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tv   Discussion Focuses on Presidential Transitions  CSPAN  November 18, 2016 10:00am-11:31am EST

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>> justice, i just want to say we are doubly blessed to have you where you are representing us all and blessed to spend a great hour with you this evening. thank you so much. [applause] >> this week, the supreme court oral argument in two cases against bank of america and wells fargo arguing that under the fair housing act they were involved in discriminatory mortgage processes against black and latino hours. here the argument in its entirety this evening at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> life new now to the washington center for internships and academic seminars, hosting a conversation on the presidential progress.
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the panelists will include former white house chief of staff joshua bolton, lisa brown and transition project director martha kumar. , bought.
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[inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation] [inaudible conversation]
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morning. there has never been a better time to discuss a presidential transition then now. for over 40 years the washington center for internships and seminars has welcome college students from across the country and around the globe. in washington dc, our our students immerse themselves in professional academic internships and become citizens and our global society. the events of last week have reminded us of the important work that we do here to foster
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civic engagement and active participation in civil discourse in students lives. our discussion will cover from campaign to governing, the white house transition process. our feature panelists include lisa brown who served as codirector in the obama item transition project and josh bolton who served as white house chief of staff in the outgoing george w. bush administration. both have intimate knowledge of the transition process from the vantage point of democratic and republican administrations, including the hiring of estimated 4000 political appointees in the executive branch. our moderator will be nancy cook who currently holds the white house and is covering the transition process for politico.
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i might add, all four of these folks are in big demand right now. we welcome them during their busy schedule and we look forward to a great discussion and let's get started. [applause] >> thanks so much. i know we have a lot to talk about. we were talking our ears off in the green room so we will just keep doing that appear. i want to start with a lightning round question, if we could just go down. i would be interested to know how you would grade the trump transition team a week and a half after the election. how do you think it's going? >> incomplete. >> okay. >> i mean, this is a group that most of them are really nude in this stuff and the typical
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transition, at this point, would be much farther along, but this is a group that really ran without the republican apparatus so they don't have the built-in institutional memory and personnel around them that would make it possible for them to the ground running. >> lisa, what you think? >> i agree with josh. i think this is a campaign that ran a lot on the president-elect personality and ideas, he didn't have a big structure around him, even during the campaign, and this is a time you have to transition from campaign to govern governing and i think that will be an even bigger challenge for him. it is turning ideas into policies and actual steps that you are going to take and the government is a big bureaucracy. for them to get their hands around it is a major endeavor. they are not as far along,
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certainly as we were during the obama transition. >> i think they clearly had one thing that was different, but beside having a candidate is not in elected office, but they changed leadership of their transition, from chris christie to mike pence, and while that is jarring to the transition because of the change of personnel, one of the benefits of it is that postelection, we can can see the republicans control the house, the senate and the presidency, and therefore, having mike pence is a real benefit because he has the relationship. he was in house leadership and deals well with mitch mcconnell, and then, in addition, he was a governor and as the governor, he
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would be able to tap in the basis of appointees through knowing other governors and seeing who he could bring up from the state level because they want to reach beyond the usual crowd and he has the context to do that. >> in the last 24 hours, we've started to see his cabinet take shape a little bit. this morning it was announced that he had picked jeff sessions to be the attorney general. i find it broke that he was going to have mike flynn be the national security adviser. what do these early pics tell us about the way he is going about assembling a cabinet and what do these tell us about his own priorities in his administration ? >> royalty and people with connections to the campaign. loyalty is very important to him, and people who served during a campaign when nobody
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thought he would win and they went out after day, jeff sessions dead and flynn did as well, and appeared and would sometimes seem as hostile settings. he likes to keep people around him that he trusts but he needs to go beyond that and bring in people from specific areas with the expertise he needs. >> wealthy is obviously the keyword and trust and confidence. that's not surprising, but it should be noted that they made five appointments, they've named five people so far.
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steve bannon as senior counselor in the white house, general flynn as the national security adviser, jeff jeff sessions as the attorney general, these were announced this morning, and congressman mike pompeo as the cia director. we are only nine days in and they've only made five appointments, and of those five, four of those people were among the closest six or eight people in the trump organization in the campaign organization. so it's not pricing that president-elect trump would pick people who had been very close to him and very loyal to him through his campaign, but martha
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is exactly right, now they need to reach beyond. the people who were closest to him in the campaign, they're only about a dozen and you need a lot more people than that in some very senior positions, hopefully with a lot of experience, to fill out. >> i want to talk about how you go about building a cabinet cabinet because you know so far, all of these have been white man and i'm trying to look ahead and see how are they going to go about building a more diverse cabinet. he spoke that diversity was important but how do you think about it from the broad perspective so you can include a lot of viewpoints. and, do you have any sense that the trump transition team will do that. >> i can't be to the way they are thinking about it, but i
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think it's something that president obama thought about. you think about as a group. you want a variety of different perspective in your cabinet and you need to think about it holistically in that sense. now that you've chosen your attorney general, you think about i've have this person here, what, what are the other skills and perspectives that i need, the diversity that i would like like. i would hope you thinking about that in terms of how all represent the country, but you really do need to consciously think about it as you are pointing people. >> i'm curious about the vetting process. how does that work in previous administrations and how has that changed over the years. i looked at the vetting questionnaire that president obama used in a how things like social media questions, it wasn't just did you fail to pay
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her taxes or did you get a dui, and had all these other things. how has that process involved in any insight what it would look like in the current environment. >> i think it is one of the frustrations of government right now that if you are nominated, the amount amount of paperwork you have to fill out, everything from the fbi form which includes every place you've traveled which is just a little bit crazy today. most of us don't have everything that we've written. i think it's an area that we need to bring more sanity to that denominations and consideration of nominations but these are people who are being put into the highest positions of government. you want to know what their views are and i think it will be
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a question of finding balance. the office of government ethics was created in carter administrations of the whole financial disclosure process really begins with the reagan administration so it doesn't go back that far. it has become an increasingly important aspect of nominations because what you don't want is to have a nomination blowup on you, because if it does, it could just be days of sad stories of the time when you wanted to develop a narrative for what you're administration is about, and you don't want to have nominations that are not working as part of that narrative. you wanted to be positive and talk about those things you are going to be doing. >> how is the confirmation process going to look this time because republicans also control the senate which seems like a huge boom to trump as he's
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putting these candidates forward. how does that change the process? >> it makes it a little easier and nicer. i expect that the summit will still give a serious and probing look at all of the nominees. bearing in mind, the senate doesn't get to look at a number of the key appointments that the president will make. of the five positions they've announced and just mentioned, only the attorney general and the cia director will end up being subject to review and advising and content from the senate. the folks who are inside the white house, the president gets to pick those.
