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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 10, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EDT

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in the country where venerable institutions are abandoning legacy systems that they developed in the ground up prior to having a proprietary system but just like the chairman i'm worry the that the end of this we will have invested $11 billion, mabin appropriately in the department of defense system but still stuck with the mismatch at the other end. i don't know what the answer to that is. i am mystified as to why this has gone on since 2007 and a lot of people have been hurt in the process and i regret that. i hope that you are right in going forward, we will get this right because it is critically important. thank you, mr. chairman. i'll yield back. >> i would suspect that the time that the gentleman from louisville, texas, has invested in this, has also, i might add be a catalyst to mr. rogers and miss lowy and others as we
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continue down this march and i want to thank the gentleman for his service in the energy and commerce but on the rules committee today on this effort and mike, i thank you very much for carrying about so many young men and women and show up and i know they do at your town hall meetings and expect you to get this done as they do myself and i think the only way we'll do is by becoming committed to its completeness and i want to thank you. mr. mcgovern. >> thank you. and i thank you both for being here and i appreciate the hard work you do on the appropriations committee. and there are good things in this bill. i want to thank you for your help with calling attention to the issue of funding for service dogs for a veterans who are suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. we found it is an important tool to help them deal with issues and not rely so much on
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medication. so thank you. there are obviously some things in here that are troubling and the ranking member pointed out the administration's concerns on the bill. and i think there are serious concerns. but i just want to make one point and that is that in this bill that we are appropriating money -- a lot of money for the war in iraq and syria. but congress doesn't seem to have the stomach to vote on it. or bring up a debate on an aumf and there is a sense of congress language in there saying that congress has a constitutional duty to debate this. i'm not convinced that it has a force. that there is a jurisdiction or this house to do anything about it because last july we passed a resolution on this house floor saying if we were going to be involved in sustained combat operations in iraq and syria that we would vote on an authorization, on an aumf.
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and we were told back then -- that was in july and august, we started bombing iraq on a regular basis and then into syria and we're now borrowing $3.5 million an hour on this war against the islamic state, and we never brought up an aumf last year. the speaker said that the 114th congress should be the place to do it even though it began with the 113th congress. and we're in the 114th congress and we were told that the president should submit an aumf. he did. i have some problems with the aumf but it seems it is in our hands to restrict it, expand it or say enough. but it is in our court now.
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and there is still no promise or no aumf vote in sight. and so i -- and again, technically, this is supposed to be a foreign affairs committee issue. but i don't know when we're going to get a foreign affairs committee bill up here that we can attach anything to or have a debate on in aumf. we didn't have it on the defense authorization bill or on the defense appropriations bill and i just think that -- you know, there is just something fundamentally wrong when we are putting men and women in harm's way, when we are appropriating all of this money and borrowing more money on top of it and we don't have the time or the stomach to vote on whether to authorize it or not which is our constitutional responsibility. so i raise that because it is a troubling aspect of all of this. it doesn't -- it is not your fault, necessarily, because,
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again, this should be a foreign affairs committee resolution but i don't see anything coming out of there. and that we're going ahead and moving forward on this, and again we're not doing our job. i really do think it is a disservice to the men and women we put in harm's way and i think it is a failure of our own constitutional responsibilities and i regret that very, very much. and so i'm going to offer an amendment to the rules committee to kind of force a vote on an aumf. it is not germain. i mean it will require waivers which i'm not going to get, i can tell you in advance. but nonetheless, i think this issue is too important just to let this moment pass without kind of raising it. we need to do better. >> mr. montgomery, my comment -- i do think it was a step in the right direction and we had a recorded vote in committee that
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going forward we ought to have a full debate in the congress and we ought to have a resolution. the definition of what that should look like, given the complexity of the situation we face in places like syria and iraq will be very difficult. and i don't minimize that. it is all the more reason why this institution, and i agree with you, should do it. and i would pose that it makes the job of this sub-committee much easier because there would be a structure going forward. i would also point out that i would request an open rule, and i would anticipate under suppose -- under such rule that you will have a number of amendments offered by others of the colleagues revisiting as some of the authorization that exists after today is one that is dated. one that was offered in committee upon enactment it was not adopted in committee you
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have congress, eight months, to consider what a new authority should look like. i would hope that we do. because we owe it, as you point out, to the men and women who put on their uniform and risk their lives to have some structure to their commitment. i don't want to belabor a point, and you mentioned a administration concern. and i have a administration concern. and i've seen a number of veto threats by the administration. fine. i would suggest that the administration understand the fiscal year starts october 1st. we ought not to be having this debate in december of this year. and given the fact that this institution will be in recess for five weeks in august, the administration ought to call upon the leadership of both of these bodies and get to work now. >> mr. chairman, can i respond to mr. mcgovern. we had in our big mark on this
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bill a pretty good discussion, where i think some republicans and democrats lined up with the notion of having authorization of military force. others sort of held back. and i was not particularly supportive of the amendment, primarily because quite honestly this goes to the root of how quick things change to quickly it was so isil-centric. and if you look at iraq today and what is so frightening and what some members of the administration are not willing to admit is that to a certain extent that the government has been taken over by iran and we're providing close air support for people who have been on our enemy and terrorist list. so i would have hoped that -- this is not a political shot that perhaps we would have had a little more clarity as to what the president would really like to see.
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because in reality, if we ever come up with a comprehensive plan to defeat isil, if they are defeated, the people that will take over in iraq will be the iranians. because quite frankly, they have a better game plan than we do. >> and i appreciate that. but i guess my point is simply if you're going to commit all of this money and put our troops in harm's way that you ought to have clarity, you ought to have a clearly defined mission and if you don't, then you are not to put them in that situation. and i think that is the frustrating thing. it seems sometimes like we're making this up as we go along. i've heard some senators say the trouble with the president's aumf is that it is too narrow. want to give him more power. if that is your position then vote accordingly. some think we ought to restrict the aumf. then you ought to vote that way.
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but not going on record, not providing an authorization for the use of military force for the latest operations means we're not debating it and not asking the tough questions and i don't think we should be putting people in harm's way if we don't know -- harm's way if we don't know what the hell we're doing. it is not fair. so any way, ai appreciate the -- i appreciate the work you've done on this but i'm just frustrated that we seem incapable of wanting to confront this issue head on here in congress and i think that is a great disservice to the people that we represent and certainly the people who are in harm's way right now and yield back my time. >> i thank the gentlemen very much. i assume we'll have this discussion at some point. i, as every member does, have their own ideas an beliefs and i appreciate and respect the discussion taking place.
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gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the work and i've watched my time here, watched both of you on the floor passionately defending and working in this area and i appreciate what has been done here. and it is an interesting proposition and we've said and i believe this issue of oko funding and base funding needs to be resolved and needs to be resolved in a way that reflects a simple back to what we'll call for straightforward budgeting process and that is something we can get back there and it goes back to the last few minutes of conversation here. myself and others have had conversations and this is a conversation that needs to happen. it is disturbing in light of your -- chairman's conversation just now, you are exactly right, there is a bigger picture here other than just an isil centered conversation and we have other
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issues and simply going over the decade old authorization and which i served in iraq and others, it is time to do away with those and get an honest -- and if it means to be a straightforward and powerful approach in this, then that is what we need to do. we don't need to sit back and we've put too much time and country and too much forward and that is the lives of the men and women, to now see it go backwards and have no clear thrust from the administration other than we're thinking about it is not a plan. so i encourage a vote for this bill and it is good, what we're here to do and to have the conversations of both of you. i appreciate. yield my time back. >> chairman from florida does not seek time. judge, it is good to see you. the gentleman from colorado does not seek time. thank you very much.
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by the way, good to see you. >> likewise. >> good. >> jim, i'm delighted to see you. and i did mean to acknowledge you are -- >> you were on morning joe this morning. >> i was on morning joe this morning. i tried my best. i tried my best. our team missed that. i wonder why. any way, thank you very much. wanted to make sure we allowed the time necessary and the gentlemen yield back their time. gentleman from alabama. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to say to both of you gentlemen, as members of the armed services committee, i want to say thank you, and i appreciate the hard work you and your members do and i think it serves our country well.
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when we met with general dempsey back in january and we were going over what we were going to authorize and what you are appropriating to, he called it the lower ragged edge of what we need to do to defend the country and that is so because of the multiplicity of the threats facing america and the complexity of the threats and i notice you've done everything that we could possibly do with the money that is available. but i do worry about the lower ragged edge because sometimes we may find that that lower ragged edge in itself isn't enough because the circumstances are changing so very quickly whether it is in the situation in the ukraine, the situation in the middle east, the situation we find ourselves in with north korea and the ongoing aggressiveness of the chinese and the south and east china sea. i was listening to the discussion just now about the
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aumf and mr. mcgovern and i share commonality about that. my problem as a member of the authorizing committee is it is hard to understand what wording we would put in an authorization for the use of military force, when we don't have a strategy. what would i put? what would i vote for in an aumf if the commander-in-chief of our armed forces can't tell me what the strategy is. i said this to the secretary of defense and i'll say it again, we need a clearly articulated strategy for defeating this group isis. obviously working in conjunction with the iraqi government, but also on the syrian side. and we have this thing where we are supposedly training somebody in syria to fight against isil/isis over there, i worry about how far that is going to go. i know it is not your job and really not congress's job to come up with the strategies. it is the commander-in-chief's job.
