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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 25, 2015 8:30am-10:01am EDT

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passionate speeches about civil liberties in our country making sure we respond in the right way to terror. he always stood up for his constituency. he cares passionately about wales. cares passionately about rugby and will be missed by everyone. >> thank you mr. speaker. on the very last day before the 2010 general election the prime minister, then leader of opposition visited montgomery. joyous occasion which led to my presence in the house today. well will the will the prime minister make another visit to see for himself the dramatic improvement in business confidence and dramatic falls in unemployment that have taken place in montgomery shire as a result of the government's long-term economic plan? >> it was a huge pleasure to go visit my right honourable friend just before the last election. i thought it was a bit of a long
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shot. nonetheless he made it here and been a fantastic member of parliament standing up for his constituents. in wales since the election 22,000 more small business. employment in wales going up by 52,000. unemployment coming down private sector growth. we see real recovery in wales. it needs my honourable friend back here standing up for his constituents and for wales in the house of commons. >> i have here, mr. speaker, a cutting from a york crest on the 24th of april 2010. which says and i quote. david cameron last night dismissed claims the tory was put up the mps in the election november, last november. why should the public believe promises he makes at this coming election? >> i have given the strangest possible answer. this time in government, we know what needs to be done. we know the changes and the truth is, both sides of this
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house have voted for a 30 billion-pound adjustment. the labour front bench voted for it too. we have set out what needs to happen with departmental spending with welfare and with tax avoidance. the labour party said, half of the 30 billion must be raised in taxes. so we know it. there is a tax bombshell coming from labour and it is going to be, we learned today a jobs tax bombshell coming from labour. they wanted to do it before the last election. they want to do it after the next election. it would wreck our economy put up taxes for working people. there is only one group of people who can stop it. >> many hundreds of -- [inaudible] would he agree measures to reduce the noise should be brought forward? would he agree developers are
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trying to put sites up which use advantages of the reduce their profits in those sites from the noise reduction measures? >> i think i must say i think today is a good day to discuss to discuss noise pollution. i think probably very appropriate and quiet down to think about the subject for a minute. my right honourable friend consistently campaigned on this issue. this is big concern for his constituents. we're providing 75 million-pound for noise mitigation on our national road network. we're resurface 80% of that network with low noise surfacing. that can make a real difference. i will look carefully for what we can do for his own con set when sy. >> thank you mr. speaker. last week some of the rougher elements of the house chose to refer to the prime minister as chicken. i hope we have moved on. however, would the prime
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minister agree with me that it is entirely refer to him as a lame duck? >> i will tell him i will tell him what is a lame duck, that is trying to get into downing street on the back of alex hammond's coattails. they know, they now know they can not win the election on their own. so they are preparing to answer the ransom note of higher taxes more borrowing, weaker defense breaking up our unions, that is what we got to stop. never mind talk of ducks. i'm looking at alex sammon's poodle. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. on friday, together with local businesses and local enterprise partnership i will be launching a new campaign gateway to growth calling for link road to the ring roads that will help deliver millions of in
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investments new jobs to the bristol area and provide the area with the access to the motor way it needs. as part of long-term economic plan will the prime minister look for the case? the. >> first of all let me pay tribute to my honourable friend and his very hard work for people in kingswood and bristol more generally. he is absolutely right we do need to see better transit schemes in bristol. i know the transport sector will be happy to look at campaign in the case he makes. he will note, want me to say it great historian and someone written about richard iii, we shouldn't let this day pass without noting that richard iii will be buried tomorrow. it is worth remembering someone did in their relatives to get the top job and the country ended in chaos. >> order.
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[shouting] >> order. presentation of honourable gentleman. >> thank you mr. speaker. >> here on c-span2 we'll leave the british house of commons and members move on to other business. you've been watching prime minister's question time, aired live on wednesdays at 7:00 a.m. eastern when parliament is in session. a quick reminder you can see this week's session again sunday nights 9:00 eastern and pacific on c-span. for more information go to on series, view every program we've airied of the british house of commons since 1989. we invite questions about the prime minister's questions using hashtag pmqs. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend on the c-span networks.
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on c-span2's booktv, saturday 10:00 p.m. eastern on "after words," author peter wallison says government housing policies caused the 2008 financial crisis and it could happen again. sunday afternoon at 5:00 director of the earth institute at columbia university, jeffrey sachs on a development plan to counter global issues like poverty, political corruption and environmental decay. saturday morning 10:30 eastern on american history tv on c-span3, a discussion on the last major speeches of the abraham lincoln and martin luther king jr. sunday afternoon at 4:00 on real america, the 1965 "meet the press" interview with martin luther king jr. find our complete television schedule at let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. email us at comments or send us a tweet at c-span
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#comments. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> yesterday the head of the secret service testified at a house oversight committee hearing. the ranking democrat on the committee, congressman cummings, questioned director clancy about an incident that happened at the white house earlier this month. >> this was not be about politics. it can not be. it can not be about headlines or unnecessary disputes that contribute nothing to the solution. we must come together in a non-partisan way to take concrete steps both publicly and privately, to turn this agency around. again, this is a transformative moment. if we fail to do that in this moment, it can only get worse. the agents and officers of the secret service risk their lives on behalf of this great nation. they are great human beings.
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great public servants and they deserve an agency that they can be proud of. one of the things that has concerned me greatly is the anonymous emails that you got. would somebody put this up. this email, you are familiar with it, are you not? and this email concerns me. since last wednesday night the uniformed division establish ad crime scene at special post 15 at the white house after a package was thrown at an officer. the officer was told the package was a bomb. so they taped off the area and made it a crime scene. then at some point datsac, from wfo, ppd-dsaic drove through the crime scene tape. ud officers at the scene said they were extremely intoxicated. they were coming home from ed
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donovan's retirement dinner. they apparently floyded on the lights on their govs to go around the roadblocks. they then nudged the barrel closing the post with their government vehicles. they were waving white house passes around confused why the post was evacuated. the duty officers were going to arrest both of them but the ud watch commander said not to. apparently the whole incident was captured on video from inside the joc. what i don't understand is this. a lot of people this email. a lot of them got it. but you didn't. that is a problem. but you know what really bothers me? as i read this, i kept reading this email this morning over and over and over and you know what i concluded? it appears we have an agency at war against itself. the idea that in an organization
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like this that somebody would create this kind of document, to bring this kind of disruption, when they are supposed to be guarding the president of the united states of america! we are better than that! and some kind of way we have to take advantage of this transformative moment. >> you can watch this entire secret service oversight hearing on our website. go to >> the customs and border protection commissioner talked about the agency's mission at the u.s. chamber of commerce event yesterday. this is 55 minutes. >> okay. well, good morning everybody. welcome. i'm an beauchesne. i'm senior vice president for national security and emergency
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preparedness here at the u.s. chamber. we're so glad that you can join us here today and the u.s. chamber is very pleased to welcome back our friend and partner, u.s customs & border protection commissioner. gill kerry cows ski for the first addressed on the trade. as the commissioner begins his second year at cbp. we thought this was perfect time to address the trade community to give them an overview what is coming up. the chamber supports the dual mission of cbp promoting national security objectives, promoting national prosperity. we see ourselves as partner in their mission. businesses are linked together through a global web of predictable and efficient supply chains. u.s. businesses rely on the supply chains to access international consumers as well as compete in the global marketplace. improvements that address crossborder friction smooth the flow of trade and enhance the competitiveness of all of our companies. we at the chamber will continue to advance priorities that improve the performance of global supply chains.
