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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 2, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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revisionist history. 5 consecutive -- as a matter of fact the consumer confidence level is the highest this month since 2007. that means the consumers are finally feeling a little bit. there's still more to go. but to pretend that nothing has happened the last six years -- i can't use the words on the floor here because it would be disrespectful -- but it's just not true. it has changed. we still have more wor -- more work to bring it to every single family. in fact, the tax extender bill, the things they wouldn't have wanted to support permanently would have brought it to every single family still struggling. but i know there are tax provisions for the nascar owners the horse racing owners. i get that. that's their issues. i understand that. but we have to be realistic. also the deficit. think about this, madam president. when i came in 2009, the annual deficit in this country was
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$1.4 trillion. today it's $480 billion. it's dropped by a trillion dollars per year. now, do we want it to be zero? yes. do we want to have a surplus so we can start paying off the debt? slowl. but you actually have to get recovery first get some treatment. that's what we have been doing. and then reinvest into the future. and that means infrastructure, education, the things that matter to everyday americans and everyday alaskans. but i sit here and i listen to these comments, and today i -- it happened a little bit before 12:30 before we took our caucus break but we break at 12:30. i was going to go home. and then i turned -- my mistake. i turned on the station and i heard the commentary. i thought jacob is going to have to wait a little bit for dinner and i'm going to have to come down here. it amazed me. exports, business we create in this country and we ship out up
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37% over the last several years. now, i'll give you an example of a company in alaska when i was campaigning. i ran into this company in fairbanks. they had their manufacturing plant in china. do you know where they have it now? in fairbanks alaska. they moved it from china to fairbanks. i told them they should put a four by eight sign out there and say we take jobs from china and we bring them home, because those are all good paying. as a matter of fact, they are union jobs. so when people talk about how unions are destroying the country, actually, they brought jobs back that are union jobs paying good wages good benefits and took it from china and brought it to fairbanks alaska, a glass company. unbelievable what they do. they do business not only in alaska and hawaii and other places. so i listened over and over again today and i want to make sure people -- and also i should mention housing prices are up.
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new housing starts are up, which is important because that's part of the construction industry and creates jobs and also make sure we have competition so prices are stabilized over time. retail sales are strong. i know this. i have no idea if my colleague has ever been in business. he talked about the 179 depreciation. i have actually used it because i'm in a small business. i have no idea if he understands how it works. but for small businesses, it's a big deal. it's why democrats have supported that time and time again. as a matter of fact, we had it in the minimum wage bill we brought to the floor the 179 extension which they voted against in support. raising the minimum wage, bringing people out of poverty and by the way helping small businesses eggs panned and invest so they can grow more. as someone who used the 179 more than once -- as a matter of fact my wife has small businesses. now expanding and investing and will use the 179 dpreerks. i hear -- depreciation.
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i hear what they are saying but i don't know if they understand how it's used. when we had the minimum wage coupled with the 179 it seemed to make a lot of sense back then but they didn't like that either. so madam president i wanted to come down here awes i think it's important that we, one don't take things out of context. which i know senator schumer's speech which they have mentioned several times. they should read the whole speech, which it seems like they selected verbiage out of there. i don't agree 100% with senator schumer's comments but i agree with the concept. the economy -- we actually did two things. we worked on health care and we worked on the economy. it's like i see people sometimes when they eat their food, they eat one piece at a time, they eat their carrots first then their potatoes and then they eat their steak. we actually took a little bit of everything because we had to. had to take health care which was crushing the economy but we also had to deal with the economy overall. we had to take votes on a regular basis that the other side would never do because we
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bet on america. we bet on america. and the result is six years later here we are. the economy is better, stronger, needs more work, no question about it. we need to get the deficit to zero get a surplus so we can pay back to the national debt and knock the debt down. that was driven not just by this administration but past administrations. people get a little foggy on that a little revisionist history on that. they forget about the two wars we didn't pay for. potentially the tax extender bill. that's not paid for. you didn't hear one word about how the tax extender bill is not going to be paid for. it's going to be another part to the debt. but yet four or five months ago you might remember this, madam president, we were down here debating veterans' care. all they said is how are you going to pay for it? well the veterans paid. but we had to find a way right find a few dimes here. here we are going to go give more corporate tax relief without paying for it.
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except actually we do pay for it. everyday americans will pay for it with their tax bill and deficit and interest on the debt. so we have to be clear about that. so again madam president i think about where we were, what we did and where we are. it's significantly different than six years ago. it is better. but i would agree that there is more work to make sure we get more of the revenue stream and the opportunities in the hands of individuals hardworking alaskans hardworking folks from massachusetts, hardworking folks across this country. that's our next obligation at work. but to come down and say the economy is a disaster is irresponsible. it's not correct. the numbers tell you. actually even the conservative "forbes" and "wall street journal" and all these other magazines and newspapers that i read are now talking about how
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the economy is moving because we have had this consecutive pattern which really details out the economy so that's important. the last thing i will just say from the purely alaska perspective, not only exports is important because we do a lot of business overseas, we have seen exports increase. our unemployment, for example in anchorage, the city that i'm from 4.9%. pretty good economy. our fisheries industry, which i know we share a fisheries industry, 78,000 jobs connected to that, a $5 billion, almost $6 billion industry. our tourism industry is up. two million overall visitors to our state general generating the income. there is more activity happening around the country than ever before. my state is seeing it every single day. but to come down and continue to be naysayers and talk about how bad things are is really not responsible. we have done a great job. can we do better? absolutely.
