tv Transportation Secretary on Infrastructure Law CSPAN February 2, 2023 4:42pm-5:14pm EST
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>> we'll hear the republican response and take your phone calls, texts and tweets and watch live coverage at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan and cspan.org. >> transportation secretary pete buttigieg talked about holding airlines accountable for recent delays and how the infrastructure law impacts communities. >> good morning. i'm the ceo and founder of punch bowl news and the conversation with transportation secretary pete buttigieg we're going to be talking news of the day and all things bilged up local
initiatives and public private strategies for making the situation possible. find punch bowl news on all social media platforms on punch bowl news and sign up for the free morning newsletter on punchbowl.news. welcome, secretary. >> thanks good to be with you. what is your perspective and have to cut a deal for the policy odder tore get a debt limit and is a deal even
they won't produce this on paper and won't know what happens to them and on what they say they want. very tough to see how that's consist with what the american people have expected of us in terms of delivering government services. jot system recently had a melt down and thousands of flights in texas were canceled this week due to winter storms, faa had to ground planes after complete failure of one of the safety systems. obviously there's been a ton of complaints by consumers having baggage lost. what are you doing to hold airlines accountable or what can you actually do? >> we can do a lot and we've really raised the bar,
especially last year toughening up the ability of the department to hold airlines accountable, something that paid off in the case of our response to the southwest. demand came roaring back and summoned airlines and ceos and looking at what we can do on top of what we've already done and using tools to get airlines to commit to higher level of customer service and we could go back and enforce with our authorities as a department. till we do that, zero out of top ten airlines were committed to things like covering hotels or meals or ground transportation or alternate booking. one area i'm especially
quickly and southwest did not. something about their business and model that was different from the rest of the aviation sector. we're in the middle of a bunch of upgrades at faa that we had a problem earlier and it really stands out in the case of southwest and other airline managed to recover and they've got worse when the weather got better because it's spiraling out of control. >> it was also talks of similar high profile officials exiting and how long, give us a preview
do you see yourself of transportation secretary? >> that's the decision that's one of my favorites and we're right in the middle of the action and actually if you look at fine print and neisser tiff cat on the wall behind me and serve at the pleasure of the president for the time being. yeah, that's how this works and i accept that and i'm not planning ongoing anywhere we spent the first year of the administration and getting that pass making the case to get the infrastructure and second year setting up the program and creating it now and look forward to our third and literally that's what we've been doing and this week alone to create or
expand in this law and this was a job that i think was the best job and it's in the federal government and challenging dealing with a lot of issues, especially covid related issues and everything from con stainer shipping to airline cancellation and there's not been a better time for transportation in our lifetime because we have this historic bipartisan infrastructure allowing us to do things that people have wanted to do in states and communities and transit agencies.
>> they're frustrated about the capacity to deliver on infrastructure as you know the phrase it became a running joke in the town and previous administration declare infrastructure and come and go about any results again and again and again. i think for that reason, there were many times when the president's vision of a bipartisan bill to get this done and declared dead. many times over the summer of 2021 and yet here we are actually getting it done. we've got the funding and we've got the bill and the policy frame work but we're going out there with supply chains recovering on covid and
delaware and the country such as japan. it'll never be in the cart. >> wees pay for and underfunded rail if the country for a long time and that's changing and change the trajectory and i'll be honest the first stages are more about dealing with the backlog than about the shiny new things and it'll say there's shiny new trains, locomotive and trains coming to amtrak and some delivered this year and we're excited about the whole fleet that will turn over in the next few years and that'll bring a lot of benefits in operational efficiency in passenger experience.
