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tv   Senate Commerce Hearing on Transportation NASA Nominations  CSPAN  September 10, 2018 10:59am-1:06pm EDT

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now, the senate commerce, science and transportation committee confirmation hearing on three of president trump's nominees to fill positions at nasa. this is two hours. here we go. good morning. thank you all for being here this morning. we'll get going. we have a couple of our colleagues who are going to be here today to introduce a couple of the nominees and we also have a couple of votes coming up before too long but we'll try to roll through those and get this process rolling for these terrific nominees. want to welcome our extinguished panel and we'll consider the nomination of kelvin droegemeier
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and mr. jim morhard and joel szabat. i want to thank leader mcconnell, senators langford and inhofe and senator -- or secretary la hood for being here today to provide introductions for the nominees and welcome the nominees' family and friends joining us today as well. dr. droegemeier is a scientist with an extensive background in academia and public service at the federal and state level and should he be confirmed he'll advise the president on scientific and engineering aspects of major policies across the federal. dr. droegemeier background is an atmospheric science and receiving the bachelor of science in meteorologist from the university of oklahoma and the ph.d from the university of illinois urbana champagne. and currently the vice president for research and the weather news chair emeritus of applied
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meteorology and from the alma mater university of oklahoma and served on the oklahoma governor science and technology council and the governor's cabinet secretary for science of technology. dr. droegemeier is well-known to the senate commerce committee and worked with us to develop the bipartisan american innovation and competitiveness act and when he testified before the committee to make policy recommends and notably said that we had, and i quote, made science bipartisan again, end quote. he's also previously testified toward the committee regarding science and the u.s. economyond hurricane research and twice confirmed by the u.s. senate each time by voice vote. first time as a bush and the second as a obama nominee. dr. droegemeier is well qualified to lead stp and i look forward to the senate confirming him quickly to this position which has been vacant since january of 2017.
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jim morhard currently served as the department of sergeant of arms and prior to the role he served as a staff director of the senate appropriations committee and in that position he helped to develop and negotiate put pell appropriations bills including funding for space flight, and spacecraft control and nasa communications. as a testament to his appropriations committee, senator layhe has submitted a letter -- based on my experience with jim on the appropriations committee nasa could expect to have a deputy administrator to push an agenda of common sense and cost effective mr. morhard's deep knowledge in the federal budget and appropriations process and the experience in managing large organizations will serve nasa well and i look forward to supporting his nomination. finally mr. szabat has a distinguished and lengthy career in the federal government, particularly at d.o.t. and it
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makes him qualified for the position to which he's been nominated. mr. szabat sevens as the deputy service of affairs since john of 2018. if confirmed, one of the primary responsibilities is to develop policies to improve air access to the aviation services for small communities like -- in my home state of south dakota. we're honored to be joined by our former colleague in the form of secretary of transportation ray la hood and well-known as a bipartisan problem solver and his willingness to appear on behalf of mr. szabat speaks volumes about the nominee's qualifications. all three of the nominees before the committee are exceptionally well qualified for the positions to which they've been nominationed anommin -- nominated and they will advance
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science base and transportation. so once again i thank all of you for willingness to seven in these important jobs and i recognize senator nelson for his opening remarks. >> mr. chairman, i think it bo be appropriate for me to defer my remarks until after the majority leader and the secretary, they could get on with their duties. >> very good, senator nelson. we are very fortunate to be joined by our distinguished majority leader senator mcconnell and i'll introduce mr. morhard. >> senator nelson, appreciate the opportunity to be here to introduce a extinguished public service, that we're all quite familiar with. we know a lot about the jim morhard brand of leadership and talent and dedication and a patriotic commitment to excellence. the ability to set the bar high and meet it and then raise it even higher. we'll all be sorry to lose our
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deputy sergeant at arms but it is for a good cause. jim is completely qualified and uniquely prepared to serve as second in command at an agency as crucial as nasa. so let's talk about subject matter expertise. one of the many impressive stations on jim's resume is six years as clerk of the senate appropriations subcommittee on commerce justice state judiciary and related agencies and he was the point person on fronting nasa and scientific community charged with resourcing the agencies while also avoiding a culture of self justifying extending growth. jim mastered this role that he was subject quentsh did he -- h subsequently asked to -- check that off. and skillful relationship building at congress and
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executive branch, check that off, too. and of course as deputy senate sergeant at arms, he spent four years demonstrating even further capacity to lead a large multi-faceted workforce while growing a culture of diligence, responsiveness and service. i can attest to the emphasis on safety and security. of course those are critical subjects at nasa. and they could not be more personal to this nominee. most of us know the remarkable story. jim survived the 2010 plane crash in alaska that claimed five lives and including our late friend senator ted stevens. the impact of the crash temporarily trapped jim in his seat but he supported those around him and encouraging fellow survivors and leading them in prayer. i understand jim took more than
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a commitment to safety and security as you can imagine away from that tragedy. he's explained that his miraculous survival drove a -- a renew professional purpose alike and as he explained in his speech at his alma mater a few years ago, we need to maximize our time here helping others and in short jim is a passionate public servant and who possesses the precisely unique combination of skills this position requires, specific expertise in what nasa does, demonstrated payment of government organizations and a passion for ensuring that america leads in space exploration. so mr. chairman, senator nelson, thank you for the opportunity to come by and say some words on behalf of this really good man and i hope he enjoys the support of the committee. >> thank you, leader mcconnell.
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thank you very much for that very compelling testimonial and obviously many of us know mr. morhard well from his many years of experience here on capitol hill in addition to the other accomplishments and experience. i want to recognize secretary ray la hood who is here and wants to make remarks and introduce another nominee mr. joel szabat. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is good to be back. spent a few hours before this committee previously and i enjoyed a wonderful relationship with members of the committee and thafr-- and thank you for y service and support for d.o.t. while we're in service there. i'm here today to introduce joel szabat whop has been nominated to be the assistant secretary of aviation and international affairs at the department of
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transportation. joel has been an exemplary leader in federal service for over 25 years. he's an excellent manager and proven problem solver. i first met joel in the early 2009 period when he was the deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy. he was d.o.t. federal officer responsible for implementing the recovery act and let me just say a word about that. as many of you remember, d.o.t. received $48 billion in the recovery act, and all of that money was spent properly, there were no bad stories, no boondoggles or earmarks or sweetheart deals and joel stepped in and did this as a career employees before our political appointees were apointed and he did really good work and was a great team leader and a great member of our team.
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joel also helped manage the development of the first round of tiger which i know is a very popular program and renamed now but still very popular in the senator. it is for this dedication that joel receives the presidential meritorious rank award in 2012. i'm legacy very proud of the work that joel did as executive director of the maritime administration and in particular i appreciate his leadership and dedication to the men and women at the united states merchant marine academy. which was a very high pre -- a high proort for the obama administration. joel is motivated by a spirit of public service and i believe he will do an outstanding job and
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he does have the have strong support of secretary chow who is also one who encouraged him to really seek this appointment. and so i urge the committee to support joel. i know he'll do a great job and i know that he will be very responsive to this committee and to all members of congress. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, secretary la hood very much for coming here and giving your voice to support this terrific nominee and we appreciate it as always your many contributions for public service both a member of the house of representatives and the secretary of transportation. senator nelson, i will now recognize you for an opening statement. >> okay, the three panelists today, gentlemen, welcome. congratulations on your
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nominations. thank you for your willingness to serve. mr. morhard, after your confirmation your experience managing as the majority leader said critical security activities in the senate and also complex activities, it is going to come in handy at nasa. as will your experience and reviewing programs and negotiating budgets in the senate appropriations committee. mr. chairman, senator layhe wanted to be here today to introduce mr. morhard also. the senator has a conflict so i would ask unanimous consent that the introduction of mr. morhard be included in the record.
