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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 12, 2015 12:30am-2:31am EDT

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lly become obsolete. in west virginia when children come and our cafeteria they either get a unitized meal that is fully reimbursed by the federal government. we just feel that is in the child's best interest and work to have. [inaudible] not offering makes the point-of-sale a lot cleaner. that lends itself to increased accountability. the -- we have never had an issue as far as the revenue goes. you get a unitized meal than the full federal reimbursement. and à la carte that was
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never an issue. >> it is impressive what you have done. when you look at the automated point-of-sale the schools do not have to focus on the. that is something that we need to look at. still achieve things. congratulations. we have a lot of bipartisan support over the years for summer meal programs and to continue. i am concerned we create more flexibility in michigan we submitted a request for a waiver for the car. requirements and it was denied because of current restrictions. i wonder if you might speak more about the need for
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flexibility. it is where children me or grab and go for other kinds of models. >> sure. thank you for the question. in our case we serve both urban and rural counties. the vast majority are served in jefferson county. there are plenty of sites for kids together in the summer. they are there and it's easy for us to get them to the kids command of them consume them on-site and allow us to comply with the requirement. we have -- we have -- our
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model is based on a 6000 square-foot kitchen we invested. the program works well. with the need for flexibility comes in his rural counties. frankly, they just don't have the community centers the facilities because together even if they did there is a transportation issue. they spread out many living in small communities, dispersed. in the summer they don't congregate. but we would like to see is the ability to work on the ground in those communities with government and business leaders innovative programs that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual counties. if we could have the flexibility we're talking about i am confident we
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could reach more. as i mentioned 90% 90 percent of the kids in the state of kentucky eligible don't get it because there is either website to no site to go to her they can't get there. >> thank you. >> ms. miss jones thank you for your help. traversing kansas and enjoying school breakfast and lunch. if you were provided. >> i would allow
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i will give you every opportunity to discuss that. let me also ask you in my travels there were some schools doing well in implementing standards and they seem to be the schools without resources. in in your testimony you mentioned high, free command reduced price districts have also overcome challenges. is there a way to characterize the districts having a hard time or does it very based upon the individual communities? i bring this up because i think the distinguished senator from michigan and i tend to five rural and
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small-town schools, smaller schools. goodness knows they have problems with a lot of things. is there a way to characterize districts having a hard time or does it vary based upon the individual community and what they are doing? there is a lot of talk about training. i am trying to get at something the attitude of the community or district or whatever not much choice in this regard but help me out here. >> what i have seen districts like my own have a lower amount of free reduced a lot of those kids are making that choice to bring their own lunch. if you have a district with high free and reduced those kids will eat what they are being served. i was speaking to a director
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from a larger district and he said because of the revenue he is losing he will end up in the red for the 1st time and this is around his 10th year there that is a lot of the problem schools that do not have high free and reduced. grants available. in my district we have a centralized building to registered dietitians. we have to pay for the costs, benefits, even indirect costs to help pay for utility and custodial staff. little districts usually have someone within the school so they do not have the extra cost that large districts have.
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not only do they not have the expense but are able to bring in more revenue. >> well, you have given me the exact reverse of what perhaps some of us may have is a bias command i appreciate it. that is what i was asking about. i have so many different questions. i want to get to senator donnelly who i think is next. then we have senator hoven. >> thank you. i no you are based in louisville but i want to let everyone know that dare to care service washington, crawford harrison, floyd and clark counties in my home state of indiana. i wanted to talk to you about something i no you have heard about the area
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you serve just outside of it is scott county just to the north of where you serve. we have had a devastating hiv and drug epidemic. the county also has one of the highest food insecurity rates for children in the state. i was i was wondering, in your mind, what is the best way to reach those children to make sure that they have had enough to eat stay in school, and hopefully stay away from drugs as well? >> thank you. and, you. and, yes i live just down the road from scott county and share your pain with what is happening. you know i guess i think in my mind what is happening there points to a larger issue before the community with this reauthorization investing in our kids today can prevent so many issues down the road.
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we heard kids who grow up in a food insecure environment will have all kinds of issues. as they age up they will find themselves with less options. i am certainly not an expert on drug addiction but i would have to guess that there is a close correlation between the levels of food insecurity you see in some of the problems folks are facing with no alternative to turn to. the best way one of the great ways that we can better serve counties would be going back to the ranking member's question about flexibility giving us the ability to tailor programs to be able to provide a summer food to kids in rural counties where the current model and regulations may not fit so well. >> which ties to my next question.
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in rural areas and throughout the rest of the state and country there are a pack of backpack program for kids on the weekend and such. i no you helped to work with that also. do you think as you look at that they would be able to reach more food insecure children if those meals and that program were eligible for reimbursement. >> absolutely. that program with dare to care, that is one of the programs we used to reach kids. when kids are congregated it is the one place we can get nutritious food to them to take home. currently we find that program entirely with private donations. entirely privately funded, but it is a great
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public-private partnership because we are leveraging private dollars to help address an issue that we currently cannot address with federal dollars. and so the answer is yes. if we could find a way -- find a new revenue source that would certainly have a positive impact. >> thank you. one of the areas of concern for me is also the general obesity that has occurred in children and the increase in diabetes type two. as you look at that what more can be done to teach about healthy eating lifestyles and how to prevent things like diabetes type two?
