tv Senate Commerce Hearing on Transportation NASA Nominations CSPAN September 11, 2018 3:33pm-5:36pm EDT
one of the keys to understanding his life, his success in everything but the presidency. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q & a." washington post reporter bob woodward is our washington journal guest monday at 7:00 a.m. eastern talking about his new book "fear: trump in the white house." former independent counsel starr, a mem or of the clinton investigation. watch next week on c-span's washington journal. the senate commerce, science and transportation committee questioned several nominees to serve in the trump administration, deputy admen strart of nasa, assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs and director of the white house science and technology policy.
the hearing is about two hours. here we go. good morning. thank you all for being here this morning. we'll get going and we have a couple of our colleagues who were going to be here today to introduce a couple of the nominees and we also have a couple of votes coming up here before too long and we'll try to roll through those and get this process rolling for these terrific nominees. i want to welcome our distinguished panel to today's hearing. we're going to be considering nominations of dr. kelvin drogmeyer, the office of the
science and technology policy and the deputy administrator of nasa and joel zabat for transportation aviation and international affairs. i also want to thank leader mcconnell and inhofe and senator la hood and secretary la fohoodo provide introductions for the nominees and i would like to welcome the families and friends joining us here as well. it has an extensive background in academia as well as public service at the state level and should he be confirmed he will advise the president on technological aspects of major policies on science. receiving his bachelor of science and meteor ol je from the university of oej oak and his pmd in atmospheric science from the university of illinois. currently he serves as vice president for research. the weather chair news emeritus for the center of analysis and
prediction of storms at his alma mater university of oklahoma. in addition, he also serves on the oklahoma governor science and technology council and is the governor's cabinet secretary of science and technology. dr. drogmeyer is well known in the senate commerce committee and he previously worked with us as we developed the bipartisan american innovation and competitiveness act when he testified before the committee to make policy recommendations and notably said and i quote, made science bipartisan again, end quote. he has testified before the committee regarding science and the u.s. economy and on hurricane research. dr. drogmeyer has twice been confirmed by the u.s. senate each time by voice vote. the first time as a bush nominee and the second as an obama nominee to the national science board serving his last term as vice chairman, dr. drogmier is well faqualified to lead stp ani look forward to confirming him
since 2017. jim moorehart is well known for having spent drive years in working in the united states senate in numerous capacities and he currently serves as the deputy sergeant at arms and prior to this role mr. moorehart served as the senate appropriations committee and in that position he helped to develop multiple appropriations bills which included funding for space flight, space flight control and nasa communications. as a testament to his reputation on the senate appropriations committee, senator leahy has had a letter of support, and i quote, based on my experience with jim on the appropriations committee, and if confirmed nasa could have a deputy administrator that would push an agenda of common sense and cost effective solutions, end quote. mr. moorehart's representation for deep knowledge and experience of the federal budget as well as has experience in managing large organizations will undoubtedly serve nasa well and i look forward to supporting his nomination.
finally, mr. zabat has a distinguished and electee career at the d.o.t. that makes him uniquely qualified for the position for which he has been nominated and he currently serves for aviation and international affairs and has been fulfilling the responsibilities for which he has been nominated since 2018. one of his primary responsibilities is to the commercial aviation system for small and rural communities like aberdeen, and pier in south dakota. we are honored for former secretary of transportation ray la hootd. secretary lahood was well known as a bipartisan solver and his willingness to appear with mr. zabat speaks volumes about the nominee's qualifications. all three of the nominees before the committee today are exceptionally well qualified for the positions for which they've been nominated and if confirmed will have the extraordinary
opportunity to advance american progress and science and transportation. once again, i would like to thank all of you for your willingness to serve in these important jobs and i will now recognize senator nelson for his opening remarks. >> mr. chairman, i think it would be appropriate for me to defer my remarks until after the majority lead are and the secretary so they can get on with their duties. >> very good. thank you, senator nelson. we are very fortunate today to be joined by senator mcconnell and i want to recognize him to introduce mr. moorehart. thank you. >> welcome. >> senator nelson, i appreciate the opportunity to be here to introduce the distinguished public servant that we are all quite familiar with. we know a lot about the jim moorehart brand of leadership, talent, dedication and patriotic commitment to excellence and the ability to set the bar high, meet it and raise it even
higher. we'll all be sorry to lose our deputy sergeant at arms, but it's actually for a good cause. jim is completely qualified to serve as the command in an agency as crucial as nasa. so let's talk about subject matter expertise and one of the many impressive stations on jim's resume is six years of the sub appropriation committee and related agencies. he was the point person on funding nasa and the scientific community charged with strategically resourcing these agencies while also avoiding a culture of self-justifying spending growth. jim so mastered this role that he was subsequently asked to serve as committee chief of staff. mastery of the budgeting and legislative process, you can check that off, directing a large staff and check that, as well. skillful relationship building
at the highest levels of both congress and the executive branch and check that off, too, and of course, as deputy sergeant at arms he's spent several years demonstrating a capacity to lead a multi-faceted workforce while growing a culture of diligence, responsiveness and service. i can attest personally to jim's emphasis on safety and security. of course, those are critical subjects at nasa. and recall they could not be more personal to this nominee. most of us know the remarkable score. jim survived the 2010 plane crash in alaska that claimed five lives including our late senator ted stephens. the impact of the crash temporarily trapped jim in his seat, but this leader still pored himself into those around him encouraging his fellow
survivors and leading them in prayer. i understand jim took more than a commitment to safety and security, as you can imagine, away from that tragedy. he's explained that his miraculous survival drove a renewed sense of personal space and professional purpose alike. as he explained in the speech in his alma mater a few years ago, we need to maximize our time here helping others. in short, jim is a passionate, publicer publicer public servant who has what it requires, specific expertise in what nasa does, demonstrated excellence in managing complicated government organizations and a passion for ensuring that america leads in space exploration. so mr. chairman and senator nelson, thank you fpt opportunity to come back and say words on behalf of this really good man and i hope he enjoys
the support of the commit. >> thank you leader mcconnell very much for that compelling testimonial and obviously, as many of us know mr. moorehartwell from his many years of his experience on capitol hill in addition to his other accomplishments and experience. now i want to recognize secretary ray lahood who is here and wants to make remarks and introduce one of our other nominees, mr. joel zabat. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's good to be back. i've spent a few hours before this committee previously and i've enjoyed a wonderful relationship with many of the members of this committee and thank you for your service and your support for d.o.t. while we were in service there. i am here today to introduce joel zabat who has been nominated to be the assistant secretary of aviation and international affairs at the
department of transportation. joel has been an exemplary leader in federal service for over 25 years and 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.'s 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. all of that money was spent properly. there were no bad stories, no boon doingels and no earmarks and no sweetheart deals and joel stepped in and did this as a career employee before a lot of our political appointees were appointed and he did really, really good work and was a great
team leader and a great member of our team. joel also helped manage the development and administration of the first round of tiger which i know is a very popular program and been renamed now, but still very popular in the senate. it is for this dedication that joel received, the presidential meritorious rank award in 2012. i'm also 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-priority for the obama administration. as you can see by his record, joel is motivated by a spirit of public service, and i believe he
will do an outstanding job and he does have the very strong support of secretary chao who is also one who encouraged him to really seek this appointment. 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 lahood, very much for coming here and giving your voice to support this terrific nominee and we appreciate it as always, your many contributions to public service for both the member of the house of representatives and the house of transportation. senator nelson, i will now recognize you for an opening statement. >> okay. of the three panelists today,
gentlemen, welcome. con grnlg la congratulations on your nominations. thank you for your willingness to serve. mr. mooreland, after your confirmation your experience managing as the majority leader said, critical security activities in the senate and also complex activities, it's going to come in handy at nasa, and as will your experience in reviewing programs and negotiating budgets in the senate appropriations committee. mr. chairman, senator leahy wanted to be here today to introduce mr. moorehart also. senator leahy has a conflict, so i would ask unanimous consent that the introduction of mr. moorehart be included in the