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so as we have the debates going in the future, what i would like to see, and i think what most everybody in congress would like to see is a clearly articulated strategy, and one we could see and debate and debate what is the appropriate authorization for the use of military force that we could all vote for. and i hope, as i hope for this bill, that we'll do it on a brought bipartisan basis. because the men and women that are fighting over there, they don't fight as democrats or republicans, they fight as americans and they do a great job, as you know. and i appreciate so much what you all have done with the work that you've done on this. but in the days to come, as we debate the issues about whether we're doing enough with the lower ragged edge for them and how we do define a strategy, i think that is critically important for the men and women that do serve this country. and i yield back. >> and if i may. i would like to thank the
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gentlemen and all of those who have commented. we work closely with mac thornberry and adam shift and our excellent staff that compare notes. we're concerned about where we're going as well. and i often say this. the jiwad account we've established here, it is transparent, and i think you will agree, we've done everything to vet that account to make sure it is focused to give this commander-in-chief the tools he needs now and in all probability will need. and i would agree with you, he want to make sure that he has those abilities and those resources and so there is no -- it is a bipartisan wish on all of our parts. thank you. >> and i simply would add, i appreciate the gentleman's testimony before the sub committee and your participation. >> i think the comments would be echoed by all of us that the men
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and women that represent our military are the finest that this great nation has had, continues to have and will have in the future. and the kind of leadership that they will want to be a part of does matter and i think having a clear understanding and directive is important also. and i thank the gentlemen very much. gentleman from the state of washington is recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. and i'm delighted to be here with you. i don't have any questions. i just want to thank the two gentlemen for bringing this issue forward. it is very much looking forward to moving it to the floor and the floor and having a full debate by the house of representatives. and it's a very important topic that every single american has a stake in. so again, thank you very much, and we'll hope to do some good work on this. thank you. >> the gentleman yields back his
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time. i want to thank on behalf of our committee both of you for not only your attention to detail, but also the ongoing effort that each of you, when you have members that approach you, and i know they do, ideas that they have that you take under consideration and that you move forward, this huge amount of spending to make sure that it accomplishes what is in the best interests of this country. and i want to thank you for your service to this body also. and i thank the gentleman for being here today. >> there, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. at this time, i do not see where anyone is seeking to be recognized for hr-2685. so this closed the hearing portion of 2685. i would recognize as we go through a transition now with the gentleman from texas.
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they move up to the table. i want to introduce some interns that i have, college interns from my office, kat barringer from southern methodist university and tony pena from uva. ryan from southwestern university, georgetown texas which is my alma mater. and alexander douglas also from southern methodist university. and i note i would like to defer to the gentleman mr. collins for the introduction of his young son at this time also. mr. collins: thank you. it is always good. we spend a lot of time up here. and that is a week in which my son has started to work this summer, was able to come with me. cameron is with me this week. we'll get a good introduction to our late votes and early sessions. he enjoys coming up here. i want to thank the chairman for recognizing him. and i'm proud of him as a proud father would be. >> you bet you. cameron, welcome. we're delight you'd came by to
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-- we're delighted you came by to visit not only your dad but each of us here today. we take great pride when our kids come up here. your daughter, or perhaps others. and i know it makes a difference. thank you very much. we now move to hr-2393, country of origin labeling the minutes -- labeling the amendments of 2015. i'm delighted that both of you are here. we gave opening comments about this a little bit earlier. chairman conaway, we welcome you. if you have anything in writing, we would want you to lead that -- want you to leave that so we can include that in the record. the agricultural committee is recognized. >> there, mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding the rural governing debate over hr 2393 of 2015. the country of origin labeling was first enacted by the meat products -- for meat products as part of the 2002 farm bill. implementation of the bill was
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delayed until 2008. less than five months after telephone rule was published mexico challenged the rule arguing it had a trade distorting impact by reducing the value and number of cattle and hogs shipped to the united states. the process has since progressed through dispute settlement panel phase at a u.s. appeal to the appellate body. and the wto found that the way regulations were implemented violated wto by discriminating against imported livestock. the united states was given until may of 2013 to bring its cool regulations into compliance. in response usda issued a revised cool rule that requires that production tips, born raised and slaughtered by origin country be included on meat labels. the advisory rule prohibited the
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commingling of meat from imported and domestic livestock. at the request of canada and mexico, the wto established a compliance panel to determine if the revised rule brought the united states into compliance. canada and mexico claimed not only did the revised rule fail to bray the united states into compliance, but certain part especially the prohibition of commingling were even more onerous than the original bill. a key implementation is it requires segregation of animals by country of origin which raises the cost. the panel report released october 20th upheld the earlier findings of discrimination. the united states appealed. the compliance panel report. and on may 18th, the wto rejected the united states' appeal and found for the fourth and final time that u.s. cool requirements for beef and pork are unavoidably discriminatory. the final rule kick starts the
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wto process to determine the level of retaliatory tariffs canada and mexico can impose on the u.s. which is widely predicted to have the in effect the billions of dollars. during a hearing of the livestock and foreign agricultural committee to examine the potential of retaliation against the united states witnesses made it very clear in losing the final appeal and the impacts to retaliatory measures against the united states would be devastating to our economy. witnesses included representatives from the u.s. chamber, national association of manufacturers, national confectioners association, the wine industry of california, national cattleman's beef association, national pork council and farmers union. if cool worked, perhaps there would be a response other than repeal. but fact is cool has been a marketing failure. in april 2015 report to congress, usda explained that cool requirements result in extraordinary costs with no quantifiable benefits. in terms of producers, packers and retailer, usda's regulatory impact analysis of the 2009 cool rule estimated implement costs of $1.3 billion for beef, $183 million for chicken, and $2.6 billion for all covered commodities. the increased costs of producing and marketing products to comply
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with cool requirements without a commiserate measurable increase in demand results in economic losses to producers, packers retailers and consumers over a smaller overall industry with higher consumer prices and less product availability. although some consumers desire cool information, there is no evidence to conclude that this mandatory label translates into increases or consumer demand for beef, pork or chicken. consumers over the long run face higher prices and therefore purchase less due to the increased costs. in response to those who argue cool enhances food safety, as i have maintained now for over ten years, that is simply not the case. if it were, then all meat served at restaurants would come with the information regarding the meat's origin. but it doesn't that is because retail food establishments are exempt from cool requirements. meat sold in the lust continue -- meat sold in the u.s.
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continues to be inspected. this bill does nothing to change that and will simply repeal a heavy-handed marking program that has proven unsuccessful. finally, although chicken was not part of the wto dispute between canada and mexico, the u.s. and the industry requested that cool requirements for chicken be repealed as well due to the high cost and lack of benefits associated with requirements. the council repeatedly expressed its desire to be removed from cool requirements. here we are with a policy that poses high costs and no benefits. if we keep it in place our national economy will suffer significant result of billions of dollars. secretary vilsack has quoted numerous times acknowledging that the cool repeal requirements is a viable option to bring the u.s. into compliance with this wto obligations and avoiding retaliatory measures. in a may 1 letter of 2015, letter to congress, secretary vilsack reaffirmed the need for congress to repeal the cool requirements. however, canada and mexico have previously rejected the north american label, rendering that
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option unacceptable. in other words, if we go down this path with canada and mexico have already rejected, we will continue to face retaliation unless and until we demonstrate we're in compliance with our trade obligations. the impact of threats of retaliatory measures is already having a effect on our requirements. you're a canadian trade importer and you want the buy u.s. wine you don't know what that price might be because wine is on the list of product that will be used as a retaliatory measure. 10 it's already stopping trade while these retaliatory measures are threatened out there. repeal is the only viable option before us to avoid this retaliation. i ask for a rule that a quickly advances a simple legislation so we can in the best tradition of this house avoid damages to our economy. be ready to answer any questions. >> mr. chairman, thank you for your thoughtful and professional visitation today. we're delighted you're before the rules committee. the gentlewoman is now recognized. >> thank you very much, mr.
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chairman. ranking member slaughter ranking members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. as some members of the committee may be aware, i was a conferee on the farm bill of 2008, and one of the authors of the language, along with my colleague denny rehberg of montana, collin peterson and others on the bipartisan basis we authored the language in that bill in 2008 that expanded the country of origin -- ok. thank you. thank you. that better? >> yes, ma'am it is. >> thank you. i will just restate that it was a bipartisan group of members, including myself, collin peterson, denny rehberg and others who authored the language in the 2008 farm bill that expanded the country of origin labeling law. i have worked on cool issues for many years as a member and former chair of the former agricultural appropriation subcommittee. i could not be more proud of my role in the development of cool.
