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tv   Trump Cabinet Officials Confirmation Hearings Opening Statements  CSPAN  April 21, 2017 1:23am-3:33am EDT

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>> congress returns next week from a recess. when the house returns tuesday, they will start work on federal spending for the remainder of this budget year and 2018. current spending authority runs out at the end of the month could also pending, raising the debt ceiling. the senate returns monday at 3:00 eastern. they will vote on the nomination of former governor, sonny purdue to be agriculture secretary and on advancing the nomination for the deputy attorney general.
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you can watch that debate on c-span2 and the house on c-span. ♪ >> 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. part two of our special program 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
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the heir of amway fortune, she has been a long time publican party activists and served at one time as state party chair. her education 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 what goes on here and say that is never me. i will never go through with it. most of us say that after an election cycle.
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it is rare to find somebody who is the full monty. he did not have to do this. 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. i am sure you and the senator from minnesota can come to a agreement. i've sat here and i remember in my 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
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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 opportunity to get a successful education. from not that every child that got that education would have an opportunity to reach for the american dream of a life that is unlimited in opportunity. you convinced me without me asking a question. i only have one question today. why is it so 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. human tendency is to protect and
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guard what is because change is difficult. yet we see the 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. i thank you for your support and your encouragement around the notion that every child should have the opportunity. every parent should have the opportunity on behalf of the child to choose the right educational environment for them.
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i am hopeful that if we can continue having a robust conversation about this, that we will talk about the great school that our children have the 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 i look across america and the world, i have seen an age were technology is going to impact things that we did not even dream about five years ago.
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what we have seen happen to our 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. in a 2015 speech, you are really blunt. sucks." nt really you call the public school system a dead-end. in order to clarify, you never attended a public school, did you?
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ms. devos: correct. >> you never taught at a public school. ms. devos: i did not, but it -- i mentored at one. >> teachers do better when their morale is high, do you agree? ms. devos: yes. i support teachers. just with reference to the quote -- >> i would like to introduce that for the record. i do not have any other questions about it and i have a limited amount of time. another quote, you and your husband spoke at a conference a number of years ago. your husband said the church has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity and the center for what goes on in the community. thomas jefferson did not view --
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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 schools 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. >> will you insist on the equal accountability 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.
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>> do you not want to answer my question. : i support accountability. >> i think all schools should be equally accountable. do you agree with me or not? ms. devos: no. >> should all k-12 schools 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. should 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 to 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
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funding. should they be required to follow federal law you echo -- follow federal law? ms. devos: as the senator referred to -- 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. >> you cannot get agree with me. finally, should all k-12 schools receiving federal -- governmental funding -- ms. devos: federal funding certainly comes with strings attached. >> think all such schools should report equal information about harassment or bullying, do you agree?
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ms. devos: i would look forward to reviewing that provision. >> if it was a court, i would say that the judge tell the -- witness answer the question. >> steve mnuchin was confirmed on february 13. his career in finance including years as a senior executive at goldman sachs. during the 2016 campaign, he served as donald trump's chair. this confirmation hearing includes questions from south dakota republican john thune. and colorado democrat michael bennet. >> what do you think is a reasonable expectation?
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mr. mnuchin: i am looking at some of my notes. the short answer is i believe the short answer is i believe that we should be able to get 3% to 4% 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. in 1984 we had 7%. in 1998, we had 5%. in 2005 we had 3%. the last time we had appropriate growth rate. i share the president-elect
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'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 regulations of volume coming out of this administration, even up to right now. as of yesterday, there was a 277 page regulation that affects farmers, small businesses, the folks that i represent. there was also in september, we sent a letter basically trying to get him to withdraw some regulations that dealt with
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evaluation discounts. that impact the state and make it difficult for a smaller business or former rancher to pass it on. there, will over you hopefully look at the drawing those types of regulations and undoing a lot of harm -- economic harm which has adversely impacted the growth rate of this economy as quickly as possible? mr. mnuchin: absolutely. we believe inappropriate 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 the irs regulations on family businesses.
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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 noncontrolled. the irs should follow fair of valuations. we should collect the most money and not have lots of loopholes. we need to reflect fair valuations. >> it do you believe -- >> do you believe the dollar is too strong? are we ever going to hear you say that it is too strong?
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mr. mnuchin: as treasury secretary, i do not see it as my role, commenting on the dollar. i have commented on what i believe are the long-term. >> in 2011, due to the dysfunction in congress, we must -- we almost failed to raise the result,ling and as a the agency downgraded our rating for the first time in history. the stock market lost 17% of its value and did not recover for almost a year. a completely self-inflicted wound. in hurt american retirement savings and dealt a blow to job creation. during the campaign, mr. trump said that he could be financing or renegotiate our existing debt. later in the campaign he suggested the country to pay our
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creditors less than what they do, specifically he said, "you go 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 which i do want to comment on. i think it is a very important issue. if i'm lucky enough to be confirmed, -- >> 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. i hope that when we get to the point, if i am confirmed, that we have the debt ceiling and we will not go to another one of these issues. i firmly believe the u.s. has
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the obligation to honor -- >> can you commit to working with the congress to pass a clean that ceiling? -- clean debt ceiling? 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 technical issue of a clean debt ceiling? i would like as to raise the debt ceiling sooner rather than later -- as to 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 increasing defense spending and saying he will not touch entitlements like medicare or social security.
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he has only suggested reducing spending -- in 2015, nondefense discretionary spending comprised about 16% of the budget. this includes funding for veterans benefits and our investments in research. even if 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 the debt by $7.2 trillion. is that acceptable to you?
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mr. mnuchin: that was the first tax plan and not this a -- the second tax plan. >> the first was $11 trillion. mr. mnuchin: you must be referring to static and not dynamic. trillion. $11 trillion. mr. mnuchin: you must be referring to static and not dynamic. >> the 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. let me make a comment on the tax plan. >> senator thune said that in 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 projected 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
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of 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. certain of the assumptions we agreed with, certain of the assumptions we did not agree with. president trump has a progrowth economic tax plan. we are sensitive to the cost of that plan. yesterday i had the opportunity to meet with senator wyden. i will be the person from the administration taking the lead on that. i would look forward to working with the house and the senate, both republicans and democrats, to move forward on tax
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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. secretary. he was confirmed in late february or a vote of 72-27. he became an investor in the president's keynote -- casino operation. wilbur ross spent most of his career restructuring failing companies in steel, coal, and, -- telecommunications and
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finance. here's a portion of his confirmation hearing starting johnson.tions from ron senator johnson: thank you for being willing to leave your life in the private sector to the -- and 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? mr. ross: i think we can reach 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.
