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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 6, 2013 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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race. and i said the only thing missing was the lou reed song, you know, "perfect day." and -- by the way, you look like -- [inaudible] anybody ever tell you that? [laughter] so, but that is just, in an instant it was gone. and after i filed few -- my column, i saw the film, and i recognized some of the firefighters. i saw them. i saw sean o'brien, friend of mine. he was driving over the barriers to get to people. so i remember i'll go down to the pub, the firefighters who run always go there after marathon day. there'll be 30 firefighters there. so outside on the sidewalks my buddy joe finn, he's the captain of rescue one, deputy, chief of rescue one. and i said, joe, jesus, i said, did you finish? he said, no, i was half a mile away, they stopped us.
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and ten he started telling me, he was naming people caught up in the bomb and all that stuff, and i said i thought i saw sean on tv. he goes sean, um, when he went, the first person he got to was little martin who was dead. and he knew he was -- i mean, sean told me later, he looked at him, he knew he was gone. so sean's looking at him, but he's not looking as a firefighter. little martin sat next to sean's daughter ava in school and was very kind to her. so it was -- and we wanted to get sean out, and he wouldn't come out. he just said he just wanted to stay home, he didn't want to do anything that night. so the next night i, um, it's funny, because i was in that media scrum, you know, it's like msnbc's here, cnn's here, they're all right next to each other, and can all these people are coming in and out. and i forget who i did, i think it might have been chris chi an,
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might have been reverend al now that i think about it, and i just said i gotta go. they wanted me to stay. i said, no, i gotta go. and i went to the firehouse. on the way i called eddie kelly who's in ladder 17, but he's also a union guy, and i knew he wouldn't get in trouble. so eddie brings me in, and he said, he said, you know, we'll do this, but they don't want their names in the paper. and i said, well, i said that's not a big deal. i don't need their names. he goes, yeah, but you're going to know them. i won't know all of them. no, you're going to know all of them. and i did. one firefighter i didn't know, i'd never met him before. so it was really different. i was going around and, like, these guys were -- one of them had been three combat tours in iraq and afghanistan. he's been on the job suggestion years, benny, very good firefighter, tough guy. and he was, you know, he was just staring off into space.
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and i asked him, i said -- i'd known he had been treated for ptsd when he came back from his last tour, and i said do you think you need it again? he goes, probably. finish and sean was still in a tough, tough place. like i said, it was not -- and everybody on engine seven had a connection to that family. they called the in firefighter parlance you call the driver chauffer. the chauffer, his daughter babysat martin. a lieutenant, his kid goes to school with henry, the 9-year-old, the older boy who wasn't hurt. eddie kelly, who brought me up into the station, his daughter is in the same irish step dance class as janie, the daughter who lost her leg. and then tommy who had to pick her up and carry her off knowing that her brother's dead, the mother's out -- you know, she
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had a head injury, and he picked up janie knowing she didn't have her leg. you can't make this up. it was also, it indicated that boston is this small big city where even, i mean, it was like i said, i mean, and then i, you know, two days later i'm walking down newbridge street, and i see a woman -- all the women officers of district four of the police station, they were all at the finish line. and you'll see, they all ran to the crowd. they went right to the victims. and i saw this young, she's a young kid, in her 20s. and her older brother still plays hockey. i saw her, and i just went across the street to her, and i just said i want to tell you how proud -- she broke down, i broke down. it was a mess. i mean, i don't even put that stuff in the paper. but that's the difference. it's this, i mean, london was my home, but it's not, it's not like boston. so this is struggling with this, and i'm not the only one that's struggling with it, because you can try to do your job, but you
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really, like, are reliving everything with the first -- particularly i have been with the first responders. and then sashed night i hung out -- saturday night i listening out with all the cops, and three of them who were actually there, they took this kid out of -- brendon walsh, he took the kid out of the boat. and brendon was basically saying it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay. and i saw him when he left of the bar, he didn't even have a drink. he just sat there. i saw him stop and talk to a young emt guy, a kid that's in the emergency medical services. and i saw, you know, brendon talk to him. he whispered something to him, because the kid was really having trouble. and then i talked to eddie. i said is that kid okay? he goes, he'll be okay. he's probably just as upset about the jumper. i says, what jumper? he say, we had a jumper today. so while all these -- while they're trying to get the
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bomber, the same guys and women who responded to the bombing scene were on the turnpike below when there was this distraught guy threatening to jump off into the turnpike, and they talked him down. and they saved his life. and all the cameras from all over the world didn't record it, because they were all in watertown waiting for the bomber. and that's, i put it in my column, but, i mean, it never would have seen the light of day if not for -- that's what happens when you go to barrooms, you find stories. [laughter] >> so part of your answer is going to be to keep that understanding of this as a community event, a community tragedy and a community step forward even as the politicians and the legal process and all that come into play. sounds like that's where you're going to take it. >> exactly. i really think it was important for the community to know both these stories of incredible selflessness and also to know what these people were going through on a real personal
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level. it wasn't, they weren't just doing their job. these were -- the other thing i find just remarkable is that they didn't give their neighbors any special treatment. they responded to strangers the same way as they responded to their neighbors. and i thought that was really important. and i agree with -- i thought the town was focused, locked and loaded. and everybody was very, very -- and the funny thing, i've said this in media things, appearances, the legal end of it, the whole, you know, are they going to prosecute him? people don't even really care about that. that isn't what we're focused on. we've got to bury our dead, we've got the heal our wounded, and we've got to take care of our first responders. everybody else will take care of that idiot that they just charged. i'm not even thinking about him, to be honest. >> all right. let's go to questions. whether it's about newtown or boston or this bigger question of where stories like this go from here. anyone? um, a lot of rich stuff in the
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room here. anybody or from online? any of our live stream folks? yeah, all right. >> hi, just a very quick question this time. mike patrick from the republican american newspaper in water bury, connecticut. i think this panel is extraordinary. there's so many different events that you are all connected to. do you see one clear, um, common thread in the way these stories have been told, in the way these stories have become, essentially, our history? have they, you know, one clear, common thread that all of them in the way they were told? >> i'd say it's goodness. that the forces of good or decency just embarrass the people that do the original atrocity, the trauma. whoever inflicts the trauma at
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that moment has incredible power whether it's at the the end of a pointed gun or if those clowns that put those bombs on boyleston street. and then they look so puny and so pathetic when you see the forces that respond to that and respond so selfishly -- selflessly. that's -- i've seen that everywhere. in all these stories, what dave's talking about, what jackie's talking about, virginia tech and oma and london, it repeats itself because you're just amazed and in awe of what ordinary people do in extraordinary circumstances. so that i talk with a very young 23-year-old kid, and i did a column about how she -- her act of defiance, her, the way she could get back at the bombers in boston was to move back into her apartment near the bombing scene, site. and, you know, a small gesture, but that's what she could do.
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she told me something really interesting. she says i've already remembered, memorized the name of martin richard, link si lou and krystle campbell. she says -- this was before they caught them. they'll catch these guys eventually, she says. i will not remember their names in five years. i thought that was an extraordinary thing for her to say. >> anyone else? >> what it is to be a human being. and part of that is to feel pain and loss, sadness. and we always use the terms we were a mess, right? >> i still am, doc. [laughter] >> but you know what? why wouldn't you be? and i think we, also, one of the
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reasons sometimes at these worst of times we are at our best is when we actually realize and why we were so compelled by your more recent version is that, you know, too often when the events are tiny or they're personal what do we not do? we don't acknowledge it to ourselves, we don't acknowledge it to nub else. to anybody else. okay. so you said you were a mess. but guess what? every one of us in the same situation would have been just like you. and what's so extraordinary about boston and about every place that we've talked about is that people came together, and they came together and were able to be human together. suffer together. cry together. but, by god, to also pull together and find strength if each other. and to move forward.
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>> but also, i mean, it changes your whole world view. when everybody got up at yankee stadium last week and sang "sweet caroline," i'm like there goes one of my shticks. [laughter] >> here's the deal. here's the deal that we've not mastered, although we have at times in our history where it's not just been one awful thing, but one awful thing after another. think about the wars we've pulled through together on, think about the social movements that have required us to come together, etc. but on the issues of violence and the multiple forms whether it's the unusual mass killing or the daily occurrence of street violence in our neighborhoods or the domestic violence that happens across this country every day, we've not yet been able to fully mobile use all the things -- mobilize all the things that we've been describing about what we share and to not just sing "sweet
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caroline" at the yankees game, but to continue and turn the corner and to apply and assert our joint, combined strength to pay attention to where we can actually find solutions and interventions. i think that's also the direction for some of the writing i'd like to see. >> i have a question maybe related to that. maybe there's other questions in the room. and this is a difficult one because it's about a divide on this panel, and the divide that's been in the room all day which is about perpetrators and whether -- not only whether we speak their names or not, but whose story is this anyway. beth, i remember that -- if i remember rightly, at virginia tech there was an interesting moment when the memorial of stones was created, and someone added a 33rd stone. >> sort of in the piddle of the night. >> yeah, for cho. and your paper wrote about that. >> i think so. yeah. >> i guess my question to all of
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you is to what extent does, do the lives of perpetrators, accountability -- where does accountability lie and so on, how much does that figure into these stories? how important is it? or is there a way that it's not in ways kevin was just saying? how do we, how do we do this where we focus on victims, and yet how much do we talk about perpetrators? anyone? well, beth, maybe talk about how your paper kind of worked that out over time. you've been there a while. >> yeah. i didn't personally work on these stories, but we tried to, you know, who was in this young man -- who was this young man. and i'm curious, you know, what's happened with his family. there hasn't been a lot of reporting done on that. he had a sister that, i believe, went to yale, did very well.
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i was just thinking about that the other day as i was trying to prepare for today. and, i mean, there's so many victims we don't even know their stories yet. and i was wondering, you know, would those -- when are those people going to be ready to talk if they ever are? but i know you've done a lot more reporting on -- >> i want to ask candice about this. you know, cure violence, you work a lot with perpetrators actually, and with victims as well. how do you understand that, that issue? >> well, we believe people can change. and, you know, they clearly should be held accountable for their behavior, but once someone has been released from the justice system -- and we've, i don't think we've worked with anybody who's been part of the mental health system and then come out. so i think, you know, we deal with, we tend to deal with poor minorities, and they tend to go to the criminal justice system. not the mental health system
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even if they need mental health treatment. they tend not to get it. certainly not in our correctional system. so, you know, we look at them returning to the community as people who have paid their debt to society and are ready to move on. and so, you know, we're trying to -- our target population tends to be between 16 and 25, people who have been involved in the criminal justice system, people who have been, you know, committed acts of violation, people who are actively involved in a gang that's associated with violence, recent members of a shooting. we have somebody who's a weapons carrier. so if they're coming back and they're exhibiting, you know, these kinds of criteria, then, you know, we will work with them and try to help them to not cross the line that requires them to be part of the justice system again. so we do look at it as a behavior and something that can be changed. >> i want to get a couple of questions in before we have to wrap. >> thank you, all.
