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tv   White House Deputy Budget Director Nominee Shalanda Young Testifies at...  CSPAN  March 3, 2021 5:01am-6:44am EST

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administration. >> this hearing for the purpose of which is to speak with
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ms. young is been nominated by the president to be the deputy omb director. let me thank my colleagues who are here with us today in person. i know chuck grassley is back and others will be coming. and we thank those that are participating remotely. we are here today to consider the nomination to become the next deputy director of the office of management and budget. as we all know, the omb is responsible for preparing the president's budget, reviewing federal relations and providing the proper oversight of federal agencies. it's a very important task. for the past 14 years, ms. young has served as a top staffer on the house appropriations committee and has done an
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excellent job and working with democrats and republicans on legislation that must be passed each and every year that impacts the lives of tens of millions. .. we are looking to living through a terrible economic downturn. the real unemployment rate in america today is over 11%. over 23 americans are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work. more than half of the workers in our country today unbelievably the richest country in the worst, paycheck to paycheck your
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kids get, you're facing a terrible financial emergency. we have the highest rate of nearly any major country on earth and we hope to address that through the american recovery act we will discuss this week on the floor of the senate. in the midst of all that, we have massive level of income and wealth inequality which this committee will be discussing in the near future. the covert pandemic is raging across the country and is responsible for taking the lives of 514 thousand americans. at the same time, unbelievably, we have 90 million americans either uninsured or under insured. in other words, we have a major healthcare crisis in the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare for all people as human rights. we have intimate of all this,
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global climate crisis that threatens the well-being of the minute. affordable housing prices, millions of people paying half the limited incomes on rent, half-million are sleeping on the streets. we have racial injustice crisis we will accelerate systemic racism. we have an immigration crisis that must be addressed the lord for too long. in other words, country today faces unprecedented set of crises that must be addressed while a lot of those priorities and issues are going to fall within omb including the director of the omb. look forward to working with you as deputy director to enact promises the biden
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administration has made to the american people and that is to increase federal minimum wage, $15 an hour, make public colleges and universities tuition free for working families and reduce student debt. lower medicare eligibility age for substantially lower prescription drug costs in this country, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, create millions of good paying jobs and combat climate change. pre-cake universal. make pre-cake universal, three and four -year-olds in america, make childcare affordable to every family in this country and make sure every worker in america has at least 12 weeks paid medical leave and in the midst of massive and wealth inequality, make sure the wealthiest people pay their fair share of taxes. that's what the biden
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administration has been talking about. the deputy director of the omb is to make sure he put the american people, implement what the president has been talking about. let me think ms. young were being with us. i look forward to your testimony. let me give the mic over to lindsey graham for his opening statement. >> thank you. i think you are a highly qualified person for the job. nothing but good things to say on our side. >> thank you for the courtship in brief remarks. my colleagues from vermont,
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senator leahy wants to introduce his young. can we roll the field? >> i'm very happy to be here today. president biden's nominee to be deputy director of the office of management and budget. for the members of this committee and appropriations committee trump is a familiar face, she's worked on the house appropriations committee nearly 16 years. she's been also preparation. i've had the pleasure to get to know her well and i can tell you without reservation, i can think of no one better suited to be deputy director. her deep understanding federal budget process. for years the experience on the
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appropriations committee, her tenacity, dedication to public service, her honesty, the agency and the american people. she began her career in public service in 2001 at the national institute of health. she became first to work on capitol hill, the house appropriations committee in 2005. she made a good impression because she returned in 2007. she worked on the committee over the years. work in the development for kentucky oversight, critical insight the operation, some of our nations most important agency including department of homeland security. environmental protection agencies, general services administration. she then served as staff
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director for the subcommittee overseeing the budget congress. she became staff director of the house appropriations committee in 2017. that's the same year i became vice chairman of the appropriations committee. since that time, she's had the house navigate some of the most difficult issues before the chamber. a reputation there negotiating. i can attest, i've seen these skills firsthand. let me tell you a story. she was a critical figure in helping and the government shutdown in january 2019. i remember the evening we cut the final deal in the 35 day government shutdown. the longest shutdown in u.s. history. chairman shelley, ranking member
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granger and i, only a few high staff went to my office in the capitol, we continued to talk earlier that day. everybody from the cameras, wanted to see if we could reach a deal. fortunately she was with us as we worked the night on these difficult issues, her knowledge on federal programs, her understanding of the political process and her determination to get the country back on track and help us reach a deal. we went out and announced to the press. shalonda has the background.
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hopefully she's as proud of that moment as i am. a difficult time for our nation but her determination and hard work, we reached a solution. that's what shalonda is best at. she knows how to work across the aisle to get a deal done. her relationships with both democrats and republicans in the house and the senate will serve her well. i've heard her say office of management and budget is one of the most powerful government agencies that most america has never heard of, it true. not just the federal budget policies that affect people's lives. we need people like shalonda in these important decisions. she's wonderful.
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>> thank you very much. now onto the rules of the committee, nominees are required to testify under oath miss young, would you please rise? please raise your right hand. you swear that you will get the senate of the committee the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? >> if asked to do so given reasonable notice, will you agree to appear before the committee the future and answer any questions the members of the committee might have? thank you very much. please be seated. would love to hear your remarks. >> chairman sanders, ranking member graham and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today is president biden's nominee for deputy director of office and management director budget.
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thank you for introducing me to the committee today. one of the joys of being staff director of appropriations committee has been seeing the amazing relationship and results from center late he, senator shelby, ranger and my former boss, chairwoman. i still vividly remember the same story you just heard from chairman lahey, post for meeting over another government shutdown, we just opened for three weeks and we need to sign the deal quickly. in february 2019. even in those tense moments, senator leahy took the time to show me pictures of his beloved family before announcing to the press that a compromise had been reached. i will forever be grateful for the kindness senator lakey has always shown even in the most stressful environments. the company today by my parents, ronald smith from louisiana, a 92-year-old grandmother in louisiana, could not make it due to covered precautions.