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this advocacy will include policy regulatory reform, pursuing effective legislation on the hill promoting commercially meaningful commitments from our trade partners to advance global customs modernization. as the hill moves forward with trade promotion authority we must not forget about the bipartisan trade facilitation and trade enforcement act or customs modernization. as you know this legislation takes aggressive action to address checkpoints at our borders, lower the transaction costs of trade and provide needed resources for trade facilitation customs modernization and enforcement of our intellectual property rights. as the executive order on trade facilitation enters its second year the chamber will continue to engage dhs in the interagency to insure the delivery of a commercially meaningful single window that meets the white house's 2016 deadline. and finally as the trade facilitation agreement advance the chamber is committed to a public/private partnership that
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insures accountability for come merkley meaningful implementation. we look forward to working cbp to modernize customs procedures and streamline the passage of goods by cutting red tape and bureaucracy at our global borders. with that said we know with have a great participate with the commissioner and his team. we look forward to working together to advance our shared priorities on modernizing the border processes for 21st century trade. it is now truly my pleasure to introduce commissioner kerlkows ask. i. he was nominated by president obama and sworn in march 7th, 2014, as commissioner taking the helm of the 60,000 employee agency with a budget of $12.4 billion. as commissioner he leads the largest federal law enforcement agency and second largest revenue directing force in the federal government. the commissioner brings nearly four decades of law enforcement and drug policy experience to the office of the commissioner. previously he served in such
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distinguished positions as director of white i house office of national drug policy, chief of police in seattle washington police commissioner buffalo, new york, and majority of his law enforcement career was spent with the st. petersburgs police department. he has received numerous awards and recognition for his leadership innovation and community service. gil, thank you for your live time of service to our great country. give a warm welcome to commissioner kerlowski. [applause] >> good morning, everybody. thank you so much for being here. ann, thank you very much for the very warm welcome. always a pleasure to come to the chamber a great honor. the chamber and all the staff have been great partners for the cbp and on the when i serveds
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for the president's drug policy advisor. i appreciate the opportunity to be with all of you today many of you over the last year since i had this job and during my confirmation process had the opportunity to get to know you get to understand a lot much these issues and talk about them quite a bit. i would also like to thank the people attending via the webinar. i'm sure there are people in florida that have nice tans that are busy watching this, watching this also. the chamber is absolutely vital to our nation's economic health and ace champions of american business they, you help, the chamber helps our industries compete and lead on the global playing field. i believe another player in this is the united states customs and border protection. we play a critical role in the effort. and the success of our mission insuring border security, while facilitating lawful trade and travel, is integral to america's
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global competitiveness. on a typical day and many of you already know these statistics, but i wouldn't be a good fit if i didn't repeat some of them to you the typical day cbp processes more than a million people, screens more than 70,000 truck rail and sea cargo containers at our 328 ports of entry. processing $4.4 billion in exports, $6.8 billion in imports. trade and travel facilitation are balanced with a strong commitment to a seamless border security and it makes our mission difficult but it also means that we have to have good collaboration, good communication and good partners. that is certainly includes everyone of you that are here today. well last may, when i had a chance to speak here at the chamber, i barely had two months in office. and, so some people were wondering, how does someone with a law enforcement, strong law
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enforcement background for many, many years how are you going to adapt to this trade and travel issue? how are you going to make sure you're paying attention to the economic security along with the border security? and how are you going to navigate the incredible complexities of trade? after all issues like supply chain security and cargo preinspection, mutual recognition arrangements, they all have their own special language. at cbp i think we have the most acronyms. i think we're competing with the department of defense for the most acronyms. it's a different world and some might say that it can be for me, particularly, it was a bit more opaque than the law enforcement lingo of narcotics and smuggling and, some of the crime issues that cbp deal with, deals with. but in my first year as commissioner i've seen first-hand and i've traveled all over the united states and frankly all over the world, i have gotten to see first-hand how integral our mission is to
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the nation's economic health and vitality, and the safety and security of that global supply chain. in 2014 we cleared $2.5 trillion in imports, $1.6 trillion in exports, we processed 26 million cargo containers that was an increase of 4% over 2013. as everyone in this room and everyone watching clearly knows those increases not only in trade but those increases in travel are something that we're certainly seeing in this fiscal year also. seeing that first-hand in that volume at ports provide ad greater understanding of the complexity of the trade process and how they can present some real significant challenges for you, for those of you that are in global business. we, enforce laws for 50 federal age is. we have equities, they all have equities in the trade process. hundreds of different types of forms, many more acronyms, that
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are required to import and export goods. the system is and can be time-consuming and it can be costly. that is not only for government but for all of you as well. that's why cbp really focused on streamlining and modernizing our process. we're really indebted to people that have worked and been long-time colleagues, such as al gina at cbp and for the work that they did. then to see them transform or to go over to work within the private sector is only of great benefit to both parties. cbp has to meet this international trade that is predicted, this growth in trade that is predicted in the next few years. i want to share with you some of the progress we've made and i want to talk with you about some of the things that we charted for the future. so first of all, was filling a number of key positions. over the course of since
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secretary johnson has been in office, not quite two years, it was very clear to him that there were far too many acting positions in the department of homeland security. and he made a real effort, and has been incredibly successful getting people confirmed through the united states senate. but that is also been true for cbp. prior to my confirmation, we had a number of acting positions including acting positions within, as commissioner of customs and border protection. those people did an outstanding job. i really stand on their shoulders whether it is, alan berson or david aguilar or others. they did an incredible job but as you will of news know in this room and politics of inside the beltway, it is helpful to have the impramtuer, the good housekeeping seal of the united states senate. being first con missioner confirmed in the obama administration i think is helpful but it also gave me the
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opportunity to remove a number of acting titles away from people. so many of you had a chance to participate and congratulate kevin macilene, no longer acting deputy commissioner but the deputy commissioner. i was incredible proud to appoint brenda smith as the assistant commissioner for international trade and sandra bell as the deputy. todd owen, coming from the port of los angeles as the assistant commissioner for field operations. and a strong partner with john wagner as the deputy. and then rich din the ucci, with many many years of experience in this field as executive director of cargo and conveyance security. all of these individuals are true exports and they're innovators in the trade mission and they are a tremendous asset not only to cbp and dhs they're a tremendous asset to the nation's economy and to all of you. maria boyce, who heads our office of trade relation, also our trade ombudsman.