record without objection. mr. moorehart, 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 rhinestein's ability to run the agency and to seek the expert's scientific and technical people to advise you. . if confirmed i would urge you do seek out the counsel of career nasa professionals search as bill gerstenmeyer and also bob cabana. we are also going to consider the nomination of dr. kelvin dogmeier to be the director of
the white house office of science and technology, otherwise the president's science adviser. there's certainly no question, doctor, as to your qualifications. indeed, norm augustine and neil lane wrote the committee meaning you would be an outstanding science adviser in any administration and that's a pretty good endorsement from some heavy weight people. on a personal note, dr. dogmeyer, your work on extreme weather is, of course, very important to the country. it's important to the people of hawaii today as a cat4 closes in. it's 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 news. so i appreciate your working with with this committee to improve ways to get people to respond to this and if confirmed, you have a tough task ahead of you. but i think a lot of us on this committee are going to be happy that you're the white house science adviser. and mr. zabat, a recommendation coming from the former secretary is certainly a long way, he has held in high regard in this committee. in dot, 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 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're 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. >> i'll make just a brief short statement on his behalf because i know you have a lot of important business to be able to do. to be able to give you context, dr. droegemeier served for more
than 25 years. nominated by george bush gb and confirmed by the u.s. senate, he served six years on the national science board, the governing body of the national science foundation that provides science policy guidance to the congress and the president. the doctor was renominated by president obama and again confirmed by the senate, serving a second six-year term on the national science board he took the university of oklahoma research facilities to carnegie r-1 status, the top status. he has an impressive record had the opportunity to be able to go through and see the research to see his background. one of the most impressive statements that i think you'll get from him is skips has no politics. science is just science. it's just the facts that you're looking at. so the key thing that he really brings to this is not only his extensive background, his experience working with the government and with congress and 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, not only his science background, but his personal and family background as well. it's interesting to see if you've gone through his extensive resumé and background, to be able to see back grounds with all these different awards, all these different published articles, all these things he's done over the years. right in the middle of it he has listed as one of his honors award, head usher at his church. which shows humanity, and you can keep life in perspective and to be able to say all of these are areas just to be able to serve people and be a able to find ways to do that. i wholeheartedly support his nomination as well and look forward to getting a chance to vote him on the floor in the days ahead. thank you. >> thank you, senator langford. for joining us today. and voicing your support of this terrific nominee. and of course as i mentioned,
the senior senator from oklahoma, somebody who is distinguished leader on all these issues that come in front of our committee. also here and jim i'm going to recognize senator inhofe to make some opening comments with regard to dr. droegemeier. >> senator langford and i were fighting to see who could introduce you so we're both introducing you. i think he said it all very well. i think all we need to know about kelvin droegemeier is he's the one responsible for saving so many lives in oklahoma. you know i'm old enough, i've been around long enough to remember we're a tornado state we have tornadoes, they are devastating. and i can remember when we had virtually no warning. we didn't really know, have any advance warning when things were taking place. and now because of what he has done. we have minutes and sometimes
hours to warn people to take cover. because of the impending severe weather. if that's not impressive enough, the company he created employs 100 people and has had 350 million dollar impact on our state of oklahoma. he knows science, he knows business. he's a celebrity. you may not know that he's a celebrity. but he is. look at him. he's got a great smile. but he is a celebrity. in 1978, he was on the classic television thing called "in search of. reques it was a science television series narrated by leonard nimoy where he was featured for his expertise on, on tornadoes. so he knows his stuff. he's going to be doing a great job. and in addition, to just being imminently qualified, there's no one in america that's better qualified for this position than
he is, democrats and republicans alike agree with that but i just want to add that in addition to being imminently qualified, he is famous, he's fun, and he's entertaining, thank you, mr. chairman. >> all right. thank you, senator inhofe i'm going to invite the nominees to come forward, dr. droegemeier, jimmer hrd and mr. joel szabat. make sure your entire statements are included as part of the written hearing record. it will give us an opportunity to ask some questions, weerl start on my left and your right. with dr. droegemeier. so look forward to hearing from you, please proceed. >> thank you very much chairman
thune. ranking member nelson, thank you as well. i'm truly honored beyond words to appear before you today as president trump's nominee. i'm pleased that my wife of 35 years, lisa, is just behind me there, that she could join me along with lots of wonderful friends who have truly blessed my life throughout the years. i was born in kansasings at age 19 i went storm-chasing in the texas panhandle and saw my first tornado. it was a big experience. and the power and the majesty of that awesome power really fuelled my interest in meteorologist. which was the focus of my undergraduate studies at the university of oklahoma. i went on and earned a master's and doctoral degrees at the university of illinois, in atmospheric science. i returned to ou to begin my career as a researcher and educator. my work is focused on using data
to improve forecasts. unpredictable storms this we feel are dangerous. i started a weather technology company based on that work. i'm a scientist and storm chaser and educator. and as many of you know and you've heard a i have a fair bit of experience in science policy. for service on the national science board, first under president george w. bush and later under president barack obama. in addition to having served as vice president for research, i serve as oklahoma's cabinet secretary of science and technology in the cabinet of governor mary fallon. we live in a time of absolutely extraordinary possibilities. the pace of discovery is accelerating and the global science engineering ecosystem is ripe with opportunities for cooperation. i was privileged to speak to both of those sentences here in this room to this committee two years ago when i testified about the bipartisan and wonderful american innovation and competitiveness act. i want to thank all of you,
senators peters and gardner also for including me in listening sessions and allowing me to be part of that process. i appear before you with an even greater privilege and responsibility to discuss the possibility of serving as the ostp director. i would be honored to take on the challenge of insuring american leadership in our science and technology enterprise which has contributed to our success and prosperity. what i love the most about ostp is that it measures its success not by what it does, but rather by the extent to which america succeeds because of it. our nation faces great challenges, no challenge is beyond our reach. science and technology are time-tested and powerful pathways towards solutions, i will work closely with this committee, with my colleagues throughout the federal government and the academic and private sector enterprises to insure robust leadership in science and technology. i would like to highlight a few areas to include for example a
coordinated and comprehensive portfolio of federal science and technology initiatives across the whole of government. everything from fundamental research that is risky, but must be funded an important role of government to apply r&d that brings these research outcomes to market. second an educational framework to produce a workforce that's critical to america's future. all the way from k-12 schools to career techs to four-year colleges and america's research universities. and new initiatives and models of public/private partnerships to move scientific research outcomes from the bevlg to the lab, into the economy creating jobs and building the wealth of americans. increasing number of threats to science and technology in america. i think you're aware of that. unnecessary regulatory burden stifles some of our best and brightest researchers, international competition is rising rapidly. especially from china. now china has the wealth and the express desire to challenge our
important leadership. our longstanding leadership. we have to recognize the challenge. we also must embrace the value of collaboration. global research is not a zero-sum gain. all progress is valuable. american leadership insures that american values remain at the forefront of technological development. we in fact are in a time of unprecedented opportunity. the tls and technologies and research capabilities of this country are unimagined in the world. unprecedented freedom to explore the bound of what's possible in their crative minds. we must accelerate progress through more effective planning, andouille eliminating barriers, that unnecessarily hinder us. if i have, if i am confirmed as ostp director i pledge to help all of you to help safeguard america's national and economic security for generations to
come. >> welcome. >> on commerce science and transportation. it's an honor to appear before you as the nominee for the deputy administrator of nasa. i begin by thinking the president and vice president who put their trust and confidence in me as well as jim bridenstine who has gone out of his way to be helpful. providing me wise counsel. also i'm pleased to have my son, and his family here and many friends and sergeant at arms colleagues here today. who have been so very kind. if confirmed, i look forward to serving and working with you, the ninor and the talented nasa professionals. in the 1950s. my dad was working at nav-air. he worked side by side with alan
shepard and thought the world of him. 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 i walked up to the front door and knocked. the astronaut opened the door and he welcomed us in. as some of you who knew senator glenn, that 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's an inspiring time again for human space flight, and once again nasa is leading the way.
