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tv   Eugene Scalia Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  September 24, 2019 5:11pm-8:02pm EDT

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♪ ♪ the house will be in order. >> for 40 years c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country so you can make up your own mind created by cable in 1979. c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> earlier today the senate health, education, labor and pensions committee voted in favor of eugene scalia to be the next labor secretary. by a party line vote of 12-11. the nomination heads to the senate floor for consideration at a time to be determined. mr. scalia is the son of the late supreme court justice antonin scalia. he previously served as top
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solicitor during the george h.w. bush administration. he was asked about safety, the minimum wage and protections for lgbtq workers among other topics. >> good morning. >> good morning.
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should. >> good morning. >> good morning.
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>> the committee will come to order. today we're considering the nomination of eugene scalia. >> the senate committee on health education and pensions will please come to order. today we're considering the nomination of eugene scalia to serve as united states secretary of -- of labor. let me say before i begin my opening statement that we welcome secretary chao, secretary, good to see you, and we welcome mr. scalia's family. we'll give him a chance to introduce all of them a little later. there are so many of them -- i will -- the scalias are especially productive family, apparently, so it won't come any of your allotted time for your statement, and i would say to the family members that -- the confirmation hearings are a not
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necessarily a family exercise. i was before this committee myself more than 30 years ago to be nominated for education secretary and was grilled pretty heavily, i thought with my family sitting right behind me. i was accustomed to it, but they weren't and they got over it before very long so we welcome you here and we're glad you're here. yesterday i received a letter from senator murray asking me to delay today's hearing. i think the committee members know i do my best to do what senator murray suggests that i do. we work cooperatively even when we disagree, but i'm not going to agree to that, and i want to carefully explain why. we've already delayed the hearing one week at senator
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murray's request, and let me go over the nomination process just briefly. on july 18, two months ago, president trump said he would nominate eugene scalia as the united states secretary of labor. then on august 27th, three weeks ago the committee received mr. scalia's ethics paperwork from the government including his public financial disclosures and his ethics agreement and based on these documents the office of government ethics determined that mr. scalia is, quote, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations concerning -- governing conflicts of interest, end quote. then on the same day three weeks ago, august 27th, the committee received his committee paperwork which is extensive and is additional background information and all of that required paperwork has been before that committee for 23 days. more than three weeks and since
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that day, august 27th, mr. scalia has offered to meet with every member of this committee and has met with most of us. now to make sure i'm being exactly fair in the way i scheduled these confirmation meetings i checked closely with the most recent cabinet nominations and compared them with the way we handled president trump's. this is what i found. let's take the example of tom perez which was president trump's second secretary of labor. the committee received the last of mr. perez's paperwork ten days before his hearing or take the example of john king, president obama's second secretary of education. the committee received the last of mr. king's paperwork six days before his hearing. so by comparison, mr. scalia had all of his paperwork in 23 days before the hearing, and i also think it's reasonable to vote on
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mr. scalia next tuesday. this has been a thorough process. senators have known for two months that the president has selected, nominated mr. scalia. as of today, we've had all of his paperwork for 23 days. today, senators will have the opportunity to have two rounds of questions. so every senator should be able to ask any additional question and the senator wishes to ask, that a senator did not ask when that person met personally with mr. scalia and if the senators still have questions they can submit those by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow and mr. scalia will answer those before the vote on tuesday. now i imagine the democrats on this committee disagree with mr. scalia on labor policy about as much as republicans disagreed with secretary perez who is now chairman of the democratic national committee and i disagreed with john king on many education matter, but when
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president obama's education secretary stepped down in his last year of office i went to the president, and i said mr. president, i think we need to have a confirmed senate nominee like u.s. education secretary. if you will please nominate john king with whom i disagree i knew he wanted mr. king, but he also knew we disagreed with him. i said if you'll nominate him even though we disagree, we'll consider and confirm him promptly, and we did. within 32 days after president obama nominated john king and the senate had confirmed him. i also voted for the senate floor for both of these nominees even though i did not support their nominations. i did this because i believe it's important that we have a confirmed and important cabinet member for presidents and that's important to the senate so that
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we have a chance to interview and deal with our cabinet members and it's important for the country for the president to be able to have his choice of a cabinet member promptly considered and confirmed. after receiving the ten days of mr. perez's paperwork and six days after receiving mr. king's paperwork it was good enough for president trump, why is it not appropriate to have a hearing 23 days or three weeks after we've received mr. scalia's paperwork? it would certainly be hard for me as chairman to justify treating president bush's nominees worse than president obama's nominees. senator murray and i will have an opening statement and secretary chao will introduce mr. scalia. we welcome her and after his testimony, senators will each have five minutes of questions and as i said, we'll have two rounds of questions. so senators can have time to ask some. i know, as is often the case
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there are other hearings and meetings going on this morning so i've asked mr. scalia to stay for the two rounds. last week a washington times headline shows, strong economy, growing wages and low unemployment rate. wages are growing at an annual rate of 3.2%. african-american unemployment fell to 5.5% in august and the record low of 4.4% for african-american women. overall, unemployment is at a 50-year low. businesses and worker need a secretary of labor who will steer the department with a steady hand. i believe mr. scalia has those skills. his broad experience in beths t both the public and private sector, where he spent the majority of his career dealing with these issues in 2002 and '03 he was solicitor of the u.s. department of ljmor for president george w. bush. as the chief's chief lawyer he led initiatives to protect
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workers, to improven forcement and workforce safety laws. for example, a solicitor, he continued the case started by the clinton administration to ensure that a poultry factory was playing when they owed and they offered a their 10 million settle pment. >> he left as william war and the george h.w. bush administration distinguished academic background and graduating from the university of virginia in 1985 and the university of chicago law school where he was editor in chief of the law review. he's been a guest lecturer on labor and employment law at chicago, law school adjunct professor at the university of the district of columbia. he and his wife trish have seven children. he's altogether well qualified for this job. it's important for the department to create an environment to help employers
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and employees succeed in today's rapidly changing workplace. one step the trump administration has taken to help the 700,000 americans who own and run their own franchises is -- is -- is to -- is involved with what we call the joint employer standards. in the obama years in 2015, the national labor relations board issued a decision overturning more than 30 years of precedent creating a new joint employer standard. that decision 19 indirect or unexercised control over employees' working conditions could make a franchisee and franchiser or employers discouraging companies from franchising at all. then after the board's sdeshgsz the department of labor itself issued a guidance broadening the enter prettiation of joint employer. >> this has led a lot of
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confusion, its a dizzying world for multi-factor tests for determining full employment and the administration she was -- and he withdraw the guidance and began a rule-making standards and this year the comment period closed for a new rule which we hope will bring stability and the second way the administration has sought to create more certainty for employers has been to raise the salary threshold for overtime pay in a reasonable way. in 2014 the obama administration more than doubled that threshold. there was bipartisan opposition from congress and the department has proposed a much more reasonable rule it would require employees prior to future changes. i'm glad to see these steps.
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as i mentioned earlier john king was secretary of education for about a month after president obama said he wanted mr. king to serve as secretary. in this case, it's been about two months since president trump announced he would nominate mr. scalia to be the next labor secretary and the committee has had all of mr. scalia's paperwork and had an opportunity to meet with him for the past three weeks. the committee considered president obama's cabinet promptly and with respect and i trust the committee will continue that with president bush's nominees. it was embarrassing then and it is now for well-qualified americans to be nominated by the president of the united states, any president, for an important position and then say to them in effect you are innocent until nominated or drag things out for a long period of time. mr. scalia is supported by a number of trade organizations and the committee's received
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letters of support from women he has mentored from former department of labor career attorneys whom he worked with while he was solicitor, from an hispan hispanic immigrant whom he reached on a pro bono basis, and from one of senator ted kennedy's former senior counsels on the judiciary committee. he was a former chairman of this committee. i ask unanimous consent that those letters and 17 additional letters of support be submitted into the record. the committee will vote on tuesday on mr. scalia's nomination and i look forward to the full senate confirming him soon. senator murray? >> secretary chao, it is good to see you. thank you for joining us today to introduce the nominee. mr. scalia, i appreciate you and your family being here today. i look forward to you introducing your very large family behind you. i know that will take a while, but we welcome all of you, as
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well. mr. chairman, i do want to start by expressing my frustration with this rushed process, and i have asked repeatedly to delay this confirmation hearing because i do believe that every nominee's background should be reviewed carefully and thoroughly especially for a role this important moving from a normal nomination from came on september 11th to confirmation in less than two weeks as we have in this case is deeply concerning. members have not been given enough time to review mr. scalia's background, and i have repeatedly asked for more time and in fact, we did not get answers to follow-up questions until late last night. so i want to be clear. i do not consider this nominee's vet complete or sufficient. mr. scalia, i will be asking questions and gathering information about your record and i expect thorough answers and i am sure you will give them. so thank you. the chairman, i said there will be a mark-up next tuesday the 24th and i really do urge the
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chairman to move the mark-up so everyone really does have more time to consider this nominee's very long, complex record. why? because workers and families across the country are counting on us to take our vetting responsibility seriously, specially since president trump clearly won't. his first nominee was a millionaire fast food ceo who disparaged his own workers and was forced to withdraw from nomination. his second peck was a yes man for an anti-worker agenda before resigning in disgrace as the country scrutinized his decision to give a sexual predator the deal of a lifetime. president trump's third pick, eugene scalia is an elite corporate lawyers who has spent his career fighting against corporations and against workers. i opposed mr. scalia to the department of labor in 2001. 18 years later his record as
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they trampled workers' rights has only gotten longer. meanwhile, the need for someone who will stand up for workers and family and stand up to president trump on their behalf has only become more urgence because we have seen time and again that president trump will not hesitate to throw working families under the bus to help corporations and billionaires and the powerfully connected get even further. like when he worked with republicans to jam through a $1.5 trillion tax giveaway for corporations and the wealthy, a move that some republicans now ought to pay for by cutting medicare, mare caedicaid to blo democrats' efforts to raise the minimum wage and ensure equal pay to seizing every opportunity to undermine workers' rights to eitherize and join a union so they can advocate for higher pay and better benefits in a safer workplace and a secure
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retirement. the trump administration has consistently sided with corporations over workers. instead of nominating someone who understands the challenges working people face and will fight for them, president trump has chosen a powerful corporate lawyer who has devoted his career to protecting big corporations and ceos from accountability and attacking workers' rights, protections and economic security. instead of nominating a secretary of labor, president trump has nominated a secretary of corporate interest. if there's one consistent pattern in mr. scalia's long career is hostility to the very workers he would be charged with protecting and the very laws he would be charged with enforcing if he were to be confirmed. like when he threw billions of dollars at workers' retirement savings into jeopardy by suing to strike down the department's fiduciary rule. that's a common-sense rule that protected workers' retirement savings by simply requiring
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financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own. mr. scalia has made a career out of striking down laws that protect people like from his work for big businesses looking to hack away at the safeguards and protections mebts to avoid another economic crash to fighting against protections for workers' health and safety. when the department was working on a rule requiring employers to make accommodations to help prevent and address one of the most common place workplace injuries repetitive stress injuries, mr. scalia callously d dismissed the health concerns of junk science and crusaded on behalf of corporate clients to undermine and overturn that rule. he hasn't just fought against rules to protect against worker safety from being stolen by employers. democrats have been pushing to raise the minimum wage to $15, to end the lower wage for tipped
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workers and workers with disabilities, to close the pay gap and make sure workers are not cheated out of their hard-earned pay. republicans continue to block our efforts to pay workers more so i believe we need a secretary who cares about giving workers a raise and not one who criticized president trump's decision to increase the minimum wage for workers who are on federal contracts. not one who fought to help corporate clients steal employees' tips and get out of paying overtime wages, and we need someone who will hold companies accountable, not let them off the hook at every opportunity. the last time mr. scalia served in the department of labor rerestricteded retaliations against whistleblowers so severely he garnered bipartisan criticism from being openly hostile to whistleblowers. when it comes to accountability for discrimination mr. scalia's
