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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 19, 2013 9:00am-12:01pm EDT

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with you on all of these issues. >> well, thank you, congressman. let me just say with regard to the agricultural issues agricultural trade is at an all-time high our exports last year i think were a $140 billion. we see this as important opportunity for expansion. we're working closely with secretary vilsack and fda to all. nps plus agreement is important. >> some of our tariff and non-tariff barriers are at an all-time high also. when you look at china, when we send our u.s. wine there we're paying 56% combined tax and tariff. it is terribly prohibitive. >> these are all issues we want to work on. >> thank you. >> all right. thank you. mr. buchanan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i really look forward to and congratulations, mr. ambassador, iing look forward to working
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with you and i'm sure the committee does on a bipartisan basis. i'm from florida and these trade agreements, "the ft" as we deal with panama and colombia are huge to florida and i see what trade means to 14 with ports and $700 billion in economic activity but i also grew up in michigan. i take a look, i look at your standpoint. president talks about the other areas of the countries. what is your thought to help more states feel like it is a win-win for them as well on trade? >> we, thank you very much, congressman. from our perspective trade is part of the broader economic strategy of creating jobs, promoting growth and strengthening the middle class.
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that has got to work across the country. different parts of the country will be affected in different ways but that is one reason we put so much emphasis on our manufacturing policy in the administration and making sure our trade policy is supportive of our manufacturing policy. we want to make sure, even as we export additional services and we export additional agricultural products we're also building a stronger manufacturing capability in the united states. >> another quick question because we only have three minutes the question i really wanted to get to i was in bejing in january, they have a 4500 members in the chamber. you've u.s. businesses in the chamber there you heard a lot about intellectual properties. it is still the biggest issue. an article the times put out a little while back that said it is costing the u.s. $48 billion in 2009. if they improved their ip protection it would mean $87 billion to the u.s. and
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greet two million jobs. i know you worked on that. that is is a big issue but i tell you that is very big issue with our country in terms of job creation, the additional economic opportunities for companies in the u.s. where are we at on that? >> that is a very high priority and as recently as last week when we had the strategic dialogue, intellectual property rights, trade secrets, cyber threat featured prominently in that discussion. we keep on pressing china to make progress there we reached some progress. we reached an mou about access to our films. >> i think it is about enforce mane. you might greet agreement but getting something implemented. >> the use of legal software by government agencies, bseos and others and they have stepped up their efforts in certain respects. it is not enough. hasn't gone far enough or fast enough. one thing i would say that gives us some hope they're beginning to see in their own country developers of intellectual property. as that happens there is more of
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a constituency in china wants to see more enforcement of intellectual property rights. we want to press on that and further resources put into enforcement and further metrics and benchmarks and assure they're not stealing our -- >> thank you. mr. nunez for the purpose of uc. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. thompson reminded me there was actually a letter sent to mr. froman and secretary vilsack on the sps measures. i want to submit that into the record. >> without objection. miss jenkins is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you for being here. strong intellectual property rights protections are essential to the success of u.s. and e.u. economies. in the united states alone intellectual property intensive industries account for over 50 million jobs. nearly 6 trillion in output and a trillion in exports. so a couple of questions. first, what barriers for ipr intensive trade in goods and services do u.s. companies face
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in the e.u.? and second, in what areas is there potential for greater convergence between u.s. and e.u., ipr practices and how can the nights and the e.u. have high levels of protection in those areas which harm sonnization is not -- harmonization is not pursued? i would be interested in not only patents, trademarks and copyrights but also protections of trade secrets from disclosure by governments? >> well, it's, intellectual property is a critical part of our economy as you said and it is a critical part of our relationship with the e.u. as well and we both have quite high levels of ipr protection although they are somewhat different in terms of number of years of protection or exactly how they're implemented. we see the ttip negotiations as giving us the opportunity to work together with the e.u. to raise the standards overall for the global community and the global economy and work
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vis-a-vis with other countries where we have common interests to strengthen intellectual property rights enforcement. on bilateral we have differences geographic callowcations is one area. we want to make sure we protect trademarks and common names of our products but we see more commonalty in terms of overall levels of protection between the u.s. and e.u. with other common markets. as a result we see the opportunity to set high standards around the world. >> okay. thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. bloom men thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. ambassador. we appreciate the professionalism an hard work and skill of the ustr. we look forward to working with you and other committee members. i appreciated our earlier conversation about the importance of labor and environmental protections. working with you to the extent we're able to protect and enhance i think it makes it
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better for everybody all the way around. my friend, mr. neal, referenced the footwear industry. you talk about going to new england. i think that is terrific. i would ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter we had submitted with my friend, aaron troc, almost 50 members of the house, that talked about the value chain of footwear. i would hope that you would be able to visit portland, oregon and look at part of that supply chain. i represent people who manufacture shoes in the united states, danker boots, keane footwear. we have got a whole range of others however because although less than 1% of footwear is manufactured in the united states, the vast amount of the value chain is here. companies like nike, new balance, keane, others, that, not new balance. well new balance also. their design, promotion, intellectual property, the
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engineering, the sales, the marketing, a huge amount of the value is here. and we are trapped in the past with a tariff structure that is outmoded, long ago cease to actually have any rationale bearing on the marketplace, and in fact translates into a very substantial sales tax particularly on the lower-end product. and it would be exciting if we could have some meaningful work with the treaty negotiations that you're underway with to do something meaningful in terps of tariff reduction to promote that entire value chain. do you have any thoughts or observations and can you accept the invitation to come visit us, we could be happy to put tech and ag and wine into the mix as well? >> thank you. thank you, congressman. i would say on the footwear
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issue in particular, and this goes to some other products as well, we've got multiple interests at stake as you say. the domestic producers, those who are assembling product that is being imported, retailers to consumers and one thing we have to do is weigh all those interests and find the best possible path and one in particular that supports the most jobs in the united states. and so we're looking at all those issues. we recognize the sensitivities and we hope to be able to strike a balance that addresses the multiplicity of interests at stake. >> i appreciate that and as i say we'd be able to show you in our community people who are manufacturing but also the design, the production, engineering, the sales, thousands of very high-paid jobs right here in the united states that support that mechanism that you talked about. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. paulsen. >> congratulations also, mr. ambassador. i echo the comments of some of my colleagues. i want to shift gears and talk
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about india real quick. you a way their many investors are severely limitings ability to compete in india. congressman larsen and myself sent a letter with 170 of my colleagues ahead of last month's u.s.-india strategic dialogue to make sure india's deteriorating environment for intellectual property a focus of that dialogue. i know last week india announce ad review of hits preferential market access policy which requires information technology products to be produced in india as condition of sale. that is policy that would violate fundamental global trade rules obviously but that review does not solve the problems facing the information technology sector in india. it doesn't do anything to address serious concerns in other sectors including the sold lar industry and doesn't do anything to address discriminatory tax treatment or stop blatant theft of american intellectual property. the primary forum to discuss bilateral trade issues is the trade policy forum which ustr
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cochairs but hasn't been held since 2010. when do you expect to hold the next trade policy forum? what can we do to support you in these efforts and what is the administration doing to assure that u.s.-india trade an investment relationship is on a positive trajectory down the road? >> well, thank you, congressman. this was very much at the center of the agenda last week when we had the u.s.-india ceo forum. we had the finance minister, the trade minister and the deputy chairman of the planning commission in town for a series of meetings precisely on that issue of the investment and innovation environment in india. how it is affecting our bilateral economic relationship and how we might be able to address it and i had very good conversations with my new counterpart, the trade minister sharma there. we agreed to have the staffs work closely together to tee up and try to resolve a number about the outstand issues sew we
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could have a ministerial trade level policy forum sometime in the future. we want to make sure the groundwork is laid and we're making progress resolving those issues in the run-up to that meeting. >> what can we do to help support you in that effort? knowing congressman crowley, we would love a meeting with the finance minister recently. had a great conversation to keep the dialogue going but what else can we do to support you in this effort? >> i think it is very important for india to understand the breadth of concern in the business community, in congress, the bipartisan basis of that concern. i think it helps focus the attention on what needs to be done. one thing if we say it to them but if they're hearing also from a variety of other sources i think that is very positive. i would encourage you to continue that. >> thank you, i yield back. >> thank you. mr. marchant. >> welcome, mr. ambassador. i represent 700,000 people that live and work one 30 minutes of the, of one of the great trade hubs in the united states, the
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dfw airport. trade agreements equal high-quality and high-paying jobs in my district and it isn't just, it's a, an equation that's a direct equation and so we're very interested in your success and want to let you know that we're more than willing to help in any way. my question is about the tpp. the tpp is meant to be a living agreement that could eventually be the basis for a free trade area for the asia-pacific. such a free trade area would further integrate the united states into the supply chains that cross the asian-pacific region. benefiting our exports and increasing our competitiveness. i understand that now the focus is properly on competing in a
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high standard and ambitious tpp agreement, however we need to lay the groundwork so that the pacific rim countries from latin america through asia that meet the high standards will eventually join and increase the value of tpp. what is the u.s. -- ustr strategy for insuring this can happen? >> well, thank you. and as you said our focus right now is trying to complete this agreement this year with the 12 countries that will be part of it but we've always envisioned it as a living agreement, as a platform to which other countries could ultimately asseed if they wish and which heard expressions of interest, formal and informal, from a number about countries following tpp's progress with great interest and we suspect who may want to join in a second tranche of countries in the future but our focus for now is just bringing this first tranche to a close. >> mr. chairman, i would like unanimous concept to submit a
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question for the record concerning our relationship with taiwan to the ambassador. >> without objection. >> yield back. >> mr. davis. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me add my congratulations, mr. ambassador. you know, as we experience globalization, there seems to be more and more small, moderate, minority-owned, women-owned businesses who are trying to get into the pipeline and make use of opportunities to do business abroad. how helpful does your office expect to be to help these individuals make connections, contacts and get moving? >> well, thank you very much for asking that question because getting small and medium-sized businesses into the export
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business has been a major focus of the administration and we want to do more on that. a couple of years ago ambassador kirk launched an sme initiative at usgr and more broadly in the administration through the national export initiative and through the work of the export promotion cabinet we made increasing the number of small to medium-sized businesses that export a major objective and we went at that by, one, increasing the ability of trade finance and working with community banks who have the best relationships with small and medium-sized businesses to bring them into the trade finance business. we also looked at the array of points of contact that the administration, the government has with small and medium-sized businesses. sba, the commerce offices around the country to insure that they were trained and capable of providing small and medium-sized businesses with the kind of advice they need about how to
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begin to export, how to evaluate a market and how to navigate their ways through the various procedures they need to navigate. so this has been a major priority of ours. in tpp itself we have a small and medium-sized business chapter and the objective there is to be able to look back at it. pp as it is being implemented to insure that the benefit of tpp are also going to small and medium-sized businesses and to make adjustments as appropriate. so this is a high priority for us. we agree these are the drivers of jobs in the united states. and we think there's much more at that we can do to help these companies become part of the global economy. >> thank you very much. we had a great relationship with ambassador kirk and look forward to working with you. i yield back. >> all right. thank you. mr. reed. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, ambassador, for being here today and i offer my congratulations and also my personal thanks for the hard work on korea in particular you were involved with and worked on with correia, colombia and
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panama. i represent up state western new york. i've got companies like new course field, coin incorporated. so i'm very concerned making sure we're enforcing our trade provisions to the fullest extent possible to make sure we have that level playing field that is critical to the future of america and american manufacturing in particular. i just want to make sure i have a clear understanding that you and i agree enforcing our trade remedy laws is something that protects american jobs, good for american jobs. >> absolutely. >> and when it comes to intellectual property, for example at coin incorporated and trade secrets and things like that, would you agree with me being able to point at our u.s. civil and criminal laws is critical in your negotiations in regards to the trade gypped today across the world? >> well, certainly the whole area of trade secret theft has been of great concern to us and a high priority and, corning is
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one of the specific cases we advocated for aggressively with china to try and see if we can help resolve that case. i don't know enough about the criminal an civil laws to be comment on the relationship between that and what we're doing on the trade side other than to say we underscored that trade secret theft is unacceptable and it is important these issues, both the individual cases and also the broader message from the chinese leadership that trade secret theft won't be tolerated and will be a critical part of moving forward. >> i so appreciate that commitment that is an important piece to me obviously. is there anything you would recommend to us from a legislative perspective to champion, put you in the best position to accomplish your job in regards to that trade secret initiative? >> well, i would say the following. i mentioned it in my opening statement a bit. our, my biggest worry at the moment is really about, is about resources. usgr it's lien, it's nimble but
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it is highly constrained at the moment for all the reasons we know. between sequestration and other budget cuts. it is forcing us to make hard decisions between what negotiations we can engage in and how. what market-opening measures we want to pursue and what enforcement cases we can bring. so i'm quite concerned we'll manage our resources to the best of our ability. we'll do the best we can to meet the various priorities but i think usgr gets the biggest bang for the buck of any place i know. i think making sure we're fully resourced to be able to achieve the kind of enforcement gains and monitoring gains that you identify are very important. >> well, i appreciate that. if there is anything you need from our office, don't hesitate to reach out. i look forward to working with you. i truly do, ambassador. good luck. >> thank you, mr. griffin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i want to talk to you about sps enforceability and i think my colleague, mr. nunez, talked a little bit about this. i believe that you you discussed
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the current arrangement which is to go through w testimony o procedures to deal with this as opposed to having something in the agreement itself. is that a fair characterization? >> well in it. pp, as we speak to negotiate, of course we're still in the midst of negotiating but as we seek to negotiate what we're calling sps plus disciplines we want to make sure they're fully implemented. many of the sps disciplines, sps plus disciplines, go to further elaborating how countries wto commitments are implemented. for example that regulations are based on science.
