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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 12:30pm-2:16pm EST

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national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2016, legislation that took an historic step forward to ban torture once and for all by limiting u.s. government interrogation techniques to those in the army field manual. that vote was 91-3. there was debate and discussion about it in the armed services committee and on the floor of this senate. the vote was 91-3. now candidates are saying they will disregard the law. i thought that was our complaint, republicans' complaint, with the present president of the united states. the u.s. military has successfully interrogated more foreign terrorist detainees than any other agency of our government. the army field manual in its current form has worked for the united states military, including on high-value terrorist detainees in iraq,
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afghanistan and elsewhere, and it reflects current best thinking and practices on interrogation. moreover, the army field manual embodies the values americans have embraced for generations. preserving the ability of tower interrogators to extract critical intelligence from our adversaries while recognizing that torture and cruel treatment are ineffective interrogation methods. some of the nation's most respected leaders from the u.s. military, c.i.a., and f.b.i. supported this legislation as well as numerous human rights organizations and faith groups, including the national association of evangelicals and the united states conference of catholic bishops. general david petraeus, a military leader that i admire more than literally any living military leader, general david
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petraeus said he supported the use of the army field manual because -- and i quote general david petraeus -- "our nation has paid a high price in recent decades for the information gained by the use of techniques beyond those in the field manual, and in my view, that price far outweighed the value of the information gained through the use of techniques beyond those in the manual. and obviously that includes waterboarding. why don't we listen to people like general david petraeus who has had vast experience in iraq and afghanistan with detainees and the information we have gotten from them and our practices. and if general petraeus were here, he would tell you that the most effective method of gaining information is establishing a friendly relationship with the detainee. obviously we need intelligence
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to defeat our enemies, but we need reliable intelligence. torture produces more misleading information than actionable intelligence. and that -- and what the advocates of harsh and cruel interrogation methods have never established is that we couldn't have gathered as good or more reliable intelligence from using humane methods. most importantly, we got in the search for bin laden came from using conventional interrogation methods. i think it's an insult to the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert we can't win this war on terrorism without such methods. yes, we can, and we will. but in the end, torture's failure to serve its intended purpose isn't the main reason to oppose its use. i've often said and will always
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maintain that this question isn't about our enemies. it's about us. it's about who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be. it's about how we represent ourselves to the world. we made our way in this often dangerous and cruel world not by just strictly pursuing our geopolitical interests, but by exemplifying our political values and influencing other nations to embrace them. when we fight to defend our security, we fight also for an idea that all men are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights. that's all men and women. how much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same. how much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves, even momentarily, as we learned from abu ghraib.
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our enemies act without conscience. we must not. it isn't necessary, isn't even helpful for this strange and long war we're fighting. our nation needs a commander in chief that understands and affirms this basic truth. our nation needs a commander in chief who will make clear to those who fight on our behalf that they are defending this sacred ideal and that sacrificing our national honor and our respect for human dignity will make it harder, not easier, to prevail in this war. and our nation needs a commander in chief that reminds us that in the worst of times, either chaos or terror of war, when facing cruelty, suffering and loss, that we are always americans. different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
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mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate the previous order, the senate uopec re-tweeted by c-span producer craig kaplan. harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, chuck
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schumer, steve israel will discuss the budget and national security issues with president obama later today it will take place at the white house. republicans have already rejected a plan ahead of its release. more about the budget coming up at 1 p.m. eastern as white house budget director shaun donovan and other administration officials plan to outline the president's fiscal year 2017 request live here on c-span2. also live on c-span3 at 1:30 p.m. a review of the defense department budget. presentations by each of the service branches. yesterday representatives from the centers for disease control and prevention and the national institutes of health updated reporters on the zika virus. health and human services secretary sylvia burwell due to brief senators this afternoon during a closed-door session. >> good afternoon, everybody.
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it's nice to see you all. i hope you had a good weekend. i see we have some broncos paraphernalia in the crowd today. so congratulations on the big victory, guys. as many of you may have seen, prior to the big game last night, the president had a conversation with gayle king from cbs, and he noted that the administration will be putting forward today a legislative proposal to congress to fortify our efforts to combat the zika virus both overseas and here at home, and making sure we're taking the necessary steps to protect the american people. so given the frequency with which we have discussed this issue over the last couple of weeks, joining me today at the podium are two of the u.s. government's foremost experts on this issue, and they can describe to you both some of the risks associated with this public health issue, but also describe to you the steps the u.s. government is taking to protect the american people. to my immediate right is dr. anne schuchat from the centers for disease control, and to her
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right is dr. tony fauci from the national institutes of health. both of them will make brief opening comments, and then they'll stick around for 15 minutes or so to take any questions that you have. questions on other topics i'll handle after they depart. dr. schuchat, do you want to go first? thank you. >> hello, everybody. as you know, last may, brazil reported the detection of the zika virus. this was the first recognition of this virus in the americas, even though we've known about the virus for more than -- since 1947. the virus causes a mild illness in most people. in fact, four out of five people have no symptoms at all. but last fall, brazil noticed an increase in an unusual birth defect called microcephaly. and we began to be concerned that this virus could potentially be associated with serious complications of pregnancy. since that time, the virus has spread to a number of countries in the americas. it's also spread to u.s. territories, including puerto
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rico, the u.s. virgin islands, and american samoa. and we have had cases in travelers here in the united states. cdc, the health and human services, and the entire u.s. government is taking this very seriously. for the average american, this is not something that will change your day-to-day life. but if you are pregnant, we have taken the unusual step of recommending that you avoid travel to areas where zika is spreading, or if you live in an area such as that or must travel, that you be very vigilant with applying mosquito repellant and taking steps to avoid mosquito bites. we are working 24/7 to understand this virus, to detect it where it is occurring, and to prevent its spread. this will not be easy because the mosquito that spreads zika virus is an aggressive daytime biter. it lives outside and inside the home, and it can be pretty hard to control it. you know, in the backyard, how
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hard it can be to control mosquitoes -- well, this is one of those mosquitoes that's quite difficult to control. that said, we're working very aggressively with areas where the virus is spreading and areas where it may spread to make sure that they're prepared and that we can help prevent serious complications of pregnancy at the same time we learn more about the risk in pregnancy and the best ways to reduce that risk. we're working with all of the states and local areas on surveillance, reporting. we've made this disease nationally notifiable. we've shipped out laboratory diagnostic tests so that states can recognize this. and we've issued a number of guidances, not just for travel but guidances for health care workers so they know how to take care of women who may have been exposed to the virus, and how to counsel them about things like sex during pregnancy. so i think that we are working very hard to get the information that americans want, and to work with our partners around the world to understand this virus
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but also to control its spread and mitigate the harm that it may do. >> i'm going to turn things over to dr. fauci. >> thank you, trembling. as part of the u.s. government response to the sikh issue right now that we are experts in south america and the caribbean is the fundamental and clinical our medical research response to answer some of the questions that we don't know about ebola -- excuse me, about zika coming together thing on the like likef which is difficult with all countermeasures. let me briefly describe five issues we're doing. a lot of this is in collaboration with the cdc but much of it is done with our grantees and contractors. versus natural history. understand better history of this infection not only in people who are infected without being pregnant but also the natural history of pregnancy and the possible relationship to microcephaly. that's an important part of the epidemiological approach to have a look at it. the second one is fundamental
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basic science and understanding about this virus, what we've learned over many years in studying other viruses, viruses like ebola, hiv. there's viral biology, understand is anything different between this vibrant which seems to have originated and work its way across the pacific into south america. you look at the molecular fingerprint of that virus, is any different and doesn't relate at all to the disease we are seeing and what we are seeing as a possible connection with microcephaly. the other is factor control. this is done in close collaboration with the cdc. there are ways you control vectors. then there is diagnostics which is really very critical.