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could you talk about, from your perspective, what do you think are the primary reasons that we are not realizing the full potential of our economy? mr. ross: i wrote an editorial that outlines four or five key points. doing some cost-benefit analysis and having sensible regulation. second, improving our trade balance, particularly by stimulating exports. third, having an energy policy that takes advantage of our natural resources and keeps energy prices low. foru and infrastructure
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program that is a sensible one. fourth, and infrastructure program. if we do all those and have a sensible tax system, i think the economy will do very well. senator johnson: talk about your plans are what you think would best suited toward stimulating exports? mr. ross: the first thing we have to do is deal with the unfair tariff and nontariff other countries put on us. economy will do very well. senator johnson: talk about your it is a little weird that we have very low tariffs and china has very high triffs. 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.
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i think a lot of what we need is elimination of inappropriate and improper trade barriers to ask. -- barriers to us. i think 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. specifically 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 standard than what you have, and your cars do not qualify as environmentally correct in our
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country. i cannot imagine that there is anything that our and buttermilk -- that our environmental has missed. it is a device to make it more difficult for american companies to tailor make cars that market. the famous debate over mad cow disease are another very glaring example. i eat quite a lot of beef. i do not have mad cow disease. some people think applying to be secretary of commerce is a sign that i do. 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.
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other ones are inordinate delays at the ports for undue inspections. just harassing the export process in general. as you can gather, i am quite familiar with a lot of the tactics because i've been a personal victim. >> your approach would be to target those abuses? >> yes or -- yes, sir. the 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. -- ppp -- tpp.
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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. we can outcompete anybody if the rules are fair. i appreciate your stance on that. i want to address something that is critically important, which is enforcement. if we are dealing with any kind of rules, whether they are trade deals or legal authority under the wto, certainly the administration will play a vital role. you will play a vital role in enforcing those rules. under current law, the secretary can self initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations.
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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. that is a very imperfect process. normally we only have investigations after of formal complain by the industry. we know -- 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 necklaces goes unnoticed and not 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?
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mr. ross: as we discussed in your office, i am an activist. i think that tool of self initiation is useful one for several reasons. one is the one that you mentioned. industries have a lot of small companies. very hard for them to get the data 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 disappearance. to the degree -- psychology of participants.
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we are willing to show them we will self initiate, that is important. there is the curative effect, the preventative effect, and the psychological effect on the cheaters. sen. peters: i appreciate that 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, -- which is a mouthful, what they do is assist our efforts. i hope i can enlist your support with bipartisan support in congress to devote the resources to this function. mr. ross: we welcome resources. sen. peters: great, great. i know you are committed to
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stemming the tide of jobs overseas and bring jobs back. what i have found is it is often difficult to get information as to what jobs are being outsourced. companies will report they are hiring workers. we do not necessarily know where they are. the information regarding outsourcing is opaque, and complete and often inaccessible. will you commit to work with congress to develop some new corporate transparency measures that will allow us to have that information so we can make sure our policies are actively addressing the problem of outsourcing? mr. ross: i have a heartfelt saying in management that anything you can't measure, you can't manage. one good thing about the commerce department, it has all kinds of measurement activities and i was not aware this was a
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particular problem. certainly understanding the 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 president donald trump's cabinet. the trade 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. here is a portion of his hearing before the senate finance committee. mr. lighthizer: 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
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must be at the top of your trade agenda. agriculturaloday's climate, we got a lot of producers that are counting on tariff reductions in expanding export markets with existing and new trading partners. discussion from the senator from louisiana about nafta agreement, but can the and mexico are very important trading partners. i know you do not want to get into specifics, but i would encourage you to get into specifics, how you intend to improve 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?
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morrison well, the decision on to be bilateral or tri lateral haven't been made this time. there are processes, and we are in the process of doing consultation. i look forward to be involved in that process. there is a consultation process and a time period later on top of that. but the administration's stated objective is to do this as quickly as possible. there is uncertainty and anxiety, and so minimizing that is in everyone's interests. >> this has been covered already by senator widen. we teamed up on trades, but that was a top negotiating priority for american diplomats, and i hope that will continue to be a high prirlte.