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they are subject to wto dispute resolution. >> right. the process is laid out in the wto agreement. not in the agreement that is being negotiated here. >> we've got in tpp, is both the wto dispute resolution process on the substance of the sps commitments but also separate tpp dispute settlement on the procedural enhancements we're seeking to achieve. >> i've looked at this and talked with some of my constituents and i'm concerned that there are not enough, that there's not enough teeth and efficiency in the, using the wto dispute resolution process as opposed to elevating this and creating a more effective mechanism in the agreement itself. and this is something that i think we should pursue. and let me ask you this. if there are voices in the
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administration, in the federal government that disagree with me, where are those voices come from? are they fda? are they worried about their science being under scrutiny? what's, the fda is already science-based. where's the, where's the rub there? >> we approach this in by trying to figure out what is the most efficient, quickest way to resolve issues as they arise and that's a little bit of what's behind the consultative mechanism we proposed in tpp because we think by being able to raise these issues through a formal process, forcing the parties to come to the table to try to resolve them can help expedite some of the resolution. we think we've struck the right balance by leveraging off the scientific expertise of the wto because it really is a very science and technical-heavy set of issues while at the same time adding a consultative mechanism that will allows to you force parties to the table and get the
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procedural elements addressed in the context of tpp. >> all right. thank you. mr. mcdetermine not. -- mcdetermine not. >> welcome, i don't know if you got promoted or demote the. leaving the white house and going over to trade. for the last two years as you worked on this tpp, the issue you of access to medicines has been central to some of our concerns and it seems like the language you put in is a step back from the may 10th agreements that chairman wrangle and mr. levin made with the white house in terms of grade agreements. the proposal you put out did away with the word guaranties. that is what poor countries really want, our guaranties of our access to medicine within five years of their introduction into the united states.
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you have got a lot of negative feedback at the time that first came out and since that time you've said you're in a period of rereflection. can you tell us where you are on your decision about that? >> thank you, congressman, and thank you for your leadership on this issue. this is a critically important issue and we are committed to finding the right balance to strike between protecting innovation but also achieving access to medicines. we're in the process of engaging with our tpp partners to educate them as to what's in u.s. law. we took the feedback on our original proposal very seriously. we received a wide range of feedback and we are in the process of figuring out how we want to take it forward consistent with some of the principle that you laid out that strikes that balance between -- >> is there any language presently written we can look at? >> we have not tabled, we have
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not tabled new text on this issue. we're in the process of dialogue with our tpp partners what the principles of a chapter on this might look like. >> so the only tabled proposal is the one of february or wherever? >> we never tabled that proposal. we briefed the committee here and our stakeholders on it. >> you never tabled it? >> correct. >> okay. let me ask awe second question. i, this committee does a lot of things here but most of them are irrelevant, but it seems to me we ought to be dealing with gsp, if we're serious about our relationship with the rest of the world. can you just tell the committee why gsp ought to pass the next two weeks and not expire on the first of august? >> well, thank you very much for that and we very much agree that gsp has both its developments dynamic to it but also very importantly it helps importers of products who can't otherwise access those products to bring
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those products in and provide them to american consumers at lower cost. so we think it is both good for american consumers but also good for development. we were comforted to see and welcomed the introduction yesterday of the bipartisan bill by the leadership of this committee to renew gsp and we think that's important. >> all right. thank you. ms. black. >> thank you, mr. chairman and welcome, ambassador. we look forward to working with you. i want to turn to the issue of data. one of the most important 21st century issues is the protection of cross-border data flows which of course is not just critical for service companies but to any globalized company in any sector. firms with global sales forces must be able to transfer the sales data back to their headquarters and many companies across the sectors that centralize the processing of their data must be able to do so as you know, seamlessly. the emergence of the digital
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trade also depend on the free flow of data across borders. in both the e.u. and the united states data privacy is protected but we do have different systems for providing that protection. so respecting the difference of those privacy approaches, how can we insure a robust protection for cross-border data flows in the e.u. negotiations, in the trade and services agreement and also in tpp? and, in what other ways has the digital revolution impacted services trade in a manner that should be reflected in these negotiations? >> well, thank you very much and clearly the impact of the digital, the digital economy, of digital trade is playing an increasing role in all of our trade agreements a you say. in tpp, we have a particular focus on it but we'll also talk about with our european colleagues and in the services agreement. we think the free flow of data is important for all the reasons
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that you say and that also, as technology develops and the cloud develops, we want to make sure businesses are able to structure their operations in a way that makes maximum sense. at the same time obviously there are privacy concerns. we would need to take those seriously and strike the right balance and ensure that we're able to achieve those privacy concerns without distorting the free flow of data as part of the digital economy. so those are active issues of discussion right now in tpp. we've begun the dialogue with the e.u. as well. my sense it will become an increasing part of our trade agreements going forward and we would be happy to work with you and get your input how we ought to be thinking about that. >> i appreciate that. we all can certainly appreciate the fact that data must be protected. it is a very important part of businesses and a very important part of the flows. are you feeling in negotiations at this point in time, that there is any really good case model that you could say, yes, this is going to work for all of
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our agreements? >> you know i think tpp is fartherrest along in terms of the negotiation at the moment. we'll have to see where we come out on that but i think we need to remain flexible to determine how best to raise standards and create new disciplines in each of our agreements depending on the particular partners that we're working with. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. kind. >> mr. chairman and mr. froman, thank you for being here and your service to our country. we look forward to working with you and the administration on a robust fair trade agenda that can spark economic growth and job creation we need in our country right now. you have a hot on your plate. let me raise a couple of concerns. i'm happy to follow up with you on but i appreciate ustr's report on russia and wto compliance and what further action needs to be taken. i, and most of the members on this committee supported russia tnpr we felt it was important to
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get 6th largest economy in into a global rules trading based system. there are shortcomings i feel need to be address, being from wisconsin, their exclusion of dairy products since 2010. i'm hoping with your assistance, and i will follow up with you as i did ambassador kirk, that we may look at practical steps to be taken to see if we can get russia and the customs union there to open up their markets to our dairy products. canada is now revising standards on dairy products and concerned about possible exclusion of more exports into the canadian market. finally pivoting to tpp quickly. as you probably seen quickly, prime minister abe is attempting to take a lot of our agricultural products off the table when it comes to t bp negotiations. rice, wheat, barley, pork, beef, dairy, sugar. obviously that's very disturbing you mentioned earlier in your testimony the large agricultural
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exports, roughly 140 billion a year. we feel we can do better than that. china and japan is the a late entry into tpp negotiations. hate to see us going down the road of them unilaterally trying to exclude certain products from negotiations. i'm sure we will enjoy your support on that as we move forward as well. but there's a lot that has to be addressed of the as you know already, it's going to be important not only to keep this committee but other members of congress informed as far as the state of negotiations especially a large new class that has joined the congress recently. two have never been through a trade debate or trade discussion to try to get them information as well. but i would be interested in your perspective on russia and where they are right now with their new you found wto obligations? >> thank you very much. we agree that it is very important to stay focused on insuring russia implements the commitments it made when it acceded to the wto.
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there were four or five areas we asked them to take action on. they have taken action on a couple of them but a couple of them still remain outstanding. i would note that when we were talking about pntr for russia the value of bringing them into the wto they would be subject to certain disciplines and subject to dispute resolution when they failed to meet those disciplines. there is now a case being brought to them on the auto recycling fee in the wto and we'll be joining that case. i think that is exactly the sort of process we would want to see. we prefer for them to implement all their commitments assiduously but if not they will certainly go to dispute resolution if necessary. certainly with regard to japan it was important for us that japan agreed before we let them into the tpp that everything is on the table. there are no up front exclusions. obviously every country has its sensitivities and those will all be subject to negotiation but we're not agreed to any up front
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exclusions with regard to japanese agriculture. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> mr. kelly. >> thank you, mr. ambassador, welcome and congratulations. on the tpp, i'm really interested in this, i know if we're going to get the economy back on track we have to go after the global market. there is just no question about that. we've all been talk about our districts and how important the ability to sell things all over the world is to each of our districts individually but on the tpp though, you've got a heavy, heavy load there. and i'm wondering, we talk about this in this sense of urgency because i would just say that sooner of course is better than later and as you see us approaching that, the challenges that you're going to have, trying to get there, and i wonder, because geopolitically right now, i don't think there is more important trade policy that we can get than in that part of the world, especially with the influence of china and all the rest of the members talking, ngos talking to you, nations talking to you so the biggest challenge you see?
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on top of that what can we do to help you here? i'm looking what you're doing. i don't know how you will get it done as quickly as you want to get it done. i know you said we'll work really hard. but the biggest challenge you see? >> well, thank you for underscoring -- >> this is a big deal. >> the challenges i had. this will be a complicated process to bring tt to a close as well as these other negotiations we're working on but there's a lost political will among the countries around the table because they see this as an opportunity to set high standards, to introduce new disciplines, to have a positive impact on the multilateral trading system. and that i think has mobilized and motivated our trading partners to work with us to try to resolve these issues. that will be very difficult issues to require tough tradeoffs at the end of the day to be sure we get this done. i would add to what i said for congressman reed, i said our biggest challenge is the resource challenge.
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not having, having open positions we can't fill. we have travel budgets that are constrained. we can't send negotiators to all the round we would like to send them to. we have meritorious enforcement cases we would like to bring. we don't have the capability of necessarily bringing them all and so where you all can help i think in the short run is, in trying to insure we have the necessary research and support to get our job done. >> i appreciate what you're doing. i think the closer relationship we have with these countries, with the economies the better we are as partners also in a world that is constantly now undergoing some changes. china, to me, really scares that part of the world. when i've been over there, talked to those folks. i have a pretty good relationship with south korea. i don't know how if we don't, of course that is huge lift for us. for that part of the world if we aren't the biggest player and we're not the most influential again we're going to lose out. people look to us to be leaders.