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over a decade of polling data shows that american consumers consistently and overwhelmingly support it. frequently by majorities of 90% or more. people deserve to know where their food comes from. american farmers and ranchers deserve the opportunity to distinguish their products. complete and accurate information is one of the cornerstones of a free market. what is cool? marketing tool via mandatory product labeling. it differentiates u.s. and imported meat products, creates an incentive to buy u.s. beef and pork, boosts demand for u.s. beef and pork. consumers right to know in the origin of their food product. what cool is not is a food safety tool, as my colleague has indicated. we do have meat and poultry inspection systems that cover food safety for domestic and imported product. the world trade organization
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the world trade organization itself has repeatedly ruled the provision of information to consumers to be a legitimate goal for domestic regulation. so i'm extremely disappointed that the world trade organization has ruled against cool again. in light of this ruling, i agree that we should seek to protect american exporters by avoiding retaliatory sanctions. but that has not yet become necessary. it has been less than a week since canada and mexico filed their retaliatory tariff requests. the wto disputes settlement body will not consider it for another week. we do not know what level of retaliation, if any will be approved. canada and mexico must prove harm, and that could be difficult in this case. a study by dr. it robert taylor of auburn university found that cool had no effect, no significant affect on canada's export market for
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beef. and there is further indication from this study that show that it did not -- cool did not negatively impact imports of slaughtered cattle. what likely did drive decrease in imports is a global recession and weak economic recovery. usda monthly data on imports of 400 to 700 pounds of cattle did not show cool having a significant negative effect of imports of feeder cattle from either canada or mexico relative to placements in the u.s. feed lots. and cool has not had a significant negative effect on the price paid for imported slaughtered cattle relative to comparable domestic cattle. if retaliation is approved, it will probably not begin for several months. in the brazil cotton case, it did not begin until 21 months after the final appeal ruling.
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applied to cool, that time scale would take us to march 2017. we still have options for maintaining u.s. sovereignty. for example, u.s., canada and mexico could make a deal that avoids the imposition of sanctions all together there is precedent for that in previous wto cases the u.s. has lost. more than 60 other countries have mandatory labeling requirements. so there is a scope to find a reasonable solution. rather than taking the time to look for such a solution, the agriculture committee passed its repeal bill just two davis wto -- just two days after the ruling. it is unprecedented for congress to intervene this early in the wto dispute process. the bill also goes well beyond the wto ruling by repealing cool on ground beef and ground pork which the wto explicitly supported, and for chicken which it never addressed at all. so i'm forced to conclude that
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this bill is in fact an attempt by the meat packing industry to deny consumers the right to know where their meat and poultry is coming from. the dispute at the heart of this issue serves yet another reminder of the failure of u.s. trade policy. the administration tells us that trade agreements do not affect domestic laws, but the case of cool proves otherwise. in agreement after agreement we have surrendered our sovereignty. american consumers, workers, and businesses are bearing the consequences. today's trade agreements, like the transpacific partnership for which the administration now seeks fast track authority contain dispute settlement provisions that allow not only governments, but also multinational corporations to challenge u.s. laws. it is my hope that members will take the message to heart when we do debate fast track, as soon
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as we may. just a point. you can be for whatever side of the discussion or debate on country of origin labeling, and i've stated my position. i'm four square. i worked on this effort. on the other hand, i think it's critically important to note that a domestic law, and this could be in any avenue, any vain can be challenged at the wto with the notion that there would be retaliatory sanctions that could then unravel domestic law. i think there has to be a real understanding of the implications broader than the issue itself, which is critically important, but also critically important is the a whole raft of domestic legislation that is now and can be subject to a tribunal in the
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case of the tpp efforts. so in the meantime, i'd just say i oppose what i believe is a premature and unnecessary bill. i thank you, mr. chairman, and ranking member. i look forward to the discussion. >> thank you very much. mr. stivers? >> thank you. so to the chairman, it sure seems like the outcome is clear if we don't do anything here that our exporters are going to be punished. our consumers will be punished. what good can come of doing nothing? >> well, we're pretty good at doing nothing here from time to time. we're always behind the curve. this is an opportunity to get ahead of that issue. canada and mexico have been stunningly clear. they don't want to negotiate. they don't want to do a deal.
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they want four times the retaliatory measures could approach $3.6 billion. $797 million for new york. i've got the numbers for the other states if you're interested. but this -- they're going get it. the cotton case is a good example of why not to delay. we spent about $600 million in holding aloft ransom while they finally lost the case. and it doesn't make any sense to try to negotiate with partners who do not want to negotiate. they won. so time is of the essence. we need to get it done and move on there is no -- even if the retaliatory measures are a buck, that exceeds the benefits that cool brings to the table. consumers, if you walk up to them on the street on the survey if you want to know where your food comes from, the meat comes from, i'm surprised it's not 100%. who would answer no? but when they got the same consumer that goes into the grocery store, they walk to the
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meat counter, look at the price and the quality. they don't look at the label necessarily. so they're not using the information to actually buy the meat. and it's caused that meat to be higher, cost more than it would otherwise. so these arguments about consumer information and all that, we've lost them four times in a row now. and it's time to move on. >> mr. chairman, do you think if american consumers were asked would you pay $3 billion extra to know where your meat is coming from, isn't that the right way to phrase the question? >> that's probably a more succinct way, yeah. >> would american consumers want to pay -- not that they wouldn't want to know. but is it worth $3 billion to know. and it's pretty clear to me that at every level we have lost on every appeal. and you tell where it's going from there. so i just hope we can avoid the coming calamity by acting and making something happen here. and hopefully the house and senate can work together. i know this issue has become unfortunately more partisan that it should. but it's really a question of how much you want to pay for your beef and your other meat
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products. >> that's right. and that's why the committee went ahead to move as quickly as we did. >> thanks for your work on it. i'm sorry it's not bipartisan. >> this is bipartisan. it had a committee vote was 38-6. >> so it was 38-6. >> but you're still not happy with the way the language is? >> no -- i am a supporter of country of origin labeling. i believe we could get to an agreement in the way we have dealt with other cases. i think we are moving very, very quickly. and i think that we could -- we have dealt with adjudicating cases later on. and we could -- there are instances. i know that the chairman remarked about the north american label. but you can deal with livestock process in the u.s., labeled as product of the u.s. you could come to some agreement i believe
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without us repealing what has been a domestic law indirectly because of the wto. i voted for wto many, many years ago. but i'm just saying is that that is what we're being pushed to change a domestic law. and look, i understand, there has also been enormous pressure from industry and all the studies have shown that it hasn't negatively affected our ability to either -- for higher costs or so forth. you can challenge those, i suppose. but nevertheless, there is plenty of data that describes that process. >> so you would rather see us wait and see what happens. let me ask you, would you be willing if we repeal this, would could find another crack. it's clear this isn't wto
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compliant. it's crystal clear to me. maybe not everyone. >> no. once you've repealed it, we have repealed our own law. >> right. >> we repealed our own law. >> non-wto compliant law that will cost us $3 billion in sanctions. but couldn't we go back and try to get it right and do it again? in a wto-compliant way? >> well, but i would think given the testimony that the chairman gave, i think there is a wonderful expression i think of getting this back is slim and none, and slim left town. so i don't think that's going to be the case in this effort. we will have gone ahead and repealed a domestic law of the united states which on a bipartisan basis, which this issue has never been a partisan issue, on a bipartisan basis, we made it part of the 2008 farm bill.
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and people -- >> and it got pulled out in the senate. i remember. >> no. >> oh, i'm sorry. in the '10 or '12 bill we had it repealed and it got pulled out. >> it was 2002. 2008 it was in, the farm bill signed law, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. >> right. i guess i just, for me, it comes down not wanting our consumers to pay $3 billion more -- >> they're not paying $3 billion more. i will tell you, i don't know about you, mr. chairman, i don't know how much of the grocery shopping you do in your household. i do all the grocery shopping in my household. and i watch others who are there. and these days people do look at labels. whether it is a nutrition label, whether it is a country of origin label, they do. people are much more attuned to looking at where product is coming from. and as i say, one can be for it or against it. i am for it. i'm also very, very, very
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concerned that whether today it's country of origin labeling. what is it tomorrow that we would feel that we would have to jettison on a domestic law that we might all care about because -- >> and i certainly understand the gentle lady's concerns. i would say if it's something more serious, we have a chance then to figure out what we want to do with the wto on an ongoing basis, if it becomes something that is onerous. i don't think this one is that onerous. and i do all the shopping for my family. but i'll let other folks ask questions. i do think -- i applaud the work to try to get this right. and the wto has been really clear to us. i just don't think we should delay and potentially cost our consumers, let me say it that way, up to $3 billion. that's what -- not my number, that's the number that has been in the paper that i read. so i'm not making that number up.
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that is the number that is out there. i'll just yield back the balance of my time and let other folks ask questions. >> the gentleman gives back his time. thank you. >> thank you very much. i think what we're doing here today, this premature appeal is really the first salvo shot in what trade agreements do. just the fear of a trade agreement, we're going to fold like a cheap chair here in this country. and i think who knows what is next. clean air? clean water? whatever. but i know that the figures that we have just on the amount of fish that is already imported, almost none of it inspected. tons of it being returned because it's unsafe and unedible. it's very important to me and my family, and i think all families of the country shown by polls that if 90% of the americans still want it, they obviously know what they're talk about unless you think they're really out of it. 283 groups, let me name who they are.
