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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 11, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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while there are complicated feelings here in congress about syria and particularly that was demonstrated in a vote about authorization of military force in august the feelings but humanitarian assistance, humanitarian resolution came out of this committee unanimously, pass out of the senate unanimously. it would not be providing the aid if it was controversial and congress. so as the administration wrestles with what is the next at to try to make a serious policy more effective, take advantage of the fact you have a congress that is unanimous about the aggressive delivery of humanitarian aid. that is something we are with you in there is not controversy about. i think there is much more of can be done. >> thank you. that is wonderful to hear because just tomorrow i am convening my counterparts from other donor countries to basically ask them to do more of this type of cross border work. and that is good to know that there is support for that.
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>> thank you, senator. >> i do want to respond to some of the comments made earlier. the chairman started out by talking about the cuba issue and said -- i will just bear freeze, it is down, down, and even dumber to essentially shield cuba from the influences that we have on other dictatorial regimes and authoritarian regimes. i could not agree more. i could not agree more. this why i oppose our policy on cuba for so long. mentioned another senator mentioned that iran is the only country less free cuba. but even iran, we don't shield the people from the influences or the government from the influences of americans traveling there. we encourage it. north korea to my of their
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government would allow more of it we would encourage more of it . we had a similar situation with cuba praising the education system. if we had bob from peoria our friend from the mind it would say no such thing because they would realize that it's a different world than is described by some with travel there was enough for -- the cuban government for american influence, we cut off our by denying ordinary americans, every day americans the ability to travel freely. now, i have no doubt that if we opened up the travel ban, suspended, and did it, the cuban government would try to be more selective on who they allowed to come to cuba. they are all about control.
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but if somebody is going to limit the travel, that's the broader problem and issue i have with our whole policy regarding cuba. specifically not with the fact that we have programs like this going. you can say, well, this is something that we should have known about or heads been authorized. it's legal. we would argue back and forth with its covert or simply disagree, but that does not shield the fact that it is televised for usaid to provide humanitarian relief and encourage democratic development round the world chess.
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u.s. interests as well. of what we have programs elsewhere in the world among describes some of the things the u.s. the idea is doing, providing humanitarian relief. in south sudan we have supplies coming from nairobi to south sudan cannot tough stuff. we are working with partners inside syria. we may not have people on the ground, but we do in neighboring countries. this is serious stuff. what are we doing to our u.s. aid programs around the world when they hear that there are covert were discreet programs like this going on by u.s. aid? do you have any concern that this program in cuba jeopardize our programs elsewhere in the world? like a said, questioning whether or not we should do this but we're we're doing it.
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>> well, senator, i appreciate and i think your remarks illustrate that there is a debate policy debate on the overall policy. with respect to the implementation of programs when i can assure you is that our implementation is consistent with the authorizations and appropriations of language. and by that i mean they are not covered. they are intended to provide access to open information. they're consistent with programs that we conduct as part of our efforts in a number of other countries around the world as part of supporting democratic and open governments and societies and civil society actors. in a the end of the day, you know, i believe that our mission to end the extreme poverty requires a broad, open society to participate. and i appreciate your mention of south sudan and syria were people are connecting to my
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belief, heroic world leading and modern technology enabled -- >> i understand that, but i have limited time here. lancaster said, we can argue with its discrete or covert, but when we look at the description of the program here, look at some of these texts, messages that we hired people to write, summer and south america to rights of these. i'm reading a few that we have access to. this is a tweet sent out under this program. >> i think -- and i'm sorry to interrupt you. i do think that this program is no longer operational. i have asked my team to review the content that was in the various stories because when of the intent of the program was to support open information. >> along those lines we have
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access to all of the streets are the messages that were sent by u.s. aid contractors in full. so we can judge here because we have to determine, we have to provide oversight, within the authorized programs are fine and. >> i would ask my team to review my documents. most of these documents are not in our possession but in the position of -- >> surely. >> but you have access. >> they will gather them, review them, and we will make -- we will like the findings available to you. >> i'm not interested in your findings. on interested in the data. think that we need -- >> we will make the data available. absolutely. >> we will have access to each of the streets are messages that were sent out. >> you will have access to what we're able to gather. absolutely. >> my concern, you know, we have programs like this dating back. on not pointing fingers at this
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demonstration. this of ministers has done some good things for the broadening allowable trouble callable categories for travel. i applaud this demonstration for doing that much better in my youth in the last administration , republican administration. the last administration had, for example, for a while a ticker. messages were put up that were really the only way to describe it charitably was juvenile. you would chide the cubans for not providing school lunches for the kids. those were provided in miami, for example. juvenile sayings that i don't think serves anybody's purposes. and this seems -- >> i can't always speak. >> i know that. we are continuing with things like that. it smacks of that kind of program. i'm not making a political
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point. republican versus democrat. our policy is wrong. the simply allow americans to travel to cuba says. we would achieve, in my view -- and this is not your call to make an hours. we have the information from this program to actually review it and then make a decision, do we want to continue to fund programs like this that in my view might put u.s. aid contractors or individuals were of the country's including key with a participant in this program in danger. >> for what. >> and not sure what we get out of this. allow americans to travel, allow them to take five terms allow them to do good instead of saying, no, you can't travel. we will shield the cuban government and the influences that come with american travel. i don't see american travel as some kind of reward for good behavior on behalf of the cuban government.
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it is finally a get-tough policy in my view. >> my time is well spent.
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>> so i would like you to give the chair a list of all the internet access programs to conduct. and as you for the same thing for all. it seems to me we area going to judge whether or not we're going to be supportive of the internet access in the world were not.
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and i think it's consistently unfair that one set of democracy programs has the greater scrutiny of the federal government to the absence of all others. so as the opera's in committee i think we want to see what is happening across the entire spectrum. and i would ask you to give me information about all of those programs and all the programming and all of the you know this and everything so that we can make an informed judgment. the chair is of the view and is the opera's in committee and either that believe in those programs selectively, which i no think i do in which case we will support and not pick and choose which country deserves openness and which country is not. whether or not the idea is the
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appropriate entity. i think a id as part of the loan program and so on not one to advocate having an idea of a sudden be stripped of its democracy programs falls from generally speaking maybe they are in some open societies. there are many in which they're not they're not receptive of the end of the day. and just as the voice of america and a whole host of others are good broadcasting was meant to try to create an open information to people in different parts of the world, it seems to me than what we're trying to do is do exactly that
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choice for which we have our global perspective and understanding of the value of those programs and a commitment to a. those commitments should not be decided by picking and choosing which country we some how like and which countries we don't. if they fail to provide there people access to the basic flow of information it seems to me that we should be pursuing it. >> and let me to send, i would like to get awful sense of your democracy programs. want to judge all of those. maybe i will ask for gao inspector general's. there's, in my mind, of siege mentality and but i suspect
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there is difference of opinion as to what our policy should be. what i don't respect is the siege upon to the exclusion of all orders. that's something that we are going to have a full spectrum analysis of. >> this particular program was not to provide an access. social media content with the access that already exists. >> this program was designed to provide access to information and create a platform. >> right. it did not provide internet access. >> and let my team respond. the program was intended to provide open access to information and a platform to communicate. >> klum the a was a basis which did not exist because people had
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the opportunity. they have some living in it would use the. the regime blocks the access to about the internet and to these platforms. and so that is the challenge of our regime as of the vision to know that simply don't want to allow its people to have him permission because when they have information they mesa may decide to make choices or to peacefully protest the change in a given which regionally in the world look at turkey and what it's doing in the world we look at enron and what is happening and. and let it china and the challenge. we condemn them. and you with some of the cuban people don't deserve the flow of
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information. we're going to have a broader range of judgment. one final note, i know that send a blank as a different view, senator durbin expect some of that. the problem is that when you travel to cuba europeans, latin americans, canadians and others. yet the regime has become not less repressive but more repressive. and when you travel and go you end up feeding him? unfortunately not the cuban people. why? because the regime is the one that had through its company which is basically on by the military will among the entities by which those to go visit and on tuesday and an answer with a foreign partner or with entities
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that are totally unknown by the military to a foreign company. so this is a legitimate debate. we have different views. the nature of our democracy programs and creating access to and from nation anywhere in the world we will keep this record open for questions. >> thank you, everyone, for
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coming. i am tax policy director at americans for tax reform.