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i want to thank them and my extended family for their unwavering support over the years. members of this committee, i come before you today as someone who grew up in rural america, i spent most of my youth in louisiana. clinton had a population of around 2000 people back then. it's where my maternal great grand parents lived, got married and my grandmother in 1928. somehow even then, in the segregated south, my great-grandparents sent their child, my grandmother to college. i'm grateful they prioritize education, a commitment that stayed in my family for generations. all families deserve to see their children to have the same opportunity to pursue their potential. another form, i'm sorry if you were ever healed up. used to say budget is your value. i sure that leave and firmly believe the federal budget can should the promise of this country real for all families
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and communities. i've spent the last four years in minority geordie appropriations committee. i care deeply about the institution of congress and have been proud to serve in that position that requires compromise to ensure the american people have not only a functioning government but one that's invested in the future. my work on the appropriateness committee taught me both sides can compromise. without compromising their values. even when that means no one gets everything they want. i will forever be indebted to this institution if confirmed, i look forward to using my experience and ensure both branches operate with mutual respect and work toward solutions that will improve the lives of those we all serve. i'm not naïve about the challenges we face. last year i worked on the first public supplemental congress passed in march 2020.
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who were using models to past supplementals on ebola because the full scale of the pandemic was still unclear. with public deaths surpassing 500,000 our focus must remain on being the virus delivering immediate relief to millions of struggling americans and enjoy we emerge from this crisis even stronger than we were before. if confirmed, i look forward to engaging with members of congress on both parties on this and other important work. chairman sanders, ranking member graham, other members of the committee, thank you for allowing me to appear before this committee and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, miss you. let me begin the question, the question is going to ask you don't come from me, they come from the president and i just want to make sure you're on the same page as the president in
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terms of the most important issues facing our country. your answers can be very brief. the president has indicated strong support for increasing minimum wage in our country from seven and a quarter to $15 an hour. do you agree? >> absolutely. >> do you, he's made clear he wants to see public colleges and universities, tuition free and canceling student debt, not completely but making progress canceling student debt for working families making less than $125,000 a year, do you agree? >> yes, senator sanders the president indicated he wants to lower eligibility age for medicare and 65 to 60 and expand coverage to include hearing, vision and dental care, it is something you support? >> yes, senator. >> the president of the gated to begin negotiating prices with
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the pharmaceutical industry to lower outrageously high cost of prescription drugs in america, is that something you support? >> yes. >> the president indicated he supports guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, is that something you support? >> absolutely. >> okay. president has indicated supports providing universal pre-k education to every three and 4-year-old in the country and making childcare more affordable for working families. is that something you're comfortable with? >> i've seen in my own family. yes, sir. >> the president indicated and will discuss more in the next several months creating millions of good paying jobs by investing at least $2 trillion to combat climate change and transform our energy system away from fossil fuels into renewable energy. is that something you're comfortable with? >> yes, sir. >> the president supports
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creating millions of additional paying jobs by rebuilding infrastructure, roads and bridges, sidewalks, schools, wastewater plants, etc. is that something you're comfortable with? >> yes, sir. i've worked on it a lot of my appropriations career. >> those are my questions. you very much. senator graham. >> what the price take of all that? >> senator graham, as you know, a lot of these have high price tags. >> what is it? >> it's a very important -- i get it, it's expensive -- >> i just want people back home to know, what does it cost? >> i think you have to talk about the details. when we talk about the global cost --
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>> you can't give me a price take today but you will work on it. >> i will work on it. there are some details, bipartisan nuggets in those infrastructure packages and others. i'm sure we will get the opportunity to work on it together. >> are you worried about a run on our southern border if we keep changing the policies, with immigration? >> you can imagine a lot of time over the last four years, spent some time in southern california and texas, you visit one part of the border you visited another part. so yeah -- >> let's just talk about policy. the remaining mexico policy of the trump administration required people seeking asylum in the u.s. to stay in mexico until there court date. you think that was a beneficial change? >> i think there were some side effects that were not, as a
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country including lack access to counsel, frankly if you're -- >> we are talking about waiting there until your court date. there's 1 million and a half, over 1 million backlog in the asylum system. are you concerned if we go back to the old policy of allowing people to be processed in the u.s. released in the united states for court date, years in the future, most don't show up that that will entice more people to come here to seek asylum? >> i think in which our immigration works, a bipartisan way. no one wants asylum systems that takes years and years. one of the unfortunate side effects that remains in mexico is you do -- >> do you support changing that policy? >> i do think we need to take a pause and to make sure we have
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-- >> there are expecting 13000 unaccompanied minors to hit our border in may. why do you think the increase? >> you know, i have not seen the figures you are using. i think you are well known as someone who has reached across the aisle for solutions. the only way we are going to find solutions and immigration is partisan -- so yes, i am concerned -- >> let me just again, your highly qualified for the job, senator sanders, a laundry list of things you need to support the biden administration proposes but i worked on about every filter is around here for immigration what i see is a retreat on policies that work, i was in arizona a couple of weeks ago and this time, this year
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versus last year, is almost one 100% increase in people coming to our borders so for us to get immigration right, we are going to have to turn off the magnets that draw people here and try to replace illegal immigration with illegal immigration. do you support legal work visas for the american economy? >> there are several more programs, i'm no expert on but i do know there are reforms in the work and there are some that need more reforms than others. so yes, i do think the visa programs are necessary but i do support congressional work on necessary reforms where needed. i know a lot of that work is ongoing. >> do you think you're ready to be director of that job if it was offered to you? >> thank you for the question,
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i'm here nominated direct be director. i hope you find me qualified for that position and i look forward to hopefully winning your support. >> look at my support baby for both jobs. >> thank you. now we are going to hear from saturday murray via video. >> thank you very much, i do want to reiterate my nomination to be on asked director. hopefully for many years, whether you agree on every issue or not, you cannot question her passion, knowledge, engagement on the issues. i believe she would excel and the full senate to advance her nomination. today i am pleased to have the opportunity to speak today with shalonda young who i believe is
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an excellent choice. ms. young will bring a wealth of experience to the job, she has a deep understanding of the federal budget and the preparation process the know-how of working with agencies and members of congress to make progress on a range of critical issues. our country faces multiple crises, critical to address these challenges from navigating the current public health crisis, confronting climate crisis addressing inequality. his young, i question for you today, how do you see this administration prioritizing investment to tackle those crises and what is the economic for strong and decisive action to meet this moment? >> good to see you. appropriations miti in the
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house. all would be busy working on the first order of business this week. we do not take full economics of it are going to come home tenfold. president biden has certainly talked about the next thing, the need to invest in infrastructure. during regular appropriations process we do the best we can especially budget caps but the types of investments needed to ensure this country remains an economic leader and competes with the china's of the world. we have to invest in roads and bridges. i'm sorry senator graham was on, army corps is woefully in need of additional funding we want shipping lanes to remain open.
