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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  February 4, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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for an organization where cooperation and security and trade can make britain and the partners safer and more prosperous but we are indeed we will never be perfect european army had never be forced to bail out with the taxpayers money and never be part of the superstate. that is the part that can lead to a fresh settlement in the union that will offer the best future for the job security and strength for the country which promised nearly a year ago will offer security at every stage of their lives. that's what we are fighting for and i would commend a statement from the house. >> i'm grateful for the feminist or sending me the statement 45 minutes ago or an hour ago, i'm sorry.
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however it is a bit unfortunate that a the minister didn't think to come and update. when he would surely have been more respectful to the house to come here first. but in truth mr. speaker for negotiation has been played out at the moment. it's the operation in the 23rd century and people in this country that we beneath the pastor is renegotiating the
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wrong goals in the wrong way for the wrong reason. the paymaster ended up exactly where she knew he would be making the case which is what he always intended despite the choreographed cameras. mr. speaker, the proposals in the european council are simply taking around the edges. the impact of what they deliver and the work of britain or the british businesses. we welcomed the proposal for the majority of the national parliaments to the commission legislation even if it is heavily qualified it seems the premise or has finally moved towards the labour party on this issue. protecting the non-european states as necessary but we cannot let the proposals and worthy efforts to regulate the
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financial sector including the bankers bonuses. the crucial detail of the emergency workers benefit is entirely absent. win is that information going to be made available? buin anye of prime .. minister calls this the strongest package ever. doesn't begin to tackle the real problems around the impact of migration and jobs, wages and community. those demon actions that support public services in areas of high population growth, and regulation to prevent the subsidizing of low pay and grotesque exploitation of migrant workers by some very unscrupulous employers. it's the same with competitiveness. is the prime minister really out to strengthen genuinely competitive markets, or is this proposal really a fig leaf for increasing pressure to privatize reduction of consumer status
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, environmental protection for workers rights. this is why labor will continue to oppose the threat to services and rights from the negotiations. we need to reform to ensure we need to reform to ensure have the right to intervene to protect publicly owned industry and services. this side of the house has been forced to back down on his hopes to water down workers rights. however we want to see workers rights further protected and extended within the european union. we need to strengthen the rights, and we want to see a democratic reform to make the european union decision-making more tangible to its people. at the center of european policy and bring tax
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avoidance under control so that we can get a far better deal than the chancellor managed with google last week. but, mr. speaker, to keep the employment protections we had remain within the european union or leave the field to the conservative party. the prime minister has secured the exposure. the prime minister is living in a never never land. we have never argued for those things and do not intend to. we to work with allies in europe to achieve the more progressive reform that people need to build a more democratic europe that delivers jobs, prosperity, and security for all of his people. people. we must do this together.
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that's why when the referendum is finally held we will be campaigning to remain a member. i ended by asking the question to the prime minister -- [shouting] -- does he not agree that once the smoke and mirrors sideshow deal is finally done, we will get on with it and the uncertainty of the referendum will indeed be held on june 23, 2016? >> prime minister? >> can i thank the right honorable gentleman for his questions. first of all, on the issue of making a statement today rather than yesterday, i felt yesterday i was in possession of all the documents but i didn't think every member of the south whidbey so i thought by the to give honorable members a day to read the document and have the debate today. it gave me the added advantage of being able to visit, which, of course, is the talent of the right honorable gentleman's birth and i was able, therefore,
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to thank them for putting them on earth and for delivering and safety to this place. [laughter] in terms of the question. first of all he criticizes the issues we put on the table, getting out of ever closer union, waiting times welfare, guarantees for fairness between ins and outs. i know he didn't read the labour manifesto but i did an action all of those things were in the labour manifesto. labour wanted a two-year welterweight rather than a for your welterweight of the other elements of our negotiation, many of them are supported by labour, and to honorable members opposite until they have a mandate for backing these measures. he asked about the detailed on the emergency migration break because the our caps in the text. he's right about that. we need to get the best possible outcome of the february council. he asked about the danger of exploitation of the migrant workers.
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this is an everybod area where i agreed and that's what we boosted the gang masters licensing authority. we put in place better coordination between them at the national crime agency. we're making sure there are more investigations for more prosecutions. on ttip this is an area where we can profoundly disagree. and other socialist governments in europe take my view which is needed which will be good for job, good for growth, cover businesses. i'm not sure how to advising to spend more time with trade unions but he spent time with trade unions in sweden and some of the country in northern europe, he may find a support ticket because they want jobs for their members. look, in the and what i would say to the right honorable gentleman and to all members across the south, this is an important moment for our country. so yes, there will be areas of disagreement between conservative and labour but we are involved in trying to get the best negotiation for britain. the european parliament plays a part.
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the party of european social splits apart to i would urge all if you want to of no more something for nothing, if you want to get britain out of ever closer union, if you want fairness between those in the euro and out, if you want to a more competitive and successful euro, let's fight this together. [shouting] >> kenneth clark. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister is that you do more on the big issues of this negotiation than i ever expected. i suspect more than hardlined eurosceptics ever expected which is why you are denouncing is officially. as he says he still loves to deliver. does except he would have great difficulty persuading governments in central and eastern europe in particular to accept that their citizens lawfully working here alongside english people in key sectors like the health service and the construction industry should
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have lower take-home pay in the first few years than their english workmates? answer is yes to offer something in exchange for that, could he perhaps consider underlying our nato commitment to this countries, its future military adventures by -- [inaudible] to underline our role, leading military contributions through nato to the european allies would be a very good offer to make by deploying more troops perhaps in order to get what is a difficult, difficult setting for our partners to make in this country? >> to my right honorable friend, he has huge experience of european negotiations that treaty negotiations and also ongoing negotiations in the council so i'm grateful for what he says. he's right that these are
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difficult issues. my argument is that while we have the free movement of people of many british people take advantage of, we don't have harmonized welfare and benefit systems nor should we. the second point i make to my colleagues is when countries in europe have problems they believe that 13 national interest we've got to be flexible to deal with them. i think that's what this agreement is showing. the advantage of the proposals put forward is that they will have the support of the european commission. i think that will reassure some of the states in europe who have misgivings. he's right we can also reassure them about our investment in their security because i think that is a very important issue with putin as they were to our east, with isil to our south. this is a moment when we need to make sure we are working together. >> we warmly welcome the opportunity to make the case for the european union that it really matters that we are part of the world's largest single
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architect it really matters that we can help determine the rules and laws at that apply to get it really matters we have a social europe was rights and protections for citizens and coworkers. will the prime minister commit to a positive campaign to remain in the european union and not resort to the negative tactics of fear? on the prime minister's negotiation can i suggest he stop pretending having won some major victory? he's not even secured treaty change he promised. what at stake is much, much bigger than its recent discussion but it is about whether we are in the eu or not. that is what the debate across the uk will be in the run up to the referendum. the timing of the referendum really matters to the electorates into the governments of scotland, wales and northern ireland, as well as london with our elections in may. this morning, thank you the first minister of scotland, the
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labour first minister of wales, the first minister of northern ireland -- i think the first ministers of northern ireland and wales and scotland deserve a little bit more respect. [shouting] >> from the tories site. the first minister of northern ireland and the deputy first minister of northern ireland have written to the prime minister today. they say the following and i think honorable and right honorable members should listen to what they say. we believe holding a referendum as early as june would think that a significant part of the referendum campaign will necessarily run parallel with those elections and risk confusing issues at a moment when clarity is required. we believe the referendum is a vital importance to the future of the whole united kingdom and the debate leading up to it
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should therefore be free of other campaigning distraction. we believe it would be better for your, for the prime minister to commit to differing the eu referendum at least until later in the year. so will the prime minister take the opportunity and confirm that he will be respectful of the views of the government of scotland, wales and northern ireland and deter the referendum beyond june? and finally, mr. speaker, me i take the opportunity again to ask the prime minister to answer this question which has failed to do so thus far. will he confirm that there are still no safeguards in place which would stop scotland being taken out of the eu against the will of the scottish electorate? >> first of all let me say yes, of course i think when this campaign comes and, of course, we need first an agreement and recommend a position by the british government and all the rest of it. yes, of course it should be a
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positive campaign. in terms of what he says about treaty change and whether this is legally binding, it is legally binding and does envision treaty change. in terms of timing it is a matter for the house. the house debated it. the house rolled out coinciding with the scottish welsh and london election year but the house did not rule out holding a resume at another time and specifically the former first minister said six weeks was the appropriate gap. look, we have to wait to see was an agreement is reached not when i disagree with him is i don't believe some of this is confusing issues that i think people are perfectly capable, six or more weeks after one set of election to consider another election. i note of the leader of the opposition whose party is in control of wales will is actually pressing me to hold a referendum on the 23rd of june. there's a range of opinions out there. i think the best thing to do is