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that's what we strive for every single day. and i hope and i say this to you, madam president because i will not be here after january that they don't have things where they are mad at immigration so now they're not going to do these economic development issues or they're mad at something else and they take it out on some other program. we're going to have -- and you will have differences with your colleagues on issues on immigration maybe on health care on the economy that sort of thing but we have got to find that common ground. the economy is a constant issue. and where the investment needs to happen if you really want to have an impact down the road is investing in infrastructure, education. we're leaving -- as you have tried to do, relieving debt off of students and families. $1.4 trillion now i think debt on students and families for student loans, which is outrageous. lowering those rates. but also as tax reform issues
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come up, which they will next year i hope the senate and the house look at issues of if you want to make a big impact to individual families, lower the rate for individual families, hardworking families. do you want to put cash in their pocket? do you want to change the dynamics? give them more of their money back. not the top 1% or even the top 10%, but i'm talking about the folks that we see every day that i see every day working hard out there that we need to make sure that they can start putting money aside for their college education for their kids or putting money aside for their retirement or spending more money in the economy because maybe the car they have had for 15 years just isn't running so well anymore. that's what we need to be doing. and i hope that they see that an individual relief is more important than corporate relief or the top 1%. on top of that, when you do talk about corporate tax relief, never forget who really is driving the economy. it's the small business owners,
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the limited liability corporations the subchapter s corporations, but those all get taxed by individual rates. so if you go out and you will hear about corporate rate relief, which is important to be competitive, but that's for the big guys, but the guys that we see every day. you know, go down to the cleaners here, sole proprietor. go down to the restaurant, sole proprietor. maybe it's an l -- an l.l.c. they are not going to see the benefits unless you lower the rates for them. they will use the 179 depreciation. because, see the 179 has a limit. the big boys use it a little bit, but the limit is really designed for small businesses to reinvest. but if their tax rate is still too high, they won't be able to take as much advantage as they could. we want them to take advantage. so madam president i didn't mean to take time here at the
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end of the evening. i know lots of times people want to get out but honestly, i couldn't sit there and listen to the revisionist history that continues to go on when the elections are over. i know now it's called the obama economy. i heard that one. that's a new phrase. it's really collectively all our economy because we participated in trying to save it. they objected to it for the last six years. so by their objection they get to be part of not having the result that maybe they wanted but the result is the economy is much better. we need more work to make sure it gets to the hands of the individuals out there. i know that's something of a priority to you madam president. but, again, if i continue to hear it, i will continue to come down here because people can't get away with just saying it over and over again and believe that's the facts because the facts are very clear as i just stated where the stock market has gone, where the unemployment has dropped housing is up, housing starts are up.
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the two largest companies the automobile companies all three of them now over half a million new jobs. growth 55 consecutive months of growth. that's all good news. it's something we should be proud of, you should be proud of the senate should be proud of. but there is no room for revisionist history when we talk about the facts of where we were six years ago and where we are today. so madam president, i appreciate the time and i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. whitehouse: madam president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: madam president may i ask unanimous consent that the pending quorum call be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you madam president. i'm here for my 81st time time-to-wake-up speech to ask that this body wake up to the effects of climate change and to say this that acting on this issue will accelerate economic growth will spur innovation and will create jobs. we have settled any real argument about the leading cause of climate change. it's carbon pollution. measurements in the atmosphere and oceans reveal dramatic, even unprecedented changes in the climate. our scientists know that carbon pollution heats up the climate and acidifies the ocean. that's beyond debate. they know that this is already a
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problem for americans and the world. we had wonderful testimony from a nasa scientist today in the environment and public works committee who talked about what they actually see when they look down from the satellites. they take measurements. here not hypothesizing. they actually measure these things. and the scientists know that continued unchecked emissions of carbon dioxide will push the climate and the oceans into dangerous uncharted new territory. so in the face of overwhelming evidence of climate change, some of our republican colleagues just a few are beginning to move beyond denial of basic measurements and basic classroom science and begin talking about the costs of action. the costs of action. well that's progress.
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that's progress. when he was asked recently about climate change, the junior senator from south dakota acknowledged there are a number of factors that contribute to that including human activity. the question is he went on, "what are we going to do about it and at what cost?" across the building over on the house side congressman paul ryan of wisconsin has also been talking about costs of action. in his most recent campaign for reelection, he said that when it comes to action to reduce carbon emissions -- and i'll quote him -- "the benefits don't outweigh the costs." okay let's talk about that. when we get past the denial -- which with a few of our colleagues it seems we have; not all, maybe not even many but a few -- when we get past the denial and we talk about balancing costs and benefits if you look at the whole ledger no
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doubt about it, the balance favors action. climate change carries enormous costs to our economy and to our way of life. acting now can accelerate economic growth and create new jobs. the cost of climate change are huge. we even hear this from our own advisors at the government accountableity office. and it's 2013 high-risk list our government accountability office said that climate change poses a significant risk to the u.s. government and to our nation's budget. why? the federal government owns and operates infrastructure and property that is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. the federal government provides aid and disaster response when state agencies are overwhelmed.