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>> without objection. >> mr. morhard, the lives of a lot of people, including the astronauts and the success of some of the most ambitious science missions will depend on you and administrator bridenstine's ability to run the agency and to seek the expert scientific and technical people to advise you. if confirmed, i would urge upon you to seek out the counsel of career nasa professionals, such as bill gur sten and also bob cabana. we're also going to consider the nomination of dr. kelvin droegemeier to be the director of the white house office of
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science and technology policy, otherwise the president's science adviser. there is certainly no question, doctor, as to your qualifications. indeed, norm augustine and neo lane wrote the committee saying you would be an outstanding science adviser in my administration and that is a pretty good endorsement from some heavy weight people. on a personal note, dr. droegemeier, your work on extreme weather is of course very important to the country. it's important to the people of hawaii today. as a cat four closes in. it is certainly very important to the people of my state. but we're finding extreme weather all across the country. and we see it every night on the
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news. so i appreciate your working with this committee to improve ways to get people to respond to this extreme weather that is happening. and if confirmed, you have a tough task ahead of you but i think a lot of us on this committee are happy you are the white house science adviser. and mr. szabat, a recommendation coming from tformer secretary i held in high regard in this committee. in d.o.t., the office that you would be heading, covers a wide array of aviation matters important to members of this committee and throughout the congress. i appreciate your many years of public service, including your
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service in the military and we look forward working with you, especially as we move an faa reauthorization bill in the near future. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator nelson. we are now joined by our colleague senator langford and he is here along with the senior center from oklahoma, a member of this panel, to introduce mr. droegemeier. senator langford, thank you. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here as well and speak for kelvin droegemeier. i'll make a brief short statement on his behalf because i know you have a lot of important business to do, but just to give you context, dr. droegemeier scienced in research and education at the national level for more than 25 years. nominated by president george w. bush and confirmed by the u.s. senate and served six years in the national science ward from
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the science foundation and science policy guidance to the congress and president and renominated by president obama and again confirmed by the senate serving a second six-year term until the national science board, the last four years as the vice chairman. and he took the university of oklahoma and the research facility happening there when he was vice president as carnegie status and he has an impressive research and background and one of the most impressive statement is science has no politics. science is just science. it is just the facts that you're looking at. so the key thing that he really brings to this is not oven his extensive background and experience working with the government and with congress and with the white house in the past giving science recommendations, obviously the work he's done in weather and climate for decades now but he is just an honorable individual that i think you'll enjoy getting a chance to know his science background and his
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personal and family background as well. it's interesting to see, if you've gone through his extensive resume and background to see backgrounds with all of the different awards, all of the different published articles and things he's done over the years but right in the middle of it, he has listed as one of the honors an award of head usher at his church. which again shows the humanity of saying there are a lot of things you can do in personal life and be engaged in and to keep life in perspective and say all of these are areas just to be able to serve people and to be able to find ways to do that. so i hope you enjoy the dialogue with him and i wholeheartedly support his nomination and look forward to get a chance to endorse him on the floor in the days ahead. >> thank you, senator langford for joining us today and voicing your support of this terrific nominee and the senior center from oklahoma and a distinguish leader on all of the issues that
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come in front of our committee, also here and in -- and jim, i'll recognize senator inhofe to make comments with regard to dr. droegemeier. >> i appreciate that. senator langford and i were fighting to see who could introduce you and so we're both introducing you. and i think he said -- he said it all very well. i think all we need to know about kelvin droegemeier is that he's the one responsible for saving so many lives in oklahoma. i'm old enough and i've been around long enough to remember we're a tornado state and they are devastating and i remember when we had virtually no warning, we didn't have any advanced warning when things were -- were taking place and now because of what he has done, we have minutes and sometimes hours to warn people to take cover and because of the impending severe weather.
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if that is not impressive enough, the company he created employees 100 people and has had $350 million impact on our state of oklahoma. now he knows science. he knows business. he is a celebrity. he may not know that he's a celebrity. but he is. look at him. [ laughter ] >> he's got a great smile but he is a -- in 1978 he was on the classic television they called "in search of", a science television series narrated by leonard nimoy where he was featured for his expertise on tornados. so he knows his stuff. he'll be doing a great job. and in addition to just being imminently qualified, there is no one in america better qualified for this position than he is. democrats and republicans alike agree with that. but i just want to add that in
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addition to being imminently qualified, he is famous, he's fun and entertaining. thank you, mr. chairman. >> that is a glowing endorsement. thank you, senator inhofe. i want to invite the nominees to come forward that dr. droegemeier and mr. jim morhard and mr. joel szabat and look forward to hearing your opening statements if you can confine them as close to five minutes as possible. make sure your entire statements are part of the written hearing record. and then that will give us an opportunity to ask some questions. so we'll ta-- we start on my le and your right with dr. droegemeier and so i look forward to hearing from you, please proceed. >> thank you, chairman thune and ranking member nelson and members of the committee. i am truly honored beyond words to appear before you today as
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president trump's nominee of the director of the office of science and technology policy and pleased that my wy of 35 yea years lisa is behind me and a lot of friend that's truly blessed my life throughout the years. i was born in kansas city and at the age of 19 i went storm tracking and saw my first tornado up close and personal and it is an experience and the power and majesty of that awesome power fuel my interest in meteorology and uned at university of urbana champlain and returned to o.u. and using data to improve forecasts giving people a -- as senator inhofe said more time to find shelter when threatened by extreme weather events and unpredictable storms that we -- we feel are quite dangerous. i later started weather technology company based upon that work. i'm a scientist and i'm a storm
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chaser and an educator and as you know and you've heard i have experience in science policy being nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate under george w. bush and then later on president barack obama. in addition to having served as vice president as research and i also am the oklahoma secretary flft of the governor mary fallon. we live in the time of extraordinary possibilities. the pace of discovery is accelerating and the eco-system is reif with both competition and opportunities for cooperation. and i was privileged to speak both of those sentences here in this room to this committee two years ago when i testified about the amazing bipartisan and wonderful american innovation and competitiveness act, aca and i want to thank you for including me in the listening section and allowing me to be part of that wonderful process. today i appear before you again
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with an even greater privilege and responsibility to discuss the possibility of serving as the rcp director. i would be honored to take on the challenge of ensuring american leadership in our science and technology enterprise which for decades has contributed to our success and prosperity but what i love the most about ostp is that it measures success not by what it does but by which america succeeds because of it. our nation faces great challenge but no challenge is beyond our reach and science and technology are time tested and powerful pathways toward solution. if confirmed, i'll work closely with this committee and other members of congress and with my colleagues throughout the federal government and the academic and private sector enterprises to ensure robust american leadership in science and technology and i also would like to highlight just a few rain showers that would include for example a coordinated and comprehensive portfolio of federal science and technology
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initiative, from fund. al research that is risky but must be funded and an important role of the government to apply to -- to bring these research outcomes to market and second an education framework to produts a capable and diverse workforce that is absolutely critical to america's future. all the way from k-12 schools to career teches to colleges -- four-year colleges and the preeminent universities and the entire eco-system and the public and private partnerships to move scientific research outcomes from the bench into the lab and building wealth in americans. there are increasing numbers of threats that science and technology in america -- unnecessary burden stifles the best and brightest research and kpet significance rising especially from china and they have the express desire to challenge our important and long-standing leadership and we have to recognize that challenge but must also embrace the value
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of collaboration. global research is not a zero sum game and so all progress is valuable but american leadership ensures that american values remain at the forefront of technology development. we are in fact in a time of unprecedented opportunity. the tools and technologies and research capabilities of this country are absolutely unmatched in the world. and hour scientists and engineers enjoy something very unique and that is unprecedented freedom to explore the boundaries of what is possibility in their creative minds. but we must not simply be comfortable simply to maintain, we must accelerate our progress by eliminating barriers that unnecessarily hinderous without sacrificing our fundamental freedom. if i at confirmed i will pledge to work with all ufr to safeguard america's national and economic security for generations to come. thank you very much. >> thank you, dr. droegemeier. mr. morhard, welcome.
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>> >> i'm commerce and science and transportation, it is an honor to appear before you as the nominee for the deputy administrator of nasa. i began my thanking the president and the vice president who put their trust and confidence in me and as well as jim bridenstine went out of his way to be helpful and providing me wise council and pleased to have my son and his family here and many friends and sergeant at arms colleagues are here today who have been so very kind. if confirmed i look forward to serving and working with you, the administrator and the very talented nasa professionals. in the 1950s my dad was working at nav air and he worked side by side with allen shepherd and thought the world of him.