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get the deal done and hold a referendum. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this is all about trust. why does my right honorable friend in order to stay in my past so many promises and principles? our national parliament he said that bloomberg is the root of our democracy. not a majority of red cards in other parliament. that we would have all unchanged, not the arrangement that we now have announced had to us today. were promised a fundamental change in our relationship with the eu. we were promised we would deal with the real -- at the immigrant number switches dubbed an issue about and work benefits control by the european court of justice. above all, this entire package, mr. speaker, we were told and
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promised would be both legally binding and also irreversible. but now it will be stitched out by a political decision by the european council, and not by a guaranteed treaty change at the right time, and as i have to say to the prime minister is a wholly inappropriate way of dealing with this matter. >> i have great respec respect y honorable friend but had to sit on this issue of whether it is legally binding, i do believe he is wrong. if this document is agreed it would be an international law decision and as an international opposition the european court of justice have to take into account. i would make the point because he almost these things closely. denmark negotiated the same sort of legal opt out and 23 years off they clearly stand and are legally binding. those are the facts. he asks whether we are meeting what we set out in terms of the
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promises we made. we made very clear promises in our manifesto, it britain out of ever closer union. that is a promise we kept it make sure we restrict immigrants welfare benefits. that is a promise we're keeping. real fairness between your inns and you're out is a promise we are keeping. in every area more competitiveness, making sure succeeded mean something. we've met the promise is that we set out. i understand there will be those who say we didn't ask for enough or we need more reform. i believe these are the reforms they go to the heart of the concerns of the british people. people who feel this organization is too much of a political union, too bureaucratic, not fair for non-euro countries and we want more control of immigration. those things are larger delivered through this negotiation. i would just ask also called on all sides of the house, i sat on benches decide that's a. i heard about the treaty, the amsterdam treaty but i've neverr seen a prime minister stand in
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this dispatch box with the unilaterally a cheap declaration of bringing path back to our country. that's what we've got. that's what's within our grasp. >> with the prime minister join in welcoming the launch of a bimetal is to europe today -- the father of the right honorable member. will he also welcome the splendid article last week setting up something they don't of remaining at the european union and by his side to minister, the brother of the right honorable member? will he have a word with his right honorable friend and tell them the importance of family solidarity and joined the swelling ranks of johnson for euro? >> very good. we can't have too many johnsons agreed with each other. he is absolutely right. also rachel johnson the colonists i will have to go after her and make sure -- look,
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i think he makes of her important point about universities and brussels. we all complain rightly about the european budget and that's what it's important we've got it under control and it has to fall every year but we did safeguard negotiations, the money that british universities benefit from on a disproportionate basis. but as for completing the happy family packet at the johnson we may have to wait a bit longer. >> i was goin going to call the honorable gentleman if he was just anybody isn't so i won't. he can't have it all. spent as we are driven into you vehicles for ever closer union and political union, how does it help to try and fit emergency brakes by within the control of the eu and not as quick isn't the only way to get control of our borders, tax revenue and our welfare system to lead and be a good european and let them get on with her political union?
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>> i don't agree with that because i think what we are doing is making sure it's very clear britain is carved out of ever closer union. i think that is a real events. indeed, it is something that he and other colleagues have been asking for quite rightly at have always believed is right because our view about europe is that we are not there for political union. we are different cooperation, tradecome working together on the things that matter. these documents can change. this is all a draft but one of the issues on ever closer union is the european union has gone further than i thought they would and instead this can which i think alito find interesting. the references to an ever closer union do not offer a basis for extending the scope of any provision of the treaties or ibu secondary legislation. they should not be used either to support an extensive interpretation of the competences of the union or the power of its institution as set out in the treaty. that's never been said before in those ways.
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those of us who care about ever closer union, this goes a long way to achieving them anyways more than we asked for. >> the european continent has seen those of people and refugees largely since the end of world war ii. the balkans are becoming ever more volatile and our nato partner turkey is not behaving in a way which is -- have any other negotiations prime minister has been involved in actually increased the security of the european continent, or the security of the united kingdom? >> i would argue both. when it comes to security of the continent we recognize that europe's external border, although it's not our external border, it does matter. that is why we sent will represent is to go help with the asylum and immigration support of it and the other country. and why we are happy to do more
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working with the greeks, indeed working with the turks. there's an important change in all of us which does increase the security of britain going forward. first of all because we're not -- for nationals coming to of european countries, we don't have to let them in written. long may that be the case. but the key changes the home secretary and i have managed to secure about protecting our immigration system from fraudsters, sham marriages, from criminals, for people who get married to european national to try to get into our country frank levine become more important. the fact is we will secure those if this goes ahead or within the eu. i. >> perhaps i can ask of the changes as a result of this negotiation will respect the volume of negotiation? coming from brussels will change
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the treaty so as to assert the sovereignty of this house of commons and the house of parliament. >> let me take those issues one at a time because he's right to raise the. in terms of asserting the sovereignty of the south that is something we did in 2010 to our european reverend act, something i team to do more on to put beyond doubt this house of commons is sovereign and that is something we look to do at the same time as concluding these negotiations. in terms of what are we going to restrict the flow of legislation from brussels, for the first time ever in your is a commitment not only to europe passes in all its competences every year and work out what should be returned to nation-states, subsidiary and action rather than in words, there'butthere's also the propot brussels regulation with these bureaucracy cuts target. that's never been there before. i would argue you look across this you can see you have
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welfare powers coming back, immigration powers coming back that i just opened about, bailout powers coming back and, of course, the massive return of power we've achieved in the last part of it to justice and home affairs opt out. the biggest return from brussels to britain since we joined the eu. we've nailed that down in these discussions to make sure they can't get routed. these were all key objectives. i'm not saying this is perfect or i'm not saying the european union will be perfect after this do. with the british position be better and stronger? yes, it will. >> thank you, mr. speaker. since assuming office in 2010 the prime minister has on occasion tried to discredit to limit the increases in contributions by the united kingdom to the european union budget. varying degrees of success but can't deny those as result of this agreement given that the uk pays 9 billion pounds and more net into the eu every single
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year, will he tell us how much our contribution is going to go down in net terms each year as result of this agreement? >> we've already done the european budget agreement which was for the first time when you look at the seven year financial perspective, that's the budget over the next seven years, that is going to be lower over the seven years in the last seven years. so that makes up real terms of cut. something no one thought would be possible to achieve. the exact amount of money we give dusty and sometimes on the growth and success of our economy. one of the consequences of our strong growth and the difficult times and the result is that's meant a little bit more and has been contributed. the overall financial perspective is coming to and that is good news for britain. >> my right honorable friend achieved i believe quite remarkable result because of the legally binding nature of the
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document which he brings back, if it is accepted by the european council. and in that context he will know that one of the principal problems that have bedeviled the relationship to the european union has been the capricious interpretation of the treaty, sometimes to circumvent what the united kingdom believes to be a true treaty obligation india of the remarkable specificity of this document, does he agree that this'll be a very powerful tool in preventing that happening in the future? >> i think the right honorable friend makes an important point because if we stand back for a moment and ask ourselves how is it that powers have been taken from his house to brussels, it's really happened in tw two ways. one, given the success of the range of treaties, madison county's from britain to brussels, and that can't happen anymore because we legislated in the last parliament for the referendum lock to any prime
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minister to me or any subsequent prime minister, try to sign up for another treat to pass out they couldn't. the second way powers get past is to the judgment of the european court of justice and that's why what's been secured on ever closer union is important because it is same in terms if we can get this agreed you can't use of that clause to drive a ratchet of competences going from britain to brussels. so the two routes for further integration where britain is concerned i think of in effectively blocked off. >> can the prime minister confirmed that nothing in this renegotiation waters down important security cooperation at the eu level like intelligence sharing, joint investigations and the eu arrest warrant? and when the deal is done finally that he will join members on this side of the house making a strong case that our membership at the eu help bring criminals to justice and
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keep britain save? >> i wanted to steal to get a better think the security argument is an important one. i think there was, when my honorable friend the minister was asking and answering questions yesterday the point was made is a consistent to say, as we do secure in this document, that national security is a national competence come is a consistent to say that but also argue that europe is important for the critic what i believe it is. it's very important we are clear that when it comes to our policing, intelligence services, to core competencies they are for this house. therefore, government decisions. but, of course, there are ways we can cooperate to make ourselves safer, making sure we know when criminals are crossing borders, making sure we exchange passenger name record and the rest to keep us safe which is why we opted out on the justice and home affairs area, we pay trading about 100 pounds to we stayed in once them out for keeping keeping us safe.