but it's also aspiring. i once asked my mother why are 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 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 presidents's refaux focus on america's space program, on human exploration and returning astronauts to the moon. for long-term exploration and use. it's all part of setting the table for nasa, its partners in the eventual missions to mars and beyond. the moon is a stepping stoon. also i support the study of the earth and the universe, in addition to the above-mentioned exploration missions, nasa must carry out earth science,
planetary science, helio physics and astro physics research. there are four strengths i bring to the mention table. first, over and over again, i've led organizations through difficult situations. by creating an atmosphere of collaborative teamwork. that turns visions and goals into realities. when i was on the appropriations staff director, we got all 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 budget and the legislative processes, that was a feat then as we're 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's operations to reacting to cybersecurity threats. third, nasa is blessed with the most extraordinary and energized professionals. whose ideas and talents must be allowed to flourish. i've spent my career attracting, mentoring and retaining 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 orror for helping to insure that the proper processes work for the security of all senators, staff and visitors, to conclude,
i believe transformational leadership and the strength of collaboration will insure a new era for america's space programs, advanced scientific knowledge for the earth and inspire a new generation to enter the s.t.e.m. fields. it's what nasa needs and it is time. thank you for this opportunity today. >> mr. morehart, mr. szabat. >> united states department of transportation. i hope you will find my record of public service worthy of confirmation. joining me today is my happiness, my inspiration, my wife president of the asian pacific islander chamber of commerce and entrepreneurship. almost 20 years ago she and i established a nonprofit to teach
asian-pacific american youth that our government derives just powers from the consent of the governed. fellows are taught how to use their power as citizens to make governments responsive to their needs and those of the community. three fellows from the foundation join us today. jessica lee, jaime otanato as well as sue kung koo. i will pursue three key goals, first, support secretary chow's primary mission of safety through the economic licensing of air carriers. second insure that our antitrust immunity determinations and international agreements for open skies and other aviation accord provide a fair deal to the american taxpayers, labor, industry and traveling public. and third, work for the small rural communities that are the customers of the essential air service and small community air service development programs.
if confirmed i will manage these programs to the benefit of affected rural communities while controlling costs as a steward of the taxpayers dollars. since 2002, i have been a senior executive in the federal service. i strive to exemplify the ideals of the senior executive service, whose members can be moved to lead programs wherever and whenever they are needed. in my first four months as chief of staff of the small business administration. it resolved a year-old backlog of 100,000 hurricane katrina assistance requests. in d.o.t. i was the designated federal government official responsible for standing up $48 billion of recovery act programs, eventually completing over 15,000 transportation projects. under my watch the american-time administration quantified the size of the u.s. flag fleet necessary to employ enough american mariners to meet our requirements, i hope my record in these positions and elsewhere
assures the committee and the senate that i have the skills necessary to lead this office. since january i've been managing the office of aviation international affairs, i have prior experience in most of the missions of this office. including negotiating with foreign governments during my time at us epa. serving as the transportation counselor at the u.s. embassy in iraq and in multiple roles at the department of transportation. to include talks on the agency's ascension into the u.s./china strategic and economic dialogue. in two prior stints at the dot, i managed the staff and budget of the aviation affairs, include essential air service and small community development programs. i have federal air service experience. in every role my philosophy of public service romained the same. i'm oath-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 staff. this office's staff for the record is comprised of crackerjack professionals who would be the pride of any organization. civil, military or corporate. if confirmed, i will continue my commitment to public service unchanged. chairman thune, 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. szbat. these nomination hearings give us an opportunity to underscore the point so the question i with ath to ask is if confirmed will you pledge to work collaboratively with this committee and its members and provide thorough and timely responses to to our questions for information? >> yes, i will. >> yes, i will. >> yes, i will. >> great, thank you.
>> dr. droegemeier, the administration recently identified u.s. leadership in artificial intelligence quantum information sciences and strategic computing as top r&d priorities. this bill is to prioritize quantum research standards, countries like china are also investing significant resources in these fields, with china's overall r&d expenditures projected to surpass those of the united states by the end of the year. what will you do at ostp to enable u.s. advancements in ai and quantum so we can maintain a competitive advantage over countries like china? >> those are extremely important areas as you say, china and russia are both moving very rapidly and i think quantum information science in particular is really the next major revolution from basic physics through devices and things like quantum computers related to that is artificial intelligence which affects everything from financial services, looking at large amounts of data, analyzing large amounts of data to assisting
doctors with making diagnoses and things like enhancing the opportunity for veterans to find jobs and dot mashing so these are important areas. the federal government i think is really prioritizing these. the president in his own budget, but also in the omb, ostp guidance memo has quantity up, artificial intelligence, machine learning as top priorities. at ostp there's a assistant director for quantum information science and also artificial intelligence, so these are high priority items, summits held and organized by ostp. these are large summits to bring multiple agencies together to really basically chart strategic courses for the nation. they're not just in the civilian work, there's 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, i think ostp has an important role to play and has been playing it. china is investing heavily and making no, no bones about it
it's very obvious they're putting that out there and in some sense challenging us, we have to rise to the challenge. it's important that we take a leadership role. america leads in these areas. >> i couldn't degree more and i hope you'll be focused like a laser on those issues. this would be to dr. droegemeier, mr. morehart, there's a lot of debate about the role of science and policy making, i want to ask you as director of ostp and deputy administrator of nasa, what do you think is the appropriate role of science in guiding policy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i believe science is extremely important in informing policy. i think science needs to be conducted as you mentioned earlier, free from political interference. the science has to lead the way in terms of telling us whatever the facts are. my role if i'm confirmed as director is to make sure that those scientific results unbiased are presented to the president and others for efficient policy making.
>> mr. chairman, i think it's critical that it be assured there's no distortion or disregard for science or scientific evidence, especially with the amount of, of effort that goes on at nasa to collect scientific data. >> d.o.t. is responsible for eas administration. important role in enabling rural communities to stay connected to the national air transportation system. i know you're familiar with the program given your current position, if confirmed as assistant secretary, what will you do to insure that the eas program is carried out in an efficient man centre. >> thank you for that question. you're exactly correct. the essential air service is vitally important. and important not just as a federal program, but especially to the communities it serves.
i've been serving in this position for eight months, i've visited six states including to visit with the eas communities, including south dakota, nebraska, montana, mississippi, virginia and west virginia. and spoke ton the airport director and community leaders of many more. if confirmed, i will be a voice within the administration to champion the importance of what the role community leaders are tell russ 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 doubled. while the number of communities in the program have been roughly flat. these cost pressures are increasing. i believe and my discussions with the airport directors, they've indicated they believe there are 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 of these were suggested in the administration's fy-19 budget proposal there are others that have been suggested to me by the airport directors and community leaders. if confirmed, i will work with interested members of congress with the staff of this committee and with the eas communities to develop a consensus way forward. >> thank you. mr. szabat. my time has expired and my time on the floor has expired as well. i'm going to hand the gavel to senator wicker to recognize in order of appearance, those are here first. >> it seems that we, we have senator gardner followed by senator cortez.
