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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 8, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EST

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ons agenda. these open solicitations, you might ask why they aren't done all the time. for one thing, because they generate a lot of applications. the first round in 2009 had well over 3,000 initial submissions for what ended up to be 35 awards. so you can understand these are a challenge. however, we believe they are crucial in really opening up the apperture to all the good ideas that may come in. if you look at 2009 open solicitation, for example, there were some very innovative work on wind turbines using jet engine-inspired designs. but just a few days ago one of the initial awards -- perhaps the largest of the initial awards happens to be at m.i.t. where i was at the time.
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to a novel technology called liquid metal batteries. and the announcement a few days ago was the commercialization of these batteries as utility-scale storage devices. and so that's an example of a brand new technology that came out in this kind of open solicitation. in 2012 similarly an example was sensing and computing hardware that could be in a backpack-sized device that you could walk in and rapidly generate indoor physical and thermal, etc., maps of a built structure. so, again, a really interesting idea that probably would not have been brought out in the more targeted solicitations that we do. so we think this is exciting in terms of generating new technology ideas going forward. but let me also say that this
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will be a big year for our loan program. i hope some of you have noticed the change in tone of what's been written on the program. for a while it was solyndra, solyndra, solyndra. well, it turns out there's $30 billion in play in the loan program. the overall default rate has been 2%. solyndra represents almost 2/3 of the default rate in that one project. but it has paid off in major ways. utility scale photo volume takes, c.s.p., we could go on and on. we have just recently completed our full sweep of call for proposals for an additional $40 billion of loan guarantee.
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that's $4 billion roughly in renewables and efficiency. these are set by state. $8 billion for fossil technologies that lower emissions. roughly $12 billion for advanced nuclear technologies and roughly $16 billion for new vehicle technologies which probably will see more auto suppliers as opposed to integrated manufacturers coming forward. so we already have proposals in for many of those. renewables and fossil. we see strong portfolios -- want to make it very clear that we plan to continue to be very forward leaning, very aggressive in terms of now the deployment side through our loan guarantee program. a different kind of mitigation push comes from setting
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standards, efficiency standards, for example, and i want to say that once again, with two hours to spare before new year's, we met our goal of actually 10 efficiency standards in 2014 double the amount in half the time relative to the previous two years. we're going to keep running through the tape in this administration with this because the acumulative impacts of these through 2030 are projected to be three gigatons of co-2 reduction and nearly a half a trillion dollars of energy -- of consumer energy savings by the accumulation of these many efficiency standards. so that's another area where you can expect to see very, very strong focus in this coming year. on adaptation, i'll come back to that in a little bit when i discuss the energy review.
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let me talk about international cooperation. again, we can come back to this more on the questions. but obviously the joint announcement by presidents obama and xiu in beijing we think really changed a lot of the discussion in terms of international collaboration. this year we will be working hard with the chinese in terms of moving forward on the joint commitments for the department of energy. it again goes back to technology and we agreed to expand in scope, for example, adding a strong energy water nexus focus, and to expend in scale our direct technology cooperation with the chinese. including a commitment to move forward jointly and we will invite other international partners to really push the edge in terms of understanding carbon dioxide sequestration, with a
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new and much expanded approach to instrumentation, to understanding all the issues one needs to know about deep co-2 sequestration, to allow, for example, the appropriate regulatory basis to be laid. that's just an example of -- that's a very important area of international collaboration. the other one i'll mention, and it's quite fresh. yesterday we had so-called high energy dialogue with mexico. and that in turn followed a trilateral in december with mexico and canada in terms of energy. it's been a very, very, very positive discussion. one of the things going forward, i see my colleague out there from e.i.a., adam is leading one of the aagreed to thrusts in the
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trilateral context, actually which is data and energy infrastructure mapping integration. right now we don't have very good data that goes across the three countries. and sometimes we do have the data, it doesn't agree. so getting data integration i think we think is a very important foundational step. that's an example of a focus. but we will also have a very strong focus on infrastructure development, integrated infrastructure development, and with mexico, for example, that will probably have -- not probably, it will have a particularly strong focus on electricity integration. there's more than i think most of us might have realized already in terms of electricity going back and forth across the border, with a seasonal footprint. but it's still rather much or rather lower than is the case
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with canada, for example, where we import so much hydro. but that's an example of going forward and mexico will be hosting in march the energy and climate partnership of the americas. we think this is very important. both for, again, our relationships with mexico, the united states, but also looking at what is very clearly in latin america a lot of progressive movement on the climate front. on the way to paris. and of course i should have said at the beginning that the mexican energy reform is really extremely ambitious and it is -- a lot of the focus on the discussion publicly tends to be in the hydrocarbon seblingter. but i want to emphasize that reform is equally ambitious in the electricity sector in mexico
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and to the extent to which those market structures and regulatory structures become much more in sync with those in the united states, for example, collaboration and energy integration will just be so much easier. so that's a few of the areas on the road to paris that we will be looking at in terms of climate. in terms of energy security, and i think i probably don't have too much time left, in terms of energy security, let me say that a major focus for this year will be continuing a discussion, set of activities, developed onto the g-7 context umbrella. it's a g-7 activity in partnership with the european commission. and i'll just focus on one piece
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of it, very important piece. the issues that were clearly in front of the table with ukraine situation, looking at european and particularly european energy security. but the first point to make is when we say it's european energy security, we really mean it's the collective energy security of allies and friends. and so even if we have -- if some of us may be tempted to have a complacent view of energy security in the united states, because of our production, the fact is we have a serious interest in the broader energy security issue with our allies and friends. it has huge geopolitical implications for us. so that's a discussion that we are very, very deep into. part of it was, first of all presenting an updated view of energy security. it's not just about diversity of oil supply. or natural gas
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supply. it involves many issues, including market structures and we could go on and on, substitution possibilities, etc. but what we tackled so far were the difficult issues of things like helping ukraine face the winter, etc. but this year -- and that will continue. but this year, frankly, a harder issue. we are due to report on, to the g-7 leader summit, and that is a real intermediate to long-term plan for integrated collective energy security. and that gets into some very fundamental policy issues in different countries. but that will be a big agenda item for this year.
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finally, let me just say a few words on the energy review. probably first i have to say a few words about the energy review. some of you are familiar and some of you are not. this is an administrationwide effort that is looking to weave together all of the equities and threads of an energy policy across the government. this first year we have taken, the first of the quadrennial that's one plus one plus one plus one. and the first one we are focusing on energy infrastructure. transmission, storage and distribution of energy. that's already -- it's a pretty big bite, to be honest. but clearly somewhat restricted. the department of energy through the energy policy and systems analysis office, which i
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referred earlier to melanie, which she heads, is really the executive secretariat for this government-wide effort. it's a major analytical effort. let me just say a few of the things -- we are looking to february as the time for getting out this first installment. it will have a lot of information about the situation of energy infrastructure in our country. and also in the north american context. but it will also move on to make recommendations about what are some of the issues we have to address. i'm not going to go into this in great detail but let me tell but four areas that will be very much a part of the agenda. in the q.e.r. and for implementing in the rest of 2015 and beyond. one is, first of all, you might
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say narrowly, but our petroleum reserve really needs modernization. certainly in a variety of physical elements. and partly because of the changed production profile in the united states. the different geography of producing oil and gas has led to a number of distribution issues that we partially uncovered by doing a test sale from the petroleum reserve earlier this year. we will be laying out the program that is needed to address the petroleum reserve and the distributional capabilities of the petroleum reserve. another big area will be the smart grid. by which i just mean in general the electricity delivery system, and particularly its integration with information technology, etc. obviously many reasons to drive that.
