only in the negotiating round, but also throughout the entire negotiating process. thatshould point out ignacio and i did have exchange with approximately 400 stakeholders over the course of two and half hours or a little after. we were -- they pretty much exhausted the number of questions in the room. it was a high level of interaction with a large number of stakeholders. >> i want to touch a little bit on [indiscernible]
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what sector is the use repaired on -- which sector is the u.s. prepared on negotiating on? [indiscernible] throughout this negotiating round and in the previous round, we have been discussing the number of sect there's. -- of sectors. in the an interest possibility of having specific sector commitments. we have looked at sectors like automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, textiles, chemicals, ict -- i hope am not forgetting any of them. and i wish to emphasize that
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these sectors are what both sides have indicated an interest in moving forward in terms of exploring specific commitments and in which all sectors to a large extent have been joined by both european and united states stakeholders. an issue of this is common interest for both the united states and the european union. thehen we went out for federal register comments, we got about 370 different comments from a lot of different industries and other interested parties suggesting what we should do. as he said, we started to identify some sectors that we think are useful to have discussions on, to look for ways that we can reduce costs associated with unnecessary regulatory divergences. yet we are not finished identifying the issues associated with sect or's. we are still working through those good and there -- through
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those and their interrelationship in the horizontal issues. you mentioned sectoral annexes and it's worthwhile that the sizing that some of the discussions we will be having will be over the architecture of the agreement and how we actually reflect the work that we do in the sectoral component, physically. an ultimate agreement is still to be determined. we are continuing to work forward. there is certainly not at this point a close list of sectors or sectoral issues. that, in thehasize point of view, we are still looking into the point -- the possibility of looking into some of the sectors where there may also be opportunities to do work as the negotiations progress. we may well decide to look into other areas.
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>> aside from the sect or's, best the sectors -- aside from , have you decided on the scope of the agreement aside from the sectors? does thatt extent still reflect the higher level working group report? >> i would say that the overall scope and set of objectives remain the same. wei mentioned, this week, did have virtually all of the negotiating groups meeting on the range of issues. i think the scope of what we hope to achieve is reflected in the higher working group report and in our letter to congress which remains valid.
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obviously, everything in the high-level working group report is very much part of our discussions. of course, one would need to take some decisions about architecture and issues to look and isnd remain open something, as we progress in the negotiations, we will be possibly determining these issues. >> on textiles, i have a two- part question. what is the nature of the discussions? at what stage are you in terms offersave you exchanged this early in the process? secondly, at the stakeholder meeting, the american apparel and footwear association raised an ongoing issue. eu imposed a 20% tariff on u.s.
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denim exports and that stems from the burden of the dto case. were you able to address this issue and how close are you to resolving it? thank you. >> first, the discussions i have taken place on textiles has been mostly focusing on the sector.ry we have not yet gotten to the stage where we have exchanged offers. one of the things that we would be aiming to do early next year on all of the sectors. of course, not only on textiles. discussion and the horizontal aspects have really started to discuss the specific rules which apply in different sectors. as to the specific measure that you referred to, it is not
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foreign to this type of specific trade concerned. we have been focusing on what we came to do in the ttip. so it is not a in issue that we have discussed. i think it is fair to say that, rulestiles, market taxes, of origin, we did have conversations this week. i think those conversations will be continuing into 2014 as we move forward to the exchange of offers. >> a follow up question to your comments about the sectors. which at the moment are to be included in the churn less? -- in that short list? what about energy, specifically u.s. exports in this negotiation?