>> i don't know how you came with that list of states to visit, mr. szabat. >> i appreciate hearing your thoughts as they related to the office's approach to china and asia as a whole. aviation industry, aerospace industry extremely important to colorado as it is indeceased a fastly growing industry. if confirmed part of your role will require you to engage in partnerships with foreign kuns and seeking to provide air service to and from the united states is that accurate? >> yes, it is. >> in our discussions we talk about how important it is we're holding our partners accountable to partners in such air transport agreements, could you talk about things that affect and impact the our current agreement, with china in particular? >> thank you for the question and thank you for identifying along with our air transportation agreements with
europe, the united states single-most important international partnership for aviation. one of the things that i have learned since i joined the office in january, i think is reinforced by the 25 years i've had in federal service. is the importance not just of making agreements, but of working with your partners to insure they uphold the agreements that are made. 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 where we would like to see improved progress improved relations going forward we need to see more progress in fulfilling those agreements. on the freight side what's called code termization. the ability of 48 carriers to fly into china and move from one airport to another. that's their business model. they have challenges in doing so. also, the problem that the
chinese have writ large which is congestion in their airports which affects their ability to provide us both with slots in the frequencies, the routes, the ability to fly into the country that from our perspective that they have agreed to. and then finally, among the four so code terminalization, the slots, frequencies, we also have some of what i would call the niche, basic day to day issues such as the speed with which normal requests are made. whether they're for for inspections of air frames or code sharing among partners. >> it's fair to say china is not meeting those four agreements at this point. >> that is our perspective, yes, senator. >> there are reports that china was calling on our domestic air carriers to change their content to consumers regarding taiwan. in response to this, the white house issued a statement saying this is orwellian nonsense, part of a growing trend by the chinese communist party to impose its political views on
american citizens and private companies. senator rubio and i along with others sent a letter to the ceo of united airlines expressing concern about the bullying tactics of china. what are your thoughts on the administration's comments on this issue? >> senator gardner thank you for that question. and this has been a major issue almost from the moment that i joined this office in january. as you point out, the administration statement came out on may 5 after chinese had made their demands of all the international air carriers on april 27th. the challenge that we had in the administration, that's not just us, but the partners we worked with in the state department as well as the white house, such as the national security council is we opposed the thaks china took trying to force for political reasons, private businesses in this case, aviation businesses, airlines from complying with the
political world as they would want to see it. the, but from the challenge from our perspective, we didn't want to fall in that same trap. we worked with those businesses and affected airline, encouraged them to work together so they could not get picked off one by one by the chinese government. did so and they came up with a common response to the chinese government. >> i want to ask one question of dr. droegemeier. i want to state this. i'm really concerned about china's bullying tactics. bullying american companies, airlines, who will be tomorrow. if the airlines succomb to chinese bullying tactics, china will know they can bully other american companies then you have internet company goings into china agreeing to sensor sites. i drafted an amendment to offer to the faa reauthorization bill, an amendment to require that as a condition to operate in u.s.
national air space any carrier must refer to taipei, taiwan. dr. droegemeier, u.s. obviously has some of the strong eest science research laboratories in the world. could you talk a little bit about innovation staying on top of science research development funding importance and how we can compete with china in the future? >> it's important senator gardner. we need to make sure that we are the strongest researcher enterprise in the world. ostp sits on a committee on foreign investment in the u.s. that's one way to monitor what china is doing in terms of its predatory trade practices and unfair advantage it tries to take of science. it has well-known history of stealing intellectual property and stealing research results. we welcome foreign researchers into the u.s., i think historically they've been an important and robust enterprise, we have to do that with care with, some degree of care. so this is something i think that the higher education
communities needs to lock at, ostp with its role on sifius and other organizations need to be mindful of. it's openly done. my own state, i've helped coordinate solve this many stuff. i've been briefed by the fbi and i can tell you it's happening. i've seen it happen. it's a big threat to the u.s. >> as the committee recalls, dr. droegemeier helped lead the america competes. it was you who said to this committee, thanks for making science bipartisan again. thank you, dr. droegemeier. >> thank you, senator gardner. senator nelson? >> thank you. mr. morhard in the past and nasa there have been times when the administrator and the deputy were not on the same page. what do you see as the role of the deputy when it comes to supporting the administrator and
what will you do to make sure the two of you get along? >> senator, i appreciate the question. the administrator is my boss. and he has the vision and the voice of nasa and i see it as i will help him run the organization. i start out at the navy department and i'm very clear of how chain of command works and i have served me well through my tenure of working and i would use that, but with that, i know your concerns regarding safety. it's 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. so that if you have an issue that's somewhere in the chain of command, it can get to you. whether it's through the chain of command, or through the independent processes they have set up there. i think part of the, if i'm confirmed, it's going there and with a new leadership, do those processes work with the new personalities that are there? and i assure you that if i am confirmed, i'm going to be looking at that. >> will 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 shuttles first challenger and columbia was because the management was not listening to the engineers on
the line who were warning them about the technical problems albeit different in the destruction of both, of each space shuttle. but nevertheless, the folks on the line understood. and management was not letting that filter in to their decision. dr. droegemeier, what steps are you going to take to insure that the federal science is conducted and communicated free from political interference? >> senator that's an exceptionally important issue. as a practicing scientist as somebody who has overseen a science enterprise at university and been on the national science board, i can tell you that the ethical conduct of research with
integrity, without political interference in the scientific process is absolutely without question important. and to me there's no other way to do it. if we sacrifice compromise on that, then the science, entrusted public focus that we have, the public/private ownership that we have, the foundations of research and the public trust are kind of come undone. so to me that's very critical. ostp i think has a very important role to play on that activity. it's communicated, coordinated with all the federal r&d agencies to have them provide their particular strategy force insuring exactly what i was talking about. i think we need to make sure we're vigilant. make sure that those practices are being followed, ex-troemly important. >> since wooer 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 happening all over. we're seeing because in part of heat, persistent algae blooms. on both of florida's coast. although fuelled 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 have to understand in the case of harmful algae blooms how they happen and explosively develop like they do my own research at university has done lot of work in this area. senator inhofe became quite ill with one of these things, in all these things you mentioned we have to understand the underlying issues and improve
the science and prediction, whether it's biological things or hurricanes and so on. another important thing is the communication to the threats at the public and understanding how the public responds. this is the where the social behavioral sciences can play an important role when we work together in the hurricane research initiative. the all encompassing strategy did just that. and frankly i wish we would have gotten funding for it. because that looked at the hurricane in particular as in its totality. not just the physical science, the social behavioralal dimensions, at the end the day, everything you mentioned is about people. we have to understand that people dimension as well. that's something i would commit to you to work with, you and others on addressing those important issuesing, were i confirmed. >> i hate to have to bring this up. but the national academies of science put out a report that says there's sexual harassment in academic science. your thoughts. >> yes, indeed this again is something as a vice president
for research that i deal with this in compliance at my university. that report came out in 2018 and it looked at, it was specifically targeted to women in the workplace, but especially in academia. it made some important conclusions. it said this sort of thing inhibits row kruting well, retaining women and it inhibits their pathways as they move throughout their career it looked at best practices and that was really important. so i think that's, there's a november workshop i believe on this. senator something that happened i thought that was extremely important. the national science foundation put out an important snts number 144 this year, as the vice president for research i was involved in taking that to my university. helping us understand and ask questions to get clarification. they agreed with my personal feeling and a lot of us who say, this kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable. never going to be acceptable, has to stop. we owe all of our researchers a safe environment in which to work. and put an important stake in the ground. they said we will not tolerate sexual harassment of women or
any other individuals, the workplace will be safe and we want to you do that. but on the other hand if we also reserve the right to come in and take away funding and take unilateral action. i thought that was an important strong statement. bringing that to ostp whrks would ostp do with that? i think we could take this and say okay, let's have all the agencies in that conversation. maybe take that and promulgate it throughout all the agencies that do r&d, nothing more important than making sure we have safe environments. >> mr. chairman, one final question. since i haven't spoken to mr. szabat. you're going to be in a position to do something about the fact that this committee has taken a very strong position with regard to protection of 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 insuring that 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 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 part of the regulatory role of the department. the particular issues that you raise, of the, of children sitting with parents, the treatment of luggage, falls under the purview of the aviation and consumer protection
office. but if i am confirmed in sitting in an office as assistant secretary for aviation and national affairs, i commit to work with them with, the involved offices of the federal aviation administration, with your self, your staff and interested members of the committee. to address the concerns with the traveling public. >> thank you senator nelson. senator udall? >> i appreciate the hearing today. don't worry about this bandage, i'm fine, you should see the other guy. doctor, it's a dermatology, we occasionally run into them around here. "the new york times" published a lengthy article on the history of climate change actions in our country called "losing earth." i mentioned this article to you when we met earlier in the week.