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thanks for what you're doing and any way we can help, please let me know. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. pascrell. >> mr. chairman, thank you. ambassador froman, thank you. congratulations on your confirmation. i'm sure all of us on ways and means look forward to having a great relationship with you. my other colleagues have mention ed today different policies that would improve our competitiveness hand in hand with the trade promotion authority. legislation on currency manipulation, strong enforcement of our trade laws, trade adjust mane assistance, just to name a few. i would like to bring your attention to something that we the last two years. bring the jobs home act would provide tax credit for companies that bring jobs back into the united states of america. these are the kind of policies we need if we are to get the most out of our trading relationships. i want to zero in on the trans-pacific partnership if i
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may. i would like to talk about our domestic textile industry, that which is still alive that is. i was glad to learn of your support for this rule during your recent senate confirmation. i want to draw your attention to a bipartisan letter from representatives howard cobel, patrick mchenry and i sent to you, which was signed by 167 house members, including many of my colleagues who sit on this committee. i'd like to ask, mr. chairman, unanimous consent to have this letter enteredded into the record. >> without objection. >> mr. froman, have you reviewed this letter? >> i'm not familiar with the pacifics of the letter but i'm happy to discuss it with you. >> the letter supports the inclusion of strong rule of origin language which is really hampered us in other trade agreements. and in this case the forward
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rule. i understand that negotiating strategy as yarn forward at its center. can you update this committee on your negotiations over the rule of origin? >> well, thank you very much and you are right that we have, we want to very much pursue a policy that addresses both our domestic manufacturing interests and the textile and apparel sector as well as our other interests and strike the right balance and we think yarn forward at the center of that proposal makes a lot of sense and that's the proposal we're currently negotiating with. with regards to the rules of origin we're generally those are being discussed among our tpp partners and we're looking to make sure that across all sectors we're dealing ourselves into supply chains by making sure the rules of origin support that. that having manufacturing and production here in the u.s. is made more attractive by the
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rules of origin of tpp so that companies can make their decisions in a way that enhances job creation, creates jobs here in the united states. >> so you're willing to work with the industry to find the proper trade tariff reduction arrangement that does allow for a reasonable approach on particularly during the transition period? >> yes. we're very much in touch with the stakeholders and obviously with the staff of the committees here as we try to work through these issues of yarn forward and rules of origin more generally. >> thank you. mr. becerra. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ambassador, thank you for being with us. a couple quick points and then one crucial question. enforcement, more and more that i've watched and been here my sense is that, my vote on any trade deal will now hinge on enforcement because i find that a trade deal is a hollow agreement if our trading partner
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doesn't or won't play by the rules. and so the last thing we need is to tell american businesses or american workers that we struck a good deal with a trading partner and find that the other side doesn't follow the rules and we're losing jobs, hemorrhaging jobs and the rest. secondly, i hope that you will take a deep interest in the whole issue of currency manipulation. on a bipartisan basis more than 230 members of this house, republicans and democrats, sent a letter to the president last month saying please, please consider language on currency manipulation when it comes to any future trade deal. what we find, that between, somewhere between one million to five million american jobs have been lost, shipped overseas because of currency manipulation by other countries where they artificially depress their currency so they can export more things to us. so i hope you will really take a crucial look at that and let us
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know that you will be defending the american interests of both work and business. intellectual proper, i'm from los angeles, so to me, if we can't protect intellectual property, again enforcement provisions are crew, we'll lose industries that are net exporters of goods. finally as i mentioned to you, i'm from the los angeles area. the los angeles area because of our two ports, los angeles and long beach port, we account for some 10% of all u.s. trade in the u.s. and that's now five years running. we are the largest port in the nation and we are one of the largest ports in the world. lots of folks in los angeles depend on the ports for their jobs. lots of americans throughout the country do as well. i know you have to travel all over the place, all over the world, including the west coast. i would love it if the next time you find yourself going through los angeles you will give me a chance to introduce you to some of the folks in los angeles who create american jobs, keep
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american business thriving and. can i ask you if you do have a chance to go to los angeles to speak with, perhaps a little time with folks in los angeles? >> absolutely. i would be happy to do that. let me just say on enforcement in particular we very much agree and our view, the administration's view has been it is not enough to negotiate an agreement and to implement it. you need to make sure that it is being fully enforced as we. that is why we brought 18 enforcement actions over the course of this term. we brought the first 301 case in 15 years against china for subsidizing unlawfully their wind energy business. we brought the first 421 case on tireses. we brought an aggressive agenda the at wto. we're continuing to focus on that including standing up of inner agency enforcement center. we're very much aligned on your perspective. >> looking forward to see you in
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los angeles. thanks, very much, mr. chairman. >> mr. crowley. >> thank you, ambassador. great to have you before our committee. look forward to work with you and continuing the relationship we developed over the last few years and thank you for your endeavors. i want to point out a particular we appreciate the time and effort you and the administration have given and enforcement of trade rules as have been mentioned. as america exports more, we need to make sure foreign barriers to trade are not erected to prevent the flee flow of american goods and services -- free flow. it is one thing to have trade but another thing to have trade deals that work for us and our partners. please keep up that focus on enforcement. i think it is paying off and we'll continue to do so as well. one of the major problems for service exporters like those from new york, my hometown, is having to compete with state-owned industries in other
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countries. what do you envision for the ustr in terms of how you view those enterprises and how do you see these issues coming into play and deals that are being negotiated right now? japan post comes to mind for one as it pertains to tpp. >> thank you very much. i very much enjoyed working with you an look forward to doing so going forward. certainly the role of state-owned enterprises is absolutely critical and that's why in tpp that is one of the new areas of disciplines we're working to introduce into the agreement to insure that state-owned enterprises that are focused on competing with commercial firms or engaged in commercial activity they play by the same rules and are subject to the same kinds of disciplines as private firms and we deal with their inherent subsidies and other inherent advantages in an appropriate way. equally on our bilateral investment treaties. i mentioned progress made last week with china terms of their
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moving forward in wanting to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty with us. we made clear that, soes will be a critical part, looking at their soe sector will be a critical part of that negotiation as well and at usgr working with our colleagues at the state department to colead that effort looking very much to working with them on that. >> i want to comment on mr. paulsen referencing to india. i didn't sign on to the letter of almost 150 letters but that doesn't diminish my interest in the issue. i'm the co-chair of the india caucus here in the house and i'm concerned about that level you talked about in terms of maybe the unprecedented nature of coming together of u.s. industries and the concern for their opportunities or diminished opportunities within india, and i appreciate your response as well. i look forward to working with you on the administration working on positive agenda
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between the two nations. i do view india and the u.s., probably our most important ally in this century and we have to get this right. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this meeting today. >> thank you. mr. larsen and mr. smith. mr. larsen is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for conducting this hearing. ambassador, welcome, and thank you for your outstanding service to the nation. i want to thank you for your testimony today and i wanted to follow up an echo on the comments of my colleague, eric paulson. over the last few months i've become concerned on what we've heard regarding the environment for american businesses operating in india. whether it be patent violations and compulsory licensing in pharmaceutical industries, piracy within the software and film industries, local content rules in the technology sector, or forced localization in green tech industries, the news coming
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out of india has not been good for american innovators. these challenges are of a great concern for me because of what they mean for american businesses and american workers. america is at the heart of the nation's of innovators. millions of american jobs, including thousands in my state of connecticut rely on this very important innovation. i know that both you and the president get it. and i appreciate the fact that you have stated recently at the u.s.-india business council we must begin to address these challenges. could you please expand on those recent comments and detail for the committee what specific steps you will take over the next year to combat the increasing challenges that mr. paulson and myself outlined. >> well, thank you and to build on what congressman crowley also said, this is a very important
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relationship. and we should, we shouldn't ignore the fact that our economic relationship has developed significantly over the last few years. that there are vast areas of good cooperation. defense sector, counterterrorism and a number of other areas. it's a strong relationship. i think the frustration we're all hearing from the business community and others is that this relationship is not nearly achieving its potential precisely because of the policies that you identified and that's the message we conveyed to our indian government counterparts last week both from ourselves but also from the american business community and the american business community that it is interested in india. that wants india to succeed and wants to invest there. our hope is through these dialogues and including the trade policy forum, other high-level dialogues, including at the vice president will be going there i believe next week and he will be conveying similar messages, that we can help the
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indian government move towards addressing some of these concerns. we've seen some movement. even this week they lifted certain caps on foreign direct investment in certain sectors. and so they have taken some steps but the key is for them to be able to convey that india's a place people want to do business and that people can rely on as a place to do business. that is in our mutual interests. so we very much look forward to working with them through all these mechanisms to try and address those issues. >> thank you. mr. smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, ambassador, for your presence here today. i guess i want to add emphasis to some of the issues or some of my colleagues talking about sps and how important it is and especially most specifically to obviously to agriculture. we know that there's more to u.s. pork sent to a central american country of 7.7 million population compared to the 28 european countries that make up
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500 million population. i think that there needs to be some dispute resolution contained in the agreements moving forward. and can you, i guess respond to that, add anything you might have had to say previously? >> great. well, thank you. we agree that agricultural opportunities for export are significant. ex-pours are at an all-time high now but there is much more that we can do and there is more we can do in tpp and ttip as well. in regard to ttip, we worked hard with negotiations to resolve some sps issues and resolve land r longstanding disputes and lactic acid and live swine and other areas we undercore that will be important moving forward to address these outstanding issues. on the issue of dispute resolution itself as i mentioned
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most of what we're seeking in tpp, what we call the sps plus chapter, the underlying disciplines are subject to dispute resolution either in the wto or under the consultative mechanism we're proposing in tpp and we think that's the appropriate way of moving forward to insure that there are efficient ways as issues arise of getting them resolved on an expedited basis but we very much agree that this is a critical area of our trade. it's a critical area of our negotiations and we want to make sure we have mechanisms to insure they're fully implemented. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. miss sanchez is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ambassador froman, congratulations on your confirmation and thank you for being here to discuss the administration's trade agenda. you're obviously stepping into the u.s. trade representative at a very exciting time. the administration is negotiating agreement with the european union, the pacific rim
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countries and working on a new international services agreement. we also have the issue of congressional action on trade promotion authority or fast track authority and the expiring generalized system of preferences program and hopefully tougher trade enforcement rules. i guess the main point that i want to express to you, is that, in the past i have been highly critical of past u.s. trade representatives because all too often i think that our trade deals that are negotiated are unfair to american workers and that they erode our u.s. manufacturing base. so just want to share with you a few of the priorities that i think we should keep in mind as you continue your work in that office. first of all strengthening customs enforcement to create a level playing field for american industries is something i'm very interested in seeing.
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aggressively trying to crack down on currency manipulators. one of my colleagues mentioned that that, results in huge job losses for american businesses. insuring high levels of labor and environmental standards in our trade negotiations. specifically trying to build on the bipartisan may 10th agreement and also promoting u.s. manufacturing and opening up access to foreign markets. so i look forward to hopefully working with you and my colleagues to insure our trade agenda keeps in mind those priorities. you've been asked questions about aggressively cracking down on antidumping and counterveiling duty violators. that is an area that i'm pleased to see progress on with this administration but i think we can be doing more there. so i'm going to ask you a question specifically about the trans-pacific partnership because i do have some concerns there. clearly japan's late entry into
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the trans-pacific partnership has created concerns for the u.s. automotive industry. and for instance, the japanese automotive companies control more than 94% of the domestic japanese market. , making japan one of the most closed auto markets in the world evident. and that's despite the fact that japanese auto tariffs are at zero percent. with the tpp negotiations how does the ustr hope to address japanese non-tariff barriers? >> thank you very much. and that, obviously japan's auto sector is an area of concern for, as ranking member levin said, for decades and it is still very much a concern today and that's why prior to allowing japan to come into tpp we insisted on negotiating certain up front commitments of reduction of certain tariffs for the u.s. and access to their market, more than doubling the
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program which provides for expedited entry of imports into japan but also agreed on the terms of reference for a specific parallel negotiation on auto sector that will be part of it. purchase p, it will be binding and subject to dispute resolution and those negotiations are focused directly at those non-tariff barriers you mentioned. we look forward to working with the auto industry here around auto workers here to get our best understanding of best understanding of their negotiation and we want to achieve concrete results through these negotiations. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, ambassador. we're excited in your new post and confident we'll do even more on trade in the coming years with you at the helm. i want to bring up two specific concerns that i have had. one of them, that i have brought up repeatedly through the trade
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ambassador. really my opinion haven't gotten a clear answer on. u.s. biologics is an important industry in our country. from my home state of illinois we have several pharmaceutical companies based there. u.s. law gain test 12 years to be able to recapture investment in u.s. biologic medicines and pharmaceuticals. on several occasions the administration in its budget and we've heard in some of the discussions has opened the door, if you will on the potential to roll back 12 years protection to perhaps seven-year protection as was put in the president's budget. obviously that concerns that industry. certainly concerns me as their representative. if we're going to change current u.s. law which protects them up to 12 years to seven years which would be more than a 50% reduction in how many years they can recapture their earnings or their investment, can we get
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some answer from you whether or not that's still a position the administration holds, or, is the administration's position going forward that they're going to negotiate trade agreements like they did in korea in tpp that upholds current u.s. law, i.e., the 12 years. >> and -- >> and let me just, why the non-clarity? unless you're adamant you're going to seven years all this is doing is creating uncertainty in the pharmaceutical industry and making them not want to invest. if we stick with current law what we did with korea moving forward and current u.s. law, and i don't know why we agree to a trade agreement that isn't consistent with u.s. law and let's say that and we remove the doesn't and move on to other important things? >> thank you for that. obviously this is an very important issue protecting innovation in the u.s. which is a high priority. we're currently engaged with our tpp partners in in discussing
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how u.s. law works. the distinction between small molecules and biologics. the time frames in u.s. law for each and beginning that process of consultation with them about why u.s. law operates the way it does. we've not tabled text yet in this particular area but we're in the process of socializing the issues around current u.s. law with our trading partners. obviously this is subject to trade negotiation. but at the current time, our focus is on educating our trading partners what's in u.s. law, why it operates the way it does and how it operates. >> do you believe you can negotiate a free-trade agreement and agree to a text inconsistent with u.s. law. . .
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about one in five women and one in 100 men seen by the veterans health administradministr ation report having experienced some form of sexual trauma during their military service. this is live coverage here on c-span2. >> described the terrible reality of military sexual assault the lasting effects that can have on the lives of those who experienced it. a servicemember who is a victim of sexual assault often is hesitant to disclose their experience or seek the support of services that they need and deserve. this is troubling to me and even more troubling to listen to personal stories of those who have taken a brave step to come
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forward and find that those departments past with caring for them, the department of veterans affairs did department of defense or unresponsive uncoordinated and unable to meet their obligations of these survivors. in january of this year the government accountability office issued a report which found among other things that sexual assault coordinators who are the single point of contact for sexual assault survivors who are tasked with managing medical needs within the department of defense are quote not always aware of a health care services available to sexual assault victims at their respective locations. the gao also found that military health care providers did not have a consistent understanding of their responsibilities to care for sexual assault victims. further, the va inspector general report issued last december found that among other things d.a.'s trauma coordinators who are the single
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point of contact for veterans have experienced military sexual trauma within facilities report as little as two hours a week to conduct outreach to and monitoring of those veterans who have screened positive for military sexual trauma. what confidence can assault survivors have when they are at their lowest moment dod and va fail to understand their responsibilities to provide care, fail to provide health care options that are available and failed to empower their most directive points of contact with the knowledge, authority and the tools to be effective, not just present? the answer to that question lies in the voices of our veterans themselves. in preparing for this hearing we spoke with many veteran survivors of military sexual trauma and those who worked closely with him. their frustrations and concerns were legion. i'm honored to have for such a veterans with us this morning.
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these veterans represent four branches of the services the army air force navy and the marine corps and service from the vietnam war to the conflicts in iraq and afghanistan. these brave men and women have endured first-hand heartbreaking pain military sexual trauma. they know better than anyone how very long and difficult journey to healing can be. each of them has braved public scrutiny and removing of painful memories to be here today to share with us their experiences and the hopes that we might do better for those that come after them. your contribution here today will ring out of the shadows and into the light a much needed call for change. i thank each of you for your honorable service to our nation and to your fellow veterans. a service which began in uniform years ago and is here today. i think that says a lot about the importance or thereof that the dod places on this topic.