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judy. i've come to this discussion wearing two hats. one is a psychologist on faculty at columbia teachers' college and also a journalist. i've also been on both sides of the table being interviewed about trauma and as a first responder. on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, i wrote an op-ed for abc news about how upset i was that there was so little coverage of people healing after this event. eleven years budget important. first year was important, five years, ten years. so this is very relevant that all of you have addressed the coverage being helpful for people's healing. and so what do we do when the media light goes out and all these people still need to heal? how do we put the media light back on for all these intervals when people need ongoing healing? >> thanks, judy. >> we're going to leave the last few minutes of this conversation, but you can find it on line at the c-span video
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library. we're going to take you live to the new america foundation in washington, d.c. where they're going to be hosting a discussion about politics in egypt and the country's new generation of leaders after the revolution and the rez nawtion of hosni mubarak and the election of mohamed morsi. you're watching live coverage here on c-span2. >> and we have with us a very exciting group of speakers from egypt, very pleased to welcome them. we're also being recorded with, by c-span. welcome to the viewers. can you, please, mute your cell phones and for the panelists, turn them off. okay. excellent. so to my immediate right is amhed maher, chief coordinator of the april 6th youth movement which stresses nonviolent and
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collective actions. the april 6th movement is quite well known for egypt's followers. they were active in mobilizing workers and citizens leading up to and during the january 2011 revolution. amhed was nominated for a nobel peace prize for his pioneering activities in community mobilization. and he continues to play an important role in egypt's political scene promoting democratic principles and social and economic inclusion through his movement. jawad nabulsi is a leading activist in egypt, was also very present on the scene in january 2011's activities, uprising. do we call it a revolution? i'm not sure. >> [inaudible] [laughter] he is co-founder of the nebny foundation which is ranked as one of the fastest-growing ngo
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in egypt. they focus on social justice and citizen respondent, and jawad founded the leadership for change program which emphasizes entrepreneurial activity amongst youth in egypt. he is also a founder of the legislative support council which is, which was organized to formulate draft laws for submission to the people of assembly. i'm not sure if you're still active with this organization. but jawad is also advising or was advising several minutes of parliament and political -- several members of parliament and political parties and is a board member of the egyptian water regulatory agency. nur laiq is a senior policy analyst at the international peace institute, a think tank linked to the united nations in new york. she focuses on transitions in the arab world and has done very
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in-depth research project on youth movements and youth activism in tunisia and egypt. and she will soon be publishing the work. he also looks at issues -- she also looks at issues of foreign policy in the intersection of the arab uprisings and international policy towards them. so we welcome nur as a discussant to help us broaden the conversation to a comparative lens. amhed, i'm going to start with you and ask you some questions about your movement. egypt has had two rounds of elections, first the parliamentary elections at the end of 2011 and then the presidential elections. and your movement chose not to participate in these elections, and you continue, as i understand, to adopt a different approach to political activism
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in egypt. former secretary clinton was critical of this decision by youth groups and by different organizations not to participate in elections. so i'm wondering if you can help us understand your movement's, your movement's decision motto participate in elections -- not to participate in elections and your philosophy of a activism and the kinds of activities you're engaging in now. >> okay. first of all, i thank you for the this opportunity and this question also. it was our discussion after the revolution in our movement that what is the rule we can play after -- the role we can play after the revolution, resolving the movement or what? so it seems like the stability will stay in egypt during that transition period. so it's very important to have a
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political party and petitions running the elections. it's very important. and also it's very important to have watchdog groups and pressure groups to advocate the process for democracy. so we can petition or parties can participate in the election and, a role to make pressure, a role to advocate to watching, to support any good efforts and be a need for force. something like that. so we didn't participate in the elections. also it was the rules of the election and from -- [inaudible] and it was road to leading for democracy. so we criticizeed the constitution in 2011, and we didn't participate in the elections in november.
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but the first participating in the election was in 2012. and it was big event that we supported morsi. because in the presidential election we said we need just one candidate to support from the revolution, and we ask all candidates to be united, and they refused. so the second round between morsi and -- [inaudible] we supported morsi, and that is the first, our first participating in supporting someone in the election. now in this election a front decision. we have, maybe we haven't official candidates or movement. the majority want to keep struggle not to participate as a -- [inaudible] but we have four or five or ten members want to participate, and also i'm working with jawad to
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participate in the election. but we need 90s, at least, for opposition against muslim brotherhood. and this decision must to agree from television front and other movements, so the decision is not now. it's not clear. >> so the national salvation front is the secularist opposition movement which had sort of coalesced in response to actions by the morsi government that are viewed as authoritarian. they originally said they were boycotting the elections, and recently we've heard that they may be stepping away from this position. can you tell us a little bit about what that decision is based on and whether or not actual participation by the
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opposition is likely? >> for me personally i support idea of participant elections, because we have a chance now that the majority of muslim brotherhood is down, not like before. because they have many bad decisions, and they, there's a political crisis in egypt now, they can't govern egypt now. so the opposition have a chance to win and get the majority in election. but -- [inaudible] see that the rules of the game is controlled by muslim brotherhood and the authority, and there is no enough international observation. there is many tricks and many games played in the election, so they will not participate in the election until it's, they're sure that it is clear and free elections. so it is not clear for it's
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front. we support the idea of participating, and we try to convince them to participate. we said it's fake game, fake election, so we will not participate. >> and before we move on to jawad and bring him in, can you tell us a little bit about the activities of your april 6th movement now aside from the question of the elections? whether your main focus areas -- what are your main focus areas in terms of mobilizing people in in this current environment in egypt? >> unfortunately, after revolution we conserve that it's now freedom and election succeeded, so we will participate in special reports and services and build new egypt. but we found the same situation, the same rules. our members arrested now and in the jail and sometimes have
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torture. so our rule now is to keep struggle against this regime. but have religious atmosphere or religious shape. but the same rules, the same constitutions, the same law, the same behavior, the same strategy, the same politics. so we, too, give struggle until strip down all of that regime. so our role now is, unfortunately, like before the revolution. >> okay. jawad, you are leading this new ngo that's very focused on working with communities to a achieve change perhaps before the politicians actually bring it to the egyptians. so can you tell us a little bit about what your organization is doing and your perspective given, you know, current state of politics in egypt? >> so in the beginning we, a
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group of us took a different path than most of the other revolutionaries, so we said we need to go down to the people who actually we rallied for and make them feel that the revolution has, did some kind of positive influence. because at the end of the day, the normal egyptian, i mean, like any human being who cares about his basic needs, you know, education, health, food, security, you know, housing. so if they don't, if people -- and this is, and this is what actually give us legitimacy or give us any kind of support is that people were standing behind us. so it's -- we did not go down and show the people that we have done, and this revolution has done something positive in this element, then we didn't, the revolution would not have succeeded. so we went to one of the largest areas in egypt with a million to 100,000 population, and we took
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a street, and we just decided to make it a -- [inaudible] in terms of education, health, environment and see what are the core problems. and on the other hand, we know that on the long term that for us to continue struggling that we need to have a proper organization that can actually support our struggle in the long term. and this needs time. i mean, if you're talking about the muslim brotherhood, they've been there for 80 years. and one of the reasons that you don't find revolutionaries on the scene is because most of them are drained out; either lost their jobs, you know, they're really tired, exhausted emotionally, and this is because they don't have the backing of an organization or a structure that actually can, you know, replace them when they're tired and have someone else come later and next. ..
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and analyzed what are the main issues. so, and i took an appointment, i moved, i say this three or four times a week. so, we found a number one issue was employment. because most of the people have been affected by the tourism industry and most of them are workshops funded from the tourism industry. so what we did, we went to,
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we went workshops. created. market for them. and exhibitions and create ad lot of. in terms of health care, i now he don't know people have a this, a highest rates of -- in the world. i did not know that actually was that bad. >> highest rate of? >> hepatitis-c. 18% of the egyptian population have hepatitis-c and that is a disaster. this is actually, one of the crimes. so we started, working on prevention programs and, we found there is a medical center in the area of the main one. it has been closed for five years. the government just totally forgot about it and took us two years, to fight the
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government to allow us to take it and open it. they wouldn't give it to us because they thought we're, we are spies and so on, so forth. so -- >> under mubarak? >> no. under the new -- >> under the new -- >> two years, trying to open a medical center to help with the people with no political agenda whatsoever. just, it is hard. >> so you opened this clinic? >> no. we just got the agreement to open the clinic and gave us a four-month time span. if we don't fund raise and open it they take it back again. >> so, such a huge effort for one small clinic, and, -- >> not really clinic. it is a medical center. >> what is your prospect and how do you see egypt going in the medium term. >> you mean economically or -- >> economically, politically.
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people, given your activities are people enthusiastic about the prospect of change? are they more engaged? do you, are you optimistic given your experiences? >> so, so, people involved in the revolution has gone through a -- we were really celebrated in the beginning of the revolution. and then went downhill from there. and what we realized, just recently, like maybe, three, four months ago, people are coming back and saying where have you guys been? where have we been? so, i'm, even now i realizing that the youth, the one who is were involved in the revolution, are ones who have no personal interest in, other than we love of the country and we want the best, are maybe the best candidates to run for office. now we talk about working on a youth list, to run for parliament. i'm talking to like many different youth who are under 40.
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this is one of the requirements. and, of course we're fund-raising for it. and, whether people like or not, we're coming. within the next five, six, seven, to 10 years we will hopefully, if we don't get killed by -- we will outlive what is going on right now and we will be organized. we'll be funded. we will have, institutions. we will have structures. the legislative committee is probably, the first committee to work on, not actually oat abouting a seat in parliament but actually having legislation that can be passed in parliament. so i mean most of the people running for parliament, all the parties, they don't have a legislative agenda which is disaster. the parliament before, people come to me in parliament, do you have legislation that we can work on? so that is a problem. so i'm optimistic very much. >> because, one of the positive things is at that people are still mobilized, is that, ahmed, do you, is
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there, is there a fear that people have given up on motion of revolution and big transformative change and they're becoming increasingly apathetic and lose traction or is there a sense of optimism that will sustain longer-term change? >> yes. supreme court, people keep struggling to achieve our demands. and also i think it is, it is a good rule that if we keep struggling and demonstrate and on the wrong issues and bad rules and leadership and it is good cooperation with jawad and his effort. sometimes we try to learn
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from that the efforts that it protects, we make a plan with the foundation to connect the street and the people now with services to, also it will help to mobilizing and as the time of voting sometimes. so, yes, it make me optimistic. now we're not stop until we have at least freedom and dignity and justice. so if we, stop the struggle, if we said okay, i want to keep my job, and i want to live in peace so that it is 18 years old, 20 years old will keep, so they --. >> okay. so in terms of keeping,
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change, at the macro level which can sustain a new egypt, i'm curious to get from the both of you your perspective what is the biggest challenge for egypt, the regime remnants? is it the failing institution and the political inertia, or is it political islam or is there a fourth factor that is a major barrier? how do you, sort of measure these challenges in terms of your political activism and, what should we stay focused on and sparking egypt's transition? >> all of them. all of them. we have a economic crisis and most of the brotherhood not doing well. there is no jobs. very ball salaries. there is no education. they haven't plans to make
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that, i dream about that after of the revolution. we made the supreme council and we give them problem projects about how to develop traffic, security, and education. how to build new factories and industrial factories and good jobs and they ignored everything. how to change the government. how to change security and they ignored everything and though protected the same regime. and now, with morsi, i met president morsi four times from july until november november and me and my colleagues present many projects to him. and from many institutions in egypt about how to make the development and security and traffic and, how to solve economic crisis. how to have help, and he ignore everything and keep
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the same regime, and keep the same mentality and protech the authority. so the ability for us to break or to prevent this dictatorship, they want to be like the mubarak party in authority. they want -- they are afraid from losing anything. they promised us, at the beginning, when we voted and we supported morsi, they promised you are our partner. the vice president will be from outside muslim brotherhood. the prime minister will be from outside muslim brotherhood. it will be very liberal and very good terms in egypt. it will be revolution for all. i'm president of all egyptians but they broke promises. they ignored any promise after that. so that is the lack of trust makes this conflict between the opposition and the muslim brotherhood. >> and, jawad do you want
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to -- >> yes. so i have, from my -- one issue we underestimate people sometimes call the -- [inaudible] in every we try to interfere we find a big enemy that has special financial interests they're willing to actually die for and fight you and threaten your life. so we don't touch it. so, for example, we built a school and we have an education program for the kids in school. and the ones who are actually were filing police complaints against you were the teachers of the school because, i'm, you know, they're charging like 100 pounds per month and i'm charging like 10 pounds per month to educate the child. the other thing is, the corruption in education, in health, in environment, in,
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all i can tell you stories about how, like, what people are doing and in every, every system is like a mafia. the governor is new. i mean he changed like twice. but, from below the government all the way undo, it is complete system that is so hard to fight on your own. and they have their ways. without actually, people, you know, trying to put you down. the second thing i think, and there has been obvious more and more when we talk with younger people with different ideology, a generation war. there is a generation gap that no matter how much you try to talk to them, someone has been used to doing a certain, act in a way for 40 years or 50 years. so hard now to come and try to explain and communicate, you know, the innovative solutions. they look to you as if you are, you're coming from a different planet. so, and this, we just have
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to outlive them, hopefully if we continue. the third thing, the last one, idealogical issue. i think, maybe you overemphasize, you know, the idealogical issue too much and unfortunately, and we were at the camp david like thing, that was in, williamsburg, where we had a group of all the parties including muslim brotherhood and all the rest, that they, we were all in tahrir square, everyone, right? different ideologies. we didn't have the issues. what i'm worried about the older are feeding within the younger generation their idealogically, what you call it, like, you know, roughness on and stubbornness and trying to disperse us. so i think, you know, these are the extreme issues and i sorry taking so much time. >> no.
