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Alexander Acosta
  Labor Secretary Acosta Testifies on FY 2018 Budget Request  CSPAN  June 27, 2017 8:00pm-9:44pm EDT

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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. next, testimony from labor secretary alexander acosta on president trump's 2018 budget request. he talked about how jobs could be impacted if the health care law is repealed as well as how to expand apprenticeship programs. this is an hour and 40 minutes. >> the appropriations subcommittee on labor, health, human services, education and related agencies will come to order. good morning, secretary acosta, glad you're here and appearing before this committee today to
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discuss your department's fiscal 2018 budget request. as you know, the budget is significantly challenged in terms of the cuts in your department. i think the proposed cuts of $2.3 billion are about one-fifth of the department's operating level. certainly while i appreciate and many of us appreciate the department's prioritizing limited resources and making decisions to realign programs, the fundamental question is really what you choose to cut and whether you can possibly look at that number and make an argument as to why that much of your previous budget should be cut this year. it's not the first time these kinds of cuts have come in the department. last year president obama proposed about the same level of cuts, though he proposed somehow these programs would lean
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heavily on new mandatory spending for the budget caps in the law then. of course, those budget caps are in the law still. instead of making difficult decisions, it would have been easier according to the last administration to have new mandatory programs. this year the department has submitted a budget that so significantly cuts programs or eliminates them altogether, it's really hard for us to figure out your priorities. we look forward to visiting with u you about that. i have serious concerns about the worker training reductions, particularly the proposal to cut state grants by 40% and close job corps centers. the president has recognized there are millions of jobs in the country that don't have workers with the skills to take those jobs. we need to make certain our workforce training programs and apprenticeship programs equip
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individuals with the skills they need to meet the workforce needs of today and tomorrow. while there are no easy answers when it comes to budget limitations, i'm concerned reducing funding so much and so suddenly and particularly taking so much of that from worker training would further jeopardize our workforce development efforts and our ability to compete with and for better jobs and stronger families. as the fy 2018 appropriations process moves forward, it's my hope to work together with you and everyone on this committee to identify priorities, find common ground and how to best spend the taxpayer money that we're given responsibility for. mr. secretary, i look forward to your testimony. but first i'd like to go to senator murray for her opening remarks. >> thank you very much, chairman blunt. welcome secretary acosta. before we talk about this, what i think is an indefensible
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budget request, i want to reiterate today how appalling it is that we are potentially, if not hours away, from voting on legislation that would spike health care costs for patients nationwide and kick millions of people off of coverage as we have now seen with the cbo numbers. yet senate republicans have yet to hold a single hearing or any kind of open public debate under regular order. now that we've seen it, it's pretty easy to see why. this is going to be a devastating bill and have a tremendous impact on patients and families. so we on this side remain deeply concerned about that. now, this committee has a history of working together in a bipartisan manner. i sincerely open my colleagues will remember that and urge their leadership to hold open transparency process so people have time to understand what is in store for their health and financial secretary.
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secretary acosta, while trumpcare has huge implications for our nation's workforce and i plan on asking about that, i first want to address the deeply harmful budget request that has been put forward. as i'm sure you're aware, connecting workers to sustainable jobs and employers to a skilled workforce has been department of labor's central mission for decades. that's because we know one of the surest paths to good paying jobs is investing in training and education form in-demand skills. our ability as a nation to attract and keep good jobs here at home and grow our economy will only be realized by tapping into the full potential of our workforce. on the campaign trail, candidate trump promised to put workers first. as president he has consistently pursued an anti worker agenda that benefits those at the top and leaves workers and families paying the price. in fact, the president's recently announced executive
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order on apprenticeships would loosen standards to make sure businesses getting federal workforce funds actually deliver results. given the trump administration's pattern of lining the pockets of corporations and special interests at the expense of workers, it's hard to see this executive order is anything but an another thinly veiled broken promise from the president who promised to put workers first but has failed to do so since day one. the president's budget for the department of labor doubles down on those broken promises. the budget completely disregards the overwhelmingly bipartisan enactment of the workforce innovation and opportunity act in 2014 where republicans and democrats came together to streamline the nation's job training programs to make sure they are targeted, effective and built to last. instead, president trump's budget proposes deep cuts to those investments that provide
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over 20 million workers with 21st century skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. the president's budget would mean that 9 million workers including dislocated coal miners and veterans would lose access that those critical services next year. again, these are precisely the working families trump said he would support and protect during his campaign. secretary acosta, although important consumer protections for those saving for retirement will go into effect tomorrow, i do remain concerned that you still intend to revise and weaken those protections, i'm hoping you'll will similarly guide by the rule of law in addressing the over time rule. this is an opportunity to stand up to the white house when workers and family' needs are on the line. i hope you take it.
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i am con send about president trump's harmful agenda for workers and making sure they are safe and have security. democrats are going to continue rigorous oversight to hold you, mr. secretary, and the administration accountable for the damage done to worker safety, security and opportunity. i do hope republicans will join democrats in continuing to reject the devastating cuts in president trump's budget proposal just as we did in fiscal year 2017 omnibus to continue robust investments in job training programs that coordinate with the efforts of key workforce partners, business leaders, workforce boards, labor unions, community colleges, non-profits and state and local officials to make sure all workers can acquire the skills that they need to get a good job and climb the ladder of opportunity and grow the economy. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murray. glad to have the chairman of the full committee with us. sarah cochran, do you have
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anything you'd like to start with? >> mr. chairman, i do have a couple questions. >> let's get mr. acosta's testimony then and we'll go to questions after that. secretary acosta, we're glad you're here. the secretary is now serving in his fourth presidentially appointed, senate-confirmed job. most recently he served as dean of the florida international university college of law. secretary, we're glad you're here. this is always a department where you have your hands full, but meeting the opportunities of the future is an important and we look forward to hearing you talk about that and this budget. >> mr. chairman, thank you. ranking member murray, chairman cochran, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify this morning. it's an honor to appear before the committee to outline the administration's vision for the department of labor in fiscal 2018 and beyond. supporting the ability of all
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americans to find good jobs and safe jobs is a priority for president trump, and it is a priority for me. i'm proud and i remain humbled in leading the department of labor in this critical work. presently the unemployment rate in the united states is 4.3%. that is a 16-year low. one has to go back to 2001. this is great news. another very important statistic, however is that there are presently 6 million job openings in the united states. that is the highest number since the department of labor started keeping records on open jobs. we can get more americans back to work if we match those who are looking for work with these available jobs. during my short time as secretary of labor, i've heard from many business leaders, governors, mayors and just americans, and they all say there is a skills gap. they tell me workers just don't
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have the right training to step into many of these vacant positions. the apprenticeship model is a good solution to narrowing the skills gap. as has been mentioned, it is bipartisan. president trump knows the value of apprenticeships from his many years of experience in the building trades. the president also knows that this is a model that works across many industries and should be expanded across industries both in terms of breadth and scale. high quality, and i emphasize high quality apprenticeships enable employers to be involved in training their future workforce so they can be sure new hires possess the skills needed to do the job. it's called demand-driven education. apprentices who seek wages, and just importantly skills that enable them to thrive in today's workforce. they earn while they learn. according to the department of labor statistics, graduates of