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confirmed, i certainly look forward to working with congress on those big investments because we go to little if we don't do what needed now and i worked on the great recession package and one of the complaints was in 2009 it wasn't big enough. you certainly have my commitment to work with congress. on many of these they've been bipartisan in the past to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. >> thank you very much. from the beginning of this pandemic, these solutions, it's out important to continue to pass covert relief and get direct relief to those struggling. more equitable future from the other side of this pandemic. i want to raise an issue of critical importance, that is the cleanest of the nuclear site. i talked about this previously, i look forward in working in
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partnership with you to make sure it's a trajectory without compromising been up. finally, i do want to thank you for your willingness to serve in this position at such a critical time in this country. i look forward to supporting this nomination. thank you for the time. >> thank you very much. senator grassley. >> there aren't very many people on the professional staff of the appropriations committee to get away from. i question your judgment but i'm glad for your public service. it happens i'm more interested in what it does on regulatory review than what i do in regard to budget part of your work. i'm going to start out there and
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i only have one question in that area the presidential memo entitled quote unquote modernizing regulatory review directs omb through updated guidance the agencies to fully account for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify. under implementation of this memo, how will agencies be instructed to compare quantitative and nonquantitative benefits and how does it differ from the current cost-benefit analysis framework? >> thank you, i thought you might talk about this. i want to reiterate something you heard from the nominee for the director jobs, the underlying eo 12866 has been reaffirmed by president biden to
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serve both replicants and democratic administrations and we must do cost-benefit analysis a regulation in improving modernizing plan you've outlined, which i certainly hope has a role looking at a regulation regulatory process is an effort to ensure we are reaching communities i talked about one i grew up in. oftentimes it's hard to quantify when you're looking at 2000 whether it the benefit outweighs a small group of people, there might be high cost but that does not mean we should not be doing something to make the lives of people who might be from minority racial backgrounds from those people living with disabilities, those things may not come out well in a regular cost-benefit analysis but i think we can all agree we need to ensure those amongst us who need the most help, we find a way. i think that memo you talked
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about his tasking us with finding a way to make sure we don't leave certain americans behind. >> thank you. another thing that bothers me over several decades is the fact that the department of defense is the only department of government that can get what you call a certified statement of fiscal responsibility, a clean audit, i guess you'd call it. the department of defense rely on hundreds of outdated legacy financial management systems. these systems cannot reduce reliable data and are one major obstacle preventing the dod from a clean audit opinion. how would you approach this through the authority of the omb assuming you have authority, i'm not sure i am up to date on that. ensure these systems are replaced or fixed so they are
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able to generate complete reliable financial data needed to support the opinion? >> as you imagine, i've looked at this from the appropriations angle and it was a difficult decision leaving someplace i've been in love for a long time so thank you for acknowledging that. hopefully i can be in service is confirmed. part of the issue dod is not the only one that has legacy systems that don't serve them well when it comes to managing their financial house. part of the problem is a resource problem. we often, when it comes to congress and omb as well, look at the traditional spending of dod. you need a new submarine or a new ip system? well, we probably need both but it tends to not be the jazzy is
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thing that can be sold in the halls of congress so you certainly have my commitment to work with you and i certainly depend on it because this is the least we owe the american people to ensure we can show these agencies clean financial audit. >> you got only eight seconds left. for decades, tax regulation generally skips the review process other agencies had to follow in submitting significant regulations to the office of information and regulatory affairs at omb for review. this changed in 2018 and the treasury department at omb entered into an agreement to subject significant tax regulations for review. you expect the biden administration to maintain that agreement? >> i expect we will use this modernizing, to review and that
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will be one of the things i love to work with your staff on this issue and make sure we are getting your concerns as we look at this review process. >> thank you. >> thank you very much for holding this important hearing. i just want to touch for a quick moment on the matter the nomination because i think colleagues should know is very much interested in two bipartisan priorities of members. senator grassley and i put together pharmaceutical price gouging and we basically said companies sell things like insulin and they are jacking up prices again and again and again which they have, they basically relate and inflation, bipartisan
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support. we also support the efforts that chairman sanders was talking about here, medicare negotiation cost. these are bipartisan issues, in terms of rural america, i asked about the matters trying to get off the roller coaster their payments and we continue in this program. prescription drugs and rural america with the bipartisan record. i'd also like to thank, and very much looking forward to supporting ms. young for this crucial position. i want to ask about a couple of quick questions, i think we all know millions of americans are unemployed right now. unemployment insurance expired
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march 14. dollar for dollar, there really aren't multipliers out there like helping people who are laid off through no fault of their own. the funds they get are using on groceries and rent. shoes and i have been major limitations, politicians can set arbitrary and days for the recovery communities need to stay afloat. i've recently proposed again with the support of chairman sanders a number of other colleagues in the senate to basically tie this assistance to economic conditions on the ground and unemployment basically be part of a stabilizer system so we don't get into another situation like the last week had gone to all.