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i think that's important in demonstrating we both are maintaining national security of the national competence working with our partners to keep our people safe. >> dr. liam fox. >> can't i first thank the leader of the opposition that i prefer what he describes as a drum of the conservative party is a tragedy of his labour party. mr. speaker, whether or not an emergency brake kicked in is the decision of the european union, not the uk. the level of immigration at which it kicks in is a decision for the european union, not the uk and even the level of -- a decision for the eu not the uk. is it not clear that we are not sovereign in these areas? we do not have independent control over these areas of policy and ultimate the decision of the referendum on areas our own laws and own borders when we want this to be determined your by ourselves or overseas by someone else?
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>> i have great respect fo for a friend and a buddy explained put it on the radio this morning that he would be for leaving the eu, even without the renegotiation. he was honest and frank about this in terms of traumas and tragedy. i'm sure he will echo the old insurance advert that we should not turn up drama into a crisis. what i would say buy the emergency brake is that the european commission has been clear and it says in the document they consider the information provided by the united kingdom shows the type of exceptional situation that the proposed safeguard mechanisms intended to cover exist in the united kingdom today. so of course i am all for maximizing the sovereignty of this house come of our government, the ability to do things but we have said we want no more something for nothing but we want a break. will want to deny benefits to people in full perform for dinner four years and this is that can happen as soon as the legislation allows.
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>> doctor alastair macdonald. >> could i reassure the prime minister that they the prime minister that in my commission notes that for most of those agree with him that we would be much more successful in the european union and out? and could we urge that the revenue be held later than june so that all aspects could be fully discussed? could i ask him if and when the negotiations, when the negotiators completed, the deposits result of the referendum next can be see the uk take and much more positive and engaged role within the structures of the european union? >> what i would say to the honorable gentleman is were there to be agreement in february, i don't actually think a four month period before a referendum would be too sure that i think from what is a good amount of time to duplicate across the key arguments and
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facts and figures of both sides to be able to make the point i think i will be be equally important in northern ireland and i get him to guarantee that if there is to be a great but i will make sure i personally spent time in northern ireland making the point that i think are most important. as for the rest of the eu in helping to bring about the successful transmission of northern ireland, i think there've been positive moves in terms of grants and structural and other funds to build a strong economy in northern ireland that we need. >> could i ask my right honorable friend to clarify the status of agreement on migrants benefits? the eu has -- no benefits rose in member states. unless they conflict with freedom of movement in the treaty. so if the proposed changes do not conflict with the treaty, we could've introduced to them
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immediately without using up our negotiating clout on this issue. but if the changes do not conflict with the treaty, they will be struck down by the eu court unless the treaty is changed first. >> what i would say is that the view is that this emergency brake can be brought in under the existing treaties but only with legislation to the european parliament. on an accelerated timetable, the leader of one of the major parties said it could take one, two, or three much. that is what makes it clear that you could act in this way legally and crucially come in mighty big and i think in the view of the british public not just legally but quickly. >> will the prime minister when he meets the various leaders of the eu over the next two months make it quite clear to them that the result of this referendum is to be decided by the british
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people an that they should not e trying to interfere in any way in these peoples of you? woody particularly say to the irish tea shops it was not -- and effective very, very i'm complementary to the people of northern ireland that it's the british people, united kingdom decide to leave the european union that it would threaten the peace process? >> i counsel thee agree with the honorable lady that this is a decision for the british people and the british people alone. i think that they surely don't want to hear lectures from other people about that. i think look, because this does affect britain's relations with the rest of the world and other issues, that there may well be people who want to make a positive contribution and that's a matter for them. the only thing i would say about the peace process, i think it is secure and we must keep going on the. the other thing i would say is that i do believe he is a friend of the united kingdom.
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he spoke out very strongly for britain at the european council and i think was quite influential in trying to build goodwill in saying we should all in the european union recognize that if a country has a national interest that is at stake and needs things fixed, we've got to be inflexible in of organization because otherwise we will not be able to sort these things out. >> the prime minister has said that if we vote to leave the eu it wants to continue as prime minister, combination i would fully support. and he certainly found himself as a negotiated. and so given that we have a net contribution feature to the eu of 19 in pounds, given that we have a trade deficit with the european union of 62 billion pounds, that if we were to leave we will be the single it is export markets of the european union, does he think he has the ability to negotiate the free trade agreement from outside of the you without handing over 19 million pounds a year of?
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>> i have great respect to my friend who i think wanted to leave the eu, whatever came out of the negotiations, and i'm sure he will make his art was probably. obviously, you have to look at all of the issues and i think once this debate starts we want to look at all the alternatives. would bring be better off in our customs union arrangement like turkey? would we be better off any free trade agreement like canada? would we be better off in a situation like norway and iceland? i've started to talk with some of those. i think the norway example is not a strong example because they are contribute more per head than we get we should take all of the legislation proper. i'm sure this'll be an important part of the debate too. >> so far a lease in exchange is he doesn't seem to have persuaded any of the critics on
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his side over the virgins of this negotiation but he may have persuaded the home secretary for reasons we understand but apparently none of the other critics. >> is that it? >> maybe he can help me out, i don't know. [laughter] look, this is a very important issue for our country but in the and it's not going to be decided in this chamber. all of us want to read your own conclusion and the only thing i would say is if you passionate belief in your art britain is better off than you should go that way. if you think even if it's on balance i think britain is better off then, go with what you think. don't take a view because of what your constituency association might say or you're worried about a boundary review or you think might be advantageous this way or that way. do what's in your heart. if you think it's right for britain, can do that.