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for example, large scale remote renewables integration into our system. but then again on other side of the t&d system, distributed generation capabilities and how we manage all of these in a reliable, resilient, robust system is clearly a major focus. we'll have recommendations there. another is related to the adaptation question that i skipped over on the climate action plan. again, resilience, recovery, safety of energy infrastructure. a lot of that will involve states working -- government states and private sector. and we will be again moving that forward. it also includes addressing the infrastructure problems that were pointed out in the administration's methane strategy. methane emissions is a climate challenge, but of course also methane emissions on the
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distribution side as a safety challenge. because we have seen unfortunately, some of the problems there with literally hundred-year-old pipe in some of our cities and major challenges. so we will be making some recommendations there. and finally, and i'll end, is in doing this energy riew, ev what has come into much sharper focus for us at least is the question of not just the energy infrastructure per se, the pipes and wires that move electricity or fuels, but also what we might term the shared infrastructures. the infrastructures that move many, many commodities including energy. the poster child, of course, of that in the press now for quite a while has been railroads and
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the enormous increase in moving oil by rail. but again i'm sure many in this room are quite aware of the enormous congestion in moving a whole variety of commodities. right now we have issues of coal in the upper midwest. because of railroad congestion. so that's one big example. and also a case where we have data issues, inadequate data frankly, for understanding these flows and what they mean for policymakers. but i have to admit, i've learned a lot about other shared infrastructures. one i will just mention one other one, inland waterways in terrible, terrible shape enormously important in moving lots of commodities. so we will be also recommending a variety of approaches to address these shared infrastructures which are important for energy but are
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important for how our whole economy works coming together. so that gives you hopefully a flavor. these are some of the big ticket items that we will have in the energy and climate realm for 2015. thank you. >> happy new year. thank you very much, mr. secretary. that was an outstanding presentation. even though it's 12:00 noon, i think we should, if it's all right with you, spend five or 10 minutes, maximum conscious >> 15. >> 10 minutes i'm told by our supreme leader. so 10 minutes it is for a few questions. let me get the ball rolling by saying the words low oil prices and asking secretary moniz --
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>> relative to what? but asking for any thoughts you may have. larry summers had an op ed on monday and there's been a discussion in congress about possible steps to have the carbon switch maybe revenue neutral. is there any thinking that you'd like to share with us in the low oil price environment, which by the way was the subject of considerable discussion in the panel that preceded your own remarks? >> this is where the nuance comes in. first of all, clearly we are trying to put together a comprehensive picture of what current oil prices mean. i do want to of course emphasize that it starts on the plus side, for sure, with consumer impact. impact on our energy intensive
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industries, our manufacturing industries. so there were some comments jane made about the size of vehicles. but i will start by saying the number of vehicles sold has certainly gone up. there's no question that obviously this provides a major, major consumer direct benefit. also we will seek, we don't know yet, but one of the obviously great issues in the global economic situation is, for example, the rather shall we say sluggish european economy. if this could help get that really going, that will then come back and help in many many, many dimensions. now, clearly there are also geopolitical questions that are
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difficult and i can't stand here and say or sit here and say where we're going. but we obviously have a whole bunch of countries that depend on especially oil revenue dramatically. some friends, some others. and i just don't think we have and fully understand today what those implications are. we are thinking about them. we are looking at options. etc. finally, of course, we come to the united states' hydrocarbonen industry specifically. again adam is welcome to pipe in. but adam of the e.i.a.'s, i believe, still current, as of a couple of days ago, expectation
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is that we will still see increases in our oil production in 2015. the increase has been tempered. but i believe the way this number is still looking at getting up into about a 9.3 million barrel a day whereas before it was 9.5 or 9.7 something like that. clearly if these prices persist for a long time, then the reductions in capex that we are seeing are clearly going to start coming in down the road. right now i think we're looking carefully, we're being prepared with analyses for alternative pathways forward. right now consumers are having the benefit. >> excellent. ok, a question over there and the mike will be made available. please identify yourself.
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>> i'm a public policy scholar here at the wilson center. can you talk about what the role is for biofuels to remain in the future energy mix? >> well, i think the -- first of all, we certainly continue to invest in biofuels. in fact, just in i guess it was october i was pleased to be in kansas for what is now the largest commercial functioning biorefinery in the country. our loan program helped put that into place. so if i go back to the -- what i mentioned about our entry in this book, first of all, actually i think it's important that -- sorry. let me go back a step. as we celebrate our incredible
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increase in oil production with shale, i think we also do have to keep in mind that we still import 7 1/2 million barrels of oil a day. so, we continue to have a very strong focus on reducing oil dependence. reducing oil dependence has multiple threads. one is efficient vehicles. so things like the cafe standards for light duty vehicles, things like our supertruck program for 60%, 65% efficiency increase for class eight trucks, etc., is very important. we continue to push alternative fuels. most especially next generation
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biofuels are critical. costs are not there yet. but they are coming down fast. again, i think often by the way as an aside we don't pay enough attention often. we tend to be some years behind in terms of where these cost curves are for many technologies. third, we continue to, d.o.e. and obviously companies, continue to advance electrification of vehicles. so all three of those are very important thrusts. but i think the high level of message i want to emphasize is we are committed to reducing our oil dependence even as we produce more oil, the big effect there has been in reduced imports of oil and the associated improvements in our balanced payments. >> all right.
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let's have a few questions at this point and we'll have -- >> my answers have to be short. >> a comprehensive answer. there's one over here and please identify yourselves. i see over here. and one in the back. >> my name is jim blanchard, former u.s. ambassador to canada, governor of michigan, and a member of congress. i've dealt with these energy issues for about 40 years and i never thought i'd see a day with incredible abundance, growing good technologies, growing renewables, awash in oil and gas here, none of which i realize we should take for granted. but what i can't figure out is why our president doesn't associate himself with such a good news story. what can you do, mr. secretary because we're delighted you're here, to make sure that the public gets the big picture and doesn't just focus on one or two issues which always seem to be negative? this is a fabulous time and the
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options -- options that you have, that we have as a country, and north america has, the options are fabulous. how do we get the big picture out to the american people and to our own congress? >> ok. the next question. good, hard-hitting question there. >> my question is kind of similar to the previous one. what about fuel cells and hydrogen energy. i know the tokyo olympics were going to be powered by hydrogen energy and fuel cells. kind of go into that, i'd very much appreciate it. >> and finally. >> yes, i'm richard kennedy, a retired c.i.a. economic analyst. and i read that some people at m.i.t. are looking back at some of the early ideas for exploiting nuclear energy and finding that some of them look very promising in terms of cost and safety. i wonder if you could comment on that. >> and now really finally.
