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Alexander Acosta
  Cabinet Secretaries Testify on Infrastructure Proposal  CSPAN  March 14, 2018 8:00pm-11:16pm EDT

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this is a step in the right direction. but much more needs to be done before going to have a safe, robust and competitive system capable of the economic growth. >> coming out, the senate commerce committee then use of a nerve agent after that the united nations security council holds a meeting on russia. later, preview of sunday's election in russia. >> five cabinet secretaries testified on the trump administration's ten year, $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal.
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the secretaries of transportation, agriculture, labor came together. there's investments in high-speed broadband, the permit process, form investment and development of rural communities. this is three hours and ten minutes. [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> good morning. today were here to discuss infrastructure america. 1956 president eisenhower congress of the need to move people and goods quickly across the country. helping to fuel years for economic growth. the infrastructure bill continues to fuel today but we face the challenge of maintaining and improving the critical assets. our needs are evolving in ways that would've been impossible to predict a few decades ago. with the rise of the internet and cell phones we face the challenge of building infrastructure to facilitate access for everyone. the principle is the same as it
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was then. our nations must stay interconnected. are familiar with the statistics. 56000 deficient bridges 8 billion hours there stuck in traffic each year and the list goes on. this means fewer jobs, less time with families, and lower growth. in states like south dakota they lack access to high-speed internet, aging links between global markets heard are farmers and ranchers. in response president trump released a proposal to rebuild the infrastructure by generating $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. this would speed project delivery by limiting the permitting park process to two weeks. the participation today, five cabinet secretaries something that is extraordinary capitol
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hill underscores the readiness and enthusiasm to work with the commerce committee in congress on infrastructure. we should the goal of developing a plan that works for all areas. the committee is joined by a panel. elaine chao, secretary of transportation. wilbur ross, secretary of commerce, alex acosta, secretary of labor, sonny perdue, secretary of agriculture, and rick purdue the secretary of energy. we first need to get the policy right. need to make sure we are moving together with other relevant communities. i would like to offer a few principles for the consideration my colleagues. this is not just another highway bill. will consider other needs such as rural broadband and water projects like to break down barriers that are depleting all types of infrastructure.
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we take a broad approach to infrastructure and offers policy ideas. we should build on our successful programs and were necessary removing efficiencies. the proposal outlines reforms to existing programs particularly in infrastructure financing. we must ensure that any legislation is national in scope and all areas are appropriately included. i appreciate the administration's proposal acknowledges the needs and rural communities that lack infrastructure. investing in these areas will benefit the country. improving our infrastructure is where bipartisan agreement should be achievable. both sides want to invest and
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modernize our infrastructure. they wanted to address infrastructure needs like broadband and waterways. both sides want to break down barriers for animated technologies. both sides want to make the programs work better. as exemplified by the willingness to work together, both sides can come together on this. it can happen this year. thank you to this panel of witnesses for being here. i look forward to hearing your suggestions between the administration and congress on infrastructure. senator nelson. >> thank you. i think it's quite significant that i can speak to our state and we have two of the five secretaries here from florida.
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secretary ross and secretary acosta. what we know of florida, the third largest state growing at 1000 people per day it's emblematic of the additional demanding crunch not only to build new infrastructure but to repair infrastructure. whether roads, bridges and thousands that we have in this country that are structurally deficient, named that by the engineers. whether it seaports, airports, water plants expansion of broadband, also desperately needed particularly in a growth state but even in non- growth states and rule states where there desperate to have
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broadband so their children and students in school can have the learning tools that others in urban areas that have access to 5g, so they have equal opportunity to an education. the question is, how will you pay for it? we borrowed $1.5 trillion to pay for huge tax cut that set a tour national debt. the president has proposed an infrastructure plan consist $200 billion, but there is no plan for how you're going to pay for it. how are you going to get members of the senate to vote for the tax revenue to pay for these plans? we can all agree the
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infrastructure needs are overwhelming support. indeed you saw what some of the dollars from infrastructure from the stimulus bill to help us get out of the recession that we were in. yet, sitting on the table was the first project for high-speed rail to go down the middle of interstate four oh. the right away was there. the state of florida and the governor turned down $2.4 billion on the table to do that huge infrastructure project. the florida department's study showed it would pay for itself in the first year. by the tenth year it would be making $30 million per year.
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it was a missed opportunity. so how are we going to pay for it? we cannot toll our way out of it. we have used toll roads in florida very well. it helps, but you cannot expect all of the travelers of this country to go out and pay to get on the road. to address this infrastructure crisis a few colleagues put out a plan for $1 trillion of infrastructure. we know it's there. but we also know that to pay for you have to go back. could we not just instead of a
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tax cut that went from 35% corporate down to 21%, could we not bring that down ten points? to 25%? we could use that additional revenue for infrastructure. this is real money. it would be completely paid for. that trillion dollar infrastructure plan. i would give you a couple of examples in closing. we could expand i four. we could rebuild the howard franklin bridge across tampa bay. we could expand access to quality and affordable high-speed internet service. we could upgrade the 911 system that is desperately in need of upgrading. we could invest in projects like
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many in the testimony today will mention. that is why want to work with you. our colleagues on this committee to see if we can come up with good ideas in which to move forward. the clock is ticking. we cannot afford to ignore the infrastructure needs of this country. >> we have a very distinguished panel with us today. we will ask as much as members of the cabinet can to confine their oral statements to five minutes. will make sure everything is included as a matter of the record. will be opportunities from the community to do that. will start on my left and you're right the secretary of
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transportation. welcome and thank you for being here. >> gentlemen, ranking member and members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to be here today. our nation's infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. the most productive, flexible and dynamic in the world. as you have heard, too much of the infrastructure is aging and in need of repairs. the challenges are everywhere. traffic congestion and delays cost drivers nearly hundred billion dollars annually. bridges are deemed to need improvement. nearly 20% of roads are import conditions and the transportation needs for rural america have been ignored for too long. the title of agencies have come together to develop a comprehensive infrastructure framework which the president
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announced it was a priority in his state of the union address. transportation is one component which is why i am joined with my fellow cabinet secretaries. the initiative includes drinking in wastewater, energy, broadband, and veterans hospitals. the goal of the president's proposal is to stimulate $1.5 trillion in investment spending. it includes $200 million in direct funding. they wendy's federal dollars a seed money to incentivize nonfederal investment. two, provide for the need several america, three, streamline permitting and four, reduce unnecessary regulations. as former labor secretary am pleased that they're here to
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discuss and help workers access skills needed to build new projects. some estimates countries infrastructure needs at $4 trillion. we cannot address the challenge this magnitude with federal resources alone or by borrowing. that will crowd out the markets, hinder job creation. so the plan helps the private sector. nonprofit endowments private pension funds have demand for conservative investing. it has collateral that will not walk away. the private sector involvement helps allocate risk. under a well structured transaction if a project is not successful the private sector bears the first loss instead of the taxpayers.
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the department recognizes different regions need different solutions. the investment is currently allowed in some ford in 35 states. should be encouraged were appropriate. the department is also implemented the decision that was announced in august to help speed up the delivery of new infrastructure to reduce costs. there are not enough to achieve the president's two-year timeframe. to accomplish this, the redundancies and inefficiencies damaged from multiple federal agencies making decisions on a single project must be addressed. so thank you again for inviting me. i look forward to answering your questions. >> i thank you for the invitation.
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>> to testify on the president's infrastructure initiative. as president trump has long said, our nation's infrastructure is crumbling. we desperately need better roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways across the country. if we will continue growing and creating jobs and developing 21st century workforce) infrastructure with american heart, american hands, and american grit. first our plan will streamline permitting for infrastructure projects, remove unnecessary impediments to bring the process to two years or less.
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here in the room is the president's chart that illustrate the 120 steps required for infrastructure permit approvals. it's almost older than i am. the faster process would provide certainty and free up capital currently wasted on red tape. congress is working hard on deregulation. over the past year the regulatory reform task force identified over 50 actions that one leash american ingenuity. many efforts focus on regulation that prevent or delay infrastructure projects. notably our national marine fisheries services committed to reduce processing times for
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informal consultations under the endangered species act from over 100 days to just over 50 days. by increasing tracking and improving workforce management we are exceeding that goal. as you know the infrastructure initiative proposes to leverage 200 billion federal dollars and to spare $1.5 trillion in investment. the federal government will partner with state, local, tribal and private sector stakeholders. this is not privatization of infrastructure. rather, we want targeted spending that promotes state local investment while
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incentivizing public-private partnerships. the goal is to amplify taxpayer dollars and restore control to local government. today i will focus on the transformative building project that will be led by the department of commerce. commerce chairs the committee providing federally for both innovative projects that would dramatically benefit communities across america. those projects that would not otherwise attract private sector investment without federal incentives because of the risk. but their potential local regional impacts would provide significant pain for their buck if they succeed. commerce is prepared with ideas, surgically targeted projects
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like regional hub concepts that link multiple state economies. satellite-based broadband. block chain supply chain management. augmented reality to improve city congestion and new dredging technologies for deep reports. another example is the persimmon navigation project. and transmit high-resolution safety contours currents, and other features to help mariners safely navigate congested waterways. this issue were supplied leading to a 4-foot increase in draft, allowing for larger ships and increase traffic. tankers can load $8 million more
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each of them previously. the total cost of the project was only $5 million. commerce is developing an infrastructure program for the select usa investment summit this summer. a major federal program to promote infrastructure and foreign direct investment. flasher we had over 3000 attendees. this year the young king of spain will be one of our featured speakers. the department is assessing how to bring broadband to rural areas in support of advanced manufacturing, telemedicine, and the evolving digital economy. commerce stands ready to work to develop a comprehensive legislative proposal.
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the america first strategy must restore our crumbling infrastructure. it's essential to jobs, economic growth and national security. it's time to build a stronger america. thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. it's good to see you. thank you for the invitation to testify to outline how the infrastructure plan will strengthen the greatest workforce in the world. last friday we announce the strongest monthly job creation since president trump selection. with nearly 313,000 jobs, the american job creators have added nearly 3 million jobs since the election.