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because i bet a lot of them come from your states. more than 283 farm, rural, face, -- space, environmental, labor farm worker, consumer organizations have spoken out and sent all of us a letter. you really need to look at those signatures and see how many of those come from your very own states, maybe your congressional district. but i think there will be a backlash to this there is no outcry about it now because i don't think most people know about it. we're pretty much consumed today with the fact that they had to evacuate the press room. we can't get past that on to much of anything else in the form of speakers arraignment. but i think once they find out that there will be even further outcry. but this is just what happens with trade agreements. but this one certainly by repealing this, i know that canada has very strong labeling agreements. i live cheek by jowl with
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canadians. they're the best neighbors in the world. they are very serious about this. so i'm concerned. i do think that what you said, though, trying to find a better way to do it, to make it compliant. but we don't have to repeal this bill to do that. and we will have time before we have even have some idea of what kind of retaliation or how much it might cost where. -- where did you get the $3 billion figure? >> actually 3.6. canada is $3 billion. mexico is 600 billion -- $600 million. >> that's what they're asking for? >> yes, ma'am. i do appreciate compliment to the fish inspection service. the safety portion of our system does in fact work. >> no, it doesn't. >> you said it did, ms. slaughter, i didn't. this is not about safety. this is about marketing, and that's it. >> safety is more important to me than marketing. >> it is more important. and that has nothing to do with safety. >> let me tell you right now that the people who are sickened from food in america grown right
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here and badly inspected by the usda is really appalling. >> well, this doesn't have anything to do with that. >> no, i realize. >> but you were the one who said the fish were being rejected because that it were unsafe. >> those are the imported things i was referring to, the things that come into the country. they're poorly inspected. but we poorly inspect what we have here as well. the usda has backed out, particularly on poultry. i could give you some things to stun you. you know what the last thing? we had a young inspector for the usda in upstate new york, 39 years old died over the chicken inspection line because his lungs bled out from the chemicals he was breathing. and you know that the last thing that they do -- hang on. >> this administration would not let that happen. >> the last thing they do at the processing that chicken line is dip them into clorox water. then they pack it up in plastic and take it to your grocery
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store. we can do better than that. and frankly, rose and i are spending a lot of our time trying to fix that. we've got chapter and verse on what is going on with inspection here. >> it's a pretty ugly place. >> but don't make it worse. don't make it worse by -- >> has absolutely nothing to do with that whatsoever. this is about marketing, period >> again, let me just state, i probably speak for all the mothers and grandmothers in the united states, that safety is more important to us than markets. >> i agree. safety is great. but this has nothing to do with that. >> safety is great. safety is imperative. >> safety is terrific. but this origins of labeling we are talking about right now -- >> safety is part of what we do as our constitutional oath. right? >> right. >> it doesn't say we're going to back off on safety because marketing is more important? >> no. >> i haven't read that anywhere. >> marketing is not important. >> the gentleman will yield. >> i yield back. >> thank you. the gentlewoman yields back her time.
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mr. collins? >> thank you, mr. chairman. does the chairman want to clarify what he was saying? >> marketing is unimportant in this issue. safety is much more important. this country of origins label is simply about marketing, period. it has nothing whatsoever to do with safety and we're not touching the safety system, good or bad, it's out there. this is about repealing a marketing program that we have lost four times on. >> thank you. i appreciate the chairman clarifying that and also one who serves in this country whose district is known as the poultry capital of the world, there are some considerations we spoke of here that safety is being looked at. safety is an extreme thought in our district. and we put out safe and good chicken for america, will continue to do so. and that's why i just want you'd to be able to clarify that. >> the gentleman yields back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank both my colleagues from being here. safety is important. and people's right to know is important as well. and poll after poll shows that people would like to know where their food comes from. i don't know why that's such a radical idea. and i get it. we need to address this issue sooner rather than later. but this bill before us, i'm not sure is the answer. it was introduced just two days after the wto ruled against the united states country of origin labeling requirement for meat. and i think that we ought to be working toward a more thoughtful approach that balances consumers' right to know where their meat comes from with our trade obligations. and i'd like to think that there is something short of let's just throw this all out. and i worry that what we're doing is kind of sending a signal that we're not interested in pursuing a compromise. and again, i think that goes against what most people in this country want. and i don't -- i don't get why
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we have to take this step at this particular moment. i think there is something in between here. and that's what we ought to be doing. >> i would just say to you, mr. mcgovern, that is really what the issue is. because usda, and i believe secretary vilsack would be more than willing to do this, is they could rework the cool rules to bring this into compliance. and my view is that we ought to allow that to occur. let the usda before we repeal a domestic law because of pressure from a trade agreement, let the usda rework the cool rules so that we can be in compliance. >> so i think the point is nobody is saying do nothing. and nobody is sticking their
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head in the sand. i think what some of us are suggesting is maybe we ought to take a little bit more time to try to figure out whether it's a compromise rather than two days after the wto ruling saying we give up. we're done. and my hope is that that's what will occur. but in any event, we'll see this on the floor tomorrow. and we'll have more to say then. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back time. judge hastings? the gentleman does not seek time. the gentleman is recognized. >> i want to ask about safety. it seems like traceability is the key issue. and i was wondering what the implications of the wto decision for traceability. so in terms of not just the country, but the farm, the site, the lot, very important for recalls, very important for attributing causes of health. and i was hoping -- to both of you. >> i think one of the things
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that you can do, let this process, the arbitration process finish this we could require a trace pack system with really precise information that links animals to muscle cuts. we could look at this as an option, mr. polis. >> right now, though this has nothing to do with food traceability or anything like that. this is simply a label that says where it was born, raised and slaughtered. secretary vilsack has already said he has done all he can do. >> oh, yes, the secretary said that but the secretary also has been trying to -- >> -- also said they are uninterested in a north american label. >> what? >> they're uninterested in compromise. secretary vilsack already said there is nothing more that he can do. this is before we lost. if we lost that, it was out of his hands and it was congress to fix it. >> so it seems like the basis
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for it is the country of origin piece is not the piece that linked to health. it's more of a marketing thing. but traceability is the piece that would be linked to health. so i would tend to favor a response to this where we try to actually tie this in to health rather than kind of give up on the whole concept. and i'm wondering whether you're open to that -- >> that's a much broader question. we're simply responding to the narrow focused piece with respect to the country of origin labeling and not looking at the traceability or the other food safety issues that may be out there. >> this would be a good time to do that. because we have a window of time. and you know, whether it's this week or next week or soon, we have to act. it seems like the two potential ways of acting would be to either eliminate what we have, which is what this proposes or , to move forward with a more meaningful food safety program. and this sort of branch in the
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road, i think it's a missed opportunity if we simply repeal the country of origin piece without looking at the food safety piece which is i think the more important one to many of us here. >> if i may, vilsack and his team at the usda are in fact working with the animal industry industry to create a viable traceback system that would in fact address whatever food safety issues are being brought . there is that effort going on at usda right now. so just -- >> and that's very important and also important for internationally. just it doesn't matter whether it's international or domestic, the sourcing information and the traceability is going to be incredibly important for both internationally and domestically sourced food products. >> traceability has always been very important and traceability also leads back to -- we don't, as most other places do, even register the animals.
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it's a voluntary registration. and as a result of that, we have not seen the ability to deal with traceability. this is years ago. and i can recall being chair of the ag committee, and even the ranking member where we were spending millions and millions of dollars that were really going out the window because we didn't have a system in which we could really effectively trace back. and as far as i know, we have not made registering a mandatory function. and so our ability -- our traceability ability is severely, severely limited. >> yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from alabama mr. byrne seeks recognition. is recognized. >> you said that the safety --
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health and safety function is not compromised at all by this. are there other things on food labels besides country of origins? are there other things required for food labels and are they compromised? >> no, not in the least. >> this is narrowed just to the country of origin. i think what she was saying in response is there are some things being done through the department of agriculture that would allow us to be able to trace food back to a country of origin for health and safety reasons. >> yes. >> so if it doesn't compromise health and safety function, it doesn't compromise the other labeling function, we do have an effort through the department of agriculture that could get to tracing it back where it comes from, through their agency operation. and if we don't do this, we'll have $3 billion of tariffs slapped on us by the canadians and $600 million worth of tariffs slapped on us by the mexicans. >> that's the threat, yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you very much. does the gentleman from washington seek time? >> yes, sir. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr.