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record is equally unacceptable. in one case he defended a company that discriminated against a job applicant because of her her style. in another in which mr. scalia was named as one of the most important issues he's worked on, he argued that employers should be able to discriminate against people with disabilities based on perceptions about what they can do, and successfully undermine the landmark protections in the americans with disabilities act, and when it comes to accountability for workplace harassment, mr. scalia's record got worse. while our nation is grappling with this epidemic, mr. scalia is working to help get businesses off the hook. 30 women have been fighting to hold ford accountable for sexual harassment and assault they allege they experienced in the workplace, everything from unwanted touching to assault. mr. scalia has been fighting to get their case thrown out of court. he argued some of the survivors
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should have their claims dismissed because they failed to note the lawsuit during a bankruptcy proceeding. our nation needs a secretary of labor who will prioritize addressing the epidemic of workplace harassment and not someone who thinks the bar as what qualifies should be high are or that the standard of accountability should be lower. >> these are all just a few examples of the alarming pattern of his qaa roar. >> his nomination overs a real trust. if like president trump who wants someone that will run up the skoe board for corporations and billionaires at the expense of working families and his record is exactly what you're looking for. people are getting more and more tired of president trump's anti-worker agenda. the last thing they want to see from this administration is one more person using their power to
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look out for those at the top. so i hope everyone who claims to care about working families watches this hearing closely, looks at mr. scalia's record thoroughly, and thinks long and hard before about whether the workers they represent really want them to fight for someone who will not fight for them. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murray. we welcome mr. scalia and you will introduced by elaine chao. secretary chao currently serves as the united states transportation secretary and she previously served as labor secretary under george w. bush. secretary chao, welcome. >> thank you. chairman alexander, ranking member murray, before introducing today's nominee eugene scalia please let me acknowledge senator johnny isakson who recently announced his retirement. his leadership on the penth protection act in 2007 andese
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grate waited workers and i am pleased today to zhu you to vince scalia be too the 28th u.s. secretary of labor. i worked closely with gene when i was secretary of labor and can attest to his keen intellect, respect for the rule of law, personal integrity and commitment to protecting our nation's workers. let me know that there's a quorum of scalia members here and let me mention maureen scalia who is a treasured friend for many years. she's been a strong, guiding influence on her family, she's a proud new englander who ensured that gene read a long biography of samuel adams when he was just in grade school to emphasize the importantance of dedication and character in public service. this is just one of the many ways that gene's parents
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instilled within him a profound respect for public service, but the founding principles of our country and for the importance of using one's talents to make a difference for others. these ideals and brand are important as a counselor and a adviser for what about formidable dare. >> and dedicated volunteer during his many in he has served three previous cabinet officers including me with distinction. in addition to lecturing at his alma mater, he has donated his time as a visiting professor thea the david clark school of law to help develop and support the next generation of young leaders. he helped support a law camp for high school students organized
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by the national hispanic bar foundation and somehow he found time to volunteer as a public number of the administrative conference of the united states. as a former solicitor at the u.s. department of labor gene knows very well the issues at the department. during his tenure he did a stellar job of leading the department owe attorneys both career and non-career and was widely respected for his fairness, his ability and his integrity. in private practice gene volunteered his time to represent on a pro bono basises many, many workers fighting discrimination in the workforce. when i was secretary of labor and he was solicitor gene played a critical role in the department's numerous enforcement actions vindicating the rights of the nation's
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workers under the nation's employment laws. he was a liter to update 40-year-old overtime regulations to better protect our nation's workers while giving employers clear guidance on what the law required. gene's work to protect overtime is why he gaped the support of the 13,000 member strong sergeant's benevolent association of new york which was able to secure $20 million in unpaid overtime compensation for their members because of the overtime regulations that he helped to craft. ghosn understands that t gene understands that theition mft u.s. department of labor is to protect the valuable resource the american workforce. he also recognizes that because of the needs and composition of the american workforce and how it's constantly changing, the
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department must always be forward looking, responsive and nimble. gene is one of the nation's leading experts on labor and employment laws and the issues at the forefront of a rapidly evolving workplace and workforce. he understands what it takes to protect workers and the importance of strong, relevant job training programs to empower workers with the skills that they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive workplace. so we want to thank -- i want to thank the committee for allowing me this time to introduce the president's nominee to be the next united states secretary of labor eugene scalia. thank you. >> thank you, secretary chao. we know that you have a busy schedule. so when that schedule requires you to leave you are excused, but we appreciate your coming. it's good to have you before the committee.
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>> mr. scalia we invite you to give your opening remarks and invite you also to introduce your family. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member murray and if i could begin by introducing first my wonderful wife trish. seated next to my daughter isabella and my daughter meghan, jack, brigitte, my oldest son n nino and certainly not to be forgotten is my 10-year-old daughter erin and beside her my deeply understanding parents-in-law susan and chris larson and oh, and my son luke. luke, welcome. i'm very grateful to my brother matthew for coming up from fort benning and thank you, matthew, for joining and i -- next to
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matthew my formidable mother maureen scalia, thank you for being here. my brother john. my sister-in-law adele, brother chris and i -- my sister katherine is here, as well. my -- with her husband, i believe, bill heenan. my sister mary claire and her husband michael murray, my -- and my baby sister meg with her -- with her husband john bryce and trish, did i miss anybody? i -- i thank them all for coming. thank you for your patience and thank you for allowing me to introduce me not in the five-minute clock that i have in my opening statement. chairman, alexander and ranking member murray, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and before this committee.
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it is an honor to be here and an honor to have been nominated to serve as secretary of labor and i am grateful to the president for this nomination and for his trust and confidence. i thank elaine for that introduction. secretary chao was an exceptional labor secretary. she established clear priorities in a smooth operating structure. if i'm confirmed her management will be a model for me. the labor department is a venerable aej venerable agency with an important mission and enforcing programs that help prepare americans for a lifetime of productive work while also helping supply the skilled workforce needed by our businesses and providing support to workers who have fall own hard times whether through loss of work and loss of retirement benefits or workplace injury or illness. this is work that i valued when i served previously as solicitor
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in the department's third ranking official. then as now, i was coming to the department from the private sector where i had advised and represented businesses regarding employment matters. but once at the department i had new clients, new responsibilities and above all i had a public trust. i am proud of the actions i took before as solicitor to further the department's mission. that included helping to resolve a labor dispute at the west coast that threatened to cripple the nation's economy. my goal was to act with favor neither toward the company nor to help the union, but to help them resolve the dispute. >> i focused on low wage and immigrant workers, encouraged increased use of a powerful osha enforcement tool and took at that point an unprecedented legal action to protect the
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whistle-blower at a garment factory. i took these and other actions because i believed they were right, they further rd the department's mission and because i believe in law and order, but there was more, too. the most affecting part of the job for me wass encountering individual workers in sometimes tragic circumstances and recognizing that a capacity that we had to respond. the construction workers who died in trenching accidents. the 12 miners in alabama who gave their lives trying to rescue one others. migrant workers who sacrifice for their families was preyed upon by others. the labor department is a big agency with many programs, components and acronyms, but if confirmed, i will aim to remain mindful every day of the individual men and women like those to whom our efforts
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ultimately are targeted. back in the private sector, much of my work has been in the public eye, but there's been an important part of my job that went largely unseen. that included helping clients address workplace misconduct including retaliation and harassment. i've advised clients to fire or take other serious action against executives and other managers who, in my judgment, had engaged in harassment or other misconduct. >> i've had direct and forceful conversations with clients tell being them to take steps that sometimes they wished they did not have to. something that became important to me at my law firm was supporting young layiers that had roles as young parents, in recent years many of the young lawyers i worked with were on a part-time work schedule so they could spend more time with their families. it was important to me
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personally to visibly support that. shortly before the president announced he would nominate me i organized a program for our summer interns to hear from men and women that the firm who were trying to strike that balance. i've had the good fortune to pursue a demanding career while enjoying a deeply rewarding family life. it became very important to me to support young women in the law doilooking to do the same. i look forward to your questions this morning and to a dialogue that if confirmed i want to continue. i enjoy exchanging ideas with people who see things differently than i do and i'm betting i'll be getting some of that today. that's good. i learn from it and it is partly through this dialogue with you, but i hope to justify the president's confidence and to be the best possible secretary of labor should i be confirmed. thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. scalia, and again, welcome to the family members. we'll now begin a five-minute round of questions as i would appreciate senator, the idea with the five minutes that the questions and the answers can be completed within five minutes if mr. scalia doesn't have time to answer a question i'll give him more time if he needs it to answer that question and we'll have two rounds of questions to make sure that all senators have a chance to ask the questions that they would like. senator collins? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for accommodating my schedule as i'm managing a mark-up of the bill in appropriations this morning. mr. scalia, before moving on to important programs at the dol including the h2b program that is so important to the economy
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of main, i want to ask you to the perception of some that you will not proi oar ties the healt economic well-being of working people and we've heard that this morning. from your time as solicitor, what specific examples can you provide us of when you acted to protect workers in wage in our cases. >> senator collins, thank you. thank you for the question, and for focusing on that central mission of the department, one of the first actions that i took as solicitor when i was at the labor department before as the chairman referred to briefly in his opening remark, was there a possible case, an investigation that had been at the department for about two years when i came into the solicitor position
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concerning what are called donning practices in the poultry industry, whether to pay employees for the time they spend putting on this sometimes cumbersome protective gear and the time that on the cumbersome protective gear. and the time they spent taking it off. the clinton administration has an investigation, but wasn't prepared to go forward the case. and, when i came to the solicitor's office, back his have been around, for about two years. i very quickly, in the, child sat, down looked at the applicable statute, that regulations, met with the clear folks. and, decided,, yes this time should be paid. we immediately obtained a 10 million dollar settlement, with one of the companies involved. which, my recollection was, one of the largest settlements of the time in the history of the wage and hour division. and, we sued the other employer, in a, case that was ultimately one,
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under secretary's elise, she commented it under an important action. there is more senators, but i should yielded back to you. >> thank. you in your words, in your work in the private sector, do you have examples of where you represented employees? since obviously, the bulk of your power act this, has been representing employers. and might related question,, is was that pro bono, or were you hired to do so? >> i did pro bono work for a number of different employees. in my time at the farm. just, two or three examples. one, chairman alexander refer to. it was a young hispanic woman, who had a hearing disability. who believed, she had been subjected to discrimination in the workplace due to her ethnicity. and that condition, i representatives, we were able to work out an agreement with her employer, to enable her, to
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continue to do the work she wanted. she submitted a letter to the committee, about the representation. i will mention, one other. i do this pro bono. this was someone who was fairly senior, in an organization. reported, and pressed, on the subject of some financial, conduct he thought was improper. he was asked to leave the institution. and, i represented him in connection with that. and with his feeling, that he was treated and probably, because he would blown the whistle and financial impropriety. there are others. >> turning to the department's role in the each to be program, which is especially important in the tourism industry, i represent a state with 1.3 million people. we have 36 million tourists and visits in a year. so obviously they work force is not adequate to handle that. as a result, we see
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restaurants, that invent fists, in,'s hotels, curtailing their hours, which hurts their regular employees. as well as, because they can't get the help they need. the department received 96, 000, 400 applications on january 1st. and, that is nearly tripled the number of h2b visas available for the second half of the fiscal year. if confirmed, we work with congress, to make sure there are enough eases, including opportunities for returning workers, for those employers, who have no choice but to rely on a seasonal workforce? to be able to operate. >> mister chairman, if i could have a moment to respond to that. senator collins, one of the privileges of being a nominee is the opportunity to meet with you all, with members
