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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 9, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EST

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>> after returning to the white house from a trip to arizona president obama went directly to the french embassy via motor cade where he signed the condolence book. the president was accompanied by the french ambassador to the u.s. the president wrote on behalf of all americans i extend our sympathy and solidarity to the people of france following the terrorist attack in paris. as allies we stand united with our french brothers to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended. we go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideas we stand for.
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ideas that light the world. viva la france.
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>> president obama visits tennessee to preview parts of his upcoming state of the union address and talk about jobs and the economy. we'll have live coverage beginning at 1:20 eastern. watch our live coverage of this year's state of the union on tuesday, january 20th.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, good morning. welcome to the pentagon. the topic today is european infrastructure consolidation and the action taken that derive from that. our briefers today, we have the assistant secretary of defense, for international security affairs, mr. derek chollet. on his left is mr. john conger performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for energy installations and environments. they'll make opening statements. we'll have time for questions afterwards. and let me know if there's questions beyond that if we run out of time. mr. chollet, if you'd like to begin. >> good morning. this on? >> yes. >> okay. good morning. european and trans atlantic security is more important
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than ever. the united states remains committed to nato and our presence in europe. for generations, you the us service members have lived with, trained with, and fought alongside european allies and partners. we currently have approximately 67,000 military personnel stationed in europe and our troops train and deploy with european counterparts across the globe. our european allies remain our strong partners in addressing shared security challenges whether in responded to russia's actions against ukraine or the operations in iraq and syria where european countries are a vital part of the coalition. u.s. basing and access to facilities in europe are an integral component of that partnership. they enable the united states military and our allies to respond quickly and our operational presence in europe is critical to our common global security goals. at the same time we must ensure we pursue these goals in a way that is as efficient and effective as possible. that is why two years ago the department initiated a process to review our facilities in europe known as the european infrastructure consolidation or
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e.i.c. today we are announcing the results of the e.i.c. process, which aims to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of our presence in europe by consolidating and realigning excess infrastructure. in this process, the department maintained a close and consistent engagement with the congress, with the state department, with the joint staff, with the services, with ucomm and our european partners. over the past several years secretary hagel has discussed these issues with his european counterparts and just yesterday he had phone conversations with the defense ministers of the united kingdom, germany, italy, and portugal. we will continue this engagement as e.i.c. implementation occurs over the next several years. with these e.i.c. decisions, we are consolidating and reducing some existing support infrastructure in order to be more
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efficient, but we are not affecting our operational capability. the e.i.c. adjustments do not diminish our ability to meet our commitments to allies and partners. in fact, these decisions will produce savings that will enable us to maintain a robust force presence in europe. we are also investing in new infrastructure and expanding and enhancing our partnerships and joint and combined training opportunities across europe. this cr includes investments in infrastructure, greater rotational presence in air land, and sea, and enhanced exercises. such efforts will be supported by the nearly 1 billion in additional funds that congress provided at the end of last year. and through the e.i.c., we ensure that the united states will retain the infrastructure in europe needed to support our permanently stationed forces additional rotational forces and contingency requirements. on that note, today we are announcing that the united states air force will permanently base the f-35 joint strike fighter
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in europe and that the secretary of defense has selected the united kingdom as the first location to host two squadrons of f-35's. this decision is just the latest example of the special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom. the presence of u.s. f-35's will lead to new possibilities for collaboration with the united kingdom such as a potential for greater training and wider support opportunities. taken together, these decisions on force presence in europe will enhance operational readiness and mission posture at reduced funding levels all toward the objective of maintaining a strong trans atlantic alliance and meeting our common security interests. with that i'll turn it over to john conger for details on the prose esand decisions made here. >> thanks. >> so i'm john conger and responsible for installations and infrastructure at the
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department. i've had the responsibility for managing the e.i.c. process as it unfolded over the last few years. changing security environments and the ongoing tough fiscal climate led to the department of defense undertaking a comprehensive review of infrastructure requirements necessary to support u.s. forces and missions in and around europe. let me add a point here for context. we have continually sought efficiencies as we manage installations worldwide. that's one of the reasons we have requested base realignment and closure from congress to do a review of our u.s. installations. in this fiscal environment it would be irresponsible not to look for such savings. similarly we thought a review of our infrastructure in europe was important to conduct. we used the process very similar to the proven u.s. brac process in analyzing bases in europe. we looked at capacity, requirements, military value cost, and
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at the diplomatic dine amics involved with each action. the bottom line for us was we wanted to preserve our operational capability while reducing the cost of supporting it. therefore, as we consolidate our footprint, the infrastructure remaining in place will continue to support our operational requirements and strategic commitments. we did not contemplate changes that reduced fighting capability. that was a fundamental constraint of the analysis. the largest installation that is part of this announcement is our return of mildenhall to the u.s.a. approximately 3200 u.s. personnel from mildenhall will be restationed elsewhere partly offset by the addition of about 1200 personnel to support the f-35's being stationed in lakenheath. both of these events will occur in the 2018-2021 time frame. there are a number of
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divestitures that will be occurring but this is the largest example. the overall e.i.c. process will see the d.o.d. divesting excess infrastructure, will save the department approximately $#00 million a year. all while maintaining the same operational capability. as a result, we will not need as many support personnel to maintain a reduced infrastructure in terms of less military and civilian personnel and host nation employees. approximately 1200 u.s. military and civilian support positions will be eliminated. about 6,000 more u.s. personnel will be relocated within europe. up to 1100 host nation positions could also be eliminated and approximately 1500 additional europeans working for the u.s. could end up being impacted over the next several years as many of their positions are relocated to areas we need to maintain for the long term. as i stated earlier, the largest local national job reductions will come from the closure of mildenhall in the u.k., but
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that will be partly offset with the f-35 base. you may have questions about exactly how many u.s. or host nation personnel will be affected by each installation or site, but for that level of detail i'd refer you to the u.s. european command and their component commands. these recommendations will be executed over the next several years. that does not mean everything will remain static while the changes occur. there were consolidations made before e.i.c. and there will undoubtedly be future basing actions. however, today we're talking about the holistic review we conducted over the last two years, which i believe will strengthen our posture in europe. thank you very much for your attention. >> question? joe? >> mr. sholet, as you may know the threat that is facing europe now and could face europe in the future is a threat from nonconventional groups such as al qaeda or isol or other
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groups. how do you explain the reason or the purpose for keeping 67,000 troops in europe? what's the objective for that? >> there are several objectives. clearly, we continue to have security interests in europe and security threats to europe. the recent crisis in ukraine over the last year illustrates that. and so part of our force presence is to work with and reassure our nato allies who we have treaty obble gags to defend in europe. but also it's important to note that europe is a critical platform for u.s. military operations, particularly in the middle east and north africa where european facilities, bases, and capabilities that we station in europe are absolutely critical to military operations throughout the middle east and north africa and, in fact, the world as transit points to asia and elsewhere. so i think our military presence of course has come down in europe significantly since the
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end of the cold war over the last quarter century but maintaining a strong, robust force presence in europe is absolutely vital to our national security interests. >> do you think with the e.i.c. process it would be better to face the infiltration throughout europe? >> i'm not sure i understand the question. >> with the e.i.c. process do you think we'd expect the strategy to counter the infiltration of terrorists throughout europe? >> so two separate issues. the e.i.c. process is about infrastructure and gaining greater efficiencies to allow us to maintain a strong force presence in europe into the future. separate set of issues about asymetric threats, unconventional threats. that's something i know the general breedlove here in this room has talked about and secretary hagel has talked about as challenges for the nato alliance. it's something that nato partners talked about at the summit in wales last year and will certainly talk about later this