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>> certainly we're seeing a rise in type two diabetes in younger and younger children i think starting early with early healthy infant nutrition and transition to solid food and good feeding practices, healthy habits for families at home is essential. many children with severe problems in adolescence with their health have already by age five had obesity. early intervention family education stronger links with the healthcare system and food and providing information about food programs for providing education understanding what is available would help get them off to a good start in 2007 we considered all children at risk for obesity we trained physicians to do
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preventive counseling for everyone. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you mentioned in your testimony some of the difficulties in complying. what can we do? >> we just want to make sure we go forward. right now right now we are able to get by struggling but able to meet requirements. if we go on that would mean that we are serving therapeutic sodium level. there will be no flavor to the food.
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i received an e-mail from my director letting me no student surveys are back from parents and many say their children no longer eat with us because there is no taste to the food. that is a big concern. as we continue it will be a larger concern. >> last year i included a provision that kept the whole-grain that 50 percent rather than 100 percent. and now i have introduced legislation with senator king. bipartisan legislation. they would keep us out the lower sodium level but not go to the next level and continue the provision that 50 percent of grain products have to be whole-grain
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enriched. is that something you think is workable and your state would find workable and you feel other states would find workable? >> absolutely. >> touch on issues as far as the competitive requirements we want we want to make sure school lunches are healthy and kids are eating them and we also want you to be able to continue with the oligarchs. i understand there are issues in terms of what you can provide à la carte. >> we would like to be able to serve items on the reimbursable meal. you have to look at each item. it is much more difficult to be able to get an item to serve à la carte. we would like to be able to do that. >> again, just flexibility.
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>> thank you. glad to hear of your successes in terms of implementing the program in west virginia and certainly it does not mean a rollback of good nutrition standards but making sure we have healthy meals and that our schools are able to make their budget. can you tell me how many schools have applied for an exemption from the hundred percent whole grain requirement? >> well, we did the whole-grain rich requirement back in 2008. the only thing that has affected our schools -- and i was implemented across the board. the only thing that has really touched in west virginia as it relates to pasta because we have some schools having trouble getting the product.
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>> and that is the issue whether it is pizza tortillas, pasta when we talk about whole-grain rich it is not just bread but these other products hence some flexibility is helpful and that is why i have advanced the 50 percent whole-grain enriched. you have quite a few schools that have applied for exceptions. wouldn't some flexibility be helpful? >> i cannot speak for the schools. when you are looking at granting waivers my fear is that it would give industry pause to come on board and make products more available at a sooner time. we had lots of waiver requests even competitive sales.
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if you have a good standard in the child's best interest you hold that standard. our participation in west virginia is the highest it has ever been. breakfast participation is starting to exceed that of wants. i think in west virginia and we have cooperated purchasing groups the pool their efforts -- i think we are on the right track. >> you do not feel there needs to be flexibility? >> well, i do not know the number. >> twenty-two. >> twenty-two schools out of -- we have about 700. certainly that is cause for a waiver until the product can become available. it was my understanding it was more related to pasta. >> i understand in some cases it relates to a
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certain product and that makes sense. i will wrap up here mr. chairman. the current dietary guideline regulations allow for some refined grains as well. why wouldn't that flexibility makes sense for school kids two? >> thank you. >> additional questions? >> thank you. i am trying to five i realize that we are making changes. behaviors are hard to change wanting to be more focused on health and wellness. i have to say i visited a
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lot of school districts some creative. you take this vegetable advocates do not know they are getting it. others were they say the government says you have to eat broccoli. so it depends upon presentation. we want to be in the creative process. but i wanted to ask you about specifically the exemptions for whole grains. and my dear friend from north dakota has been passionate. out of thousands of schools across the country we have had only 350 requests for waivers. 350 requests across the
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country, 900 school districts in michigan alone. one in north dakota, for in kansas. i am wondering have you received many requests? again, why would you believe your schools would not be asking for the flexibility of the waiver that we put in place? >> i could not give you the number. we have received some requests. it is my understanding that the requests are for pastas because the product is not readily available to purchase and has something to do with the particular product having trouble maintaining its consistency. and some more of that type product hits the market some schools were struggling. as far as the whole-grain
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requirement, that has been in place since 2008. students are accepting of what they call the brown bread. i think it is a good standard and we just need to wait for industry to come up to speed. >> there are differences between larger and smaller districts and some that have community eligibility. again, in west virginia, how do you handle that with a larger district where there is a smaller number of children so the economics i'm sure that's different. that he handle that in terms of districts? >> as far as --
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>> the economics of funding and so on. that seems to be one of the concerns. large districts are losing money because there are fewer children being reimbursed on free and reduced lunch and other children are not buying lunch. >> that is a great question. the anticipated that before we implemented community eligibility. we were not. we did our own inversion and we knew that if we selected line districts or however many we did and said that you now can have breakfast and lunch at no charge if we did not fundamentally change something it would create a problem with the budget. we worked in conjunction with the state legislature
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and passed the west virginia feet to achieve act and what that did was realigned breakfast with the instructional day. we were offering breakfast at the worst possible time. so we have a state law that mandates that schools school can no longer compete with the start of the school. it must be offered either breakfast in the classroom after 1st, after the bell or some combination. and what it has done in conjunction with community eligibility for breakfast participation is starting to exceed that of lunch. financially speaking that is good for the program because the margin of profit if you look at the federal reimbursement the margin of profit is higher on breakfast that of lunch. plus, it is the most
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important meal of the day. now we have naysayers in the beginning for example teachers that did not want food in the classroom will now go to that and are promoting the program because they can see a difference in test scores of student attentiveness, reduced parties, fewer trips trips to the school nurse fewer behavioral problems. it has changed the way we are educating children in west virginia. one school district that districtwide they are breakfast participation averaged almost 90 percent 90 percent of the children had a breakfast daily basis. and that is how we have been through the economies. the cost to produce one more breakfast it is not that significant. the revenue coming in a substantial.