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the additional staff that put in place in my office right down the hall to directly connect with me, when it comes to issues that are of concern to you. and they work with me on a daily basis to make sure that i understand and recognize and live up to the promises that i made regarding these priorities. i'm pleased to announce here today though that as we made these promotions, we also of course create vacancies with that. and there is a there is no single area that is more important than making sure that we deliver an on time and it operates well and that is the ace program. steve hilson is the cbc lead executive for the single window initiative. i hope you all give steve a little round of applause for taking this on. [applause] steve will coordinate all the activities within cbp in that role with a single window. he is the primary point of contact for cbp participation in
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all of our u.s. government activities relating to the single window. that includes his work with the border inneragency executive council, council of international data system board community stakeholders. we should be paying you more money. obviously. i could go on but actually, there is a lot. speaking of the single window as part of cbp's trade transformation strategy we have really accelerated deployment of our import-export processing system. automated commercial environment, ace. you recognized what huge shift it is moving from paper-based and fax original signatures and number of questions perhaps in this day and age aren't as necessary to be asked but because we had always done it that way we always continued to do it that way. we moved to a faster, modernized more cost effective electronic submissions. as we close in on key milestones
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and i can never give a speech without making sure i i give those key milestones, on may 1st, november 1st, this year and 2016 all key dates you're well aware of. cbp continues to develop test deploy the capabilities all designed to transform cargo processing. many of you know ace is the core of the executive order that was signed by president obama in 2013 some that december 2016 deadline for completion of the government-wide automated single window would streamline government. cbp and dhs are spearheading this effort and ace is the single window. it will allow relevant federal agencies to review and respond to cargo movement, reduce costs and speed the cargo process. we're working closely with all of our federal partners including the epa the food safety and inspection service. many others to insure ace is equipped to meet their requirements because we have to be a good steward we have to be
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a good partner with them. that single window is completed to serve your needs and simplify international business. well an area i'm really excited about is the ebot area. our cfo, jay williams zohn is here and -- jay williamson. this people involved in the transformation. epom processing in ace one of the most important modernization efforts in ace. ebond is important to the customs brokers self-filing importers around et cetera. when filers electronically transmit a bond to cbp they get a positive response within 10 to 15 seconds. before it was four to five days. so you can begin to understand the magnitude of this change. and its effect on the supply chain. industry has recognized this benefit and in the first month of ebonds more than 11,000 bonds
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were created in ace. more than 90% of the cbp bond market is being submitted electronically. that is really exciting news. it is good for us and good for business. another key development are centers of excellence and expertise. the centers are transforming the way we operate by consolidating industry's processing under the authority of one center. so instead of scattering it throughout hundreds of ports ever entry and perhaps importers getting different answers at different ports of entry these centers benefit everyone. they improve our ability to identify high-risk cargo and impour stations. they increase consistency and predictability for the industry. and if he have heard one set of watchwords over and over from you all for quite some time, it is about the importance of consistency and predictability. you're making your business decisions, your budgets your hiring, on and on and on. you want to make sure we're going to be in the same position talking with the same set of talking points and moving
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in the same direction so that as you make these investments, that we're living up to our potential too. and they reduce transactional costs for trade and cbp. we have three of cbp's 10 centers as of january 28th, are managing all post-release activities in their specific areas. electronics in los angeles pharmaceuticals in new york petroleum, natural gas and minerals in houston. we look forward to having the other seven virtual centers being able to live up to that full functionality as well. trusted trader, we're all familiar with trusted trader programs and they have been a key focus of ours for some time. we're unifying our customs trade partnership against terrorism and importer self-assessment. i've heard repeatedly also from people in this room and people that are watching that it's important for us to make sure that if someone goes and an organization goes to the extra
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effort and the time to be thoroughly vetted to become a member of ctpat that they're actually experiencing those benefits. we needed to and are working hard to do a better job making sure those benefits are one transparent and that they're easily accessible and understood by the people that have gone to that extra trouble. whether being first in line whether it's not having cargo held up as long because you have gone through those things to make sure that we understand and, the obligations that we have because you have gone to that extra effort. and we appreciate that. the trusted trader program, also aligns the authorized economic operator programs. those worldwide programs, that are being implemented by other countries. and frankly, they're being implemented by those other countries with our help and our assistance. our over 800 people overseas and the work that we're doing overseas is not just about protecting the united states. it is also about making sure
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that by pushing those borders out, giving people information and help and letting them experience one the successes that we've had in implementing these programs but also, two making sure they understand that in a very open and transparent way we can tell them about things that we've tried or worked on. they haven't been quite as successful. it saves them time and saves mistakes. frankly it just adds to that trusted relationship not only willing to say these are all the great things we've done at cbp and hear's what we're able to do to be helpful. here are some of the things that we, or mistakes we made that haven't worked out as well. we can save them time and effort. we're bringing them together in the program along with us. . .