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reason is critical is that if someone is actively infected with zika you can to within a period of seven, eight, nine, 10 days because you can isolate, not isolate that you can detect the virus by molecular means. once they clear the virus to determine how they been infected with zika or one of the other viruses that's very similar to zika, like dengue and westar and others, but particularly dengue because of dengue permeates south america, particularly pursue. we did get a very specific diagnostic to tell a woman particularly was pregnant, have you been infected with zika or not. that's going to be important. we are working closely on the. finally, there's the issue with the vaccine. vaccines are very important. the good news is that zika is what we call a flavivirus, certain class of viruses. we have successfully develop vaccines against flavivirus like yellow finger, like dengue, a
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vaccine the bushes recently approved in brazil and mexico, and we are studying that right now. we have already started to develop a vaccine in the early stages and we can predict that we likely would be in phase one trial just determine if it's safe and if it is at it is a good response, probably by the end of the summer i get that going by the end of this year. it looks like it is safe we will go to the next stage. unlikely to have a vaccine that's widely available for a few years but we can get the initial steps. again happy to answer any questions. >> we'll stop there and then we will go around to -- scott, go ahead. >> dr. fauci, did you say right now once you've cleared the virus we are not able to tell if a pregnant woman has been infected or -- >> no, no. 123 the virus, the we determine if you've been exposed is by the antibody that you've made against the virus. there is an antibody test that is done by the cdc and a couple of specialized centers that can
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tell you if you been affected. village elders because of the similarity between zika and dengue company across reacts. if you get a positive and you got to go to the next level of tests that would say specifically is that zika or is it something else. all of that takes time and highly specialized test. will return to get, the cdc and unscom is a test that will tell you immediately where you infected and wasn't zika versus anything else. >> is not a matter of a more precise antibody? >> yes. it recognizes only the aspect of zika that isn't shared with dengue. >> and other researchers have found the active virus in urine and saliva, how do you think that's going to affect the spread from here on out? since we won't have one available vaccine for possibly years, what do you think is going to be most effective method for stopping the spread?
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>> i think the most important thing to say is that we think the majority of zika infections are spread through bites from a mosquito. we are learning about other potential routes, and the sexual transmission was an update last week. at this point it's too early to know whether the detection in urine or saliva is going to be important. i think right now focuses on protecting pregnant women and i'm trying to control the mosquito. i think that's really where we need to be focused. i did want to say more about the diagnostic tests, because we did last week update our guidance and suggest that women who had traveled to a zika affected areas were pregnant should be tested even if they have not had any symptoms. to make that possible we have been shipping large amounts of antibody tests out so that the state health departments can facilitate the testing. itit's important that we don't unlimited quantities right now.
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and as dr. fauci said the test isn't perfect. while we are scaling up the availability of testing for pregnant women who have traveled to a zika transmitting area, we are also working on better test that would be more informative because of the tests we have right now are not as perfect as we would like. >> one extra comment on the issue with saliva and urine. we don't take anything for granted, and we take those kinds of things seriously. but if you want to put things into perspective, i was having a bit of a déjà vu because i was standing in this room about 30 years ago when we were talking with hiv, when hiv was found into tears and in the saliva and in the urine, and the question was is going to be transmitted that way. we can tell you for sure which t just because it's in the urine and in the saliva should not be presumed that that is going to be a significant court anyway i think transmitted. we are going to follow it carefully but we will make sure
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we don't make that presumption is that it now can be transmitted by saliva and urine. >> dr. fauci, the united states olympic committee said that athletes who are concerned about going to rio should have the option of staying home. what is your advice to olympic athletes that are concerned about the zika virus? should they stay home and not impede? >> it's difficult to give advice to people who have devoted the last x number of years for training for the. i think that's a personal decision. what we can do is to just to give them the facts and evidence-based information. dr. schuchat already mentioned that as an infection, zika is generally a relatively mildcome in fact, consequential infection but the possibility that a very, very rare event of a deal to race and trumpet but as an effective it isn't safe. the issue we're focusing on is the issue with pregnant women. even under that if you follow the guidelines that already out
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by the cdc about pregnant women traveling and making sure that if, in fact, they're pregnant or want to get pregnant that this was a consider putting it off, and men who go there and might come back to united states and might have a wife or a sexual partner is pregnant to be very careful that they don't transmit it. so those guidelines stay the way they are, and i think those are the things people should consider when they're going to make their decision. >> i would like to ask you about the confirmation of the first sexual transmission of zika in the united states. besides that, the white house is asking for $1.8 billion to fund to focus on this. can you, mr. ernest, give us an idea of when this can be approved? >> obviously the request that we have put forward is to request
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that we've made of congress for the kind of resources that would be beneficial in advancing efforts at dr. schuchat and dr. fauci have been talking about here. there was a reference to the limited supply of some diagnostics to confirm whether or not you've had the disease. that's something that we could use additional resources to increase that supply. there's been discussion about the development of a vaccine. we would like to put additional resources to the effort to see if we can speed it up or at least make the likelihood of success in the test greater. there are a number of ways in which these resources can be used and we are hopeful that congress will recognize the urgency of this request and act quickly on. this sort of falls in the category of things that shouldn't break down along party lines. democrats and republicans should reason to understand that resources to confront a public health challenge like this is something that merits a serious response from the u.s.
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government. the united states congress has an important role to play out hope that they will act quickly. >> sexual transmission? >> yes. lessig authorities in dallas investigated and reported on the likely sexual spread of the virus. one person traveled to a zika affected area. develops that those -- develop symptoms of zika, came back, and after a sexual encounter the partner also develop clinical symptoms and was confirmed to have zika virus. while confirm in that investigation, we really don't have any information about how widespread the kind of problem may be but we did take a step to say that people returning from zika affected areas, whether it's had symptoms or not, should take precautions in having sex with a pregnant partner, dublin are trying to protect women and their pregnancies because we believe that's the principal place where this virus can be serious. >> josh, if i could just follow
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on your comments. i wonder if any of the money in the president's proposal could all go to support abortion for women whose fetuses had been diagnosed with microcephaly? for the doctors, i'm wondering, did lay out a timeline can on how long it might be a good vaccine by one in which a time when it is for some the questions that still exist about the virus, especially tying it to these long-term birth defects. at all slated to talk at all about el salvador's advice for women not to get pregnant until 2018. >> as it relates to the funding request, i'm not aware of any specific requests like that that will be included. congress will have to consider the kinds of policy questions that would go along with that funding. there is a ban on the use of federal funds for abortion without the sort of exceptions that are commonly discussed. ultimately there will be some policy implications of a lot of these questions.
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hopefully resolving questions like that will not impede congress' ability to act quickly in a way that will ensure that we have the resources we need to protect the american people. >> i'll answer the question about fixing and i'll ask dr. schuchat into the other question. with regard to the vaccine one of the positive things we have is that we've develop vaccines against flavivirus before and we have a vaccine technology that we develop for west nile. it went to face one to look good, safe, and induced a good response. the trouble is we didn' did hava pharmaceutical company that would take it to the next step. we are not going to have the trouble with a zika. right now we make it was called a construct for the zika vaccine. that would take a couple of months to get through the fda permission to quit and go with humans. we've got to start in humans sometime in the summer, do a phase one trial.