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i will now yield to our ranking member for any opening statements she may have. >> thank you mr. chair and good morning to everyone. i would like to thank all of you for attending today's hearing focused on examining the care and treatment available to survivors of military sexual trauma. the subcommittee will also be looking at the coordination of care and services offered to the victims of mst through the department of veterans affairs and the department of defense. many victims who have suffered through an ordeal such as sexual assault oftentimes are reluctant to discuss their situation and to seek help. those that finally gathered the courage to speak up to find that their story is often dismissed or treated him differently, unjustly, becoming the big him again. as many of you know the pentagon
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reported earlier this year that an estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact occurred in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2011. with only 13.5% of incidents reported it is clear that we must do a better job in both preventing and treating mst. these servicemembers and veterans often continued to experience debilitating physical and mental symptoms from mst which can follow them through their lives. focusing on prevention however is only part of the solution. it is critical that we do everything that is necessary to do to make it easier for victims of mst to access needed benefits and services and receive treatment. compassion and care are a significant part of healing
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those who have been sexually assaulted. i applaud the legislative efforts of our colleagues who have introduced legislation h.r. 1593 the sexual assault training oversight and prevention act and h.r. 671 to ruth moore act. these bills seek to ensure stronger protections are in place so that the safety and well-being of our men and women in uniform is assured. we must begin to take these important steps to end sexual assault. as a proud co-sponsor of oath bills i believe we are headed in the right direction but we still need to do more. i was saddened to read the testimonies of our first panel. that pain and suffering was evident in the personal stories written. i know that this is hard for all of you and i commend all of you on your bravery to speak up and be here today. we need to hear first-hand the
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experiences of veterans who have found the system unfriendly and intimidating so that we can make it better. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today. i again i thank you for being here. this is a very important issue for us to tackle here in congress and i thank you mr. chairman chairman and i now yield back. >> thank you ms. bromley. i would now like to welcome our first panel to the witness table. will the panelists please come forward? joining us today is victoria sanders from california. ms. sanders is a veteran of the united states army and a former registered nurse. thank you very much for being here and for your service. i will now yield to my friend and colleague from indiana who will introduce our next veteran witness lisa wilken. >> thank you mr. chairman and i thank you for yielding and your
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commitment and the commitment we share with the committee in addressing this critical issue for the survivors of military sexual trauma. i want to thank every member for voting yes on the whistleblower protection to that we pass through the house with a huge bipartisan bill and many co-sponsor sitting here today. and honor to introduce lisa wilken a u.s. air force veteran who was sexually assaulted and consequentially 100% disabled as a result of which, endured from her horrific attack. lisa is more than just a wonderful wife and dedicated mother. she is a survivor. she is a survivor who has made it her mission to bring victims out of the isolation and shadows they have separate too. she's also veteran has the right to receive access to treatment. lisa victoria brian and tarot thank you for having the courage to testify before this committee today. thank you for your tireless efforts to hold a b.a. accountable for treating victims of military sexual trauma and mr. chairman i yield back.
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>> thank you jackie and ms. wilken for being here today and for your service. our next witness is brian lewis from baltimore maryland. mr. lewis is a veteran of united states navy and graduate of stephenson university. thank you very much for being here and thank you for your service. we also are joined by tara johnson. ms. johnson was born and raised in new jersey and currently resides in lake mills wisconsin. she is a veteran united states marine corps and currently serves her fellow veterans as an army wounded warrior advocate. thank you very much for being here and thank you for your service. ms. sanders will you please proceed with your testimony? you have five minutes to testify and we would like to try to do that, to be polite with our time. >> thank you mr. chairman representatives of the panel. i want to thank you for this chance to speak before this committee. it is like a birthday gift from congress because yesterday was
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my 50th birthday. 38 years ago on my 20th birthday i arrived at my only active active duty stationed in fort carson colorado. one month later i was raped. in the middle of the legal battle around the rape i was thrown into custody battle. after basic training i separated from my husband and had one child. no 20 euro private in the military should ever have to fight these battles alone but that is what i did. i was diagnosed with ptsd in 2004. it has been a long hard road and i'm hoping my testimony today will help me come full circle. my rapist confessed to enough of his crimes that he was reduced in rank, lost pay and was confined to barracks. this is an example of chain of command harassment because the barracks he was confined to us the one where i worked and he still worked in the office next door. when you report a rape you become public enemy number one. no one will talk to you and if they do it's to tell you you got what you deserve. you are called names and even
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internalize what happens and it feels like it's your fault. even if you're rapist is punished harassment is limitless. it followed me through three transfers and nine months. i haven't out because my custody battle made me a single mother. at the time single parents were discharged quickly. they let me go but i began the slow decline in mental health known as post-traumatic stress disorder. when you are raped it takes a piece of your soul. being raped by fellow servicemembers is a double betrayal but not being backed up by your commanders is the hardest betrayal of all. because the innocent are treated as criminals we have lost good people in each step of this journey. today i want to mention kerry goodwin and sophie. they did not live long enough after being raped to become veterans. my experience with the va mental health was supportive caring trained professionals. we had a great ptsd clinic in san jose. i watched it go from a program for men and women to a ghost town.
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i was one of a group of five women who are are not eligible to go for treatment for various reasons. dr. brevard and her student started the process for the five of us. this is usually only done in an invitation setting. three weeks into the program she was told by her boss that she could not continue this therapy with us. she did however finish up a 17 week or graham. she was not going to leave us. our world was crushed. the student who worked with her watch with her watched us and as she watched she decided to change your focus to trauma and specifically military sexual trauma. she went to work at the va after she completed her studies. malia worked there and tells you is offered a job at sanford that about her time to spend with patients to be available and consult her program in santa barbara. it does intensive therapy using processing therapy and many things not available at most of va facilities. the shows me we patients are powerful but only when we are
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allowed to have therapy. how many times can a person take the same information in the same form from a student reading from a book? that is not therapy. since i have moved my care to the san francisco va i've only seen two actual full-fledged doctors. the rest were interns residence doctoral candidates doctoral fellows. they were not licensed or trained in specific trauma therapy. i was was reach from its eyes on many occasions. all of that is outlined in my written testimony. i believe paula j. chaplin was right when she said being devastated by an assault is not a mental illness. furthermore it has been well-documented that psychiatric diagnosis is not scientifically grounded and does not improve outcomes and does not reduce human suffering and carries tremendous risks many times. assault survivors of the upper services without the requirement
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may be given psychiatric labels. these can be arbitrary and very subjective. further, getting matters is there is no universally accepted ideal treatment for ptsd. having a diagnosis of ptsd what does nothing without conference of care. as for the future of this problem from the military to the va what i see is more of the same. most of the chiefs of staff were were -- when i was raped in 1975. this year at west point they had disbanded the rugby team for inappropriate behavior. the number of failures this year alone is too long to list. this climate must change. every day 71 more people are assaulted and 22 veterans commit suicide and we don't know how many of those are because of assaults and rapes. >> thank you very much ms. sanders. i truly appreciate your words. ms. wilken, please go ahead. >> i'm a united states air force veteran and i was medically separated after a sexual assault
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and i am currently rated 100% service-connected by the department of veterans affairs. i'm a wife and her mother and more importantly i am a military sexual, veteran. in my opinion that is the dod and the va's wade of categorizing us as we are brave survivors of friendly fire and i used those terms not to make a joke of it but to bring it home that we were assaulted by someone who wore the uniform as we were it and not all people wear the uniform as honorably as you do. thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak today. i have struggled for many gears to be proud of my service because the experience that i had in the military. speaking out about this topic makes it so that if another veteran doesn't have to suffer and struggle with the things
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that i've struggled with it's important for me to do so. not a day goes by that i don't deal with something that is a result of the sexual assault. why is ptsd from sexual assault so long-lasting? i believe the reason for that is that it's not properly treated are dealt with at the time. the treatment that we received when we report an assault in the military is as if we are the perpetrator and we are the ones who are put under the microscope and that is something that needs to stop. it's almost as if your chain of command sets out to do some type of emotional blackmail on you or emotional trauma and that's something that a rape survivor can't handle at that time. you are in a closed society that most people don't realize how much the va treatment facilities mayor our military treatment facilities. so that is one of the big
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hurdles that the va must start with is recognizing that there are a lot of men and women that will not come to the va for treatment because of the experience that they had in the military or because of the time there wasn't the whistleblower protection and they didn't report it, but now that they are older and having problems they won't come to the va because of their experience in the military. you are going to hear me speak a little bit about outside treatment facilities. we need the ability to cope outside of the va if services are not available for us at the va medical service so that we don't have to suffer in silence. we need groups at our va medical centers for support and we need groups outside the va facilities. most people don't realize that sexual assault is not something that you can be treated for. it's not like a broken arm. when your arm is in a cast for
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six weeks anywhere fine. military sexual assault or sexual assault in general is something that changes a person from that point forward. it takes the opportunity of what you could have become and changes it to what it makes you. why is it so important that we speak out about this topic? the reason that is so important that we speak out about this topic is so that other men and women who are currently wearing the uniform understand that they are not alone and there are people out there that will stand up for them. one of the things that's important to realize is in our treatment we need better resources and those resources can be outside of the va in our local communities. right now at our indianapolis va medical center at the to get in to see someone to treat you for military sexual trauma is almost two years.
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if we could utilize our local health care providers and mental health providers, i know the men and women in indiana with the lies that. unfortunately getting approval from the va to go outside is a difficult process and it's not something that's done easily. we have mst coordinators that all of their va facilities. unfortunately they are generally just one person and they have other assigned assigns duties. we need military sexual trauma coordinators at all of our va facilities that have a staff and that they are able to do things more than just push the paperwork are those veterans, that they are able to interact with that veteran and make sure the veteran is receiving the care that they need and if they are not have the ability to stand up for that veteran because those are the things that we didn't get well we wore the uniform. and being able to have the services available to us now can
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change people's lives. thank you for your time. >> thank you very much for your testimony. mr. lewis, please proceed with your testimony. >> chairman benishek ranking member brownley and distinguished members of this subcommittee and members of congress sitting with this subcommittee is a privilege and honor to be testifying before you here today. i would like to thank my partner who could not be here today, our significant others allow us to do so much and they receive so little credit for the time and energy that they put into ss survivors. i want to acknowledge that before i start. i would also like to thank the subcommittee for treating the issue of military sexual trauma in a gender inclusive way as the chairman pointed out in his opening statement. about 14,000 of the 26,000 sexual assaults are active-duty male victims.
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this gender neutral conduct this is the subcommittee farther ahead than the white house and very much ahead of the veterans health of administration. indeed, it's been my experience at the veterans health administration discriminates against male survivors of military sexual trauma solely because of their gender. this is a practice that needs to be brought to light and stopped by the subcommittee. currently the veterans health administration operates about 24 residential treatment probe tams propose dramatic stress disorder. only about 12 are designed specifically for the treatment of military sexual trauma. of those 12 only one accepts male patients. that facility the central trauma services at bay pines is coeducational. put simply male survivors have no single gender resident treatment program designed specifically for military sexual trauma. i know, i tried. there was nothing available for
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me in a single gender capacity. this made it very difficult to process the issues when i was at the eight-day pines. i joined the american legion in saying that the coeducational model of residential treatment programs needs to be overhauled and quickly. in the outpatient environment, care for male survivors of military sexual trauma can be spotty at best. while there is -- counselors available for us, receiving care such as peer support groups and being allowed to speak about military sexual trauma in mixed gender and/or mixed, groups by which i mean pseg and military trauma mix together can be very difficult for any veteran male or female. this needs to stop.
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male survivors are the equals of female survivors and need to be treated as such by the veterans health administration. i have placed more substantive data in my written testimony about my personal treatment at va bay pines in the baltimore va center and i will leave that in there. the next topic i would like to touch upon is the overall provision of military sexual trauma. the overall provision of military sexual trauma programs within the veterans health administration has invested in the director when it's mental health family services and military sexual trauma. this oversight protocol denigrates the experience of male survivors and reinforces the concept that the veterans health administration sees military sexual trauma as a quote unquote a military
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mission. that is not the case. male survivors have just as much right to seek and be treated at the va has any other survivor. another harmful practice is personality disorder. as this subcommittee is well aware personality disorders have been used along with adjustment disorders bipolar disorders and many other forms of weaponized diagnoses to push survivors of military sexual trauma out of the military and it has far-reaching consequences. for example survivors tend -- attending the kansas facility are asked to defend -- [inaudible] a survivor who has been pushed out with one of these weaponized diagnoses does not want to do that. so i strongly urge the subcommittee members to support h.r. 975 the servicemember mental health review act offered
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by representative tim walz. this legislation will give veterans like myself who have been misdiagnosed with personality disorders to apply for potential military retirement and shift some of these costs back to where they belong. in conclusion the veterans health administration and the mentally fails survivors of military sexual trauma every single day. they have proven their ability to adequately care for us. that is why me and several other survivors have found men recovering from military sexual trauma and organization designed to help male survivors. we respectfully ask congress to legislate equality in practice for male survivors of military sexual trauma. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. lewis for your testimony and i truly appreciate your efforts here. ms. johnson would you please go ahead? >> chairman benishek ranking member brownley members of his many thank you for the opportunity to speak to a pair of prevacid glimmering corporate 10 years and achieve the rank of major. i'm now 40 years old and this is
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the first time i've ever disclose my experiences regarding mst and the kerry did or did not receive from dod and the deep edge on them rank or because i wanted to serve my country. my first event at pst -- tsdb occurred when i was sexually assaulted by a senior officer. i endured several more incidents of him as tea. i did not disclose his experiences at dieting undertreatment of those who reported incidents to their command. despite these experiences i lived the motto so familiar to me and to up and press on. i spent almost eight years on active duty. i returned as a reservist in active duty in 2009. again i experienced mst. it began to suffer from depression and anxiety and panic attacks. during this. makkah to find the courage to approach my command about these incidents. my statements were dismissed and i endured more of these. i received medical treatment for
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panic attacks medication but i was never asked about mst by medical personnel. i was put on medication to relieve the anxiety. it got so bad i requested early release from active duty orders because the situation was so difficult i felt i could not endure it any longer. this decision to leave active duty early placed me as well as my children in an extremely finance -- fragile financial -- the complete pride i felt as a marine in the past is now riddled with shame and distress. in october 2000 i sought treatment from the madison wisconsin va. i received extremely limited treatment for the depression anxiety and panic and i was merely prescribed medications. while it was evident through screenings i have severe ptsd i was never asked by a provider if i had experienced mst is a basic day came in and underwent the screenings for ptsd but yet i
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was not a combat veteran, get no one looked at these symptoms and said well what is actually causing this? what is happening here? for the first time in my life i contemplated suicide but i knew i needed to continue to cope for the sake of my children. while the psychiatrist is always helpful it was extremely difficult for me to receive consistent treatment at this time as i was not yet service-connected and i received little to no medication. i sincerely feel that the medication caused me more depression and more anxiety than was the reason i have contemplated suicide. in december 2000 i had my -- i entered this exam with the hope that the provider would address it and i would finally be able to receive help. the doctor spent 20 minutes with me. he was extremely abrupt and impersonal and did not once asked me about anything related to mst. i was not given the opportunity to disclose my experiences.