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>> since no one else has done it so far for new an hour, and as my mom always said, say thank you. can i say thank you to the premise or for giving us a choice in the first place? and is a weather question we asked in this referendum -- referent of what is the point of having an emergency brake on your card is the backseat driver name of european commission has the power to tell you when and for how long you should put your foot on the brake pedal? >> this is rather different, where they're telling us in advance but because of the pressures we face this is a brake that we can use them to break we can use relatively rapidly after a referendum. i think it would make a difference. the facts are these, 40% of the eu migrants coming to britain at
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accessing the in work benefit system that the average payment per family is 6000 pounds. don't tell me 6000 pounds isn't a quite major financial inducement or i think it's over 10,000 people are getting over 10,000 pounds a year. our benefit system because you get instant access to it is an unnatural brought to her country into one of the things we should do to fix immigration into our country is changing and that's we are passionate and that's what we are going to agree. >> which he acknowledged the referendum will be won or lost on big issues? not least the greatest challenges facing us are better solved when countries work together? can i invite him again to join me in welcoming establishment of our mentalist for your which recognizes cause border problems a choir solutions and -- protecting our wildlife and nature in this country? >> i think where you have genuine cross-border problems you need to work across borders to try and make sure you have a
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strong solution. i think the key issue is our prosperity and security but within security comes environmental security. britain at the accord was able to play a strong role because to our example of getting carbon emissions down and having a strong plan for the future we encouraged other countries in europe to do the same thing. that leverage -- that brought about a better deal for the rest of the world. [inaudible] should the prime minister succeed in negotiations, he will have achieved not only -- also the spirit. perhaps most important of all it will give the british people a chance to vote for a reform bureau or to vote for the uncertainty of leaving.
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>> here, here. >> i am very grateful to my honorable friend. i do think we are delivering the manifesto not least by doing something many people thought would never deliver on which is to hold the referendum. i remember sitting over there when tony blair stood here and said that battle commenced to let referendum begin over the constitutional treaty. that referendum was never held or i think in many ways poisoned a lot of the debate in britain. that's what the manifesto is so clear about the referendum and about the renegotiation. some people will say a better approach is to go in, take over the table, walk out the door and say i'm not going to come back in a less you give me the list of impossible demands. that was never the plan we set out. the plan was to address specifically the biggest concerns of the british people about competitiveness, about an ever closer union, about fairness and about migration. that's what this negotiation if we can complete it, that's what i believe it will do.
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>> thanks very much mr. speaker. can i congratulate the prime minister on the progress he has made? kind of ask the prime minister if we left the european union with this but it missed out cooperation with the french authorities to protect uk borders? >> i'm very grateful to what she says. i think you raise an important point. there's no doubt in my mind but that agreement that we have is incredibly beneficial. it works well but i think for both countries but for britain, being able to our border controls in france and make sure we do with people there, that is something i think that we should be very proud of into everything we can to sustain. it is part of european cooperation that we have the.
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>> given the difficulty by giving it a change to eu membership approved by the other 27 countries, what we've got is as good as anyone i think might have expected and more. i congratulate the prime minister on his achievement. but will my right honorable friend confirm that once the european council has made decision, he will respect the views of those ministers who might publicly expressed the opinion that the united kingdom should now leave the eu, and that the careers of those ministers in his government won't be jeopardized or threatened as a consequence? >> i can certainly get my honorable friend that assurance. we are still in the process of negotiation and the manifesto we all stood on said that we wanted to get the best possible deal for britain and we would all work on it together. that's exactly what we are doing. once the deal, if it is agreed whether february or later if it
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takes more time, then will be a meeting of the cabinet to decide whether we can take a recommend a position to the british people. if that position is recommend we stayed in a reform european union and yes at that point ministers who have long-standing views and want to campaign in another direction are able to do that. the government will still have a position. this is not a free for all. it would be a clear government position from which ministers can depart. and yes, as i said they should suffer disadvantage because they want to take that view. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister has -- [inaudible] in the spirit of his very own one nation respected in wilderness in defense of government in the default of parliament of the united kingdom? unilateral and abilities, --
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[inaudible] is disrespectful and wrong. >> in terms of the respect agenda, my rideable print has had a number of conversations with his of the administration to think outside the entrance of the referendum date i don't think we should get ahead of ourselves. we need an agreement but it'll be late a four-month period, a good six weeks or more between one set of elections and another set i don't believe in any way that is disrespectful. i have great respect for the electorate of our countries that are able to separate these issues and make a decision. >> i commend my friend for sticking to his commitment to offer the british people a choice on this matter. i also support what he said about maximizing the sovereignty of this parliament. would you not agree other proposals to acquire united kingdom to secure the support of many continental parliament to block any eu directive which this parliament opposes does not
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constitute a fundamental reform that he seeks? >> what i would argue, that is something new, something that didn't previously exist. of course, it will take a lot of coordination between the parliaments but what i think it's more powerful than the previous proposals of yellow cards and what have you is that this would be an absolute block. if you get the right number together over an issue, the council and the commission would not go ahead with it. i think it goes alongside the subsidiarity test that takes was and the accommodating britain out of ever closer union, reaffirming the sovereignty apartment as we have been able to again. it is one more measure the demonstrate we believe in national parliaments. [inaudible] >> based on jobs, our economic,
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collective security and the places in the world. does the prime minister except that if we vote to leave the european union but then found ourselves still having to accept all the rules of a single market, that would be to swap our position as a rule maker for that of being a rule take her? that is not control and it is not the right future. >> the right honorable member speaks very, very clearly and powerfully. of course, he's right. that are much bigger apartments that are going to take place over the coming months and i'm not over claiming about the four areas where we've made progress. i merely say they relate to for other things that most concern the british people about europe and we are somewhere down the road of fixing the. i think the point in exhibiting a rule maker and not a rule take it is vital. britain is a major international economy, huge car industry, huge aerospace industry and for
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import financial service, service industry. we need to make sure we are about the table making the rules. because otherwise that's the danger you are not just a rule taker at the rules are made against you and that's what we need to avoid. >> amongst the other important measures negotiate by my right honorable friend the prime minister, i welcome in particular the recognition of the union needs to become more competitive sport the potential of a single market entity to press on with a vital trade negotiations with the united states and other key partners. but will the right honorable gentleman, my right honorable gentleman confirm that when these negotiations -- our national debate must move on to the real questions of this referendum relating to the safety, the economic security and prosperity of the united kingdom, and the role we arguably in the world? >> i think my friend is right,
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and we are going to be holding this debate at a time of great uncertainty and security in our world. we have russia with its destabilization of ukraine to our east. we have the horrors of daesh to our south, and this is a time when i think we need to be working closely with our neighbors and friends to make sure we can deliver greater security for our people. now, of course, it's true to say that a cornerstone of our security is nato, is are five guys partnership under special relationship with a tiny. these things are vital but in modern world also border information, passenger name record, criminal records information system sharing information about terrorism, fighting together about the extremism that we see not just in syria and iraq but tragically in our own countries all across the european union and these are very important issues. >> can i wish an unabridged
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negotiating team well for what remains of this process? which he acknowledged the challenges that britain faces of the country from international tourism to climate change demand that we work closely and collaboratively with our close neighbors and not relegate ourselves to position of isolation and impotence? >> my judgment in all of this is i want things to increase the power and the ability of britain to fix problems to deal with our own security, our own stability and all prosperity. what matters is our we were able to deal with these things. one of the things he needs to get right is to get rid of the sort of petty iraq is on the small things that i forget people that don't make a
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>> the citizens of the granite state are not easily won. the country meeting places are hotbed of political discussion. in village town and city voters braved bitter snow and sleet to cast their votes. ♪ thanks to the people of new hampshire, good to be back here in new hampshire. >> the first in the nation primary. >> new hampshire. >> new hampshire. >> is use from new hampshire. >> it's great to be back in new hampshire. >> new hampshire primaries the most -- of political rights.
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[applause] governor thank you so much for coming. >> this is a place we can observe a candidate in the heat of a dialogue and get tough questions about their positions on the issues. it's not just a place of scripted speech. >> new hampshire takes it's first in a -- status seriously. >> this is my 20th town hall meeting. >> welcome to bar 100 teen town hall meeting here in new hampshire. [applause]
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[applause] every election cycle we are reminded how important is for people to be informed. >> it's a home for political junkies in a way to track the government as it happens. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say i thought you watch c-span. >> there's so much more than c-span does. >> the senate is up for the week but earlier today a build setting energy policies called on the floor after senators failed to reach an agreement over funds to help flint michigan with its lead tainted water. the first energy policy bill in nearly 10 years was modernized.