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>> thank you. i no that my time is up. >> excuse me. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize for running back and forth. this is an important hearing and topic. i am on the other subcommittee that is also very important which, again all these things go together i apologize for running back and forth. again, i know these things have been discussed already but it is such an important thing. our meal participation has increased in recent years and is important. however, we struggle to reach children in rural areas. talk about the challenge you have experienced with the meal program and also give us concrete recommendations
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as to what can be done to overcome challenges. >> sure. as i i said, there to care service both urban and rural counties. particularly in indiana. you know the distance between the communities is so great in the communities so small that it is difficult to find locations where kids can go and congregate. ..
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we are actually looking at the possibility of preparing meals in our community catching -- kitchen putting them on the bus and taken them to rural counties and simply driving to the hollis where you will have a community of 20 families and dropping the mail soft and letting the kids consume them as the bus goes away and goes to the next community. the challenge with that model under the current rules is you know unless we stop and the kids eat the mail on the bus and we count the number of children we can't be reimbursed so the sustainability of that model is doubtful and that is kind of a challenge that we are facing which is why you know one of the things we would like a committee to consider is allowing us to look at more flexible models in
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those counties like i'm sure in arkansas would probably benefit deeply from that. let us look at those and make those eligible for reimbursement as well. >> mr. goff you mentioned you started your program in 2009 and i think that's great and i think our states need the flexibility to do with as they feel is best. can you tell us based on 2009 until now what are your ob city levels? have they gone down or have a flattened out or have they continued to go up up or do you have any knowledge about that? >> in west virginia? we adopted the standards in 2008 2008. >> what has happened as a result? >> i think our pcb rate has leveled off. i don't have the data but i do know that our school environments are healthier. in west virginia, hunger and obesity left side-by-side. trying to put the finger on the
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culprit we have done everything in our power to provide safe and healthy learning environments. >> and i agree with that. the only reason i mention that is that this really does come together with a whole host of other things so we need to address this you know and like i say i don't disagree that you are doing a great job and doing what you feel is best for your kids but it is i think one of the problems we run into is you know we feel like if we just do this or that in this particular area we are going to solve our problem and the reality is with pem lots of other things after school activities all of that goes together and if we don't do it often we are in trouble. ms. jones you mentioned in your testimony the importance of flexibility. can you talk to us a little bit about specifically the kind of flexibility that you like in
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some areas? >> sure. just like when we talk about our à la carte, the fact that the path you take a healthy choice on a sub sandwich with turkey and cheese, that doesn't make sense to me. that is a healthy item. we would like to have that flexibility to put those items back on our à la carte items. having the decision to be able to raise the price of a meal or not that should be determined by each district by what they feel they're in rome and would be able to pay for it. we want to be able to keep those kids in those cafeterias. we can't serve them nutritious meals that we don't have them eating with us so those are the types of things we are wanting to look at. like i said with a fruit and vegetable they want to encourage our kids. that's something we have always thought was very important.
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we do not want to lose our unlimited fruits and vegetables because we can't afford to do that anymore. >> thank you and thank you mr. chairman. >> dr. hassink i apologize that we have not paid more attention to you especially with all of the work. >> i would have if i would have had more time. >> thank you. >> but you made a typical situation where the chairman is answering the questions that i would have asked you. you made some excellent points with regards to lack of specific nutrients have a specific time and the detrimental effect that has had on attention and development, short-term memory iq scores and everything that everybody strives for but if
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they miss the boat they missed the boat. i'm not asking you to expand upon that research. i think it's self-evident but i want to let you know how much we appreciate your coming in here today. i am now moving to the conclusion of our hearing this afternoon, i guess it is this afternoon, thank you to each of our witnesses and to the first panel as well for taking your time, your battery valuable time time -- you're very valuable time to share your views that are related to the child attrition programs. these testimonies that man provided today are valuable for the committee to hear first-hand and to keep on record. your thoughts and insights will be especially helpful is when to go the reauthorization process and to my fellow members i would ask that any additional questions that they may have for the record be submitted to the committee five business days
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from today or next thursday may 14. the committee now stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> president obama is a georgetown university tomorrow participating in a roundtable discussion on ways to address poverty in the u.s.. that had it been part of a three-day catholic evangelical leadership summit scheduled to begin just before 11:30. we will have live coverage on c-span3.
