Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Testifies on Presidents 2021 Budget... CSPAN March 5, 2020 8:40pm-10:45pm EST
the subcommittee will come to order. welcome to our first budget hearing of the senate appropriations subcommittee on congress justice in science, and related agencies for this fiscal year, 2021. we have the honor of hearing from secretary of commerce, wilbur ross about the presidents for the department of commerce. welcome secretary ross for your appearance. we look forward to hearing from you this morning. as we, know the department of commerce executes a broad range of critical activities for our nation, things that are important to every american, things that are important to us as members of the senate, and issues that we care a lot about. research and development, cutting edge technology for predicting the weather, increasing trade and investment,
recruiting businesses to our communities. the census has been an essential component of the departments business for the last several years. the presidents request is eight billion dollars, 6.7 billion below the fy 20 enacted level, which represents a 44% decrease in the departments overall budget. while this is a large decrease on paper, much of it is due to the planned ramp down of the funding of the 2020 census. that said, i am troubled by some of the proposed cuts to core programs that are overshadowed by the magnitude of reduction to the census bureau. while this is a budget hearing about fiscal year 2021, we cannot overlook that in under a month the department, through the bureau of sense, it will be receiving millions of responses from the public for the to see any ill census.
i encourage everyone to fill out their forms to do the census. i am pleased to see the budget would increase richardson development investments and supportive industries for further initiative. this initiative is important for maintaining the united states position as a leader in innovation. but we must also recognize currently more than 90% the nation's innovation sector growth occurs in only five metropolitan areas, all of which are located on the coast. this type of concentration underscores the importance of continued funding for the departments nationwide economic development programs which allows to expand the geographic extent of all innovation economies, of the innovation economy, and capitalizing on the potential for all regions of the country. departments budget proposal also includes a 25 million dollar increase to prepare ntia for testing new wireless networks and advancing spectrum
management, an important component of us winning the 5g race. however, i believe we also must not forget the concerns from communities across the country who are unable to fully access broadband, because they either are underserved or an served. i'm interested to hear how the departments proposed investments will address this issue as part of this budget request. mister secretary, i applaud you and others and the administration for recent trade -related achievements including the usmca and the phase one trade deal with china. these deals are critical for restoring and stabilizing markets for american exports, which are the lifeblood of the kansas economy. we are an export state and these issues matter greatly to me. although the departments fy 21 budget does not include specific request related to these agreements, i would like to hear what role if any the department will have in regard to supporting the trade agreements i just mentioned and the trade agreements that are still contemplated. the department tariff exclusion
process, again, is a large component of the departments fy 21 trade budget. in light of the recent inspector general management alert which detail several concerning irregularities with this process, i have a renewed concern about the fairness and transparency of the overall execution of section 2:32 exclusions. it's beyond time that the department of commerce get this process right. another way the department impacts everyday life for local communities and citizens is through the activities the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration, or noah. the programs are very important to people in kansas and we regularly experience weather events and water events. i am pleased to request includes full funding of noah's weather satellites, but i'm concerned there is a lack of funding of noaa's core operational assets including its fleet of aircraft. the programs which i have highlighted today and also those which i have not around
questionably critical for addressing the needs of the department of commerce. we rely on people, and we currently have a people problem. the vacancy rate and time it takes to hire across many of the departments and bureaus has become problematic. for example, he dea has only filled 24 of 55 positions, or 44% that are responsible for overseeing and executing the nearly 1.2 billion dollars that 88 received in 18 at 19 for disaster relief. within the office inside know that is responsible for managing our nations constellation of weather satellites, there is a 24% vacancy with 243 vacant positions, 132 of which have been vacant for over two years. the department must ensure its bureaus are sufficiently staffed, and i'm interested in hearing what the secretary has to say in that regard. mister secretary, i thank you for being here. i appreciate the relationship that we have. i look forward to hearing your
views on these and other matters during today's hearing. and i now turn to my colleague and friend from new hampshire, senator shaheen for opening remarks. >> thank you mister chairman. good morning, mister secretary. we are glad you could join us this year. as the senator indicated, the budget is really bad, it's about our priorities and where the department puts its priorities. if we look at this budget, what does it say about the priorities of this administration. the major increase in this budget is for the office of the secretary 35 million or 58%. at the same time, the budget kept scientific research and development at the national institutes of standards and technology by 14%, overall it cuts the department by 30%. at the national oceanic and atmospheric administration by 40%, the research provided by these agencies leads to
innovation that fuels american technological leadership. the budget eliminates more than half a billion dollars in noaa grant programs, which are critical to helping communities understand and prepare for climate change, and to support our seacoast and fisheries in new hampshire and across the country. i was particularly disappointed to see that the budget eliminates the 10 million dollars that the committee secured last year to help the new england fisheries which have really been devastated by the reduced catches for decades. any additional fees will drive so many of the remaining fishing operations out of business. the budget eliminates the manufacturing partnership that helps domestic producers improve their competitiveness at a time when so many of our small and medium sized manufacturers have been hard hit by the administration's tariffs trade wars have cost american businesses and consumers 50 billion dollars according to an organization
called tariffs for the heartland, including at least 111 million dollars in new hampshire. the budget also eliminates the economic development of the administration which funds infrastructure projects and communities around the country, and it is particularly important to small states like new hampshire but also states that have large rural areas that need help with development. mister secretary, i have to say, it feels like we are in groundhog day, the movie. we have seen these same proposals decimated each year of the budget submission by this department. i understand that in the first year of the administration, given that you are looking at where your priorities want to be, but when congress rejects those decisions, to see it submitted again and again seems there is a disconnect between where we all should be going to
support business and commerce in this country. on a separate topic, the 2020 decennial census begins next week, it is critical to everyone in the united states and i appreciate your commitment to say you want to get this right. this is the largest peacetime government mobilization. it is imperative that we do get it, right because the census is used in congressional apportionment, and it directs 1.5 trillion dollars in federal funding. in fiscal year, 2020 the committee provided several, 7.5 billion dollars for the census bureau, sufficient to fully cover the cost of the 2020 dissimilar, doing additional outreach too hard to count communities and to provide a contingency if any major issues arise. so i look forward to getting a briefing in the coming weeks from new hampshire as they are looking at the census in our state. and i look forward to seeing
how the department executes this huge challenge. with that, i look forward to your testimony and to the discussion today. >> thank, you senator sheen. we are honored to be joined by the chairman. >> i asked my written statement be made part of the record. >> without objection. mister secretary, time has come for your testimony. welcome and we look forward to hearing what you have to say. >> members of the senate appropriations committee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss president trump's fiscal year 2021 budget request for the u.s. department of commerce. it's a privilege to appear before you today. we are committed to working with you to grow the u.s. economy, defend our industries from unfair foreign competition,
and protect our national security. the 2021 budget for the commerce department achieves these goals by providing the resources needed for successful completion of the 2020 decennial census, by ensuring american leadership in spades, by bolstering trade promotion, trade enforcement, and export controls. by providing for satellite acquisition, and vessel re-capitalization for the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration. generating the timely economic data needed by businesses to analyze markets, investing communities, and hire american workers, and by supporting research development, invention, and standards in leading
industries and technologies. in the short time allotted to my opening statement, i will discuss three priorities for next year. first, the census bureau, then space, then trade. the request for the census bureau for fiscal year 2021 is 1.6 billion. i am pleased to report that with your support, we are on budget, on schedule, and on track to accomplish the 2020 to central census. next year's budget supports the important post enumeration operations for determining apportionment and the allocation of federal funding. the calmest apartments office of space commerce is the second priority initiative that
urgently needs funding. our request of 15 million dollars advances u.s. leadership in space. as we shift responsibility for tracking tens of thousands and that hundreds of thousands of pieces of space to breathe. from the department of defense, to the department of commerce. the exponential growth of commercial satellites is increasing geometrically. the risk of catastrophic collisions that could generate additional debris and threatened critical space assets. the task of tracking this debris and providing accurate warnings to space operation operators was set for it and space policy directive number 3. finally the budget requests 474.4 million for the international trade
administration, the 80 a enabling u.s. companies and their domestic employees to compete on a level international playing field. we seek an additional $5 million for i.t. age and forsman and compliance division, to keep up with anti dumping encounter veiling duty cases funding will also enable us to conduct additional reviews a foreign acquisitions of u.s. companies, as required by the foreign investment risk review and modernization asked act. we can discuss the commerce department's budget request for all of the bureaus, including noah, including the bureau industry insecurity u.s.