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now to put these programs on these economic issues, and automatic stabilizer and i'm pleased to be working on this and a number of colleagues. ms. young, we've been impressed by the fact that president biden was very interested in this idea. should you be confirmed in this position, tell us about your thoughts and a ringing endorsement today as well. >> thank you for the question. even though i've been on the committee, we've had the privilege of putting these together so i am absolutely familiar with this idea. i know a lot of senators and house members have tried to bring this to fruition.
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i'm certainly supportive we are about to hit another with march 14 which is unfortunate, the last time we didn't make the timeframe. we have people who have to deal with gaps in assistance which should be avoided. also understand some of the hurdles tackling the stabilizer issue has been one. it is tough, this has made it an expensive proposition but it's important enough we have to keep working to find a way to make sure millions of americans don't base artificial? in their unemployment benefit. >> thank you. i've got one but what you are touching on his heart of what we want to do. we want to empower communities
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and folks who are laid off through no fault of their own get on with their lives. for them rather than politicians, they can set an arbitrary base, there the ones with the average who ought to be empowering people. one last issue very quickly in my state, omb nightly basis a decision on the recommendations public buildings to close national archives and records, this decision to rely on these important historical records. we've sent an bipartisan letter on how native americans, do you commit with working with all of us in this process on any final recommendation?
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>> absolutely. i've been involved in many decisions fighting on the congressional side and offices closed, i understand these regional and local offices are to ensure people can get services from their governments. you certainly have my commitment. >> my time is up. i've heard positive things about you. i look forward to your nomination. >> thank you. senator toomey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to the committee and i know this is not your decision but i do have to express how deeply disappointed i am that president biden and our democratic colleagues have decided to undertake a purely partisan process to pass a bill so much confidence that has nothing to do with covid or economic recovery despite the fact that last year congress
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passed five overwhelmingly bipartisan bills in response to the pandemic and economic disaster we face, those bills add up to almost $4 trillion, each one got over 90 votes, the last bill, the second largest economic relief bill in american history was about eight weeks ago, hundreds of billions of dollars still unspent, the economy is in a strong recovery mode and there are pockets that are doing very bad on balance in aggregate, the economy is doing very, very well. despite all that, rather than working with republicans on identifying the areas left behind, despite all this massive spending, the approach is just ignore republicans from a partisan approach and spent almost $2 trillion, the vast majority of which has nothing to
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do with covid or the economic circumstances we are in. liberal democrats economic advisors are warning things we've said about this bill that brings down six, the time we've seen in a generation so i am very disappointed that this is the path we are on. i want to be clear about some of the specifics as i understand from the house passed bill that's arrived at the senate. can you confirm a family of four with an income of $150,000 last year, no income july, no income interruption has happened in this pandemic, in addition to all the ordinary figure income, they'll get another $5600 from
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taxpayers. is that accurate? >> i do believe the hospital is similar to the bipartisan one you mentioned earlier so yes. >> so this is breathtaking for most americans, affluent families with no interruption whatsoever in their income have already gotten $5800 from taxpayers and now another $5600 as if money grows on trees and the federal government should be in the business of sending affluent people checks periodically, maybe regularly. there's no rational basis for this. let me ask this. in 2020, we now know according to the bureau of economic analysis, part of the commerce department, the aggregate revenue elected by state and local governments hit an all-time record high. there are a lot of reasons for all-time record high in 2020 and
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that separate and apart, separate from the $500 billion we spent for state and local governments over the course of last year on a variety of bills. how we are told hospital in the biden proposal is to send another $3,150,000,000,000. isn't it state-by-state a number of states are simply, with all of this cash, they are going to cut back at the state level reasonably likely outcome? >> you talked about president biden bipartisanship continues governor's on both sides of the aisle and continue to say they are in need, is not just a revenue loss fund but one for state and locals to continue to provide necessary services as people depend on their local units -- >> i understand but if you collect an all-time record level
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of revenue, you can provide the services he ordinarily provide, in addition to all-time record, you got half a trillion dollars from the federal government, seems like there's lots of money to go around. last question, do you think there's any downside whatsoever, any reason at all, any concerns about systematically paying people more not to work, designing an unemployment system whereby substantial workers will get paid more to set home to get paid to go to their work? is this how we should demonstrate our commitment for the dignity of work. >> that was afraid i was going to use. certain people i know from all walks of life have dignity to work. they're not accepting government assistance and some of the data we've seen they are using enhanced unemployment to make
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ends meet. >> my time has expired. thank you. >> thank you, senator toomey. senator stabenow. >> thank you very much. congratulations on your nomination. i've heard nothing but extremely positive things from democrats and republicans and look forward to working with you if you're confirmed, which hopefully will happen. i also strongly support and two of you would be an excellent carry. i'm hopeful we will have both of you. i do want to say when you talk about bipartisanship in the cares act, we had a bipartisan bill but then we got to i think they and the senate were hogan leaders said at that time things
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were okay and we didn't need to act. it was may until december to pass additional support for american families address the pandemic and issues around trying to get children back to school safely. we don't have that much time now, we just don't have time to wait another six, eight months. we have bipartisan support in the country, we got to get shots and people's arms and help people with small families and farms get through and survive the pandemic. we certainly would welcome bipartisan support, our colleagues in the senate. i want to say there are so many things on your plate but i want to talk specifics, the chairwoman of agriculture and nutrition committee, looking at the climate crisis, we have great potential harness farms as
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leaders and working on federal bipartisan bills, senator brown and other colleagues and look forward to working with the administration to enact them. usda to address issue in voluntary bipartisan producer. if confirmed, will you commit to working with us to prioritize agriculture investment in the president i'm coming budget and other actions in the department of agriculture. >> you absolutely have my commitment to work on these important issues. >> great. let me talk about something that certain the forefront in the pandemic. that is the mental health,
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millions and millions and millions of americans. we have traditionally, historically underfunded behavioral health systems in this country. the good news is we are making progress, my friend and i have strongly supported both sides of the aisle improve body care through new certified behavior health clinics. these clinics, among other things that require quality standards, seven day a week crisis mental health care, substance abuse care and working with emergency rooms law enforcement, which is very important. we look at this, we are actually saving money as well as doing something very effective. the last hhs led to a 62%
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decrease in emergency department visits and behavioral health. 60% reduction in time spent in jail which is why is so strongly supported. the challenge for us is quantifying that in terms of the budget. first of all, we should be covering these services and could you talk about this in quantifying some of the downstream savings from increased access to behavioral healthcare. can we count on you to focus on those issues? >> you absolutely can. i am very proud of the behavior and mental health funding in the current covered package. it's much needed, it's an area where i think the regular appropriations process would have loved to have done more but
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we only have been living under budget caps over the last ten years has exacerbated problems, is appropriate in this package and i'm glad that it is. senator, you certainly have my commitment to help in quantifying the benefits of this funding and working to ensure we have the funding and do better on those items. >> thank you. i think my time is up. another passionate important topic, sure we are supporting to protect our great lakes. i look forward to supporting. >> thank you very much. senator kennedy. >> thank you. ms. young, how are you? >> good, sir. how are you? >> i am okay.