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in 1962, i was five years old. my brother jay was nine. and after john glenn orbited the earth, my parents dropped us in front of his house in arlington, virginia, where we lived also. jay and a walked up to the front door and knocked. the astronaut opened the door and welcomed us in. as some of you know, senator glenn, that is the type of person he was. after petting the cat and drinking the offered glass of water, we received his autograph. these men inspired america. as well as the world. and they influenced our psyche and they brought us together. it is an inspiring time again for human space flight and once again nasa is leading the way. but it is also aspiring. i asked my mother once why are
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we here on earth. she said to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people. my desire for this position is to be a part of a purpose greater than any other. this committee is well aware of the many challenges that come with that purpose. i support the president's refocus on america's face program and on human exploration and returning astronauts to the moon, for long-term exploration and use. it is all part of setting the table for nasa, partners and the eventual missions to mars and beyond. the moon is a stepping-stone. also i support the study of the aerm and the universe in addition to the above mentioned exploration missions, nasa must carry out earth science, planetary science, physics and astro physics research and
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aeronautics research. there are four main strengths i bring to the mention table. first over and over again i've led organizations through difficult situations by creating an atmosphere of collaborate team work that turns visions and golds into realities. when i was on the appropriations staff director, he got all of the appropriations bills done. but that entailed getting consensus with democrat and republican members, their staff, the agencies, cbo, the house, omb and the white house. one year, only two bills were expected to pass. we worked both sides of the aisle and together all 13 were enacted. to do that, it took a complete command of the federal budge and legislative process. that is a feat then and as we're
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seeing it remains one today. second, i'm able to focus helping to lead a situation that continually tends toward disorder. that goes from helping manage most of the senate operations to quickly reacting to cybersecurity threats. third, nasa is left with the most extraordinary andern earthized professionals whose idea and talents must be allowed to flourish. i've spent my career attracting and mentoring great talent. finally, but most importantly, on all levels and at all times, the safety of the entire nasa team is absolutely critical. on a daily basis, i'm responsible for helping to ensure that the proper processes work for the secure of all senators, staff and visitors. to conclude, i believe transformational leadership and
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the strength of collaboration will ensure a new air you for america's space programs and advance scientific knowledge for the earth and inspire a new generation to enter the stem fields. it is what nasa needs and it is time. thank you for this opportunity today. >> mr. morhard, mr. szabat, chairman thune, ranking member nelson, members of the committee. i'm joel szabat and the honor to be nominated to be the assistant secretary of aviation and international affairs for the u.s. department of transportation and i hope you will find my record of public service worthy of confirmation. joining me today is my happiness and my inspiration, my wife, president of the asian pacific islander american chamber of commerce and entrepreneurship. almost 20 years ago we established a nonprofit to teach asian pacific american youth that our government arrives at just powers for the concept of
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the government and they are taught to make government responsive to their needs and those of the community. three fellows from the foundation join us today, jessica lee, harveyitionato and justin lee and su found huf and if confirmed, i will pursue three key goals,first, support secretary's primary mission of safety through the check li licensing of air carriers and making sure our international agreement to include open skies provide affair deal to the american taxpayer, labor day, industry and traveling public. and third, work for the small little communities that are the customers of the air service and small community air service development programs. if confirmed, i will manage the programs to the benefit of the effected rural communities while controlling costs as a steward
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of the taxpayer's dollars. since 2002, i've been senior executive in the service and i strive to exemplify the ideals of the executive service who numbers could be moved to wherever and whenever they are needed. in my first four months of chief of staff, we resolved a year-old backlog of 100,000 hurricane katrina disaster assistance and at d.o.t.s way responsible for setting up $48 billion to cover the program completing over 15,000 transportation projects. under my watch, the maritime administration kaunt fied the size to employ enough american mariners to meet our requirements an i hope my record in these positions and elsewhere assured committee and the senate that i have the skills necessary to lead this office. since january i've been managing
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the office of aviation and international affairs and i also have prior experience in most of the missions of the office, including negotiating with government sources during my time at cpa and serving as the transportation council iraq and multiple roles at the department of transportation to include talks into the u.s.-china strategic and economic dialog and in two prior stints at the d.o.t., i managed the office of international affairs including the central air service and the small service development programs. i have 25 years of federal service as an army calverson and my role is the same, i'm bound to follow the constitution. honor bound to follow the law. and the directions of my superiors in that order and duty bound to provide my superiors my best advice and the advice of my
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taf. this office of staff is comprised of cracker jack professionals who are the pride of any organization. civil, military, or corporate. if confirmed, i will continue my commitment to public service inchanged. chairman thune and ranking member nelson and members of the committee, thank you again for your consideration. i would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. mr. szabat and all of you for your remarks. i know you all appreciate the importance of cooperation with congress and nevertheless the nomination hearings give us an opportunity to underscore that point so if pledged will you work collaboratively with the committee and members and provide responses to our request for information. >> yes, i will. >> yes, i will. >> yes, i will. >> thank you. dr. droegemeier, the administration recently identified u.s. leadership in artificial intelligence and
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strategic commuting as the top budget priorities and the bill that i ins -- i introduced with ranking member for companies like china are also investing significant resources in these fields which china's overall r&d projected to surpass those of the united states by the end of the year. what will you do at ostp for ai and quantum to maintain a competitive advantage over china. >> thank you, china and russia are moving rapidly and quantity imscience is from basic civics and quantum computers and artificial intelligence which affects everything from financial services, looking at large amounts of data and aun analyzing and assisting doctors with making diagnosis and also things liken hansing the opportunity for veterans to find jobs and do the matching.
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so these are extremely important areas. the the federal government is really prioritizing these in the president's own budget and the omb guidance momento with artificial intelligence and machine learning is top priorities and oscp there is an director for quantum science and artificial intelligence so these are very high priority i-- item and summits that were held and very large encompassing summits to bring multiple agencies together to chart strategic courses for the nation and of course they are not just in civilian work but also substantial military components as well so the national security council and others like that in the executive office of the president are also involved. so extremely important and i think we have an important role to play and have been playing it but china is investing heavily and making no bones about it. it is very obvious they're putting that out there and in some sense challenging us and we have to rise to the challenge. it is extremely important, mr. chairman, that we take a
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leadership role, america leads in those areas. >> couldn't agree more and hope you'll be focused like lacer on those issues. and this for dr. droegemeier and morhard, there is a lot of debate about the role of science and policy making and so i'll ask you respectively, should you be confirmed what is the appropriate role of science in guiding policy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i believe science is streamly wornt in forming policy and i think science needs to be conducted free from political interference and the science has to lead the way and in terms of telling us whatever the facts are. so my role, if i'm -- if i'm director is to make sure the scientific opinions are unbiased in presenting to the president for policy making. >> mr. chairman, i think it is -- it is critical that we be
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assured there is no distortion or disregard for science or scientific evidence, especially with the amount of effort that goes on at nasa to collect scientific data. >> this is for mr. szabat and it has to do with das, d.o.t. is responsible for the program which does play an important role in enabling rural communities to stay connected with the air transportation system and you are familiar with the program given your current position. if confirmed as assistant sect, what will you do to make sure the program is carried out in an efficient manner. erk mr. chairman, thank you for that question. you are exactly correct. the air service is vitally important. and important not just as a federal program but specially to the community it serves. although i have only been serving in this position now for less thap eight -- than eight months and i've visited six
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states including south dakota, nebraska, montana, mississippi, virginia, and west virginia and spoken to the airport directors and community leaders of many more. if confirmed i will be a voice within the administration to champion the importance of what the -- what the local community leaders tell us are the single most important things for the communities. which is dependable, reliable and frequent air service to these essential air service communities. the cost pressures as you alluded to are enormous. since 2011 costs have nearly doubled and while the numbers of communities in the program have been roughly flat. the cost pressures are increasing. i believe and in my discussions with the airport director, they've indicated they also believe that there were a number of ways to contain these costs and to continue the effective management of essential air services to the benefit of the communities. some -- some of these were suggested in the administration's fy-19 budget
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proposal and others suggested to me by the airport director and community leaders and if confirmed i will work with interested members of congress with the staff of this committee and with -- with the community itself to develop a way forward. >> thank you. mr. szabat, my time is expired and my time on the floor is expired and so i'll go vote and hand the gavel to senator wicker to recognize in order after peerps those who are here first. >> very good. it seems we have senator gardner followed by senator cortez masto. and that was an excellent list of states to visit. i don't know how you came up with that list, but right on. >> i have excellent staff.