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this is our annual tax date you .- tax day eve press conference before i turn it over to grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform, who will be the emcee of this event, i want to run through the handouts you have on your seat so you are familiar with them. all of these can be found on, which is our website taxfirst is the list of protection pledge signers in federal office, people who have committed to their constituents that they will not vote for any net tax increase as long as they are elected a member of congress. next is an op-ed i wrote on about why the irs should not be preparing people's taxes. we also have information on the lowest learner affair -- lois lerner affair.
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with that, i will turn it over to over norquist. >> thank you. we have a number of congressional house and senate leaders who will be here speaking today about taxes. i would just point out that we hold an event like this every april 15. do not worry if you have not put your taxes and just yet. we are doing this ahead of time because members will be back in their districts and states. this year, 2014, is a little bit different than other tax years. we are in the middle of a discussion of extenders and in the middle of a conversation about the fundamental tax reform that we all know is coming but what you're exactly it is going to kick off is unsure, but the shape is beginning to get formed, and lastly, every april 15 when we do these events, we know that the american people have a certain amount of fear powerthe irs and the irs'
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. as we know from the last several days, this is the first time where the people that run the irs are beginning to have a little bit of fear about the anger of the american people and how they have been treated by some of the bureaucrats and leaders in the irs. that said, our first beaker today will be the house majority leader, eric cantor, from the great state of virginia. >> thanks, grover. it's a pleasure to be here with americans for tax reform. i want to say that atr has foristently been the voice the taxpayers of this country demanding reform of our tax system. there is a lot of discussion right now going on in this building and throughout the country about the lack of confidence that people have in what is going on, and i think central to that is the trust that the people of this country place in their government and
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the appropriate balance of that government in terms of whether it works for the people or the other way around. the point that was just made by grover in terms of the confidence of the people and in fact the fear and anger of the people towards the tax collection agency in this administration i think is central to this notion of distrust. it is reprehensible to think that an administration would condone activity on the part of toolsats that employ the -- on the part of bureaucrats that employ the tools of a neutral enforcement agency to a political end. it's one thing when people are .lected, parties are elected voters and citizens of america have a right to expect that the individual elected will be promoting his or her philosophy or agenda, but never was it candidate,at a
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president, or his administration was going to use a neutral instrument like the tax collection agency to further political and -- end. that's what's going on right now, and as you know, the house has taken action. we have announced the intent for us to go forward to hold this administration accountable, hold lerner accountable, and as you know, the ways and means committee took an extraordinary step. we have got to get to the bottom of this if we are going to restore the trust that is owed the american people on the part of this government. -- on the other issue of april 15, it is a day we are all reminded how much money the government takes from hard-working families. we've got to strive to make sure that the amount of money -- the level of taxation is reduced.
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we are taxed enough already, but yet, this week, we've got democrats in the house right now as we speak passing their version of a budget, which $1.8 trillion. that is unacceptable, and that is what we are about on the majority of the house. we are pushing forward in terms of ideas, focus on how we reform our tax code, ideas of how we can make sure people keep more of their hard-earned money and ensure that this government works for the people and not the other way around. thank you very much to atr. >> we are now joined by the chairman of the republican study steve soliz.
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>> i want to highlight how important it is to cut tax rates to get economic growth, to get more people back to work in this country, and i think the importance of this highlight leading up to april 15 is so important, especially today when we are voting on a house budget. we have had some really incredible debates on the house floor. our budgets are our visions for the country. how are we going to get our country moving again? both the budgets brought forward on the floor get to balance within a 10-your window, and what is so interesting is we do all of that by putting americans back in charge of their government, by getting washington out of the way to allow for people to get more of their freedom and to have more of their tax dollars. we balance the federal budget in the 10-your window without raising a dime in new taxes.
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why is that important? it is important to contrast with the democrats budget. president obama -- five of his six years in office as president, he has missed the legal deadline to file a budget. he has never missed a deadline to file his final four bracket. i think that shows you what his priorities. six years in office, he has never missed a deadline to file a final four bracket, which did not do too well, by the way, but he five of six years as president missed the deadline to file his budget. if you look at his budget, you might see why he was ashamed to put it out there before the people. it reflects his priorities. what are those priorities? one of those important contrast is president obama actually trillion in new taxes and his budget on top of what he already passed in the obamacare. the president says he wants to take more taxes out of the pockets of american family, more than they will pay on april 15,
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and he would suggest maybe that's what he needs to get to a balanced budget. unfortunately, when you look at his budget, he never ever gets to balance. the balance in the budget is not a priority of president obama. he has made it clear, but he lays it out in his budget document. when you talk about tax policy and the work that americans for tax reform does, why is it so important? when you look at the debate we have here in washington, there are people on the liberal side of the aisle who say tax increases are what are needed to get the federal budget balanced. if only those corporations that are making money, which they seem to have a problem with -- if you are not making money, the federal government will try to bail you out, but if you are making a profit, this administration wants to go after you and punish you for your success, and they say it's all in the name of fairness and fiscal responsibility. the problem is when you look at their own budget, it proves the fact that grover and atr make
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every day. higher taxes and not the answer to get you to a balanced budget. higher taxes are the hallmark of president obama's budget, and he never gets to balance -- not in 10 years, not in 20 years, not ever. in our budgets, both the house republican budget and the republican study committee budget, we do not have a dime in new taxes. zero dollars in new taxes, and the 10-yournce in window. economic growth is what this country needs, not the federal government taking more of our hard-earned tax dollars, but unleashing the potential of american families, giving families more of their hard-earned tax dollars back and forcing washington to finally start living within its means. that's what's going to get us back to not only balanced budget, but prosperity for families who are struggling in this tough economy. but it's really do lay out those priorities. you can just look in our home state of louisiana. senator landrieu was the deciding vote for obamacare.