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the federal government is an insurer of property and crops vulnerable to climate disruption. these are major line items in the federal budget. our treasury secretary jack lew, recently explained if the fiscal burden from climate change continues to rise, it will create budgetary pressures that will force hard trade-offs larger deficits, or higher taxes and these trade-offs would make it more challenging to invest in growth" -- end quote. one example just one last month's g.a.o. report on what climate change means for private and federal insurance for crops and for floods. it warned of increased hurricane-related losses to the federal program. they estimated between 14% and
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47% increase by 2040, and a 50% to 110% increase over the next century due to climate change. and remember, when you're doubling a number like that, you're starting with a pretty big baseline. superstorm sandy wrought $66 billion in damage in 2012. if we are constantly replacing damaged roads and bridges always adapting farmlinging and fishing practices to suit never-seen-before conditions and frequently paying out big disaster relief and flood insurance claims, that will hit the federal pocketbook hard. we don't even have to look to the costs of the future to justify reducing carbon pollution today. increasingly green energy makes
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economic sense for utilities for businesses, and for consumers. since 2008, prices for solar photovoltaic have dropped 80%. 80%. austin energy in texas recently signed a power purchase agreement for a 150 megawatt solar plant at five cents per kilowatt hour. less expensive than comparable offers from natural gas at seven cents, coal at 10 cents or nuclear power at 13 cents. the story is similar for wind power. since 2009, the cost of wind power has decreased by 64%. at the lowest end of the price range nationally, un
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unsubsidiesized wind power prices are just below four cents per kilowatt hour. this compares favorably to coal generation priced six to seven cents per kilowatt hour. the world resources institute has just done a brief report headlined -- it's called "seeing is believing the status of renewable energy in the united states" and the headline is" wind and solar are cheaper than coal and gas in a growing number of markets." and it lists sales in utah, in colorado in texas in georgia, and in minnesota. not states that have a lot in common except that renewables are beginning to outcompete fossil in those states. similarly "the new york times" just last week in its business
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section highlighted this shift in an article solar and wind energy start to win on price versus conventional fuels and i ask unanimous consent the world resources institute report and "the new york times" story be appended at tend of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: green energy problems they are out there and they are helping communities, is indeed indeed, they're helping communities recover from the great recession. let me use a rhode island example t.p.i. composites. t.p.i. has a development and manufacturing facility in warren, rhode island and is one of the leading manufacturers of wind turbine blades and they make them in iowa. when the maytag plant closed in newton iowa, leaving as many as 4,000 workers jobless wind jobs helped the town get back on its feet.
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in ten years t.p.i. has manufactured more than 10,000 wind turbine blades. in iowa, again mid american energy pays farmers thousands of dollars each year to site their turbines on their farms. the farmers love it. they can farm up to 25 feet around the base of the turbine. there's a gravel road but you can farm right up to that and they get paid for having the turbine on their farm so it's a win-win that has helped iowa generate more than a quarter of its electricity from wind. and they're investing more. they have been reducing emissions and moving the state economy forward step by step, reducing emissions and moving the economy forward. more and more companies in their own planning are seeing the economic benefits from cleaning up their supply chains and reducing carbon pollution from
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their operations. they see free green investments increasing profits. quote -- "too many people say it's this or that apple c.e.o. tim cook explained earlier this year. we've found that if you set the bar high, it's possible to do both." outside these walls here in congress where the deniers rule and polluter monerans, state and local political leaders also see that reducing carbon pollution and growing the economy go hand in hand. almost ten years ago in our states and others bipartisan nine northeastern governors came together and formed the regional greenhouse gas initiative called rggi which caps carbon emissions and sells permits to power plants. since the program started rggi states that have cut emissions
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from the power sector have cut them by 40%. here's the blue line. that's the emissions chart from 2005 through 2012. well if cutting emissions was bad for the economy you would think that the state g.d.p. would have followed downward in that curve. but in fact you see that the regional economy across these states actually grew by 7%, grew by 7%, and bear in mind, this is 2008. the great recession. and here we are now. so you'd think during this period the g.d.p. numbers would have taken a pounding. so the underlying numbers are actually better than this once you adjust for the recession. early estimates showed that in its first decade, rggi will
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have saved new england families and businesses in the participating states nearly $1.3 billion on their electric bills. it will have added $1.6 billion into local economies. long the way those rggi states will have added 16,000 job years. additional investments are coming on line because it's a successful program so those benefits will grow. rhode island has put over 90% of the money generated through the rggi auctions into energy efficiency improvements, helping residents save money phenomenal on their utility bills and making small businesses more competitive. this success led tom wolf, the governor-elect of pennsylvania, a coal mining and natural gas state, to campaign for office successfully on joining rggi. rggi shows improving the
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environment boosts the economy. look north to canada. british columbia has a revenue neutral carbon fee that has reduced the use of polluting fossil fuels by 16%. what has happened to the economy? the b.c. economy has not missed a step. the carbonnify revenue has been used to lower personal and corporate income taxes. british columbia now has the lowest personal tax rates in canada. if our republican colleagues would like to lower our american corporate and individual taxes then i have a revenue 0-neutral carbon fee bill i'm happy to discuss with them. evidence from rhode island to british columbia shows that action on carbon pollution spurs
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innovation creates jobs, and economically boosts families and businesses. today i just got this larger report again from the world resources institute which is a group that has, for instance, executives from alcoa and caterpillar on its board. this is not some fringe group. this is a very responsible organization with significant corporate and international leadership. here's the lead sentence. a growing body of evidence shows that economic growth is not in conflict with efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. it continues policies are often necessary to unlock these opportunities however because market barriers hamper investment in what are otherwise beneficial activities. that's what we're about here.
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unlock those opportunities for our economy. on the downside, here's the first chapter heading. delaying action will have significant economic impacts quote -- "climate change itself constitutes a significant risk to the nation's economy. the downside is doing nothing according to this report. the upside is on changing our policies to seize those opportunities. why are we here fighting about this? well again to quote the report the persistence of pollution externalities -- pollution externalities means when the cost of your product you can ship off to somebody else and make them have to take care of it. the persistence of pollution externalities gives an unfair advantage to polluting activities.