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>> i want to ask you about the proclivity of the federal government to persist in paying dead people. you probably read about it but last spring when we set out our first batch of coronavirus relief checks, we paid out $1.4 billion to deceased americans. we don't get this money back and of course, in some instances and many instances the checks were cashed which obviously is indicative of fraud. we have passed legislation and let me back up. we're not sure how much we pay
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out in checks to dead people every year but it's a lot. it's in the billions and billions and billions of dollars. there's a lot of fraud involved. congress passed legislation to try to fix this problem. i will bore you with the details but because of the politics, we have to put in a provision that the legislation wouldn't really take affect for three years. we basically had to agree because of the politics would continue to pay dead people more years. can you do something about that? >> senator kennedy, i think you have pursued this, i know it's a very important, you've pursued in the financial services, the operations committee. i'm very familiar with your work
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here. i think part of this is the government systems, we talked about this earlier with different senators, we have to do better with our it systems. it is definitely part of the problem. i will certainly commitment to work, just like i did previously in these systems so no one wants abuse and important government problems. it does a disservice to those who really need government services. it puts a target on their backs. i think this bipartisan commitment to make sure we do what we can. >> can i interrupt? i've watched you and your career and your very smart person soon. i think you can fix it this. to me it's very simple. we, meaning the federal
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government, get data every year, every month, every day from the states about who died. it's not perfect but we get it and it goes into a database at the federal government. the group in charge of maintaining that database doesn't really share it with other agencies. it's complicated. needlessly complicated and i think you are a very smart person, i think if you said look, call the white house, speak to the president is mr. president, we really need to stop paying dead people, it's embarrassing. congress has acted on it but delayed the implementation of the bill for years. can we issue an executive order and stop paying dead people?
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do we know that at least to the taxpayers? i noticed complicated but it needlessly complicated. it's very simple. we have the data, it may not be perfect but it's better than nothing but we continue to send out the check. i think you're going to be running omb, i think you can stop it. >> i have full confidence, thank you for the full confidence. i appreciate that. if i'm confirmed, you certainly have my commitment to work with you on this. >> you may be more of a deputy. you might be the sheriff. i don't expect you to comment on that. help me do something about this. i know you can do this.
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>> i look forward to working with you. i do commit with you, working with you and your staff on this issue. as you said, the american people deserve a federal government to get the data right and we need to, i think it's a bipartisan effort. thank you. >> senator whitehouse. >> ms. young, how are you? welcome. i have two things i want to show to you. first, this book, a compilation, a full variety of reports that relate to, as the title says,
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the economic risk of climate change. we all know is going to change our physical world, raise sea levels and change temperatures, most move fisheries round, change weather and great physical biological natural consequences. we haven't focused as much as i think we should have on the economic consequences. for instance, when sea levels rise and people who have predictive capability are able to see where the sea levels are going to rise to, they are going to go to mortgage companies and insurance companies and they are going to say hey, i've got some information you want to have before you ensure that or issue a mortgage on the house. nonetheless, freddy. >> , the big mortgage has one we are going to have property values crash when the sea level
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rise earnings hit mortgage and insurance with the market that support the property. it's going to be worse than the 2008 mortgage, that's a pretty serious one. that's just one. in no bill prizewinner testifying under oath about the catastrophic economic consequences we are looking at, we got major banks, the fed, foreign sovereign banks, major pretty rough corporate organizations who want exactly really meant austerity in their morning that this is a big deal. i'd ask you to please flip through this, we'll give you a copy, i think it's going to be important for this administration which has done a great job tackling the climate change problem to make sure
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these warnings are made loud and clear, probably the most warned hazard we've ever seen, the fossil fuel industry has got so much of our congress locked up in its grip. we haven't responded to those earnings select one. if you could take that and also take this issue seriously, i will hound you about it. >> i'm from louisiana. >> yes, you are losing more coastlines than i think any other state in the country right now. rhode island is looking at redrawing it's. senator kaine is looking at losing maple station, you can build the peers up higher and higher but you can't build up schools in the markets and rose in the community is important there. the former head is one in 20 years, that's gone. we are going to have to read
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write maple station so this is serious because of also fuel mischief, a lot of members of congress won't take it seriously, we've got to make sure people understand so thank you. the second thing is the healthcare thing, i used to grab a lot, around the time we did the affordable care act, a protection for healthcare costs would rise which is top line, turns out after the affordable care act passed, healthcare costs didn't go up as fast. we actually got the lower line as our experience, if you take the current projection from our lord experience and compare it to the projection on the previous experience, you get this green differential. ... and it's really pushing the
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accountable care organizations and providers doing such a good job. i've got to have the best ones world class. they are not the best in rhode island, but the best in the world, in the country, they happen to be in rhode island and they are driving costs down. to connect those little aco's to this $6 trillion and fix the mess our healthcare system is right now. >> the bill you are considering
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this week does have some improvements and increased necessities for the aca and can hopefully get more people in it. i think there's a lot more to do on the aca front to ensure that that graph continues to get there. >> we can spread that further with more work that is good stuff. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator warner. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's good to see you. i think you've been very impressive in your answers. i do want to say though i know some of my colleagues who've made a decision and i hope some will still reconsider. i look forward to supporting you, but my hope is still i will be supporting you for deputy director.