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in past two years the yearn union have been misusing trade agreements by -- how do you see yourself shaping united states' approach to foreign policies like this that are intentionally aimed at protecting or promoting global rules aimed at choking off competition from u.s. companies around the world? >> well, i am very familiar with the issue. it seems to me it is an organized effort on behalf of union, and we have to take it head on. e want to discourage other countries from agreeing to
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these geographic indicators. and resist them in the united states. the issue tends to be more what happens in third party markets. so it is a little more complicated to get into it. but we are aware of it. it will be something we will work on. we realize it is a serious problem. >> we have seen a disturbing trend in recent years where some trading partners have ignored their commitments with respect to intellectual property protection in order to ive their businesses an unfair comfortable. these decidings are short-sighted. what can your agency do to make sure our trading partners are enforcing things like that? >> we talked a little bit about intellectual property protection, and it will be a priority of ustr if i am
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confirmed. i realize how important it is, problem theft, weak enforcement of patent protection and the like are very serious impediments to adding efficiency and helping u.s. trade. >> thank you again. and thank you for the discussion in my office and discussions in the past on trade issues and especially your ustr interview or whatever we call these meetings prior to confirmation. you know about the capacity ssue as one of the country's expert. ohio has lost 4,900 jobs in iron and steel. last week we received new that e u.s. steel plant would permanently idle it's number six facility. our trading partners don't play by the rules. china's state-owned properties, if propped up its steel sector
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and flooded the market with unfairly made steel and aluminum. what does the united states do to get china to implement a net reduction of its steel and aluminum capacity, and if china refuses to reduce that capacity, what steps do you take in response? >> senator, first of all, let me thank you for your kind words. i appreciate that. i am proud to be from ohio. i have been to that facility, absolutely. i appreciate that. wife d that beside your and me, it has urban meyer. i guess my brother. we have talked a little bit about this issue of chinese overcapacity in steel and aluminum, and it is something that is troubling to me just because of those products, but
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because it is a model for the chinese industrial policy. and to some extent we have two tte else -- two economic models, one is one that we want and espouse, and there is a different one, one of state control and involvement. in many cases it non-economic. what i have said is that we have to have kind of a comprehensive approach on this. we have to address in the various things we have, the chinese over capacity issue and push back on that. some of those discussions have possibilities for results. the global forum would be a good example. although personally i don't think that is going to be the only answer. the second thing is really going to be enforcing our own trade laws. the third thing i suggested is that we get others to enforce their trade laws, all with an
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effort to make the maintaining of uneconomic capacity and the creation of uneconomic capacity , which is massive -- there are hundreds and hundreds of millions of than tos of excess capacity, many times the united states total capacity. and thirdly i think we have to sit down and have private discussions where we try to think about what other remedies we have. to me, the objective is to make it uneconomic, to make it expensive for do something that adds inefficiency in the market and has such a negative effect on the united states and frankly still produces in other parts of the world. it is a multifaceted approach that i would recommend, but i think part of it is going to be sitting down and deciding whether we need new remedies ourselves and what those remedies would be. >> and we would like to work
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with you to figure that out. one other question. two days after the election i alled my long-time friend, dan damico, who is sitting here, but was heading the president's trade team there for the ransition and talked about t.t.p., and ustr and a host of issues, following up with a letter, asking the administration to make it a priority to reset u.s.-china trade relations. first of all, should that be a priority for you as u.s. train rep, and secondly, what do you do to make the championship relationship more balanced overall? >> first of all, the easy question is yes, it totally should be a prirlte. if you look a lot 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
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a good part of our problem, a substantial part of our problem and i think we have to engage and talk to decline. but i also think we have to talk about some new remedies. we have to strongly enforce trade laws. that probably means self initiating cases. we have been done a pretty good job in the steel industry under dan's and others leadership. but we have to do it in our products other. and we also have to think about more systemic approaches. part of that may be going to the w.t.o. and or agencies to take action. the president is focused on this issue. i think his issues on this subject -- i don't know his views, but i believe they are very close to your in terms of the degree to which this is a problem and how it has to be addressed. i am eager to work with this committee and the ways and means committee to find a responsible way to address this
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problem, this chronic imbalance. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you. >> health and human services second tom price was nominated on november 29th and confirm on february 10th by a vote of 52-47. he was a member of the house, representing georgia's sixth district for 12 years, also serving as chair of the republican study committee and budget committee chair. tom price is an orthopedic surgeon by training and practiced medicine at atlanta's grady memorial hospital and elsewhere. here is a portion of his hearing in january. >> it sought to expand a health
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care system that sought top. what is the goal of those who want to replaying obama care? is it to lower the cost of insurance for americans? is it to give them more choices of that lower cost insurance? and is it to put more decisions in the hands of states and into the hand of patients? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think certainly the issues that you raise with choices and access and cost are at the heart and the center of where we ought to be putting our attention. as i mentioned in the six principles that i have for health care affordability, it is incredibly important. it doesn't do you any good if you can't afford it. accessibility is imperative. today many folks have coverage, but they don't have care because they can't key the physicians they would like to
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see. >> isn't one of the primary ans of doing that moving choices out of washington, d.c. and closer to the patient? >> i think the closer you can have the decisions on the patient, the better. >> and if the responsibilities are headed toward the states or some responsibilities, would that not necessarily involve a fair many of consultation with governors and state insurance departments about how to do that and what the implementation schedule should be? >> absolutely. the states know their populations better than we could no. >> the senator said that obama care would be repealed in manageable pieces. it looks like there are four where they get health theirs. medicare, 18%. 61% get their insurance on the
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job. one is medicade, 22%, and one is the individual market. only 6%, and the exchange we hear so much about are just 4% of that 6%. but that is where so much of the turmoil is. let me ask you this. is this the bill, any effort to replace and repeal obama care, is this the bill to reform medicare? >> absolutely not. >> so we would be focused on employer, medicade and individual insurance. are those accurate categories, or would you categorize them in a different way? >> i think the challenges we have to address immediately are those in the individual market and medicade market's identified. >> and is it possible to work on one of those areas at a time rather than in a deprensive -- or let me put it this way. i said don't expect senator mcconnell to wheel in a wheel bar oh with a big comprehensive republican health care plan. that is because we don't
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believe in that. we don't believe in replacing a failed washington, d.c. health care plan with our own plan. we want to work on it step by step and large piece by piece. how do you respond to that? >> i think that is fair. the american people need to appreciate that the last thing we want to do is go from a democrat health care system to a republican health care system. our goal would be to go from what we see as a democrat health care system to an american system that recognizes the needs of all. >> i know your plan won't be presented until you after your confirmed, but the president elect has said let's do repeal and replace simultaneously. to me that must mean that any repeal of parts of obama care wouldn't take effect until after some concrete practical alternative were in place for americans to choose.
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is that accurate, or do you have a different idea of what simultaneous might mean or what the sequencing might be as we move through this process? >> i think that is fair. i think one of the important things that we need to convey to the american people is that nobody is interested in pulling the rug out from under anybody. we believe it is absolutely imperative that individuals that have health kurkjian be able to keep hem coverage and move hopefully to greater opportunities and choices to gain the kind of coverage they want for themselves and their families. there has been a lot of talk about individuals losing health courage. that is not our goal, desire or plan. >> let me ask you about how long this almighty take, repairing the damage, working on the three big areas, individual market, medicade and employer? my sense of it is we have been working on this so long, although we have different opinions about it. we ought to be able to make emotion of our votes in the next few months about what to
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do, but that the implementation of what we decide, especially since some of it may be going back to the states, and it may take several years. is there a difference between the votes we may take and a longer time for implementation for what we may decide to do that? >> that is fair. i would point out that our health care system is continually evolve, and it should be. we should be looking at how it is working, whether it is working for patients, whether it is working for individuals that are working to provide the highest equal care for folks. when it is, that is fine. when it isn't, it is incumbent upon policy makers to do the kind of things to adjust that policy so that it can work for patients. >> thank you to that committee leadership and thank you congressman price for the visit. an observation and then a few questions. i was at another hearing. i might be the representative, but i will try to move quickly.
