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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 4, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EST

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>> and now live to london for british prime minister's question time. each week the house of commons is in session we bring you prime minister david cameron taking questions from members of the house of commons live wednesday mornings on c-span2. we invite your participation via twitter using the hashtag pmqs. prior to question time members are finishing up other business. and now live to the floor of the british house of commons.
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>> debate of devolution must be financial also. >> mr. speaker, i'm a bit surprised by the question because we worked really hard on the side of the house to deliver a devolution package for wales that strengthens them clarify somesome makes devolution their four wheeled brick effect is the negative response from welsh labour in recent dates be more about divisions in the labour party, and you should be thinking about speaking to his own colleagues. >> order. questions to the prime minister. >> number one please, sir. >> prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the chancellor was asked six times this morning was a hit
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conversation with lord green about tax avoidance. [shouting] -- he refused to answer. will not prime minister clarified whether he or the chancellor has had conversations with lord green weenie was a trade minister about tax avoidance -- lord green when he was. >> we dealt with as a fortnight ago. all the proper checks are made and it is the same lord green, this is the same stephen green that labour gave a job to just before the election. that's the truth and they can't get away from it. >> mr. speaker, -- [inaudible] on the isle of white for advanced manufacturing and marine technology. this project will benefit new
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and existing island businesses. does the prime minister agree that this is an excellent example of government supporting local economies and ensuring young people on the island have the skills that the industries of the future will need a? >> well, i think my honorable friend is right. this is an excellent developer. the partnership has received nearly 11 million funding through the growth deal to build a center of excellence for competence on the isle of white. this is going to provide live hundred 50 students workshop and learning facilities and would include over 250 apprentices. this is all part of our long-term plans to build up of britain's skills, build up a britain's manufacture, build up our apprenticeships and make sure more people get the security and stability of work. >> ed miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, mr. speaker it for the last election the prime
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minister made a know it no, but promise on immigration. can even white house exactly what that promise was? >> we promised to cut net migration. we have cut it from outside the european union. it is increase from inside the european union, not least because we have created more jobs than the rest of the european union put together. [shouting] >> he was rather coy about his precise promise mr. speaker. it was in his contract with the british people. net migration cut to the tens of thousands. now it is 298000, higher than when he took office. is what he said in a contract. here's what he said if we don't deliver our side of the bargain vote us out in five years time. [shouting] when he said that did he mean it? >> there are two reasons for high migration. one is the growth of our
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economy, and the other is that our benefits system allows people to access that benefits system straight away. i say let's keep the strong economy, let's change that benefits system. he wants to get the benefit system and trashing the economy. [shouting] >> mr. speaker i do have to say to him his promise on immigration makes the deputy prime ministers -- low on the integrity. if he can break the spectacularly a solemn promise on a fundamentally important issue why on earth should anyone believe any of his election promises this time? >> i'm glad you mentioned the document. i brought it with me. i have it procured a copy for the interest of the house and i would like to run through it. year of the commitments we made. we will protect pensions. we protected pensions. [shouting] we will train 4000 health visitors. we've trained 4000.
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we will protect free tv licenses for the over 75 and keep free eye tests for pensioners. we kept that promise. i've got all day mr. speaker. i think these are very important. it says will keep the winter fuel allowance. we kept the winter fuel allowance. it says that we will ensure cancer patients get the treatment they need. we made sure that happened. mr. speaker, there's lots more, there's lots more. we can keep going. plenty of time. [shouting] we will increase health spending every year. we have increased health spending every year. [shouting] we have introduced a married couples tax allows. we introduced the married couples tax allowance. we will increase the basic state pension but we've increased the state basic pension. there's plenty more, mr. speaker. these are commitments made
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commitments kept. [shouting] what a contrast. >> mr. miliband. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, so now we know so now we know you can't believe the promise on immigration. it's not worth -- it's not worth the paper -- it's not worth the paper it is written on. [shouting] >> order, order. order. can i just ask the house -- order. can i just ask the house to have some regard for the views of the public about our behavior, given we will be seeking their support in the weeks ahead. it's quite straightforward really. ed miliband. >> last thing about his broken promise on immigration. now let's ask it again. he promised net migration in the
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tens of thousands. will be now admit that he has broken that promise yes or no? >> i have been very clear. we cut immigration from outside the eu but we've seen the rise of inside eu. we have a plan to deal with that. butbut he talks of commitment -- mr. speaker, i've got a few more. [shouting] it says we will cut wasteful spending. we have cut wasteful spending. it says we will reduce carbon emissions. we reduced carbon emissions. it says we'll have 400,000 apprentices. we have broken that promise. we have had 2 million apprentices. [shouting] mr. speaker, it is election time. we are all beginning to think about. i have a little question apparently you can go run to his office and the stand on a soapbox to make himself look a little bit taller. [laughter] let's ask him how many people will put the leader of the opposition on their -- [shouting]
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hands up hands up. i think that's enough about leaflets for now. >> mr. speaker mr. speaker, mr. speaker, so it's all about leadership. well, there's a very -- [shouting] great. and there's a very good chance. the broadcast proposed head-to-head debate between the prime minister in me on the 30th of april. a week before polling day. i will be at that debate. will he be at that debate? >> it is all about leadership, mr. speaker, and we see no leadership from the party opposite. what's interesting, mr. speaker we are having a debate now and they cannot talk about the economy. they can't talk about jobs because there are more jobs being created. they can't talk about growth because growth is going out. they can't even talk about