patented and trademark office and other agencies within the department. thank you, and on behalf of the department i will try my best to answer any questions that you have. >> mister secretary you are right, a short amount of time for a big department with lots of important rules and issues. let me start, my questioning concerning noaa and aircraft re-capitalization mister secretary i touched on this in my opening statement. noaa recently provided with to re-capitalized it's freedom of aircraft. well i recognize the presidents fy 21 budget does not include funding for that, i believe the projected obsolescence of no was aircraft a man that we take action to re-capitalize those assets. do you agree that no is fleet of aircraft are in need of recalculation and can you elaborate with these immediate
needs for aircraft are? >> yes mister chairman. no was aircrafts re-capitalization plan was a published in october 2019 and looked at long term re-capitalization strategy and the management of current aircraft. the plan recommended noaa procured to aircraft based on the 2018, consistent with this plan noaa was able to procure to additional aircrafts. the gulf stream 5 50 and a king aircraft. utilizing fiscal 2018 appropriations. these aircraft are essential to ensure noaa maintains the ability to plan for and respond to the nation's most damaging and most deadly weather event.
agricultural security, and water security. the plan also recommended the future purchase of a 3rd aircraft. that 3rd aircraft is being studied right now, and it would have the primary missions of charting surveying in weather forecasting. that was very likely to be a king air, but they have not made a final decision as yet. >> mister secretary thank you. i appreciate it if you would if you could ask your staff to follow up with me, subcommittee in regard to the cost to cover that re-capitalization, including that additional king aircraft. >> i would be delighted to mister chairman. >> let me turn my attention to trait. i mentioned this in my opening statement about usmca in phase one deal with china.
mister secretary what would roll would your department play and helping implement monitor or enforce usmca trade deals with china and the fy 21 support that role? >> let me answer the 3rd part first. yes. the budget request does provide the funding that we need for those rules. the rules we've played so far have been working very closely with u.s. tea are to help them the want list, the negotiating list, the product list that they've had. subsequently, we will be dealing with the enforcement of the provisions that are in their. we are very confident that we have the staffing and the expertise to perform those functions and we are in
constant communication as between our office and u.s. tea are on those topics. the president the >> presence fy 21 budget of increase of $3 million with an 88 for section 2 32 exclusion process, which is based off previous pending reports i take to mean the total cost to administer the process is going to be roughly 18 and a half million dollars in fy 21. mister secretary is 18 and a half million dollars amount that is that the pow amount that the department needs to effectively execute this process, if not what would you say is required? and as you know, there have been criticisms that were levied against section 2 32, exclusion process by the departments inspector general in late 2019, and there are
members of congress who certainly are dubious about that process. the 2nd part of my process is what you ensures today that this process is being executed in affair consistent and transparent fashion? >> yes. first of all as to the inspector general's comments, they were basically 3 suggestions he made, all of which we have adopted. so his constructions were well themed and we have implemented each of them. when was, with to make sure that any ex parte communiqués were posted and made available to everybody involved. 2nd was to make sure that once we posted a decision, it was required guarded as a final decision. those were the 2 important part of the inspector general's recommendation. we are adhering to those.
once in a while, it does become necessary to correct an era, and that is the only deviation from regarding the posted decision as final. what causes that is the huge number of requests that we have received to date. we have actually received 171,742 exclusion requests. of those, we have posted 138,243. there have been 31,381 objections filed, and that is an objection rate of about 23%. we have processed 112,819 requests. granted 87,008 oh 8 to 9 25,000
oh 11 and returned for improper and incomplete filings some.3 31,005 53. we have active pending cases 27,322. meanwhile we had achieved a 17 9% decrease in the initial posting times. we have achieved a 63% decrease indecision times under the new portal system that we introduced mid year last year. that is greatly accelerated the process that we do. on average, the department now post requests within 3 days of submission. it renders decisions on cases without objection within 59 days of their submission. so what really takes the time
are the ones that have objections to them. because that requires going back and forth between the applicant and the objectors to determine whether or not the request meets the requirement of product that is not made in sufficient quantity sufficient quality, sufficient timeliness to meet the applicants requirement. so there is a lot of given take and that is the variable in the time equation from when objections are raised. when there are objections, in the case of ceo, we have granted the exclusion in 18.8% of the cases, and in the case of aluminum to's bite objection, we have granted exclusion of 21% of the cases so more or less 20% of the time, when
there have been objections, it is proven that they were not well founded and therefore we granted the exclusion request in any event. >> thank you mister chairman. mister secretary, are appreciate the effort that the department has to try and improve the exclusion process. but i just have to point out that there are a number of small business folks in new hampshire who we have heard from, who, while, the percentages may sound good, still are affected by the process. one of those is a company and a person from new hampshire called. walk and pets it's a pet supply company. their signature product is a dog wheelchair that has been produced for them in china, and so they are subject to terrence. the company believes that is a mistake, so they hired a lawyer to help with the exclusion process. the company has been unable to
get an exclusion because the tariff schedule has been this classified and they are just trying to stay afloat. while i understand the numbers may look better, the fact is, we have to see many small businesses that are struggling because of these tariffs. when i asked ambassador lighthouse or a year and a half ago with the administration was thinking about to healthy small businesses in the same way that they are helping farmers, the answer was, zero. there isn't anything that is being done to help them, so i would just urge you to let us know if there is more or there are more resources that are needed, but we have to smell these small businesses especially as we are looking at some of the struggles around the coronavirus for businesses to be able to stay afloat. >> certainly, i am a supporter of's a small businesses. it happens though that the 3 oh one tariffs are the domain of
the u.s. tea are, not of the department of commerce. i think your discussions with ambassador lighthizer are really the right ones to have, but we are not the ones who can grant exclusions under section 3 oh one. >> hopefully you will weigh in with ambassador lighthizer about the need for small businesses. >> i will be very happy to carry informally to the ambassador your comments. >> as i said in my opening statement i was really disappointed to see, again, the but should propose to eliminate the economic deval development administration. it is the principal office within the department of commerce that supports communities that are hurting from trade-related pressures, and at a time when communities and small businesses are facing these challenges it would be helpful to continue to support those efforts that can make a difference for them. one of the --
it's also inconsistent with a recent tweet that you issued, supporting the economic development and administration and we have a copy of that here where you said, that the trump administration continues to work diligently to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters by providing small businesses would get financing to recover in growth, this investment will create stronger communities within the region, and then you go on to talk about their revival fund, and economically resilient communities, and the fact that the eds is the agency that is helpful with that. so, i don't understand the inconsistency between eliminating this agency and your comments about the effectiveness of it. >> va has been a useful component of the department. it has been useful to the economy however the fiscal 2021
budget supports the broad administration goal of promoting national security public safety economic growth and job creation. but given the need to prioritize, commerce is funding budget requires difficult decisions in order to maintain the core activities. unfortunately, this is one of the difficult decisions that we have to make. >> i understand the difficulties decisions around budgeting, as a former governor i've had to make those decisions, but at a time where we are trying to promote the growth of small businesses and economic innovation, it seems to me that to eliminate one of the agencies that has been most successful at that is shortsighted. i am glad the administration working with congress was able to get the u.s. mexico canada trade agreement approved, i think that is something that is
been very important to business in new hampshire. but 97% of exporting firms and our country are small businesses and only about 1% of those small businesses are doing business overseas. one of the things that is so helpful to them is the international trade administrations global market division, particularly, the commercial service that is within the u.s. department of state that is part of the commerce department. so, again, i do not understand if we are trying to reduce our trade deficit, trying to grow our exports, why would we want to eliminate those agencies that are helping our small businesses do that? >> well, we are continuing very actively at the foreign commercial services to have programs, specifically geared to help small and medium sized businesses. and in terms of the u.s. and seek a, raising the levels in
export is a great help for small businesses, because a lot of them are retail businesses selling relatively low price consumer products so, that really opens up very much bigger market for them. further, he digital services component of the usmca and of the japan agreement, are also useful for small companies to export as a practical matter, they can afford to set up an office offshore. but they need to use our guys and especially need to use the digital economy as a means of marketing their products. we have been working very hard in those regards to be responsive to the potential export needs of small businesses and large ones for that matter. >> which i appreciate and that
is why it is so hard for me to understand why you are cutting those very programs that would help the small businesses like the commercial service. thank you mister chairman. >> thank you. now the chairman of the committee. >> thank you for your service. this is your 4th year as secretary of commerce, that is a pretty long tenure. >> longevity counts. sir >> longevity yes thank you very much. i want to have a conversation with you for a few minutes about the census. the census is a very important mission set out in the constitution and it is a responsibility of the secretary of commerce and the census bureau under you to meet those responsibilities. reed said the day on where you think we are or where we are as far as the census which will be a coming this year? . >> yes mister chairman. my biggest worries have been
twofold. when he was with the systems be up and running, would they be integrated will, with they be ready to perform, because we are in the process of bringing technology to the census. the most prominent form that that has taken as the availability of responding by internet. it is not a requirement. people can't still response by paper just as they always have, but now they can all so respond over internet or by phone. i am happy that all the systems have passed all of their tests. we think that they are ready to go. as to the other big hurdle, my biggest worry was, how do you hire up to 500,000 part time workers in a relatively full employment -- yes it is a real challenge.