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i think that is very interesting. you're fighting, you're fighting tradition and the ideology and i assume that ideology goes beyond political islam? >> yes. >> to being sort of a deference to authority and hierarchy because i've heard a lot of people in different countries that are going through uprisings and revolutions say, that the youth are very worried about people coming in and attempting to recreate centralized authorities, no matter where they come from, no matter if they're coming from the islamist wing or liberal wing. so, nur, maybe you can comment a bit on sort of, on youth activism and given your comparative research between egypt and tunisia and sort of the expectation that is the youth have in this new era.
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>> well, i found that youth are active in civil society and not in political parties because they, this means that from the outside, that see them being disenfranchised and marginalized but they themselves send to see civil society where the power is. so one of the people i interviewed, to you politics is power but to her is society where power lies and they're still, they're sort of like this mistrust when it comes to politics because of the last five decades of the rule and feeling of frustration with the current political parties that they are interested in power as opposed to actually resolving any of the issues they have been talking about. and finally, the feeling amongst the youth they're not ready to actually participate within the political system right now so that takes us back to what are they doing in civil
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society? there i found that they are much more focused on rights-based issues or playing the role of watchdog, per parcel meant and the constitution -- parliament and the constitution which led to some criticisms that there is not enough focus on issues of social justice. there are groups working on that issue but on the whole, that i found in my interview it tended to be islamist-leaning youth that were focusing on social development work, which again is kind of legacy of what existed before the revolution. and in terms of, do you want sort of an overview? >> islamist view focused on social justice where what are the more liberalized views? >> i think that raises an interesting question because at times there is political
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power in the future who will kind of build a better base? will it be the youth focusing on citizens rights issues or the ones focusing on development work? and so that's something to think about. and, what, -- >> how are you balancing this notion between certain, the need to actually continue the large-scale political changes and, changing at the top so that you can build these different kinds of institutions in which, your people into the street with the need to actually serve people's interests in having basic needs met? i mean how do you, how do you balance those competing deexpands -- demands on revolutionary actors? >> so, in, for example, we
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continue to struggle. so we need to, when we see something bad we demonstrate or make a protest against that sometimes they arrest somebody who are our members with any charges, in the demonstration. so, sometimes stop or make other obstacles to any social efforts or building, to make over the moment sometimes, boasting about how to make the guys inside the jail free and how to make pressure to make them free. and this strategy used by the regime. they, every week you can find a if you follow the news in egypt, every day you can find someone in the jail from the movement, from another movement. so it makes us, sometimes,
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having time to make any efforts to enforce or building better or spread awareness or something like that. but now, in our group and with other groups we try to make groups, small groups to think, or small think tank and small groups in the foundation and we help with the social injustice, like jawad and other groups to complete our efforts. pressure groups and ngos and political parties to work together to build alternative. and now there is many efforts now to build alternative. muslim brotherhood have a machine. have money. have numbers. have strategy. have ngos. so they won many elections because they have a machine and have experience for more
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than 80 years. now we want to build alternative between cooperating with pressure groups and parties and ngos to complete our efforts. >> [inaudible]. >> okay. what are the chances that you will be able to build an effective coalition of opposition movements to have, you know, to make a difference in the electoral realm? >> the problem is that, that we are in the beginning maybe. >> juan, democracy. we were at the beginning of the revolution. more than 30 years dictatorship. no political parties. no one can talk, no one can campaign, no one can establish a political party or a meeting without security. so now it is open.
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so we need to learn how to organize ourselves. the we need to learn how to make organizations. organization like movement, real movements, political party. so it will take time. >> what is the role of the u.s. as a donor country, as a an important influential diplomatic force in the region in enabling this, what you're laying out as a very long-term trajectory towards real change? >> so in egypt you know we want to, step away from the revolution but if we agree or not agree, the u.s. have rules. before the revolution u.s. supported mubarak. they were afraid of muslim brotherhood and islamists so they supported mubarak. and they give him a green light to do anything.
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after the revolution, u.s. supported ministries council and they give him a green light to do anything. now, u.s. supporting muslim brotherhood. they use the same strategy. in egypt we don't want -- u.s. sporting muslim brotherhood with tear gas. we don't need tear gas. so, the problem that if u.s. want to support something, support the democracy, supporting ngos. for example, american ngos after the revolution is working very hard to returning to the new organization, but after the ngos tried with the military, it is either between the military and the u.s. government bring in. gos away from egypt and it
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will be a solution between the egypt and u.s. now there are no american ngos in egypt. now egyptian in this case, in trial and also americans also like in the same trial in egypt so it's, benefits between government and government. don't care about principle. >> all right. so, just wad? >> so one one thing about the lesson, you wanting to realistic, you were setting a budget for every seat in the parliament. so a minimum of half a million egyptian pounds which is like $90,000. and so when i was talking to other parties and how much budget they have. they have like a million 500,000 for every seat. so also, i mean, very clear logistical issues and financial issues that even if we have people wanting us and all that stuff we don't have the financial means to do that. and unfortunately a lot of
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people have been apathetic. living their live life on facebook and saying all this stuff. when it comes to the real issue, okay, so pay and you know, and in supporting a candidate instead, my family and all my friends, i'm not just talking about other people. they're like, i know -- >> you're suggesting that the u.s. should give more -- >> the question before you asked. i would get killed if you -- [inaudible] egyptians, even egyptians abroad, they can actually pay and allowed legally to pay for elections to fund. there is legal. there is no problem. so that is the first question. financial issues and i think we could have much more seats if we have financial means. the second issue about u.s. intervention, i mean, i, i don't know if there is too much to say, i'm trying to be politically correct but i think, you know, the u.s. will interfere whether we like it or not.
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and maybe, as i said, there are very obvious, i mean a lot of the government officials come here and we talk with them and i think things have become much more clear on what are the major problems. so i think if we continue in the future and raising issues about freedom and actually, as ahmed said, supporting ngos, giving training and so on, so forth. that will be education, there are a lot of things that have there is no disagreement much about. universities. have very good education programs. >> can i on that? >> please. >> on the financial issue there is difference between egypt and tunisia. whereas egypt is seen as toxic to accepting u.s. money but in tunisia it seems everybody is doing that from the government right down to the smallest and ngo. but beyond financial aid i
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think there's a lot that the u.s. can do, and this is from my interviews with people where their suggestions, get in more partnerships and more interactions. for example, the social democrats in tunisia have training from the labour party come in, labour party in england come in to help them with messaging, branding and organization and similarly in egypt, sort of talked to ahmed about how one can study or interact with movements here. whether something like move-on or even the tea party actually to learn how you can be a pressure group or a lobby group. so, there are more people to people exchanges. whether it is between jurists or people in the legislature or people in the legislature and students. >> what about political messaging? should the u.s. being sending different messages to the president of
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egypt, to president morsi? >> me? >> and what would those messages be? >> i don't know exactly what the message is about. i think the messages that must come from the u.s. to the president and the government in egypt is that, it's, a process of democracy and the u.s. will not stop supporting the dictatorship because they supported mubarak, the scaf. and now the message that it will be very hard for the u.s., if the u.s. supports a new dictatorship. so the message must come from the u.s. we will not support anything antagonistic to democracy. >> if the u.s. intervenes in that way and starts commenting on the situation
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in egypt, does that work in the brotherhood's favor? given the perceptions of u.s. meddling, historically? jawad? >> i think yeah, you're right. some of these messages was actually, you know, would give, you know, evidence that the muslim brotherhood is actually not with the u.s. government and that would give them public support on the ground. so i think the messaging, i mean, i know like, senator kerry went to, spoke about the turkey issue. he could have sent that message behind the scenes and if the u.s. wants to send a message you don't have to do it, we all understand there are different ways to messaging. if you really want to put a point across you put it across without doing it in a public way. >> i think that's a good point.
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there is one question i want to ask before we open it up to the audience and that is this, this issue of whether or not youth are being pushed too much into the ngo sector? because we've talked about the problem of corruption in state institutions. the fact that the older generation is dominating through the promotion of ideology, through their presence, long-term presence in institutions. i mean should the youth actually be more engaged and should we be supporting youth present in state institutions more rather than constantly pushing them into the ngo sector? am i correct in thinking this is, this is a problem? and how do we actually address it? >> in the ngo sector? >> yes. because youth are very active. your group is very active in
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the streets in creating think tanks and promoting new ideas. jawad is working at the local level in a very commendable way. nur, you talked to different youth groups. are youth too inclined to resort to ngo activism rather than engaging in institutions? is the u.s. assistance money or foreign aid going too much into the ngo sector and not enough into supporting the development of youth presence in institutions? do you -- >> i think ngo role is very important in egypt because ngo can make training to political parties. ngo can bring training to movements. ngos can make development
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industry. ngos can spread awareness. because our struggle fell and our role, not with regime only, no. it is with the old principals and the old regime. the old ideas. so it's a long-term war. so ngos will help in that, to help us with political parties and help other ngos to spread awareness in helping people. on how to vote and don't take money and vote for someone, think before voting. >> how do you penetrate those ideas into the institutions? jawad? >> i think that is an amazing question. so in the beginning, for example, several of us, i was nominated youth minister and i declined. one. major issues that we are in the process. the last thing we want is to do the same mistake people in government now are doing, learning by doing.