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having picked a very controversial character like steve to be the senior counselor, that's done. nobody else is to have a say in all that. the folks who do go before the senate will have a serious look, it will be kinder than it otherwise would be because the republicans are in the majority, but democrats are still there and they get to ask the same questions. hopefully, the senate will continue the strong position. we let him have his picks, you give it a serious serious question, you probe where you think you need to probe, you ask questions of the nominee to ensure that the senators are comfortable and that this is somebody who is confident to fill the role. my hope would be, this time as
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with previous times, at least at the outset of an administration, the senate will be deferential to the present pics. he won the election, it ought to be his prerogative to fill out the cabinet with candidates who reflect the views that he wants to bring into government. >> i think the one thing i'm encouraged by is the agency's that is a huge part of the federal government and a huge part of this transition, they are just trying to go to the agencies now. there was a delay because of this shakeup on the leadership of the transition team. what does that process look like >> i think this is one of the places where they are behind. if the timing was correct, our agency review teams were in a
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large number of agencies the monday after elections. this is a massive management endeavor. if you think of all of them come the goal of eventually is that when, on inauguration day when the president starts governing and there is a new cabinet secretary, they can come in and start governing. you don't want on the day after not ration for someone to come in and say where's the bathtub. you want them to learn as much as they can before then so they can actually start governing. what that means is there are two key pieces to it. one is defense and one is offense. on the offensive side, you want to know with regard to an agency whether the opportunities here and what are the new president's priorities. how do you take part of, what we did is obama had made a number of promises during a campaign and what you do is map goes out
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to the various agencies so when you come into office, how do we go about implementing those promises with regard to that agency, the other piece of it is defense which is when i walk in the door, what's going to hit me in the face. is there pending litigation, other regulations are big authorization in the upcoming year? you know what you need to react to and there may be things that you want to change direction. you may want to be able to get your hands around that. a point to add that's different is the legislation that we find by president obama in march provided that a coordinating council be created six months before the election and they did so within may 6. he issued an executive order which has senior white house
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staff, and they base that policy on transition, and then an agency transition of record counsel which has 20 people on it representing the 15 departments in the five largest agency, they are to implement the policies and that is composed of career staff. they have worked for that whole time figuring out what kind of things that the agencies should be gathering. they gather information on the budget, on programs, what programs, what particular point, what point are they having problems. who's holding them now. there's a lot of information that's already been gathered and scheduled what kind of meetings
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are going to take place that the cabinet secretary might have to start traveling very soon after they get into office. the government is a moving train the idea of that is they want to make it as smooth as possible to get on the train. if they are behind, they are going to have more information than previously would have been. >> i think that's right. another part of it is thinking, during the the transition, you really want to focus on what's really important, what are you going to need to know for the 30 or 60 or 90 days, and you don't have to boil the ocean. i think one of the things that has really happened over the last several transitions is that people realize you want to create and gather used for
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useful information so when someone comes in they can rely on it and it's what they need to know for that early period of time. some of that can wait a little bit, but what you really want to focus on is one of the most important items affirmatively. >> the other thing was that they had some lobbying in place where they are saying you can come in for transition and there's no cooling off. and you just need to register as a lobbyist and then you can join, but on the other hand, you can't lobby for five years after the administration if you join it. what type of success will that have. >> it will kill some people going into the administration, which i think is a shame. i have a view of this that isn't particularly fashionable at the
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moment, but i think we've overdone it on the restrictions. we need good people willing to serve in government. the fact that somebody has been or will be a lobbyist, there's nothing wrong with lobbying. it's a dirty word in our public discourse today, but lobbyists actually serve a useful function in government. they represent clients who have a point of view that they want known to the government, and lobbying, in its best form, is actually informing the government about the positions of important economic interests, important interest groups and so on.