what we have done is a number of things. one, we have worked with all kinds of organizations in the private sector. some of the retailers who only have seasonal needs like walmart have been very cooperative to us and have given us access to the people they layoff seasonally. 2nd, we made a huge outreach to colleges and universities because college students, given that it is only a part-time job, given that in many areas, it pays $20 an hour or more, it is a very attractive job for college students. 3rd, has been, we have gone back to the people who have previous least served as census takers, and an amazing number of them are happy to do it again, particularly retired people, and particularly spouses who don't want full-time employment but we'd
like part-time. so what is the net result? >> mister secretary can i ask you to pull the microphone closer to you? it is not being picked up on the life feet. must i repeat what i >> said we missed a repeat what i said or continue? okay sorry. the net effect is this, we had had a goal of getting 2,600,000 people to begin the application process we actually have 3 million and 56,000 initiated the application process. that is a very good ratio compared to the up to 500,000 that we need. similarly, we have 2,662,000 that have achieved adapts that is entry into our computer system. we have rests roughly, 5 times
as much applicant pool actively here, as we need. so we are very happy with how that has been going. the other part, what really emphasize, it is partnerships. local community partnerships with trusted organizations and national partnerships. in terms of community partners, we have already lined up and have been working have working 324, 596, in 2010 they had about 256,000. that is quite a lot more similarly, we hope to reach 900 national partners by the 1st of april, which is the key date we already have 743 on board. in addition, we have worked with state and local authorities to create for us complete count committees, and
we have now 10,833 complete count committees. including, we have state level complete count committees, with 48 of the states. we only lac 2 states from that, and those are their are parts peculiar reasons to those states. i feel all those aspects are in pretty good hands and therefore i feel quite comfortable that we will be able to accomplish what we need to. >> thank you for that report. >> mister chairman thank you. >> thank you very much. i secretary ross has come back here i hope you will be more honest with the committee today than you were when i last spoke to you when you when you were
part of this panel back in 2018. i asked you when you testified here in may 2018 why the trump justice department with suddenly ask you to include a citizenship question on the census to enforce boarding rights. you deflected my answer. you testified while the justice department made the request. you then testified before the house that your department was responding solely to the justice department which had initiated the request for this is citizenship question. your statements were totally false. there is no avalanche of evident evidence showing that you repeatedly partial to the census bureau for nearly a year. in may of 2017, you told that you quote that nothing had been
done in response to my months old request. close quote after you were told at the justice of department refused to request you personally discuss with the attorney general sessions and the justice of department real and voted to ask the question. democrats and republicans alike on the subcommittee with the distinct impression that your department had absolutely nothing to do with the origins of the citizenship question or the voting rights pretext. my questions are, why did you mislead the committee? why haven't you corrected that falsehood for the record? >> my statements were correct then, they were true then, they are correct now, and they are true now. >> every bit of the evidence that we've seen shows that they were not true. everything that we have seen
from the justice department and everybody else, they were not true. an early 2017 you are in touch with steve bannon and chris callback about the question. adding the question became a priority for. you i'm going to repeat the question i asked you 2 years ago. where did the push for adding the citizenship question come from? specifically, who was the first person to push you to add this question? >> i'm sorry who is the first person? >> to push you to add this question. >> i don't know that anyone to pushed me to add the question itself. my conversations with people in the executive branch are privileged, are subject to the constraints of that privilege. >> your i'm aware of your answers last time was on the
record. you said you are not the wind to initiate this. >> i did not. the fact is the justice department did make the request. >> after you pushed -- >> a very elaborate process of examining the request, we have failed probably pluck publicly the process that we used, the bases on which we came to the conclusion that i did. those were all a matter of public records. >> a matter matter of public record, the questions that you did not answer correctly the last time. that's why privilege exists with chris kovacs for example. there is no executive privilege there. >> chris cole back is certainly not part of the executive prince. all that he asked for was that i take a phone call and listen
to what he had to say. he requested that we add a whole bunch of questions to the census, none of which we added. >> you know, mister secretary, i don't think you are any more forthcoming than you are the last time. i know in the screens courts struck down adding this question justice roberts called this question contrived. a month ago i saw you interview during a fox business interview, that the corona virus is good for american businesses. senator shelby and i will have on the floor in a few minutes our bill to dramatically increase the amount of money the administration has asked for an coronavirus. do you still believe the corona virus is good for american businesses? >> those quotes with we're
taking out of context. this was an interview that i had with maria barr tomorrow, and her question was about the longer term impact that it would have and began my response by saying that nobody wants to do a victory dance over a deadly virus such as this. but, i went on to add that the supply chains will be reexamined and in fact are being reexamined as a result of it. i am afraid the excerpt that you cited is totally out of context and it is not a complete version of what i actually said, sir. >> i note that the market is now down by 700 points, but go ahead. >> mr. levy thank you i recognize senator kennedy. >> thank you mister chairman, and thank you mister secretary.
for being here today. mister secretary i want to talk to you about the seagoing fleet of noaa law. it is days it stays at seas are down. the ships are old, and they are falling apart. we spend more and more money trying to maintain them, and they fall apart faster and faster and faster. this congress and the last congress and i think the one before, has appropriated about 375 hard-earned precious taxpayer dollars to build new ships. those ships have not been
built. i understand it takes time. in the meantime, while we are building the ships, would it not be prudent for noah to think about leasing some seagoing vessels from the private sector so noaa can accomplish its purpose? >> that is a very interesting suggestion senator kennedy i will take it up, with no and see how we can do that. >> i would like to conceive mister secretary, maybe you could, the 3 of us, the head of noaa you, and me, i'll buy a solid cup of coffee and we can sit down and talk about this, because even if we start building those ships tomorrow it will take a while in the meantime our current vessels keep breaking down faster and
faster and faster, and there is an easy solution to this. unless you think there is no longer need for noah. >> it's the contrary sir. >> i believe that to. >> i would be delighted to set up a session for you and me with noaa, and let us have a real discussion of this concept. >> great thank you sir. i want to ask you a philosophical question law that, and i want you to forget about the politics and forget about law the disagreements that we and congress have had over legal and illegal immigration. the let me ask you this mister
secretary. it is the river country to conduct a census every ocd country. >> i think pretty much everyone. does the there may be some that doesn't, but generally countries do conduct census yes sir. >> my understanding is, most countries, well all the countries that do conduct census, they want to know the number of people in their country. they want to know where they live. they want to know who they are. do you have more men then women? for example, who is a naturalized citizen, who is a citizen who was born into the country, who is applying for citizenship, who is in your country illegally? if people are willing to report
those stats. what is wrong, philosophically, putting the politics aside, with asking the question, it seems logical to me, are you a citizen or not? >> many countries do ask one version or another of the citizenship question. those include canada, mexico, united kingdom, ireland, indonesia, france, germany. it is not at all an on common question. nor is it uncommon that it was asked historically in the united states. >> we did it for a long time to do? we >> yes sir. >> why do we stop doing it? >> that i don't know. even though i've been here several years, that greatly preceded my arrival here sir. >> thank you mister chairman?