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i think it is important that you bear in mind that come in each of those sectors, a significant range of issues have been raised where it has been suggested that rightfully maintaining the level of protection in the european union and in the united states, it is possible to achieve significant regulatory cost savings. it depends very much on each sector. in some cases, it is a question of the possibility of meeting in aonditions of relations car sector. in other areas commit is a of mutual recognition. medical devices and cosmetics sector. it is a question of better core dating -- better coordinating and the type of tools that depend very much on the specificities of each sector and
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you have to have regulators looking into opportunities and moving forward on each of them as we progress in these negotiations next year. i think at this point in time, what we are doing in each of the sectors is analyzing the issues, reviewing the evidence and these processes among the regulators. we ask the trade negotiators to see how we can achieve these goals without compromising the levels of protection. on energy and raw materials, we certainly have an interest and we hope that there will be a of facility of access to u.s. resources. this is something of great importance. of course, we are looking into the issue of raw materials not only for the point of view, but also from the broader system
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perspective because we believe that the the european union and the united states have a common interest in promoting open, environments for open investment and looking at the best way to continue to fulfill that objective. sectors, question of it is true that each of the different sectors that we are looking at present their own issues, their own challenges. in a way, they reflect the broad range of tools that we have at our disposal to reduce cost. in certain areas, it may well be that, if the two sides have the same level of protection but different regulatory ways of achieving that, there may well be opportunities for equivalent or mutual recognition. in other areas, the focus may be
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more on whether you can have a recognition of conformity assessment results and arrive at a point where a product can be tested just wants and not twice before it comes into the market. in other areas, it might be a question of sharing information and analyses of products. each sector, the nature of the sector -- each sector can present its own issues that are above and beyond the horizontal issues i identified. say whichicult to sector is further along and which sectors for the behind. i think they are all moving forward and all the parties are engaged in trying to find solutions to reduce cost due to diversions is. issue, in theort
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united states, we have a regime where exports of natural gas are deemed in the public interest. a trading partner with whom we have a trade agreement that provides for natural treatment, natural gas., there is the presumption that exports are in that. there are opportunities for increased trade. ultimately, whether trade actually takes place will depend best the customers and depend on the customers in the pricing and the marketplace actors. works at the stakeholders >>ting on wednesday among --
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at the stakeholders meeting on wednesday, there was a question about whether or not data privacy would be part of the ttip. of the groups opposed any inclusion of data privacy in the final agreement because they felt there were processes on both sides of the atlantic now to address the issue of data privacy in the wake of the nsa surveillance scandal. thank you. i think you know our point of view on this because we have made it clear in many occasions. david of that data privacy is not part of the ttip negotiations. where there are issues and concerns relating to data privacy, they are being discussed between the united states and the european union. righte ttip is not the
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forum for those issues. we're not ready to talk about issues on electronic commerce. this is a very important component of the economy. whenever it comes to personal data of european citizens, that data can only be transferred abroad in compliance with european union regulation on that matter. shoe -- that is an issue of fundamental rights, one that is very clear and very well known. >> companies on both sides of the atlantic have else up one of the most robust data transfer networks in the world. and it is a network that really forms the backbone of our mutual international competitiveness and helps support the $4 trillion in foreign direct investment that we have in each
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other's economies and the $3 billion a day in trade in goods and services that occur every day. so the ttip should offer opportunities to facilitate and support those flows. we are confident as we work through this process that we can accomplish that result and do that in a manner that remains of -- remains respectable -- respectful of the privacy regimes on both sides of the atlantic. >> you are talking about the stakeholder meetings on wednesday. most of the stakeholders are from environmentalists, consumer advocacy groups, and really the stakeholder meetings are no substitute for full transparency , which in their eyes is really after eachdraft text
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round. so why not just do that after each round? why not release the full text of the public so that stakeholders know and lets the press nine the public know what is being negotiated? question want to take it first? -- >> you want to take a first? >> we have been working a lot through the stakeholder engagement settings and meetings and through written letters to the congress and reports to maximize the level of transparency to describe precisely what we are doing to engage one-on-one in many instances or with a group of stakeholders in other instances to try to make as clear as possible what it is we are doing and to get their viewpoints. view, the value of transparency is paramount in our mind. we do need, however, to give the negotiators space to have
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inversations, to negotiate the national interest. i think what we are achieving is a balance he between giving those negotiators the space that they need to be frank, to have frank our stations and negotiate, but also communicate as fully as we are able -- to have frank conversations and negotiate him a but also communicate as fully as we are able. >> trying to strike the balance right, that has indicated that it is critical to make trade negotiations where each party comes forward with its own proposals, that you have the space to see how you can accommodate each party. this is a interactive process that takes place throughout the negotiation and at such time you
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a common european and american view. there may be a possibility for both sides to compromise and it would be more difficult if those steps come out ahead of time. time, we want to be able to communicate as much as much as possible to our citizens .hat is the position at the european union, we have made as many position papers public where we indicate in each of the different negotiating areas which are the objectives that we are pursuing in the negotiation and those are always any to discuss with stakeholder.
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you can see that certain issues have given rise to discussion and we engage in the discussion to explain the positions and to better understand the views of the stakeholders. i think this is a balance that needs to be maintained. aswill continue to reflect the negotiations progress on how ofensure that this element doneaining this privacy is in a respectful manner and accountability. it becomes stable and consolidated, everyone will be able to see the result and it will be done before the final decision is taken by our legislators to ratify the text and to know what is the content of each of the chapters of this agreement. >> that is to say we are making deepe effort to implement
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transparency in this negotiation. but of course, we can always improve. we can always do better. so we appreciate the views and we hear from stakeholders about what we can do to improve this process. >> there is a growing concern that this could give companies the power to directly challenge negotiations in europe. do you think those concerns are legitimate? >> all views are always legitimate and all views need to be respected and need to be discussed.