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as the national targeting center come cbp and the transportation security tsa jointly target and mitigate air cargo i can find is high risk before it is loaded on a u.s. bound aircraft. and industry is recognize the value of a program improving national security and integrity of the supply chain and prevents
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major business disruption. last year industry participation in a calf grew by 15%. there are now 51 participants. what we need to continue to collaborate and work together. the things i described here, the trusted trade underscore our commitment to working with stakeholders and to modernize how we do business. it's one of the ares i am most proud of. as a key platform collaboration with industry, a commercial operations advisory committee is a critical. it comprises a broad array of private sector represented each bring an incredible test of experience in expertise in customs processes, the global supply chain and other fields that can inform and affect how we operate. in the parameters for the single window come for example, were thoroughly vetted and subjected to careful review and validation both within cbp and entered agencies but also within the
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broader trade committee. coac is a key to the process. it is an invaluable access to cbp. coac is an intel asset to me. i want to be able to announce the selection of the new members of coac and some of them are here cynthia allen of dhl global forging brenda barnes, celeste linda feldman lisa alexander of cosco adam salerno, u.s. chamber of commerce and madeleine expect international. mike white, international air transport association and michael young orient overseas container lid. they are going to be joined eight reappointed members david
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berry of swift transportation scott feuer of kraft foods susanna hager of abbott laboratories, vincent that you know group, elizabeth merrick, airlines for america, and julia raytheon. what a strong and diverse team internationally type of business. everything that you want when you're thinking traditionally complex issues and the amount of time and effort that they spend and the fact that if such great support from their organizations and other companies is really unbelievably incredibly helpful to us. and i look forward to continuing to work with them. interagency collaboration is important as many of you know, too. we work closely with treasury and tim could not be a better partner with us in these areas. we work closely with something
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called at the border interagency executive council, something that deputy secretary takes very strictly, and is involved in on a regular basis. and as a true commitment by the interagency of the highest level to make sure the people are involved in all of these things brings together the senior leaders to examine and approve import and export processes throughout the united states government. we have key leadership roles in the group as it examines and makes decisions about risk how we use information to move cargo, collect revenue and forest health and safety laws. all of these discussions are informed by the pfizer industry to improve the supply chain process and to reduce barriers for trade. of the type of collaboration is critical. for example, during the five years that i served as president obama's policy adviser i have a good, strong, wonderful working relationship with the fda. i was over the prescription drug an opiate abuse issues that some people are familiar with from
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quite a bit of attention and publicity that it has gotten. but we have to have a working relationship with the fda, as a working with dr. hamburg as the fda commissioner i continued that on when i got the job here at cbp. of thanks to that relationship we have a cbp fda working group that is working together with you all in a way to reduce some of the problems of the late shipment and transfer of those programs. and i thank dr. hamburg, as you know, after sixers at the helm of the fda for her strong leadership as she retires. and a vocal and discussion the other day she's made it clear to the staff in the key leadership within fda that these relationships and this partnership should continue. i am also working very closely with the chairman of the consumer product safety commission. we've met talked, discussed on how can we be more helpful to cpsc and, in fact how can we
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help ease some of the burden. we have a lot of people, a lot as a like to say we have a lot of boots on the ground when it comes to our ports of entry. we can be a huge benefit. and again value add to these other inner agencies. the more they trust us the more we can do within, the more knowledge and understanding we have about what they do. the better we can be in helping them achieve their legislative priorities and goals and making sure that they live up to their obligations but then, of course, the more helpful we can be to all of you. during that first year under with many of the chamber members. it was made abundantly clear that cbp has to continue to be a leader internationally on global supply chain security standards and enforcement. in my meetings with the world customs organization at a variety of levels it's been very clear. in my travels around the world it has been made very clear to
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me by our partners throughout this global environment how hopeful and helpful we can be to them. and i think that's tremendous beneficial. you are seeing that move of many places customs is by far a single focus on revenue collection, and whereby part of customs is trying to beat that deal obligation the same obligation that we have and that he think we've dealt with successfully although we can certainly and will do more but i think those are the lessons learned that we are going to bring forward. they watch us closely. the world watches the cbp closely, and we are eager to share our experiences with our foreign counterparts so that we can better align policies. to that end with the world customs organization and their 178 member nations, we played a larger role. they have considerable interest
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in our initiatives and our policies, and i have sought every opportunity to engage them and to make sure that they know that we are more than willing to be as helpful and to provide as much assistance as possible. but we need a stronger voice, frankly from you the united states. we have that expertise, we have that credibility. i couldn't have been more pleased to nominate him our deputy assistant commissioner for international affairs to the u.s. delegate to wc owes the director of compliance and facilitation. she brings 20 years of extremes and cbp. she worked on the southwest border. she was a port director. she can bring all of that to the international body, and we've not had someone in one of those elected director positions since commissioner bonner was in office as a commissioner of customs. so it's going to important and a working very hard in trying to make sure that people will recognize what a value she will be to wc oh and to all of the
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wto members. the security and integrity of the global supply chain depend on those international partnerships. mutual recognition of arrangements are a critical tool in a line standards to the international committee but these arrangements provide a platform to a trusted trader come information and to harmonize reciprocal supply chain programs. during the first year of as commissioner i got to sign for mrnas free. mexico, israel and singapore. the secretary just signed the agreement and all talk about it in a minute with canada. but bringing together these arrangements is important will have 10 of these by the way since 2003. so you can see that we really tried to speed up the process of getting these in place. a key focus has been strengthening our relationship and partnership with mexico and
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the 2000 miles of shared border and the 50 ports of entry we have within. ongoing engagement, building upon the areas identified in the 21st century border initiative, improving and expanding border infrastructure. so if you've been there lately you can see that instead of the long lines of people waiting to get into the united states, or cargo or produce waiting to get into the united states, it has reduced the time the wait times to a much smaller amount. that's because the united states government, taxpayers, have made an investment in improving that critical infrastructure. so we came up with a better facility and we came up with more people and better technology. we can really speed things through, and that's what is going on in this highly visible and is only going on in nogales also. cities are the kind of things including a new agreement for the terminal facility in tijuana
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airport. i knew after going back i've been back about four times to san diego, and the first time the complaints about the wait times were there. this time the complaints were from the vendors selling water saying people are moving through the line to quick. so there's always a complaint. as i mentioned, our two countries signed a mutual recognition arrangement in october, and this was a star. our c-tpat program in mexico's next program supply chain security programs each of us mutually recognizable arrangement so that we can do better trust. and that's a look at designing ports of entry in the future, particularly with mexico and canada how can this be done in a more efficient way. the northern border of the united states and canada just signed with the secretary and mr. blaney, a historic new preclearance agreement in accord with the 2011 beyond the borders
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action plan. that accord covers all modes of transportation between the u.s. and canada, land, rail, marine and it. immigration customs agriculture inspections required for internet either country will be able to be handled on foreign soil on the opposite side of the border. it will reduce congestion, delays and increase or did you building and cross-border travel tourism and transportation. the next step required is implement the new agreement. this for the united states and canada can now enact legislation. that legislation was introduced during the last congress and that hopefully will be introduced and you will support its passage in this congress. let me just mention to foreclose all of it about the future. and the changed that's going to occur. change is a lot like kevin. kind of everyone wants to get there but no one wants to die. [laughter] so we are working hard -- have
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been. i got that statement from carly fiorini. pretty interesting statement. what's clear to me in preparing for the future is that we need to reflect the realities of your business and the world that you exist in. the constant evolution of the global supply chain, and i recognize that while we as a major efforts already underway, there are some areas that need additional focused and they need more work and they need more work for most. trading force but. over and over again i've never heard any one say that, well, you shouldn't enforcing as spending as much am enforcement but you should do it in a consistent predictable way, and those that are violating our trade laws, those that are being required of enforcement, that they don't helps the business the businesses that are, in fact, playing by the rules and that have that level playing field. so we need to do a better job. i hear from congressional leaders about the importance of enforcement also and the
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critical role that we play in protecting our markets. we have made some strides. for example, cbp and immigration and customs enforcement, we have a new director as the of you know, and sarah was the united states attorney in dallas. so she clearly understands enforcement and prosecution issues. so were clean -- working close with highs country and -- we are trying to understand and work for the processes and the operations that we can attack smuggling and the growth of shipments of counterfeit goods. many of these posts series health and threats to public safety, and also harm our national and economic security. and in addition, trade assessments of increased by 140% from $385 million in fiscal year '11, to over $900 million in fiscal year 2014.
