tv Committee Vote on Scott Pruitt EPA Nomination Delayed CSPAN February 2, 2017 3:21am-4:17am EST
ask all we want is the truth for the american people. i feel very sad about the president making this claim. i felt sorry for him. i even pray for him. and i pray for the united states of america. >> liz cheney addressing enhanced interrogation. do support enhanced interrogation. i think it is something that has clearly helped us in the past to save lives and prevent attacks. i was pleased to see him take that step. announcer: watch our programs anytime, go to c-span.org. >> democrats boycott prop -- scott pruitt's vote. that is the headline in the "washington post." after the vote on the nomination of oklahoma attorney general scott pruitt to become the next epa administrator. the hearing is just under an hour.
good morning, i call this business meeting to order. i have been informed that no democrats will be in attendance tos morning in an effort delay and obstruct the nomination of scott pruitt to be -- administration of administrator of the environmental protection agency. it is a disappointing turn of events, but let's review some history. 1993, epay 20, administrator nominee carol browner under democrat president bill clinton was confirmed by the senate. this is one day after he took office. on january 30, 2001, epa administrator nominee chris because whitman under bush was confirmed by the full senate. on january 22, 2009, nominee lisa jackson under democrat president barack obama was
confirmed by the full senate two days after he took office. today is february 1 and the minority has now obstructed even having a vote in committee on president donald trump's nominee scott pruitt. i hope this is not the new normal. we cannot afford for the epa to go without an administrative for -- administrator for the foreseeable future. this will impact future epa administrator nominees. these precedents for this delay will likely have long term impacts after today's nominee has left office. this boycott not only affects the epa, but it also prevents this committee from organizing. no one can complain that the trump administration and its policies, if they sabotage the very formation of the committee that is supposed to conduct the oversight. there are a number of consequences to not having a
fully functional epa and a fully functional senate, environmental and public works committee. there are key issues that epa and the senate dpw committee that we could and should be working on, including cold war -- borders ofing the united states policy, cold war legacy pollution cleanup, addressing brownfield, ensuring a fermentation of legislation to name a few. none of this is made better by this boycott. this amounts to nothing more than political theater at the expense of working on issues that we care about. the ranking member in the -- and the minority have complained about the nomination process, let's set the record straight. attorney general pruitt has been through an extremely thorough and fair process. i would like to read some quotes from the members of the minority who have praised the unprecedented hearing we had on the nominee, while it was
occurring. the ranking member stated "i , appreciate the way you have conducted this hearing today. i appreciate the members coming back again and again." my colleague from new jersey stated "this is my first time , going through nomination hearings. you have been generous in the way you are conducting these hearings. i think it is important that we note that and i appreciate the number of rounds you are doing." my colleague from rhode island stated "i think you have been , fair." these numbers are correct. the hearing was fair. for its time for questions from the nominee. let's be clear, attorney general pruitt has answered more questions than any administrator nominee in recent memory. he answered a total of more than 1200 questions. he answered over 1000 more questions than the epa
administrator nominees for the incoming obama, bush, and clinton administrations. the letter that the ranking member sent me dated january 30 highlighted what he believed were a lack of substantive answers from the nominee. to that i would quote my colleague from rhode island in 2013 when he stated during the during the mccarthy nomination business meeting that, "it is not the minorities right to get nominees to agree with them in advance." the minority may not like all of attorney general pruitt's answers, but he is given them answers. ranking member carper made a prediction during the first nomination business meeting for gina mccarthy in 2013 he said, "someday there'll be a republican president. he said someday the republicans , will be in the majority in the senate. that republican president is going to have his or her cabinet in place.