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unemployment has fallen to 4.1%. manufacturing, mining and logging and construction have had the highest month-to-month growth will rate since 1998. so this has the potential to expand, deepen, and extend the positive trends for years to come. it's a great time to be a job seeker and a great time to be a job creator in america. in not only invest in physical infrastructure but also in workforce development. as we build infrastructure we must also ensure that i think about the american workforce that will build this and ultimately benefit from these efforts. this includes common sense approaches to funding and flexibility so americans can
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obtain legislation directed toward this shared goal we all have a good, safe sustaining job. it proposes four workforce areas, one is to extend telegrams to high-quality programs that provide students with certification or credentials for in demand jobs. secondly, look at the programs to ensure that more students have access to high-quality to develop skills that are needed and required better more work-study funds through programs like apprenticeships. and reform licensing for qualified individuals.
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let me take each of them at a time. they love pell grant recipients for using grants for courses and programs that do not meet certain time or length requirements. short-term provided immediate economic returns by helping jobseekers gain the skills and education and the workforce. were looking at these programs that provide potential. if the american workforce prefers a credential program at the same institution over longer-term program, why can't they not take that shorter program now and start making money more quickly. secondly, the president's proposal would prepare this.
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they focus funding on high schools that provide hands-on prepared to meet the needs of the economy. there's a need to update those funds are disproportionally distributed to four-year colleges and universities that have been receiving them for decades. this would make other programs more focused on workplace readiness and on the skills economy is demanding today.
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so the infrastructure calls for updating the funding formula to send work-study funds to schools with a strong record of enrolling individuals with pell grants and similar programs. and finally the prohibits them from using these across state lines. i talked to officials and have offer the following advice. if license are unnecessary eliminate them. if they are necessary then streamlined the make them reciprocal with other states. the president's plan call for infrastructure projects that use federal funds to recognize out-of-state licenses to reduce costs and provide something important to our workforce, mobility and flexibility. the workforce components of the infrastructure plan will empower americans to build skills and allow us to obtain credentials
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and in the end this will lead to good family sustaining jobs. we look forward to working with your committee to advance what is a shared goal of good, safe, sustaining jobs. >> thank you members of the committee. it's a pleasure to visit with you. my colleagues have done a great job describing various aspects. you've done a great job expressing the need before us. it's the goal of this administration to work with the congress, senate, and house to get this done. no dispute about the need for infrastructure and it's up to us to deliver to the american people. i represent the usda a rule
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constituency. there dependent on infrastructure. america's advantage has a lot to do with the infrastructure been in place over a number of years. but the rail and waterways have contributed to our ability to deliver farmer and rancher produced products in a competitive fashion. it's important we continue to do that. . .
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your colleagues did a great job describing those needs. you identified and talked about an area that is as transformative we mentioned. you mentioned the system in 1956. we actually go back with two other examples. 1936 with our acts. we see what the conductivity and telephone system did for us. today high-speed internet of the 21st century.
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when you look at the technology that existed in illinois for precision agriculture. the sub image technology of gps and satellite, we can get a 20-bushel increase with half the increase. there are products on the shelf that manufacturers are willing to the point. i'm pleased with the interest -- how do we pay for? we have an opening opportunity a map of that's really where we all come together.
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i love the spirit of this committee in a bipartisan fashion of understanding the need. let's get it done for the american people because it's needed. it was a very important issue. thank you for the opportunity to visit with you. >> secretary. >> thank you. it's a privilege to get to see you. many of these men and women have left the private sector to come serve their country. they are great partners. we sit before you today to discuss the building a stronger america plan so we
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can have this discussion, how we upgrade, how we modernize our nation's infrastructure from the process we were used to evaluate and approve these projects. the fact that these for other cabinet members are sitting here underscores very clearly the emphasis the president is putting on this. he understands the far-reaching impact that intersection has across the federal government. in my capacity, i've been rather blessed to travel to almost every state in the nation over the past 20 or 30 years.
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it struck me about how outdated the infrastructure is. there's too many places where it's in an unacceptable state of disrepair. it is damaging our nation's competitiveness in our citizens quality of life. fortunately there is bipartisan agreement that we have to do something about this. we have to build more. when i say infrastructure most think about roads and bridges in areas that are considered public infrastructure but it also includes this vast and predominantly privately held network of rails, wires, nearly 2.4 million miles of pipeline that move energy to
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american families and our economy really relies upon them. this interconnected web of critical assets carry products to fuel our cars and heat our homes empower our businesses. much of this infrastructure goes unseen. the moment the lights don't come on for the heat isn't there, people are paying attention. as the secretary that's charged, and i might add supporting america's infrastructure, i am intently focused on the strength of that if the structure and its security. now, i'm not a regular witness here in front of this committee but i never miss an opportunity to share with the members, the work that we are
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doing to enable industry, system operators, regulators to protect america's energy infrastructure from cyber or physical attacks. doe is in the process of establishing a new office of cyber security, energy security emergency response. the acronym is caesar to enhance the resilience of our energy assets and better protect them from this growing cyber threat that is out there. both the public and the private sector need to upgrade to modernize our physical infrastructure. just like sonny, a former governor, i enthusiastically support the way the president is planning to do so and let me share with you why. first and foremost, the president's plan embraces america's time honored
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federalist tradition. it's based on the common sense notion that the government closest to the people is best suited to understand and meet their needs. there are many things that will benefit their states and the president is committed to reforming the federal process or the federal permitting process to reduce the burden some red tape that has delayed
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or prevented projects from breaking ground. this is a good example. it requires projects to navigat navigate. they want to see that substantially cut back. i think it's also important that we take into account the tax reform law permitting reform to give businesses the confidence and the certainty and the freedom they need to take transformative projects from plans to. [inaudible] we are in the midst of this stunning transformation. thanks to the presence policies we can share them around the world.
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geopolitically, it frees our allies from unfriendly sources and reduces our trade deficit. domestically, jobs they created, those of you that have those jobs in your districts, you know the power that our industry is having out there, beyond energy, streamlining, permitting will allow us to revive our nation at a time when it is sorely needed. mr. chairman, my colleagues and i urge you to support this and we look forward to working with this committee and congress on its enactment. >> thank you. i will jump right into the questions. i've noted at the outset, the fact that all of you are here sends a powerful message about
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the commitment to the infrastructure. is it also fair to interpret your presence as a sign the administration is willing to work with congress on a bipartisan basis to tackle the issue. >> i will take that first. absolutely. >> secretary ross. >> for sure. >> absolutely. >> i don't think we get it done any other way. >> thank you. >> good. secretary chow, one of the outlines of the proposal would be to reduce red tape and complete projects faster. as i understand that they are close to finishing implementation provided the last highway reauthorization, is that correct? >> yes, we've done basically all 31,. >> if we do something new, does the call for more streamlining, would you be
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prepared to take that initiative on? they don't address multi agency multi- department reform and we really need to address these issues. we are finishing up the fast act and then the president one federal decision announced august 15 of last year would address these multi- agency requirements. >> the follow up on that, i will direct is not only to you but secretary. , the chart that you are provided obviously showed how complicated that process is, but could you elaborate elaborate on the permitting process and how they would continue to improve delivery. >> you mentioned cross agency coordination. any other thoughts about that either you or secretary.
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>> we all want to protect the environment. we're not going to compromise the environmental aspect but we are saying there are commonsensical ways in which the permitting process can be rationalized and streamlined. for example, much of the permitting process is duplicative. they are redundant, they often require surveys to be done sequentially instead of concurrently and they very often disallow agencies to share information. each agency has to go out with their own surveys and go out with a different timeframe so that it's a day or two behind. these studies are extra work that's added on.
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the common sense way to approach that would be to make these studies go concurrently, allow sister agency to share information with one another, so these are the kinds of streamlining efforts that we are talking about. >> anything to add to that. >> i will try to be brief. as the governor that had a state with multiple ports, beaumont, corpus christi, houston, just a name for major , corpus christi, for instance, corpus christi is a port that had a project to basically make it more efficient to dredge it out and upgraded, on the books for over a decade and from time to time you get federal agencies that are in conflict with each other and 61% of the crude that goes out of this country
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goes out of the port of corpus christi. to be able to allow that project to go forward, they had the money available. this isn't a matter of asking for more money, they are asking for federal agencies to basically get out of the way, to give them approval. i think that's one of the things the president is talking about, that each of you probably have an example in your state about how federal government agencies are sometimes in conflict with each other for just an absolute slowness of which they move and i just think it's so essential to this country at this point in time when we have this ability to affect what's going on in the world because of the geopolitics and for us to have federal agencies of government and for whatever reason, not
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being able to give the green light to these agencies in the states to go forward and to get infrastructure going. >> it certainly doesn't fit a modern economy and the way we do things today. >> you are the stuart of different funding programs that are ensuring that rural americans have access to broadband. you had mentioned earlier and i agree with you entirely that that is a transformative infrastructure approach to allow people across the country to participate. i know from several gao and inspector general reports under the previous administration that your department did not effectively administer these programs focused on broadband deployment. i'm wondering what you are doing to ensure that the loans and grants will be used to make broadband to underserved
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areas and that you are taking steps to ensure money is not being used to overbuild areas that already had broadband spread that was one of the frustrations that was expressed about some of those programs in the past that they were overbuild areas already had it to the detriment of those that did not. >> and on think there's any doubt that the allegations are accurate in that regard, and frankly what we see is there are some great grant writers out there and they come repetitively to the bucket looking for more and it's not only usda but all of federal government has not really deployed the broadband money in a strategic way. you've got a start with good facts, accurate data, we have some concerns as you do over the fcc data mad map, sometimes it's self-reported and we are trying to work with commerce and fcc to make sure we have the facts on the
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ground of strategically how we need to deploy. there's a lot of money going out for broadband. how do we deploy that in the most needed areas rather than just appropriating loans or grants to people who overbuild. our interest is in rule america. yet the start with the facts and data, a census of where we are and where we want to arrive at and the tactical step-by-step of how we get there. we are in the process of how we do that but they do a great job in many ways, this is an area where we have not done as well as we would like the past but i think our people recognize that and we are
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working to do exactly what you cautioned us against the mets repetitively over building things and having undue competition in areas where we don't have any in other places. >> the fcc data maps is another issue i'd like to get to. >> mr. secretary purdue, thank you for attending to the needs of those who lost 100% of its crop in the hurricane. as you said we can get this resolved in a matter of weeks, not months. think you secretary perry, thank you for your guardianship and your modernization of the nation's nuclear arsenal and especially its modernization and all of
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the nuclear infrastructure. secretary costa, thank you for your long service as a u.s. attorney where you understand the importance of the rule of law. mr. secretary ross, thank you so much for attending to things like the single point failure of the g4 which flies above the hurricane which is improving the accuracy by 15% of our projections as well as its intensity. that single point failure, since we only have one of them, it has been down for maintenance in both the 16 and the 17 hurricane seasons and to all of you, please continue to watch the bias in the
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administration against science. science for hurricane forecasting and weather forecasting, science used in nasa in each one of your agencies where this idea comes of refusing to understand science and to accept it and to use it. please be on the lookout. secretary chow, the administration's infrastructure plan calls for state and local communities to bear more of the cost of the infrastructure by raising taxes and increasing private sector investment and of course, in my state, our state, three of us here some
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of the residents are already facing the burden of increased local taxes and highway tolls. the plan that is laid out on infrastructure, wouldn't that increase these taxes and tolls. >> they are not the only option for financing infrastructure. there are many other creative ways and that's what we are encouraging the state and local entities to examine. their private activity bonds, the recycling, there are other types of access to public markets, private markets, that would be in addition to those we mentioned. we are agnostic as to the methodology. the federal government actually only owns 10% of the roads and bridges of this country. the majority of the cost actually is borne by the state and local governments.