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that one vote that she decided alone to put that policy in place is going to cost louisiana families millions of doctors of new taxes on april 15 just to pay for those 20 new tax increases that she put into law. these policies have real impact on families. that is why we are fighting to lower tax rates to get our economy moving again and put our economy back in the hands of people, not here in the hands of washington politicians and bureaucrats. thank you, grover, for the work you do and look forward to continuing. >> thank you. that's the chairman of the ,epublican study committee steve scalise. i mentioned the pushback by the american people and by congress and now the discussion that has been kicked off by the chairman ,f the ways and means committee
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congressman from michigan. he is taking the lead in drawing what the future can look like and how we move there and also where we are going with tax extenders. from auld just say free-market conservative perspective, i think the most important tax decision to make is to maintain what is called bonus depreciation. all it really is is moving towards expensing. it is sort of halfway towards expensing. whoever call the bonus depreciation i think made a mistake. than fullally less expensing, which is where we ought to be on new investment in the united states, but maintaining that and expanding it to all investment, i think, is ultimately the right way to go. cap -- --ave camp -- dave kemp.
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>> thank you for all you've done -- chairman dave camp. >> thank you for all you've done. we do not really have the kind of growing economy, the kind of economic recovery and job creation we need to see. more kids are living at home than ever before with their parents rather than starting out on their own careers, livelihoods, and pursuing their own dreams. a lower workerve participation rate than we've had since the carter administration. people are just not able to see of prosperity. immediate incomes have been declining for the past few years, and the number one issue facing americans is jobs and economy. one way to address that is the comprehensive tax reform so that we can be a party of opportunity, the party of her-growth policies, and be the kind of country that sees the kind of dynamic growth and revitalization of the american dream. many people feel the country is moving in the wrong direction, and they do not think it's going to get any better. what we try to do with this
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discussion draft is to try to have a code that really is pro-growth, and we do that by lowering rates, increasing standard deductions, and that gets at the complexity of the tax code. theyu talk to americans, talk about how incredibly complicated our code is, and that really has put a wet blanket over the economic recovery. that's another reason why we are not seeing the sort of job creation we need to see, but the real object is its 95% of the people do not itemize, which they do not under the tax plan, that means they will be filing a simpler 1040, which means they will have less opportunity for the irs to meddle in their affairs because it will be much more straightforward. there will not be as much discretion in terms of the irs, and i will tell you there is probably nothing more frightening than having a letter in the mail when you get home -- and those always come on friday night -- from the irs. obviously, with the investigation into the abuses at the irs and the scandal that has
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resulted, we've had an agency where there have been high-level officials who felt it was ok to target people based on their political belief, but really, what is that? that is denying people their constitutional right of due serious and that is a matter. so the committee has been investigating this. obviously, if we had people from the irs that were forthcoming and what happened, we would not line bybe going through line tens of thousands of pages of documents. i don't have all the e-mails and documents i have requested, but when i get them, i can assure will be able to conclude this a very expedited way. what we found so far really leads me -- and the committee has now concluded and referred to the department of justice -- the evidence we have uncovered that we believe that there is reason to believe that lois l keyr commit crimes, and the one is denying people their constitutional rights.
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clearly, it was very important for the public to know this and very important for the committee to vote this so that this information would become public, and being able to sort of hide the american people not knowing would and -- end. now we need to see if mr. holder will take a serious look at this, as we think it is important he does. it was really the violation of constitutional rights, the ofential release constitutional taxpayer information, and really denying people the ability to express their constitutional rights -- those things all were things that we felt needed to be looked at. moving forward, we are the only country in the world that has big pieces of tax policy that expire. we call those extenders. we literally let them expire for year and retroactively put them in place, and then they go forward a year. one of the things the committee is looking at is how we can take
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the so-called extender package, which is a number of -- really, .ome items are very good one of our neighbors, canada, has a permanent research and development tax credit. we obviously are competing with tax policies we see around the world. we are looking at these. we've had our first hearing on them. we are doing them in a methodical way and breaking them down into groups, and clearly, those are two that are very much at the top of the list. i look forward to continuing to work on those and actually have markups in committee to see which of these policies we can so we get off this "is this the law or is this not the law," which is really that uncertainty for people who are trying to plan on whether to build a plant or hire more people or even buy that piece of .quipment it really makes a huge difference. i want to thank you for all of the work that you do.
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it really helps us as we continue to try to push these issues forward. thank you very much. mp of the ways and means committee, thank you for your leadership. we are now joined by representatives from virginia foxx from north carolina. virginia. when you agree to do the things, you probably should try to find out who it is you are going to have to follow. dave camp is the preeminent area, obviously, as chairman of the ways and means committee. most of us aspire to know just a knowsn of what dave camp about tax code and about budgets and the issues we are dealing
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with right now. atr forant to thank and grover's leadership in educating the american people in particular about the issues that we are .acing last year when i was here, i talked a lot about the length of -- 4 million words. compared to the bible. it is staggering in size, but that is just the statute. when you add the 20 volumes and growing of regulations, and it comes in at well over 14 million words, that's a lot of words. average american spends 13 hours to comply with our monstrous tax code, and it really is a monstrosity. this includes reading pages of rules, filling out forms, keeping receipts, gathering records and often paying someone to do the rest. in total, we spend more than 6
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billionhours and $168 just to pay our taxes. would that we could keep all that in a productive economy. b, which is sopp concerned about the length of mortgage applications, should take a crack at the instructions it takes to explain just the 1040. it's bad enough that citizens have to try to make sense of how the 14 million-word tax system applies to them, but now, we some ofat very likely, those entrusted with enforcing the system, a system in which a simple math error can devastate your budget, likely weaponize the code in an attempt to make life difficult for those they .isagree with politically
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this cannot be allowed to go unpunished. the tax code will never be popular, but it should not be this complicated, and it absolutely should not be partisan. it is genuinely puzzling to me that our colleagues across the aisle are not pursuing the irs with vigor. the entire vision of government requires massive bureaucracy to function. they should know the american people are unlikely to support a politicized bureaucracy. for all these reasons and many more, i support a simpler, , and again, ie want to thank atr for the work that it does. i know we are going to miss dave camp and his expertise on the ways and means committee. i thank you all for helping to get the word out about what is happening here today. thank you very much. >> thank you.