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lobbying can be done just by corporations, by being corporations to oppress the little man, lobbying is done by the small business association. it's done by the children's defense fund. it's done by all sorts of entities and we actually ought to welcome effective lobbying in government because it helps government be informed and make good judgments based on the interest of a wide variety of stakeholders. so, i thought the obama administration overdid it when they came in, they have recognized that they overdid it because they put in some very strict rules and then started waving the rules for literally dozens of people. i think the trump folks are at risk of overdoing it as well, making it difficult for people who have the knowledge and experience to serve in government to serve in
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government you have thought as well as a? >> i actually agree with josh. think we have overdone it. i think you are excluding people with a tremendous amount of expertise. and it's true, the lobbyist and a democratic administration are going to be different than the lobbyist at a republican one, but a lot of folks in nonprofit, if you you think about they are fighting very hard for policies that they have believed in, and they are experts in those policies. to say that you can't bring those people into an administration, there's a real price to that. i think one of the areas that prices paid is legislative affairs operation of the white house. you need people with lobbying experience because they are going to be involved in putting together coalitions, and they have the knowledge. >> this is a great point that martha is raising. the white house itself needs lobbyist. that's what the legislative affairs office is. if you are precluding lobbyist
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from being lobbyists, who are your lobbyist going to be? there will be people who don't know the craft that they're being asked to perform. now none of us is a lobbyist. [laughter] it's part of the atmosphere now surrounding the election. you all are sitting near ground zero, and the president won this election in part on a promise to drain the swamp. emblematic stuff that needs to be done, and some stuff is going to go down the drain that would actually be helpful in governing, but that's the way politics works. if you run on a particular platform with a mandate, you probably ought to do at least a few of the things you promised the people you will do.
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>> president clinton recognized that he disadvantaged people in his administration over the lobbying ban and so at the end of this administration, i think it was just after christmas. >> it was, he rescinded that band. if you think about it, people who were coming in and made large amounts of money and then they come in and they're making a small percentage of what they did make, then to prohibit them from going back to the life they had, there are a lot of people who are not going to do that. >> i want to turn to a different topic and talk about the role of family members in the trump administration, potentially. we have been trying to figure
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out what jared kushner is going to do, in the political newsroom at least, and i wonder how precedented that would be to have a family member serve as a senior white house role. >> bobby kennedy. >> of course there was legislation passed after that, but bobby kennedy was very important as he was attorney general, he was at the white house all time in speaking to his father. he had been very much a part of the campaign, and he was very important to him. family members, generally family members haven't been part of the white house or the decision-making structure. that was an unusual circumstance but, if if you remember, in this campaign, it was a campaign with a very small group of people.
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his family was pivotal to that. we saw that every time there was a big event, it was his family that was there. kushner and his sons and daughters, all were very much a part of that loyalist group to him, and he wants his people around him that he trusts. >> is in a conflict of interest dealing with his businesses. it all feels a little too close having the family and the businesses and the governing. that's the part that i would want to see him separate and have the businesses run by whoever they are, but that he is not, the president himself is not subject to the interest ruled that the rest of us work. but most of this is very, you cannot take any official action that is going to benefit you or
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your family members personally. that is something that every government official commits to, and i think it's actually a statute. that's the piece that actually worries me more. >> josh, anything to add? >> no. >> when you think about family members, they worry about their family members getting in trouble. what problems they can cause, whether it was billy carter or connection with richard nixon who was worried about his brother and a moment he had taken from howard hughes, and that's usually where family members come in. i do want to ask you about what the white house will look like. so far we know brian previous will be the chief of staff, steve bannon will be a senior advisor strategist. those are very different personalities, they bring very
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different things to the table. how's that point to work out? >> well, i hope it works out well, but the structure that's been suggested by the announcement, i think could be a serious mistake. here's why i say that. the very first personnel announcement of the trump transition was previous as white house chief of staff. steve bannon as the senior counselor title, which those are two good announcements to make very early on. that seemed to be smart, those are are the two people you want to pick first along with your national security advisor, which they have now done.
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: equal access to the president come rely on their advice, roughly equally. that's fine. the president can listen to as many voices as he wants to end its a benefit to the president to have disparate voices which i think he would get from reince priebus and steve bannon. reince priebus being somebody who's well steeped in ways of washington. he's been chairman of the republican national committee for some time. these more in the mainstream of
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republican politics and governments. bannon is a disruptor. he's the former head of breitbart, evocative -- provocative. he's the promote of what's called the albright -- all right. i don't think there's anything having a different voice in the white house, but the problem arises when you try to run the white house and through the white house run the government. if there is a lack of clarity as to who is in charge and to speak for the president, that can be, should be and any successful white house i believe must be the chief of staff. if there's a question about what did the president decide, do you ask two people and get two versions of that?