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>> the senate is expected to hold a procedural vote tomorrow on a bill granting president obama the authority to negotiate
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international trade deals which would then be subject to a simple up-or-down vote by congress with no amendments. the measure passed the senate finance committee late last month during a markup. other legislation considered at the time included a bill that provides federal job training to those impacted by foreign trade and another that react versus trade enforcement activities by u.s. customs and border protection. this is five and a half hours. >> let's have order. the committee will come to order. the committee is meeting today to consider for trade bills. the first is an original bill relating to the. adjustment assistance program and the health care tax credit. the second is the original bill relating to the african growth opportunity act and another trade preference programs. the third is an original bill relating to customs enforcement and the fourth is s. 990 by the
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bipartisan congressional trade priorities and our ability out. all of these bills agree to after long and difficult negotiations between myself, our ranking member senator wyden and also by the ways & means committee chairman chairman ryan. they all are supported by the administration which is kind of amazing when you start to think about it. to report these four measures as separate bills. once we do that, that is our plan, once we do that i will work to ensure that all four are enacted into law. as we have discussed previously i will particularly work with our ranking member and the senate leadership senior tpa move on parallel tracks. i will now recognize the ranking member senator wyden or any points you would care to make at this point. >> mr. chairman thank you. i have a brief opening statement. i thought it might be helpful
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for you and i do have a colloquy with respect to the process moving forward. i would like to emphasize that you have the importance of moving all of these bills enacting all them into law. each one of them is important. although i preferred the term procedural approach it's important that all four of these bills be enacted into law in particular tpa nta originated back in the 1960s as an ineffective compact whereby each reinforces the other and that remains the case in my view today. it's critically important that they travel on parallel tracks. the vote will be enacted simultaneously. i will work with the chair then the leaders along with house colleagues to make sure that happens. let me give the opportunity to respond to the colloquy mr. chairman and then i will
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have a brief opening statement. >> all right, thank you. i think i will make a statement this time myself. today's markup is an important step in our long effort to enhance american trade. each of the bills that force today have been in the works for some time and each of them are the product of bipartisan compromise and operation. i want to start by explaining what i said in a hearing last week. u.s. trade with foreign countries is a good thing. it's a pretty simple statement one that's hard to disagree with and while i don't think many would quibble with that premise there are rate -- wide range of views as to how we should go about facilitating trade. expect many of those views will be express today that indeed i think we'll have a spirited debate on these issues and i'm personally looking forward to it. my personal view is we need to do all we can to tear down barriers to american excellence while at same time creating enforceable training partners so
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we can ensure job creators and american workers are competing on a fair and level playing field. that is the goal of all of the bills on today's agenda. i would like to take just a few minutes to talk about each of them. the first bill we will consider is the trade assistance or taa through this legislation represents a compromise between senator wyden and house ways & means committee chair paul ryan. i'm not if fan of taa am i recognized the support of the members of this committee on both sides of the island while i plan to vote against this legislation i'm glad we have the opportunity to debate the program on its merits. and i suspect it will go through. next we will consider a bill that will reauthorize three of our trade preference programs the generalized system of preferences for tsp the african growth and opportunity act and tariff preferences for haiti.
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these preference programs are very important tools to build a trading relationship with countries by encouraging development, diversifying their economies and creating jobs. at the same time u.s. manufactures benefit and rely on the tariff protections provided to the programs. i would like to thank senator isakson who has been a leader for years on the african growth and opportunity act. we are very grateful for his work on this and we are going to report legislation to renew today. thanks in large part to senator isakson's input on the system. if preference though represents an agreement. after considering taa in the preference though we will move to legislation designed to strengthen enforcement and approve the trade facilitation of the border agencies. trade enforcement act of 2015 puts in place the right tools to keep out counterfeit products
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that threaten american innovation and the health and safety of the american people. the bill helps bolster exports by ensuring other countries apply with -- comply with u.s. trade bills to protect international property rights. this is a bipartisan bill that would help advance americans attending create better jobs and strengthen our economy at home. after we had debated and voted these three bills we will move to consideration the bipartisan congressional trade priorities and accountability act and then to the new trade authorization. this represents a bicameral effort to empower trade negotiators and a role in crafting u.s. policy. it was introduced by senator wyden and myself in the senate by chairman ryan in the house. this is truly an extraordinary bill containing the clearest articulation of trade priorities tonight patients history.
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includes 150 ambitious bystander negotiating objectives that would direct their. negotiators to break down barriers of american exporter states in the 21st century economy. the bill also contains an unprecedented consultation requirement that would enhance congress's role throughout the process. i would like to commend senator crapo for his leadership bringing greater attention to the problem of insufficient public and correctional access to trade negotiations. one important changes to the new bill will ensure the public reader access to agreements well before they are signed. this provision should help us restore public confidence in the process and senator crapo has been influential in helping us get there. like prior tpa builds the procedures and our bill guarantee that all of trade agreements would get an up-or-down vote in congress. the same time we have been neutral to hold the administrator accountable whatever administration including the procedure that congress can employ for trade
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negotiators fail to make progress toward meeting negotiating objectives. this is a good bill 1 that i think members of both parties can support. the end of the day i think we will see a strong bipartisan vote in favor of irtpa legislation. on tv and the bills on today's agenda is today's agenda is a meeting where sahner not only just what -- my colleagues for the help on these issues and in particular senator wyden that i would like to thank senator wyden for working with me and all of these bills. it has taken us a while to get here but i think it's been worth all the time and effort. i'd also like to thank senator plumber for his assistance on these. issues. he has been vital to our efforts efforts. he has been a trade investor in the past and we have relied heavily on him.
