tv Trump Cabinet Officials Confirmation Hearings Opening Statements CSPAN April 20, 2017 8:00pm-10:08pm EDT
>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's television cable companies. that is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. with the first 100 days of the trump administration approaching, c-span takes a look at the president's cabinet, which includes the seniormost appointed officials. program of our special
begins with education secretary betsy devos. she was narrowly confirmed by the senate in february with vice president mike pence casting the tie-breaking vote. the daughter of a wealthy michigan family and the wife to the air of amway fortune, she has been a long time publican party activists and served at one time as state party chair. advocacy has focused on the issue of school choice. we will show you a portion of her hearing from january, starting with questions from north carolina republican richard burr. >> thank you for agreeing to serve. i think a lot of americans watch thatgoes on here and say is never me. i will never go through with it. most of us say that after an election cycle. somebody who find
is the full monty. he did not have to do this. that is apparent married -- that is apparent. he did not have to choose education as you like ambition, but you did. i thank you for the investment and all the kids that you have impacted, for the unbelievable statistics. you and the senator from minnesota can come to a agreement. i've sat here and i remember in .y first election i was two minutes into what seemed to be a 45 minute question and answer. after 10 minutes i said are there any questions that deal with kids or outcomes?
they said no. i got up and left. we can ask you all sorts of questions about you personally and what you have done, but you came into my office, and before i asked the question, you convinced me that you are passionate about making sure that every child had the to get a successful education. from not that every child that thought that education would have an opportunity to reach for the american dream of a life that is unlimited in opportunity. me convinced me without asking a question. i only have one question today. difficult for us to figure out how to focus on outcome versus getting hung up
on process? ms. devos: i think that is a very good question. i think we could have a very robust debate in this room of the -- about that. protect andcy is to guard what is because change is difficult. fact that there are millions of students who are simply not getting the opportunity for an equal opportunity for a quality education. we try to tinker around from the top. we try to fix things, but it becomes more about the system than it does about what is right for each child. support andfor your your encouragement around the notion that every child should have the opportunity.
every parish should have the opportunity on behalf of the child to choose the right educational environment for them. i am hopeful that if we can continue having a robust conversation about this, that we will talk about the great school have thechildren opportunity to go to 10 years from now, which many may not exist today or look very different from what exists today. i think the opportunity to innovate education is virtually unlimited and has been untested to a large extent. i am very hopeful we will have that opportunity for that kind of conversation. sen. burr: i think we will and i hope the committee sees it in their actions to make sure that you are at the helm of the department of education. as a look across america and the
world, icna were technology is going to impact things that we did not even dream about five years ago. our we have seen happen to health care in manufacturing. i remember my father at 90 years old looking at me about five years ago and saying i do not understand how a fax machine works. i never was able to explain it to him, but that did not limit my use of it or my belief that it served an important purpose. education will change drastically. what is most foreign is to have someone passionate at the top, concerned about every child in every child's opportunity. i am grateful you are here. i think the nation deserves the secretary who the champion of public education. >> and a 2015 speech you were pretty blunt saying government
really sucks. you call the public school system a dead-end. in order to clarify, you never attended a public school, did you? ms. devos: correct. >> to never taught at a public school. ms. devos: i did not, but it meant toward at one. -- i mentored at one. >> teachers do better when their morale is high, do you agree? ms. devos: yes. i support teachers. quoteith reference to the -- >> i do not have any other questions about it and i have a limited amount of time. , you and your husband spoke at a conference a number of years ago. the church hasid been displaced by the public school as the center for
activity and this and are what goes on in a community. --mas jefferson did not view ms. devos: i do not. >> do you think school that receive government funding should meet this that -- meet the same accountability standards? ms. devos: all schools receiving funding should meet the same accountability standards. yes. although you have different accountability standards between traditional public goals and charter schools. >> i am interested in this playing on a level playing field. so they should meet the same accountability standards? ms. devos: yes. they should be very transparent with the information. >> do you insist on the evil of the cat ability for any school
that receives federal funding, whether public, public charter, or private? ms. devos: i support accountability. >> is that a yes or a no? ms. devos: i support accountability. schools should be equally accountable. do you agree with me or not #-- or not? ms. devos: no. schoolsd all k-12 receiving governmental funding be required to meet the requirements of the individual with disabilities education act? ms. devos: i think they already are. >> i am asking you a should question. --uld all schools receive receiving taxpayer funding meet the requirements? ms. devos: that is a matter best left to the states. >> so some states might be good
with kids with disabilities and some may not? ms. devos: i think that is an issue best left to the state. >> what about the federal requirement? let's limit it to federal funding. should they be required to federal -- follow federal law? ms. devos: as the senator there are many parents who are very happy with the program there. >> i think all schools that receive federal funding should be required to meet this conditions of the individuals with disabilities act. ms. devos: i think that is worth discussion. >> finally, should all k-12 schools receiving federal -- --ernmental funding
ms. devos:-federal funding certainly comes with strings attached. shouldk all such schools report equal information about harassment or bullying, do you agree? ms. devos: i would look forward to reviewing that provision. >> it were a court, i would say --t the judge tell the witness answer the question. mnuchin was confirmed on february 13. his career in finance including here is as a senior executive. during the 2016 campaign, he served as donald trump's chair. this confirmation hearing
includes questions from south dakota republican john thune. >> what do you think is a reasonable and fashion expectation? -- reasonable expectation? mr. mnuchin: i am looking at some of my notes. the short answer is i believe that we should be able to get sustained gdp. i think that is absolutely important. the most important issue we have is economic growth. whatever issues we have as republicans or democrats, i think we can agree that with more growth, it is a lot easier to solve these issues. we should all be focused on things to help grow the economy. 7%.984 we had
in 2005 we had 3%. thousand last time we had appropriate growth rate. i share the president-elect pesci as concern -- president-elect's concern. i will work tirelessly if i am confirmed to create growth in the economy and create progrowth programs. i commit to work with all of you on all that -- but that. -- of that. there are two areas where i think we can unleash the economy and achieve a higher level of growth. to what degree do you think relations -- regulations of volume coming out of the administration -- yesterday there was a 277 page regulation
that affects farmers, small businesses, the people i represent. there was also in september, we basically trying to get him to withdraw some regulations that dealt with evaluation discounts. in exit very difficult for small businesses or farmers to pass it on. you get over there, will you hopefully look at the drawing those types of regulations and undoing a lot of harm -- which hasarm adversely affected the growth rate of this economy as quickly as possible? mr. mnuchin: absolutely. we believe inappropriate regulation. in appropriate regulation. there is excess regulation that is inhibiting jobs and growth and hurting the american workers. we are committed, specifically
on what you have mentioned on on familygulations businesses. i'm committed to working with you and your office. we want to make sure that we cover the appropriate loopholes, so that if people have businesses set up to avoid taxes -- any operating business, we need to make sure that people who own minority interests and operating businesses, that the valuation for tax purposes are reflected appropriately. anybody who follows the market knows that there is a significant difference between control and not control. the irs should follow fair of valuations. we should collect the most money and not have lots of loopholes. we need to reflect fair evaluations. deeply the dollar is too
strong? isdo you believe the dollar too strong? are we ever going to hear you say that it is too strong? treasuryin: as secretary, i do not see it as my role, commenting on the dollar. i have commented on what i believe are the long-term. 2011, due to the dysfunction in congress, we must filled -- welmost downgraded our nations that for the first time in history. of itsck market lost 17% value and did not recover for almost a year. a completely self-inflicted wound. american retirement savings" the
could trump said that he be financing or renegotiate our existing debt. later in the campaign he suggested the country to pay our creditors less than what they you go areas he said " back and say the economy just crashed. i am going to give you back half." he also said the united states never have to default. do you agree with these statements? mr. mnuchin: thank you for asking the question about the debt ceiling. -- failing. >> please do not filibuster. mr. mnuchin: the president has made it perfectly clear, and i think it is perfectly clear that honoring the u.s. debt is the most important thing.
hope that when we get to the point, if i am confirmed, that ceiling and wet will not go to another one of these issues. believe the u.s. has the obligation to honor -- >> can you commit to working with the congress? mr. mnuchin: i will commit to absolutely work with the congress, the house, and the senate so that we do not get to the last minute and run out of money. >> is that a yes? a clean debt ceiling? mr. mnuchin: i do not know what your tactical -- let me be clear. i would like as to raise the debt ceiling sooner rather than raise cash -- us to raise the dead doing sooner rather than later.