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but we clearly know that more can be done in that area. i know there are other aspects of the trade enforcement area that could will improve our transparency. we've gone way out of our way after hearing a number of complaints because you are our eyes and ears. you give us the information. and when you make these complaints are you provide us information about things that you believe are wrong and things that we should be following up on we haven't been particularly good in making sure that we're getting back to you about what did we do and how we handling it. sometimes the cases are complex they take on a lengthy period of time, let's do we need to make sure we're doing a better job in that area. the enforcement and collection of antidumping and countervailing duties we are working with industry and congress to increase that come indication on those important efforts. and reviewing regulations, we have tons and tons and tons of regulations. we need to do a better job of reviewing those regulations and
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we need to do a better job of making sure that you have input into some of those regulations. and i believe that as many of my leadership team really talk about that we can improve and streamline the process. it's a complex discussion. it's time-consuming. any of you devote a lot of time to be. i couldn't be more pleased with the incredible amount of time that the coac members provide on this, but it is invaluable. we welcome your ideas and this type of discussion can make a difference in years to come. those are some of the efforts i plan on pursuing in the coming year. everything i do as the commissioner over these next several years as long as the president keeps me i think i'm supposed to say over the next over years is going to be done to increase our trade and security mission. cbp plays a critical role in protecting our national security, safeguarding the supply chain from terrorism transnational crime and fraud.
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and we carry out, and i've had a chance to meet thousands and thousands of cbp employees. we carry out that mission and a very dedicated way with a professional staff, and we continue to make sure that we are hiring the very best people. we have to be an agile flexible organization. sometimes that bumps up against bureaucracy but i think we can work through many of those things. and already have. when the world economic forum said that it remove supply chain barriers, you can increase the global economy six times more than removing all tariffs everyone should pay attention and listen to that. and we have been listening to that. i want you to know i recognize my responsibility to serve all of you and appreciate the input and the cooperation and help and advice and the assistance that you do. and we really appreciate having this robust dialogue with the chamber and its members but we want to continue to fulfill our commitment to operating as a
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strong law enforcement organization while helping america's businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you commissioner. we have a few minutes for questions. and if i could just ask you to stay chin in a gui with before you ask your questions. who would like to start it off? we did cover a lot of ground of there. thank you, sir. >> i thought we had one back year but i would just lead off with questions. there is a vocal group up here so i know you guys will have wants and. so spencer, get up there. commissioner, thank you again for addressing the chamber come its members and broader membership from other organizations as well. we appreciate your partnership as always. my question is in regards to
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your international comments. you obviously see the agreement moving forward and the trade facilitation being a big component of that. that's focus on removing mobile borders and customs barriers at borders. you mentioned that u.s. customs can play a big role in the international environment. how do you see u.s. customs taking its best actresses and exporting those programs? -- practices. but also improving your practices as well to rise to the standards? >> i think we're fortunate -- >> yes we are taking. >> i think we are fortunate to have two things going on right now. one is that with assistant secretary bersin having at the helm of cbc announcing the assistance it or international issues for dhs, we have a lot of support your one, al included
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recognize that i got cbp can bring to other countries. and so we're working hard as you look at things and changes in the world. we are working hard to expand our international footprint and to put more people there. in my relations with the department of state and many of the ambassadors that i've had an opportunity work with, every ambassador in a foreign country that has a member of cbp within that embassy, almost universally tells me how valuable and helpful they are. they bring a perspective and information to the. so i am intent on moving forward with expanding our international footprint in cbp. and right now, of course, many of you know we're in negotiation. we received letters of interest from 25 airports around the world to expand greek lyrics, the same type of preclearance we have had in canada for a number of years. i think that's particularly
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imports. the other is that come and we haven't done this for a while, but over the course of the next day and have or thursday and friday will be taking all of the senior leadership within the cbp out to our advanced training facility in harpers ferry for a dan have perhaps away a bit from blackberries and telephones and to spend some time saying how can we better align, we're all busy, we all have the silos that would end up operating in, how can we harmonize within cbp to meet some of the goals that i mentioned here. >> other questions? yes. the microphone is coming. >> my name is clark nelson. we are a provider of biometric the old decision fingerprint system. you alluded in the beginning to
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the interface and challenges of commerce and security of course whether its people or goods movement across the border. can you comment briefly on the variable priorities from cbp on the new entry exit border control versus goods and management of goods crossing? >> so i think it's particularly critical right now when it comes to the identification of people and things like fraud to that document. there isn't a day that you don't pick up some news article about syrian foreign fighters, whether it's people leaving the united states, and i think the number is certainly less than 200, but it's people that are either shown an intent or have gone over to syria. and then of course, because they are u.s. citizens could return back to the united
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states. what danger, what threat do they pose and how are we recognizing that? it's certainly a much more significant concern in europe. the uk and other locations. but the fraudulent document information and stolen passport, not every country will query passports against intervals stolen passport database. we do. other countries to but that's important that we show that this is critical. when you apply and ask for the best the information to apply to come into the united states, the on the additional steps of questions -- esta. some of your bread we're working with facial recognition systems in an extended at dulles airport and these are going to continue on. so the fraudulent document information is going to be critical. biometric exit information, and
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of course as a but in the room also knows our airports really are not designed for exit. and to decide to get people onto the airplanes but not through certain portals, et cetera. so we're going come with you think through the particularly how can we work with technology given infrastructure constraints to work in those areas. so i think that the verification of people is critical. the agriculture inspections is still going to be critical. and then the screening and risk based analysis of cargo. >> mike mullins. >> i'm mike mullen from the exposed association of america and thank you for those remarks commission. i was happy to hear you emphasized the relationship you have with the other government agencies in the context of the efforts implemented. and i think i can speak for a lot of people in this room in
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saying that we feel of all the government agencies cbp has the best grasp, a the sort of deepest understanding of risk management. and that that's an area where a lot of the other agencies for a host of cultural and historical reasons have a much different perspective. so my question is i know this is being discussed in the auspices of the bic. how far do you think you can go or how do you see the government implementing a single approach to risk management that from our point of view hopefully will look a lot more like cbp than what some of the other agencies use? >> i think that the fact the that we have such a leadership role with the deputy secretary and the border interagency and having been the united states attorney in los angeles, he clearly kind of have that understanding and
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that balance, and i think all of us particularly inside the beltway know that the usual way is to close our arms, make no comment say that we don't make mistakes, and things can't happen. i can go back and take my experience as a police chief for a long time. know mayor no city council held me to a crime free city in seattle or a crime free city of buffalo. and yet there are times some elected officials like to hold folks like me accountable for know which across the border. a secure border is that no one will ever get him. and if only we do more, things will be better. we need to not do more when it comes to huge expenditures. we need to do more when it comes to being smart to being good partners, using intelligence, to using technology when it comes to border security, trade security or people coming into the country.