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>> state roads, county roads, et cetera, that's true and they are paid for by taxes so private, public partnerships are great but when you do it, you have to put a toll so the private entity can in fact be reimbursed so there and investment has revenue coming in. there's only so much of the tollways that the public will accept. i don't expect you to have the answer. >> 's tolls are not the only option is all i'm saying. they want to come in in partnership with the federal government. >> i understand, but when you have private investment in it, they've got to re- inverse, they have to have a return on their investment so.
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>> they can be private activity bonds, availability bonds, different kinds of financing and again, in conjunction with the federal share. >> and a private activity bond is the taxpayers subsidizing by lowering the interest rates, i understand that but that's going to get you only so far toward a trillion dollars of investment, let me, we are about to pass an faa bill, and what the past faa bill we passed a requirement that if you check your luggage , and as you know, the airlines are charging fees now for a lot of the checked bags so we put a requirement in, if you don't get your bag back, you are lee's going to get your $50 that you paid for that bag reimbursed, but your
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department has been sitting on implementing that faa part of the law that reenacted a year ago. can you give us any update on that madam secretary? >> i'm not here to defend the airline, but we believe that the current information that is on the website are transparent and they are sufficient but in light of the fact that you are asking about this, i will take another look. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. senator moran. >> chairman, thank you. let me drag my first question to secretary ross. secretary, we as a subcommittee of this committee had a hearing yesterday on medications and technology, one of the themes that was expressed by members of that subcommittee was the lack of accurate mapping to determine where broadband is absent and where the service is deficient, and the fcc has
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recently issued some maps related to mobility. and tia, within your jurisdiction was the recipient of a budget request of $50 million for mapping and determination of these issues. what is the relationship between fcc and their efforts and how do we make certain one that we do this determination in an efficient way so that we can make a determination where the support comes from secretary produce are u.s. or the fcc and their funding is appropriately spent and secondly, everyone that i heard yesterday in the hearing as far as senators indicated the inadequacy and the inaccuracy of the mapping. how do we get this right.
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>> there are a lot of questions in that, but i can assure you the extensive and intimate collaboration between and tia and the fcc, particularly under the new leadership of the fcc. we are working very hard to avoid duplicate of spending and working very hard to make sure that the dollars are not only well spent but effectively spent in terms of creating much more accurate and much more extensive mapping. i think accuracy and extension are both issues in the mapping area. >> i would just ask you to pay personal attention to the accuracy, the adequacy of that mapping and make sure we get it right because i think this committee and other members of the senate are interested and willing to be supportive of broadband deployment in rural areas, but we don't have the
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information in my view that tells us where best that money could be spent. >> sure. asked low, as you know, commerce through and tia created first not which is bringing 911 nationwide and a lot of the infrastructure that comes with that in the joint venture that we did will provide some of the need that can support rural broadband because this is going to be ubiquitous and is going to, i think help a lot with these significant problem in the most rural areas which is low density of population. to the degree that we can get some infrastructure there now, it will be a big help. i think the other great new thing are these constellations of low orbit satellites and those are going to be a very, very big help because it's a very low-cost way of providing
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broadband on a broader basis. we think technology is coming through and is something that needs to be used very effectively as these constellations of small satellites and low earth orbit. >> thank you. you mentioned that extensively in your confirmation hearing and i remember it. madam secretary, i want to raise the topic, we are talking about getting the federal government rules and relations process, streamline and get dollars more quickly. kansas city has received funding in the fy 17 that was passed last year that's a small start transit projects. i understand that out of this committees jurisdiction but it is an important part of our infrastructure plan.
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there hasn't been any money received from the department of transportation that $29 million, as i understand it is still sitting idle and each month of delay is costing the project more money. i would just ask you to ask your staff to look into why those dollars have not been forwarded to kansas city and how i can help the department of transportation or kansas city solve that problem. >> i will take a look. >> thank you. >> and six seconds, secretary perdue, i would raise the same issue with you in regard to coronation and rule utility services, fcc, i've seen circumstances in which, in my view we have used our u.s. dollars to over building communities that already had, and you said something similar to this in your response to the chairman's question and i would join you in your comments, what i heard about the importance of sorting out
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where these dollars should be spent that actually get to the role places that have little or no service as compared using our u.s. to allow a carrier into a community that already has a community and using that subsidize resources to pay for additional services. i will allow you the opportunity to respond to that, but i wanted to raise that topic. your folks are working closely with us on a particular issue and i expressed my gratitude. i've run out of time to explain that in detail, but i will follow up. thank you. >> thank you. senator peters is up next. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to all of our witnesses today for your testimony. as i've been sitting here, listening to the testimony, i have been trying to find out how we actually deal with this problem. i think we all agree, as was heard from the testimony of all of you that we are really good at identifying the problem. we've got the identification of the problem down cold.
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we've got to fix infrastructure. that's not the challenge. the challenge is how were going to pay for it. if we knew how too do that, the singer been solved a long time ago. i've not heard anyone talking about that in a substantive way other than we want private companies have tollroad. i don't know what that breakdown is parental right now our local governments are stressed. we had a local hearing with governments in michigan saying they are already near there cap as far as what they can raise for roads, they don't have the resources company to federal partner. they are used to having federal projects really put in 20% in the federal government puts in 80%. from what i'm hearing now, you have a new plan from president trump that says we will give you 13% and you come up with 87%. then we have two former governors here, i don't know
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what your reaction would be if the president said will give you 13%, you come up with 87%. i know the deal used to be the federal government used to do 80. we've now flipped it on you. that doesn't seemed like a pay plan when states are stressed a great deal. i've heard about creative approaches in addition to tolls, i've heard we can just go into that more. the problem with that is you still have to pay it. that isn't forever so we've got to deal with it. until this administration comes forward with an actual concrete plan as to how we pay for it, let's be honest with. >> and people. this is just smoke and mirrors. i do have some specific questions i would like to affect her chow and, in the proposal, you talk about giving flexibility to organizations to move away from some requirements of the investment in the projects is the minister. how do you define those exemptions, and i would hope they would not be by american
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provisions. secretary chow would you agree that as this program goes forward will protect both as critical component. >> the president has been very clear about the importance of by american. i think all of them have been very vigilant on that. on the issue of, i may differ with my colleague but i honestly think this bill needs to be done in a bipartisan basis and you are telling me the obviously if there's not such agreements it would be very hard to achieve. >> let me just briefly respond that this bill is bipartisan, it needs to go forward on a bipartisan basis and i would agree with both statements by secretary chao. >> secretary, the other point that you made in your testimony was how we have to make sure that american workers have, and i think it was family sustaining jobs which certainly i can't agree more and i hope everyone agrees with that.
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hopefully an infrastructure plan will put a whole other people to work but in order to have a family sustaining job, you need to have a fair wage. at this moment, recent publication did an investigation that shows there are an awful lot of folks who are simply not getting paid the minimum wage and even though cases are brought to collect that, most of that money doesn't actually get back to the workers, in fact according to the political investigation, overtime laws that are not enforced properly cost an estimated $15 billion in lost wages to folks who don't even get a minimum wage. i think you can argue that it's tough to sustain a family onto beginning and then i getting it. you need additional authority to force these laws or is there a lack of will from the department of labor to enforce them as i testified last week before different committees, there is no lack of will and
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enforcement on minimum wage laws is quite strong. one of the issues you see, particularly on the private side and private enforcement actions is they are very costly. one program we just rolled out as a pilot project to see how it works is called paid where if an employer currently sees that they made a mistake, right now there is little incentive for that employer to come forward because if they come forward, there is no clear mechanism to resolve the matter. but, if the employer comes forward, we will work with them and make sure that one 100% of the dollars go back to the employees and if they come forward and if they admit to it and we work with them on an internal audit, we will make sure that one 100% of the dollars go back to the employees and by bypassing the
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litigative system and let him them say we made a mistake, we want to pay what we know, we hope the dollars go back to the employees much more quickly. >> i hope you continue to enforce that aggressively. it's absolutely critical for workers who are on the edge. if i could just ask a quick yes or no question, secretary rossi and i have spoken on a few occasions related to a situation with our cherry growers. they are facing the dumping of products in your been very open to meeting with them. i would like to know if we can possibly set up a direct meeting with cherry growers with you and your officers. i would appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i want to thank the chair and ranking commit number for today's hearing. we've heard a lot about prioritizing infrastructure investment over the past couple of years. many americans, democrats and republicans alike, that is
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music to our ears, especially to mine. given the high priority the president has placed on rebuilding america, you would think it would be further along in this process and in this conversation that we are having today. other than releasing a 50 page proposal with a few documents, the president and his allies in congress have failed to set the stage for any meaningful investment in our aging infrastructure. leaving many folks in my home state to wonder if this is a serious infrastructure campaign by the white house. let me just break this down. the president's fy 18 budget included 200 billion infrastructure proposal and it/$345 billion in programs. the president and republicans in congress set aside $1.5 trillion to spend on their tax proposal but didn't put aside a single penny for infrastructure. when they enacted their tax bill, can anyone guess how
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much of the 1.5 trillion they set aside for the instructor plan? nothing. let's not forget they made cuts permanent and they will expire in a few years. the budget, released in conjunction cuts more infrastructure spending than is actually included in the proposal so there's a net loss in dollars from the structure. so, although i doubt any of the witnesses will give me a straightforward answer, the question my constituents are asking is this. if the president is serious about rebuilding america, and he hope that he is, why does every decision he makes move us further away from that goal. they clearly admit. [inaudible] i would hope the department of transportation has analyze potential revenue opportunities to inform the
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debate. i know you said your agnostic on the issue, but can you give us a sense of what potential revenues your department may have considered when developing the proposal, either considered, but have you done any analysis into what those revenue sources might be? >> i'm happy to answer your question. first of all, the in the structure proposal was always going to come third. we sent principles instead of legislative languages because it was an open show of cooperation with the congress that we wanted to work with the congress and not be prescriptive with the language. as for the budget, the fiscal year budget is much like 2017 for the 2018 was a bump up but overall 2019 and 2017 was pre-much the same.