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living standards because there's a breakthrough report today showing living standards are back and the pre-crisis level. i say let's have these debates. let's get on with them before the election. [shouting] >> okay. if he wants an additional debate between me and him before the election, i'm very happy to agree to it. but the broadcasters have set a date. he said the election is all about me and him but the one thing he wants to avoid is a tv debate between me and him. i will give them another chance. i will be there on april 30, a debate between me and him. will he be there yes or no? >> he has now given up on the seven corner debate. he doesn't want to debate with the greens anymore. he wants he wants the press conference. we all thought it was a car crash. he probably thought it was a -- we're having a debate now and he
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can't talk about the economy. he can't talk about jobs. he can talk about living standards but he can't talk about what we've done for our economy. and the reason why, he's got no leadership whatsoever. the truth is mr. speaker, we have a recovering economy and we mustn't let labour racked it. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. next monday -- [inaudible] >> order. the honorable gentleman is entitled to be heard. >> here, here. >> thank you mr. speaker. next monday a seemingly minor amendment to the road traffic act will allow 70,000 severely disabled wheelchair using children to legally use a heavier wheelchair which better meets their needs. will the prime minister join me
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in congratulating the excellent new life foundation for disabled children in my constituency which has been campaigning for this change in the law for over five years and can now continue to make a real difference for the quality of life of some the most severely disabled children in our country? >> i'm very happy, with my honorable friend, to praise the business and also pay tribute to all those who give young people disable junk people the chance of more choice over wheelchairs. anyone who's had a child in a wheelchair knows that you need a choice of your child can accept a better quality of life and i'm delighted that this change in the law will help make that possible. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my father died of cancer. my mother died of cancer. and my sister died of cancer. a year ago the prime minister set a target to urgent cancer referrals should receive the first treatment within two
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months. last year 20,000 people have not had that target met for them. does the prime minister understand that even if the national health service can survive another five years of a conservative government, 100,000 cancer patients cannot? >> well, first of all the honorable gentleman, like probably everyone in this house and most people in our country knows someone who's benefited by cancer or died of cancer. we all know that and we know it is one of the biggest killers that we have to get to grips with in our country. what we've seen over the last five years partly because we're protected health spending is we've seen a 50% increase of referrals into cancer treatment. something like half a million extra people have been treated because what we need when it comes to cancer is earlier diagnoses by the gp. that's what information campaign matters much and when you go into treatment, yes, it does matter that the waiting targets
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are met. to ours -- we need to make sure all of them are met and we also need to keep on with the cancer drugs fund which is given many people suffering cancer access to drugs adult longer life as a result. >> will my right honorable friend agree that too often -- said that announcement with action? will future that nato says it will do what it said would? [inaudible] when we say we will defend it we made it. >> my right honorable friend is right. that is why the conference is so important. we said we would stick to article v and we will stick to article by. we superdrol up an action plan to help countries in eastern
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europe including the baltic states and we are doing there. written sport we've got the typhoon is taking part in the baltic air patrol. we are 4000 british troops taking part in operations in eastern europe but it's important we are clear to those baltic allies that we signed up to article v we mean it. and they want to our support not only when they face a conventional threat but also when they face threats of cyber attack as well. we need to show we are standing with him at this time. >> without pushing to get personal, does he realize many people consider the prime minister simply doesn't understand the lives of millions of people in this country -- modest incomes? the tory party has been and remains the party of the rich and the. [shouting] >> but i would say to the right honorable gentleman is you should judge a government by what happens to the people living in the country. and we see 1.85 million more
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people with a job. that is 1000 extra people getting a job for every day this government has been in office. that's the secret of the pay package. the chance of providing for family. he shakes his head but that's the reality of britain today. more apprentices, more jobs where people able to provide for the dummy. i would've thought the labour party would have welcomed about. >> mr. speaker, the department for education proposal for an interim executive board will result in the future of the few schools in my constituency. will the prime minister seek to establish why they think it is so -- [inaudible] and goes against socialism. >> certainly have a look at the proposal that he talks about. what we have done is make sure that where schools are not succeed at where schools are then yes they are taken over and turned around but i think
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it's important we intervene on behalf of local parents to make sure that happens but i will look at the specific case he mentioned. >> how does it make sense when the government is losing millions in tax avoidance to close the tax office when every officer there brings in hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost taxes? >> what we've done is at least 40 changes to make sure that people to do pay their taxes. we inherited a situation where foreigners were not paying a stamp duty where hedge fund managers were paying less tax than their cleaners come in were a number of people were avoiding tax on an industrial scale. they were. they sit there now. they were the friends of the tax avoidance. and 13 just to act and they did nothing, and it took a conservative government to sort it out. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. does the prime minister believe his own behavior and that of the leader of the opposition prime
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minister's questions either enhances or damages the image of the houses of parliament ended the politicians in the eyes of the members of the public? >> what i would say is it is inevitably a robust exchange. there are always ways i'm sure we can improve prime minister's questions, but i would say does have an important function which is it does make sure we have accountable government in our country, and people can ask the prime minister anything they want. >> thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday the prime minister rightly designated child sexual exploitation as a national threat. suddenly the police are receiving more reports of abuse than ever before but there are fewer investigations and prosecutions than 2010-11. in this time, 16,000 police officers have been caught. how can it be right -- further 1100 next year?