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of the committee, members of the, senate and to learn. i have learned, from, you and from some of your other colleagues, about some challenges that program presents. and how critical it is, to businesses and the employees that benefit from them as well., so i regard our programs, and ensuring as best we can it functions properly, an important priority. if i am confirmed. >> thank you. >> thank, you senator collins. senator murray. >> thank you, mister chairman. earlier this month, the census bureau released some data, showing women were paid only 82 cents five a dollar human in 2018. which, confirmed, that women in working families, something we've known for a long, time the gender pay gap is alive and well. and, it is even, worse for women of color. yet, just a day after that data was released, the trump administration took steps to protect companies, and sweep pay discrimination under the rug by rolling back the back
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pay data collection. at the equal employment opportunity commission. so, we could not collect the data, and the secretary of labor's job is to protect the workers and fight for their rights, and speak out on their behalf. so, i want to ask, you a few straightforward, yes or no questions. do you accept the census bureau's data? which show that women are only paid 82 cents for every dollar and are paid. >> ranking member of murray, i don't know that i have seen that particular survey. but, i am, yes, familiar with that out, suggesting that the figure is about the point you identified. i think there is some data, puts it perhaps lightly lower. i am aware of that. >> i am the lead sponsor of the paycheck fairness act. it is a bill, that would close that pick up. the house passed it earlier this year. would you support passage of the paycheck fairness act? >> ranking member murray, our
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support fairness, in today, and fair working conditions for women. it is something that, in my work, yet my law firm, as a manager of, employees and advising clients,. >> but you won't commit to supporting the bill? >> i will commit to two things. i can't commit to providing any resources the senate might find helpful in deliberating that legislation. and if it becomes law, which is,, force your decision, the sentence decisions. if it becomes law. i certainly promised to vigorously enforce. >> i just want everyone to, know that, if these historic trends continue, it will be 75 years before that gap is gone. with just over two and a half years in office, president trump's administration has ruled out of range of policies, that are designed to reduce workers wages and protect corporations or engaging in order to get all wage. after the department of labor instituted the so-called paid
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program. it is a wage theft and lusty program, that allows employers, to audit themselves. the department, proposed to rescind the obama administration's overtime rule, and replace it with a far weaker rule. the department proposed to weaken the fair labor standards act, joint employers standard, in order to allow corporations to shirk their responsibility. and, of, course the house has threatened to veto, the has passed way he's the rage act. which would raise the wages of 30 million workers. mr. scalia, can you commit, that if you are confirmed, you will and the paid program? yes or no. >> madam ranking member, i cannot commit to that. i can commit to reveal. but i would also like to underscore how the economy that we have a substantial part, because this presidents policies, is delivering virtually unprecedented benefits to workers. >> i have very little time. let me get through a few important questions. i just want to, know
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yes or no. can you commit to placing the trump administration's proposed overtime rule and defending the obama overtime ruling in court? yes or no. >> senator, i can't commit to review carefully the ongoing rule makings, that are, as a department, one of my responsibilities will be to look at them with a fair and open. light in lined of the comments. i don't think it's appropriate to commit to it. >> can you come into abandoning the current proposal on joint employers? yes or no. >> respectfully, now, i can't commit. because, i respect the comment process established by congress. and, we want to, see what the public will say about. it and, helped guide the agency and make the right decision. >> can you commit to encouraging the president to withdraw his veto threat on the minimum wage bill? >> i, again, ranking member very, if i am so fortunate has to be confirmed, that is an area in which i'd like to be able to provide support to the,
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congress and the president, who ultimately, themselves, will have to make the decisions of what the proper wage is. we are then ready, to work with you, to implemented, and enforce it. >> okay, thank. you and, i have a very long question next, so i will retain my 20 seconds. if you don't mind. >> you certainly have that prerogative, senator murray. senator make how ski, you are the. for >> senator, i for you, i apologize for jumping the line. but i had to go to the same aberrations markup. mr. scalia, thank you for your willingness to step forward. i understand, senator collins, asked a question, related to the a.g. to beat visas. and, as you and i, have had discussions, this is a key critical issue in my state, as we work to address the dramatic seasonality, that we have within our fisheries,
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the sock of available workers, and that needs to find a permanent fix, not a band aid. that we have been struggling with, we have made a bit of headway, but, just, again, seeking your commitment that you will work with us as you work with other coastal states, that have such significant interests in their seafood processing industry. s, i learned from my >> yes, senator murkowski as i said to senator collins i learned from my meetings with you and how we spoke about this program and challenges and that it could present. particularly and seasonal industries that are vital to our community not just to the workers or a particular company and if i am confirmed i do generally will afford to focus in on ways we can ensure that this program fills its mission and also to communicate with you and
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continue to work with you to do our best in this program. >> we certainly look forward to that. 43 million salmon went into the crystal bay and we don't have 43 million people. we'll go into that later. i want to ask you a little bit more about the industry recognized apprenticeship program of the eye wraps and the department of labor on developing standards and in addition to their model that's been in place for many years. i do know that the registered apprenticeships have been widely used in some states and some employers have to become registered as pretty burdensome and in our state, and we have many registered apprenticeships that are training employees and health care advanced manufacturers and i.t. as well as the trades. we have heard
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some of our unions about that and they are concerned with the iraps training won't be as good as the apprenticeships and some of the issues that they have raised is about safety on the job site and they do support the dimensions of keeping the construction out of the irap framework. some employers may see irap as a way to keep taxpayer funded programs that would fit their immediate needs but perhaps will not provide employees with the high quality skills that we recognize and are expected within the industry. your thoughts a little bit more on the departments irap efforts and whether or not trade should be included in that effort at all. >> thank you for raising it.
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it's an important subject and one is to which there is consensus across the aisle on certain basics. i think that people interested in our workforce and people interested in education will recognize the value that apprenticeship programs can have for workers. they could provide benefits that might not be available in traditional educational settings. obviously, they are valuable to americans, business productivity and can can serve as one critical way of filling a skills gap. senator, you're preferring to the labor department which is seeking to expand apprenticeship opportunities. again, there is consensus to an extent that more apprenticeships would be a good thing. but i would
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recognize that some are concerned that it might be an approach to the way that undermines existence and successful programs or that doesn't really provide the leadership needed to protect the supporters of workers. that is an important consideration that will need careful attention as the labour party moves forward. again, if i am fortunate enough to be confirmed i, know that is one of the very important things that would be on my plate. what the public has to say and that has to come to process is going to be important to the striking of the right balance. >> i look forward to working with you. i have other questions mister chairman but i will seek that on the record i appreciate this. >> thank you senator murkowski. >> thank you mister chairman. mr. scalia, good to have you here a nice as you're family and thanks for taking the time for her talking having a good conversation. i have to start by saying i'm skeptical of her
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nomination based upon your record as a lawyer and your work at the department of labor and the period of time or their. i compare that record with the mission of the department and was reading through the departments website and the mission in some reform to promote and develop the wage earners and job seekers, retirees in the united states is number one. number two, improve working conditions, number three advance opportunities for profit employment and number four, ensure work related benefits. so, i have real concerns. let me start with a reference from your opening statement. but you have a group of americans you referenced but who are coal miners and referenced alabama miners. when i come from a state that has a long coal mining tradition at which point we have real concerns about
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what used to be called the old days of manu closest and i'm holding here a letter of to labor organizations of workers that are said to the department that they hope to lead in june. raising questions about it and asking for a new standard with regard to rest parable crystallized (inaudible). this request is made in the context as they say in the letter in paragraph to, quote, one in five minors with 25 years or more experience are suffering from black lung. in many of these miners the disease as advanced to the pm of states of progressive massive fibrosis. they were stage of black lung caused by the coal of silica dust. the basic question i have for you as, this is a reference also in the letter of the the
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head of the mine workers mr. roberts and the head of steel workers says the part of the labor that does the regulation should consider the getting of a new rule that is as if not more protected of minors, and provides less protection from minors than any other group of workers. do you agree with that statement? >> senator casey, i enjoyed our meeting yesterday to and i appreciate the time. i genuinely share your interest in the mine safety health administration. i mentioned in my opening because the importance of the labor department to conditions in that industry -- i think in some ways especially to my
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knowledge is not a single industry that has an agency within the department decade and when i was there they would come up to me and particularly in connection with that alabama disaster. how important role would be helped together an emergency deal with some of the problems that it caused in respect to me particularly. i am aware that there is concern that new mining techniques are causing an increase in this and i have reviewed some materials and possibly it is something that i would want to understand. i >> have to cut you off because we have a limited time. i want to ask you a very simple question. do you agree with that statement and i'll say it in a different way. do you agree that the standard should be in a sense twice as worse for coal miners as opposed to any other worker? i think that's a yes or no. >> senator, i don't know what
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the exact standards are. i agree that this is an issue that i would want to look at and was brought to my attention and important one if i was confirmed i, hope to have a chance. >> if you're confirmed allows you to do that. i'll deal with more time later but i want to ask a question about a part of the department of labor that has the obligation to do enforcement. i would argue that the trade agreements are lacking under several administrations going back many years. but the proposal by the administration now to cut the bureau of labor affair which is the entity that does trade enforcement as caught by 70% and roughly 86 million and a little bit more than 18 million. 67 and a half million dollars cut. does that make any sense to you? do you agree with a cut of that dimension where
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they're pretty level for many years?, senator i do believe, that fairness in trade agreements, and particular, with respect to working conditions, is probably for the president. that, particular program, is one that if i am confirmed i would take a look at. and, evaluate, whether it would be able to continue to perform its mission. >> i've heard no good rational for a 70% cut. in an office, that does trade enforcement. thank, you mister chairman, for giving a few extra seconds. >> short, senator casey. senator isakson. >> welcome, mr., scalia to have. you i appreciate the time you gave me last week and conversation. i enjoyed a lot. congratulations on a great family. we would solve our labor problems if you will moved here. we could use you in georgia. i'm familiar with what you mentioned, the case you work. on georgia is the largest poultry producer in the united states. and, anyone, has something for, worker for
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someone who plugs chickens. it's a tough job. the stuff they, where you work for, them to include in their earned time for their pet, is a tremendous important. i, know you're home, their first thing, they want to do is be host off. and, i appreciate what you did, with the czech and workers very much. and, wasn't aware of it, i knew, they had a good lawyer, because they want a case. no one every breaks about the lawyer. so i. well the, results are clear. and, he made both sides happy. i've listened to a lot of things, you've been asked yes or no questions, to which there are no yes and no answers. that's easy for people to ask, if they know, it's a trap. to stop beating your wife, you say, yes or no you haven't, but still doing. either, way you can ask are a lot of questions yes or no. >> that is not a question to me, was it? >> i was not asking you. believe me. but, i am reminded, of a lot of cases, in my history, like ergonomics, which is a big issue in the clinton
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insist ration. they took a terminology, i was infinitely with at the time. and, began to apply it, on a, rule that ultimately could be administered by the department of. never which would've, said that no grocery bag kid, could load it, more than 35 pounds. so, start applying that. finite, definite, limits, to jobs, that were done. forced employment, to go up or down. in some cases. and, it was applied, because of an arbitrary formula, rather than what's right. i want to ask you a question. can you cite a case or, do it as a, lawyer who deals with these things, if you're attacking or being attacked, or negotiating, side can side some cases, other than a check in case, where you've been involved in, where the resolution was a solution that allowed the flexibility of the application of the enforcement of the rule, a benefit to the employer, and employed, at the same time? which is ultimately, the way they should go. >> senator, if i could say
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first, it was a privilege to sit with. you and, i do want to echo, secretary chao, and thank you, for your service. the poultry case, was interesting to me in part because when i came before this committee before, i was asked by senator john edwards, who is from north carolina, whether i had ever worked in a poultry factory. and, i had to confess, i hadn't. and, i think he believed, that reflected i would be unable to understand the concerns of poultry workers. and, i therefore found it ironic, when one of the first things i, did was see the problems in that plant, and authorize that important litigation. so, thank you. i think, that achieving the kind of win that win that you've described is something you seek one for litigation at times.