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if there's a question about what will the president be reviewing today, do you have a fight about what's going to be on the agenda? you have fight about who gets to be in the meeting? is there a dispute that the president has to resolve about ac going to go to chicago or detroit to give a speech? you need a chief of staff to basically be the person who sits at the top of the pyramid and who manages the flow into the president and then enter parts for everybody else in government the flow out. i was chief of staff for the last three years of the bush administration. while i was there a senior advisor basically, a comparable strategist position that president bush was karl rove. there was no closer, better, more intimate adviser on the
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staff to president bush than karl rove was an extraordinarily astute, sophisticated, i think brilliant both political and policy strategist. so i was chief of staff of the senior advisor whose advice come even i thought probably was more important to the president than my own. but the system worked i thought extremely well because both of us could give our advice to the president at only one of us was actually in charge of running the staff and acting as the voice of the president to the rest of the government. so if what you mean by coequal is devoted to talk to the president, ma going to listen to the both, great. no problem with that. but if what they mean is that there's lack of clarity as to who runs the operation on behalf of the president, i think they're in for some real
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trouble. >> the other thing i want to ask about is, trump has been holding all of these meetings with his potential cabinet picks from trump tower. martha, just some historical perspective, is that common for president-elect to do that outside of washington? >> they just outside of washington. what they want to do is keep personally out of public view, because no to make that shift from being a candidate of a particular party to being president of all the people. and so that's not something you could do in washington. they have all stayed wherever they were, whether it was right in california. and reagan it come to washington. what he did was he had a party, and that the party he had tip o'neill who was speaker of the
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house, and he had democrats throughout washington like robert strauss who was the bulwark of the democratic organization and headed the dnc, and had others in washington community, not just republicans. because he wanted to show that when he came as president he needed everybody into what are to govern. and so that really was an important statement. it's not something you could do immediately after the election. and so he did all of his work in california. bush baby is in crawford. and -- much it is in crawford. obama was in chicago. you have an operation working in transition in addition to the operation that is wherever the president is. >> just, we'll go to the audience for questions in one or
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so people want to start thinking about those. one last question that i would love for each of you to answer. what are the real challenges for the trumpet transition team? what do they need to focus on? >> biggest challenge is personnel. you mentioned 4000 people. you don't need to fill all 4000 jobs but there are, martha, what come over 1200 of them are subject to senate confirmation and so on. and because they don't come in with close connections with sort of the traditional republican apparatus, they have a real challenge. every transition as real challenge in filling the key jobs that you want to have in place on or near january 20 when actually take over. this transition has a real challenge with that, and so i
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think their focus should be and probably is overwhelmingly for the next several weeks figure out who the right people are to put in place in these important jobs. >> one quick follow-up. so many establishment republicans, republicans in washington were loath to support trouble during the campaign. do you see people changing their mind on that and be more open to served in andy grider session now that is president-elect? >> i do see people changing their mind. first, make no mistake. the trump campaign was a remarkable hostile takeover of the republican party. and it did not have the support of a very large portion of come especially traditional republican policy people. this was especially true in the foreign policy area where a couple of letters were signed
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by, well over 100 come of the most senior experienced republican policy officials. the later -- the letter expressly citing this man is unfit to be president. those people have probably disqualified themselves by their signature on that letter. probably disqualify themselves from being drawn into a trump administration because if i'm president-elect of donald trump, i'm not taking to bring on to my team somebody who publicly said that i was unfit to serve as president. the challenges that most of the senior republican foreign policy experts signed that letter. i don't think there's actually a problem people being willing to serve, because in the heat of a primary and so on there's a real
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battle that goes on. that any and almost everybody i know that has been a wants to be a public servant is a patriot and wants the country to succeed and once you try to help contribute. i don't think there's a problem with people being willing to serve in the trump administration. i think there's a problem especially in afford a national security policy area a lot of the best people have a disqualify themselves from serving. >> lisa, what about -- >> i completely agree with josh and personal. the other thing company president has a certain honeymoon period and i think he wants to take advantage of that. what that means is thinking very carefully about what his first 30, 60 does it would look like and what are the priorities, what is he going to roll out and think recover about that. that will set the tone for his administration. given the way this campaign was run and given some of the republican opposition to them, what kind of the president is he going to be? i think what he does in the first weeks is going to be even
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more important for him than for previous presidents are i would hope that is also part, what is the tone to want to sit and what are they going to do to demonstrate that. i hope very much your thinking about the. >> i think a challenge they have right now is before you make a lot of your appointments, setting up a decision-making structure, what information do you want to gather, who do you want to talk to, what groups do you want to take into account, what's important for the president, win for the president-elect of into the president. so it's a different decision-making decision that is going to be running a business. because running a business you can decide who you want to talk to and not bother with people that you don't. and when you're president you obviously have to take into account the congress, for
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example. so you can't just make decisions all on your own. you have to think about what is the structure? that will be important and how you set up your white house. >> let's take some questions. if you want to stage you want to stay united states and where you're from and then let's just keep the questions as brief as possible. do you want to go first? [inaudible] the question i have is that when it comes to agreements made from the previous presidency being transferred to the president-elect, -- [inaudible] >> yeah, absolutely. i think that's among the toughest issues that the
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president-elect and the transition team faces. i mean, he said on the campaign trail he wants to tear up the iran agreement. he wants to withdraw the united states from the paris climate agreement. president obama, somewhat controversially, did those agreements as the executive agreements. he did not submit them for the vice and consent of the senate. and having done them as executive agreements rather than treaties, which would then have the force of law which would then they would be probably complicated legal procedure to withdraw the united states, having to them as executive agreements they can be undone as executive agreements. so president-elect of donald trump when he becomes president will have at 12:01 on january 20th he will have the
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authority to withdraw the united states from the iran nuclear deal, from the paris climate deal, at a number of other things. but particularly with respect to the iran nuclear deal, it's a very complicated, dangerous the situation. and i imagine one of the key issues on the agenda right now of the new national security advisor, general plan, will be okay, exactly what do we mean by that, how to implement that? do we really need to tear up the agreement on day one? a very difficult situation that they're dealing with. it isn't uncommon for president. presidents often see stuff on the campaign -- on the campaign show that turned out to be awkward when you're governing, but this one, this one is consequential in a way that very few president-elect's face.
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>> go ahead. >> good morning. thank you for sharing your insight and expertise. i from the university of south florida and i am with the public affairs office. my point is, my question is regarding the devices that were used during the campaign, the sound bites and what not come at the point you made that the cabinet the genome it reflects the views that you intend to project, how do you evaluate the devices that are used in the sound bites, do you think he will actually back away from them, or the choices he has made made it clear with the promises? the second question is, with regards to some of the letters that people wrote calling trump unfit if anything elected, do you think in the future people
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will be more cautious or they will fight the opposition from, you know, the senators? >> when you're talking about devices, did you mean things like his use of atwitter? >> no. i'm thinking of somebody sound bite. >> his promises. one and to think that is a challenge at this point for the president-elect is getting rid of some of the bad ideas. that they were good rhetorically but would not make for good policy. and so that is always a challenge. every president has faced that in some way or in his case though they are are going to be a lot because he took such very hard positions, like the wall, building the wall and having mexico pay for it.