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>> i just wanted to express gratitude for not only words but deeds of secretary in building energy security. on the eve of our 25th anniversary of independence we built a terminal. our only hope is that the u.s. increases l&g exports we have american supplies as well. thank you. >> there's a lot. over to you. >> ok. a few brief words in inverse order. in terms of the --our lithuanian colleagues and the -- first of all on l&g exports, i just want to repeat where we are to date every application that has been
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prepared for a public determination, specifically meaning that it has completed an environmental impact statement, to date every one has been approved. we currently have -- this is to nonfree trade agreement countries. we've approved 5.7 billion cubic feet per day, which is, you know, roughly 60% of gutters export today. so that's not a small amount. but obviously there's there could be more in -- more in the queue. if you look at the economists' predictions, of course that was prior to recent events, but generally speaking i would say from the low side of say five to the high side of 15 billion cubic feet per day is the kind of range where economists think the market lend up supporting. the issue right now of getting l.n.g. to lithuania or anywhere else at the moment, is building
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the facilities. so the first facility is due to come on at the end of this year or early 2015 -- 2016. and two others have now put at least i think spades into the ground. but the reality is, you know it's going to be year until substantial infrastructure is ready to do that. on nuclear energy, i think, for example, you were probably referring to the moulton salt reactor as an example of a back to the future possibility. there's no question that there are a number of innovative approaches, many of which had some work done in the 1980's. for example, which have some very interesting characteristics and we are supporting research in those areas.
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but to be practical, we all know that the gestation time of a new nuclear technology is very long. going through the building up through pilot stages and demonstration phases, it's a lot of money involved, it's hard to get from here to there, frankly. and there's the regulatory challenge. so right now, in terms of a new technology, our main focus right now in terms of the deployment end is on small modular reactors, so much smaller reactors built around light water technology. because -- precisely because it isn't as big a step as going to some of the other technologies. so our view is right now we're trying to work to get some of those deployed in the early 20's. 2022 kind of time frame. and while we continue to support
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at least the research on these alternative approaches certainly on paper, for sure can have some advantages relative to light water reactors. fuel cells and hydrogen, well, again, lots of progress. the reduction in costs is the same theme in fuel cells has been pretty dramatic. we saw -- i think it's fair to say it was the first commercially offered for sale fuel cell vehicle, the toyota vehicle announced in california in december. since it's public, i mean, we can say that i think the list price they put on that was $57,500. as a reminder, when president bush in his state of the union speech i think in 2002 announced the freedom car, a vice
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president of one of the major auto companies said, you want a fuel cell vehicle? i'll sell you a fuel cell vehicle. it will cost you $1 million. well, $1 million to $57,000 is pretty good progress in just over a decade. right now, i think the fuel cell costs have been encouraging. but of course the infrastructure, the fueling infrastructure is just an enormous challenge, frankly, to get there. and i think that events like this are a wonderful opportunity to get out the big picture and inform the public. i have to say, i think the president is very much in tune with -- i mean, obviously with the kind of picture that i laid out. i mean, the climate action plan for one thing was a major pusher of this and he has done and continues to do lots and lots of public events on this agenda.
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in fact, today, today he's at an auto manufacturing plant. a beneficiary of one of our loan programs. again, i keep putting that plug in. and has been quite a few events around manufacturing, including energy and space, etc. i wish we had a solution as to how to get a much bigger broader, broader audience listening to this story. but i would say, and i will stop, that there was an interesting little article in the "new yorker" just at the end of the year. and it said, you know, 2014 was a good year for government. everybody says everything is dysfunctional, etc., etc., etc.,
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well, a number of things were pointed out. oh, by the way, including our loan program. but also where we've come in terms of the deficit, frankly the reality of what's happened with the health care rollout, a whole bunch of issues. and it was an interesting statement. i'm not -- i'm just repeating what it said. you know, there seems to be a phenomenon and the example used was individuals who were incorrectly accused in the press with regard to the olympic bombing in the united states and the anthrax scare. and once those first stories are out, it's hard to get the good story over. so i don't know. there may be a bit of that. but all i can say is we're working it.
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and other ideas, other venues would be most welcome. because you are right. this is a great news story for our countries and i think ultimately for the global economy. thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. and the cameras in the back remind us that the story is not only here in this auditorium at the wilson center, but it's a national story and we're very glad to be part of helping you make that story happen. so thank you for an excellent and outstanding presentation. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> up next, a conversation on the minimum wage with senator
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elizabeth born. on this morning's "washington journal,", we get an update on the paris attacks, and the new congressional agenda. the houses and a 10:00 eastern and this afternoon, they take up the keystone xo pipeline -- xl pipeline. >> friends, colleagues countrymen -- especially the people of ohio's eighth congressional district, thank you for sending me here. let's today welcome all of the new members, and all of their families to what we all know to be a truly historic day. [applause] >> today is an important day for our country. many senators took zero this afternoon. 13, for the first time a. and a new republican majority accepted is the responsibility.
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we recognize the enormity of the task before us. we know a lot of hard work awaits. we know many important opportunities await as well. >> follow the gop led congress and see the new members. the best access is on c-span television, c-span radio, and it new congress, best access come on c-span. >> today, a summit was held on workers wages. it included remarks by thomas perez and elizabeth warren and discussions about collective bargaining, minimum wage and income inequality. this is three hours and 20 minutes. >> good morning. if everybody could police take -- please take their seats we will get started. i am marybe and i am secretary treasurer of the north carolina
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afo-cio, welcome! [applause] >> welcome to the afl-cio's first ever national summit on raising wages. to all of you who have joined us in person or over the livestream, thank you for participating. i will expect many more people joining us and trickling in so please make them welcome. i want to thank galludet university for hosting us today. inequality has become the de defining economic story of our generation. -- the defining economic story of our generation. for too long now, worker's productivity is going up but our wages are remaining flat. here in the richest country in the world, we have bank tellers
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who count money all day, but have not a dollar of their own to save. grocery clerks who stock shelves full of food but have nothing to feed their families. construction workers who build houses but have no home to call their own. it is no accident workers have struggling. lawmakers have deliberately created policies that have drib n down wages, undermined our bargaining power and weakened or safety net. inequality didn't just happen. it is the result of deliberate policy choices by our lawmakers. it is not random. and it is not inevitable. there is a simple fix to ine inequality and it isn't rocket science.
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raise workers wages![ [applause] >> brothers and sisters, if we did that, if we paid workers a living wage consumer spending would increase and the need for public assistance would decrease. if working folks got their fair share, our economy would work for everyone. today is about changing the narrative. it is about shifting the debate. instead of asking how much it will cost to pay workers more we should be asking how much it will cost if we don't. from the pope to the president from standard and poors, to morgan stanley, there is growing agreement that inequality hurts our people and our economy.
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so let's do something about it. today -- today is about solutions and seizing the historic moment and forging a future where all workers have good jobs and living wages. and we mean all workers. labors and professionals native-born and immigrant, men and women, from new york to california, to my home state of north carolina and all through the south -- we will fight for policy changes. changes. we will hold politicians accountable and we will win fair wages for all workers no matter what they do or where they live. today --[applause] >> today brothers and sisters, it is about action and the power
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we have to change our economic policy. just look around you. we have an overflowing crowd and overflow room of over 360 people, we have toranking -- top ranking clergy, elected officials, community leaders policy experts, we are building a movement here and we want you to be part of the movement. help us raise wages. help us today by asking people to join the round table, help us expand this conversation by tweeting throughout the day -- using the hash tag raising wages. that's raising wages. and for those of who who are joining us in person, we invite
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you to lunch afterward in the ballroom so we can fellowship and continue this important conversation. brothers and sisters, the change is ours. -- the power is ours. we can change the issues facing our country. let's get started. to begin our program this morning, we will hear from works about their struggles in this low-wage economy. it doesn't matter if someone is a fast-food sever, a brick mason, or a college instructor. workers across the spectrum are working harder and harder for less and less. our next two speakers know that all too well. our first speaker is a public school counselor in detroit and a member of the american federation of teachers.