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thank you, virginia foxx, from north carolina. the discussion that several of the members have brought up on the abuse of the irs -- in some of our less honest cities, the tax assessor is a political job, and they punish people through the tax code who forget to contribute to the mayor and do not do what they want to do. there are some people who think the abuses in the irs our politics as usual if you from chicago. they are not politics as usual at the national level, and they cannot be tolerated any longer. we are now joined by senator orrin hatch of utah, the ranking member of the senate committee on finance and soon to be the chairman. orrin hatch. >> well, thanks, grover. i appreciate all of you being
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here today because this is an important discussion as far as i'm concerned. it is always great to see my .ood friend, grover norquist i think he stands head and shoulders above everyone else in this business of trying to get government to do taxes the right way. he firmly understands that the more we tax, the more government spends and the larger it becomes. i have been really proud of you all these years for standing so tall and these particular issues. i wish we were here today to celebrate tax day, but let's towards the clock ticks april 15, and americans across the country are rushing to complete their tax returns. of course, it is an annual chore we all go through. tax day reminds us all of how overly complex and burdensome the u.s. tax code really is. at over 70,000 pages in length,
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our tax code is a labyrinth of .ed tape it's counterproductive. it is stifling to american competitiveness and hinders much-needed job growth and needlessly hassles individual americans and their families. heck, we have not reformed our tax code in 28 years, and it's a colossal mess. i know my good friend dave camp is working hard on the house side to overhaul the nation's code, and you recently put forward a bold vision, and for that, he deserves a tremendous credit. the chairman's goals of remaking the tax code and getting this thing under control. the tax code should be more efficient. it should be more competitive for our job creators and hard-working middle-class families. let me be clear -- any efforts to advance comprehensive tax reform must not be turned into a
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revenue-raising exercise. i would reroute a focus on spending reduction, and that will be a real challenge to our friends on the other side of the aisle. look at our friends on the other side of the house trying to push a budget that would hit the american people with $1.5 trillion tax hike on top of the $1 trillion in the affordable care act. give me a break. we know the democrats are hardwired to believe that the government's money is not the people's money but their money. even the nonpartisan congressional budget office has made it clear that we don't have an revenue problem in this country. we have what is called a spending problem. given that today's $17.5 trillion debt exceeds our .ation's annual economic output a lot of people do not realize that. we are just spending ourselves into bankruptcy. it's pretty clear we have a debt problem in this country and that
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all of the president's populist talks about the b distribution of wealth and making sure the so-called rich pay their share -- the redistribution of wealth and making sure the so-called rich pay their share -- gets what -- guess what? tot's not going to do squat restart our economy and complete paychecks for american workers. bottom line, if we're serious about taking on the economic challenges facing our nation today and reforming the tax code, we need to rebuild the system in a way that would spur economic growth, jumpstart job creation, and once again restore prosperity to the american people. i think we've got to get to work , and, hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to get to work on these types of matters. i intend to see that we do, and we've got to straighten out this colossal mess. for you young people, your future is being bartered right down the drain. all the answers that they have
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for this kind of bumbling is "we need more taxes" and "we need to assess the rich more." that may be, but that won't solve our problems. if you took every dime the so-called rich make, it would not fix our budget. we got to find a way of stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and getting this economy back on track. to that degree, i appreciate grover and the people who back him, and i am one of them, and what they do to try to get us back on track. sorry to take so long. >> senator orrin hatch, ranking member of the senate finance committee from utah. we are now joined by senator pat roberts from kansas, a member of the senate finance committee, and he has been a leader on taxpayer issues for a number of years. senator roberts. >> good morning. anybody out there?
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good morning. let's try it again. >> good morning. >> hey, this is the first amendment rights. if this keeps up and the irs comes in here, you will not even be able to say good morning. good morning. >> good morning. >> thank you. appreciate it. thank you, grover. i recently made a personal vow. it says in my bio that i'm a journalist. that means an unemployed newspaperman, but at least i recognize 4 generations of the roberts family and the first amendment and the right of free speech, and i made a vow like many in the senate and the house to keep pushing the administration until we understand the irs' recent just this tuesday, i took the opportunity to question the new commissioner of the irs.
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beyond any shadow of doubt, let there be no shadow of doubt, the irs has been targeting conservative groups during the exemption application process. it looks like it is doing this even as i speak. yesterday's action by the ways and means committee really confirms this. kudos to the ways and means committee for the dedication to get to the bottom of this mess. what is going on is a deliberate abuse of federal enforcement powers for purely political purposes. part of a larger pattern of this administration using the irs to shut down its critics and opponents and to change the outcome of elections. when i go back home to the town hall meetings or when people come to my office, they will bring up the number 1, 2, 3 issues they are concerned about.
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there is always somebody in the back that says, wait a minute, what about my free speech rights? why can't congress get to the bottom of this? that takes a rather lengthy explanation. there are those of us that are committed to do that. that is why they are frustrated, concerned, angry. that is why they think the america they have grown up in and appreciated and they want to leap to their kids and grandkids, the very fact they can't get up and say what is on their mind or take part in the political process, is in danger. has been in danger. this is an attack. that is just the way we have to put it. it is an attack on the first amendment rights of our citizens just because they dared to differ from this administration. i can't think of anything more reprehensible. certainly i am not going to stand idly by when the administration tries to dodge and weave its way out of this.
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lately the commissioner, the new been a littlehas crafty with his remarks. he made these remarks last tuesday. sort of a verbal somersault to downgrade the problem. whetherically asked him he would put a stop to the regulations he has been detailed to implement, the regulations that would enshrine the stifling of free speech, at least until we are done in the ways and means committee and at least until we are done in the finance committee and also the government affairs committee in the house. rate, he dodged, he ducked, he told us several times not to worry. these revelations -- regulations won't be finalized until after the election. until after the election. quotehat doesn't put a
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around it and several outer lines with regards to this being political, i don't know what will. i am not sure that is what he wanted to say. by telling me not to worry, he made it even clearer that the irs's actions are designed to control the battle space of the elections this coming fall. them to keep ducking and dodging. we have 40 cosponsors. to stop the irs from proceeding with new rules until we have answers, until we have finished our investigation. i vow to put a stop to these regulations so that we can preserve the rights of all citizens and groups to engage in the political process. then i deviated from my prepared
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remarks and i asked the new commissioner, there is a fox in the chicken coop. you know what foxes do in chicken coops. denying the only right of free speech to the chickens, but they are taking away a lot of other things as well. what you are telling me is, don't worry about it. we have investigations to determine how the fox got into the chicken coop, who put the fox in the chicken coop, more importantly, how do we get the damn fox out of the chicken coop? he indicated not to worry. we will have those answers down the road. i said, can i have your commitment that you will wait until the end of these investigations? he should deal with it anyway just on the merits of the case. he would not give me that commitment. he kept dodging around the
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issue. i said, get a fox out of the damn chicken coop. determine who put the fox in and take that person and hold them accountable. or else we have a very damaging situation in this country. i can't tell you how much this affects people in terms of their free-speech. thinks,y automatically it is free speech, first amendment, broadcasters, etc. it is everybody. groupright, middle, any that wants to express themselves in the political process. it is absolutely fundamental and basic to our rights. jeff and i are determined to do that. we got 40 sponsors. we are working on it. if we ever get to a vote, we could pass it in the senate. we are not giving up. i appreciate being here. thank you.