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>> first of all let me say thank you to her for mentioning the fact that we have made this a national, an issue of national importance. what that will do is trigger work not just by local police forces but by the national guard agency as well. so you will see more resources put into these sorts of investigations. using all the tools that modern police are able to bring to investigations so instead of seeing other things as priority you will see the priority given here. in terms of what the police have been able to do this their budgets have been reduced but with the presence of police on the frontline has caught up and crime has fallen right across the country. >> mr. speaker, in a dangerous world, experience as a statesman is one of the advantages, one of the many advantages my right honorable friend has over any -- [shouting] will he agree that in such a dangerous world the ultimate guarantee of our security is our
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nuclear deterrent? and will he confirm that he would never be involved in any shabby deal to give away our nuclear -- too unilateralist party? >> my right honorable friend is out so be right. the ultimate guarantor of britain's security is our independent nuclear deterrent and that is why we support it and will make sure it is properly renewed beginning in the next parliament. and i think it's important that everyone in the south takes that clear pledge, and make that clear pet pledge that it is concerned by almost three quarters of labour candidates oppose the renewal of tried and. i think now is the time for labour to rule out any agreement with the snp because no one wants to see some grubby deal between the people who want to break up the united kingdom and people who want to bankrupt the united kingdom. [shouting]
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[inaudible] he needs to answer questions after him. so for the third time, there is a debate planned by broadcasters on april 30 will he be there? >> i've been very clear. i said get on with the debate before the election campaign. i think we should start now. >> mr. speaker i bring the house good news mr. speaker. for the first time in 10 years british beer sales are up. [shouting] the campaign for real ale -- [inaudible] have saved 1050 pubs. the sun newspaper today which champions britain's beer trick is said that the chance of as opposed to repeat the cuts.
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will the prime minister join me in assuring beer drinkers that this government is on the side of brewers? >> well first of all canapés the honorable gentleman for the work that he has done to support the beer industry, to support britain's pubs, and stand up for our local committees where the pub is so often the hub of the village and other community. and this government has been a good friend to britain's pubs and to the beer industry. i'm delighted with the figures he reads out. it only goes to show that life is better under the conservatives. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister agree with his minister at the department of business that prosecuting people who don't pay them minimum wage is the politics of in the? >> the prosecuting people for not paying the minimum wage is obsolete right thing to do. and what we've done is make sure that the resources are there for
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that to happen. and let me give her the figures. we've now got a 3200 penalties have been issued for nonpayment of the minimum wage amounting to nearly 3 million pounds in fines. what we've seen is the maximum penalty being increased. we are naming and shaming noncompliance businesses enter getting that sort of action under government led by me. >> thank you mr. speaker. our long-term economic recovery plan for the north -- [shouting] has seen wages up apprenticeships doubled, exports up and unemployment in every constituency in the northeast has fallen in the last year. we are fixing the mess left behind by the labour government. can the prime minister set out for the future plan for the northeast is complete? >> first of all we are setting out our long-term economic plan for the northeast.
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he's right about the figures in his own constituency, the claimant count is down by 53%. but what is really fascinating about what's happening today is in terms of what's happening in terms of youth employment and i can tell the house it a new figure. in the last year there was a big rise in employment levels for under 25 and the whole of the rest of the european union combined. that is what is happening with our economy recover. the biggest risk to the economic recovery is the wrecking ball of the labour party. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my constituents has been refused a drug treatment for his cancer. he has moved to england and he will beginning treatments next wednesday. what would the prime minister say to him and others who've who had to fight on a case by case basis for treatment? mr. williams himself a senior health care professional.