the author concludes that we had an opportunity during the decade between 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? >> well, thank you, senator, i did pull that article down and you are right. it was 40,000 some words. i enjoyed looking at it. a lot of familiar names in there. it was a very interesting history. i absolutely believe that we have to look, at the future. that was the past, right? it talked about as you say the era from '79 to '89. i'm focused on a guy who does weather modeling. predicting the future. i'm looking at what we do in the future. i think we need improvements in climate models. i talk to various senators, including senator hassan about this in her home state of resilience. she made the point when we rebuild from the structure we tend to rebuild and not build for the future. that's a great example senator of the things that i think we
need to be doing. so i'm very excited to work on that with you and see what we can do to move forward. >> 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's 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 learn a lot from one another. in the climate modeling going forward. we need to reduce uncertainty, there certainly is uncertainty. in climate models we need to reduce that. i think the weather modeling community can be helpful there. also when you're thinking about numerical prediction beyond the weather time scales we see now, into seasonal time scales, very important for agriculture and other areas. kind of moving the weather
forecasting further downstream into the climate arena. there's a symbiosis to be gained, that would be something i would like to work on. as well as things i mention in risk and resilience with senator hassan. >> i assume from the question that was asked earlier about scientific integrity that you would also preserve scientific integrity in this climate change arena. >> yes, sir. >> absolutely. >> dr. droegemeier, we discussed the importance of insuring the united states research and education enterprise is robust and competitive at the international level. how will you insure that the u.s. remain as global leader in science technology and innovation. and continues to be a trusted partner in international research. >> that goal is to me, insure american leadership in all the things you mentioned. we need to have our strategy. we need to look at what the key things are. the chairman mentioned a few of
them. the artificial intelligence, climate information sciences, there's ai, machine learning, advanced manufacturing. other countries are aggressively pursuing these things as well. they see them as game-changers, we have to be smart in our planning. i kind of take a portfolio look across the federal government to look at what are we doing not just within an agency, but topically across agencies. we need it remove the regulatory burden that hampers our best and brightest scientists. some compliance activities are important. but others are unnecessary and we know that. i think we need to untie our hands, also, i think we need to be efficient in moving research outcomes into the applied arena into the private sector so they can grow jobs and be put into practice. all of those things i think are critical. other countries don't have what we have. we have not only american ingenuity. we have a fabulous higher education system. we have amazing private companies and innovative spirit we are leading despite what you
see in terms of dollars of other countries. we've got to watch those dollars, they are on our heels. >> i, mr. chairman i'll submit, i didn't mean to focus on you, i had questions for the other witnesses and i'll put those in for the record. >> that's for not roughing up dr. droegemeier. senator hassan? >> thank you mr. chair. thank you to our nominees for being here for our willingness to serve their country. thank you families as well, because this is a family affair. we appreciate your willingness to serve and your service to date. i want to extend a particularly warm welcome to our nominee to the head of the office of science and technology policy. as we've been waiting a long time for this nomination. 578 days to be exact but who's counting? actually some of us were.
i let two letters to the president last year urging action on this vacancy and i'm pleased to see that our calls have been answered and you're here. i look forward to our discussion, i will start, dr. droegemeier with a question for you. when you visited my office this week and i enjoyed our discussion. we talked about the importance of s.t.e.m. education. the united states is currently facing a serious s.t.e.m. challenge. we're not producing enough qualified new s.t.e.m. grauduats to meet the needs of our modern workforce. something i hear all the time from science enterprises to advanced manufacturers. part of the problem is that women and people of color are not joining these fields at equitable rates, leaving behind a large portion of our talent and our future workforce pipeline. should you be confirmed in what ways will you lead the office of science and technology policy in leading these challenges.
>> you hit possible something that's something i'm passionate about. but passion is not enough. in oklahoma, i've been part of the, you were a governor as well. of governor fallon's s.t.e.m. initiatives and s.t.e.m. activities. building the s.t.e.m. workforce of the future is essential. it has to run the spectrum from k-12 through higher education. we have to understand what the need is out there. underrepresented populations is a huge challenge. and i've worked a lot on that. i think this is one of the biggest, most important things, whether it's native american, people of color. we've got to bring them in. and we've been spending a lot of money on that and the needle is kwiferring, it's not moving. so we have to do more. i can tell you that the office of science technology policy working on a five-year plan for the nation, there was a committee recently created out of 500 nominations, 18 phenomenal people chosen. gabriela gonzales is leading the
effort. nsf, noaa, nasa. nsf, we've got to make progress there, we're in a challenge. in meeting the future need. my nsb colleagues on the science board we looked at this as well. in addition to the s.t.e.m. workforce, it's the s.t.e.m.-enabled workforce. take some courses in our fields, i think the statistics is something like one-fourth of all i.t. workers in the this country don't have a s.t.e.m. degree so having a s.t.e.m. degree isn't the end-all. having s.t.e.m. capabilities makes you employable in a lot of different areas. we have to think of those in broadening participation rates. >> and offering ways of stackable credentials in the field so people can do it while working and raising their family. i wanted to follow up with you on something we just touched on in our conversation. i've been working to free up additional spectrum to support the needs of the wireless industry as we've moved towards
adopting 5g nationwide. one step tyke with my colleague senator gardiner, we introduced the air waves act which sets goals and timelines to get additional licensed an unlicensed spectrum into the hands of industry, innovators and the public. the legislation makes meaningful investments in rural broadband. in order to achieve goals like those outlined in the air waves act we'll need cooperation between federal agencies, including the department of commerce, fcc, the department of transportation and defense. do you see the office of science and technology playing a leadership roling if you're confirmed? if so, what would that role look like? >> ostp there's a broadband initiative in the yearly omb/ostp guidance memo. american connectivity is one of the key things highlighted as a priority. bringing broadband to rural communities. also to people who are immobile and don't have access to certain things like education and health
care, to the mobile environment. for ostp, it's helping make sure the research gets done to create the capabilities, the technological capabilities. the federal government can provide as you say the spectrum that's important through the spectrum auction. i'm familiar with that in our radar work we worked to free up spectrum. and then the private sector being a full partner to deliver the capabilities, to me this is again one of the great priorities. we've got empower all of america, living in a state that's a rural state. i recognize that some of the folks that live in rural oklahoma, they're not participants, but they need to be full participants in our society. broadband is an incredibly important way to bring them in and part of the whole enterprise. >> it's critical to our democracy. >> i like you have questions to the other nominees, i'll submit them for the record. thank you for your willingness to serve and thank you, too, doctor, thank you, mr. chair. >> mr. morhard, the position for
which you are nominated requires an understanding of climate 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 is, 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. to make that statement. >> well that's not what the consensus of scientists around the planet have reached. every national academy of science for every country in the world has reached that conclusion. let me come, let me come over to you, dr. droegemeier.