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she is followed by ms. walker, a papa johns worker in new york and a member of the fast food fighters for 2015. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our guests. [applause] >> good morning. my name is laquia wilson and i am a native of detroit michigan. i have worked hard to achieve the american dream. after high school i earn ad -- a degree in elementary education and taught first grade for five years. i am an educator, it is what i do and i love my work.
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i wanted to raise myself up further and pursue a passion of mine which is counseling. that is why i went back to school and earned a counseling degree for my masters. after a few years as a counselor in a public school, i realized i would need an extra income to be able to afford a house. i picked up a second job as an adjunct faculty member at a community college to purchase a home. i purchased the home in 2004 and then the college cut the adjunct staff. unfortunately for me, i lost the extra income. the income i needed for the american dream. i lost my home, and i was foreclosed on. i was able to buy it back, but loosing your house is a horrible experience. i had to cash out my retirement, my credit is shot, and it is embarrassing. i am not here for pity or for a
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handout. i worked hard to be successful and i have so much education but to do that and still be struggling? my mother was a teacher, and when she retired he she was making $65,000 a year 20 years ago. i am making $65,000 right now but my cost are not the same as her's. all of our cost go up and up and up. i have something else to say too. i have so much respect for the walmart workers and the fast-food workers. i have watched them demand more and i am proud of the work they do and continue to do. yet, i don't want to forget the workers who spent time and money on education, who did everything possible to be well-equipped for
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a good job, make it to the middle class, and have the american dream become a reality. raise worker's wages. that is why i am here at the summit to raise wages. [applause] >> hello, brothers and sisters. i am shantel walker and i worked at papa johns for more than 10 years. i make pizzas, answer the phones and do it all. we all do a good job. me and coworkers throughout the country. but the subject at hand is raising the minimum wage. and not raising the minimum wage, make a living wage. raising wages completely. [applause]
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>> everything we are going through as workers is hard. i live this every single day. we have to do more than make sure there is justice across the work place in new york, across the country and around the world. when i was younger i wanted to be a fiber optic technician with computers and it didn't turn out that way. i started working and working. i had other jobs at movie theaters and warehouses. when i started at papa johns, it was just another job until something happened. i saw co-workers not getting paid. at the time, my boss never put them on the clock and they said they never worked for them. this one worker, he was a teenager, it made me upset. but i am proud to say we took things to the next level.
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we had action in my store -- the whole community came out. i want to say 100-80 people came, we spoke to the managers and retrieved the money for the worker. [applause] >> and that was a big step for us. that was a big step for me. that was the beginning. i feel like my eyes are open now. it is wrong to steal wages from workers. i want to stand with them and not condone this type of behavior because it is wrong and it is illegal. that is why i am doing what i am doing to raise the wage in america, and this is why we are here now. this is why we do what we do every day. not some days. every single day. to ensure that people in america
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have a fair shot at society and to make our lives better, and make our communities better and to make our country better. i want everyone in america to fall in love with the bigger picture and with that idea that we can do better and we can be better and we can be productive people out here. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, that is what america is built upon. this is why we are here. this is our idea of -- this is what democracy looks like. this is why we have a society that we have. now is the time to stop the poverty wages in america. raise the wage! [applause] >> thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you both for telling us your personal stories and inspiring us we can do better. workers like these two are fed up and standing up not just for themselves but for all workers. they are standing up because working folks need a raise and we need policymakers who will make it happen. we are fortunate to have one of those policy makers in our secretary labor. secretary thomas perez doesn't just talk about raising wages he takes action. he has helped imelement a minimum wage increase for hundreds of thousands of government contract workers.
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and he helped expand minimum wage and overtime protection for over two million home care workers. and currently he is seeking to update federal overtime rules to include up to six million more workers. from showing employers how they can raise wage and improve their bottom line to extolling the benefits of collective bargaining, secretary perez is an advocate for workers everywhere. brothers and sisters, please welcome a leading voice in the fight for raise wages, our secretary of labor, thomas perez! [applause] >> morning. how are you doing? hey. [applause]
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>> how is everyone doing? i love to be here. this is one of my favorite universities and this is a wonderful venue with wonderful friends. it's great to see all of you. long time, no see. rich, it has been hours. i met shantel in new york city when we were with mayor bill de blasio advocating for working families. i come here with a sense of optimism, determination and a sense of the knowledge of unfinished business. you listen to people like shantel and lisa and we talk data but this is about real people. and the strokesles you are going through. this is about who we are as americans.
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this is about the definition -- hey, dorian, how are you doing. ? you see old friends, either distracted. -- you get distracted. this is about who we are as a nation. i'm going to be with my wife's uncle, is a jesuit. this is really about biblical teachings. this is about what is taught in the koran and the torah. and what we learned about making sure we do and others. -- do onto others. there is a guy named jim wallace who does an exercise with students and asks them to take the bible and rip up every page that has a reference to the need to help the poor and underserved. the bible turns into a newsweek magazine. this is about who we are as a nation. i come here, as i said, first of
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all thank you to rich, and the friends here, you have been at the tip of the spear. you continue to give voice; the labor movement continues to give voice; faith communities continue to give voice; people in the frontlines, you are saying papa johns give me some love here and that is important. this president was a community organizer and continues to be a community organizers. he understands that change comes from the bottom up. i am so excited tbe here with you and i am equally excited to be travelling in a few hours with the president to detroit. we will talk about where we have been, and where we are, and where we need to go. that is what today is about. it is important for us. i come here with a sense of optimism because i remember where we were.
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the three months before the president took office the economy shed two million jobs and our 401-k became 201-ks for those that had them and many didn't have them. the housing crisis -- the bubble bursted and the american dream was transformed into the american nightmare. we saw people suffering everywhere. and now fast forward and we have had 55 consecutive months of private jobs growth and last month was the best best month. the auto industry is going gang busters. some folks didn't want to get on the auto industry or american working. they said let it go. remember the election in 2012, there was a candidate who said there was a jeep plant in ohio that was going to be shipping jobs to china?
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guess what? that jeep plant has added 15,000 jobs in the last year and a half. [applause] >> and guess what? a lot of things are being shipped overseas. it is the product we are making because we are exporting and insourcing and the new way and outsourcing is yesterday's word. that is why the president is going to be at ford auto company. the average assembly line worker is working 42 hours a week. making overtime every single week. the economy is coming back, auto sales are up, construction jobs are coming back, i see people every day -- people like catherine hagget who introduced the president at an event highlighting the plight of the unemployee unemployeed.
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catherine did everything right played by the rules, single mother of two and both of her kids are in the military one in special forces. she walked into work and was told her services were no longer needed. she lost her job and dignity and it to wear a coat in her house because she had to turn the heat down to make ends meet. you fast forward to a couple months ago, i was with the governor in connecticut and we visit her at her job and she punched her ticket to the middle class as a result of her resilience. so many millions of other people that we see across this country are doing the same thing. we are moving into the right direction. 57 consecutive months. this past year will be the best month of private sector job growth we have seen since the late '90s. we are moving in the right direction but today is about the unfinished business of this
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recovery, and that is to make sure that this recovery results in shared prosperity because we live in a nation that is a community. we live in a nation where we do not believe that if you blow out your neighbor's candle that will make your candle shine brighter but yet so many appear to adopt that philosophy. who believe in zero-sum politics. the politics of i take from you and you take nothing. we can have an economy of shared prosperity. you led the economy into shared prosperity. the labor movement was about leading the economy for decade into a nation of aredsh prosperity where everybody that worked hard and played pie the rules could realize the american dream and that is the unfinished business of what we are doing today. that is why i am so excited to be here with you.