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but, i would speak particular to the vice and council work i've done frequents., where as i said in my opening, the part you don't see necessarily, but, i did spend a fair amount of my time, as a private practice lawyer, telling clients, what their obligations were. helping them meet them, by putting together anti-discrimination policies. or policies, to help workers, get accommodation under the 80. a, and then, as i mentioned at times, pushing clients pretty hard to do what the law and in some times decency indicated what they needed to do. so that is one area, i was proud of what i was able to accomplish. >> that is what i was talking about. and, that is so much of the, stuff it is a result of your work. happens in the back, rooms never seen in the courtroom. and, important thank, you put together an adversary, and, advocate when they come to a common ground, good for everyone. that's the type of thing we need to have. i want to, say i have just four
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seconds. i want to take thank you, and secretary, chao and the pension protection act. i'm getting ready to enjoy pension when these days. they potentially get, so it wasn't selfish. my last question, i know senator murray was a wonderful lady. we work together, this, act it's for workers. labor department, enjoy so much, we will talk about that. that is the perfect bipartisan example of getting things done here. but, i do want to talk about, the joint employer rule, to give you a thought. the statement was made, of how important the joint employment rule is, to the future of employment, and the future of workers in the united states. i don't know if that's a fair statement to make a. now i know this, the application of the joint employer rule to the franchise industry, which is most of american small business, will put them in the history books. in terms of employers. pure and simple. and, it's because, the application of,
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that is fair as it may sound, is absolutely impossible for someone to make a living, and run of business, and support their workers. so, i, hope when the joint employers route on, we won't look at it as a yes or no solution to the problem, which is workers right. instead, understand, there are millions, and, millions of americans, who are employed today by franchise operators. who would not be employed, if it was a rule of the united states. and, that is my speech. chairman, i want to yield the rest of my time, if we have another round, to you. i will not be able to stay for a second round. >> thank, you senator i guess accent. senator smith. >> i, think it maybe senator baldwin's turn. >> i didn't see her, no worries. senator baldwin, excuse me. >> first of all, i thank you for meeting with me, earlier
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this week., and i want to welcome mr. scalia, and your family, to the committee. mr. scalia, your history, and record, on worker safety, is of concern to me., and is not what i would be looking for as our next secretary of labor. specifically, on behalf of the united parcel service, ups, you opposed rules that would have required employers to pay for protective equipment, for workers, that they needed to stay safe on the job. you are to see world, and, well-known case, when they contested monetary fines, and three citations, including a willful citation. earlier this year, i met with former nurse, and a constituent of, mine by the
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name of patricia moon of dike. on june 24th, 2015, while helping a patient, she was kicked in the throat, nearly collapsing her trachea. the assault led to multiple surgeries, to save her life., and sadly, resulted in the loss of her ability to work, as a nurse. which was her dream job. since she was nine years old. violence is now, the third leading cause of workplace deaths. the obama administration issued a proposal, similar to a bill, that i have introduced, called the prevention of workplace violence and in the health care, and social assistance. that would protect health care, and social service workers, like patricia, my constituents. from
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the violent attacks. but, asha under this administration, has dragged its feet, and still has not finalized this proposal. mr. scalia, will you commit to prioritizing this proposal? and make sure that it is finalized, yes or no? >> first, senator, if i could, say i did generally enjoy our meeting, and appreciate it. your time. so,. >> did you say generally, or genuinely? >> i said, genuinely, and in fall. with respect to the work i did, if i could just respond briefly. i did handle certain cases for clients. it was my job. my, father and, i had a duty,, actually to do that. vigorously, as a lawyer. when i
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was at the laboratory before, i was ever mindful, that i have a new set of responsibilities, and, even higher subtle responsibilities. the most important thing to me as a practitioner has been fidelity to my obligations and to the law. 13 folks i worked with the lair department have i discharge these responsibilities when i was there. workplace violence happens, there are times when the employer is on notice and should be taking steps. i think there is a role for a notion in that context. there is a balance to be struck for those instances where it is purely personally motivated and would expect to hold the employer responsible. i have been briefed on this issue. i know what is important to you. i would like to look at it more closely and i would genuinely like to speak to you about it. >> i appreciate that, and i
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would note in terms of -- fortresses case that she was providing medical care to a youth and a juvenile detention facility and this is the type of contact that we see social workers and nurses and i think that it is -- i hate to see the agency dragging its feet with something that is so vital. >> i've seen the hazards in an environment. >> according to the labor of borough statistics workers were killed on this in 2017. almost 3 million workers were injured or got sick on the job. now data shows that worker safety and activity is down and the number of ocean inspectors under this administration -- mr. scalia, well you commit to increasing the number of ocean inspectors and the ocean phil
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and keep workers safe? >> if i could respond briefly. mister chairman, any workplace fatality or serious injury is too many but the number that actually went down the last couple of years and wealth were thankful for that and you are correct. the number of ocean inspectors to my understanding is lower to secretary acosta for example wanted to be. i would commit to you to take a look at steps that might be necessary to get the number of inspectors up to the appropriate level. >> mr. scalia, law -- eye to have appropriations to follow. very good law.