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he ended our appointment quickly stating he was sure i would be fine and my hopes were deflated. the next few months as they waited for service connection i was informed that my income the prior year even though i was currently unemployed and would have to pay for any care that i received from the va during this time. i was not yet financially stable and could not afford extra costs as a single mother of two boys. i then contacted the transition at the kid in medicine and disclose my mst experience. he immediately contacted the regional office and attempted to have mst added to my claim. i was struck by the regional office to prepare and submit a statement that described in detail by assault and other incidents. though extremely difficult i completed and submitted a statement. i was hopeful the information i provided would allow me to receive an examination where i could address my experiences and mst. despite fulfilling the request i was not granted another exam. i continue to struggle with my symptoms and memories as well as side effects of medication.
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because mst was not addressed i was told i was not able to realize the local care. several months later i did receive my service connection was able to meet with the provider. during intake for the ptsd program to be a provider again did not ask about mst. i decided i needed to disclose my experiences. i was extremely detailed and candid. this provider informed me i didn't -- and would benefit from treatment. my sense of relief disappeared and she informed me the wait lists for treatment was at least four months long. when i did get the opportunity to begin treatment my provider was only at the va twice a week. i was a working single parent and it was extremely difficult to schedule appointments. there were instances i would take time off work and arrived at an appointment only to be told it was canceled. i was also made aware that even though the hospital had canceled these appointments a patient record reflected i had no show or canceled myself. this was simply not the truth. i grew more distrustful and
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frustrated. i was then informed i was not compliant because i felt i couldn't participate in the therapy called prolonged exposure therapy for fear it would increase my panic attacks and it would affect me personally and professionally. i also received limited medical medical care at the va for the women's health program. no va nurse or doctor asked me if i experienced mst though several conditions have been directly coordinate with mst. during this time i was employed at the va in the same program. mst was not addressed and though there was an mst coordinator the hospital mst coordinator for hospital i'd never have the opportunity to speak with her and i never witnessed any collaboration between the women's health program manager and mst grenada. i attempted to speak to my program manager several times regarding the need to discuss mst but i was on next successful. in 2012 i decided to attempt to engage in treatment at the va once again. i was assigned a mail provider who is new to the va. during my first appointment i
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again disclose my experience with mst. the provider looked at me sat back in his chair and said do you really think you were raped? i could not bring myself to return to the va and it was at this time it began to realize my private insurance. i now pay out-of-pocket for all of my therapy. based on my experiences and those of other veterans i've worked with and spoken with a recommended the va reconsider their approach to mst screening acknowledgment and treatment. the va needs to become a safer environment for mst is acknowledge. if i'd only been asked about my experiences with mst would have provided full disclosure. i like many was never asked. thank you. >> unfortunately i call vote is on the floor so we will be back in session as soon as that is over with and i truly appreciate all of your testimony and the bravery that you all have shown to come here and testified in
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these deeply personal and difficult events. we will be in recess until i get back. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> this house hearing taking a recess as the house is voting on a bill on k-12 education. a couple of of amendment boats of amendment does and vote on final passage of the house floor. we understand those should be the last boats post of the day and the week and of course lighthouse coverage of c-span. while we wait for this hearing to resent him let show you something senate finance chairman committee max baucus in the house ways & means committee chairman dave camp took efforts to reform the tax code on the road yesterday at an event hosted by the economic club of washington d.c.. republican chairman camp called it tax code indefensible while democratic chairman baucus said starting with a bang -- blank
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slate. this is a continuing effort by the committee leaders to get support for updating the tax code and is one of many offense they have planned around the country to change the tax code. we will show you as much as we can. the event itself runs just under an hour. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> may i have your attention please? for those who are still eating, please do it quietly.
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quiet eating. okay. thank you very much. we are very honored today to have the chairman of the senate finance committee and the chairman of the house ways & means committee here today at the economic club of washington and what i would like to do is just briefly introduce our guests. i think most members here know them but for those who might be watching on c-span or others who may not be familiar with them just very briefly senator baucus is the senior senator from montana. he has been a senator now for about 35 years, the third most senior citizen in the united states senate now. he is in his sixth term. he served previously to terms in the house of representatives. he is a native of montana and educated in his undergraduate at stanford and law degree at stanford and went back to montana after he got his law degree. he has announced not long ago that he will not run for a seventh term. so, he will be retiring at the
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end of this congress and i think you will feel the joy of liberation at that point. but he has done an extraordinary job as chairman of the senate finance committee and is now in the middle of all the things we are going to talk about today. congressman camp who is the chairman of the house ways & means committee. congressman camp is from michigan and represents the fourth district of michigan and he has been a member of the house of representatives for several terms but has been the chairman of the ways & means committee since 2011 where he first became the chairman. he previously -- chairman since january 2011, is that correct? he is going to survey serve to the end of this congress in that capacity. there is a term limit for leadership and the house ways & means committee and all house chairmanships so he would be term limited and less there was
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an exception so you will be serving as the chairman of the ways & means committee unless there is a change to the end of this congress. he is a native of michigan graduate of albion college and university of san diego law school and returned after law school to michigan where he practiced law for a number of years before getting elected to the michigan house of representatives and then becoming a member of the united states house of representatives. so both of you gentlemen are doing something very unusual in washington which is getting together from both parties, democrat and republican. you don't see much of that being done today and you have announced that you would like to see whether you can have a bipartisan tax reform package. the realistic about it. is there any chance in this contract -- to congress with the tensions getting a comprehensive tax reform? what would you rate as the chances of a tax reform package going through senator and mr. chairman? >> i think quite good. why? because everyone knows the tax
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code is dated and hasn't been brought up to code since 1986 and there've been a few changes to the code since them. there are a lot of provisions which have caused companies to be less competitive and top corporate rates are too high compared to other countries. we have to be much more competitive as a country than we are with respect to the code and other countries have modified -- modernized their codes where we have not. people in our country i think are extremely put out with how complex the code is get it takes too long to figure out. 90% of americans need someone else to fill out their tax returns. either with turbotax or another preparer and they feel too i think that someone else is getting the break that they are not getting. beyond that, here we are dave
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and i working together. one republican and one democrat and chairman of the committee and everyone in the congress wants tax reform. it's different from health care which passed divisive as partisan. see if you were a betting man and i assume you're not but if you were a betting man would you say 50/50, 80/20, 75/25 that we will get it through? >> i would rate it at above 50%. the chairman camp what would you say is the chance getting something for your committee and house of representatives? >> i think max is right on all the points you made and i would say the current code is indefensible. people do have the sense that if only they knew somebody in washington and obtained a lower rate. there is a real sense of unfairness in the code where some marketing a special deal. because of the complexities and
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the changes that max mentioned and for the other reasons. we haven't seen the kind of growth and job creation that we need to see and if you have a job may be your hours are reduced or your salary may not have been increased so there really is this need for growth and jobs and the complexity is enormous. people hire and prepare, they are afraid they will get audited in their current situation they may well be that they think their concern is that people at this huge stack of papers and they sent them to the irs. even small businesses. i had a man come in and he had one retail store and is tax-preparation was $9000. the cost of compliance is enormous and over 168 billion dollars a year, 6 billion hours to comply so there is this huge sort of complexity that is laid over the nation that is really unproductive. for all the reasons max
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mentioned and others it's really important we look at this. i do think it's over 50%. and i know there is a lot and this is bipartisan republican and democrat. it's more like a senate and house are working together. i have got to tell you the response i get from members of the committee and members of the house, they very much are interested in doing this and they are very excited about doing this because they think they believe as we do that the country needs this. if we could really make that concept that the american dream is still alive and well and it would get our economy growing and give people positive growth, we will have the american vote. i don't mean to keep going but the unemployment rate among young people is very high. many of us have kids or have friends who have kids in that age group and if you were in your 20s you don't get hired. we need to start and really get on the road to prosperity and
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success in whatever their choices are is important. >> some people think tax reform means, want to make it clear, tax reform is corporate and comprehensive. some people think tax reform means raising revenue. some people think it means revenue-neutral so what is going to be? revenue-neutral or raising revenue? >> it's going to be both. >> both? [laughter] >> the the experts in washington. >> okay, the senate bill on the house bill. >> exactly. >> democrats generally would like to raise revenue it's often said this tax reform and republicans often say over my dead dog you're going to raise revenue so do you think you can work that out in the conference i guess because how are we going to deal with that? there's a big gap between revenue and no revenue. >> dave put his finger on it. dave and i meet weekly and have been for a long time.
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we have been working together on this and we have the same broad goals, base broadening significant rate reduction and the house is republican in the senate is democratic and therefore the senate to light, playful probably have some revenue. the house bill probably will not do so we need to conference. >> suppose that is the case let me asked about the process. under the constitution revenue raising bills are supposed to go first from the house and so that would mean if you're going to do that the house bill would pass first but you are asking house members to vote for things that might be politically difficult without knowing what the senate is going to do the bill. >> the s said we meet regularly and we both completed our sentences on the supercommittee so we have been talking about
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these issues for a long time. but we think it's regular order. we know the bill from the ground up and so we have both been meeting regularly and i have met with every member of the ways & means committee individually and completed my meetings with every republican freshmen in the congress. lots of sessions with members from off the committee and on the committee and 11 bipartisan working groups, more than 25 hearings in the house house and together more than 15 hearings. the first hearings together on this and 70 years between the senate finance and the ways & means committees so there has been a lot of work done. so the idea is how do we get the policy right? it's not this endgame of this their revenue or is there not revenue but how can we develop a policy along the way? i think in that area a lot of it is the sympathy and -- simplification side of it.
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it's not as bipartisan as you think on some of the item so we are trying to focus on those where we can. it's not about how we figure out how it's not going to happen. we are sitting around figuring how we can make this happen. >> would you agree the house will have to go first and the house will have to pass the bill 1? >> i think so. >> not necessarily. >> so you don't agree? >> we agree on the result and technically we are working on the tactics. for example we could go first and put it in the house and pass a revenue bill. and you know just, it does make sense for us to look at that instead of going first. maybe if dave and i have to make a judgment it will then help the bill's success and if it's in the house it will not.
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>> on the affordable care act the senate went first. >> and immigration. >> so we both agree that whatever avenue it takes to get this done we are willing to try it. and the president of the united states has he called either of you and said i like tax reform are i want a neutral revenue bill or has he indicated the administration cares about this? >> daycare. this is different from 86. i don't think that, it's not the absence. because a president obama is not pushing as strongly as president reagan did i don't think that's a problem because dave can speak to this better than i if president obama were to be up front. [inaudible] so i think it's good that he is where he is and we are engaged
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and we are talking. i spoke to him yesterday. it is done very frequently with jack lew and we spoke to jack lew today. we are working our way through all of this. >> if they let you move forward they are not going to send a bill up in your view, they won't send the bill? >> that is correct. >> you of that hearings are ready and i think you had one in minnesota and are you planning to have any more grassroots hearings around the country? >> yes, several. >> can you tell us where you are going to have any of them? >> we are going next to philadelphia i think in the fall >> so who testifies for these? >> yeah, they are not formal hearings. one of our many approaches that one is to do things a bit differently. we have a joint web site and we
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see 10,000 some signatures and we wanted across the country and not just regular garden-variety senate house hearings. now we are going around the country as well, dave and i to the twin cities, 3m and a smaller company in philadelphia. small business. >> individuals. >> we are going to talk to somebody who has sent us an interesting submission and spend some time with him. >> cell in washington we call deductions tax expenditures now and so the biggest tax expenditures are things like mortgage interest deduction for charitable interest of action or a municipal bond deduction. those are probably the big four. which of those is going going to go way? [laughter] or reduced?
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>> no pun to your reference. >> well i have some but to be serious obviously you can't eliminate all of them. you might moderate them. do you think the pain should be shared among all of those are you likely to go with more than one? >> well, not to cause nervousness in the room but not everything in the code is a tax expenditures though there are items that are not tax expenditures. we both agree to not take the current code and try to amend it with a clean sheet of paper and max has said a clean slate and see what we need to put into a 21st century tax codes. you have asked them to give your ideas of what they want to see and not see. have you gotten a lot of submissions yet and how is that going?