are you committed to protecting the scientist who is work within the administration to insure that if their consensus is, that humanity, human beings are the dominant cause for the warming that they will not be punished, that they will not be removed, they will not be in any way intimidated by officials within the administration for political rather than scientific markey, believe that science must be conducted without political influence. scientists have to be free to explore. that's what science is about. we have to make is certain that they are free to do so. i absolutely agree that it has to be free from political influence and conducted with the highest integrity. >> mr. morhard. given the fact that you're kind of hedging on this issue, and not willing to make a
full-throated commitment that scientific consensus, human beings are the dominant cause of the problem. how will you insure that scientists at nasa will not unduly influenced. since they are part of that large consensus that climate change is caused large by 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. certainly if confirmed would work to assure that there's no distortion or disregard for science in scientific evidence, if we compromise on it, we won't have science. so i can assure you that i think it's critical that we don't have, there is no influence on
the outcome of the scientific method. mr. szabat. now that the united kingdom has left the eu, the united states and the uk, are negotiating an open skies agreement which will dictate the terms by which airlines can set routes, capacity and pricing between the two countries, how will you assure me that protecting u.s. jobs is a priority for the uk open skies discussions? >> senator, yes, i can. and i do. >> you will? >> i will. i have. >> all right. we just hope, we hope that there will be enough evidence to convince you of having done that of protecting these people. mr. droegemeier, i've introduced a bill called the cybershield act which creates a cybersecurity certification program allowing internet of
things, manufacturers to voluntarily certify that their products meet industry-leading cybersecurity and data security benchmarks, would you be supportive of that kind of legislation. >> i haven't read the bill but i think cybersecurity is one of the greatest threats facing the nation because of all of the connectivity and all the new things artificial intelligence coming online, all the nefarious things that could happen. you said of that kind i absolutely support that. i'd be happy to read the bill. you're on the right track, we have to have those kinds of measures, absolutely. >> finally in erms of science and technology, the atmosphere within this administration is very aggressively negative on, on science and technology in terms of allowing for the future to open up and for there to be protection of those apertures
which have to be created. from my perspective that's going to be the criteria by which i am judging your nomination. we thank you for being here. thank you, mr. chairman. >> markey. senator cortez masto. >> i was waiting for the door to open. thank you. 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 has been awake and alert the whole time and it is fantastic to see that. is that your daughter? >> my granddaughter. >> your granddaughter. welcome to the families. this is fantastic. so, let me just say, all three of you are going to play important roles in various areas of our economy and society. one of them that is most important that i'm really interested in is technology and innovation. it's playing a big part in
nevada right now of our recovery and economic future. that's why i've worked so hard to -- my state, i think, is an innovation state and have introduced, hope to pass, various initiatives, including the safe drone act, the moving first act, and the code like a girl act. dr. droegemeier, let me start with you. 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 rule 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 the letter with respect to innovation. >> certainly, as you mentioned, senator, innovation is very important, and i'd be happy to be part of that team and work collaboratively with everyone on innovation. very important. >> thank you. thank you. i appreciate that. so to you, and dr. morehead, we're always trying to find a sweet spot between advancing innovation and considering things like you've heard from my colleagues, cyber security, safety, and privacy as we develop these new ptechnologies. can you just let me know how you will be working with other entities in the government to achieve these aims and how we can work with you as well to address these concerns. >> i can tell you that in my view, senator, it's a very important question. we develop technology very rapidly and we know the pace is huge. what is much slower is the extent to which we really
understand the human uptake, the social use of the technology, and those kinds of things. we really have to at least get it caught up, get the latter caught up with the former to where we aren't putting technology out there and all of a sudden now what we do, people are posting suicide videos on facebook. who would have thought. flash mobs. we've got a whole new thing to deal with so i think the pace of discovery and acceleration and innovation is there and we don't want to throttle it back, we have to accelerate the social behavioral aspects because at the end of the day, again, we're always dealing with people so this is something that i think ostp is unique to doing in the government of, again, seeing the box top of the puzzle and saying, we have got the technology, we need to bring in these other dimensions, make sure we're working as an ecosystem, not just a the technology piece. and i think we've paid the price in the past for not doing that. >> mr. morehead, thoughts on that. >> uas traffic management is a good example. and i know it's something that you're very much involved with.
and it's not just in the united states. it's all over the world. and it's the standards that the aeronautics mission director is working on now, they're going to affect the united states, but 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 this 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 cyber security and privacy at the same time because it is so hard to come back in after the fact and try to lay those over the infrastructure that's been created. so, i look forward to working with all of you on those as well. mr. szabat, one of the stated goals of your office is developing policies to improve air service and/or access to the
commercial aviation system for small and rural communities. i appreciate that you specifically noted in one of your priorities and in your testimony this small and rural communities as well. can i get your thoughts on aviation competition for all airports? specifically how 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 elko, nevada, as well as alamo, and they both have rural airports there. i'm always concerned about how we include them and should be including them as we talk about this space. so, if you don't mind. >> senator, thank you for the question. i think as you're aware in -- under president trump's administration, we do have a rural -- a focus on a rural
infrastructure and development of technology in rural areas. so, specifically to your question about the airports, you are correct, we have both the essential air service and the small community air service 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 as nationwide, our challenge is if we want to continue to provide these essential air services, we are going to have to work with the communities to find a better way, a cost effective way, to increase the frequency and especially the reliability of the air services to these communities. without reliability, nothing else matters. passengers will not come to those airports. they will drive much farther and as the leaders of the communities, i'm sure, have told you, have told us, is without those airports, they cannot attract businesses, the economic
growth of the community suffers. so, my commitment, if confirmed, senator, is to work with you, interested members of the committee and the staff, as well as the officials in these airports themselves to find a better way forward that we can work both between the carriers and the airports to increase the reliability and the frequency of the services to these communities. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. i notice my time is up. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator blumenthal. >> thanks, mr. chairman. mr. droegemeier, the role of your office and you personally will be in the sense to advocate for scientific integrity and i know a number of my colleagues have remarked on the somewhat disturbing lack of appreciation in this administration for scientific integrity undermining the role of science and public
policy, withdrawing from the climate accord, giving industry undue influence and certain decision making challenges creating a hostile environment for some federal scientists, reducing public access to scientific information. do you intend to be an advocate against those kinds of tendencies? >> senator, i strongly advocate for -- i don't know if i'd say i'd advocate against or advocate for the positive buzzs but i ag that all the things you mentioned are challenges or problems and science has to be done with integrity so i would either advocate that they be undone or advocate for the positive and maybe one is the same as the other. to me, integrity in science is everything. we owe that to the american taxpayer and science and we owe it to the future of our country to conduct science in the absolute most honest and way
full of integrity and without being encumbered by political influence. so i certainly want to advocate for that, yes. >> and a hostile work environment for scientists is a threat to public health and safety, is it not? >> it certainly can be as we talked about earlier with regard to things like sexual harassment, we need environments where we attract people that want to come and do science and work for the government, for example. if we don't have that, then we're not going to get the people that we need and the federal government's scientific enterprise plays a very important role in our country so we have to have the positive environment, yes, sir. >> but apart from sexual harassment 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. >> you bet. >> mr. morhard, i was interested
in some of the questions that have 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 a lot of 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 briden stein said he wanted in his deputy. what do you say to critics who have indicated you meet none of those qualifications? >> senator, i appreciate the question.