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streamline permitting for natural gas exports and improved energy efficiency standards for commercial and federal buildings. senators said they continue to negotiate over the flat water situation over the weekend and continue work on the energy bill next week. right now back to the senate floor to hear remarks from michigan senators debbie stabenow and gary peters. objection. ms. stabenow: thank you very much. mr. president, as all of our colleagues know, we have been working very hard to come together around a reasonable path to provide some support and assistance to the people of assistance to the people of >> his provide support to the people of flint michigan who got up this morning and they took a shower. if they were getting breakfast for their children if imam was mixing baby food formula, it was with bottled water. that has gone on now for some
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people 18 months or more. originally they were told the water was safe and they were checking it and found incredibly high lead levels in their children and now it's bottled water. we have businesses downtown who have gone to the expense of creating their own water system that are totally safe but no one will come. and stores are closing. we have small businesses and neighborhoods. we have a revitalization effort in downtown that has really been quite extraordinary. the chamber, wide variety of organizations, university of michigan flint groups investing in downtown flint and this is all collapsing because of the fact that people are afraid to calm and to drink the water or to eat food mixed with the water
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even though our businesses downtown are doing things to rectify this right now. and the citizens of flint rightly are in a position where they have been told that the water was safe to drink. they have given it to their children. it wasn't. they are poisoned and now they are in a situation where they have great despair and great anger and i share both of those feelings, a multiple of feelings as does my colleague senator peters. we are joined together and our commitment on a whole range of efforts to be able to help individuals and families of flint. there was one -- and by the way this is what the water looks like. it's brown, it smells and there was one story on the news of a house where they went to talk with folks and looked at the lead levels and it was above
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toxic waste dump levels. i talked to imam -- a mom and i heard another mom as well being interviewed saying i took my children off of what they call pop in michigan, coke and pepsi because i told it was not healthy for my children so when my children are playing last summer i told them to drink water to hydrate because i didn't want them getting the extra sugar, the ingredients from pop. and now i know i was exposing my children. i can only imagine what that mom feels right now. .. term with infrastructure,
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but, mr. president, this is way beyond that. this is an entire city, 100,000 people, who have poisoned water, who because of decisions that none of them made -- and we can talk later about whose fault it is. and there is certainly culpability and accountability, but right now, we are focused on helping the people who had nothing to do with creating this. 100,000 people, the entire system has lead in it, some levels thousands of points higher than is acceptable. no lead is acceptable, but some of it >> but some of it has been a toxic waste pool. we are here to ask for help for the children of flint by doing
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what we do all of time and that is step up as americans and help a community rebuild a water program. there is more to do and we are grateful for those who helped out with the education and nutrition and health care needs. but the basic issue is fixing the water system so the people of flint have the dignity we have when they turn on the faucet and that is clean water. in ""time" magazine and this is an example of a child whose mom was bathing her child and this is the rashes. we have seen rashes, sores and hair falling out because of a community drinking water system has been decimated.
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americans responded across the country sending bottled water and people are very grateful for that. but we know that americans join in supporting saying bottle water is not enough. this baby cannot be bathed every day for years and years and years in bottled water. i had one senior citizen say to me, ma'am, i cannot take a shower in bottled water. we have to support the community infrastructure. we do that all of the time. and so what we have done, and i appreciate the chair of the energy committee working with us, you spent a lot of time, as has the ranking member who has been so supportive, and we are grateful, trying to figure this out. we thought we had a path forward originally. there were procedural issues that came up. and yesterday we thought we had
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another path forward. that would give us bipartisan support on a solution that we could get done here and pass here. and that was paused. not sure why that happened exactly. but that was paused. so we are asking for colleagues to give us more time. we have very few people in this chamber who are now stepping up to give us additional ideas on how we can get this fixed. we can do this quickly if there is the will to do that. so we are asking colleagues to give us more time. today we want to shut off as we know amendments and go to the next step and we are saying give us time. there are other issues that need to be resolved as well. certainly issues with working men and women around the davis laws and there are other issues. we know we can which to a
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resolution if there is a political will and a little more time. so there is not just some bogus proposal we have seen thrown out that don't solve the problem. we are not looking something that gives someone political cover. we have resisted a lot. folks would love to make this a political issue. these children should not be a political football. i think members of this body know that senator peters and i are people who want to get things done. we work across the aisle every single day. if we wanted to blow this up as a political issue there would be a different way to do it and the story writes itself. we are asking the care of these children and to see these children like you see your own children. these children and families has been ignored and not seen.
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we see them. their faces are burned in my mem mem memory. we are asking colleagues to see them and hold them with as much value as you would children in your own family and in the states you represent. that is what we are asking. nothing more. nothing less. we have not proposed that the federal government take full responsibility on cost. far from it. we have been told by colleagues we have not proposed enough. we have been willing, in fact, to come to an agreement on something that is less than half of what we originally asked for.
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they should know we will fix or. this and we cannot begin to do that unless the water system
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works. today because we know there is a path people of good will have been trying to get it again. we need a little more time. and i think these children deserve a little more time. i think these families deserve a little more time. let us put this together. if we vote next week, next tuesday, we will be okay. how many kids? how many bottles of water will be used between now and next tuesday by the people of flint? we can take a couple extra days to do something that will dramatically change the opportunity for a future in a city. it is important. it is as important as any other city in our country. so that is what we are asking for. we are grateful that our colleagues are standing with us. and our colleagues on our side
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of the aisle to give us more time. and we are hoping that the leadership will decide to give us that time. so that we can say to this child we see you, hear you, and care about you and we are doing our part in the united states senate to make things better. thank you, mr. president. >> mr. president? >> mr. senator from michigan.
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>> i rise today to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to oppose the upcoming vote on the energy modernization act. this isn't because i think this is a bad bill. in fact i know this bill is a result of months of hard work on both sides of the aisle and contains many important previsions that will move the economy forward. i appreciate the efforts of the chairman and ranking member including their willingness to include bipartisan legislation to support the development of next generation clean vehicle technologies. and while i sincerely hope we are able to advance this bill out of the senate it is simply too soon to cut off debate and invoke cloture. we have been negotiating with our republican colleagues to secure critical assistance for the city of flint, michigan
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whose residents are continuing to suffer from a man-made disaster. nearly two years ago an unelected emergency manager changed the water to the flint city to save the city money while they prepared to transition to a new water source. after switching from water from the detroit water department flint residents received improperly treated water that was contaminated and corrosive. brown or yellow water poured from the facets that tasted and smelled terrible. this water wasn't just disgusting. it turned out to be poisonous. it leeched lead from aging infrastructure. a generation of children in flint are at risk for severe affects of lead exposure that
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can cause nervous system damage and decreased bone and muscle growth. even they flint is back to drawing lake heron water the infrastructure is contaminating the water pouring from the tap. flint residents are walking themselves with baby wipes. some walk as far as two miles to pick up bottled water to drink. the same bottled water they use to cook and brush their teeth. this is not sustainable. flint needs support from all levels of the government to overhaul the damaged system and help the children of flint who will be dealing with the effects of lead damage for years to. in the unitty of our people in the face of a tragedy we are unique.