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in fact, the mandatory part of the dot budget increased so the total budget is pre-much the same. >> as of now the good news is everything is on the table we look forward to working with congress on these difficult issues. >> and i think that's quite an answer of what i'm asking which is what have you considered. secretary ross, what revenue options have they considered to cover the 200 billion-dollar price tag. >> there are quite a few alternatives. cycling assets for local and state governments but not really in use. the example of australia is very interesting in that regard. they are the various local
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entities sold off unneeded assets and in some cases already revenue producing ones and that produced cash that they can then leverage. >> i'm talking about federal dollars. you're talking about state assets i'm talking about. i'm asking has any of the departments actually considered revenue sources, whether the highway trust fund or other ways that are federal assets. >> we very much have. it's meant to deal with the issue of inefficient use of real estate in the federal government and it's a revolving fund because it can be used over and over and over and have a multiplier effect on it. that's a very specific use. the other kind of uses, there are federal assets that could also be sold and redeployed.
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there have been considerations about air-traffic control and the canadians used a nonprofit model for the divestiture of their air-traffic control system and that has worked pretty well. there are all sorts of ways to get the revenues together. >> i'm sorry, i'm out of time. i apologize for cutting you off. i just have to say there is opposition and i could not disagree with you more about the negative effects of that. that aside, i do want to commend you reaffirming your commitment to biofuels and the bipartisan renewable fuel standards and i really am pleased that you are personally retreating and
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considering and embrace of christ cap is simply not true and you made many statements recently to that effect. can you give me your word that you would continue to support the program and strongly oppose opposed. >> a lot of those decisions are not the problems of commerce. what is the problem there were new tariffs against argentina argentina and indonesia because of the anti- u.s. practices that they had had. it's a very big boost for the domestic biofuels industry and we intend to protect the growers in america.
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>> can we discuss that same statement with secretary purdue. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here today. i would like to enter into the record and the national league of cities that highlights concerns about commercializing rest areas along the interstate system. >> without objection. >> thank you. >> the role infrastructure program in the proposal would allocate funding to the governors of each state based on our role formula. it would be based on rule lane miles and rural populations. how does the administration intend to defined rural for the purpose of this funding, really, specifically as it relates to those rule miles.
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i know the department of agriculture has a number of definitions and other agencies do as well. >> we have a number of definitions across the government. we would love to see that synchronized we would have a common definition. it's one of the issues we deal with over what's eligible and what's not. often times, it misses the vote over creating the opportunity for regional partnership in that area. we would welcome that and much of this is statutory over the definition. obviously what we are looking at is where the infrastructure is. as you know from the farm to the market there's a lot of rural roads and lane miles is just where the infrastructure is. it's the bridges and roads out there so that it contributes.
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>> to have any suggestions right now on what that definition of role would be? you also made a great point in being able to work regionally on infrastructure projects. you have anything you could share with us. >> it would be exclusionary, anything less than a certain number. we are looking at 75000 people in that regard and were talking about rural and there are many small communities and some of them have grown and suburbanite suburbanites. we would love to have a consistent definition that we can apply for our rural development program, and we think probably 50 - 75000 is a
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good cutoff. >> that would be great. thank you. >> secretary ross, if the role infrastructure program utilizes a definition of role -based lane miles in population, have you considered what impact that definition would have on role broad role band deployment. >> the 911 program which is the one that comes directly under us, the first that program, is meant to ubiquitous. it's meant to sav serve all communities independent of size. we have not drawn a differentiation between one size or another. we think and we think we are solving the need for a national 911 system so that the first responders can take much better advantage of technology that had been the case. a lot of that infrastructure
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will reduce the ultimate cost. we are very proud that it's a public-private partnership. we contributed to it with $6 trillion of unused spectrum. at&t is putting up something like $40 million of their own money, $40 billion of their own money. so that's a pretty good ratio. >> i was happy to see in the principles that were put forward by the administration, the role component to allow innovation. i realize that a lot of the money is going to be going for roads and funding.
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when you are dealing with deployment of broadband services, it's extremely important to this country as a whole, and it's also extremely important to rural areas and agriculture. when you look at the internet of things and the conductivity that is available there, agriculture is the third-highest user on the internet of things and so, for that technology to advance and to expand and grow, in all parts of this country, we have to be able to have that deployment of broad plant band across every area of the united states. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you senator fisher. >> i do want to get into the area, secretary chao of this funding that they're talking about over here but before that, i think, i heard what
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you said about the, what's going on down there in the same thing is happening down in brownsville. i'm very familiar with that and what's going on down there, but when you look at the problems that we have in terms of pipelines, according to a 2013 report, we will need $890 billion in energy infrastructure investment through 2025. a lot of that would be through of course, the pipelines and restructuring and improvement. i served for a number of years on the chairman. one of three real successes was doing away with the regulations and streamlining the food i have to give credit
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to my fellow senator barbara boxer. she is a liberal and a real conservative. we all agreed on this and agreed to make changes. now, it's right that we need to do more, but i just want to cover this one thing on pipelines, you and i are from very good oil states, natural gas producers and all of that. when i go home and i tell people in my state of oklahoma that we are, boston is actually importing natural gas from russia, how do you explain that. well, explain it. we don't have the pipeline structure to have that. you want to tell us a little bit about what we can address with that briefly and answer the question that they asked me. >> i will be as brief as i can, you covered a lot of watershed there. i want to address, if i could,
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senator duckworth had asked the question, i think senator peters as well and others about how do you pay for this. as a governor, and i think sonny can back this up as well , one of the most important things that you will do as a governor and i would suggest is a senator who oversees agencies is, in the thoughtful addressing of permitting and permitting and regulation, i will suggest you affect the bottom line even more than taxes due. the idea that somehow or another this is all about how we gonna pay for this and what taxes are we going to raise, that's a good and thoughtful conversation to have, but what can we do right now before we ever address this issue of how are you going to pay for something is how, what are all of the cost i get associated and slowing down the process, we know that if it took ten
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years to get all the permitting done to build a road, that road cost more ten years later than i did if you could've started two years after that process was started. so, that's one of the things i know you are looking at, but as a people who have had real-life experiences of this, governors and sonny and i, those are one of the areas that you can look at. the other one is in, i wrote a book about state sovereignty. i'm very much a big supporter of federalism. the question of whether or not we are going to be able to move energy to places that needed drastically and are states going to be able to
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stop that movement of interstate commerce, is it a national security issue, i think that the discussion we need to have at the national level with our partners in the state. the idea, i'm like you, i'm stunned that there's russian molecules sitting in a tanker in boston harbor when we are prolific producers of gas in the marcella's and pennsylvania, for instance. >> mr. chairman, i respectively request, that wasn't excellent answer but it wasn't to my question, it was to duckworth's question so if you could wind that back about four minutes, i buy test my question but it's a good answer on pipelines because that's true. how many people out there even in this well-informed audience are aware that a major city in america is importing natural gas from of all places, russia. between the two of us, we are the number one producer anyway of that. let me just say to thoughts,
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secretary chao, all this discussion on how you're going to fund it, you remember we forget, nine years ago we had a new president come in. his name was barack obama and he wanted to have $800 billion for infrastructure. remember that, how quickly we forget. they had the house and the senate and total control at that time and so they got not $800 trillion but $836 billion. of all that that they had at his disposal, what percentage do you suppose of that actually went to infrastructure and transportation. let me answer because you may not have the answer. 3%. only 3% of $836 billion actually went to track transportation. now, i remember at that time because barbara boxer was the ranking member, actually she was the chairman and i was the ranking member and we introduced amendments to try to force a large percentage of that, one of our amendments
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was to be sure that at least 35% went to infrastructure since that was what was represented to be, but the second thing was, this is something i know i'll get criticized for but it's a fact, by the way, i stated to my friends around the other side, this is a democrat idea this came in 1962 when we have a kennedy is a president of the united states and he said we need more money, more revenue to come in and support the great society programs. the best way to increase revenue is to reduce marginal rates. a novel idea and it worked, of course he was assassinated right after that, but at the end of three years, the amount of money that was coming in as revenue increased by 30%. then along came reagan. at the time reagan came in, the total amount of money it took to run government was $469 billion. so he said kennedy reduce the rate, top rate went down from
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90% to 70% so reagan came in and move the top rate from 70% to 60% and all other comparable rates, and what happened? the total amount of money it took to rent the government raised to $720 billion. that's what's happening today. why are we so blind that we don't see it. we went through eight years of obama with a gdp increase average of one and half percent. it's already in excess of 3%. no one disagrees with the argument that for each 1% increase in economic activity, that translates into $2.9 trillion over a ten-year period. if you're really looking to see what's what happen, keep those two things in mind. we were able to come up with that amount of money back at a time that was never put into in the structure as it was designed to be put in and at the same time, we now have, it's hard to say but in the amount, for the amount on it so we do know that the
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increase is a reality. as a child, i would just like too. >> center in half, you are well over. maybe you could submit the next one for the record. >> i think she knows what it is. okay, next up is senator heller. if i could ask the members to try to be a little more southington their questions. >> mr. chairman, thank you. i want to think the panel for being here today. the distinguished panel and i'm grateful that you're here and had time in your schedule to answer some of our questions. i would like to direct the first part of my questions to secretary. it's an issue that you are well aware isn't important to the state of nevada. you probably know the questions that i'm going to ask. i'm looking at the federal budget and i'm assuming you participated in putting this budget together for your department. >> yes sir.