>> the tax plan would increase the debt by $7.2 trillion over 10 years. the president-elect has also proposed increase defense spending and saying he will not touch entitlements like medicare or social security. he is only suggesting spending , nondefense discretionary spending comprised about 60% of the budget. -- 16% of the budget. we did not spend a single penny on any one of these priorities for an entire year, which i would not suggest. that would only pay for about 8% of his tax plan. it is a tax plan that increases by $7.2 -- debt trillion. is that acceptable to you? mr. mnuchin: that was the first tax plan and not this a -- the
second tax plan. was $11 trillion. mr. mnuchin: you must be referring to static and not dynamic. is $3.6 trillion. we are adding mountains of debt. mr. mnuchin: i discussed the debt with the president-elect. we are concerned that we have gone from $10 billion to $20 -- $20 trillion debt. comment on the tax plan. said that inune our history the average growth rate is 3.2%. you said between 3% or 4%, but there is no way that will fill the gap rejected in these tax
plans. i can accept the fact that the president-elect might have changed your mind, i am trying to understand if you would find it acceptable to bury the american people under this kind of those -- proposed debt. mr. mnuchin: we had a rather modest campaign staff relative to the other people out there. one of the things i look forward to, if confirmed, is having access to all the people at treasury who are able to model these things. we had some internal models but were forced to rely upon external models. -- some ofions we the assumptions we agreed with, some we did not. he has a program economic tax plan. we are sensitive to the cost of that plan. yesterday i had the opportunity to meet with senator wyden.
the person from the administration taking the lead on that. i will look forward to working with the house and the senate, both republicans and democrats, to move forward on tax legislation. >> i am out of time. i want to make one observation that he has twice praised employees of the treasury department. i want to say that that is a refreshing and welcome change from what we have heard of until now and a lot of these hearings. >> president trump chose longtime business associate wilbur ross for commerce secretary. he was confirmed in late -27.uary or a vote of 72 he became an investor in the president's keynote -- casino
operation. wilbur ross spent most of his career restructuring failing steel, coal, and, -- finance. thank you forn: being willing to leave your life in the private sector to the servant our -- to serve our nation. our number one priority has to be to grow the economy and realize the full potential of the american economy. what do you believe is the growth potential of the economy? do you have a figure in your head #-- in your head? reachss: i think we can 3% growth if we do all the elements of the president's program. senator johnson: that has been the average. i would hope that is a minimum goal.
from my standpoint, they are forming reasons that we are not speaking that full potential. we're not using our energy resources. there are so many lawyers here. could you talk about, from your what do you think that weprimary reasons are not realizing the full potential of our economy? mr. ross: i wrote an editorial four or five key points. doing some cost-benefit analysis and having sensible regulation. second, improving our trade balance, particularly by .timulating exports third, having an energy policy
that takes advantage of our natural resources and keeps energy prices low. foru and infrastructure -- fourth, and infrastructure program. if we do all those and have a sensible tax system, i think the economy will do very well. talk about your plans are what you think would be best suited for exports? mr. ross: the first thing we have to do is deal with the and nontariff other countries put on us. triffs.s very high
that seemed to be a bit of an imbalance. we would like to have our trading partners practice free trade and do it in a more balanced manner than what has been done at present. ishink a lot of what we need a limitation of inappropriate and improper trade barriers to ask. i think -- to us. american labor can compete very effectively if it is a fair fight. in a lot of cases, it is not a fair fight. senator johnson: talk about the nontrade barriers. talk and prioritize and rank how harmful those non-tariff trade barriers are? mr. ross: some countries with whom we have had treaties agreed
to lower their tariffs. they will suddenly say that we have a different environmental , andard than what you have your cars do not qualify as environmentally correct in our country. isannot imagine that there anything that our and buttermilk -- our environmental has missed. it is difficult for american companies to tailor make cars that market. the famous debate over mad cow disease are another very glaring example. i.e. quite a lot of beef. quite a lot of beef. i do not have mad cow disease. leaving that aside, it is hard for me to imagine that there is any legitimacy in saying that
our beef should not be exported to wherever. if it is good enough for americans, it should be good enough for foreigners to eat. those are a couple glaring examples. delaysnes are inordinate at the ports or undue inspections. just harassing the export process in general. gather, i am quite familiar with a lot of the tactics because i've been a personal victim. >> is -- i appreciate the time that we spent in the office together talking about a variety of issues. one thing i was pleased to hear was your knowledge of michigan and the industry there. the work you did with the steel
industry and automotive sector. i particularly am pleased with the comments you made in regards to the question made by one of my colleagues related to ttp. it would have a very negative impact on the auto industry. particularly with suppliers in that industry. it would have had a devastating impact on jobs, and it is not about protecting the auto industry but having a our rules where we auto industry and workers of america fairly with others. anybody if thete rules are fair. i appreciate your stance on that. i want to address something that is critically important, which is enforcement. whether they are trade deals or ,egal authority under the wto certainly the administration will play a vital role.
role in play a vital enforcing those rules. under current law, the secretary can self initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations. however, the use of this tool under previous administrations has been virtually nonexistent. i think the last time was in the 1990's. it has been along time since the commerce department has initiated these types of investigations. formal complain by the industry. -- you know first hand about that. usually it is large companies with high-priced lobbyists get noticed and get action in the commerce department. but if you are dealing with small and midsize businesses in michigan and around the country, they do not have the resources, and the impact of unfair trade notlaces goes unnoticed and
investigated. will you commit to using your legal authority a secretary to enforce the rules protecting against unfair trade act this is and self initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations? as we discussed in your office, i am an activist. i think that tool of self initiation is useful one for several reasons. that youe one mentioned. industries have a lot of small companies. very hard for them to get the .ata together i think the duration of these cases has got to be shortened. anything that can be done to shorten at the front and would be good. i think it is a good tool in another regard.
part of any negotiation is the psychology of the richest offense. to the agree we are willing to show them -- the psychology of the participants. to the degree we are willing to show them we will self initiate, that is important. effect, the curative the preventative effect, and the psychological effect on the cheaters. thatpeters: i appreciate answer, mr. ross. the pushback from previous administrations has been they lack the resources. that is why our effort to fund the interagency center on trade enforcement, which is a mouth, but they assist -- which is a mouthful, but they assist our efforts. i hope i can enlist your support with bipartisan support in tigris to devote the resources
bipartisan support in congress to devote the resources to this function. we welcome resources. sen. peters: good, good. i know you are committed to stemming the tide of jobs overseas and bring jobs back. while i have found outsourcing information is open paik and inaccessible. que and inaccessible. can you help to make sure we are actively addressing outsourcing?
heartfelti have a saying in management that anything you can't measure, you can't manage. one good thing about the allerce department, it has kinds of measurement activities and i was not aware this was a particular problem. theainly understanding parameters of problems helps to figure out how to deal with them. i look forward to further discussions with you. great, thank you. >> you are watching a special program on donald trump fell cabinet. nominee robert litan heiser has not been confirmed. he served as deputy trade representative during the reagan administration, and before that, as chief of staff on the senate finance committee. hearinga portion of his before the senate finance committee.