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flint has faced decades of economic hardship but they are now facing a full blown crisis. and now -- now is the time for all of us to pull together. on one day i heard from a woman who was on the verge of tears as she discussed her fears of the health conditions her children face. yesterday i met another mom from flint who brought a baby bottled filled with brown water she poured from her tap and brought it to washington to show my colleagues in congress how immediate of a public health threat this crisis truly is. this image that appeared on the cover of "time" magazine is a haunting cry for help. i ask my colleagues to look into those eyes and to hear that cry, to see that cry for help. mr. president, i believe that if any of my colleagues saw this
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tragedy like we are seeing in our home state, they would be standing here doing everything in their power to deliver assistance. whether the crisis is natural or manmade this is a crisis. it doesn't matter. it is also important to know this crisis has raised questions about the safety of our nation's infrastructure. it is possible other communities could be affected. while other communities may not suffer a crisis like flint across the country communities are learning about the vulnerabilities of their own water supply and what may happen in the future. i should also reiterate the proposal we have been negotiating would provide funding for any state that has an emergency declaration related to lead in their public drinking system. this is about any community
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suffering from contamination of drinking water. hundreds, if not thousands of american cities, towns and villages, have aging water infrastructure and lead pipes. mr. president, should one of our colleague's community experience a similar crisis this funding we are fighting for today will be available for them as well. now is the time for action to help the families of flint. i hope that we can reach a resolution on our negotiations with our republican colleagues but we are not quite there yet. and i urge all of my colleagues to oppose cloture on this bill until we have a deal. whether in flint or elsewhere in america, we have a responsibility to care for our children. we must repair the trust flint residents have lost in the ability of government officials to protect them and provide the
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most basic of all services. i strongly urge my colleagues to join us in our effort to help flint recover from this unnecessary manmade disaster. standing up for the children of this country is not a republican or a democratic issue. and i hope that today we show the american people that we can come together in times of crisis. this is common ground on which we can stand together and stand up for the people and children of flint. president, i yield back. >> mr. president? >> senator from maryland. >> thank you, mr. president. i think the distinguished lady from alaska has come to the core and i have a statement i wish also to give but i didn't know if she needed to say something.
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>> mr. president, i rise today to add my heart felt and impassioned voice to call for action to help the people who live in flint, michigan, to help them with this emergency situation, and the fact that we have to be in it to deal with the emergency today and the long haul for tomorrow. this is of catastrophic, almost armored deadened proportion that an american city has been poisoned because of a situation that has been self-induced and self-inflicted. what is happening in flint, michigan is appalling, it is a tragedy, it is a disgrace and it will be for a long time. we need to fix the pipes right away. but the fixing the human beings
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is going to take a long, long time. let's get real. we are now bogged down in parliament innertia and bogged down in washington budgetary talk with where is the offsets. what is this? are we human beings? we take an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but sometimes an enemy is a tragedy. whether it is a hurricane, tornado, or whatever we rush in to help. if this had been a terrorist attack -- oh my gosh. we would be ready to go to war to defend america. we need to go to the edge of our chair to help flint. my gosh! the senators from michigan are
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looking for $400 million. that is no small amount of money. but i bring to my colleague's attention it is the price of one f-35 that is supposed to protect america. good for that. but right now i think the people of michigan would say they would want to have the help that they need. if we are talking about a threat to the people the threat is here. now where are we? we have got to deal with this. and i am the vice chair of the appropriation committee and i say all of the budget and battles with sequester we have only $800 million for safe drinking water. less than a billion dollars. flint today is asking for $400
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million. we know that is a down payment. i say to my colleagues from michigan: this could happen to any state because our infrastructure is not only aging in place. it is becoming dysfunctional in place and it is becoming dangerous in place. $800 million dollars. the horror stories you have shared. you have done a great job speaking up for the people. i compliment your advocating but we are all flint. the facts talk for themselves when you say the flint water is contaminated because the pipes are damaged. i understand replacing the infrastructure will around 1.5 billion with thousands of lead
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pipes and lead service line. i will speak about the children and the people. my gosh, what are you going through? i don't know how you can run a family -- you cannot run a family on bottled water. you cannot run a business on bottled water. you cannot run a city on bottled water. i don't know how you wash. i don't know how you take care of your children. i would not go eat in flint without knowing where the water came from. i would be scared to death and i am sure the parents are scared to death. i am going to talk about the children and the human cost. i say to my colleagues senator cardin and i we know a lot about
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lead poisoning. we have lived through really difficult problems in baltimore because of lead paint poisoning used during world war ii. we know what it does. it lowers iq and causes significant development delays and behavioral issues. it is a lifetime. that little five or six year old boy, god pray they live to 80, they will carry this in their blood for the rest of their lives unless there is possible medical breakthroughs. we have to get on it. we have to get on it. the effects of poisoning could take, again, the lifetime. what i know about lead paint in baltimore goes back to my days in the city council where the
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paint was from the parties. they were coming to john hopkins and the children's school, he laid down in the middle of the street, he was so depleted because of the consequences of lead paint. so that's why i support the leat to provide $800 million in loans and grants. also to provide $20 million at h.h.s. to bring together the best thinking, to have the best response to the human infrastructure. i've worked on this issue for a long time. going back to senator kit bond, my pal and partner when we had the old va-hud committee. senator bond was a real champion on this. this can be a bipartisan solution, and let's make it an american solution.
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this isn't about you. it's not about the democrats. it's about us. as the vice chair of the appropriations committee, i want to work with certainly my colleague and so on on how we could do this, but let's get the lead out of the pipes, let's get the lead out of the water, let's get the lead out of the way the senate is functioning and move to begin to make a down payment on this. mr. president, i really want us to understand we've got to solv to understand we have solve this problem. i am going to conclude with this. i want to say something to the mothers of america. we hear you right now. the mothers of flint need you. the mothers of flint need you. the fathers of flint need you. the mothers and fathers of flint need you. if you are a mother and father anywhere you can be a mother or father in flint. let's organize ourselves in the most effective way to solve this problem and let's begin to deal
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with critical infrastructure so we begin to prevent this from happening in any other american city. mr. president, i yield the floor and ask unanimous consent my full statement be in the record. >> without objections. the majority leader. >> mr. president, the energy committee has worked hard over the past year to develop the broad bipartisan energy legislation that is before us. members in both parties focused on areas of common ground, worked across the aisle and developed legislation that ultimately earned the support of more than 80% of their colleagues republicans and democrats alike. here is what some of our accurateic -- democratic friends have to say about the act. the junior senator from new mexico said this bill is
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critical to protecting his state's treasured public land and outdoor heritage. the junior senator from minnesota pointed out several key measures he wrote are in this bill and the bill represents a good step forward. the junior senator from hawaii noted that her proposals in the bill will boost her energy and reliability in her state. the senior senator from west virginia was able to include critical measures in the bill to help coal jobs and low coast electricity in this state. it is critical for american to establish an all of the above energy portfolio that includes all of our domestic resources he said. and i truly believe this bipartisan will bring us one step closer to achieving energy independenc
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independence. and the top democrat on the energy committee said if we want to continue to complete in the global economy we must continue to improve productivity and that is what this bill does. the energy policy modernization helps insure the nation is eliminating energy waste and making improvements in new technologies that will improve our competitiveness for the 20th century. that is the ranking democrat on the energy committee. she worked hard with senator mcc mccowski on the energy commto develop this bill. from both more than 30 amendments from democrats and republicans have been adopted under their leadership. for example, one of our democratic friends offered an amendment he said would strengthen the bill and help us move toward a 21st century economy. the senate adopted it. another of our democratic friends said his amendment would
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empower us with knowledge and help us make informed decisions to protect consumers, key sectors of our economy and our energy security. the senator adopted that amendment, too. there is a lot for both parties to like in this bill. this bill is a year's result of constructive and collaborative work. let's not risk that progress. let's keep working together and vote today to advance this measure. if we want to help americans produce more energy let's vote to advance the measure. if we want to help americans pay less for energy let's vote to advance it. if we want to help americans save energy let's vote to advance it. if we want to help bolster our country's long term national security one more time let's vote to advance it. i will note one more thing the top democrat on the energy committee recently said.