i believe the work at nasa, if 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 that's -- >> and i'm more than happy to allow you to make this response in writing for the record. i'm going to run out of time. >> i'm sorry. >> so, 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. you're going to learn about those things or they're not necessary or what would snuyou ? >> 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'd just like to enter into the record the recent survey done by the union of
concerned scientists showing pervasive political interference in science in this administration. i'd like that to be made part of the record. >> without objection. thank you, senator blumenthal. 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 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 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 attractive 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 cede low earth orbit to the chinese and have the chinese operating the only platform in lower earth
orbit? >> i completely 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 with china on space exploration. do you agree with that prohibition? >> yes, sir, i worked with congressman wolf on the commerce justice state bill, and i'm familiar with the wolf 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 earlier, before you arrived, i am absolutely firm on the point that science should be conducted without political interference or political influence. by that, i mean they should not -- politicians, appointed individuals, political appointees, should not be involved in the scientific process. they should also 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, then, you know, that's a different matter, because the research is still being conducted independent of political influence, but it's following, okay, this -- artificial intelligence is a priority, so therefore congress has said, okay, there's money for artificial intelligence and it should be conducted and so on and so forth. that kind of thing. but i think fundamentally, it should be free from political influence. that's absolutely, to me, nonnegotiable and completely conducted with integrity. >> should questions of policy
concerning science be dictated by actual data and evidence rather than political agendas of members of congress who want to expand government control over the economy? >> well, certainly, my role, if i'm confirmed as direct of osdp is to bring unbiased science t best science available to the executive branch 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, and i've read articles where they say, okay, this particular viewpoint is -- of science, not climate necessarily, but it's absolutely settled. science rarely provides immutable answers about anything. we thought we understood the atom. now there are quarks and subatomic particles so i think we have to be open and inclusive
to all points of view. science is the loser when we tend to vilify and marginalize other voices. we have to have everyone at the table talking about these things and let the science take us where it takes us and that's certainly how i've run my whole career. >> are you familiar with the empirical data that this committee has heard testimony on that from the satellite measurements show no statistically significant warming over the past 18 years? >> yes, i'm familiar with some of the studies. i don't study climate, personally, but i'm aware of those studies, yes. >> thank you. >> yes, sir. >> thank you, senator cruz. senator lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to each of you for being here. i'd like to start with you, mr. szabat. i want to talk to you a little bit about super sonic flights. as you know, since 1973, the faa
has prohibited commercial super sonic flight over land. there's been just a complete ban on this. since then, there have been a lot of technological developments, of course, that might change that picture. do you support the idea of revisiting that -- 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 the case of supersonic flight, reemerging technology that we are looking at as a possible way to advance the national aviation -- national air system that we have in the united states. the -- so, 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 to integrate them into our
system. secretary's position is to do this in a safe way. this is primarily a responsibility of the federal aviation administration, but senator, if confirmed, i would work with you, with your staff, with our interested parties to ensure that your input and your concerns are addressed by the affected offices within the office of the secretary as well as the federal aviation administration. >> i appreciate that, and as we address this issue, i'd suggest that we got to look back at 1973. 1973 was a long time ago. it was a year my wife was born so i shouldn't refer to it as that long ago, but in technological terms, 45 years ago, might as well be millennia. i mean, we didn't dream of any of the devices that we each 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 developments, we've had other scientific developments that have made it possible to revisit the all-out ban on overland supersonic commercial flights. and so i assume you would agree that, at least a strong argument can be made that the total ban i'm referring to has outlived its usefulness and has outlived its relevance in our modern technological age. do you agree with that? >> yes, senator. >> okay. thank you. mr. droegemeier, i want to talk about spectrum for a minute. we live in an exciting time. exciting opportunities are already here. they're getting even more exciting as we imagine newer and more efficient uses of spectrum. 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 sophisticated offerings like telemedicine and like 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, 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 use. would you agree that in order to
reach our potential, that congress and the administration will need to make federal spectrum holdings more transparent and more efficient and perhaps revisit the presumption that 60% of the spectrum needs to be kept off limits. >> that's a very important question. i'm not familiar with the 60% issue you raise, but in the work that have been involved with in terms of radars across the country, the idea was to consolidate several different bands, spectral bands of radars into a single system so that other spectrum could be auction and had made available, so i'm familiar with the which can check topic and the importance of but i'd have to to get read up on this particular issue. it does sound like something extremely important because it addresses the issue of commercial entities being able to use spectrum and have it available to do things with and so on, so i'd love to get back to you on that but i certainly would work with you on that. it sounds like something very important to work with you on.
>> i appreciate that. and i want to be clear. i certainly understand the need for the government to retain a portion of it, for military and other government uses, there's 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, so i hope you'll work with me on that. thank you very much. i see my time's expired, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator lee. and 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
knea needs out there and demands for it and particularly given the fact that as we are in the race to 5g, that's going to be an important component of winning. so, we've got to make sure that we're doing everything we can, and we hope that you will, in follow-up to your discussions with senator lee, work with him and with this committee to try and figure out ways to make more of that government. government sits on a lot of spectrum and it's not, in some cases, efficiently utilize and had we've got to do better. so, thank you for that. thank you for your responses to that. mr. morhard, nasa's one of the country's greatest resources when it comes to inspiring young americans to study s.t.e.m. related fields. what do you view nasa's role to be in inspiring the next generation of s.t.e.m. professionals? >> senator, 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 familiar in the 1980s with barry goldwater and sam nunn, talking about the same issue. they weren't talking about s.t.e.m., but they were talking about the concern of the growth in education outside of the united states and that we didn't -- we weren't there and we were losing it. and we're still talking about it now. the role of nasa, it's a core mission for nasa, and as you know, in the appropriations process, there's a -- the house has put in $90 million and the senate's put in $110 million. last year -- this year's budget's $100 million. and so we're going to -- i expect we'll see somewhere a level playing field, but the real question is, for me, is the money being used for the best purposes of providing that
inspiration, and i think if i'm confirmed, it's looking at how it's being used. there's -- i've seen hearsay evidence that it's much more effective in middle school versus in colleges, because people have already making their decisions when they're getting to college. and it's really inspiring people like my granddaughter that they're at the right -- that 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. judge greg had me put together a consortium for counterterrorism grants and i saw over time, consortiums take on a life of their own and they begin to expend, expect the money.
and i think that we still need to provide funding but it has to be effectively used. >> absolutely don't disagree with that, and i do think that figuring out, yeah, how to get to that next generation of young people who might aspire to these fields 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 bean important one t have the workforce of the future, those young people who hope and dream to be a part of something that's greater than themselves, and to 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 aica, we
also directed ostp and omb to establish an interagency working group to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens of federally funded researchers to maximize our basic research dollars. how will you ensure that this ongoing effort continues and is prioritized at ostp. >> thank you for that, senator thune, and thank you for doing that. when i was on the national science board, we wrote a report on reducing administrative burden, the national academy has opined on that as well in a report. it's got to be a great priority, because it's wasteful. we talk about wasting taxpayers' money. this is a waste not only of money, i believe, but also intellectual capacity and wasting the talent of americans in science, to me, is really a horrible thing. my colleague, i think she's sitting back there, maria, has opined on this as well, that there's a lot of money to be saved if we can reduce the administrative burden, free up time, it will recapture a lot of the funding that is now being spent on wasteful activities
that really don't enhance the research enterprise so were i to be confirmed, this would be a high priority and it's also something that is in the gun sights of ostp with the working group that you mentioned so ostp is definitely working on it but we've got to see it over the finish line. we're not there yet. >> okay. we hope you will. i think we've kind of exhausted the, obviously, members' questions. we appreciate your responses. i do ask -- i will ask unanimous consent to include in the record an introductory letter for mr. jim morhard from center, patrick leahy and letters for dr. kelvin droegemeier from the idea coalition and foundation, association of american publishers, american psychological association, american association for cancer research, association for american medical colleges, council of graduate schools,
consortium for ocean leadership, eea usa, a letter from retired chairman and ceo of lockheed martin corporation, and former director of the national science foundation and white house office of science and technology, epic, and research america. so, only, you're very well supported out there. so we'll ask that those be included as part of the record without objection and then i would just say to our nominees that we hope to, at our next mark-up, process your nominations, and i 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 that you turn those if you can. we're going to 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
were 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 if we are here next week, and it looks like we will be, we might be able to schedule a mark-up and keep this process moving forward. so, we want to do that as quickly as we can, so we would appreciate your timely response w. that, again, thank you to you and to 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's adjourned. >> thank you, senator.