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in addition senator toomey has been helpful when it comes to issues. the bills before us today include the strongest language yet on enforcement and much of that is due to senator toomey's were. senator thune has been able to incorporate a lot of his ideas that i would like to thank him for his help in this and other areas and senator grassley has provided invaluable advice on agricultural issues. thank you chuck for your help. without i want to say the senate finance committee -- it's not time to celebrate yet. we have a lot of work to do. i now recognize senator wyden for any opening remarks he would care to make and then we will go from there. >> mr. chairman thank you and i very much appreciate the fact that you and i have been working on this now for over six months that i want to say to my demo that a colleague that i could go right down the road and single out each one that but we would
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be here until breakfast time. i'm just going to make a few points as we get off onto this discussion. over the next decade and a half global middle class is going to move more than 2 billion people and they are going to be spending an awful lot of money. they are going to buy computers. they're going to buy cars. they are going to buy medical products agricultural goods engineering services and more. the reason i think this is such a crucial topic is i want those billions of people to buy those products that are designed and built by oregonians and american workers and to get those workers high-wage jobs in a tough global economy. if we are going to do that it is going to take a fresh trade policy. the president put it very well hidden state of the union where he he said and i quote past trade deals have not always
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lived up to the hype. in my view the 1990s playbook on trade has to go. our trade policies of 2015 have got to work better for american middle class. that is why i've been working on the bills we are going to deal with today. here's what is going to change with this package. our country is going to aim higher in trade agreements. our trade enforcement will be much tougher. in the process of negotiating and voting on agreements will be more transparent. it will be more open. it will be more democratic. the legislation is designed to safeguard american sovereignty and promote american values. congress will be sending u.s. trade policy in a more progressive direction than it has ever been before. the committee spent a lot of time over the net last several days discussing his proposals
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and a piece of the package that focuses on trade promotion is certainly going to get much-needed attention today but i want to make sure the other parties get the attention they want as well. this package is going back to american workers with job training financial support and access to health care when they are not off stride by the global economy. it is a tough challenge competing the global global market and there is fierce competition everywhere. that is why the package extends the health coverage tax credit and expands trade assistance to include for the first time service workers in addition to workers in manufacturing. the trade assistance benefits will be enhanced above current levels. finally the legislation is going to extend the generalized system of preferences in 2017 in the hope that an african growth and opportunity act will be expended for a decade.
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these are important programs. important programs that will do a lot of good in developing nations around the world. i'm looking forward to a spirited debate on all of these proposals and i know there will be many unknowns and certainly in a lot of energetic discussion but i also believe there's a lot common ground particularly at guaranteeing that there are modern trade policies that work for america's middle class. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator wyden. let's have an understanding we are not going to have any displays are out verse or we will escort you out of the room. we are going to do more than that as far as i'm concerned. so let's treat everybody with respect from both sides of these issues. we are going to have to devote. we will let senator grassley give his opening remarks which will be about three minutes.
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>> i was not sure we would get to this point a month or two ago but it sure has worked out well that senator hatch and senator wyden and work together to get us to this point. trade is very important to our country and our economic teacher. trade promotion authority with it we are going to mark it up today as an important tool in the end that's -- advancement of u.s. trade agenda. his legislation has proved congress and the frustration can work together to increase economic -- economic opportunity for americans across our 50 states. we already know in common sense that 80% of the purchasing power in the world is located outside the united states along with 95% of the world's consumers. as a middle-class expands in regions such as asia we have to make sure our businesses and workers have the ability to take advantage of the economic opportunity it represents
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represents. in iowa alone, 448,000 jobs are dependent upon trade according to the u.s. chamber of commerce figures and those jobs pay 18% higher wages on average because they are tied to trade. we know that american business and workers are the most efficient and productive in the world. we just need to make sure that they have the opportunity to succeed. while i support and believe in the immense benefits of free trade i also oppose countries tilting the field and their favorite directions like undervaluing their currency to make their export goods cheaper in the world market. no business can compete with cheap currencies that are artificially low and have a exchange rate that prevents trade to flow freely. this tpa bill represents the modern realities that we face from a global economy that need to be addressed by our trade
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negotiators. the bill includes clear negotiating projections that must be science-based which will help limit disruptions to u.s. agricultural exports. negotiating objectives are offered. trade and goods that are new and unique issues for the time we now live in. clear guidance from congress is also given for localization barriers and intellectual property rights. more transparency and consultations are also required of the administration. this is a good tpa bill that congress needs to pass of to pass so that we can finish our trade remiss we have been working on for years. the tpp and other trade agreements we might take up in the future under this legislation offer tremendous opportunities for our country and my own state of iowa. we must take the necessary first
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step, and that is why we are here today so i'm glad we are proceeding accordingly. >> thank you senator grassley. there has been objection to this meeting so we will come back from this vote. there are two votes until 11:30 unless we can remove that objection we will then recess until 4:00. and then we will be back here for as long as it takes. i will recognize senator sanders for a statement. have you voted senator brown? >> my opening statement is really short. >> go ahead great. >> thank you for allowing this. i will be brief. i have filed many amendments 88 initially for the bills we are considering. my dell will approve a negotiating objectives and expand congress's role which this should all be about in evaluating and assessing trade
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agreements. i appreciate the chairman hatch and ranking member wyden working with me and my staff to get some of them considered on the tour to debating them in the course the day in the evening. i wanted to thank chairman hatch and ranking member wyden for including the chairman's mark to level with playing field that in the customs rasterization modified mark. this legislation will make a real difference for companies across ohio and the workers at those companies places like u.s. steel and many others who base unfair trade and need strong laws to fight back. i know you and your staff met many weeks to get this bill included in i'm truly grateful. thanks to my colleague senator portman and kc. amber: and coats for their advocacy and i look forward to a productive and constructive markup. >> thank you senator. let's go vote and we will be back as soon as we can.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the meeting is called to order.
