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tv   [untitled]    March 12, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm EDT

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ammo forcing -- i'm sorry, favored by law enforcement civilians for lawful purposes. the a.t.f. should not propose to ban any widely used form of ammo favored by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes. i'm thankful the proposed framework has been rescinded and i will continue my efforts in the united states senate to support the second amendment freedoms of all americans. i thank you, mr. president and i yield to -- i yield to the senator from ohio. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you. i appreciate the good work of the senator from kansas. we've done a number on the banking committee done a number of issues together, and i appreciate the work that we've been able to do across party lines. thank you senator moran. mr. president, -- the presiding officer: the senator from ohio is recognized. mr. brown: i'm joined on the
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floor by senator casey just two weeks ago he and i and a half dozen other senators came to the floor in an unusual configuration, it's not something that senators do all that often we came as a group, each spoke individually about our concerns with trade promotion authority and the trans-pacific partnership both the so-called fast track and the trade agreement that's being negotiated among the u.s., canada mexico, and some pacific nations and peru, i believe, too and the nations in asia. and the concerns we have and the concerns that an increasing number of senators have about trade promotion authority about fast track they changed the name because they knew the public did not like fast track so they obscured it by coming up with some technical sounding term trade promotion authority and we see increasingly a public rising up against these trade agreements because we've watched them for 20 years we've seen
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the damage that the north american free trade agreement did to the united states, to our economy and to workers around the world and we've seen that's been sort of a prototype for the next generation of -- of cafta and other agreements in colombia and peru and now ultimately the trans-pacific partnership. i wanted to discuss this in part because we know so little about the u.s. trade representative's upcoming trade agenda, specifically the trans-pacific partnership. the way we pass trade agreements and it's important colleagues understand this, stands in a class by itself. no other legislation do we do this. it's hidden from public view but even from -- not just from public view but even from those in this body had whose constitutional duty we've stood here in the well of that senate raised our right hand, senator casey and i were honored to come in at the same time in january of 2007 and again in january of 2013, we raised our
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right hand, we took an oath to -- to understanding our constitutional duty to approve or reject trade agreements. article 1 section 8 of the constitution entrusts to congress the authority to regulate commerce with foreign policy nations but the current t.p.p. language is being guarded as though it were a state secret. members of this body are permitted to view the language only with u.s. trade representative staff there not with their personal staff. nor -- norah todd who has great skills and expertise worked on trade issues for years it's -- she's not committee staff, is not able to do this. the ustr refused retches to put down in writing their policy for restricting access. we can't even find out from the united states trade rep what this actually means except we know that access is restricted. it means few senators, it means fewer of our staff and, you know damn the public on this
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who work on this issue have ever seen the text at all. trade agreements like this affect our economy our entire economy, 40% of world g.d.p. is included in this trans-pacific partnership, countries as big as japan and the united states and economies as big as canada's and mexico's. this will affect the entire economy, it causes ripple effect for decades, we know what nafta did that was only three countries, the united states canada and mexico. this is four times that many countries. they should be debated in a transparent process the public should know, senators should know members of congress should know, we don't know enough. yet they're going to push the finance committee is fairly soon we figure going to push this trade agreement out the fast track and out on the senate floor when we don't have access to information. let me give you an example. last year the u.s. trade rep developed a proposal on something called the rules of origin for automobiles. that really matters in my
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state, matters in senator casey's states because they are such a major part of the steel and other things, supply chain for autos. i've been trying to work with the ustr to better understand this proposal since last october, i've personally spoke again last week with ambassador froman to understand it better, rules of ermine are very important provision of a trade agreement. they determine how much of a product's components need to come from t.p.p. countries in order to qualify under the agreement. what that means is, is we know as american consumers it's hard to find a suit, it's hard to find markup of anything made in the u.s.a. but we also know that many many american consumers would like to buy products that are 40% or 50% or 80% from the united states, made by workers in kansas or workers in pennsylvania or workers in ohio. but we aren't able to tell under the rules of origin what that number is and where those components come from. so if there's going to be a