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that would take about three months. i anticipate we will be finished before 2016. then you go into an advanced base, which means that the epidemic is still in the point where it is, where there's a lot of cases, you can determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective within a relatively short period of time, measured in six months or more, not five years or so. peoples and vaccine will not be ready for three to five years. that's true if you're talking about dotting all the eyes and causing all the keys and getting fda absolutely proved safe and effective vaccine. but when you're an emergency situation i think we can move much will quickly to perhaps get an accelerated approval. >> about the timeline going forward to understand the birth defects and also the guillain-barre situations that may be linked with a zika, i think we can expect substantial
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information in the weeks ahead but a lot of the definitive information is going to take many months. the brazil investigators working internationally are looking backwards as people who probably got zika virus last spring and delivered babies this fall or winter. what we are keen to do is to do, perspective if all pregnancies because microcephaly may be just one of multiple problems that a pregnant woman can face. so to all pregnancies respectively typically is about nine months. i think people would need to be patient. as we learn more we are committed to share. we know that this is a really scary time for pregnant women, and we want to make sure we get the best information possible to them as quickly as we can. >> you mentioned several times your travel recommendations but the world health organization has stopped short of advising pregnant women to halt kabul to the affected region. the field the recommendations go far enough? would you like to see to make a similar recommendation?
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>> every individual circumstance is different. going home for a funeral am maybe a special event. we think the most important thing that we can do at cdc is to let people know what we know and what's a prudent action. we've sai sent people to considr deferring travel, and if they can't defer travel come here of the steps they can take to protect themselves from mosquito bites. the circumstances around travel are going to be very individual. i do think it's important that the world health organization called attention to this event as a public health emergency of international concern, and has put every country on notice to say take this seriously. we don't know exactly what to expect of you want worked aggressively to limit the harm that occur. >> as you were talking about all of this, and i'm going to ask you realistically, --
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[inaudible] do you believe realistically what does the vaccine look like? how is it administered? who gets it once this is approved and able to be used widely? >> the first thing i'd like to clarify is what we'd expect to occur in the continental united states. while a large amount of zika virus has been spreading in the americas, in warmer temperatures and in different zone, and the continental united states we do expect to see infection in people who have traveled and are returning home, but we are not expecting large-scale amounts of serious zika infections. the recommendations for pregnant women were so that we could reduce the chances that pregnant women would unknowingly step into harm's way. even though we expect the virus to come to the u.s. and
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travelers, we are not expecting large outbreaks. we do think it's likely that we'll have limited local transmission and some of the southern states. that's one of the reasons for the interest in additional resources, so that we can be prepared to aggressively respond with s.w.a.t. teams, local rapid response teams, and also to try to mitigate that were predicted with effective mosquito control in advance of the time when those mosquitoes may be circulated. i think in the winter months we have a chance to try to get ahead of this for the united states, the continental united states, while providing as much support as we can for the territories or for puerto rico we know the virus is already present. >> just to add a little more perspective about that. again to reiterate what i said before. we are never presumptuous. we never assume the least. we always assume the worst. but historically the reason why we are saying that, what dr. schuchat and i are saying
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about we don't expect a massive outbreak even though we will be prepared if it is, is that historically we have faced this over the last few years both with dengue and with chicken bone you. dengue is quite pervasive in south america and the caribbean. it's the same mosquito that transmits zika and although we've had many little local transmissibility with the along the gulf coast, florida and the keys, dade county that in texas, we are able to relatively easily controlled by very aggressive vector control capability. that's the reason why even though for years without the threat of dengue exploding as a big outbreak it hasn't had. without the threat since 2013 of chikungunya exploding locally and it hasn't happened. reiterate again we are not overconfident and will prepare for the worst but we are saying we don't think it will be an explosive outbreak because of that historic look that we've had with dengue and chikungunya.
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[inaudible] >> this isn't even putting vaccination on the table. vaccination on the table will be if, in fact, we do have a massive outbreak, you would want to vaccine a lot of people. we are not even talking about that. we are talking about public health control of an outbreak without even having a vaccine. >> can you be a little more specific and talking to the areas of vulnerability and what you mean by limited local transmission? what parts of the country are you most concerned about? also came to directly answer the question of whether it is prudent to give her pregnancy, as countries like el salvador have recommended? >> the southern parts of the countries that have experienced the their dengue were chikungunya and clued southern parts of florida and texas, and
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hawaii has also had dengue. the volume of air in terms of thousands of travelers coming back, but really dozens of cases of local transmission, not even hundreds, based on as dr. fauci said aggressive vector control. one of the things going for us here in the continental united states is that most people have screens on the windows. most people have air conditioning. we don't have as dense urbanization in the areas of the country where the virus containing mosquitoes could thrive. so we live in a quite different circumstances than in some other regions in brazil, for instance, we've seen large zika outbreaks. i think in that context we are optimistic that we will not have large-scale local transmission but we are not betting on it, and we it, and what to do than we can to make sure we don't have widespread transmission here. in terms of the issue of
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deferring pregnancy, i want to say that that is a very personal decision that couples will make a lot of plans around when the want of children and circumstances that make it the right time. at cdc we just want people to know that if you're pregnant, traveling to a zika affected area may be risky for the baby. >> once the window of time about? >> we update our recommendations for equally. i think we updated them a couple times last week. as we know more we will share. one of the things we are keen to do is to follow lots of pregnant women to understand whether the risk is throughout the pregnancy or only potential in the first couple months of pregnancy. also to understand what's going on with the epidemiology, as the wave passed or is it getting worse? what we know from our insect borne disease experts is that things can change quickly, and
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they can also be very different one country to another country or even within a country. we are looking right now at altitude. it made the that at higher altitudes it's unlikely you'll be exposed to an effected his kitty. we may be able to find our travel recommendations as better information becomes available. we are doing modeling. we really want to get better, more targeted recommendations. for the time being based on what we know right now we are trying to offer women that if you're pregnant and considering traveling to one of these areas, there may be risk. >> is there any new information to strengthen the suspected link between zika and microcephaly? any information on whether there may be cofactors involved in brazil? >> there are active investigations right now. one of the most important things was to hone in on the definition of microcephaly. i think some of the initial reports may have cast a wide
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net. as they hone in on babies that beat a strict cas case definitin come in maybe a smaller number than the 4000 or so that were initially reported. those studies will be important and telling us about the risk of the potential cofactors but we don't have that information yet. we do know there are other causes of microcephaly, other infectious agents like rubella or german measles can sometimes cause that condition, and some other environmental exposures or even things like alcohol can sometimes be related to that very serious birth defect. >> some lawmakers are talking about the need for a zika czar. can you talk about this response to zika? can you compare to the response to ebola? could you talk about are we better prepared now because of the actions we took earlier with ebola, and if so, how? >> i think we are clearly better prepared for an outbreak like a zika and we were that's a year
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or so ago. i think that's justified by the fact that we have responded very, very rapidly to this. we have the president of the united states involved in a very thorough briefing and briefings of his very early on. so this is something i can say we are very much on top of get the idea of waiting until something bad happens before you do anything, that's not the case. as you know, ebola just lingered on before people come at least in africa, started to get really excited about. the first case was in december of 2014, that by march window a lot of cases people start to realize. the i did not coordination, right now this is a very well coordinated endeavor. it is predominately hhs but there's usaid and state also involve. right now th the coordination at least of someone who's been through these kinds of outbreaks, i think it's quite good at it only see right now any need for yet again having
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another czar. as the situation evolves that it would require that come on sure the president would be open to making that decision. >> i want to amplify that aspect of the answer. because when the president appointed tran 11 to work at the white house, -- tur ron klein. you recall at the time there was a significant deployed at dod assets to west africa to begin to address some of the concern that was existing on the ground. there was a legitimate question about the role of the department of homeland security in terms of securing the border, monitoring travelers as they entered the country. there was a need for significant dhs involvement in that response. right now those things are not yet determined to be necessary.