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>> those was a question in 2017 that money be requested for licensing. in the licensing for yucca mountain. from a with that request. >> yes sir. >> did you participate in putting and a request that we put in the budget. >> yes sir. when i took the oath of office , i held my hand up and said i was going to follow the rule of law and defend the constitution, and it is the statutory responsibility for the secretary of energy to follow the law and the law tells us that that's what we are going to do is go through with that licensing process. that's what those dollars are therefore, nothing more, nothing less. >> does precedent matter? >> i'm sorry? >> in other words, there hasn't been money put in that line item since 2010.
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>> there's been no money in there and all of a sudden there was money put in their. i would argue that the previous administration wasn't following the law. the law is pretty clear. it says yours was to go through this licensing process and that's what it is. it's about following the law and the law says we will go forward with finding out the answer on this licensing issue. : : : what do you anticipate in 2019 that he would be requested again? >> i would suspect the result would probably be about the sa
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same. we appreciate your efforts. this is a transportation issue and there is a picture behind me talking about all of the rounds that would have to cover the united states. let me be more sustained by saying the federal government is shipping my grade -- 9,400 real casts and 2800 trained and 2,650 trucks to yucca mountain over the next 50 years. they would use 22,000 miles of railway and highway is crossing the public safety you?
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>> i don't know the issue that you are referring to very well. living within one half mile of these route under previous questioning, the federal railroad administrator pipelined hazardous material howard elliott confirmed a transportation accident with an ensuing radiological release was possible. would you agree? >> i'm not familiar with the issue that you are talking about, but i would talk about it. >> is there a risk of these looking at this chart of the amount of transportation and nuclear waste across this country.
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the. of my time has run out. thank you very much for the opportunity. vermont will receive a tiger grant for the interstate 89 lebanon bridge project. that's going to help connect to resources and places to the interstate bridges across the connecticut river.
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we hope they understand how funding and projects are to the states. the mapping information about the conductivity in the states is inaccurate. the area i hope you will bring your personal attention to that. as a governor i would say to the whole panel data states have been doing their part in raising revenues for the transportation infrastructure. a republican legislature in my state raised the gas tax just a little while ago.
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generally speaking, the federal government helps make direct investments in things that have a national benefit for everybody like national security and national economic growth. so, count me into the comments about our concerns that this plan while it sounds good in identifying the problem isn't backed up with the kind of federal investment that would make it a reality especially for small states like mine. that being said i want to start with questions to you that was an issue about the airline infrastructure. i wrote last month along with several of my colleagues outlining the concerns about the requests that you had received from the airline industry to roll back the protections. if the airline industry were to achieve its goals, some of the things we could see as consumers include an elimination of the 24 hour waste period from
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purchasing an air ticket and the elimination on how they can file complaints with the department of transportation. a potential weakening of the requirements that provide prompt service for passengers who experience disabilities. the elimination requires them to display the ticket to the consumers when they shop that's just a few of the things they'd try to roll back. can you commit to working before any consumer protections our rollback in the airline industry backs to the >> yes. some of it involves the website notice a.
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i disagree with you and others, so i look forward to a. among the health committee members right now to deal with workforce training comes with a gateway is one of them the jobs act is another. we spoke briefly before. >> terrific, thank you. >> the u.s. department of agriculture plays a role of improving the infrastructure across the united states the need for investments in the water infrastructure can't be overstated. the society of civil engineers said of new hampshire that much of the current water
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infrastructure has operated its capacity and will need upgrades for replacement. at the costs are rising to millions of dollars and we can no longer afford to be for the investment infrastructure systems so how are they aiding the ones like i represent to prepare their water infrastructure lack? >> i think you understand the impact it can have working with the smaller communities particularly over the water treatment availability and we look forward to continuing to do that as we go forward obviously. thank you mr. chairman and ranking member nelson. really important hearing.
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i would like to start my questions on infrastructure and in particular along the u.s. mexico border into facility it was a $400 million investment that opened in 2014 and it spurred many millions more in infrastructure investment by other companies and state in the local and federal governments by both sides of the border. so the administration's trade policy has huge implications for infrastructure in my state and itit's home to many millions of people.
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to strengthen environmental and labor standards. has the administration considered in any formal or rigorous way the impact on the border economies and infrastructures if the administration unilaterally withdraws from nafta? of the oil and gas industry just about every industry that you can imagine as well as many local and state officials. so we have been highly sensitized to the dependence that a lot of the border states have and also on the canadian border a different group of states. so we are aware of the potential impact. >> head of the administration made public any analysis of the consequences of unilateral
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withdrawal of the facts enabling of opposition from congress as on the books and cannot be repealed by the president >> no decision has been made at this point. the president has indicated that he is optimistic and so are we that a reasonable deal can be made. >> so is it fair to say that the unilateral withdrawal has been taken off the table? >> the president said repeatedly that he requires a good deal for the united states and if there is a deal put on his desk as well be compared with the alternative. >> since you're not taking it off the table now i just want you to know i was with an last couple of weeks down with the border authority group write on the border you could look at defense that's up there and
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there is a huge amount of concern about the impact this could have about the jobs infrastructure. i would urge you to talk to the secretary and maybe he would weigh in on this on the economic consequences of the region if we unilaterally withdraw. if we get to the place where there's frustration and we go down the road to a unilateral withdrawal that would be very unfortunate. have you ever toured the region? >> shortly. i would encourage you in your position to come down. i don't know if you've done that as the secretary.
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i know that you have briefed me on you and how to trade representatives have been working on all of that but people view you as a key person so i will try to do anything i can to introduce you to folks down therthefolks down there toe consequences that could happen on the border. from the border security i think we also need to take that into consideration.
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i really believe through the position that the democrats have laid out in terms of the infrastructure package the things that you all are talking about over here there is a lot of room for the common ground and i hope that we can come together for that. section 232 of the trade expansion act of 1962 in order to impose a 25% target on imported aluminum. i've had a lot of conversations with a lot of people including just a few days ago the ceo of a manufacturing company in my hometown of utah the company that employs 2,000 people in manufacturing various products many of which include steel.
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it's not the biggest product. it doesn't take up the most volume and not even the most weight but it's a significant cost component. the products and the price of the product is that sensitive and is that likely to be impacted very directly by the terrorists. ait is a memorandum of addressig u.s. demand for steel related to national security.
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the national security concerns demand only 3% of the u.s. production, and if that is the case wha what if any limits exin this authority? >> the letter but you are quoting from acknowledged that he regards the help of the steel industry and the aluminum industry as matters that do threaten national security, so i think a full reading of the latteletter would include a commentary by him. the fact that it is a small percentage is one of the reasons why this is needed because the same that make the more mundane
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products are those that make essential military products. for the soldiers and sailors protected by it it is a pretty important thing to. it is on or off and since the direct defense requirements know that we are in a very low military spending period those are not enough to keep it going so they need commercial
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viability. that is one of the things that makes it very complicated. it produces in high volume and high purity aluminum needed for aerospace. as i think you are aware we are about to publish the rules they would apply for a specific exemption for a specific
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product. >> is as likely to metastasize to include among other things retaliatory tariffs against the agricultural products. it's not an escalated a trade war wherthe tradewar where it wf a. i would tell you that every
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acreage in the state of montana without exception is unbelievably concerned about the retaliatory action. it is focused on the products and it isn't a hit family farmers can take right now. it is a question for the secretary the infrastructure plan is going to supply 20% of federal dollars and 80% would come from the state, county, municipal governments can you tell me in a state of montana where we are required a balanced budget which is a very good thing and we ought to work for that at this level, how montana is going to come up with an 80% match.
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>> above suggestion here is that there are various different programs each of which has different economic characteristics to it but if there are aspects that it chooses to do just, that certainly counts. >> whatever they so could be eligible to be matched. the specific sources of revenue and the quantity of the revenue in having skin of the game at local, state and federal level.
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it's coming up for the 20% match i don't see where the logic is expecting them to come up with a match so i can tell you if it is to sell off their assets short of selling the road which doesn't work in a rural state montana absolutely not for short of selling the public land which by the way is argued that the largest industry, some $7,000,000,000.74000 jobs in the state i don't understand how this plan is well thought out at all to get things built. >> the region is different and the infrastructure built puts aside 25%. it would be on a formula basis, so it would be different.
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what you are referring to is something that we need to discuss the. 85% of the 25% this formula based and the remainder is probably going to be targeting the investment but we understand the need would be on a formula basis and it would be different. >> the infrastructure plan makes for a great press release and it's going to invest 1.5 trillion infrastructure if we get the states to come up with a match. but i'm telling you the state of
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montana right now is cutting programs because they don't have money. they cut the programs so it's not like they are rolling in dough and i don't think that it's any different than wisconsin or nevada, colorado, west virginia or any of these states. last question because i only have about 20 seconds left. your budget eliminates the development for the wastewater grants program this is a critical program for the clean and safe water. tell me how you justify cutting this program and been putting forth another infrastructure program that's not going to build any infrastructure. >> we expect it to build infrastructure, that is what the conventiotheconvention is, thatu understand what a good job it is with the water program. >> absolutely and that is why i
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don't understand why it was cut because we have cities and towns across the country. rural and urban elite depend on this and hopefully we can take another look at this. i will say thank you for being here i appreciate the work you are doing and i know you are all good people that we have to do better than this. thank you. >> i want to thank all of you for being here and for your service to the state. i will just go to begin in my statement thanking the emphasis on rural america and the emphasis on the broadband issue i know i talked with all of you individually about that and i would like to say in response to senator tester even though we have a difficult financial situation but voters went to the polls last october and passed a $1.5 billion infrastructure package that raised the gas tax in the state and i hope as i
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reiterate is that when and if this bill goes through, that retroactive passage of that fore fourth estate would count towards the match. sometimes it is for the greater good and west virginia did that. i want to thank you and your staff for championing the natural gas liquids rich open the region. the secretary mentioned regional hubs and concepts that link the state economies. as you know, this is one such project. i believe that it was very naturally into the infrastructure and plan and i would like to know can you speak a bit about how the development of meshes with the need to improve the nation's infrastructure by building out the sing our energy dollars? >> senator, thank you. i think that it is important for
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the committee and the general public to think about the concept of and not get tie ann o the simplicity of how you're going to pay for this. i want to go back and remind everyone when i was the governor, and this was true for senator hatch. get the regulatory climate fair and predictable if we can predict and have stability in the climate.