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year at the defense ministerial in february. >> is there any element in this realignment, reorganization that either you worry hinders your military intelligence counterterrorism capability or is there anything where maybe on the other hand you might have saved some money, realigned things, and it might actually enhance it and free something up for you? >> yes. one of the challenges or the efforts here was to match both the desire to gain greater efficiencies in infrastructure while still maintaining what we believe is the infrastructure to allow the force presence to ensure we can defend our national security interests. so none of the infrastructure consolidation efficiencies we'll be getting will have any bearing on our ability to -- operational ability to defend our interests, our intelligence
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capabilities. the savings we will be gaining in this process will allow us to maintain a strong force presence into the future. >> you folks have made it very clear that you're consolidating but not reducing operational capability, the security of europe, etcetera. obvious question is, how? simply a matter of finding left over stuff from the cold war that has been sitting idle? or is it, you know, a more -- is there more to it in terms of cutting infrastructure without actually getting rid of stuff that you need? >> let me take that one. it's closer to the first idea you floated. we looked at capacity versus requirements. we we found we were able to consolidate the same capability on
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fewer locations. there were some places. i'm not sure i would characterize it as left over from the cold war but there are certainly a lot of individual sites that are smaller in our european foot print. that way we are able to collapse together and some of them were small. a lot of the things you'll see in the list, the general public may not be familiar with. there were several recommendations that added together had a larger impact. mildenhall is the one most people will have heard of. when you leave a site that reduces the requirements not for supporting that site. so the security, the public works, etcetera, etcetera, individual staffs that are at that particular location are duplicative. >> but where did the small inefficient bases come from in
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the first place? didn't they have a point when first created? >> i can't speak to the initiation of the hundreds of sites we have in europe and why we had them there at the beginning but i understand that it's a, in some respects a characteristic of the end of the world war ii. >> in the scheme of the department's overall budget, $500 million doesn't sound like a whole lot. have you contemplated closing more installations but changed course because of what's going on in the ukraine and russia? >> i don't think so. keep in mind that this was not an effort designed to solve the entire fiscal problem of the department. we have lacked for base closure authority in the past which would have obviously had a larger impact. this was a practical, sensible holistic look we could do on
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a subset of our footprint and we took that action. $500 million a year is, while not large compared to the rest of the department at large, is certainly not an amount of money to sneeze at. >> could we talk more about the relationship between this and the european reassurance initiative? are these savings specifically designed to bolster that effort? do you expect the $500 million a year you'll be able to redirect that annually? totally separate processes. this effort is over two years in the making. the e.r.i. of course is something that president obama asked for the additional funds last summer from congress. certainly greater efficiencies help -- the savings help. but they're disconnected. so the $1 billion, nearly $1 billion that we've received from our congress at the end of last year will enable us to have
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some infrastructure improvements, in facilities that we use for our rotational presence particularly in central and eastern europe. also help fund a robust exercise schedule. so separate processes but savings is savings. though they're not directly connected, the more efficiencies we can get out of our system and the less we are spending money on things that we judge are obsolete, the better off we'll be and more able we'll be to spend money on things we believe will be more consistent with presumably our interests in the future. >> will you be able to redirect these savings to your knowledge? are these going to end up body cuts? >> they're not connected. not connected. >> should we expect another round of e.i.c.'s? you said undoubtedly there would be more basing decisions. >> we're not planning an e.i.c. 2, per se. my point is that this was not the first time anybody looked at european infrastructure.
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this was not the first time that any installation was returned in europe. and it won't be the last time that anybody looks at european infrastructure. >> if i could just add, this is an evolutionary process. just as we have been undertaking this effort to take a look at the existing infrastructure, we've been looking at how to upgrade new infrastructure to support our efforts in central and eastern europe. so a lot changed from a year ago and who knows what 2015 will hold here? >> i have a little different question. you said the process has been going on for more than two years. how did the process change at all after russia invaded ukraine? >> i can speak to that. obviously, when events occurred in the ukraine, we took a look and asked the question to ourselves, you know, should we pause this?
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we decided to continue with the analysis because the going in conditions were not particularly affected by the events in the world. the question we were asking ourselves is how can we do the same thing for less money? that question is still pertinent. we weren't talking about reducing our ability to conduct the mission. we were talking about our ability to do that same mission for less money. and that was an effort worth continuing. we conducted, we then decided to complete the analysis and then allow the secretary to decide whether to go forward in whatever the current context would be at that time. and the secretary approved the recommendations we came up with. >> on a different subject, have the decisions all been communicated to the host country? >> yes. we have been, as i mentioned in my opening statement, we've been engaging with our host countries' yournt parts throughout the entire process and secretary hagel has been doing so at all of his meetings with the affected countries and just yesterday he had these phone conversations with the four countries that are most affected by this. and it's been an open process
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so far and we'll continue this as these get implemented. these changes aren't going to happen overnight. we'll take time to work with these countries as much as we can. there will be job losses in these countries. it will affect local communities and we have an interest in doing what we can to try to help them mitigate the negative consequences. >> just one quick followup then a question. can you tell us when you expect to know where the next batch of f-35's will go? you said the first will go to lakenheath. when will the department know where in italy the next aircraft will be deployed? >> we haven't made a decision on the next round yet. there has been a decision for italy to host a maintenance facility. that was announced last month for the f-35 but the future deployment positions have not been made. >> with respect to brac and the department's repeated
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requests to congress for more rounds of brac, do you believe, does the department believe this process will strengthen its hand politically in going back this year with a budget and asking for brac again because you'll be able to say we consolidated infrastructure in europe and now we want to turn our attention to the united states? >> i think so. i think that's a fair statement. congress has raised several issues with regard to brac in the past, one of which was please look at what your access is overseas before you start looking at the domestic installations again. this was in part in response to that and i think it was a responsible effort that we can go back to congress with. >> thank you. >> just a clarification, mr. conger. when you say it won't be the last time people look at european infrastructure, does that necessarily -- does that mean reducing or not necessarily so? you mentioned adding some
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infrastructure in eastern europe. then, also, my question would be, how much will it cost to close the facilities and when do we expect to see the savings? >> so two parts of your question. let me answer the first one first. i wasn't alluding to a particular action. heck, you can look at the f-35 basing as a separate none.i.c. action that is an example of a basing action that occurred in parallel at the same time but not part of the e.i.c. process. we're announcing it today but it wasn't part of our announcement. that's the case in point. with regard to cost, we project a cost over the entire time period to implement the closures to go along with the $500 million in recurring savings. a pretty good payback. i would say slightly more than one-third of that is military so it's not like we're building
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$1.4 billion worth of buildings to accommodate this. it's a smaller figure. >> overall $500 million in savings annually. when will that start? >> the full implementation of the recommendations is expected by the early 2020's i would say. just after 2020. these are -- the smaller recommendations will be implemented more quickly. the larger ones will take more time. so the entirety you'll see the entirety of those recommendations in all of the recurring savings probably in five or six years. >> thank you. mr. chollet, i believe you said in the u.k. there would be a down sizing of about 3200 jobs and then you would be bringing in 1200. what kind of jobs are being eliminated? and the 1200 is that entirely related to the f-35? >> overall on the specifics of the job, the jobs being