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three quick questions. virginia is home to 170,000 federal workers and they've been under enormous assault under the trump administration and they've tried to politicize. while i was pardoned by the administration to appeal the scheduled executive order in the waiting days of the administration from bargaining rights to pay to general morale the federal workforce has been hurting. can you speak to how you could coordinate to deal with this overriding issue of morale and workforce? >> senator, i pause because i started my career as a civil
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servant and i understand the increase how much of the country has benefited by having a motivated federal workforce who shows up every day and does over and beyond. they could be in private industry, a lot of them making more than they do in their government service. so it's not about a job for the federal workers that i've known and worked with. it's about service. so that's one of the things i hope if confirmed as deputy director certainly is to empower and bring a lot of that back to the career staff. i know that is a goal of mine. i hope to leave during my time of service is to let them know that we appreciate their
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service. we trust that they are good stewards of the federal policy and you certainly have my commitment and we will need congressional fixes and partners to work with you to make sure that our federal workers are getting the benefits necessary. in the budget deals that, but one of the main losers are the federal worker. we tend to cut their retirement, we tend to do things that don't do a lot for morale, so you certainly have my commitment to work with you to bring back i think some of the things that have eroded over the last few years. >> something started when he served basically the senator of delaware going back down to the floor of the senate calling out the great contribution of
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federal workers on an individualized basis and your work at nih as you said a lot of the workers could be making a lot more and it's going to be great to working with someone that supports that service. kind of related to that, one of the areas that the chair man has been a big advocate and i've generally been supportive of during the period of covid to help workers with increased unemployment benefits and trying to make sure we cover a whole group of folks with very positive action. one of the things we've had some debate on is whether the economy includes some of that additional benefits you cut back and we've had a good debate on this issue, but the challenge has been to be able to do that, we've got to upgrade our it systems within the federal government. now literally, we couldn't even release an economic stabilizer
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riding away because the it system is so bad. we had a dramatically under invested not just under trump but apparently even under president obama somebody held a technology modernization fund. there's legislation i've got and president biden put a fine .4 billion and it got cut and in the last two seconds can you talk about operating the technology [inaudible] >> you've heard it through several senators questions that you know, central to many issues we have with payments to individuals with ensuring the financial audits, a lot of it comes down to technology and you certainly have my commitment to work with you. i'm very familiar making sure we get investments there. >> thank you and i look forward to supporting you. >> senator merkley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to jump right into questions since we don't have a
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lot of time. we had a situation in previous administrations where part of the omb was a place rules go and disappear never to be seen again or to sit unattended for years, things like the mercury toxic rule, rearview cameras in cars, the issue of a rule related to coal ash. we have the vape being rule, which we had all these illegal products on the market and nothing happened and millions of american youth became addicted to raping, a situation hard to reverse and healthcare and quality of life for millions and generations to come. how do you feel about this section becoming just this place where regulations go to suffer and die with no transparency about what is happening? >> that is certainly not the statutory goal.
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it's something we shouldn't strive to have that opinion of. i do believe we can use the presidential memo calling for omb to lead the effort to improve and modernize to do something about that perception and work with our partners in congress to make sure that we fix this issue. >> thank you and i look forward to talking with you when we end up with challenges of disappearing regulations and in the future. i want to turn then to the cost analysis you referred to before and the decision to keep it in place. often the cost benefit analysis doesn't capture externalities and certainly not the social cost. can you speak to have a cost benefit analysis can reflect the true cost of decarbonization or the advantages?