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externalities occur when it affects people in ways that are not captured in its price such as the full health effects of air pollution not being factored into the cost of electricity generation. thus society rather than a company, pays the cost. why are we in this fight? because there are a lot of companies who folks on the other side are supporting and representing here who have been the winners in that fight. they have had those polluting externalities work in their favor, they have enjoyed that unfair advantage they don't want to give it up. but as the report continues well-designed policies can overcome these market barriers and direct investment into beneficial technologies and practices. new policies can enchance the transition to a low carbon economy while delivering net economic benefits and in many
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cases, direct savings for consumers and businesses. so that's pretty good news. and equally important taking action helps to reduce the worst effects of climate change. what's coming at us. don't just take my word for it again. many conservative economists, writers and officials see the benefits of market-based climate action. quote -- "a tax on carbon, wrote hudson institute economist irwin stelser need not swell the government's coffers if we pursue a second long-held conservative objective reducing the tax on work. he continues it would be a relatively simple matter to arrange a dollar-for-dollar simultaneous reduction in payroll taxes. anyone interested in jobs, jobs jobs, should find this
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an attractive proposition with growth-minded conservatives leading the applause" -- end quote. that's the economics of it unless you're shilling for the folks who had the unfair advantage and want to keep it. but that's not market based. that's not economics. that's just taking care of special interests. a recent joint report from economists at the brookings institute and the conservative american enterprise institute described human-induced greenhouse gas emissions as a -- quote -- "textbook example of a market failure of a negative externality." the report proposed guess what? a revenue-neutral carbon fee program as the efficient and elegant approach to managing carbon pollution. according to the report's authors, -- quote -- "taxing
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something we do not want, e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, rather than something we want something more of, e.g. productive labor and investment, could help lower the economy-wide cost of the program and may even have economic benefits in addition to its environmental benefits." and just today in the environment and public works committee i had a conversation with a heritage foundation witness in which i read to the witness a very similar quote from the economist arthur laffer reagan's economist saying a carbon fee where you tax the product in the ground and relieve taxes on work and effort by people is a net win for the economy. and i asked the witness what he thought about that, and he couldn't dispute it. in fact, he considers himself to be something of an accolade of arthur laffer's. so there's actually a lot of economic support for this.
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i'll conclude by saying this, if the topic is now not going to be denial but it's going to be the costs and benefits of climate action i'm ready to have that conversation all day long. let's just make sure that it's the whole conversation, not just the half of the conversation that looks at what losing their subsidy means for the big oil companies, the big coal companies, the koch brothers and the rest of the polluters. a lot of my colleagues only look at one side of the ledger. how this affects the fossil fuel lobby. if you look at the whole ledger, if you look at both sides when you look at all the evidence, it tells you one thing and that is that the cost of climate change are already here. they're showing up in our lives in innumerable ways but carry real economic costs and that carry real costs in terms of
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quality of life and our identity as a country. and in fact, they may overwhelm us by centuries end. looking at all the evidence shows us that significant reductions in carbon pollution will actually support jobs and increase economic growth. and finally a revenue-neutral carbon fee would spur innovative business models and technological development here in the united states. if we lose this race to clean up our carbon mess one of the collateral injuries we'll sustain is we'll not have developed a robust clean energy economy and we'll find ourselves buying product from the chinese and the yandz -- illness and others. we need to put it to the test. we can count on them but giving them a pass does not serve their interests or ours.
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this will drive market forces to decrease our emissions and grow our economy. we have the tools to do something big. it's been proven in british columbia proven with rggi. all the economists seem to agree the time is right to put a national price on carbon. i yield the floor. and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be term stated in. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid:: i ask unanimous consent that the previous order so that the votes scheduled for 3:00 tomorrow now occur at 5:30, that the time following the 10:00 a.m. cloture votes and 5:30 be equally divided in the usual form. further, that notwithstanding rule 22, calendar number 555 the senate proceed to vote on cloture of nomination of calendar number 660. that if cloture is invoked on these nominations the time under cloture run consecutively in the order in which the cloture was inveecd with all -- invoked with all other provisions of the previous order remaining in effect. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business, senators permitted to speak for up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to calendar number 602. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 602 s. 2917, a bill to expand the program of priority review to encourage treatments for tropical diseases. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? withoutwithout objection, the senate will proceed. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. reid: it's my understanding s. 2970 is due for its first reading. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 2970, a bill to reform procedures for determinations to proceed to trial by court-martial for certain offenses under the uniformed code of military justice and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president i ask for its second reading and object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard the bill will be receive its second reading on the next legislative day. mr. reid: mr. president i ask consent the senate proceed to h.r. 4924. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4924 an act to
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direct the secretary of the interior to enter into the big sandy river planet ranch water rights settlement agreement and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid laid on the table and there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. wednesday morning december 3. following the frair and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks the senate resume executive session and consideration of the burrowsly no nation with the time -- the burrows nomination with the time until 10:00 a.m. be equally divided tweenl the two leaders between the two leaders or their designees.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: thrn there for the information of senators, there will be five roll call votes at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. there will be another series of votes, could be as many as 6:00, at 5:30 tomorrow morning. if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until >> moving forward with nominations and the equal opportunity employment commission. more nominations could be taken up tomorrow and later in the week as well as a bill that would fund the government after december 11 when funding expires. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. >> and compton responded on her
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40 years covering the white house. >> we watch them go through their drell and they came and whispered to him and i was stunned and nobody interrupts the president, and the president stood and said that he had to go and then we heard that there were two planes down, two plane crashes in new york. we are now out in the parking lot and there our live cameras in the cafeteria, the president has to speak their and they did go into that cafeteria and they said it isn't apparent terrorist attack. the race to the plane we were pushed aboard quickly, the door slammed and then the pentagon
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was hit. >> sunday night at eight eastern pacific on "q&a." and the defense department secretary john kerry talked about the iranian airstrikes in iraq. the first, the next defense secretary. this is over one half hour. [inaudible conversations] >> are we already? i just want to know that the deputy secretary held a conference call with several governors from the council of governors and we also have about 10 or so representatives from the department of defense as well to discuss this fiscal year
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budget and the army aviation reconstruction. we emphasize the importance joined the defense department and the governor's counsel both parties, the department of defense and the council governors agree about the negative impact that sequestration would have on the department and quite frankly including the possibilities of further reductions in our force structure. the army aviation restructuring initiative, both sides also agreed that the process by which the defense department took this on was objective and transparent and it will come principally at the cost involved and utilizing active duty and reserve component apache helicopters and both sides again agreed to keep the dialogue going. this is an important relationship that the secretary
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has worked hard at and will continue to work hard at with the council of governors. the last thing i want to say for we get to the questions is i mean that i'm obviously mindful of the swirl out there in the media environment today about the potential nominee for the next secretary of defense. so let me just say right at the outset that this is a decision that only the president can make and only the president can amount. it is up to the president and the white house to determine the timing of any such announcement. i have no information to share with you today about the nominee, who it might be or when the nominee is announced. for our part here in the pentagon secretary chuck hagel is focused on doing his job as secretary of defense making sure that our men and women have all the supportive resources they need to conduct the missions that they've been told to conduct around the world. to include many of them in harms way. and i think that that is important to remember as we head towards the holiday season.