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i think the more we can talk about that in a very direct way the more cover or protection it gives to my colleagues and other federal agencies. >> go ahead. >> commission attempted to see. maryanne with ups. can you give us a few thoughts about your work on the on the border and how you're going to move forward just working with cbs, say on opening the preclearance? >> so they will still require through the government of canada legislation to allow that. i think we'll be able to move a little bit more quickly when it comes to the. i think given the strong working relationship that the two agencies have that hosting and
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sharing with cbs say that ability to do some of the work after legislature and the united states where they can be to work within the united states is absolutely fine. there's so many now there are some assistance now that are available to verify the work that is being done, whether it is video systems tracking systems, et cetera, that an overarching concern that well some representative from candidate is doing this, or it's a representative from the united states, we should be able to trust each other and of course, we also have those systems in place. so i think that come i think that that agreement -- >> we are going to leave this program at this point as the houston is about to meet on this wednesday. debate until 10:30 a.m. on the 2015 gop budget plan. senators will recess to attend a joint meeting with the house to
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from the president of afghanistan. more budget afghanistan. more budget to be impossible vote this afternoon. also the house continues work on its version of the budget. live coverage of the house on c-span at 10. and now live to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. mighty god, creator of heaven and earth, thank you for the honor of being made in your image, personally formed by you for your glory.
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today shower your grace upon our lawmakers today, make them sufficent for these grand and challenging times, inspiring them to walk humbly with you as you bless and strengthen them. please don't remove the mountains in their lives, but give them the strength to climb them. may they not forget that in everything you are working for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purposes. give our senators the insight
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wisdom, and courage to serve your purpose for their lives in this generation. and, lord, we ask that you would comfort the families of the victims of the plane crash in the french alps. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: this week the senate will pass a balanced budget. it's an important moment for our country. i know a lot of americans are excited to see it finally happen. our friends across the aisle don't seem to be sharing in the enthusiasm however. instead we seem to hear demands for more taxes more regulations, more overspending. basically more failed policies of the past. these are odd demands but in the spirit of budget week, we figured why not give our friends what they're asking for so last night we offered them a chance to support president obama's budget. it drops tax after tax on the american people to the tune of almost $2 trillion. it piles on the regulations. it overspends by trillions and
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trillions, never balancing ever. never balancing ever. no wonder a d.c. newspaper complied it was a -- implied what is a manifestation of the left -- quote -- "dream version of obama." you would think our friends would have supported this dream budget overwhelmingly, but actually hardly any were brave enough to do so. apparently the president's budget is just so unserious and embarrassing only a single member of his party could be seen supporting it in public. what a contrast to the balanced budget before us today. it balances without raising taxes. it acknowledges the obvious truth that washington has a spending problem and takes responsible action to get spending under control. it also recognizes the undeniable fact that government programs cannot meet their mandate to the vulnerable if left unreformed and proposes improvements to programs like
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medicaid. this balanced budget aims to make government more efficient more effective and moral -- more accountable. it will go a long way toward getting our fiscal house in order. but that's not all this balanced budget is about. it is also about growing the economy. it is also about raising incomes. it is also about creating jobs. in short it's about promoting an economy that works better for the middle class of today and leaves a more prosperous future to the middle class of tomorrow. one way to do that is by embracing the energy revolution by lifting barriers to responsible energy development just as this budget proposes. another way is by replacing our outdated and ineffective tax code with one that's simple and be effective. this budget proposes to repeal unfair taxes like those in
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obamacare and sets the table for comprehensive tax reform instead. ideas like these are just common sense. no wonder the nonpartisan congressional budget office says that our balanced budget would accelerate economic growth. the truth is middle-class americans have seen a lot of unfairness inside of washington during the obama years. the middle class has had to play by one set of rules and make tough choices while a big-spending obama administration got to play by its own rules. it's time for that inequality to end, to come to an end. it's time for washington to make tough choices and balance its own budget just as the middle class has to. now is the time for washington to move beyond failed ideas of the past like we saw in the white house left-wing dream budget and support a balanced budget instead one that's focused on boosting the economy creating jobs and raising wages. the balanced budget is before us
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right now. i'm calling on every senator to support it including our friends on the other side. we know they don't have a budget proposal of their own. we know they're too embarrassed to support the president's budget. so why not show your support for the middle class by voting for this balanced budget proposal. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. reid: i want to give those within the sound of my voice just a very brief tutorial on how serious republicans are about balancing the budget. mr. president, i led a trip to south america. we had 10 or 12 senators evenly divided between democrats and republicans. it was a wonderful trip.