i think you can nominate a governor or good people or hard-working people, they ought to get at least a vote. they ought to get a vote, and i think they ought to get our support." mr. pruitt ought to get at least a vote. he ought to get a vote, he ought to get our support. back, i recognize members of the committee who would like to speak. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in case you are wondering why our audience is more distinguished than normal, we are graced by the oklahoma wheat growers association. all of them know the nominee personally. thank you for the chance to get on the record. as we all want to do, concerning this nominee. he is a personal friend of those of us in oklahoma and he has gone beyond being responsive to this committee. i think it is important to get into the record, because we are making the record here, what he has actually been through. he went through four rounds of
question. that's more rounds than any other nominee in the recorded history of this committee. in addition, he is answered 206 -- has answered 206 of our questions during that time. that was just the beginning of it. once the hearing was over our , friends on the other side submitted 1078 questions for the record. now, the chairman has talked about some of the previous nominees. in this case, the browner nomination, she had a total of 137 questions for the record. he had 1078. during christie todd whitman, she had 178 questions for the record. when lisa jackson was here, she had only 133. he had 1078 questions for the record, including extra questions from sen. carper:,
asked in a december 28 letter. this means that he answered 1000 more questions than any other administrator nominee in the last three presidential administrations. last week, dpw -- environmental public works democrats held a , shadow hearing inviting partisan environmentalists to talk to each other, including a former employee of the oklahoma attorney general's office of pruitt's predecessor who was sued and settled outside of court for workplace harassment. great witness. even with the unnecessary questions at the shadow hearing, pruitt continued talk with ranking member carver by phone on monday answering even more questions. i know about this phone call and no new questions were asked. none. ranking member carver asked the same recusal questions posed at the january 18 nomination hearing, even though he had the
employeeom the ethics stating that pruitt has satisfied all ethics requirements and has entered into the same recusal agreement as former administrator lisa jackson. the other side just happens not to like the answer. i will ask that we had the letter added into the record after my remarks. ranking member carver complained that pruitt's description of the illinois river agreement was wrong. pruitt has negotiated the first limit on phosphorus in illinois river. that is simply a fact. he complained about pruitt's answers on whether the epa can control mercury from power plants alleging that pruitt opposes it simply because he was on the winning side of the michigan versus epa legislation. the supreme court found the epa did not bother to consider the cost of the epa's own rules, contrary to law.
finally, he played about the -- complaint about the answers to nine questions out of 1000 78 1078 questions when thousands , of new questions are pruitt had to refer to the process in oklahoma's opens record act to get a response to the question. here are some examples of the democrat members questions. you can decide whether or not referral to the open records act was appropriate. senator cardin in his 29 point -- 29th question said, "please provide all communications you have had with representatives of agricultural and other companies regarding water quality litigation between arkansas and oklahoma." his 119th question has been a litigation -- litigant or petitioner against the epa. please provide any and all documents including written,
electronic correspondence, audio tapes electronic records, , videotapes, photographs, telephone messages, voicemails, emails, facsimiles daily , agendas, calendars, information, discussion either -- whether in person or over the phone, agendas, minutes, list of participants for those meetings and/or discussions and transcripts and notes of any such meetings or discussions. from the date of which are -- your office first began to prepare the litigation at hand to the date of the letter between you or other employees in your office and each representative of each nongovernmental entity that you committed hated about the -- committed about the litigation. that was all in one question. that was part of the 1078 questions. the 61st question. for each year since 1995, that
is 22 years of records, lee -- please provide information regarding the state of oklahoma's environmental enforcement efforts. specifically descriptions of each environmental enforcement action, including proceedings initiated by the attorney general's office, including the date of the action it was initiated the list and , the name of the subject of the action, the nature of the action environmental violation that led to, the annual budget, the number of employees, and this best described each environmental enforcement action including investigations and enforcement procedures that was closed including a description of the resolution of the matter. whether a fine or penalty was levied. the amount of such fine or if sothe amount of such fine or, -- if so the amount of such fine , or penalty. whether nonmonetary remedies were required and if so, what.