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trade advantage to japan and they've had plenty of trade essential when it comes to autos, there's going to be a trade advantage to japan that they get we don't know if that -- that -- those automobile components come 70% or 80% from japan and maybe 20% from china or 60% from china. we don't know that because the u.s. trade rep won't tell us. what we're concerned about china is not in t.p.p. what we're concerned about is the people's republic of china will manufacture so much of the supply chain, so many of these components back door it into china, we can't figure out the rules of origin numbers so china's -- china's people in china are hired instead of people in the united states or the people in these countries we're trading with. these provisions are critical for the auto supply chain in our country. already facing fierce competition from china. we need to make sure we have
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strong rules of origin so that cars are made and assembled in t.p.p. countries not china. the auto supply chain employees 120,000 people in -- employs 120,000 people in ohio. and to get a feel for how important that is, our country from 2000 to 2010 our nation -- 2000 to 2010, the end of the bush administration -- i'm sorry, the end of the clinton administration till two years into the obama administration, mostly the eight bush years we lost five million manufacturing jobs 60,000 plants in places like pennsylvania and ohio closed. we know that. our industry, our economy has been growing, however, since two things. the recovery act of 2009 and the auto rescue of 2010. we have seen 58, 59, 60 months of economic growth, consecutive months since then. that underscores how important auto is in my state where as i
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said 120,000 people are in the auto supply chain. we continue to face roadblocks just to getting the basic information on a plan that would have a major effect on auto supply chain. what i don't understand, mr. president, is how can -- why would this body, why would 100 people that took that oath that senator casey and i took in 2013 and 2007, in this chamber, how -- why in the world would any of us vote for something that we can't get information about? why would anybody who took an oath of office do that? we've waited -- worked with the administration to rescue the auto manufacturing sector, it helped save our auto industry, tens of thousands of jobs in that supply chain so i want to make sure, mr. president that the t.p.p. rules are origin for autos will not benefit china. i want it to benefit american companies. and i want it to benefit american workers. i grew up in mansfield, ohio who. i know what globalization and i've seen what globalization has
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done for jobs and i've seen what globalization has done to wages. mansfield, ohio is a city of 50,000. we have a mansfields, chillicothe lima, springfield, cities that used to be -- used to be prosperous manufacturing hubs that have lost so many jobs not all because of globalization but a big part of that is globalization. that's why when ustr won't share the information that we need to devise this proposal, it's particularly -- it's particularly troubling. you can see what's happened. this trade agreement a corporate handout and worker sellout, look what's happened since 1980. these are -- these are the average wage, the average salary the blue line of the richest 1% in america. look what's happened to the richest 1%, starting in the early days of the reagan administration. look what's happened to everybody else. you got the richest 1% that have
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seen their incomes go up about 130% you've got everybody else's incomes gone up less than -- around 10% or 12% or 15%. that's not per year, that's overall. and globalization again is not the entire reason but when they won't share the ustr won't tell us what's going on it's particularly troubling when you look at this chart. we know hour workers ohio workers and manufacturers can compete with anyone in the world but they need they're are you rules and a level playing field. they don't have that here, it's clear. the rules of origin isn't the only part of the deal being developed in the dark. news reports yesterday revealed that ustr may be negotiating side letters with intellectual property provisions. the same report indicates that side letters might cover other issues as well. we remember the nafta side letters and labor on the environment, how effective they were. they weren't. clearly they were sort of the
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the bush administration, the first to negotiate it, the clinton administration to try to get support in the senate and the house a.m.t. added suedette agreements to placate workers and the environment -- environmentalists but it really did very little. we can't repeat the same mistakes in t.p.p. will the side letters be covered by the dispute settlement? what impact will they have on the overall agreement? these are questions members of congress are asking and we're not getting answers from ambassador froman or from the u.s. trade rep's office. it's time that ustr provided some real answers. it's our job to scrutinize every trade proposal to ensure it creates a level playing field and isn't just another corporate handout, another corporate handout that ships our jobs overseas. this lack of transparency isn't limited in t.p.p. i've asked the ustr to make the u.s.-european yawn union, the