thizer: i know it has been said several ways, but when it comes to agricultural trade, i can't emphasize enough, representing a state with agricultural industries, trade -- senator kaine: agricultural : westries -- senator thune are expanding export markets and the only near-term relief are capping at production cost. there has been discussion about canadata agreement, but is important. i know you do not want to get into specifics, but i would encourage you to get into specifics, how you intend to
approve what is under existence under nafta. do you have a timeframe? will you negotiate separately with those countries? will they be one agreement? can you be that specific? mr. lighthizer: senator, the decision whether it should be bilateral or trilateral has not been made. the administration is eager to engage on this. we're hopefully in the process of doing those consultations. we look forward, if confirmed, to being part of that process. the administration's stated objective is to do this as quickly as possible. there is uncertainty and anxiety and minimizing that is in everyone's interest. beenthune: this has covered by senator wyden. issuesi teamed up on concerning digital trade.
that was a top priority under tpp. that will continue to be a high priority. helping our companies expand their ability to compete and tap into foreign markets is makecal, and as companies investments, it is essential that competitors not be permitted to plant roadblocks anyway. the last 10 years, the european union has been making trade agreements to erect the fact oh trade barriers to u.s. -- to erect the fact oh trade barriers to the u.s. products. how do you see yourself shaping that arelike this aimed at protecting global rules aimed at joking up competition from u.s. companies around the world? mr. lighthizer: well, i am very itiliar, and it seems to me
is an organized effort on behalf of the european union, and we have to take it head-on. we want to discourage other theseies from agreeing to geographic indicators. so, it is a little more .omplicated we realize it is a serious problem. have seen that trading partners have ignored their international commitments, particularly with respect to international -- intellectual property protection. these decisions are shortsighted and ultimately discourage innovation, investment, and job growth. what can your agency do to they are deterred in
weakening ip regimes? mr. lighthizer: we talked about property protection that will be a priority if i am confirmed. i realize how important it is. theft,ellectual property weak enforcement of patent protection and the like are very to helpingediments u.s. trade. thank you. thank you for the discussion in my office. discussions in the past and your interview, whatever we call -- senator brown: thank you. think you for the discussion my office. discussions of the passing your interview, whatever we call these. lost 4900 jobs in iron and steel. last week we received news that the u.s. steel plant in
lorraine, west of where you grow idle. would permanently our steel industry, steel workers suffer because our trading partners do not play by the rules. china's state owned properties have flooded the global market with unfairly made steel, but the same is true, as you know, and aluminum. what does the united states do a net china to implement reduction of its steel and aluminum capacity and if it refuses, what steps do you take in response? senator, thank you for your kind words. i appreciate that. i am proud to be from ohio. i have been to the lorraine facility. glad -- i'm sure there are other people that come to mind.
my brother. there is my brother. we have talked a little bit chineseis issue of steel and aluminum and it is troubling to me, not just the cause of those products, but because it is a model for the chinese industrial policy. and to some extent we have two -- two economic models. one is a different 1, 1 that is more state control. it is noty cases economic. what i have said is, we have to have a comprehensive approach on this. we have to address the chinese overcapacity issue and push back on that. some of those discussions have possibilities for results. the global one would be a good example.
although personally, i don't think that will be the only answer. be second thing will enforcing our trade laws. the other is getting them to in the their trade laws creation of economic capacity. there are hundreds of millions of tons of excess capacity. and then, thirdly, i think we sit down and have private discussions where we think about what other remedies we have. to me, the objective is to make it not expensive, to do something that adds efficiency in the market.
so, it's a multifaceted approach. we need to decide what those remedies would be an -- and we need to decide what those remedies would be. senator brown: i called my friend who is sitting out, but was also heading the president's trade team then for the transition. tradelked about enforcement and renegotiating eight -- asking the administration to make it a priority. first of all, should that be a priority. second, what steps you take to make the u.s.-china trade
relationship more effective overall? shouldhthizer: yes, it be a priority if you look at our trade deficit. as an indicator -- not the only indicator, but as an indicator of what is going on in the global economy, china is a big heart, a substantial part of our problem. and i think we have to engage and talk to china, but we also have to think about some new remedies. we have to strongly enforce our trade laws. that means sup initiating cases. we're done a pretty good job in the steel industry. i think we have to do this on other products also. we also have to think of a more approach. president is very focused on this issue. i think his views on the subject -- i believe they are very close
to yours. eager to work with this committee. with the ways and means committee. to find a responsible way to address this problem. senator brown: mr. chairman, thank you. nominatedce was november 29 and confirmed ferrari tent by a vote of 52-47. he was a member of the house representing georgia's six district for 10 years. he also served as the chair of the republican study committee and budget committee chair. tom price is an orthopedic surgeon by training who practiced medicine in atlanta and elsewhere. here's a portion of his confirmation hearing from january before the senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee.
>> just talk about the affordable care act and the health care system -- my belief is the historic mistake in the passage of the affordable care expand thesought to system that already cost too much. what is our goal, of those of us who want to repair the damage of obamacare and replace parts of it? is it to lower the cost of insurance for americans? is it to give them more choices about lower-cost insurance? is it to put more decisions in the hands of states and into the hands of patients? thank you, mr. chairman. certainly the issues you raise of where weeart ought to be putting our attention. in the six principles were i have worked, affordability is incredibly them artan.
accessibility is absolutely impaired. -- affordability is incredibly important. choices are absolutely vital. sen. alexander: isn't one of the primary means for achieving healthhoices moving more care decisions out of washington and putting them back in the hands of states and patient consumers? mr. price: in many instances, the closer you can have those decisions to the patient, the better. sen. alexander: if the responsibilities are headed for the states, would that not necessarily involve a fair amount of extensive consultation with governors and state insurance departments about how to do that, what the implementation schedule ought to be? mr. price: absolutely. people at the state level mother populations better than we can know them. sen. alexander: senator mcconnell said that obamacare would be replaced in manageable pieces. i want to suggest to you the
chart by care -- it looks like there are four major areas where americans get health care insurance. one is medicare. one is employer insurance. 61% get insurance on the job. one is medicaid. one is the individual market. only 6%, and the exchanges we here's a much about our 4% of that 6%, that is where so much of the turmoil is. let me ask you this. is this the bill? replace obamacare, is this the bill to reform medicare? mr. price: absolutely not. sen. alexander: are those accurate categories or would you categorize them a different way? are ince: the challenges the individual market and the medicaid market as you identify. sen. alexander: is it possible ?o work on one of those areas
i do not expect senator mcconnell to wheel in a comprehensive republican health care plan. in my opinion, we don't believe in that. we do not believe in replacing a failed washington, d.c. plan with our own failed land. we want to work on it byp-by-step, large piece piece. how do you respond to that. -- howdy respond to that? mr. price: i think that is fair. the american people appreciate the last thing we want to do is go from a democrat health care system to a republican health care system. our goal would go from what we see as a democrat health care system to an american health care system that recognizes the needs of all sen. alexander:. i'd --the needs of all. sen. alexander: i know your plan will not be presented until after you are confirmed, but the president elect has said, let's do repeal and replace
simultaneously. any repeal must mean of parts of obamacare would not take effect until after some concrete, practical alternative were in place for americans to choose? you haveccurate, or do a different idea of what simultaneous might mean or what the sequencing might be as we move through this process? mr. price: i think that is fair. one of the things we need to communicate to the mayor can people is no one is interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody. it is essential that individuals who have health coverage have health coverage and hopefully go to greater opportunities to gain the coverage they want for themselves and their families. i think there's been a lot of talk about individuals leaving -- losing health coverage. that is not our desire or our plan. sen. alexander: might this all take, repairing the damage,