whether criminal prosecution was initiated in the matter and if so what the solution or , resolution to the prosecution was. that was the end of that question. senator whitehouse's 84th and 85th question. list all matters you have had with the department of the interior or the epa into became the attorney general of oklahoma for the purpose of this and the following questions -- matters referred to lawsuits in which your office filed a friend of the court brief, enforcement actions, investigations, rulemaking, any other matter which included adjudication between parties. let me repeat. scott pruitt has answered 1000 more questions than any other nominee in the last three presidential administrations. scott pruitt went through four rounds of questioning. that is more rounds than anyone has had to be subjected to in
the history of this committee. it is time, i think that we move , on and get him voted out. he will make a great administrator of the epa and a refreshing change. thank you, mr. chairman. >> was there something you wanted to introduce to the record? earli, i mentioned that er, and that is the letter i referred to. >> without objection. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm here today to strongly support scott pruitt's nomination to be the epa administrator. we need a functioning environmental protection agency and america deserves a change of the epa that they voted for this fall. the american people have been denied fouts -- votes because of the democrat's decision to boycott today's business meeting. as has been mentioned scott , pruitt has been through a very thorough process. and thank you mr. chairman for
that. the gentleman from oklahoma -- i got exhausted just listening to the question. the attorney general has answered over 1200 questions by the time you had the written questions and the questions that were offered during the committee hearing. no recent nominee for the epa administrator has answered as many questions that we have heard. i understand that my democrat colleagues may not agree with attorney general pruitt answers or with his philosophy, but disagreement with a nominee's position cannot justify a decision to boycott a scheduled committee vote. democrats should instead give the nominee the same consideration that has been given to the other nominees from both parties. as we heard carol browner had a , hearing and was confirmed on the 21st of january. kristi kotten whitman in 2001 had her hearing on the 17th of january and was confirmed on the 30th. in 2009, lisa jackson had a hearing on january 14 and was confirmed on two days after the january 22, president had been
sworn in. scott pruitt's hearing was two weeks ago. he has been very visible and very open to questions. today, here we are. it is february 1. later than the date of confirmation for his recent predecessors. his nomination is continuing to avoid action in this debate. -- committee. democrats are just wasting time with stunts like today's boycott. i found the quote that i heard and kept trying to figure out who i could attributed. they are living on 20% of life it if a student does not show up, they will flunk the class. if a worker does not show up, they get fired from their jobs. our constituents elected us to do our job, that includes coming to committee hearings and voicing our opinion. they have had more than ample opportunities to hear from attorney general pruitt. now is the time for the committee to vote. senators to vote yes or no. they can express their opinions.
but failing to show up is not -- does not serve our constituents. now i agree with senator , sanders, a member of this committee and we probably do not agree on a whole lot of other things. he said in 2013 that when people have honest differences of opinion, we debate it. that's what congress is made to do. when the goal is obstructionism, i would draw this conclusion. we are not responding to the needs of the american people if there is not an epa administrative. -- administrator. if the democrats were present for this boat, we could debate -- vote, we could debate are honest differences. i would point out that there are tens of thousands of coal mining jobs in my state that it been lost in large part due to epa regulations. we can discuss the hardships for the misguided rules for farmers, gas workers, and coal miners. we can talk about the great work the epa does to talk about clean air and water. then we could talk about whether scott pruitt should be the next
administrator. i'm disappointed that we are not going to have a two-sided debate here. he has a distinguished record of enforcing our environmental laws and working to protect clean air unduly costingut jobs are economic growth. i commend the chairman for the thorough confirmation process is conducted. i look forward to voting in favor of attorney general scott pruitt to be our next epa in -- administrator. >> that you very much. senator bozeman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it truly is disappointing that members of our committee are unable to come together and vote on the nomination of attorney general scott pruitt for the position of administrator of the epa. i understand that my friends on the other side of the isle are not happy with the trump administration and are doing everything possible to delay voting. on many of his cabinet nominees. however, as chairwoman boxer 2007 stated, elections have consequences. the truth is that no one has
patient thanmore this chairman. i urge my democrat colleagues to quit calling a vote on the nomination. attorney general pruitt has been through a grueling nomination process and has done everything that has been asked of him. this includes answering more questions then incoming nominees for the same position in the obama, bush, and clinton administrations. many of my democratic friends will say he is not sufficiently answered many other questions. -- of their questions. i would like to point out there is a difference between not having a question answered, and receiving the answer that you do not like or cannot agree with. i would also add many of the 1078 questions for the record which he answered in a timely , fashion were essentially the , same questions he was asked at his nearly six hour-long hearing two weeks ago. it is unreasonable for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to expect a different answer to the same question.