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>> what i would say to mr. wayne's is first of all he has my sympathy and understanding for the condition that he has put out that he will get the treatment that he needs in england in england we are investing 69 pounds in this parliament to introduce the screening in the nhs which i think will be vital going to the order question of identifying this cancer which is a major killer identifying it much earlier. the english nhs is performed 850,000 more operations each year compared with 2010. but the problem is that indwells the labour party has made the wrong decision and can't nhs spending. that they don't have to make that decision because of course the increase in nhs spending in england trickles the money being available in wales. so even at this late stage i would plead with the labour government in wales, make the right decision on health, increased the spin become increase the cancer treatment and give people like your constituents the treatment they deserve. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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in a recent visit to my constituency to announce the great fund allocation for the southwest lep, my right honorable friend as part of the city do you learned about how the marine and actual campus -- could create 1000 new skilled jobs. does my right honorable friend know this opportunity could be lost if the land is not transferred to city council? can my right honorable friend confirmed when this is going to happen? >> as my honorable friend knows i visited in january to go see firsthand the plans for the maritime and actual campus. i think it is an exciting developer. discussions are underway between the council and the infrastructure organization but i don't think there's any reason why these can't be completed by the end of the month and i am pressing the ministry of defence to do everything he can to make that happen. i can also confirm that funding is there should the case be approved which of course will secure the part of the city do.
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this is important and i want to see it happen. >> mr. speaker, we all know the prime minister -- will he rule out increasing -- [inaudible] >> i tell you what we have done is we've created a system where the universities are now better funded than others in europe the number of students going to university has increased and the number of people from poor backgrounds has gone up as well. and we have from the party opposite, they have taken four years to work out their policy and their policy, it hits universities, helps rich students rather than poor ones and also it does nothing to expand university education in our country. it's going to be paid for by additional pension taxes on senior nurses, military figures firefighters but they have spent four years to come up with a completely useless policy. it is if you like a monument to the chaos you would get under a
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labour government. >> thank you, mr. speaker. unemployment in my constituents across northern lincolnshire has plummeted since 2010. a large part of thank you to infrastructure development. can ask the prime minister to look closely at the possibility of a feasibility into electrification of the southern line in northern and northeast lincolnshire? >> i've also have a look at the proposals that he makes as he knows we have made real progress on electrification of railway lines as part of the infrastructure investment we put him. very recently i was in his constituency with homes and kennedy agency look at a vital role development that is opening up economic development but happy to look at the electrification project as well. [inaudible] can go years and years with no inspection of their protection
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procedures. is it not time to put child protection much more central to the process and ensure that every school is inspected on what they're doing about child protection regularly? >> i will look carefully at the point that she makes. i think for many years inspection was in is almost too routine on schools that were outstanding and were delivering good results and we needed to focus more on the failing schools and the schools requiring improvement. she makes an important point because when we look at things like child sexual exploitation, an issue we need to address in this parliament and beyond or indeed issues like forced marriage, it's very important we know the right safeguarding policies are in place. of course, these things can also be triggered by board of governors by concerned parents rather than having to have a routine inspection but i will have a look at the proposal she makes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. two years ago, milly thompson
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tragically died following the choking incident at a local nursery. her parents set up a trust to campaign for change in the law so that all relevant nursing staff must have first class qualification. a petition of over 100,000 signatures and a backbench this debate promised a review which is currently being undertaken. does the prime minister support this campaign, and if so with the respectfully ask the minister to get a move on? >> i will certainly talk to my right honorable friend and minister about this review but obviously it makes sense for as many people to have that sort of training as possible because where you can prevent needless loss of life and prevent accidents from happening, of course you should. so let me talk to the minister and get back to my friend. >> let's try the prime minister on another one of his promises and that was to make energy
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companies -- [inaudible] too many of my constituents are still being, paying many hundreds of pounds a year for energy. with the prime minister again make that promise over will he wait until an incoming labour government later this year affect the energy markets because what we promise was to get energy companies to cut their bills by taking some of the charges off them, and that's been delivered. what the labour party is promising is a price freeze even when numbers are coming down. so even before the election they've started to inflict real damage on consumers in our country by helping to keep prices higher than they otherwise should be. >> the three fastest growing economies in the uk, and with youth unemployment down by two-thirds under labour businesses are investing in our world-class county but one factor holding back that investment is a long journey
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time. and asked the prime minister to join in the fast trac worcester campaign to deliver a campaign to deliver us a two-hour service the? >> i am very keen to join my honorable friend in this campaign because it benefits would benefit my constituency also. we have seen a dueling of more parts of the railway line in recent years and an improvement in car parts which i think is also the good. this is a vital railway. we are hearing -- he told us he was a long slow burn i have to say the only thing lying in ashes is labour's economic credibility. [shouting] >> recent figures produced -- [shouting] have shown that 40% of workers in my constituency earn less than a living wage with women
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particularly badly affected, 50% of women workers are less than 16,000 pounds a year. what's the prime minister going to do when two of the workers in my constituency start to feel the recovery speaks first of all i support the living wage i think those employers should pay should pay it. but what we can do to help all people in this situation is to make sure the minimum wage is properly enforced, these increased over time and then of course, to lift people out of tax and we lifted 3 million people out of tax a racing to 10,600 pounds the amount of money that you are before you start paying tax. that has benefited low-paying people and has benefited women. if you get a conservative government after the next election we will raise the threshold to 12500 pounds or you can work 30 hours a minute wage and pay no income tax whatsoever.