working on these three big areas, individual market, medicaid, and employer -- my senses we have been working on this along, although we have different opinions about it, got to be able to make most of our boats in the next few months about what to do, but the implement -- most of our votes in the next two months about what to do, but the implementation, especially since it will be going back to the states, might take several years. is there a difference the 20 votes we might take and a longer time limitation of what we decide to do? mr. price: i think that is fair. i would point out that our health care system is continuing to evolve. and it should. we are always working at how it , whetherg for patients it is working for individuals. when it is, that is fine. when it isn't, it's incumbent on policymakers to do because of .hings we can to adjust that
>> thank you to the committee leadership, and thank you, congressman price. i've an observation in a few lessons per for give me. i was another hearing. i might be a little repetitive. i will try to move quickly. my worry as a virginian is your position about a range of programs that are access and coverage, the safety net that provides coverage to millions of people. you propose turning medicaid into a block grant program. that's exciting a lot of controversy in virginia right now and our legislature. and you have repeatedly voted program forchip kids, at one point calling it socialized medicine. you have proposed a restructuring of medicare that cbo found would increase out-of-pocket cost for seniors. that's about 1.3 million virginians. of theport repeal affordable care act. this about half a million virginians on the exchanges and
hundreds of thousands of others who otherwise benefit. planned to defund parenthood. tens of thousands of virginians use planned parenthood is the primary health care provider. these programs provide health care coverage for millions of virginians area there is some overlap. there are tens of millions of americans. many of them have very limited means. a consistency to your position in some ways across these programs that i view is critical to the health safety net. i know senators franken and ofray used the hippocratic what first do no harm" in questions before i came. the president and congress should strive to do no harm. would you agree with that? mr. price: absolutely. harmkaine: we should not people by reducing the health coverage or the quality of coverage. that is what we should strive for, right? mr. price: it is important to
appreciate their challenges in these programs currently. one out of three position to ought to be able to see medicaid patients does not. if we are honest and sincere about addressing these problems, we need to step back and say, why is that? eligibleght physicians to see seniors no longer sees medicare patients. if you are a new medicare patient, a new physician seeing new medicare patients, it's almost impossible. i am all with you on fixing challenges. more coverage, more affordable. mr. price: that is what we're trying to do. sen. kaine: that is important. we should not harm people by doing things that would increase their cost, correct? mr. price: i think we need to drive down the cost for everybody. sen. kaine: we should not harm people by creating an anxiety about the most important thing in their lives, their health-care and the health care of their families. we should not being given that -- we should not be doing that in congress, should we?
mr. price: one of my goals is to lower the temperature of what we're talking about. this is real stuff. these are lives. sen. kaine: can you lower the temperature in russia at the same time question -- can you lower the temperature and rush it at the same time? mr. price: they need to know that no rug is going to be pulled out from under them. sen. kaine: i will join you instability. i will join you in lowering the overture. i do not think lowering the temperature is consistent with rushing. my experience going around virginia is huge amounts of fear. we should not harm the american economy. health is a big sector of the american economy, 16 to witt by injecting a. we should try to fix the problems you or i might identify and do it in a way that provides stability and certainty. shouldn't that the our goal? mr. price: certainty is incredibly important. i'm reminded the congressional budget office has reminded us the aca has decreased the
workforce by the equivalent of 2 million fte's. do is what we are able to work together to solve those challenges. sen. kaine: do you agree with the president-elect that the replacement for the affordable care act must ensure there is insurance for everybody? mr. price: i have stated here and always that it is incredibly important that we have a system that allows for every single -- sen. kaine: and he stated in the same interview a couple days ago that we should not negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to bring down pharmaceutical drug costs. you support that position of the present elect? mr. price: the cost of drugs is a real challenge for folks and we need to do all we can to bring those costs down. >> alexander acosta was nominated for labor secretary after president trump's first o andrew fast food ce
puzder, withdrew from consideration. he has not received a vote from the full senate. as career includes serving law school dean at florida international college and university. he was a u.s. attorney for florida. he was also the assistant attorney general for civil first of you the bush administration. here is a portion of his hearing. i want to thank my parents in particular. my parents are very important to me, not simply because of what they have done for me, but my story really begins with them. and it informs my perspective on what it means to be a secretary of labor. came to theba, they united states seeking freedom, and they found it. they met in miami in high school
. they fell in love. they married young. her teens whenn she found her she was pregnant. neither attended college. growing up, they struggled. not as much as other americans have struggled, but they struggle. my mother started out as a typist at a real estate firm. at times, she commuted 90 minutes each way for her job. my father served in the army. later, he tried to start a small business, but he quickly found lack of higher education, his ability to deal with forms and rules made it very difficult for him to be a small business owner, and so he went on to hold various jobs and he ended his working life as an inventory clerk at a cell phone store. our family lived paycheck to paycheck. my grandmother cared for me while we grew up, and that was an incredibly helpful and loving thing to do, because both my parents worked full-time.
at times, my parents went into debt, deep debt, the kind of debt they tell you not to go into because credit card interest rates are high, but they went into debt and they took on second jobs to make inns meet, and they did that -- to and they didt, that because they want to give me an education. i am here because of them in my success.s their they were able to give me those opportunities because even though they did not have a college education, they had something very important, and that the job. though at times they were able lost theirimes they job, they were always able to find a job and that was important. >> lets start with the skills gap you spoke about. if we were to think of you as the secretary of the work force, in this head spinning environment, we already spent a
than $30ney, more billion and pell grant. the average pell grant is the same as the average community college tuition. we spend a lot of money on student loans. other countries do other things. germany has an apprenticeship system. some people say our technical institutes do a better job than our community colleges. if you are the secretary of the accordingand you see to the manufacturing institute 2 million americans' manufacturing jobs go unfilled due to the skills gap, specifically, what are things we should be doing about it. that's what are things we should be doing about it? mr. acosta: senator, thank you for the question. let me touch on the first part of your comments. the spending in education -- i that thes critical department of labor work closely
with the department of education because a lot of spending is taking place in education, and we want to make sure, to the extent possible and feasible, the individuals have the opportunity to align their thattion with their skills the workplace will demand. more specifically, to the second part of your question, you mentioned apprenticeships. doingg fan of learning by -- i am a league fan of learning by doing. we started a plan, a full semester internship at a law firm in addition to a public defender's office or a state attorney's office and students have the opportunity to spend a full some mr. there because they can learn by doing. and i think if you look at some of the apprenticeship programs where individuals work and they get credit where they are working or some of the other programs available in community colleges that focus on vocational opportunities in
partnership with individual businesses, those are all options we should be looking at because there are alternative ways of providing skills. students toway for acquire skills and jobs -- without taking on the enormous debt that we are seeing. senator alexander: the overtime effect,it is not in thanks report. that is one of the worst examples of overregulation. it caused millions of americans to punch time clocks they did not want to punch. it raised tuition, according to our universities by hundreds of dollars. my local boy scout
council to have to dismiss counselors. it received widespread condemnation around the country, and even in congress, there was bipartisan opposition. there was a doubling of the threshold. there was an announcement of the impact on nonprofits. what he going to do about the impact of the rule? mr. acosta: as you mentioned, it is pending in litigation. let me offer a few observations. the overtime role has not been updated since 2004 and i think it is unfortunate that rules that involve dollar values can sometimes go more than a decade -- sometimes 15 years without updating, because life does become more expensive time.me -- over senator alexander: let me press you a little bit. doesn't that impact concern you? mr. acosta: mr. chairman, it
does. i think it is unfortunate it goes so long without adjusting. when they are adjusted, you see impacts including a doubling of the amount. systemhe stress on the as the chairman mentioned, securely in areas, geographic what that are lower wage -- lower wage. one of the challenges is since 2004 there is been no change. now there is a very large change and how should that be addressed as a policy matter? that's a very difficult decision but a serious one. the economy does feel a substantial impact from such a large change.