here are the answers that matter. attorney general pruitt has agreed to be transparent in the epa's rulemaking process. something that the obama administration refused to do. he has agreed to bring stakeholders to the private sector of the table when developing rules, ensuring that everyone's voice will be heard. he has promised to be or threat -- be forthright with congress and get his answers whenever we everyone's voice will be heard. have questions or concerns something former administrator mccarthy was unable to do while running the epa. lastly, he has promised to follow the rule of law ensuring that the epa will go back to its core mission protecting the , environment by carrying out the laws developed by congress. this will ensure that the epa will not become a political arm of the trump administration. it's time for us to put aside partisan squabbles and vote and -- on this very qualified and respected candidate to lead the epa. now is the time to roll up our
sleeves and get to work. attorney general pruitt's responses to the questions but -- before him during the confirmation earned the opportunity to be considered by the full senate and that begins with this committee voting on his nomination. i know some of my colleagues are not happy with who is in the white house president trump is , not only president for republicans, he is the president of all american citizens and deserves to have the people in place to help him do the job he was elected to do. in 2009, the full senate approved seven of president obama's cabinet nominees his first day in office. it's almost two weeks in this chamber has not voted on seven of president trump's nominees. republicans have the votes necessary to to confirm many of the trump administration's nominees. but the democrats have fundamental differences with the new administration. i can honestly say i understand why democrats were upset. i was upset when president obama
was forcing rules and regulations down the throat of congress. but i say to my democrat friends, being in the minority in the senate house and losing the white house does not mean your job is done. you have an incredible opportunity as an epw member to keep the new administration in check. to ensure that the attorney general keeps his word. he is transparent and available to stakeholders in congress. though it is not happen today, i -- happening today i am pleased , to support attorney general pruitt's nomination in this committee and allow our colleague a vote on the senate floor. attorney general pruitt is a strong candidate. i look forward to working with him as the epa administrator. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator bozeman. sen. wicker: -- sen. wicker. >> thank you mr. chairman. i too support scott pruitt. let me say, i think objective
observers who watched his testimony would have to agree that it was an impressive display of knowledge and patience. attorney general pruitt demonstrated that he is intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, patient, and knowledgeable. and i think, because of that, he will eventually be confirmed. we are going to get through this. the people on the other side of the dais are friends of mine. i'm disappointed in them today. frankly, i was disappointed in their conduct during the hearing.
taking a complicated issue and asking the witness to answer yes or no, yes or no, when we all know that those issues didn't call for a yes or no answer. putting up a poster of campaign contributors to the republican attorney general's association to somehow suggest that that in -- impeached the ability of attorney general pruitt to be administrator of the environmental protection agency. it was silly. it was beneath them. again, we will get past this. but it was a disappointment to me, as friends of my colleagues on the other side. this action today by the democratic members of this committee is not about the qualifications of attorney general pruitt to be head of the
epa. it is simply about their disappointment with the results of the november election. pure and simple. i would say to my colleagues, you are making yourselves look bad. there are other statements that i was hearing on television last night after the president made his supreme court nomination. we are ultimately going to be judged in the court of public opinion. i think the american people are ready to put the election -- the close election that we had, behind us. accept the results and move forward to govern this nation. i'm proud of this nominee. i am pleased that the president is putting forward i , disappointed in my democratic colleagues, but this nominee
will be confirmed. we will move on. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator. thank you, senator, for deferring your time to the unavoidable scheduling conflict. >> thank you, senator fischer very much. i would like you echoed the same sentiments of many of my colleagues that are here today. i would like to state for the record that this committee and all republicans in the senate are committed to a fair and full confirmation process. i know chairman barrasso has worked really hard to make sure that is the case for mr. pruitt. vetting nominees is unimportant -- is an important role. it is one that i take seriously, as do my colleagues. there comes to a point where vetting is turned into obstruction. that is what we are witnessing here today. mr. pruitt has answered more than 1200 questions from this committee. 1200 questions. that is over 1000 more answers
than incoming nominees are epa administrator from the last four administrations. lisa jackson, nominated by president obama to be epa administrator at the start of his presidency, and viewed as a very controversial pick by many on this committee, was asked to answer 202 questions. 202 compared to 1200. i would ask my colleagues on the other side, what is the true purpose of their witchhunt? because if the answer is to get more clarity on mr. pruitt -- policy views or positions, chairman brosseau has given you an on precedent amount of time and opportunity to get those answers. surpassing committee standards set in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2013. in fact, some of you publicly
acknowledge that you were pleased with how this committee conducted the confirmation hearing. so i would remind my democratic colleagues of their words in 2013, back when this committee was concerning gina mccarthy and roles were reversed. cardinr example, senator who said "it has nothing to do with information not made available. it has everything to do with obstructionism. mr. chairman, i will wrap up my comments here, that will leave my colleagues on the other side with one final thought. will they take the blame for an epa that is not fully operational? bid, even if we have an environmental crisis. when people have honest differences of opinions, we debate it. when the goal is simply obstructionism, i would draw this conclusion. we are not responding to the needs of the american people if