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but i chose purposely kent conrad, who is the number-one person on the democratic side of the aisle on numbers. and i also decided to see if judd gregg who was the republican number-one person on numbers, to go. and these two good men sat together that whole trip hour after hour. they had their yellow tablets. they were doing what they love to do: play around with numbers. and when the trip was ended they had an idea. they were both experienced legislators, and they had been here when we did something that hadn't been done before. we had military bases in america going back to world war 1 that should have been closed, but we couldn't do it because of the politics of the senate. but we decided long ago to try something different. we appointed a commission, and they would report back to the
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senate and the house and they would make a decision as to which bases should be closed. no filibuster, no tricky procedural rules. yes or no on what they recommended. and we did two rounds of base closings and we closed scores of bases saving the country billions of dollars. so what conrad and judd decided to do, let's do the same thing with this deficit that we have. so they drafted legislation based on the base closing commission legislation and brought it before the senate. it had a like number of democrats and republicans supporting it. this conrad-gregg legislation. we had seven republican cosponsors. even the republican leader today
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at that time didn't cosponsor it but he said he liked it, said publicly that he liked it. in fact, he said this proposal is our best hope for addressing the out-of-control spending and debt levels threatening our nation's fiscal future. mr. president, what a tremendous idea. i was so happy to have had something to do with setting this program up. but look what happened. seven of those republicans who cosponsored the legislation voted against proceeding to it. we couldn't even get on the bill because republicans ran away from it. they ran away from doing something about the deficit. why? ask them. i have reasons but that's the way it is. even my friend the now-republican leader, voted against it. it failed by seven votes seven
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votes of the republicans who cosponsored it who no longer voted for it. so based upon that, we were in a quandary. washed we do? and so -- what should we do? and so a number of us democrats and republicans asked president obama could you do something with a commission of your own? it wouldn't be as good as what we had tried because that was pretty specific. you bring it back, up-or-down vote. so the president did what was the right thing to do. he found two stunningly good people who were good on money good on numbers. former senator from the state of wyoming he's such a great guy the senator from wyoming senator simpson just a fine man, great sense of humor and he knew his numbers. and what senator simpson teaming
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wither with erskin bowles, they were terrific. it gave us hope something could be done and it was really good. people from the private sector and the house and senate, democrats and republicans. now even before that, mr. president, when the conrad- judd matter failed, we thought that we had some hope. but once again the republicans on the bowles-simpson commission walked away, walked away from it. it really is unfortunate but that's what happened. it was quite interesting. people who had been criticized over the years for being too liberal, big spenders, someone like dick durbin from illinois,
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he voted for the bowles-simpson commission. it took a lot of courage for him to do that but he did it. the republicans who you thought would vote for it voted against it. and it failed. it failed. then senator biden, because of his close relationship having served in the senate 36 years got with some republicans and they made a run at it. there was all kinds of press that they were making progress. and what happened? the republicans took a hike. they broke up the meeting wouldn't go any further and that ended that. so mr. president then we had one last attempt. i worked hard on this. others worked hard on this. but it passed. it passed the congress. and we set up a super committee the joint select committee on deficit reduction. an equal number of democrats equal number of republicans. six each. what happened? republicans once again walked
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away from it. so all of this happy talk i heard this morning and i'm going to hear this week and will hear the next couple of days about this great budget the republicans have, it is an absolute farce. pundits have written accordingly. it is a -- to talk about a balanced budget, they have revenue coming in. one example of course republicans want to repeal obamacare but they want to use the revenue coming from obamacare for this fake budget of theirs. mr. president, any time the republicans are asked to close tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas, no. but they're happy to cut social security medicare and of course focus never on middle-class priorities. they use the words but it's just a joke. they want to have loopholes for wealthy hedge fund managers. they want to eliminate tax breaks for the oil and gas
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industry. they have not asked trillions -- millionaires and billionaires in this budget to pay one extra penny. mr. president, all this talk about oh this great budget we have is an absolute farce. there are editorials all over the country. i read a number of them yesterday, what they say about this. i know people are anxious to go to work on other things, but i have something that i want to say. mr. president, i want to talk about something called the antiquities act. it passed in 1906. president theodore roosevelt was the president at the time. congress wanted to give him authority to designate special lands and cultural resources as national monuments and he did that. since then, 16 presidents, eight democrats and eight republicans have used this 1906 act to protect america's treasures. for example way back in 1922,
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president harding used the antiquities act to protect this beautiful facility, that is now a facility in nevada called lehman caves. i have been down in them. they are certainly not the deepest or the biggest in the world, but they are unique and good and we've enjoyed them in nevada and that was the basis for the 1986 legislation that i initiated to create a national park in nevada. we have a national park, only one in nevada, but it is a result of the 1922 action of president harding and that's why we have great basin national park. it is a wonderful facility. it has a glacier. it has the oldest living things in the world. a great park. people from all over the world have visited this wonderful facility. so nevada's lone national park exists today because president harding, who used a -- the
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antiquities act to first designate the lehman caves. some members of congress -- frankly, it's a minority -- believe we should repeal and gut this law. they have a weakening of presidential authority that in the past has protected the grand canyon and even the statue of liberty. who in this body think america has suffered because the president's have in the past protected petrified forest, arches in utah, bryce canyon -- i have been to all of them. even though utah is an extremely conservative state i've not heard one single member of congress or governmental authority from utah saying that was a huge mistake. they draw millions of visitors to the state of utah with their beautiful lands they have there. what about the muir woods in california? just stunningly important. that came about as a result of a president designating them under the antiquities act. 16 presidents, eight of each
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party, have used this act to protect america's treasures. i'm proud of what president obama has been able to accomplish through the work he's done in the antiquities act. he's moved where congress has failed act. caesar chavez and the chicano labor union was honored by creating the caesar chavez announcement. fort monroe in west virginia recognizing the struggle for freedom for african-americans. it's a beautiful facility. we have in honolulu, the honalulue national monument to remember the terrible internment of japanese americans during world war ii. last month, president obama protected by proclamation the pullman national monument which celebrates the history of the african-american labor movement in america. as a westerner i appreciate what he's done to protect america's beautiful landscapes. rio grande del norte in new
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mexico. desert peaks national monument, also in new mexico. browns canyon national monument in colorado. western landscapes in california washington, hawaii. just something that is so important to be done. so i'm disappointed. here on a budget bill, there's going to be an effort made to gut the antiquities act. i hope not. i will absolutely do everything i can to protect this act that's been in existence since 1906 and used by 16 presidents. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will resume consideration of s. con. res. 11, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 31, s. con. res. 11, concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the united states government for fiscal year 2016 and so forth.