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>> senator roberts from kansas. he makes the point that this administration doesn't have a lot of interest in the first amendment, but they are reasonably conversant with the fifth amendment and seem to understand that one if not all the others. the obama administration started off by saying, that he was outraged at the abuses in the irs and he wasn't going to tolerate it. then he turned around and decided he wasn't outraged anymore. he wanted to codify into law a number of those outrages so that they would be legal to do in the future. 150,000 americans sent in comments on those proposed irs regulations. the folks from the administration have pointed out that they got more comments on
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this irs attack on the first amendment than all the other proposed regulations going years into the past added together. i think that is very interesting. i would have thought, most irs regulations are about taking more or less of people's money and more or less of their time. i would have thought that would have engendered many comments. it is a very healthy sign that people got more exercised at the irs for going after their free-speech rights, their freedom, then their money. thought was extremely powerful statement by the american people as to what this is about and what is their first priority. freedom more even than money taken out of their pockets. we are now joined by katie mccullough to talk about what is withning on efforts
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americans for tax reform. hi, i am katie mccullough, executive director of digital liberty for americans for tax reform. i want to point to a narrower area of tax policies. when you look at taxing the internet, one of the things that people don't know is that there is legislation that prevents states from taxing access to internet. just basic getting online. introducedegislation to prevent states from doing that. before the legislation was introduced, there were a few states that had already taxed to the internet. that has been reauthorized for a number of years. we now have two bills, house and senate, the permanent internet tax freedom forever act. we also have the internet tax freedom forever act sponsored by widen and soon.
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that would prevent taxes on internet access at anytime anywhere and would not allow states to continue doing such things. that is great for our economy. it also prevents states from taxing sales that occur online differently from sales, traditional market sales. they could not be taxed higher than your regular sales tax. iss kind of legislation important to keep our tax code consistent. unless people have access to one of our greatest areas of economic growth, taxing people's ability to get the jobs, to get to education, to further themselves in the way that we think is valuable. thank you. >> thank you, katie mcauliffe with digital liberty. we are now joined by the senator from kentucky, rand paul.
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>> i am glad to the here to discuss the problems we have an associate myself with americans for tax reform. for 20 years in kentucky i ran a group called kentucky taxpayers united. we were associated with the projects and policies of americans for tax reform. we supported the taxpayer pledge in kentucky as well as supporting a nationally. the thing we need to remember about taxes is that we need to think about how taxes prevent us from creating jobs. right now we have a tax code that scares jobs overseas. everybody laments jobs going overseas but if you want jobs to stay at home, you need to make money more welcome here. money leaves and goes to where it is welcome. we have a corporate income tax of 35%. canada's is 15%. we wonder why people are going overseas. we have $2 trillion worth of
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that americant companies have gained overseas. it is not coming home at 35%. we have a bill to bring it home at 5%. jobs can created by reducing taxes. we don't want revenue-neutral tax reform. burden to lower the tax to compete with the rest of the world. we have talked about economic freedom zones where we lower taxes dramatically in economically depressed areas. you want to fix poverty, lower taxes. i am glad to be here to associate myself with americans for tax reform and for their push for reasonable taxes to help us create more jobs in this country. thank you. >> before the senate, he was the leader of the kentucky taxpayer movement. tea party before tea party. we are now joined by senator rob portman from ohio who serves on
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the finance committee. >> i am delighted to be here today to support what atr is doing. ohio,n my home state of what they are going nationally to ensure we have a rational tax policy. we are not seeing that now. the president has already raised taxes $1.6 trillion. he would like to rate them another $1.3 trillion. i hope people see that we have got an administration that would like to raise taxes but what they are at a time of a historically weak recovery, an economy that is faltering, yet they want to tax people more. going toge family is pay about $25,000 in taxes this year. that is already too high for my yet they want to make it higher. the argument is made that we are somehow undertaxed. that is not true. one thing atr has done well is
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to lay out the historical perspective. even without the tax increases that the president and democrats are proposing, the taxes and the burden on the economy is going to increase. we need to raise taxes to reduce the deficit and the debt. the problem is spending. we are spending too much. until we get spending under control, we are not going to be able to solve this problem. taxes have gone up enough. taxes make it harder to create a job. taxes are going to make it harder for us to get this economy on track. we have to focus on the problem which is spending. i am for tax reform. we know that we can have a better tax system in this country. this, thatre we do we are not doing just the opposite, making it harder to get america back on track. thank you all for being here today. thanks for making these points. thanks for ensuring that people
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know that america is not undertaxed. we are spending too much. we have to to get that under control first. >> senator, thank you very much. when you talk about tax reform as a number of the senators have legs, threethree sides to a triangle of actual tax reform. the first is to take rates down. we are at 35% for corporate business tax rate. canada is at 15%. the european average is 25%. we need to take those rates down. it is not good enough to go to 25%. the average in europe is 25%. 4.8% orlly have about 5% state corporate income taxes as well. when you talk about american
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taxes on businesses, on average, it is a lot more. it is on average 40%. atare competing with canada 15% and europe with an average of 25%. taking that breakdown is important. maybe 1000e have pages of how we handle issues in terms of depreciation schedules. expensing sown to that when you spend money to buy a piece of equipment, you expense it that year, not depreciated over many. the third is, what was just referenced by rob portman and by rand paul. that is going to a territorial system. andt now, the united states north korea and not many other people have a worldwide tax system. if you earn money in france, we tax you on top of what the french did.
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if you are french, the french will lead you alone. we take some, you can take it back to france. that encourages repatriation. we discourage repatriation in the united states. we are now joined by one of the leaders in the fight for tax reform. whoesentative kevin brady is on the ways and means committee. >> thank you, grover. thanks very much for your leadership on limiting the size of the government, growing the economy and creating a progrowth tax code. the biggest problem facing our country is a federal government living beyond its means. spending cuts can get us halfway back to a balanced budget. to finish the job, start paying down our national debt, we need a much stronger economy. right now our broken tax code is a real drag on america's economy. it is too costly, too complex. mainly it is too unfair.
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it is unfair to families, to businesses, unfair to america. we are no longer competitive around the world. we need the tax code that is simpler, fairer, flatter, that protects taxpayers not special interest. the ways and means committee has laid out for the first time in 30 years a top to bottom rewrite, a discussion draft on progrowth tax. it has some strong topline numbers, increasing economic trillion,more than $3 creating almost 2 million new jobs. simplifying the code by about a quarter and allowing more than nine out of 10 americans to file their taxes on the front and back of a piece of paper. it is a good, solid start. more can be done. the reason it was laid out is the discussion draft is that every point along the way, we ought to make it more progrowth.
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right now because of this draft we are having deeper discussions on tax reform than in the years i have been in congress. it is long overdue. i am a strong supporter of lowering rates for individuals and families. i am a strong supporter of cost recovery as well. it is important we get to all of these elements. i will conclude with this, you have never had a truly love/hate relationship until you have done tax reform. there is parts of that draft that i love and parts of that draft that i hate. that is probably the case for everybody who is you're working on it or looking at it. that is the point of tax reform, to have that discussion. those who assembled the affordable care act in secrecy, passed it through congress with virtually no one knowing what was in it, we took the opposite approach. draft for discussion all of america to see and
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analyze. determine what is right and what is wrong and help us shape the future. we have taken the most important step in 30 years. we are going to work hard to advance tax reform. we are hopeful that sometime in the future the senate will join us and ultimately the president. whether they do or not, we are going to advance progrowth tax reform. grover, thank you again for your leadership on all these issues. >> the safeway to vote, whatever they are asking. thank you. we have talked about tax reform. we have talked about extenders, , bureaucrats irs and political appointees at the irs who brought the ethics of chicago to the irs where they do not belong. they don't belong in chicago either.