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apprenticeship programs have a high average starting wage, $60,000, higher than the typical college graduate. they are likely to have a job upon completion of their program and often receive certificates recognizing their education that reportable across industry. president trump's executive order on spending apprenticeship has the department of labor to pave the way for more apprenticeships. getting americans back to work requires eliminating other programs that are less effective in helping americans get job. there are many programs intended to help americans find or train for jobs, but some are duplicative, unproven or ineffective. the department is committed to streamlining programs based on rigorous analysis of data to assess program effectiveness. the department also believes that giving states more plexability to administer department resources in a way
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that best suits the state needs will ensure that resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. the department believes a vast majority of employers across the nation are responsible actors, fully committed to following worker protection laws. the department has placed priority in helping american employers understand and remind in compliance with those laws. but the department likewise takes very seriously its responsibility to enforce the law. enforcement must go hand in hand with compliance assistance. we'll vigorously enforce the law against wrong doers. a good job should be a safe job. the budget includes funding increases of nearly $17 million to the department's worker protections agencies to support these goalsment we'll focus the department of labor on his core mission by making smart investments in programs that work. the budget makes hard but
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responsible choices. it eliminates programs that are less effective already less efficient and dedicates taxpayer dollars to those that we know that are successful. americans want good and safe jobs. the department is here to support americans' desire to gain and told heez jobs. the budget restores the department to this fundamental mission, investing in programs known to be successful. the proposals are evidence-based and reflect the seriousness with which the administration is taking these responsibilities. let me say in closing, i understand, mr. chairman, your remarks, and i understand that going back year after year, the budget is a starting point. and as in the past, we look forward to working with your committee as we go forward on discussions regarding these issues. the focus has and will have to be on protecting america's
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workers. thank you for the opportunity to be here. >> thank you, mr. secretary. we'll have a five-minute round of questions. i'm sure there will be time for a second round if people have more than five minutes of time to use. if you'd stay pretty close to that, and i know the chairman is here and has some questions. i'll ask my questions after senator kennedy. i'll come near the end. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i understand the department is close to finalizing a memorandum of agreement with the city of gulfport regarding the rebuilding of the job corps center in gulfport, mississippi. can you update us on the status of that situation and share with the committee the estimated completion, if you know that, on the gulfport job corps center?
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>> mr. chairman, i appreciate the question. the department remains committed to serving the youth of the gulfport community. we appreciate the support you've offered as it's been important as we move forward. we're working with the consultant parties as we move forward on the memorandum of understanding. we anticipate that mou will be signed sometime this summer most likely, possibly within the next 60 days and it will be followed by the design and construction phase assume that the budget allows us to go forward. and if you would like, i'm more ha than happy to ensure the department keeps your staff up to date with the progress as those discussions continue. >> thank you. we'd appreciate that. let me also ask you to share with the committee the number of
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mississippi businesses and schools who have expressed concern about overburdensome and costly regulations including over time, joint employer and fi dishry rules that have been issued by the department. what's the department doing to evaluating complaints like that, particularly those that are small businesses in rural areas of our state. what are you doing to take steps, if any, to alleviate concerns about burdensome regulations by the previous administration? >> mr. chairman, i don't have the pre size number of businesses and schools that have sent letters to the department. i will say this, the department has received correspondence from many business, not only in
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mississippi but around the nation regarding the burden on regulations. and the department is examining the regulations that are currently on the books. the department is working to ensure that the regulations that are presently in effect are necessary. to the extend some are outdated or unnecessary, the department will look at those regulations and determine how to proceed. >> thank you, chairman. senator murray. >> thank you very much. secretary acosta, as you know i am deeply disappointed as many are that trumpcare is planned to be jammed through the senate this week. obviously from the cbo numbers, millions will lose their health insurance, costs will rise. as you probably know, this is going to have a devastating impact on jobs as well across the country in our royal communities where a lot of our rural testimonies are telling us
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because of the loss of dollars they will likely shut their doors as well as become much smaller, as well as the nursing homes telling us of the devastating impacts. have you shared with the president any of those job loss numbers? >> senator murray, i do not at present specific job loss numbers with respect to the health care industry. let me say this more generally. i think the issue is a little more complicated and a little more subtle. because at the same time some jobs may be reduced, many other jobs may be created. one concern we have heard from employers is the financial burden imposed by high health care costs. >> i have not seen any analysis that shows a job increase as a result of this bill, and i think that what we are hearing a lot of is the job losses. to me that is really deeply disconcerting. i hope your agency is sharing that with the president let me
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ask you about the job training cuts. a few weeks ago president trump signed an executive order commemorating workforce development week. and what we're seeing is it slashed programs by more than $2 billion. experts estimate that your cuts would mean 9 million adult youth and dislocated workers and veterans will lose access to job training and states would lose over a billion dollars in direct support of worker training. that is a 40% cut to the nation's job training system that governors are telling us they cannot absorb. so i am really disappointed that these are in here. i've heard you say that they are duplicative and ineffective. but not only did congress streamline training programs when we wrote the workforce innovation opportunity act, but
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evidence now shows that 80% of the adults find jobs after training. so tell me why this major cut is in this after congress work really hard, straem lined the bill, cut out the ineffective things and did it in a bipartisan way and now your budget cuts all the support for that? >> senator, thank you for the question. let me begin by thanking congress for its work. it was a bipartisan bill that took several important steps both in streamlining programs and in returning to the states funding so states could work with greater flexibility. the current budget proposes to further increase that flexibility to the states in how they can allocate their money which is an important action. ultimately governors and localities are those that can
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provide -- that can best focus the money within their jurisdiction. >> governors are telling us nationwide that they don't support this cut to these investments in job training. they say they don't have the availability to make up the federal dollars in their own budgets. they do not support this budget. >> as i was saying, senator, i understand, and so flexibility is certainly important. as the chairman indicated, the budget certainly, and historically the proposals have been -- have looked to reduce the spending because ultimately as a federal government, we need to find ways to reduce spending. these are taxpayer dollars. i'm certainly willing to work with the committee as the committee looks at this more closely to discuss priorities and to discuss how to best proceed with respect to this budget. let me say one last thing, as a general rule i think sometimes there is a tendency -- we all
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want metrics and we all judge success based on the level of spending. i see this in universities where universities sometimes judge their success by expenditures per student -- >> nobody is trying to do that here. what we have done and want to continue to do, invest in jobs in those communities to give people skills they need, and this budget doesn't do it. i am out of town. i have to tell you this isn't about dollars increase. this is about major cuts to people and their inability to get the skills they need. >> thank you, senator murray. senator alexander. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, welcome. democrats have set some records for delaying president trump's cabinet nominees. president trump is setting records for not sending up sub cab nat nominees.