>> thank you senator shots. >> thank you mister chairman, thank you mister secretary. following up on the census, i will not reiterate with senator lee he said, but i would be remiss if i did not say to you, that we do feel miss led by your testimony regarding the census and the citizenship question. and because it was resolved by the court, i am prepared to move on because the census bureau has very competent directors. i am prepared to move on. i think the most important thing that happens next is the administration of the census i am prepared to move on but i do feel like i do not want to move on without at least stating for the record that there is a contradiction between what you told us and wet eventually appeared through the court proceedings but, here is the
question. this is really important because a large percentage of the people who live in the united states still think there will be a citizenship question on the census. so as a secretary of commerce, will there be a citizenship question on the census? >> no sir. >> thank you. under federal law, census data is confidential and protected correct? >> yes sir, every census employee including me, takes an oath, a lifetime both, not to disclose the personal data. if someone is convicted of having done so, they are both monetary penalties and the prospect of time in jail. >> any identifiable information about of personal household or business will never be shared with another government agency, law enforcement, or court, is that correct? >> that is correct sir. under federal law made only be
used for statistical purposes and no other purposes. >> correct sir. >> thank you. i want to talk to you about the coronavirus law. as you know, we have a lot of noaa core members who are colocated with the navy a lots of us have department of commerce employees generally, noaa noaa employees and in particular because of the extent that they are underway, they end up in very close quarters. have you issued formal guidance are you allowing the issuance of formal guidance in terms of the safety, security and health of the department of commerce employees, and if so can we see it? >> the various departments within commerce each have a different relationship to this potential problem. you are certainly correct and
saying that noaa has an individual problem with the people being confined to a very small area on a vessel for a long time. we have been trying to follow the advice issued by the health authorities, which is as i understand, it largely requests that people be very careful about washing hands. either using chemical detergents or using a lot of hot water and so. as far as i know, that is the best effort that one can do for prevention. >> i would just ask you to follow up on the specific question of whether guidance is being provided to noah core members. my understanding is there are a lot of anxious employees within the department who want to know specifically what they are to do, not just the sort of general hygiene stuff which, i would certainly hope by this time everybody knows, don't touch your face and wash your
hands regularly, but there are additional pieces of guidance, there are that are specific to the jobs that they are doing and to the extent that that guidance is not being allowed to go out, i would like you follow up on. that >> i'm certainly not prohibiting any guidance to go out for noaa, and i would be happy to have staff of noaa or any other parts of commerce to brief you on the detail of what they individually are doing. >> it would suffice if you could just sent me if you just send me what is being sent out. i want to talk about scientific integrity. scientific integrity. in your confirmation hearing, i remember what you said. you said the science is the science. then we had the hurricane dorian incident which i will not show up my last 15 seconds on, but i want your commitment to cooperate with noaa scientific integrity division
on the investigation into the hurricane dorian incident. >> certainly. i definitely commit to cooperate with any investigations. and just to really iterate, i meant in the confirmation hearing, and i have not interfered with any report that any scientist has prepared, whether it is on climate or -- >> see i believe you mister secretary. i believe you have not personally interfered. i think there are some instances with which you may have inadvertently allowed the interference to occur below the level of secretary, and so i just ask you to supervise that question, and if i turn out to be wrong, then i will be pleased to be wrong. but i'm not totally persuaded that up and down the chain at the leadership level, that everyone shares your view on scientific integrity. my time is up. thank you. >> sir collins.
>> thank you mister chairman. secretary ross first, let me thank you for taking the time to discuss with me some issues that are so important to my state. mains lobster men and women have always been great stewards of the resource and leaders and protecting our oceans. in addition to implementing measures and strong lobster stock for decades to come the maine lobster industry has also taken multiple actions to prove or gear interactions with marine mammals. this includes the replacement of 27,000 miles of floating ground with ways whales sinking line in 2009, and vertical line rules that removed 2700 miles
of buoy line in 2014, it is not as if the industry have not revised its gear and spent a lot of money and then it's part. notably, and this is important, there have been no entanglements directly attributed to maine lobster gear in more than 15 years when it comes to the white whale. despite these effective previous measures of data indicating that ship strikes and canadian fisheries activities are major contributors to right whale more talent is, the main lobster industry in our view is being unfairly targeted by no was proposed regulations. very troubling, some of the proposed regulations would actually pose safety risks to our lobster when men and women
as noah works with the industry to protect this fragile speech seas and must do so without endangering human lives or livelihoods, and that is why in last year's report, specific language was included. it goes on at considerable length but i just want to read one line that says, noaa shall fully evaluate that these stability and economic implications of any management actions relating to the north atlantic right whale, so today i'm going to ask you, are you committed to following the direction that was provided by this committee right last year and to ensure that the rules that noaa recommends are done and consultation with the lobster industry, with the regulators in maine and
throughout the region, and that they are safe and don't placed the burden on an industry that is not responsible for the state of this fragile marine mammal. >> i will not only come into future collaboration, we already have been collaborating with the fishing community and with the states and with all the other interested parties. one of the complications is what you pointed, out which is a lot of the problem actually occurs in canadian waters. we do not have regulatory authority over those waters. we have, however been negotiating with them, and as recently as the beginning of this week, we got a new proposal from them, which on its face seems more promising than what we had had before. a lot of the ship strikes a
chord in the st. lawrence seaway. that has been a big focus, and the sub topic of that is, when do you have the vessels slow down what they are doing, when do you not permit the vessels into those key areas where the female whales are domiciled. there are a lot of very technical issues that we are trying to sort out. on the safety issue for the lobster men, we understand that as you add additional traps to an individual line, it creates a potential hazard for the people as the fishermen, as they retrieve the traps. we are keenly aware of that. that is one of the many factors that we will take into account as we tried to go forward with resolving these very serious issues. fishing and general involves a
lot of trade-offs because they are competing interests at stake. our task is to try to balance it. >> i thank you mister secretary. tomorrow night is the annual maine's fishermen form. i go every year, and believe me this will be a topic that that will be of great concern. i have met with the industry many times, but this is the one time of year when they are all gather together, not only the lobster industry but are fishermen as well. mister chairman i would like a unanimous consent, i have a number of other questions on epa, i share views on the sea grim programs and on the gray zone between canada and the united states where there is dispute over who owns the water, and whose regulation should apply that i would like to submit for the record and i
thank the secretary for his response. >> without objection. mister secretary please make sure you answer senator collins question. >> we will sir. >> senator coons. >> thank you secretary ross fall, there are 4 topics i'd like to get to in the 5 minutes that we have if i could. first, manufacturing usa is a strategy and now a network of 14 public private partnerships across the country creating to ensure manufacturing thrives in the united states something i have and those yes declare advocated for. as i'm sure you know, the one institute sponsored by commerce, actually has its headquarters in new york delaware, it is the national institute for innovation in manufacturing by pharmaceuticals. in the middle of our response to the coronavirus, this institute is particularly relevant as it is helping to develop more efficient modern means for manufacturing things like vaccines, and bio defends
measures really it has leveraged roughly 2 to 1 it's got a nationwide network of leading farm and buy a company research universities, yet i was struck that the proposed budget eliminates funding for nimble. let me just assert that it is my hope that this is because the bill signed in the law by president trump late last year, the global leadership and advanced manufacturing or glam act, which reauthorize as funding and encourages commerce to stand at new institutes, may have been signed after your budget was finalized. please, if you would, tell me about your plants and how you might be adjusting your plans for funding for nimble, and tell me how you see the value of manufacturing usa and how we might work together to ensure you have the resources to deliver on this promising opportunity for the department of commerce? >> i am very much pro manufacturing usa. in fact, missed is requesting