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>> congratulations on your nomination and thank you tor taming the time to meet with me and i appreciate your thought as related to the office approach to china and asia as a whole. avenue yigs a industry and aerospace is extremely important to colorado as it is a fastly growi growing industry. if confirms will be required to oversee in engage. with foreign countries and air service to and from the united states. is that accurate? >> senator, yes, it is. >> in our discussions we talked about how important it is that we're holding our partners accountable, to their commitment as part of such air transport agreements. could you talk about the things that effect the impact the current statement of our agreement in partnership with china in particular. >> senator, thank you for that question and thank you for identifying what is, along with air transportation agreement with europe, the united states single most important international partnership for
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aviation. one of the things i have learned since i joined the office and the years in service is the importance of not just making agreements but working with partners to make sure they uphold the agreements made and so even before i joined the office we've had that challenge in working with our partners, our aviation partners in china. and so as we had discussed, senator, from our perspective, there are four areas to like to see improved progress going forward in our relations with them and where we think we have agreements and we need to see more progress in full filling this business and on the freight side which is called -- the ability of the freight carriers to fly into china and then move from one airport to another, that fits their business moddedel and this was agreed to and they have challenged in doing. and also the problem with the chinese have at large which is congestion in airports which affected the ability to provide
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us both the slots and the frequency, the route to fly into the country that from our perspective they have agreed to. and then finally among the four -- so -- and the slots and the frequency, but then also some of the -- what i would call the basic day-to-day issues such as the speed with which a normal request are made, whether they are for inspection or air frames or for sharing among partners. >> and so it is fair to say china is not meeting these agreements at this point. >> that is our respect. >> and there were reports that china was called on american an united airlines to change content to consumers regarding taiwan and the white house said this is nonsense and part of the chinese community party to impose political views on american setss and private companies. senator rubio and i sent a letter to the united airlines by
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the bullying tactics of china toward u.s. businesses. what are your thoughts on the administration's comments on this issue? >> senator, gardner thank you for that question. that is a major issue from -- almost from the moment that i joined this office in -- and in january. as you point out, the administration statement came out on may 5th and this is after the chinese had made demands of all of the international air carriers on april 27th. the challenge that we had in the administration, and that is not just us but the par -- the partners in the state department and the white house and national security council we oppose the action that china took trying to force for political reasons private businesses in this case aviation business and airlines from complying with the political world as they would want to see it. but the -- but from our
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perspective, we don't want to fall in the same trap and order u.s. businesses how they should respond son instead we worked with those businesses, those affected airlines and encourage them to work together so they could not get picked off one by one by the chinese government. and they did so and they came up with a common response to the chinese government -- >> if i could interrupt. i'm going to run out of time and want to ask one question to mr. droegemeier and i'm concerned about the airlines succumbing to chinese bullying tactics and then they could bullying other companies and then internet companies will agree to sensor site chz is being done right now. and in this case to offer -- to the faa reauthorization bill an amendment that would require as a condition of operating in u.s. national air space, any carrier must refer to taipei taiwan.
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we have the strongest science research laboratories in the world to drive the competition and i've talked about china with mr. szabat, could you talk about innovation and staying on top of science research and development and funding importance and how we can compete with china in the future. >> absolutely. it is extremely important. i think we need to make sure we are the strongest research ernt prize in the world. ostp sits on a committee on foreign investment in the u.s. and that is one way to monitor what china is doing in terms of the predtory trade practice and unfair advantage of science and also has well-known history of stealing intellectual property and research results and things like that. well at the same time as we welcome foreign researchers into the u.s., i think historically they are a important and robust part of our enterprise and we have to do that with care and something the community needs to look at and ocp and the role and other organizations need to be
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mindful of and manage this chal efrmg because it is openly done and in my own state i helped coordinate this and briefed by the fbi in my role as the vp for research at the university and its happening and i've seen it happen thanks for making science bipartisan again. >> thank you, senator gardner. senator nelson. >> thank you. mr. moorhard, in nasa in the past, there have been times when the minister and the deputy were not on the same page. what do you see as the role of the deputy to support the administrator and what do you do to make sure the two of you get
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along? >> senator, i appreciate the question. the administrator is my boss, and he has the vision and voice of nasa. and i see that i will help him run the organization. i started out at the navy department, and i'm very clear how a chain of command works and it has served me well through my tenure of working, and i would use that. but with that, i know your concerns regarding safety is making sure that those processes are working. and it gets down, i think, to governments, and it's the authorities and the accountability of government structures that have to be aligned.
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if i'm confirmed, it's going there, and with the new leadership, do those processes work with the new personalities that are there? and i assure you if i am confirme confirmed, i will be looking at that. >> you and i have talked about this, and you have certainly satisfied me when i shared with you my experience that, for example, the loss of two space shuttl shuttles, first challenger and then connecticut, because they were not listening to the managers on the line who were warning them about the technical
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problems, albeit different in the destruction of each space shuttle, but nevertheless the folks on the line understood. and management was not letting that filter into their decision. dr. drogamyer, what steps are you going to take to ensure that federal science is free from political interference? >> senator, that's an excepti exceptionally important issue. as someone who has been on the national science board, i can tell you the ethical conduct of research with integrity, without political interference in the process is without question important, and to me there is no
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other way to do it. if we sacrifice compromise on that, then the trusted public focus that we have, the partnership that we have, the foundation and research of the public trust comes undone. otca has a very important role to play in that activity. in the past, they have teamed up with all the different agencies for ensuring exactly what i'm talking about, and we need to make sure we're vigilant and that those practices are followed. it's very important. >> since we've been in hurricane season, you've worked with us in the past to improve the public's response to hurricane warnings. you know what's happening. fires, floods, storms, it's
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happening all over. we're seeing, because in part, of heat, persistent algae blooms on both of florida's coasts, although fueled by nutrients. what should we be focusing our research efforts on to mitigate the risk of all of this that's happening? >> another extremely important question. we really have to understand, in the case of harmful algorithms, for example, how these things happen and how they ex ploes civ -- explosively develop. senator imhoff became quite ill one time with these things. i think we have to understand the underlying issues, predict the science of these, whether it's biological issues, hurricanes or so on. what we oftentimes don't talk
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much about is the communication of threats to the public and how the public responds. this is where the sociobehavioral sciences could really play a role. when you and i worked on that hurricane initiative together ten years ago, that strategy we worked on with the national science board did just that. and frankly i wish we had gotten funding for it, because that looked at the hurricane in its to totality. not just the physical science but the innovations. it affects people. we have to understand the people dimension as well. that's something i would commit to you to work with you and others on addressing those important issues. >> i hate to have to bring this up, but the national academies of science put out a report that says there is sexual harrassment in academic science. your thoughts? >> yes, indeed. this is again something as a vice president for research that i deal with this in compliance at my university. that report came out in 2018 and
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it was specifically targeted to women in the workplace but especially in academia, and it made some important conclusions. it said this sort of thing inhibts i inhibits recruiting women, retaining women. but senator, something that happened i thought was extremely important, and the national science foundation put out an important notice number 144 earlier this year. as the vice president of research, i was involved in taking that to my university, help us understand and ask questions and get clarification. what they basically did was they agreed with my personal feeling who say this kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable, never going to be acceptable, it has to stop. we owe all our researchers a safe environment in which to work, and they put an important stake in the ground and said, we will not tolerate sexual harrassment of women or any other individuals. the workplace will be safe and we want you to do that, but on the other hand, we also reserve
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the right to come in and take away funding and take unilateral action. i thought that was a really important strong statement. bringing that to oscp, what would they do with that. i think they could take that and say, okay, let's have all the agencies in the conversation, maybe promulgate that through all the agencies. nothing more important than making sure we have safe environments. >> mr. chairman, one final question since i haven't spoken to mr. zabath. are you going to be in a position to do something about the fact this committee has taken a very strong position with regard to protection of passenge passengers, consumer protections, on airlines. and yet we have not seen the airlines do the things that we have, in fact, discussed in this committee such as ensuring that
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young children are able to sit next to at least one parent with no charge, or the fact that when paid checked luggage -- paid -- is lost or not delivered in a timely manner, they don't even get a refund on paying for their bag. what can you do about this? >> senator, thank you for the question and for raising a valid and important concern. since i joined the department of transportation in 2002, safety and fair treatment of the traveling public have always been part of the culture and a regulatory role of the department. the particular issues that you raise, children sitting with parents, the treatment of luggage is a purview of the aviation and consumer protection office. but if i am confirmed and sitting in an office for the secretary of aviation and
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national affairs, i commit to work with them, with the involved offices and federal aviation administration which yourself, your staff and intricate members of this committee to address these concerns for the traveling public. >> thank you, senator nelson. senator udall. >> thank you so much, chairman wicker. i really appreciate the hearing today. don't worry about this bandage. i'm fine. you should see the other guy. he's a dermatologist. we occasionally run into them around here. the "new york times" recently published a lengthy article, dr. d droegameier, called losing earth. i mentioned this article to you when we met earlier in the week. the author said we had an opportunity during the decade of