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i will now recognize any senators who want to give opening statements. i would urge you not to give them. [laughter] but if you feel like it i would urge you to give them. that will be fine with me. it would allow us to move more quickly to the business at hand. any senator who does want to give an opening statement i asked her limit their comments to no more than three minutes. is there any desire to give any opening statements? with that, then we will senator or menu or recognize. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want his same pleased we are moving ahead with this debate today because as you know exports are incredibly important to our economy. 20% of factory workers depend on
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exports and i want to congratulate you and senator wyden for getting us to this point. the same time as you and i know because we have talked about this a lot ohio wins are concerned that we level the playing field. in other words american manufactures workers farmers service providers who are facing undersold imports have the chance to compete and compete fairly. i have a number priorities that will be considered focusing supporting keeping jobs in ohio at rowing experts while holding our competitors feet to the fire so they complied to the rules that i want to mention three priorities that have been adopted into the trade package. m. pleased to learn that the steel manufacturers and steelworkers bill has been adopted that is memorable and sure american steelworkers remains globally competitive. it's a tough time for the steel industry right now the last thing they need is additional unfair competition and this helps with regard to the standard to make it easier to use for steel companies.
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competitors need to be held accountable. it's backed by the united steelworkers but major companies all of them have strong presence in my home state of ohio. unfortunately some of our competitors don't play by the rules sometimes and that is why i have worked with senator wyden to crack down on these countries have a vague duties through evasion schemes that can be addressed to what is called the enforce act which i strongly support and i'm pleased to seats in the customs bill and i congratulate senator wyden for getting that done. i'm pleased to see the trade assistance is going to extend the health care issue we talked about a lot in this committee health coverage tax credit. this is important to workers and families in youngstown dayton and sandusky including 5000 retirees in ohio along with hundreds of steelworker retirees. it's a key priority in i appreciate it being in the legislation.
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with regard to trade or motion authority our goal should be to ensure that a trade negotiators can get the best possible deal at the negotiating table for american workers. i want to be clear as i have been in as i haven't passed the epa needs to address issues that till the playing field away from workers in ohio and other states such as current to manipulation. we agree that currency manipulation is a bad idea and we want to stop it and what we are trying to do with regard to the amendment i plans offer leaders to ensure that foreign governments are put on notice and they enable their workers, our workers to have a fair shot so they don't get an unfair advantage by manipulating their currency. by devaluing and manipulating currencies of their weaker against american dollars some of our competitors china with examples japan with examples japan in the past have made it cheaper to exploit their goods in the united states and third country markets. if that isn't bad enough our
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workers make it more expensive for countries to import american goods to support good-paying jobs here at home. here is a letter signed by thousands of ohio autoworkers who call current to manipulation than most critical, the most critical trade barrier in the 21st century. these are the views not just of autoworkers in ohio but around the country who are concerned about this issue. i have had the chance to visit with them back home as many of you have and this is why this amendment is so important. which so much -- was so much to gain we can't let countries take away like gaming the system. that is why it stood by side with ohio workers and trade abortion cases to ensure they are protected from illegal practices including targeting u.s. jobs ranging from working with united steelworkers on cases of tire workers on coated paper products and i've worked closely with mike colleague from
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ohio sherrod brown. i am pleased to be joined by senators tony, burr casein cardin to jumpstart the misleading tariff bill. while insuring mpb can pass in and restart this process next year. this is important to a lot of her manufacturers and other companies we represent. this bill helps manufactures remaining competitive by having access to needed inputs that aren't available at home. but only overseas. since its expiration manufactures about to cut jobs to do with these rising costs. they look or to working together to pass the amendment to help american manufactures. senator cardin and i are in choosing them at to make sure negotiations protector ally israel who has been the target of economic welfare to weaken and isolate from international investment trade the so-called bds amendment.
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the issue is particularly important as we consider negotiations with the european union under the ttip and i should mention today's a 30th anniversary of our trade agreement with israel signed by minister of commerce ariel sharon 30 years ago. again mr. chairman i congratulate you and senator wyden for getting us to this point i think all of us can agree we need to expand exports and that's good for our economy. not only creates good jobs at good-paying jobs. they pay on average 18% more. we also have to ensure the playing field is made more level for our workers in ohio and around the country. >> thank you senator.
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[inaudible conversations] b if you would like to make an opening statement. go ahead. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i will be brief. i want to thank mr. chairman yourself an iraqi member wyden for including two of my amendments and to modify the chairman's mark i that creates a cheap manufacturing negotiator for ustr. we have a chief agriculture negotiator but not manufacturing negotiator. we don't have an economy or middle-class to make things as well as groping so that's important in the other would expand to technical assistance programs at the usda and usaid.