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there are -- there are fewer agencies involved in the response. as dr. fauci points out, because these agencies did work together in the response in ebola, those muscles have been exercised, so to speak. if this has become something that requires an even greater commitment of resources from a variety of government agencies, then the president would be in a position to consider something like that, but right now he's not. >> at the debate on saturday, governor christie said that they would definitely be seniors in which he would be willing to impose a quarantine to prevent the spread of zika virus. from a public health and public perception perspective, is it helpful for state later to say that type of thing? do you foresee a scenario in which quarantining travelers from brazil would be necessary? >> the most important thing here is that this is a mosquito borne virus and it would really be
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focus on ski-doo control in areas where it's starting. and we get information people who may be traveling to such paper i think that would be the public health strategy that would be our focus right now. >> just a question about spring break, which is right around the corner. you're talking that tens of thousands of young americans who will be traveling to areas that may have only been impacted by the virus. is there a specific strategy to reach out to them so they are aware of the risk? have begun to appoint already when we should refrain even from traveling to some of these areas in large numbers? >> traveled to zika-affected areas is very common among americans, and we don't think that needs to stop. we do think it's important for people who are pregnant or may be pregnant to be aware of the risks, and for their sexual partners to be aware of the risk as well. we are not canceling spring break. we're telling people who are pregnant you may not want to go.
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>> the numbers are really astounding what i found that out. is about 30 million travelers back and forth from the region. that's a lot of people of that relates to the issue that was asked about orange and things like that. that's an astounding number. >> we have time for two more. [inaudible] how concerned are you that issues will be complicated by the political season? >> the edge of how much money we spent on research so far, leave it or not i can't tell you. the reason i can't sleep is because we have a program at least at nih which is a flavivirus program that involves yellow fever, dengue to west nile, japanese the satellite is. what we did to get out of the
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blocks quickly is that we have our grantees who were studying those other flighty viruses make proposals to go ahead and take a look at zika. we will be up to calculate that but i can tell you broadly at a given year we spent about $100 million a year on flavivirus. that was before we even had zika on the radar screen. we have taken some of that money and some of grantees but now with the proposal of the president we are going to tak ta look at how we can will spend the money that will be allocated to us for that. >> i just want to add. i don't have dollars to tell you but in 2007 that was the first recognized outbreak of zika virus on the pacific island yap. one of the products of that investigation was a diagnostic test for zika virus which is essentially the platform that's being used now. i think it's shortsighted forced
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to make sure we are spending x, y or z on a specific virus because nature has a way of coming up with surprises. we really need, with the mosquito borne viruses, to take a broader, systematic approach. i know that's part of the government response year, we are very keen interest in zika virus but we want to improve extra control. want to improve diagnostics, we want to have the local and state support be stronger than it is right now. >> as relates to the campaign, what we will be focus on, and i'm confident what these two will be focus on congress making sure people have the scientific information available to make the decisions they need to make to protect themselves and to your families. i'm confident just that everything will be subjected to some politics over the course of this year but hopefully when it's something as important as the health of pregnant women in the united states, we can keep
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most of our attention focused where it should be which is on the science and the proven steps that we know should be taken to keep people safe. steve. >> how much money is left over from the people effort? and some of the be used now for zika? >> there is work that is ongoing to make sure we follow through on our ebola response. there have been designations made by international organizations that indicate that there is no active ebola virus in some of the countries where we saw that a couple of years ago. but we continue to be quite vigilant about continuing to build the kind of infrastructure that will be critical to fighting this disease in west africa. but also continuing to do the work in the united states so that if there is another outbreak that we can protect the american people. over the last couple of years we have seen flareups of ebola, and
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we want to make sure that we have learned the lessons from a couple of years ago that we follow through on the necessary steps. the point is we don't want to take money that is currently being used to make sure we follow through on our ebola response and had to be diverted to this latest effort. we believe what is the most effective way for us to move forward is to get congress to appropriate and provide the resources that our experts need to keep the american people safe. i think the bottom line is there may be a point in time in which we feel like that are some resources from our people efforts that could be used for other things without impacting our critical efforts against ebola. but right now the request that we have made of congress reflects the need for the kind of resources that are necessary to pursue the kinds of remedies that we have been discussing.
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>> both doctors mentioned guillain-barre and it sounds like you haven't ruled out that there might be some of the potential significant health risks associated with zika, is that correct? >> yes, that's right. and in particular with the pregnancy, microcephaly has been recognized but we know with other viruses that can cause pregnancy complications, there's a whole spectrum of conditions. we are keen to be looking broader than just what has been recognized so far. i don't have information today about another symptom that's not in pregnant women that we are alert to. guillain-barre send it is known to all infections. it's closely associate with capital factor or direct infections and dispensing after a bright of respiratory infections. i think we are in the midst of studying that in brazil with our colleagues to understand better what the risk is. i think with this kind of
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large-scale spread of a virus that has been in that many people before, we have to keep our eyes open. so for what we know is that the people that we are most concerned about our pregnant women. in the general public, four out of five people seem to have no symptoms. want out of five has very, very mild builders without us expecting to have lots of this. >> doctors, doctor fauci, you said to prepare for the worst. if the $1.8 billion in emergency funds is delayed, diminished or denied in any way by congress, how does that affect the outlook of wha what you are looking at n terms of the response? >> obviously in order to do the full gamut of what we need to we going to need more resources. if we don't get the resources will not be able to get as much as we would have. if it turns out that it's delayed or what have you, then at least in my institution i would have to move money away
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from other things to do this because this is something that needs to be addressed right now. we are hoping for the best. from what i'm hearing -- >> we will leave this presentation at this point as white house budget director shaun donovan will outline the prejudice 2017 budget request. >> good afternoon, everybody. [inaudible] today is abatement if you've been waiting for for a long, long time. the president abatement if you'e been waiting for for a long, long time. the president has released his fiscal year 2017 budget. we are going to have presentations at the start starf what could your questions but there's one point i wanted to make before i turn it over. it's simply this. budgets are important because they enumerate priorities, and when you have something that's this detailed, there is no budget. he becomes quite clear when you look at the numbers what you
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believe rates. that's the importance of this exercise. i readily acknowledge as i have on many occasions that there some priorities that we have better to put the republicans in congress do not share. there will be differences of opinions about the priorities laid out any. however, there are a number of areas with a should be bipartisan -- agreement. there are priorities that are held at republicans according to what they say. one good example of that is cybersecurity. there is a robust proposal in here that many of you have already reported on that includes a step up investment in protecting the country, protecting government systems from cyber attacks and cyber intrusions. that's an important piece of business. it's critical to our national security, critical to our economy. that's all the more reason it's unfortunate that republicans and
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the budget committee will not have a conversation with us about it. here's the thing i guarantee. i guarantee that some point over the next year we are all going to file into the briefing room and i walked in and find many of you on the edge of your seats eager to ask the white house about the latest cyberintrusion. it may be a government agency. it may be at a private sector company that is well known. it may even be a media organization. and when you do i will discuss the efforts that we've made over the first seven years of the presidency to strengthen our cyber defenses. i will certainly make detailed notes of the significant investments that we are proposing to enhance our nation cybersecurity, and you can be certain that i will point out that when we put forth this proposal, republicans on the budget committee refused to even discuss it.