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my worry as a virginian is your sue about a whole range of coverage, the safety net. you have proposed turning medicade into a block grant program. that is causing excitement in virginia. and you have repeatedly voted . ainst the chip program you have proposed a restructuring of medicare that others found would increase out of pocket experience for seniors. about half a million people on the exchange and hundreds of thousands of others. you want to de-if you said planned parenthood. tens of thousands of virginians use planned parenthood as their basic provider. for millions of virginians, there would be millions, and
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tens of millions of americans, and many of them have very limited means. so there is a consistency to your position in in some ways across these programs i have used critical to the health safety net. i know that senators franken and murray used the hippocratic maxim first do no harm in comments before i came. i came, and i would hope you would agree that as we approach the discussion of the health care system access coverage, the president and congress should strive to do no harm. would you agree with me? >> absolutely. >> and we shouldn't harm people by reducing the amount and quality of health coverage. >> i think it is important to appreciate that are challenges in these programs currently. one out of every three efficiency who ought to be able to see medicade across this country doesn't see them. if we are honest and sincere about addressing these
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problems. we ought to say what are we doing wrong? if you are a new medicare patient trying to find a new physician that sees new medicare patient, it is almost impossible anywhere. >> i am with you on fixing challenges and going forward, more coverage, more affordable. >> that is what my propose alwaysals have tried to do. >> we shouldn't harm people by doing things that would increase their costs? >> i think we need to drive down the costs for everybody. >> we shouldn't harm people by creating an anxiety about the most important thing in their lives, the health care and the health care of their families? we shouldn't be doing that in congress, should you? >> one of my goals is to lower the temp about what we are talking about. this is real stuff for folks. these are their lives. >> can't we lower the temperature and rush at the same time? >> i think we can move a pace but lower the temp and provide
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stability to folks out there. they need to know that no rug is going to be pulled out from under there. >> i will join you in civility and lower temperaturing. i don't think lowering the temp is consistent with rushing. my experience in around virginia is huge amounts of fear. and we shouldn't harm the american economy. health care is the biggest segment of it, one-sixth of it. we should try to fix the problems that we may identify and do them in a way that provides certainty and stability. >> certainly is important. i am reminded of the fact that the congressional budget obviously that the work force is decreased by two million. i hope what we are able to do is to work together to solve those challenges. >> do you agree with the president elect that the
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replacement for the affordable care act must ensure that there is insurance for everybody. >> i have stated here and always that it is incredibly important that we have a system that allows for every american to have access for the kind of coverage they zir desire. >> and he stated that we should negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to try to bring down drug costs. do you support that decision? >> i think the cost of drugs is in many instances a real challenge for folks. we need to do all we can to bring those costs down. >> alexander acosta was nominated for labor second, after president trump's first nominee withdrew from consideration. mr. acosta has been approved by the senate committee on labor and pensions but has not received a vote from the full senate. he served as a law school deal
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at florida international insurance. alexander acosta was also a member of the national labor relations board and served as assistant attorney general for civil rights during the george w. bush add rastration. here is a portion of his confirmation hearing beginning with his opening statement. >> i want to thank my parents in particular. and my parents are very important to me not simply because of what they have done for me, but because my story really begins with them and informs my perspective on what it means to be a second of labor. they fled cuba. they came to the united states seeking freedom, and they found it. they met in miami in high school. they fell in love, mearpped young. my mother was in her teens when she found out she was pregnant. neither attended mcclellan. growing up, they struggled. not as much as other americans have struggled, but they
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struggled. 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 businesses, but he quickly found that his lack of higher education, lack of ability to deal with forms, and rules, made it very difficult for him to be a small businesses owner. 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 deep debt, the kind of debt that they tell you not to go into because credit card interest rates are high. but they went into that debt, and they took on second jobs to make ends meet.
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and they did that because they wanted to give me an education. so i'm here because of them. my success is very much their success. they were able to give me these opportunities because even though they didn't have a college education, they had something very important. and that's a job. and though at times they lost their job, they were always able to find another job, and that was very important. >> let's start with the skills gap that you spoke about. if we are to think of you, as i think we should, as secretary of the work force, to help workers in this head spinning environment we find ourselves in, adjust to it and fit into it, we already spend a lot of money on helping people get training. woe spend more than $30 billion in p bell grants. that is about the same as the average community college tuition.
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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 college. if you are the secretary of the work force and you see that according to the manufacture institute two million american manufacturing jobs will go unfilled over the next 10 years due to skills gaps, what are some of the things we should be doing about it? >> senator, thank you for the question. first let me touch on the first art of our comments, which are suspending on education. i think it is critical if confirmed that the department of labor work closely with the department of education because there is a lot of spending takes place in education. we want to ensure to the extent possible that individuals have the ability to align their education with the skills the work place will demand. more specifically, to the
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second part of your question, you mentioned' apprenticeships. so as dean of a law school, i am a big fan of learning by doing. we recently started a program which is a full semester internship at a law firm, in addition to a public defender's office or a state attorney's office. the students have the opportunity to spend a full semester there because they can learn by doing. i think if you look at some of the apprenticeship programs where individuals work, and they get credit while they are working, or some of the other programs that are available in community colleges that focus on vocational opportunities in partnership with individual businesses, those are all options that we should be looking at because they are alternative ways of educating, alternative ways of providing skills. and importantly, it is a a way for students to acquire stills
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and jobs -- skills to be used in jobs without taking on the enormous debt we are seeing in some secondary programs right now. >> let me ask you one other question. the overtime rule, fortunately it is not in effect thanks to a court. in my view it was one of the worst examples of regulation by the previous administration. it caused million of americans to punch time clocks that they didn't want to punch. it raised tuition according to our universities by hundreds of dollars per student because of its cost. it caused my local boy scott council to have to dismiss council s -- boy scout to have to dismiss counselors. there was bipartisan opposition. so there was a doubling on
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threshold, an impact on non-profits. what are you going to do about the overtime rule? >> well, senator, mr. chairman, as you mentioned, it is pending in litigation. let me offer a few observations. first the overtime rule hasn't been updated since 2004. i think it is unfortunate that that rules that involve dollar values can sometimes go more than a decade, sometimes 15 years without updating. life does become more expensive over time. >> let me press you a little built. doubling the threshold, applying so heavily the impact of it to non-profits, does not is that concern you? >> mr. chairman, it zfment the point i was making is i think it is unfortunate that it goes so long without adjusting. when they are adjusted, you see impact such as a doubling of the amount, that does create
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what i will call a stress on the system as the chairman mentioned, particularly in areas both industry and geographic areas that are lower wage historically. and so i think one of the challenges that we face in addressing the overtime rule is continues 2004 there has been no change. now there is a very large change, and how should that be addressed as a policy matter i think is a very difficult decision but a very serious one because the economy does feel a substantial impact from such a large change. >> thank you. senator murray? >> mr. chairman, let me follow on that. as the chairman mentioned, the department of labor did finalize the updated overtime rule last year, and that rule helped restore the 40-hour work week, which is the cornerstone of protection for middle-class workers.