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now, the former, which you can do, is redefine. a lot of it is redefine things. redefine what constitutes a wall. so maybe a sense. [laughter] -- fans. maybe because you have drones, that's as good as a wall. so it doesn't necessarily mean bricks. but haven't figured out how it's going to get out of the commitment of mexico is going to pay for it. >> you've already seen some of his where as when he was interviewed on 60 minutes, you saw him talking that is part of immigration, was going to be deporting criminals. i think there is exactly how you implement a number of these ideas. he also did not have a lot of specifics with many of his ideas. so in some ways that gives you more room in terms of figure out exactly what he's going to do as he starts implementing. and so what i think we hope is
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that as on immigration he starts with criminals, and that he starts to prioritize in a thoughtful way as actually as to move forward and figure out what some of those ideas are going to mean in reality. >> i like your question of whether people are going to some odd think most of the people who signed of those letters had no expectation that donald trump apostle would be elected president of the united states. i think probably will happen and i think should happen going forward is that the political class in both parties have a little more humility about their expectations of what they know will happen. the people had their own voice and they sometimes speak in ways that is surprising to the elites.
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>> one of the senior person in the foreign policy and national security community who did not sign that letter was steve hadley, who was your national security advisor. >> go ahead. >> how you guys doing? there's a lot of negative views -- [inaudible] do you think that's going to slow down people join the transition team? >> i think there are a lot of people who believe the government and want it to work but it isn't all of our interest that this transition goes well. that's i think there will be individuals who are going to join because they want to make sure the government is going to continue to run well. i also think that tomorrow this point, a lot of garbage in his
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career employees who are incredibly knowledgeable. if the incoming administration is smart, part of what it usually take advantage of those employees. part of the more recent legal changes have been as martha would say, you have materials prepared, designated career employees already to step into positions, political positions if they are not filled, the people who are going to be working with the incoming administration. there's a lot of capacity there, and in the incoming president should take advantage of that as well. >> good morning. i'm a student at emerson college and currently interning at the sierra club. my question is, what is the chance for us to be vacancies come inauguration day? how do we anticipate that sort dysfunction trickling down to the administration and the agencies speak was 100% chance.
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no matter how organized you are there's no way those positions are all filled. and i think this is, it's one of the challenges. as josh was mentioning it's got to be one of the priorities. you can fill the non-senate confirmed ones very, very quickly. so tha that is a way you can get people into agencies. our transition with her organized and even we had a number of vacancies in import agencies. secretary geithner was one of the only political appointees and treasury for a long time spent in the midst of a financial crisis. it doesn't mean dysfunction if there are still many vacancies on inauguration day. it's just incrementally harder for the president-elect to manage the government if he doesn't have his people in those places. lisa and martha emphasized there
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are, how many people work in government, 4 million total if you include military? >> yes. >> so there are 4000 political appointees at there are 4 million, mostly really capable dedicated people who keep the government, who keeps a train going that martha was talking about, on a daily basis. you just need to get as many people as you can probably into the cab of the train so that the president-elect has opportunity to take a briefing it out to go. >> your goal is to about 400 people confirmed by the august congressional recess. what you want to do, because you know everybody can't get confirmed, issue think through what are your priorities. for example, when president reagan came in, it was a tough economic situation, and the same
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thing with the president obama. so what you do is you focus on what positions are there throughout the government that are going to be important for your issue. in breaking this case they chose 87 positions that go with the economy. and all the agencies and departments, and that's what they put their attention. and so i would expect that they're going to do something of the same thing. but to do that you have to think through all of the things that you said on the campaign, what are the conditions now. and so what are your priorities as far as those positions? because the obama administration started their transition early but in september the financial meltdown was occurring, and so they had to switch to an entirely different set of issues, and to focus on when
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they came into office. so getting a focus is going to be key to getting the appointment set up in their priority line. >> i think you will see a focus i hope on national security appointments and economic appointments in addition to the white house which is that all pretty traditional. this transition empower is a period of vulnerability. you really do want to make sure that a special of the national security front you have you people been. another one up i think the new legislation that passed, part of what it requires is that you do to tabletops on national security which is something that josh actually instituted when we were coming in. but you have practice practice e and you worked with some of the people that will be in those positions so that you already. this was important. there was actual a national security threat on inauguration day when president obama was
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inaugurated. if i recall, josh, secretary chertoff and incoming secretary napolitano where off-site together. regardless of your party and even when there's a change of party in administration, it shows everybody is dedicated to our country into the system and they want it to work. i think they built on a lot of the best practices in the past that president bush and incoming president obama started. >> the government under the new law is also required to submit a list of vulnerabilities, the intelligence community gathers vulnerability, so that people will know coming in what the issues are. in 2008 in the bush administration, steve hadley prepared memoranda that looked
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through what the issues are that were important for them to deal with and the national security area, and then what countries also. you needed to know what the situation had been before, when they came in, how it has developed and what was the situation at the end. so there's a lot of work that's done, to the point of national security be key. >> go ahead. >> i'm from the university of puerto rico. [inaudible] some have said it's because him and his team were not expecting to win.