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1979 and 1989 to take climate change head on, but we failed. will you dedicate yourself to work to address climate change impacts in america? >> thank you, senator. i did pull that article down, and you were right, it was 40,000-some words and i enjoyed looking at it. a lot of familiar names in there with a very interesting history. i honestly believe we have to look at the future. that was the past, right? it talked about that era from '79 to '89. i focus as a guy who does weather modelling. i'm really interested in what we do in the future. i'm very excited to work on that. i think we need improvements in climate models, we need lots of things going forward, lots of things we can do. i talked to various senators, including senator hassin in her home state. that's a great example of what i think we should be doing. i'm very excited to work on that
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with you and see what we can do moving forward. >> and what specific actions will you take as the leader of ostp to act on climate change? >> absolutely. one of the important bills that was passed by this committee and signed into law was the weather forecast improvement act. for example, with regard to hurricanes, there is a national hurricane research initiative as part of that. also activities that look at doing more seasonal forecasting and bringing the climate and the weather communities together to work together. they could actually learn a lot from each other. in the climate warning, we need to work together going forward. there certainly is uncertainty in climate warnings. the weather can be very helpful there. also when you're thinking about a weather prediction, we see seasonal time scales that are very important for other areas. so there is a real symbiosis
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there, senator. i would be very interested in working on that, as well as risk and resilience with senator h haskin. >> i assume from the question that was asked earlier about scientific integrity that you would also preserve scientific integrity in this scientific change arena. >> absolutely. >> dr. d rrroegameier, we see t research is competitive at the international level. how will you ensure that the u.s. remains a global leader in science, technology and innovation and continues to be a trusted partner in international research? >> that goal you just mentioned really is the goal to me, is to ensure american leadership and all the things you mentioned. first of all, we need to have our strategy. we need to look at what the key things are, and as the chairman mentioned, the intelligence, also ai machine learning,
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manufacturing and other kinds of things. other countries are aggressively pursuing these things as well because they see them as game changers. we have to be very smart in our planning. i kind of take a portfolio look across our federal government to look at what are we doing in our agency but topically across agencies? we need to remove the regulatory burden that hampers our science. some are very important but others are unnecessary, and we know that. i think we need to untie our hands. also, senator, i think we need to be very efficient and effective in moving outcomes into the private sector where they can grow jobs and be put into practice. all of those things, i think, are really critical. other countries don't have what we have. we have not only american in ingenui ingenuity, we have amazing private companies and innovative spirit. we really are leading despite what you see in terms of the dollars of other countries, but we have to watch those dollars because they are on our heels,
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absolutely. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, i'll submit additional -- i didn't mean to just focus on you. i have questions for the other witnesses but i'll put those in for the record. i know we have a lot of our colleagues here. >> thank you, mr. udall. thank you for not roughing up dr. droegemeier. senator haskin. >> thank you to our chair and thank you for our witnesses today and for serving your country. thank you for your families as well because this is a family affair, and we appreciate your willingness to serve and your service to date as well. i want to extend a particularly warm welcome to our nominee, to the office of science and technology policy. as we've been waiting a long time for this nomination, 570 days, to be exact, but who is counting? actually, some of us were. i wrote two letters to the president because of the
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critical importance of this position, and i'm really pleased to see that our calls have finally been answered and you're here. i look forward to your discussion, and i'll start, dr. droegemeier, with a question for you. when you visited my office earlier this week, and i really enjoyed the discussion. the united states is facing a serious stem challenge. we're not producing enough qualified new stem graduates to meet the needs of our modern work force, something i hear from employers in new hampshire all the time, from science enterprises to advanced manufacturers. part of the problem is women and people of color are not joining these fields at equitable rates, leaving behind a large portion of our talent and the future of our pipeline. should you be concerned? in what way will you lead the science and technology policy in leading these challenges? >> senator, you hit upon something that is really something i'm passionate about, but passion isn't enough, you
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have to do things. in oklahoma -- i know you were a governor as well, we talked about this, of governors' work in stem activities. they have to run the spectrum from k-12 is aall the way throu higher education and we have to understand what the need it out there. the power of education is a huge challenge, and this is one of the biggest and most important things, whether it's native americans, people of color, whatever, we have to bring them in. we've frankly been spending a lot of money on that and the needle is quivering, it's not really moving. i can tell you the national policy is working on a five-year stem strategic plan for the nation. there was something created. out of 500 nominations, there were 18 nominees chosen. i think that's good for the future. so we've really got to make
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progress there because we are really going to challenge in meeting the future need. my nsb colleagues behind you on the science board, we looked at this as well, senator, and in addition to the stem work force, it's the stem-enabled work force. we encourage you to take some courses in other fields, because i think the statistics are that many do not have stem degrees. having stem degrees makes you employable in a lot of different areas. we have to think of a way to push stem studies. >> we need to talk about how people can do it while raising a family. something i touched on with you in our conversations. i've been working on freeing up certain spectrums in the wire industry. one step i took was with my colleague senator gardner.
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we introduced together the airwaves act which set a goal and time to get licensed and unlicensed spectrum into the hands of the public. we also make commitments to broadband. we'll need cooperation from fcc, the department of transportation, the department of defense, just to name a few. do you see the office of science and technology policy playing a leadership role in spectrum policy if you're confirmed, and if so, what would that role look like? >> absolutely i do, senator. there is a broadband initiative, the president has a broadband initiative in his memo. american connectivity is one of the things highlighted as a priority. also people who are immobimobil don't have access.
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there are technological capabilities. the federal government can provide, as you say, the spectrum. i'm familiar with that because in our radar work we worked free of spectrum. that's really critical. then to be a full partner in this thing and actually deliver the capabilities. to me this is again one of the great priorities. we have to empower all of america. living in a state that is a rural state, i recognize that some of those folks that live in rural oklahoma, they're not participants but they need to be participants in our society, full participants, and broadband is an incredibly important way to bring them in and make them part of the whole enterprise. >> it's critical to our democracy. thank you so much. and senator, you don't have other questions for the other nominees. i will submit them for the record. i thank you for both of your willingness to serve. thank you, doctor. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator. mr. morhard, the position for which you are nominated demands
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an understanding of science. do you agree with the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity is the dominant driver in the warming of the planet? >> senator, i believe the climate is changing and that man has a significant impact on it. >> do you agree that it's the dominant driver of climate change? >> i can't speak authoritatively on that, senator, just to make that statement. >> well, that's not what the consensus of scientists around the planet have reached. every national academy of science, in fact, every country in the world has reached that conclusion. let me come over to you, dr. droegemeier. are you committed to protecting the scientists who work within
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the administration to ensure that if their consensus is that human beings are the dominant cause for the warming that they will not be punished, that they will not be removed, that they will not be in any way intimidated by officials within the administration for political rather than scientific reasons? >> yes, senator markey, it is my position that science must be conducted without political influence, and i believe that includes the things that you mentioned. scientists have to be free to explore. that's what science is about, and we have to make sure that they are free to do so. so i absolutely agree that it has to be free from political influence and conducted with the highest integrity. >> so mr. morhard, given the fact you're kind of hedging on this issue and not willing to make a full-throated commitment to that scientific consensus that human beings are the
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dominant cause of the problem, how will you ensure that scientists at nasa will not be unduly influenced since they're a part of that large consensus that climate change is caused actually by human beings? how are you going to give us a guarantee that they will not be in any way affected by your supervision over them? >> senator, first, thank you for asking me the question. i certainly, if confirmed, would work to assure that there is no distortion or disregard for science and scientific evidence. if we compromise on it, we won't have science. so i can assure you that it's critical there is no influence on the outcome of the scientific
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method. >> mrs. abbott, now that the united kingdom and the u.k. are making an open skies agreement that would determine that airlines can make routes around the countries, how can you assure that that is a priority for open skies discussions? >> senator, yes, i can, and i do. >> you will? >> i will. i have. >> i just hope there is enough evidence of you having done that, of protecting these people. mr. droegemeier, i've introduced the bill called the cyber shield act which brings a cyber security program allowing internet manufacturers to voluntarily certify that their products meet industry leading
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cyber security and data security benchmarks. will you be supportive of that kind of legislation? >> as we talked in your office, i think cyber security is one of the greatest threats facing the nation because of artificial intelligence coming on line, all the if he fanefarious things th happen. i think you're on the right track. we have to have those kinds of measures, absolutely. >> finally in terms of science and technology, the atmosphere within this administration is very aggressively negative on science and technology in terms of allowing for the future to open up and for there to be protection of those apertures which are created. so from my perspective, that's going to be the criteria by
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which i am judging your nominations. we thank you for being here. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator markey. senator gorsuch? someone just came in. go ahead. >> i'm waiting for the door to open. gentlemen, thank you for your willingness to serve. dr. droegemeier, it was really a pleasure to meet with you. thank you for taking the time as well. welcome to your family. i don't know whose daughter this is, but she's been awake and alert the whole time, and it's fantastic to see that. is that your daughter? >> my granddaughter. >> your granddaughter, mr. m morhard. welcome to the family. this is fantastic. all three of you will play a role in various areas of society. one area i'm really interested in is technology and innovation. it's playing a big part right now in the recovery of our economics future.