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you're practicing on the people, right? so one of the ways ngos is a process of understanding real problems and finding real solutions. so i think, i agree that on the short, long-term that we will eventually be put in government and we're taking bit by bit. so, for example, i'm now the youngest guy, i mean, by 30 years, on the, on the water and sewage council. it is a council that oversees billions of invests in the infrastructure of egypt. and you're learning. you're discovering new things. and so i think it's a matter, i agree it is a matter of time we have to be in the government but we have to be ready and prepared. one of the programs and other active revolutionaries leadership for change. this is a program we did for six months which we brought government officials, egypt government officials, we brought different experts and we had people explain how the government and how things actually work in egypt and what are some of
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the solutions, complete solutions that can be done. so when we are deadly and we are, not a matter of getting positions but also having the content and things that we can do is change. what is the purpose of getting a position and you can't do the change, people will hate you after that. that is responsibility i see with have to do before we take any position. >> nur, what is your perspective? do the youth have enough trust in the institutions of state at this point to want to engage, one, and two, as far as foreign assistance being directed too much into the ngo sector? how do you balance out these? >> you have separate the ngo second for from politics but i do see it across the political spectrum in the salasi party and brotherhood and secular parties there is lot going on between them. they talk about this generation gap in the parties irrespective of
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their political stripes where actually the old, sort of functioning within the parties means there is no internal democracy or consensus-based decision making and that something i saw in tunisia. we're really active in trying to change. and, there is, i think it is no about the u.s. pushing for things but maybe youth pushing themselves. for example, within, i think there are four areas of political activity that youth can, which i've seen happening in tunisia and yemen and sometimes in egypt too where youth can engage with, building a presence when it comes to mediation advocacy institutions and communities. so what do i mean by that? well, institutions for example, youth in tunisia have participated in all the
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political processes they're part of the decision making structure and part of central political committees or their parallel structures which really isn't the case in egypt. in yes, ma'am men they have a -- yemen, they have a course on the national dialogue as well. when it comes to advocacy, april 6th there is great pressure group obviously but in tunisia there is a pressure group within the party formed by the youth, literally means the tighten the screw or to put pressure. and to be able to link single issues. whether you're focusing on labor rights or political rights to link that to a broader political platform. and then talking about community because a lot of community-based action that existed during the time of the revolution. for example, the local coordination committees in egypt and i feel that youth could probably make better use of those and it would be interesting to see if any of that translates into
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political capital when it comes to the elections. and then finally, mediation, this is something that actually has happened once in egypt where i think, youth could make better use of their, of the moral authority they had from the revolution, to try and mediate between the opposition and the government and because of climate is very polarized right now and this did happen a couple months ago where actually youth, at the insistence of the youth that a meeting was finally arranged between the opposition and the president. so to be able to use that kind of convening and mediating power a bit more. >> i have a comment that i was inside, i was a member in the constitutional assembly and i was, like the president's advisors, not officially. they asking me to be
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official. i said no, i want to be from the national front to advise the president. and till now, i can't, i couldn't do anything. they said, majority and that's it. and they ignored everything and the people in the revolution claimed to my, because because i wasn't -- complained to me because i wasn't inside all the time. to be involved with the regime and rules of corruption and the rules of all regimes are working so we need to change the regime first. then the -- >> change the people's thinking? >> yes. >> so we're going to open it up for questions. i'm going to alternate a side. we'll start here with the front. with the woman here, yes. >> [inaudible]. >> can you wait for the mic and state your name and affiliation. >> my name is jasani. pub international foreign
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policy group. my question is pretty much for everybody. beyond the united states, what is the most valuable role you believe the international community can play in facilitating positive development in egypt? >> i think that we've kind of up to the on this, so i'm going to take another question. and then, have the speakers answer a few of them. >> thank you, leila. >> i think it was jawad, i'm not sure who spoke about declining popularity. muslim brotherhood. that is something not in doubt. it is palpable if you read the arab press. everybody knows that their popularity is in decline. my question is what is happening on the opposition side? there is also the sense that the opposition is in political disarray. they haven't gotten their act together. even if they were to participate in the upcoming elections they won't be able to translate the into victories the popular anger that is muslim brotherhood
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is facing. so that's my first question. my very quick second question, if i may, is about the issue of foreign support and foreign funding. i understand that many of the youth movement in the opposition want to hold onto their ideals that prompted them to take to the street in the first place but there is also a degree of reality politic that is required. the muslim brotherhood has very strong foreign supporters including very well to do arab governments in the gulf. how do you suggest that the opposition find these resources if they're unwilling to reach out and accepting foreign assistance. >> that links up well with the previous question. so go ahead. do you want to start? >> opposition popularity, yes, in november 2012 when the president decree about
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the general prosecutor and the new constitution, it was big demonstrations. have 300,000 or more in cairo and in the palace and. it was muslim brotherhood put down and opposition is up. of course the opportunity for the opposition to work on that on election fraud. but they didn't use that they didn't organize and they refused to participate in the elections and many issues that made the opportunity for opposition is down and muslim brotherhood is up because they use social services to increase authority. yes, it is a big mistake with the opposition and it, if the opposition weren't doing well and give the majority and, mobilizing people, they need to change the strategy of just demonstrating without really connecting with the people
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and without organization. it is our mistake and we tried to solve it. about the funding -- >> talk about the funding, jawad. >> okay. >> talk a bit about the opposition popularity. >> i don't want to put all the opposition in one bracket. that's not fair. i mean i would different between hamzawi and the others and these are different generations and there are two huge issues going in the opposition. >> these are the leaders in the opposition front. >> leaders in the opposition front. i think one of the things you might see change now is that the opposition tries, starting now to, like any group that comes up in the beginning and there are differences. i think the opposition will be divide into people who actually know how to utilize and actually, you know, look forward to actually utilizing this momentum and into doing something on the next, and you think, the
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opposition will go into parliament. they will run for parliament because the other option is actually disasterous. so, i don't -- [inaudible] >> are they reaching the people? >> i think there are a group that are. >> countering the -- >> yes. i think there is a group that is actually, you know, working underground and they're fund-raising and they are actually talking to different families who are strong in different small towns and, i mean this is happening actually right now. it is not as, you know, as close to the different machines that other groups. >> nur, do you want to comment on the opposition and their strategies? >> well, i mean, from, i've got the feeling that the opposition's politics is really kind of politics of new and even young people are unhappy how the brotherhood hasn't delivered on any of its promises related to unemployment and social economic justice.
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the opposition hasn't been really able to use that because it doesn't have any particular political platform and then also, there is the issue of grassroots work and especially when it comes to, there's a presence in cairo and the delta area but there is very little policy advocacy in up every egypt. so the questions that that raises again for the opposition. >> it is changing. if you look now, like they're going to different, and now realizing they're going, everyone now is, all the young people are actually going around, to all of egypt and trying to reach out to the grassroots and the older generation, they don't have the energy, they don't have the faith to do that. not all generations. of course there are amazing people that are older. >> reaching outside knocking on doors or reaching out through social media? >> no. knocking on doors.
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and actually going to universities and having talks and this is what is actually going to be of essence in the future. >> just quickly on the issue you of how to counter money that is coming in from different external sources, from the gulf, from others to support the muslim brotherhood, the dominant majority party, how do we, can we counter that, that money and how? >> we had this discussion, and unfortunately, maybe, i don't know, we have very different values on, talking about myself, about who is funding me and i'm sticking to them and up till now, you know, i'm very cautious who pays. i'm not taking any foreign funding. so, you know, we just have to, i'm trying to hole to my values and not get someone to buy me off. >> you're crowd sourcing? getting money from the people? >> yes, most of our funding is crowd sourcing. >> the same with us with the
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movement, when we talk with someone from any american ngo, iri, when we talk before the revolution the old regime mubarak regime, muslim brotherhood used this issue. taking money to destroy egypt. they're tied to serbia and this rumor. if we talk any further funding they will lose that. so, we, we depending on our membership fee. we can choose funding program. . .
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the question is you talk about how what the alternative be if the opposition served to join the muslim brotherhood? you had been asking why can't some like mohammed morsi become the prime minister, why do we look at unity, government unity which is critical to side together instead of trying to analyze how the loan the opposition is divided. >> i think the opposition in the election is the natural -- neutral people be appointed to cabinet positions. what is the likelihood of that
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happening? >> it's not going to happen. [inaudible] >> i'm on the ground and i can say the government -- now i'm saying they appointed the local mayor and the muslim brotherhood that was three months ago. that's happened in my neighborhood. and there are -- my point is, you know, we just want the best for egypt, and we have no personal interest. it's not a matter of fighting the muslim brotherhood just for the sake -- we are calling for the muslim brotherhood and assistance on government to try to involve everyone equally. this has happened. this hasn't been happening right
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now. we are not -- i will accept the position when there is a group just a political statement someone is going to say. so the fact is we are willing and want to build our country. when we are sure that we are being listened to and have great influence, it is the muslim brotherhood themselves they won't come and listen to me. >> you don't want to lose credibility before you can have -- >> from the wave any jet someone
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can -- waved from egypt you can make agreements and to build on that, to negotiate and find solutions to the it so on agreement we said was muslim brotherhood to find a solution. we need the solution for the restoration. what is the point of the position? persecution and allowing what is written in the government and the prosecutor it said if you want to change the restitution we would take up the majority.
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>> we have a question over here. >> thank you for the presentation. what i don't seem to hear is you have a population that's 60% under the age of 30 and probably 90 percent unemployed. are there any programs or advocacy for programs or discussions going on what to do about the unemployment and the opposition to take to the people to say these are our programs to get the country moving forward. thank you. >> i mean, yeah. it's something we don't disagree upon with the government and, you know, we had something on the vision 2020. there's an economic policy for
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the past two years that has been presented to the government was just a month ago. but to be honest this is hard to achieve when there is and political stability. all this is very nice but the issue now investors and economic reform goes along with us devotee and to see where egypt is going. we don't know the regulations are going to be in place. the government isn't stable, so they cannot do it on their own on the economic stability and if it is not economic stability, the people will not be happy and will not continue a power.
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>> any movements or we have many programs and many obstacles with the government or any international institutions. >> for any issues or efforts to the government. >> on the political issues and economic ones i just wanted to put that in the context of two other evolutions than the french
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revolution and have the preference for some initial circus for the position which is to embroil on the question on this economic issue on the political rights. >> the focus on the political or social issue. >> we all the centers to be established around the country and actually we got the funding in a year and a half and the
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government will not release the money. so, they are not actually cooperating and asking just let me work and that's been hard. so i mean there is an issue with the system. >> is it a bureaucratic inertia and break down or as for political challenge? >> there are three things, there are bureaucratic the state involved in egypt. member to come you don't have the proper political heads. i have this discussion all the time. yes, but some signs here and their make it easy for you. sometimes corruption and there
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is no willing to do that. and also with any good services controlled by the muslim brotherhood's and the party, the new system of social funding. it is controlled by muslim brotherhood only. it is a corruption, bureaucracy, and also with the muslim brotherhood want any good issues for them only. >> so they are serving their own constituencies? okay. in the back. >> my question is in the
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constitution the position first of a campaign to boycott the referendum but a few days before the referendum the actively campaigned that they would vote no. we are sending a mixed message to the mass and so the question is what's of their position, what have you as the opposition done in consensus? the opposition is and wanted and there are different groups within the position. so what have you done to build consensus to increase cohesion within the position to be able to increase your own votes? and at the same time as a result of the referendum shows kafeel voted no for the opposition and chose that -- cairo isn't just egypt. so what have you done?
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do you have any plans to work on local levels and other governors? thank you. >> the opposition is going to elections. they say no, no and then -- that's what we are working on, getting our criteria now. not only in cairo, but going around different governments. so this is the question. that's what we are doing very concrete and getting proper funding for it. >> is there a consensus within the opposition? and if not, where is it? do they differ on strategy verses substance?
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>> it's from the party's like also the new political parties. [inaudible] and also before the revolution now because maybe different political parties can accept working with the former regime. so that sometimes makes a problem inside. it is evolution and parties and some persons from old regime. there is a need for -- there is
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no time. the decision don't -- vote no in three days. >> [inaudible] >> do you want to add anything? >> i don't think there is much consensus building. >> is there consensus building in tunisia and opposition? >> well, there is now because it has caused a lot of controversy because the members of the old regime and it goes back to my old point about being a the one platform, the antimuslim. beyond that, not really. but there's a difference in the generations between the use of these parties -- youth on these
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parties and building that way. >> we have a question here. >> thank you. brian greenburg interaction. there seems to be a kind of predicament raised by ideologies and political discourse in egypt, which seems to put you at a disadvantage in moving forward. and that, if you will come is based on a kind of double standard, where external interests, external financial resources are seen to be anathema for egypt if, for example, they seem to come from the united states.
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so if you will, the traditional reflex of understanding that even in egypt are largely shaped by outside forces, like the united states, is a problem. >> is there a question? >> i will very quickly get to my question. so, for example, you have to be very careful about the sources of funding that you to support your work. on the other hand coming in here is the double standard and my question for you is how do you address this double standard in a nationalist, reflective the nationalist revolution how is it that the muslim brotherhood and its salafi supporters in the gulf are not criticized in the same way for the external intervention? >> okay. thank you, sir. do you understand the question? >> very complicated question. [laughter]
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it's a very hard question to answer. >> the question is the muslim brotherhood are gaining the money from outside so why can't you take money from the u.s. and other organizations? >> they are a little, but is getting on both sides. i don't feel an answer how. from my front it's hard to say i'm going to take money from outside. it's too much of a risk. >> is there a critique against islam from taking money from the gulf?