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over a year ago the unemploymentry was 7% and now we are down to 5.8%. very few people predicted that progress but we have made that progress and continue to move in the right direction. but again, we see and hear your voice shantel, leon and lisa. we hear your struggles. america works best when we field the whole team but too many people are on had sidelines saying i want to the game, too many people working hard and haven't seen a raise in years, this isn't a phenomenon of the last few years, this is a phenomenon of decades. you look at productty since 1979. it is up over 90% but wages have remained flat, going up 2%-3%.
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the american workers helped bake the cake of prosperity but are not sharing in the fruits of that prosperity. prosperity was to be shared and it isn't the choice of i either take care of my shareholder or my worker -- you can do both. the ford motor company proves that. in lewisville, kentucky, in 2008 they had a crisis and were not sure they would survive. they were down to 700 employees and now they are up to 4,000 and growing. that doesn't even include their supply chain. how did they do it? shared sacrifice leading to shared prosperity. the uaw, ford leadership working together saying we are all in this together, we all succeed when we all succeed but we all succeed only when we all succeed . and that pathway to prosperity
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has led ford back, led the other american automakers back, and it has led countless other businesses that i meet day in and day out. and that is why i come to you with a sense of optimism. i not only see people in the labor movement who get it and i see business leaders that understand my most precious asset is my worker and when i treat my worker fairly my worker rewards be sticking around and being productee productee -- productive. the most frequent thing i hear from employers is what i hear most is consist -- customers. this has been a consumption deprived it recovery. and when you look at the data, improves it out. when you look at inflation and spending from the folks in the top 5% has increased 15% and you look at inflation adjusted spending of the other 95% and it increased about 1%. why?
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because of the reason we are here today. wages have been flat. prosperity hasn't been shared. false choices have been the order of the day all too frequently. we cannot do this. we cannot wage your wages. it is a structural problem. i categorically reject the notion that it is structural, it's inevitable, there is nothing we can do about it. low wages are a choice. they are not a necessity. zero benefits are a choice not a necessity. and this president stand for the proposition that everybody who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to share in that prosperity and that is the unfinished business of this recovery -- ensuring our prosperity is broad-based and widely shared. how do we build that pathway to shared prosperity? we build it by making sure we have every step in the staircase and it starts with taking every
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effort we can to lift the wages. as it starts with the minimum wage. nobody who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty. that is the simple value proposition. that was the proposition of the fair standard labor act that fdr signed 76 years ago. at the time he signed the fair labor standards act, there were what he called a number of calamity howlers, folks who said if you establish a minimum wage, it would be the end of the world as we know it. it would be -- our nation would go to heck in a hand basket. it was remarkable to hear some of the things that were said -- businesses said it would be a
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tyrannical industrial dictatorship if we had a minimum wage. that is a quote. in 1892, a few years earlier there was a trade journal called manufacture and builder and they railed against a ratical notion that an eight hour work day would be as vicious a piece of demagogy that could be conceived. it is important to remind folks that the labor movement brought us the 40 hour workweek. you ought to give yourselves a hand. [applause] there appear to be a few folks who believe the 40 hour workweek is a thing of the past and is no longer an entitlement. there are a number of people who believe there are apparently a dignity in working a 40 hour job and getting your food at the food pantry. that is not who we are as a nation.
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i meet people week in and week out that do this. i have sat with fast-food workers and heard stories that break my heart. this is not the america that we should be. i heard from oneworker who said i was so sick i could not go into work at a fast-food restaurant -- and by the way when your server is sick, i want you to stay home. but his employer said you are fired unless you bring in a doctor's note and he said how can i afford to go the doctor? those are not my stories. i hear these all over. a story about a janitor who has been working for 30 years, a union organizers and makes only $9 an hour.
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she asked me why can't i get access to insurance and i said if your governor signed the medicaid expansion you would have health insurance now. you need to talk to your governor. why do people wake up every day thinking if i only some need insurance? that's not what my faith teaches me. that is not who we are as a nation. that is why we need to keep moving forward. that's why we need to keep working on raising the minimum wage. 20 states saw an increase in the minimum wage. but you should not have to win the lottery in terms of location to fete a raise. -- to get a fair wage. that is why this president will work to relentlessly increase the minimum wage because as i said there is no dignity in working a 40 hour workweek and going to the food pantry to get your food.
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that's what's happening in america all too frequently. we will continue to work overtime to put in place overtime regulations because when i was a kid growing up in buffalo, new york, if you told me my friend's parents were a manager, that meant they were in the middle class. but you have managers working 60-70 hours a week making as little as $450 a week. we have cases where the managers are making worse than the workers. do the math. that is about $23-$24,000 a year. you cannot survive on that. and that is why the president directed us to revise the overtime regulation, and we will do just that. making sure that people have a decent standard of living is exactly a critical reason why the president did what he did on immigration in december. there is no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform and you precappreciated the -- i appreciate the leadership.
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i appreciate the leadership of business communities and business leaders. this is a bipartisan issue and one of my regrets from the last congress is if this bipartisan senate bill had come to a vote in the house it would have passed and this would be in the rear view mirror. you saw the results of the four red states -- beet red states -- nebraska, south dakota alaska, arkansas. beet red states overwhelming passed initiatives to increase the minimum wage. george w. bush signed an increase in the minimum wage. his father before him. every president except two since fdr signed wavers to increase minimum wage. we have to keep fighting and can't give up.
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i saw the movie "selma" last week and they didn't give up. we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. you never give up. and we all know that. the labor movement knows that. that is why we will keep moving and we have more work to fortify the staircase to prosperity. it isn't simple minimum wage, overtime, or immigration reform, but it is making sure, for instance we enforce laws that books, because you know what what i have seen in this job both at a federal level and a state level is that wage theft remains a rampant problem across america. we just commissioned a study that looked at wage and hour violations in two states -- california and new york. and in these two states we saw
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wage an hour violations, primarily targets low-wage workers, that amounted in two states to over $1 billion a year. and for many of these victims, they were loosing 40% of their already meager wages. 40%. and so if you wonder why elections matter, laws are only as good as the political will of the people enforcing them. the wage an hour division in the prior administration reached an agreement with a large retailer in which it would give it notice prior to entering the facility to conduct child labor investigations. now, i used to be a prosecutor okay? and i don't think it is the best practice to announce to drug dealers i will be at the corner of 4th and f on friday conducting drug investigations. i don't think that is the best practice if your goal is to address drug-related misconduct.
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and i don't think it is a good idea in this context either. and that is why as we build this stairway to shared prosperity we need to make sure we fortify the enforcement step because it is so critically important. people are not making enough to begin with and all too many people are not receiving the money they have earned as a result of wage theft. and that is why we continue to work on this issue and work on the issue of misclassification. you know workers, a big part of the challenge of wage stagnation is the changing nature of what we call an employee. i meet so many workers who are called independent contractors and why does that happen? in many cases it is permisible but in too many cases they are called this so they don't have
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to pay them. we have work as the victim employers who play by the rules -- i meet employers who say i don't cheat but my competitor is so i cannot compete. and the tax collect senior the victim. we didn't call this misclassification, that's a clerical error. we called this workplace fraud because that is what it is. [applause] >> as we build this staircase to shared prosperity we need to make sure we fortify that and you need to be holding whoever has my job accountable to make sure that people who are working an honest day's work get paid their wages.