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>> not only dave and i are working together but senator hatch the ranking republican and i are working together which is an agreed-upon approach, approaches like things of a clean slate and get rid of tax expenditures. it's a very rough number. and we start to build back. we start out with full revenue. what is the revenue used for? will it be used for rate reduction or static revenue reduction? it's probably almost entirely rate reduction. i have asked for submissions and they are starting to do that now. i expect i will get a flood of them near the end of this month. so we are clear and senator hatch and i working together. these submissions go to me and they go to senator hatch and we are keeping them confidential because we want to encourage
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candid conversations. >> as the leadership said in the senate they will make time for a bill for this and they have announced they will bring it to the floor if you come up with an agreement in your committees? >> i have full support from senator reid. he said max just tell me what you want me to do. tell me what you want me to do. how can i help you? >> one thing that often people talk about is the value-added tax. that is not a tax we have known the country. is the value even considered or that's not even in the ballpark? >> well, obviously there is a senate vote on that that describes the but i don't think you want to have another layer of taxation in the code that's what i said to my house members is if you have something that is scored and that raises the revenue that is described in the budget we will look at it, so if there is another type of
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taxation whether its value-added tax or fair tax or some of these other ideas that are out there, as long as the joint committee on taxation scores it and it meets the benchmarkbenchmark s we will obviously consider that in the committee. we have done a bipartisan process with the working groups are little differently down the senate. we have had 1300 submissions on that either from groups or other members and compiled that in the joint committee report as mentioned. >> i might add to that there is some interest to do what you have just suggested and part of this is just to sit down with the members and find out how much support there may or may not be. >> in the last congress i guess the end of the congress for the lame-duck part of that the congress agree to increase the capital gains rate i think from 15 to 20% in the dividends rate as well. now that is increased do you think it's like he will ever go up again in this reform bill or are you done with that or maybe capital gains could go up or go
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down? probably not. [laughter] would you like to say is the capital gains that is not likely to be changed or you can't say anything yet? [laughter] >> i can try. marginal rates, do you think marginal rates could go up for high income people as well? >> everything is on the table. >> everything is on the table. >> growth in simplicity and fairness. i usually save revenue neutrality but those are the things that are the benchmarks that we are trying to look at and those are kind of the parameters. >> let's shift to another subject. affordable care act. your committee has do with that before and the president has announced he will postpone implementation, an important part for one year. is that a concern to you or do you think that's a good decision to postpone it for a year, the coverage? via obviously we decided floats on this in the house and there was a bipartisan vote not only to codify the employer mandate
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but also to reveal the individual mandate or postpone it for a year. i think there is a lot of concern and i guess there is so many democrats supporting the individual side if you are going to do this for business but not for individuals and families. i do think even though we had assurances this would be implemented on time it's not moving on time and there are lots of problems with it so i think this is clearly an indication. the teamsters as road a letter to the democratic leaders and basically said this is going to destroy the ability of working americans to have healthcarhealthcar e. so i think these problems have to be admitted and i think we need to clearly look at it. the only bill that actually reduced premiums according to cbo was the republican version that was debated during the health care debate. i think that's the direction we want to go. how do we get premiums down?
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>> medicare is often said to be one of the biggest problems in the federal government's budget is it's growing at a very large rate. are you planning to do anything on medicare in this congress in either of your committees in terms of dealing with with the problems they are? >> let me go back to your last question. dave and i are on track in tax reform. we have a slightly different view in implementing the affordable care act. i believe it's proper for the administration to delay for one year the employer mandate. that is a big act and i supported the bill strongly. we spent a couple of years working on it to get it passed. individual mandate though is more of an integral part of the statute because actuarially it's a part that young males sign up for so health care is provided for everybody but also the
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expansion of medicaid. i have spent a lot of time with the administration and wanting this bill to be implemented correctly. it's here and it's not going to be repealed so let's make it work in the best way we possibly can. and so that is the course i think we should take. >> with medicare, do you think there is any solution to that in this congress? >> i do. we in the committee announced a series of committees on entitlement including social security and medicare and a discussion draft on some parts, the ideas that are out there and alleges to -- legislative language in terms of social security. a lot of this has been discussed for many years whether it's with domenici or biden simpson or biden -- and now what we need to do is
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set a committee structure to build the background for that. and i think there is obviously different views on how to approach approach that but clearly i think that needs to be part of the discussion especially as we move to these issues that have to be resolved by the end of the year. those are going to have to be resolved and those might have an opportunity to come forward to help us resolve some of those other issues. >> i might say it's not too difficult conceptually. dave and i have been on other efforts, bowles-simpson, the supercommittee and biden. >> thank god. [laughter] >> and it's an interesting point. you know, because those efforts fail in part, the supercommittee because two-thirds of the members have no knowledge of the subject. that's an exaggeration but they
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were not on appropriations committees. they are not on the ways & means committee said two-thirds of the time was educating members of the committee as to appropriations provisions as well as our provisions. we have had a lot of these meetings now. the supercommittee for example. we tend to know what the major pieces are on entitlement reform so if there is a role player and sometimes it can be put together pretty quickly. the important point is the committees of jurisdiction are involved because they are the committees that do know better the ins and outs and the trade-offs involved. >> both of you have served on the so-called supercommittee answers the supercommittee could not calm to an agreement sequestration went into effect. do you think if the supercommittee were to reconvene today with the same efforts they would try to come up with a solution because they don't like sequestration or would they come up with the same solution?
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>> it's interesting. i will let you do that one. no, it's very interesting. two-thirds of the way through the supercommittee, it was difficult and a sidebar patty and deb hensarling the co-chairs had never met each other until the committee began. that is part of the problem. members of congress just don't work together very much. the process i initiate it is i'm talking everybody. ..
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a small group of people impose something on the rest of congress is not going to work. one of the things that was important to do, is to really involve members. so this is something -- i don't think a reconvening a supercommittee would be helpful because of that dynamic. so that's why on the into it. ment feature you're mentioning, we're doing hearings, putting out legislative texts, so this is a possibility. doesn't mean you're going to succeed, and your chances of succeeding are better with that
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process. you build a bill from the ground up. you get people involved. and more importantly, you have interested parties, stakeholders, part of the process. >> it's a really good point. we in the advance committee, members only, to go over different parts of the codes. because so many members of the committee are new or because we have not passed a major tax bill since 1986, it's a wonderful learning process. that's a double-edged sword. they don't know much. so, the experts explain different part of the code to us, and we ask questions, and we're mutually searching together to try to get the facts, and brings us together psychologically and get to know each other better and build trust, and dave's point, the more we can build trust, the more it helps.
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>> most members know this three or four provisions important to the state or district, but when you're doing the entire tax code, nobody is an expert on the entire tax code. so, it is important to really have those opportunities to work through it,, as opposed to tryig to impose a solution. >> would you have the same view on simpson-bowles if that had been adopted by the congress, better off or worse off today? >> well, many people -- first of all, bowles-simpson performs a terrific service. bipartisan, problems the country faces. but it's changed a lot over time there are different versions of bowles-simpson. many members of congress say pass bowles-simpson, not knowing what is in bowles-simpson, and
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if they knew the details, it gets hung up. i believe that we couldn't be -- couldn't just layer bowles-simpson on top of what we are doing. they did a lot of valuable work. and as dave said, take the way and means commit year, the commit years we jurisdictions and also want to be involved. and i think that's the process we're undertaking. when you joined the senate in 1978, the chairman of the senate advance committee was russell long. >> correct. >> how did the committee operate in those days? a little differently? and how would you -- generally since you've been in congress, how is congress different than when you first came, more reward organize more frustrating? >> you asked two different questions. >> well, pick either one. >> the committee is pretty much the same.
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we're quite collegial. we work well together. it's the congress and town that has changed, and that does have some influence on the committee. basically we are very collegial. we work together. trying to figure out how to put the pieces together as opposed to the judiciary committee and abortion and the constitutional issues. >> when you first came to congress, did democrats and republicans talking to more or is that a michigan? >> it's -- is that a myth? >> that's not a myth. we talked more. a room for senators only just off the senate dining room. only senators. no staff, nobody, just the senators. it's a wonderful place to go, just to go see who is going to
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be in there, and meet other senators that you otherwise wouldn't meet or, more importantly, talk to about their kids and families and legislation. it's empty now. nobody goes there anymore. why? they're going to all that's dog gone parties and lunches, tuesdays, wednesdays, thursdays, we democrats are in a -- have lunch together, saying all those nasty people down the hall, republicans, are terrible, and run runs are doing the same thing, those nasty democrats. and it's fundraising. fundraising -- noontime, some -- we just don't talk enough. >> when i get invited to have lunch there, it was big deal. now you're saying it's not that big a deal. i got it. so, was the house much more partisan than you possibly imagined when you joined? the biggest difference in the ways and means committee, i got on the committee in the
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minority, and now i'm in the majority and chairing the committee so it's a big difference. but -- >> it was not exactly completely bipartisan then. the chairman then had proxy voting, and was able to throw the press out of the room and go back and write the bill how we wanted to. so it was very different time, and -- but i do think there was more sort of discussion and -- for example, democrat, bob matsui was very friendly to me. over time there was less and less of that. that's why there was such a great response from our members on these bipartisan working groups. they actually had to meet and found they enjoyed workinggroup. they actually had to meet and found they enjoyed working together. so i do think we need to get back to that. i think over time it's eroded, and how typically is more one party rule than the senate, and that's the way this whole government was structured in
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terms of that. but i do think, given that there is a republican house, democratic senate and a democratic president, bill to be signed will be bipartisan and doesn't take a scientist to figure that out. so that is what i think is important, at least on this and other issues. look, we have had seven bipartisan trade bills signed into law. both max and i have worked very closely on those, and i think that is a moodle -- model for how to do other things. >> i'm reminded of a story when senator russell long was the chairman of the finance committee for a long time. and the 1980 election the senate went republican. >> a good story. >> so somebody said to senator dole, you're going to be chairman of the senate finance committee, and he said, yeah, but who is going to tell russell long? [laughter] >> the fact that both of you will not -- well, unless there's a waiver in the house, and maybe there could be one but let spume
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for a moment there isn't. either of you will be in the current position in the next congress. does that make it easier for you to get or harder to get tax reform through? >> easier. i have much more time to devote to it. i'm not campaigning. don't have to go out there with my tin cup and ask for campaign contributions. and psychologically, it's helpful because i'm doing what i came here to do, legislate, not campaign, but to legislate. i like doing stuff. and it's helping a lot. >> on a personal side, when you retire at the end of the congress, do you intend to do teaching, business, law, go back to montana, run more marathons? >> nice try. i don't know yet. >> but you do run marathons. >> yes. >> you have run ultramarathons. >> have. >> what's it lte.e to run -- 100-miles or something? >> i only did 50.
