tv U.S. Senate Sen. Blumenthal on Neomi Rao Nom CSPAN March 12, 2019 7:21pm-7:38pm EDT
thank you madam president i yield the floor. >> madam president.>> senator from hawaii. >>. [audio lost] i want to ask my republican colleagues whether they believe that healthcare should be accessible and affordable for all.because apparently they do not, because they have offered absolutely nothing to make sure healthcare is accessible and affordable for all. in fact, they would rather have a system in their continuing efforts to sabotage the affordable care act and in fact eliminate the affordable care act they would rather have a healthcare system where millions and millions of americans are without healthcare at all. i yield the floor. >> there are many reasons to care about our federal
judiciary. it touches all of us. in our everyday life even though we often fail to appreciate its enormous impact. no court of appeals in the e united states is more important than the dc circuit. few of the nominees that we will consider in this body are more important than that of naomi rao to the united states court of appeals for the dc circuit. it has unique jurisdiction that makes it the courts most frequently hearing challenges to the federal government public protection. it considers issues of national consequence. ranging from workers rights, nondiscrimination policies, consumer protections, immigration policies, money and politics, reproductive rights,
access to healthcare, environmental justice, antitrust case. regulatory action. like possible grounding of unsafe airplanes. by the faa. i called on the faa to ground the 737 max 8 and 9. i've asked the airlines to do it voluntarily, if the faa does the right thing, as it should, and orders these planes grounded. if decision may be challenged. in the united states court of appeals for the dc circuit and the safety of our skies, or airline passengers will hang in the balance. just one example of how the dc circuit can matter to the lives not only within a particular geographic area, but literally the entire united states.
when i ask any nominee questions that are designed to elicit their views and opinions, their past positions there present policies, i expect direct candid answers. i received just the opposite from naomi rao on some of the critical bedrock issues that are important to all of us in this chamber in judging a nominee. i asked whether naomi rao thought that brown versus board of education, a pillar of our jurisprudence was correctly decided.
she declined to answer. she said that she felt that what is inappropriate for a nominee to the court to be giving views on specific cases. i asked her for her views and her position on that case. and she declined to give it their in roe v wade and griswold versus connecticut. one of my republican colleagues on the judiciary committee also had reservations about naomi rao's opinions and some of these cases. he feared that ms. rao actually supports romans wait to choose. and the legal process of ãb unlike me he met ms. rao in
private and he got straightforward answers about her views on most cases and the underlying legal theories. she passed his test the president witness test and the test of those outside groups, extreme right wing, conservative groups, who have been given authority as a result of the president's outsourcing of these two in effect decide on nominees who are ãbshe passed the stack test established by the president that he would appoint the judges who would overturn roe v wade. but ãbi find many reviews and her failure to give straightforward answers she has
written a number of very troubling articles and bids on her views on women's rights and women's healthcare. we have in this chamber a term choose, getting to that point was part of her choice. in another op-ed criticizing aspects of feminism rao wrote that women "must be thoroughly educated about the consequences of their sexuality in order to prevent such problems as date
rape". from early in her career she wrote that she believes women bear a major part responsibility for date rape. and these writings are from early in her career and i thought she would completely break with them and reject them. but she failed to do so. only after the hearing did she disavow them without directly fapologizing and that kind of confirmation conversion is inherently dis-believable. undermining credibility even more as the actions she took
later in her career after those writings before she was nominated. she served as head of the office of information and regulatory affairs, also known as a lyra. her job is to review all regulatory actions, all of them, proposed by the administration. in that capacity moves rao approved rescinding gadgets provided on how to address and prevent campus sexual assaults. under the new rules sexual assault survivors should be required to undergo live cross-examination by their attackers representative. in the course of administrative seating there would be cross-examination by the attackers or other representatives. schools would be required to use a higher standard of proof
for claims of sexual misconduct. under this administration's own analysis these erules would hav a profound chilling effect on the number of campus sexual assault investigations that are conducted that's the reason they are proposing the new rule to discourage survivors from coming forward to seek justice. it's not only rao's early writing, it signifies and blames women survivors for sexual assault. the recent policies that she approved and authorized institutionalize these really regrettable and unacceptable views. her deeply troubling positions on sexual assault and her victim blaming frederick, which she tried to excuse initially as the reckless musings of a
college student rather than breaking with them and rejecting them, placed the right of women and others at risk we should deny confirmation. but equally important, she is also used that position to restrict reproductive rights. let's be clear, one of the important features of the affordable care act is a requirement that health insurers cover contraceptive as an essential health benefit. no charge to consumers. because it is an essential health benefit. last year the trump administration issued rules that would allow any and all private companies to deny
contraception coverage if the ceo had a moral or religious objective. two federal courts found that the rules were illegal. because they violated the due process clause. the legal process required by law to implement the new rule. in that objection was found to be an adequate justification for in effect violating the rights of women who would seek that kind of care no charge as the head of el riley naomi rao not only approved of it substance of the new rules but was so committed to implementing them that she signed off on a legal process dto do so.
that's not all that naomi rao has done to in effect discourage and deter reproductive health care. the department is health and human services recently finalized a new title x regulation under this rule "any organization that provides or refers patients for abortions is ineligible for title x funding to cover sdt prevention, cancer screening and contraception. as with any rule, a lyra had to conduct a cost-benefit analysis in order to approve that rule. and i am deeply troubled by rows views and actions on reproductive rights that led her to prove that rule. it encouraged and condoned the rule and its áeffects on
women's rights of healthcare. we are living in a narrow thought was a beast of power. under a president who has shown nothing but disdain for the flow of law. all the more important in this dark and dangerous era that we have someone willing to set limits on the executive power to prevent an imperial presidency, in pfact, ms. rao a proponent of a fringe theory on executive power known as the unitary executive theory. she believes that the president as the head of the executive branch holds absolute control over executive powers. recently as 2014 she outlined the implications of this theory in the alabama log review. according to her, the president must be able to remove, at his
sole discretion, all principal officers, including the heads of independent agencies, and she's criticized the supreme court decision in morrison versus olson. which upheld the independent counsel statute in effect at that time. her view, the president must be able to fire, at will, anyone from the executive branch. in her view that includes special prosecutors tasked with investigating wrongdoing. by the president. in 2017 she was interviewed on hewitt's radio show she was asked whether she believes the current special counsel regulation head similarly restricted effects on executive power and whether the president can direct the actions of the attorney general or active
attorney general. her view of the constitution that all executive power in the president he can direct the support, he can fire special counsel, i hope during her confirmation proceeding she would disavow those views. i asked her whether she thought the president could fire robert mueller. the current special counsel. she refused to answer my question. the extreme view of presidential power is deeply alarming. when it is held by a member of ntone of the most important courts in the country, which may review decisions of that special counsel to subpoena the president or potentially indict
the president. or take other action in the course of an investigation. i am more than alarmed. i am strongly opposed to this nomination. i hope my colleagues will join me in voting no on final confirmation. thank you madam president. and i yield the floor. i suggest the access of a quorum. >> recently reintroduced the accountability through electronic verification act this congress as i have in previous congresses. this common sense bill would require all employers to use e-verify programs which would in turn ensure that they are employing nothing but a legal workforce. as most americans have realized, the immigration