there is not an epa administrator. and folks, those are not my words. those are the words that came fromsenator bernie sanders 2013. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator fischer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i thank you for your hearing process that we had with attorney general pruitt . as you said, we had unlimited rounds on any number of questions asked during the public hearing. have given this man 1200 questions to respond to and he has. really goingu for above and beyond what i have seen happen, not just in this committee, but any other committee in the united states senate, no matter if it is shared -- chaired by a
republican or democrat. thank you, senator brosseau. i would also like to think scott pruitt. he treated this committee and this process with the utmost respect. he had a very respectful demeanor. he answered every question thoroughly and if he was unable to answer at the time, he provided the information later. i know oklahoma can be proud of the gentleman that we had before us. not only was he respectful, but he was also our articulate. -- also articulate. he spoke with a calmness and a surety when he gave his answers. it was obvious how intelligence he is. it was obvious that he is well-qualified for this position because of his -- not only vast
experience, but his vast knowledge on many of these issues. it is disappointing that our democrat colleagues are not here today doing their job, and that job is to be able to debate with us, to be able to discuss so that we can continue this open transparent and accountable that every senate committee hearing should be. that is what it should be, but we continue to do that. but instead, we are seeing filibustering at the committee level. you know, i have had many, many disagreements with the previous administrator, but we have always showed a mutual respect for each other. when administrative mccarthy came before this committee, we conversations.k
we would have open conversations and we did it in full view of the public, so that every citizen has the opportunity to see what our discussions were. i think our former administrator for the respect that she showed this committee. i think her for the civility that all members of this committee showed to her, and it disappointing that we are unable to see that today. i don't believe americans want to see this from the representatives. americans want all of us to be able to have respectful conversations and to do so in a manner that promotes the values
of this country, and that is that we respect each other, we continue to have dialogue and we continue to work for the people of this country. hope that our colleagues on the other side that are -- our democrat colleagues will come to so that we can show that respect for each other and respect for the process and respect for the united states .enate i hope that they will come before us so that we can get to work, so that they can get to work because that is what the american people expect us to do. they expect us to do our jobs. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator moran. calling thisfor
meeting. i am sorry for the circumstances we find ourselves in. i would just like to make three points. one, i would like to compliment you and the way you have conducted this process. i don't see how anyone could reach a conclusion it has been .nything the fair, appropriate secondly, i would like to comment briefly on the quality of the nominee, as a kansan from -- neighboring state, i found the attorney general to fit the qualifications of an individual i would find great comfort in. his testimony here showed significant knowledge, thereation, experience, is also a practical side to help environmental regulations have an impact on the opportunities americans have. how do we keep the american dream alive at the same time as keeping the environment clean and desirable. i choose to live in kansas for a number of reasons, one is that
the sunset, the sky, the water, it is a beautiful place. we wanted to stay that way. we also want economic activity. we want our kids to be raised on a farm, but also become farmers. we want to find the right balance. i found the attorney general's testimony very satisfactory in that regard. finally, most importantly to me example of the dysfunction of the united states senate by the actions taken by our colleagues on this committee. i have said this numerous times, mostly to him. i don't think i is said in public here. i was elected to the united states senate six years ago in 2010. there is nothing in my background that would suggest i would grow up to be a member of the united states senate. family, nof my qualifications other than i am in american citizen. some of you said when i arrived in the senate, i was welcomed by the been majority leader harry reid.
kind toreid was very me, welcomed me onto the senate floor. he asked how i would -- how i liked being here. i indicated how honored i was. sir, it seems, like we won't be able to do anything. was, you just need to understand we aren't going to do anything. that was very discouraging to me. in any mean this personal accomplishment way, but to become a member of the united states senate, by the grace of god, kind -- kindness of kansans, only to understand the plan was to do nothing. for much of my time in the united states senate, i have been working on behalf of every senator to have a sense that we have a job to do and work to be done. toall ought to have a chance advocate on behalf of our constituents. i come from kansas and we have
many different points of view than people who come from other places in the country. his country is a diverse place. the united states senate is a place in which that diversity is overcome. it is a place where it should be overcome. an understanding that someone may disagree with you, but it doesn't make them evil. an understanding that someone may disagree with you, that maybe you can learn something from the disagreement and modify your own position. none of that can happen and the example today is, this committee doesn't function. it is discouraging to see that we are in the mode of, we aren't going to do anything. i don't expect to win every battle. i recognize that often, my points of view, coming from where i come from, is a minority point of view. i have the opportunity to advocate and hope one day, our point of view becomes the majority. i don't expect success today,
but the opportunity to pursue success in the future. if we can't even make together, we can't even have the debate. we neverrules, and have the chance to convince each other that we are wrong or right. we are missing something important to the legislative process. it is just one more disappointment in a circumstance we ought not face. , i tried toould say set the expectations that maybe after the election -- next election, if we could just get through an election, maybe we could come together and govern. a be something has to happen. early in my time in politics, people would say, we can't do it right now. there is an election just around the corner. usually that was a month out. and over nine, -- time, it became comic it is election year. it is an election cycle. we can't use that as an excuse. today, we don't even have that excuse.