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-that overtime rule, workers could be asked to put in extra hours without earning a single extra dollar for the overtime hours that they spent away from their families. that new rule expanded expanded the number of works who qualifies for overtime pay creating security for families. after months of republicans, congress and big business fighting to block that overtime rule, as you stated, the court is now considering the rule blocking additional overtime for workers from taking effect. let me ask the question da silva. do you believe that workers should be paid overtime for the overtime hours they week? >> i do believe that workers that are entitle to overtime pay should receive pay for their overtime? >> will you defend this rule in court? >> senator, as i was saying in response to the chairman's question, the overtime rule hasn't been updated since 2004.
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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 non-profits, on geographic areas that have hero wages. but i am always very sensitive to the fact that it hasn't been update the 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 atutes, it provides in essence for a toews. does a dollar threshold supersede the test, and if so, is it not in accordance with the law? i think the authority with the
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secretary to address this is a separate issue from what the correct amount is. the litigation needs to be considered carefully both with respect to what would be the appropriate amount, if the rule were to be changed or revised, but also what is within the authority of the secretary to do. >> well, this is an issue i am going to be following closely. i think it is an issue of fairness. i really do believe the second of labor's job is to make sure that workers are treated fairly. >> our profile of president trump's cabinet continues with e.p.a. administrator, scott pruitt, who was nominated in early decision, and confirm the 52-46 on february 17th. during his time as oklahoma attorney general, mr. pruitt filed more than a dozen lawsuits against the e.e.p.a. er air regulations and others. he served in the oklahoma state
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senate. this portion of his january confirmation hearing includes questions from alaska rep dan sullivan, and vermont independent bernie stantonners. >> we all want clean air and water. my stay, alaska has some of the cleanest in the world. but your insist dance to do both i think is very, very important. i appreciate that focus. i believe the e.p.a. needs a serious course correction. as the senator talked about, there is a lot of anger, even fear of this agency throughout many 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 regain the trust of the american people that i think has been lost in a lot of
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places in america because of the overreach, because of the lack of focusing on the law. there has been a lot of discussion this morning about cooperative federalism. can you explain it in a little more detail? is that your term? did you come up with that, or was that something that was actually directed by con gretzky? >> directed by congress, senator. >> so in the clean air act, the clean water act, what entity in our republican form of government was given the primary responsibility over clean air and clean water in the united states? >> as you know, senator, under the clean air ack, there is something called state implementation plans that the e.p.a. and states review together, but the states have the responsibility of adopting the plan. >> in the law it says the primary responsibility -- who directed that? >> congress. >> season when you are talking
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about cooperative federalism, that is not? scott pruitt invented. you are focusing on the sfwen of the congress? >> probably more so than any statutes adopted by con depress. the statutes that went from clean water and air, many pieces of legislation, congress has been explicit at saying. the role of the states should be important and should be emphasized. >> let me show you a chart here. this is the waters of the u.s. in the states -- and the states and end at this times that sued to stop that rule. 32. dempsters and republicans, and independents. do you think this is an example of cooperative federalism? and if not, if you are confirmed, what are you going to do it get back to what is not a scott pruitt idea? it is the direct direction of
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the congress of the united states. >> senator, when you think about the relationship between the e.p.a. and the states, the states are not mere vessels of federal will. they don't exist to carry out federal dictate from washington, d.c. there are substantive requirements, obligations, authority, jurisdiction, to the states under our environmental statutes. that needs to be respected. when it is not respected, that of this awned most litigation that has been referenced here today. why? because it matters. matters that the states participate in the way that congress has directed, and t ma participate in the way that congress has directed, and they have been unable to do so for a number of years. >> you are carrying out the will of congress when you are focused on that issue? >> that is right. the expertise, resources knowledge, the awareness to fix issues is something important for the entire country to know. >> i am a former attorney
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general myself who has sued the e.p.a. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, just booker's comments, i think he tried to equate a little built sugita the e.p.a., not caring about oklahoma's children. do you care about oklahoma's children? >> without question. i have a couple sitting behind me. >> 14 lawsuit, and senator buccholz man mentioned this. what has been the time area focus of the lawsuit? it is not that you don't care about the environment is it? >> absolutely not. i care very much about the environment. it is to restore and ensure the relationship that congress has directed and the role of state in improving our environment. there is an idea in washington that the states, those in oklahoma or in district attorney or other parts of the country don't care about the water we drink or the air we breathe. the farmers and ranchers, those in industry in the state of oklahoma, most of them are very committed to that. when they have not been, we
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have taken enforcement action against them. >> one final question. a lot of my colleagues have spent time vilifying the oil and gas industry, somehow bad actors, polluters. 364,000 oklahoman ands work in in the nd get -- work oil and gas industry. are they bad actors, polluters? you talk about the good people in your written statement? who are these people, and are you representing them when you are bringing these kind of actions? are they evil people? >> no, senator. they want to comply with the law. they care about the air they breathe and the water they drink, and they want to make sure the e.r.a. is partnering with state age is his. >> aren't these people part of that industry?
