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tv   Ryan Zinke Says He Will Address Sexual Assault Allegations at Interior  CSPAN  January 23, 2017 8:30am-11:12am EST

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>> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> today the senate takes up the nomination of kansas representative mike pompeo to be the next director of the cia. the debate begins live at 3 p.m. eastern and will be followed by a vote on the nomination. watch the senate here on c-span2. >> now, the senate confirmation hearing for montana representative ryan zinke, nominated to become the next superior secretary. this is three hours and 40 minutes. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good afternoon, everyone. to get started this afternoon, just kind of give a lay of the land here this afternoon, i will first proceed with my opening statement, then i will call upon be our ranking member, senator cant welshing to make hers. -- cantwell, to make hers. after that we will hear from our colleagues, the montana senators thank you both. senator tester -- excuse me, senator daines, of course, is on the committee here, and, senator tester, it's good to have to you join us as well.
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they will introduce our distinguished witness and the ore -- other member of the montana delegation, representative ryan zinke. ..
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who happened to know you it's good to have him back. a little bit of favoritism there, but it's good to have you here as well. i would also like to welcome the new member stuart committee. we have three new members and we are pleased to have a new senator from nevada, ms. cortez masto, welcome. isil is the junior senator from illinois, senator duckworth. it's good to have you as part of the committee. senator sessions is also the olympic committee. busy right now on some other issues. we welcome them. they have a new era for the department of the interior. i'd like to thank you, congressman zinke. yours has been a life of service for your more than two decades
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as a member of the house of representatives. you have answered the call to continue your public work as a cabinet secretary for an ex-president. we have just begun to get to know one another here since the president-elect announced his intention to nominate you. i've appreciated the conversations that we have had and i look forward to continuing them and thus more formal setting here today. as you learn more about each of the states touched by the department of the interior, i appreciate your efforts to understand how and why alaska is unique among them. the state of alaska has had a very difficult and it's more than an understatement. the state of alaska, current president and secretary seemed
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as alaska with the national park and wildlife refuge. little else of interest or value. we've lost access to lands and waters and promised us to be open to us. we've had our long-standing rights to manage within our borders ripped away. projects halted through the delay or denial of permit. for eight years, it seemed this administration that alaska has to be protected in a back to it accordingly. the restrictions are almost unbelievable. and all of the beaufort is withdrawing tens of thousands of square mile out sight of those two areas. it's attempted to convert the non-wilderness tenet to the area
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near coastal plain which has satisfied by congress for its energy potential into de facto wilderness. it's canceled lease sales close half of our national petroleum is thursday and imposed costly extralegal mitigation requirements and it goes on and on and on and we have an opportunity to talk about that. the obama administration has violated aside to rebate are nowhere caused. this rewritten management plans to cut off economic activities and other reasonable uses of public land. it's deprived us an opportunity but offered nothing in return, not even alaska native villages that are threatened because of climate change. this reaches out to kinko's where current secretary rejected a short noncommercial needed to protect the health and safety of nearly a thousand alaskans. without that road, we've seen 55 med fax over the past three years alone, including recently
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an elderly woman who had a hip fracture. she was forced to wait more than 40 hours for help to arrive. i'll alaska may be the poster child, the reality is not alone in having suffered at the hands of the interior department. with little regard for a local opposition and the president has designated more land and water in the previous 18 presidents combined. landscape level planning, a term that sounds reasonable as another example of a strategy that has been used to reduce the influence of local area, so someone sitting here in washington d.c. can tell someone that they know 40-mile alaska or utah what their life is going to look like. of course, congressman zinke, this is the interior department you're walking into. i'm counting on you and many americans are to help fix it.
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i know that you're a navy man, so excuse the expression. without the calvary calvary is on the way. i've got a list of some things that i think can be done to improve the situation. we need an interior department to fully understands the commitments made to alaska and that abides by them, particularly nomar cost. we need the department to recognize the individuals such as times turgid with the ghost with the coaster when agencies like the park service over reach into our lives. we need the department to restore public access to publicly and permit to allow it to produce resources and help us reach our throughput in the trans-alaska pipeline. we need a department that will let decade-old public lands orders that no longer serve any purpose other than to allow the federal government to control more of alaska and it will prioritize the cleanup of contaminated land and legacy. and alaska which is 223 million
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federal acres but just one quarter of 1% in private ownership. 223 million federal acres, one quarter of 1% on land his private ownership. interior must recognize the importance of land transfers in the end exchange. we've got promises that have been made to her estate at statehood to remain unfulfilled. promises made pursuant, promises made to our native veteran's. so now that ensuring that our federal government honors those commitments to alaskans remains one of my highest priorities. we also need a department that will rely on the expertise of the state and do more to address their needs from volcanic monitoring to mineral mapping within its budget. and that's a lot on its own. but if you are confirmed, he will also inherit an array of problems and challenges that are
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much broader in scope. the park service report that $11.3 billion maintenance backlog, meaning even while some remain intent on acquiring more federal land, we are not properly taking care of what we are to have. the u.s. affiliated islands, territories like the northern marianas and freely associated states like palau have issues ranging room worker visa to compact agreements that cannot be forgotten either. and then there's the bureau of indian affairs, whether we are discussing tribal courts, education, infrastructure development, we must work together to improve and empower our native communities that begins with meaningful consultation with a legal requirement that the outgoing administration has often failed. so finally, congressman zinke, if you are confirmed, i expect we were together in a manner that is thoughtful and reflective of a true partnership.
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i hope you will be able to show the interior department is capable of working with rather than against local stakeholders to achieve good results. i think in the conversations we have had from you shared a vision of how the department will look under your direction. we both know that that will take hard work in close cooperation with this committee to fulfill your vision. the work is well worth it for all of us who truly care about our public lands who want to see them managed well and you want the public to have access to them whether for rock climbing or gold mining or energy development. again, thank you are being here, for your willingness to serve and i would now like to turn to ranking member cap all for your comments. >> thank you, chairwoman murkowski and welcome to the former chair, frank murkowski, new members of the committee on our side of the aisle, senator duckworth, thank you for being
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willing to run this committee. i look forward to seeing senator sessions on the committee. we will be back for another day discussion. two colleagues here, thank you for coming to support the nomination has been nominated by the president-elect to be the secretary of interior. i'll give you my congratulations on that nomination would make it to the q&a. today we are here to discuss the office of secretary of the interior is one of the most important offices of federal government. and it is responsible for protect internation stressed responsibility to indian country and as the chairman whose insular areas frankly get very little attention here and deserve more attention. the secretary is also responsible for much of the nation of the nations on shore and not sharp mineral resources and it also manages the wider
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resources and western states respond to vote for our nation's high-growth system, something senator wyden and i are very keen on as well as their colleagues from nevada. it's a far-reaching portfolio and it is growing and very much impacts our economy. one of the main responsibilities of the secretary of interior is overseeing our national parks. the park system includes 417 areas covering 84 million acres in every state with an annual operating budget of almost 3 billion has more than 20,000 employees. but it is also america's treasure, our national parks and a driving outdoor economy that provide 6.1 million jobs and $646 billion in annual revenue. never underestimate it when it comes to recreation.
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foley passed a very modest improvement to our national park, i believe our hundred year celebration deserves more and i look forward to asking the nominee if he agrees with me on that. americans wanted to do more to invest in its crown jewels by providing jobs and recreational opportunities and something i know we all can agree on, fixing the maintenance backlog. one of the successes that the senate has at last congress was passing a bipartisan legislation preserving our special places for a bipartisan land and water conservation legislation. i believe congressman zinke will have a chance to discuss this in his testimony, but am sure is an avid sportsman coming as the value of our public lands and was enthusiastic about us coming up with bipartisan legislation to fix the land and water conservation fund. my constituents want to know what the new administration, are these public lands going to face an unbelievable attack by those
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who would like to take these public wins away from us and turn them over back to state? or are we going to manage resources for the incredible investment they are in continue to improve so we can get even more economic return. the second major responsibility at the department of the interior is the management of resource extraction. 260 million surface acres, 700 million sub surface acres and 1.7 billion ocs outer continental shelf. today's hearing is about determining whether the nominee is committed to making sure that we minimize environmental harm, that we pay for cleanup and that we have one fundamental principle that continues to be the baddest that polluters pay. there is and continues to be an opportunity for us to ensure these public policy is according to the government accountability office are getting a fair return for the american taxpayer.
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we've seen over time problems in the fossil fuel program in interior and gao has cost over 200 million a year in lost revenue. the obama administration took important steps to fix these problems. a day broader horizons fell and the consequences of failing to have the regulation. and so, the disaster caused us to put a major reforms of the department of interior to make sure oversight and regulations were not pushed aside and we monitor programs. we would have to say the program is one that is continued focus and attention and will have the chance to talk about this day. the obama administration ensures a very turn to taxpayers for resources requiring everyone to pay for medication for the damages that they cause. just today the government accountability office announced a new conclusion after reviewing multiple types of energy and natural resources.
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the gao fund for coal mining alone gets a very special treatment in the ability to have binding for reclamation requirements. oil and gas producers, wind, solar and hard rock miners have to pose the cash of the third-party bind to make sure they can clean up the financial surety of the pollution that would be caused. this is something that needs to be addressed by the agency that are nominee would address this. today's hearing for its congressman zinke to demonstrate the trust and treaty obligations to 567 federally recognized tribes. this includes overseeing the bureau of indian affairs and indian education and a $2.5 million budget in indian country. the reason i will take just a minute on this particular point is that our colleagues, many of whom serve on this committee serve on indian affairs will not have the same chance to point
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these important issues out to the nominee. but clearly, these issues of stewardship as it relates to try the land, support for tribal education, social services and infrastructure they think regardless of the side of the use it on, you will hear many things for people on indian affairs and energy committee about how important these issues are to the constituents we represent. it is also critical of the understand the nominee's commitment to carrying out obligations and insular affairs and as such are mentioned, many issues that we will get to in the q&a. but i would like to bring up a few issues as it relates to the pacific northwest. there are issues where climate has caused greater impact on both drought and fire damage. this committee has taken bipartisan effort to move forward on both of those issues, collaborative effort to make
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sure in washington and oregon we are doing all that we can to plan for a better resource management and the future and we have reached consensus here in the senate as well on ways to stop our way and move forward on waterfield reduction policy to better serve our federal public lands. i would also mention of particular importance to all of us in the pacific northwest, the important pending reauthorization or recommitment. the hydra system between the united states and canada needs a lot of a lot of attention in direction and we hope will have a chance to ask questions about that as well. thank you, madam chair. they can congratulate the nominee and look forward to hearing from him and his wife and meeting his family as it makes its introduction. >> thank you and a senator can't well. we will not turn to maintain a centers for the nominee and
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recognizing your seat on the committee here. senator daines and then senator tester to introduce the nominee to be secretary of interior. >> madam chair murkowski, thank you. it's my great honor to introduce a fellow montana and come american hero and good friend of mine, ryan zinke and for his confirmation to interior secretary for a new president, donald jay trump. the congressional delegation before you today. both of montana senators, one has a republican and one who's a democrat. i first met bryan in 1979 and we were both high school students growing up in montana. in fact, we were in dublin, montana. ryan from whitefish high school and i was representing bozeman high school.