>> the overtime will help to restore the 40 hour workweek which is the cornerstone of protection for workers. before that, workers could be asked to put in extra hours without earning a single extra dollar for the overtime that they spent away from their families and that expanded the able tof workers receive overtime. after big business decided to block that rule the court is now -- thering the role rule. let me ask the question differently. do you believe workers should be paid overtime for the overtime hours that they work? mr. acosta: senator, i believe workers that are entitled to overtime pay should receive pay
for their overtime. senator murray: will you defend this rule in court? mr. acosta: is i was saying in response to the chairman's question, the overtime role has not been updated since 2004. we now see an update that is a very large revision and in something that needs to be considered is the impact it has on the economy, on nonprofits, on geographic areas that have lower wages. i am also very sensitive to the fact it has not been updated since 2004, and if confirmed i will look at this very closely. let me also add a related issue to this is the question of whether the dollar threshold is within the authority of the secretary. when congress passed the statutes, it provided in essence , and one of the
issues in litigation is does the threshold supersede the duties test and is it not in accordance with the law? mention that because i think the authority of the secretary to address this is a separate issue from what the correct amount is and the litigation needs to be considered carefully both with respect to what would be the appropriate amount if it were to be changed or revised and also what is the authority of the secretary to do? is an issueay: this i will be following closely. i think it is an issue of fairness. i really believe it is the duty of the secretary to make sure treated fairly. >> a profile of president trump's cabinet continues with epa administrator scott pruitt who was confirmed 52-46 on february 16th. during his time as oklahoma
attorney general, mr. pruitt filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the epa. prior to becoming state attorney general, and served in the oklahoma state senate. this version of his january confirmation hearing includes questions from dan sullivan and bernie sanders. senators sullivan: i appreciated your opening statement. we all want clean-air. we all want clean water. my home state of alaska has the most pristine environment in the world, but your emphasis on the ability to do both, to growing develop my believes important. i believe the epa needs a correction.se as senator ernst talked about there's a lot of anger and fear
throughout parts of the country and i believe you are the right person to provide that course correction and do something that is very important, which is regained the trust of the american people that i think has -- and a lot of places in america because of the overreach because of a lakh of ofusing -- because of a lack focusing on the law. is this a term -- did you come up with that or is that directed by congress? directed by congress, senator. senator sullivan: in the clean whoact, clean water act, was given the primary clean airlity over and water in the united states? there is something
called state implementation plans that the epa in these states review together but the states have that responsibility -- says theullivan: it primary responsibility -- you director that? mr. pruitt: congress. so you arelivan: focusing on the intent of the congress. mr. pruitt: probably more so byn any statute adopted congress historically. the environmental statutes that we know from clean water to clean air, many pieces of legislation, congress has been very explicit, very specific in saying, the court role of federalism is important and should be emphasized. mr. pruitt: let me show you a chart. in the states and entities that 32. to stop that rule -- democrats and republicans and independents.
do you think this is an example of corporate of federalism? and if not, if you are confirmed, what are you going to do to get back to what is not a scott pruitt idea, it is the direct direction of the congress of the united states? mr. pruitt: senator, when you think about the relationship states,the epa and the the states do not exist to area federal dictates from washington, d.c. there are requirements, obligations, authority, jurisdiction granted to the state. that needs to be respected. when it is not respected, that here today.ned it matters. it matters they respond in a way that congress has directed and they have not for a number of years. sen. sullivan: in so you're talking about the will of
congress. to fixitt: how environmental issues at the local level is important for the entire country. sullivan: i'm a former attorney general myself who sued the epa. senator booker tried to equate suing the epa, not caring for oklahoma's children. do you care about oklahoma's children? mr. pruitt: without question. sullivan: 14 lawsuits. what has been the primary focus of those lawsuits. it's not that you don't care about the environment, is it? not.ruitt: absolutely it is to restore the relationship congress has directed improving our environment. there is an idea in washing and that the stuff at the states -- those in oklahoma or in alaska --other parts of the country
the farmers and ranchers are very committed to that. sullivan: one more question. i think senator sanders is up next. others have spent a lot of time vilifying the oil and gas actors, looters. 364,000 oklahomans work in the oil and gas industry or a related service sector. are these people bad actors? questionerlluters could you describe -- you talk about the good people in your written statement. you are the good people and are you representing them when you bring these kinds of actions? are they evil people? no, they care about
the law. they want to make sure that the epa is partnering with state agencies and industry. sen. sullivan: are these hundreds of thousands of people part of that industry? mr. pruitt: absolutely. this is a state concern. in more than that, we have significant regulation of this industry. so, we have regulatory bodies from deq to the corporation commission to others involved in making sure the air we breathe and the water we drink is clear. sanders: my office has received a great deal of comments in the state of vermont, as well as from all press country and the fear is the nomination of mr. pruitt is a nomination designed to protect the fossil fuel industry and not the environment. i would like to ask mr. pruitt question. as i understand it, earlier in
you said mr. trump was wrong in stating over and over again that climate change was a "hoax." is that the case? mr. pruitt: that is correct, senator. all right.ders: let me ask you this. as you may know, 97% of scientists to have written articles for peer reviewed journals have concluded climate change is real, it is caused by isan activity, and it already causing devastating problems in our country and around the world. that climatee change is caused by the emission , by carbon emissions, by human activity? senator, you were not here during my opening statement, but as i indicated, the climate is changing and human activity has contributed to that in some manner.
senator sanders: in some manner? mr. pruitt: yes, sir. ofator sanders: 97% scientists believe that human acted -- human activity is the fundamental reason we are seeing climate change. do you disagree with that? mr. pruitt: i believe the ability to measure with precision is subject to more debate on whether the climate is changing or we contribute to it. senator sanders: you are not certain to rid the vast majority of signed his are telling us if we do not get our act together and transform our energy system .way from fossil fuels so, you are applying for a job as administrator for the epa to protect our environment. a majority of scientists have said we need to act boldly and you're telling me that there
needs to be more debate on this issue and we should not be acting boldly. mr. pruitt: as i indicated, the climate is changing -- senator sanders: you have not told me why you think the climate is changing. mr. pruitt: the job of the administrator is to carry out the statutes of this body -- senator sanders: why is the climate changing? mr. pruitt: the epa administrator is constrained by statute staff senator sanders: i am asking your personal opinion. mr. pruitt: my personal opinion is immaterial. really?sanders: you're the head of the agency to protect the environment and your personal feelings about whether climate change is caused by human activity and carbon emissions is immaterial? mr. pruitt: senator, i have acknowledged you that human activity impacts -- senator sanders: impacts. the scientific community does not say it impacts. it is the cause of climate change. we have to transform our energy system. you believe we have to change our energy system?