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and i think you rightfully an american people rightfully up lots of questions about republican, republicans commitment to confronting this issue that is critical to both our nations economy and our national city. so with that let me go turn it over to shaun for a more detailed overview of what is included in the budget and then we will start taking some questions from all of you. >> thank you josh. also thank you to jason, cecilia and jeff for joining today. and i think as we begin this discussion of the budget is useful to take a moment and take stock of our economic and fiscal progress. under the present leadership we turn our economy around and created 14 million jobs. our unemployment rate is below 5% for the first time in almost eight years. nearly 18 million people obtained health coverage as the affordable care act has taken effect. we have dramatically cut our deficit by almost three
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quarters, and set our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. it's important to take stock of our progress but this budget is not about looking back. it is about looking forward. it is about choosing investments, as josh said, that not only make a stronger today but enable us to make progress towards the kind of country that we aspire to be. the president is absolutely committed to using every minute of this last year to make such progress, to deliver for the american people and in particular to address many of the challenges he highlighted in his state of the. the budget is a path toward meeting those challenges. it accelerates the pace of innovation, to tackle climate change, finding new treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases, transform our infrastructure and grow our economy. it makes investments to give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and economic security. including investment in education, job training, support for working families and modernization of our benefit structure to reflect our evolving economy.
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cecelia and jeff will say more about those different areas in just a moment. it advances our national security and global leadership with increased funding for effort to destroy isil. as you just heard, more than one-third increase in cybersecurity across the federal government and a range of other investments to protect the american people in advanced development and democracy around the world. the budget shows these investments in growth and opportunity and security are compatible with putting the nation's finances on a strong and sustainable path. it makes critical investments in our domestic and national security priorities while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement that was signed into law last fall. as you may recall that fully paid for agreement allowed us o avoid harmful sequestration cuts, the second time that congress came together on a bipartisan basis to avoid sequestration. and provide a dollar for dollar funding increases for both
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defense and nondefense priorities for 2016-2017. the budget also puts forward pay for mandatory investment that are critical to build internal economic growth and maintaining america's image as the leader in innovation and cutting-edge science, support jobs and economic growth, and expand opportunity. the budget finishes the job started by the past two bipartisan agreement that reference the return of harmful sequestration funding levels in 2018 and beyond. it replaces those savings by closing tax loopholes and with smart spending reforms. and it also drives down deficits, keeping to below 3% of gdp through the entire 10 year period, and it maintains our fiscal progress through $2.9 trillion in smart savings on health care, immigration, tax reforms and other proposals. $375 billion in health savings
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grow over time and build on the affordable care act with further incentives to improve quality and control health care cost growth. and critically important, those proposals in the budget would extend the life of medicare for more than 15 years. it also contains $955 billion of revenue from curbing inefficient tax breaks for the wealthy, and closing loopholes for high income households. it also includes immigration reform along the lines of the 2013 bipartisan bill which the administration supported, which would reduce the deficit by about $170 billion over the first 10 years, and by almost $1 trillion over two decades. as a result of all these changes that budget stabilizes federal debt as a share o of the economy and put it on the declining path through 2025, a key measure of fiscal progress. lastly, let me build on
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something that josh said before turning over to jason. i want to take a moment to talk about the importance of this budget as we move forward with debated issue. it's tempting to adopt the conventional wisdom that a president final budget isn't relevant. but i think the conventional wisdom is wrong. with many of you budget your honesty and administration dramatically trim its sails and i'll back on ambition, or use a budget that is solely a vision document with little that's relevant to the debate. this budget falls into neither of those camps. the budget office range proposal would've bipartisan support for taking action. josh talked about cybersecurity but to name a few others, there is a significant bipartisan interest in investing in cancer research come ensuring everyone struggle with opioid addiction can get treatment, and expanding tax credits the support work and reduce poverty to workers without kids. in other cases we may not get bipartisan support for the president isn't going to shy
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away from proposing solutions that are both good for our economy and address major challenges that we face. those proposals may not be enacted this year but they lay the groundwork for reaching solutions in the long run. the bottom line is, in the final year in a season full of political distractions the president and administration remain focus on meeting our greatest challenges in delivering for the american people. we will spend every day of this last year doing just that with this budget as our roadmap. with that i will turn over to jason who is going to discuss the economic outlook and budget assumptions. >> thanks to all the. thank you, shaun. asked shaun mentioned the views economy continued to strengthen in the last year as the unemployment rate fell below 5% in the face of significant global headwinds that avoid on the economy. looking ahead the administration expects the economy will grow at an average rate of 2.5% over the next three years.
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this forecast finalized this past november to give agencies time to prepare their budget forecast is in line with contemporaneous forecasts from the congressional budget office, the blue chip consensus at private sector economists, and the international monetary fund. starting in 2019 the budget assumes that gdp growth rate of 2.3% annual. the gdp forecast reflects continued growth in consumer spending which grew at a solid pace over the last year reflecting the savings from the recent drop of energy prices, the ongoing improvement in household finances, and increased consumer sentiment. moreover, both residential investment and r&d grew stronger in 2015 but r&d reaching its highest level as a share of the economy on record and both have continued room for growth in 2016. thanks to the budget agreement at the end of last year, fiscal
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policy has shifted to a moderately accommodative stance as compared to the fiscal drag that have been faced in previous years. the same time our economy will continue to face significant headwinds on a number of dimensions as far as demand continues to slow, the oil industry continues to adjust to lower prices and the associated transmission of these events to recent financial markets development. the other notable change in the forecast is the reduction in projected interest rates with a 10 year treasury note expected to eventually settle at 4.2%. this projection is slightly more conservative than the cd on blue-chip interest rate projection. these lower expected interest rates also have import applications for broader macroeconomic and fiscal questions. over all some of our assumptions are more conservative than the assumptions made by the cbo. summer optimistic but they average out to a very similar
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outlook for the 10 year race line deficit. with that let me turn it over to jeff. >> just a minute or two on innovation which is shown seconds course of the president's budget in fact innovation has been at the center of the job recovery. you see this in manufacturing, for example, where there's been a revitalization and advanced manufacturing and investment and innovation and manufacturing that help create 900,000 manufacturing jobs just over the last six years. you also see it in clean energy. we kickstart a transformation in the u.s. produces energy with solar energy production up threefold since 2008. ..
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it proposes investments that will ensure the u.s. can set pace in technology and innovation. let me highlight three areas, the first is 21st century clean transportation system. it is up bold plan proposed to increase investments in surface transportation by 50% including transformative investment in real, and transit and support the quarter the support of the development of a breakthrough technologies. upgrading our infrastructure helps businesses move faster in to market.