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>> cannot urge my right honorable friend to abandon his -- and remind the british people that the last labour prime minister destroy the public finances, ran up massive -- budget deficit pension fund -- [shouting] and five years of hard work the united kingdom now has the fastest growing economy in -- [shouting] >> i'm grateful to my right honorable friend to i haven't felt particularly reticent today but what it would cities the economy is recovering. you see that in jobs. you now see that in living standards. you see it in the lowest rates of inflation that we've had for many years in our country.
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the economy has turned around. we turned that corner. things are getting better and we must let labour racket. -- mustn't let rec it. >> the suffering of constituents of mine who lost their babies, it's hard to imagine they have had years of struggle to get to the point yesterday where the report put through a host of a condition vote for our local hospital but also for the wider nhs. will be honored their struggle today by saying the government will implement those recommendations in full? >> i think it is a very important report and that's what why the health sector made the statement that he did. we want to see many of these changes put in place. what i would say is where we have problems in our nhs and resolve this in a case that he mentioned, it's very important that we sweep those problems under the carpet -- we don't sweep those problems under the
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carpet. we have this new post of chief inspector of hospitals which i think brings focus to the whole organization, and we work out how to turn a hospital about put into special measures, how to get things fixed so this tragedy to happen again. but my heart goes out to all those people who lost their children if things that should never happen in our country. >> order. >> point of order. >> here on c-span2 we will now leave the british house of commons as members move on to other business. you have been watching prime minister's question time aired live wednesdays when parliament is in session. a reminder you can see this week's session again sunday nights at nine eastern and pacific on c-span. and for more information go to, click on serious to get every program we have erred from the british house of commons since october of 1989. and we invite your comments about prime minister's questions
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via twitter using hashtag pmqs. >> keep track of the republican-led congress and follow its new members to its first session. new congress best access on c-span c-span2 c-span radio and >> a senate hearing yesterday on the treasury department budget treasury secretary jack lew and irs commissioner john koskinen testified on a variety of issues including cybersecurity, combating tax fraud and assistants for small businesses. this two-hour hearing is chaired by arkansas senator john boozman.
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the subcommittee will come to order. >> good afternoon. the subcommittee as i said will come to order. today marks the first hearing of the financial services and general government subcommittee for the 114th congress. this is also my first hearing as subcommittee chairman, and i am pleased to serve alongside the new ranking member, senator coons. i would also like to acknowledge the other members of our subcommittee, senator moran, senator lankford, and senator durbin. although our subcommittee is small, the number of agencies we fund is large and their impact on our economy is significant. i am confident that our members are up to the task before us. as we begin this important hearing to review the budget requests of the department of the treasury and the internal revenue service we welcome our witnesses, secretary jack lew,
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commissioner john koskinen and the treasury ig for tax administration, russell george. thank you for being here. we look forward to your testimony. as members of this committee, we have a tremendous responsibility to ensure the hard-earned tax dollars from millions of americans are spent appropriately. unfortunately the president has put forth a budget that is out of touch with the needs and concerns of hardworking taxpayers. in his budget for fiscal year 2016, the president proposes to create $2.1 trillion in new taxes, increase spending by 65% and add $8.5 trillion to the debt over the next ten years. while hardworking arkansans have been forced to cut their spending significantly in the last few years the president has been unwilling to do the same in washington. our country is in need of serious budgeting. all too often washington loses sight of the fact that every dollar the government spends comes out of the pocket of a taxpayer and is one less dollar
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that a taxpayer can spend to provide for their family, grow their business or help their neighbor. as members of this committee we have a responsibility to ensure that decisions about federal funding are made with those taxpayers in mind. nowhere is the need for oversight more apparent than in the agencies before us today. when the irs takes actions that breach the trust of the american people, it undermines taxpayers' faith in the impartiality of the agency. this self-inflicted damage harms the credibility that is essential for our voluntary compliance system to function. americans have lost faith in the institution and you have a responsibility to regain their trust. we have all heard too often that investigations into these issues are distracting and that everyone should move on. unfortunately to taxpayers these responses appear to reflect a continued lack of accountability and a lack of leadership. to repair that damage there has to be fundamental change in the agency's culture, and that
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change must begin with complete transparency and acceptance of responsibility. unfortunately there is continued evidence of a culture that is simply out of touch with taxpayers. for example, hiring employees with past performance or conduct issues undermines the public trust in tax administration. additionally it weakens the public's confidence in the irs's ability to safeguard taxpayer's rights and privacy. making bonuses a priority does not help the irs regain the trust of taxpayers or raise confidence that the agency will enforce tax laws impartially, without regard to an individual's exercise of their constitutional rights. as was the case in the previous fiscal year, in 2015 one of the irs's first actions after the enactment of their appropriations bill was to announce they would pay out $67 million in awards to employees. once again, irs management seems to have forgotten that their most important customers aren't their own employees.