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and we need to make sure as we have the wage stagnation and talk about how people like so many people in this room, who are working hard, can get the wages they deserve, we need to make sure the frame is expanded so it isn't simply fair wages. it is benefits as well. i have travelled to australia, canada, germany, and the uk in the last few months and what those nations have in common and what every other nation on the planet, except poplin a guinea -- papaua new guinea have in common is they have some form of paid leave. when you give birth to your child or are taking care of your parent who is very ill you should not have to make a choice between the jobs that you need and the family that you love. yet we are so behind the rest of the world in this area because
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we have not gotten into the 21st century on paid leave. i met a guy in germany, when i met with the german chamber of commerce, he works in germany and he said to me, tom, i would never come back, at least in the near future, because my wife and i are taking a year off to care for our child. we believe the most important family value is the value of time spent with their family. i asked every business in that place, if you had the ability to water down or repeal your paid leave laws would you do so and i got two answers. one word answer was no. the two word answer -- i cannot decribe because i see people of cloth in this room. [laughter] and they understand it because it isn't simply the moral and ethical thing to do it is in the
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enlightened self interest of the economies that want to thrive. look at labor force participation of women in the united states and canada. about 15 years ago, women from 25-54 were identical and now you fastforward to today and women in canada, about 7.5 higher than the united states. that translates to something like 5.5 million more women would be in the workplace if we had kept pace with canada. i talk to employers there, including global employers with a united states footprint, who figured out how to comply with paid leave laws in canada, germany, uk, and they are thriving saying it is part of their competitiveness. as we have the conversation, let's not settle for 10.10. let's talk about benefits,
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scheduling and all of the things that keep us up at night. this is about the dignity of work and that also includes when your son can't go to school because he is sick you should not have to put him on the bus. i talk to school bus drivers and are some of the most learned people in america. and they tell me i see that mom at the bus stop with her son and daughter and the mom is crying and i know exactly what is going on. mom is putting a sick kid on the bus because mom has no other choice. when women succeed, america succeeds. when family succeeds, america succeeds. and that is why this president you will hear a lot from him about paid leave. you will hear from him about wage fairness, and you will hear a lot from him about the need to make sure that we lift up worker voice. because i think one of the most important steps in this stairway to shared prosperity is the issue of worker voice.
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you know, i have such admiration for the people in the front row and the people in this room because you fought for folks. i used to work for a guy named senator kennedy and it isn't a coincidence -- i read the book "the greatest generation" and what is interesting about the book -- and i don't read notes well so i apologize to the speech writers. [laughter] america's great generation was remarkable people. and it is remarkable not only what they did during the war but after the war. they helped to grow the labor movement and they understood the word collective bargaining meant that we could work for our collective good. they understood that there are no such things as false choices.
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that businesses don't have to chose between workers and shareholders. we can do both. it isn't a coincidence in the ensuing decades that we saw rising rising wages. this is why i spent time at volkewagon. -- volkswagen. codetermination is part of their dna. that's why they are one of the 10 largest companies in america. they understand they succeed in partnership with their workers not at the expense of their workers. ford motor company understands that we succeed in partnership with our workers, not at the expense of our workers. rich trump understand that we succeed -- and all succeed when we all succeed.
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randi weingarten understands that we are building communities and teachers are all about making sure that we have -- we being teachers, student and parents -- all have the tools to succeed. we are all in this together. we see examples of employers unions, and other worker organizations -- rather it is folks organizing domestic workers, cab drivers, lending voice. and we see faith communities and responsible businesses saying i am there with you. and if we are going to continue success in lifting up wages, this is the area where we have to redouble our efforts making sure that we have voice, understanding history and the history is that when we work together collectively, we all succeed. and i come to you and leave you
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with the same sense of optimism i walked in. i have a great job. i feel like the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. this president gets it. he is a community organizers at his core. and he understands that change comes from the bottom up not from the top down and that is why he is here in spirit and in his values and that is why we understand that the ark of the moral universe bends toward justice. and bends toward people who expand opportunity for everyone. not people that muzzle voices or people that believe if you blow out your neighbor's candle yours will shine brighter. not for people who believe that -- it's only those that when the boss lottery that get good wages at work. we are celebrating martin luther king day in a couple weeks. we are not celebrating george
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wallace day. martin luther king sought to expand opportunity. we so many examples -- we see it many examples in our nations history, and the labor movement was side by side with dr. king in that effort. that is why i am so optimistic. there are days when you will undeniably say where do we go? but we have on our side the facts. and the american people on our side, and so many folks who understand we all succeed when we all succeed. as a result, i am confidant we will translate and transform some of the headwinds out there into a tail wind of inclusion and opportunity and a tail wind of shared prosperity. the ark of the moral universe bends toward justice but it doesn't bend on its own. today's conference is about all being part of the bending.
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dr. king said we will live to rue the day of the acts of people like jim conner but the appalling silence of good people. we cannot be silent in the face of this remarkable challenge of enjoying shared prosperity. we can do this. the difference between the late '90s and the prosperity we saw then and the prosperity we are beginning to see now is that prosperity of the late '90s was shared prosperity. and we need to make sure the prosperity of today also becomes shared prosperity. we can do that. low wages are not structural or inevitable. they are choices. and there are remarkable business leaders out there remarkable union leaders out
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there, remarkable faith leaders out there, and remarkable workers out there doing this for everybody. building an american that works for all and making sure the stairway to prosperity is fortified. and i am confidant we will prevail, just as dr. king prevailed. it will not be easy. it will not bend on its own. but with all of the people in this room, and with the millions of folks we meet in our travels i am confidant the story of success that we see will be the stories of success for everyone. have a great day. and let's keep it up. you need to hold us accountable. you need to tell us what we should be doing and we will work together. there are so many people in this room. business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, activist, who are moving forward and i am confidant we will get there.
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have a great conference, and thank you for shining a light on this, and thank you for all you do. [applause] >> let's give it up for secretary perez! [applause] >> as secretary perez said, we are here today because we are optimistic. we know we can do this. we know that when workers do well, we all do well. next, we are going to hear from two workers who will talk about how much better our communities and economy would be if more workers had opportunities to learn and advance and provide better lives for themselves and their families.
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our first speaker will be lisa henson, a correction officer in maryland and a member of the american federation of state county, and municipal employees. local 1427. she is followed by leon speller, an electrician here and a member of the international brotherhood of electrical workers, local 26. please welcome lisa and leon to the stage. [applause] >> good morning. my name is lisa henson. i am a correctional officer. a sergeant. this has been my job for 20 years. the job i do goes unnoticed.
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it is a dangerous job. but it is also a very important job. we assist and provide inmates to go back into society and be productive. we have a simple mantra about the work we do -- fair, firm and impartial. the public depends on workers like me to make sure the correctional rules are enforced for the inmate, the staff, and the public. i always try to conduct myself as a professional. i try to think of each inmate as a person, as a human being who deserves decent treatment and dignity. some of these inmates come from broken homes, some don't come from homes at all and have raised themselves. that is why i don't look at the crimes they commit.