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in this proposal, fully paid for by $10 a barrel oil, paid for by oil companies. it will support hundreds of thousands of good american jobs and helps the environment by refusing -- more broadly the president's budget doubles clean energy research and development, costs $7.7 billion investment in early stage r&d on clean energy, 20% increase and this will keep us at the vanguard of clean energy revolution. final innovation initiative is cancer, the president invest $715 million in the cancer moon shot, this progress we made in last year's budget, or the current year's budget to invest $200 million new money in cancer research and bring to get the private sector, the federal
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government's pushed the frontier of data and technology, the goal of doubling the rate of progress in cancer treatment research. the president's budget sets a clear plan to enhance america's position as the no. one country in the world in innovation by investing in what we do best, building the next made in america products, making the next clean energy breakthrough and finding the next life saving -- let me handed over to cecilia. >> you heard the president expressed in the state of the union address one of our key challenges is to make sure we find a way to give everyone a fair shot at economic security and opportunity and our competitiveness depends on capping a full potential all-american so this budget makes very particular investments in accomplishing those goals in particular by supporting education and training opportunities, supporting workers and their families, providing access to
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health care and to contribute to maximum capacity in the country's economic growth. this includes continuing investments in the educational system from the earliest years through higher education, expansion in high-quality early childhood education, cutting taxes paying for child care, and building out the most effective head start programs including making sure students in head stock can attend for a full day or full year and investing in pre k for all 4-year-olds in the country. the president's budget includes funding for his new computer science for all initiative which is $4 billion investment to states and another $100 million directly to districts to create access to science education at all levels from pre k through high school. in addition the budget includes significant investments in the pell grant program aimed at
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particular helping students in the program complete their education so they are incentives to help students taking full credit vote of 15 credits and students doing that, incentives to allow them to use pell grants for an additional semester's so it would allow them to use health program year around and what this does is help folks in the pal program complete on time which is important to reducing the overall cost of college education. the president's budget calls for $2.5 billion in new tax incentive to play a more active role in the education and training process, this is proposed community college partnership tax credit which builds increase to skills and make sure skills education happening at community college and technical schools is aimed at the kind of jobs that are becoming available in the growing economy. and also as you heard jeff and
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josh say important investments in talking about cancer, investments in mental-health and debbie lloyd and combating the zika virus and electronic benefits to kids in the school meal program so they continue their access to food and meals over the summer as well as helping with the enrollment process and breakfast and lunch program to help facilitate their enrollment and make sure they are feeding quids adequately. what this adds up to its focus on opportunities, economic security and making sure we are investing full potential of all americans. >> let's open up for questions. who wants to go first? in the front. if you will wait for the mic. and introduce yourself. >> match politico.
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you mentioned a few areas where you see opportunity for bipartisan agreement, cybersecurity, based on the opposite reactions you heard from the republicans and the we are in an election year, what gives the president hope there will be any movement on these priorities and not simply pushing it to inauguration? >> anybody wants to weigh in they can. there are two things that come to mind, the first is there was a lot of pessimism at the beginning of last year when did this administration would be able to make progress on the range of priorities we identified. considering republicans just enjoy significant victory in the midterm elections, increased their majority in the house of representatives and gave them the majority of the senate for the first time in a while, pessimism was welcome. through perseverance and to try
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to find common ground we made progress on a range of things nobody would have previously considered possible. we got five your transportation bills last year, reforming no child left behind builds make sure we are not overtesting our students but we got a budget agreement thanks to the good work, lot of people sitting on stage right now that allowed us to ensure that we would not abide by sequester caps that would undermine our ability to invest in economic and national-security, we have the debt limit extended without significant drama or delay, we got i am at reform, we got reauthorization of the export import maine, most of those were things republicans were strongly opposed to. at least they said they were strongly opposed to them but yet we were able to work aggressively and find common ground with republicans. none of the bills i just described were perfect but they
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did reflect compromises and republicans who were part of the compromise deserve credit for trying to find that kind of common ground in the best interests of the country so our experience last year gives us some optimism about what is possible particularly when you consider there are so many opportunities that are right for bipartisan agreement. the kinds of things that shaun donovan laid out that represent bipartisan potential are not things -- no positions we are ascribing to republicans, if you call republicans offices which people do, they are interested in things like expanding the program to promote work and give an incentive to workers who don't have children. cancer research, there's a lot of talk on the campaign trail on republicans and democrats in new hampshire right now about doing more to fight opioid addiction
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and heroin abuse. we talk about cybersecurity, that is a bipartisan compromise achieved last year that i failed to mention, there was legislation the administration put forward last year and urged congress to pass, took the whole year to do it that they did it. that is good for the country, there's more they should do and they did it not because we talked them into it but we put forward a good proposals that would strengthen cyberdefenses. it certainly informs our relatively optimistic view of this ear and we have some legitimately bipartisan proposals democrats and republicans acknowledge would be good for the country that we can put forward and work on together. >> and press releases they put out. the words that on arrival were heard quite a bit, relevance was
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questions, and the budget agreement that was struck in october and the on the bus in december followed the structure the president laid out, we had 90% of the increased investment the president called for. it was all our for dollar on the defense and nondefense side. that was what the president without on funding. he said we have to end sequester, do it dollar for dollar and the third thing was we have to do it without poison pill writers and in fact that is exactly what happened, we defeated the poison pill writers in the deal. below the surface there were many things, the types of things josh talked about, we made a down payment on the epidemic last year. cecilia talked about our investment in head start.
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we made a big start towards over $400 million of increase in head start toward full the full year which the president lie out. state grants to extend universal free care, apprentice ships, there's a broad range of things we got done last year that were bipartisan and we got a bunch of things unlike the green climate fund, we got funding to implement the president's screen power plant, we got important new investments at the irs republicans said would not happen. bose bipartisan things and priorities of the president but not shared. we got a lot done last year. the only other thing i would say on this, many of the same priorities are in this bill but i think have bipartisan support and others that have a lot of leverage. the question is not for the administration. we took a clear position, we were going to live by our word,
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we were going to write our budget to deal even if that meant we would make some tough choices and we made tough choices. josh said a budget -- you have to show your priorities so the question is not a fight between the administration republicans but within the republican party. we are already seeing despite some people on the republican side saying live by the deal we are seeing others say we cut below the deal, others say we ought to raise the offense and defense spending without non-defense of the question for the republican party is where do the stand? will lay be able to function in congress? that is the question and it will be up to them whether this is something, we have done our part with this budget. it will be up to them to see if they can deliver on their promise to get back to regular order. >> wait for the mic, dozens of people are watching on camera.