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sometimes we can get cynical in this place about what we can get done and thren all of a sudden we have the opportunity to move something forward. this is a milestone the fact we are considering this legislation on the senate floor in a bipartisan bill or any bill for the first time since 2007 is a tremendous milestone. let's bring the bill to the finish line and vote to bring america's energy policy in line with today's demands so we can prepare for tomorrow's opportunities, too. >> senator from michigan. >> mr. president, i, too, as i did before commend those working on this bill and chair the majority leader's feeling there has been a lot of positive
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progress that has been made. we are just not done yet. i commend and have commended the chair and ranking member, we have important issues dealing with energy and water and addressing what happened in flint michigan is appropriate. we just want to know we have an agreement, not votes, but an agreement to get this done. >> thank you. >> time has expired. >> mr. president? >> senator from alaska. >> mr. president, i have appreciated for my colleagues raising attention to the issue in flint, michigan. i think we have had good, constructive discussions not
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only very intensely yesterday but working with the two senators from michigan on this issue for several months right now. as the senator says the discussions are still ongoing and i want to speak to kind of where we are in that process. but i would like to start out with my comments this morning recognizing that we are very close to a time that has been set for this first cloture vote on this broad bipartisan bill and as we approach it i want to follow on the majority leader's comments in terms of reminding members of what we have incorporated within this measure to reiterate the strong bipartisan support that our bill has drawn and really to lay out what i believe is our best task to final passage. this energy policy modernization as i have mentioned is more than a year's worth of hard work by
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those of us who served on the energy and natural resources committee. it has been the result of member to member conversations, legislative hearings, and a marathon three-day mark up in july and at the end it moved out by a vote of 18-4 so pretty strong support. 10 republicans and 8 democrats in favor. the reason the bill passed out of the committee on such a strong bipartisan bases wasn't just the commitment to good process but it was matched with an equal commitment to good policy. i think that is important to recognize. it was processed but it was policy as well. we worked together to include the priorities from members on both sides of the aisle as well as from within the committee and outside of the committee. we agreed to include a bill to streamline lng exports written
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by senator brasso and 17 other members. and we agreed to vote on a bill headed up by 13 bipartisan members. we agreed to promote the use of hydropower. a clean renewable resource. we agreed to expedite natural pipelines and this was led by senator capito. permitting pilot program, one of several ideas that we agreed to a now oil and gasline program. we agreed to approve our nation's cybersecurity based on legislation. we also made innovation a key priority to promote the development of new technology.
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as part of that, we agreed to reauthorize many of the energy related act thanks to senator alexander. we agreed to promote vehicle innovation based on a bipartisan measure from our friends from michigan senator peters and senator stabenow and senator alexander. we agreed to reauthorize the coal rnd on another bipartisan proposal. in the context of the broader bill, and only the broader bill, we agreed to reauthorize and reform the land and water conversation fund. what we came away with was a good, timely bipartisan measure that has a very real chance of
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being the first energy bill to be signed into law in over eight years. it is a measure that will help america produce more energy. it will help americans save money. it will help insure that the energy can be transported from where it is produced to where it is needed. it will bolster our nation's status as the best innovator in the world. something we should all aim to support. it will boost our economy especially our manufacturing. it will cement our status as a global energy super power and does it without raising taxes, imposing new mandates or adding to the federal deficit. i think because of all of that that is why you have seen the good, strong support for the measure. that was the base bill and when we came to the floor it got
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better. our starting point here on the senate floor was good and strong. and since taking up the debate for a week now we continue to work in a very open, very bipartisan, sometimes little bit lengthy and tedious process, but it works. we committed to an open amendment process and most members have held back on, you know, whether you call them jimmies or poison pills or whatever but there has been cooperation. we have voted on 38 amendments and accepted 32-38 and added more good ideas to a bipartisan bill. i will recount a few things we did. we agreed to boost our nation's efforts to develop advance nuclear technologies. this was a great amendment. we voiced our strong support for
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carbon capture and utilization storage. and we reaffirmed the need for federal policies that recognize the federal control of bio mass. this -- you don't often see, mr. president, these large groups of senators coming together in a way that we have seen on this bill. some would look at the names i just read off and say i didn't know they had anything to work on. these issues brought them together and this is a team effort with members reaching out to one another, lining up behind each other's ideas and working with senator camp and i to insure their adoption and the best proof of that is simple
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review of the bill. the energy modernization act is co-sponsored by at least 62 members of the senate. when was the last time we saw that level of cooperation and collaboration? 62 members. think about it. more than 3/5th of the senate has contributed something to this energy bill and we are not gone processing the amendments yet. done -- my staff and the staff of senator cantwell have been comparing notes and what we found from the very time we started working through the committee process to our time here on the senate floor a very wide range of individuals, businesses, groups have come out to support the bill or certain pieces of it. we have have provisions endorsed by major organizations whose membership account for millions. the u.s. commerce, national
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manufacturing association, the alliance of automobiles, north american building trade union, the united autoworkers, the united brotherhood of carpenter works. we have a huge range of interest welcoming the work we are doing on efficiency. i have gotten good support from the alaska power association, the crystal bay native association, cordova electric company and lots more. and we have gotten support from the people who keep the lights on and the water. whether that is the american petroleum institute, national mining exploration, the business council for sustainable energy,
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and others and others. the reality is those who have weighed in in support of this measure are too many to name this morning. but that is a good problem to have when you a legislating; that you run out of time in outlining the coalitions that have come together in support. just so i don't get in any trouble here i want to be clear that many of the groups and enities i listed have endorsed parts of inbill -- not all of. en entities. i am not saying everyone is supportive of what we are doing and that is fair because not everything in this is going to appeal to everyone. in a lot of ways that is how things work in a place like the senate. not everyone likes every provision of this bill. i don't like every provision of this bill. not everyone is getting everything they want.
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pretty tough to find a situation where you get a hundred percent of everything that you would want. this is not the bill i would have written on my own. but it is the bill we have written together. first as a committee of 22 and now as a senate working together. our work has produced a good bill. a good bill worth debating, worth advaning and worth passing. and this moves us to the cloture vote. there are two votes. this vote we will see very shortly is a means to advance debate not to conclude it on our energy policy modernization act. it is a choice.
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i think it is important to lay out to members where we are and what why voting on this morning. by voting for cloture members will be insuring we remain on this bill for at least another 30 hours of legislative activity. you will be voting to continue this process, to continue this debate, and continuing processing amendments whether by voice or roll call vote we hope to setup. you will also be giving us the time we need to focus on matters that are simply not settled yet. and as we have her from our colleagues from michigan there are some matters that they wish to have resolved that are not yet settled and this allows us that time to do that. but to do this in a way that is going to be acceptable to the majority of our members. and the reality is if you are not comfortable with where we are 30 hours from now you can still vote against the next
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cloture motion that comes up. that is one choice. and that is going to be my choice. but here is the other: if you vote against cloture you will be effectively voting not to prolong debate but to move us off of this bipartisan bill. you will be voting to effectively be giving up on so much of what we have done. a year of process. agreement on almost 50 energy bills we have incorporated into this base bill and the strong approval of 32 separate amendments and counting that we have advanced through the floor. and i believe you will be voting to give up our best opportunity, certainly our most immediate opportunity, to address the issue, to help the people of flint, michigan and in other
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parts of the country that may have similar issues. every time i leave the senate floor, at least this past week, i am swarmed by reporters who want to know what is going on/what is the latest discussion and what is going to happen with flint. is flint going to bring this bill down. i want to speak directly to this this morning to let members know what has gone on. we haven't been out here on the floor all day yesterday. we have been discussing constructively and ernestly what the options are -- earnestly -- to help yield a result to the people in flint, michigan. the first thing is i share the
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concern and heartbreak for what the people of flint, michigan have faced and are facing. it is a crisis. it is a tragedy. it is heartbreakingly avoidable. we look at how we got here and it is a failure of local, state, and federal governments to regulate and monitor that city's water supply. and what has happened in flint has hurt people. it is hurting children. and it has damaged property. it has left families in a horrible predictum through no fault of their own -- predicament -- where they cannot drink their tap water or bathe their children. there is plenty of blame to go around. i know my colleagues from michigan would agree with me. but our job here in the united states senate is not to play
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this blame game. it is to only up to what that federal role is because i believe there is that federal role. and then on that bases do what we can to help make sure that our response is proportionate to that role. so why then consider all of this in the context of an energy bill you might ask. that is a fair and legitimate question. this is the first bill on the floor since the crisis became evident. we have tried to address this through the appropriation bill but since that time, again, more has been learned.