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issuessly, on certain where concerns were being displaced by differing groups that the european union -- in the european union and the united states, we look to see what is the best way to arrest them. i think it is important to be [indiscernible] we have been concluded by every member state of the european union, all of which includes this mechanism. nine of our member states already have those treaties with the united states. that is the current reality. whether itdiscussing is possible to include the thate for cicely to ensure
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regulatory measures cannot be successfully challenged. you need to strike the right balance between the protection of the investor and ensure [indiscernible] that both the united states and the european union value. that, despite the fact that we have these nine treaties between member states of the european union and the united states for more than 20 years, there have not been a single case in which a regulatory measure of one of those member states or of the european union have been successfully challenged. there is only one case that was lost and it did not relate to something that could be described as a legitimate regulatory measure. in any case, for us, we take these concerns seriously.
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that is why we are saying that, while we have that's what we have been tried to do at the european level in negotiations with canada is to ensure that the investment protection standard of those agreements are defined as much as possible. sooner we reach this decision, the lesser can there be misinterpretation by any arbitrator. so we are looking for more definition of the investment protection standards and looking how to reinforce the guarantees of the process. the need to avoid frivolous claims and avoid an element doesn't have an element to ensure guarantees. number ofde a
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important innovations in this area. it is provided in the current investment treaty by member states and we very much hope be able to look into this and perhaps even do better. i don't have a lot to add other than to that we do understand the concern and we do appreciate those concerns having been communicated to us so clearly. ourss, it is a key goal of in negotiations and the ttip will be to protect the rights of the government's to regulate the rights of the public interest in a right that we will never negotiate away. at the same time, we want to pursue strong investor protections so that, from our perspective, american companies investing abroad have the same access to fair and equitable treatment as they received in the united states. that system for us does include a variety of mechanisms, including state to state dispute
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mechanisms and investor state dispute mechanisms to ensure fair and equal treatment. an approach that we have taken all of our fta's, an approach that has evolved over the course of a decade of its that eating our investment provisions, receiving input on those provisions, and striking the right balance to ensure that governments can continue to have the ability to regulate in the public interest. >> i have a question on the timetable more on the u.s. side in this case. what is the hope for pushing things through 2014? we have midterm elections upon us and we need an eta should to the president.
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>> focusing on your last question, it is very important to us to be able to bring home the international agreements that we have. we are working with congress to get that authority. objectivese finer with congress and lays out the processes and procedures we need to follow to put one of these agreements in place. so it is very important and we are very hopeful that we will be getting that authority in the near term. in terms of the overall timetable, as i've suggested in my initial comments, within a couple of weeks of being able to, we began the negotiation. purdue much as quickly as one could do we have a second round and we worked very closely intersessional a between the rounds to make progress. we are committed to moving very quickly on this.
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but the main important thing for us is to get it right. so we are working hard. we are working quickly. but we don't want to sacrifice the ultimate quality of the agreement. at the end of the day, we have to be able to point to an agreement that actually does increase growth, jobs, and international competitiveness. so we don't have a timetable except we want to move quickly and we want to get it right. >> if i can turn this around a little bit and ask you something negative, has there been any discussion between you two or your bosses on what may not be possible in this agreement? so when you get to the final hurdle, it is not as high as it looks now.
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have you discussed it? is there an agreement of what is a bridge too far? are continue discussions about the different elements of the agreement. i don't think at this stage we finalscussing what the decision will be. this are proceeding in round as in previous rounds with a wide range of topics that we would hope to be included in a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. >> just a quick comment before my question. i was a little bit confused on wednesday about why you're briefing us take holders was closed to the press if you are trying to increase transparency.