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consolidated as well as the new jobs i'm going to have to defer to ucomm. on the f-35 issue we have a colleague here today, not sure where he is, who could follow up with you specifically afterwards on some of the f-35 decisions. >> do you have a breakdown of how many military and civilians are being affected? >> i don't. that's an issue you can follow up on. >> so if we contact ucomm they have all of this information available? >> yes. >> you said that the current force levels of active duty troops is 67,000. do you have a number overall for what it would be at the end of all of this? and, also, could i ask you to talk a little more about the rotational presence? is there any long-term plan to have that rotational presence there beyond the 12-month time line or is that something that
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will just be addressed on the annual budgetary basis? >> at the end of this process it will be -- our numbers of forces in europe, 67,000, will be roughly the same. it's not always exactly 67,000. so roughly the same. in terms of the rotational presence, the intent is to continue this rotational presence into the future. in fact, some of the infrastructure improvements we are seeking to do as part of the european reassurance initiative will enable us to continue the rotational presence by building facilities that would allow our rotating troops to live and work. so that is our plan. of course we'll over time have to seek funding for that. and as things change in europe things get better, perhaps things get worse, we may adjust accordingly. we probably will. >> does that plan call for the rotational troops to be moving in the eastern europe from existing ucomm forces or did you
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plan in as much detail to know whether that would be troops coming from outside uco m. m? >> i don't think that's planned yet. the rotations that have occurred up to now have been both from within europe as well as from the united states. >> go ahead. >> thanks. could you elaborate a little bit on why you decided to close molesworth and mildenhall? >> i can talk to -- well, let me speak broadly. i know that ucomm is going to be speaking to the specifics of any of the individual recommendations, but the analysis at large looked at excess capacity and it also looked at military value. we essentially were trying to make sure that the assets that we needed were at the locations that had the highest military value. that was based on a complicated numerical -- a lot of different
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factors. the result of that allowed us to collapse the assets from mildenhall into other locations and to recommend divestiture of that installation. the molesworth recommendation i'll actually speak to a little bit more because we -- it's part of -- was part of last year's congressional budget request to start the construction at crouton and to collapse the intelligence activities for molesworth and alconbury into the facility at crouton. that is a fairly self-contained set of recommendations into collapsing multiple locations into a single one in the same geographic area. >> thank you. is this a plan, do you have to go to congress for approval on any of this or is this
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something you can move forward with immediately? >> congress always has the right to decide what we get propose rated. that -- by definition congress will have a role in anything we do. the decision to close an installation overseas is not a particular one you need, quote-unquote, permission from congress. but that doesn't mean we haven't been talking to them for the last few years about each step of the way and working with the committees to tell them what we could about the analysis as it was ongoing. so do we need an authorization of legislation from congress? no. do we need an appropriation to make these moves? yes. >> you mentioned several times e.r.i. is going to some infrastructure improvements. so, you know, you take it, then you give. i'm curious, could you give us
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some examples of the kinds of things you were adding even to some of these other installations that date back years and are going away. >> to repeat we have 67,000 troops in europe. we have a robust force presence and significant infrastructure presence. what we're seeking, what we sought to do with e.i.c. is gain greater efficiencies in that infrastructure presence that will enable us to stay there for the future. in terms of the infrastructure improvements, for example, building or augmenting barracks on existing bases in europe that our troops are currently rotating through to exercise with our european counterparts, building certain facilities. up to this point, our troops have been rotating through central and eastern europe have been piggybacking on existing facilities that are perhaps necessarily not up to the capacity they can carry.
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that's the kinds of things we'll be seeking to do that will enable us down the road to continue our rotational presence but at a lower cost. >> as opposed to paying for ad hoc solutions. any sort of transportation infrastructure going on in terms of rail head, in terms of -- >> i'll have to get back to you on the specifics. i don't have those with me. >> i'd like to ask you about how the e.i.c. process changed a little about like marcus asked how it changed when russia invaded ukraine. clearly this started out as an infrastructure exercise and then you had russia and ukraine and allies calling for more capability. i'm wondering if at any point you considered increasing the capability. you said a couple times you didn't. you're decreasing it. is it fair to look at this announcement today as a policy decision by the department or a strategic decision that europe does not need more u.s. military capability or is
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that essentially a separate discussion occurring elsewhere in the department? >> i guess two thoughts. first, in terms of what changed, i would argue that the urgency of the e.i.c. became more apparent because as we were more focused on maintaining our force structure in europe we needed to take a close look at infrastructure and ensure we were spending our money wisely. and general breed love who i know has released a statement this morning in support of this -- these e.i.c. recommendations was very clear to us that he wanted to protect force structure. he wanted us to take a very close look at infrastructure. if anything over the last year it put more focus on our necessity of having savings. i would argue that the purpose of e.i.c. is a reaffirmation of having a robust force presence in europe.
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and the importance of the trans atlantic relationship to us. in order to ensure that we're able to be there for the future and we have the funding and resources to be there for the future we need to ensure to ourselves, to the congress the american people that we are there as efficiently as we can be. >> any final questions? all right. folks, thank you very much for coming. as mr. chollet was kind enough to mention the air force has been gracious enough to provide an expert here to talk about the f-35 basing if anyone has any questions to that. thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> folks, thank you for coming. that concludes our briefing for today.
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>> thank you. i'm very pleased to be here. i do so appreciate your being here today. i will be brief because we have
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a lot of speakers who are eager to tell you why they feel so deeply about stopping fast-track. you see before you one of the broadest coalitions that i have taken part in since i came to the congress some 24 years ago. in addition to our speakers we have representatives in the room from a huge range of organizations. we have environmental groups including the center for international environmental law, friends of the earth, green america, the league of conservation voters, community organizations, like the institute for agriculture and trade policy, consumer protection groups like the consumer federation of america. unions including the american federation of teachers, the american federation of states, counties, and muneis pal employees. the service employees union, the united brotherhood of
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carpenters, the food workers, boiler makers, the brotherhood of electrical workers and the international federation of professional and technical engineers. trade advocacy groups including the alliance for democracy, the citizens trade campaign, americans for democratic action united students against sweat shops. fades groups -- faith groups, gay rights groups, and the health care advocacy groups. all of these diverse viewpoints are united in their opposition to fast-track. a policy that is designed to ram trade deals through the
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congress without serious debate or opportunity to amend. why? why have all these different groups signed up for this coalition? because they know that trade deals go well beyond trade. they can compromise the quality of the food we eat. they can raise the prices that we pay for medicine. they can attack our environmental regulations, weaken our financial regulations, stop our government from supporting american businesses, and they do nothing to stop the injustice of currency manipulation. this coalition exists because trade deals affect everybody. we need to be able to scrutinize the text of these deals, page by page, line by line, word by word. you remember the mantra. have you read the bill? read the bill. and we need to read this bill
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just as we would do with any other piece of legislation. let alone legislation with such far-reaching implications. under fast-track, all we get is an up or down vote on each trade deal. that is simply not acceptable. it is the opposite of our constitutional duty as members of congress. i for one and my colleagues here are not going to stand for it. american workers have suffered great harm under nafta and other deals like it. their representatives must be able to consider carefully the consequences of future deal. fast-track would be yet another insult to the american worker. that is why i and my fellow members of this coalition say no to fast-track. it is now my pleasure to introduce a public figure who has spent his career fighting hard on behalf of american workers.
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the president of the afl-cio. [applause] thank you. it's good to be with all of you. let me say happy new year. now, up here on capitol hill you have a simple choice. you either approve fast-track, and by doing so pull a curtain in front of another effort to drive jobs out of america and push down wages. or you'll deny fast-track, and give us a chance to raise wages and narrow the ever widening income gap. that is as easy as it gets. but there's more. now, i have a lot of friends in politics and there isn't one -- not one of you that says you want to lower wages or drive down our standards. nobody says that they want to drive our communities to ruin. yet, that's exactly what our lousy trade deals have done.