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>> i mean, you know what, to be honest, some of the current funding will be like you want to put the logo and say we have done so and so, and others are funded like there's investments coming in and doing projects and stuff like that. so sometimes i doubt the sincerity of the people that want to fund. they just want a political point i guess. >> you are saying the gulf money is coming in a quiet way, where the u.s. for instance would want to fund assistance. >> okay, if we accept the funding, can accept criticism
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from the islamists and security. but i think you don't want to invest in ngos i feel that no real work for my respective i can feel that there is no network in egypt to support democracy or to support freedom. maybe before the revolution was better than it is now. >> okay. over here. the gentleman in the red tie. >> i am thomas at the egyptian daily newspaper. how do you see amhed and jawad the role of the social media and the traditional media in promoting, and i would put a slash on the change of egypt,
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because i can see now that whether opposition or the rulers and brothers are doing the same thinking. the media is the replacement of the political discourse. there is no by law that there is a social media. there are all these kinds of goings on. if this is the change and not the real problem in changing the world. >> okay. let's take one more question before we have the panelists answer. >> we have one here. >> i am with the strategic alliance coming and my question to amhed in particular is as a youth organization they played a great role in the revolution how you can still follow the failure opposition come in particular the old leadership? who had the role, the honorable
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role, but it is done. and as jawad mentioned others really make a difference. they go in the street and different district and rally the people. you should announce you are going to the elections because the only way to democracy is to announce it from now and work with opposition to select the district and work people together. but you should announce today you are going to the elections. >> can you turn that into a question? >> i'm asking amhed if you would agree to do that. >> okay. wellcome is tweeting enough or are you going to go to elections? >> the first question on the social media, before the
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revolution we were. [inaudible] in mobilizing people and maybe before that also. now the military using social media. the muslim brotherhood have armies, so now the social media is open and anyone can use against anyone. but if we look about what happened, if you join and you see what happened and vote for no because of this book they said a vote no. but 70% because the work on the social media is different to
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work in the street because we need to -- okay now we can work on the social media, but we need to improve our ability to work about egypt and the poverty neighborhood and the poverty areas we need to improve that and to build the grassroots. but for all of the young leaders i work with people to go through that and every egypt to work with the support on the same
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idea that's made us this decision. >> jawad? >> we can't just keep blaming the muslim brotherhood and keep bashing them as an easy way out. but i think the of their position there is no real concrete solution or alternative that actually people can look up to. so i think both sides to be honest. i think now there is a chance for a third group that can come in and have concrete solutions and things people can actually hold on to and support, and the social media is going to affect internet users, so one of the things if you plan for it now in
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the provincial elections and word from now creating a platform and, you know, in using that and utilizing come and you can make a difference. but this is limited to what they offer. you have to work on a solution that people can hold on to. >> do you want to comment on the perspective of the social media and how it was an agent of change and now proliferated to the point of being defused? >> it is organizing the leaders pre-revolution and after it has become something every political party has. there are thousands of facebook pages. but in the polarization it is being taken to the facebook pages and she often has to look outdoors to see that it's going on because taking place on
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facebook basically about identity politics. but i think that there is coming and talking about it one can't just organize on the social media and one has to go out and do grassroots work and i have been seeing that shift. >> so maybe it is no longer the same tool for the mobilization but it's certainly an important tool for the debate. >> yes. >> it is the forum for the debate and increasing access to media could be important in getting ideas out and encouraging more per dissipation -- more participation but it's not the end of the gamma. we will take one more question before closing. >> i am deborah alexander and i have concluded my career at the
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department of state. my question is asking you to step back a little bit. political reform, change, revolution certainly egypt isn't the only country in the last 20 years that has undergone this. and i'm wondering if other youth and civil society organizations have a supported the view or have you learned from them and established any working relationships with organizations and other countries that have undergone a similar kind of change? thank you. >> thank you. >> are you working in other countries? >> actually we are establishing. one of the reasons i'm here is we are establishing a bench for the ngos. i am meeting different organizations from about the world to learn from the experience, whether on the political level or on the ngos
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and society level and how they are structured and how they manage the government's within the organizations and all that stuff and the bylaws, so this is a good opportunity for me to be here meeting people with different organizations. we are doing that coming and we have -- luckily you have the platform that actually makes people interested joining and we are doing that. >> before the revolution we converted with serbia and learned more from the strategy that's happened in serbia before the revolution. and also for that movement in poland how to move strikes to build a movement.
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so in a specially poland and serbia and after the revolution now, for example after nine years the liberals take a position so it's an important experience in slovakia. the experience and information happens. the connection now we have a connection for example with occupy movements. we have a revolution in the u.k., and the movement in spain and greece and italy and sudan and morocco, so we try to get
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the information from that movement to make our decision before and we try to get information to the new groups in many countries. we have extra branches in europe and the u.s. also tied to organized the people here and in europe and egypt for voting for elections referendum, so it's very important that the younger groups and all the countries tell each other to support every democracy. >> given it is a very messy transition, can you tell us what you think the mistake was from january, 2011 when you went to the streets to today? was there one strategic mistake that we can look at? >> the strategic mistake that we dropped the military after the
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revolution and after mubarak. the mistake that we said we would leave the square and now -- proven mistake because they lie too much and they put us on this track from the beginning. the second mistake from the perspective that there is a youth movement and the people's revolution. so when form of leadership and that is made on the muslim brotherhood in afghanistan. the third mistake, now all the people blaming us because we supported morsi. don't know if it is a mistake or
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not, but we found any solution, any choice, so we supported morsi. >> jawad? >> i agree. we did not organize together as a group and have a proper representation. number two, we actually had the chance to have the channel on the media outlet to speak for ourselves and we did. we should have taken that position because what happens is that people -- we have people presenting the revolution, and the media choosing who presents the revolution and being the wrong people taking away the connective and someone will be shouting and swearing. we used to have a positive image of these young educators and people that live in the country and are particularly misbehaved
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and swear and shout and so on and so forth. these are very important. >> do you have any thoughts on that? >> just what they say in terms of groups objectives and focusing on single issues and the lack of leadership and structure. i have to commend you for your efforts. one thing that strikes me as the maturity with which you are speaking about the current situation. you are very much looking long term, and i think that is a positive and you are looking at multiple levels of the grassroots level and it's the
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higher political level. so, i think that we should commend you for your effort in learning from the mistakes and hope that lessons will be learned and progress will be made. thank you very much for joining us. you gave good food for thought in another context. thanks everyone for coming out. [applause] >> you will be able to watch this conversation on the egyptian politics in its entirety at the c-span video
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library on line. on capitol hill today congress returns after a week-long recess the of the house will work on bills under suspension under the rules today and wednesday host a joint meeting of congress to hear from the president of softer the a mr. nagesh what is going on in congress on the sales tax? >> guest: the senate teed legislation that would require online retailers to charge the
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sales tax for purchases, even for people who buy a out of state. so, essentially an online retailer here in d.c. would have to charge the sales tax for michigan, when someone from michigan bought a product from them online. >> host: is it going to pass? >> guest: it doesn't look like very likely it will pass the senate. we are almost certain of that because it's passed the cloture twice and has about three-quarters of the chambers support. the house is less certain. there is resistance to the house leadership isn't fond of the increases or anything perceived of the tax increase. there are some concerns about the implementation of the bill itself, how difficult it would be for online retailers. but i think it's fair to say that this is something that has momentum. it's going to get a strong look in the house and if it doesn't happen this year it is something we can see in the next year or two. >> host: what is the name of the vehicle or the bill they are debating and who are the prime sponsors? >> guest: it's called the
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marketplace fairness act and that is a part of the femur, fairness. they say between online retailers and the brick and mortar retailers. the sponsors mike enzi, lamar alexander and durbin and senator enzi in particular has been focused on this issue for something like a dozen years. this is something that's been around since the mid nineties. senator durbin is a passionate advocate it senator alexandria's new to the battle that is in very strong support of the bill and in the house we have representative womack very supportive of the bill. >> host: steve is a republican from arkansas. is there a wal-mart factor? >> guest: wal-mart is in favor of the bill as are most of the major retailers because they have to pay sales tax. the rule right now is that you have to charge a sales tax if you have a physical presence in the state. wal-mart has stores in most states i believe and so therefore they have to charge in online sales tax for every state essentially. used to oppose this
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heavily. degette seen their presence increase therefore they've had to start charging a sales tax. so we have seen this support legislation last year and so on. there are five big retailers and other retailers are already collecting a sales tax. they believe they are at a disadvantage to the retailers that don't. >> host: is this considered a revenue bill? within that have to start in the house before it was debated ns dennett? >> guest: that is a point of contention the small group of senators that opposed the bill that includes mostly senators from the state that don't have a sales tax currently. they have tried to introduce amendments that would cause a blue slip of the bill and it's a bit technical but essentially, senate herger -- durbin frame this as an administrative bill that states the authority to extend something already due to them because the argument is the sales tax is and new.
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consumers know a sales tax on the byproducts of amazon or anything else they are not charged. the fact is most consumers do not remit the sales tax as they are supposed to when they file their tax returns. that doesn't change the facts of that is the contention of the sponsors. we may see that come up in the house of the opposition coalesces. >> host: and gautham nagesh who is against and who is leading that charge? >> guest: the senate terse from the state that do not have a sex sales tax on finance committee chairman, he says the committee was bypassed was somewhat true because the senate majority leader harry reid bought directly to the floor rather than sending it through the regular process in this session. however, as i said, senator baucus opposes the bill. montana doesn't have a sales tax. senator widen of oregon, she is strongly opposed to this.
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he's in the more liberal wing of the senate that he has framed this as forcing businesses to take over government responsibility. again, or again doesn't have a sales tax and he has sought exemption from those states and retailers. the problem on that, senator enzi points out certain states are not forced to comply then by all likelihood, those states will become the center of online retailing because everyone will move there were they don't have to charge a sales tax. >> host: is there an estimate of the revenue that could be raised? >> guest: 23 billion as the number thrown around. that would be sales taxes that are not being paid, as it would go to states, counties, localities, whoever collect sales tax. >> host: is their -- are there still companies that are not charging sales tax on internet purchases? >> guest: absolutely. it's fair to say most companies don't. big companies, big retailers do so the majority of online purchases -- ne of the majority but gradually increasing number
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of online purchases have the sales tax assessed however most retailers still do not, are not -- they are not required to especially when out of state so they generally only collect from purchases in state. >> host: gautham nagesh what about the purchase is? >> guest: there are things like the vat that resemble the sales tax and purchasing. in another country you can apply to have those remitted at customs. it really depends. these are not enforced uniformly. a lot of countries don't have a sales tax. there is the argument online retailers will move abroad if we assess this because that is a 40% increase and it can be saved by moving offshore. so that is a valid concern and we could see the enforcement on that also. >> connect a senate vote on the internet sales tax bill is scheduled for 5:40. the roll call wrote about the bill today and said is expected to pass in the senate by a wide
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margin but it faces uncertain prospects in the house. supporters are hoping for help from certain members including majority leader eric cantor and the judiciary committee bob goodlatte. their home state is virginia which is counting on the internet sales revenue to fund transportation projects. that news again from cq. you can watch live coverage at 2:00 eastern coming up in just a few minutes. the house at noon with live coverage on c-span. the agency will face an existential dilemma. you have the open internet order but also what you might think of as the death of the social contract that built the cable industry. both of those were fundamentally build on the premise that we give you a monopoly, you serve everybody. we have the open social service and other requirements. as we move to the battle will come the economic foundations of the contracts are crumbling >> i think when we go to 2017 and look back on that and you're
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assuming it's probably one term of the presidency, i think that it is what they're judged a success or failure will be determined by whether or not those are a success or failure. they're very complicated. they are willing to be very complicated committed the result of land mines and very thorny issues to figure out. tom has the skills and relationships and know how to get that done. >> issue is likely to face wheeler the president's choice to head the fcc. tonight on the communicators at eight eastern on c-span2. mrs. grant was also interesting. you know, they had this extraordinary existence. for most of their lives she called him a failure unable to bright light for his own family. and in almost no time at all, suddenly he was the most popular man in the country, the man who
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had saved the union on the battlefield and then president of the united states. >> julia loved her time in the white house and said in her memoirs it was like a bright and beautiful dream. the bright and most wonderful time in its life. that gives you an idea how much she enjoys being first lady and felt that her husband had finally achieved the recognition he deserved. >> be part of our conversation on julia grant with your questions and comments by facebook, phone and twitter live tonight at nine eastern on c-span and c-span three and also c-span radio and congress is back in washington. the recess finished up. the senate about to dabble in a working on the sales tax bill which would allow states to collect sales taxes for things residence purchase on-line. a vote is scheduled for 5:40
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eastern along with a bill to proceed on authorization for projects by the army corps of engineers. also a number of senators playing golf with president obama today at andrews air force base in putting democrat mark udall of colorado and republicans saxby chambliss of georgia and bald corker of tennessee. ahead of working on emigration legislation as the president tries to reach out lawmakers from both parties. our father, far from the world, o lord, we come to you in prayer, boldly entering your throne room to be blessed by your sweet presence. thank you for the calm retreat of fellowship with you. thank you for our lawmakers,
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continue to inspire and sustain them, as your wisdom illuminates their path. may they be faithful in their service to this nation and to you. lord, dwell in this chamber and in their minds, so that they will think your thoughts and discover your solutions. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. reid: mr. president? femme teem the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will be in morning business until 5:30 today. at 5:30 p.m., the is that the will resume consideration of the marketplace fairness act. there will be two roll call votes noer to complete action on that bill. the filing deadline for all second-degree amendments is 4:00 p.m. today. and we have been -- i've been told, and staff has indicated to me that we believe there will be an agreement that we won't have to have that vote this evening on the water resources bill, that we can just move to it sometime tomorrow. otherwise, if we can't work that out, there will be a third roll cal vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the water development
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resourcesage osources act. mr. president, for 38 straight months, private-sector jobs have added new jobs and put americans back to work. 7 million americans in all. they've done it in spite of economic policies that hampered growth, harsh austerity policies republicans have forced on the economy for the la two years. -- for the last two years. yet the dow jones and the other indicators hit an all-time high last week in the manufacturing sector -- and the manufacturing sector remains strong. while the economy isn't back to full strength, last week's job report shows we have made remarkable progress in just three years. just imagine how strong job growth could have been if republicans hadn't insisted on a round after round of meat-action budget cuts that undercut economic expansion. every expert, every respected economist says the best way to
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create jobs is with targeted investments and balanced deficit reduction. the most responsible way to reduce our deficit is to get away from short-term fixes and last-minute negotiations and instead pursue responsible budget process. we can't begin to find common ground it we never get to the negotiating table. that's why again today i'll ask consent to go to conference with the house on the budget, the budget that we passed. for two years my republican colleagues have claimed the senate hasn't passed a budget resolution, even though we had a budget signebudget. but we enacted a budget with the force of law and signed by president obama. the republicans complain and complain, why didn't we do a budget resolution? mr. president, we had something that was much better than a budget resolution.