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>> thank you mister chairman. mr. scalia, it's good to see you and i enjoyed our conversation together. young people were told that they need to go to college to get a good job. many cases we find young people getting a college degree and not fighting a good job that requires a college degree and about a third of our college graduates are working in jobs don't require college degrees. in a nation that is affected encouraging people an alternative career paths and more rewarding opportunities for them. some discussion we have provided free calls to everybody to exacerbate the problem. is there something that you think is important in your administration to help educate people and encourage paths other than just four years of collared that will yield a great economic prosperity and opportunity? >> senator, i enjoyed our meeting as well and i
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appreciate the importance of that very question. i was an english major in college and i thought for a while that was a background per be but the truth is -- >> i suffered the same problem. (laughs) but >> the truth is, he doesn't always best equipped one for the american workforce and there are other ways that can be invaluable to people entering the workforce and to feeling the skills gap that we have an arc on a me. this president as convened inter agency groups that has included the department of labor as well as the department of education to look among other things at apprenticeships as an alternative way of educating people but educating them in a way that is more directly targeted towards ensuring that they have skills and talents that will be used for a lifetime of works. i think
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those programs are one of in a valuable way. the attention on the issue by commissions such as the president circle. >> thank you. i presume you are fully committed to putting the interests of american workers first. consistent with that where our american interests and the interest of our farmers and ranchers who are also involved. that you will commit to endeavor to make sure that we can make our program more efficient and streamline for the benefit of our ranchers and farmers. i'm not asking for a specific recommendation but that you would look at this and say if we can't make a program that will fully protect the american workers first, at the same time, it provides for the interest of our farmers and ranchers. >> senator, the labor department programs that supply extra workers to businesses the
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for example that have particularly high seasonal other reasons which are unable to attract american workers to their positions are a central role of the department. it is genuinely in area -- i think there's somebody for everyone to be pleased with as an opportunity for workers and it's an opportunity for companies to bring in workers who might otherwise be available. it is important that supervising that interface in that intersection between worker and company and the labor department be user friendly. that's something that doesn't have come easy for the government which comes about ways that we might fall short and if it is confirmed that is high on my list because of its importance and i want to look at it closely to see if there's more that we can do. >> thank you. >> you have been characterized
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as anti union by some. that is also a melody i share and the accusation of that is not the reality. i fully believe that they play in important role in our society when it comes to providing greater safety for workers and greater employment opportunities and higher wages. i believe this plays a very important role going forward. what are your thoughts about the role of american labor and the american labor unions and labor laws that are signed by dwight eisenhower. it's been a long time since we led legislation. what's your thoughts on the role and you have 21 seconds. (laughs) nudged (technical problem) >> i have talked in articles about how the labor unions can be among those defective advocates you will see and i
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have written about that and i've seen a number of contacts. i have seen unions work effectively also to address discrimination in the workplace and the work that i've done and praise them for that. i have said is well that it is fundamental for our system that workers have the ability to decide whether to form a union. i have said and written that there are places where the best thing you can have for achieving the best terms and conditions will be a union. they plane important role. >> thank you senator romney. >> thank you. mister chairman, if i'm unable to be up to the second round i give my time to you sir. >> thank you very much. thank you senator romney and senator smith. >> thank you mister chair and ranking member murray and thank you very much mister stickler being here and thanks for your willingness to serve our country. i appreciate the
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chance to visit with you when you came to my office. we touch briefly on the issue of pensions i'd like to follow up on that. last year when i was sworn into the senate, what are the first visits i made was to duluth minnesota to talk about participants in the central states pension funds and a multi employer pension fund. as you know, that pension fund had more than 100 others had projected collapse in the next two decades. weaving at least 22,000 minnesota since and as many as 1 million people across the country without their son tires savings. folks are scared i never forget the conversation i had with a woman named dickie who was talking to me about what was going to happen and said, tina i, don't have a plan b. my plan be is under a bridge and it help me understand how important this is. i came to understand how this affects businesses as well. because they paid in and they face
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businesses and it takes millions of costs and one business owner told me that his business which as spent 30 years building has effectively worthless because of this pension issue. i'd like to ask a couple of questions about this. first, i assume you believe in unions rights and collectively bargained for and it's better working conditions. >> i do senator. >> do you believe that the current situation is the fall to these plans. >> the challenges facing for example what this plan was and senator, if i can answer a little bit more broadly and the labor department who often think they think of the role of the workplace were right now and the person who is in the
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planned commissions which is very important of pensions that are a very central part of what the department does when they are. dealing with the collapse of and ron and what that had on the retirees who are planning on their retirement and financially that broke down and tens of thousands of individuals were unexpected by that loss. there is awaiting responsibility in respect to the central stunts i know that as i said in our meeting that i'm drawn to a to -- >> genuinely. quick (laughs) >> genuinely and in full. that's an historic important plan and i cannot claim that i know all of the issues up and the problems that his face is
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now and there is no solution to blame it on the workers. >> nor the businesses who have paid this as well what they're supposed to do which is to save. >> there's been a confluence of factors that has led to the problems that is not steeped enough exactly what they are but i do agree with you that something is going to be done by partisan recognition. if i unfortunate enough to be confirmed it's something that i would want to people to know because everybody recognizes that they need to initiate some solution. >> that gets to my follow-up on this and i want to thank the alexander who served with me on the committee on pensions last year and were unable to come to a resolution. i think we achieved some good education there. i support the bush lewis act which is a long term loan to this pension plan and i think that congress does the
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attack so i think you would i would be agree with a bug. it shows and commerce that the decision urgent issue. would you take action on this? >> senator, i would agree that we do need to take action and it needs to be a priority both for the workers that are affected and also for the sovereign sea of the (inaudible) >> which is the other issue. >> this is the agency of responsibility on a part that assures pension plans and faces very serious shortfall if we can't find a solution here. >> would you agree that we ought to enact a program of long term no interest loans and pensions as the chamber of commerce is recommended? >> just because the chamber of commerce says doesn't believe i think it's right. (laughs) i would be interested in looking at different approaches to take and finding one that helps
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workers and also helps taxpayers. >> as you and i discussed we met together, this is a very important issue and i appreciate your comments, thank you. >> thank you senator smith. senator cassidy. >> nice to see you. >> yeah. >> normally i don't read comments but there's one from france that is a nice quote about unattended consequences. the difference between about economist and a good economist is the bat economist looks at the primary effect if you will as the good economist looks at the secondary. earlier it came of raising minimum wage and affecting at 15 dollars an hour and this is a prelude to my question. there is the foundation of free economic education whole bunch of economist who are democrats and 12 republicans and independents and republicans who are under represented with 74% of them thought that raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an
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hour was a bad idea. the article quotes paul who says i any come one-on-one student who tells you the answer of higher wage reduces quantity of labor demand leads to an employment. they give the reasons why and so many oppose, 69% of whom vehemently opposed and minimum wage is reduced employment and reduce the earnings of low paid workers and make some low paid workers better off the expense of others and younger workers are less skilled and less likely to be employed then their future earnings. with that said, that's a prelude to this question. have you seen other policies which there is unintended consequences on the face of it it sounded great of why won't we all do it. you look at the secondary effects and they're all negative. you have to make those judgments at the secretary of labor. it's not about any particular policy
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but just her experience and your method of analysis. >> yes. i think that unfortunately the great majority of the problems that the labor department faces involve some trade-off. where the central mission is to protect workers and also it has this very important role of training workers and supplying workforce that american businesses and ultimately american consumers one available there. but some of those actions are thoughtful about how it could have adverse consequences and the supply of the jobs and create other workers because one group benefits from another that is set back and i think that we could always use this because
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of the good economists and are considered not the initial first order of facts. (technical problem) some think that's addressed in the process of different ongoing labor rule makings in this hearing. as i've mentioned to some of your colleagues in our discussions, that process of hearing from the public about what they think on the proposal and the effect it's going to have is a really important way of looking far down the road. >> it's not so much ice or no answer but what do we learn from the economist to come up with something in which we fully evaluate secondary effects in something that is the maximum good for the maximum number of people. >> that's exactly right senator. >> that is your approach. i would ask you something a little bit more tame that's putting peculiar to louisiana. cotton, usda to find the
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commodity if you will of sugar cotton as refined sugar and raw sugar i'm sorry and cotton which is (inaudible) so far, i gather laborers as he commodity as cotton which is good pick and has all the things that you want to get rid of in sugarcane itself. this has an impact on whether or not my guys in the each to a's will go to drive their trucks and if their sugarcane itself is putin considered the final product it's an age to be issue. let's recognize that this is a product that's in process to the commodity which in exchange i'm begging and answering that the answer which is most apparent and even upon secondary analysis. with that said, would you please consider this. right now, drivers are considered as h-2b and having a
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difficult time with their product out of the field and into where it needs to be processed. the difficulty of that means that there is some product left in the field which is bad for the consumer and bad for the farmers, etc. if i could have the commitment, i would appreciate that. >> i will consider that senator. i certainly will look at it if i'm confirmed. >> thank you. >> you're helped by the expiration of your time. >> i would be unable to say for the second so i give my five minutes of questioning to the chair. >> thank you senator capacity. senator murphy. >> thank you very much mister chair and thank you for being here today. mr. scalia, as i mentioned to you in a private meeting, i voted for the nominees and many of my colleagues at the conclusion that as long as nominees are qualified and the conservative mainstream petty
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(technical problem) -- your entire body of work in the private sectors and murray mentioned has been devoted to representing employers against workers has been devoted to trying to stop work plays protections from being adopted. work for big c i have plenty of friendso worked for big companies and employment law and many of them are fine people but i don't know that i would select them to be one representative in the government in the cabinet that's supposed to speak for workers. you might make a fine secretary and the republican administration but i don't know if you're experience of qualifications is the sole representative of workers. well it's the struggle that i am having and the question in trying to seek the values that
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are going to bring this job and way back in 1985 you wrote an article entitled trivializing the issues behind your rights and he said, do not think that we should treat them as equally acceptable as i do as the traditional family life. you concluded the article by saying that i'm not sure where i stand on the basic issue of gay rights. i appreciate your honesty in our article. my worry is your views have not matured as the countries have, given the fact earlier this year, the board of a group called ethics and public policy at the center of the organization that advocates a lot of time to arguing and advocating against civil rights of lgbtq individuals. let me just ask you to answer the question that we posed at the end of your article. have your
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views changed since 1985 on issue of rights for individuals in that community? i'm not asking whether you will follow along because i'm sure you will. but it's a question of priorities that you have in this position if your view has changed since he wrote that article. >> senator, thank you for the time that he made to meet with me earlier this week. with respect to my qualifications, generally for the job i appreciate your positive words about the background that i had as a long time labor employment lawyer so i think it's approaching i think three decades of caused the treaty to the field. often i've represented businesses i believe that this committee has a good fortune of my past tenure at the department which
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showed how effectively i am able to recognize the new clients and the new obligations that i have in my capacity to discharge those responsibilities bury vigorously in response to the issue of aerodynamics and it is true that representative of climates opposed those aerodynamic regulations and appealed the rule. but one that was at the department i worked very closely with some of those same lawyers, in fact, the lawyer that had the lead on the issue of joined the letter from the former official supporting the nomination. by the way the, chief saudi hearing adjoined that letter and said that they handed a job here. with respect to the article that you are talking about. an article that i wrote when i was in college in 1985 up a 35 years ago. yes,
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i certainly have changed in how i view any number of things since i was in college. i think that we have all matured when we hope since those days and i would certainly enforce the law in this area and respect the decisions of the supreme court. >> has your view changed on the specific issue? you reference in that article that they are not equal of the seam treatments up to those two different lifestyles. as i changed? >> i wouldn't write those words today. i would not write those words today in part because i now have friends and colleagues who would cause pain and i would not want to do that and finally if i could just say i've referred to an organization that went on the board in march and had its respected organization that has been praised by the speaker of the house and charles crowd
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hammer who is on the board and that organization i have had a briefing that says about what my views might be. >> thank you senator murphy. senator scott. >> thank you mister chairman i do want to start off with having my support on the recent efforts over time that's been a mentioned of you times and spent some time on it as well. and i appreciate the current direction that i think is incredibly responsible on the actions of the department. echoing my support for i want to start the conversation with a topic that is important for our workforce and this discussion for however long you are the secretary which begin sooner than later. experts say that about two trillion dollars of the current payroll -- the minimum wage
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increase only in my opinion sala bates automation of the payroll. if we see a greater exhilaration we see the first long in the latter about that success being pulled away and in response to that it looks to those folks that have fewer opportunities to engage in the workforce which the consequence of that is longer terms of unemployment and ability getting the impact on the communities of color and rural america as well. what are your comments on the notion that there is a relationship or a correlation between a higher minimum wage and lower opportunities to enter the workforce? >> senator, it is important
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potential trade off that one has to keep in mind of what things about proper wage for a national minimum wage or for a local wage which might be different legislation bodies and reach differ conclusions about their set of wage. there's one federal minimum but as senator scott, you are pointing out in the wage, all sides recognize that if a wage expand it is too high, there will be adverse impacts that actually hurt some of the workers and i think that needs to be considered. on the other hand, the workers interest more broadly and we have a long-standing federal policy for a minimum wage. it's the
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labor departments way to enforce that. >> i would note that new york city will increase minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour from january 2002 to january just 19 lost of 6500 jobs in restaurants which is the largest reduction since 2001. (technical problem) some of the impoverished areas in south carolina, my first job was 3:35 at the time and they paid folks to 85 or 50 cents less the minimum wage to encourage more employment opportunities for kids. i'm not advocating that position but i think it's really important for us to recognize the powerful in flak that minimum wage increase will have on those folks looking for employment and frankly if you're 3% of the current workforce that's facing minimum wage. i think you're points are
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incredibly important and it is a great model for apprenticeships. i'm looking forward to the day that america is the model for apprenticeships are on the world. in south carolina, we have to tackle the challenge of apprenticeships in a powerful way. a big shot up to the senator of carolina who has the responsibility and have changed the trajectory of apprenticeships in our state and at saturn credible number. where 50 to present overall in our 2020 goals. our legislation with my friends on the other side as provided tax credits to encourage more usual utensils utilization to the actual cost of those programs and quick thoughts were my 30 seconds left? >> sure. you mentioned german apprenticeship programs that were back in that something i am interested in. learning more about if i'm confirmed and with respect to south carolina programs, i have had dinner
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with a friend who has been very interested in apprenticeship rogue rams. by the way, she has no south carolina ties. she called out south carolina as a state that really stands out -- >> very educated, that's awesome. >> it's a bright and prospective person. >> in my view list last second here mister chairman. with the economy, it's something that should have a longer conversation about and hearing on the economy and the impact that will be unemployment in the necessity of having employment ability and the structure of that impact economy. the only way to truly understand it in the process that we made in south carolina in regards to these programs is to come visit south carolina and by you to spend some time throughout the state and charleston, being one of the top tourist destinations and perhaps a third time in the last three years but my time is running out mister chairman. i
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am unable to remain for my second round of questioning. i would like to yield my time to you if necessary. >> thank you senator. if i could say -- >> i promised to visit south carolina tomorrow for the back to school day at my daughter's college. (laughs) >> thank you senator scott. senator cain. >> thank you mister chairman and congratulations to you mr. scalia on the nomination. i know the dialog with senator murphy and if we go back and read the transcript of your answers don't use the fridge lgbt and your answer wouldn't enlighten the discussion and when asked about the change of the reviews, what you said is that i would not say those verse today because it will make people hurt. i wanna follow-up i know i want to answer this question of lgbt are all eligible for correction.