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that's why fast-track is so dangerous. it allows politicians to speak out of one side of their mouth to voters and the other side to special interests. and you can't have it both ways. fast-track is out of date, it is poorly conceived, and it is bad for american workers and america itself. now, the afl-cio doesn't just oppose fast-track. we're going to fight actively to kill it and we're going to win that fight. [applause] it -- trade negotiations should be open to the public. these deals affect our lives. let us see the process. it is past time for congress to reassert its constitutional authority over trade. america needs a new trade model and the afl-cio opposes fast-track but we stand ready to work on a new trade model that will benefit all
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americans. not just wall street executives. we need to talk about more than just the new trade model. we need a whole new conversation. let's talk about something different for a change. let's look at ways to build america. let's focus on forward-looking initiatives that will help hard-working american families like raising the minimum wage and addressing currency manipulation and passing a long-term highway bill and investing in education and training for students. look, the american workers are asking the american workers are demanding that each of you oppose fast-track. trade deals should be open to the american public and should benefit everybody, not just wall street. so it is now my pleasure to introduce louise slaughter. [applause]
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well good morning, america. i am so glad to see this crowd. i've been around here a while and i am telling you that this is absolutely overwhelming. one of the things that we have been worried about is, do americans really understand what's happening here? thanks to all of you, the people what you represent from these wonderful groups that rosa mentioned from the labor movement and those of you in the press who attended this morning you have my thanks. fast-track came under the purview of the rules committee on which i sit. about mid 70's we were the largest manufacturers on the planet and that's when we thought we always would be. that's when they decided to let the president determine the trade agreement and that we wouldn't bother with them in congress. we would simply never go to a committee meeting with any of it, just write the trade bill. you all sign off on it send it up here and we'll vote yes or no. over the years thanks mainly to rotten trade bills that they
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have written that were never enforced -- i say that absolutely. there was never enforcement in any of the rules of the trade bills. nafta -- look at what we were promised then and what we got. partly because of that our economy has fallen. we have seen parts of the northeast and other parts of this country decimated by the fact that we cannot keep our jobs here, that people were chasing a cheap dollar to manufacture. there are still parts of the tax code in the united states of america that encourage the movement overseas. we are trying to get rid of a lot of those because, believe me, they are really out of date. so the last one that we did was the korean trade agreement. now, let me talk about south korea for just a second. i say this a lot. i can do it in a second. sout korea is one of the countries that we are obliged to fight for if anybody
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attacked them. and all of south korea whose economy we rebuilt after the war, in all of south korea 26 car dealers would sell american cars. we go to a trade agreement and talk about is this a glood thing for us to do? i stopped voting tor trade agreements a long time ago because i know nobody in rochester sent me down here to send away jobs. so let me tell you about what this trade agreement has done. we just got figures yesterday i think. the korean trade agreement last month was the absolute worst trade agreement we've ever had with korea. it used to be much more balanced. we lost $2.8 billion in a single month that we transferred to korea. thinks about that. they're still not buying anything from us. so what we have to have if we're going to do the trade bill -- and all of us believe in trade. our manufacturers have to have
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a place to sell their goods. but we don't want more free trade. we want fair trade. we want a bill that enforces that trade. and we are introducing a bill to do just that. we're taking trade enforcement and putting it into the labor department and away from the people who wrote the trade bill who never after they write it i'm confident ever looked at it again. we need to renegotiate some of those we have. we have got to do the best thing that we can do for the world. the best thing we can give them is not our jobs but a strong economy here so that we can be helpful to the rest of the world and help lift them up which is what we intended to do but we never ever figured of giving away our total economy. i want to thank rosa delara. i'm so proud to be on her team. tiff great privilege -- i have
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the great privilege of introducing sister simone campbell is with us here. [applause] >> thank you. what an honor to be here. i'm the executive director of network, national catholic social justice lobby and sort of known as the leader of nuns on the bus. and what we know is based on our contacts in local areas. and i'm here today to oppose fast-track because we know from catholic sisters in central america my sisters in mexico that these trade agreements create a huge imbalance in dis-- and disequal libbrum, especially in rural communities. this year we appeared shocked that we had a lot of central american kids on our borders. but there is a direct correlation between having the kids on the borders and the fact of the dislocation in the central american sending countries, because the
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economies, especially in rural areas have been so disrupted that the power of violence and fear was driving those children away to safety. what happens in these negotiations is too often the negotiators get so fixed on their business interest they don't think of the rest of the impact on society. so i'm here today as a member of the faith community to say the faithful way forward is to have a full discussion where other points of view, not just those of the business economic interests, can be engaged in the conversation about these trade agreements. we knew from nafta that the pressure on immigration was going to be great in central america, and yet we acted surprised when it happened on our border. we know the consequences of these poorly crafted trade agreements for the 100%. so we're saying give the 100% a chance to engage in the dialogue, raise the issues, and prevent tragedy in the future.
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that is the way forward. so fast-track, a seal of approval without even looking at it as congresswoman delauro said, is the wrong way forward. give us a chance to read the bill, to engage in conversation and let the voice of the people be heard for the common good for all. that's our position. [applause] and now it's my honor to introduce congressman pete defazz yo, democrat from oregon. >> well, yesterday was a bad/good day in the fast-track. mitch mcconnell came out for trade adjustment assistance. does that mean he suddenly developed a conscience and a heart and cares for working people in no. he knows this agreement is going to cost america jobs and so therefore he's trying to facilitate some weak-kneed democrats to vote for it
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because of a stop. what are you going to retrain those people for mcdonald's? if we give up our quality jobs what are you going to retrain people for? a very simple question for congress. are we going to be a door matt for an all powerful secretive executive negotiating an agreement against the american people while consulting with multinational corporations and freezing us out? are we going to be a door mat for those corporations as they ship american jobs overseas? or are we the people's house going to stand up for the people of america and begin to right the inseekties that have been wrought upon us by these failed agreements? it's a turning point for america. we will not be a door mat. >> i forgot my cue. all right. so here he is larry co-en
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president of the communication workers of america. >> great speech. so three things. one, this is the biggest coalition on trade ever. the biggest ever. the breadth of this is tens of millions of americans. and we heard the list from rosa at the beginning. we're prepared in every district to work as a coalition , not siloed as labor or farmers or consumers or environmentalists but together to talk about what the global economy should be and how it can work for all of us. second america will never see a raise for american working families if we continue to make trade deals like we have in 20 years of nafta. 80% of americans have had no raise in 30 years. we can't stop that just with the minimum wage though we support it. we have to stop trade deals that only move in one direction
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. we look at a city like detroit. the bankruptcy in detroit. our members are 90% service sector. every one of our members in detroit know that the trade policy that devastated detroit devastates their lives also. that they can't get a raise when people don't have a job. our members in st. louis and ferguson know that the root causes of ferguson lie in the shutdowns in st. louis. until we connect the dots in this coalition and with these members of congress, and we say loudly to what we are against -- and we understand that right now this is the president this is mitch mcconnell, this is sbarne with boehner trade -- speaker boehner. we are humble about what we face but we are tens of millions of americans and we are commit that had we are not going to have another rall deal on trade. we are going to come to the 21
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lts century and negotiate trade deals that work for tens of millions of americans, not just for hundreds of corporations. now it is my honor to introduce my brother from wisconsin who thinks this is a warm day in washington. representative mart pokan. >> thank you. and it is a little bit balmy. i have come to follow trade long before i came to congress. for 27 years i've been a small business owner of a specialty printing business. a union shop. and part of what we do is find american-made and union made products for people. and over the years i've watched bad trail deal after bad trade deal send jobs overseas. it's almost impossible to find a pin or pen that's made in the u.s. in fact, in wisconsin, a county that paul ryan and i share we used to have parker pen, that in 2010 the last job left to
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mexico because of bad trade deals. we have seen the squobs go away, the wages go down, and it is time that the public has a say which means congress has to have a say. and fast-track takes away our voice. if this trade deal is as good as they say, let's hear how good it is and share the details. but there's a reason why it's negotiated in secret and why we can't find out all the provisions around the environment and consumer protections and buy american laws. we need to have our say in congress and we can't support fast-track. we have to let the public have their say. and i am very happy to introduce a congresswoman who has been here for a lot longer than me and done a lot of amazing things here in congress. representative barbara lee from the great state of california. >> thank you very much. let me thank you for your leadership. and also congresswoman delauro. and giving us all the
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opportunity today to speak out. but more importantly to work against fast track in these trade deals that are bad for all american workers. as a representative from california's beautiful is 13th congressional district, i have the honor and privilege to represent the port of oakland, one of the nation's busiest ports. it is critical to the economy of my district and trade can be critical is critical to america's economy. it can be good when it's fair, wynn it's open, when it's transparent, when it creates good-paying jobs at home. hour, i join the vast -- however, i join the vast majority of americans in opposing fast-track. i oppose fast-track because i oppose bad trade. american workers, american families, and american businesses and especially in communities of color are going to continue to be hurt. we can and we should craft