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he was captain of the soon to be understated a champion football team but the president of his class. after high school, ryan went on to the university of oregon where he was a full scholarship started an athlete for the oregon ducks you their outstanding academics as well as athletic performance. and the subject matter that i know have saved him while in serving the people of montana. ryan enlisted in the united states navy. ryan zinke is the u.s. navy seal command whose assignments include the elite seal team six and part of that tenure was serving under general mattis as commander of joint special forces in iraq at the height insertion of dignity. i would like to highlight brands experience as a seal.
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because navy seal another way. they don't know the definition of the word because they don't need to. navy seals also don't sale. and if that work ethic that ryan zinke brings the tab, every mission went there in military come united states congress for the department of interior. 23 years since her death, ryan connected special operations. he trained and mentored thousands of men and women and he made sure our troops were as prepared and saved and connecting the mouth failed missions around the globe. it was also the guy with a navy called upon to go into units and see how they could he improved. the advancement can afford new
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landscapes and detected by the enemy are reviewing existing processes and implementing their policies that are ground force commanders and headquarters they communicate more efficiently during combat. ryan zinke has always been a trusted leader and it would be no different at the department of the interior. as the deputy and acting commander in 2004, ryan went a combined force of special operators through the streets of falluja is the forward commander at the height of the terrorist activity of what can only be described. ryan was charged with implementing a strategy of utilizing time for personnel both military and civilian to it bad. donations and government agencies to achieve diplomatic and military missions.
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ryan earned two bronze stars and many other awards for service. we should also be faithful to his wife will laugh and i might add, apples don't fall far from the tree. ryan's daughter sitting beside him was a navy diver. his son-in-law is also a navy seal. following his retirement from the navy, after 23 years of honorable service to our nation, ryan came back to montana and continued to serve. because ryan ran 41 feet and her state senate mns montana's sole representative in the united states house, in fact he was the first navy seal ever elected to u.s. congress. ryan has been a strong supporter of conservationists as well as responsible nasa resource development and increase
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recreation access on our public lands. ryan grew up 30 minutes of glacier national park. i grip safety minister of yellowstone national park. we both understand the importance of our national parks. in fact, ryan and i have shared flyfishing and one of montana's many blue ribbon streams. ryan is intimately familiar with the vast jurisdiction of the department of the interior because he's lived it. he had seen his own home towns have her due to bad government policies and communities like to be, like malta that depend on our public land access. the born and bred montana man who knows that we must strike that right balance between conservation and responsible energy development.
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he understands that a one size fits all the light we see from washington d.c. never works for real americans. you. ryan zinke was smart. he's the guy you want in your corner, whether fighting in the streets of falluja for your life for fighting on the floor of congress for your life. the lessons and fights for what he believes in. i have no doubt he will be a fighter for america, for a public lands as the next secretary of the interior. >> thank you, senator daines. appreciate your comments. senator tester, thank you as the committee and with your introduction spirits being that it's a pleasure and i want to thank you with the distinguished members of this committee
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because it is an honor today to participate, to introduce a decorated navy veteran from unlucky enough to represent the people of the great state of montana, the last best place. before our time here, both congressman zinke and i had the pleasure of serving the montana senate albeit not at the same time. so i want to thank him again for answering the call to serve our great nation. i believe it is very important for someone who knows the west to serve as interior secretary. the job of interior secretary is important, especially today the america's public lands come under attack by folks who want states to manage them, which is the first for selling off public lands to the highest bidder. it falls on this committee to ask congressman zinke specific questions about how deep these responsibilities of interior secretary and how he will push back from this administration with his dad, his montana perspective whenever necessary.
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things like public lands, keeping public lands in public hands for her kids and grandkids are very important issue at this important moment in time. things i preferred mate and send back to wreaking havoc on our national system. things like up in a water conservation fund, how to work with congress in this admin is ration and initiatives like the visionary atlanta water conservation fund. if the chairwoman pointed out, things like responsibilities and the ranking member as well. and of course resource development cannot responsibly manage public lands for energy and resource development and how to balance that with respect to clean water and clean air and wildlife and habitat that supports that. i'm particularly encouraged by the congressmen support for protecting the debris to yellowstone national park.
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recently when a mining company proposed to trail just a few miles from the doorstep of this nation's first natural part, featuring me on local businesses and community leaders to protect our outdoor economy. of course there are issues the congressmen and i don't see eye to eye. but if he provides you with the answers, he has provided to me, i expect you'll find that he's well equipped to hold this post but accountability. as a westerner, i know it's a state. i'm honored to introduce congressman zinke to this committee. i trace the navy seals and is always pushy straight. thank you unimagined chairwoman. >> thank you, senator tester. thank you for being here and providing that introduction or nominees. and with that, representative zinke, if you will come forward and before asking you to begin
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your opening statement and introduce your family, i will ask that we proceed with administering the oath which was customary in hearing such as this one and i will ask three questions customary to operations in this committee. the real subcommittee required they be sworn in connection with a testimony, so please raise your right hand. do solemnly swear that the testimony you're about to get in the natural resources shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> i do. >> before you begin your statement, i will ask you three questions that we address to each nominee before the committee. we be available to appear before the committee with other congressional committees to represent the positions and respond to issues of concern to the congress. >> i will.
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>> are you aware of any personal holdings, investment and interest to parents of a conflict should he be confirmed and the stand the office to which he been nominated by the president. >> madam chairman, my investments, personal holdings in other interests have been repeated by myself in the appropriate ethics counselors within the federal government. i've taken all appropriate action to avoid any conflicts of interest and there are no conflicts of interest or appearances to my knowledge. >> thank you. final question, are you involved or do you have any assets that are held in blind trust? >> i do not. >> thank you, representative zinke. you may proceed with introduction and lane opening statements. welcome to the committee. >> thank you, madam chairman, ranking member cat while the members of the committee.
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tester and dance for their fine remarks that the leadership in continuous service on behalf of their state. it's an honor to appear before a sustained senate committee on energy and natural resources. before beginning their remarks come a day to introduce an recognized members of the family to join me today. my wife lolita is also a member of the president elect hispanic at a history council. by two grandchildren, matilda and charlotte. my daughter jennifer and her husband jack. and for the record, i did tell my daughter, don't trade the navy and don't marry a navy seal and she did both. by since wolfgang and conrad are back in school and hopefully studying today. as the son of a plumber and a kid who grew up in a small timber town and railroad town
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near glacier park, i am humbled before u.s. president elect is a need for secretary of interior. i'm also deeply humbled because of the great response the voting position holds to a steward of the majestic lands, the champion of our great indian nations and the manager and voice of our diverse fireplace. upfront i'm an unapologetic admire teddy roosevelt and federal land set aside much of it in our national course. to hike, fish, camp, recreate and enjoy the great outdoors. it is on this finance my father taught me to hunt, fish and the boy scouts who taught me the principle of stewardship and the importance of public access.
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it is also on this land and in the communities i grew up in relying to harvest timber, provide our nation was critical energy. without question, our public lands are america's treasuries that are rich and diverse. i fully recognize and appreciate the lands that deserve special recognition and are better managed under the model of wilderness where men how the light touch and an observer. i also fully recognize and they are better suited under your model of multiple use use and best practices, and objective science. during my recent and i found myself the ceremony at yellowstone national park, our first national park established
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by congress and signed into law by president ulysses s. grant on march 1st, 1872. as i enjoyed the celebration of the famous roosevelt arch i could not help but notice the words etched on the stone above. the benefit and enjoyment of the people. i also cannot help but notice on the plaque on the side of the good by congress. when i saw that, i thought this is the perfect policy of land for our great nation should uphold. in order to have great deeds and accomplish great things, both sides have to work together. higher purpose can only be achieved by both sides coming together for a higher purpose. in a nutshell, that is my commitment to you.
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if confirmed to work with each of you to ensure that our public lands reflect higher purpose so our children's children, my granddaughter's children can look back and say we did it right. i've almost met every member of this committee and i understand that each state is different. i also understand the issues within your state are different and you have different priorities. i am confident we can work together to get the job done. when asked about what my goals might be, i would say there are three immediate tasks. the first is to restore trust and working with rather than against local communities and states. i fully recognize they are distressed, anger and even hatred against some federal management policies. deemed a listener and a listening advocate rather than
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an adversary is a good start. second to prioritize the estimated $12.5 billion in backlog of maintenance and repair of national parks, the president-elect is committed to jobs and infrastructure built and then committed a major help in making sure that bill includes our national treasures. third, to ensure that the professionals on the frontline, that's our managers and rangers at the right tools, the right resources and the flexibility of to make the right decisions to give a voice to the people they represent. as the former montana state senator kirk congressmen, i've learned a lot since i was the ceo of the desert of iraq. to accomplish my mission as secretary of interior, if confirmed i know that i'm going to major help. i'm going to major confidence
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and even perhaps your prayers. ellipsoid to answering your questions if confirmed representing the interests of our great nation and giving a voice to all americans to include our great indian nations on how we manage and sustain our public lands and the treasures they contain. adam chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, congressman zinke. i couldn't see her when you were seated in front here, but i'd also like to recognize the representative here with us today, congresswoman reagan. good to have you here. obviously a great deal of interest in that aspect of the jurisdiction coming out of the interior department. congressman, i would like to talk about land management. you and i have had a good deal of conversation about the
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necessity to manage our lands and manage them well. if confirmed, you're going to be responsible for managing 245 million surface acres of 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. i think we both recognize that's a pretty weighty responsibility. over one fifth of it is in my state and that means your land management effort of an overwhelming impact on the state of alaska. we refer to the secretary of the interior effectively as alaska's landlord. you are probably the most consequential member of the administration outside the president in terms of issues that we work with. i take this nomination very, very seriously. i mention in my opening statement without a number of disagreements and the very difficult relationship at times with this administration.
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you have acknowledged that each of our states are different. i've walked you and and try to outline why we are unique, why we are bigger and broader and faster and more complicated and challenging than most others. so my question to you very broadly is how will your approach to management of alaska's lands be different than what we have seen? how will your recognition of the unique aspects of his stay at lake alaska be different in the series going forward? >> well, thank you. thanks for the question. as we visit with each other, i recognize that. the navy seal i spent time in the interior.