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>> that's what the supreme court has ordained -- >> you believe it personally? i know it's the supreme court but it's about your personal beliefs about lgbtq could kill americans. >> i do. if i could finish, in the article it was from college in 1985. >> i'm not asking about the article. i'm asking about today. others follow up and say this. do you believe it is wrong for an employer to terminate someone based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity? >> i do believe it's wrong. i think if my clients up policies against that and are firmly against it. it's something that would not have been tolerated by me or my firm or most of my clients. >> thank you for that answer, that's important. should you be confirmed, this is an issue that's pretty important. would you commit to requiring that
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mining companies who would value worker protections and are delinquent in paying that are assessed against them. would be held accountable and open to new minds and how they square the account and have the workers that of incest? >> senator cain, i'm familiar with the blackjewel that has had west virginia and into my homing that has left thousands of workers in states in the lurch and with that said it's a serious problem and it's an authority and i heighten authority that that will seize goods prior of companies that have defaulted of wage obligations. >> how about the issue of opening new minds and a position for minds when our penalties are been assessed or that haven't paid to the
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workers of violations? >> senator, i don't know what the law provides on that. if there are existing laws and prohibit the opening of unsatisfied obligations, that is one that they will import force vigorously. >> let me ask you this. in cages of wage theft the practice of wage staff are ordered back pay and damages and in cases where they have been found workers get the pay much later essentially in the interest of the free loan of the laws and should that be confirmed of the secretary of labor to make sure that the wage staffed they are in a poll including of witness of other calculations that are necessary and instances of theft. >> senator, wage theft is
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obviously a violation that when i was solicitor we would vigorously enforce and i've mentioned a couple of cases that have brought at least one instance that was innovative to defend the employees rights and there can be circumstances though where you can get more for workers offering for the government to satisfy issues that the companies have those kinds of cooperative programs and cross agencies in the justice department. >> let's switch to another topic. do you believe they should be paid sub minimum wage and the minimum standards act or should be paid minimum wage in the same way as other workers? >>potentially a lower wage. >> section 14 see as you know senator offers different ways
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of a lower wage and it's an important both to you and to senator hassan and that is a law that the department is charged with administering >> he was put into law in 1938 when the expectations for individuals for disabilities or vastly different than they are today. do you have a personal opinion on workers with disabilities should pay a sub minimum wage that other workers receive? >> as you say, it's a long-standing provision of congress and obviously they would change its approach according lee and respect to the issue of what i could say is that recognize that there are strongly held views on both sides. there are people on both sides of this issue and many of them really do think that their approach is one that is in the interest of people's disabilities and that is a
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discussion to be had. if i am confirmed, i would be part of it and that is another area where i think that there is opportunity for consensus but it is a hard issue. >> thank you. thank you mister chairman. >> thank you senator tim kaine murray will go vote in the committee so senator mackenzie has agreed to preside and we will be back shortly and i will stay for a second round of questions and the senator will have the ask to the questions to senator scalia. >> thank you mister chairman. i think -- i thank mr. scalia for taking the job as we go through confirmation hearings and of course i got to ask you. i have to ask you that personally and appreciate your answer and appreciate all the public services that you have done. i
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was here for your 2001 confirmation and i enjoyed your answers then. i enjoy the conversation that we had in my office. i've got to say, you got the biggest family attending in the 22 and a half years i've been here. (laughs) you've got the highest percentage that have stayed through all these questions. >> i see that isabelle a left. the five year old. >> she was probably the one understanding the questions. i appreciate senator murray's comments and that is something that i've been concerned about for a long time and i am an accountant and i'll have the accountants questions. and if anybody isn't being paid the same thing for the same drunk will help a little prosecute on it and it isn't everyone that
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is doing the same job of the committee they move work for and some of the most fascinating hearings that we had here were ones where who had gone for into non traditional jobs and a young lady sitting there where you are sitting in and always wanted to be there and she was and she built some patios and that was having your marble on the new york skyscraper and asked her what her pay was and i can tell you that she proceeds anything that we make. if we could get more into the non traditional -- and have them trained we would never worry about it the minimum wage
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as much. minimum wage is minimum skills when you first hire somebody. you don't know what their capabilities are. we have to spend a lot of time training them for their work and when you increase the minimum wage, it increases everybody salary. i mean, you can't put the lowest one up above the next one on the skill level so it escalates everything. and that is good provided business can afford to do that, to have the economy do that and the tax cuts and jobs act did help the economy a little bit and blossomed the economy and at a little bit of a role in that. i get a little upset when they mention a trillion and a half a deficit and that was as though that bill would make no difference in the economy that hasn't been scored. we all thought it would make some difference and it has been since last year, it was more
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revenue coming into this country from taxes that there had been any previous year and now this year, will be the last year for some of the overseas money so, there are a number of things that play into these things and one of them is job training. the last two states in the nation to get a job training were new hampshire and wyoming. we both have john training centers now and are making a difference. what are your ideas and priorities of what you would like to accomplish in terms of job training and does the job corps fit in your vision? >> senator, briefly on the subject of the economy and minimum wage. as we've been talking today about minimum wage a bit as you know, there are other factors and that are
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more important to well of american workers are how well jobs pay. right now, in part because of the act, you mentioned we are looking at record low unemployment and record low unemployment for african americans and more than a year of 3% wage growth and are at the lower end of some of the biggest benefits. it is important to enforce minimum wage law but we shouldn't lose sight about the changes that we've seen in our economy that would result in this presidents policy and has an important responsibility and you and i spoke about around the wind waiver range and it helps affected workers and the productivity and had workers
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that had the kinds of the talent that were bringing. >> thank you and wyoming had invented something like single moms with a non traditional job and are managing warehouses and programs are being caught and my time has expired and. senator rosen. >> thank you. thank you mr. scalia for your willingness to serve and i enjoyed meeting with you as well. i'll talk a bit about nevada and the test site that would have the personal integrity of the arsenal. the department of energy employees the illness conversation program but does provide services to know that
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is nuclear test site and compensation for work related illnesses that is a result of exposure during a toxic substances. these hardworking americans have sacrificed and served our country by working at test sites and other locations that are essential defending our nation from attack. i have a deeper questions i'm just going to ask this yes or no, are you aware of this program of the department? >> i am. i think that easily go by the name of you like the which is the acronym. i couldn't spell that but i think it is a program that is having some problems and i don't know how it's doing now. >> let me finish and then alaska question. maybe i'll make it better. i understand that from home health care workers in nevada, that changes to implement by the department
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earlier this year and made it harder for atomic energy workers for claims process and to access the benefits of their health care because of these prior working conditions. so, what i really want to do is ask you if you will commit to looking at this program and working to streamline claims and the approval process and specifically, implementing and claim so that energy where many of them are so sick of their aging and chronic pain and really need to get the care they need. >> senator, i'm not familiar with this particular problem that you are referring to but i would not but i would be interested in reviewing it and if i confirmed and working with you to address it. i do recognize that there are some labor departments programs that are not as attuned as they could be two changes in our
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economy and change is how people communicate and how they access and submit information. thin there are program areas whe we would benefit in greater reliance of electronic communication -- >> i'm just streamlining that for you. i wanna will move on to workforce and apprenticeships. registered apprenticeships are across the country and our very popular in nevada as i mentioned the, economy is today and had more than 20 billion dollars worth of construction projects in the nevada area alone. carpenters, electricians have their robust training programs. what we need to work on is though was recognized credentials and apprenticeship strengthen our economy and have paths to good waging careers and make our country four demands in less
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skilled jobs. for all those reasons, it's troubling to me that the administration is not supporting registered apprenticeship programs. the president only requested 160 million dollars for the office of apprenticeship and only a small increase and we need to help our businesses develop the skills so that we can continue to grow our communities. the department has failed to properly staff the apprenticeship programs and six-day office apprenticeships are vacant including one in nevada. these vacancies and the employment administrations of the offices and of course the job corps. if confirmed, will you commit to properly staffing and increasing the staffing and working on promoting these registered apprenticeships that will rebuild our nations the economy? >> senator, the apprenticeship programs are very important in our president and has made it in an area that has been inter
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agency within the executive branch and as you're noting there's a lot in that way. >> there's a vacancy of nevada i've 24 million dollars of projects that need some apprenticeship needs. >> if i'm confirmed, to take a look at that because of this administration and is interested in support of these programs and there is a vacancy and that is if i am confirmed we will address it. >> thank you. >> i'll yield the chair back to the chairman and yield any additional time and we will reconvene and come back. >> thank you for sharing the committee. senator, senator hassan. >> thank you mister chair and member murray as well. thank
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you mr. scalia for being here and congratulations on her nomination. thank you for meeting with me earlier this week and i want to thank your family to. public service is a family affair and a family commitment and i'm grateful for your family's commitment to public service. i wanted to start -- on the issue again of disabilities love had a discussion about it. throughout your career and a number of cases what we have represented companies which is needed accommodations to have the labor department's and he named one disability case versus ups as the top five most incredible issues we have done. this case is ultimately used to narrow the act and its protections for workers with disabilities and permitting to have employment
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eligibility based on how it limits a perspective or this activity and how it notes with senator cain. this is a little bit about what we're trying to get here with staying in the country to repeal people with disabilities and with a business community of whether this is fair and used again about prejudged people in that capacity and that's something that i am trying to change over time. so, in the case of europe law practice and the case of your ups case. i know that you were representing the client as a lawyer. but today, i need to know your personal views because if you become secretary of labor, to believe that they workers with disabilities are entitled to accommodations in the workplace? if so, can you provide an example that they're
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entitled to? >> senator, i appreciate how important these issues are to you and the work that you've done in perspective to if i am confirmed i would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about it because i see this as an area where people across the aisle have found ways to are together and the disabilities act which some of george h. w. and with respect to accommodations it does require in accommodations and i think that if they are a good thing for workers and for businesses that there are a range of different things. as you know, it's among the accommodations to enable people to get about
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and work more productively and at times, there can be accommodations to help people who have hearing problems and function in the workplace and is a range -- of i would like to talk briefly about that but i want to emphasize to that i have spent a fair amount of time explaining to both the legal obligations and also ways that they can satisfy. a lot of managers think that i can't do that. that is impossible or that we've never done that. >> just for a second a limited time and i appreciate the answer. i also want to touch on the issue of disability claims in terms of discrimination. you have also argued that such
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claims brought by a class of workers are not suitable for class action because each case requires individual moves and you mentioned your answers to senator collins and have perspective the pro bono of representation that ripped off the disability that was impacted in the workplace. i like to make sure that clients don't have to be finding a lawyer with the pro bono if there is systemic discrimination. i would like the department of labor and its leadership to move to eliminate a system of discriminations. do you have any thoughts of pat representing clients but about the role of investigations in certain systemic disability claims? >> this is an area that is responsible of the east sea as you know, i think that in areas that is difficult for individuals to come together
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and bring a class action and a greater demand on the federal government to step down when i was in the labor department before the answer for me was minimum wage and workers and my staff had ways to change your approach to address these additions because i felt that these were people among those most likely were less likely to address it. these are circumstances where class actions are harder because of the courts rulings and the rules that govern and our may be a greater as you know labor department that has or what we call owed app which is helping research and some outreach of education on accommodating people. >> i notice some well over time so thank you for your indulgence mister chairman. >> thank you senator hassan.