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that's why i'm working so hard. my state, i think, is an innovation state and have introduced, hope to pass, various initiatives including the safe room act and the girl act. back in april, senator peters and i sent a letter to the white house asking for clarification on some of the activities of the office of american innovation which is run by jared kushner. four months later we have received no response at all. i note this because the federal government's role on innovation is a big priority of mine, and we need to ensure that any office in charge of this issue is being transparent and working with all of us. i know you're going to be in charge of ostp and not oai, but you will work closely with oai. and i just want to see if you're willing to help me get a commitment from that office on
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the letter with respect to innovation. >> certainly, as you mentioned, senator, innovation is very important and i would be happy to be part of that team and work collaboratively with everyone on innovation. very important. >> thank you for that. you and dr. morhard talked about innovation and the evolution of technology in our space. we're always trying to find a sweet spot between advancing innovation and considering things like you heard from my colleagues, cyber security, safety and privacy, as we develop these new technologies. can you just let me know how you will be working with other entities and the government to achieve these things and how we can work with you as well to address these concerns? >> senator, that's a very important question. we develop technology rapidly and we know the pace is very huge. what's slower is the extent we understand that the updates and extensive use of technology and
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other things, we need to get the latter caught up with the former to where we aren't putting technology out there and we're like, all of a sudden, oh, my gosh, now what do we do? people are posting suicide videos and all kinds of things. so i think innovation is there, and we don't want to turn our back. we have to accelerate the social behavioral aspects, because at the end of the day we're always dealing with people. this is something i think ostp is unique to doing in the government. again, seeing the top proposal and saying, okay, we've got the technology. we need to bring in these other organizations and make sure we're working not just as a technology piece. i think we've paid the price by not doing that. >> senator, uas traffic management as an example. i know it's something you're very much involved with. it's not just in the united states, it's all over the world. and it's the standards that the
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aeronautics mission director that's working on now, they're going to affect the united states. it's going to affect the world. and it's so critical that we do that now before it gets out of control in other places. and so i would say we look forward to working with you on it, and certainly want to promote it as quickly as we can. >> thank you. and let me just highlight, because i say this all the time. as we build this architecture, infrastructure, whatever you want to call it, we should be putting those guardrails in for privacy and security at the same time. because it's so hard to come back in after the fact and try to lay those over the infrastructure that's been created. i look forward to working with all of you on those as well. mr. savant, one of the stated goals of your office is to create policies for access to the aviation system for small and rural communities. i appreciate that you
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specifically noted in one of your priorities and in your testimony that small and rural communities as well. can i get your thoughts on aviation competition for all airports, specifically, how do you plan to support the mid and small community air service between the two main programs that you noted in your testimony and as well in your statement? nevada has remote places and i've been to elkin, nevada as well as alamo and i've wondered how we can include airports there as well as their space. >> according to trump's administration, we do have a focus on rural infrastructure and developed technology in rural areas. so specifically to your question about the airports, you are
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correct, we have both the essential air service and the service in the development program, both of which eas continues to serve airports in nevada as they have and those communities are eligible to continue going forward. the situation as it affects nevada is also the same nationwide. our challenge is if we want to continue to provide these essential air services, we are going to have to look at communities to find a better, effective way to increase the frequency and especially the reliability of these air services. passengers will drive a lot further if they can't rely on it. without those airports they cannot attract businesses. the economic growth of the community suffers. so my commitment if confirmed,
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senator, is to work with you and members of the staff as well as the airports themselves to find a better way forward that we can work both with the carriers and the airports to increase the liability and the frequency of the services to these communities. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. my time is up. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. droegemeier, the role of your office and you personally will be, in a sense, to advocate for scientific integrity, and i know a number of my colleagues have remarked on the somewhat disturbing lack of appreciation for scientific integrity, undermining the role of science and public policy, withdrawing from continent accord, giving in
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to influence and certainly decisi decision-making challenges creating a hostile environment for several scientists, reducing public access to scientific information. do you intend to be an advocate against those kinds of tendencies? >> senator, i strongly advocate for the positive, but i agree that all the things you mentioned are challenges and problems, and science has to be done with integrity. i think i would either advocate that they be undone or advocate for the positive, and maybe one is the same as the other, but to me integrity in science is everything. we owe that to the taxpayer, we owe it to science, and we should conduct science in the most honest and full integrity without being encumbered by political influence.
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i certainly want to advocate for that, yes. >> part of the work environment for scientists is a threat to public safety, is it not? >> it can be, things such as sexual harrassment and work environments. we want to attract people who want to do science and work for the government, frankly. if we can't do that, we're not going to have good employees, so we have to have a good environment, yes, sir. >> but aside from sexual harrassment and other absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable practices elsewhere, respect for scientific integrity is something that you uniquely have to be an advocate for, would you agree? >> i would absolutely agree with that. and that is my plan, sir, yes. >> thank you. mr. morhard, i was interested in some of the questions that have
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been asked, but i want to repeat the same line at the risk of being overly repetitive. your boss-to-be if you are confirmed said that he wanted, quote, somebody who has space experience, a space professional. it needs to be somebody who has run large organizations, who understands the technology, end quote. that's what nasa administrator jim bronstein said he wanted in his deputy. what do you say to critics who have indicated you do not meet those qualifications? >> senator, i appreciate the question. i believe the work at nasa, if
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i'm confirmed, is empowering scientists and engineers and astronauts and technicians and also the quiet professionals that are behind the scenes that really are the connective tissue of nasa. for my part, it's really creating an atmosphere for these people of collaboration, of a team, where people can enjoy their jobs and they're able to see a clear vision of success. >> and i'm more than happy to allow you to make this response in writing for the record. >> yeah. >> i'm going to run out of time. >> i'm sorry. >> what do you say to critics who say you don't meet those qualifications? you don't have space experience, you're not a space professional, you've never run a large organization, and you have no background in technology? are you going to learn those things, or they're not necessary?
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what would you say? >> senator, i'm helping to run an organization right now that's the largest on capitol hill. and the processes of an organization, whether it's working in operations or the safety and security side of it, the legal side of it, the hr side of it, the budget discipline that's needed, the schedule discipline, all those things, are critical. and that part i think i can bring to nasa with folks that don't have that background. >> i appreciate your answer. my time has expired. mr. chairman, i would just like to enter into the record the survey done by the research of concerned scientists showing
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interference of science in this innovation. i would like that made a part of the record. >> without objection. senator cruz? >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome to each of the witnesses. thank you for your testimony. congratulations on your nominations. mr. morhard, can you share with this committee on what your views are on what the approach should be to the international space station? >> senator, thank you for the question. i think the international space station is one of the greatest technical achievements of our time. and i think there are a number of musts that go with it. one is that we have got to have the continuity of human space flight. it's critical for our future that that does not get interrupted. secondly, i think we need to protect the talent pool at places like johnson space
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center. and i think thirdly, we've got to find a viable transition plan that's attractive to this committee because it's not going to go anywhere unless you all agree to it. but also attracted to private industry. and that allows them, nasa, to focus on deep space if we can find such a transition plan. >> do you agree that we should get the maximum usable life out of the space station after the taxpayers have invested over $100 billion in it? >> i agree that we should get the best use out of it we can. >> do you also agree that it would be catastrophic to concede lower orbit to the japanese and have the japanese championing the only orbit?