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but clearly what has happened is folks in alaska are upset. they feel like the management, they have no voice. if you're looking at the timber assets along the coast and the southern part of alaska, the forest fires occurring yet we can't. and then become your pipeline pipeline is down 40%. engineering wise as a lot of issues is the backbone of alaska's is that though. a lot of it has to do savings mechanisms put in place, we've taken the field and we've made those in the field of taking away their resources and bring them up to this validation, layers and layers. a lot of this should be made on the field in the ground or on
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the ground by people that are closest to the problem. these are people that live in communities. a lot of the blm managers that in the community and they understand communities have to have a voice. i do recognize the difference is that needs to be handled different because of the size. i also understand that private land equity in alaska is so incredibly small, your resources are incredibly large and the great people need to be a partner in the development of those resources. >> we look forward to a partnership ended even partnership. when it comes to consultation, when it comes to truly listening to alaskans, it feels that we have fallen upon ears until a more welcoming dialogue i think
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is what we are anticipating going forward. when we talk about the resources of alaska and alaska's willingness to share those resources with the rest of the country and truly the world, one of our great assets is our oil reserves that we have. as you mentioned the trans-alaska pipeline is running three quarters empty. and now cares about 500,000 barrels a day and it's not due to lack of resources. it is instead a lack of permission to access those resources. would you commit to a formal review of all of the obama administration's actions that took resource barren lands and waters in alaska effectively off the table, including the decisions that specifically prevent the leasing of those lands in those letters were developing to determine whether or not they can be reversed. >> yes. the president-elect has said
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that we wanted the energy independent. as a former navy seal, think of them to 63 countries in my lifetime and i can guarantee you it is better to produce energy domestically under reasonable regulation then watch it be produced overseas with no regulation. i've seen the consequences of what happens when you don't have any regulations in the middle east. we can do it right. that one of the environmental policies. we also have to understand we need an economy in. if we don't have an economy in the country, the rest of it doesn't matter because we're not going to be able to afford a strong military, nor are we able to keep the promises we made to the great nation. we've made a lot of promises. education to our children's future, to infrastructure, social security. all of that makes an economy
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moving forward and energy as a part of the economy. alaska is a critical part of that economy. alaska's different for a reason. you are blessed with great resources. you are blessed with great recreation. a little cold in the winter, but it not palm springs. >> you are from montana. you can handle it. >> we can handle it, but guess who need to be prudent and ellis review things to make sure we are doing it right. over time the government keeps on getting bigger and bigger. the bureaucracy can larger and larger and we can get something done. i think we do as a nation, should look at everything with an objective eye to get things done. >> thank you. i will now turn to senator cantwell. >> thank you, congressman zinke. thank you for your willingness
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to serve and going from congressmen to secretary of interior is a different kind of portfolio and so is hoping in this first-round food on us questions if i could cover three issues quickly with you and then give our colleagues a chance to ask questions. first, obviously you represented the district that you do in montana has made a lot of statements about: eye for the record went to understand where you are. do you believe the administration does have a right and should have revealed of updating information about art core programs? >> i think transparency is important. any administration has a right to look at it and asked the right questions. and all for energy fields. >> so you would stop the review underway right now? >> the review was good. i don't know the specifics of that review, but we should always look at our energy portfolio with an object to this because it's important.
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>> you don't have an objection to taxpayers getting a fair value? >> i think taxpayer should always get a fair value. including coal, wind, all of the above. >> thank you. >> on the gao statement about a surety company a surety come in the future of coal companies have the capability just as other energy companies do, do you support that as well? >> again on gao, i have not been specific. if it's a question that involves bonding, i'm from montana where we have a lot of coal mines, strip lines and stuff and i think bonding is important. i'm also from the stage outlined goal and taken all the material and dumping it upside down. i don't think we want to go back to those days. some of the reclamation fees in the west are still not prepared.
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teddy roosevelt had the courage to look 100 years forward. i think we need to look at the courage today to look 100 years forward and look back and say we did a break. >> does a great endorsement by protection role. on the teddy roosevelt point, alaska that later. you make comments. you support making the land and water conservation program per minute? >> i do. when the water conservation have been important to montana, certainly in the states. i do think we should look at it. if you're in the gulf states, i understand their point that the revenue comes from all offshore and very little of it goes within the state that are affected most by the offshore industry. for the care of revenues and evening out the revenue source.
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also look at programs to make sure more revenue poster projects. so making sure bureaucracy has been growing over time. lastly, the state should have a say. local community should have a say where those funds go. >> that in another south might beat me to go down a different line of questioning as it relates maybe to the federal lands. your colleague from montana said, but i want to cover the park area back on this budget as i mentioned in my testimony, we face a 100 year anniversary come in the teddy roosevelt and you have struck because as i mention we're talking about millions of dollars to our economy from the outdoor access to our public lands. do we need to go further than what we've done in supporting national parks and getting rid of the maintenance backlogs? >> i do. i feel very strongly about it because as you point out, a lot of national parks this last year
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are at capacity. we've had record numbers. looking forward, what do we do about it? a lot of it is turned arose, backlogs, trails and public lands around the part to look at those systems to make sure the restrooms are clean and make sure the sewer systems work. when you're talking about a $12.5 billion backlog. i was in the transition office and not be enough and looked at a park in front of the department of interior. the part everyone's working goes by every day. the falcons don't even work. and they are in need of repair. and then he started asking what about the rest of washington d.c. it turns out that very few work. in the new look at the bridge, the memorial bridge because the cost to arlington. i guess that is $150 million. we better get on it. >> thank you.
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there's been a lot of discussion about your viewpoint and resolutions of platforms and houseboats about federal lands people come back to that second round. senator hogan. >> thank you, madam chairman. they thank you, congressman zinke for your willingness to serve as secretary of interior. i also want to thank your family for their commitments for service as well as being here. top for a minute if you would about a balanced approach to multiple use. many different resources and many different constituencies we have to deal with. the national parks, but also public lands, native american affairs. for example, on the blm, bureau of land management, you manage 245 service acres of subsurface minerals.
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talk about how you manage that in a way that is valid and multiple years. >> well, multiple use in the spirit of roosevelt means you can use it for multiple purposes. i'm particularly concerned about public access. i'm a hunter, fisherman. the malt o. use is also making sure you know what to do and go in with both eyes open. that means sustainability. and if it does not to be in conflict if you have a recreation. you just have to make sure that you understand what the consequence is that each of those uses are. it is our public land. what i've seen most recently is our access is being shut off, and we are all getting older. when you don't have access to our hunting areas that traditional fishing areas, it makes about the sport and particularly concerned about the elitism of our traditional
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hunting, fishing, snowmobile. so making public lands assessable can access in the spirit of multiple use. single years if you look at the model of some of our national parks and areas, i agree some areas need to be set aside that are absolutely appropriate for man to be an observer. aricept pieces in our country that deserves the recognition. you can hunt and fish. make sure there's a permit. make sure if you're going to do something that's more intrusive, make sure you monitor the water. i think you have to do it right. >> somebody that likes to hunt and fish, i appreciate the answer very much. the access type thing. you and i talked about it.
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state and local law enforcement are very hard to keep the peace and keep you. in your case that will mean law enforcement. if you are confirmed, will you ensure that law-enforcement works with state and local law enforcement to resolve the situation, to keep people safe and make sure the rule of law. if confirmed, i will be a very busy man traveling. i will travel to utah, travel to alaska and north dakota. the surgery impending problems we mean. i have great respect for the indian nations. the last time to sue nations all got together, i was a general custer probably would say that
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was not a good issue. so you look at this and there is deep cultural ties. there is a feeling like we haven't done a fair consultant and fair partner. we need to listen to that voice. that's part of the trust. outside of washington d.c., when you start going west and north dakota, there is a lot of anger. a lot of mistrust. but enough where i'm not concerned. i'm concerned we need to be better partners. we need to work together as a congress. we all rise and fall the same tide and we all love our public lands and the duty of the department of the interior as the secretary is to make sure we have broad consensus of overdoing. every state is different.
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>> thank you. my final question is one-size-fits-all. too often federal government we see a one-size-fits-all versus empowering states and people at the local level. to do what makes the most sense given their part of the country. i would ask you to just give your opinion on the one-size-fits-all versus working with states and localities and tries to do what works across the country. >> are characterized by view from the potomac and you do need to listen to the local folks. the consequence is one-size-fits-all affects real people. i think you need to have a voice to listen and above communities that lowest level. we have a lot of blm assets. there is a lot of frustration.
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they don't realize they're empowered to make a decision and there can't go to the same schools. when they don't have the power or flexibility of resources to make the decision, everything is four or five layers above. that's part of what we face. there's got to be incentivized the line, remove some of the middle-management and get to know where they're necessary. that's the front line and that is from basic one-to-one as being a seal. if your frontline is not happy and not the chiefs and the sergeant, the rest of the forces are doing very well either. the frontline of the park service is to be sure to. >> thank you, congressman. >> we will next turn to senator sanders. all advice numbers have always
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operated under this earlybird role and there's been discussion about what counts as earlybird. i'm going by what the clerk has served. he will be followed by senator gardiner. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you for your willingness to serve its readers that want to touch on. the president-elect trump has suggested -- more than suggested, a quote, unquote hoax. i know you are not here to be administrator of the epa, that the issue of climate change is in fact very important for issues the department of the interior deals with. it's climate change a hoax? first of all, climate is changing. that is indisputable.
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from glacier national park. i have seen glaciers over the period of my time. as a matter of fact, when my family and i have eaten lunch, the glaciers receded during lunch. >> if you could, as the president-elect right? >> to mark points. the second thing is i don't think that's indisputable as well. i'd bank where there is debate is let that influence is, what can we do about it. as the department of the interior, i will inherit the usgs. i'm not a climate scientist expert, but i can tell you i will become a lot more familiar with it and it will be bigger than object of science. >> you do not believe it's a hoax? >> we should be prudent.
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that means i don't know definitively. there's a lot of debate on both sides of the aisle. >> actually not a whole lot of debate. the climate change is real. there is debate on this committee but not within the scientific community. next question. dealing with climate change. if climate change is already causing devastating problems, should we allow fossil fuels to be drilled on public lands? >> again, we need an economy. in my experience of 63 different countries, i've seen what happens when you don't have -- >> i don't mean to be rude. ..