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trade deals that deal with growing the american economy and creating jobs here at home. now, many of these jobs which we lost as it relates to nafta came from california. in fact, communities of color mind you were disproportionately hurt by nafta and the united states -china trade deal. make no mistake 35% of jobs lost to china which totals over 1 million american jobs were from communities of color. this is outrageous. after those workers lost their jobs, their situation grew even worse. when those workers found another job, they suffered nearly 30% cuts in their wages totalling more than $10 billion per year. so as we continue to seeport rates in the african american and the latino communities
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grow jobs and wages lost to offshoring continue to prevent these communities from building wealth and working into the middle class. if the united states is going to pursue a free trade agreement in the pacific, congress needs to have full public debates and hearings so the deal is fair and the american people know what's in it. that's why congress is so important to these deals. otherwise people have no voice. they have no say on these trade policies that affect their livelihood. so we need to take fast track off the table. we need to do that right away. and we need to start talking about creating good paying jobs for american workers and american families here in america. so i'm very proud and honored to bring forth my colleague who's co chair of the congressional
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progressive caucus who has led the fight with low wage workers to raise the standard of living for good paying jobs. thank you. >> i had someone call me the other day and he said you know keith i've heard somethings about this trans pacific partnership and i'm concerned about it. you need to send me a copy of that bill. [laughter] of course i cannot do that, because i've never seen it. if they show you the bill at all, they show you one little title of it, and then you can't have staff, you can't take notes, you can't do anything. this is an invisible process. each one of us represents somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 people. and so when we're standing in front of you we are representing whole communities several cities. i represent 15 cities,
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minneapolis being the biggest one. and these people who sent me to congress expect that i will make decisions that are going to help them and they're going to stop bills that are going to hurt them. and there is no way many the world i could support fast track abdicating my responsibility my authority as a member of congress without being very clear on every single comea in the trans pacific partnership and i have not seen it. if it's so awesome, let us see it. but we can't. so we are going to stop this thing, we are going to oppose it, we have a coalition to stop it and i have yet to hear anybody who was for this bill come forward and say this is a great thing and it's going to be very dirt and here is exactly why. that has not happened yet, so i am incredibly suspicious and i am honored to be joining with my colleagues in and outside of
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congress to fight fast track. and i would like to introduce to you an awesome champion of fair trade. >> thank you keith. thank you. thank you all for coming and i am just thrilled to join all of my wonderful colleagues, most of whom who are junior to me in this institution and did not live through the fight. we said on that evening here in the capitol as it rained outside and john sweeney walked up the stairs while the largest global corporations commanded a central commabbed room in the face of the capitol itself, america will remember this night. and we remember. and the people we represent remember. we know this is a big struggle, and we know this is our moment to stop fast track and the outsourcing of millions of more jobs from this country.
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since nafta passed, this is an incredible figure, but the united states has racked up $9.5 trillion in trade deficit. we have a big chart to show that somewhere in this room. and a loss of $47 delsh and the loss of 47 million outoutsourced jobs. wages have dropped for the average family seven thousand dollars a year. i have stood in places along with my colleagues like ohio and michigan avenues and in northern mexico where it relocated windshield wiper manufacturing. then we visited the homes of the mexican workers who worked for penny wage. penny wage job and lived in
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squallor. what kind of a gift is that to the world? i stood in vietnam watching children, little boys, underage, standing with bare feet on the rims of bowls that they were standing and spraying with lacker and breathing in all of those fumes, hurting their own health for the future, for export to the united states. today as i stand here as an ohioan, two plans u.s. steel have announced over 700 lasts and a company called hugo boss which has an outlet in brooklyn, ohio has given pink slips to over 170 workers. if you go into a hugo boss outlet in your community you can buy suits that cost $1200. the workers in my district have taken a 17% pay cut and that wasn't good enough. so i'm here to say this is a day of reckoning. i am so proud to be with my
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colleagues. all those who have been elected and are fighting to add justice economic justice to the way this nation conducts its business. i am proud to oppose fast track to support fair trade and to correct the wrongs that this free trade regiment exacts on the american people and our dear friends around the world. [cheers and applause] i would now like to bring to the podium congressman tim ryan of ohio who has lived and breathed these issues and it is why he is here. i am proud to serve with him. >> thank you marsy. both are from ohio and we have a lot of people who are in this big coalition, but one of the coalitions we have is ohio state buckeye fans and oregon duck fans with peter. so we're crossing all kinds of bridges here today to oppose
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fast track. we're not going to agree with him anymore until at least tuesday. but let me say this. the 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 elections were all about economics. make no mistake. the anxiety that people feel in upstate new york, in ohio and illinois and nirn california, all across wisconsin, all across the country, these issues of trade have decimated the middle class in the united states of america. we want democrats to connect with voters we need to talk about the issues they care about. it's fast track and it's trade. we are elected, we are the ones on the ground when the steel mill closes. we're the ones in the union hall shaking hands, holding hands, hugging wives and kids that have
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lost their jobs. making 50, 60, 70, $80,000 a year. so to push a trade agreement into the house of representatives and not ask our opinion, we're the ones who see the inbalance in labor standards, the negative effects. we're the ones whether it's intellectual property in california. we're the ones who are on the front lines seeing the negative effects. so we should be considered. we see the positive effects too. when we put tariffs on chinese tubing coming into the united states. we had a billion dollar steel mill located in youngestown, ohio. that's what can happen. larry, rich, that's what can happen in the united states if we stand up and we have fair trade. i want to make one last point, there's a reason why the public unions are up on this banner. there's a reason why the teachers are here. there's a reason why sister
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simone campbell is here. these trade agreements have a ripple effect through our communities. the teachers feel it because there's no tax base to pay teachers more. the local government folks who do economic development, who do job and family services, who do job retraining, they're not having the budgets they used to have because these trade deals have decimated local government funds. there's not enough money to throw in the church. so we're closing down churches, closing dine catholic schools across the united states. >> it's a pleasure to be here. i'm privileged to be a part of
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this huge group of voices that have come together to speak out about the dangers of fast track and unfair trade. i'm here representing the 2.4 million supporters who understand that trans pacific partnership rushed through congress under fast track authority will threaten our air, our water, our communities. the health of our families and i believe the people gathered here today all see the danger of unfair trade and the danger of rubbing it through congress without oversight. fast track also, i think undermines our basic democratic tenants. check and balance is a part of our democracy. it is protected in the constitution. and fast track undermines that incredibly seriously.
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so today we join our colleagues, we know that this is an uphill battle. it's very difficult. but our members all of our members know how to make our voices heard. we will not be silenceneded a we will continue to speak out against unfair trade and against fast track. and we are confident that because we are speaking for the american public that the people who have so much to lose through unfair trade that we will eventually be heard. and it is my privilege to introduce congressman alan grayson. >> trade is a simple concept. you sell me yours and i'll sell you mine. that's not what's happening. what's happening is that day after day, month after month
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and year after year, americans are buying goods and services manufactured by foreigners. and those foreigners are not buying goods and services manufactured by americans. we are creating millions no, tens of millions of jobs in other countries with our purchasing power and we are losing tens of millions of jobs in our country because foreigners are not buying our goods and services. what are they doing? they're buying our assets. so we lose twice. we lose the jobs, and we are driven deeper and deeper into national debt and ultimately national bankruptcy. that is the end game of this. it's not free trade, it's fake trade. we have fake trade. that's why before nafta was
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enacted and went into effect, this country never had a trade deficit as much as $140 billion a year and every single year since then for 20 years now, we have had a trade deficit of over $140 billion a year. we have had a trade deficit of half a billion dollars now for the past 14 years. look back all across history, look all across planet earth and you will see that the 14 largest trade deaf sits in the history of mankind are all the american trade deficits for the last 14 years. i cannot rule out the possibility that somewhere on there might be a country that has a larger trade deficit. but here on planet earth no. listen, we are in a deep, deep hole. thanks to fake trade, thanks to
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fake trade. right now, one seventh of all the assets in this country, every business, every plot of land, every car, one seventh of all the assets in the country are now owned by foreigners. and ultimately if we keep going the way we're going they all will be. that's why we have the most unequal distribution of income in our country the most unequal distribution of wealth in our history. we're in a deep, deep hole. and there's a simple rule about holes. when you're in a hole, stop digging. stop digging. so i'm calling upon our leaders i'm calling upon the american people. let's stop digging. let's not only have a trade policy. for once, let's also have a trade deficit policy. let's deal with the reality that has robbed the american class now for decades.