sn >> i hope that the president would solicit his counsel and advice. he's got a lot of experience to draw on that could provide some sound counsel for him. >> chairman, thanks for doing this. we've seen a lot of revelations this week from twitter, facebook, microsoft, about new efforts to spread disinformation and hack around the 2018 midterms. could you talk a little bit about that, and are you concerned that the administration isn't doing enough to be proactive at stopping this stuff, having a point person to coordinate with tech companies and share information with them. >> well, i think a lot of that's going on. i appreciate what the tech companies are doing, trying to do, at least, and their platform
from being hijacked by bad actors, in some case state actors who are trying to influence american elections. it seems to me, at least, that our intel community, i think, is working closely in coordinating with our tech companies. i hope that continues, but obviously, we want to take every step that we can to prevent any sort of outside meddling or interference in our elections, but i think it's going to be important that it be a collaborative effort. i think that the private sector, the tech companies themselves, working with the agencies of 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 do better. >> what's the role for congress and the administration as we get closer to 2018. we've had hearings but it's not like there's a new office or a new law that's been passed in
this space. >> right, well, i think a lot of it is oversight. i think a lot of it is making sure that the agencies and the tech community are working closely together when it comes to that aspect of it. i mean, the other aspect, of course, is attempts to hack into the actual infrastructure at -- whether that be in databases that maintain voter registration files and that sort of thing or attempts to somehow hack into the tabulating machines and those sorts of things, but i think at least right now, i feel pretty confident that the efforts that are being made are really, i think, geared toward preventing election interference. can dwe do better? yes. i think congress has appropriate add lot of money. we want to make sure that well used and well spent and we want to make sure that there's a lot of coordination between dhs and other agencies of government and state and local election offices and officials, so it's -- is
that process continues to get refined and improve and perfected, i think that the chances that we will succeed in preventing any kind of undue tampering with american elections will succeed. >> senator gardner and mr. szabat had different thoughts on how we should be responding to chinese bullying tactics on taiwan. senator gardner wanted to impose -- require airlines not to call it taiwan, and d.o.t. wanted to sort of let them do their own thing. is mr. gardner's amendment going to be in the faa bill, do you know, and which position do you support? >> is that in the amendment, do you know? >> i don't know. >> it's not in the base bill. and i know it's something that corey's very interested in. obviously, we, as a member of this committee, will entertain any suggestions and ideas that our members have for amendments
to faa, but it is a -- kind of a controversial issue, and i know we've got members who have strong feelings about making sure that the airlines aren't being coerced by the chinese and so we'll take a look at it. but at this point, i don't know that it's been filed. and i don't know that it's in play in terms of the faa. >> do you have any plans to work on any data privacy legislation? do you have anything in the works? >> we -- yeah, we actually do, but we haven't -- we're still kind of working is the answer to that, is that right? >> yes. we have to have a hearing first. >> yeah, we've got to -- we are hoping to have a hearing, probably now, sometime maybe in sedimen september, i think, i hope. maybe. >> yes, that's our plan. >> and we -- and we've got some -- our folks are looking at some potential ideas when it comes to a legislative path.
as you know, there have been a number of bills filed, all of which take slightly different attacks and approaches to this, but you know, we want to -- if we do something, we want to do something that is not just cosmetic, that actually gets at the heart of the issue, and sometimes it's hard to know exactly what the best way to do that is, but we've got some good ideas in the mix, and 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, and that's why the hearing would precede any type of legislation. >> is it still realistic that an faa bill could be passed by the senate, congress could sign into law by september 30th? >> of course it is. right, ned? >> yes, sir. >> we -- yeah, i mean, i think it's possible. you know, we're still waiting right now for this sort of outstanding issue to get
resolved on f4a and once that happens, i think the other amendments can then be vetted by both sides and we have a big package that's already been cleared. another package we'd like to get cleared. there will probably be some other amendments we have to process, but we're looking at all potential avenues to get the bill signed or on the president's desk and signed before the september 30th deadline. all avenues. >> there's the secure elections act. there's the p.a.v.e. act. it seems like there's a division in congress and amongst the senate as to kind of what the best way to go about that is. what would you say is the best way to go about it? >> i think that 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, and 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 have more control over the money that goes 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 that it's very decentralize. so 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, and i think that 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, and obviously, supported by resources and technology and all
the things that the federal government can provide. some of which is about $300 million in funding. >> next week is going to be all about senate nominations on the senate floor. are you expecting we might see another package under -- >> a another package of? oh, right. possibly. i mean, i think it depends on how this week ends. they're negotiating another package but it might take a little bit of the pressure off but if it doesn't, there's still a lot of nominees that we're waiting to move, i think there's going to be -- always going to be pressure to try and get various noms packages put together. we've got a bunch we'd like to get done, fcc and stb, and tpsc and a whole bunch of pretty important agency noms that are awaiting action, and we're trying to get as many of them
teed up and in this package as we can, but at the moment, we don't have a deal yet. but i know that's being negotiated. i've talked to the players and talked to senator schumer this morning, and i think it all depends on whether or not we can come to an agreement on a big package this week as to whether or not we're here next week doing this sort of piecemeal. >> all right. thanks. >> all right? thanks, guys. here's a look at some of our prima primetime programming. former national intelligence director james clapper, former cia director michael hayden, and former nsa director michael
rogers talk about the relationship between presidents and the intelligence community. and today, of course, marks the 17th anniversary of the september 11th terror attacks. we'll show you all of today's ceremonies commemorating the events of 2001 tonight in primetime. on c-span, we'll show you today's events from the pentagon, beginning at 8:35 p.m. eastern and will follow that with president trump's remarks from shanksville, pennsylvania, at 9:35. on c-span2, we're live at 7:00 p.m. eastern with a program honoring the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission. tom kane and lee hamilton. and then today's events from new york city. sunday night on q&a, historian richard martin smith discusses his biography of herbert hoover. >> hoover said when all was said and done, accomplishment is all that matters. which, when you start to think
about it, is a rather unsentimental, the sort of thing you would expect an engineer to say, and that's one of the keys to understanding his life, his success in everything but the presidency. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. "washington post" reporter woodward is our washington journal guest monday at 7:00 a.m. eastern talking about his new book "fear: trump in the white house." and then on tuesday at 8:30 a.m. eastern, former independent counsel ken starr jones us to discuss his book, "contempt: a memoir of the clinton investigation." watch next week on c-span's washington jufrm. journal. up next, president barack obama talks about the current political climate and civic engagement during an awards ceremony at the university of illinois, he encouraged students to take part in the upcoming noer