25.3 million in this budget for fiscal 2021. that is an increase of 9.3 million over the prior year. the reason for that is to coordinate the institute network into fund and open competition to select a new manufacturing usa institute. so we are trying our best to be supportive of the concept of manufacturing usa. >> thank you mister secretary. the specific, and i look forward to working with you and your department on that. the specific point i want to emphasize was just that the budget proposes eliminating funding for the one current department of commerce, nest, funded and directed manufacturing usa institute, which. given the covid-19 or the coronavirus crisis, strikes me as particularly relevant institute to continue under
statute that authorizes its extension was signed into the law by the president just as in at the end of the last. year i look for it to following up with you and the department on us. let me move to the mvp program. mep is the manufacturing extension partnership, it is something that i have seen on the ground in delaware, in my own manufacturing experience and local government. it's value, actually your predecessor join me in a delaware company act you dine systems which is a custom ashin building builder the delaware each mep help them get their isis certification and that commercial service just yesterday highlighted act you dine for its $2 million new export sales. export sales of emit hp was essential. would you be willing to reconsider the departments position of a eliminating the mvp, something i think of it has been a low cost high impact support for manufacturing
impact in the united states? >> 2 things senator, one of the mvp programs obviously does do good work. there is no question whatsoever about that. but, the unfortunate thing is the fiscal 2021 budget does have some constraints. the budget supports the broad administration goals promoting national security, public safety, economic growth, and job creation. given the need to prioritize funding, commerce budget requires difficult decisions. >> i understand. >> to maintain our core activities, and this is unfortunately one of them. we hope sir, that it will be supported by local and state level people. it is considerable local and state level support, and we hope that will continue. >> mister secretary, in the minute i have remaining i'm going to ask to more questions
with the chairs forbearance. we had that exact exchange last year. i will do my best to ensure there is federal match for the mvp program, because in my experience the local support does not meet the need and the promise. i appreciate your comment that the neb does good work. senator wicker and i have work to pass a law that was signed by the president in december to strengthen enforcement against illegal and unregulated fishing, i concern to all of us who are coastal states with strong fishing communities. i saw no specific investment in the department of commerce is budget that would support no was work to combat illegal unreported and unregulated fishing. i would appreciate some follow-up from your office on that, and last, let me just join senator shaheen they mentioned this in passing but we all have, a sea grant beneficiaries and noah sea grant college program which has long enjoyed strong bipartisan
support focusing on the practical use of coastal and ocean resources in my state see grant works closely with communities to enhance our oyster aquaculture industry which is critical to improve the health of the england base. i will fight fight hard for the funding of steel and program and recognize it is long enjoyed bipartisan support, so it is my hope when we appropriate for it will be fully implemented. >> the as the aquaculture, we made a specific request for some increased funding to promote aquaculture. aquaculture, i think, is a very important solution to lots of things. for one thing, we have a trade deficit in seafood, which strikes me as bizarre, given the wonderful amend of oceanfront that we have. i'm a strong proponent of aquaculture and continue to be. >> thank you mister secretary. these 2 points connect to the extent we have, either you and
or unreported unregulated pirate fishing off our coasts and other costs around the world that contributes to that exporting into the united states for a cheap seafood. i appreciate your answers and i appreciate the chairman's forbearance. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you mister secretary for being here. i understand this topic has been addressed so i want to make a quick statement of my vigorous support for the economic development administration that uva funds that have come to west virginia particularly in this administration have been exceedingly helpful, expanded our abilities to expand our infrastructure and create jobs particularly in rural areas where it is very difficult to raise capital. we had doctor john fleming just recently and putnam county, he announced several millions of dollars of investment in our state that we now see expanding
into that job creation, so i just wanted to get that on the record with you. my question is totally different. it is on the topic of importing aluminum. >> the topic of what? >> importing aluminum. we have a large aluminum producing that uses aluminum and produces aluminum products from that. there was a trade remedy in 2019 which helped with the trade imbalance with china, but we are seeing aluminum products, that the import is up. in your board in your budget you recommended aluminum import monitoring program within the i.t. a. i was wondering with this new program how will the department be able to monitor the aluminum imports to cease and identify problem areas? >> a couple of things, we, earlier initiated a steel
monitoring activity. that has proven very helpful to the steel industry. because what it essentially allows is earlier identification of problems so that we can try to get after them. i believe the aluminum monitoring is very much the same. 2nd, earlier this year, the president accepted my recommendation about prohibitions on derivative products, namely products both steel and aluminum. they really are circumvention of our basic structure in that with the do is they add a minor feature to what is essentially flat rolled sheet or coil or some other product, and since that technically puts it as a new age tee as, then they bring it in. so we have gone after several
most notably aluminum cable and wire, which had been one of the big violators in my view, of the circumvention. >> thank you. why would encourage you also and i'm sure as you're developing this to work with the manufacturers who use these products obviously to develop the best ways to go about. that >> the good news is, the tariffs for aluminum have increased the operating rate from 43% of capacity to 62% of capacity. it is not up to where we wanted to be, we want to get it up to 80%, that at least directionally, that some pretty big percentage increase in the utility's asian of aluminum facilities. >> we have 2000 workers and jackson county and west virginia which are very dependent on this. my 2nd question is as the federal government moves towards shifting to the cloud,
data to the cloud, no roy and other companies have emission that requires a hard iron infrastructure. can you speak to the significance of this hard wire capability to our weather forecasting? we have a noaa facility in west virginia. >> the myriad initiatives underway at noaa to improve the weather forecasting, would be divided i would be delighted to set up a session with you and your staff and noah and myself to get into the details because it gets high highly technical very quickly. i think that would be the most useful way to respond to that question senator. >> i look forward to that. last question is on the broadband map. i think many of us sitting around, we've been in various committees talking about the inaccuracies of our broadband math. the end tea i a was provided 7.5 to help us developing served in an served areas to make sure it's granular data
and that it is accurate. do you have any comments about how that process is moving forward? >> yes, 2 things, one, we have made break great progress and watching the map that you are referring to. we entered into a contract to secure geographic information system platform that will allow ntia to take data sets from outside vendors and incorporate those into its own internal activities. that should permit ntia to implement a secure cloud based approach to this problem. we are very optimistic. 2nd, ntia has entered into data sharing partnerships with 13 states. california, maine, massachusetts, north carolina,
tennessee, utah, virginia, and i'm happy to add west virginia. >>. good good. i would encourage you to do more on that to make it more accurate if you only rely on the suppliers you will not get accurate data. it has to be an all-and kind of proposition which i think is the direction you are moving and thank you so much. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you mrs. secretary for joining us today. let me begin by thanking you for putting in for putting in $40 million for construction. as we understand noaa like any other agency has a significant infrastructure needs. let me continue by thanking you mister secretary, because you end the noaa leadership have prioritized the leadership construction project for noaa ships for the naval station in newport island. i want to make sure it stays on track. i received a letter this
morning for doctor jacobs that noaa will be committing the first $22 million to this important project. i understand that increase course somewhat will be reflected in the timeline. i received a schedule last february 5th from the navy that showed an indicated that no it will provide the necessary design funds on april 9th 2020 with a projected design on april 22nd and the expectation is that the contract for the construction phase one in the project will be awarded leader in 2020. can you confirm that this timeline is still on track? >> to the best of my knowledge, yes senator. >> thank you mister secretary. >> noah is quite excited about it. we are continuing to work with the navy to move the project into the next phase. they will complete all federal permitting, because that some of that is needed, and state