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so with that i'll open it up. tony? >> right off the back the budget you talked about. what message did were conveyed to the governors? was at that sequestration is likely to kick in in 2016? that it may kick in? or are we still waiting to see? >> i think that he talked to them broadly about the preparations that were making and i won't get into too much detail right now. but we have talked about -- we have to plan for the fact -- and he made this clear -- that sequestration means a lot of the land and left 2016 congress acts or peel it and forced all in some way. and none of that action has happened yet. so i think we've made it clear to the governors that are preparations and the work that's being done right now is to prepare the fiscal year 2016 budget and we have to factor in the reality of sequestration and that reality that it has on us going forward. >> did mr. work conveyed at the
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pentagon plan would be to submit a budget that was over the sequestration caps as it did for 2015 budget plan to . >> he did not go into a great level of detail that i'm aware of trade with respect to top-of-the-line figures. but again he made it clear as i've made it clear to you, that we have to plan for a number of outcomes. that's frankly what makes planning process so much more difficult. we are not sure. there's uncertainty about what we are going to end up with here. >> a totally different part of the world, the ukraine. arming the ukraine's with legal aid, it came up in the senate armed services committee nomination hearing for a list. so there is still discussion wanting to give legal aid to the ukrainian military so what are you still discussing it? can you give us some context? where are the discussions and why hasn't a decision made
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sooner? >> it's in an ongoing process of reviewing ukrainian request requests for military assistance. i didn't hear what she said. but the way you characterized characterize it is accurate. it is something that we continue to consider in the interagency. not just here in the defense department. there's an ongoing process of ukrainian requests for military assistance and by now the focus of that remains on the nonlethal side. so all the decisions we're making about providing military assistance remains on the nonlethal rounds. that doesn't mean that we aren't fairly considering requests for legal assistance. it's just that right now the focus of his on meeting those request for nonlethal terms. and that's where we are. >> yes? >> is there concern that providing aid to the ukrainians that the u.s. get to get involved in a proxy war with the russians?
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>> i think -- and we've talked about this before -- i think that we're fairly considering all the requests to we must consider. and i think that that is really where the focus is in respect to considering requests for things. >> without discussing who the next secretary might be can you talk about how ash carter would address the administration's need for fresh ideas since he is a man who is steeped in budget and procurement and not so much military ideas? >> no i cannot. >> he doesn't -- he doesn't -- >> i'm not going to get into this part of speculating who the nominee might be or what they might do. secretary chuck hagel is the secretary of defense. his focus on is on making sure that we are meeting the needs of the nation and that would properly defending our interests around the world. that's what we are focused on right now. and i don't think it serves anybody's interest to begin
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speculating or guessing about who the nominee might be and what person you know promote might make his or her priorities. >> all right. then since you kicked that one away, can i ask a little bit about that -- >> i can kick them all away if you want. >> i prefer you not. on the buffer zone come i'm wondering if the pentagon is in the open more to this limited idea that is being discussed with turkey than the broader ideas that the pentagon's kicked away before? >> we know that this is an interest of high concern for the turkish government. it's something that they have revisited with us from time to time. so we know that there is an issue they're interested in and we continue to talk to them about it as we continue to talk to other nations about their concerns, as well with respect to what is going on in syria and with isis. there is no question about that. so discussions continue with the turks about this and other items in other ways that they might be able to contribute to the coalition. but at this time we don't believe that -- that that is a
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-- that it's going to be useful solution to the solution inside syria. i want to stress again that we are grateful for the contributions that turkey is making. we want to talk to them about additional ones. and we want to continue to discuss this very topic with them. but again right now we don't think it's the most appropriate solution to pursue. >> following up on that you made it clear that at this point the u.s. doesn't believe that it's the best way to go. help us understand why. because on paper it just superficially seems like not a terrible idea. why is it that you believe that it's not the best solution? >> i think that it would be imprudent for me to litigate through the media some of the internal collaborations that we are having with the turkish government with respect to that. again, we continue to talk to them about it. there are just rob lee jamie
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without getting into detail, i mean when you take a mission like that, you have to factor in the resourcing and the factor of time and you have to factor in additional operational things that you have to weigh that against the overall benefit. although things are still being discussed. and in any missing the take on come you have to consider the other factors and that is why it we are doing. [inaudible question] >> i think it is a complicated situation and you say that we have no-fly zones before. and that is true. but it doesn't mean that it's never been easy before. these are complicated things that are wire a lot of talk
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network resources and you have to incur certain risks and i don't want to litigate this to the media we know this is an issue that they are concerned about and something they want to pursuant we continue to talk about it. >> we said we don't consider it a useful solution. particularly with the and what change? said that isis was using airstrikes and would that be part of the change? >> is a pretty dynamic environment the. and yes, we value the turks effort and we want to continue to look for ways they that they
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can contribute further into things. this is an idea that we are interested in and we are willing to keep discussing it. and again we are going to continue to talk about it. i cannot layout you a laundry list of hypothetical things i would change i. >> i'm having trouble as to why we would continue to discuss this.. >> back to the answer i gave to jamie. you have to consider all the factors to include the risk that would incur and the resources you have to devote to that. you would also have to consider the consequences the me not have attended two of her. and again it's hard to speculate
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what they might all look like. but all those things have to be considered in a very dynamic and fluid environment and our milla military mission is anti-isis. that's the starting point for all the decisions we are making and that is what we are focused on. then we have to have the frame of that mission. and so certainly the discussions remain open and we continue to talk about this and we will.