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we are here today with legislation that allows us an opportunity to consider it. so i didn't shy away from this discussion, as hard as it was, saying that is going to be a poison bill. i cannot deal with. i said let's try to figure it out. if we don't address the situation whether -- it is not going to go away. we have a role here and let's figure out what thought responsibility is and engage. senator cantwell and i have been engaged most directly with the senators in michigan to try to find a responsible path forward. the negotiations have been earnest and honest and ongoing. but i think there is confusion about the status of the negotiations. i want to outline where i believe we are right now. we have made headline on federal assistance which is something we
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know can't be born by our energy bill alone. we have found programs that could be good fits to provide aid. we have recognized this is not flint's burden alone. there are other communities, in other states, including my state, that face similar crisis as a result of government failure. and we hear about them, we as members talk about the situations. a senator from maryland, i think used the phrase we are all flint. i think we all have situations maybe not to the crisis proportion like they have with a presidential declaration in michigan but we have recognition we have issues that trouble us a great deal when it comes to how we provide for safe drinking water for our families. our problem is not about whether we should offset the cost of this assistance. it is how we do so in a manner
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that does not destroy the underlying energy bill, does not violate the constitution, or the rules that we have here in the senate. and i made very clear when we begin the outset of the debate on this measure that we have got to make sure that we don't have scoring issues with cbo and we have to make sure there are no leaf issues because that will kill the bill. and then where are we? nobody wins and we don't have an energy bill and we have not addressed the situation in flint. so this morning i filled a second degree amendment to provide support for the people of flint. what my amendment will do is make up to $550 million available including $50 million immediately for the people of flint. what we are seeking to do here is bridge the gap between what
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has been proposed and what i believe the senate can agree to. it requires 90% of the money we provide to be paid back over time. its cost is fully offset with it pay for we have been working back and forth with cbo and are confidant they accept. it includes provisions we have been working with the senators from michigan on as it relates to epa notification and a loan forgiveness. language that has been in all different iterations of measures going forward. i am told on the house side they are looking at that as well. that is where we are at this time as we are going into a cloture motion. i think we have made progress. i believe we have made progress. we are working constructively to help the people of flint and what we would do with this second degree would be able to
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provide $550 million available to them. it has been challenging. it has involved a lot of hard work to get to this point but i think we owe it to every america whether you are in flint or somewhere else to do that work and overcome the challenge. mr. president, we have gotten to where we are in the discussion. again we have the cloture motion going forward. have been trying to make the good progress, we have been trying to conduct an open and fair amendment process, we want to process more amendments this morning so we can move to complete the bill. so i would ask at this time, unanimous consent that it be in order to call up the following amendments to make them pending and that would be the stabenow amendment 3129, the second
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degree on flint 3282, cantwell 3242, flake 3055 flake 3050, 2324, isaacson 3203, marquee 3232, and cassidy 3 is 92. >> is there objection? >> senator from michigan. >> thank you. reserving the right to object. i want to thank the chair. she lists a bipartisan efforts that have gone on and i know a lot of work and nowhere in the list of folks whose needs have been addressed are the children of flint. >> the senator states her objection. >> we want to give this solved not just have votes that go down i object. >> would the chairman of the energy committee yield for a question? >> certainly. >> mr. president, the chairman
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of the energy committee has done tremendous work with the ranking member, senator cantwell, to try to find a way to address there legitimate concerns we all share with what happened in flint. but i want to clarify basic facts. it is my understanding, and i would just ask for comment or answer from the distinguished senator from alaska, isn't it true that there is not yet a comprehensive assessment and plan in place by the state of michigan or flint as to how they might even spend this money at this point to address the concerns about lead in the water supply in flint? >> it is my understanding there is an assessment and an analyss that is due out at the end of
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the next week, or toward the end of the week, that the state has been aggressively working to do to determine the cost, as well as how they would move forward with an action plan. that is my understanding. >> so mr. president if the senator will yield for another question. since there is no plan yet announced or in place it strikes me as putting the cart before the horse to say the senate ought to vote on a $600 million emergency appropriation delta pay for a plan which has not yet been created and disclosed to the american people. i would just ask the senator isn't it the fact the state itself has already appropriate $40 million and the obama administration appointed another
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$80 million so roughly $120 million have been already made available. >> i cannot speak to the accuracy of how much has been made available by the state. it is my understanding the state has received through the epa the state's annual receipt from the epa's clean water fund that they receive on an annual bases. i don't know if that is specific to flint or whether that is the state's share as the state of texas receives and the state of alaska receives. but it is my understanding that the president did make that announcement. >> mr. president, the senator will yield for another question. >> i would ask the leader to yield for a question and possibly we could share the
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information >> mr. president, the senator is out of order. >> the senator from alaska has the floor. >> i would ask the senator from alaska if she would yield for one last question on this topic. >> will the senator yield? >> yes. >> i would ask the senator from alaska isn't it true after the senators from michigan made the demand for $600 million dollars in ear marks before a plan was put together by the state of michigan or the city of flint to either analyze the problem or what the solution might look like and how much it might cost that you and your capacity as the bill manager have undertaken an effort to come up with some comp romices -- compromises.
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but doesn't it make sense if there is no plan in place, wouldn't it make sense to take our time and handle any additional request for funding from flint or michigan through the regular appropriations process? i believe the senator is the chair of the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over these issues. i am just wondering whether that wouldn't be a more orderly process than at $600 million ear mark before it plan is in place. >> to the senator's question i have been working, i think, aggressively and constructively with the senators from michigan, to try to figure out how we can provide for a level of response. i don't doubt the anxiety, the
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urgency that the people in flint must feel. to be in this situation is not a place that any of us would want any of our constituents to be. there is an imperative from those seeking assistance that given there is a federal role how can we help to facilitate the appropriate response on the federal side. if there is a way to expedite funding and i would say that would be good thing but i think the senator is asking if we are jumping ahead. the original estimates were based on the declaration the state had requested.
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i think it is going to be not only critical to understand what the cost is that we will hopefully learn next week. i know they are working aggre aggressi aggressively to determine that. we saw this with the stimulus. you can get too much money and not spend it in the best way. we want to be thoughtful and responsible stewards in recognizing that and we want to recognize the role we should have should be proportionate and how we can work to advance that is something we have attempted to do. just one moment. the solution i put down this morning is one that i think recognizes that there is assistance that needed.
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this is where the opportunity to access loans through the program that will be available not only to the state of michigan, but to other states should they be in a similar situation, so that avoids the ear mark because i too want to make sure we have a situation that we don't allow to continue. but we also don't want to see it in other states as well. so we do that through opportunities or loans. but the direct assistance that would come, which would be $50 million, in addition to whatever may be out there already from the epa and the state i think is a reasonable approach and again, it is one that is paid for. legi legitimately paid for. and that is an important part of our responsibility here as well;
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to make sure we can thought only address the urgency of a situation but the responsibility that we not only to the people of flint but to all of our constituency. ...ader yield for a question? mr. president, i have been asking for the opportunity to ask a question. i would ask consent to be able to ask a question. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. stabenow: is the chair aware that the dollars that we have asked for require a comprehensive plan from the state and that at this point only $28 million, most going to health, has been allocated by the state? ms. murkowski: through the chair, i am aware that what you have required as well as what we have been working on jointly does require a -- an action plan that describes the spend-down
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and how that would be allocated. and it's my understanding that it will be very helpful to have it will be very helpful to have it is my understanding it will be very helpful to have that analysis from the state that will be forthcoming hopefully soon. >> we need to continue the discussion. thank you. >> tonight on c-span two, a hearing on the cost of prescription drugs. world leaders at a conference in london pledge $10 billion in humanitarian aid for syria. president obama speaks at the annual prayer request at washington d.c. >> at a house hearing on the cost of record entrance prescription drugs, we will learn how they set drug prices. when members question ceo about the company raisg


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