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>> you are speaking to the very core of the presidential memo that we've talked a lot about on improving and modernizing. i think it is good to keep a basic set of facts but you are absolutely right. you see in carbon and not just carbon and greenhouse gases, you see it in regulations that have to do with servicing people might be from rural america or living with disabilities that often looking just at cost and benefits is not enough to understand the full impact. the goal is to improve the lives of all americans and i think we have to even if it is difficult to find a way to quantify these things because as you mentioned and senator whitehouse has mentioned, climate change is an economics issue as much as anything. >> does that mean that the cost benefit analysis will now
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incorporate the social cost of carbon? >> you've seen administrative action. i'm not there yet, but if confirmed, i'm happy to get back to you on the details. i cannot speak about every single action that's occurred since i'm not there, but my understanding on the social cost of greenhouse gases and carbon being one part of that, there are working groups that have reformed that have been done away with in order to help quantify that cost. >> thank you. and president biden committed directly 40% of the assessment towards environmental justice communities and necessitating a sort of equity screen recognizing low income communities are often hit particularly hard by environmental effects and that has to be tracked. do you see them as having a role
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in tracking and targeting those investments to address that 40% goal? >> omb will be a part of that process as stated in the president's executive order on climate change. there is a specific section dealing with environmental justice and it lays out the members of the council that will deal with those issues and omb will be a part of that. >> thank you. and finally how do you envision driving the solutions to the student debt crisis in the country? >> i have to imagine omb would be central to offering ideas and legislating solutions. i do know that it will take a partner in congress to ensure we deal with that issue. you don't normally break us but one of my best breakups has been with myself three years ago it is crushing the student loan
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debt and i'm one of the lucky ones. >> i'm sorry i missed part of that. >> it was one of the best breakups i've ever had was to pay the last payment and again, that was after 22 years after i started college and i'm one of the lucky ones. >> congratulations. i hope you had a big party at that moment and i do hope we will work in partnership with the administration on the cancellation of loan debt. i support the broad goal of the $50,000 for the incredible stimulus and opportunity for so many to escape this deep burden other countries have not imposed on their aspiring students but even at the lower level of 10,000, it's one thing to have it as a vision and another to
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make it happen and i hope that omb can help with that. >> thank you senator merkley, thank you chairman sanders. it's good to be here discussing something that to me i've been here a couple of years and i know you've been at the house part of the appropriations and i've run at the enterprise that's had me really worried about what lies down the road in other words how you get things to work out financially. i see a trajectory that we are on that to me just looks unsustainable. whether you believe in the modern monetary theory. with what you crafted and being involved in the appropriations, where we are at currently, structurally the trillion dollar deficits. we have a balance sheet that i
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don't care how good you are as a cfo would be something you couldn't be proud of here. it is different. we are lucky that we are in a place that we can borrow for nearly zero that changes as soon as we are not the reserve currency and we have an impending crisis with the medicare trust fund being completely deployed it in a little over five years and we've been paying into it since the 60s. it's even more ominous in terms of what would happen if you let it continue on the trajectory. tell me a little bit about how you think for anyone here especially to the federal government a place that you want to do more with, how do you keep it in a healthy place going from here forward and what do you think your input has been
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towards being an appropriate or that looks like no one really cares about how this is going to work out for future generations. >> the long-term debt has to be addressed and is probably only going to be addressed with bipartisan solutions. but i do have to turn to people smarter than me and i turned to secretary yellen who tells us we would be on a worse economic trajectory if we do not do something if we don't ensure the health of american citizens and then turn to ensure investments to the economic recovery. at some point we will have to start to look at the long-term and i don't think we've ever faced anything like this
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pandemic before. there's still room as you mentioned. it's something we have to look at when we are looking at the response to the pandemic. >> when you borrow money, you do it for something that's a tangible asset and investment, only the borrow to invest never to consume, of course we consume everything here and that is another thing to think about. let me ask on the revenue side of the ledger. everybody is good at spending. i've had conversations with folks on the budget committee. can you raise revenue, do you think it is realistic that you could bridge the structural deficit gap, and how would you consider doing that? can you do that in a meaningful way before you start to throttle back economic growth and also,
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looking at maybe what was in place before covid to wear somebody off the street i thought we had it pretty well hitting the mark. we help small businesses through the tax cut jobs act. they got way too big of a break that they didn't need. what do you think about the revenue side that no one wants to talk about? >> i'm sure you already know this. president biden has looked to increase the tax rate for those over 400,000 and for some corporations who i think some of the tax breaks did not do as much investing in their personnel as was hoped. there was room on the revenue side to help out long-term debt. i do think there are other things besides revenue and spending. the senator talked about the cost of healthcare.
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i think there will be a multipronged view of how we do this, but we cannot cut benefits for people that have paid into them. people have paid their entire careers in their lives for these benefits and we have to do what we can as part of that to ensure healthcare doesn't cost what it does to provide to the american people. >> along the lines of the political will to make those tough decisions if we would have it sustainable in the long run.
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congratulations to you. you have had a distinguished public service career. one editorial comment, i'm not sure that you would need the senate confirmation. if president biden wants to hire you to be the deputy director, he should be able to. i'm in my ninth year in the senate, with the third president. i think we have too many senate confirmed position and each one chews up some committee time and floor time and legislative time gets shrunk. so i would start urging that all my colleagues. i would love to have you here to ask tons of questions, but i don't necessarily think that the deputy cabinet secretaries and directors of agency should meet. it is largely over the social media comments which could be leveled at virtually all of us. it's partly a challenge for the
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individual and she's apologized for that. it's partly the world we live in where we say things in the heat of the moment and social media gives the ability to do that. my comment is we face so many nominees in the past administration who have things to say including about me. but they apologize and when they do, they are apologies were accepted. i worry that there is a double standard that why would we accept the apologies of others about the comments on social media that if anything were more extreme i ask that question not just to republicans but democrats. two questions. >> i have not had the chance to weigh in on this question.
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i think before the committee you saw the mayor apologize profusely about the tweets which i think you also saw is an expansive knowledge of the various policy areas and i've gotten to know over the last two weeks we didn't have much interaction for then and i think we bring some skill sets and different areas where we make a great team if both of us were confirmed so thank you for those comments and i hope if you listen to the time before the committee she really did lay out her best policy experience. >> i completely agree. one of the things about your nomination that makes me the happiest is that you have 14 years experience. it treated us like an annoyance on a good day or enemy on a bad day and there were more bad days
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than good days. they particularly treated those in the minority party, democrats and the administration is the enemy. i'm not sure they were that good to the majority party either, so for example with issues like requests, congressional requests of information, you will take an oath to be confirmed to the constitution. you've already been asked this by senator sanders but i want your assurance. would you treat, as somebody that has sat on the congressional side of this, would you treat requests from senators on the committee be they democratic or republican with respect and try to be as responsive as you can? >> i can't answer that more emphatically but you're right i've heard from republican members as well who not only could not get information but
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would see the things important to them and would go to the omb to never be heard from again. >> if committee members were pestering you you could take that to the chair man and the chair man could be an enforcer and say knock it off, but the reasonable request should be dealt with whether made by democrats or republicans. i came into the senate in january, 2013 with budget caps in effect in late february. we had a government shutdown in october and endless crs. we had a month-long shutdown. i have an opinion about how i would create the federal budget process since i've been here. if i asked you to create this process, what grade would you give it? >> that is a tough one on the
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process. >> not the process as in the statute. >> to get away from the process which is often ugly when we finish -- i think there's a lot of value in that. >> i wouldn't give it and a and i would like an acknowledgment that there should be some significant improvement. >> there has to be improvement. i still find a lot of intrinsic value in working through in annual process and you and i talked about this as someone that loves this institution, and i've told you this personally. my concern would be anything that would keep the congress from doing that bareknuckled negotiation where you got to hold the executive branch accountable each year. so yes it needs improvement. but i would hate to see anything that required less congressional action because of that.