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if there's any changes to that we will get up and articulate what these changes are remade them. >> when you say that it is considered risk are you referring to the air defenses of syrian president bashir? >> certainly, that's one of the risks that we have to factor. >> canasta an additional question on isis. on syria train and equip of rebel fighters, can you bring us up-to-date on where we are at now. how soon it might start in that you have established some standards for valuing this potential training candidates and psychological standards and stress standards? >> been some movement than we
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are working through the process by we would not necessarily initially invest recruits but continuously that them as they work their way through this curriculum. and it would be a building block of a curriculum. i'm throughout the process of that, the treaties would be continuously vetted as they move from one block in the to the next and we are putting that employs. and so site surveys continue as you know, we have three countries we are working with them to continue to finish the survey of some of the sites and some of them are more ready to accept trainees than others, but for that process and
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infrastructure in place continues. but the larger question, we have not begun an act of recruiting as we are developing the criteria and guidelines. and we do need to get the funding to goes would be authorization and we know that this has an happened yet. >> how ready are the u.s. coalition aircraft. including what has happened in the coming weeks and we have seen a number of increasing as we have pushed further back from
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the cities so that these other forces can move there. >> without speaking to specific operational intense, yes we have this in and around but that is not altogether new. and then we have been flying some strikes there in recent weeks as well. we all know that, and we said that it must be by design decamping objective and we know that the iraqi security forces are working with kurdish forces and planning toward that end at some point in the future. i wanted to ahead of adam and certainly one want to do that. so how ready would be be to support them when they are ready and i will tell you that we will be completely ready to support them when it comes to that and we are just not at that stage right now.
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[inaudible] >> are there others as well? >> they have identified themselves and that is tricky, as you know saudi arabia and others. and whether there are other nations in the region, we are in discussion with other nations but i'm not at liberty right now to identify who they are or how our long these discussions are. and i would just say that we are in discussions with other countries about potential commitments that they might be able to make with respect to training. [inaudible question] >> no i mean, it's not uniformly part of this. because not all have the same capacity and would very
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depending on the site and the country and i think that each one is not necessarily going to be set for this. and i don't want to get too far ahead of the process but it's a potential that there's more than one site in more than one country and we are working our way through the surveys right now to try to develop the infrastructure. it's too soon for me to say that we have this that will be able to handle this number of recruits, we are not there yet. but there are multiple sides we are looking at at least three countries and we are in discussions with other partners in the regions as well about contributions they can make of a similar fashion. [inaudible question] >> is there a number associated
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with what three countries could produce in the way of training fighters? >> i do not have a firm number, it could potentially be more than the 5000. but again we have to work through a lot of details to get through a firm number. what the general has also said is that in general it is the military assessment between 12 and 15000 modern opposition members is what we would require as we began to have a real impact on the ground in syria against isis. so if we are limited to 5500 per year then it will take us years to get there which is why working with other countries and having other training sites could help us accelerate.
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[inaudible question] >> that was a lebanese military operation that we should ask him about. >> again come i'm not going to characterize many more than that. >> is there a special unit in the pentagon working on that? >> not that i'm aware of. especially when it comes to this. but we recognize the leader and we have long said that leadership of the organization represents the command and control and certainly there is legitimate targets affiliated. [inaudible question] >> i think i just said it, he is a recognized leader and we still
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think that he is in control of this. where he is what his physical condition as come i don't have any information on that. >> specifically with them being involved with the lebanese what was that involvement. ..
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>> would the us want to question his ex-wife? >> i am not going to speak about the lebanese military operation. we have long said we need to recognize the leader of sil and command and control of the organization which stems from leaders. it makes invalid in our minds from a targeting perspective. i just won't go beyond that. >> that sounds like a yes. >> i won't talk about the lebanese military operation. >> is there a timetable for when the active recruiting and vetting will occur of the forces that we will be trained? >> we would like to start as soon as possible. it is limited by the fact that we do not have the funding to begin that particular process.