with the new president to serve in office for the next four years, we ought not to stand for the inability to govern. to reach conclusions, make decisions based on the fact that this is politics. have become too often, governing by tantrum. the governing needs to take place among members of the senate and it can start right here with the committee. mr. chairman, i thank you for the way you've conducted the hearing. i express my gratitude for a nominee willing to put himself and his family through the process. i would ask all my colleagues to find ways for us to solve problems by working together. >> thank you, senator. senator sullivan. sen. sullivan: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to express my appreciation for how you run this hearing. i think it was probably the most
thorough hearing for an eda administrator probably in u.s. history. it was done in a very respectful manner. all the members very much appreciated it. sometimes in these hearings, you can't make the hearing because you are at another hearing, but just for the record, i was out in the hallway and the vast majority of our colleagues were literally meandering in the hallway in front of the hearing room. i invited them to come in and unfortunately they politely declined. it is not like they are busy. literally circling the hallway. mr. chairman, we have differences of opinion in this committee. we donate them. s of opinion in this committee. that is often a good ink. we debate them, we share ideas, we give the voters the best we have and then we the people chose president trump over secretary of state hillary clinton.
over secretary of state hillary clinton, and when they did that, they did no knowing he would appoint a new cabinet, and they voted for action, and they voted for a smooth transition, and they expected us, these committees to give us a open and fair and arrow nominating process -- confirmation process for the members of the cabinet, and that is what you did and that is what we all did. i think, as the hearing revealed, attorney general 's highly qualified for the epa administrator job. the epa needs a serious course correction after the lawless leadership of gina mccarthy, and mr. pruitt has shown he has the commitment, intellect, experience to lead this change, and i think that will be critical for america and certainly for my state of alaska. mr. chairman, what is going on here?
the outset, my colleagues are out literally me in the hallway. this is simply a senatorial temper tantrum. andtorial temper tantrum, as all the parents here know, temper tantrums waste a lot of energy, but they do not accomplish anything. the american people deserve that her. i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to come back to the committee. let's get to work, and here is the important thing -- i think it is really important to recognize sometimes this committee is viewed as a very partisan committee, but this is a committee that actually gets things done. with the new set of the epa, we can do that in a bipartisan way. i'm glad to see the former chairman is here. first two years in the senate, this committee was the most active committee.