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that's important not to lose sight of. those like yours that are willing to come in and say we needed this and we realize the federal government isn't going to be the goose that lays the golden egg on everything. this plan and the idea of taking the state. you see the jobs that get created, taking that resource and added value.
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they have to pay exactly this amount of it because there's a lot of innovative ways to do it. you've got tax roads are you believe in the fairy. you can come in and invest and you're not going to see the rules change in the middle of the game.
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the capital investment if and when we get the storage the creation of 100,000 jobs talk about the region that had tremendous downturn and tremendous job loss and difficulties so i want to thank you and the department of energy and the secretary at the department of commerce for working with us at the regional concept to create a low-grade jobs here in the country. thank you. >> thank you all for your service. let me begin by asking you about
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the project. it is essential to the transportation network in the country, so i would like for you to commit that he will urge the president to support the project. >> it is not our intention to get into an argument it is for nine such projects. they are unusual and in their unwillingness to. to pressure the federal government to fund these projects there is a process.
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>> do you think it is a good idea? >> we are not arguing about whether the project should go forward. >> so you will connect to the gateway project. >> i can't commit to something i don't know. i urge you to advise the president to back off of his threat to shut down the government over the gateway project. let me move on to another topic on the control. i hope you agree with me that it is essential to the railroads. you have said that you would finalize the enforcement
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strategy. we have an administrator. can you confirm that it has been finalized? >> absolutely. i sent out a letter at the end of december and early january notifying all regulated entities that they have a responsibility to meet the deadline and then we brought them in with a new administrator and he and the rest of the staff there are meeting individually with each of the companies. i think there were 47 of them so far in just six weeks. >> the end of the deadline will be enforced.
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>> i understand that you are very much involved in the negotiating of the tariffs strategies, and i want to express my concern about the appointees who have been apparently fine because of a lack of security clearances do they have interim security clearances on their work? that's why when we learned of the problem we terminated them.
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>> do you have a security clearance? >> yes i certainly do. >> do all of the members have permanent security clearances? do any employees of your department have access to classified information lack full permanent security clearances? >> not to my knowledge. >> when and if we use come on board they figure out the paperwork and undergo the process. i have inquired no one is behind on the process and they have not yet indicated any issue in the
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process. but some are still undergoing the process more. but do they have access to the classified information? >> as a practical matter they do not have access to classified information. >> i am happy to provide details. i'm going to ask each of you to provide details. nighttime unfortunately has expired and this topic is extraordinarily important and as we all know it is an issue that has been raised with the white house staff, the use of the interim security clearances and i would say the abuse of them is in the national security i would like to ask each of you to report to me whether any of your current employees have interim security clearances with access to classified information. >> thank you to the five cabinet
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members that are here today. we have questions about how you're going to pay for the bill at an alarming plan at the beginning to pay for the infrastructure built that was at the massive 19% tax increase on the american economy. do you believe that the tax increase would make the concrete asphalt more expensive as we build new infrastructure lacks that could >> would this make u.s. products more expensive? >> it's going to wreak havoc on the economy. >> would it cost to have a 19% tax increase on the job creators backs with farmers find it more expensive to buy the 19% tax increase? >> yes, sir. >> with a low income earners see energy costs become or expensive
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with tax increase? this idea to perpetrate a massive tax increase on the american economy is not the right policy of time were trying to create jobs and allow the idea and if the massive tax increases or if the backwards if that is the plan i would strongly object to it. we have heard a little bit about the steel and aluminum tariffs. can you talk about the retaliatory tariffs and do you thinthink the consideration of e measures should factor into any recommendation on the tariffs around trade? >> we know how much steel it uses and the amount it would take do you think an update that you study on the highway construction considers the impact that recently announced terrorists will have that could be helpful yes or no?
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>> if you'd like me to conduct a study we would do so. >> thank you, secretary, with a steel tariff or have you had a chance to study whether the proposed steel and aluminum to this would increase the cost of building pipelines in the united states? >> i have not looked in detail about the final. sure it is going to raise it but that isn't what is going to happen. >> there is no study on the cost of building pipelines under a 25% or 10% ^-caret.
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as your department completed any study showing the position of the terrorist that would show a net positive effect on the overall u.s. labor market yes or no? did you consider the impact of the trade actions against the united states when you recommended the imposition of the terrorist? >> what i recommended was three alternatives to the president. one was a quota, one was a broad-based structure and one was a highly targeted structure. >> we had a very lively discussion for the potential of the retaliatory tactics. >> the discussion went on for hours. it's trying to model what the
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parties are trying to do. the proposal made by the european commission affects $3.5 billion of product, so if you compare that to the economy it is two tenths of 1% of the gdp and those are unlikely to go to zero in any event. the problem is using the tactic in the broadbrush sense doesn't really get you anywhere. we will be hearing soon enough what kind of retaliation people might have in mind and whether or not they have the authority to do it. >> should we move forward when we don't have a study on the impact of energy or when we know that the impact on agriculture will be increased and the odds
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of retaliation when we haven't done a study on the job impact and we don't have an update for the cost should we move forward on the retaliation when we don't have this information for the cabinet member? >> you are making some broad statements. >> very lively discussions of the impact on the economy within the interagency process and in the oval office to the president there has been very much attention paid to it so the implications that it was simply ignored doesn't correspond to the fact. >> i think the world trade organization needs some changes in the way that it operates and i think that we do need some sort of an end trade relations if not 100% clear they are used
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for example one of the major reasons why it's important to take action like the 301 and 232 is that we've already got 100 some odd cases on the steel related products because 34 countries but what happens under the wto rules you are required to be very precise as to the product and precise to the country. even sometimes to the extent of saying it only applies under two tenths of a millimeter, 2 millimeters in size so what happens is you in pose the terrorists and suddenly the material appears to another country can either a direct shot at gorazde some additional manufacturing or the company now
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goes to a different stage of manufacture for itself and now you have to start all over. >> is that a yes or no. it's very much in the interest of the united states of america. >> not all questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. i believe that i've outlined to the best i can. >> i really appreciate the administration coming out in full force on the issues of principles and principles of infrastructure. i think they put out a strong plaplan and worked with us on tt and i will tell you i think that this committee which i also
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serve there is a lot of interest and energy to move forward on a major infrastructure plan where we have bipartisan support and this hearing is demonstrating the focus. we need to reform the system so that it is truly for research and working needs that are seasonal not necessarily for other industries that might be more abusive of that and secretary perry, i was here earlier and i have to g had to h side for the last hour, but your comments about the opportunities with regards to the american energy renaissance is taking place weather in texas, alaska and all over the country is just spot on the.
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its resurgencit's a resurgence t of the country starts to want to oppose them anywhere. if we move these commodities that the country needs a. of the last administration took eight years.
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i would like to submit an editorial by the "boston globe" recently it's a long editorial about a "boston globe" how massachusetts has in a fit of righteousness wanted to disallow any pipelines coming across the state. so guess where they are getting their oil from, guess them as opposed to the americans. not a good policy i would like to set it for the record it is a russian pipeline. it essentially broke the logjam
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if we think that the longest work in history only took 40 years so can you talk about the importance of not only your agency that all of them that we are working together so we can get to the standard. it's streamlining so we can get the common sense permitting whether it's pipelines or bridges or roads, reports or harbors as opposed to nightmare scenarios that you resolved on the sterling highway that helps nobody, certainly didn't help my state. >> you were very kind but you offer a great deal of the credit and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you to
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let loose the highway. you pointed out the importance if we go to work. second on the issue of permitting, you've been a champion of permitting a. there's a bipartisan opportunity both on the commerce committee and the dpw committee to move forward on issues that impact
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all of us as you know most of the labor union, the building trades are all very supportive of the administration's principles of. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you to the cabinet members for being here we appreciate your focus on that investment.
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many of them are on th the pacia including the infrastructure we at largest grain elevators in the country in several spots along there just because we are exporting so much of shifting focus to the transit for its large. in our states, they have a 64% local share into federal share only of 36% thanks to the voters who decided that it was worth making this investment and i think the entire program is looking at a 16% for the proje
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project. that 16% is absolutely essential to have the partnership of the federaat thefederal level, so dk that particular example is the type of program that the administration is looking for? >> your state has been skillful in getting these transit grants so they have had more than its proportional share not a criticism just an observation so they are familiar in the program. do you want to look at applications on a case-by-case basis and they've been pretty successful in the past.
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that is the face of what it should be. it increases the likelihood of the federal participation. we are looking for an infrastructure package that keeps the transit in mind articulately in the robust way that we are doing it in the neck of all three of the. i was glad we talked about the
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waterways and infrastructure investments related to the port so we definitely want to have that level of investment to make sure the ports are modernized in the competition that the c. as we have seen changes in the pana market now for the aggressive competition that we have. do you worry about some of these discussions as it relates to trade. we want to make sure that the markets are open. >> i represent farmers and we always worry and certainly when the trade disruptions come, infrastructure is very important and that is what we talk about both the ports and in the
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waterways and a significant advantage we need to make sure they continue to do that because the products from the beginning to end. we have to be very mindful of that and i appreciate the president attempting. i'm going to make sure agriculture isn't one of those losers, so thank you mr. secretary.
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i keep hearing about the 200 billion-dollar seed money to stimulate $1.5 trillion a very simple question i'm going to ask each one of you yes or no how do you know the spending and infrastructure did you do some modeling or was there some analysis? can you make sure the modeling analysis? did you do modeling or analysis? >> 1.5 trillion. >> i can't tell you what the analysis concluded. we have to do it program by program because the ratios are a little bit different, so in the incentive program we think the
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federal dollars will be leveraged somewhere between 4.1. >> if you've done the modeling or the analysis if you would say yes and send it to my office that would be great. >> i would urge my colleagues. >> that's where we built our numbers on with the leverage that we have seen in the programs through the art. >> so you have a natural analysis. >> we have the history. >> w >> we will send you what we have, senator.