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thank you. i have had in the opportunity in the last years to be around the country and with that opportunity i met with many native american tribes and you discussed this issue. i think it is not debatable that throughout history, including today, the united states government has treated the native american people with disrespect, has ripped them off, and right now we have in many
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native american communities and reservations people living in unbelievable poverty, incredibly high unemployment rate, youth suicide unspeak being high. do you agree with that that assertion and if so, what do you propose to do to improve life for the native american people throughout this country? >> i have great respect for the indian nations, when we say a nation is sovereign, should have weight. >> sovereignty should mean something. what does that mean if in fact, you receive the nomination? >> i can tell you from a montana congressman, the paperwork, the bureaucracy within reservations
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far exceeds what's outside. and perhaps at one time we viewed the indian nations as almost children like where we have to manage every aspect of their affairs and it has affected their ability for self-determination. >> good. >> i agree with you. also health care and education are serious problems on many reservations. will you take a hard look at those issues and try to improve the quality of health care and education for the native american people. >> yes, i will. i take it seriously. >> as bad as the va is -- >> some of us won't accept that? >> indian health in montana is worse. individuals need care and the line-up and we have only a few
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doctors and the next day they come back and they don't see the doctor and they don't see the doctor. you will address the issue of health care? >> yes. >> thank you very much. >> every state has been touched, every state has had iconic landscapes preserved by lwcf for enjoyment for educations to come , $13.2 billion in economic impact.
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>> it's an important program in the west and in montana it's particularly important in public access. the checkered board system out west has made it difficult sometimes to transit between service and bom and bridge between the two and lwcf has been important doing it and i would support that. >> thank you very much. i've always told coloradans that the one thing we need to have is have more colorado in washington and less washington in colorado. one of the things we can do ais take a little bit of washington and perhaps we can cure agencies like the blm by moving them out of washington. for example, if you just look at the numbers, congressional research service uses the bureau of land management administers over roughly 248.3 million acres of public land.
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248.3million acres, 248.2 million acres are located west of the mississippi river. no question to having some headquarters out west would, i think, vastly improve and result in better policies for ranchers for land owners and energy producers and constituents who enjoy the land. a grate example of how greater washington understands the rest and how things work in the west and the one-size fits all approach failed public policy. do you believe congressman -- do you belief in the notion of putting our federal workforce, portions of it that specialize on public lands initiatives closer to the lands and the people they affect? >> i think they should be close to the land and in some instances in utah where you have 67% is blm. you can look at different management schemes on it. the department of ag has
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stewardship programs. there's a lot of tools that we can use but i think the bottom line is the decisions often times are better at the front line if you empower your people to do them. you know, there's a saying in the military, centralized direction, decentralized execution, that means we should hold true nipa, we should hold true the value that is we believe as a country, we should uphold public access, clean air, clean water, but how you execute day-to-day operations, often times better if it's done in the front line. >> so your commitment to work with me on blm to the west? >> i'm committed to look at our organization across the board of what we are going to look like as a department a hundred years from now. roosevelt, i keep going back to roosevelt because i'm a great
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admirer, roosevelt about a hundred years ago decided to take a bolding move and it wasn't supportive not by all parties, but he did do a lot in the legacy of roosevelt today. we have to be bold and look at what the department of interior should look like a hundred years from now to better manage the problems that we have coming and there's a lot of problems. no doubt recreation is going to be a bigger piece. they're not making any more land. we need to make sure what we are doing is appropriate. we need to make sure that clean air, clean water, those types of things, so my daughter's children will look like and say, we did it right. that has to be a goal that we all share. >> final question in the time remaining is this, if you go to colorado state capitol, there's a sign, no water flows into the state.
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that's incredibly part of who we are as a state and so i would like your commitment to work to protect the private water rights when it comes to our water right system, understanding that federal overreach in water is dangerous for municipalities and water right holders but also to continue to work with us on permits and water storage projects as we work along with water conservation, the need to store more water in the west is real and so we need additional help protecting water rights from the federal government but also being able to store more water for the future enjoyment, growth and development and opportunities in the american west. >> there's no doubt that water today is a commodity and we will be more important commodity tomorrow. there's a saying in montana that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. water is incredibly important across the west and almost every day even michigan where the recent thing. my commitment is to work -- part of the infrastructure bill, we will have to look at water
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storage, better ways to look water, have line, aquaphors are at risk. water is today an issue, tomorrow is going to be a bigger issue unless we invest in the infrastructure in policies that make sense for tomorrow. >> thank you, madame chair. >> senator, he will be followed by senator alexander. >> thank you, madame chair, congressman zinke you said earlier that you opposed selling off of public lands or turning them over to the states, however, on the opening day of 115th congress you voted for a house rule that makes it easier to give away our public lands based on the idea that the public lands have no financial value, no score. how do you square the two things? >> the vote was a rule vote in the house, that was one of many rules and i would characterize
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it as it was an indicater of how upset people are about our land policy particularly if you were in utah, wyoming, colorado, some places, idaho, sorry, montana. it has no weight unless it's executed. it's a shot across that we have to do something. i started out my remarks by saying, my number one is trust. i can go out and restore trust, the reason why and one of the reasons why people want to se or transfer public land is there's no trust because they don't feel like they have a voice. they feel like they don't matter . >> would you support it? >> i voted 17 times against
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transfer or sale of public land or in favor of llcw. >> that's a good answer. you mentioned that you're a teddy roosevelt fan, most of us. new monuments established in the past six years. in my home state of new mexico, we have two new monument that is have been proven popular with local communities and which are already driving economic growth for local businesses. and frankly, my navajo and pueblo constituents are also very supportive of the new national monument because it protects some of the most sacred sites in their historical homeland. i have letters from business owners, sportsmen, faith leaders, county commissioners and veterans in new mexico asking for your support for the río grande del norte, i ask that
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you allow me to submit these for the record. the act is the law of the land and communities in new mexico are already in the process of developing management plans for those plans. will you simply commit to working in good faith with the gateway communities including tribal communities to making sure that the monuments are a success or some might say even to make sure that the monuments are great? >> sir, i will absolutely commit to working with you. there's some monument that is are more controversial than others. i think a monument, i think the state should have a say on it. when you see a sign that says monument, i always envision as a battlefield, location that deserves special recognition. you know, larger monument that is are millions of acres that
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don't have support of the community, you know, there's no doubt the president has the authority to amend a monument. it's always in the papers. it'll be interesting to see whether the president has the authority to nullify a monument. >> what is your view on that? >> legally, it's untested on it. what i would prefer is again to work in a collaborative effort with the states. if the states like their monuments and we talked the state of maine on it and if the state is comfortable with the monument as it is and they have a management plan, i think, we should work with the state and be an advocate. if the state is upset about a monument, they have a plan that was different from what was done, then, i think, we should differ a lot to the state. >> can you point to a sentence within the act that's very short that authorizes reascending a
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monument? >> there's no statement that authorizes reascending, i'm not an attorney, thank god, but -- >> that makes two of us. i think we are both grateful and constituents are probably are. >> i would think that the president would nullify a monument, it would be challenged and then the court would determine whether or not the legal framework allows it or not. i would hope the right path if we work with the states where that monument is and i think we've all benefited from a lot of our monuments, and they're very happy with it although it need some work. >> thank you, congressman. >> thank you. senator alexander. >> thanks, madame chairman. congressman zinke and to your family thank you. i'm impressed with your record of service and you and your views and i look forward to supporting you.
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i think you have a chance to be a terrific secretary of the interior. 32 years ago president reagan asked me to head up something called president's commission on america's outdoors and we looked at it two years looking ahead for a generation to see what our outdoor recreation opportunities should be and the main conclusion i came to, there ought to be one policy for the west and one policy for the east because there's so many differences. this committee is filled with westerners. let me give you an eastern perspective from my side. we don't have much federal land in tennessee and north carolina and we like what we have. one area that i would ask you is that in the newspaper today the national park services established a panel to review the devastating shim -- fire, lessons to prevent such a thing. we are not used to that. we have 80-inches of rain a year
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and the fire started on chimany tops and will you commit to play close attention to yourself to that review so that we can see if there's any lessons to be learned in the future? >> senator, i will absolutely commit to that. i have been to the beautiful park. i'm glad it's a park and i will work with you to make sure we figure out what the road work or best path for making sure thaib kiddents like that don't happen again. >> thank you very much, i'm very impressed with the heroism, really of those who responded to it but they too want to know what can we do better. on the smokies, the difference between the smokies and yellowstone or glacier in your territory that land was owned by the united united states.
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our funding, appropriation for yellowstone is more than twice for the total of smokies and because of restrictions when people gave it to the federal government, we can't charge entrance fee. we have a lot less money to deal with a lot more people. will you during your time take a careful look at the a location of funding as between the smokies and other parks to make sure that it gets fair share of funding? >> senator, we talked about this in your office and, yes, i think we need to look at the formula. again, the smokies is different than the other parks. it should be recognized that, again, working forward with this committee on the infrastructure bill we are hoping we can take a big bite out of the differed maintenance of infrastructure.