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under president obama, ten had been sent by now, president bush had sent nine. we had one nominee for the nrb. when are we going to get more nominations for your department? >> senator, mr. chairman, i appreciate the question. i can this. i'm approaching my own 60-day mark as secretary. i have set as a personal goal to have the vast majority of my b subdepartmentment leadership identified and in clearance by the 60-day mark. i believe that goal is something that can be reached and ultimately they do have to go through background check and clearance. >> i know. but i just would urge the white house, the president and you. this is the senate's opportunity to confirm, to vet, to question these nominees. we want to do that. we can move them quickly through
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the committee. let me go to a second -- i want to ask you to respond to this. i want to give you my opinion to consider on the so-called over time rule. that was a bad rule. here were the problems with it. the rapid rate of increase. the salary threshold was set to double overnight. the top number was $47,000, just too high for many parts of the country, and i think it would be wise to consider a different top level for different parts of the country. it caused enormous hard to non-profits, especially colleges and universities who were telling me they would have to raise tuition by large amounts to accommodate it. it included annual increases with only two months' notices. annual increases might be a good idea, but not with two months' notice. so i would urge you to show us how to write a good over time regulation as you consider this, one who takes those issues into
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account. there are thousands and thousands of university, boy scout troops and businesses that hope you'll do the same. my question is about your apprenticeship order. i salute your interest in that and the president's interest in it and look forward to supporting it. i have one question about it. the executive order allows you to deny access to the expansion of the apprenticeship program for certain sectors that already have effective and widespread apprenticeship programs. is that directed at the construction industry? do you plan to exempt the construction industry from your executive order? >> senator, thank you for the comments and the questions. first, let me say going to your earlier comments that this morning the department of labor transmitted to omb a request for information regarding the over time rule. once approved by omb that request would ask the public to comment on a number of questions that would inform our thinking
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with respect to many of the issues that you raised. now, moving to the president's executive order, the president is well familiar with apprenticeships, particularly in the building trades and is aware of the success of apprenticeships in the building trades. >> but the associated builders and contractors say there are 500,000 unfilled jobs for skilled construction workers. why would you consider exempting the construction industry, if you are? >> senator, if i can comment on that. so the executive order provides the secretary of labor with discretion to look at particular industries. and if the current program is effective and widespread, it's a do-no-harm provision where if a program is currently working and would not benefit from wider expansion, then there is discretion to not fix what is
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not broken. so regulations will have to be presented that implement that, and those regulations would govern how that particular provision -- >> i understand that. but do you have an intention to exempt the construction industry at this moment? >> senator, i have an intention to create regulations that will provide rules for the road on how that provision will be adopted. >> well, my time is -- i have nine seconds. in that nine seconds, if there are 500,000 unfilled jobs for construction workers today, i would hope they wouldn't -- hope that would be evidence that there is room for apprenticeship programs in the construction industry. >> we would agree. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator alexander. senator shots? >> thank you, mr. secretary for being here and for your good work. many people from this
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administration have attacked the bureau of labor statistics as phony, fictitious and a hoax when they don't like the data presented to them. for instance, at a rally in iowa the president-elect said the unemployment number, as you know, is totally fiction. a few months earlier he says you hear a 5% unemployment rate. it's just a phony number. this march omb director mulvaney accused the obama administration of manipulating the numbers to make the unemployment rate look smaller. these are dangerous attacks on government data generally and your department in particular. i know you're a data-driven leader, so i want to ask you, the bureau of labor statistics has existed for more than 130 years to provide independent, unbiased and rigorous data on employment levels in the country. lawmakers use it for policy making. journalists and researchers use it to accurately inform the
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public, and these attacks degrade the public trust. i want to give you as much leeway as possible because i understand you work for the trump administration. this is not a setup question in order to get you sideways with any member of your administration, but i would like to hear from you what you think about the bureau of labor statistics, their accuracy, not just under your leadership, but over time. >> senator, i appreciate the question. let me i guess make three points. first, all the statistical agencies within the government, not just the bureau of labor statistics, but there are several, about half a dozen statistical agencies serve an incredibly important role. in fact, they have particular protections given them by omb to safeguard them from administration to administration and those important protections, because the data they produce is used over time by researchers in
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setting policy, and i think it's very important to protect the integrity of that data. one of the issues coming out of bls, there are six measures of unemployment that bls produces, at least six and several sub measures, some of which are more narrow and some of which are broader. sometimes when folks refer to the unemployment rate which, as i just did earlier today of 4.3%, i was referring to the u-3 figure. there's the u-6 figure which is much broader which is about 8.4 which includes underemployment generally. then we have the labor force participation rate which unfortunately keeps dropping, and just from demographic changes, just from the aging of america would drop by approximately .3% per year if we don't do more to bring folks into the labor force.
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and so i think sometimes when folks challenge the number, what's really going on is that particular numbers measure those things that they're intended to measure and they do so professionally. but what they measure may not necessarily be what is being discussed. so we have a very low unemployment rate, but we need to get americans back to work. if you look at the labor force participation rate, enough americans aren't working. they've given up. so the multiplicity of numbers can sometimes create confusion. >> so i just ask -- and i understand that point. giving the benefit of the doubt to some of the political leaders who characterize their numbers in a why to validate a point, sometimes a valid point, sometimes in the context of an
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election. i want to be sure that the secretary of department of labor stands up for not just his department and bls, but for the agencies that collect data. there's something more insidious going on. if the only point being made is, hey, that's a low unemployment rate but that doesn't tell the whole story, fair enough. if people are being told by their leaders at the highest level that the government is lying to them, that's a whole different proposition. it is your job to stand up for the people who create these data sets. >> i deeply respect the integrity and the importance of data sets. they set policy. they're used by us and others here and i hear your point. >> thank you. >> thank you senator shot. senator langford. >> thank you. can you give me some information on the path forward in the on
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going conversation with the department of labor? >> senator, i can certainly do so. the department of labor has withdrawn the guidance previously issued on the joint employer. nah guidance had been issued in january 2016 and discussed the agency's rejection of the common law conflicts. that guidance is no longer in effect in the department of labor now. the national labor relations board doesn't come within the department of labor's jurisdiction. chairman alexander earlier referenced the national labor relations board and pending nominations. and as the national labor relations board fills, i would suspected that that's an issue they will have to take up and decide how to proceed. >> great. so everything is on hold at this point pending that? >> well, the department of labor, the guidance has been
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withdra withdrawn. so that is the portion of the issue within the jurisdiction of the department of labor. >> this is where you have to have cooperation with another entity, the sec, to try to ig if your out whether that is going to work. where is that conversation right now. >> previously the sec did not work jointly with the department of labor. as i indicated quite publicly, i think the sec has important expertise and they need to be part of the conversation, and i asked that the chairman of the sec, if the sec would be willing to work with us. the chairman indicated his willingness to do so. it's my hope as the sec also receives a full complement of commissioners, that the sec will continue to work with the department of labor on this issue? >> you mentioned in your opening statement about enforcement. this committee, i would tell you, would expect that, that if
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there are safety issues, we do want to be able to maintain enforcement. the law is there for a reason and won't be able to maintain it. you can go back as far as the clinton administration when al gore worked with regulators to try to bring down the tone of the regulators and those inspectors coming in. i hear pretty consistently that folks used to come in to help us. now they come in to fine us, especially from small businesses and the abundance of new regulations that have come in in the last several years, they ask a simple question, can we have sommer see. if we miss something, tell us we missed something but don't come in with a fine book immediately. come in with a warning. i will ask only, we can work on this in the days ahead. i have a bill that deals with this issue specifically, to mandate it, but especially for small businesses. they miss something, they don't have an attorney on staff. they don't have compliance people on staff. they run their business.