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but for two years republicans longed for the days of regular order we know because they told us so. theyens with ad amendments and we gave them amendments. they wanted bills through committees. they got bills reported out of committees. republicans were desperate for the national to vote on a budget resolution that would set i ask that the quorum call be suspending priorities for the fiscal year much they got that. we passed a budget resolution under regular order, complete with a late-night budget vote a rama that lasted until 5:00 and included more than 100 individual votes. but still the house has refused to for example to conference with us. since they got what they claimed they wanted, their interest in regular order has not just waned, it disappeared. they don't want to go to conference as we would under regular order that they said they wanted. mr. president, they don't even want to name conferees. we've tried to get that out of this body. the ranking republican on the senate budget committee admitted
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these stall tactics were an effort to bribe political cover for his colleagues in the house. this is what he said. it is a quote. "there are difficulties in the fact that we been able to have any understanding on thousand conference might work and what prospects we have for success. i think it's possible that we should -- we could succeed, but at this point we're not close enough to anticipate a successful conference and that presents a complication with the house." end of quote. can you imagine, mr. president -- [laughter] -- we don't have any understanding of how this conference might work. probably one reason that he doesn't have an understanding of how the conference might work, they've stopped us from going to conference on virtually everything. he also -- we don't know what the prospects are for success. that's what conference is all about. the senate passes a bill. the house passes a bill. we sit down and try to work it out.
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he said, i think it's possible we could succeed, but at this point we're not close enough to anticipate a successful conference, and that presents complications for the house. we are the united states senate, not the united states house of representatives. we should do our business and not be worried about the tea party-driven house of representatives. but the budget process is the only way to work through our differences without bringing the country to the brink of another artificial crisis. to accelerate job growth and reduce the deficit without harming the economy, we have to make really important, smart spending cuts while asking the most fortunate among us to do a little better, contribute a little more. the arbitrary across-the-board cuts of the so-called sequester do just the exact opposite. the sequester uses a meat cleaver where a scalpel is needed. the sequester cuts were designed to be so painful they would force the supercommittee to reach a bipartisan compromise. but we all remember what happened there.
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the republicans refused to allow one penny of revenue, and when they did that, they insisted on a cuts-only approach. they ensured the sequester would kick in. eliminating the sequester is part of a longer challenge to set long-term fill cal policy, which they said they wanted and now they walked a way from it. but that will take cooperation. remember, democrats and republicans voted for these arbitrary cuts and democrats and republicans will have to work together to reverse them. why are my republican colleagues so afraid? we know the two sides won't agree on every aspect of the budget. we know finding common ground won't be easy. but we can get it done. we used to do it ... until we've been stopped from doing everything by a tea-party-driven house of representatives and the strongly influenced republicans
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in the house by the tea party. the republicans believe in one set of principles for how the government should spend money and how it should save money. democrats have very different principles. republicans would lower taxes for the rich while the middle class foots the bill. democrats would ask the wealthiest individuals and corporations to contribute a little more to reduce the deficit of the republicans would turn medicaid into a voucher program, in effect doing away with medicare as we know it. democrats would preserve and protect medicare for our future generations. republicans would use more harsh austerity to reduce the deficit. democrats would adot a balanced approach that couples smart spending did yo cuts cuts with e from closing loopholes. remember, mr. president, we have already cut more than $2.5 trillion from the debt. we have our differences but democrats aren't fraid to work out those differences, and we're ready to go to conference to begin the difficult work of compromise. if this congress is serious about reducing the deficit and protecting the economy, we need
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to go to work now, not wait until this minor impasse -- and that's what it is -- turns into another major manufactured crisis. which the house loves to send to us at the last minute. mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent that the is that the proceed to the consideration of calendar number 33, h. con. res. 25, that all after the enact clause be stricken, that the amendment which is at the desk, the text of s. con. res. 8, the budget resolution, passed by the senate, be inserted in lieu thereof, that h. con. res. 25b agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, that the senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the house on the disagreeing votes of the two houses and the chair be authorized a point conferees on
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part of the senate with no intervening action or debate. mr. president, i'm -- i've just been informed that there is a he no one from the republican side to object to this. so i will renew this, but i want everyone put on notice that we are going to ask that we follow regular order, which the republicans have been whining about for two years. that's what we want to do and that's what this consent is all about. so i would withdraw this until the republicans show up to object, if that's what they want. the presiding officer: the request is withdrawn. withdrawn. under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 5:30 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. a senator: mr. president, i'd ask for the proceedings under the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: mr. president, i rise today to urge my colleagues to vote for the marketplace fairness act just over an hour or so from now. i've said many times over the past few weeks -- in fact, i've
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been saying it for the past 12 years as i've worked on this issue -- but it's worth repeating again. this bill is about fairness. it's about level the playing field between the brick-and-mortar and on-line companies, and it's about collecting a tax that's already due. it's not about raising taxes, taxing the internet or taxing internet access. this bill in general and this bill in particular has grabbed the attention of the members of the senate and their constituents back home. unfortunately the misinformation that's being disseminated by many has added confusion and anxiety about what the bill does and does not do. for example, the americans for tax reform sent me a detailed letter last week asking many questions. it appears that the letter was not meant to find resolution or a path forward with this issue but ultimately to confuse my colleagues prior to tonight's vote. senator alexander and i responded to the 16 questions in
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order to provide clarity for the organization and its members. and, mr. president, i would ask for your consent to insert both the letters into the "congressional record." the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: thank you. i would encourage everyone to read the bill. it is short, just 11 pages. don't see many -- you can see through that way. it's a bill you can read from beginning to end and you can understand what it does, which is very unusual for washington. it's not a lot of the bills that simply make changes to other bills and requires that you get ahold of those other bills and read them to figure out what's going on. this bill is straightforward. if a state meets the simplification requirements outlined in the bill, it may choose to require collection of sales taxes that are already d due. congress is not forcing states to do anything.
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and if states do act, they're collecting taxes already due by consumers. folks like you and me. one of the issues that has received much attention when we've been debating the bill these past few weeks is the issue of audits. there are some concern that small businesses will be subjected to onerous and time-consuming audits by state and local governments if those governments start requiring that they collect sales taxes on these remote sales. it's critical to keep in mind that sellers that have under $1 million in remote sales in a year are not required to collect and would not be subject to an audit from any out-of-state government. in order to obtain authority to require remote sellers to collect and, therefore, even have the potential of being audited by remote governments, states either must join the streamlined sales tax and use agreement -- i'll refer to that as the streamlined states -- or they can simplify their tax
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structure by creating a single entity within the state responsible for all state and local taxes and use administration and audits. establishing a single audit statewide. limiting collection to a uniform state and local tax base, allowing a single sales and use tax return, and providing the program to figure the tax with no liability to the retailer and, therefore, no need for an audit. it also does the reporting. for states to join the streamline sales tax and use the agreement, a remote business would only be subject to a single audit for participating streamline states eliminating the possibility of audits by local governments and the probability of an audit. for states that don't join the streamline sales but choose to participate in the alternative simplification system outlined in the bill, a business would also be limited to a single audit per state per year.