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let's address it and let's defeat it. that's what i'm calling upon right now. let's stop digging deeper, let's raise ourselves up and climb out of this hole and rebuild the american middle class. thank you very much. >> i'm invited the food and water watch to come to the microphone. >> thank you congressman. i'm with the consumer group of food and water watch and i work on food safety issues. and as others know, we have enough problems with our own food safety system in this country without having to import other country's health and safety issues. our concern at food and water watch has always been with the safety of imported food.
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and the agency in this country that is beleaguered with increased imports is the food and drug administration. as most of you know, the congress in 2010 passed the food safety modernization act and the congress, and the president signed it into law in 2011. and we're going through the implementation process of that law. that law mandated that f.d.a. improve its surveillance of imported food. that law had a section that required f.d.a.'s to double its inspection s, actual physical inspection of foreign facilities to export products to the united states every year starting in 2011 until 2016. in 2015, that law required that f.d.a. actually do about 10,000 physical inspections. but because the congress has
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failed to fund that law fully, we've been stuck at 1,300. 1,300 physical inspections of foreign facilities. yet, the level of food imports in this country continue to increase. i just did a quick check of the import refusals from the 11 countries that are involved in the trans pacific partnership for 2014. and based on the 2%, the 2% inspection that f.d.a. does at our ports of entry, over 3300 products were refused entry by the f.d.a. because of all sorts of issues. many of those products were food products. and the violations ranged from labeling violations, all the way
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to microbiological contaminations. china, which is waiting in the wings for this t.p.p. to be negotiated because they wanted to piggy back on alone has 2300 violations. so an import refusals. so the thing is that why are we rushing the trans pacific partnership through? it should be slow tracked. we don't have the regulatory capacity to deal with increased trade from a food standpoint. on the meat and poultry side, which has a more rigorous system, it actually requires countries that want to export their poultry to the united states, so go through a food safety assessment to determine whether their system is comparable to ours.
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we have seen a steady erosion of inspection requirements because of trade. up until world trade organization, we used to have an equal two standard for meat and poultry exports to the united states. we went to an equivilent si system. what we've seen over recent years is that there's been a reduction in the level of inspection that goes on for meat and poultry productses. so we need the slow track, the fast track is way beyond the necessary requirements at this point. and i would like to introduce my neighbor in maryland, congresswoman edwards. >> thank you, hello. like my colleagues here i represent 725,000 people in the
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congressional district of maryland and our state of maryland since nafta sadly passed. we lost 70,000 jobs in our state. millions of jobs all across this country. and i was thinking back to that day when nafta passed because unlike my colleague, i wasn't in congress at the time. but i was standing on the steps of the capitol working with my colleagues at trade watch as an advocate at congress watch. shaking hands of members of congress and trying to convince them not to vote for a bad trade deal that would trade away jobs. i remember standing there that evening it was a long evening and it was a wet evening with my 5-year-old at the time. hoping that i could convince people to come over and say hello because we could tell them that the next generation of american children would be deprived of jobs because of what we were about to do, what congress was about to do in passing nafta. so here we are, and it's 2015
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and we're right back where we were. with a trade agreement that trades away american jobs. trades them away, and for what? so called getting rid of american provisions. so somebody asked me if we had the ability not to have fast track and be able to put amendments on the floor of the house of representatives representing the 725,000 people in my district you know what i would do? i would put an amendment in there solidifying by american provision because united states tax dollars shouldn't be used! united states tax dollars should not be used to underwrite and subsidize jobs overseas and that's exactly what's happening with this agreement. so not only do we need to say no to fast track, but we need to say no to a t.p.p. that trades away american jobs. that says to our brothers and sisters in labor, it's not enough that you've lost millions of manufacturing jobs in this
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country over the last two decades. we wanted you to lose more. just like our citizens are working hard and doing it for nothing that it's time to end that kind of free trade and instead let's have fair trade that respects the american people, that respects people around the world and make sure that we can begin to create jobs and grow and build things here again in america. stop t.p.p., no to fast track. now i have the great pleasure of introducing my good friend from illinois. >> thank you, thank you. well i am proud to stand before
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a mighty coalition that says that fast tracking a bad trade deal is not acceptedable to us. and it should not be to the congress. and at the same time sidetracking workers rights, workers wages workers safety. environmental and consumer protection laws, access to affordable prescription drugs here and around the world. off the track is the ability of congress to protect long fought for laws. and to turn them over to corporations now this want to so call -- meaning bringing them to the lowest common denominator across the country. the biggest corporations that can then challenge any law that somehow interferes with their process. that's what we know is in the
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trans pacific partnership. and so we think that -- and not even near the track right now are the millions of stitch wents who are represented by these members of congress whose voices are needing to be heard. and i hope in the next few months in the next few weeks, because of our ability to organize, we have great organizers here, within and without the congress, that the voices of the american people will be heard, and we will say no to fast track, and no to t.p.p. thank you. now i'd like to bring forth a new member, but whose voice is always absolutely rezzlute for working families. >> thank you. thank you jan.
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for me, this is about my hometown. i come from flint michigan. in 1908, general motors was founded in flint, michigan. and in 1936, the workers in those factories sat down on the job and held out until they got the first u. a.w. contract. between the auto industry and the american labor movement, we by the the american middle class. and what we are seeing is all that we have gained being given away by trade agreements that treat the american workers that they're meaningless. that award corpse interest but put workers on the back burners. what do i say? i ask this question, what do i say to the people that i represent? who were told back in the 1990's that the way we can rebuild our manufacturing base is with these trade agreements.
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in my hometown we once had 79,000 people working in manufacturing in the auto industry. today there's 10,000 people in that same industry. we've lost 90% of our jobs. all after these trade agreements were negotiated to strengthen the american manufacturer. so when i am asked will this agreement have protections for labor standards that are adequate with enforcement that will be strong, i have to say i don't know. when i'm asked will there be environmental standards, i have to say i don't know. i asked will there be currency standards, that no matter what we get in the rest we can see all that is gained given away when they allow to make their exports attractive and ours incapable of being sold into
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other markets. what do i say when people ask me those questions when we have a process that asks me as an elected member of congress to sit down, be quiet wait, and just trust us. well you know what? we trusted folks before, and we saw our jobs go away. not on our watch. we're not going to let that happen again. let me introduce my new friend, leader of the professional caucus. >> thank you very much. my colleagues and the allies today against fast track have stated the case for the american people very well today. i just wanted to say that with regard to this trade agreement, and the fast track fight that's ahead of us, that this is not about, there's no legacy at
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stake here. the only legacy that we know of is the legacy of the failed trade agreements of the past. nafta. no enforceability. the environmental impact under this, where corporations from partnering nations are able to override our domestic flaws. are able to sue based on the fact that future profits are at stake. are able to undercut our clean air, clean water resource protection in this nation. i don't think the american people know that, nor do they want that. i think what has been said over and over again by my colleagues and bears repeating is a simple point. we are elected with an obligation to do our job. fast track robs us of that obligation and that authority. we have been elected to assure that the public's right to know is presented to them.