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and it and it is not like we are not paying attention to it. we we have been working with other countries to work on sites and get those sites prepared. we have been developing a curriculum and vetting criteria. there is good work being done but there is limit to what you can do without authorization and the funding that goes with it. >> involved in the training. >> the recruiting and vetting process would be led by the department of defense we would do it in concert with our interagency partners as well as international partners people that no the terrain, the culture, these groups. >> how could you do that without having people on the ground in syria? there is so much infiltration and cross infiltration.
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>> we would work with partners in the region. to put a stick in it their are are no plans to put us servicemen when on the ground in syria to support this effort. >> what pending authorization are you waiting for? >> reprogramming request. >> also on isis are then isis,, are the iranians striking isis targets? >> i have seen the reports. reports. we have no indication that the reports are not true. they have conducted strikes. >> they are.
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>> no indication that they are not true. as reports. iranian aircraft stuck -- struck targets against isil you should consult the iranian government to speak to the actions of their military. it is the iraqi airspace. we are not coordinating with nor conflicting with iranian military. >> the control that they can de- conflict airspace between us and iranian aircraft? >> yes. it is a sovereign nation. >> that does not mean they are competent. >> competent enough to cover there airspace. >> is the iraqi government taking the lead for the air-traffic de- confliction and control? >> sovereign iraqi airspace
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a sovereign country. they de- conflict the airspace requirements over their country. we are flying missions over iraq. we coordinate with the iraqi government as we conduct those to read it is up to the iraqi government to de- conflict that airspace. nothing has changed. >> the second part of that question, what is the pentagon's perspective on iranian air strikes within iraq this moment, if they are occurring? is that helpful? problematic? >> the same today as it was when it started as it is to any neighbor in the region that is involved in anti- isil activities. we want nothing to be done that further inflamed
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sectarian tensions in the country. >> our position has not changed. we don't want anything to be done to further inflame sectarian positions. >> i just want to clarify. kind of confusing. when you are saying that you don't have information to dispute this are you acknowledging that their are iranian airstrikes? >> i'll try it again. i speak for the us military and the department of defense. i am not going to confirm operations they did or did not conduct. talk to the folks in tehran about that. hang on a second. everything i have seen -- actually, nothing that would dispute the reports that they flew airstrikes.
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i have seen nothing that contradicts that. i cannot say it did not happen. i am not in the business of confirming the operations of foreign militaries. >> you say because he is the leader of isis what makes invalid from a targeting standpoint. you are now targeting him by name? >> we have been talking about this for a while. the leaders of isil command and control their forces and remain a valid target. i will not speak about specific targeting initiatives for plans there to but if you are the leader of a terrorist organization that network threatens american interest in particular you remain valid. >> a question on afghanistan is the taliban defeated?
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the us leaving and ending its combat mission. >> was talk about what the goals were to help afghanistan secure its own people its own borders, its own interest and to get the afghan national security force to a.where they can affect that mission. that combat mission comes to an end this month. we believe the afghan national security forces have been advanced to the.where they are capable. there are some capabilities that they may need going forward part of the resolute support mission going forward forward, and there is still some counterterrorism work that needs to be done. we believe that we have achieved the mission of getting afghan national security forces to that level. by the by the end of this month they we will have full responsibility.
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>> what we are seeing in afghanistan was to be expected. we would not consider what they are doing a resurgence. it is not atypical for them whether it is an election on the end of the combat mission for them to try to scare the local populace and terrorize people. and i might add, the the afghan national security forces and police reacted bravely. they have not had a strategic impact. >> we will they have a combat role or not? >> the 9800 american troops contributing to the mission will be dedicated to two things and not of equal number. contribute to
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resolute support, support, a train, advise, assist mission and to assist with counterterrorism work. but the combat mission ends at the end of the month and we will transition to a mission of advise and assist i have time for one more. >> are their us military trainers or advisors or any us military embedded with iraqi military air controllers? >> no. >> if there is additional information that can be shared and an undisclosed country more information coming out? >> i don't actually have more information. it is under investigation, as you know, and it would be inappropriate for me to
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comment further. sadly, we lost lost the pilot. it is important for people to remember that. the tough holiday season but on the specific details, i just don't think it would be appropriate. i don't see any change to the language that we are using describing the location. >> go back to afghanistan a narrative the president secretly or quietly expanded the mission to allow us troops to attack the taliban the new york times and others. >> there has been no expansion of authority inside afghanistan going into 2015. 2015. there just hasn't been. i get the narrative but that does not mean it is
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true. we will continue to conduct counterterrorism operations in concert with afghan national security forces. that is directed. this gets to the questions, questions it is about protecting this country and our citizens from terrorist networks. that is different than the combat mission we have been conducting. as i said said last week just being a member of the taliban does not make one a target of counterterrorism activities unless you are conducting terrorist activities or are a direct threat to our forces or our afghan partners. >> conducted by special operations forces. i'm talking about the regular gis who we will be their. they won't be going after taliban targets? >> not simply by virtue of somebody being a member of
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the taliban. >> this is an important story for us. we will you want to capture him alive? what does it mean for you? >> he is an command-and-control of kayfive. we isil. we are working with iraqi partners kurdish forces to degrade and destroy isil capabilities to continue to wage war on the iraqi people. when you are an command-and-control you can expect that we we will do what we need to do to eradicate the threat that you pose. post. and i would not get into hypotheticals about capturing or killing. we had fixated on the individual. it is about the organization and what they represent and
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the brutality that they have demonstrated. thanks, everybody. >> coming up tomorrow defective car airbags manufactured by the toccata corporation and the recall process. we will here from a senior official along with representatives of toyota honda, and bmw five at 10:00 a.m. eastern. senator ted cruz and louisiana governor bobby gentle live at 1:00 p.m. eastern.