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there's a number of roads and facilities in there but 12 and a half million dollars behind on parks, certainly we the great nation can do better and it's going to take this committee's guidance with the chairman's leadership to make sure that that infrastructure is part of the package. >> my last question has to do with recommendations on the commission on americans outdoors 32 years ago. we reaffirmed the recommendation of the earlier rockefeller commission on the land, water conservation funds so i hope you will count me in along with other senators here in wanting to help you come find a way to permanently authorize that and makes sense to take money from oil and gas expiration and use it for benefit of the environment and makes sense since the 1960's, the problem is we have a 20 million-dollar backlog and because of rules we haven't appropriated. it's important to do that. we found 30 years ago that 80%,
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most outdoor recreation occurs near where we live and that about 80% of us live near city parks, not near yellowstone or glacier or smokies as we were privilege today grow up and that's the importance of land and water conservation fund. another important set of recommendations had to do with land trust, green bays and scenic biways, if you look at the opportunities to look ahead another generation and i think you're in a wonderful position to do a follow-up to the commission on americans outdoors, this is the 30th anniversary of that report and a generation has passed and it's
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time for the next look. >> it brings me to the next point, next generation, millennials, we have to motivate and incentivize outdoor activities to teach millennials the importance of the great outdoors. you look at the numbers and demographic is children as the people who are visiting the parks are the older generations. so we have to look at new ways to incentivize millennials to experience the parks and experience the outdoors, to teach them the value of our public lands, so that's a concern just looking at numbers of how do we get our kids out there and enjoying the great outdoors. in many cases i would argue it's better than being in front of a tv watching video games. >> absolutely. senator, duckworth. >> thank you, madame chairman. congressman, welcome. in 2013 mr. trump tweeted on the
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issue of military sexual assault by blaming the women who served and he said -- he said in his tweet, 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military, what did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together. later in 2016 at the commander in chief to rum -- forum and defended the tweet and many people that think that's absolutely correct. following the commander in chief tweet, you put out a statement of praise for mr. trump and at no point did you call him out on that tweet, at no point did you call on him to apologize for that tweet. and i wonder as someone who is about to take charge of a major federal agency with both men and women serving, sometimes in extremely rugged conditions as rangers do, i wonder what that says to the employees of our national park service and you, in fact, even more recently
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defended the president elect's bragging about his own commitment of sexual assault by dismissing it as locker room talk and you are now nominated to oversee the park service which currently has a major sexual harassment problem that the juice oversight committee which i used to sit on has been investigating on a bipartisan basis. if confirmed, how can we be sure that you won't look the other way in dealing with this issue of sexual assault at the national park service like you did with your own potential boss or president elect? >> well, thank you if the question. i take issues of sexual assault, harassment absolutely seriously. as you know, as a military commander the tolerance is zero. >> have you had a conversation with the president elect about his statements? >> senator, i have not but i have had conversation about the park service and there are problems with park service. there are problems with sexual
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harassment and problems of morale, if you look at the park service, who would not want to be a ranger, historically the job of a ranger in a park service has been one of the top positions as far as employee satisfaction. today they rank at the bottom, now something is going on. whether it's sexual harassment has an influence on it or they feel like they don't have the flexibility to make decisions, whether they feel there's a lot of reasons but i have to get to the bottom of it because it's the front line and you have served and thank you for your service, you served and you understand if the morale is bad at the front line, it makes sure that mission success isn't going to happen and sexual harassment is part of what's killing moral. i am going to go out in the front and listen to what's happened because one on the sexual harassment issue, they have to know from leadership, from the top and the bottom that
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we have zero tolerance. >> can you describe a little bit what you will do beyond listening, what type of policies you will put into place? i have concerns because you have a history of being willing to participate in gimmicks, in fact, you cosponsored legislation with congressman duncan hunter to require women to register for the draft despite not supporting it yourself because you wanted to send a gimmicky message that actually backfired on you and the bill passed and the house republican leadership had to come to your rescue, i'm concerned because you yourself have a history of saying that women who served in combat provide distraction and weakness the force, in that debate i was there that night. i think we were both there well after 3:00 a.m., you said that the enemy don't recognize men and women in uniform. they recognize weaknesses by
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talking about women and men serving together in combat. you know, again, men and women serve in very rugged conditions in the national park service and i just worry that you with a history of being willing to participate in what the montana defense alliance called a reckless piece of legislation, gimmicky bill that passed that backfired on you what you're going to do when you lead federal employees tat national park service. >> well, i think the topic of women serving the military and signing up for selective service isn't a gimmick. so i would say that's a mischaracterization of the importance of the issue. >> you did introduce a bill that you did not support? >> because i think it's important for america to have the discussion and during that period, every table around montana was talking about it. and so i don't think it's a gimmick to talk about an open discussion, whether or not women should be part of selective service.
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my daughter is a navy diver and i have served in combat with women, everyone has a role as you know. >> do you think women serving at the front lines tat park service weakens that force? >> not at all. i think everyone should have the same respect. i think there's jobs that are different within the park service, there are women that assume every role and i think that's an opportunity that has been given to women long before -- i'm not sure but a long time. i think we should be comfortable with that, i certainly am. in the issue of gimmick, as a matter of fact, i take ofers the discussion of selection service is a gimmick, i think it deserves our vote and deserves a discussion. >> i think that the way --
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>> senator -- >> senator lee. >> thanks for the service to our country, we appreciate all you have done to keep us safe. i agree with one of my colleagues, senator alexander said a minute ago that public land issues are very often different when you ask people from different states, the reaction they might have might differ depending on what part of the country they come from, those who were east of the mississippi are likely to feel a little bit differently than those west of the mississippi. there's a reason for this. a lot of reasons, one in particular has to do with the fact that of this land that the federal government owns, we are talking roughly 30% of the land mass in the united states, the overwhelming majority of the federal land is in the western united states. it affects many in the western united states in a very real, real personal way and very often it's poor and middle class who
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bare the greatest burden associated with mismanage rent and overreach when it comes to our federal land. for this reason, the seemingly limitless power granted to the president of the united states under the act, the president of the united states can up end communities, can change traditional ways of life, change even religious practices and lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of land with one action, in some cases over a million acres. so to begin, i want to ask you the same question i asked the person who will be your predecessor if you're confirmed, sally jewel, the local support,
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to the creation of a national monument you should the antiquities act. >> it's critical to have state and local support on a monument that they participate in. so that's a concern. but if you -- if you start at the local community level, the grassroots and you build and there's participation, then we get ahead of the problem. as the military, former military officer, you plan and planning prevents a lot of -- a lot of miscues and execution and a lot of the planning process is go out and get community support,
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make sure your governor and your elected leaders are behind you and then petition, talk to the president who makes the decision and everyone should be on the same page or at least about on the same page. >> i appreciate that and i hope congressman that if you're confirmed to this position, that one of the first thing you'll do is come to utah and i encourage you to talk to some of the people that have been affected by the monument designation by the president when he designated 1.35 million acres in southeast utah in san juan county, our state's poorest county against the overwhelming opposition of the local population of san juan county, against the opposition of all six members of our state's congressional delegation against the opposition of our lieutenant governor attorney general, all statewide elected officials within the state of utah and i think what you're going to hear from them is, please, mr. secretary, please do something about this.
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so congressman, if you're confirmed, will you consider visiting utah, talking to the people affected by this monument designation and based on what you hear from the affected population, consider having a conversation with president trump about revisiting this unfortunately step? >> thank you for the question and i'm absolutely committed to restoring trust, and if confirmed i have committed to go out to utah first and talk to the governor, talk to the people on the ground and come back and make a recommendation to the president on that. >> thank you. >> i will go out to state of washington, i am going to go to alaska. i think i committed to go everywhere, so i'm -- i'm going to be remote, deployment, i apologize to my wife in advance but i will be gone a lot. >> thank you for your willingness to do that. i have seconds left.
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i do want to say in closing, i appreciate you visiting with me about this, i want to point out that there is nothing in the act that prohibits revisiting and i also want to point out there's a distinction between talking about who should own and manage public land, those close to it. >> those thousands of miles away from it and suggesting that exxon mobile should set up a drilling rig under delicate arch that is a strong man argument hand not one that any one that i know raising this issue wants to advance, thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, madame chair and welcome, congressman. first let me just echo concerns that senator duckworth said in terms of what sexual harassment incidents and these are very serious, i hope you will create a work environment so that
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victims will be willing to come forward without fear of a retaliation because we are hearing, you know, very serious things relating to this. >> and you have my absolute commitment, i do take it seriously. the work environment is incredible and we have 70,000 professional men and women within the department of interior and when you walk in the door in the morning, you should absolutely have the right expectation of a work environment that's conducive to success and if there's a culture of sexual harassment, that's just flat wrong and i'm going to stamp it out. >> let me switch and talk about water from a different standpoint in michigan we have a lot of it around us and and we like that and we are concerned
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about water quality and certainly water related to our economy and in very big ways, in fact, not just in michigan but we have actually four of us on the committee, senator portman, senator frank and duck worth and i who all represent 20% of the world's fresh water and these are very serious issues for us. when we look at -- and you and i talked about this in my office. various threats to the great lakes. one of the big ones relates to what's happening in terms of invasive species including this big up to hundred pound fish with no functioning stomach that is something of great concern for us. if confirmed, will you commit to advocating for the necessary funding for programs and agency at interior, like fish and wildlife service, geological
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survey and i will absolutely commit for the right for clean water and checking the invasive spee sheers i understand it in michigan and after our conversation had the opportunity to look at it in more detail, it's a threat. i got the message and it's a threat. to make sure that we isolate, eliminate and control it and species is a problem all the way into hawaii. >> sure. we do need to sure up and part of the president's infrastructure bill is looking at that in the water networks and part of redoing our water to make sure one that our water is clean, it's abundant and make sure we protect our water sheds in different areas to make sure that invasive species is part of
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those programs. interior played an important role in partnerships, we have had every agency, every department and in any way touches on these issues working together for a number of years now and focus and we have 7 billion-dollar recreational and commercial fishing industry, 14 billion-dollar boating industry. this is critical for us and one of the other areas that is very important in terms of fish and wildlife and geological survey in working together with state and local fisheries and managers relates scientific information. you talk about working with states and local communities, these are very, very important areas and we want decisions made based on science.
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if confirmed will you commit to advocating funding levels that ensure that the availability and exchange of critical scientific information without ri guard to political or philosophical ideology, we need to be focused on science when we look at how to address the issues. >> yes, i will be because managing decisions should be based on objective science. as a geologist, that's step one. that's our numbers that we should have that we strive to? part of the good job if confirmed, i have talented people within the interior department that are objective,
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that want to do the right thing. and public and private institution that is have a lot of talent too. there's a lot of people working on things, but just like the intelligence community that are more familiar with, sometimes we get pipe and sometimes the information sharing isn't as it should be. >> i believe you have a unique understanding of the gravity, the position that you have been nominated to fill. the can -- department of interior is managing incredible acreage, countless of species, thanks for coming to meet with me before the hearing. the obama administration has used the department of interior as department of preservation, looking up lands with the goal of preserving them as if they
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existed in the vacuum, i believe they have -- i look forward to your approach and the approach of the new administration. the war on coal. it's devastated small towns, ultimately threatens our country's energy security. if confirmed, will you commit to ending this moritorium. >> the war on coal is real. by the way, the agency, if you were to take coal out of the picture, the unemployment would probably be in the 90%. they are keen on making sure
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they have their jobs and we give them the ability for self-determination. i think was an example of many that one size fits all. there was a view from washington and not a view from the states particularly if you're a state such as wyoming, parts of montana, west virginia that are coal important. i think we should be smart on how we approach the energy. all of the above is a correct policy. to your point i'm a great believer that we should invest in research and development particularly on coal because we know we have the asset.
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clean energy technology and i'm confidence that coal can be part of that but it is about science. it's about investing in the future and not looking at our past. >> with the use of the congressional review act and i'm planning introducing a disapproval resolution on the blm's venting and flaring rule, to me that rule far exceeds the authority of the blm who will ultimately put federal lands and greater competitive disadvantage to state and private lands, will you support our efforts to reverse this rule under the congressional review act? >> yes, and i think what the driving force is we are venting a lot and we are waisting energy and that is troubling to me. the amount of venting in north dakota alone almost exceeds what we get out of the fields. so a lot of the wasting can be
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approached by having an infrastructure. so let us build a system where we capture that energy that's otherwise being wasted and we haven't talked a lot about overseas but energy is so critically important. you want to check russia, natural gas, if we want to put pressure in iran and that subplant and part of a larger package and cannot be done without the great state of wyoming and their assets or alaska. but we have to think globally on it and it is better and i have said this once before but it is better produced energy in america under reasonable regulation and get better over time than produced overseas without no regulation. that's undisputable.