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>> oaid okay. and congressman, are you interested in having a waiver or think of maybe running for the open senate seat in michigan? >> in the house, we have two-year cycles all the time and there's no guarantee that you're going to have the majority after two years. so in the house we don't have that longer view. you just make the most of the ityo years you have. >> don't give him a waiver. >> all right. >> they have happened before. >> let's talk about trade for a moment. the administration would like to get the trade agreement in asimn and needs to do that, and needs what is called fast track authority so there's no amendments. do you think you can get the fast trao g authority through fr the tpp and the asian trade agreement? >> ye s, i do. >> we're introdudoesnng a bill, hopefully by the end of the month -- might slip to september but senator hatch some i talked about this yeste oray, and we
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have something called a big forum. dave and i and our staffs and -- four of us meet on issues that are relevant to our committee and this is clearly one. we're supposed to get in an agreement. >> we have been working on it. and today, when -- as the chairman of the finance committee today, you meet lots of people. lobbyists, business people come in and so forth. what is usually a persuas a e arguement to something? just here are the merits? what do you find is persuas a e when your people talk? >> well, lte.e anything else -- >> the truth. >> right, is it right? does it make sense? is it considered all the relevant points of view? not just special, me, me, me. >> how does somo sody persuade you? >> well, i think beth of us are
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pretty inspired by what we saw you. get out and get a real life situation, for for example at 3m, the incredible innovation and the great thing americans are doing and how the code is making it harder for them to do that. and then going to the bakery, four generations of a family running the bakery and how they have beenable to innovate. and when you take the issue and then personalize it to make it understandable, i think those are the important meetings in meetings you get a picture of that as well. but that why i think the trips we're going to take are going to be -- >> i was struck -- the reason harvard business school survey, 10,000 harvard business school grads who said that primary problem they have is u.s. tax codes. these are people around the world. and it's a complexity. u.s. tax code complexit oa it's higher rates, it's botaid
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but i think the most difficult problem they have with respect to doing business instates is o. >> let me ask this just on that issue. right now, some people come to members of congress and say, let's bring cash back from overseas because we do that we'll have more cash in the united states, create more jobs. and let's have it brought back a a lower tax rate. the joint revenue committee says this money is ultimately going to come back at 35% tax rate so if it's lower tax rate, we'll have a bigger budget d. >>icit. there is any way out of this dilemma? right now you're asssometing its coming back but procanbly never going to come back, and how too you solve that problem? >> in the house, i put up three diurvussion draajs and one is on the international piece, and i think it's critical that on a regular basis companies are able to bring back dollars they
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earned overseas without a double tax. so, we need to do that. not in a onewhoime, not in a holiday, but in a regular basis. so in the draft out there, there's an ability to do thaub there's some bay's rogues options on that and we're obviously working through that in the committee -- we have a lot of -- been out there since october last year, so it's an area that is very complicated, affects different industries and different sectors different ways, but it's essential for us to compete in the world. and they think it's now almost $2 trillion. how can we invest that here in the uads. to create jobs. we want these large, mu uainational companies, platformed in the united states doing business around the world because the jobs that are here, that are supporting that activity, are incredible jobs. >> we're on the same page on that one. not one off. we have to set up a system where
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those dollars are not trapped faerseas. >> rigell now, qe3 has been something that people talk a lot about and whether the federal rese are e will triger off the mortgage buying. do you have a view on whether qe3 was a good thing, not a good thin whet sho0 d be trigered or? and do you have a view on whether ben bernanke should have another term? >> well, that's up to ben be vieanke. i think he has done a good job. quantitative easing has been very helpf0 . cannks, easing credit has beenfl to japan. it's helpful in -- certainly concerned about potential longwhoerm ennation but i think he has done a superjob. my understanding he would rather not have another term but if the president asked him, maybe he would serve another term. i don't know. sounds lte.e the president isn't going that direction. he makes a point which i think is valid, namely, he is doing
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the best he can with monetary policy, and you guys over there, better fiscal policy, congress and the president. >> your view of ben bernanke and how is he regarded in the house republican circles? >> i think a little differently in the sense of i think the concern about inflation and printing of money is a fairly significant one, but, again, it's not the total picture. we have a lot of work to do in the house in terms of the b@ chget and the d. >>icits and trying to get pro growth policies, and as you look at that, that's why we think tax r. >>orm is important. if we can get economic growth and jobs, it will mean more revenue to the g faernment, andi think having gdp less than 2% is completely unacceptable. i think there's a lot for us to do. i think we have had a lot of hasantitative easing from my view, but some was necessary,
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but i think we're at a point where -- i'm very conce vieed about the long-term inflationary aspect of that. >> so if people are watching on c-e -an or people in this shdience and were interested in tax reform, what is the best way to comhere nicate with you or yr st it'f about the preferences ty want to keep or how they would change it? just to write your staff or send you e-mail inside what's the best way to communicate with you? >> all of the above. we have a wo s site, tax refossa.g fa. a lot of people use the internet these days. call us up. write us. we're both very accessible. >> i say, that's the easiest way to get that -- we're going through those. >> now, congresset wan, you just celebrated your 60th birthday last week. >> thank you for reminding everyone of thaub >> when you turn 60, as i dade few years ago, people say, you lo%g good today.
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anyway, you had a hea uah issuea while ago, and people who are watching would be interested to know you dea ua with wnopp hodgkin's lymphoma and you were fully treated and in remission. >> thank you for askinther completed the treatment there are 4 different wind of lymphoma. mine was rare treatable and i had a lot orighe encouragt support and if you wnow anybody going through that, don't hesitate, send them a text or .gite them a card bfulshse it dt help you when you're going through that to know there are people thinking about you. >> the finalllaruestion for both of you. you served distinguished careers in the senate and house. now that you wnow what i it is to be a mt would you have decided to do this with your career, wnowing everything you now wnow? a career you're happy with and fulfilling and you're very satisfied with what you have accomplished and what's been the most frustrating thing about
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having this job? >> wele sh i would not have it y other way. i think it's the best job in the world. i feel so lucky to be able to se are e montana and the united states senate and we involved in these issues we have been talking about and trying to make a differeit's he. there's a frustration obviously with everything, but the rewards , have just -- pnyblic se are ice, means to me more thn ouityeighs any of the potential frustrations. i recommend it to anybody. everathode h >> but you have had your last elfultion? >> i have had my last election. i wouldn't change anythinther >> congressman? >> i may not have had my last election so i may look at it differently. i think p, dcanbly the thing tht is most interesting is just the quality of people and the things they're doing that you lea vie n
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a job lte.e this, where you're exposed to so many different industries and people from different walks of life, and i think you just come away with this huge respect for the freedom this country offers people and what theelecre able o do with iub obviously we have a lot of needs and not everybody is successful, and i don't come f, dm a wea uay district, but it is really important to see what this country can offer. i just come back with a great ree -fult for america and the people who made this country great and most of them are not in the uads. congress but you gt an opporr 6nity to -- >> just, remember, were americans. we take that for granted. we're so iit's hredibly lt fky. you don't see people moving to live in other countries. they want to come to america. i we have immigration legislation. we are really lucky. in scripture, much is ek at ful@ of those mt fh has been gr, en.
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americans have gotten so much and we have an obligation to give back, and it's wonderf0 t fkving bacow, >> senator, thank you for you were distinguished service over many years and washington, and obviou awy several years to gi d and chairman, thank you very much for what you're doing, and thank you for bbvng here today. enjoyed iub >> thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations]ba at yna@ ch're dole conversations] >> we're waiting for the house veterans affairs subcommittee on health treatment for military sexual trauma hearing to get back underway.
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the house just finishing up a vote on the es jcation bile sh passing bay vote of 221 to 207. so we then expect members to be making their way back to the hearing room and this hearing of the panel, f way st panel, stilo finish up to get back underway. a couple more panels sched0 ed as well today and we'll continue our coverage throughout the hearing here on c-span 2. as we wait for that to hrigpe go let's take a look back at the week in politics from this morning's washington jou vieal.a >> thank you for joining us this mo vieinther the "washington times" has a futility index. looking at the p, ds jctr, ity f congress, how here ch the housed senate get dub, and the headline says, house republicans sputter one of the worst years on .ecobeen why? >> we call it the legislative futility index. i developed it two years ago. the point was to measure a lot of folks look at the number of
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bills that pass congress and try to j@ chge congress by just the upmber of bills enacted into law, and i wanted to go deeper than that and take a b, dader lo%g at legislative actr, ite h so i look at things like the time spent in session, becshse sometimes they come in for days but only spend a couple hours. the number of pages they can compile in the congressional er of bills enacted into law, the number of bills actually pass each channelber, and it's taking the tt ly going on, actse on the floor, which is bay of seeing how much marry -- mt fh ly doing.ctse inhe h011, worst year ever by f. the records go back to 1947. neither side could get mt fh done. the senate was a giant road lock. last year about the worst in are the senate. the house did better. the big news this year is the
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senate has replaced itself as the second worst year on rfulor, beating last yea com but the house has d, dpped dramatically in the first two years after republicans took control in houc andhe heopl2, the tea party-fued r, ish of legislating, and now it's actually been a conscious deto ksion theelecre waiting toe what the senate will send them. in the first two years they passed bills to cut taxes, e -ending, and the whole tea party agenda. and after the big deal like the tax -- i guess tax increase at the bomainning of this yea com the violence against women act, the hurricane sandy, how much says andeep passing these bilthe then speaker boehner gdeas intoa room with president obama and comes back with a deal and says take it or leave iub we want to push the bill we have been doing. so the result is the house has ste sped back and say, let's see ly gethe senate can actse done. then we'll take and it do it.
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that's w. i you're seeing less action, few are floor votes, less time in session, a lower level of legislative activity. having said that i sho0 d add there are some people out there who think that's a good thing. when i wrote the story, p, dcany most of the commenters on my web page said that, that's a good thing. we don't want congress do anything. said they're most scared when congress is acting. >> we saw national jou vieal hae this story: re snyblicans and e white house are in talks toward a big fiscal deal. at least a dozen re snyblican senators are roma0 arly meeting with the president's top aides in an attempt to plot a way forward on a looming fiscal challenges facing leaders this fall. that's according to senators involved in the meetings. what ddeas that signify to you? and give us a read on the level of cooperation, either between the house and senate or either of those bodies and the white house. >> a couple of things going on that are interesting the g, dup
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fossainase we have seen this proliferation in the last couple months of gangs in the senate. some people objfult to that term of calling them gangs but that's what they label themselves, a group of senators, bipartimucn groups that come together and try to cut a deal externally from the party leadership. mitch mcconnell, the rer, iblican leade com and harry reid, the democratic leaders. they're agenting independently with the white house as well. so you have who different things. ay.partisan deae shl onowing tht nothing partisan can pass the senate. and second is the realization that w-are headed for another ay.g showdown at the end of this -- i guess in the fall on debt. we have the d. that limit. we're currently at our debt limit. the treasurery department is using extraordinary measures that will alling i to us put off actually crossing the limit for several months but we're right there. and so something has to hrigpen or we do face a -- either a
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default or dramatic listening in spending. so basically looking at thae n t the past few fights, all these things like spending, we're talking about the lomaislative futility indgai, trying to get a deal on immigration in the senate. done well on getting a deal on nominations. let'sl oeep the ba cartimucnship going and see if we can deal with taxes and deal with e -ending. >> yet where ddeas congress go te.ter a deal between, say, the senate and the white house or ay.partisan deal on ilegiigrati, in the senate when it comes to the house? >> exactly the right question. immigratio gro w-are seeing that alreade h there was a ba cartisan deal in the senate. got 68 votes, the highest immigration has gotten in a upmber of years, and basically stall ought in the house. and that's -- going back to what we talked about, the stratomay that he house republicans have, they're waiting to see what can get sent ove com and that's no guarantee that there's going to be action in this case the house
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is going look at it -- wele sh e deals here -- house re snyblicas have been fairly adamant they don't want new revenue coming out of any ta deal. the senators in this -- are tassining about at least the wos they're using say they will acce haãsome new reven it . house peekernueohn bdea likeer s that all the new revenue has to come from dynamic scoring, essentsenally economic g, dwth, rather than raising rates to increase it. so you have that clash. basically at least in tessas of rhetoric, w-are exactly where we have been the last two and a half years -- >> we're going back live ning io the house veterans committee hearing. there's the chairman. the votes on the house. our lr, eg resuse coverage on cntipan2. >> tragic, and i know that there's bipartisan support in the snybcolegiittee to really me significant change in the way that dod and the va treat
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.ictims of sexual trause i can think of maybe the mthe t interesting -- i heard this before from our cases -- the testimony i heard f, dm you, mis mucnders, you never get someone at the va, if you get into counseling or -- that you have a consistent p, dvider. i thinkhitee hoil onow hing i dt that is, trying to talk to somebody that doesn't know your case. can you expand on your testimony there, miss sanders, how difficult it is to get a consistent provider?
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when i f way st entered the when i f way st entered the systt well. thua went out of the way way to make sure we got the treatment we needed. but it was led by a very dynamic person. that was dismantled and we were left with scrrigs. i was -- ended up i was the only person going to the clinic and was seeing a socsenal worke com and unfortunately she passed away, so i was left with no care. i moved to north of mucn the wanto kgango bfulshse i hada granddshenate.ter. ...
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and people who are coming out of jail and trying to get off of drugs and trying to get their children back. i have since asked again per feed basis. i was told, you have got a fee basis for two sessions. i was never told where to take that fee basis. i was never told who to contact. i attempted to say okay i have medicare. can we get some movement on that? i received a phonecall. they said go on the computer and look up caregivers -- >> that was all the guidance you got? >> excuse me? >> that was all the guidance that you got? >> i have in front of me a fee basis that i was supposed to receive from me. i never got the letter in the male. i called after six weeks because
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i was told, we don't know how long it will take and she said it has already expired. so they send it to me and it expired july 17. i still have no one to take it too, no help to find anyone to take it to. i asked if the social worker could sit down with me and make the phonecalls if they did not want to do it that i alone cannot just sit down and call every provider in my county to find out who will take the va's fee basis. the one person i contacted said it would cost me $450 for the first session and $280 for every session after that and she had to have the money up front. i had to go get the money from the va. and then i came here, so i am hoping that by coming here and telling you guys that a measly two fee basis is not going to
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get me anywhere. no decent provider is going to say oh yes i will see you twice and then we will wait and see how long it takes them to get back to us. a real provider wants to give u.k. are consistently and come principally and that can't be done with to the bases at a time. >> yeah, of course. >> does that answer your question? >> there is a feeling of what's going on because it's just so frightening frankly. the testimony that we have heard here this morning and i know that there is great i partisan support to make this better. my frustration and i think thank you and i am out of time. ms. brownley. >> thank you mr. chair and again i want to thank all four of you for being here today and sharing
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your story with us. it's extremely important in terms of our work moving forward i just want to say certainly as a new member of congress, i am a new member of congress and i just want to personally apologize to all of you because we should have done and we need to do a much better job in support of what has happened to you as you have served our country. your bravery today is to be commended and your duty as soldiers and the military and your service to our country, but the bravery that you have demonstrated today is really beyond the call of duty and i am very very grateful for your participation. there is no question in my mind that there is a lot of work that needs to be done.
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i mean we need to address the culture that takes place in the military. that needs to be fixed. we need to address the transition from leaving the service to becoming a veteran and then certainly if there is trauma that takes place, then we need to eradicate that from happening in the first place but if something does happen, then as a veteran who has served their country we need to figure out how to best provide and serve all of you to the very best of our ability and to mimic best practices that are happening outside of the va and what's really happening you know at facilities across our country when one is sexually assaulted. so, i am not even really sure where to start on the
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questioning but i guess you know i certainly would like to hear your positions or your suggestions i guess vis-à-vis how we can improve. there has been a conversation about this sort of case management so if someone is sexually assaulted in the military that we transition them with continuity of care to make that transition as best as it can possibly be. but i would just you know, i offer suggestions really from all four of you in terms of, as you have had your own experiences and knowing what the system is today how can we improve upon it? >> thank you ranking member brownley. my first suggestion is that fee basis care needs to be made available at the request of the veteran.