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it is extremely helpful with the attitude of enforcement individuals that come in to help people rather than be able to fine. do you have any comment on that? >> i do, senator. at the same time i raised the point about enforcement, the paragraph before that i talked about compliance assistance and the point i was making is compliance assistance i think is very important. we need enforcement to go hand in hand. compliance assistance at the end of the day i think can bring about sometimes greater compliance. when i was united states attorney, i would talk to chambers and say, look, we can prosecute cases, but preventing wrongdoing in the first place is more successful. isn't it better to have a traffic light that prevents accidents rather than give people tickets after the accident has occurred. so the current budget requests an increase in compliance assistance within osha, for example. just this morning, the
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department also announced the return of opinion letters within the wage and hour division. opinion letters had been in use for 70 years up until 2010, and they're a mechanism by which small businesses can write and ask a question, how does this work? sometimes they don't know the answer. so those opinion letters had been discontinued and we announced this morning we are going to reinstate those -- >> are you doing any shuffling within your own staff or been able to look at to make sure you have people in the right spots. when you deal with inspectors and all these other things, as industries rise and fall, sometimes you can end up with the wrong people covering an area that's declined. for instance, no grand secret, there's a lot of coal mines that have closed. if we have a large number of inspectors out there with coal mines closing, that's an issue. something epa and bln faced years ago with having a whole
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group of people studying coal bit methane and we're not using it anymore. i encourage you to take it on in the days ahead. >> thank you, senator. >> senator merck. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. secretary for being here. i think one of the reasons that the health care bill that's about to be pending before the senate is so stunningly unpopular is that the president, your boss, talked consistently during the campaign and after the campaign about a health care reform bill, a repeal of the affordable care act that wouldn't cause anyone to lose insurance. promises were made over and over again that more people would be insured after this process was finished than under the affordable care act. and cbo confirmed again yesterday that under the senate bill, 22 million people across this country, the equivalent population of 16 u.s. states
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would lose their health care insurance b. speaking to your portfolio, mr. secretary, the effect is on individuals with employer-sponsored health care and those getting their insurance through other means. there's a recent article in "the atlantic" which the headline is "how the gop's health care bill would affect people insured through work." the sub plan "fur people would sign up and fur still would offer coverage. millions would lose employer sponsored health care according to cbo estimates. given the promises made by many of my colleagues and by the president himself, i guess i have a pretty simple question for you. do you think the purpose or the outcome of health care reform should be to insure more or less americans.
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>> senator, health care reform, and as we're looking at this health care bill, we are asking how can we go forward as a na nation with a bill that respects individual choice. ultimately senator murray raised a question around health care as well. as we're looking at the workplace, one issue that certainly i think we need to consider is what does this do in terms of jobs. and does the multiplicity put on employers create a disincentive to hire. we need the respect individual choice, and we also need to consider whether we'll be creating jobs by, in fact, reducing the costs of many of these programs that do place burdens on the economy as a who
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whole. >> let me restate the question. insurance is really important to people. they prefer jobs that have insurance. do you think the purpose of health care reform should be to insure more people or less people? >> senator, the purpose of health care reform is to insure that individuals have access to insurance choice. i guess -- i push back because sometimes there's an effort to measure based on how much we spend or how many people are covered rather than to measure based on are folks getting jobs or are we respecting the individual's choices. i do think it's important to provide individuals with choice. >> you're not suggesting of the 22 million people that will lose insurance, the majority of those people are choosing to lose insurance? >> what i'm suggesting is we
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have a health care system that imposes a number of mandates, and that is as a nation getting increasingly, increasingly expensive and i'm encouraging congress to work to address those issues. i think it's one of the most important issues we're facing. health care is becoming more costly. individuals are finding that they cannot afford what is in essence a broken system. and i think it's very important that it be addressed in a way that makes it effective in the long term. >> i appreciate your comments. i will just say for the record, cbo does not come to the conclusion that 23 million people -- 22 million people are going to lose coverage because they are exercising their right to decline coverage. they admit there will be a small portion of healthy individuals who may choose to go without health care, but they also come to the conclusion that the vast
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mu bulk of that 22 million are losing health care because they simply cannot afford it, because the costs under the republican health care bill will spiral 23% increases in the first year, 400% increases for older americans, such that it is completely and totally unaffordable. i understand your comments about choice. that is not what cbo says is the main cause of why these numbers are absolutely catastrophic. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murphy. senator kennedy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i think that's exactly what the cbo report say s. let me go back quickly to a question that senator alexander asked you because i'm not sure about the answer the president's executive order which i applaud.
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do you plan to exempt the construction industry from it? >> senator, the president's executive order provides discretion to the secretary of labor to enact regulations that will guide decision making in whether -- >> mr. secretary, i got that part. you're going to issue regulations. are those regulations going to exempt the construction industry? >> senator, under the administrative procedures act, i need to issue regulations. i would then need to apply those regulations to a particular fact patte pattern. i will say this. the president is looking to expand apprenticeships across all industries. the president is looking to expand apprenticeships in breadth and scale. >> mr. secretary, i understand all that. i'm really not trying to be rude but we're given five minutes.