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>> yes 25% of our state budget .n oklahoma is part of that we have regulatory bodies from deng to the corporation commission to others who are involved in making sure that the air we breathe and the water we drink is clear in the state of oklahoma. >> my office has received a great deal of comments from people in the state of vermont, which takes environmental protection very seriously, as well as from all over the country. the fear is the nomination of mr. pruitt is a nomination signed to protect the fossil fuel industry and not the environment. i would like to ask mr. pruitt a question. as i understand it, earlier in this hearing you said that mr. trump was wrong in suggesting -- in state over and over again that climate change was a hoax. is that the case? >> that is correct, senator.
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>> ok. let me ask you this. as you may know, some 97% of scientists who have written articles for peer-reviewed journals have concluded that climate change is real. it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating problems in our country and around the world. do you believe that climate change is caused by the emotion, by carbon emissions by human activity? >> senator, as i indicated, you weren't in here during my opening statement, but as i indicated in my opening statement, the climate is changing, and human activity contributing to that in some manner. >> 97% of the scientists who wrote articles in peer reviewed journal believe that human activity is the fundamental fundamental reason we are
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seeing climb change. do you disagree with that? >> i believe the ability to measure with precision is subject to more debate on the amount that human activity contributing to it. >> while you are not certain, the vast majority of scientists are telling us if we do not get our act together and transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, there is a real question about the fault of the planet we are going to be leaving our children and grand children. you are applying for a joba - job as strayedor for the e.p.a., and you are telling me we need more debate and should not be acting boldly. >> no, senator. as i have indicated, the climate is changing. >> but you haven't told me where you think the climate is
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changing? >> the job is to carry out the statutes of this body. >> why is the climate changing? >> in response to the co2 issue, the e.r.a. administrator is constrained by -- > my i am asking you -- i am asking you your opinion. >> that is immaterial. >> really? you are going to be head of the agency to protect the environment and your personal opinion is immaterial? >> senator, i have acknowledged to you that it impact. >> the scientific community doesn't tell us it impacts. they say it is the cause of claimant change. do you believe we have to transform our energy system in order to protect the planet for future generations? >> the e.r.a. has an important role in regulating -- >> you didn't answer the question. do you believe we have to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, to do what the scientific community
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is telling us to make sure this planet is healthy for our children and grand children. >> i believe the administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating co2. >> can you tell us, as all of us know, oklahoma has been subjected to a record breaking number of earthquakes. ientists in oklahoma -- or scientists say oklahoma is at high risk for large events. and that the cause of this is fracing. can you pick -- can you point me to any opinion that you wrote, any enforcement actions you took, against the companies that were injecting waste fracing water? >> let me say i am very concerned about the connection between activity in oklahoma --
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>> and therefore you must have taken action. can you tell me who you fined for doing this? >> the commission in oklahoma is vested with the jurisdiction, and they have taken. >> and you have made public stammens expressing your concern? you are in a state seeing a record breaking number of earthquakes. you are attorney general. you have stood up and said you will do everything you can. >> i have acknowledged that i am concerned. >> your state is having a record number. that is the kind of administrator for the e.r.a., your state is having a record breaking number of earthquakes, and you acknowledge you are concerned. if that is the kind of e.p.a. administrator you are going to be, you're not going to get my vote. >> sonny perdue was one of the last nominees announced by the trump administration. the senate agriculture
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committee overwhelmingly supported his nomination with a full senate vote set for april 24. he served two terms as governor and as a state senator before that. he switched parties from democratic to republican in 1998. we will show you governor perdue's opening state from his confirmation hearing from late march. >> i know from visiting with many of you in your offices, there was some anxiety over whether there would be a secretary of agriculture nominee. i must say with all the humility i can muster, i think the president must have saved best for last. thank you for making time to meet with me individually over the last few years. i hope and trust our meetings will not just be introductory episodes, but an opportunity to listen and to learn from one another. my goal today is to answer your questions trance apparently --
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, to your ntly satisfaction to not only earn your vote but your trestman. if you ard me the opportunity, i will carry out this job with integrity, complicit with the laws and rules set forth by congress and with a golden rule heart. i would like to introduce my family members here. i am accompanied by my lovely wife. i had no idea when i married her 44 years ago she would be such a prolific grand missourier. seated with mary are are your four children and 14 deprarned children. i am pleased and hum be bled after seven years to have more than 30 of my former co-workers here who labored side by side with me while serving state of georgia and its people. -- overnor, could you
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pardon this interruption. we would like for your family co-workers to stand if you would, please. >> please. >> thank you all for being here. [applause] >> good looking crowd if i say so myself. you red my bio and poured over my personal and professional history, but i would like to tell you a little built about myself. as a youngster growing up on a dairy farm in middle georgia, i never fully realized the blessings of purposeful meaningful work would serve me as well as they have in my life. when i was a young boy feeding the casillas and plowing the fields, i was an integral part of the work force there on our farm. my mother was an english teacher for 42 years.
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>> governor, if you would just cease for a moment, and we will take care of this problem. please proceed, governor. >> my mother was also an english teach fore42 years. so i benefited from her teaching as as well, not just raising me with the believes i hold dear to my hart today. being an english teacher, she ade sure i knew about dangling participles. my favorite hobby as a youngster were playing little league baseball, training bird dawgs and ryanning my hearse trigger. arly i set my hard on becoming veterinarian, influenced by
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davis, who cared for our herd. i er hirlede i enrolled -- enrolled in the university of georgia, and i walked on to play football. rling my future ansah not on the football field, i decided to apply myself to my stud yims. as i entered veterinary school in 1967, you may remember schettino amar'e ansah roll. i signed up for a commission in the air force. i was assigned to columbus ohio as base veterinarian, whose primary responsibilities were food safety, public health and sanitation. as i completed my active duty commitment, i joined a small practice in raleigh, north carolina. i soon realized, though, even though hour practice was thriving, that i missed our farm and my former agricultural
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way of life. so in 1976, marry, and i and our two small girls moved back home, where i partner with my brotherly to build a frain elevator in our county. sadly, my brother and partner parted away after three years' tinge of 43. i have been in the agriculture business since 1977. founder and operator of three firms serving farmers across the southeastern united states. farming and farmers have been my life ever since. i have lived and breathed 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 land, it will take care of you. so let's fast forward to what you are probably more interested in, my years as a public servant. i want to be clear, growing up i was not one of those young men, young boys who shook a president's hand at the age of 16 and aspired to run for office. i was tuned in to current
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event, but i had absolutely no interest in elected politics. i did under we all have civil things, than so i agreed to chair our zoning commission. after 10 years there, a state senate seat came own and i was asked to run for that seat. i nishikorily declined, but after a family vacation, i changed my mind everything having observed the founder's demonstration of since engage yt. district 18 elected me. i served there for 11 years and during my tenure was elected by my clieges to be president pro tempore, the ping angle of laporta l- leadership in that body from 1996-199. i served both as a democrat and republican in the georgia state senate. in 2002 i was elected the first republican governor of georgia in more than 130 years.