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they are the american people. it is disappointing to see that the irs budget request is again unrealistic. the president's request for the irs for fiscal year 2016 is almost $12.9 billion, a $2 billion increase. under the budget control act, the discretionary spending caps for fiscal year 2016 limit non-defense spending to $493 billion. this represents an increase of $1.1 billion over the fiscal year 2015 level for non-defense departments and agencies. yet for fiscal year 2016, the irs has requested a base increase that is higher than the total increase available for all non-defense discretionary spending. also troubling is the request for an additional $667 million dollars, above the limit on spending set by current law.
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treasury and the irs are fully aware that such cap adjustments were not included in the budget control act of 2011. no cap adjustment for the irs has been authorized since then. given this fact submitting an unrealistic request simply sets unreasonable expectations. this is even more troubling when funding for critical work, for example to protect taxpayers in the future from the trauma of identity theft, is left to be funded through a cap adjustment. the american people want a government that works for them, not against them. they want us to curb washington's wasteful spending habits; make the government more efficient, effective and accountable, and pursue policies that create economic opportunities for everyone. these are the priorities of the american people. they will be reflected in the critical oversight we conduct as we consider the fiscal year 2016 budget requests for all of the agencies within our jurisdiction.
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and without i yield back and turn two senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for bringing us together today and i look forward to working with you and i hope that with new blood new energyenergy and a new approach we might build a strong partnership on this subcommittee got like to welcome our witnesses, secretary lew, commissioner koskinen, and inspector general george. look forward to your testimony. you have important and difficult jobs under challenging sinners and just want to thank you for your service at the outset. of responsible stewardship of taxpayers harder money as among the most important obligation we have as public service. member's of the appropriations committee its import we work diligently and together to pull the trust our constituents put in is to recognize will be areas where we disagree. but it is my sincere hope we can approach our work with us our work with assistance it deserves. we consider the budget for the treasury department and agency central to our governments ability better nation's fiscal health and welcome the chance to examine treasury budget request now what i hope will be a frank
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discussion of what is required to fulfill the responsibility. i am eager to learn how treasure has adapted to budget constraints and how you will deal with resource competition and competing demands. much of treasury budget goes to the irs but the are a number of important functions i look forward to hearing about. three in particular i'm pleased the president requested strengthening the unity development financial institutions fund, the bond guarantee program and the state small business credit initiative. i would programs like these can provide access to capital for small businesses around the country and help them to grow jobs and support affordable housing and i look forward to talking more about those. i do have concerns about the department's proposal to cut funding for the office of terrorism and financial intelligence given pressing issues and in the sanctions enforcement against iran and russia. i look forward to hearing your thoughts on that topic. no government agencies more visible to the american people than the irs to collect the revenues to fund 95% of our federal government.