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>> we at bloomberg have dozens -- question on the revenue projection for international tax reform proposals, they more often doubled since last year's budget and we are trying to figure out where the doubling comes from, goes to $484 billion from 283 -- 238.3 billion last year which is a sizable difference and another question on the same lines, the per barrel oil tax, 1025, what accounts for that difference as well? >> why don't i take both of those? we have to check the number, the proposals for business tasks are very similar to last year. i thought the scores were largely similar celeste year. there is a difference in the budgetary treatment of the package which stems from the
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extenders to last year. last year we treated business tax reform as revenue neutral, put it in a box in the budget, policy-setting into the budget total because it was assumed they were paying for business tax reform. and we commit to business tax reform and we are committed on the same basis we were last year which is to say we think it should pave pretax extenders. we propose to pay for tax extenders' last year. in a compromise with congress in order to get things done we agreed to do last year without paying for the mind if we reform the business tax system we would want to make up for that revenue this year and so the current budget treatment flows through the different tax loophole closures and structural changes to the business tax system to the overall budget number with that goal of being revenue neutral relative to the base line we have established last
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year, paying for tax extenders. i will take a look at how any particular item changes in terms of scoring, technical changes from year to deer but no major policy changes. we described the oil tax over five use the index inflation. it is a different number each of those years than we bring giving you the rounded number. >> let me add one thing. and the international tax side we have also seen an increasing number of companies that are proposing or have actually been carrying out -- one of the things that is contributing, there are various technical issues but one thing contributing to the change in school or is treasury observing a larger, number of companies
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that are taking advantage of loopholes that need to be closed. we have taken significant actions with existing authority but also calling on congress to move changes to stop -- something that is highlighted by the change in numbers. >> mary. >> on the $10 barrel oil tax how much will be passed on to consumers and any concerns that that could hinder the broader economic growth you have been discussing and also on the timing? to release today one of the biggest political -- of the super bowl was a factor. >> we all see it. on the way to work in terms of roads, airports, transit or
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rail, businesses, losing lots of money, paying lots of money. mining their position, with infrastructure no longer a source of competitive advantage, it is a hidden tax on consumers or commuters, some estimates say that is $900 a year in lost hours in fuel costs. there is urgency in to build on what congress did at the end of last year and invest significantly in our infrastructure in terms of the sea itself, it is paid by oil companies, and various oil products, and airplanes and rail and other forms that consume
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oil. and carbon pollution. and the hidden tax on consumers and businesses because of the inadequacy of infrastructure across all nodes. and competitiveness will save consumers and commuters. >> on the question of timing, february in general is crowded. and statutory release dates, and frankly the fact, the budget done, we find the day that other distractions.
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based on the president's absolutely determined focus, using every day of his last year to deliver for the american people, we had a state of the union that was one of the earliest on record. we have already before today rolled out more than 20 specific proposals that are in the budget and we think given the distractions that we have more broadly, from candidates that are talking down the country and frankly presenting a dark picture of where the u.s. is headed. we have been able to capture a remarkable amount of attention to a broad set of budget proposals that really are about the future and about the hopefulness the president has about the country so despite the timing of the day today this has been a budget release that has been on going for a number of
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weeks now and certainly my sense, i give a lot of credit to our first team and others that this is something where we really have captured the imagination in a lot of ways. >> the last thing about that is republicans in the budget hearing, the clearest evidence, republicans don't want to have a public discussion on the budget, we welcome the opportunity and maybe we will get them to change their mind. kevin. >> kevin cook at fox news. the lack of invitation resonate with you in a way that makes you understand there's not going to be a lot of bipartisanship or cooperation coming drebin this year, or am i overreading that? the second question you can weigh in on, is there a tax increase in this budget and if
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so, what is that level and last, i notice there is a specific read on immigration reform as a means for saving the budget. >> you want to start? >> let me take the last question first. just to step back for a minute. i talk about the broad fiscal progress that we have made under the present's leadership and that this budget would continue that progress. one of the key areas we made enormous progress is on health care costs. the president identified health care accosts as one of the single most important writers of our long run fiscal challenges and through the aca we need
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enormous progress, just in the year 2020, we now believe that we will save 1 $85 billion just in that one year because of the slow growth of health care costs and better projections since the affordable care act was passed so enormous progress on what is among the biggest drivers and long run but the second thing we have to realize is a big fiscal challenge we have is keeping our promises to the baby boom generation. the budget goes through, i won't get into all the details but we are moving from where just a few years ago we had 3.2 workers. tyree to place we see in the next decade where we have 2.4 workers retiree and one of the most important things about
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immigration reform is it brings in more workers. those workers contribute to society, pay taxes, boost the economy and these are not just our numbers, the congressional budget office says the same thing, their projections are we would save $170 billion in this decade, we adopted those numbers in the budget and the savings growth, it becomes $1 trillion, immigration reform, is not the right and to do for families or the economy, it is the right thing to do for our fiscal future. on the part of bipartisanship, josh is very clear, we put out what we think is right. we should remind you there was bipartisan support for exactly the bill that we are adopting in our budget. it passed in the senate with
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bipartisan support, and our hope would be that after we get through the distraction, and the bombast of this political season that we could return to doing the right thing for the country and we think immigration reform is part of that. >> in answer to your question on taxes the budget proposals $277 billion of tax cuts for middle-class families that helps everything from child care, triple the child tax credit, pro work by having tax credit for secondary earners, simplifies and expands tax credits for college, expands the tax breaks to encourage small businesses to offer savings plans and people to take them up and also expand the the itc for people without qualifying children, and non
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custodial, take this together and the main experience most americans would get in terms of their taxes as a result of this budget would be a tax cut for things like child care, college, retirement savings, work and low-income households. as part of the deficit plan the budget does as a whole curb instead of tax breaks for high-income households, one of those for example limits the tax deduction for high-income households to 28% that would only affect households making above $250,000 a year and that is something my predecessors felt described as more akin to a spending cut because that takes place to that tax code that is being cuts, another example is a loophole for high-income
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households on net investment income which we would propose to close here. the revenue for high-income households, coming from cutting back on tax expenditures, closing tax loopholes, not raising rates. >> let me add one thing to that. you asked about the tax hike but this is a balanced proposal in our budget, we decided to live by the agreement that was reached last year and made some hard joyce is. we have 117 cuts, consolidations or savings proposals in the budget, we talked about health care savings, $375 billion their, but we have 15 different proposals that save over $100 billion on program integrity for example. we have smart savings proposals on everything from crop
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insurance, and important to step back since the president came into office, a deficit reduction of $4.5 trillion. this budget at 2.9 trillion additional dollars to deficit reduction. if you put those together we are still getting more than 50%, even if we adopted every one of the proposals and the president's budget we are still getting 50% of that $7.4 trillion in deficit reduction from spending reductions, not from revenue increases, we believe that this is a balanced proposal on the spending side and on the tax revenue side and we stand by that. >> deficit to gdp aren't 3% every year of the budget window and debt to gdp we take from under current law, all over the
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window. through 2025. >> back quickly to the bipartisan thing. republicans in control of congress and democrats in control of the white house anything that gets done will be by definition bipartisan. and they use the majority in congress, to strengthen cybersecurity to fight a opioid addiction to cure cancer. or are they not? the question really is less for them because we put forward proposals in the budget. the gentleman right here. >> charlie clark with government executive media group. the republicans seemed to want to have the reduction in number of workers in the federal work force and maybe abolish some agencies. the upshot of this, and the size
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of the federal work force or the size of the government. >> we do have particular places in the federal government where there needs to be increased investment in the number of people as well as the skills of those people, cybersecurity is a very good example where that is a critical national need to where we do propose increasing number of personnel as well as raising their skills, $62 million investment as part of the cyberplan the president announced today that really goes to this work force piece of the issue but we have other places, the veterans administration where we try to enhance the number of people to respond,
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really up wave of veterans we bring back from overseas, that is that secret promise the president has made. another place like irs, the cuts from the republican congress have been so deeply got to a place last year we were only answering 40% of tax payer phone calls, 40%. we had a win in the budget, we had an increase, we are up to entering 60% of taxpayers phone calls but obviously that is not acceptable. by the way we are losing billions of dollars of revenue from taxes that should be paid, that are due to the federal government because we don't have the personnel. there are clearly places where we do need more workers that there are other places where making smart changes, finding he efficiencies and overall what we
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see is just a small proposed increase in the federal workforce overall wind you balance those together. >> in the front. >> judy davis and, to build upon that can you talk about how the budget supports the people and culture of the president's management the agenda and how you decided on 1.6 increase for federal flood? >> to take the second question first, obviously party generally with the second year of the budget deal, being less than the president called for in his budget we had difficult choices to make any number of different areas and one of those is the tough choice about how much we should be increasing pay for federal workers.