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the white house somehow invited democrats in to participate to o the white house infrastructure program. >> we would've preferred that it be done on a bipartisan basis. from what i see the president's budget it's keeping the funding flat for the next decade. from the students that need the fund to attend college is that actually what is happening? >> if we look at the program currently there is a surplus in the grant program, and right now if a student wishes to do a certificate program in the community college, they cannot get the funding they have to
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actually enroll in a full degree program in order to receive funding. in many ways grant that would fund the certificate program for the degree program and so this isn't really an additional as i'm listening. ..
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thank you very much and you know the many of our 17 counties counties, actually 15 arra along with arizona which also has its fair share of her communities. we are working to invest and move forward as you know. will the interstate level project benefit from this program? >> it would depend on how it's financed and the structure. >> what is possible? >> yes, we hope so. >> thank you. there is no direct reference to broadband funding and instead or grammar brocker dedicated funding direct for broadband deployment. am i mistaken? is that true? i don't see it anywhere. maybe secretary perdue. >> there has been a lot of discussion about that but i don't think. frankly i would welcome that for
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a our need for ubiquitous broadband but that was left out of the content for the desires of the congress. >> thank you and i would support that as well. secretary perdue i appreciate your comments because when we talk about investing in or at the structure it is not just horizontal construction. investing in broadband and investing in our communities particularly when it comes to new technology for the structure so thank you all for coming to capitol hill today. really appreciate it. >> thank you senator cortez masto. >> thank you so much for visiting with us today to discuss the ever structure initiated when the core components of this initiative is the incentives program which incentivizes states and local governments to establish significant non-federal revenue for their most important projects. last year the state of indiana we did our part. we work diligently to provide
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additional funding for state infrastructure projects and i have to say i appreciate that the administration has recommended a look back period to recognize these recent investments and prior actions made by pratt states like hoosiers and i look forward to working with other members of this committee to ensure the investments made by their state as well as mine are recognized within the confines of the infrastructure proposal which brings me to a question. many hoosiers have welcomed a vibrant debate back home about what infrastructure priorities we should have, where the money should come from how much they are willing to spend and so forth. can you speak to the multiplier effect that the incentives program within the infrastructure proposal creates by encouraging states to follow indiana's model and establish dedicated new revenue streams
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for state infrastructure projects? >> i would be glad to talk on that senator. we think at a minimum there'll be 4-1 leverage provided that the state and local level and as the states compete for the incentive program it might get as high as 7-1 leverage. that's how we arrived at the estimate of 500 to 800 billion coming from the incentives program. >> that's really encouraging and all the more reason to to focus our efforts to make sure we are still investing in the future. 4-1 would be fantastic and 7-1 for some projects even better. secretary chao would like to speak to this next one. i'll start by indicating that one of the state's priorities infrastructure projects is the
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completion of the ice 69 bridge. this runs from southwestern indiana where evansville is located over to henderson kentucky and the project has long been a priority of the hoosiers going all the back to 2004 when the environmental impact study began. just last month secretary chao your staff met with the project sponsors to assist in moving this vital project forward pack on behalf of my fellow hoosiers i want to thank you and your team for your dedication and hard work with respect to this project. i am pleased that one of four guiding principles of the demonstrations of the structure proposal is to streamline permitting to expedite project delivery. i'm sure this is held up by some of my colleagues but this byzantine regulatory scheme for the permitting and approval of
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federal infrastructure projects is something that can only be conceived up in washington d.c. so the fact that the administration has made a major priority to de-clutter this and streamline this is something i commend and applaud and celebrate. the idea of designating one lead federal agency and setting firm deadlines for completion, the issuance of a final decision is welcome news for people of indiana. madam secretary or any of the other secretaries can you speak to the potential that streamlining this permitting process prevents the major structure projects like the ice 69 bridge and how regulatory reform presents a major opportunity to reinvigorate investments in infrastructure? >> mr. chairman is a former governor i'd like to address that and again secretary perry
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and i have experienced that. i've been quoted in the past as saying i would take a lot less money for payment -- permitting reform. we are opening up the road in one of the most congested corridors. we have 10 years on you for the bridge so this is a challenge. what we are really talking about is not circumventing any kind of environmental laws or protections they are. it's really process management. it's really moving things in a way that makes sense .2. with one federal decision and a case manager if you would. that's really what we are talking about is to manage it with accountability and that it doesn't set on somebody's desk for weeks or months. there's no reason we cannot do
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these things concurrently rather than sequentially as it continues to delay the process. this could be one of the best things we could offer america is this permit reform that gets things done quickly because time is money in these kinds of infrastructure projects. >> we estimate that probably something like one third of the cost of infrastructure projects would consume legal bills and the inflationary effects so if you think about it it's anything like that then you have arctic gotten a 30% cost reduction and in the cost of the project and that's something that is a real benefit coming from the federal government to the state and local authorities. as of right now they don't have so this is just a 20% of direct
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contribution and we can fix the regulatory. we have really lowered a lot the amount the states and localities have to pay. >> my experience in georgia was probably 50 to 75%. >> thank you for making sure our taxpayer money gets even more bang for the buck. i yield back. >> thank you. senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. i was the first one here and the last one a long story but i want to thank everyone for your hard work and i guess i will start with you secretary acosta because i spent saturday with an number of our manufacturing companies in minnesota. we have a very low unemployment rate in minnesota. that's exciting in many ways that we need to ein more workers and one is immigration reform
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and the other is doing everything can -- we can to my preferred to have less debt and then move on to a four-year degree. one of the things the chamber showed me there was a list of some of the federal job descriptions where kids can only work an hour a day on certain types of machinery and at 18 they can do it for longer. maybe we could extend that to more hours and i wondered if you have looked at that. i also talked to about human trafficking meeting. she said you were looking at all of this. >> certainly we are looking into it really received a letter from one of your colleagues with respect training for hospital
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jobs. we are looking into whether they can be extended and also looking into whether it makes sense to create exemptions if they are using equipment as part of some training programs, a partnership programs in the theory that we would rather them are in the right way at 17 then the first time when they are 18. >> exactly. an hour a day is more dangerous than for longer time. >> staff is coming up with recommendations for me. as a matter of fact i asked for one last week so we are in the process. >> very good. secretary purdue thank you for coming to the midwest. we were on a plane together and he had a very nice have on mr. chairman. looked like he was ready for the midwest. i know senator duckworth asked you about that -- but i just wanted to touch on biofuel
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infrastructure. usda announced 21 states would receive grant funding for the biofuel infrastructure program. do you think we have sufficient infrastructure to be able to get to that next stage where we are beyond but we want to make it part of the mainstay of our fuel supply? >> senator i think there will be at least a demand for bombs and there will be another opportunity to participate in infrastructure growing out our homegrown interview program with ethanol. >> very good, thank you. secretary chao, open skies. we have talked about this in the past. they are very important. we have a delta hub and i know the administration recently
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announced a memorandum of understanding between the state department and qatar to address some of these foreign air carriers. i'm sure you were involved in that so thank you and i just wondered if you are committed to moving forward with additional policies. there are other issues -- airlines that were having issues as well. >> that's certainly an area we are very concerned with and we are working with them. >> essential care service. one of my colleagues asked about the things that i care about very much including grants and i will send you some questions on them later with specific issues in our state. could you talk about that and the budget cuts? >> i'm very concerned and sympathetic with the program. the program was the budget and we shifted some funds to make
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some of the eas grants available. >> very good, thank you. secretary ross, thank you and enjoyed your toast with the swedish prime minister last week, good job. the 2020s senses is less than two years away. there have been some issues with the senses that maybe we can get into later but how does the administration plan to assure that rolls out smoothly? >> well as you know early on there was diligent analysis of the cost projections that have been made and we concluded that they had greatly underestimated the costs that would be needed in order to have a full and fair and complete sentence. we believe the monies we have requested should be adequate to fund it and in order to try to
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ensure part of the enumeration is covered with increasing the number of partnership people on our staff from 800 that were employed in the 2010 census to a thousand so that's a 25% increase in the outreach capability to local communities and organizations. also the advertising and marketing budget has been increased from. and 75 million in the 2010 census to 500 million now so that's a one third increase in that. we think that reflects changes in the population one of the things we have been doing is we will be having physical correspondence to 17 different
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languages. we are working very hard to make sure. >> i also want to let you know that senator blunt and i are working on the continuing funding of rand usa which comes from your department and we appreciate that. we are concerned about that going forward and the world expo application or minnesota for 2027 is going to come through your department so i look forward to seeing that this year. >> i'm a big supporter as you know in tourism is a very very important reason why we have the trade surplus in tourism and other forms of transportation. >> exactly, thank you for your support on that. >> you get a little bit of that tourism benefit too. just be glad they didn't ask you
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about the curt cozens trade. >> oh, yes. >> senator cruz. >> naked mr. chairman. secretary ross on february 9 of this year i joined senator cortez masto in sending a bipartisan letter to gary cohn and general mcmaster raising concerns of the leaked memo to the administration that called for maximizing 5g mobile broadband networks. as you know the united states has been the global leader in mobile broadband since surpassing japan in 2009 but we can't take our global position for granted. china and japan and south korea and the european union are all challenging the united states to be first in deploying 5g given that it has the potential to boost annual gdp by 500 billion create up to 3 million new jobs.
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in your judgment could the united states be nationalizing any aspect? >> i am aware of that proposal that has been made and has been circulated within the administration but a couple of points. one, we find 5g essential both to the commercial interest in the national security interest of the country so the president is keenly interested in making sure that we are the leader in 5g. there has been no final decision made on the memo itself as of yet and i don't want to get out in front of the president on it but i think you are aware that everybody is focused on the utter importance of 5g and the importance of the u.s. being the leader in it. we have no intention of vacating that at all.