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chairman. and thank you, mr. chairman conaway and ranking member delauro for appearing before us today. actually, i dealt with this in my former life as director of agriculture in the state of washington. if you recall we had the cow that stole christmas in 2003. the mad cow disease that came in from canada. >> canada. >> and as a result of a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of dollars invested, we do now have animal traceability. and it's been something that the usda has been working very hard on. but from what i understand, that this is -- this particular part of the law does not deal with safety issues. >> no, it doesn't. i never said that. >> so we're talking about marketing issues. >> right. >> and i guess not to mix the two, i wanted to focus a little bit on some of the things we've been hearing lately. i'm sure many of us have been, that the threats of retaliation are saber rattling by canada and
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mexico, that there is a lot of maybes and could bes and potential -- a lot of different words like that are used. i don't want to respond with the knee-jerk reaction either. i want to make sure that what we're doing is the right thing. i guess i'd just like to give -- ask you, mr. chairman, if you could respond to some of that. is this real? are the threats potential? >> i had conversation last week with their equivalent to tom val sack and commissioner ritz. they are flat-out serious. the pine in particular has a recent experience with retall story measures. in 2011, we lost another wto case related to trucks coming out of mexico. they picked the wine industry to retaliate against. it's taken the wine industry until 2014 to recoup their market share of exports of wine exports into mexico.
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and apparently the mexicans picked pork skins as well, fried pork skins. i was not aware of that until last week when i was talking to the snack food industry. a manufacturer in mexico lost 20% of his business as a result of the retaliatory measure. mexico knows how it works. i take the canadians and the mexicans at their word that they are going to pursue these retaliatory measures. and they are uninterested in negotiating anything but fixing this deal through a repeal. i take the canadians and the >> and from what i understand, you said earlier, i think i heard you say that the secretary has essentially done everything he could within the law, the current law, to fix this? there is no more rule changes? is there any other avenues that he can pursue? >> those are his comments, that he has done all he can do, and it's now up to koyrngs thank -- it is now up to congress. thank you.
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>> the gentleman yields back his time. thank you very much. you know, mike, you bring such exciting topics every week. we really thank you very much. i want to thank both of our witnesses for taking time to be here. this obviously is an important issue to this committee and to our membership as a whole. and i want to thank you both. if you please, we have an exciting young stenographer here who is interested in anything you have in writing leaving with her so that she can complete the record, she would appreciate it very much. now this panel has done a great job, thank you very much. i'd like to call up the next panel. the gentleman from kentucky, thomas massey. mr. massey, welcome to the rules committee. we're delighted that you're here. we're going to take care a second as we make the transformation as chairman conaway leaves, as we move around. we're delighted, mr.
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massey, that you're not only before the rules committee today, but recognize that you'll have something in writing once again. our awesome stenographer would be eternally grateful if you would leave her at the time you leave anything you had in writing. and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm here today to represent a group that i don't think is represented here today. and that is american consumers millions of american consumers that do care about where their food comes from. and to also hundreds of thousands of small livestock farmers who know that their product is more valuable than a product that comes from mexico or canada. and to tell them otherwise is quite an insult. in fact, i heard an argument here that there is not a higher value placed on american products when it comes to food than there is foreign products. so i pulled up mcdonald's website. a burger made with 100% american sourced sirloin. now, do you think mcdonald's would have put that on there if they weren't going to sell more
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hamburgers at a higher price? i guarantee they wouldn't. so this is a marketing issue. i would disagree a little bit about the safety issue. as a farmer myself, i understand that there is a trust there is a bond between the consumer and the farmer. the farmers can cut corners there is a withdrawal period. if you give your animal antibiotics before you take to it market, but nobody is checking that. and so there is a trust issue. and i think the trust, american consumers have a better trust with american producers than they do foreign producers. now, let me tell you who is represented in this bill. canadian farmers are represented. mexican farmers are represented. and large meat packers here in the united states are represented. but the small farmer is not represented. now, i'm not here to lobby against the bill. i'm not for the bill. but i'm here to offer an amendment. and my amendment, i must first go back to something that
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representative delauro said, the chances of stopping this may be slim and none, and slim just left town. so i'm offering an amendment. this is a serious amendment. it's an amendment in the nature of a substitute. it's actually a bill -- it is the bill to repeal m-cool that chairman sessions, you were a sponsor of in 2005. speaker boehner was a sponsor of this bill. mr. conaway, our chairman was a sponsor of this bill. and what the bill did in 2005 was replace mandatory country of origin labelling with a voluntary country of origin labeling. and i think -- i don't know how the baby got thrown out with the bath water here. but if mr. mcgovern said he was looking for a compromise. and i've been looking for a compromise too. i think if we had a voluntary program to replace the mandatory program, it would certainly satisfy the constraints of the world trade organization.
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and i find it a little bit ironic that we're sitting here in congress trying to make our laws compliant with another country's laws. but if that's the goal, then i think the 2005 bill would do that. and so what i've done is to offer that bill. and again, i want to list speaker boehner, chairman conaway, chairman sessions, mrs. fox, who is not here, and mr. mchenry were sponsors of this bill. i want to offer this in the nature of a substitute. there was one thing i had to change. in we weren't going to repeal it 2005, for chicken. and for some reason in 2015 we decided chicken needs to be repealed. i said ok, we'll repeal it for chicken. but we need to also have a voluntary program for chicken. what the voluntary program says, and i'm just about done, let me finish here, i know we have votes to go to. the voluntary program would say that, and it's completely
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voluntary, a person participating in the program established under section 292 may not designate a covered meat product as having the united states as a country of origin unless the covered meat product is derived exclusively from an animal born, raised and slaughtered in the united states. and the reason we need this in there, and i don't like government intervention, but we got to have some rules. because people want to cheat. and you can't raise a cow in mexico and feed it in mexico and bring it over here for a day and slaughter it and say ok, this is american beef. usa beef. you can't take 10% usa beef and mix it with 90% mexican beef and say ok, this is usa beef. so in the voluntary program we need some rules. these are the same rules that the chairman himself offered in 2005. and so i would just stop now and ask that you consider this amendment. allow us to have a vote on a compromise that i think is a very fair compromise.
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and it's a well written bill. it wasn't written by me. it was written by members of congress before i got here. and i yield back. >> i want to thank the gentleman. i have no questions. move to mr. burgess. do you have any questions? the young lady from kentucky? >> -- the united states we should be -- >> the gentleman from ohio -- >> i don't want to repeal cool. >> if the lady would yield? >> yes. >> i don't want to repeal the cool either. i would like to clarify, i am not for the bill today. i'm concerned the bill is going to pass. it's definitely on a fast track so to speak. and i'm trying to offer something that gives our american farmers some relief some little bit of fairness in the market, some way to differentiate their product. it won't increase the price to
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consumers unless consumers want to pay the extra price for something that is made in usa. and that's what i want to preserve is our ability to just use the english language when we sell products for farmers to guarantee their ability not to have their products confused with other products. thank you. >> the gentleman from ohio. >> i guess i wasn't going to ask a question. i'll ask one question to the gentleman from kentucky. so what happens if you don't pass this? can people voluntarily put product of the united states on their label without this? >> my concern is that they would then be putting the labels on. and again, they would be skirting the rules -- well there wouldn't be any rules. they'd be saying look, this is made in usa. but it could have maybe 10% made in usa. >> so the problem now is with the mandatory that everybody does that it violates the wto. so your concern is if there is no rules, people will say it's made in the united states, even
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though that -- their definition of made in the usa might differ from yours. >> that is my concern. and i think that was the concern of a lot of members of congress including speaker boehner 2005 when they introduced this bill. >> so you're endorsing speaker boehner? >> i am endorsing his bill in 2005. >> just checking. ok. >> but i could trade something here. [laughter] >> the gentleman is advised that would be wrong. the gentleman from massachusetts have any questions? the gentleman from alabama? gentleman from florida? gentleman from colorado? gentleman from washington? very good. the chairman is coming back to preside. but no further questions. i think it's fair to say the witness is dismissed. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> one point i want to say kentuckians sure can produce a horse, right? >> absolutely. and we can produce pork and chickens and beef. and we want people to know those are our products when we produce them.
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>> absolutely. and triple crown winners. thanks for pointing that out. >> mr. massie, as always, this committee not only appreciates and respects you coming up here, but i know you come up here and do a lot of study with us also. so thank you very much for coming up, not only prepared but in the spirit in which you have done this. and i appreciate you very much. he does. he does. he does. >> thank you, chairman. >> thank you very much. appreciate that. this chairman does not see anyone else that seeks to offer any amendments or discuss hr-2393. this now closes the hearing portion of hr-2393. and the chairman will be in receipt of motion from the gentleman from oklahoma. >> mr. chairman, i move the committee grant hr-2685 the department of defense appropriations act 2016, the modified open rule. the rule provides one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and
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ranking minority member on appropriations. the rule waves all point of -- points of order against provisions in the rule for failure to comply with clause 2 of 21. the rule provides after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule, except that, one, amendments shall be debatable for ten minutes, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and unopponent, and shall not be subject to amendment. and two, no pro forma amendment shall be in order except the chair and ranking committee member on appropriations or their respected designees may offer up to ten pro forma amendments each for the purpose of debate. the rule authorizes the chair to accord priority to members who have preprinted their amendments in the congressional record. the rule provides that one motion to recommit with or without instruction. section 2 of the rule provides for consideration of hr-2393,
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the country of origin labeling amendment. act of 2015. under a closed rule. the rule provides one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member. the rule provides that the amendment and the nature of a substitute now printed into bill shall be considered as adopted and the bill as amended shall be considered as read. the rule waves all points of order as amended. finally, the bill provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions. >> you have now heard the motion from the gentleman from oklahoma. and i would defer to the gentleman from washington for a brief summary of the rule. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. this rule provides for consideration of two important measures hr 2685, under our
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standard modified open rule which allows members to offer any amendment to the rule which complies with the rules of the house but limits debate on each amendment to ten minutes. and hr 2393, the cool bill under a closed rule. and i urge all members to support the rule. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentleman for a discussion on the rule. the chair now be in receipt of any motion or discussion. gentlewoman from new york is recognized. i got that. it just takes me a second to get it out. >> ok. mr. chairman, have i an amendment to the rule. imovie committee grant hr 2685, 2393 each an open rule so all members have the opportunity to offer amendments on the floor. >> you have now heard the amendment from the gentlewoman from new york. discussion? see none.