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if you don't want to answer the question, just tell me. >> senator, i am trying to answer the question. and my point is that the president's executive order, to the extent something is working, does not want to disturb it. to the extent something is not working, is looking to expand it. that will have to be determined. >> i get it. let's move on. when you became secretary, did you find waste in your budget? >> senator, there are certainly ways of reducing and saving money within any agency, yes. >> well, you cut $2.6 billion out, right? out of your budget. am i right on that? >> senator, the budget request does seek a reduction of $2.6 billion. >> do you support all those cuts? >> senator, i acknowledge that we as a government need to reduce spending. and so i do think it's important that we reduce spending, yes.
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>> i do, too. i agree with you on that. we're spending $434 million on the senior community service employment program. could you briefly tell me what that does? >> senator, there are a number of programs within the training and employment services budget. and over time different areas have developed programs of their own. one of the things we're looking to do is streamline the different programs -- >> what's that program do, mr. secretary? >> the senior community employment services program is to some extent, as many as one-third of participants -- >> let me put it this way. does it exist to transition seniors into unsubsidized employment? >> yes, it does, senator. >> that was easy. why do we need to spend $434
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million to do that? >> well, senator, as i was saying, there are a number of programs that have developed over time focused on different groups within our country. those programs are all important, but we can merge them, streamline them and make them part of larger programs. one of the things the budget looks to do is streamline. there are well over 40 different job training programs within the administration and merging those would be a cost saving measure. >> i agree with you. i'm on your side, mr. secretary. you've been around here a long time, a lot longer than i have. i've driven over a good portion of washington. i can't find the money tree. maybe it's in a warehouse somewhere. the topic du jour is health care
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in our country. nobody would deny that. the question is not should we add more people or less people. the question is how many people can we afford to insure with the amount of taxpayer money that we have? and i appreciate your approach, and i appreciate the president's approach because that's what's being lost in all this debate. we're borrowing $1 million a minute to run this place. $1.4 billion a day. and i listen to people say add this, add that, like we were spending west virginia ditch water instead of taxpayer money. so i find your approach refreshing. i thank you for it. i wasn't trying to be rude. i'm trying to get within my five minutes. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, senator.
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>> we assume there's more value to west virginia ditch water than other ditch water. that's all good. senator durbin. >> secretary good. >> we've got a problem in chicago, gun violence. it's primarily among young people, primarily minority populations. we also find something else. there's a 40% unemployment rate among young blacks in chicago, 40%. and we find something pretty amazing. if we can get many of these young people in a job, trained for in a job, does amazing things. changes their lives. i'm not making it up. a few weeks ago i went to the urban league office and met with curtis martin. curtis martin is exhibit a of what you would expect to be in a
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gangbanger prison but he's not. he's working for ups. it's not easy work, but it's damn easy work, and he told us that. i'd like to read you what the president said. if chicago doesn't fix the carnage going up, i'll send in the feds. then february 23rd the president tweeted seven people shot and celled in chicago. what is going on there? chicago is out of control. chicago needs help, the president tweeted. how does a program like the one that helped curtis martin help chicago? >> so, let me say something
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first. first, i appreciate your point as u.s. attorney. i took steps to address gun violence using prosecutions. but one of the points i made was ultimately prosecutions aren't the solution. we need to find jobs, and we need to encourage gung people to graduate high school and to have skills. and that's something that i talked about greatly. just in the past week i had the opportunity to meet with work force development council at the national conference for mayors. and then i met with local officials at the national association of latino elected officials. and later this week i'm going to be meeting with some representatives of other groups, many of whom who face similar issues with some economically challenged regions. and my message to all of them is let's work together, let's
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develop apprenticeship programs that thill focus on these populations. because the best thing we can do for them is provide them to a pathway for a job by giving them job skills. now i understand that the budget, to go to your question, i understand the budget reductions are an issue. and so we're looking at ways that we can make the programs more efficient and work with the private sector. >> i hate to interrupt you, but i just want to say this. i'd like you to come to chicago. i want you to meet those people in the program that you're proepsing are going to be cut. take a look at what the programs are doing and what the cuts will mean. second point yptd to make, h1v
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visas, a pharmaceutical company in chicago they announced to 115 workers they were going to be terminated. here's the deal, they would get an extra benefit for their termination of one month of pay for every year of work if they agreed to two things. first, if they don't say anything publicly about being fired. and secondly, they trained their replacements. their replacements were h1v visa holders from india. what were those h1v workers going to do? they were going to replace the american workers. so these pharmaceutical employees were required to train their replacements on the job as their jobs walked out the door. the president talked about this
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in his campaign. he thought it was outrageous. i do, too. but the president waited until after the award of h1v visas this year for an agency review. how many agency reviews have you had of h1v visas? >> i gladly will join you in chicago. i think it's important and i do want to leave washington and travel and understand all the issues facing american workers. so gladly. with respect to h1v, we've been talking about this quite vigor sly. and let me make two points. first, i think what happened as you describe it, is offensive. and those were strong words. and those centers gnat have heard me speak before, knows
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that for me to use those words, it means something. and it is offensive. we have scoured the law for options internally on how to address situations like those. and unfortunately, our ability is limited. but there is in addition to the larger bill that i'm aware of, there are some very simple fixes. there's a $60,000 flesh hold in the h1v area. and it's interesting because congress talked about and i talk about responded to questions with respect to over time and others, and i said life gets more expensive. so when you have a dollar threshold, it should be updated over time. but congress has not updated that $6,000 flesh hold over time. if congress were to update that simply for inflation, it would bring it up to well over $80,000. and many if not most of the
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situations like you've wived, would be eliminated because they would be below that $6,000 threshold. and so perhaps when that was enacted way back when that was the appropriate threshold. but i would encourage the senator to look at that issue because i can't imagine how one explains to an american worker that they have to train their foreign replacement. and it's happened again and again and again. >> thank you. and mr. secretary, what you meant there, i think what i believe you said was if the amount was updated they would be below the updated $6,000 which would now be something close to 80? >> thld be above $80,000, and that is correct. if i did not say that correctly, it was my error. >> you meant they'd be below the updated? >> they'd be below the updated,
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correct. >> something to think about and talk about. let me ask a couple of veterans questions. one that congress passed and you have in your department a hire vets act to create some recognition and some standards for employers to figure out how to hire vets. and the second question on that topic the concerns gao had with the current veterans employment efforts being made by the department before you got there. so you want to talk about both of those things? >> gladly, mr. chairman. and let me just say i'm reminded that congress has not updated that figure since 1998. and things certainly have gotten more expensive since the 1990s. with respect to the hired vets act, i was very excited because i think it's important when we recognize employers. and i said, okay, what are we doing for this veterans day.