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practically speaking, there is no possibility that streamline states or nonstreamlined states would ever be able to perform significant audits of remote sellers. today the states audit less than 1% of retailers inside their borders. auditing remote sellers would require additional resources and travel and is simply not a realistic possibility. for audits that are performed under the new system, the marketplace fairness act demands that states adopt uniform audit procedures which would simplify expenses. sellers who use the certified software would not be audited or have limited scope audits to determine that the software was properly installed. in addition to audit protection, the marketplace fairness act provides participating states are required to establish and maintain an accessible data base of geographically based tax rates and tax base information to make it easier for remote
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sellers to collect taxes. these states are also required to hold those sellers harmless for errors in the data base. compared to today's sales tax administration where sellers are expected to research and comply with tax rate and tax base information and to understand jurisdictional boundaries without help from the state and local governments, the marketplace fairness act dramatically reduces administrative burden and audit risk. some opposed to this bill go so far to say the potential overreach of state and local governments will lead to taxation without representation. the marketplace fairness act includes significant benefits for remote sellers, including limits on audits, liability protections and tax and administrative simplification. the taxes imposed on the consumer by the state where they reside pursuant to tax rates and a tax base established by the state and local governments. this serves as the ultimate check on excessive taxation
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because the tax is imposed on the consumer, there is no danger of taxation without representation. any concern raised by a few of my colleagues is businesses will leave the united states, set up shops outside our borders and sell in the united states presumably only only because ofs tax collection requirement. states currently enforce collection of state taxes against foreign businesses with no physical presence in the united states and have a number of methods to compel collection by foreign sellers, including liens, levies and seizure assets. the marketplace fairness act treats foreign corporations the same as it does domestic corporations. all online retailers that make over $1 million in remote sales regardless of where the retailer is located must collect and remit sales tax to the states that require it. finally let me emphasize a few points that have generated a lot of spirited debate among my
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colleagues. also the business community and also our constituents. the bill does not alter so-called nexus standards as interpreted by the supreme court. the bill does not dictate to the states how they structure their state tax systems. the bill does not affect the taxability of goods or services, digital or otherwise. the bill does give states the right to decide to collect or not to collect taxes that are already owed. i would say that this is not -- no one works on a bill like this, works on it for 12 years as a popularity contest. you have to be doing what's right. i've listened to the people, talked to the people, and know that this is something that's going to be necessary to keep main street in business so that people will have that ability to go to the store and make a selection and try the goods and feel the goods and know that
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it's right. and that retailer isn't going to have to worry about the person using their tpo*eupb to get the -- to get the iphone to get the bar code to order from somebody else because there is a sales tax difference. that is what will keep the main street viable and the downtowns making it look like there is a growing community. in conclusion, i do want to thank everyone associated with this bill for their hard work and the efforts of getting to this point. i want to thank senators alexander, durbin and heitkamp for their unwavering support of this bill and moving it forward in the senate. i want to thank all of the cosponsors of the bill. i very much appreciate your support. i want to thank all of the businesses, the trade groups and the constituents that provided constructive feedback as we've attempted to address as best we can all the concerns that have been raised. i want to thank all of the staff who have worked on this issue. my staff, my legislative
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director randy reid. she's worked on this as long as i have. she is probably the hill, if not the country, expert on marketplace fairness or any of the other titles that this kind of a bill may have had. i'd like to thank my tax counsel eric ullman, corey tulez, beth cook, dina, morris, rema dodan, n.j. kenny, ben garmisa on senator durbin's staff and david clary and jillan fitzpatrick and all the staffers of the bill's cosponsors and all the people in office who have kind of been taken into the process so we could get the process to work. it's always a team effort and it takes more than the ones just leading the effort. i know that there are an
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immeasurable number of hours on this issue, and i want to thank all of them for their hard work. i look forwarded to continuing to work with my house colleagues: congressman womack, congressman conyers and congressman welch as they push forward with the house passage of marketplace fairness. i want to thank senator durbin for all of his energy on this bill, the perspective that he was able to bring to the bill and his tremendous ability to communicate the issues. i want to thank senator alexander. we were working on a much bigger bill until senator alexander lended some expertise to make this a much simpler one, one that is completely readable and only 11 pages and i think covers most of the objections. there will be some from the states that do not charge a sales tax at all because if their businesses exceed $1
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million until online sales, they will have to participate in the collection of that. so as we push forward with the house passage of marketplace fairness and as we finish up here in the senate tonight, as i'm confident that we will, i want to thank all that are participating in it, particularly the people of courage. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, today the senate is voting on whether to take a few more inches off the little guy. and i say that because we can tell what this debate's all about by just looking at the morning newspapers. all over those newspapers you saw ads taken out by some of the biggest businesses in the country. and it's pretty easy to see why, mr. president.
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because with this vote, for the so-called marketplace fairness act, what you have is big businesses being given the ability to force -- force, mind you -- new regulations on to the start-ups, on to the small businesses. and that's what this bill has always been about, mr. president. the big businesses have physical presence. they already pay taxes. the people that we said for the last 15 years we care about are the start-ups, the people who are just trying to get off the ground, who have the dream of one day being big and with this proposal that we'll vote on in an hour, i fear that what we're going to do is crush a lot of those start-ups, a lot of those
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new businesses because not only will they have new regulations. those small businesses will have new legal regimes, new audits by out-of-state regulators, new legislators, new governors, new court systems, new accountants, new software, new consultants and new lawyers. so what i hope we'll do is ensure as this process goes forward, to really think through the implications of what's being done here, because on every count, mr. president, is coerciveness, is discriminatory nation, the fact that it gives a leg up to foreign retailers. it in fact repudiates a lot of what we have done over the last 15 years to build a sensible policy that will ensure what i call prosperity for both bricks and clicks. i'm sure that's what the president and the senate wants. that's what we want in oregon.
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we want our brick and mortar stores to prosper. we want our online stores to prosper. and what this bill does is it precipitously overturns the law of the land. the law of the land upheld by the supreme court. it would in unprecedented fashion stipulate that state and local governments have taxing authorities over businesses that are located thousands and thousands of miles away. now the sponsors are quick to point out that the court allowed that congress could enact this sort of extraterritorial taxation. but, mr. president, as the senate has seen again and again, just because government can, doesn't mean government should. so we're going to continue this debate. it will not be done today. one of the central discussion points in this debate going
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forward will be the damage that this bill in its present form does to the idea of state sovereignty. proponents of the bill say that the measure is about promoting states' rights, but the reality is that it is a coercive affront to state sovereignty. if any state doesn't wish to subject their business to out-of-state government tax collectors, the m.f.a. tells them in effect get lost. the m.f.a. enables the state of indiana or the state of south dakota to require online businesses located in new hampshire to collect sales taxes on their behalf. so i'll repeat that. this so-called marketplace fairness act could require new hampshire -- a state that does not have a sales tax -- new hampshire businesss to collect sales taxes for goods or services provided to consumers in indiana or south dakota and send that money to those states.
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it enables california and new york to collect taxes from businesses located in florida or texas. and finally, mr. president -- i know we're in morning business -- i think this steers the internet towards a dangerous path. it would in effect endorse the notion that internet entities should be required to enforce laws outside their home jurisdiction. foreign countries have long pressed that notion. foreign countries have specifically pushed that notion, that the internet ought to cede to their control. as it is already, many countries are seeking to put the united nations in charge of the internet's regulator and chief. and essentially if you look at the philosophical foundation of this proposal, it really endorses that world view. the senate is being asked to consider schemes to allow states
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and localities to essentially nationalize their taxes, but tomorrow the senate may be asked to consider similar schemes to enforce laws and regulations -- and i'll tell you what really concerns me about that, mr. president, is it could be laws and regulations about content and other issues that are important to the powerful and well-connected and make no mistake about it, mr. president. that who is who is pushing this bill today. open up those morning newspapers, and it wasn't the little guy, the person who doesn't have pacs and big political committees, buying ads in the morning newspapers. it was the powerful and the well-connected. and it seems to me the last thing this body should do is jeopardize the democratizing power of the internet and technology through legislation like this. i believe that the substance of this bill is deeply flawed.
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there have been efforts, i know to improve it. at one point i see my colleague from illinois here. he wanted to take the bill that i wrote years ago -- the internet tax freedom legislation -- with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and he wanted to put it into this bill. and, of course, the internet tax freedom act runs contrary to this bill because this bill allows discrimination. it specifically says that you can require online retailers to do things that you wouldn't require of offline retailers. i mean, the offline retailer doesn't have to chase somebody all across the country trying to figure out where they are going to consume a particular kind of product. so we're asking things of online retailers that we're not asking of offline retailers, and so i understand why the senator from illinois wanted to take a bill that has been a big success for
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both bricks and clicks retailers and put it into this bill. i compared it to trying to dump sugar into a very, very bitter cup of coffee. you can't get healthy with this bill in its present form. it is a dependencil deeply flawf legislation. this debate is going to continue. i urge vocatio colleagues to vo" on the bill. with that, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president, i thank my friend and colleague from oregon for coming to the floor and stand his position on the bill. for those who found it something historic, nothing short of remarkable may happen here. the senate is going to vote on bill. yes, and those who are wapping this program on c-span or from the galleries may see 100 senators or close to that come to the floor and vote and you
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may just find that there will be a bipartisan majority supporting the bill, at least m.i.a. that'y hope. i have joined with senator enzi, senator alexander, senator heitkamp, a democrat from north dakota, in a bipartisan effort to solve a problem. it was a problem not of our colleagues. it was a problem that came about because commerce has changed in the united states. 20 years ago the state of north dakota went across the street to the supreme court and said, we want to collect sales tax from remote sellers. these are mainly 20 years ago catalog sales, so that if you have a catalog sale into the state of north dakota, they could collect sales tax and the supreme court almost 21 years ago said in the quill decision, we're not going to rule this from the suprem court. it is up to congress to write the law. in lightning-fast speed with the kind of reaction we've come to expect, 21 years later here we are. we're actually debating it. we may actually vote on it in an
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hour and a half. and what's it all about? it's about the way commerce has changed in america. think about it. when did you first make an internet purchase? virtually all of us v i remember doing it says, i wonder how this is going to work? they're going t to take it off y credit card. and then ups or the mail is going to deliver this from amazon. it worked out nicely. did i it again and pretty soon i'm an internet purchaser. it turns out there was something going on i didn't know about. in my state of illinois and 45 others states, i have a legal objectiolegalobligation to tai x on who i purchase on the internet. it is on the state income tax return in illinois and many other states where they ask you to itemize how much you owe for sales tax to the state of illinois from purchases you made on the internet. a few years ago my book keeper
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brought it to my attention and said, senator, do you want to pay this? i said, i think i shoovment i started making calculations of what it was. this was my best estimate, and i paid t turns out that only 5% -- 1 in 20 taxpayers in illinois -- make that payment. now repeat that over 45 states and you will find that so many residents of states, whether maine or illinois or california, may have a legal obligation to pay sales tax on their internet purchase. they don't do it. so what happens is less money is going into the states, the counties, localities that have the sales tax revenue coming their way. but something else has happened that's very significant. the competition -- the competition of the internet retailers is at a disadvantage. unabridged bookstores on broad way in the city of chicago, just around the corner interest where may wife and i reside in chicago, unabridged, the great bookstore -- and i love
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bookstores, and i make a point going in there; i went in there just in last friday and bought a couple books and paid my sales tax to the state of illinois. but as i mentioned earlier, i buy books on amazon, sometimes they collect sales tax and sometimes they don't. a great deal depends on whether the actual seller of the book is a store in illinois, for example. so what's the difference in well, the difference is about 8% or 9%en what you're paying for a book. when i bought it at the store on broad way where they are cleacting the sales tax, as they're required by law, paying property tax as they're required by law, and success staining that great city of chicago and all of its services, i paid more than i might have on the internet. here's what this bill says. this bill says that the states can now require the internet retailers to collect the sales tax at the point of purchase and to remit those proceeds back to the state. so if amazon, for example, which supports this bill incidentally,
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if amazon sells a book to me in illinois, they collect the sales tax and send it to springfield to the illinois department of revenue much just that simple. and as far as the way they collect it, this bill requires that the internet retailers be given software that they need, so that when i put in my address either in chicago or springfield -- i have two places in illinois -- the address is going to identify how much tax is owed. it's not as dramatic and complicated as some have suggested on the floor. in fact it's done every single day. but if we don't do it, we're going to find that bookstores, stores that sell running shoes, bicycles, appliances are at a distinct disadvantage. they become showvrooms and they tell you the story. this is the la crosse store here, and they were going out of business. they sold sporting goods and soccer gear up in the suburbs of
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chicago. they just couldn't keep up with it anymore because people were coming in and they were showrooming. they were qom into the store and say, i'm lac looking for some running shoes. can't decide if it's nike or adidas. can you bring out a couple. oh, this is just perfect. let me write this down. they walked out o of the store d ordered it on internet. paid no sells tax. so these stores an and many like them are competing against that. we took a bill that was 80 pages long and turned it into 11 pages. we made it easy for the retailers in terms of the software they heed to make this collection. and now akrauss the united states there will be a standard. that's going to help a lot of retailers. sure, it will help the biggest ones. of course it will. but it's going to help the small ones, too, the unabridged bookstore, things like this the la crosse sporting goods.
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these are companies that'll be helped in the process, too. they create jobs. they have employment. these are entrepreneurs that sustain our community. when it comes to things you need in the neighborhood or in your to you, you go to the small stores. can you buy an ad in the church program? can you support the local baseball team? they're part of the community and this bill is trying to make sure that they have a fai fair, leveling playing field when it comes to competing. so you wonder why we have such opposition in the senator that spoke before me is from the state of oregon. oregon is one of the states in the nation with no state sales tax, alaska, oregon, montana, delaware. of those, four of those states, their senators, all eight of them, are actively opposing this bill. what does it come down to? if this bill passes, will the people of oregon who currently have no sales tax have to
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collect sales tax from the residents of oregon? no. not one penny of sales tax will be imposed on any state where they currently don't have a sales tax. so the residents of oregon will neither pay sales tax at the counter or if they're ordering over the internet. it won't aply. however, the three or four -- and there are only three or four companies, internet retailers in or that want to sell in california, washington, maine, and illinois will be collecting sales tax based on their sales in our states only. that is fair. it doesn't change an oregonian's sales tax responsibility at all. so for three or four retailers, the argument is being made, don't change the law. just how many retailers are we talking about here? internet retailers. we put an exemption in this bill and said, if you have less than $1 million in internet sales last year, you don't have to collect sales tax this year. what does that $1 million mean?