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>> c-span2 providing live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy events and every weekend book tv now for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. watch us in hd like like us on facebook follow us on twitter. >> after a closed-door meeting today they talked to reporters about items on the legislative agenda. this is 15 minutes. >> the american people want the parties to focus on solutions. this week we will pass important legislation to help families with special needs and to prevent tax
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hikes. the president has ignored the we will of the american people and refused to listen he himself, his decision to take unilateral action action he himself has said exceeded his authority and makes it harder for the american people and their elected representatives to trust his word on any issue. republicans fight his unilateral actions. we are looking at a variety of actions. we will continue to discuss with members of a number of options in terms of how we will deal with those in consultation. no decisions have have been made at this. >> welcome back.
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what i've never done before. i agree with chuck schumer, and i want to quote senator schumer. not the change we were hired to make. crying out for the end of the recession for better wages and more jobs. i see today the article today the rising healthcare costs. when you look at the work that the chairman and senator did together to make a bipartisan agreement a lot of it permanent to help job creations. unfortunately the president disagreed. the house will act this week we will move. again when you look long-term a bipartisan agreement it would be best for the white house.
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>> hope you all had a good thanksgiving. focused on christmas season and things that they can do to provide for their family. the last thing they want to see under that tree is an increase in taxes. we will bring legislation to prevent that. it is good for the economy. it would have been nice to have a longer-term deal. unfortunately, the white house decided to block that. when you look at what we are doing something that we will help people with disabilities and help them to help themselves something that will really have a positive impact. finally, this saturday we
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will see three more final referendums on president obama's agenda. the president himself said this would be a referendum on his agenda. i feel confident you will see those in the president's agenda has people reject this liberal agenda. >> today i wanted to tell the story of a little boy who was diagnosed with down syndrome three days after he was born. with that with that came a long list of potential complications certainly many doctors visits and therapies the potential of hearing loss early alzheimer's. seven years later as a mom of that little boy nothing has given me greater joy.
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that's why i am proud to stand here today and help bring the achieving to the house floor because it is going to help millions of americans and their families who have children with disabilities. it will allow them to save for their future. my husband and i were told, don't put any assets in his name because it may jeopardize his ability to sign up for these programs one day. that is the wrong message to send new parents who have hopes and dreams and are ready to save and sacrifice so that their children will have the opportunity for a better life. this will empower those with disabilities to be able to save through tax-free savings accounts for
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expenses that they may have related to medical visits, education, transportation. as a part of america's new congress we are here to advance real solutions that are going to make people's lives better solutions that empower people no matter where you come from no matter how much money you may make or what challenges you may face. this this is just one of the many ways we are doing that. it will empower many people with the opportunity for a better life. that is why we are here. one of the most important things we can do is to encourage economic growth and job creation to provide certainty. the tax code is a natural place to start some businesses and families can plan for their future. that is what we have been working on for months a
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bipartisan plan make more important tax provisions permanent including provisions for research expenditures, developmental programs and teacher reimbursement. house republicans and senate democrats working together to get things done to deliver real results for the challenges that we face. we nearly had a plan to get some stability. and then the president spoke saying it is my way or the highway issuing a veto threat to our agreement. unfortunately this week we will pass a band-aid so folks at home we will be hit with unexpected taxes come april. as a cpa i i know that this is the bare minimum we can do. this is certainly not the
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way that federal tax dollars should be written. the american people spoke and elected america's new congress because they were sick of gridlock in washington. the president clearly did not get this message. it lets hope the american people get what they deserve deserve and efficient and effective government that works. i know that we stand ready to lead and we hope the president will work with us. ..
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that has assigned a similar piece of legislation in the senate and there is no piece of legislation that has more bicameral, bipartisan support than the able act. cathy mcmorris rodgers talked about her son and pete sessions who can talk about his son alex but the chance -- this is a chance to say we believe in individual responsibility. we believe in helping people become more and independent and less dependent on government. it's a chance to work together to show that we can speak out for people that can always speak for themselves and work together to solve problems. thank you.
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>> we will take a couple more questions. jake. >> i think they understand it's going to be different -- difficult to take meaningful action as long as we have democrats in control of the senate. yes maam. [inaudible] >> with that believe that the president has the authority to do what he did. >> do you believe they can be described as a show vote? >> wasn't aware looking at a number of options in terms of how we address those. this is a serious breach of our
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constitution. it's a serious threat to our system of government and frankly we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly but that's why we are continuing to talk to our members. we have not made decisions about how we are going to proceed but we are in fact going to proceed. yes sir. >> are you willing to say the negotiations over permanently extending some of the tax provisions that have expired or dead? >> the president killed them, period. >> prior to the election had a five-point plan on what you want to do when you came into power dealing with the debt. [inaudible] >> abel is a new program that is paid for. the aggressive extenders are not paid for in a similar fashion. we are dealing with them in a similar fashion and we have the
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same issue for the last 20 years. there is no new issue here. thanks everybody. >> so it's not on the table? [laughter] >> we sat and we watch them and listen to a group of second-graders go to their drill and ann came and interrupted the president and whisper campaign i was stunned. i wrote in my notebook and he whispers. nobody interrupts are present even in front of second-graders. the president said he had to go and he went into a side room and he discovered that it was two planes down, two plane crashes in new york.
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we were now in the park and not outside of school and said stay here the present will come and talk to the pool. i said no their life cameras in the cafeteria. he'll want to scare the children but he did go into that cafeteria. he said it's an apparent terrorist attack and i must return to washington. we rushed to the plane and we were pushed aboard quickly. the door slammed and then the pentagon was hit. representatives of the nfl, major league baseball the nba and


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