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each year more than 80,000 public servants at the irs make hundreds of millions of contacts with taxpayers as the face of government to more americans than any other agency. it is my hope as a national taxpayer advocate has digested the irs could be best described as the accounts receivable department of our government and not by list positive monikers. for fiscal 2016 the present budget request and 18% funding increase for the irs. on this point i think it's valuable that we reflect on the fact that while there is i think a broad bipartisan dislike, we shouldn't cut off our nose to spite our face but the more we can irs funding the harder it becomes for the agency respond to the needs of taxpayers to investigate tax fraud or abuse. i hear from constituents who are frustrated when the calls go unanswered or takes a long time to connect and get responsible answers to questions but i'm sure many other senate offices
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have the same experience. every dollar cut from the irs budget results in seven fewer dollars revenue collected by one estimation, by former irs commissioner -- that was a 2011 after. we have a lot to discuss today ways we can improve the functioning and operation of the irs and the responsiveness and engagement the ways we can pretty functioning and operation of the treasury department. the fiscal 2016 funding -- and i look for during secretary lew and commissioner koskinen's perspective on what's required to deliver top notch service to taxpayers and the for sure laws with integrity and fairness. i look forward to working with you chairman and having an open change by just as our hearings progress. thank you. >> thanks senator. thank you senator coons. now we turn to secretary lew and look forward to his testimony. >> thank you chairman boozman, ranking member coons, members of the committee. it's a pleasure to be here to discuss the treasury's budget. as we meet here today our
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economy and our country have made considerable progress that we can all take pride in. aisles every metric from job creation, economic growth and deficit reduction to manufacturing export energy independence america has come a long way. the fact is in 2014 so the best year of job growth since 1990s and over the past five years america's businesses create nearly 12 million new jobs, the longest stretch of sustained private sector job growth in our nation session to our economy continues to stand with healthy growth, and forecasts projecting above trend growth for this year. we continue to outperform our trading partners many of which are struggling to recover from a global economic crisis. american exports set another record for goods and services sold overseas and this record was largely driven by small business. our deficit which is followed by almost three quarters is forecast to climb even further in the next fiscal year. these achievements underscore america's enduring economic strength and we can keep this
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progress going with the right policies and with bipartisan cooperation. the president's budget is blueprint for washington to work together. not only lays out a path to find common ground come it puts forth sensible solutions to make sure every american who works hard can have a chance to get it. this budget backs down barriers for working families, things like child care mortgage payments and college education are more a portal. it modernize our job training system fuels research and development and repairs our roads, bridges and ports so more companies will invest, locate and hire in the united states. if reforms are texas and so can eliminate special-interest loophole, strengthen the middle-class and level the playing field for businesses. the bipartisan budget act of 2013 reversed a portion of sequestration and allowed her higher investment in 2014 and 2015 but it did nothing to alleviate sequestration in 2016. sequestration impose arbitrary spending cuts that are bad for the economy and for our security.
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these across-the-board cuts were never intended to go into effect. rather they create pressure to -- congress should act to provide acceptable funding to meet our domestic and national security requirements. as part of the presence approach treasuries budget will allow the department to carry out its vast responsibly sufficient and effectively. treasury is instrumental in helping shape and 11 the presence economic policies and today's request will allow the department to promote economic prosperity, fiscal responsibility and resilience financial assistance even as it addresses our national security objectives and bolster stability at home and abroad. the treasury department touches the lives of virtually every american to respond to manage the government's finances, streamline and reform the tax system, fuel into small businesses spur economic development in struggling communities can advance our strategic interest makes social security payments and produce
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our nation's currency. since president obama took office the treasury department has had to marshal its resources. we have consistently met our obligations sufficiently and that the lowest cost to taxpayers. this budget because continue to achieve savings and funded by programs alongside stretches of make the department more effective. the primary area where we are requesting additional resources is in the internal revenue service. funding for the irs has been cut dramatically over the past five years. is amount to a total of $1.2 billion, or 10% of the agency's budget. as a result taxpayers face longer and unacceptable wait times on the phone and it takes the irs longer to respond to taxpayer correspondence. a sustained each iteration of taxpayer service combined with reduced enforcement activity presents serious long-term risks to the u.s. tax system which is based on voluntary compliance. the treasury budget request restores funding to the irs that
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we can provide an acceptable level of customer service at american taxpayers deserve as well as continued modernization to meet legislated mandates set by congress. these funds will help the irs to update antiquated computer system and protect taxpayer information. in addition we are seeking an adjustment of the program integrity cap to allow the irs to invest enforcement initiatives, investment that will generate a sizable return. it will yield of $60 billion in additional weapon at a cost of $19 billion. mean it will reduce the deficit i-40 $1 billion over the next 10 years. this budget includes additional funding to treasure and meet its obligations under the digital accountability and transferred to act and provide americans with most accurate information about government spending. on top of that they were requesting reauthorization programs of the proven results.