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fast track robbed us of the obligation denies the people the right to know, and we proceed with an agreement that it's not enforceable and built on a legacy of failures. the nafta debate, i was watching it i had a disease long ago, i was watching c-span or something, and a colleague from arizona that isn't here anymore got up to defend the deal. and he said on the floor, nafta is vital. it will end our problem with immigration. it will secure our borders. it will provide growth for our country in terms of jobs and growth and security for latin america. i'm asking you to judge that comment with the reality today, and fight this fast track, thank you very much.
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>> i'll introduce myself. i'm congressman janis hawn, and i'm from los angeles. so i represent the port of los angeles, which is the largest container port in the united states. and i understand the economic value of trade. i'm very much pro trade. trade supports millions of good paying jobs for hard working americans at our port and throughout the supply chain in this country. some people i think mischaracterize those of us who are opposed to fast track and bad deals as being anti-trade. so i repeat, i strongly support trade. but however, i am opposed to trade deals that have harmful consequences for american workers. and deals that give unfair advantages to those who exploit
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workers and destroy this environment. that's why i oppose fast track. fast track takes away from congress our authority to regulate trade and to be involved in these negotiations. under fast track, we would be stripped of our ability to negotiate to amend, to make the deals better. and we would only be allowed to vote yes or no. fast track is like a recipe for a raw deal not a good deal. and speaking of deals we traded john dingle and we got debby dingle which so far i think is a fair trade. >> so i'm the new girl on the block from michigan but i'm no new girl to the subject of trade. yesterday i was honored to go to detroit with the president and
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to have them visit a ford motor plant and see a plant that is doing well. and yet if we pass the legislation that people are talking about right now, it's going to set us backwards. i won't soringt myself with all of the comments that have made by my colleagues and not repeat them but i am going to say a couple of things. which is one, we're told that any fast track deal isn't going to include currency. currency is the mother of all trade barriers! i want you to know that right now the yen which is at 120 and the last two years have given an $8,000 advantage in this country to the japanese. and that $8,000 advantage they have the they're using against the best built product that's made in america and made in michigan is then used to undercut the cost of what the vehicles are, or the parts in advertising. that's not fair trade! and it's not fair trade when we
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exploit middle class jobs to other countries. how many people have focused on the fact that toyota made more money and profits on currency than ford motor did in all of the profits that they did in production around the world last year? so i want fair trade! i've lived in those auto plants, i know the working men and women of g.m., ford and chrysler we're fabulous workers and we build great cars and we'll compete with anybody in the world. but we cannot compete with the bank of japan and the government of japan if we don't have a u.s. government that's out there fighting and fighting for us in this country! that's why i oppose it. and now i want to introduce you -- i'm known for being quite shoe. mark, my colleague from california who's wonderful. you're on. >> thank you. >> well, first of all i've been
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a member of congress for less than 48 hours so i'm just thrilled to be here. i'm a little bit confused about the hot and cold nature of washington coming from the bay area of california, but this coalition of the environmental union of labor on what i think is the most important thing we could talk about in the domestic policy, and global policy in the united states, the future of the american work force, arguably the most powerful human force in the history of this planet. the middle class of america who's provided us with the benefits that we so enjoy. in an economy that's based on 70% consumer goods we are eviss rating the middle class who provides the income for those consumer goods. i'm continuely perplexed as to why americans eviss rate this most important part of america. why we keep taking away their ability to create a better life for their kids. when i talk to my people in the bay area where we live in the best and worst of times a very
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dickens's like world where we're almost up to 24% poverty, we should be very careful when it comes to trade. first do no furt harm to the american work force. so there's that. then there's the whole issue of democracy and transparency that we talk a lot about. a lot of americans, i come from the california legislator prior to the last 48 hours, a lot of americans think that dromsi is unnecessarily distasteful, that it's hard, that the u.s. house of representatives somehow doesn't work as efficiently as it should. but that's the basis of democracy. it might not always be pretty but it works because it includes everyone. lincoln once famously said in american politics with public sentiment you can do anything. without it you can do nothing. this is a perfect example of this. don't pass this fast track. thank you.
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>> we had a conflict on the schedule and we arrived a little late. we were thrilled to see the over over, overflow crowd coming out of this room that speaks to the interest and the passion of this issue. there can be no more important issue that speaks to the dignity of the workers and the quality of life of working families. so i want to thank our colleague . she had held numerous forums where we gathered together routinely to speak to the injustice of this issue. you heard earlier from my friend and colleague representative slaughter, we both claimed the i 90 corridor in upstate new york. she at the western end, me at the eastern end. but we both claim the donor area to the eerie canal. which drove a westward movement and built the industrial
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revolution of this country. it gave birth to a necklace of communities dubbed mill towns. those mill towns became the epi centers of invention and invasion. they allowed for the workers to express her or his creative genius. and it allowed for the tethering of the american dream. that dream still nurtures us. what this does is deny that american dream. suffocate the american dream. and it brings about injustice around the world. sister simone alerted us to the facts that she had seen through her order around the world. so we're not diminishing the quality of life and people in this world by acts that we do here in washington. when i think of that great investment of the eerie canal that enabled us to be this manufacturing kingpin of the international commi, we need to continue to nurture that.
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we need to continue to invest in a better more hopeful tomorrow. this does not do it. i was asked several times in our last return to the district to the month of december while we were ramping up to come back to the new session of congress, a number of working families had asked me, a number of middle income community types had asked me go to washington and get something done zhroom so my district is not asking me to ship away jobs, trade away jobs. they're not asking me to dirty our environment. they're not asking me to allow our subject our children to the
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ugly sins of the past. and they're not asking me for a fast track that denies our voice in the process. the public knows what's going on. congress needs to have a voice in these negotiations. the american public needs for congress to echo their concern. there's no mistakeing that. so i am proud to stand with my colleagues to lend my voice to their voices, as we move forward. i'm proud to associate myself with unionized labor with those environmental groups and the advocacy group that speak to environmental justice. because that's us at our best. washington is here deliberating. they have opportunities to open a process. we should not be left in the dark. america is watching, the world is watching. what do we stand for? do we want to subject children
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around the world and our own children to terrible conditions? do we want to hand over an environment to the next generation that's more polluted? do we want an economic consequences to be the rule of the day for the families counting on a good paycheck? do we stand for the suffocation of the american dream? the greatest dream this world has ever known. i am proud to stand with my colleagues. thank you. >> i have never been more proud to stand with my colleagues and with groups who are the wind beneath our wings. thank you so, so much for being here today and putting that fine point we will not have fast track. it will not happen. we are not going to do it. and with that let's open it up for questions. and please identify yourself. >> thanks very much for speaking.
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two questions if you don't mind. you reference a piece of legislation that's related to -- >> it's a trade agreement, is negotiations by the trade zar, then we have to have in zigs to that enforcement, which is like all these years. i said a million times in my years of congress i have seen not a single trade bill. that either benefited the american manufacturer or the american worker. many my mind, that is because there has been absolutely no enforcement. this bill gives us a snap back provision that we can stop the trade agreement in its track until we deal with the problems of people not buying our goods. when i said i'm not sure i said it strong enough but we lost a one month to south korea $2.8 billion. i mean think about that for a minute. that's one month.