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vote now will be on the amendment. those in favor say aye. >> aye. >> those opposed say no? >> no. the no's have it. >> ms. fox? no. >> mr. cole? >> no. mr. woodall, mr. burgess, no. mr. stivers, no. mr. collins? >> no. >> mr. collins. no mr. byrne? >> no. >> mr. byrne new. mr. new house? ms. slaughter aye. mr. mcgovern aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis? mr. polis, aye. mr. chairman? >> no. >> mr. chairman, no. >> total. >> four ayes, eight nays. >> chairman, i move the committee make an order and give the necessary waivers for my amendment, which would say that no funds may be obligated or spent for u.s. armed forces
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engaged in combat operations in iraq or syria in the absence of the enactment of for the use of military force for such operation. i would say briefly that here we are appropriating money, a lot of money for the war in iraq and syria. but congress doesn't seem to have the stomach to vote for it or want to bring it up for a debate, or consider uamf and vote on it. the president has done what he was supposed to do. he submitted to us. we may not like the strategy. we may not think it's a good enough strategy. but he did what he is required to do. it is now up to us to do what we're required to. you can limit what the president has proposed. you can expand it. you can vote up or down, yes or no on it. you can bring all of our troops home. i just think it's unforgivable for us ten months into this war to continue to put our troops , into harm's way, spend on average of -- i should say
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borrow an average of $3.5 million an hour to do this in iraq and syria, and to sit on the sidelines. i think the excuses have run out. and i think we need to force a vote on this. and my colleagues will vote yes. >> further discussion? >> mr. chairman? >> gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> thank you very much. i find myself in the uncomfortable position of supporting what my friend is trying to do, but opposing this particular amendment. so i feel compelled to explain why. i think what my friend from massachusetts is trying to do is exactly the right thing. and as a matter of fact, the defense appropriations bill actually contains an amendment passed by a bipartisan majority of that committee calling for congress to take up and do exactly that. miss lee offered the amendment and myself, i think seven or eight other republicans on the committee supported her. she prevailed. i think in doing, that i think what that amendment recognizes
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is if we do simply an amendment to this bill, we're under a ten-minute rule. so we're going to decide whether to go to war or not in ten minutes of debate. and, again, i share my friend's frustration. this should have been taken up. it was taken up, but not seriously taken up by the committees of jurisdiction. but i don't think we ought to be making a decision of this magnitude with that little debate. so i'll continue to work with my friend. i know this amendment is offered in good faith. i agree with him on the position. i just don't think the amendment is the appropriate vehicle. i'll yield back. >> just say to the gentleman, i appreciate what he and barbara lee tried to do in the appropriations committee. it is a sense of congress resolution. we did that in july, what the gentleman supported as well, and i appreciate it. i'm under -- and this is not -- we're not voting on an aomf here. we're saying we ought to vote on an aomf. so it's not ten minutes of time on an aomf. that's something i hope the
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committee of jurisdiction which i guess in this case is still the foreign affairs committee will ultimately do. but i guess my worry, and i would feel a lot better if the leadership of this house would tell me that, you know, by a date certain, we're going to consider this, then we wouldn't have to do this. but my worry is it's become too easy for people -- i'm not just saying republicans, but democrats as well to be on the sidelines and be a critic, point fingers, and have absolutely no skin in the game here. and i think if we're not going to -- if we're not going to do what i think is our constitutional responsibility, then we ought not to have our troops deployed in harm's way. and so i appreciate the gentleman's comments, but i still think that -- i offer this out of frustration and out of anger, and out of kind of regret that i can't get any confirmation that we're ever going to do this. i don't want to be here ten months from now or two years from now or three years from now talking about the need to
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authorize a war that quite frankly we should have authorized before we got engaged with it to begin with. i yield back. >> reclaiming my time. again, i agree with my friend's frustration. i think it's appropriate to be frustrated. and i'll just continue to try and work with him and exert pressure on our side of the aisle. i note my friend is doing that in another vehicle legislatively, and i think that's appropriate to do as well. i thank him for his leadership on this issue. i just don't think this is the appropriate place for this. but, again, there is no question your objects the right one. i think everybody hasthis. -- everyone has been slow -- the president waited eight months after he began hostilities before he set something up here. i agree with my friend's statement. though having said something, we ought to act on it. i think you're absolutely correct on that. hopefully we'll do that. i sense a growing bipartisan movement. i know my friend has continued his efforts and other members on
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both sides of the aisle, mr. shift and i have worked together on this. had 30 numbers send a letter to -- 30 members send a letter to the speaker on this. i think this is an issue that eventually we will confront. but certainly not critical, my friend, for trying to move us a little more rapidly along that path. i think you're doing the right thing. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back his time. further discussion? >> mr. chairman, i agree with the gentleman -- >> the gentleman from ohio is recognized. >> i agree the gentleman from oklahoma and massachusetts. i don't think ten minutes is enough time to debate this. so i look forward to working with the gentleman from massachusetts in another forum to try to figure out how we can have congress do its job. >> mr. chairman, if i could just add we are the rules committee. we could give this two hours if we wanted to. there's no requirement it has to be ten minutes.
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what this simply says is that come up -- if we want to continue these funds, for this war, that by october first because that's when the bill kicks in, we ought to have a debate and a vote on an aumft. -- a ums. -- aumf. there's no requirement this has to be ten minutes. we could make this two weeks if we wanted to in this committee. and all i'm saying is, we ought to put some pressure on the leadership and on the committees of jurisdiction here to do this. and so, anyway, i appreciate everybody's comments. i am going to asked for a yes vote on this amendment. >> gentleman asks for the vote. we'll vote on the government. those favor sayase i. >> ms. fox, no. >> no. >> mr. coal. >> no. >> mr. burgess. >> no. >> mr. steinbers. >> no. >> mr. collins. >> no. >> mr. burn. >> no. >> mr. newhouse.
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>> no. >> ms. slaughter. >> yes. >> mr.b mcgovern. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> chairman, no. four yeas eight nays. >> the amendment is not agreed to further amendment or discussion seeing none the vote will now be on the motion that is made by the gentleman from oklahoma. those in favor say i. as opposed say no. >> no. >> aye? >> aye. >> roll call vote. >> ms. fox. >> eye. >> mr. wood all. >> aye. >> mr. stybering. aye. >> mr. collins. >> i. >> ms. slaughter snow. >> mr. mcgovern. >> no. >> mr. hastings.
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mr. hastings no. mr. polis. >> no. mr. polis no. >> mr. chairman? >> aye. eight yeas four nays. the motion is agreed to and the gentleman from washington, mr. newhouse will be handling this. >> mr. mcgovern for the minority. click -- >> i would say to our committee that at this time, i have no further information about the next time we will meet. >> excuse me. >> i'm sorry. >> tomorrow i believe. tomorrow, it is tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. you are exactly right. >> i would also like to ask you about the trade bill. we have a lot of rumors it will be coming up this week. do you know when? >> that's where my brain was. i don't know exactly for sure. i tell you what we're going to do. we'll have a meeting tomorrow at 3:00. >> you will tell me then?
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>> i will tell you then. >> i am very curious to know -- i think the senate sent over three bills you're contemplating four. there's no committee action. has any decision been made on that? >> it has not. >> can you tell me that tomorrow? >> i promise to tell you as soon as i know, how about that? >> all right. >> thank you very much. 3:00 we will meet and we will finish with the committee work today. thank you very much.
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announcer: health and human services secretary testifies this morning about the supreme court case challenging federal subsidies and the health care law. we will have updates starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. later, a senate panel holds a hearing on automated robo calls and other telemarketing techniques aimed at senior citizens. our live coverage starts at 2:30 eastern. announcer: mary todd lincoln was known to be well educated and bright. she spoke several languages fluently. she took an active role in her husband's career. she suffered a series of emotional challenges, three of her four children died before adulthood. her husband was assassinated while sitting next to her at the theater. mary todd lincoln, the sunday night on c-span's original series "first ladies, influence
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and image care cost -- first ladies." announcer: next, president obama talks about what he calls the successes of the affordable care act. he spoke to the catholic health association. this is 25 minutes. thank you so much. president obama: thank you. everyone please have a seat. i don't know if this is appropriate, i just told sister carol i love her. [laughter] i do. she is just wonderful. her dedication to doing god's work.