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it unlocks long-term financing for financial institutions and underserved communities. it proposes a new investment in the states small business credit initiative which leverages private lending to strengthen small businesses nationwide. in closing i want to thank the talented team public service at the treasury department. they are dedicated to the work of the department committed to the american people. i am proud to represent them here today and on behalf of these hard-working men and women i want is how much we appreciate the support of this committee. thank you and i look forward to answering any questions that you have. >> thank you very much which are second to at this time we'll proceed to our question were each senator will have seven minutes per round, after sufficient interest for additional rounds of questions we will try to accommodate. i read your testimony, and appreciate it. in their you mentioned the need for finding common ground, after
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thinking -- i think you mentioned infrastructure which again i would agree on totally and very much support infrastructure. we have different viewpoints as i get the dollars to get that done and that's the sticking point. but the other thing is and let me do this in the form of the question. it concerns our community bankers. i feel like the backbone of american is small business, but the backbone of small businesses community banks. and a number of community bankers and credit unions have expressed concerns about the cost of complying what they feel like our onerous regulatory burdens. and again the backbone which are also the backbone of our communities. harvard university researchers released a report in february about the plight of community banks in the united states and help poor right of tory coronation inappropriate design regulations are stifling community banks. this is particular concern to states like arkansas where the
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art 96 towns with only one physical banking location. and two-thirds of these communities have less than 1000 residents. what do you propose, what is the administration doing to ease the burden and compliance costs facing community banks? >> mr. chairman, we very much share with you the view that community banks play an important part in our communities in the fabric of our national economy. i think if you look at the design of many of the laws and the rules, you will see that there are standards that reflect the differences between small and large financial institutions. there are exemptions in many cases for smaller institutions and there are bars that are easier to clear for smaller institutions that don't present the same level of financial risk. i know the regulators as they look at the discretion that they
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have are always looking for whether there is flexibility and whether not there's a risk that they need to be concerned about. they consistently made judgments to have the burden on smaller financial institutions reflect the general lower level of risk. the event reform was to make sure never again face the kind of economic crisis that we had in 2008. and i think the standards that we use have to be mindful of the fact that the architecture is put in place was designed to prevent the taking of risk that could add up to a risk to the country. you know, the relatively easier standards for smaller institutions i think is appropriate, but if you think the oversight that we have now is more appropriate than we were in 2008. wind frankly we had a lapse in
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our ability to see risks developing and respond in a way to protect the u.s. economy. so the financial reform both legislation and the rule seven quite effective in making our financial system safer and center. and we've tried to do it in a way that is mindful of the burdens of smaller banks and smaller communities. >> i guess my concern is is that when you get out into visit and took a very sensitive issue like this, if you go to these 96 towns, you know small towns with one bank, and other towns with a few banks again it's universal. they feel like that things have changed dramatically. and i would argue that these types of community banks just didn't have anything at all to do with the meltdown that we've experienced, you know, several years ago. so i really wish that you would look at that. it's something we're looking at. we are having kind of a one size fits all. and again i think the idea like
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i said at these banks you know are somehow responsible for that, isolate i salute don't agree with. recent cybersecurity report revealed a cyber criminal ring from russia china, ukraine and other parts of europe have stolen $100 billion. cybersecurity is a huge think we are very, very concerned about. in your opinion is america's personal and financial information banks safe from cyber attacks? >> senator, i think cybersecurity is an enormously important and difficult issue. and it's one that i know i worry about everyday. when i talk to ceos of financial institutions, retail businesses, they worry about everyday. i think that we are doing an awful lot that is the right kind
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of defense against cyber attacks, but a cyber criminals are always moving their attacks. we can't think that we can get ahead of them. our challenge is going to be to keep up with them to make sure that we have good practices in place, to protect attacks were the ability to respond when there are attacks, and to share information so that those practices can be available throughout the system. we have legislation ending that the president has proposed which we think would go a long way to providing the ability to share information which we think would make the system safer. i think the financial sector is probably in a better position now that other sectors are but a don't think anyone can sit back and rest comfortably. mr. chairman, i can't help but notice the ranking member of the committee came in while i was respond to question but i don't think tasha i will take a moment to welcome her and thank her for her service and wish her well.
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>> i will have more to say in a minute. i've been here for two years, jack so we're going over these line items. look forward to working with you. and even working with all of the issues. so we will talk. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> very quickly and very shortly, i'm running out of my time. i'm encouraged by recent steps to reform the u.s.-cuba relationship with the our commercial ties with our significant benefits both our economies. my home state of arkansas exported nearly $34 million to cuba before payment restrictions were tightened in 2005. earlier this year researchers at the university of arkansas as they expanded trade and travel to keep would bring an additional $59 economic gains to arkansas. what's being done to ease payment restrictions, and how will this impact u.s. agriculture exports to cuba?
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>> mr. chairman the actions that the president announced just a few months ago regarding easing of some of our sanctions against cuba we think will help u.s. businesses, but mostly we think it will help advance the kind of positive change in cuba which could be positive in terms of making a difference where the old policies were not. we have tried to make it easier for the kinds of transactions that have been frustrating for american agriculture to go forward, consistent with the legal restrictions remain in place. ..


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