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>> the administration has ignored input from key stakeholders including western governors including the development of plans, plans which were used to justify, but at the core, the plans fund mentally oppose the mandates of the blm which include grazing, recreation, energy development, will you commit to returning conservation and management authority to the states and preventing this top-down mandate like this in the future? >> my understanding is the sage-grouse decision is going to come before the department of interior sometime in march. i understand there's going to be options and alternatives. i will work with you when i see those documents, work with all of you when i see those documents to make sure we are doing the right thing. what concerns me about stage grows is there's no target number.
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i'm not sure you can manage without a number. i look at that with a suspect eye. everyone loves sage-grouse and everyone understands we have to protect the species. generally those living living in on the ground and we should be a partnership and take turns particularly when we don't have a number. >> thank you, madame chairman. >> senator weidman who has been very patient. >> thank you, madame chair. congressman as a fellow oregon ducks. >> go ducks! rough season, sir. >> as we talked about -- when you go into a small western town today and you head to the coffee shop where it seems most of the decisions usually get made, you
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will now see ranchers and timber mill owners, environmental folks and all be around and you will be asking them what they're doing, this is true all over the west and that word is collaboration because they have decided everybody has just enough clout to block the other side and nothing happens until they collaborate and with our resource advisory committees and this is really probably what i'm more interested in and i remember being on this committee when chairman was getting us involved in the resource issues and maybe we have some kind of club for x shares of this committee or something but the point is we start talking about collaboration then and on this
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sage-grouse issue, which we are all deeply committed to making sure that there is not a lifting under the endangered species act, we are going to have to have a federal, state, local collaboration. i think you just mentioned one of the roles that the federal government better play and that is setting a target. now, i've always said when the federal government said to target and then we say to local folks, y'all go do your thing because what works in oregon may not necessarily work several thousand miles away. tell me a little bit about how you're going to approach setting up the federal, state collaboration on what is one of
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the biggest most important collaborations we've seen in years? >> well, thank you for the question and i do believe that oregon ducks are going to be better, but the collaborative efforts, you have to reward together because it takes a lot of resources, it takes time, it takes effort and the frustration is you get together, farmers, ranchers, environmental, all stakeholders and after a two-year venture where they come up with a plan and there's fighting and there's discussion and then there's compromise, you come up of a plan and the plan is ignored or it's sued multiple time so we have to incentivize coming together for plans, from the federal government, i've been an advocate of empowering the plan based on broad central goals. in the case of the sage-grouse -- >> like targets. >> like targets, yes, sir. management number, what's the goal?
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i don't know how you make a management plan unless you have a goal. so the goal needs to be scientificically objectively based to protect the species -- >> let's move onto forestry because i like the answer. you layed out that there was a role for the federal government as it relates to targets and i want to understand that i'm very much sympathetic to your point and senator brasso's point that we have to role for local, state and the like. apply to forestry where once again we are trying to find a way to get beyond years of gridlock. i have written a proposals. double it is harvest in a sustainable way on average for each year for decades while protecting our treasures. there are other ways to go about doing it as well. the oregon delegations is trying
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to find some common ground. how do you do it in your view without going to sufficiency language which basically has generated ever since spotted owl all the polarization and all the fighting? >> well, thank you for the questions, it's an excellent question. on the house side we had the resilient federal force act and we hope would happen was the senate would pick it up and we work about -- between on a committee who worked together and fine-tune it because there was parts that needed and in that bill, it did not exclude any stakeholder in our forest and our forest as you recognized, i'm pretty good friends with chief tedwill. we need to get to it because the goal should be healthy forest. >> let's do this. would you furnish that answer to me in writing. >> yes, sir.
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>> i want to know how we bring about the collaboration without sufficiency language. my time is up. i also want to thank you for your support in our bipartisan effort in fire borrowing this is the insane budget practice which actually discriminates against preventive forestry and i appreciate your help. >> thank you, senator wyden. >> senator wydeni echo your comments on collaboration. we collaborate and then we have agreements and then some extreme group, we have to address this litigation issue if we are going to solve the problem. representative zinke, welcome, the committee, it's been a long path from 1979 with two juniors in high school to be here, what an honor, thank you, it's wonderful to see your family here. i could not be a prouder
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montanan, when confirmed first montanan to serve in cabinet position. history will be made when you are confirmed. with you at the helm of department of interior you will be a strong advocate for public lands and strong advocate for energy. you have made that clear today and you have been tenacious on behalf of working with indian country, representing our 12 federally recognized indian tribes and bringing prosperity to their communities. as i say about montana where blend of denver and mastering is always a challenge, but it does result in a common sense approach on management of federal land or minerals that can make our country stronger. i think you have mastered that melody which is why i think you
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secured the support from such a diverse number of sportsmen of industry of tribal groups. there's an impressive list here, representative zinke, that's single-space two columns wide. nra, the rocky mountain elk foundation, the theodore roosevelt, the beef association, just a few of the many on this list, not to mention tribes from across the country, confederated for belt map, the choctaw and the list goes on. that's a tough balance to walk. a walk of wisdom and you've walked it well, sir. i would like to submit some of the letters to support the nomination. if i could, madame chair. >> thank you. >> representative zinke, why do you want this job? >> thank you for the question
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and thank you for my remarks. i love my country and i love public lands and i love teddy roosevelt's ideas that we should think bold and big and prepare for the future and this job i take very seriously if confirmed because it's all of that. our country loves our parks and our land, our nation should be better equipped, our indian tribes with the ability for self-determination, and when the department of interior has an influence over a fifth of our territory, that means influencing the beaches and maine with clams, to our fisheries outside of hawaii and even in this body we are all different but we all share a common purpose, to make our country great again and i think as a secretary of interior, i think i will have inherited
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70,000 hard, charging, dedicated professionals and my task is to organize for a better future for interior in our country. i work with anybody. as the list would indicate, i've never been red or blue, to me it's always read white and blue. politically i've never asked an individual serving next to me whether republican or democrats, what matter to me is whether they're an american and we have a very important mission in the department of interior ahead of us. >> a lot of concerns that montanans have had is a lot of land decisions are done with disregard with the impacts of those who live close to the lands. you have made that clear today as issue of trust and so forth. in fact, as we travel around the
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state together, one of your favorite lines, a lot of the bureaucrats on dc couldn't find montana on a map, too often montanan face decisions made by bureaucrats. what are your views in facilitating more local control and management of federal lands out west and by west we have a true westerner here, someone from montana and how can we make the department of interior look more like montana and get closer to people? >> great west -- great question. i would say we need to sure up our front line. if our front line managers don't have the resources, they don't have a flexibility nor the authority to make decisions they know is right, there's a problem. and the military it's like being in the front line and asking for a bullet. you have to go all the way to the back headquarters to get a bullet and when you finally get
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it, you have to ask permission to shoot it. if you get permission to shoot it, you to ask permission to shoot at what, that's what happened over frontline managers. we are losing a lot of blm folks because they've just had it and so we need to sure up the front line to empower the front line to do good things with broad guide and understand that their guidance and there should incentivized on their evaluations of working with local communities and that's how you do it. you reward on our evaluation, how did you collaborate. did you have the local community support? that's a part of it. so i think collaborative efforts work, i think generally they deliver the better outcome, but again, my job or my -- i think my most important task is restore trust that when blm truck or a fish and wildlife
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service truck shows up, one you want to see management in your eyes and you want to know it's in good hands. i think in many cases we have been too heavy handed as a nation and there's a separation between those living in the land and those managed and those management decisions are made here and you're right, if you don't know the difference maybe you're not the the right position to make those decisions. >> thank you. next go to senator cortez nesto. >> thank you. congressman, nice to meet you for the first time. i am going to jump right in because i'm one of those western states particularly in nevada where 85% of the land is owned by the federal government and we deal with eight federal agencies on a regular basis. so your rule as potential secretary of interior is very important to us in nevada.
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so i've heard what you had to say about the act and let me get one more commitment from you. just recently we had two national monuments declare, would love for you to come out in nevada and take a look at those monuments, there was some vocal opposition but i will tell you the vast majority of nevadans secure designations, if you make the commitment to come out, we will love to to host you. >> i will make a commitment to every member, if you have a monument in your state, before i make a recommendation to the president, i'm going to talk to you. i'm going to talk to the delegation, i'm going to make sure we are all working together on this and that's what a secretary should do. >> thank you, thank you congressman. i appreciate that. i appreciate your talk, discussion on collaboration and -- and your goal of restoring trust by working with local and local communities in the state
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and we look forward to that. and wasn't of the areas is in nevada, most people don't realize there are 32 tribal rereservations in nevada and i would love the commitment that tribal members would have a seat at the table when it comes to decisions, activities and land management near their communities when it involves the department of interior. >> yes, ma'am. i've had the same discussion with the great state of minnesota. i think we all would like to see bia be better. we need improvement on that. we need to do three things. sovereignty should mean something. when we say you're a sovereign nation, that's how to empower that and secondly, respect. in many cases the indian nations haven't had the respect that
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they deserve and lastly, how do we empower great nations for self-determination? what tools do they need? the education often times is lacking but it's state by state. .. this is where we will have to have the discussion and work together took clearly, the
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present policy is disaster. it's enormously expensive. i'm a great horseman and sensitive to making sure horses don't starve and we treat animals in a humane way, but kicking them out and spending millions of dollars every year on a program that's not working -- let's work together to see how did fix it. we are a great nation we can fix the bureau-- borough problem and it's not just nevada, its western. >> think you. water rights is a important issue for western states, and i don't think this is been brought up, but people in nevada get a majority of their water surprise from lake mead in the last 15 years of drought has exposed like a ring around lake mead to
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show the level has decreased and it's obviously a concern of ours and many of the states around the-- arizona, colorado-- california and nevada army drought contingency plan and our concern is that with this transition there will be eight impact on the water supply if there is lack time during this transition, so would like to know how you exercise your authority and leadership to help the states finalize and implement their drought contingency plan. >> thank you for the question and as i mentioned earlier water is critical for a number of reasons. we have to look at storage, efficiency, our infrastructure all of which are behind and then negotiate in good faith. when everyone walks in a room with that agenda, that's not good faith, so leadership is recognizing the importance of having a win-win and also recognizing that we have to do better on our infrastructure.