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i thank senator roberts for working with me. i also senator wyden want to thank you. even though we are in different places on this my and i will not be supporting tpi or shade the work you have done on transparency and enforcement. for me the bottom line is we want to export our products not our jobs and when we look at the global economy we have a choice of creating a system where there is a race to the top with opportunities to strengthen not only our middle-class but the middle i suppose around the world or race to the bottom in terms of lower wages and shipping jobs overseas. i don't see the toughness that i need for a yes vote and certainly we'll talk more about current to later. i appreciate there is some kurianzi -- but it is not strong enough to be enforceable and i think it's incredibly important that whatever we do has
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enforceable standards and a going forward. i appreciate the opportunity to say a few words and we will certainly have more discussions. >> thank you senator stabenow. anyone else want to make an opening statement? >> mr. chairman i want to thank you and the ranking member for getting us where we are. this is both necessary and long overdue. tpa expired in 2007 without authority which nearly every president since franklin roosevelt has. we will not be able to include trade negotiations whether either cultural products manufactured goods or services. the tpa bill who considered it has been updated and modernized for the global con man i just want to mention a couple of things. i appreciate your help in getting getting those include patent legislation includes a number of important provisions and i want to highlight two in particular. one has to do with helping us to eliminate nontariff carriers
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that impact our agricultural exports especially cross they use biotechnology. non-science-based regulations like some of our partners to become a major impediment to trade and something we need to address only come back basically bill includes digital trade provisions that will help with america's competitive edge. these provisions are just making sure cross-border data flows are not restricted in the nation is does not attempt to dictate for infrastructures based are pulled from the trade the senator wyden and i had in 2015. if we want to trade policy updated from the digital age and additionally want to thank the chairman ricky member for inclusion of a number of important provisions that we will consider today. because this bill includes a provision from the legislation introduced what is known is that de minimus level for imports make it easier and less burdensome for importers and americans express delivery
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crunch -- companies. the chairman has modified mark to send a signal to our trade tartness that they need to follow suit and updating there to minimus levels as well. the bill provides an provision to trance ship and of chinese honey. important issue in my home state of south dakota which is a major producer of honey. additionally the chairman's modified market tops customs and border protection treats producers failure -- fairleigh. look forward to the committee action in passage of these bills and consideration and i hope soon on the senate floor. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. anyone else care to make an opening statement? senator roberts. >> mr. chairman nye understand we are on standard eastern time
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and i also understand we are pressed for time so i have no wonderful opening statement absolutely wonderful. i'm going to submit it for the record at this point and just let it go. [laughter] >> mr. chairman. i will follow suit. >> that is good. that is really good. anybody care to make an opening statement? >> mr. chairman? mr. chairman? if i could submit an opening statement for the record also. >> that would be fine. >> thank you. >> anybody else? >> could i move that we have the opportunity to submit our opening statements for the record? >> you have such a wonderful way of doing things.
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without objection we will certainly do that. today's first-order business as a technical document on the trade adjustment assistance at the 2015. before we begin i would like to put this assistance mark into context. what is before the committee is a carefully negotiated compromise between ranking member wyden and house ways & means committee ryan the chairman the house ways & means committee. i do not support trade adjustment assistance but i did agree i would help ensure the taa and trade authority move in parallel to allow taa to come before the committee for a fair vote. i've always been willing to debate and consider taa ripped off -- reauthorization on its merits and today it provides us with that an opportunity if anybody wants to debate the issue.
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does anybody care to bring up anything on taa? >> mr. chairman nye will be very brief as well. this is a critically important piece of legislation because this ensures that as the economy changes those changes don't knock our workers off stride. this is what in effect gives them a springboard to new opportunities in a tough global economy, new opportunities to fill high-wage jobs and i hope my colleagues will support it. >> anybody else like to make a statement on this? >> i'm sorry mr. chairman. i was on the floor concerning another bill. are we not making opening statements? >> some have a desire to. >> i would like to make an opening statement.
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>> go ahead. the senator from maryland. >> thank you mr. chairman. first off i want to thank senator wyden -- for their efforts. i think they have done a fine job and i do believe the trade promotion authority bill is a major improvement over the last tpa bill. i think the way you -- negotiating objectives including labor and good governance of human rights. how you do with them force meant it's a major improvement and i complement you. i also want to believe that we need tpa authority to complete the tpp agreement and i hope we have a successful tpp agreement. let me say though that i hope we will have a chance to improve the tpa bill as we move forward
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through the process and let me tell you my concern. trade% opportunity. yes economic values being the type of people that we are in the principles that would advance. i am proud of our predecessors jackson-vanik who against all odds was able to get a major provision included in the trade that many said why are you putting this in the trade issue. the united states provide the leadership that brought down the apartheid government south africa by using trade rather than using voice. trade is a very strong tool that we have in this country. so yes i am concerned that we have adequate provisions in trade agreements and that is why i have been very focused on this process on good governance human rights and capacity building. the legislation before us has shortcomings in that regard. i have said from the very
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beginning it's my top priority to have enforceable negotiating objectives to accomplish good governance and human rights capacity building. when we saw the bill for the first time i pointed out on page 32 as i was reading through it that the enforcement provisions that are in the bill applies only to principle negotiating objectives. principle negotiating objectives include good services investments intellectual property regulations state-owned enterprises labor environment transparency etc. etc. but not good governance. and that is why i think it's critically important that the provisions included in this bill that deal with good governance with respect to human rights need to be a principle trade objective and i would hope as we go through this process we will have an opportunity. i have several amendments that
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will point out why that is so important and i would be glad to come call my colleagues attention to the language included on page 33 of the tpa that points out very specific week without make me a principle objective the trade provisions are not applicable to human rights and i think we need to correct that. >> thank you senator. we do have nine senators in attendance. i hope we can keep senators here so we don't waste time and so that no one will be a convenient. it's going to be a long evening anyway although i think we are getting to where it could be much shorter. the committee will now walk through the market modification. i recognize our staff to do so. we also have anderson of our committee staff and norris from