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my real question is more about the timetable for deciding what you'll decide. that is, when would you expect to decide on the heirs -- on the sectors that you will deal with and from that point, how much far longer would you expect to go to reach -- are you hoping to reach an agreement this year? is this something that will be taking place next year? can you give us the outside and what your timetable is for various elements of this agreement. on the letter question, i don't think we have a timetable for making the decision on specific things. we are try to move forward and make roberts in all of the areas as much as we can. i suspect come a time we will be figuring out how we will wrap up issues, but that time is not yet. question, we have
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the three-hour session with all of the stakeholders in the negotiators and lots of members of the press. so for the three-hour session were there was the direct negotiators, stakeholder interaction with members of the press and the stakeholders, our feeling was that the briefing that we gave to the stakeholders on wednesday afternoon was their toortunity to pose questions us and have exchange and the opportunity for the press have a briefing and have questions and answers would come at the end of the round when we completed the round during this hour. >> i would like to say a word on the sectors. the sectors that i mentioned in the outset to your reviews question are those sectors that
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we are currently exploring the possibility of having specific regulatory commitments. we are discussing very broadly disciplined for all sectors, .ooking into many other issues there are sectors where we are looking completely where it is possible to achieve specific regulatory commitments that go beyond and complement what is being done. a closed list. it is just a list that we have started to work cooperatively with you leaders from both sides. and within each of the sectors, there is a list of issues that we are looking into. as we progress in a discussion, we will see how far it is possible to go on each of the issues and each of the sectors. i think that is important to bear in mind.
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>> the commission this week released a draft on restricting products from cloned animals. extent tell us to what that issue will find its way into the trade agreement and the trade negotiations? can you elaborate more on the food issues they discussed this week? >> on the specific proposal of the commission, no, this is not in issue that we are discussing in these negotiations. of course, we are always ready to listen to questions and comments about our initiatives. as suchs not an issue that we are discussing in these negotiations. safety, there are good discussions between the two teams. we are looking into what could be the elements of unambitious
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sps was chapter -- of an ambitious sps plus chapter. and there are also conversations about how to try to facilitate allto solve specific issues in full respect of each side's legislations and regulatory framework good so i think we are -- i think there are good discussions on these topics. but on the specific issue that you referred to is not an issue that has been discussed. >> maybe i will just elaborate a bit. we did undertake in a high-level working group to address these sanitary and fight of sanitary or sps next -- sps measures related to food safety. we said we would explore ways in plus we could explore sts
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goects for disciplines back beyond and elaborate on the current the btl requirement that food safety measures be based on science, be based on risk assessment. so what we are discussing during these rounds is the various ways that we can focus on some of these requirements, focus on some consultant to mechanisms that we can put in place to have our regulators work together to sts plus disciplines on the food safety measures. the united states and europe have two of the best food safety regimes in the world. and by cooperating together and agreeing on cooperative measures
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where we can both achieve our appropriate level of protection, , usingppropriate science appropriate risk assessment, i think we can both gain on this -- on the food safety area. >> i just want to [indiscernible] why is it so important for the trade agreement? both the united states and the european union are negotiating a treaty with china. have plansng if you [indiscernible] with china?
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negotiations that we do with china on investment, one of the issues that would be certainly discussed is investor to state sentiment. it is very in nearly stage of the discussion, but we would be discussing the sauce -- this issue also with our chinese colleagues. said, it iss i extremely important to maintain the right of governments to regulate in the public interest, but it is a strong objective to make sure that we have in the international system strong investor protections that do , like ithe variety mentioned, stick to state as state to suevestor- element. >> thank you.
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>> tonight on c-span, president obama ends the year with a press conference in the white house briefing room. followed by an encore presentation from our first ladies series with a look at the life and times of grace coolidge. then navy secretary ray mavis takes questions from reporters at a reefing. -- at a briefing. ended the year conference in the briefing room. this
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>> i know you are eager to skip town and spend time with your families. not surprisingly, i am too. but you know what they say. it is the most wonderful press conference of the year, right now. i am eager to take your questions. first, i want to say a few words about our economy. in 2013, our businesses created another 2 million jobs. adding up to more than 8 million in just over the past 45 months. this morning, we learned that over the summer our economy grew at its strongest pace in nearly two years. the unemployment rate has steadily fallen to its lowest point in i've years. our fiscal situation is firmer, with deficits that are now less than half of what they were when i took office. for the first time in nearly two
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decades, we produce more oil at home then we buy from the rest of the world. and our all of the above strategy for new american energy means lower energy costs. the affordable care act has helped keep cap -- keep health care costs growing at their slowest rate in 50 years. that means bigger paychecks and bigger savings for businesses. and for all the challenges we have had and all the challenges that we have been working on diligently in dealing with both the aca and the website these past couple months, more than half a million americans have enrolled through in the first three weeks of december alone. in california, a state operating its own marketplace, more than 15,000 americans are enrolling every single day. and in the federal website, tens of thousands are enrolling every single day. since october 1, more than one


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