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senator jones. thank you mr. scalia for being here and thanks for the visit yesterday. i would like to revisit a couple of questions asked by the garter protections and the individuals after they were dancing around the heart of the matter and the supreme court cases in october and concerning discrimination in the workplace for those individuals. the esc guarantees protections in the workplace for lgbtq individuals at is not understanding that's taken place and a different approach and that they cannot read the 64 act to discrimination based on sexual orientation. what is your position? you're not here as a judge. what is your position in
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regard to the civil rights act and whether or not you can protect those lgbtq employees from discrimination of their sexual orientation? >> senator, this is an area where as i think you are suggesting to a significant extent that the supreme court has stepped in and spoken and established a certain parameters and particularly to the labor department president obama commended the executive order and the department regarding a discrimination to include lgbt and president trump has reaffirmed his commitment to that. that is a law that if i am confirmed, responsibility for enforcing and i would not hesitate to do so. with respect to the cases
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of the supreme court, the department of justice has taken one position. i don't know a position that is staked out by and i don't believe that the department of labor as been called to present its views because it is not a statute administered by the department. focusing in on the statutes abroad and the executive order. as i said back in my college piece, presidents prejudice is a print and it is not something that i've not tolerated in my workplace and i will vigorously abolish my responsibilities as secretary if i am confirmed. >> i appreciate that i am concerned though that for a private sector should these cases not go the way that i think they should go and the
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lgbtq without any real enforcement will be under the law and what i am concerned about with the administrations and the exception rules. and we'll folks under abuse of federal tax dollars and seeing that issue as a religious exemption and times of changed a lot and we also had people can hide behind that and i'm all about freedom. but i don't want that religious freedom to be used to discriminate against people in the workplace and i'm afraid that the proposed role of the administration is going to do just that. how do you reconcile this? >> senator, i think your question began by asking about the supreme court and we'll see what the court decides.
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precisely who to protect from discrimination in the workplace or elsewhere is ultimately a decision to be made by congress and the state and locales that executive branch and the department can provide a role in members of congress and that disposition and the supreme court doesn't address these issues in a way and the members of this senate will think it's appropriate and legislation that is affected and i think that's an important role for us to enforce in regards to the law making that you mentioned, senator, it's an ongoing rule of the labor department and concerning federal contractors who are religious organizations and as i understand it, will seize to update the existing
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rule to protect religious rights in a matter more sovereignty to congress and there are strong views and i believe at least one letter which was done earlier this me week in the community on the rule and a fine confirmed i will take a careful look at that rulemaking to see that if we get that balance right between our interest in protecting religious liberty on one hand and on the other hand discriminating improperly on their grounds. >> thank you mr. scalia and mister chairman i would say that i appreciate the congressman's role and unfortunately the way the government is right now we don't know unless the white house sides on-off also so we will confirm to help regard that protection for lgbtq or
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private and thank you so much. >> thank you senator jones, mr. scalia we will ask my questions in a minute. we have completed one round of questions. i will stay in case senators have a second round of questions. let me ask a few in that i'll turn to senator murray and will see what others have to speak of when we come back. there have been a number of conclusions to representation of clients any clients views that will practice law in a prominent law firm for a long time. you represented some clients you were pretty good people or experience with law practices which were in real trouble and have a very good lawyer with senator jones and he represented some real scoundrels in his day (laughs)
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>> especially politicians. >> it's a pretty good lawyer and if i'm not mistaken he was the president of the national trial lawyers. it was the district attorney. what was it? >> national association a former attorney. >> he was a prosecutor of people in trouble and i came to him to get out of trouble. one of my earliest lessons in the united states history was about john adams who was the president before the united states was a lawyer and he represented british columnist who murdered or killed a a british soldier and was a very unpopular thing to do and the industrial revolution. his representation of a british soldier and the columnist i
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wonder if you'd want to reflect on that story in american history and talk about your representation of so many clients over a period of time between your views and secretary of labor and what his views might be as a very effective advocate. >> well, yes, with respect to john adams, i should say, i was blessed with extraordinary flatter and mother to. up who is boston and irish and they love to john adams. i left virginia i didn't care much for george washington or thomas jefferson but i learned a lot about john adams and other things by the way. as i said, my mom was boston irish and --
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i remember going up as a kid that these be signs of no irish so that is part of my upbringing of being irish and telling me about the blatant shameless investigation but i learned about john adams and the story that you mentioned was one of the great stories in american history. the boston massacre was a terrible event and the american revolution and john adams did a deeply unpopular thing. of representing these british soldiers and getting their acquittal and it's a wonderful story about the bar and lawyers and their obligations it to do things that they disagree with and i'm proud to epoch have had
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the representation that i have had in the business world and have represented my clients and you are absolutely right that i am not necessarily my clients and i will seek to defend them and to vindicate but that does not necessarily mean what i did was proper -- >> i would assume that they came to because they were in trouble, is all right? >> that's correct. >> usually just don't have a lawyer to a lunch. when everything is going to find. >> they didn't come just because they like me. as i've suggested earlier, part of that relationship with my client is that what i'm doing in court and defending their rights and addressing what the rights are to the law. on the other hand, there could
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be a separate conversation of the line where maybe they know that there is something done is wrong and find a way to fix that. that is part of my responsibility and part of my job that i cherish. finally, of course, i've had the government as a guy before and it will be my fourth time in government and including as the principle of law enforcement officers and the department of labor any clients that you could have it is most important and the greatest responsibility in a great deal when i was a solicitor and with again be so mindful of the special duties in the united states government and when were looking out for people who lacked the means to careful himself's. >> thank you for your answer. we will have questions from senator murray. for the last
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several years, it's really have been concerned that this is not a republican or democrat issue. if you are an effective lawyer, you are going to be representing a lot of people. you don't start by representing people because of views that agree with yours. there are certain ethical responsibilities that lawyers have. you represent people who have the right to be heard and to get justice before the bar and in my society with john adams and the british soldier who has been represented and that's an important part of being entitled to a fair hearing and an advocacy now which has been with those rulings. i don't like to see
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nominees or lawyers of nominees criticized for effectively representing people who have different views than someone else. senator murray, your turn. >> thank you mister chairman. mr. scalia, back in 2001 when you appeared before this committee for your nomination i asked you a question about the problem of workplace harassment. unfortunately little has improved over the last 18 years. already past two years in the metoo movement, countless men and women have shared their stories and i've shared domestic workers and hotel housekeepers and many others that have faced in their workplace of how much they fear coming forward. i believe that
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we have to do better and earlier this year in the workplace act to help the and address that all workers are treated fairly and as i mentioned, you have represented corporations that defend against allegations of harassment and the ford motor company against female workers alleging sexual harassment and retaliation of the chicago estate and reported unwanted touching and unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors and many women never speak out about harassment in the workplace because they are afraid of being fired. i'm really glad that you did speak up about their experience in the workplace. i wanted to ask you do, you agree that the laws and regulations on the books today are too weak to actually adequately protect workers from
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harassment and discrimination in the workplace? >> madam, we spoke yesterday when we met about sexual harassment in the workplace and i know what an important issue it is to you and i have this spending another of years of dealing with issues of harassment and i was struck and disappointed to with the me too movement took off with the extent of mistreatment that we heard about indifferent were places. it continues to be a problem and as one in my practice that i have helped clients try to address and help them improve their discrimination policies and help them approve their policies regarding respecting a whistle blower that have
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reported a potential harassment. as i said in my opening, that's a very difficult conversation with clients where they have wanted -- >> i appreciate the explanation and i just wanted to ask in, that experience, do you think our laws are strong enough to protect workers? do you agree that we need to strengthen our laws so that they have protection? >> i think that honestly, we do have some strong important protection in place. i think that education on those protections sometimes is needed and i do believe it is important to have vigorous enforcement of the rights of women and others against harassment and if the congress were to conclude that more tools were needed in the labor department would be to become involved in that. i would
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certainly -- >> he would not lead any efforts or speak out in efforts to do that with with concerns me. in my experience, the current system is very ineffective. >> if i can respond to that. legislatively, if i were confirmed i would feel my job is following congress is lead and if the laws were enacted. a secretary, there are things that i could do and will look into doing -- >> genuinely i would say that we have follow the law and we would expect any secretary to do that. oftentimes our secretary needs to step up and say our laws are not effective and are encouraged legislation i hope you would think about that as well. i only have a few seconds left in my section. >> take your time, whenever you want. i'll >> ask you about the judiciary because a lot of our economy has shifted from a traditional pension where the risk is on
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the employer to return the case of workers and face all of them. yet, these flavors need of figuring out their investments that have been surprised of their professional advisers are today and no obligation with the needs of their families first. that conflicted advice cost families billions of dollars. so in order to make workers out manage the risk. the obama administration worked to help retirement get investment advice that was for conflicts of interest. you have been an outspoken critic of that sense of protection. you called it a relic category (inaudible) after courts held the role and you try to get it overturned. i want to ask you, the simple question, do you think that families who were seeking professional investment advice about their retirement savings, deserve advice that is in their
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best interests? >> i do think that they should be able to seek that advice and -- >> even though that they wait get it it's about who's advising them. >> i think that should be available and should be informed of the nature of the advice that they receive and this is the case where the chairman and i were discussing that was obtained by clients of addressing the rule that there was a controversial rule, thankfully the secure and exchange commission is now stepped in and is what is now called a best interest sanction who invest in brokers who are folks that ordinarily are directly by the sec rather than by the (inaudible). having worked with the department before, i'm very mindful of the special royalties apartment has
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in the tension and the workers retirement. >> you've had a lot of work done on this. in returning the role, would you recuse yourself for this forthcoming advisory role because of it? >> as you know, there are ethics rules that will govern what matters and when i'm with the department which will work quire be part of by forward quiet so i will seek guidance from the designated efforts official of the department of labor in regarding my ability to participate would be. >> one final on this. you are obviously being nominated today for the department of labor which explicitly slick suggest retirement investment advice. on this pension failure, congress wanted the protection for retirement savings that
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investments overseen by the as easy. will you suggested that the apartment labor should allow the sec to oversee the world and that is ironic since you had a significant part of your career attacking the sec rules. if you are the secretary of labor, do you intend to see the authority to the sec? >> if confirmed, i would not seek responsibility to the sec. i would engage in some vigorous action that will solicit to help protect the right of their pensions and mention on the end ron pension plan and action i took there. i worked closely with some of the lawyers in that office and will know how important that mission of the department is. i have a say that the labor department has a
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very important focus on employment retirement and one of the concerns that was raised is that they were actually in on the sec's jurisdiction. so it's making sure that there is a proper balance and i would want to work with the sec on this if it was done correctly. >> thank you for the additional time and i will enter 16 letters on the record expressing concern in opposition. >> that's ordered. thank you senator murray. it's a courtesy to the witness, we are going to take a five-minute break with a second round of questions and i'll be glad to stay here as long as senators would like. the committee is in recess for five minutes.