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others are -- [inaudible] do you think this is affecting it in some ways, what is your take on this? a special in the first 100 days. >> nobody else wants -- [laughter] yeah, look. i mean, this was an insurgent campaign, and they didn't bring with them a whole cadre of longtime government figures and think tankers. in fact, the trump campaign was predicated on running against those people. so it's not at all surprising that when it comes time to put together a transition team, they
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are a little thin with the people who have experience in putting a government together. the other thing is that, and this is the challenge for transitions in every election cycle, the candidate is focused on winning the damn election. and it's really hard to get the candidate to focus and devote some resources or some brainpower with somebody they can trust. it's hard to get them to focus on preparing to govern when they're still trying to win the election and every ounce of their time and their effort and their money is going into that. now, that was the point of the legislation, the two sets of legislation passed, promoted substantially by martha kumar on
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my left so that there is a legal structure in place that basically forces the two candidates to take seriously the transition process. it gives them money to start planning, to start hiring people, and he gives them gsa office space. as soon as they have the nomination to start putting a transition together. so the legal structure is there. the challenge is to try to get the campaign and the candidate to focus on something that is nowhere near their priority. they just want to win. and then worry about governing later. the problem is about there's a lot of work that if you're going to have a smooth transition, needs to be done early on. that, of course, is a particularly big challenge or an insurgent campaign like the trump campaign. >> and they did gather a lot of information that was done in this campaign during, under
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chris christie, and then when the leadership changed you're going to have different people coming in. but there's a lot of information they gather, that information will stay your one of almost a fun aspect all i guess maybe it isn't really is there are a lot of candidates who believe in the jinx. and they don't want to jinx themselves by working on transition. i was reading something yesterday that trump believe in the jinx. don't jinx me. and mccain get everything clinton as well. they did want to think about those things beforehand. >> the way to handle that is somewhat, what candidate obama did is he chose john podesta to run his transition. they were totally separate reelection as they should be because what the campaign needs to keep campaigning and that
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candidate needs to win. that's exactly where his or her attention should be. but there is somebody you trust thinme it's okay, go set this u, and then you can, there's a structure you can then walking to and take advantage of once you do when. >> i'm a student at texas christian university and the internet the american conservative union. my question is, our constitution was written in such a way that the office of the presidency was not supposed to be an ultra- powerful branch, yet some people are acting like a drunk president is the end of the world. if they are really afraid of the wrong or something president doesn't mean office of the president has too much power and is this a reflection of the overreaching authority set by the president of current and past administrations? >> the president is the only official that we have this nationally elected.
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one of the things that happened over time is that you that a nationalization of problems. so the only official that really has that whole perspective is the president. if you were to ask presidents whether they had too much power, i think they would all agree that they didn't have a sufficient amount because they think of themselves as representing the people come and congress is representing, and the house, just represent a district in the interest of district, and the senate just their state. so they feel that they should have a lot more authorities than they should have. you often have battles over what kind of authority a president should have, like in the battle and his administration over trade promotion authority, whether the president should
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have that, which he ultimately got. but it was a big battle to get it. >> last question. go ahead. [inaudible] to what extent would you say 9/11 impacted the -- [inaudible] >> hugely. i was the chief of staff for the transition out on the bush administration, so the first transition out of government after 9/11, and it was, i think with 9/11 in mind that president bush called me into his office a year before the inauguration of the new president. in fact, more than a year before, and said that he, regardless of who wins this election, he wants to make sure
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that we attempt to execute the best, most efficient, most useful transition in american history, especially because this will be the first transition in modern american history during which the american homeland is known to be under threat. he was very concerned about the period of vulnerability that our country goes through at that moment of transition. you all would be i think both chilled and impressed with what the white house looks like on january 19 and january 20. i've been in the white house twice on january -- i was in the white house on january 19, 1993, and to get on january 19 and january, the morning of january 20, 2001, in the white
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house is empty. there is nothing on the walls. there is nothing on the shelves. the computer are there but the hard drives are wiped clean. there are no people there speeders all the double use are taken off the keyboard. >> exactly. but only in a couple of episodes. it's a complete like slate reveal the people that are in the west wing are in the situation room. there are a few cia and dia and state department basically junior level people there to handle communications, and there are the navy people who serve the food in the mask. and that's it. your government is, we always worry about the decapitation of government. when we have a transition, we self decapitate. we clean the place out, and it's
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a real moment of all the billy for the country if president bush had very much had a 9/11 that episode in mind when he directed me to direct the staff to do our best to make the transition into the obama administration as soon as possible. , the legal structure and the expectations have improved dramatically since then so that we now have built an agenda to make that transition go smoothly. but a lot of people have to do a lot of work to get the country the kind of reassurance it deserves that we are not unnecessarily vulnerable as we go through this extraordinary process of peaceful transfer of power. >> josh is right. i actually was there that i had worked for vice president gore, and when he lost i was there on the last day and i actually, you
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know, had worked in florida, had come back to the white house. and my roll then was actually up on the transition outcome was to make sure everybody was doing what they were supposed to be doing. i think there is some reassurance that everybody should take from the dedication of individuals who are in office, to making sure that the transition is as smooth as possible. it's only become stronger and stronger i think over recent transitions both because of 9/11 and because of legislation and. but you really do have a lot of dedicated individuals who want to make sure that it works. >> fortunately president obama has set the right tone from the top. >> the intelligence reform on terrorism and prevention act that was passed in 2004, and it brought into legislation recommendations of the 9/11 commission your they were very concerned about that vulnerability. and so they wanted to make sure that there were going to be people during the transition who
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were going to be, have their security clearances early, and so they provide for the early security clearance so that there would be people who were well-informed and in place early. one group you didn't mention that actually is in the white house is the press. the press does stay, but it's a real -- >> reassuring. >> right. >> do i detect some sarcasm? on that note will wrap up. thank you so much to ago. thank you so much to our panelists. we know how busy you are. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> if you would like to watch this again you can find it at c-span.org. president-elect donald trump is announcing his choice of 43 key
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administration jobs today. alabama senator jeff sessions for attorney general, kansas representative mike pompeo to head the cia, and former military intelligence chief michael flynn as his national security advisor. the vice president elect was that trump towers this morning. he stopped to talk to reporters. >> how is the transition process? >> making great progress. great working with the president-elect. he is a man of action. we've got a great number of men and women, great qualifications come forward to serve this new administration and i'm humbled to be a part of it. our agency team have begun to arrive it agencies the washington, d.c. this morning, beginning -- a smooth transition that will serve to move this country forward. make america great again.