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but you can leave chicago, you can't leave the irs. those ethics need to stay far far away from the internal revenue service and the laws that we all live in. i would like to point out that while we are having this discussion in washington dc, there is a discussion going on in the 50 states. ,hen you look at the states while there is gridlock in washington because you have a republican house which wants to reform taxes, the democrats are on the senate and iran into fromsenator kerry massachusetts when they were doing the big discussion about getting a tax increase as part of the budget deal in 2011-2012. he said, here is what we need to fix the $1.2 trillion hole. he wanted 1.420 and dollars in
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higher taxes. -- $1.4 trillion in higher taxes. they got no tax increase, all spending restraint. the sequester holding against tax increases that year. every time the administration or the democrats in the senate discussed tax reform, the first thing they want is $1.2 trillion trip4 troy and dollar -- $1.4 trillion. as part of tax reform. you can't have tax reform if you are just going to be massive tax increase. we have good luck on taxation. at the state level, we have the opposite. red states onthe this map, you have a republican governor, republican house, republican senate. they can cut taxes and virtually every one of those states has. there are 13 states where you
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have a democratic governor, democratic house, democratic senate. they can agree to raise taxes and they have. at the state level, the we are having a test. just like they tell us in grade school about the democracy. you have an experiment between the 50 states to see what works and what doesn't. half the country's population lives in a red state with a republican house, senate and governor. one quarter of the country's population lives in the blue states run by democrats. because of distracting and the way things are structured, the red states stay red for a decade and the blue states stay blue for a decade. long driftg to see a in one direction in red states with lower taxes and less spending and a long drift in the other states with an experiment going the other way. we are going to see a very interesting challenge. we have launched a project called 50 in 2050.
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our goal is to abolish state income tax in all 50 states by 2050. we have to elect different governors and different legislatures. we can already see a number of states. kansas and north carolina have begun that process. announced, we are going to go to zero. louisiana has multiple efforts to go to zero. nebraska has made the same statement. i think you are going to see a number of states follow the eight states now that have no state income tax and one that has almost no state income tax, that is tennessee. there is a movement there which i will -- only will succeed to phase out that tax so that tennessee will be the ninth
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state to have ended all state income taxes. i don't think at the end of the day telephone you and new york can continue to have the high when more rates states closer to them are going towards zero at the state level. uph that, i will close today's press conference. i will take any questions people have now. i will also be available afterwards if you want to have a separate conversation. >> can you talk about the implications of obamacare on this year's taxes and also next year? is this year is going to hit wealthier americans. >> americans for tax reform has put out several lists of the 20 different tax increases in obamacare. they phase in overtime.
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you're seeing organized labor very unhappy at the taxes they're going to have. expensive insurance funds are going to be taxed. that is not something the labor unions wanted to see happen. it was an idea that mccain had one point endorsed. they spent $2 million trashing the report in 2008 and then they put it in obamacare. hikes,re a series of tax everything from the tanning tax to a tax on medical devices. any medical devices including in some cases wheelchairs -- how you reduce the cost of health care -- one of the things we were promised was that people who didn't have insurance would get insurance and everybody's health insurance would drop by $2500. it has now gone up. part of it is that we tax health
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insurance plans now. we are taxing not-for-profit hospitals under obamacare. stuff thatng the goes in. how does that make it less expensive? there are a whole series of those tax increases. they are not just on the rich. 20 would onlye qualify as having high income people. if you have health insurance, you are paying that tax. if you don't have health insurance, you are paying a tax. if you have health care, you are paying a tax. regardless of how high or low your income is. everybody and all parts of health care. it is a rather massive tax increase inside what we all thought was all about reducing the cost of health care. as far as the lowest murder
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referral, what do you think the referral,is lerner what do you think the likelihood is? >> i have complete faith in my government following the law. holding itself to the same standard that it would like everyone else held to. yes. >> do you think the irs scandal is worse than watergate? watergate, they broke into the democratic headquarters and stole some stuff. you are not supposed to do that. the irs is certainly affecting that were justs minding their own business. both were attempts at corrupting the political process and using the power -- actually watergate hired burglars to steal stuff. they didn't use the government.
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i am old enough to run member watergate. it has been a while. they hired some guys who broke in and stole some stuff, criminals. they didn't use the marines or the irs. they did the proper thing. if you want to be a criminal, you hire criminals. what you don't do is criminalize the government. that is what appears to have happened with the irs. people working for the american people, paid for with tax dollars, abusing that power for political purposes. senator pat roberts from kansas said, we are going to put off making this decision until after the election. sending up a flare that this is a political decision. not even after november, after the election. it is worse because it is the corruption of much of the government.
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many people were involved. not one guy telling some bad guys to do something. i hope the prison sentences are at least as long. last questions? thank you very much. grover norquist with americans for tax reform. assumingee you again the present income tax is la resignation and
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has. >> this morning the finance committee is here to discuss the health care proposal of the president's fiscal year 2015 budget. secretary sebelius thank you very much for joining us this morning. this discussion will undoubtedly trigger debates about the affordable care act. certainly there will be reasonable differences of opinion and what i would like to do is start with a handful of overlooked fax better not in dispute about what has happened since the affordable care of a act became law. first with the passage of the law, health care in america is no longer just for the healthy and the wealthy.
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before the law was enacted enacted, insurance companies could discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. that meant that those who were healthy had nothing to worry about. those who were well off could pay their bills. and everybody else went to bet every day could be wiped out financially. second, the great of roasted medicare is slowing. the fact is that according to health and human services data a dual medicare spending per senior grew 1.9% percent over a two-year period slower than an overall economic growth and much slower than restore growth. over the previous three decades per senior spending grew percentage points faster than the economy. this has the potential to be great news for seniors who want to lower premiums and for taxpayers who want to extend medicare without breaking the bank.
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third, there are some important reforms that have been launched over the past few weeks. for example, build a and on work members of this committee have done to open the medicare database to americans and thank you senator grassley the obama the administration yesterday made public unparalleled amounts of information that will help americans make choices about their health care. this will help fight fraud promote competition for medicare services, and be useful tool for the private sector. this information can be used by private employers and others to bring down the cost of insurance. another recent unpromising announcement helps provide patients with life-threatening illnesses with more choices in care. for the first time patients
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will have access to hospice care without having to give up the prospect of curative treatment. this puts patient a and families first, and it's high time. fourth, congress now has a bipartisan bicameral game plan for dealing with chronic disease. senator isakson and i have legislation focused on improving care for seniors with multiple chronic conditions. we appreciate the input of senator bennett and warner. its the most expensive than fast as current portion of the medicare population and the seniors deserve better care. fifth, there's plenty of debate about which americans enrolled in the affordable care act and when but the independent data shows that the number of uninsured is significantly lower than it has been in years.