approvals, preparing for construction and fiscal 2021, using the funds that were provided and fiscal year 2020. >> thank you very much mister secretary. thank you for your support of this infrastructure i deeply appreciated. let me turn to an unrelated question and that is the census. again i have to thank the chair in the ranking member because there is important language that was put in the census that would ask for specific outreach and chartering and providence county road island. . specific outreach and targeting to the population and province county rhode island, and i will tell you. there is one end to end test last year of the census to get all the bugs out, hopefully. that was in providence county rhode island the only place in the nation. because rhode island is a modest sized place, i have to put it in perspective. the population is 638,000
people. the population of rhode island is about 1 million. so 2 thirds of our state was in this end to end test. what happened is we are getting feedback, many people feel they already filled out the census, that all of this stuff is just extra. what we have asked is that the department sort of reach out specifically, this is one county, and say no you did not fill out the census. you have to fill out and you have to go and fill it out, etc. if you could update me on these efforts. we did send the letter in january we're waiting for a response. can you update me? it would be good if you could do that. and also, are we doing this in languages other than english, because providence county is also a place which is not unusual in the united states of multilingual. >> first of all, the end to end
task that we ran and providence was a greatest success. they proved up the systems, they proved out a lot of things that we needed. we are very unhappy with the cooperation of the local authorities. just to add, we are running ads right now, digital and print. in english and in spanish. and in radio. in the case of radio, we're doing english spanish and portuguese, so we are trying very hard to make the proper communication. we will make sure that they do emphasize and i would hope you would emphasize and in communication with your constituents, that this was just a test that they participated in last year, and i must say, the response rates were very good there. it is a very cooperative community, including relatively
good cooperation in the difficult to enumerate a part of it. we will do the best we can to overcome their thinking that they might already have filled it in. that is the problem with testing. you do a test, you want to look like a real test because if it doesn't you won't get reliable data. it kind of creates a little bit of confusion. fortunately it is just localized in that one area, so we will try our best to deal with it. >> we will get back to mr. chairman if we see continued sort of difficulties in that area. let me conclude by saying thank you. grassy us. obrigado. . >> i'm expressing my sympathy east to the senator from maryland keeps getting preempted. the senator from alaska. >> mister chairman might this be a good time to take a break? we have been added a little bit
the subcommittee will reconvene. >> thank you mister chairman, mister secretary welcome and thank you for all that you do. i want to give a special thanks department for the shoreline mapping that we are seeing coming out of the se department. your support for this mappingur on the shoreline and near shore is appreciated. wefor th recognize the value ofe presence memorandum on mapping. i also the want to thank you foe the departments recent work on the disaster funds to fisheries
disasters that we have seen. it isit's important to us, and s there is more in that pipeline. when pu th we first met, some ys back, i promised you that youy. were going to think a fishing when you visited with me, and i'm not going to disappoint you today, as i have looked through my 7 priorities here, for the department of commerce. 6 of those related to fisheries or to our oceans. so let me begin with funding for fisheries surveys. you know the significance of the fisheries in my state. nymphs, relies on sites that are conducted to determine sustainable harvest levels. noaa surveys are at risk due to budgetere pressures. mike insert has always been nonu i shouldn't be put in aave situation where they have gotot
totr choose between personnel as survey funding no i should have to make the trade-offs effectively that your provides the core mission ofoduc managing ourn fo fisheries and supporting our usc food producers. questionans for you about the surveys and how know what planso to accurately survey -- i guess more broadly why the p agency isn't requesting the funds that iturat needs for suca key part of its mission. because if you don't have accurate surveys, you do not have sustainably managed fisheries. >> we certainly agree that we need accurate surveys in order to have accurate regulations ofn fisheries. i think you are aware that for example, in terms of the purse if excitement treaty agreement,
there are quite a few very those in specific items that we havelion requested funding for. those include 10 million and based grants for fishery fi sampling's and monitoring force for eating estimates and for inr assessing fishery exploitation u rates. 2 million and grants to the states in order to support theor coated wiretap program which some essential information on harvest rates, f which cohost bra stocks management and the treaty. anotheritic 2,000,004 conversatn puget preserve at wrist puget sends stocks through the ongoing implementation of trade and tribal conservation. another 2 million for the
conservation for sand and critical stocks to preserve puget cents a new stocks through the ongoing and plan a implementation of the program. >> mister secretary if i can stop you there. we have seen what will be required under this treaty and it is substantial it is significant and unfortunately, the request under funds -- in a last year there was an issue because we did not have a clear picture of what would actually be needed to supportat it the treaty agreement, and now that we have a more clear picture, we are still seeing tr. that it is far less than is gotu needed for implementation of pacific salmon treaty.it izinit seems to me we have an ie herefund. we need to ensure that noaa is prioritizing the fundinggati whp
-- because the federal government agree to the obligations included in the treaty agreement, so if e we do not put the d funding to allow for theiy full implementation effectively what bilwe end up doing it shirking our diplomatic responsibility to support the treaty that we entered into with canada. my fear is that, if we do not have adequate support on the federal side, you have states that are effectively expected to implement this federal treaty without the funding, and alaska has seen the situationice before. i ask you and your team to look critically at the treaty the salmon fulfill that, and again work with us, i get not only on theis specific salmon treaty, but the
imperative for the fisheries surveyybe outside of what we'rer talking about with the specific salmon treaty because that is another issue. you will hear me continue to enforcee ar and reinforce thee strength of our sustainably so reliant onnha noaa, we are so reliant on attempts we are so mr reliant on making sure that we accurate data thank you mister chairman my time is expired. ben>> one of the benefits of gg lots as i get to check off a lot of questions on a bipartisan basis although i do want i to underscore couple points they've made. i've expressed and some of the cutstt in the know what budget. with respect to the eea, i strongly share the views of myha
colleagues i've pointed out before that the president'se.d. daughter of ivanka trumpbetweeni appeared to celebrate a successful eda project, so there is this disconnect that o between positive statements made by the administration for eda and the budget, but i think will address this on a bipartisan basis. ns a the 7i also want to expres agre concerns about the 76% cut int the minority minority business developmented s agency. i know we share an interest in making sure theie s.united statn remains at the cutting edge ina key competitive talking technologies, ehinand i think w share a concern that if we do t not have a planhe and a strategi we will fall behind. after all, china has its 2025 plan and they say they want to dominate and certain technology areas,ompu including artificial intelligence, many others, quantum computing.
so the good news they see in this budget is you have increased the funding for ai. when it comes to quantum computing in the budget it is flatlined. i congrknow budget has increasn some other areas but congress on a bipartisan basis doubled the authorization form for a con quantum computing and did very deliberately, because we think this needs to be something where we increase our investments across the board, so i would like to work with you and the committee to get that investment in quantumon, computing at menaced up to the otherize level going forward. another part of yourese jurisdiction, and i think you've been appropriately aggressive in terms of trying to prevent chinese companies from taking advantage of technology theft over the years and taking advantage of unfairot tradehe practices. ratiin fact, i think you have bn appropriately aggressive and
sometimes other parts of the administrationendati, have actuy reigned in the department of commerce is recommendation. on a few that score can you upde on the wall street journal article from a few weeks ago saying u.s. ways new move to limit china's's access to chiprt technology, subheading trump administration targets while way while tors. propose restricd tonumb america ship making compi equipment, specifically semian conductors, and on a related huawei wit companies have, and other companies havee de been finding waysrce' to sell equipment to we away without running afoul to the department of commerce is penaltiesnten.ted i know you thought of changing e the rules so that it is not appr 25% u.s. content base but 10% base i'm concerned, i support the direction your department seems to be taking.
iton. seems other parts of the administrationon are growing ins different direction, can you bring us up toto date on the? on almost any trade issue, there is a lively interchange within people in the administration. i a think that is good and not bad, because at the end of the day it is the president who sets policy huaand it is import for him to hear all sides of it. while away itself, we think it's quite clear in my view, that they do pose genuine security threats, both to us and to any other country that uses them. so i intend to continue to try to implement those views as to the wall street journal articlee a fiery call it correctly it was the usual stuff of unidentified sources people it actua close to all this business.