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i think that they sold that they got from us american dollars transferred to them and i will tell you the fact that they wouldn't sell american cars in the first place, we have always had this problem with japan, it has troubled me since i've been here that i think the major complaint that we have about trade agreements is they were never enforced. and nafta was based a lot on child labor and term pollution on the texas mexico border. now they agree to change. without the enforcement that we have in this bill it will never change. >> you spoke of the lack of votes in the house. i'm wondering where your getting figures from. right now the republican majority is at 246 mean s the speaker can lose 28 for any
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bill. 22,000 republicans in late 201 told president obama that they didn't, that they opposed t.p.a., of those 22, only 17 are left in the house. the 17 are on record in opposition so i'm just wondering where you you're getting that from? >> where i get my energy and where i get my view to say we're going to defeat fast track? there's press dent in the house of representatives for defeating fast track. that happened in 1998, 171 democrats, 71 republicans came together around this issue. i believe several months ago that we had 151 democratic members that signed a letter that was signed by myself. congresswoman slaughter and then congresswoman george miller. there was a separate letter from republicans as you have pointed
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out that 27 members signed, there were individual members republicans and democrats who sent a letter. their individual letters saying they were opposed to fast track. so about 190 members, both democrats and republicans assigned letters saying they were opposed to fast track. another piece you should know about is there are 230 house members who signed a letter saying that without the issue being addressed of currency manipulation that they would not vote for the legislation. this does not include what's happening in the senate. i'm speaking only in the house. we're 60 in the senate, we have every reason to believe that we can defeat fast track. i think one of my colleagues
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said, in one of the conversations, that we have yet to see the people who support fast track from both parties on their feet in saying anything. and this coalition, this is not a one shot deal that we're here today. and we got everybody here. these are people who have been working day in, day out over the last year, the last several months. to address this issue. and, my friend, i believe the thought was that fast track would be brought up long before where we are today in 2015. this group has stopped it. every reason to believe we will defeat fast track.
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>> nafta opposition around the world and c.w.a. with 10,000 people on there last when we had leader of the opposition in new zealand, the leader of the opposition of australia and even in mexico, again not the government, but the n.g.o. world, whether it's independent labor, environmentalists, unified against this and frankly saying why does the u.s. bring deals that are all about u.s. based multinational corporations, they're not good for us either. that's lots more we can say about that i was recently in honduras, saw the devastation there. but again i know they're all out of questions. >> i believe i think it was tom donahue who was recently in korea, and who spoke about not
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acting in good faith on what wuss dealt at that time. >> congresswoman dingle, you said you went to detroit with the president yesterday. did you have a chance to talk to the president briefly about your opposition? the leader of your own party is probably the biggest supporter of this t.p.p. deal. how willing are you willing to buck the president's own agenda that he's calling critical to presidency? >> i think how i feel is pretty clear. i've been very vocal on this from the very first question that i got. and i believe that it would put us backwards. by the time, come to michigan, the auto companies are concerned, we're waiting to see if fast track is about having the ability. you can't just fast track, you're asking me about t.p.p. if we don't address currency, i think you've seen that the
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debris domestic auto companies many other unions are concerned about this. and quite frankly it places company in this country at a competitive disadvantage. i'm here for the working men and women -- >> what message do you have for the president and did you -- >> that we need to address currency issues. >> i think we all have at one time or the another. >> the reality is that all of us support the president and a lot of president's agenda but we also each represent a congressional district that is in jeopardy of losing again millions of jobs because of bad trade deal. i think it's our responsibility as members of congress, sure we support the president. you know who we support? we support the american people and i support the 725,000 people who live in my district. and for so many of us i would not say, i'll speak for myself since i've been a member of the congress, i have opposed fast track and doesn't make any difference who is in the white
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house, because it is not in the best interest of the working men and women in this nation. >> i do want to be very clear that the auto industry would not be where it was without president obama and i want to thank him for our leadership. that's my first point, we would not be where we were if it not were for president obama. >> let me give one charm. we had 62,000 people employed in rochester, and now we're down to about 5,000 after nafta. i represent one of the last suit makers in the united states of high quality mep's suits. they asked me to find out what kind of trade problems they were worried about what would happen with vietnam. vietnam workers, god bless them are not even paid a dollar an hour and have absolutely no benefit. very much concern that the will and ruin -- which i'm happy to say is making some of a
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comeback. but when i had to see what would happen with the tariff, i couldn't have a member of my staff with me. now, think about that for a minute and tell me if it doesn't make your blood run cold. yes. >> do any of you think it's possible to achieve ratification of t.p.p. or any multilateral free trade agreement with -- >> no, i think fast track is critical to being able to move forward. i think our trading partners will look at whether or not for
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our purposes it's fast track that we need to move at and to defeat fast track right now. whenever anyone sees t.p.p. or what's in it, they can make a decision on whether or not they want to be there. but the process has been just so poorly administered, and this is not, i want to read to you a couple of quotes. first by professor jeffrey saks, that was last september. and i quote let's keep in mind our own rhetoric that is the mostly protection agreement rather than trade agreements.
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we are not speaking -- we are speaking from data and research. and talking with the people that we are representing. the economic challenge of the united states today is that people are not paid enough in the jobs that they have. wages are stagnant, and this effort will only increase that wage stagnation. you had a question. >> has the democrat caucus as a whole tried to come up, have they discussed this position on fast track, if not, when are they planning on doing it. what do you expect the democratic leadership to say on
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this. >> no, the democratic caucus as a whole has not had a discussion, but the view was that this was not coming up is not the case now. with the reading of the president, that it is may be coming up very soon. we will, you know, we're prepared to address that issue. so, that in fact the caucus has not discussed it as a caucus, and i think we will begin to see those kinds of discussions happening very shortly. yes? you know, the white house has said what they would do. so you know, what we're looking at is we believe fast track is a bad deal. so, that's our first effort
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here. and you know, we haven't seen this document as my colleague mrs. slaughter pointed out. it was like being in nursery school. that you can't have the status with you, that isn't certification for classified document. you can't take notice, you can't take any papers out of the room, and everything has to go back. we are the duly elected people in 435 congressional districts. we have to represented their interest and that is what we're trying to do. i will go back to saying to you we have the opportunity to read line by line the affordable care act. i was here when the clintons health care bill emerged and we had almost tutorials on the regular basis to know what was in that legislation. all we are asking is let us read
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the bill. let us know what's in it. and let us have inbuilt into this process and not after the deal is consummated, but before the deal is consummated. back there. >> given that finding republican votes will be key to your fight here are you engaging in any effort to reach across the aisle -- >> the terms of precedent there were 71 republicans who voted against fast track. we've had a number of people who already have emerged. i haven't had direct conversations, but i believe that there will be republican vote against fast track. for whatever reason they have
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the same issues in their district with regards to jobs that all of us do. that is that this is not only related to the loss of jobs amongst democrats but republicans and dependents and others. so i believe they will join forces. >> were you able to talk to the president about this yesterday, and if you did -- >> any conversations i had i think that -- >> thank you, thank you very, very much. thanks to my colleagues, thank to the advocacy group.
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thank you. >> today, on workshop on lobbying strategies and the regulatory process we'll be live from the american university public affairs institute for a forum featuring faculty and professional lobbyist starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. president obama visits knoxville, tennessee to preview parts of his upcoming state of the union address and talk about jobs and economy. we'll have live coverage here on c-span 3 and c-span.org. watch our live coverage of the state of the union on tuesday, january 20. this sunday on q and a we talk
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about the birth of the nation, its depiction of slaves after the civil war and trying to prevent the movie's release. >> part two of the movie is really the heart of the protest in the sense that this is where the blacks are just appalled by the portrayal of freed slaves. this is a scene showing what happens when you give former slaves the right to vote the right to be elected, the right to govern. it's a scene in the south carolina legislator where their first and primary order of business is to pass a bill allowing for interracial marriage because in griffiths hands, black men are interested in pursuing and having white women.
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>> author dick lair on the controversial story of the birth of a nation on c-span's q and a. lye today on c-span, washington journal is next.
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host: good morning. it is friday, january 9, 2015. there are developments in france in the wake of the shooting at the satirical magazine in paris. we will try to keep you abreast of developments there as well. the u.s. house comes in at 9:00 eastern so a shorter program this morning. they will begin their day reading the u.s. constitution, as they have done for several years now. we thought we would pick up this morning asking a little bit but we asked yesterday

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