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for example, a gallup poll released this week shows that the rate of uninsured americans felt so low was since 2008. finally, congress has made real progress on permanent the repealing it replacing the broken and dysfunctional medicare physician payment formula. the reforms agreed to would push medicare to be driven by the quality and value of care. today's volume driven gear isn't good for seniors seniors, their doctors, or medicare itself. the president's budget proposal endorses the bipartisan bicameral reform package and i look forward to working with secretary sebelius to help push this over the finish line by year's end. that of secretary, the last time you were here before the finance committee i compare the rollout of the affordable care act to the expansion of medicare to provide prescription drugs
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to america's seniors during the bush administration. like to affordable care act it zeroed in on the same concerns expanding expanding, expanding coverage, a financial assistance to the needy needy, increased market place choices. medicare part d has been a huge success, a godsend to millions of seniors in its costs 30% less than the congressional budget office predicted. however it had a very bumpy start and many of the news stories from those early days of party resembled what we've seen with the affordable care act. but with congress working across the aisle to make it work, medicare's prescription drug program was able to get off the ground in become the success it is today. and like the medicare drug benefit, and millions of americans now have the economic security of health
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insurance they didn't have just a few years ago. regardless of politics are feelings about this log that something that's good for the economy and for the country. let me turn now to senator hatch for his comments and also again i want to express our thanks to secretary sebelius for her appearance. we do have a vote at 1030 and it is the intention of senator hatch in an eye to keep this going. senators will, in and out in order of appearance but i want colleagues to know with the interesting subject and with the importance we will keep this going. senator hatch, also we express our thanks to the secretary. >> mr. chairman dinkey for scheduling today's hearing and keeping this going.
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as of courtesy to the secretary and the members. also secretary thank you for taking the time to be here today. this discussion is long overdue. mr. chairman the president's budget was released march march 4th, 37 days ago. typically these hearings are scheduled within days after the release of the budget. indeed it is generally considered to be routine to have budget hearings immediately yet here we are more than a month later finally sitting down to discuss the hhs provisions of the president's budget. that type of flag time is disappointing to say the least. that said the delay in holding this hearing is not the only day i am concerned about today. madam secretary to be of appear before this committee i have asked you to be proper responding to our communications especially those dealing with the implementation of the affordable care act. yet numerous increase submitted to hhs by members
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of congress have been ignored entirely. and had we had yet to receive the answers to questions submitted for the record after last appearance before this committee on november 6 of last year. this committee takes its oversight responsibilities very seriously. i hope that to the future you -- you'll be more cooperative and responsive to these efforts. mr. chairman given how hhs has responded to our past attempts to exercise oversight we might have to schedule another hearing with the secretary in the near future the only way that we could give the users to the questions they submit after this hearing. secretary sebelius process matters aside i have some specific policy concerns that i hope he will be able to address today. for example, according to the president's proposed budget combined spending for medicare and medicaid is expected to exceed
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$11 trillion over the next decade. that simply an astronomy -- astronomical number. and road talking about two separate federal programs. the tadema's spending has become a generational challenge that demands all of our attention. however the administration appears all too willing to continue to ignore these problems. the proposed budget was a big one dash meter 14 long dash $414 billion over the next decade over medicare and medicaid spending and would do so primarily through provider cuts and government price controls. it would respect more than five minutes looking at our budget has concluded that these programs are in serious trouble and that they are along with social security the main drivers of our debts ian deficits. the nonpartisan congressional budget office for example, has referred to the health care entitlements as our fundamental fiscal
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challenge''. i hope that during today's hearing we can get some answers about entitlement reform because it is quite frankly one of the elephants in the room when we talk about our nation's fiscal future. and other elephant is the implementation of obamacare. last week the president to the rose garden to spike the football and declare his health care law a success'' after was announced that the 7.1 million people had enrolled. so far the administration has spent at least $736 million on advertising for obamacare. some say more than that. the website has cost more than $370 million. the call centers have cost at least another 300 million. using the most conservative estimates the total cost of the web site and the advertising to date amount to just over a 1.$3 billion. that's a lot of taxpayer
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money especially when you look at all the outstanding questions like how many of these people will actually pay premiums? comedy of them had health insurance before the law went into effect? so far it appears the administration is hoping the public will minorities questions and all the focus on the number of claim did release. in fact, madam secretary in your testimony before a the house energy and commerce committee in response to these questions he stated that members of congress would have to go ask the insurance companies because you and your department were keeping track of the figures. now is may understanding that the 7.1 billion enrollees are touted by the administration is merely a counter those of selective insurance plan through the exchange is not of this election approaches to unpaid. that seems like an odd number to celebrate. indeed it's like taking stock of how many people have placed the items
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in their shopping carts and then counting them as sales. in other words, it's a false metric. is certainly not one that can justify the president's attempt to declare that the debate over his health care law is officially over. there are many questions eddie answered with regard to obamacare. for example, so far the visitation has made more than 20 unilateral changes to the law. what is the cumulative cost of those changes? while we're on the subjects how many more delays and changes are yet to come? as you can see there are a number of important matters to discuss today. both with regard to the president's budget and the implementation of obamacare. i hope that we can have a serious discussion about these critical issues. madam secretary i know you have one of the most difficult jobs in washington. i appreciate you being here. thank you once again
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mr. chairman for holding this hearing. thank you. i know you have bad back-and-forth and not treated as well as maybe you should be but we are grateful to have you here. >> thank you senator hatch. secretary the topic of health care reform is not for the faint hearted and we appreciate you working with us and i want to know if your focus of the delivery system of the american health care system you have been working on this since the days you were a governor in we are appreciative because it will be more important tomorrow if we replace the flawed system and in particular to zero
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and on chronic care. we appreciate your efforts and we will take your prepared remarks of their entirety. >> thank you. chairman and ranking member and members of the committee i appreciate the opportunity to join you here today. want to start by thanking members of the committee for your commitment to improve medicare advantage and today over half of all enrollees receive benefits from four or five star rated the advantage plan from the collaborative work together. the mission is to get the fellow americans to secure the opportunity to live happier and healthier lives to live up to their fullest potential although the hard work is unheralded the efforts benefit millions of americans. nation's seniors benefit
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from hard work of employees of cns and children benefit from the initiatives like head start and mental-health and substance-abuse treatment and from the efforts of employees across all operations of staff division's. another area that benefits all americans is the implementation of the affordable care act. even prior to open enrollment in the marketplace millions of americans in families obtained new consumer protection. during the past six months millions have obtained the security and peace of mind of affordable health coverage. many people told me they could get coverage for the first time in years and some have insurance for the first time in their entire life. last week we announced 7.1 million americans have signed up through the marketplace. as of this week 400,000
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additional americans have signed up and we expect that number to grow. between october and the end of february an additional 38 million enrolled with medicaid coverage of a total of 11.7 million that were determined eligible for medicaid. now paid know if more states move forward on medicaid expansion more uninsured americans can get coverage for affordable health coverage, accessible health care and mental health and substance treatment and early childhood and security all issues connect to the president's goal to expand the opportunity, strengthen our security and grow our economy. the budget before you would move these priorities for word. these investments create jobs to strengthen the primary care work force by expanding the house national health service corps.