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for commitments to serving the least of these. her sturdiness, strength steadfast voice have been an inspiration to me. we would not have gotten the affordable health care acts if it had not been for her. i want to thank the whole organization for the incredible work you do. [applause] i just love nuns generally. i am just saying. it is an honor to join you on your 100th anniversary of bringing hope and healing to so many. i want to acknowledge dignity health and lloyd dean, honored by the catholic health association last night for his outstanding support of our efforts to improve health care in america. i want to think ascension health, a great provider of
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care. they also recently raised their memo -- minimum wage. i want to thank secretary burwell and the members of congress here today as they have been obviously doing extra ordinary work. [applause] my first job in chicago -- i moved after college to work as a community organizer. my first job was funded by the campaign for human development. it is a division of the catholic church. the first office was that whole or -- holy rosary catholic church in chicago. clapping there, she knows holy rosary. the task was to work with parishes and neighbors and
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community leaders to bring low income people together to stitch neighborhoods together, clergy and lay people. the work was hard. there were times when it was discouraging. we had setbacks, i were times when i felt like quitting. i wondered if the path i had chosen was too hard. despite these challenges, i saw how kindness and compassion, and faith, can change the arc of people's lives. i saw the power of faith. a shared belief that every human being, made in the image of god deserves to live in dignity. all children, no matter who they are, where they come from, how much money they were born into, have the opportunity to achieve their god-given potential. we are all called, in the words
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of his holiness, pope francis, to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness, and respect for every human being. at the time, when i just moved to chicago, the cardinal there was cardinal bernadine, and extremely man -- and extraordinary man. he understood that part of that commitment, part of that commitment to the dignity of every human being also meant that we had to care about the health of every human being. he articulated that and the church articulated that as we move to the state level to advance the proposition that health care is not a privilege, it is a right.
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and that belief is at the heart of the catholic health association's mission. for decades your member hospitals have been on the frontlines, often serving the marginalized the vulgar and the sick and the uninsured -- vulnerable. that believe is why we came together more than five years ago to reform our health care system, to guarantee that every american has access to quality affordable care. so i'm here today to say thank you for your tireless efforts to make health reform a reality. without your commitment and compassionate care, without your moral force we would not have succeeded. we wouldn't have -- we would not have succeeded had it not been for you. [applause] and the foundation you have laid. and pursuing health care reform wasn't about making good on a campaign promise for me.
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it was, remember in the wake of an economic crisis with a very human toll. and it was integral to restoring the basic promise of america the notion that in this country if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead. you can make it if you try. everything we've done these past six and if used to rebuild our economy on a new foundation from rescuing and retooling our industry to reform our schools to rethinking the way we produce and use energy, to reducing our deficit, all of it has been in pursuit of that one goal creating opportunity for all people. and health care reform was a critical part of that effort. for decades, a major barrier to economic opportunity was our broken health care system. it exposed working families to the insecurities of a changing economy. it settled -- saddelddled our
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businesses with skyrocketing costs that make it hard to higher or pay a good wage. that threaten our entire nations long-term prosperity. it was the primary driver of our deficits. and for hospitals like yours, the fact that so many people didn't have basic care meant you were scrambling and scratching every single day to try to figure out how do we keep our doors open. leaders from teddy roosevelt to teddy kennedy wanted reform. for as long as there were americans who could not afford decent health care, as long as there were people had to choose between paying for medicine or paying the rent, as long as they -- there were parents who had to figure out whether they could sell or barter pay for child treatment, just a few much more than beg for god's mercy to make it work in time, as long as
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those things were happening america was not living up to our highest ideals. and that's why providers and faith leaders like you called for expanding access to affordable care. every day you saw the very personal suffering of those who go without. and it seemed like an insurmountable challenge. every time there was enough political will to alleviate the suffering of reform the health care system whether it was under democratic presidents or republican presidents, you had special interests keeping the status quo in place. and each year the task without reform, the stakes kept getting harder by the time i took office thousands of americans were losing their health insurance every single day. many people die each of because they didn't have health insurance. many families who thought they had covered were driven into bankruptcy by out of pocket costs.
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tens of millions of our fellow citizens have no coverage at all in this, the wealthiest, the most powerful nation on earth. and despite being the only advanced economy in the world without universal health care, our health care costs grew to be the most expensive in the world with no slowing insight. and that trend strength the budgets of families and businesses and our government. and so we determined that we could not keep taking that can down the road any longer. we could not leave that problem for another generation to solve or another generation after that. and remember, this was not easy. [laughter] there were those who thought health care reform was too messy and too complicated and too politically risky. i had pollsters showing me stuff, and 85% of folks at any given time had health care so they were not necessary incentivized to support it.
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you could scare the heck out of them about, even if they work and are satisfied with existing system, that somehow it would be terrible to change it. all kinds of warning signs about how tough this was, bad politics. but for every politician and pundit who said we should wait why rush, barely a day went by where i didn't hear of hard-working americans who didn't have a moment left to lose. these were men and women from all backgrounds, all walks of life, all races, all faiths come in big cities, small towns, red states, blue states, middle-class families with coverage that turned out not to be there for them when they needed it. moms and dads desperately seeking care for a child with chronic illness only to be told no, again and again. or fearful as their child got older, what was their future going to be?
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because they were not going to go to get insurance once they left the house. small business owners forced to choose between ensuring their employees and keeping the open sign hanging in the window. and every one of these stories tugged at me in a personal way because i spoke about seeing my mom worried about how she's going to deal with her finances when she got very sick. and i was reminded of the few -- the fear that michelle and i felt when sasha was a few months old and we had to race to the hospital, the emergency room, learning that she had meningitis that we caught only because we had a wonderful pediatrician and regular care. never felt so scared are helpless in my life. we were fortunate enough to good health insurance and i remember looking at the emergency room and 50 what about the parents who are not that lucky but what about the pair took it with a bill of $20,000 or $30,000, they
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have no ideas how to pay for them. what about those parents with kids who have a chronic illness like asthma and it keep going back to the emergency room because they don't have a regular doctor, the bills never stop coming. who is going to stand up for them? behind every single story was a simple question. what kind of country do we want to be? are we a country that's defined by values that say access to health care is a commodity awarded to only the highest bidders? or by the values that say health care is a fundamental right? do we believe that where you start determines how far you go or do we believe that in the greatest nation on earth everybody deserves the opportunity to make, to make of their lives what they will? the rugged individualism that defines america has always been bound by a shared set of values.
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and enduring sense that we're in this together. that america is not a place where we simply turn away from the sick or turn our backs on the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. it's a place sustained by the idea i am my brother's keeper, i am my sisters keeper, that we have an obligation to put ourselves in our neighbors shoes and see each other's common humanity. so after a century of talk after decades of trying, after a year of sustained debate, we finally made health care reform a reality here in america. [applause] and despite the constant doom and gloom predictions, the unending chicken little warnings
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that somehow making health insurance fair and easy to buy would lead to the end of freedom , the end of the american way of life lo and behold, it did not happen. none of this came to pass. in fact, in a lot of ways, the affordable care act worked out better than some of us anticipated. nearly one in three uninsured americans have already been covered, more than 16 million people driving our uninsured rate to its lowest level ever. ever. [applause] on top of that, tens of millions more enjoy new protections with the coverage that they've already got. the 85% who had health insurance, they may not know that they have a better deal now than they did, but they do.
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americans can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, from you having had cancer to you having had a baby. women can't be charged more just for being a woman. they get free preventative services like mammograms. [applause] and there are no more annual or lifetime caps on the care patients receive. medicare has been strengthened and protected. we've added years to its actuarial life. the financial difference for business owners trying to invest and grow and the families trying to save and spend, that's real too. employer premiums are rising at a rate to the lowest on record. the average family premium is $1800 lower today than it would've been hard trends over the decade before the aca past
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continued. in the years to come, countless americans who can now buy plants -- plans that are affordable on the competitive marketplace will be free to chase their own ideas, knowing they'll be able to buy health insurance. that security won't just be there for us. it will be there for our kids as they go through life. when they graduate from college, they look for the first job and stay on our plans until they're 26. when they start a family, pregnancy will no longer count against them as a pre-existing conditions. when they strike out on the run to start a business, they will still be able to get coverage. they will have that piece of mind until they retire into a medicare that has cheaper prescription drugs and wellness visits to make sure they stay healthy.
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and while we were told again and again that obamacare would be a job killer, amazingly enough some critics still peddle the notion it turns out in reality americans experience 63 straight months of private-sector job growth, a streak that started the monthly pass the affordable care act. [applause] the longest private-sector job growth on record. it adds up to 12.6 million new jobs. so the critics stubbornly ignore reality. in reality, there's a self-employed single mom of three who couldn't afford health insurance until health reform passed and she qualified for medicaid and her state and she was able to get a but detected early stage breast cancer and may have saved her life. that is the reality. not the mythology.