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i assumed that office believing it was a big job, not just a position. our team worked diligently for eight years striving to make georgia the best managed state in the nation. as you remember, the period of time from 2002 to 2011 were not the best economic times in our nation. but we learned with the help of a joyful state work force that we could continue to provide value to the citizens of georgia e-mail in times of extreme bug pressures. even though georgia may not compare to some of your states in some agricultural sectors, i am proud to say that i come from a state whose number one economic driver is agriculture. it is one area where democrats and republicans consistently have reached across the aisle and worked together. i am pleased to know that reaching across the aisle is common practice in this committee, where partisanship doesn't get in the way for good solutions for america's farmers, ranchers and
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consumers. if confirmed as the second of a agriculture, i look forward to working with you, all of you. the matchup makeup of this committee speaks to the size, reach and diversity of america's agricultural sector, and it includes one guy that i picked watermelons with side by side in my youth. i appreciate that the department of agriculture touches the lives of americans in many ways that go beyond just farming itself, include negligence a very small way improving the lives of the least of these. to continue that role if i'm honored with senate confirmation, we'll work tirelessly to advance foreprimary goals. each goal is focused an important constituency, the stakeholders of american agriculture. first i will max mize the possibility and ability to create jobs. to produce and sell the food and the five their feed and clothe the world, and to reap the earned reward of their
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labor. we want to remove every obstacle and give them every opportunity to prosper. secondly, for the american taxpayers, our customers, i will prioritize customer service every day. they expect and have every right to demand that we conduct the people's business efficiently, effectively and with the utmost integrity. third is our taxpayers are also our consumers. they expect a safe and secure food supply, and usda will continue to in that critical role of ensuring food we put on the table to feed our families meets the strict safety standards which we have established and or accustomed. we are the beneficiaries of past generations who put a premium on smart stewardship, protecting, preserving and entrusting us with those valuable resources. that is the basis of our the fourth goal. american agricultural bounty comes from land. today those land resources sustain more than 320 million
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americans and countless illions more around the globe. mr. chairman, thank you for your time this morning and rest assured that if confirmed, i look forward to working with the dedicated men and women of the usda who are committed to serving the people's department. and i look forward to answering your questions. thank you very much. >> president trump nominated a former rival, ben carson, for housing and urban development secretary. he was confirmed by the full senate on march 2 by a vote of 58-41. dr. carson grew up in detroit in a home with a single mother. he went on to become a famous pediatric neurosurgery on, heading up the practice at johns-hopkins at the age of 33. he ran for president as a republican in 2016 and is the author of several books, including gifted hands, the big pictures and take the risk. this portion of his
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confirmation hearing includes questions from south carolina republican tim scott and ohio democrat sharod brown. >> dr. carson, and to your family, thank you all for being willing to serve. if you are confirmed, your entire family will feel the impacts of your service to this country. there is no doubt that if there is a person in this country that has no reason to offer themselves to public service it, would be. you have done a fabulous job and been a great example for many of us in many ways. his background as well as my background and yours are very similar. i reached a of conclusion that you have, however. that there is so much potential inside the human heart and the human head and brain that we ought to look for ways to expose that potential. >> exactly. >> allow for people to experience their full potential. that is such an important part of the equation, and i believe
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like you believe, i think, that the greatest thing we can do for folks is help them find the path to their own independence. >> exactly. >> it is not to suggest that government zpw not have a role. it is, however, to suggest that the government does not have the reason in someone's life. your life demonstrates that. and the answers to questions are very pickoff. i thank you for your desire to do a listening tour. we have had many issues around housing for many decades, frankly. when i was on county level as the chairman of a county council in south carolina, we had housing concerns and issues . listening to the very people who live in the housing is such an important part of the formula that we should produce that will benefit the american people and specifically the american people within public housing. that willingness is important. i wish that the outgoing administration had the same objective of listening, even
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the senators would be kind of interesting. i would encourage you to listen to the senators and folks who appoint you to the position at d.son -- at h return it is important to remain responsive. i will use one case in point. 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 hud housing. we invited hud to participate in one of the hearings. no one showed up. $47 million agency. thousands of employees here in washington, d.c. and we couldn't find anyone to listen, listen to the elected officials who had serious concerns about the living conditions of people in public
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housing. not a single employee could find their way into the united states chambers. i can't imagine how that made them feel about their government, about their opportunities for success, about their opportunities to find the next rung on the ladder. i expect that under your leadership the experience will be very different. >> incredibly differ from that. >> one of the things i found refreshing about your approach is indeed the nation of a fresh start. in housing. someone who holistically understands and appreciates 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 the new opportunity that, if presented to you, you will do a fantastic job with.
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>> thank you, senator scott. and also for the wonderful example that you are for millions of people. the reason that i concentrate so much on the holistic approach is because when i look back historically at an agency like hud, and there have been a lot of good programs, and one program after another, and they have been targeted at special problems, and it is good. but the progress perhaps has not been as great as one would like to see. one of the things that i discovered as a neurosurgeon is you are much more effective when you bring in a bigger picture. do not just look at the tumor
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that somebody has in their brain. look at the whole person -- how 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 are not bringing about the large 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
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clinics into neighborhoods so that people do not rely on the emergency room where it costs five times 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. some of your goals are inconsistent with statements you have made. if confirmed, you will be held to the ideas you have expressed have, not ones you may talked about during the presidential race. you want to make communities more inclusive. this seems at odds with one of the only housing policies that you have taken a public standing
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on. hud was critiqued for affirmatively -- you likened it to a failed socialist experiment. please elaborate on the implementation of the fair housing act, especially the requirement -- >> thank you for that question. thank you for the opportunity to explain that. it has been distorted by many people. as you 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.