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tip agreement proposals public. these requests have been met with nothing but secrecy. meanwhile the e.u. makes their proposals public. this isn't about protecting the privileges of senator casey and me the privileges of senators. this is about protecting our small companies our manufacturing companies that get obliterated when large companies move offshore. this is about protecting the workers in places like toledo and achron, ohio. this is -- akron ohio. this is about protecting jobs when plants close in jackson ohio and waverly and st. st. clairesville, school districts lay off teachers, cities lay off cops and firefighters. we've been down this road too many times in this country. it's been more than 20 years since nafta. too many plants shut down in ohio, too many shut down in pennsylvania, too many shut down in the presiding officer's state of louisiana, too many
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good jobs shipped abroad and replaced in they're replaced at all with low-wage jobs with few benefits. bad trade deals exacerbate the rising inequality, middle class families struggle to get by. the it's all about corporate handouts and worker sellouts. over four decades worker productivity rose 75%, wages rose 9%. what that says, since -- since 1946 into the reagan years productivity went like this and workers were this much more productive and wages stayed parallel to that. since the reagan years as productivity went up, worker wages have been flat except for the 1%, the richest 1% saw their wages explode their salaries explode, everybody else lived in an economy where things just don't get better. the report of the commission on inclusive prosperity chaired by larry summers concluded powerful
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forces must be navigated or inequalities will continue to widen and for many low skill work will become the norm. fast tracking proposals like t.p.p. without congressional input and without congressional knowledge let alone public knowledge of this, without congressional input without oversight, even the bare facts of the deal reduces our ability to navigate the forces of globalization and to advocate for workers that senator casey and i spend most of our time doing here. it perpetuates the imp str's approach to trade motion, relegates men's of this body -- i'm reading a book called "the house of morgan." you can't help thinking that attitude the public be damned is what the ustr is doing to us right now. they don't air today to share information with senator casey and me. supporters of ustr and opponents of ustr and they sure don't dare
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about the public learning more about this. all of this will only lead to more inequality. i want trade i support trade i want more trade. ohio workers want access to new markets for our products but we need trade that works. the way we get trade that works is not by rushing into more corporate sponsored trade agreements without even knowing what we're signing. the ustr needs to open up the process. otherwise, the public is convinced, they will see more corporate handouts and more sellouts. i yield the floor to my friend, senator casey. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you mr. president. i rise to address the same issue that senator brown raised, the issue of trade and i want to thank him and commend him for not only his leadership on this issue for many years his time in the u.s. house of representatives and now in the senate for the last eight years but especially his work and his
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focus on this issue most recently because we're moving into a period now of great debate about trade promotion authority and trade agreements that will be debated and -- debated here in the senate and throughout the country so i want to commend him for that. what senator brown spoke to was a basic economic insecurity that so many americans feel, and it didn't just arise in the last couple of years. this is a long-standing problem and a long-standing threat to people's economic security, and trade plays a role in it. i should say trade agreements play a role in it. i spoke the last time when senator brown and i were here about the concerns i had about these trade agreements but also the specific concern about jobs or the adverse impact on jobs since the north american free trade agreement and then subsequent free trade agreements in the interintervening years.
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today i rise to talk about a related but very urgent issue and that's the issue of wages. senator brown spoke to this as well. we know that -- we know that middle-class spending power is the main driver of our economic growth and the foundation of the american dream. if people have money in their pocket because they have -- they have reasonable and fair wages they're going to drive the economy in a much more substantial way but in recent years, this spending power that i speak of most americans has fallen dramatically. according to the federal reserve, the average worker's weekly earnings were 15% lower in 2012 than in 1972 when adjusted for inflation. so just in that roughly 40-year time period, wages down in real dollars by 15%. senator brown referred to a
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disconnect between productivity and wage growth, and there was a recent chart that was developed by the economic policy institute, and the source for this is the economic policy institute analysis of bureau of labor statistics and bureau of economic analysis. i'll hold it up, but it's not big enough for people to see but you can see a big line in the middle of this chart. because this is a chart i won't enter it into the record but i'll refer to it. the basic conclusion is when you look at the question of productivity growth and wage growth from 1948-2013 here's what you find. it's a two-chapter book. chapter one is a positive chapter. chapter two is really disturbing and it's one of the most significant charts i've ever seen on what has happened to the wages of working americans. here's what it says.