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by increasing the number of licensed behavioral health professionals and tear professionals and mental health and addiction specialist. to protect our seniors to invest with elder justice and prevention efforts to protect the health of patients in nursing homes and primary care practices and other health care settings. the proposed expenditures advanced new approaches to the most vulnerable children , those in foster care. proposing investing of $758 million cms partnership to use screening assessment and treatment of trauma and mental-health disorders with the goal of reducing the over prescription a psychotropic medication i want to thank senator grassley and other members of this committee to express interest in this area and i look forward to working with the committee to address
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this need. the budget strengthens and expands certain initiatives with strategic objects -- adjustments of the home visitation and early headstart partnerships. the total child care request will enable an additional 1.4 million children to receive assistance. if you move forward with the president growth and security initiatives we can provide an additional one to thousand children access to high-quality early childhood education through early headstart partnerships. we know these investments were can pay dividends throat education and development and proven to return an estimated $7 for every $1 reinvest. i would say there are a lot of traders on wall street that would be envious of that kind of return.
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in addition to a profound and a lasting impact on children these investments would also save lives because much of the partnership with states is paid for by increasing the tobacco tax which is one of the most effective ways to prevent smoking especially among young smokers. to debris have 3200 american children trying their first cigarette and 2100 of those become daily smokers. this no surprise they have broad bipartisan support from governors, ceos from military amazon enforcement. in the global competitors are financing similar opportunities for their children. finally the budget not only in fess but saves we contributed net $369 billion to deficit reduction of the
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next decade. when you take these factors into account we have a security budget and economic growth and the opportunity budget to put this on a pathway to a healthy and prosperous nation in. thank you for having me here today and of a forward for your questions. >> let's start with it medicare madam secretary because of this special importance. as you know, for millions of americans medicare is at&t -- a guarantee that it will be there they don't have to worry. of course, the challenge is to protect that medicare guarantee while dealing with historically was a an escalation of cost of the demographics and older people and i am particularly interested by having you
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analyze the role of growth of medicare spending and particularly the slowdown. the cbo said medicare spending is at a historic low and projected to stay there. justice week we have additional news an actuary from cms said the same thing as part of the every beef up the it medicare -- medicare advantage announcement. this is just the medicare guaranteed is protected, costs are held down and the needs of seniors are not being compromised. this strikes me as encouraging for seniors who want lower premiums and future generations to have been around when they needed. so i with iq to unpack why you think we see this slowdown and then it can be
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anticipated? start with that. >> mr. chairman you are accurately reporting what has happened in the nine years between 2001 through 2009. the spending on average for medicare enrollees growing at 6 percent per year. that was above the national gdp and was traditional. what has happened in the subsequent four years is pretty dramatic. between 2010 and 2012 expenditures grew per capita at 1.6% and significantly below 6% average. in 2012 it grew at 0.7% and what the actuaries said in a recent statement regarding medicare advantage pricing and this will be confirmed
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with the trustees meet later this spring they now adjust the trend line was skin they think the growth line that the seniors enjoy additional benefits with preventative services with no out-of-pocket cost with more choices medicare advantage than prescription drugs including the closing of the doughnut hole happening overtime averaging $929 for stager savings doing unprecedented work to do competitive bidding and improving quality and value. of an all it is very good news for seniors.
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>> another issue is medicare advantage. we've heard repeatedly the legislation would be several when of the country but since it was signed into law of medicare advantage premiums have fallen by almost 10% and enrollment has increased by 30% to the all-time high of 58 million seniors nastily at 30%. this is important to or again because we have some of the best medicare is vintage in the country and we were pleased that we are rewarding than high-quality four-star plans as well. tell us what you think is ahead with medicare advantage and how the might build this.
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>> mr. chairman, it was definitely predicted during the debate in 2010 in the proposal to bring medicare advantage payment rates is allied with fee-for-service would destroy their program. would make seniors give up their plants and fired harm medicare advantage. just as a reminder that was put in place as a choice for seniors and initially scheduled to be paid 95% fee-for-service costs because the promise was medicare is vintage would have better care at lower cost and the competition would be good and seniors could have a choice. . .
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>> seniors are paying about 10% less. the access route the country is 991% and seniors have many choices for many medicare advantage plans and 90% of them have access to a 0% medicare
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advantage plan and quite frankly all seniors at that. 30% choose medicare advantage plans. 70% are subsidizing those costs through their premiums. so that has decreased and the seniors who choose medicare advantage plans are no longer paying $1280.1 than their colleagues who were choosing other traditional medicare. >> thank you, senator hatch. we're just going to keep this going so everyone will get a chance to ask a question. >> we're not consulting
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congress, the most recent was the announcement on march 31, the enrollment deadline. but the enrollment deadline would be delayed for those who claim to have technical difficulties signing up. on march 12 we testified before the house ways and means committee and were asked by representative kevin brady, are you going to a delay the open women beyond the march 31. thirty-two weeks later on march 26, we had announced that the march 31 deadline would be indefinitely delayed. so clearly there is a disconnect on this point. let me ask you two questions. first, will there be any more unilateral to this release any part of obamacare. yes, know, or i don't know are all acceptable answers here, but i need a clear response on this one. and if you do expect more changes in the ways of obamacare, what exactly might they be?
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>> senator from i need to start with my answer of clarifying what you have already stated. we did not extend the open enrollment period and what we said is that people who are in the system who were trying to get enrolled by the 31st could finish the process. i believe in customer only operations. what we had is 2 million visits over the weekend and 380,000 also call center. and on monday, the 31st, we had 4.8 million visitors to the website and 2 million calls. a number of people were given the opportunity to return to the site, given their e-mail and call number and they are doing now. it has said very clearly that open moment is closed gridley also just had some paper applications which are being processed and states stage of processing applications. the we did not extend the open and roman beyond the 31st. we are giving people a chance to
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test their purchase and we do not anticipate on this plan additional delays. most of the policy issues are out and what we have tried to do over the course of the courier's implementation is due a gradual transition into a new marketplace strategy as we issue the rules and regulations, making them work for people as much as can possibly be done and we will continue to do that. but i think that the basic policies are now in place and we anticipate moving forward. >> i estimate a conservative estimate how much we have spent on efforts relating to enrollment totaling over $1.3 billion. these amounts are into in addition to the amounts and i see that in your fiscal year 2015 but you have requested an additional 774 million. by my calculation that adds up
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to over $2 billion that was spent in a little over two years and as of now hhs has her ordered 7.1 million people have enrolled in private coverage and these are enormous sums of money to be paying for such a small fraction of the population cometh actually considering that estimates show that well over half of these already had health insurance before the law went into effect in that most of them will obtain advanced premium tax credits which further drives up the cost. given that you propose to spend more than this enrollment, let me ask two questions of you today and can you tell us today how many enrollees the president and for the affordable care act went into effect and how many were worse to give up their insurance under


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