>> we're going to see more reliable service and better service not the only place with high speed development around rail and seeing it happen just one or two places on american soil and we'll open with the survey world class leading standard of high speed rail. but look, right now on the corridor and everything is working properly, many passengers would prefer to door to door preferable and competitive to flying and we're in the neighborhood and spin the northeast corridor and a lot of work to shore it up and tighten it up and speed it up a bit.
looking at lives lost on the roadways and we've all known people killed on the roads. i think for that very reason, we all think of it as normal, maybe even inevitable, but it's not. there's sizable rates in the u.s. that have gotten to zero in the saying what would it take to get to a vision of zero. that's the pie in the sky and the fact that most years in the last decade and number of commercial airlines we've had were zero and if we can do that for a mode of transportation and involves shooting through the air in a metal tube at nearly
the speed of sound, surely we can find ways to do this on the ground too and communities, hundreds of communities are putting together plans for having to do that and some of them in san diego and that starts with 800 million in grants for planning and construction that i firmly believe will save a lot of american lives. jute infrastructure law for democrats and republicans for decades and 10, 20 years from now, what impact will this have?
there's also how we build it and an extraordinary opportunity right now to make sure that more women and workers ovcolor are entering the building trade and getting the good pieing jobs that require a lot of skill and don't require college degree. and there's years and years and years worth of jobs, predictable pipeline because of volume of work we're doing and moving a trillion through the economy, about half of which is for transportation, one of the reasons why the wealth gaps measurably close in that period was because the right choices were made around instrategies truckture -- infrastructure spending and getting everybody from small businesses to worker in the building trades and
giving everybody a chance to benefit from the generational wealth that comes from participating in a nationwide construction project such as what we're doing. >> those amounts of money and so many different areas, certainly house republicans have said they plan to pressure tax and investigate how the biden administration is had them from the biden administration. >> yeah, it's a good faith oversight and can be helpful. >> making sure these dollars are
well spent and act blizzard warnings spent and we're prepared for that. what i'm less enthusiastic about is ideologically driven efforts to claw back money all together to cut investments and needed spending at the very moment when we finally turn the corner on the under investigationment that's set up our -- investment setting umm our country for trouble or the effort to basically pretend that paying attention to things like safety or climate or kinds of jobs we're creating is somehow extraneous. you see this. i pointed out a very obvious -- what i think is an obvious fact and every decision about transportation policy is inevitably also a decision about climate policy. there's a climate impact with other transportation choices you make. some are circulating for a gas. we're going to have to keep duping in and one of the most
people that's intuit tivoli obvious that -- intuitly obvious. .... and to the extent that could lead to a good safe process where absolutely here for a. >> i want to ask in terms as you project forward when you think about 2024 and we will see what happens at democrats remain in charge at the white house. is there anything you can do now or you are trying to make sure so if republicans take charge there's not a massive pullback in spending or a rethinking of policies?
>> one thing we are trying to do is not just have this infrastructure law as a special project for work and in as an agency and what we expect from our transportation policy. isn't he something that one administration builds on but it's how we do things going forward. another thing we need to do is tell our story because last night i was in the east room and there was this wonderful sendoff for ron klain and to welcome the chief of staff and hearing ron off the accomplishments of this administration in hearing a couple of sentences reminded me of the extraordinary work that we have done. a big part of our job is to just make sure americans see and hear the of the work we are doing especially when you see some the
same house republicans who voted against the bill can't hug it close enough when the time comes to celebrate in their district as everybody knows fixing a bridge, improving airport these are all things americans no matter what party is going to make their lives better. >> one last question for you. we are almost out of time here. you mentioned at the top that you serve at the pleasure of the president as all do. here's -- are you going to run for president again or in a senate seat of michigan? >> i don't have any plans to do any job except the one i have now. takes 100% of my energy and again it's the best job in the federal government. it's a privilege to be doing the
work and that's what i'm going to be doing. >> operetta had to try one more time to thank you so much secretary. appreciate your time this morning and we will let you leave for the rest of your day and now it's up to welcome the founder of public-private strategies and san diego mayor to the stage. thank you for joining me. >> good morning. i'm going to start with you. i want to take a 30,000-foot view. we have heard a lot of things from secretary buttigieg in terms of the infrastructure bill and as far as money that is going to be moving into different projects. he mentioned this at the end which is it's not just the infrastructure. can you talk about the inflation reduction act from your prospective? >> it's really important for thinking about how this affects