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as our testimony has demonstrated, the va is fundamentally incapable of providing care to survivors of military sexual trauma in the current environment. there are provisions in section 1720d that allows fee basis care to be offered if it's clinically inadvisable and that is currently the case in a lot of va's. ii know one be know one va clear male survivors of military sexual trauma are seeking care in the women's clinic. that is not best practice. that is a horrible practice. these ladies as survivors deserve a space to be safe and do not have the trigger by a male veteran. if my perpetrator were female,
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which happens a lot more often than we would think, i deserve that same place to go and not potentially be -- and i deserve to have in essence my manhood respected by not having to seek my karen women's clinic. i also deserve to have a treatment program designed specifically and that is an area where the va can do a lot more research. there is very little medical literature out there as i'm sure the chairman well knows about male survivors of sexual trauma of any sort and that is an area the va can do leading research and then they are not doing it. the other suggestion i would have is to make sure that there is continuity and care as the previous question suggested. just today i received a phonecall from my current provider. he has been out of the office intermittently on and off doing
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health care policy but still that makes it difficult. when i returned back from bay pines, their facility was to ensure that i received continuity of care. they failed at that. i went for two months after leading bay pines without seeing a medical doctor or psychologists. what sort of system do we have for weekend this consistently fail are veterans? i cannot in good conscience recommend va to any survivor of sexual military trauma at this time. thank you. >> yes, unfortunately. you have five minutes. >> thank you and the chairman. in the army we have an afternoon leadership to respect service integrity and courage and that means addressing wrongs that take place. and wrongs that not only exist in the world in the military but wrongs that exists within our military and what has happened
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to you is literally a form of devastating trauma. i know i speak from a all of my colleagues in this committee that taking care for troops is not just a nice thing to say and a nice thing to do. it's our obligation to do so. i really appreciate your courage today and i think it's up to us to have the courage to change policies and attitudes. my question to you today and i think i know the answer from your testimony but i would like to hear from you directly on this. do you feel that currently you would be more comfortable getting care inside or outside of the va? and i think you just answered that. ps. >> receiving care outside of the va accomplishes a couple of things. one thing that it accomplishes it puts us in the of people who are trained to treat sexual assault victims. unfortunately the va doesn't
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have a a protocol set up to train their employees and how to interact with military sexual trauma veterans. therefore a lot of times they trigger symptoms and make our ptsd worse. also with fee basis being sent outside of the va, fee basis reimbursed at medicare rates so i have a fee basis card. i received a card because i had an unnecessary surgery at our va hospitals and -- as a result of that my mental health care provider my psychiatrist and my gyn and family or primary care physician wrote consults for me to be able to be seen outside of the va. originally it was denied. the second decision they approved me to go outside for gyn services but not for any other services. when i appealed that decision than i was given my fee basis card and said all medical
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conditions. the difficult part of that is finding a provider in your local area that will accept that fee basis because there is no partnership with the va. and so if they are a provider that does their own billing, they don't want to see you because they don't want to have to deal with pushing the papers to the va or waiting for that reimbursement, or if you are a provider and you can build private insurance $85 for a one-hour session that you are going to get back $19 from medicare at the reimbursement rate, would you as a treating physician take that patient on? so there needs to be a partnership between fee basis and our local community and more importantly also with a national chain of pharmacies because when we see an outside provider and you are fee basis and given a
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prescription for medication you have to mail that into the va and wait for them to mail your medications to you. a lot of times those medications need to be started immediately. you have the option of going to your local pharmacy and paying for it yourself but then you are uninsured and you pay the full rate for that medication. you can then have the va reimburse you but as responsible veterans the majority don't do that. they mail it in and they wait for it to come back. it seems as though the va doesn't look for those common sense solutions and that is what i would like to ask committee to do today. >> thank you. go ahead. >> and speaking very briefly about my employment and time with the women's health program one of my primary responsibilities was to do outreach calls and the outreach calls were literally to get numbers for women veterans who are up-to-date on mammograms and pap smears and if they were not
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the process for them to go outside of the va through fee basis and working partnerships with hospitals in remote areas was so simple, i was dumbfounded but yet there is still no simple way for someone who has experienced mst to go outside of the va and receive counseling and therapy and medication. so if we are doing it in one program that tells me that it's possible to do it for others too. >> thank you and that is exactly the type of input i want to hear today. >> congressman one thing i would like to address briefly before your time expires is the use of interns and the use of student, medical students to provide care in the va. i know at my home va they are heavily dependent on medical students and that's simply not a good practice with survivors of such complex trauma is military
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sexual trauma. there is a place for medical learning. when i was at bay pines my primary counselor there was a psychologist postgrad and i found her when i was sitting there trying to disclose details of my trauma sitting there clicking her tongue ring as i was talking about my trauma. to me, that is horribly disrespectful and another instance of my home va in baltimore a psychology student was running a group and was allowing combat veterans to talk about their trauma while not allowing mst trauma victims not to talk about their own because va focuses on trauma in their own work. quite obviously there are four or five letter words i could say to that but for the purposes of the committee we need to be looking at the proper use of
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students and residents in providing mst care and we need to be giving a hard look at that. thank you congressman. >> the gentlewoman from new hampshire. >> thank you very much mr. chair and thank you to all the members of the committee for convening this hearing. i was one of the members that requested that this happened, having spoken to veterans in my area and new hampshire. one message i want to convey along with ms. brownley and mr. wenstrup and ms. kirkpatrick is that we are recently elected. ms. kirkpatrick coming back but we are new members to congress so we are writing here right at a time when the public is very focused on this issue and i want you to know that we are going to work with ms. speier who has
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been working on this issue for a long time and a number of other colleagues in both the house and the senate. i appreciate the chair for holding this hearing. this is a significant issue and we have made a real strong commitment to work in a bipartisan way. i want to thank my colleague for meeting what was truly an extraordinary effort on this whistleblower protection and i want you to know that we take that very seriously. we passed that bill 2 weeks ago, 423-0 in the house. that is the kind of support you have when we come together and find common ground so i know that we can help you and i join ms. brownley and apologizing to you that you haven't been heard previously. so my question, i have been trying to jumpstart my education on this by going and visiting facilities. new hampshire is the only state without a full-service veterans
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facility hospital but fortunately we share the hospital and vermont, lake river vermont. they have a brand-new, newly opened care center and i hear mr. lewis your concerns and i want to address that in this case it's a brand-new women's support center, where they have listened to victims and survivors about literally the architecture but particularly the programming that they want. i also visited a veteran center where they have really outstanding treatment and provision of counseling and groups and such there and so i want to ask you -- i respect the recommendation for care outside of the va and if that's the direction we go, then that makes sense to me because i
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understand we can't bring the training of all across the country. but if you are in a position to advise us of what best practices would look like, if we could get to that place in the va system, what is it that you would recommend be included in this would be either in a hospital setting, and a med center, and a vet center setting, in a clinic setting. what are the come on the -- components that you would recommend to us? >> congresswoman i appreciate the question and to hear about the program at white river junction quite honestly almost makes me want to cry. >> it was truly incredible and i was given a tour by a victim that have been part of a task force and they had addressed a lot of the issues that you're talking about including literally at at the entrance, making sure that it's glass and the women can see who is coming in.
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the only treatment providers are female and that entire section and so what are some of the elements that we could address? >> i will defer to some of the women veterans sitting here to talk about the components of the women's veterans programs but i think that the first thing that white river junction would do to bring to your areas to do that same thing for male survivors. we don't deserve to have to walk through the same that the women veterans have complained about and be looked at because we are not combat veterans. we also don't deserve to be mixed in with the women only because the va cares about little about male survivors. other components that i would suggest is mst programming needs to be conducted in mental health
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as a man if i go to women's services, they are triggered and i am certainly triggered because i feel a lot less than a man being respected as a survivor. i would also recommend getting away from the current practice of teaching by the manual and hoping our objective scores go down. that is not right. it's an experience that cause psychological damage and it deserves to be looked at holistically, not out of the manual where you go from one method to the next to the next. that takes a whole concept and takes peer supporters. that takes a whole range of things and i would be happy at some future point to talk to about that and i will defer to the lady survivors about the women's center.
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>> i would like to see satellite clinics. my mother lives in kansas. they have a satellite clinic that comes. it's only a distance of 35 miles to the hospital but twice a month they come so people can come to that satellite clinic and get their medications renewed or whatever it is that they need. i think that model should be used for military sexual trauma. i think that if you could say on mondays we have a women's clinic at this address where it's not the va and it's just for women or men, and you can rent a room. it's an expensive that way. you are not holding a facility. we are not asking you to build as the taj mahal. we are just asking you provide us a safe space close enough to our home that we feel comfortable in going that distance. for me, and our a way is too far at this point. i can't make it.
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the vet center in my county has one man that works there and he can't even answer the phone because he is so busy. he is afraid to work with female survivors because he is afraid because he is a big latte building man that they are going to be afraid. when i come out in the newspaper we have a long discussion and he said i'm afraid of what will happen if you come out in our local paper in people, women call expecting there to be a woman here and there isn't. the vet centers need to be supportive and the idea of a satellite clinic needs to be explored, which could eliminate some of the conveniences. if you take the train people you happen send them to trinity county for wednesdays and humboldt county for tuesday's and provide that care where the people are. i was a nurse and i was taught
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that you always meet the patient where they are. you do not expect the patient to come off to wherever you are. i said in my written testimony at times it feels like they are saying to us, if you get close enough i will fix that broken leg of yours but until you walk over here i can't help you. >> thank you. mr. chair i have gone over my time. >> thank you. >> while i agree with the others here and there suggestions i think it goes back to basics. i was never asked. i was never screened. i was never given the opportunity or that. not to disclose my experiences for whatever reason. if you can't get your foot in the door and it is slammed in your face you are either going to give up, go elsewhere where something worse is going to happen so i really think we need to look at the basics and start with consistent -- the i'm
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reading testimony from others that are going to talk to day saying mst screening, mst screening. in my experience i did receive sob could find it more consistent, then we can get in the door and then we can decide where the treatment comes in but when you to look at the very beginning so putting that first step, putting your foot in the door that va hospital, the people that are supposed to know everything and help you. >> thank you so much for your courage and thank you mr. chairman for your indulgence. >> the gentleman from indiana for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and again to yuval for coming today thank you so much. i would like to echo what representative subeight was saying. we are committed to eradicating sexual trauma in the military and we are new. we are all young members here but our passion and our commitment to you today is that
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the bravery that you have exhibited at being here today, the courage and shining a light on the darkness makes a difference. we get calls every day now that we have talked about this from the time we have been here. here. everyday there are new people coming forward and sharing their stories and your stories are going up today around the country and that is why we are thankful you made the trek and to let you know we are standing with you and fighting for you and thank you for your service to our nation and it's our turn to fight for you. you have my commitment to continue to do this until we eradicate this from our military. least i wanted to ask you particularly because you are well you are well-informed and he updated an mission in the state of indiana to find out the scope of of the weaknesses and strengths of the va. how would you describe the overall in the state of indiana treatment for mst victims as you've pursued it not only from your perspectiperspecti ve but because you have a wealth of information about how the state grants. how would you overall save the
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conditions are for the treatment in the state? >> overall in the state of indiana if i had to rate it on a scale of one to 10 i would give it a three because they are make an effort. we have the military sexual trauma coordinator at at the va center in indianapolis who was wonderful but she is one person. we need more services and what has been talked about today whether it's satellite clinics are using outside treatment facilities. but the issue needs to be addressed not only on the state level but on a national level with you here today. >> i appreciate that and also by could follow-up lisa, and i can tell you the information we have heard here today is tragic. it's just such a tragic story and so we hear all the stories and we seal the date and we are listening to you. there is such a growing need to treat victims of mst. why do you think as you have gone through this process what do you think the biggest issue is with the va being so
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resistant to this information and despite the pleas from thousands of veterans around around the country? >> i wish i could answer that and give you an answer of why but i cannot do that because it doesn't make any sense to me. if the treatment is already set up in a local community and you have avenues in your local community but the va doesn't have the services available common sense would tell you treat the veteran, treat the survivor and we are not seeing that right now. so going out into our local communities while the va is developing their process would be something that would be beneficial. >> and let me ask you this. our hope is we pass the whistleblower protection act as you are familiar with and you were a helpful story without as well. with whistleblower protection hopefully being valid and signed into law it in january of 2015 or 2014 and if we can move this
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congress to get those outside services and those things provided outside the va do you think we will see an influx of folks reporting because they will feel like they have a safe haven on one end from retribution on on the second site mapping incumbent upon going to the va for services that don't exist? >> i think you will see mst veterans and survivors come out of the woodwork. therein and women across this country who wore the uniform and were proud to serve but haven't been proud of their service because of the experience they had and if you give them the opportunity to give them the skills to deal with years of unintended ptsd system -- symptoms they will want to return to help themselves and their families. >> does anyone else want to comment? >> thank you congresswoman. you asked earlier about the va. one of the main problems is they there are simply too few providers.
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i go through the baltimore va and we we are talking a big city here. there are very few mst providers. that are specifically trained in this area. .. >> i first want to say, thank you so much,is


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