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>> well let me make it clear at least my position and i think the position of a great many people in congress that it would be a grave mistake to nationalize 5g and i think you would face very significant resistance in both houses for any proposal to do so. >> i certainly don't want to sound as though i'm advocating. i just don't want to get ahead of the president creates. >> i understand. secretary chao you and i have been vocal supporters of the president's proposal to modernize air traffic systems and modernizing air traffic control is one of those rare proposals that can reduce the size of the federal government and at the same time benefit the environment, save costs, save fuel, save time and is supported by unionized workers while at the same time making free-market
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benefits. there've been some concerns raised from general aviation about the proposal that i remain convinced that a win-win solution is possible but will enable the cost savings enable the time this benefits while the same time protecting general aviation which is an important part of our transportation nationally. can you share your views about the benefits of air traffic control modernization number one and number two do you think it is a subject for the consideration of being included in infrastructure package? >> there are traffic control was proposed to address the congestion problem in our skies, the future congestion in our
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skies and the slow rate at which the fbi is able to obtain equipment for the next generation technology. the proposal was to have air traffic control go into a separate non-profit co-op like organizational structure. it's just a governing change. would also free at the aviation aviation trust fund half of which is currently being used not for reinvestment in her traffic control system but as production. we still believe the restructure of air traffic control having the air traffic control aspect move into a separate nonprofit co-op like organization is the best way to address the issues that we have, the congestion issue, the aviation trust issue leaving safety with faa but it doesn't appear as though they
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are enough votes in the house nor the senate. >> thank you secretary chao. secretary perry as i understand that it you recently visited your alma mater texas a&m on the campus last month and toured the center for the structure renewal on the campus which will serve as a leading source for developing transformative infrastructure solutions. one project in texas that i believe you i believe you are from a width for your time as governor is in corpus christi bishop channel improvement. curt corpus christi has the funding available to deepen and widen the port that there have and navigate with the corps of engineers which can be at times slow and cumbersome and lead to unnecessary project delays. one solution is to modify the army corps of engineer's regulations that grant more authority to ports to execute
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army corps of engineer projects. do you think modifying the regulations to give procurement rules can save money to expedite deepening our ports which will enable more. >> senator they would make an interesting documentary about how government can slow down economic regrets with just a 15 year look at that at the port of corpus christi. i'm not here today to testify about the corps of engineers. i will leave that to you to find some of the solutions but you really touched a very important issue. we talked about it a little bit earlier, your home state which adds i think five major points from amman to galveston to houston to brownsville. 61 of% of the crew goes out to the port of corpus christi so from a national security standpoint and economic stem point and a geopolitical
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standpoint you are absolutely correct in identifying an alternative to the way we have always done it to one that streamlines substantially the process. i salute your focus on this. i wish you good luck and smooth sailing on it. >> terrific, thank you. >> senator cruz thank you, senator baldwin. >> last year he visited snap on tools and employer in kenosha. he used that stop to announce the buy american, higher american executive order and during his speech that day president trump promised quote a big infrastructure built that would be quote constructed with
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american hands, american steel and american tools. he claims his administrator should and would be taking boldly steps to follow through on his buy american, higher american pledge. i want to ask starting with you secretary. the. >> senator, thank you. you just reminded me of a fabulous state that you live in. harley davidson and matthews bows came to the state of texas. you speak about snap on is another one but the issue here, think what the president was laying out is he is understanding the role that congress plays. >> so, in no or the answer is yes? it is overriding prevailing
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authority that impacts every single department in the government. can you point to anything? >> it does need to be in a prevailing authority. it is to emphasize this existing requirement which has not been emphasized in the past. >> senator i think the ideas we can go from 10 to two years in permitting such a powerful message and thus i shared earlier. >> let me stop you because first of all is it true that this document makes no reference to buy america policy? secretary perry. >> i think it implicitly talks about by america. >> doesn't explicitly? you think it does? i would appreciate a reference afterwards. secretary perdue.
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secretary acosta. >> senator the buy american --. >> yes or no. >> to buy america order is directed at all departments therefore all the actions and interactions with respect to the objective order certainly it needs to be more explicit than we can discuss that at another time. >> we will. secretary ross. >> i feel the same as secretary acosta and secretary chao yue of already indicated. i want to ask on page 21 through 22 and page 27 there is a provision on new flexibility. when you talk about amending title xxiii and 49 for targeted flexibility pertaining to the application of federal requirements i would note by america provisions are in both title xxiii and 49. is that your position that you
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are not advocating flexibility with regard to buy america? >> what are you referring to? >> your blueprint on infrastructure. >> i didn't know. you were referring to something but i couldn't see. >> is your contention that those would never be waved? >> the present is quite clear about buy america, higher america. >> you would never weigh them? >> this could contemplate disregarding the buy america provisions? is that what you are saying? >> waivers are given on a case-by-case basis but much less so in this administration and i know from experience.
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>> do the waivers within the buy america provision, i'm asking whether we would totally disregard the buy america lost. on page 21 and 22 not also refer you to the language with regards to water infrastructure on page 27. >> there are senators to call the department asking for waivers because of certain circumstances, lack of american protections and capacities. >> i think you misunderstand. the buy america law allows waivers. i am asking when you use the language on this blueprint you are amending the laws by the targeted flexibility to the states pertaining to the application of federal requirements such as buy america america.
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>> so what is the question? >> does this language contemplate disregarding. >> no, it does not. >> i would appreciate your commitment to add clarity to that because not only does the document not referenced buy america once, it also appears to proactively suggest that infrastructure projects could avoid why america requirements. >> it does not at all. >> clarity on that would be very important. i have one additional question for secretary ross. in terms of your analysis on the u.s. steel industry and you have been questioned in the context of the tariffs, what impact would robust buy america policies on all a part of the structure projects have on the
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health of the u.s. steel industry? >> it would help every other industry that is a supplier to those projects. i'm a big supporter of buy america, higher america. >> thank you. >> thank you senator baldwin. thank you all for your patience and indulgence. we are about to the point to wrap it up. i would ask u.s. members to get questions in a soon as possible to get the responses back in two weeks and we will keep the hearing record for that amount of time. a fulsome discussion today covering issues besides infrastructure but we again thank you so much for the commitment that you all made to serve and particularly on this very important issue and subject which i think we all agree needs to be addressed. i hope that we can come to find some common ground and move forward with legislation to address the nation's infrastructure needs.
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if you haven't filled out your brackets yet a good 12 ursus five upset for the -- at jackrabbits. without we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> do you think there's a realistic chance of something like that happening? >> you know i think it's realistic that something could happen that would constitute sort of a down payment on the bigger but the key right now is whether or not we have sufficient resources to fund an infrastructure package. but i think something will move and it may be along the lines of things that we talked about here here. we have broadband and hopefully the deal to expand broadband appointment. all of those could be put into an infrastructure package and
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how robust it is depends on how how -- and not back. >> inevitably that would be a big part. i think i will be true for all of the jurisdiction. we will be looking and as you heard this morning all of the members of the cabinet appear interested in streamlining and expediting projects and clearly as delays often occur i think cleaning that process up will be a big part of whatever we end up doing. >> mr. chairman are you going to to. >> i'm not sure why their democratic objections. it's a pretty much a republican and democratic priority to fix
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this. i hope in the end democrats might be saying right now any concerns they have about this that we can get those resulting get a photo miss. if it doesn't get fixed now it's going to create serious disruptions. >> do you think you have the votes for that fix right now? >> i think we have. they are going to be so many things writing on this bill. it's going to have varied ride shoulders and like you said it's a bipartisan priority. talking to democrats and senators on the senate and most republican senators who represent farm states we are going to be in a world of hurt in the farm industry. there's a sense of urgency attached to this and i hope we can find it with both
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republicans and democrats to get on this bill and get it passed. >> there are asking for. specific concessions. >> we will take a look at it. senator peters has been talking with some of the democrats who are thinking about signing on and i think part of it is hopefully ringing them up to speed on what it is we are doing. a lot of the consents are being raised are raised on -- grounds 11 of the big reasons for doing this safety. 35,000 fatalities a year upon america's highways. there's a very compelling safety reason to do this. we obviously are very interested in doing it first and foremost to make sure that it's done
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safely and that's why we want to have framework in place that puts the guardrails out there so to speak and to do research and. if we don't move there's just going to be a lot of confusion and uncertainty and i don't think that's a good environment to promote a technology that could be very transformative for our economy. >> if we put it on the floor we would get 85 votes so they are our handful objections to it right now are just that. there are in some cases specific objections to try to dress but some of this are sort of generic objections. if we can get a vote we will see. it's a freestanding bill.
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it's hard to get time because a lot of scheduling issues but there are other things will have to get done. >> on infrastructure thing are you concerned about the lack of how to pay for it? >> like i said we have to bite the bullet and come up with a new funding source. like you said a lot of streamlining them permitting process and money allocated in the budget deal this next year for infrastructure but i think they are probably some other offsets that we get come up with to put together this package but a robust package the president is talking about we have to come up with this source of revenue and so far those haven't been
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identified. i think senator hatch is aware of the challenge that we have and looking for ways to address that. i know he in the past has offsets that can help with that but i don't know if there are any rough edges when it comes to pensions. i think the offsets are harder this time around but i do expect there will be efforts made to come up with pay-fors and if we can identify those and how expensive the infrastructure package can be. [inaudible] >> the money? if they want, if they really want to do do it on the scale of
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what they are talking about doing at some point they will probably have to get a hind some form of pay-fors and i think it's going to take the president to do that. i don't think there'll be enough support for the revenue for the kind of thing they are talking about doing. thank you all. >> thank you chairman. [inaudible conversations]
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british prime minister theresa may outlined a series of immediate actions are government will take against russia following the nerve agent attack against the former russian spy and his daughter. she announced the expulsion of 23 russian diplomats from the uk and the revoking of the russian foreign minister to the uk. from the british house of commons, this is 50 minutes. >> statements. the prime minister. >> with permission mr. speaker but like to make a statement on reforms of the russian government to thef incident and salisbury. first on the half of the whole house let me pay tribute once again to the bravery and professionalism of all the emergency services doctors
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nurses and investigation teams would lead the response to this appalling incident and also to the fortitude of the people of salisbury and let me reassure them the ongoing risk to public health is low and the government will continue to do everything possible to support this historic city to recover fully. mr. speaker mr. scribner and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent developed by russia. based on this case combined with the record of conducting state-sponsored assassinations including against former intelligence officers who they regard as legitimate targets the uk government has concluded it is highly likely that russia was responsible for this wretched into space with -- despicable act. either this was a direct act by
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the russian state against our country are conceivably the russian government could have lost control of the military-grade nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others. mr. speakerht it was right to offer russia the opportunity to provide ana explanation but ther responses demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events. they have provided no credible explanation that could suggest that they lost control of their nerve agents, no explanation as to how the agent he came to use in the united kingdom, no explanation as to whyhyas russis undeclared chemical weapons program. instead they have treated the use of the military-grade nerve agent in europe with sarcasm, contempt so mr. speaker there is no alternative conclusion that the russian state was