>> mister secretary just on, that it actually give you mr. credit for pushing forward on this issue whether you want it or not. >> i am pushing forward. >>t le i'm hoping you're winning this debate in the administration. but let mewas just say, in terms of ourur strategy, we need to debate on away. o fi was at the munich conference this year. just in terms of overall strategy, and the chairmane mentioned sectionha 2 32 earlie. as you know a lot of us on this committeef in the senate have concernsat with the way to 32 hn been applied in terms of claims that these measures are taken security reasons a lot of us aregerman skeptical wr you're in a conference we as a country and the uk and others le
to support us to support us with our strategy with while wi way in others. it is a lot harder to get their cooperation on those issues o when we're threatening to beat r them withe the stick with e section 2 32 and the other and s i just think that we would be better off and more successful to keep our eye on the main goal here we don't gett rippedhi off by china's unfair trade practices and technology theft in this area. if we were to provide a united front across the array of issues with our european partners. d ifplei believe sir that even s have to obey the rules. g toand if people disobey the rs we intend to enforce against them. >>sa you're notn going to get a dispute there, but i would argue strongly and i think that an by partisan basis, there is a strong argument that the use of section 2 32, the way we
have been using it it's has been, if maybe, very lead in a very legal list accents, okay it certainly was not the intent a lot of us expected with respect to the use of national security powers by the president on trade issues. >> 2 things senator, one, i believe the 2 32, the presence of the steel and aluminum tariffs and the threat of automotive tariffs helped in the negotiations with china. i believe for sure, they helped in the negotiations with japan. i believe they helped in the negotiations with the usmca. i would hope that you would look at the end result of the of trade activities that we are doinghau rather then isolate one portion of them. i think it is an integrated hole. ter >> if i may mister chairman.
i think it is an integrated hold, but it seems to me, inpean order to be successful, we needt you, you have heard this with our they say, we ask for aitic cooperation on one front, and i a threat of sec important fronts withti respect o huawei and this critical technology.tari if we are holding a threat of section 2 30 to our auto franklh tariffs, it is harder to get theiration cooperation but i l for it to continuing the conversation. >> i think we have better we did cooperation with them on tradede issues in begun theth 2 30 twos then we dd before for the first time ever on 3 separate occasions eu hasy joined with japan and u.s. in te written attacks on thethe intellectualu. property policies china they never did that
before. i >> are you satisfied with the uk'sut position on huawei? >> no i think it is a mistake. n>> how about germany? >> i'm not active knowledge just but the technology experts tell me that 5g is not something that you can so readily separate corps from periphery. i also think that the danger and case they're wrong in their theory that they can mitigate, danger of shutting down hereignn thank you. government is a risk that is not worth taken. >> we agree on that. i just want to make sure we're all aligned in terms of the strategy. >> thank you senator. mister secretary we're gonna have another round of questions, but the good news is there is a vote scheduled in 16 minutes. >> i'll speak fast. >> there is a finite time inllop which this hearing will come to
a conclusion. i will try to get 2 questions and in my 5 minutes. the first one is just a follow-up on one of already askedthat myou. we talked about section 2 32 exclusion process. i indicated that my calculations, my staff's2021. calculations where that we're gonna spend roughly 18 and a half million dollars in thatat a process in fy 21, and i wantedu you to tell me to confirm if you would that that is a sufficient amount to execute also w the policy under section 2 32 exclusion? >> we believe it is. sir >> thank you. priority you talk to me on the phone about this year ago. i'veveyo had conversations with generalet ,raymond, at spacepo command regarding this seissue. you arere departments fy 21 budget, this year's budget o againf proposes, combined to officess part of noaa and establish an office of space lascommerce unr the secretary within your office. we rejected that last year, not
because i am not sympathetic. but we think some steps need to be and taken and there is some legislations pending in a shunt committees change ultimately among other things create a bureau of space commerce, soone there's a few steps that i was thinking, i still believe need to take place before this decision is made, but one of the issues that have its i am not certain, i don't understand why this new combined entity, while it seemingly has value to me, why does it need to be in the office of the secretary? >> the reason is, to elevate ita and to send both an internal and an external message that itt increasingly important andew frankly, and increasingly urgent need. enyou may be aware that within the last few weeks, there have been to very very near misses of satellites. one got within a couple hundred feet of a collision.
there is a desperate need for better space situation and awareness on space traffic management. that is the fundamental activity that space directive 3 added to what we had had. in addition, elevating it to the secretary level facilitatesu cooperation between the office ofion space commerce and honest. cooperatio important mission of standards. especially standards involvingsn international cooperation there is nono ability to regulate spar traffic management because it is an international thing i believe elevating the officeeu will make itro much easier for to get the cooperation of the. european space agency of thee australian,n, of the japanese, and all the others, because we
need their cooperation and eventually, we need standards, n hopefully very quickly. so that everybody can understand are the rules of the roadan that have been agreed.wo it is an urgent need it, it is c an importantau need and i hope e do not wait until 2 satellites collide and cause more space debris and more economic loss, which is what i am worried, if keep come postponing it we will. >> senator mon you $11 about the money in termf that ve thaproposed you're askir a total of $50 million, which is $11 million above that was enacted. when have also been trying to determine is, what it costs d.o.d., to perform their functions today and spacehow muh situational awareness. maybe you can help me determine -- we're trying to calculate how much money is being spentheed tw today.
move that amount of money to the department of commerce, would th if we transfer we don't know what the amount is and we haven't gotten answer yet set as what it cost d.o.d. to perform the functions that we then be performed in your office? >> i think for the purpose of the transfer, and i assume thata general raymond expressed you his support for our department taking ittryi over. we have actually already had at fellow added quite a few months, to get our surrounded. i think he will fine that general raymond general heighten and general biting inl or supporting of what we are. recommending.ustry in addition, national space council is unanimously and oper. support, so is there industry wh uses group. especially the big operators. in terms of people directly involved with the situationon
there is no controversy they sa. all support what we are trying to do. >> i don't disagree with what you just said but your staff toct iohelp my stafft information from d.o.d. as to what it costs today to perform the functions? >>purp i don't know whether the d.o.d. has kept separate figures, but the main purpose is frankly, not saving money asn important as that is, the main purpose is improving the conditions under which information is communicated to the satellite industry. commerce distributes 40% of all the factual information that is emitted by the u.s. government. we are very good at communicating with the commercial sector, and so this is f a safety issue more than if is a transferable budget issue. >> that i fully understand as well. i am just trying to make surel e
we justify the amount of money that we appropriate based upon the facts. >> i will certainly try. i obviously have no control over d.o.d.. i would suggest maybe you fellows have better control than i do with theary. my appropriation process. >> thank you mister secretary. senator sheehan. >> thank you mister secretary, my question is really about the census, this exchange hasrally d raised an issue in my mind and that is, you are aware i know, we are generally discouragedadds from authorizing an appropriations bill, and i understand that there int is a l in the commerce committee that would address the transfer of this responsibility into the department of commerce. can you give us an update on where thate thro bill is, why we trying toss: authorize throughe appropriations process this new mrs. entity? >>: wh i'm not quite sure i understood the question. hewhat is the information you ae
seeking? twhere the billhi is in that thehebe committee, senate the commerce committee, with respect toto because what we are suggesting is that we set up a new bureau within the department ofof commerce, within the office of the app secretary to do this responsibility, and as you know, appropriators are generally discouragedppropr from authorizg new b language, new departments, new w entities within appropriations n bills. oso i'm i wonder, you don't ned to a do that now, but perhaps your office can get us ane update on what the challenges areo do there and why that hasnt been done before we're trying to so provide the funding. >> i'd be happy to do. so >> that would be great. >> we will come back to senator. >> cthank you. i want to go back to the census because i know that a number oft my's b colleagues on the commitc
had expressed a great deal of several interest. it has been a huge topic of public interest sometimes of controversy over the last several years as we have been gearing up both providing money and make sure that we have an accurate sense is. one of the concerns that has been raised has been aroundd tad providence around confusion with respect to the census. i know senator reed talked about the issue with the try and providence county, and people being a little confused, and one ofsion the things i would he we would all try and do is to do everything we can to reduce this confusion around the census. that is why i wanted to showrect you this blowup of something. this has been in the news,be deo recently, about misinformationae that seems to be deliberate, to try and confuse people about
the as you can see, this is labeled as an official document. it is a 2020 congressional of it says that the envelopes are a labeled,ct do not destroy bein official documents, and it's's something that is go down and being put up by republican that parties, the republican national committee, and if you d go down and read theel fine prie it does say that.ensu but i guess my concern is that thisis designed to confuse people aboutm the the census. we've seen some ads, some onlineroun ads from the presidet trump's campaign that also seemed to be designed to confuse people about the census. i would ask, are their efforts that o you see underway within the department or within the census spe bureau to try and respond to this kind of
misinformation? willing to speak out about? that this is not helpful as we are trying to get an accurate sense count? >> i'm relieved to be confirmed that this is not a census document because it doesn't look does not look like one to me. >> educated citizen who is not as familiar with the census as you are,ould they don't know thensuo difference between this document and what comes out officially from the senate. >> i have asked that the career staff of census to look into this and see what appropriateepo action, if any, we should be foi taking to deal with it. >> thank you. will you report back to thisve . committee and you have a timeline for when you might be able to get that done? >> as soon as they give me a response i willl give you, as you know the first mailings will be received on the 12th of march, oth and there will be an is accelerated schedule as we goage on out into the summer.