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[inaudible] >> legal panelists discuss the senate constitutional responsibility concerning presidential judicial nominations including those to the supreme court. they talk about the constitution advice and consent clause. we will have live coverage at noon eastern. spend this week the supreme court heard oral argument in two consolidated cases brought on by the city of miami against bank of america and wells fargo. arguing under the fair housing act the banks were involved in discriminatory mortgage practices against black and latino homebuyers would result in loan defaults, foreclosures and less tax revenue for the city. hear the argument in its entirety friday evening at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
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>> a signature feature sees the inducible tv is our coverage, book fairs and festivals. this coming weekend booktv will be live from the 33rd annual miami book fair. here's some of what you will see. wil
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go to booktv.org for the complete weekend schedule. >> one of the trump administration initiatives includes infrastructure projects across the country. earlier mayors of washington, d.c. and oklahoma city talk about importance of funding infrastructure projects at the local level. they were a among a group of panelists who took part in an event in washington, d.c. this is about 45 minutes. >> if i could have everybody's attention back again. thank you so much for showing up. this is great to see this many people show up fine infrastructure event anytime but particularly at this time as we're getting ready to make lots of decisions we hope on this
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subject. i'm marcia hale of building america's future, and we are so happy to cosponsor this with bloomberg government. they been a great partner for us in many events and we hope to do that. i'm going to ask a few questions and then i would really like for the audience to get into this. so if you start thinking about what you might want to ask our panel great people know all lot about the subject and we will come to in a little while. obviously this discussion needs to go forward in the context of the rather earthshaking election we had last week. both candidates talked about improving infrastructure, the president-elect since having been elected has also talked about it. i think our challenge is to find a way to go forward and to find common ground. it's one of the subjects i think
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can provide some, grant and i think we on the stage will do our best to try to help out, nobly come up with some great ideas today. i think what we need is to get out what our priorities are, what role technology will play and where we are going to find the money to do it. so we would like to discuss some of that today. on a side note, governor rendell had to cancel this one because he's lost his voice almost completely. i think that's symbolic of something but i'm not quite sure what. but trust me, he will be out there. wants his voice comes back you will continue to be very vocal on thion the subject because ths something us cared about ever since he was mayor of philadelphia so many years ago. so we will have to back for another program at some point. so with that i like to start,
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first introduced our panel. first of all we have mayor mick cornett from oklahoma city, republican, but he's also the president of the u.s. conference of mayors, an organization there and get to my heart. mayor muriel bowser of the district of columbia. most of us on your constituents or almost her constituents and so we are excite very excited by hearing what you have to say today. damon silvers who is director of policy and special accounts of the afl-cio. and ed mortimer, executive director of the transportation and infrastructure at the use of chamber of commerce. so as you can see we have a very good bipartisan split here today and we would really like to real conversation. this is an we hope, going to be a big issue. so let me, mayor cornett, let me
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go to you first. can you talk to us a little bit about what the conference priorities and what the mayor's priorities are going forward? what do you need, what do you care most about, what sort? >> our infrastructure needs are pretty broad. it is not only our nation's highways but the streets that assistance drive on every day. it is the water infrastructure that they rely on. it is the bridges that have some level of significant repair. brother than go into some of the predictable things that you generally have mayors is a but infrastructure, but they give you an anecdote or two that i think might help you understand the story and the problem that is out there. we hav have a large industry tht goes right to the heart of oklahoma city. we have three but one could refer to as interstate 40. goes from california to north carolina. as it goes through oakland the city it was designed as an elevated highway for four and a half miles.
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it was a bridge as it went through the data portion of our city. 1970s traffic increases the 1980 traffic increases. along the 1990 the transportation -- department of transportation realize that was of law and try to forget what to do about a major artery with a bridge that is not a stable as it needed to be. they come up with the idea of relocating the interstate i would just a few blocks to the south and then replacing it corridor were interstate 40 and then with an at grade ball or. so the city gains \street/{-|}street out of it. in 1998 i was at city hall television reporter covering the city council meeting as the council determined the route for the new interstate 40 a lineman. fast forward in 2012, i can the ribbon for the four and a half mile stretch that had finally
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been relocated some 14 years later. at that great boulevard is under construction now and unless i run for a fifth term some else will cut the ribbon for the. one of the issue on the funding side, in 2000 we went to our citizens to pass a bond issue which is a now, how we pay for road reconstruction and improvements and build police stations and other civic needs. we estimated that by 2014 would be holding a new bond issue. this is expected to be seven years in length. soon after the our state legislature passed a law that artificially suppressed the increase of property prices or taxation values. the long story short is we're going to be holding that bond issue at election next summer, three years after was originally scheduled. that is a quantifiable three
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years of deferred maintenance in one city that has been allowed to exist. at our streets are suffering from a. our citizens are upset about and they don't really understand, they expect someone else to take care of these projects. so going forward, mayors are alf you for federal government who will invest in r&d. we've got to technological improvements. we've got to get more for less. occasionally we get more on some advancement but usually it is more for more. the cost never seems to go down. we've got to find public-private partnerships that make sense for all involved and make sure that the tax exempt status stays in place in our municipal bonds. you cannot say you are for infrastructure as a politician but you want to remove that tax-exempt status from local governments who relied on it two-inch that every dollar we can to put projects to work. >> thank you.