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and i was told the regulations couldn't be done by this veterans day. and i said it can't be that long to possibly regulate them for awards. but we're expediting them. but i should also say the rules call for the request for nominations to go out in january. and so we may not be able to do it this year. even if we can move the regulations quickly because of the very rule and the statute. in which case i may take it upon myself just as discretionary authority to give the equivalent this veterans day, because i don't want to wait another year and a half to do this. >> good answer. this is sort of like the leads standard recognition you get for efficiency. this would be you're establishing standards for employers and their relationship to how they hire vets, what kind of credit they get for training
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in this service and other things. what about the current efforts being made in the department for veterans? i think one of the the criticisms was there's a lack of transparency in which employees and training are actually meeting performance goals? >> so senator, one of the issues around veterans jobs services is they're scattered around the executive branch. and one of the issues we're looking at is how to consolidate them in some way, shape or form. there are at least three different agencies responsible for job education and working with veterans am squch that does lead to some level of confusion. i will say this. it's a top priority. these individuals served their nation, and they deserve not just to be treated with respect but they deserve to have a job when they arrive here.
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let me just add one additional issue because i know this committee appropriated funds to look at certifications among the various states. and one issue that i've been made aware of that i think is very important ibthis area is that a service member can be trained in the army for example to drive a commercial truck in fulucia. yet they come state side and they may not have a ability to drive a commercial truck in a particular state because states have state licensing requirements. one of the concerns i have and one question i have is can we look at ways of working with states so they recognize military certifications. >> that takes me perfectly to my next question which is fy16 and
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17. certainly at the top of the priority list would be skills you learn in serving the country. right up there with that are spouses that move from state to state as their spouses are transferred from one military base to the other. so that would be a second criteria, maybe even more important to the acting service than the first criteria. and the third would be generally what are we doing so that when somebody moves across the river from ilts to missouri that they bring those skills with them, that there's some reciprocity and understanding of that. and again the department's been asked two straight years now to do that. >> mr. chairman the -- >> of course you weren't there but -- >> the department has been asked. i know that a report is due that's been funded by those appropriations this fall. i can tell the chairman that
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i've been talking to my own staff about this for the last two to three weeks when i first learned about. because particular on the veterans side i don't know how you justify telling someone it was okay for you drive a truck full of explosives but it's not okay for you to drive a truck full of coca-cola or pepsi. it's something difficult to swallow, and i think it's certainly a priority. and we'll commit to working with others. i've already talked to my staff about tapping into the that to make sure it proceeds as expediti expeditiously as possible. >> senator graham. >> you were asked by mr. murphy how many people would drop
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coverage voluntarily, i guess, for lack of a better word. the cbo indicates to me unless i'm reading it wrong 15 million people would have dropped coverage today because they're not covered. do you understand it that way, too? >> senator i have not -- let me say this, the cbo report is something that before i comment on -- >> do you know the answer to my question? my question is it's my belief that the cbo report says that 15 million americans would drop the coverage within a day because they won't have to pay the fine because we'll eliminate the fine? >> senator, i'll have to contest your belief. >> well, check it out. are you familiar with the h2v visa program? >> yes, i am senator. >> okay, you have the authorities as i understand to fix that problem.
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in other words, legislatively except inlast year congress has said that returning work can fix the cap? >> first congress this year empowered the secretary kelly in consultation with me to increase that cap -- secretary kelly has announced his intent to increase that amount by up to about 18,000 visas, which would be the highest level that we've seen in a number of years. along with that, though, i think it's important to say that congress looks at this year by year. and rather than frptfully -- rather than fixing the issue, sort of says the administration can do it if it would like to and then calls the administration and says please increase it.
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and i think it's very important that congress address this. there are specific fixes that can be -- >> well, until we get there. but you do have the authority i guess with secretary kelly to not count returning workers against the cap? is that correct or not? >> i believe the stat uch then says we can increase the cap up to returning workers. and i believe secretary kelly has indicated his intent to do so. >> do you support that decision? >> yes, secretary kelly and i stand shoulder to shoulder. >> give us answers on how we can -- >> i will gladly have staff sit down and -- because i do think it's a disservice for businesses and individual workers to go through this every single year. >> i very open minded to helping you fix it. one last thing.
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artificial intelligence, did you say it'd be 50 years of feeling the effects of artificial intelligence disrupting the labor force -- or was that someone else? >> i believe it was some other guy. >> do you believe artificial intelligence will disrupt the work force? >> senator, i've heard this from time to time from different sources. and i'll say this. we've been saying that technology is going to disrupt and displace the labor force since i think technology was first invented. >> right. >> and ultimately the plow meant fewer people had to plow a field. but ultimately it changes the nature of the labor force, and that's why it's so important to have -- >> is there a plan within the department of labor to look
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specifically at the disruptive nature of artificial intelligence in the coming decade? >> senator, we've started speaking about the changing nature of the work force, the increasing use of alternative methods of employment and the economy and that's something we're already talking about. >> does it include clook looking at artificial intelligence? >> yes, it does. >> okay, thank you very much. >> okay, senator manchin. >> thank you very much. secretary acosta, i'm sure you know about the miner's pension. my colleague and i introduced a bill to protect the miner's pension protection act. i guess what i would ask you is the department of labor working on a solution for this problem because that's going oo be tremendous problem by 2022. >> senator, it is going to be a
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tremendous problem, and we're actively working on developing solutions for this and the broader issues this touches upon. >> do you have recommendations for the bankruptcy laws need to be changed so that human beings need to be protected more so than financial institutions? >> senator, we are looking at options, and we are discussing on it. >> the mine safety health administration funding request mission is to prevent miner fatalities and accidents. coal mining is a fatal occupation as you know. to date in 2017 nine miners have perished in coal mines, including my state in virginia. we had some horrific losses and then a big branch with 29
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miners. i guess i would ask your plan do you all think you have the negssary resources for future to prevent fatalities? >> senator, as you indicated the budget is relatively changed for emsha, and we believe we have the necessary resources. >> do you all have a plan along those lines? and i think more specifically there's an awful lot of old mentality if you will because they're afraid of losing their job. and there's other mine operators that if you see something wrong, then please report it so they can shutdown the mine for a
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period of time. have you all weighed and evaluated something like this? >> senator, i think not just in mining but several industries a fortunate reticence to report issues. and i think that's something we're always looking to draesds and fight against. i should also say that something you see particularly in the mining area is frequent inspections to try to identify safety issues. and so even when they're not reported in the ideal cases and in fact in most cases the inspections do turn up the safety issues. >> occupational safety and health administration, osha as we know, plays a critical role in making sure our workers are covered. it would cut 26 employees and conduct almost 1,000 fewer
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inspections. osha resources are already strained and too many workers are put in danger. 4,836 workers were killed. why do you believe the department of labor is shifting osha resources away from inspections, and don't you think this might endanger more workers? >> well, senator, if i could, the osha -- if i could, the osha budget does shift a net of approximately $2 million into compliance assistance. and that does reflect a belief that some of the problems that are long standing, the bpp program and others that work with particular companies to foster industry, to foster compliance assistance may
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produce -- not may, but the evidence shows actually do produce better safety outcomes. so it's a net of about a $2 million shift. >> how would you -- it looks like your shift is focusing away from inspection enforcements. how would it be safer? >> senator, when you're talking about a funding request of $543 million, a $2 million shift with due respect is pretty much under 1%. and that is so we can fund the bpp program that has in fact been shown to be successful working with companies and saying, look, these are the steps you need to take so that you can provide a safe workplace. and so as i said at the opening the fact we're engaged in compliance assistance, the fact we're telling people what to do
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to have a safe workplace, it doesn't mean we have any less enforcement. it means we're respective if this is what you're going to do, and if they don't do it, we're going to enforce it. >> senator rubio. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here. i don't think we can get through this in five minutes. a lot of our debates have been historically over the last few years is treating some of the challenges to work in america as if it were under going a cyclical clalg. we've had these before, the industrial revolution, except it's happening every three years instead of over a 50-year period. senator graham asked about artificial intelligence. the safe is true for just automation in general. we have these debates about bringing factories back, which
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is great, but it'll be automated robots. i would just encourage as these reports are prepared, art filgts intelligence means disruptions, i think they would provide -- if we could somehow anticipate what the basic skills for the labor force in ten or 15 years is going to be, i think it would be a valuable tool for states to develop a curricular program to begin to address it. because the key worker a year from now is probably in grade school today, and if they're not acquiring those skills and there's not a skills system in place, we're going to have challenges. so i hope we're addressing those needs, to understand how difficult it is to anticipate these changes.