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it helps me to look at them as an individual. it helps me to provide the services i need to provide. i am here at the raising wages summit because wages are too low. people want a way out. people want to provide for their family members if they can. people will provide if they can. if they can't, our communities fall apart. that is how we get young people growing up in broken homes or raising themselves. it is a cycle that we need to break. raise the wages. thank you. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. thank you for being here. my name is leon speller and i am an electrician.
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i have been a member of the local 26. i grew up in the washington, d.c. area and had a typical childhood. i graduated and was accepted to pennsylvania state university and i attended for one year. when i came home that year, i had a son and later two daughters. i was only 19-years-old. i knew my family would not feed itself so it was up to me. i left school and got a job as a courtesy clerk at saveway. you don't hear of too many other jobs besides being a teacher firefighter, or doctor. for me, i was lost. i didn't know what i wanted to do. later on, i landed a job working at lowes. it paid more than safe way. sometimes, you see a window, and you climb through hoping your destiny is on the other side. got a job later contracting and it introduced me to the electal world.
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it was something i love to do, and i got to work with my hands and i was out in the field. unfortunately, it was contracted, and eventually came to an end. i was back to the drawing board. thankfully, i found out about the electrical apprentice ship program. it offers on the job and in-class training. i don't know many jobs where you can get a paycheck for working weekly and getting paid to go to school. we need more programs like this. when i wake up in the morning, i know this is what i want to do. i am proud to be analect -- and electrician and i can take care and provide for my family. i am hear at raising wages summit because i want everyone to know that it does feel good when you raise wages and you can take care of your family and loved ones. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you, lisa and leon. as you heard from workers this morning, something has to change and it needs to happen now. enough is enough. that is what senator elizabeth warren said, so eloquently at a recent speech on the senate floor and what she says enough every chance. enough of the corporate greed that is wrecking this country. [applause] senator warren speaks truth to power. she always has and we know she always will. that is the thing people love about her. there is no question where she stands. senator warren does not waver, she doesn't back down, she
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doesn't check poll numbers and donor lists before taking a stand. [applause] >> it doesn't matter where she is or whom she is talking to. everywhere, every time she stands up to corporate greed. she gives voice to the concerns of we the people and she challenges all of us to do better. we can, and we must do better by american workers. and with a leader like senator warren, i'm confident that we will do better. brothers and sisters, please welcome a fierce, steadfast champion for working people -- senator elizabeth moran. -- elizabeth warren. [laughter]
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[applause] >> hello, good to see you. thank you. thank you. good morning, it is good to be here on this cold morning. thank you for the introduction. also, thank you for your good work at the north carolina ail -- cio. thank you for all you do. i want to begin this morning by thanking you for your leadership on economic issues, i want to thank you for your good counsel and most of all, i want to thank you for your friendship. thank you. [applause] thank you. and i also want to thank my friends for massachusetts. steve was supposed to be here
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today. and i have to say that the guys from massachusetts made it happen. thank you, very much. you are why i'm here today. i love being here with my labor friends and i'm so glad to have this chance to be here at the first-ever national summit on wages. you follow in the best traditions of american labor movements. for more than a century always fighting for working people, union and nonunion. and today, you have spotlighted an economic issue that is central to understanding what is happening to people all over this country. i recently read an article and "politico" called everything is awesome, and unemployment under 6% now, a new all-time high, the
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dow jones, low-inflation. despite the headline, the author did recognize that not everything is awesome. but his point has been repeated several times. and on many different statistical measures, the economy has improved and it is continuing to improve. i think the president and his team did deserve credit for the steps they have taken. in particular, job growth is a really big deal. and we celebrate it. good for you, mr. president. [applause] but i spent most of my career studying what has happened to america's middle class. and i know that there are four widely cited statistics that give an important snapshot of the health of the overall economy. but the overall picture doesn't tell much about what is happening at the ground level to tens of millions of americans.
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despite these cheery numbers america's middle class is in deep trouble. think about it this way. the stock market is soaring which is great if you have a pension or money in a mutual fund. but if you and your husband or wife are both working full-time with kids in school and you are among the half or so of all americans who do not have any money in stocks, how does the booming stock market help you? corporate profits and gdp are up. but if you work at wal-mart and you are paid so little and we that you still need food stamps to put groceries on the table, it puts more money in stockholders pockets and an uptick in the gdp and what does it do for you? i know people that still can't find full-time work or they have given up because you cannot find a job to replace the one that you had.
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you are counted as part of the drop in unemployment. but how much is your economic situation improving? inflation rates are still low. but if you are young and starting off life with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, unable to find a good job to save money to buy a house, how are you benefiting from inflation? a lot of broad national statistics that say our economy is getting better and our overall economy is recovering from the crash of 2008. but there have been deep structural changes in the economy, changes that have gone on for more than 30 years and changes that have cut out hard-working middle-class families from sharing in the overall growth. it wasn't always this way.
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coming out of the great depression, america built a middle-class unlike anything on earth. from the 1930's to the late 1970's as gdp went up, wages went up pretty much across the board. in fact 90% of all workers everyone outside the top 10% got about 70% of all the new income growth. sure, the richest 10% off a more than their share and they got 30%. but overall as the economic pie got bigger, pretty much everyone was getting a little bit more. and in other words -- as our economy and country got bigger -- got richer, and as our families got richer, our country got richer. and that is how we built a great middle class in america. [applause]
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but by the 1980's we just had flattened. -- wages had flattened out while expenses get going up. the squeeze was terrible. by the early 2000's, families were spending twice as much adjusted for inflation on mortgages as they had a generation earlier. they spend more on health insurance and to send their kids to college, moms and dads both went to work and that meant new expenses like childcare and the higher taxes and the cost of a second car. all over the country people tightened their belts where they could, but it still hasn't been enough to save them. families have gone deep into debt to pay for college and to cover serious medical problems , just to try to stay afloat a little while longer. and today's young adults may be the first generation in american
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history to do worse than its parents did. and remember how -- up until 1980, from 1935 to 1980, 90% of the people -- middle class working folks, the poor, they got about 70% of all new income that was created in this economy . and the top 10% of the rest. well, since 1980, guess how much of the growth in income over the last 32 years -- how much of the growth in income to the 90% debt? zero. none and nothing. it is worse than that. the average family not in the top 10% makes less money today than they were making a generation ago. so who got all of the increase in income over the last 32
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years? 100% of it went to the top 10% . all of the new money earned in this economy over the past generation. all of that growth in the gdp went to the top. all of it. that is a huge structural change in this country and when i look at the data here -- and this includes years of research that i conducted myself, i see the evidence everywhere of the pounding that working people are taking. instead of building an economy for all americans, for the past generation, this country has grown an economy that works for some americans. the tens of millions of working families who are the backbone of this country, this economy isn't working. these families are working harder than ever, but they can't get ahead.
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opportunity is slipping away. many feel like the game is rigged against them and they are right. the game is rigged against them. since the 1980's, too many people running this country have followed one form or another of this or trickle-down economic theory. many in washington today still support it. when all of the varnish is removed, trickle-down just means helping the biggest corporation s, and the richest people in this country than claiming bad the big corporations and rich people can be counted upon to create an economy that would work for everyone else. don't get me wrong, it was popular with the corporations and lobbyists. it never really made much sense. george bush senior called it voodoo economics and he was right.