private and investment and we think about the economic agenda under the biden administration it's not just bipartisan infrastructure. it will allow america to be more competitive in places like china that would allow investment here at home and create certain jobs as well like the secretary talked about in the infrastructure law but also the american rescue plan which was passed early on in the demonstration. i think the the inflation reduction act which made historic changes and to fight climate change. it's fascinating for folks who follow the crowd was one of the things we heard from a lot of europeans and later said dockless was people are impressed with america and
investments that were made and allowed americans to be really competitive and allowing us to put her our foot forward. thinking about it from a private sector perspective and how to think about it you have to think about it more holistically of the passage of investments that will make america more competitive going forward. >> mayor california received, will receive the most money from the infrastructure love. we have heard the arguments from brad. i'd love to get your sense of leading a community in the city. what impact will infrastructure law have in your committee especially on the trade that comes through. >> is hard to overstate the impact it will have for my city california and our nation. when i consider right than we have been successful with a quarter billion dollars out of this build to date and that's just for competitive and not
formula funding. the next time you come to san diego who come into a newt terminal one at the international airport and if you choose to go to tijuana for the day you crestor an entry has received $150 million from a grant. we are continuing to work with the administration to identify others whether it's her infrastructure backlog which measures $5 billion it makes solving a more doable or the rail link between san diego and los angeles. it's a second busiest in the country right now because of climate change them a font to the ocean before too much longer. because of this money san diego hopes there's a solution to that will keep our economy running. >> one other thing we heard from the secretary which is about workforce and the fact that he
has hopes this law will transform the building trade so it all be more diverse and have more women and minorities as part of it. how do you see that playing out? >> it's everything. whether or not these are underweight means thousands of jobs for people my city and that federal participation in that federal leadership expecting to see diversity as well as good-paying jobs and union jobs what that does is lift up what we are doing here at the local and state level that's often a priority for our community. having a federal partner in this effort to make sure we are in the same page. the bottom line that dollars are there and they are saying that's not enough. we want to make this a career path job one that will be a technology to support yourself and your entire city. that's a game-changer in a force
multiplier that this bill has embedded in it and it's my responsibility to execute it. >> we have heard a lot about what the government is doing when it comes to infrastructure law. you've talked about the role you play with the private sector and that relationship. can you talk about the work they are doing? >> it's important that these laws are passed and i think the secretary talked about the opportunity to use the transportation opportunity not only to provide good-paying jobs but also to provide equity in her country in a way that allows the economy to grow prosperously to lift everyone up. we are proud to partner with the national urban league and launched a project which is really focused on making sure we all have a chance at competing. we've been hypervigilant and focusing on business owners
reticulated business owners of color so in addition to making sure there's a good work that the mayor and the secretary are doing we have to make sure the workers and american people and businesses no the opportunities are available. >> mayor i'm going to give you the last word. we love to get a sense of what you are hearing from your fellow mayors. a lot of collaboration in terms of what's working and what's not when it comes to this and we always ask outside of washington or audience primarily what you wish people in washington would understand about the challenges are what you are facing when it comes to restructure. >> first of all this bill has been well received by many as you might imagine and we feel the weight of the responsibility to execute it. we want to encourage and reward good behavior with more bipartisan legislation.
it may be hard in the political environment but we want to demonstrate to washington if you trust us with these dollars we will get it done and who is the beneficiary to that? every american benefits. the president has a lot to be proud of. your point about a broader message the work is not done. obviously this has to be ongoing. many of the projects we are interested in will take years if not decades to execute and these are big things. if you are moving an entire rail line into california you can imagine that won't get done in my term but it's my responsibility to do everything i can to keep on track for the federal government can be partners in and the federal government has provided assistance this is on a level that is a challenge. while we may not be able to find it on it other issues i'm hopeful and housing is a
critical piece of infrastructure and there's a humongous housing crisis not just in california. everywhere. our homelessness crisis and middle and income americans that don't earn enough for -- so i would hope they train attention on that particular issue. infrastructure and housing that's positive change. >> unfortunately we are all out of time. thank you both for joining me and thanks to all of you for joining us with his conversation with secretary pete buttigieg with a focus on infrastructure and a big thank you to public-private partners are making this conversation possible. our next event is wednesday at 9 a.m. with commerce chair. you can sign up for the live stream and watch that conversation. have a great day and stay safe.
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