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sen. alexander: thank you, senator murray. we'll continue with our second round of questions. >> thank you senator murray. will continue our second round of questions. sandra casey, -- >> mister chairman thank you very much. we just have a couple of follow-up questions for the brief or the interest of time for this as well. senator, i want to ask you about the employment of americans with disabilities. i'll follow up with you later
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-- i was hopeful that maybe that was something that if you were to be confirmed that we would work together and a particular issue of competitive unemployment and i have the leading bill on this in the senate and we'll talk more about that. also, on the question of disability claims in what happens in the workplace. the department of labor plays a big role and the united parcel service with senator baldwin in referring to others i've been concerns about how you will approach issues and did narrow the protections under the americans with disabilities act so i will be following up with you on that. i wanna ask for a particular issue of what happens to one category of workers of coal
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miners. the black long disability trust fund is running out of money across to both health and disability benefits for coal miners with black lung disease. the department of labor claims filed black lung benefits act and i ask you a simple question. do you believe that coal companies that benefit from the hard labor of people should be responsible for paying health and disability methods who develop that lung disease which is unfortunately on the rise? >> senator casey, i share your hope that if i am lucky to be confirmed that the folks with disabilities will be functional in the workplace which is something that i'd like to work together on. as we discussed earlier, all stripes of used to
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believe to help and work together so that i welcome the chance to contribute to that. i feel i should respond briefly in the case that's been mentioned a couple of times that was a matter i was handling for a client and that i can recall personally seeking making any significant change with respect to the disability act or the federal government that brought this case to my client. it was seeking to force ups to hire drivers to driving trucks who had vision out of only one eye. ups had some safety concerns and there were federal rules to drive a good size truck it's important to our vision out of both eyes. i would defend them in the case but i wasn't going to make any
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significant change the law. finally, with respect to coal miners, i confess that i would need to study the exact parameters of the obligation that coal companies currently have to their workers but i understand that they are current to make a contribution to fund -- >> the collection is a lot smaller that's why there's less money. there are issues and were short on time that i realize that as a lawyer they reference you to clients who represent you and represent them zealously but you are going to be wearing a different hat if you are confirmed and just to say i hope we can work together and that and i can't put on the bill, you can be in this position and both you're
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advocacy and your attitude about these issues and i would hope, i would hope that if you are confirmed you would act like a champion and not just a business as usual and the reason i say that was in a quarter of a century old there are two problems that we haven't achieved the goals of americans and we are close and in large measure but number two is when it comes to hits that are taking place over time in regards to the act so we need champions and both parties and both branches and that's all i want to say on my time so thank you. >> thank you senator casey. senator murphy. >> thank you mister chairman for the second round. i agree with senator casey. that's a huge responsibility to enforce the law with secretaries who
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are advocates for change in the law when they think that they could do better and you obviously have a lot of priorities. one area of law in which they secretary was an advocate on was the issue of mental health parity. this is the law that requires aren't sure and companies to have mental health coverage just like they cover each condition. the presidents commission and trump's commission on drug addiction and opioid crisis calls the department to aggressively force the addiction act and it is suggested that additional authority has been given to the department of labor which is the secretary acosta agreed with and the committee for additional audit abilities and monetary pell anti authority for violations of the law. maybe i won't ask you to weigh
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in specifically on those recommendations. but, i think we were making some progress about the secretary's departure and is giving the department more authority and i just want to get your confirmation that you will be an active participant and what the work that the department of labor can do to combat the drug edition crisis and you have a role to show that they can be part of the problem. >> i would welcome that opportunity, senator. i had a good conversation among others with senator smith to about these issues. speaking to her, i mentioned that as i look at people that i know who are struggling with mental problems often these days it is not i
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broke my leg on the dog or something that happens. it is the difficulties with the substance abuse or depression of the light and i agree that it is very important that we do not sleight the people that they have in that area and the truth as less worth or the attention of other kinds of illness or injury. it goes to opioids particularly and i well aware of the role of the labor department that they can play and they are doing some good things and i've had some good conversations that have been being briefed by personnel departments, we've had some good conversations about some programs that work and that is an area that there is room for cooperation because there are ways to help these people with opioid addiction better than we
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are doing and the labor department is made some strides but also, there is business ones as well because this is one of the reasons we have skills cap right now. we >> should all know that we have access of the male benefit and all sorts of groups that you do not go to through your reimbursement for an orthopedic procedure. that's a connected to the law and how they can help us clarify that. second, mr. scalia, the eastern connecticut manufacturing pipeline initiative is an example of these innovative efforts that are happening all around the country to try to make sure that we are ready for the defence jobs and we have a defense crisis in this country. you don't have a lot of experience in workforce and development and that's a big part of your job. it is vital that the department of labor and the department of defense and state and local governments
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partner together to make sure that we are rebuilding more submarines and more ships and more lands based on military vehicles that we have the workforce to fill those roles and there is no way to do that with the department of labor to play an active role. we couldn't have gotten that partnership on the ground in connecticut with a 92% job placement rating without the department of labor and have came to connecticut with the partnership which was very oppressed by it and i invite you to do the same. i would also love to know that this will be a focus because it will be a crisis in this country if we can meet that or enforce it. i welcome the chance to meet if we are confirmed and i am deeply appreciative more so having come through this process of the role that they do play in seeing programs like we just described. >> thank you senator murray.
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murphy. i'm thinking of calling you senator murray but thank you senator murphy. do you have any other comments or questions? >> mister chairman, i think you are several members that want to come back with additional questions but were unable to come back so i know they would have questions all submit for the record. i will as well on a number of topics that i want to get additional information from the nominee. i would really seriously hope that we get those back in a timely fashion so that we can have the information needed so thank you again and thank you mr. scalia for being here and thank you so very large family for being here for a very long time. >> thank you so much. >> thank you senator murray and i want to thank my colleagues for conducting a confirmation hearing that included vigorous questioning of the nominee which as respect from someone who has been nominated by any president of the secretary of
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labor under no set of issues that has a more different opinion politically than on labor issues that we are treating the nominee with the kind of respect that the nominee should have. and i think senator murray in what he conducted in the various discussions we've had in connection with the nomination of mr. scalia which has been two months since the president made no of his intent to nominate mr. scalia and had all of his records sent for three weeks. we've had good questions today and we will vote next tuesday. i won't have any further questions except for a couple of comments. one is, there are opportunities as
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senator murphy indicated despite our political differences to get some good results and senator murphy has been a part of the mental health parity so we will take that opportunity seriously and senator murray and i are working for areas in agreement that we can move ahead and we can't do anything in the senate unless we have a bipartisan agreement. sometimes we get it and sometimes when we do i will encourage you to continue to hear you're business with democrats as well as republicans in this committee and the areas where the administration can work on. from my part, i hope that we will take a look at the health plans we have big differences on obamacare but one thing is clear, as people who make more than 50,000 dollars a year you see songwriters, independent business people who notice their health insurance and the association health plans are a
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help for that. there is a rule that secretary acosta put out by federal courts that cavalier the independent agency that reduced such -- reviews health insurance estimated that this kind of coverage could help three or 4 million americans each of their insurance premiums by about a third of a 20,000 dollar insurance bill which is a lot of money of several thousand dollars. this is not john insurance, this is insurance with the kind of companies that they have. it is insurance that-ing includes pre-existing conditions and the source of benefit. the whole point of it is, if it's good enough for ibm, why isn't it good enough for the small businesses? i would encourage you as a candidate to push the envelope as far as you can in the courts but my piano teacher
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would tell me, i would play a little slower than you can play it so that if you can get a rule out there or in force out there it's clearly within the law then go ahead and take that opportunity because there are people in vegas in small businesses who have already signed up who would like to sign up. who would like to see association who will go as far as i can and the same with the overtime rule. we need changes in the overtime threshold to be done in a reasonable way. it's bipartisan concern about an earlier decision so i hope that you will enforce that in a way that is within the law and may not go as far as somebody would like with the office of baggage with and we don't need to go that far. from my point of view i'd, like to see a little bit slower than you can play it and make sure that when you rule on
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overtime and rule on association of a health plan in the enforcement of those areas that is a law -- questions will be be do at 5 pm within the next ten days and will have information that they would like. mr. scalia, i think i will thank you for being here today and answer the questions and respect to the questions that we hear by the time we vote on this next tuesday. the committee will stand by. >> thank you. >> (laughs)
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>> watch seaspan three thursday,
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live at nine eastern as acting director of national intelligence joseph maguire testifies before the house select intelligence committee. shared by adam schiff and democrat from california and congressman devin nunes, the republican ranking member from california. on the handling of a whistleblower complaint involving president trump. live coverage, thursday at nine eastern on seaspan three. online at sea spend at organ and listen live on the free seaspan radio app. next, a security and exchange commission with jake clayton and discussions agencies priorities including senator training and distinction over cryptocurrency. he testified before the house financial services committee. >> the


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