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the office of trade assistance as well as terry from cbo. am i pronouncing it right? >> you were close. >> and of course we have tom bartholdi
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related to protection allowance by individuals and with respect to payments of hctz. thank you mr. chairman. >> do the senators have any questions regarding this mark? let me recognize senator wyden for any comments you may have. >> is very quickly mr. chairman it doubles job training, expands taa to serve as markers which is extraordinarily important and
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shift the local economy and most importantly a six-year extension of a program that otherwise expires later this year. this is something that has always been done as part of trade and legislation. i hope our colleagues will support it. >> happy to recognize and a senators that they have questions. >> mr. chairman. >> yes senator. >> i don't have a question but i did want to have a brief opening statements of it's appropriate i would be happy to do that. >> that's fine, go right ahead but before you do does anyone have a statement about the markup itself? >> mr. chairman. can you wait until after he makes a statement? >> mr. chairman i had a question on this bill. what has been the interaction with the health education labor and pensions committee on this one because they do the job
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training information. and i have covered quite a few of these areas. >> there are performance measurements in this bill that we believe senator ries -- senator wyden is put them in the bill. it was an agreement between the senate, our ranking member here and chairman ryan in the house. >> i was referring to chairman alexander though. >> i know you were. >> yankee. >> let's go to senator menendez. you get your statement and then we will turn --. >> mr. chairman this is not my first trade debate and i have not found any trade bill that i could not vote for in my year in congress -- my years in congress but there have been a few. in his current warm i cannot
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support the trade authority provision metaphors. all of us here in the committee have the same goal in mind and that his jobs for our workers and markets for businesses that together build a strong american economy. trade may offer a path to that stronger economy but that is not something that has automatically guaranteed. it takes tough negotiations with high standards informed by long history of trade deals that have not always contributed to rising living standards for the american west. so the trade promotion authority proposal to force today does not give me the confidence in a trade cuba comes back to the senate will be below standards especially when one of the major trade agreements is already pretty much negotiate. i don't see the strong protection for workers for the environment of the intellectual property of some of our key administrators. we are making making decisions that goes to the heart of our
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responsibility as members of congress to protect the interest of our constituents. if we are going to vote to give the president additional executive authority over trade with better make sure we empower and direct the executive branch to bring back deals that benefits all of our constituents. i have some amendments to approve the underlying bill. i will support amendments by my colleagues and we will see how it ultimately ends up but right now i believe there's a long way to go before we get to a product that can support that i appreciate the hard work you and senator wyden at put into this important legislation and i hope we are going to have a constructive open amendment process with the airing of the complicated issues that are before us. >> thank you senator. senator nelson. >> mr. chairman as you know i intend to support this tpa bill
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but i was just surprised to find out that your staff last night did trying to keep an industry in my state alive on the extension of the bahrain trade preference which has been in effect since 2005 where they bring in yarn and make it into garments going into the u.s.. this is going to shut down in and a little rural town of 1500 people it's going to shut down in 300 employees. and my question to you since i will offer it and everybody can decide, i thought it would be acceptable. would you prefer -- my question to you is would you prefer me to offer them one of the other three bills?
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i don't care what bill is put on on. i would prefer it to go onto one of the other bills. >> would like to keep this bill clean because we have got to get it through the house. if we can do that it should go through the house. this is a very important thing in the present or wants this done. i'm actually getting exhilarated in supporting our president on this. [laughter] it is really nice to support him. that's all i can say. he certainly is right on this and he has been working on it and i appreciate what he has done. i appreciate your accommodations.
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if we can get this bill clean it's really going to make a difference. >> i wish you would have a prayer session with your staff before we get to the customs bill about this bill. >> we have a prayer session every day. >> if i can tell the senator from florida it's really an important concern to him. i will visit with the chairman to reference this bill. we will work very closely. >> we will see will we can do. >> as there are no further questions to our leader at the table the proposal is open to amendment. are there any amendments of the bill? senator and the did you have a question? anybody have any amendments? i don't see any hands. >> senator cantwell was going
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first. >> if you have an amendment now is the time. senator brown. >> thank you mr. chairman. amendments one, two and three 12, 13 and 14 i asked to bring into one. >> without objection. >> i'm sorry amendments one, two and three. >> thank you mr. chairman. i called the amendment to the bill and ask consent that it be considered and block and asked the senators be added as co-sponsors. thank you. the amendments would restore the levels of taa for workers to $575 million a year sustained
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level included in the bipartisan bill in 2011. thanks to senator portman for centrists centrists and ta in his opening statement. what it means to workers and our state and i look around this room and states that have had pretty much all of us who have laid off to trade or sometimes not prescribed to trade with countries. this amendment is fully offset with applications with the statute of limitations incorporated the case of overstatement which raises 1.3 billion in over 10 years. boarded and 50 includes the underlying bill. there's no reason to increase we don't know foreign and 50 will be adopted.
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if you take the average of funding levels but the eligibility near the same as we are considering two-day taa expenditures average five and 71 million a year. this $125 million a year reduction his cuts to the sake of cuts. it's proof that taa works and 76% of participants at the training fiscal year 2013. [inaudible] again indications that work. the fact the amendment ensures that all workers including public-sector workers are eligible for taa congress shouldn't pick winners and losers. all workers who are impacted by
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trade should be able to apply. increases funding for taa for firms from 16 to 50 million. taa for firms provides financial assistance and expertise to import impacted manufactures to help them become more locally competitive. taa helps workers retrained for new jobs so they can compete in the global economy under funding these programs either of them only are trying to expedite trade agreement representing 40% on this. trade agreement coming up tpp and 20% for ttip underfunding them when we are having this kind of impact on the world economy would be a big mistake.
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