mr. pruitt: i believe the epa -- senator sanders: you did not answer the question. do you believe we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to do what the scientific community is telling us, in order to make sure this planet is healthy for our children and grandchildren? mr. pruitt: senator, i believe the administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating co2. senator sanders: can you tell me, as i think all of us know, oklahoma has been subjected to a record-breaking number of earthquakes. scientists in oklahoma, or --entist say that oklahoma signed to say that oklahoma, has a probability of more earthquakes and the cause of this is fracking. can you point me, picking up on senator harris's discussion with you, can you point me to any and thethat you wrote
enforcement actions you took against the companies that were injecting waste fracking water? have very: senator, i concerned about the connection between activity in oklahoma -- senator sanders: can you tell me who you fined for doing this? mr. pruitt: the corporation has acted on that -- have a sanders: and you public statement expressing your deep concern about this? you're in a state seeing a record-breaking number of earthquakes. you are the attorney general. obviously, you have stood up and said you will do everything you can to stop future earthquakes as a result of fracking? mr. pruitt: senator, i have acknowledged i'm concerned -- senator sanders: you have a knowledge you are concerned. if that is the kind of administrator for the epa, your state is having a record-breaking number of earthquakes, you are concerned, if that is the kind of epa administrator you will be,
you're not going to get my vote. of they perdue was one last cabin and nominees announced by the trump administration. the outlook or chill committee overwhelmingly supported his nomination with a full senate vote scheduled for april 24. a georgia native, and a son of a farmer, he served as georgia governor and senator before that. will show his opening statement from his committee hearing in late march. that there wasow some anxiety whether there would be a secretary of agriculture nominee, and i must say with all i can muster, i think the president must have saved the best for last. [laughter] mr. perdue: i would like to thank each of you for meeting with me and i hope and trust
that our meetings were not just introductory episodes, but an ongoing opportunity to listen and learn from one another. to earn yourt only affirmative vote, but your trust, and if you afford me that opportunity i will carry out this awesome job with integrity with the compassion of a golden rule heart. before i get started, i would like to introduce my family members here with me today. -- i am a mynies lovely wife. i had no idea when i married her 40 years ago she would be such a prolific grandmother. you see our 14 grandchildren.
they are more familiar with me being called big body than any other fancy titles. i'm pleased to have more than 30 of my former coworkers here who with meside by side while serving the state of georgia and its people. >> governor, could you -- pardon this interruption. we would like for your family and coworkers to stand, if you would, please. thank you all for being here. [applause] mr. perdue: good-looking crowd, if i do say so myself. you read my bio and pored over my personal and professional professional history, but if you will indulge me, i would like to tell you a little bit about myself. as a youngster growing up on a dairy farm --
plowingas a young boy the fields, i was in and trickle part of the workforce. my mother was an english teacher for 42 years. governor, we will take care of this problem. please proceed, governor. my mother was also an english teacher for 42 years. i benefited from her teachers as well. thejust raising me with believe cycle gear, but being an english teacher, she also major i knew about dangling -- the beliefs i hold your, but being english teacher, she made sure i knew about dangling participles. baseball,ittle league
and i wrote my horse trigger. i had set my heart on being and veterinarian, being advised by dr. davis, a kind and gentle veterinarian who cared for our dairy herd. i enrolled at the university of georgia where i played for the georgia bulldogs. play is probably not the operative word, but i was on the team. realizing my future was on the football field, i decided to apply myself to my studies. as i entered veterinary school in 1967, you may remember, vietnam was roiling. i signed up for an early commission in the united states air force your it as i finished my education in 1971, i was asigned to columbus, ohio the state veterinarian whose primary responsibilities were public health, food, and
sanitation. as i completed my active duty commitment, i joined a small animal veterinary practice in raleigh, north carolina. i realized even though our practice was thriving, i missed my agricultural way of life. mary, i, and are two small girls moved back home where i partnered with my brother-in-law to building new grain elevator in our home county. sadly, my brother-in-law and partner passed away after only three years at the age of 43. so, i have been in agribusiness and safety and operator of three agribusiness and transportation serving farmers across the southeastern united states. farming and farmers have been my life ever since he read i live and breathe the exhilaration of a great crop and the despair and devastation of a drought. i have learned by experience what my father told me as a child. if you take care of the land, it
will take care of you. let's fast-forward to what you are probably more interest it in. -- interested in. i was not one of those young men who shook a president's and at the age of 16 and aspired to run for office. i was tuned into current events, but i had no interest in elected politics. agreed to chair our local planning and zoning commission, but after 10 years, the state senate became open and i was asked to run for that seat. afterially declined, but a family vacation to williamsburg, virginia, i changed my mind, having' observed the founders demonstration -- having observed demonstration of citizen engagement. i was elected by my colleagues to be president pro tem, the pinnacle of leadership in that body from 1996 until 1998.
you probably heard, and defenders thing to note, i served as a democrat and a republican in the georgia state senate. in 2002, was elected the first republican governor of georgia in 100 30 years, as senator chambliss reminded us, and i office that job -- that knowing it was a big job, not just the position. we may georgia the best managed state in the nation. not 2002 until 2011 were the best economic times in our nation, but we learned, with the help of a joyful state workforce we could continue to provide value to the citizens of georgia, even in times of extreme budget pressures. even the georgia may not compare to some of your states, i am proud to say i come from a state whose number one act -- economic driver is agriculture. where democrats
and republicans consistently worked across the aisle. i am pleased to note that reaching across the aisle is practice in this committee were partisanship does not get in the way of good solutions for america's farmers, ranchers, and consumers. if confirmed, i look forward to working with you, all of you. the makeup of this committee speaks to the size, reach, and diversity of america's agricultural sector and contains at least one person i picked watermelons with in my youth. i appreciate that the department of agriculture trouble -- touches the lives of americans in many ways, including improving the lives of the least of these. to continue that role, if i am honored with senate confirmation, i will work these basedeach of
on the stakeholders of american agriculture. first, i will maximize the opportunity and the ability of the men and women in the agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs and to reap the earned reward of their labor. obstacleo remove every and give them every opportunity to prosper. secondly, i will prioritize customer service every day. they expect and have every right to demand we conduct the people's business efficiently, effectively, and with the utmost integrity. third, as our taxpayers are also ar consumers, they expect secure food supply, and the usda criticalinue in that role, making sure that it needs standards tofety which we have established and are accustomed. i will never forget that we are the beneficiaries of past generations to put a premium on
, interestingship us with those of valuable resources. that's the basis of our fourth goal. america's agricultural bounty comes from the land and today those resources sustain mr. chairman, thank you for your time this morning. and to working with the men and women of the usda who are committed to serving. i look forward to answering your questions. thank you very much. nominated a trump former rival, ben carson. he was confirmed by the senate on march 2 by a vote of 58-41. dr. carson crew up in detroit with a single mother. he became a pediatric .eurosurgeon at john hopkins
he ran for president as a republican in 2016 and is the author of several books thisding "gifted hands." portion of his confirmation includes questions from tim scott and sherrod brown. carson, thank you for being willing to serve. your entire family will feel the impact of your service to this country. you have done a fabulous job and set a great example for many of us. menendez, your background is very similar. much potential inside the human heart in the human head, the brain, that we
ought to look for ways to expose that potential and offer people to experience their full potential. that is such an important part of the equation. the greatest thing we can do is help folks find the path to their own independence. it is not to suggest that government does not have a role in government doesn't have the somebody's life. i think that your life demonstrates that as well as your answers to these questions. i want to thank you for your desire to do a listening tour. he has had many issues around housing for many decades. when i was on the county level in south carolina, we had housing concerns. listening to the people who live in the house and it's such an important part of the formula
that will benefit the american people, especially within housing. that the outgoing administration had the same objective of listening. you to listenage to the senators and folks who appoint you to the position. democrats or republicans, it is important to remain responsive. i will use one case. there was a housing tragedy in florida where marco rubio and senator nelson spent an enormous amount of time uncovering the challenges and the lack of inspections in housing. -- to participate. nobody showed up.