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we waste an enormous amount of water in this country, just not having enough especially in the west, not having it in a holding capacity. some of our dams are lacking and there's a lot of opportunity, but we need to manage our resources better and play a huge role in that. >> your committed it to working with the states? >> absolutely. >> senator rich. >> think you and thank you for your willingness to take this on and you know as you see from today it will be a contentious job from time to time, but someone has to do and i'm glad you are there. i'm particularly thankful to the president-elect for picking a westerner who understands the issues. my years here have taught me what a difference between east and west. outcome to the conclusion that the mississippi river gets wider every year and i watched-- i
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watching tennessee as the forest fire burned this year and your heart goes out to those people and everyone is just aghast at this really every year with a number of the senators appear fires that are substantially bigger than what happened in tennessee and i don't mean to denigrate what happened there. it was a terrible disaster, but we live with this all the time and yet we have fought in a bipartisan fashion to try to get firefighting straight out and we have not able to do it. conflict, with the new administration we will have change and we will be able to do it. when you look at their percentages of our states owned by the federal government, two thirds in idaho and substantially more nevada, and i think you will find that it's frustrating because the people who lived east of the mississippi are sometimes very
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cavalier about our problems and probably one of the reasons for that is the monument situation. the president with the stroke of a pen the heat a republican or democrat sets aside a million or more acres. if this happened to a state back east people would be up in arms about it and get it happens, lines up on the front page of the paper and then it is gone and no one thinks about it again and the collaborative methods discussed here is really critical in these public land situations. i did it when i was governor. senator wyden has referred to how they have been doing it in oregon. these things will get done in the future and the only way they will get done and a lot of us have introduced a bill that will do something about that as far as the monuments are concerned. the states really have a role in this and that brings me to my
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next point that i want to make before i run out of time and that is to talk about management in the department of interior. and they don't call it the department of everything else for nothing, i mean, it's got lots and lots of different responsibilities and what have you. one of the most frustrating things that happened to us with the department of interior was with-- [inaudible] >> the secretary when out and said we have a big issue here. governors, why do is sit down and see if you can do something about this and they did and in idaho, don't know about the other states, but i can tell you in idaho it has been incredibly well bringing all sides to the table, using a collaborative method including people from the united states fish and wildlife service is. fish and wildlife services. they had a seat at the table. we constructed a plan, a
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give-and-take process and when they were all done the plan was approved by everyone unanimously including the u.s. fish and wildlife service. than the plan comes back and the un says not so fast. when i first met sally the first thing i said to her after niceties is have you ever heard of sage crash and she said no, she hadn't deny told her the problem we had and i said when you are head of rei the marketing people were fighting with the accounting department and you would step in and do something. i went help on this. fish and wildlife service says it's all right. what are we doing, when agency and they are employing scientists on both sides and they will fight with each other, why bother having u.s. fish and wildlife service if that blm can come in and override. we have made some progress, but
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it's fallen off the charts. my good friend here on my right says there will be wholesale changes at the upa. i hope you can do the same thing at the department of interior. it is frustrating and it makes us angry. when you get to federal agencies in disagreement and the head of the department won't step in and say i'm going to resolve this. on the head of this. blm, stand down these people are in charge of wildlife. if you don't want to do that fine, but then let's get rid of fish and wildlife service. let blm do it if they are going to be the ones to overrule them. i'm encouraged by what i have heard here today. have you ever visited national interagency fire center g? >> nosair. i have been on the front lines on multiple fires. >> so have i and you will be
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impressed when you visit. pitfalls in line with one of the things you and i talked about and that is, they have a map with dinky red.for every fire started america each year and its thousands of them. right in the center of it-- it's located there for a reason. anyway, thank you very much, chair. >> thank you, senator rich. senator king. >> thank you madam chair. welcome to the committee. enjoyed your testimony today. i first went to thank you for your straightforward recognition that climate change is have it-- happening and human activity is contributing to it. the theme of the hearing today has been one size does not fit all and collaboration consultation and vacation. you alluded to an issue with the
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national park there is a national park rule about you can't exploit natural resources on nash-- natural parks. arcadia national park where people of the digging clams and suddenly the park decided you cannot do that anymore. that, to me, is an example of how there should be a better communication and relationship between the park, which does an enormously important asset and its neighboring communities. do you agree? >> i agree and i'm glad you appreciate the theme in collaboration, restoring trust, infrastructure and making sure our lives have the right tools to make the decisions and work with the local communities. >> i hope you take that message throughout the department about listen first and act later and i think we can have as you say restoration of trust and more confidence in the decisions
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wherever they are made. if you are going to move blm out west you are welcome to move the park service where you choose. too far weight someone said. backlog. the backlog in the parks is the straightforward problem of funding. we should be funding to pay the maintenance of the parks. we have been putting it off for 10 or 15 or 20 years and i hope you approach the upcoming budget as saying this is part of our obligation to pay the park rangers and pay the expenses of the parks and to chip away at this backlog. will you consider that? >> absolutely and this is why this committee is so important and the chairman is a portent because i may own the helicopter , but i have to ask you for the gas and in order to fund the parks it goes through this body.
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i have to convince you the money will be spent and be prioritize. i have too convinced the president elect that the parks are his priority as well because they should be america's priorities. >> the point made earlier about the backlog, i think the chairman talked about the return on investment is gigantic. in terms of what we put into the parks versus what the economic activity that they generate in their area, so it's a good investment for the public and i believe for the government itself. similar concern, we are now talking about in recent days about a major defense buildup. we are talking about a major infrastructure investment and major tax cuts, all of those together don't really add up in terms of the budget and the deficit and the debts. therefore, there will be a lot of pressure on various areas of the federal government particularly the non- defense areas. will you resist stoutly with the
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heart of a navy seal efforts to raise-- read the land and water conservation fund to fund other government priorities? >> i'm on record of supporting full funding of the land water conservation fund for a reason. it's incredibly important program and has done great work. this is probably one of the reasons why the president elect put a former navy seal in place. i don't yield to pressure. higher principle, yes, but my job is to advocate for the department of interior and make sure we have the right funds and be a voice in the room on great public policy. there's going to be a lot of times where i'm going to need the help of this body because by myself i don't have the authority. i have to follow the law and i will follow the law. i think a lot of needs to
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adjusted in some areas as this body has often said in order to adjusted we have trust and whoever will execute it will do it well. never to come i need a bipartisan support to make sure the laws adjusted appropriately so we can move the ball up the field, if that is the right terminology, to make our park systems better. >> i can't speak for the committee, but we want to work with you. i learned as a lawyer in maine, when you get the answer you want you sit down and shut up, so i yield back my time. >> 's sake-- thank you, senator king. senator, right on time. >> thank you madam chair. i have enjoyed hearing the testimony. sorry, i had to skip out for eight minutes and i hope i'm not re- plowing old ground here, but as you know arizona is home to a lot of public land. between the land that department
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of interior administers directly and then holds in trust for the tribes is about half of the state rate their. would you take into account federal, state and tribal land, that's about 85% of arizona, so we only have about 15% in private hands and that means decisions made by the federal government including the department of interior have a real outsize impact on the state and we talked about a lot of the issues and thank you for coming to my office. i know you committed to me and it sounds like to everyone else, their stay in the early stages, so you will have a busy travel schedule. in terms of drought in the colorado river and the basin states are very close to an agreement on eight drought contingency plan to leave additional water at the dam at lake mead so we don't hit that trouble stage where their
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arbitrary cuts that would hurt. it's crucial for arizona, obviously. that we work with the in part-- department of interior to ensure that arizona water users to the extent they leave the water behind the dam, that water doesn't disappear down some canal in some other state. that's the only basis on which contingency plan would work. will you-- commit to working with us in that regard cracks we got a shirt/year from the department of interior and that insurance will have to go forward until there is a drought contingency plan? >> i will commit to working. as earlier discussed i recognize water particularly in the west is a big issue. every state in the west and we have to get together and figure this out and i think some of it is the structure. best plan on water requirements will be and that's to make sure we have the infrastructure that
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reaches those requirements and it will probably be tribal and some will be efficiency, some will be building that better capture facilities and look at the infrastructure we have. we are wasting a lot of water or question of that. let's make sure every drop his precious and that our water is clean. i think we can do that. >> still on the subject of water , indian water settlements, the last year right introduced the tribe water rights settlement act and last week i introduced a bill to make necessary corporations to the white mountain apache client settlement. i know you sponsor the blackfeet water act and understand the importance of these settlements for both tribal and nontribal users. can we count on you to work with me and with the tribes and other parties in arizona to make sure the settlement moves forward and also that we get the necessary
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clarifications to the white mountain apache tribe settlement? >> i do and i would also like to thank senator dave for his work on the blackfeet water contact. it's a treaty obligation and i think we need to uphold our parts of that treaty obligation with the water compacts took as you it's a difficult. they involve the state, the tribes, the federal government and within the federal government it's not easy, but i do recognize the importance of working with you on the compacts and also the importance of getting them resolved. they are a liability out there that we need to recognize it's a liability. let's work together to get it done. >> thank you. as you know, cattle ranching has a long history in arizona and continues to hold a prominent place in our present-day state as well as our history.
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i come from a ranching family and this last weekend i was back where i was raised your snowflake. ranching is never an easy business, but made more difficult with issues like was already raised with the boroughs and northwestern arizona and the mexican gray wolf in southeastern arizona. what we continue to hear is a lack of cooperation and coordination between the federal agencies and the local land users. i know you have already committed to work on this. you will be hearing a lot when you come to arizona. the issues we have with the wild boroughs as well as the mexican gray wolf issues. >> i am concerned, quite frankly , that the object of whether it's blm or the forest service. i grew up where smokey the bear was revered i mean who could not like smokey the bear?