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1948-1973 productivity up 96.7%. hourly compensation up 91.3%. so the difference between productivity increase and wage increase basically from world war ii to 1973 was a differential of about six percentage points. so as senator brown mentioned an alignment over that time period between wages and productivity. that makes sense right. workers are producing more with the economy as it was after world war ii. workers producing more. wages should go up in a commensurate manner. but unfortunately that's chapter one. chapter two of this book starts in 1973 and it ends on this chart in 2013. in that 40-year time period, productivity was up again. now, it wasn't up 96.7% but it was up 74.4% so still strong
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productivity increase between 1973 and 2013. what you might ask happened to wages? was it still aligned was there a gap was it exactly the same? unfortunately, this story is a terribly sad story. hourly compensation 1973-2013 up a grand total of 9.2%. so in the first period, wages were up 91.3%. in the second period, 1973-2013 wages only up 9 9.2%. no one no one in this body, no one in the other body in congress no one who represents the american people in congress or any state legislature no one who represents our country can be satisfied with a 9%, 9.2%
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wage growth over 40 years when we are still having robust productivity increases. there are a lot of reasons for it. there are a lot of causes we could make that would attribute to that terrible diminution, but we have got to do something about it, and part of that is having an agenda that will speak to wages in the middle class and not to the issues that are in front of us, including these trade agreements. i would argue without a doubt that our trade agreements have made this problem significantly worse over the last 20 or 25 years, and i'm afraid we are headed down that path where trade promotion authority or the so-called trans-pacific partnership enacted into law. here's what that wage diminution meant in pennsylvania, just
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another period of time, a shorter period of time, about 15 years. in pennsylvania, median household income fell by 3% in the 15 years between 1998 and 2013 according to the census bureau but this trend that we're talking about continues today. even as our economy recovers and the stock markets reach record high the average american's paycheck is barely keeping up with the rising cost of living. so this problem of wage -- lack of wage growth is not anywhere near being solved. the decline in middle-class workers' purchasing power another way of saying wages is not just unfair but economic analysis also shows that it's a drag on our economy, which is primarily driven by consumption. so this isn't just a story of a worker and his or her family being pulled down by very powerful forces and only having
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their wages go up 9% in 40 years, it's also about the wider economy. if folks don't have fair wages it's going to drag down the economy, and we're seeing evidence of that over those 40 years. but instead of enacting policies that help the middle class and focus on this issue of wages over the lack of growth of wages, such as -- policies such as increase in the minimum wage, that would be one of the right things to do to go at this problem. facilitating access to high-quality child care. for a lot of families, the second highest costs they have, other than housing and maybe some other expense but it's usually housing or some other expense, and number two usually is the cost of child care. it's a barrier to work. if you can't afford child care, you can't go to work or you have -- you have to accept a job that pays less. extending relief to workers displaced by foreign
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competition. i would put the word unfair foreign competition. that's something else we should work on. so if we're working on raising the minimum wage, growing the middle class helping families pay for child care, helping families pay for the terribly high cost of higher education maybe no other number is more disturbing other than this wage, 9% in 40-year number that i mentioned, maybe the only other number more disturbing is the cost of college education going up higher than anything in our lives the last couple of decades. so middle-class workers know that this -- this type of policy that some are pursuing is headed in the wrong direction. so instead of them seeing us working on policies that will advance and support the middle class, they see congress considering a massive trade agreement with 11 asian pacific countries. so these same middle-class families that look to us for
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progress and action and results for the middle class and for their wages are seeing a lot of folks in washington focus on trade agreements that will make the problem worse. a recent pew poll of the nation found that 83% of americans said free trade does not raise their wages and 45% said so-called free trade lowers american wages. for many years many economists have argued that trade was a net positive for americans and did not noticeably -- did not have a noticeable impact on wages. however, recently i think other economists are having a different perspective. a 2009 paper by three economists, one of them from the university of pennsylvania, found that when workers are displaced by trade and switch jobs they suffer real-wage
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losses between 12% and 17%. so in light of this data by economists that says that when you have a job switch or a job change because of trade and your wages are going to go down 12% to 17% and all the other data that we have about what's happened in states like pennsylvania or ohio that senator brown represents, what's happened to those communities and those people, why would we go down the same path of ratifying agreements which will do the same over time? i don't think we should, and that's why this debate is very important. another analysis by the economic policy institute. a standard economic model shows that american workers without a college degree earn 1,800 less each year as a result of expanded trade. so again a further exacerbation of the same problem that trade agreements lead to. and i know that people in my
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home state of pennsylvania, and i'm sure this is true in ohio and a number of other states, they are skeptical of these deals, these trade deals because they have experienced these pressures firsthand. this is real life for them. so before we cut another deal, we should work to level the playing field for our own countries and workers ensuring workers and companies get real relief from unfair trade practices. pensians and i think americans want congress and the administration to focus on policies that lead to both good jobs and good wages. fundamentally, i argue that these agreements cause major concerns on both fronts, the jobs front as well as the wage front. mr. president, with that, i would yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that on monday, march 16 at 5:00 p.m. the senate proceed to executive
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session to consider the following nominations -- calendar number 17 and calendar number 18, that there be 30 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form, that upon the use or yielding back of time the senate vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. that following disposition of the nominations the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, the president be immediately notified of the senate's actions and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations -- calendar number 3 and calendar number 4, that the nominations be confirmed the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no
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further motions be in order that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to s. res. 85. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 85, honoring the life and legacy of georgia jones ayers. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to the preamble be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the rules committee be discharged from further consideration of s. con. res. 7 and that the senate proceed to the measure. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: senate concurring resolution 7 authorizing the use of emancipation hall in capitol visitors' center for a ceremony to award the congressional gold medal to the world war ii members of the doolittle tokyo raiders. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to an the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 3:00 p.m. monday, march 16. following the prayer 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 leader remarks the senate be in a period of morning business for up to one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes


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