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>> i do agree with that and i think they would if they had the opportunity. >> since 2011, congress has used the appropriation process to prohibit nasa from cooperating on space exploration. do you agree with that prohibition? >> yes, sir, i worked with congressman wolfe on the state bill, and i'm familiar with the wolf ame wolfe amendment and i think it's very appropriate. >> dr. droegemeier, on the question of global warming, that has been an issue that has been deeply politicized in washington. what are your views on whether questions of science should be driven by political agendas in washington? >> that's a great question, senator. as we talked about dwrerl before you arrived, i am committed to
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the fact that they should not be influenced by political interference. that is, they should not be involved in the scientific process. they also should be free to explain and express their results without any encumbrance from a political process. if priorities are set, for example, by congress, and then scientists follow the priorities, that's a different matter because the research is still being conducted independent of political influence, but it's following artificial intelligence is a priority, so therefore congress has said there is money for artificial intelligence and it should be conducted, so on and so forth. but i think it should not be influenced by political interference and should be followed with integrity. >> should questions concerning science be dictated by actual
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data and evidence rather than political agendas by members of congress who want to expand government control of the economy? >> certainly my role, if i'm confirmed as director, is to find the best science available to all parties and make sure that information is at the table and available for policymaking. >> do you believe there is only one acceptable or permissible view when it comes to issues of climate? >> i know that there are multiple views to me. senator, i welcome all points of view. as a scientist i get very concerned. i've written articles where they say this particular viewpoint is absolutely settled. science rarely provides answers to anything. we thoug it includes all points of view. i think science is the loser when we tend to vilify and
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marginalize other voices. we need to let science take us where it takes us. that's how i've run my entire career. >> are you satisfied with the empirical data that we've heard testimony on that satellite measurements show no statistical warming over the past 20 years? >> i don't study science personally, but i'm aware of those studies, yes. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator cruz. senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you each for being here. i'd like to start with you, mr. savant. i want to talk to you a little about supersonic flights. as you know, since 1973, the faa has prohibited commercial supersonic flights over land. there's been just a complete ban
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on this. since then there has been a lot of technological advancements that might change that picture. do you support the idea of revisiting that ban so that the u.s. could become a leader yet again in supersonic flight? >> senator lee, thank you for the question and for talking about this important emerging, or in this case supof supersoni flights, reemerging issue as a possibility to advance the national air system we have in the united states. the short answer to your question is yes. the longer answer is within the department of transportation, we always want to relook at technologies as there are advances and as there are different ways of looking at them, define and integrate them into our information system. our priority is to do this in a
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safeway, a way, and if we can f way to integrate them we will. senator, if dwirconfirmed, i wi work with you, your staff and other interested parties to make sure your input and concerns are addressed about effective offices of the secretary as well as the federal aviation administration. >> i would appreciate that, and as we address this issue, i would suggest we ought to look back at 1973. 1973 was a long time ago. it was the year my wife was born, so i shouldn't refer to it as that long ago. but in technological terms, 35 years ago, it might as well be millenia. we didn't dream of each of the devices that we now have within an arm's reach. the computing processing power that each of us has in our own pocket at any given moment outpaces anything in existence back then. and with those technological
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developments, we've had other scientific developments that have made it possible to revisit the all-out ban on overland supersonic commercial flights. so i assume you would agree that at least the strong argument can be made that the total ban i'm referring to has outlived its youthfulness and has outlived its relevance in our modern technological age. do you agree with that? >> yes, senator. >> thank you. mr. droegemeier, i want to talk about spectrum for a minute. we live in an excited time. exciting opportunities are already here. they're getting even more exciting as we imagine newer and more efficient uses of spectrum, a spectrum that could improve the quality of life not only for hundreds of millions of americans but for billions of people throughout the globe, from basic communication to
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sophisticated offerings like telemedicine and driver-assisted technology. the development of our spectrum and our increased ability to use it is becoming more and more important to more people. it's going to save lives, and it's going to improve the quality of life for basically everyone. some have estimated that upwards of 60% of radio spectrum is set aside and not eligible for auction for any kind of commercial use upwards of 60%, and that is predominantly for government use. there are a few other uses built into that 60% set aside, but the overwhelming majority of that is set aside for government views. would you agree that in order to reach our potential that congress and the administration will need to make federal spectrum holdings more
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transparent and more efficient and perhaps revisit the presumption that 60% of the spectrum needs to be kept to off limits? >> that's a very important question. i'm not familiar with the 60% issue you raise, but in the work i've been involved with in terms of radars across the country, the idea was to consolidate several different spectrum bands of radar into the system so other spectrums could be made available. so i'm aware of the topic, but just to get read up on this particular issue, it does sound important because it addresses commercial entities to be able to be involved. i would certainly work with you on that. it sounds like something important to work on together. >> thank you. i want to be clear, i certainly understand the need for the government to retain a portion
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of it. for military and other government uses, there is absolutely a strong, even compelling, need for the government to have some spectrum and for that spectrum not to be auctioned off for commercial use. but i will note, generally speaking, what has been allocated for commercial use is usually utilized far more efficiently. people figure out how to make the most of it. and when the majority of it is never even allowed to enter into that sphere, i worry that we're neither being transparent nor efficient in our utilization of the government set-aside spectrum. thank you very much. i see my time is expired. >> thank you, senator lee. a very important point and one that this committee has a very sincere interest in. we've got to make more spectrum commercially available. there are going to be tremendous needs out there and demands for it and particularly given the fact that as we are in the race
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to 5g, it's going to be an important component of winning, so we have to make sure we're doing everything we can and we hope that you will, in follow-up discussions with senator lee, work with him and with his committee to try and figure out ways to make more of that government. the government sits on a lot of spectrum and it's not in some cases efficiently utilized and we've got to do better. thank you for your responses to that. mr. morhard, nasa is one of the country's greatest resources when it comes to inspiring young americans to study stem-related fields. what do you view nasa's role to be in inspiring the next generation of stem professionals? >> sir, thank you for that question. i've been looking at this, trying to get up to speed on it, and i sat on the senate floor in the 1980s with barry goldwater
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and sam nunn talking about the same issue. they weren't talking about stem, but they were talking about the concern of the growth in education outside the united states and we weren't there and we were losing it. and we're still talking about it now. the role of nasa is a core mission for nasa. and as you know, in the appropriations process, there s is -- the house put in 90 million and the senate has put in 110. this year's budget is 100. so we're going to -- i expect we'll see somewhere of a level playing field, but the real question is -- for me is, is the money being used for the best purposes of providing that inspiration?
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and i think i've confirmed it's looking at how it's being used. i've seen hearsay evidence that it's much more effective in middle school versus in colleges, because people are already making their decisions when they're getting to college. it's really inspiring people like my granddaughter that they're at the right sweet spot. i think that's -- you know, if i'm answering your question correctly, that's what i try to focus on is, are we using it correctly? space grants are a consortium. they had me put together a consortium for grants, and i saw consortium take a life of their own and they begin to expect the money. i think we still need to provide funding, but it has to be
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effectively used. >> absolutely don't disagree with that, and i do think that figuring out how to get to that next generation of young people who might aspire to the field is really critical, and so we look forward to working with you and obviously with dr. droegemeier and others in that endeavor, because i think it's an important one to have the work force of the future, those young people who hope and dream to be a part of something that's greater than themselves. and it will serve those higher purposes, and i think this is certainly a field where that's been true for previous generations of americans, and we want to make sure it's available to those in the future. dr. droegemeier, in oica, we also directed ostp and omb to
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establish an inner working group for federally flooded researchers to maximize our research dollars. how will you ensure that this ongoing effort continues and is prioritized at ostp? >> thank you for that, senator, and thank you for doing that. when i was on the science administration board we wrote a letter to the national academy and opined on that in the report. it's wasteful, and we talked about wasting taxpayers' money. this is a waste of not only money, i believe, but in wasting the talent of american people in science is a horrible thing. my client, maria zuber, has opined on this as well that there is a lot of money to be saved if we can get the administration to free up time. it will recap a lot of spending that's being spent on wasteful activities that don't enhance our enterprises.
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were i confirmed, it would be high priority and it's something within the sights of ostp within the group you mentioned. ostp is definitely working on it, but we've got to see it over the finish line. we're not there yet. >> we hope you will. i think we've kind of exhausted members for questions. we appreciate your responses. i will ask unanimous consent to include in the record an introductory letter for mr. jim morhard and letters for dr. kelvin droegemeier for the idea and coalition association, association for american publ h publishe publishers, american association for cancer, american psychological association and association for american medical colleges, counsel of graduate schools, concern for osha leadership, a letter from retired chairman and ceo of
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lockheed martin corporation and federal director of the national foundation office of science and technology neil lane, epic association of america. obviously you're well supported out there. we'll ask those to be included in the record without objection. and i would just say to our nominees that we hope to, at our next markup, process your nominations and would ask that as quick as you can, as we get questions for the record from members of the committee, that you respond as quickly and ask you to turn those if you can -- i know this is asking a lot, but we'll try to keep the record open until tomorrow, and if our senators can get those questions for the record to you, as soon as you receive them, submit your written answers so that we can move forward, and i want to ask you to try to get those back to us by monday of next week. i know that's a compressed time frame, but it is possible that
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if we are here next week, and it looks like we will be, we might be able to schedule a markup and keep this process moving forward. so we want to do that as quickly as we can, so we appreciate your timely response. with that, again, thank you to you and your families for your willingness to serve and to sacrifice on behalf of our great nation. many of you have in the past, but we appreciate your continued service and look forward to getting you installed in these important positions where you can make a difference for the betterment of our country. thank you. this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, senator.