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but let's call it for what it is. trickle down was nothing more than the politics of helping the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and it cuts the legs out from underneath america's middle class. [applause] and trickle-down policies are actually pretty simple. first, fire the cops. not the cops on main street -- the cops on wall street. be much the whole republican party and if we are going to be honest, too many democrats have talked about the evils of the government and call for deregulation. and it all sounded good area and for what it was really about was tying the hands of regulators and turning loose big banks and giant international corporations to do whatever they wanted to do.
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turning them loose to rig the market and reduce competition . turning them loose to outsource more jobs. turning them loose to load up on more risks and then hide behind taxpayer guarantees. turning them loose to sell more mortgages and credit to american families. in short, turning them loose to do whatever juiced short-term profits, even if it came at the expense of working families. the trickle-down have a second part to it and that is for those at the top area and cut them when times are good and cut them when times are bad. when that meant that there was less money for road repairs and medical research and less money for schools, our government would need to squeeze kids on student loans -- trickle-down advocates said so be it.
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and looking at the results. the top 10% got all of the growth over the past 30 years -- all of it. and the economy stopped working for everyone else. the trickle-down experiment that began field america's middle class and sure, the rich are doing great. giant corporations are doing great. lobbyists are doing great. but we need an economy where everyone else has a shot to do great. [applause] the world has changed beneath america's working families . powerful working families like globalization and technology are creating shifts that are disrupting our economy, altering employment patterns in putting new stresses on old structures . those changes could create new opportunities.
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or they can sweep away the last vestiges of economic security for 90% of american workers. and so too many politicians just look the other way. instead of wanting government to expand opportunity for 90% of americans and to shore up security in an increasingly uncertain world, instead of rethinking economic policy to deal with tough new realities, the more than 30 years washington has far too often advanced policies that hammer america's middle class even harder. look at the choices washington has made. the choices that has left america's working families in a deep hole. the choice to leash up the financial costs and in a
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recession to bail out the biggest banks with no strings attached. while family suffered. the choice to starve our schools and burden our kids with a hint billions of dollars of student loan debt while cutting taxes for billionaires. the choice to use our tax dollars to subsidize big oil instead of putting that into rebuilding roads and bridges and power grids. the choice to look the other way when employers quit paying overtime. reclassified workers as independent contractors, and just plain old stole peoples wages. [applause] and the choice to sign tax deals that let subsidized manufacturers around the globe cell here in america are good
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american shipped overseas. for more than 30 years, too many politicians in washington have made deliberate choices that favor those with money and power. and the consequence is that instead of an economy that works well for everyone, america now has an economy that works well for about 10% of the people. it wasn't always this way and it doesn't have to be this way. we can make new choices and we can make different choices choices that the working people first. choices that aimed towards a better future for our children. choices that reflect our deepest values. this is up to us and one way to make those choices is to talk openly and honestly and to talk directly about work and how we value work and how we value those who do the work.
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we need to talk about what we believe and we believe that no one, no one should work full time and still live in poverty. and that means raising the minimum wage. [applause] >> we believe that workers have the right to come together to bargain together and to rebuild america's middle class. [applause] >> we believe in enforcing labor laws so that workers get overtime pay and pensions are fully funded. we believe in that. we believe in equal pay for equal work. [applause] and we believe that after a
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lifetime of work, in person is entitled to retire with dignity. and that means protecting social security, protecting medicare, and protecting our pensions. [applause] >> we don't make things better for workers if we don't get out and talk about work. but we also need to talk about jobs. about how we create jobs here in america and we need to talk about how we build the future . and let's make it clear, we believe in making investments , investments in roads and bridges and power grids, and education in research, investments that create good jobs in the short run and help us build new opportunities in the long run. we believe in that.
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[applause] and we believe in paying for them. not with magical accounting scams that pretend to cut taxes and raise revenues, but with real, honest-to-goodness changes that make sure that everyone including corporation, pays as. [applause] and let's get ready for what is coming. we believe in trade policy and tax codes that will strengthen our economy and raise our standard of living and will create american jobs. because we will never give up on these three words, made in america. we believe in that. [applause] [cheers]
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we need to talk about jobs and we need to talk about work. we need to talk about one thing more, and that is politics. if we are ever going to un- rig the system, then we need to make some important political changes. let me give you a place where we should start. we know that democracy does not work when congressman and regulators bow down to political power of wall street. and that means that it is time to break out the wall street banks and remind politicians that they don't work for the big banks -- they work for us. and that is what it is time for. [applause] >> changes like this aren't easy, but we know they are possible. we know that they are possible
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because we have seen it david be goliath. we have seen the lobbyists lose. we have seen it throughout our history. we saw it when we fought for and won the consumer financial protection bureau. we did that, the people in this room. [applause] we saw it when we passed health care reform, and we saw it when president obama took important steps to reform our immigration system through executive order just a few weeks ago. change is hard, but change is possible. that is what we know. [applause] >> this is personal. when i was 12-years-old, my three big brothers were in the military. my mom was 50 years old, a stay-at-home mom. and my daddy had a heart attack. and it turned the family upside down.
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the bills piled up, we lost the family station wagon, we came about that close to losing their home. and i remember the day when my mother -- scared, crying, pulled her best dressed out of the closet, put it on, put on her high heels, and walked to get a minimum wage job. that minimum wage job back then was enough to support a family. and that minimum wage job meant that we saved our family. my dad ended up as a maintenance man. my mom kept working at sears. i went to a commuter college the cost $50 a semester. and i ended up in the united states senate. [applause]
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>> i tell that story because i believe. i tell that story because i work hard, but i grew up in america that was investing in its kids. in america that was building a future. and i believe in that america. i believe in what we can do. i believe in the future we can build. and i will tell you this, i will fight for that america.
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if we fight for that america that's the america we will get. [applause] [cheers] >> thank you. [applause] >> brothers and sisters, thank you senator warren. [applause] >> the american people are hungry for a message like you just heard. american workers are ready to share prosperity and we are
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ready to get to work and we are ready to raise the wages. coming up, we are going to talk about how we do that. we have one of the most dynamic and diverse roundtables that you'll ever see. but before we get to that, we are going to take a 15 minute break and we will be back here right at 10:45 p.m. do not be late, because you don't want to miss this roundtable. and when you come back in, get an index card so you can write on your us and for our experts. take a break and we will see you back here. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> the senate will be working on keystone xl pipeline legislation today. we have live coverage at 10:00 eastern on c-span3. later in the day, agriculture secretary tom mills back along with numbers of congress and representatives of food
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companies will talk about u.s. trade with cuba, including the benefits and potential challenges. it is hosted by the group u.s. agriculture coalition for cuba. that is live at 2:00 eastern, also on c-span3. "washington journal," starts in just a moment. we take your calls, and talk about the latest on the shootings in paris. at noon eastern, they take up the keystone pipeline legislation. and changes to what constitutes a full-time worker under the federal health care law. watch live house coverage, here on c-span. coming up this hour, connecticut congressman discusses the democratic agenda for the 114th congress. and some of the issues facing the republican-led house. after that, former congressional office director talks about a
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recent report on the cost of obama administration regulations in 2014. plus, your facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal," is next. ♪ host: good morning, it is thursday, january 8, 2015. senate republicans say their first order of business will be the keystone xl pipeline and that formally kicks off today with a vote and final passage slated for next week. house gop leaders are also pushing for the pipeline in that chamber. no amendments are allowed. the white house has issued a veto threat. after an attempted coup against boehner this week, the status quo


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