employees and we couldn't find anybody to listen to the elected officials who had serious concerns about the living conditions of people in public housing. not one single employee could find their way into the chambers. i cannot imagine how that made them feel about their government , about their opportunities for success, their opportunities on the latter. i expect your experience will be different. one of the things i found refreshing about your approach is the notion of a fresh start. someone who understands the necessity of affordable, clean, stable housing as a part of that
journey to the american dream. i would love to hear your thoughts on how you incorporate the holistic approach to that opportunity presented to you. >> thank you. thank you for the wonderful example. the reason i concentrate on the holistic approach is because when i look back historically at the agency, there has been a lot of good programs, one after another. they have been targeted at specific problems. the progress has not been as great as one would like to see. one of the things that i iscovered as a neurosurgeon
you are much more effective when you bring in a bigger picture. do not just look at the tumor that somebody has in their brain. -- how the whole person can you bring help to the individual and put them into an environment to thrive. that is the same principle i am looking at here. the programs that have been enacted in hud over the years, they are good programs but they larget bringing about the numbers of people. that is what we are looking for. we do not want it to be a way of life. we wanted to be a springboard to move forward. that is why i place so much
emphasis on education. that is why i place so much emphasis on health care. i am talking about putting clinics into neighborhoods so that people do not rely on the emergency room where it costs more and where you do not get the follow-up. that is what i am talking about. it saves so much money to think that way. >> thank you for the statements. of your goals are inconsistent with statements you have made. if confirmed, you will be held to the ideas you have expressed today, not once he may have talked about during the
presidential race. you want to make communities more inclusive. with one oft odds the only housing policies that you have taken -- taken a public standing on. critiqued for affirmatively [indiscernible] for me -- you likened it to a failed socialist experiment. please elaborate on the implementation of the fair housing, especially the requirement -- >> thank you for that question. thank you for the opportunity to explain that. it has been distorted by many people. know, that act says that
we want people who are receiving hud grants to look around and see if they find anything that looks like discrimination. and then we want them to come up with a solution on how to solve the problem. toy are not responding people saying there is a problem. they are saying, look for a problem. case iselieve to be the we have people sitting around desks in washington deciding on how things should be done, telling mayors and commissioners and people, you need to build this place and you need to put these kinds of people in it. what i would encourage -- i don't have any problem whatsoever with affirmative action or integration.
i have no problem with that at all. but i do have a problem with people on high dictating it when they do not know anything about the area. officials and we whatpeople who can assess the problems are and working with local officials, can come up with much better solutions than a one size fits all program from people in washington. that is the part. --your objection is not to your objection is whether that is done from washington? >> my objection is central dictation in people's lives. >> i want to hear your views on the housing rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. these people also faced discrimination and alarming rates of youth homelessness and bullying. yet, you have raised questions about whether lgbtq people should enjoy the same rights as everyone else. do you believe that hud has a duty to provide equal housing opportunities for gb gq people? people?btq >> of course i would enforce the laws. i believe that all americans regardless of any of the things that you mentioned should be protected by the law. what i have mentioned in the past is the fact that nobody gets extra rise. extra rights means you get to redefine everything for everybody else.
that doesn't seem to be -- >> i am glad to hear you say that moving forward you will respect that. >> glass question. we have seen a dramatic increase in affordable housing as he pointed out. the 11 million families, one quarter of renters pay more than half of their income for housing. once it goes wrong, and temporary layoff, illness, they lose their home. we talk about the matthew desmond book "evicted." peoples's lives being turned upside down when they are .victed their children's school district changes, they lose their possessions, their credit -- all when halfhings happen of their income goes to housing. i am surprised that doesn'tt-elect agenda
even mention housing. he told me about your conversations about an urban agenda. have you had discussions with you about your plans for housing boy his plans for housing -- tell us what those plans -- where -- tell us what plans -- [indiscernible] >> yes. we talked this morning. problem to attack the you describe from both ends. are a large number of people spending 30-50% of their income on housing. that is unacceptable. do is raise to their income or decrease the cost of housing. areas areth of those areas that we need to work upon. >> do you support raising the minimum wage? do you support the overtime roll? people got raises that are making 30 -- if we are talking
about raising income, the dollars goal would mean -- do you support those? >> i support creating an environment entrepreneurial risk-taking and capital investment which are the engines that drove america to the pinnacle of the world. >> i guess that means you do not support the minimum wage. >> a means that my philosophy is that we can increase people's minimum wages by increasing opportunities for them and creating an environment where those opportunities exist. i do not think it is artificial that someone that works 50-60 hours a week can work those hours over 40 making
$35,000 a year -- i do not think that is artificial when the employer has denied them that time. >> i agree it is not artificial the righteate environment, that employer will have to pay them more because the competition will require it. >> transportation secretary elaine chao was confirmed on january 31 by a vote of 93-6. she previously served as labor secretary during the bush administration. she becomes the first asian-american to serve in a cabinet position. secretary chao also served as united way president and ceo. she is married to senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. we will show you portions of her confirmation hearing with questions from libya cap well and deb fischer. >> i think we had a chance to
discuss the state of washington and our rapidly it is growing. for the third consecutive year, seatac is the fastest-growing airport. the passenger volume has increased by 32%. railroads are moving over 105 million tons of freight. the northwest seaport alliance, the largest cargo center. 3% compared to the nation as a whole and washington employment grew 3.5%
adding 109,000 jobs in 2016. we have an economic engine but we desperately desperately desperately desperately need investment. so innocent to your words carefully as you phrased out ways in which to get that infrastructure investment. there is nothat infrastructurer investment. it is very important that we move forward. yes orhave a couple of no questions. it is more just trying to get a sense of what you will prioritize as far as funding. the legislation that this committee passed that was implemented and funding fastening grant programs to move
freight more cost effectively and continuing to fund that program? >> in concept of course we want to make sure that it is moved efficiently. hence the productivity -- it is good for the economy. i am not quite sure because i have not been briefed on what the current situation is but i will be more than glad to do to the faa myomes colleague mentioned this and i just want to be clear do you support coming up with additional funding however it works out -- you do support in a new infrastructure investment in our airports? towe need more resources build, repair, refurbish our thosetructure including that relate to the aviation sector, yes. transit one ofnd the fastest-growing commuter systems in the country.
there are projects that are already in the pipeline. you support for a continuation of those projects and you mention creativity one of the things that have been able to use a semester credit agreements that they can get more affordable and rates are those the kinds of programs that you would support from transit? >> at this point if i need to take a look at those projects are there are many projects that are on the books and there are differing reasons why some are faster, some are slower. i need to take a look at what is happening with each of those projects. >> i'd like to follow up with you if i could in writing and see if we can get an answer to that. >> of course. >> i mentioned this issue of the crude by rail going through the state of washington, extraordinary growth rates of trains that have every city in my state concerned about the volatility of this product. department of energy and d.o.t. are working on an analysis of the volatility of that product. will you continue to support that research.
>> you and i have talked about this at length. the prospect of having these products go through urban areas of great concern but again, until i'm confirmed and i have an opportunity to be briefed on all of these, it would be premature for me to say anything at this point. >> okay. >> but i will work with you on this. >> i definitely came here very interested in your nomination and very enthusiastic about the prospects of a former cabinet member moving over to focus on something that has been very, if you will, administrations sometimes choosing someone of the opposite party just because of the bipartisan nature of transportation. so i would hope you could look at some of these. >> absolutely. >> and give me a more specific answer. i'm not trying to box you in as much as the main debate for my state right now is are we going to fund infrastructure investment. we need to know that you're going to step up and say yes to that and work creatively with us to find those solutions. >> the way you have just phrased the question, absolutely.