with republicans and a democrat and we stillhouse, got those things past. i would ask my colleagues -- sees the temper tantrum. let's get back to work. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sullivan. chairman.ou, mr. i think a lot of things have been said today that needed to be said by members of the power party, the party actually showing up for this particular committee hearing. i'm going to be brief, but it gentlemanind that a that led south dakota, former governor, by the name of george mickelson used to say that things get done by people that show up. he did not say things get done by people that don't show up or that are protesting. our friends on
the other side of the aisle -- and we know them personally, that they are good people -- they decided this was a protest, and it is a protest because they are not going to receive the nominee that they wanted. when they lost the election, it was hard on them, and they are still dealing that pain, and because of that, they are up.esting by not showing it slows down the work of the senate. it will not stop the work of the senate, but it does show one of the reasons why it is so hard to get lots of different things done that i think the american people really wanted to see get done. scott pruitt is the attorney general. he comes in with the qualifications clearly in a position to make changes within the environmental protection agency that many of us wanted to see. he believes in sound science. he is one of the guys that understands that regulations really do impact the day to day lives of american citizens. that state and
local units of government should have a say in how those regulations are established. epa, when it works correctly works in a federalist role, one in which they cooperate and coordinate with units of government. i think he will add value to the epa, and i think in the future he will. simply delaying a change in leadership at the environmental protection agency does not help our country. for our friends on the other side of the aisle, when we were growing up, our mom and dad used to tell us that it was not appropriate to say i met at the game that was chosen, so i will take my ball and go home, and that is kind of what we're seeing here. in the meantime, we have to get through this. we have to be the adults in the room. we have to act ike adults in the room. we will follow the rules, but we will eventually approve mr. the next administrator
for the environmental protection agency, but in the meantime, it has slowed down the process within the united states, and a lot of things on which the republicans and democrats can agree on. time on the floor of the senate is extremely valuable, and i think it's one that republicans and democrats both agree that when that time is as valuable as it is, it cannot be wasted. unfortunately, what we are seeing from our colleagues is every opportunity that they can to slow down the work in the united states senate continues. they have slowed down, they had declined in many cases to give time back even when they are done with the debate, and this is just one more glaring example of a dysfunction within this that could really work better than what it does today. i think rather than simply beating them up over this time and time again, we should simply remind them that i think we all know there's a better way to get this stuff done and simply not showing up for a committee hearing is probably one of the and one ofsh things
the more childish behaviors when it comes to protesting. i think the value here could have then if they were on the other side of the aisle and simply pointed out their point of view, and if they disagreed or had reasons why mr. pruitt should not be identified as the next administrator, to be able to come in and voice those and to lay out their arguments in opposition to our arguments in favor of them. it would have been a healthy discussion and an example for young people across this country about the way our government should work, and an open and public debate and discourse -- that is the healthy part of this process, but simply not showing up because you lost an election is probably not the most appropriate way to set an example for the next generation. with that, mr. chairman, i would acknowledge the way in which you handle series of committee hearings. it has been fair. mr. pruitt has answered over than anybodystions
else applying for this job has in the past, and it simply is clear that our friends on the other side of the aisle have chosen what i believe to be the wrong way to protest the loss of an election, and they have provided additional reasons to point out the dysfunction that sometimes occurs in what should be a very deliberative body in the united states senate. with that, mr. chairman, thank you for what you have done to try to move this process forward. thank you very much. they call the members for being here. i want to close with stating that not having a vote on this nominee today, not organizing this important committee is a shame. noelieve no one is served, environmental goal is achieved by democrats acting in this obstructionist way, so i want to quote one of my colleagues from oregon on the other side of the aisle when he stated in may 2013 is anhat we have today
embarrassing dereliction of public responsibility. he said and the word embarrassing does not capture the grave harm coming from members of this body deciding to abuse the advice and consent an obligation that this body has, our senate has under constitution. to the members of this committee, i tell you, i pledge to move the nomination of attorney general scott pruitt to be administrator of the environmental protection agency as expeditiously as possible. this committee is in recess subject to the call of the chair. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]
>> i'm a white male and i am prejudiced. the reason it is, is something i wasn't taught, but kind of something i learned. i don't like to be forced to like people. i like to be led to like people through example. what can i do to change, to be a better american? >> that was a remarkable moment. i didn't really realize until i stepped off the set. there were more calls after that. we had to keep rolling. there was something in his voice that touched me. you can hear it. it is so authentic as he searches for the words to say something to a national audience that most of us won't admit in our homes. magee,ay night, heather president of the public policy organization, was a guest on inashington journal"
2016. she talks about that interaction. >> you have to remember, this was august. we had this sort of racially charged primary with donald trump's campaign, black lives matter, the police shootings, the events in baton rouge in dallas. it was a time when people felt like all they were seeing on tv about race was bad news. and here was, first, a white man admitting that he was prejudiced, which are people of color, we kind of all said, finally. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> across the atlantic, british prime minister theresa may answered several questions from members of parliament about her recent visit to the united states and her meeting with president trump. many members expressed concerns about president trump's
executive order on refugees and immigrants entering the u.s. the prime minister also talked about the government's decision to posthumously pardon lgbtq persons convicted of sodomy crimes. this is about 40 minutes. with me this morning. >> questions for the prime minister. >> question number one, mister speaker. >> thank you, mister speaker. i am sure the whole house will join me in offering condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and were injured in québec city. also in paying tribute to our former colleague who died last friday. he was an outstanding parliamentarian. i'm told our thoughts are with his friends and family. i have meetings with