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>> well, i think a lot of that is going on. i appreciate what the tech companies are doing. their platforms are being
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hijacked by bad actors. it seems to me our intel community, i think, is working full swing, coordinating with our tech companies. i hope that continues. obviously we want to take every step that we can to prevent any kind of outside meddling and interference in our elections. but i think it's going to be important that be a collaborative effort. i think the private sector, the tech companies themselves working with the agencies in government that are sort of tasked with making sure that these sorts of bad things don't happen are communicating on a regular basis and that there's a real consultation going on. my impression is that's the case, but we can always do better. >> what's the role for congress in any administration as we get closer to 2018? we've thhad hearings, but it's t like there's a new office or a new law passed. >> i think a lot of it is oversigove oversight. i think a lot of it is making
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sure that the agencies and the tech community are working closely together when it comes to that aspect. the other aspect, of course, when it comes to hacking and the actual infrastructure, whether that be databases to maintain, registration files and that sort of thing or an attempt to somehow hack into the tabulating machines. i think at least right now i feel pretty confident that the efforts that are being made are really, i think, geared toward perhaps -- can we do better? yes. i think congress is appropriate rating a lot of money. we want to make sure it's well used and well spent. we want to make sure there's coordination between dhs and other agencies of government and state and local elections so that process continues to get refined and improved and
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perfected. >> thoughts on how we should be responding to chinese tactics on taiwan, on senator gardner wanting to require airlines -- [ inaudible ] is the amendment going to be in the faa bill? which do you support? >> i don't know. it's not in the base bill. i know it's something cory is very interested in. it is kind of a controversial
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issue. we have members who have strong feelings about making sure that the airlines aren't being coerced by the chinese. so we'll take a look at it. at this point, i don't know that it's been filed. >> do you have any plans to work on any data privacy legislation? do you have anything in the works? >> yeah, we actually do, but we're still kind of working. as you know, there have been a number of bills filed, all of which say slightly different
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tacts and approaches to this. if we do something, we wanted to do something that gets at the heart of the issue. sometimes it's hard to know exactly what the best way to do that is. we've got some good ideas in the mix. they're being, i guess, discussed, and we're trying to put together something that we might be able to move, but we want to make sure that we hear from all the folks, the stakeholders before that happens. that's why the hearing will proceed. >> is it realistic to get a bill by september 30? th. >> of course, it is. we're still waiting right now for this outstanding issue to get resolved on f4a. once that happens, i think the other amendments can then be
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vetted. we have a big package that's already been cleared. another package we'd like to get cleared. we're looking at all potential avenuing avenues to get the bill signed into law before september 30th. >> it seems like there's kind of a division as to the best way to go about that. what would you say is the best way to go about protecting -- >> well, i think the big kind of philosophical divide is over whether or not elections need to be centrally sort of run, nationalized, so to speak, or continue to have a very decentralized system. i think one of the reasons that it's very hard to manipulate american elections is because we have a decentralized system. democrats, i think, by and large would like to see -- have more control over the money that goes
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out there, how it gets used and more authority over some of the state and local election processes. but i think that what has made american elections historically, i think, very difficult for anybody to try and control is the fact they're very decentralized. i think we have a system that works. we want to make sure that we're putting the checks and balances in place and the guardrails around. i think that's happening. there's a lot of conversation going on now between state and local election officials and the federal government, but to me, that point of control, when it comes to elections, i think, is best kept at that local level. obviously supported by resources and technology and all the things that can be provided.
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>> are you expecting we might see another package of nominees? >> oh, right. possibly. i think it depends on how this week ends. they're negotiating right now a big package. if that becomes a big, robust package, then it might take a little bit of pressure off. if it doesn't, there's still a lot of nominees we're waiting to move. i think there's going to be -- always going to be pressure to try and get various packages put together. we got a bunch under our jurisdiction we'd like to get zone. a whole bunch of important agency noms. at the moment, we don't have a
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deal. i know that's being negotiated. i talked to the players. i talked to senator schumer today. i think it all depends on whether or not we can come to an agreement on a big package. >> all right, thanks. centers for medicare and medicaid services administrator was on capitol hill recently answering senators' questions about medicaid fraud. the top democrat on the governmental affairs committee took the opportunity to ask her about the administration's actions to lower prescription drug prices.
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here's a portion of what you'll see tonight at 8:00 eastern. >> are you aware of since april if there has been any outreach since april regarding the price increase for naloxone? >> i can't speak specifically, not necessarily from my department, but one of the things we are concerned about is making sure we have transparency around all of these increases. it's one of the things we took action on earlier this year, to put out our drug dashboard, which provides transparency to the american public about the year-over-year increases in drug pricing. we think that's important people have that information. >> do you agree that secretary azar would have the ability to negotiate directly to reduce part d spending if he so chooses? >> generally what we want to do and our strategy around drug prices is something we're very
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concerned about. there's a lot of effort going on. one of the things we want to do is strengthen competition and negotiation. we think negotiation is important. you know, that's why we have our part d plans essentially in that role, negotiating on our behalf. what we want to do is strengthen their negotiating position. one of the things that we recently took action on was for our medicare advantage plans, to give them more authority around negotiating with manufacturers for lower prices by giving them the sablt to do therapy for part b drugs. so we think that's really important that we do everything that we can to increase the negotiating power of our part d plans as well as medicare advantage. >> so they have the ability in part d plans to negotiate now, but the department of veterans affairs gets a much, much better price on this drug than any of the part d plans. what do you attribute that to? why is the va able to get such a better deal than all of these private plans? >> they have a limited
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formulary. our concern with medicare directly negotiating is that would result in a single formulary. >> but maybe for opioid overdoses, maybe for opioid overdoses. we're not talking about the difference between a variety of different drugs that treat -- we're talking about saving someone's life from an opioid overdose. it seems very weird to me that the va can have this drug at a significantly lower price than medicare part d. >> the purpose of the hearing was medicaid fraud, but lawmakers also asked about prescription drug prices, opioid abuse, and other issues their constituents are dealing with. you can see the entire senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee hearing on medicare and medicaid issues tonight starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3.
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tonight on the communicators, a round-table discussion on social media regulation and censorship with tech freedom president and public knowledge senior vice president harold feld. >> we can have a debate about what twitter should do. i just want to emphasize, it's not a political question. it's not a question of policy or what the government's role should be. we can have an ethical debate about that just like we can have ethical debates about how we behave towards each other. perfectly valid conversation. i would certainly be upset if that happened. i don't think that's going to happen. twitter and facebook have been very reluctant, especially twitter, to take down users. when they've taken people down, it's been extreme examples like alex jones. the fact i keep bringing up the president, the fact he's continued to allowed to use the platform just illustrates how much twitter has aired on the side of allowing people to use their platform in spite of what their terms of service strictly say, to abuse other users. we're not heading towards a
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world in which people are regularly taken down. >> what are the grounds rules? how do people know how to behave, and what are their rights of appeal if it turns out that they feel they've been banned by mistake or they have a particularly important, even if controversial, point of view that ought to be heard? >> watch the communicators tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. tomorrow marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. a number of congressmen rations are planned. a remembrance service for the world trade center that fell after the twin towers were hit by two planes killing nearly 3,000 people begins at 8:10 eastern. c-span2 will have live coverage. vice president mike pence, defense secretary james mattis, and the vice chair of the joint chiefs of staff take part in the 9/11 observance ceremony at the
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pentagon, where 125 people died. live converage of that begins a 10:00 a.m. eastern. and president trump participates in a 9/11 memorial service in shanksville, pennsylvania. 40 people died in that plane crash. live coverage of that begins at 9:45 a.m. eastern on c-span. state department officials appeared before congress recently to talk about u.s./cuba relations. they also answered questions about the government's response to the attacks on embassy personnel in havana. this hearing by the house foreign affairs subcommittee on the western hemisphere is about an hour, ten minutes.


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