>> okay. >> yes. >> but the specifics, you have. >> yeah, if i'm confirmed, i do need to take a look at the specifics. >> i'm going to send you a few more in writing. thank you so much. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to see you today and i want to add my congratulations on your nomination. i appreciated you coming in for a private meeting that we had in our office and i thought we covered a variety of issues and i just want to touch on a few of those today with you. of course, on everybody's mind is the highway trust fund. when you hear the president-elect speak about infrastructure infrastructure, putting money into infrastructure, part of that i would assume would go to the
highway trust fund. we are looking at a shortfall of $107 billion over the next 5 years following the expiration of the f.a.s.t. act. what are your thoughts on addressing that long-term solvency of the federal highway trust fund? >> the highway trust fund is in bad shape. because of a declining miles -- because of the increased miles per gallon that cars normally get, the gas tax, which is 90% of the funding of the highway trust fund, is no longer -- is not as lucrative as it used to be, and the fund annually spends $47 billion, takes in $37 billion. there's a $10 billion deficit every year. we can't make that up on volume. so this is a huge issue. and the pay fors for any infrastructure proposal are all challenging and all have their particular champions and also detractors. so once again, if confirmed, i look forward to working with this committee and also the congress on this number-one priority among the top priorities of this
president-elect. >> thank you. this -- >> and it will go bankrupt by 2021 if we don't do something, so we all know this. >> yes. this is an issue i worked on in my state as a state senator. we were successful in thinking outside the box on some policy issues and in a couple weeks we'll be putting forward a proposal here to start that conversation on how we're going to be funding our highways. another thing that identify worked on in this committee, secretary chao, is addressing and reduce the growing number of those unnecessary regulations that we face and during the last congress, the subcommittee on surface transportation that i chaired held nearly 20 hearings and events on how best that we can keep goods moving across this country and do so safely. so i was pleased to be able to have language in the f.a.s.t. act to reform the federal motor
carrier safety administration's regulatory process by making it more transparent and responsive and open to input from our stakeholders. i would ask you, what do you think is the best way that we can keep passengers and freight moving across our system and how do you plan to approach looking at regulations that many consider to be a burden on how we are moving goods and people across this country? >> you and i had a long conversation during our courtsy sycourtesy meeting which i'm very grateful that you granted. many of the transportation issues in your state. and it was very clear from your career in the past as part of the state legislature, that you are quite an expert on all of these transportation issues, yourself. so it was a real benefit for me to learn from you and hear your points and also
see your passion for protecting interest of your state. what was the question? i'm so sorry. >> how are we going to -- >> oh, regulations. sorry. so on the regulations, i think the great challenge for all regulators is to balance the ultimate goal, obviously, of safety, but also to make sure that the regulations that are enacted are based on sound science, on true data, and that the underlying analysis is solid. that is the best way that we protect consumers and passengers. >> right. i agree with you on that. another point, we're looking at shortages with regards to commercial truck drivers, with airline pilots, and that has a direct impact not just on our transportation system, but on
our country as a whole when we're not able to move people, when we're not able to move and seek products and see commerce grow, so i look forward to working with you on that as well. featuresnal segment small business and illustrator linda mcmahon was confirmed on february 14. she is known as the former ceo of wwe. she has been involved in a professional wrestling business since the early 1980's. first. twice we will show her answering questions from rand paul and mazie hirono. you can watch confirmation hearings from all of the nominees by going to c-span .org, >> welcome.
the gentleman put it well when he said that small businesses are worried about regulation. particularly, if you have bank, youanks or one can spread it to a thousand banks were 10,000 employees. this goes on across america. we actually have big businesses that come to washington acting in favor of regulation because they see it as an impediment to smaller competition. i hope you will be a voice for a small business. in your opinion, do you think we are overregulated or under regulated? do you have any ideas about how this administration might be run? heard constantly while campaigning in connecticut from small businesses was the overregulation environment,
which is costing time, effort, and money. i think we forget that in small -- i have a special place in my heart for them -- they are the ceo, the cfo, the janitor, everything. when they get regulation forms to fill out to comply, they do not know what to do with it, they cannot hire lawyers said they either become more at fault more they have taken time away from the business to do it. it is difficult for small businesses to suffer that burden. >> i would say taxes is about
equal. a lot of small businesses pass through their incomes -- a successful small business -- you have an obama care tax. 44 before you live in the northeast -- and have a 12% state income tax on top of that. i think there is a great burden. you won't get to address tax policy directly unless there are ways you can as a small business administration but you will also be a voice in the cabinet. i want to hear are we overtaxed, undertaxed or is it an im impediment to the formation of small business? >> thank you. having first started out as a sub s corp, and women's leadership live i started as an llc, so i understand how that pass through income works. i think if we're involved in tax
reform we need to consider how to also make it a level playing field for those pass through companies. i would be a strong advocate for that. >> first of all, i want to commend you for the comments you made regarding president trump comments about women. i asked you to be a strong voice for women, should you be confirmed confirmed -- work with this committee to improve these programs? >> i want to be a strong advocate for women, for small businesses and minority in businesses and work with committee and members of congress to make sure that we have the right regulations to help our business grow. >> i think you have an understanding of the special challenges faced by entrepreneurs having been one yourself, minority owned
business veterans, those are groups that i particularly am focused on to make sure they have a kind of support from sba that they should get. we heard a lot about access to capital. that's something you mentioned hearing about when you were running for office. because numbers you know what the causes are we cannot make the appropriate changes since access to capital has been mentioned by you have you id those causes and what you would do about that as sba administrator? >> thank you for your question. when i was running for the senate in connecticut. there was a company that was in the rural area. it was an entrepreneur who made grit it looks like spring. they were mostly women making this grips and springs. and he built his business from two to three people. he gotten loans from the
bank and it was time to expand the business. he knew the community banger, now he as work orders and more business coming in, in order to do that he needed to add on to his facility. so he went to see his same community banker. and banker told him your asset rich but cash poor. he said i get that. because if i had the cash i would not need be to here to get through this time. what the banker told him was in the past i have been able to loan you this money, but today, under the new regulatory vierm environment, you no longer equal as you did before. you would have to over collateralize in order to make the loan to you. that meant he had to put up all
asset, house, other assets in order to collateralize a much smaller loan. while entrepreneurs are happy to take managed risk that was simply too much. he did not expand and he didn't grow his business, he didn't hire the next people. that's an example of a regulatory environment that does not allow our small businesses to grow. >> i have heard those commence from small businesses in my stated. some of those resulted from the financial collapse and the underregulation of financial services industry on wall street, there's a cause and effect. i'm with you in trying to resolve some of those issues. there was a reason that it changed because there was uncollateralize loans which lead to collapse.
we hear a lot about over regulation, when i talk to my small businesses, it's easy to say we're in over regulated environment, what specific regulation is causing you trouble. unless we identify them. -- i'll give you an example. he should ship cut flowers but they could not ship whole flowers so we worked to change that. when we moved to improve the regulatory environment that you had asked those specific kinds
of questions so that we get to the heart of whatever the regulation is that is causing them problems as opposed to some kind of, yes, we're over regulated that doesn't take us far in my opinion. >> i don't know how you change regulation if you cannot identify them. confirmed 22 has nominations that require approval. the washington post reports only one nomination has failed to be ,onfirmed, andrew prisoner nominated to head the labor department in shortly after he wagered his name from consideration he stepped down as ceo for the fast food company jr..runs carl's
alex acosta was president trump's second pic for labor secretary. he and the nominees for secretary of agriculture and -- are the three cabinet level nominations that have yet to be confirmed. the next vote will be on monday when the senate returns from a two-week recess. they will vote on the nomination of georgia governor sonny perdue to be agriculture secretary and on advance the nomination of robert rosenstein to be deputy attorney general. you can watch the debate when senators return, live at 3:00 p.m. monday on c-span2. >> tomorrow afternoon mexico secretary of finance and public credit will talk about the economic relationship between the united states and mexico and have it onto the administration is affecting mexico's economy. live from the center for strategic and international studies at 2:00 eastern. and a former white house science adviser john holdren will talk about u.s. science and
technology policy ahead of the march for science rallies which will be held in washington and cities around the world on saturday to mark earth day. he will speak at the american association for the advancement of science. this afternooned after treasury secretary steve mnuchin said tax reform is coming very soon and will happen with or without a replacement for the affordable care act. he made the comments during the institute of international finance. here are his remarks in their entirety. >> than we think our friends and colleagues who cosponsored this event today and the chairman and ceo, a dear friend who will be asking the secretary the questions today. we are fortunate to