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i can tell you that if we'd set that number at $150 thew instead of d 1 million, we would have exempted 99% of all the internet retailers. what it comes down to is this bill will affect the big boys, the internet retailers like amazon, lik like ebay, the big ones. they already do collect the sales tax. it does not affect the small internet retailers in these states that are complaining the most about the passage of this legislation. so i think this is an important measure in terms of leveling the playing field for retailers across america and it's long overdue. it is bipartisan, it has the support of the white house, it has the support -- you can imagine, of the retail community, stores large and small all across america, it has the support of virtually every level of government beyond the federal level, all the gons, mayors, and localities, vitterly all of them support it. and the labor unions support it
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as well because money coming back into the states and communities will be used for the good of the peep who live there. i don't know about many states, but in my state they're struggling in terms of coming up with enough revenue. this bill will help provide some of the revenue that my state needs to deal with some of these problems sm. mr. president, i'd like to mention one other issue that has been brought up this morning by "the wall street journal." i guess it was friday morning. "the wall street journal" talked about the number of aids that an internet retailer might 25eus if this bill passes. and they suggested, i think improperly, in their editorial that it could be an onslaught of audits. we make it clear and senator enzi as said, as i have, that we're talking about one centralized audit for each state. so it would not be a matter of harassment. at most, some 45 audits these internet retailers would face. i hope that can be made
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extremely clear. i've listened to a the love speeches against this measure. they are virtually all -- virtually every single one has been from a state with no sales tax. my final plea is to the people of oregon, montana, new hampshire, and delaware, and alaska. if this bill passes, you will not have to pay any new sales tax. this bill creates no new federal tax, creates no new sales tax anywhere in the united states. it only has a method of collection for those states -- those sales taxes that already exist in the states across the nation. i hope that we can get a good, strong bipartisan vote on this, send it to the house and i hope they'll take it up much it is a timely measure, an important. -- an porn march it is time to s an important measure. it is time to act to help the units of government across
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america. i believe all the speeps speeches on the floor that i have heard about the value of small business, the value of entrepreneurship, how important job creation is at the local level, this will be a test vote. we have have a couple votes. first there will the managers' amendment. it is generally an amendment where we look closely at every single sentence in this bill, made some slight variations no major changes in the substance of the bill that was originally introduced. but it is a clean-up amendment which shows that wic -- that wen improve. i think that's important. secondly will be the vote on final passage on the bill. the last point i want to make s one i expected to hear from senator wyden -- and he is my friend. he feels passionately about the internet, and he should. the internet a h's changed america, it has changed the world. it changes the way we live, the way we research, the way reread books, the way reshop and so many other things. and he talks about the virtual issue of the sanctity of the
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internet, and i couldn't agree with him more. we've got to make sure a that we preserve some very spaisk basic things about the internet. one of the things we need to preserve is access to the internet. what if you had to pay a tax every time you went on line? that would being awful. so we had a bill here -- an amendment, i should say, from senator pryor of arkansas, senator blunt of missouri, which said you can't tax access to the internet. called the internet freedomage of i said, put it on here. i agree with that. let's make it clear. nothing that we do here is going to in this way inhibit a person's access to the internet. it is a bill which frankly senator wyden had introduced. but because of the nature of this political debate he objected to our putting that amendment on the bill. i'm sure he still supports that bill in principle. but it was an effort by us to make it clear that we want to protect access to the internet. and in so doing make sure that we also protect something that's fundamental in this country, an
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opportunity for real competition and a level playing field for all manners of business, large and small across america. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i'd like to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, we have an opportunity to vote today on an important piece of states' rights legislation. at least, that's the way i look at it as a former governor of tennessee. here's what the legislation does. it's called the marketplace fairness act. there are many reasons to support it, but the reason i like it is because it gives governors and legislators the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they can require out-of-state sellers to do the same thing that in-state sellers are required to do, and that is to collect the sales tax already owed. let me say that again.
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this legislation is states' rights legislation. it allows governors and legislators in maine or tennessee, wherever, illinois, to decide for themselves whether they want to require out-of-state sellers to do the same thing in-state sellers already do, which is to collect the sales tax that's already owed when something is sold. that's it. that's it. now, before we went back to tennessee, some people up here were saying we don't trust the states to make this decision. well, mr. president, i think i knew the answer to that in tennessee, and i have spent the last days from one end of our state to the other, and everywhere i have gone, i have said let me ask you a question. there are some people who are up in washington who have said they trust washington to make a decision more than they trust
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governor haslem and speaker harwell and governor ramsey and the legislature of tennessee to decide what to do about taxes. last time i checked, tennessee had a aaa bond rating, no tax debt, was named the second freest state in the country. the last time i checked, washington, d.c., was running up a trillion dollars of debt and more every year. who in the world -- nobody in tennessee trusts washington more than the governor and state legislature to decide what to do about taxes. and particularly when it comes to whether you're collecting a tax that's already owed, collecting a tax that's already owed. this is such an obvious piece of legislation that many -- many of the opponents have resorted to interesting arguments, let's say, in opposition to it. it's been said the bill should have gone through committee. well, it went to committee, but the chairman, a very respected
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member of this body, doesn't like the bill so he didn't report it to the floor. so that's why it didn't get out of committee. they have said it should have more amendments. all of us, particularly on our side of the aisle, feel we're in the minority and we would like to have as many amendments as we can, but there is only one reason this bill didn't have amendments. that's because the opponents to the bill objected to every single amendment, every single one, even amendments that they support. senator pryor and senator blunt offered a ten-year extension of the moratorium on the internet tax, and the senator from oregon objected to that even though he wrote the act. some have suggested it's a tax on the internet, but every senator knows there is a law against a tax on the internet. some have said well, it's a new tax, but of course it's not. it's an existing tax.
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as one of my colleagues over here said the only thing he hates worse than a tax is somebody who doesn't pay a tax that's owed. this is a tax that everybody owes that only some people pay. what we're trying to say is the governor of maine or the governor of tennessee or the governor of illinois, you can decide for yourself whether you want to treat some taxpayers one way, some taxpayers another way, some businesses one way, some businesses another way. and then there are some who says it's too complicated. well, this is how complicated it is. i mean, if i order ice cream over the internet from williams sonoma, i -- williams-sonoma, i put in my name, my address, my zip code and the software, figures out the sales tax, collects it and sends it to the state of tennessee. how hard is that? and i guess the complete answer to that is a majority of
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internet sales today collect the sales tax that's owed. if it was so hard, how are they doing that? let me say that again. a majority of the retailers who sell over the internet today collect the sales tax when it's owed using a software that's as simple as looking up your weather on your computer. i mean, i look up weather in maryville, tennessee, i type in my zip code, i type in the weather and it tells me the weather. that's about how easy this is. a majority of the retailers who sell over the internet today collect the sales tax when they make the sale, so it can't be not only impossible to do or not hard to do. then there are some who say well, conservatives are not for this. well, one of the leading proponents of this is the chairman of the american conservative union, al cardenas.
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he sent out another email last week. he sent out another one today. dear senator, as you continue work next week on the marketplace fairness act, i'd like to call your attention to what conservatives are saying about this issue. they recognize, as i do, that it's not the role of government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace by requiring brick-and-mortar stores to charge a sales tax while exempting internet sales, sincerely al cardenas, chairman of the american conservative union. then he included in his email -- i included in this email charles krauthammer, a conservative if there ever was one, the real issue here is the fairness argument, says charles krauthammer, that if you're an old-fashioned store, you have to have your customers, and you pay the sales tax and online you don't, so i think you would want to have something that will level the playing field. can you do it one of two ways. you can abolish all sales taxes for real stores and nobody pays,
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or you can get the internet people to pay the sales taxes as well. i think the second one is the only way to do it, obviously, says charles krauthammer. representative paul ryan, he was in home this past week, too. he was in janesville, wisconsin. he is a pretty good confident last time i checked. i don't go around making lists of who is a good conservative and who is a bad one. i just think most people in america think of paul ryan as a conservative just as the chairman of the american conservative union does. representative paul ryan to me, i think the concept is right. it's only fair that the local brick-and-mortar retailer be treated the same as the big online sales company out of state. well, mr. chairman, lest you think that the chairman of the american conservative union and charles krauthammer and paul ryan are all on another planet somewhere, here are a few other conservatives who agree with him, art laffer, william f. buckley before he died wrote extensively about this, republican governors book
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mcdonald, chris christie, bill haslem, butch otter, rick snyder, mike pence, tom corbett. mr. president, this is common sense. this is fairness. this is states' rights. for the life of me, as a former governor, i do not understand how congress can say to the conservative republican governor of tennessee, the conservative lieutenant governor of tennessee, to the conservative supermajority republican legislature you have to play mother may i can washington, d.c. we don't trust you to make decisions about your own tax policy. we think washington does a better job. that's laughable. that's just laughable. what we are doing with this bill , i will conclude with this. it's very simple. two words -- states' rights. it allows our state of tennessee, our governor and legislature to make a decision.
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will they decide to charge out-of-state sellers, to require out-of-state sellers to do the very same thing in-state sellers could do, and is to collect the sales tax when they sell an item and remit it to the state government? it's a tack that's already owed. it's not a tax on the internet. it's a tack that some people are paying and other people aren't even though they owe it. it discriminates against mom and pop and the small business. this bill only applies to large, to large retailers, those who sell more than $1 million. and, mr. president, to the charge that it's too complicated, how could it be too complicated if half of the internet sales that are being made today already collect the sales tax online? all we're saying is that the
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governor and the legislature may wish to say to all the taxpayers if you owe the tax, you're going to need to pay it, and if you pay it, we can lower the tax rate for everybody in this state. so i -- i thank senator durbin, senator enzi for their leadership, the bipartisan support. i regret we didn't have more amendments, but the opponents used as their tactic to try to kill the bill, which i hope won't be successful, to object to every amendment. can't do much about that. so as the bill passes, which i hope it does tonight, the house will consider it. i'm sure they will come up with their version of the bill. we can go to conference and we can pass the marketplace fairness act, the states' rights bill that, in my view, is exactly what conservatives would hope would happen. i thank the president, i yield the floor and i ask consent to put in the record the comments i read from the chairman of the american conservative union and others. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous
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consent that the 20 minutes prior to the vote which is scheduled at 5:30 in relation to amendment number 741 be equally divided between the proponents and opponents, with the proponents in control of the final ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i rise today to speak out against the so-called marketplace fairness act. in my view, during a time of economic challenge as we are in today, the very top priority of every elected official, whether republican or democrat, should be to restore economic growth, to get our economy moving, to get back to the economic dynamism, the economic strength that has lifted so many millions out of poverty and towards the american dream.
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this bill, if enacted into law, would hurt economic growth and would be a miss take. first of all, more taxes will hurt economic growth, and this bill if enacted would in effect create a national internet sales tax. it would subject small online retailers to paying taxes in 9,600 different jurisdictions all across this country. at a time when so many are hurting, we should be discussing how to reduce regulatory burdens on small business, how to reduce tax burdens on small businesses, how to reduce complexity of taxes on small businesses, this bill goes exactly the opposite direction. in particular, those who will be hurt the most by this bill if it is passed are small mom and pop
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retailers online. the threshold for this bill is $1 million in gross online sales. now, that's not profit. that's $1 million in total sales, gross sales. $1 million for a starting business is not a terribly high threshold for their gross, not their profits. that has to cover the cost, all expenses of the business. it has to cover any salary, any rent, any web costs, any communications, travel, accounting, legal services plus the cost of goods sold. and these small and medium sized businesses would suddenly find themselves subject to 46 different states and 9,600 local jurisdictions. they would find themselves having to pay tax filingings attentionly in all 46 states monthly or quarterly and to be subjected potentially toud


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