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on the certification, and you and i had a chance to talk about a little bit, some idea that we could incentivize states and perhaps create other avenues so that there be some short-term recognition. some period of time in which that license would be recognized giving them the time to take the state licensing for whatever that capacity might be. i looked briefly at what the gi bill covers. i believe it covers the kaugss of those certification tests. what it doesn't cover potentially, i'm not 100% sure, and i know it's not in your department, but the costs of preparing for those states. if you're going to take a license exam, or state license somewhere, you've got to study this stuff. the two things i wanted to ask you about and i don't know if you've been asked about this yet is the paid leave component of
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the budget. and i believe that paid leave is something that's a 21st century necessity. how we get there is complex. what's interesting as i learn more and more about it, big companies, governments, large employers and quite frankly people who make a lot of money are quite frankly paid paid leave already. and you see people making a substantial amount of money and also receiving paid leave, i don't want them to lose it. anything on how we can concentrate our efforts here on people on the lower end of the income spectrum? i don't want people that are making $300,000 a year to lose their paid leave. but i think the people that would really benefit from it and most hurt by it or the absence of it are at the lower enof that scale. in terms of working it out, has
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some thought been given at least prioritizing whatever we do in government to be at the lower end of that scale throughout the entire system? because the fear quite frankly is we create some kind of incensive, to offer less of because of this new alternative step? >> senator, thank you for the comments and the question. let me take them each in order fairly quickly. you know, there's an interesting book that's been written that calls us the age of accelerations. because with each cycle technology changes faster and faster. so ten years ago the iphone that i suspect most in this room or the smart phone they have in their pocket didn't exist. sometimes we don't realize it's only been ten years. so what will the world look like ten years from now, it's almost hard to imagine because it hasn't been invented.
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and so one of the reasons that we talk about dammed driven education is we believe it's very important that education and work force education in particular be nimble enough to respond to changing work force needs and to predict changing work force needs. because technology will change the skills that are required -- moving quickly to your question regarding paid leave, you know, the administration has put forward a proposal. i know that that proposal has been discussed vigorously. there are some that say it's not enough. there are some that say it's too much. there are some that say it's calibrated. but ultimately it is a proposal, and it is a start of a conversation that is a very important conversation. and i know that the senate has engaged in it vigorously. and i know that you've taken a leadership role in it, senator. and i'm glad that conversation is being had because at the end
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of the day it is conversations like this one that will result in good outcomes. >> thank you, senator rubio. senator capito. >> thank you for your service. my compannian senator, i appreciate your efforts there continue -- continuous funding to fund that office and the challenges. i am happy to report that in west virginia we have 1,034 more coal miners working than we did at the end of 2016. so the administration's efforts in that regard are very, very
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much appreciated. in the context of losing so many jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, a program was created within the labor department to help dislocated workers from the coal industry to readjust. and it's been funded at $19 and $20 million of retraining. and i believe this is still very much needed. do you have any insights now it's been two years in the making as to what's been effective of training dislocated miner workers and where you're seeing success? >> i don't have that data presently but i'm more than happy to convey that to your staff. >> thank you for that. i did want to begin to instreet you to come to west virginia. and the mission on apprenticeships i think is very much welcome in a state has
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traditionally had many unions that has successfully employed many people in our state. that mode of getting the worker trained and to a job has been successful in the past, so i want to join with the administration efforts to expand that. >> thank you, and i would be more than happy to visit, once again, west virginia. so thank you. >> your budget also has for the dislocated worker $66 million for the appalachian worker. you have set aside target services previously provided for the appalachian regional commission -- so i take it that even though in the commission budget, it was zeroed out.
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i would just like to work with you to not only train but all the economic efforts of getting aplatcha back on its feet again. we have a huge opioid issue. so it's really critical to getting us back on our feet. >> i understand, senator. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator capito. >> i think most people on this committee straungly support them, but i'm really concerned that the president's executive order serve as a distraction from what's happening in this budget. there's a huge slash in the investment areas like work force training, public health, and
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education. these are issues that have bipartisanly supported. these are grants that have actually put tens of thousands of workers on a proven path to the middle class and helped address employers needs for skilled workers. the president's proposal intends to circumvent a proven program with wages and training and equal opportunity standards, and those standards not only protect workers by ensure employers get highly skilled workers. the president's proposal could open the door to any -- at the expense of workers. so tell us why the president chose to undermine the registered membership program which is bipartisan here rather
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than fund what we know works? >> senator, thank you for your question. and it's something i've been reading about in the media, so i do want to take this opportunity to address that. as you mentioned, apprenticeships are proven. the resulting wage is a strong wage. the employment record, the probability of employment following an apprenticeship is outstanding, and it is a proven system. so the president's executive order sets up a system to allow these apprenticeship programs to grow throughout industries. not just traditional industries like building trades where they've been used but across industries. we've had businesses even from a capital that were part of the order where they participated in the commodity of apprenticeships. and also increase in scale.