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we worked closely with the military to see their results of their review of compensation and ultimately we settled on 1.6% increase, for civilian workers, that is something that builds on the progress on our deficit and more broadly economically and allows us as opposed to in past years where we have a freeze and 1% increase and in 20161 quince 3% increase we're making progress here. it also is important to recognize that inflation overall has remained very low, and to be point we are starting to see significant wage growth -- of
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the recovery. this represents progress in terms of paying government workers what they deserve but also had some tough choices. critical investments, people are one of the assets in the federal government, in training and employee engagement, and employee viewpoints' survey across the federal government showed real progress. for the first time in history, every question in that survey showed positive movement, results when touchdown and we think that is the measure of the progress that we are making in
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addition to the workflow we are doing to upgrade and improve our recruiting, moving our systems into the 21st century and the covert we think ought to get confirmed swiftly by the senate is doing a terrific job in moving us forward. >> you said earlier in your opening this is all about priorities and what is most important to the administration. is there anywhere in the budget that takes account of the plan to close guantanamo bay and why not and what is there and if not, how do you -- how is that going to happen? is it something you have given up on or the president has given up on? >> we have always envisioned putting forward the separate plant for congress's consideration that would factor in some of the financial impact moving forward with closing the prison at guantanamo bay.
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one of the cheese reasons we had for closing the prison is individuals who are detained there, need to remain detained, beat more cost-effectively detained in the united states and that is what our proposal will underscore. a number are going through criminal justice process through military commissioner or the courts, but cost-effectiveness is one of the reasons we are looking to close the prison. another reason, if we know extremist organizations use continued operation of the prison is a recruiting tool and that is why you have seen democratic and republican national security experts come forward and advocate for the closure of the prison. we will put forward a plan to congress, when we do, it will include some information about
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the budgetary impact and that is information we will present to all of you. >> why not put this in your budget which you say is your statement of your most cherished priorities and that as i understand it is -- >> it is a priority but the plan is not done yet. when it is we will have more information. >> there was a specific provision in the defense authorization bill that set off a process to do this separately with the time line and everything that didn't match up with the budget summit is a high priority, for reasons there was already a process in a separate piece of legislation, didn't make sense to mary ann up with the budget given what josh said about our ongoing work on that. >> reporting the plant, is that done? you were waiting for the opportunity to moved it forward. is it not done?
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>> latest update i received is the president has not signed off on a final plan. >> i can confirm. >> is there concern in the budget, a plan for medicare savings, is there concern that those measures could be perceived as cut and that could be used against democrats on the campaign trail and also on separate tissue, there also seem to be proposals to cut spending on refugees but the administration called to ramp up asylum and ramp up the asylum program. how do you reconcile that or is it a misinterpretation? >> the first one on health which is the administration's approach from the beginning has been if you can lower national health expenditures, you can reduce
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premium growth, save money for the budget and extend the life of medicare, that is what we did in the affordable care act and you see the benefits now with health costs growth being the lowest in 50 years, the affordable care act added 13 years to the life of medicare, the affordable care act helped put us in a better position for our budget. the savings we are proposing i'm very much in that spirit as well so if you reduce overpayment to drug companies for dual eligibles in medicare and medicaid you can save $100 billion and that is not something that is coming at the expense of people, it is part of a plan to help. if you can have competitive bidding in medicare advantage you can squeeze out some of the extra parchments that the insurance companies are getting
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within that system. all of this would continue to slow growth of health costs but it would also together with tax loopholes being closed related to medicare, at more than 15 years to the trust fund so this as a whole is going to strengthen and sustain medicare and help slow the cost of health care. >> republicans in 2012 is an effective argument and i point out neither president romney nor vice president paul ryan could defend the effectiveness of the argument. >> on the question of refugees, the records they come from. meet the commitment the president has made to increase the number of refugees we would be able to welcome to the u.s.. to show you the details of that.
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>> in the front? >> the itc proposal from the administration for single adults has been financed through interest loopholes and other things given speaker ryan express a lot of interest in a similar plan, to pay for it with spending cuts, agreeing with the administration on that, the parameters of that and what would be acceptable. >> we would be happy to work together with congress on an acceptable platform. we have an awful lot to choose from in our budget and i suspect there will be a lot of flexibility about which of -- what you would not see flexibility on is the principal proposal meant to reduce poverty's though if you cut one thing that is helping to reduce
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poverty and use it to advance something else that would reduce poverty, you haven't made the improvements that we envision so there is a lot of ability to work together. as long as you are not doing it at the expense of the board. >> thanks for the question. kevin? >> the baseline deficits worsened by $1.8 trillion over ten years. can you go into this? >> we have as jason weighed out at the beginning, at the most important changes between the baseline from last year's budget and this one, first, the tax extenders' deal was completed at
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the end of last year, did raise deficits of few tenths of 1%, just one package and while we agreed with a number of the extenders that were made permanent and ahead indeed part of our business tax informed plan as jason said earlier we were not in favor of doing that and paid for. we felt there should have been a comprehensive plan on business tax reform and so what we're doing in our budget this year and the reason we are able to stabilize the debt and bring it down over the ten year window is because we continue to propose comprehensive business tax reform that would offset the costs of tax reform, the text extender at the end of last year.
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that is the most important change from last year. there are also changes in the economic assumptions that i think point to the critical importance of many of the investments we have talked about in terms of growing opportunity. one of the things we haven't talked about which the president emphasized in his state of the union was we have to modernize the system and supports for workers and we are proposing an employment insurance package of changes that includes a wage insurance proposal that has proven to help workers get back in the work force more quickly, reconnect to the work force. and another example of what is bipartisan. >> the baseline deficit projection is worse as is the cbo, quite similar in that regard. we have also proposed more deficit reduction this year so
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the deficit you get to under the president's policy is similar to what it was last year which is to say consistent with below 30% of gdp and consistent with the debt on stabilized path through 2025 like it was last year. >> you also spoke about the dwindling number of workers per retiree which would seem to be an argument to deal with social security but there has been no mention during the session about dealing with social security trust fund and insolvency, could you go into why we are not addressing that? why that has become less a priority for the president during the tenure of his presidency? >> first of all i would point your attention to the budget includes a long run outlook, deficit and debt over the next 25 years.
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the same window that cbo uses for its long run outlook. shows the deficit remains below 3% of gdp even in the out years and at the end of that window the deficit is actually shrinking as the share of gdp, similarly the debt is stable as a share of gdp. >> we will leave here and remind you this briefing continues on line at you can read the budget, the proposed budget, the senate gaveling back in this afternoon, the ambassador nomination for burma coming up later on and we expect the senate to continue debate later on energy and the energy bill proposed by me sumter county, live coverage on c-span2. the senator so modify his request, atwhroallow two minuter each. mr. cotton: i so modify the request. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cotton: i rise to celebrate the remarkable change that burma


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