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mayor bowser, as many of us are your constituents, can you talk to us a little about what are the priorities for the district when it comes to infrastructure, where you think your greatest gains in which her greatest challenges are and what impact this new administration may have on the city? >> sure. for us it's really simple to our most important infrastructure initiative project, funding priority is metro, for our region, for the district of washington, d.c., we are about 670,000 people. we are going to grow to 100,000 people in the very near future our region come we are 4 million, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. we had to make a system that needs a lot of 1011 care and we need serious thought about how we change the future from a
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safety reliability and a funding source. the federal government has a unique opportunity to be a partner in that change for metro. we carry, the metasystem carries the federal workforce from the suburbs of maryland and virginia at oliver washington, d.c. to jobs all across this region. so i think we have an opportunity to work with a new administration and a new congress on the federal government really being involved and paying its fair share of how we make the nation. i to talk about the millions of people come to the nation's capital from around the country and around the world, and making sure whether world-class metro system. has to be i think a common ground that we can find with a new administration. >> that's so important. what i first moved here back to with such a spectacular way to
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get around town. we just need to really bring that back. >> i didn't talk to you about specifically all the things that we in particular in washington, d.c. are focused on. frequently when people come to our city they comment on how well things are going, how many trains they see in the air, how we are accommodating, to house the people that are moving your. we have been very focused on making sure that we are economically conservative in many ways, and that is why our economy is really, really booming in washington. and i link that to to critical investments. making sure we are investing in our schools to transform them, making sure we are investing in our neighborhoods so that we have great libraries and parks and that they are safer. and that is, continue to be are focused. but if i see a threat along the horizon for the robustness of our economy, it is that our
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infrastructure can keep up with our growth. we are ready. the signal that i will tell the new president and the new congress is our chief financial officer just completed an analysis of our infrastructure needs. so we know what we need for maintenance. we know we need a new building a we know what we need the federal government to do. we know what we are going to be able to do with public-private partnership and so the right deal, i know some people are looking for some particularly deals. we will be ready to have those conversations in the district. >> that's great. and that's what i think is so important to make is that as a country we probably need a 10 year plan. we need a vision of excite what the mayor just talked about, which is what do we need across the country, not just in transportation but what we need in water and the energy grid and technology and whatever.
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we stop to think about it. if we allowed the mayors of this country to come up with a list regionally of what could happen, we might be able to then start to envision what it is and how we would get there. on that point let me turn to the chamber and the afl, which as many of you may know, they are prominent members of an organization that we've all started, what many of us have started, which is called infrastructure week. it's a coalition of the chamber and the afl and building america's future and manufacturers and asce and the value of water and several other organizations come it's really important. we don't agree on everything, but we agree that we need to improve our infrastructure. so the chamber and the afl have been a very important part of this. ed, if you talk for a second about what the priorities for the chamber our and what you
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think we need to do. >> thanks to marcia. a great opportunity to be a. bloomberg always seems to tie these things right. great time. i want to wield back a little bit because game at our several parts of the stage. anyone who sees our bosses together at infrastructure week knows this is a long-term commitment of the business community working with organized labor. we started a coalition called americans for transportation mobility back in 2000. i think all panelists, many in the audience and all the country, this has been 15 years of effort to get to the point where we had two presidential candidates talk about important infrastructure. it just didn't come out of the woodwork. we are just idea because somebody wanted us talking about a. this is that a sustained campaign for some years. we have once in a generation opportunity to take advantage of that, and just as throw that out there. this is a new. we are very excited about this opportunity and with president-elect trump to take
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some ideas that have turned that into campaign, and referred $1 trillion infrastructure deal, and try to make it into a reality. we cannot let this opportunity go to waste. we are partnering with a variety of folks to try to educate, make them now and just to le lay outa couple of the priorities the chamber has because it was asked what is a big infrastructure bill? what would like to see any big infrastructure bill is increased investment and financing options. we know some in the trump campaign before the campaign talked about a lot of private investment. we think that as an -- that is an important supplement but we need to make core investment particularly for the highway trust fund to make sure that solvency is not. that is one of our big goals. the second goal is, we don't need great about new programs. looking at private sector investments, love doctor infrastructure bank. we have a program called --
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better than very effective so we can enhance that in this administration to the build america. has already enhanced the ability for state and local governments to go to an agency and look at various ways to use private participation for investment. so that is another core option. again, we need to continue to build upon a lot of people say we have to build up trust with government. we believe that the federal government that has been a. if you look at the last a major transportation bills which was mapped one-to-one a fast, start with about 100 programs, service to perdition that were federal mandate. we cut that down to 12 that passed last december. i think we've seen the federal government understands we need to provide more flexibility and options for state and local governments and provide a toolkit of options for governments to look and see what is the best toolkit of options to fund projects?
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so to provide that option and choice. again we have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do. we are excited. what we are from president-elect trump that he wants to make this one of the big issues and we will be working for close with n and many of you to try to take the goal and to make it substantive. we don't want a repeat of what happened in 2009 which at the time a lot of the infrastructure investment which was not nearly the amount needed by the investments that would come with a lot of short-term projects your. ..

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