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now, in some parts of our great nation it's feared. when they see smokey the bear they think of law enforcement rather than managing our forests, so i'm very concerned about that because it had implications of the next generation, so we have to come together and make sure that the management's, our team out there is viewed as helpful as land managers and not to be feared. you want to stop by and say hello. you don't want to avoid, and in some places the further you get out in parts of alaska and present montana they are viewed as law enforcement and obstructionist, and i think we need to really be careful with leaders of this great nation to recognize it and go forward with solutions and to make sure the next generation looks to law enforcement be it blm or fish
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and game as good neighbors and helpful rather than to be feared >> thank you. senator franken. >> thank you and let me get this straight. smokey the bear is not real; right? >> he is real to me, sir. >> that might be disqualifying. thank you for your service as a navy seal, to your daughters service as a navy seal, to your son-in-law who frankly terrifies me. i don't know if anyone has looked at him. he's out with one of your granddaughters, who by the way your granddaughter where the unsung heroes of this herein. you have been wonderful work you have a beautiful family. >> thank you. >> i want to get into what i consider a false choice and the
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paul's choices i hear you reiterated a couple of times is between addressing climate change and of the economy. i think that is a false choice. i think it's a false choice because number one, if we don't address it, it's going to cost us a tremendous amount of resources. superstore c&d costs like-- superstore c&d costs like $60 billion because sea levels have risen. glacier national park will be i don't know, lake national park or mountain national park, but it's not going to be glacier in 30 years and in minnesota, we have built lots and lots of clean energy jobs and we are addressing climate change and we put in a renewable energy standard and it's been very successful for our businesses.
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you signed a letter in 2010, and i just want to get your-- clarify your stance. in this letter that you urge federal lawmakers-- hundreds and hundreds of state legislators to quote pass comprehensive clean energy jobs and climate change legislation. this letter also stated that quote climate change is a threat multiplier for instability in the most volatile regions of the world and that the climate change threats presents significant national security challenges for the united states , challenges that should be addressed today because they will almost certainly get worse if we delay. i completely agree with that letter.
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and i ask you an animus consent, mountain chair, this into the record. thank you. you were a navy seal for 23 years, so you probably know better than most people here about protecting our country. i completely agree with your stance in this letter. that climate change threatens our national security. the defense department certainly knows that. it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible, so i went to ask you, do you still feel that's climate change is a significant national security threat and one that requires immediate action or has your position changed since you've been in congress? >> that's a great question. >> thank you. >> you are welcome. i went to be honest, the three tenets of climate change, when we both agree that the climate
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is changing. we both agree band has had eight influence, major influence. if you just look at co2 levels-- >> and how they parallel with temperature rise took last year was the highest year on record. the year before the hottest and this will be hotter. it's happening and sea level is rising. >> and i'm not an expert in this field. what i do know-- >> that to me is a copout. >> i want to be honest. >> i'm not a doctor, but i have to make healthcare decisions. >> i also sit on the national resource committee and i have went through hundreds of hours of testimony on all topics. there is no model today that can predict tomorrow, so when we agree is we need objective science to number one, figure a
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model out and number two, figure what we are going to do about it. what do we do? when you say that we went to on co2 recognize co2 level, absolutely. recognize the ocean's contributor to it. when a small rise in temperature in the ocean makes a big difference in co2. >> it absorbs the co2 and it makes a big difference in sea level and that means storm surges creates tremendous damage and are going to create climate to refugees and are going to require and i know i'm out of time, they will be requiring the use of our military. if we don't do something about it and i think this is a false choice. we could build an economy: sell to the chinese, so clean energy technology, that's what we should be doing. i'm sorry i've gone over my time >> we do have a vote coming up shortly and i would like to get
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to the two remaining members that have not had a chance to ask questions and it's my intention that we had a second round after this, but we will have a break as well. senator portman. >> thank you madam chair. commander, thank you for your willingness to step forward and serve. we have had a lot of discussions today about issues relating to the department of interior and your role, one i went to focus on is the national parks. i think it's a great opportunity for you in our country to deal with the 12 billion-dollar maintenance backlog we talked about, to preserve and protect these great treasures. we just went through a process in congress of considering this and the legislation, which was tied in with the centennial last year, passed in the wee hours of the morning, just about a month ago. it passed with indispensable help of the chair and ranking
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members here today. it's something i have worked on for nine years going back to my time as office management budget director where we put a centennial challenge together. the challenges two parts, one helps with the park service by allowing private sector funds to be raised to match federal funding and also helps the foundation to raise funds. that money, by the way, will be within your discretion and i hope some will be used for deferred maintenance and i hope some will be used for other special projects to enhance our parks. my question is, are you aware of this program and its potential? will be getting an example, even before it was authorized month ago some of this was happening in the match is expected to be one to one was almost two to one , a dollar up funding
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resulted in $2 a private sector funding. so, how do you feel about the program? are you supportive of it and specifically would you support funding in this appropriation cycle? >> i am aware of it and i think it's a great opportunity. number one, the secretary of interior as it turns out i have a number of boards and the diversity of talent both the business and conservation and foundations like this offering unique opportunity for innovation and looking at different ways of not only funding our parks, but also looking at protecting our parks and trails willing. i think it's opportunity we need to look at, you know, how to reestablish a national trail building program. a lot i would assume would come from private sector, citing the foundation and other boards are
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unique opportunity to leverage and i'm a strong proponent of it. >> glad to hear that and we will need your help. this is crucial given the state of the parks and i will say in ohio, we don't have a lot of federal public lands, but we do have beautiful parks. when you are on your tour somewhere between hawaii and montana we expect you to drop into ohio and see one of the great suburban parks in america where there is access to a huge population in the area and a lot of young people, a lot of schools are engaged, which is what we need more of it. with regard to rules and orders at the department and with their finalized in the last 60 days prior to your cup-- confirmation, should you be confirmed, i have heard constituents worried about job losses and other economic impacts. in general what is your plan
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with regard to 11th hour rules that have come in and specifically with regard to the buffer rule? what are your thoughts? >> i find that 11th hour rule to be problematic. it shows to me that previous to that there was no collaboration or the collaborative effort was not affected and so generally the last hour rules resulted distrusts and policy that i think is not conducive of a collaborative and trust relationship. if confirmed, we will look out whatever is in my power authority and evaluate everything on the table as it should be. specifically, different rules, but in general we have a last-minute rule that means it was a last-minute decision and there wasn't working with this
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body to make sure we have a solution that should stand. >> thank you. i appreciate that. finally, great lakes and went-- one ask you to answer because my time is expiring, but you asked about evasive species and fish a lot of very helpful. there are early warning signals really for the bighead carp coming up another invasive species, so we look forward to working with you and your commitment to her and those of us that want to preserve the great treasure of our great lakes. thank you. >> for the information of members the boat has started. we will have the cert-- senator ask her questions and we will take a break and be back at 5:00 p.m. you are recognized. >> thank you madam chair. congressman, you will be awfully busy because when you came to see me you committed to coming
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to home why and i think you also mentioned visiting with the territories which includes guam, puerto rico and other places as well as i think the compact nations. they would love to see you, should you be confirmed. in the discussion about energy he said a number of times you support all of the above, which sounds great except that in all of the above what's happened is that the fossils-- the fossil fuel side energy has gotten a lot of support over a decade, so i hope when you say all of the above that you will also be committed to providing more resources and support particularly r&d for return-- alternatives and renewables in addition to fossil fuels. we need to have a more level playing field for policies that truly reflect support for all of the above. >> i have always been a strong proponent on the record for
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research and development of different technologies, different innovations in different opportunities in the complete spectrum of the energy to include looking at traditional sources to make sure we are better at doing it. certainly, horizontal drilling, fracking, all of the above i think is the right approach. when it comes in the test tube and into feeling, energy needs to be affordable, reliable. >> i think when you look at the 100 years in the future and you recognize climate change is upon us and it is a multiplier, it's a threat multiplier and the admiral has testified to that, so i know serving in the military you are aware of the 30 years that we need to do more than continue to provide the kind of sustained support we
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have provided to the fossil fuel side. we get to the question of infrastructure because i am all for what you are saying about the need to pay attention to infrastructure needs of doi, but it's always an issue of how we will pay for it and i'm glad you're not going to raise a lw cf to pay for some 11 billion and infrastructure needs, but sensed-- department stone operate in a vacuum, would you support privatizing social security or privatizing medicare to pay for doi infrastructure needs. >> so, how are we going to do it my question and not to evade the answer, but looking at our budget we spend 70% of our budget in entitlements, 30% in nondiscretionary. we are not going to be able to cut our way out of the problems we have.
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nor will it be able to tax our way out. the only hope of america is to grow our way out and we can energy is part of it, innovation is part of it. but we will need on economy grows and we can compete, not only can we compete, but we can dominate. god has given us so much and i think-- the way out of this problem-- >> i hate to interrupt, but i am most out of time and i waited a long time. >> very patient. >> it sounds to me as if you would grow the economy rather than cut back on these kinds of programs that so many people especially our seniors rely upon you know, as talented as you are you will not be able to do the job all by yourself, so you will have an opportunity to weigh in on the people who will become your deputy assistants etc.
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what kind of qualities would you look for in those people? >> loyalty, teamwork, trust, confidence, commitment and i think in each of the divisions they have different challenges. the challenges at blm is different than fish and wildlife and blm took they had to put the right person in the right spot from a sea of perspective we need fearless roughriders that will make the decision, regardless of what-- whether you will get sued or not. our policy has been whether we are going to get sued. what is the right or wrong policy and this is where i will need your help in order to develop the right policy, we
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should not be in fear of being sued time after time after time again. we should develop the right policy and how people in place that are willing to make the right decision. >> i hope so. i agree with you. with the chairs indulgence i would like to ask one more question regarding sexual harassment in the department. clearly this has been going on for way too long, over a decade since it first came to light in your park service and so as in the military sexual assault in the military is a huge scourge on the military and i would quench your commitment that you will do whatever you need to do to prevent, which includes changing the culture, by the way a culture within the park service that lends itself to sexual harassment that there will be prosecution, meaning there will be a cat ability to the perpetrators of this behavior and that the third is that you will do specific things to prevent retaliation because these are the kinds of occurrences and factors that
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have been a scourge in the military, so i would like your commitment towards making those changes and i will certainly follow up with you. >> and you have my commitment. there will be zero tolerance and i will be fearless in this. >> thank you madam chair. >> with that that we will stand at ease hopefully until just about 5:00 o'clock when we will come back for a second round. thank you. >> the senate energy committee taking a break in his confirmation hearing of congressman ryan zinke and we will be back with more of last week's hearing in a couple moments. reminder that coming up at
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1:30 p.m. white house press secretary sean spicer will hold its first formal briefing. he met briefly with them saturday when he read a statement about the inauguration crowd numbers. you did not take questions, but we will have it live on c-span2 starting at 1:30 p.m. eastern. one of the issues he may be asked about is his signing of an executive order announcing a plan to withdraw from the transpacific partnership. of the hill reporting that president trump will instead start individual trade negotiations with the countries and he called the ttp a potential disaster for our country and said he prefers bilateral trade deals. withdrawing from it would unravel years of work and eject fresh uncertainty into global relations. stomach the u.s. senate will be in session today at 3:00 p.m. eastern starting with the perverse fall legislative week of the new congress with members considering the nomination of congressman mike pompeo to seat-- tia

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