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>> thank you. >> senator van hollen. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member. i was pleased with the mayor's nomination to be the director and i am very pleased with your deputy director, congratulations. i want to pick up a little bit on the process, but especially the process that has been broken over the last four years and as the staff director of the house appropriations committee, you were deeply involved in addressing the illegal withholding of funds by omb during the last administration. the most prominent case involved with holding security assistance for ukraine the nonpartisan gao reviewed that matter and
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determined whether the withholdings violated the act which as you know is supposed to prevent the executive branch regardless of the party for unilaterally refusing to spend funds that are provided in the law passed by the congress. the gao looked at it and confirmed the trump administration violated that law. as a member of the committee, the budget committee, we were able to put together bipartisan legislation that included provision proposals to strengthen the empowerment control and transparency for the apportionment process. we've not yet passed that legislation. i would like to get your commitment to work with us to strengthen the laws that protect the constitutional separation of powers and congress' power of the person having come from the appropriations committee i hope
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that you will work with us to do that. >> again, something near and dear to me. you have my commitment to working on those. i know there are a lot of efforts to strengthen and in my commitment to you also working with gao that had the arbiters in these things and they found wrongdoing and i think that we should listen to them when they make those thoughtful judgments. >> there is a process pointing out things we can do to further strengthen that. obviously, the executive branch has a role in budget consideration but as you know, once the congress has spoken, it is imperative that the
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administration follow the law with respect to those decisions. i'd like to ask about the issue of long-term unemployment because we are hopeful that with the passage of the emergency bill that we expect to pass before the middle of this month, the economy will begin to improve and we hope to see steady improvement and people going back to work. but i'm very worried about individuals that are long-term unemployed. we have over 4 million long-term unemployed americans right now. these are individuals that have been out of work more than six months looking for work and on top of that, we have over 7 million americans who have potentially dropped out of the workforce and the chairman of the federal reserve, chairman powell in response to a question
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i asked the other day indicated that we would have to be very intentional about policies to help the long-term unemployed even when the economy was working better. we had over a million americans who were long-term unemployed. i don't expect you to commit to any details, but wouldn't you agree the issue of long-term unemployment is one that we have to address with intentionality meaning we can't just expect as the economy improves, that the long-term unemployed will automatically find work because we know that hasn't been true in the past. >> thank you for bringing this up. i think one of the goals of the government is to ensure that those that are easily left behind that we ensure that they are not and i look forward to working with you on that.
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.. >> thank you mr. chairman for your willingness to serve and in a prior hearing for the director generally in regards to equity and the role we can play and policymaking and budgeting to address equity challenges in america and the economic contribution the
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we've heard a lot of questions from covid responds and climate and things in between. i will mention things not just important to my home state of california but the first is housing and homelessness. the covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated affordable housing and homelessness crisis. one out of five across the country including 2 million californians alone have not been able to catch up on their rent even lack of affordable housing pushed too many into the safety net and homelessness is now more than 150,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in california which could be worse with the economic
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downturn. as we look to build back better will you ensure the president's budget request seeks significant increases for housing programs such as community block grant programs , homelessness assisting grants and expanded section eight vouchers and any other recommendations you have. >> senator i do. those are programs i have supported during my time on the appropriations committee. i will work with you to make sure there is adequate funding not just in the annual programs but still work to be done as we recover from covid along with other legislation. >> i look forward to following up with you in the years ahead. the second issue already raised is the scientific
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research funding the national science foundation is the only agency that runs basic biomedical research the groundbreaking project supports economic growth and transformative discoveries critical to our lives. the past several decades the breakthroughs include accelerated supercomputing, barcodes, even shaping the internet as we know it today. putting projects together to better understand the workings of level cells predict earthquakes and tsunamis and advanced clean energy technologies and more. while congress has approved funding increases to the medical counterpart of national institute of health
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nsf funding has not kept pace so looking at the denigration of science and scientist it is critical we also support scientist and scientific research with the additional funding that they need so as you work to develop the fiscal budget for 2022 would you consider new scientific research including increased funding for the national science foundation? and also work to uphold the integrity of science as well as support the federal agencies and research institutions throughout the nation. >> i started my career at nih i'm aware of the tension from bipartisan members but the sister in science, nsf with nasa and noaa all deserve the same level of support nsf does great work so you have my commitment to ensure that i
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would lend my voice to those who want to prioritize nsf. we certainly have seen the need for the increase of basic research during covid not just nih but nsf as well. >> one of the few engineers and scientists serving in the body, thank you. >>. >> thank you ms. young for appearing before the committee her full statement is included in the record all questions for the record are due by 12 noon tomorrow with assigned hardcopies to the click on - - to the clerk and also accepted under our rules under the current conditions she will have seven days from receipt to respond with answers.
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>> let me make one last comment. i just had an exchange with director ray about the fbi consistent refusal to answer questions from congress through the trump administration through nine different committee hearings. seven got q f are answered and he blamed it on the interagency process that they have to go through which omb runs. we need to clean up that mess. i think it's sony basically but we need to clean up that mess. >> we can barely produce hearing volume with lack of q frc have my commitment we need to do better. >> thank you senator white house
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