the other thing we have done,s. we is we have created a rumor page with t on our reps site to tryhe to del with things. we also have made arrangements with the big internet service they're providers. we have made arrangements with google, twitter, with all off they are being reasonably cooperative with trying to help us deal with the problem. but having said that, we are in a world where as i understand it, the experts feel thatia globally, u something like 15% all the social media users are a boxed. that is a big problem. ibut don't think any of any of s that is okay. it should not bebet acceptable. >> im. do not, but the reason i cite the statistic, thitin illustrates the magnitude of thee problem. >very absolutely.
rbut on something like this, i voice would resonate for polit very loud and clear with groupsr that mighty be using the census for political purposes, both to confusesemr. and to try and aft the outcome. i hope you will come back to us on the. >> as the career staff aty sensescome can tell me with ther is that we can do and what do they recommend,man. we will see what they comeki. up with and e willan. report that. >>with thank you very much thank you mister chairman. >> thank you misteror a chairmai want tow, t continue with the census question will move off fish for somew a moment. as youetwe know the census has started in alaska and it took some bay and in communities somewhere l between 600 700 people director killing him ws there to c kick it off. the team learned a little bit of a challenge of conducting a census and places that are not connected by roads, and whenese you are weather down and end up
we're sometimes getting those census workers to come out and use in these areas have been a challenge. are hopefully working through that but the question i want to raise with you this goig morning is, the implementation of this new privacy system we know known as the differential privacy. it will be starting for the first time with the census. we know that the intention here is to balance the data accuracy with data privacy. but what we've learned is that american there is some concern that when you have small populations, and specifically with groups likee l american indians or alaskay need natives, you can be in a situation where, in order to and it provide for that level of privacy needed, you could endd upcert with an undercount. it isound estimated right now -- they did a recent analysis for alaskan villages, they found that by applying differential
privacy could result in nearlyts a 30% undercount of alaskan native people in this 2020enti census. thisal is a real concern for us. had it has the potential to to greatly undercut and underwrote tribeses i know the bureau is aware of this, but i would like to ask n about the progress andting development of privacy systems that meet the users needs as well as protecting a priva confidentiality. and whether or not you have enough ll itime to develop and e implement a privacy system thatt will in facthe not undercut te countur, given the fact that the census hasas m>> right.tarted. that is certainly our objective. have heard from many stakeholders on the impact of the particularly and smallerhat
communities. number one, and number 2, the census has a team that is actively modifying procedures and incorporating feedback. we have not jailed on the exact formulas yet. it is a very complicated or enf algorithm that is needed, because you want to introducet d enough static or enough, if you will, noise, into the process to protect privacy, and yet notg result in the undercount, so i don't know where that 30%algorim figure came from. that is not something i have heard. >> it is the algorithm that isiv being used or was initially beingit. used. >> the algal rhythm is a workivy in progress. i do not believe they have forml finalized it yet. we have been actively modifying things. wes onhad formal consultation n alaska with the alaskan need of
leaders onl this very topic. we take very seriously the legal and professional why obligations to safeguard the information that we gather from thevacy. public, and that is whe are doingng privacy.rential o we think the gold standard for w privacy protection and all of computer science and cryptography. we are working very hard remember, we are sworn by the law to protect personal information, so we cannot sacrifice that at all. k>> we understand that there is a balance. we want to make sure that we get there, knowing that you are onto e this working with this is important. we will keep inmentnt move forward with that. i want to end my comments going back to things that swim in the water, this time just a little bit bigger. i would like to tack talk about the humpback whales.
no one has recently proposed designation of critical habitat. 175,000 plus square nautical miles as critical habitat for 3 distinct populations of humpback whales. the majority of this area, overl 120,000 square nautical miles is off the coast of alaska. this designation has the ve potential to impact our fisheries, our tourism, our short side infrastructure and very significant way. noah, unfortunately, did not underestimate any potential cost other than the direct administrative cost a future asi a consultations. it basically said basicallyge te regulatory costs were going to be too difficult to predict but on top of that they failed to, engage thertme state as they wet into this designation process. no one denied written requests from the alaska department of
mission fishing game to behelpe engaged in the rulemaking or to conduct inter agency review. that would have all helped to resolve the issues, both the is in biological and the economic conclusions in the rules so,sout right nowhe there is incredible consternation and our coastal desi communities, in southeastern waters. southeaststfo southeastern wates has beenn habitat for theheas temexicann humpbackwate whale. then mexican humpback whales do come to the southeast duringasta in the waters. kodiak area in the gulf, these of communities have been devastated by the listing of the stellaromment sea lions. y the it is so important that na take into account the comments that have been e cosubmitted bye communities, by the stakeholders, specifically the request for improved economic analysis, and an exclusion of the southeast alaska area from
the c proposed designation. i am just asking, i am asking for your commitment to work with us, look critically at this. your administration, the trumpia administration has been so good in looking to provide thoseon opportunities for economic activity. if you are a coastal community in alaska and your entire region it shut down by a designation that has not been thoroughly thought through, or really based on that sound data that really impacts those economy so i ask for your help on. that >> thank you senator u for raising this concern. i will be happy to look into this matter further and follow up with you. >> and i know that the state is hoping that this will honor the request from the state to becols engaged early to allow partner reviews and really to be given the same opportunity forone. a otherthe gavel is i
impacted states. e thouthank you mister chairman. the only thing that stands me and pounding the gavel is i have a question eda thee eds administers program called the regional innovation l strategies program or are i as wrists. in fy 20 the subcommittee in the full committee include -- to further support the 2 p existing programs when that isis called isaac's challenge, andho the other one that is called seat fund program. earlier this year, and without consulting with congress, perhaps more concerning, as anyhallenge. stakeholders, eda announced that it wasam m establishing a d riskin program called the wouldi
industry challenge. may be well-intentioned, but i wouldld think that itco would be appropriate for va to consult withboo this committee, and consult withth stakeholders and- would ask you if you would your agree with that but i i assumeme your the>> yes correct sir. >> thank you sir. the competition is being labeled blue economy. o juwell i sit here next to seno shaheen and senator murkowski which isthis left, we have no ta coastlines in kansas. pri want to make certain thatada this program we thought was existing a programs, this new program doest not disadvantage land looks my own and many others. upi w would ask you to help me assure that this is the case. >> i will work with staff and follow up with you chairman.
>> thank you misterer let me bring this hearing to a conclusion. therens are no further questis because we have run out of time. senators req may however submit additional written questions for the 3 official hearing record. we will request the department respond within 30 days, and the hearing now stands in recess. >> thank you mister chairman thank you.