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the presiding officer: the time until 10:30 will be equally divided and controlled by the two managers or their designees. mr. wyden: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: first of all i want to thank chairman enzi for his courtesy in allowing me to take a few minutes to discuss an amendment, a bipartisan amendment that i will be offering on this bill, and it deals with what i think is going to be an enormous challenge this summer for the west, and that is dealing with this wildfire challenge and the prospect that we could literally have enormous fires, what are virtually infernos throughout the west this summer. and i make that judgment, mr. president, because recently i was home, i got a briefing, for example in mittford -- in mitford, oregon, where they told me it was the driest it had been
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for 25 years. and in mitford when you get an update on the fires and colleagues it's also worth noting nobody used to have a fire briefing in march. that was just unheard of. you would have fire briefings well into the summer, but because fires are getting to be a year-round occurrence, i was there in march and the fire experts said it was going to be very dry. when you look southward mr. president, to california, all you see is dry dry dry. the fact is as it gets dryer and gets hotter on the forest floor if you have a lightning strike, which is certainly very common in rural america, all of a sudden you can have an inferno on your hands and one that really knows no boundaries that can affect private property owners state lands federal
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lands. we had a hearing in the energy and natural resources committee an important hearing the other day on the sportsman's bill, mr. president, and i said it looks like a lot of good ideas here bipartisan bill. pretty hard to go hunting and fishing in the forests this summer if the forests are burning up. so what a bipartisan group of us from the west want to do -- and i particularly want to commend our colleague senator crapo of idaho. he and i have teamed up on this effort. we have a large bipartisan coalition of senators who have joined us, and we want to fix the broken system of fighting wildfire in america. what happens today mr. president, and colleagues, is the accounts for prevention get short shrift. in effect, the work that needs to be done with the smaller trees and thinning out the under brush doesn't -- underbrush
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doesn't get the funding that's needed and so what happens is as a result of a lack of prevention, you have these bigger fires and you have to put them out. the accounts for dealing with fire suppression are also short of money so what happens at that point is the agencies borrow from the prevention fund to put the fire out and the problem just gets worse and worse and worse. so what senator crapo and i with as i have indicated a large bipartisan coalition of senators are seeking to do is to end that kind of fire borrowing, and what we're proposing is that the biggest fires, perhaps the 1% of the fires that really turn into infernos, you would fight those mr. president, from the disaster fund because they really are in fact disasters.
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and we have received an analysis from the budget officials indicating that this would really be a wash from a budgeting standpoint, because in effect while you do spend a bit of money from the disaster fund putting out these infernos, you also generate some real savings from the prevention fund by not having as many fires in the first place. so mr. president what our bipartisan amendment will do later when we intend to offer it is to give the departments of agriculture and interior the opportunity to access the disaster funds for that 1% of the fires that really comes apart, that can really break a community apart. and it seems to me that americans across the country who live in communities where there are these fires they deserve to
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know that their homes and their lives are not going to be threatened needlessly. that's what we are able to prevent with this bipartisan amendment, and freeing up the forest service funds that our proposal will do will ensure that the natural resources agencies have the resources they need to improve forest health and fund the very preventative work that is needed to reduce the size and severity of future fires. we're going to be joined in this amendment, as i've indicated senator crapo and i base it on our bipartisan bill. senator stabenow will be a sponsor, senator baldwin. i believe others will as well. but this is an important amendment, mr. president and it is an urgent amendment because we need to have this in place quickly so as to give the natural resources agencies and our communities the tools they
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need this summer. it's a real wake-up call, mr. president. when you get a fire briefing in march. that's an indication that we have a very, very difficult fire season coming up, and this bipartisan amendment ensures that in a cost-effective way we give our natural resources agencies the tools they need to fight these infernos and protect our communities. once again mr. president i want to thank the distinguished chairman of the committee senator enzi, for giving me this time, and i would yield back. mr. enzi: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i thank the senator from oregon for his comments. one of the things that i have been concerned about since i got to the united states senate was the fact that at that time i think there were about $3 billion in disasters a year. it increased to $5 billion in disasters a year. it's now at about $7 billion in disasters a year. and one of the things as an
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accountant i always said was if you know something's going to happen, you ought to put it in the budget. so you'll find that there is $7 billion in the budget for each of the ten years in this budget. so taking the fires of a major disasters out of there sounds like a good idea to me. i am a little bit rankled when i hear somebody say this budget is a farce. it's as good an effort as a person can put together in eight weeks when there hasn't been one for six years. that's a lot of research going back to find out where the problems were and why it didn't get done and what needed to be done. i'm pleased with the budget. but, of course, the reason that we have this process where we had committee last week and did a bunch of amendments and now we'll do a bunch of amendments here is so that everybody can have some participation in seeing if we can perfect the budget. and it won't be perfect when we finish anyway, but it will be better than when it was right now and it will be better than
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when we start tomorrow morning but before we continue consideration of our balanced budget resolution today i think it's worthwhile to reflect on what we accomplished yesterday for america's hardworking families. it was a good day yesterday as we approved amendments to prevent workplace retaliation against employees who asked or talked about salaries, to oppose cuts to medicaid, to coordinate care for medically complex turney with multiple serious rare or chronic illnesses and to help our veterans get timely access to health care. as senator ayotte said yesterday, her amendment would -- quote -- ensure veterans don't have to wait in line, that they can exercise private care options when they want to, unquote. well i'm proud to say that's something that we all support. the debate this week is a unique opportunity for hardworking taxpayers to see an open and transparent legislative process with members from both sides of the aisle offering, debating and voting on amendments to this
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resolution. this is something we haven't had in the past eight years and i think members are energized to be able to do what they were sent here to do, the people's business. among the topics we'll be talking about today are enhancing america's energy security protecting personal property rights from agencies like the e.p.a., carbon tax helping veterans get better access to v.a. medical facilities and simplifying student loan repayment options and saving medicare. thank you again to members for offering amendments that help make our government more efficient, effective and accountable to hardworking taxpayers. it's what the american people want and deserve. i look forward to a strong and vigorous debate about our policies today and mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent the pending amendments be set aside and i be allowed to call up my amendment number 347 and that the amendment be made pending.
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the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from wyoming, mr. barrasso, for himself and others, proposes amendment numbered 347 -- mr. barrasso: i ask reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. mr. president, this amendment that was just called up and made pending deals with the regulation that the obama administration has proposed that would expand the clean water act. mr. president, the rule is an attempt to change the definition of what the law calls waters of the united states. the environmental protection agency and the army corps of engineers first proposed the rule last year and expect to have it finalized in the next few months. under this rule, the definitions of waters of the united states would include ditches would include dry areas where water flows only for a short period of time after it rains. federal regulations have never


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