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in reality there are parents whose autistic son couldn't speak. even with health insurance they struggle to pay for his treatment. health reform made a secondary plan that covered therapy for their son and today that little boy can tell his parents he loves them. that is the reality. [applause] in reality, there is a self-employed barber from tennessee who happens to be a republican who couldn't afford health insurance until our marketplace open up and open up and once he bought a plan, he went to the docs are and what diagnosed with esophageal cancer and in the old days about coverage he wouldn't have known he was sick. today he is now cancer free. so five years then, what we talk about is no longer just a theory. this isn't even just about the
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affordable care act or obamacare. this isn't about rumors that folks try to sustain. there is the reality that people on the ground day today are experiencing. their lives are better. this is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another. this is health care in america which is why once you get outside of washington and leave behind the chatter in the politics, americans support the new reality. when you talk to people who actually aren't rolled in a new marketplace plan the vast majority like their coverage. the vast majority are satisfied with doctors and hospitals and satisfied with their premiums. they like their reality. that doesn't mean we don't have more work to do. we know we've got more work to do. like any serious attempt to
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change, there were disruptions in the rollout, policies he can put in place to make health care work even better. secretary burwell talking about all the things we have to do around the delivery system to perform. we have to protect the coverage that people have now ensign more people. we need more governors and state legislators to expand medicaid which is an essential part of the architecture of the overall plan. we have to continue to improve the quality of care and we know we can still bring down costs. none of this is going to be easy. nobody suggests that somehow our health care system is perfect as a consequence of the law being passed. but it is serving so many more people so much better. and we are not going to go backwards. there is something deeply cynical about the ceaseless, endless partisan attempts to
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roll back progress. i understood folks being skeptical or worried before the law passed and there was no reality there to examine. but once you see millions of people having health care, once you see other bad things ever predicted didn't happen, and you think it would be time to move on. let's figure out how to make it better. it seems cynical to want to take coverage away from millions of people, to take care away from the people who needed no spirit -- who need it the most. to punish millions of higher cost of care and unravel what has been woven into the fabric of america. that kind of cynicism flies in the face of our history. our history is one of each generation striving to do better and be better than the last. just as we'll never go back to a time when seniors are left to languish in poverty or not have any health insurance in their
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golden years, there is a generation that didn't have the guarantee of health care. we are not going to go back to a time when citizens can be denied coverage because they prayed the -- because of a pre-existing condition. when tens of millions of people couldn't afford decent affordable care, that was in a better america. -- that wasn't a better america. that is not freedom. the freedom to languish in illness or to be bankrupt because somebody in your family get sick. that is not how we are. that is not what we are about. deborah lee of pennsylvania knows that. she suffers from osteoarthritis so severe that it put her in a wheelchair. for years, she couldn't stand or walk at all. and was in constant pain. through no fault of her own.
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the twists and turns of life. without health insurance to get treatment, it seemed as though she might never again live a life that was full. deborah enrolled in affordable health coverage, was able to have surgery to replace her knees. she is back on her feet, walks her dogs, shops at the grocery store, gets to her doctor's appointment. she is cooking, exercising, regaining her health. she couldn't be here today but she recently wrote a mob of may -- wrote to me and said, it has been my goal to walk and hold hands. it means the world for me. just walking and holding hands. something that one of our fellow americans for years could not do. everyday miracles happen in your hospitals. but remaking deborah's world didn't require a miracle. it just required access to some thing every american has a right
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to expect, which is health care coverage. while there are outcomes that we can calculate and enumerate the number of newly insured families, number of lives saved and those numbers all add up to success in the reform effort. but also outcomes that are harder to calculate. in the tally of pain and tragedy that has been averted, but also in the security of a parent who can afford to take her kids to the doctor, or a grandfather who can get the preventative care he needs, or the freedom of an entrepreneur who has started an adventure, or the joy of a wife who thought she would never again take her husband's hand and go for a walk. in the end, that is why you do what you do.
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isn't that what this is all about? is there any greater measure of life and liberty and pursuit of happiness than the simple pleasures afforded because you have good health and you have some security. more than five years ago i said while i was not the first president to take up this cause, i was determined to be the last. and now it is up to all of us as citizens in the room and across the country to continue to help make the right to health care a reality for all americans. if we keep faith with one another to create opportunity for everybody who strive sort come in the words of senator ted kennedy, the dream will be fulfilled for this generation and preserved an enlarged for generations to come. thank you. god bless you all. thank you so much. [applause] [captions copyright national
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cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> freshman senator bill cavity introduced an alternative gop health care plan in case the supreme court rules against the obama administration. senator cassidy: clearly, we are on the cusp of a decision. we are introducing today what we call the patient freedom act, a republican response to what could be a supreme court decision in favor of a plain reading of the law, which is that the subsidies that the
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obama administration has been giving those on the exchanges should only go to those in states in which there are state exchanges. i think it is wise to take a few minutes to review the current status of the law and then, my method for coming up with an alternative. then i will discuss that alternative and take questions. i saw the latest polls. popularity of the law is down to 39%, which is kind of the democratic base. i would argue first that this is not an american value to be told what to do by the federal government, and if you don't bend to the will of the federal government, you will be penalized. americans don't like that. we are about freedom, not about being told what to do. secondly, there is the cost of the bill. the president likes to contemplate health care cost with premiums.
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it shows that before the law the rise of health care cost was decreasing. normally, there is a connection between the cost of a premium and health care costs. there is no connection. health care costs are flat and premiums continue to rise. what we've seen is that the health care law has disconnected health care costs from premium costs, which is to say that now health insurance companies have a lot more expenses aside from taking care of patients. i have some headlines which i think i've now misplaced among my papers, but in the headlines it speaks of --" ity quotes you as to the latest set of premium increases that have been announced. in some places, as high as 60
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%. this has resulted in those who are not receiving it unable to afford insurance. the insurance that many are buying has $6,000 deductibles. let me transition to the way i started my alternative. i've been working in hospitals for the uninsured for the last 25 years. i have a small private practice. i still see patients. i had today take a phone call from a physician with regards to a certain patients. it is something i have lived. women makes most of the decisions regarding health care for their families. they will tell you that their values of their pocketbooks are intertwined with what they wish to do with their health.
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they have found, as one woman told me, three years ago, i was paying $12,000 a year for a policy for my husband myself, and my two sons. now, i'm paying $22,000 a year. it is now $25,000 a year for my husband, myself, and my two sons. i said that on the campaign trail. "washington post" wanted to fact check us. they found that we were right. she is 57. her husband is 58. they did not need of citric will services. what we have seen is that the cost of premiums have risen, not for that which relates to the care of the patient, or not even reflective of their will but something that a washington bureaucrat has told them they have to have. i have found that whoever pays
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the bill has the power. if the patient has the power the system aligns to serve her. if the bureaucrat has the power the system aligns to serve whatever the bureaucrat thinks the patient needs. in our patient freedom act we give power to the patient. let me go over what we are doing with this. in the patient freedom act, we give power to the patient. we begin to do that by lowering cost. we lower cost by repealing the individual and employee mandates and we give credits to the patient, either directly from the government or through the states, which goes into a health savings account. this is patterned after healthy indiana, in which they set up accounts with which the person could purchase services. the patient can either use it to
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pay directly or use it to purchase insurance or to contract with a physician group. if she or he does nothing, the state would have the option to arrange it so the patient is enrolled unless the patient chooses not to be. you end up with about 95% enrollment. you do this without mandates and without penalties. also, consistent with the values i have as a physician. everyone should have access to care. we believe that through this she will have access to care. we repeal the mandates. we return jurisdiction over health insurance back to the states, who had it all the way up until 2009, and we allow those who are closest to the patient to decide what benefits the patient has to have. it is a principle that he or she
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who governs best governs closest to those governed. we return that to those patients. lastly, we give the patient the power to change plans. we give her protection against pre-existing conditions. and lastly, we give her the power of price transparency. nirvana for me would be if the doctors order a ct scan, the mom can take her smartphone, scan a barcode -- oh, the c.t. scan costs $250 here or $25 there and the quality is the same. i'm going to the place where it costs me $250. i chose those numbers, by the way. "the los angeles times" had an article a couple years ago which showed that the cost of a ct scan in the l.a. area varied
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between $250 and $2500, and the patient would never know. we want the patient to know that. we want power to go to the patient. price transparency gives her that power. by the way, price transparency also lowers costs. i have children. my wife buys genes. she makes some quality judgment. we want patients to have that same ability when it comes to health care. that said, i'll take any questions. >> would the alternative also include birth-control coverage? senator cassidy if the patient is enrolled in this plan, they'll have a catastrophic policy, a health savings account, and a pharmacy plan. it will be up to the states to
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decide. you will also have a health savings account. you can get birth-control through a public health unit for five dollars for a month. so she will have the option she can have the option to purchase it elsewhere or the health savings account will cover it. the private insurance company -- the states will have the control over the insurance market. the states have the control over the insurance market. perhaps you are not seeing the answer. the states have the control over the insurance company. if

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