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the approach taken is not an approach that acfices quality. and my personal perspective is this would not and should not sacrifice quality because the industry has an interest in ensuring quality because they have an interest in ensuring a skilled work force. >> correct. >> if one were to look at how the department of education -- yet we don't hear a discussion of how there's a sacrificing in quality of medical schools. because we look to the medical association and we say -- >> i just want you to know that's how we look at this, and we have to make sure those apprenticeship programs are ones that actually provide highly skilled qualified work force,
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and the details mamatter on this. i do want to follow up on senator rubio's question to you about paid leave. because i heard what he was saying. and i have looked at this. the president's provides new pashts parents with six weeks of paid leave. but the way it pays for it is it suggests states pay for it through their unemployment insurance programs, which by the way excludes -- low wage workers would not be able to take leave even if were technically available. and similarly the president's proposal only focuses on new parents. that concerns me as well.
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and just want you to know i'm following this very closely. i think paid leave is extremely important, but we can't just throw out a proposal as if because states can't make up that. we have to be serious about it. we have to be sure that as senator rubio, pointed out those people that have paid leave tend to be the more highly paid workers. they're not the ones i'm so worried about. i'm worried about the clerks at the grocery store and nurses and other folks who it need it. so i'm going to be following that closely as well. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murray. so far be it for me to take any of my time defending cbo. i think think of many more cases over the years where cbo was wrong, like when they had the implementation of medicare part b costing almost twice as much as it actually costs over the first year and the years to
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follow that. or when the affordable care act was scored by cbo, there'd now be 25 million people getting insurance in the individual market instead of the nine that are getting insurance in the individual market. so cbo scoring is notoriously bad. i'm sure it's not accurate here, but if you want to look at that 22 million figure they said was the figure they were coming up with, they say 15 million of those people would be uninsured because the penalty would be removed. and they'd choose to remove the insurance if there was a penalty. i did check on the last scoring of the house bill, i think 3 million people would choose not to have medicaid if you remove
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the cbo insurance. on the h2b issues you pointed out thacommittee gave quite a bit of flexibility and i think encouragement to deal with that as we have for some time. whatever you and general kelly would like to talk about in terms of how we get a long-term solution instead of a short-term i think is a perfectly fine idea but not for this year. this is going to take longer to put together the facts. i think even some discussion of looking at regional impact number. what senator mccullsky used to say with senator murray and i on this dis, she was always very interested on fishing and crabbing, things that have no impact in missouri but have a big impact on maryland.
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so i understand it and appreciate it. but happens this year is what needs to be dealt with right now. if you move forward, how quickly do you think you and homeland security would be at a place where you can decide what's going to happen this year? >> mr. chairman, thank you for the comment. and let me say senator kelly and i spoken. he has indicated publicly his intent to increase the cap pursuant to the authority. he ask i stand shoulder to shoulder on the decision. we agree on that outcome, and we've also spoken about how quickly we can move forward. and he is working to move forward as expeditiously as possible with the understanding that individuals are waiting for those visas. and then so i would defer to dhs. but i would say that senator kelly is personally committed to
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moving forward as expeditiously as possible. again, with the understanding and i'm happy to work with the chairman's staff, that is important to not do this year after year but to have a permanent fix so that we're not putting all the these businesses and all these individuals in this position of uncertainty again. >> yeah, i think that's a perfecty reasonable thing to do as long as we realize that's what we ought to be talking about after your study is done and as your study is being done. it would be impractical to try to do that this year, but i think very practical to do it in the future. i think that's what senator graham said as well. and i think you'd find a lot of interest in trying to work this out so we don't have to deal with it every year. let's talk about job corp for a second. 125 job corp centers in the united states, three of them in missouri. i'm thinking the budget -- the
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bill that congress voted on in april, we increase job corp by about $15 million. this proposal cuts it by $256 million with expressed intention i think at the department that some of these job corp sites would be close said, maybe as many as 20. so i really have three questions there. one is what methodology would you use to decide what centers to close, how would you relocate any students in those centers and are you at least committed to keeping one center in every state? >> first let me take them in order. first as to methodology, i think it's very important to have a -- if depending on where the budget ends up, we need have methodology because these are very sensitive centres.
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and that methodology should be based on outcomes. it shouldn't be based on participants but rather on whether they're getting jobs. and that outcome measure should be sensitive to differences in regions. and so a region that has significant challenges in jobs and job growth may have a job corp center that is funomly successful even though the employment rate is a little bit lower than the employment rate of another job corp center that's in a reelken that's experiencing economic growth. so the other outcome is what i'll call a regionally adjusted employment outcome measure. certainly it would be the case we would notify members of the senate and members of congress before closing any job corp center because they are
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important to districts and to states. and so i can't commit to not -- you know, to ensuring that there's one in every state. but i certainly can commit to notifying members of congress and members of the senate so that members of both the house and the senate and members of congress, obviously, sothality there's at least opportunity for a fulsome discussion. but at the end of the day i do think it needs to be based on metticrics. and let me just finally say -- >> and what about students in the centers you would close? >> senator, i think that would have to be looked at very closely. my hope is that we could use the equivalent of a teach-outmethod, which is what's used in colleges. let me make two final points. as the senator acknowledged at the beginning, this is a discussion congress has from year to year. and it's something that i'd be
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committed to working with the committee's staff on because it is important. and i do recognize from my visits with so many members of the committee, the importance of these centers. and so i don't thing this should be a unilateral, but i do think it needs to be part of a more fulsome discussion. >> well, thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for your and your team that has been here today. the record will stay open for one week for additional questions. and the subcommittee stands at recess.
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c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning discussing the latest on the
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postponed senate health care law replacement bill. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley testifies. she expected to discuss issues such as the iranian nuclear program. she'll speak before the house foreign affairs committee and it starts live at 10:00 a.m. eastern here at c-span 3. sunday on q and a. >> ten years later he would win a 40-state landslide, and then it all came apart. >> he served as a speechwriter
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and senior advisor to president nixon and discusses his book "nixon white house wars, the battles that made and broke a president and divided america forever." >> and so i wrote him a memo you're going to have to keep the dean tapes, the five conversations with dean. i didn't think they were going to be that damaging to us and keep the tapes of the president with foreign policy stuff. the stuff you need, you really should take. and i said take the rest and burn it and shutdown this prosecution office now before it grows into a monster. and i didn't know it at the time but nixon had called in hague and entertained this idea he should burn the tapes. and he said well, it would be obstruction of justice. firstly, i didn't recommend burning subpoena tapes.
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secondly, they were -- if he just got rid and said in effect impeach or be damned, he would have moved right through it. and i think president nixon said in his memories if he had burned the tapes, he would have survived. and i think that's right. next security's in exchange commission chair clayton testifies. he's joined by christian. this senate appropriations subcommittee hearing is an hour and ten minutes. >> good morning, the subcommittee will come to order.