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they are not responding to people saying there is a problem. they are saying, look for a problem. what i believe to be the case is we have people sitting around desks in washington, d.c. 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.
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we have local hud officials and we have people who can assess what 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? for the hud office? >> 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. your statement mentioned the
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desire to improve the lives of all families "no matter their race, creed, color or orientation." 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 lgbtq people? >> 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 rights. 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. >> absolutely. >> last question. we have seen a dramatic increase in affordable housing as he
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pointed out. 11 million families, one quarter of renters pay more than half of their income for housing. one thing goes wrong, temporary layoff, illness, they lose their home. we talked about the matthew desmond book "evicted." peoples's lives being turned upside down when they are evicted. their children's school district changes, they lose their possessions, their credit -- all of those things happen when half of their income goes to housing. i am surprised that president-elect agenda doesn't even mention housing. you had told me about your conversations about an urban agenda. have you had discussions with him about your plans for housing? ?r his plans were housing
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tell us what plans have come from those discussions. >> yes. we talked this morning. you have to attack the problem you describe from both ends. there are a large number of people spending 30% to 50% of their income on housing. that is unacceptable. what we have to do is raise their income or decrease the cost of housing. i think both of those areas are areas that we need to work upon. >> do you support raising the minimum wage? do you support the overtime rule? people got raises that are making $30,000 or $40,000 the year. if we are talking about raising income, the overtime goal would mean dollars -- do you support those? >> i support creating an
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environment that encourages 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. >> it means exactly 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 but you create the right environment, that employer will have to pay them more because
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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 lydia and deb fischer. >> i think we had a chance to discuss the state of washington
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-- $800 million because of congestion. we have very challenged infrastructure issues. for the first consecutive year, seatac is the fastest-growing airport. the passenger volume has increased by 32%. railroads are moving over 105 million tons of freight. sound transit is the fastest-growing light rail system in the country. the northwest seaport alliance, the largest cargo center. our gdp grew by 3% compared to the nation as a whole and washington employment grew 3.5% adding 109,000 jobs in 2016.
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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. i would say that there is no more dollars for infrastructure investment. it is very important that we move forward. i just have a couple of yes or no questions. it is more just trying to get a sense of what you will prioritize as far as funding. do you support 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. it adds to the productivity for the country and the economy.
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as for the second part of your question, 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 that. >> when it comes to the faa my 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? >> we need more resources to build, repair, refurbish our infrastructure including those that relate to the aviation sector, yes. i mentioned sound transit one of 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 is the master credit agreement so that they can get
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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 . 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 volume of 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. -- 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 is of great concern, but again, until i'm confirmed and i have an opportunity to be briefed on
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all of these, it would be premature for me to say anything at this point. >> ok. >> 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. >> ok. >> 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.
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>> 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 and 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
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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. you cannot make that up on volume, so this is a huge issue. and the pay fors for any -- pay force 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.
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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.
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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 -- our courtesy 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
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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. >> the final segment features
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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. 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 >> welcome. the gentleman put it well when he said that small businesses are worried about regulation. particularly, if you have thousand banks or one bank, you can spread it to a thousand
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banks or 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? >> what i 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 businesses -- i have a special place in my heart for them -- they are the ceo, the cfo, the
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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.
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you are 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
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the northeast -- and have a 12% comments about women. i asked you to be a strong voice for women, should you be confirmed administrator, would -- work with this committee to improve these programs? >> i want to be a strong advocate for women, for small businesses and minorities in business 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 women entrepreneurs having been one yourself, minority owned -- thoses, veterans 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.
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that's something you mentioned hearing about when you were running for office. have you identified the specific factors that lead to difficulty in accessing capital? 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 'd 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 grips that looked set just looked sort of like grips.
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-- looked sort of like grips. 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 his community banker. 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 -- told him you are 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 -- regulatory environment, you no longer equal as you did before. -- you know longer qualify 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 assets -- his house and other
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assets in order to collateralize a much smaller loan. while entrepreneurs are happy to take managed risks, 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 comments 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 is usually 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
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uncollateralized 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 identified them, we can sit here and talk about overregulation and not get to the heart of it. 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 overrated -- over regulated.
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that doesn't take us far in my opinion. >> i don't know how you change regulation if you cannot identify them. good. >> i am committed to doing that, for sure. good. >> president trump took office 92 days ago. the washington post reports so far and that only one nominee has failed to be confirmed. former fast food chain executive nominated to head the labor department. surely after he withdrew his name, he stepped down as ceo from the fast food company that runs hardee's and carl's jr.. alex acosta was president trump's second pick. he and the nominees are the three cabinet level nominations that have yet to be confirmed. the next confirmation vote will be held monday when the senate
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returns from a two-week recess. they will vote on the nomination of sonny purdue and on advancing the nomination of robert rubinstein -- robert rosenstein. you can watch the debate when the senate returns on monday live on c-span2. >> check out our c-span classroom website. it is full of teaching resources . the improved layout gives teachers access to ready to go resources for the classroom including short current events videos that highlight important events. constitution clips that bring the constitution to life, social studies lesson plans, as well as "on this day in history" resources. they'll outage is to filter by date, keyword, topic and grade level.
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our video clips are teacher favorites. they are short videos paired with vocabulary that make politics more accessible to your students. >> i love the bell ringers. i will use them in conjunction with an activity we are doing that day as a wrap up. >> the website is something that is fabulous pit my students use it regularly and it is so easy that they are using on working on videos and making questions that they can design and turn into their own ballerinas. >> my favorite aspect is the the liberation page. it is ready to go, classroom deliberation on a variety of topics that are current. >> if you are in middle school -- if you are a middle school or high school teacher, join millions of teachers across the nation. it is free and ready to use on
3:32 am -- a graphic display of the biographies of all 45 presidents. find more about it at afternoon, -- the economic relationship within the u.s. and mexico. and how the trump administration .s affecting mexico's economy live from the center for strategic and international studies. former white house science adviser will talk about the u.s. science and technology policy ahead of the march for science rally which will be held in washington dc -- washington, d.c. and other cities to mark earth day. on wall


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