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  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Delivers Remarks at National League of...  CSPAN  March 14, 2017 1:01pm-1:16pm EDT

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problem. the issue of selling health insurance across state lines is just a different issue. >> selling insurance across state lines is something that is going to be happy mood and a separate piece of legislation, not this reconciliation bill that we're talking about and that the cbo scored yesterday. how much of the rating do you do on whether it has the votes to pass on capitol hill? >> i'm an actuary, not profit. i read the news like everyone else. and their major increases of health insurance medication historically have ended low. what will happen this time? >> let's do another quick poll. this time we are going to make a word cloud with the answer, i love this cloud. so the poll is, in one word, describe how you feel about being an elected official.
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now, you've got to get your phones out. we're going to give you some chance if you are like me yesterday, i didn't have a chance to answer because i wasn't doing it quick enough . i see on her, i seeexcited . it looks like connor is humble. wow. some of you are trying to catch up. i'll be honest, the senator looks like their neck in neck. you know what?honored and humbled is really important because we should be proud of the work that we do. it's also important for us to keep in mind why we got involved in local government
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in the first place. what motivated you to serve? yesterday, we asked a few of you that very question and here's what you had to say. >>. [music] i ran for office to save my little brother. i went off to college and he was still in hopewell and i was thinking about the future that he would have and i wanted to make sure i was a part of making the city beneficial for him and one that he would want to stay in. >> for the opportunity to serve the people and make a difference in our community. >> as a representative and teacher i the children in our school system. >> i was sitting on the couch yelling at my tv. >> to fulfill some personal aspirations that my family believed strongly in giving back. >> i ran for office to help. >> because i felt that i had a voice that my community
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hadn't heard in a while. >> i knew that i could do more to make sure we could help people every day. >> i decided why not me? we've never had anyone under the age of 30. >> sometimes used after have to stop monday morning quarterback and get in the game. [applause] >> that is right. we all got in the game in our cities. now it's time for us to get in the game in washington. you know, i was thinking about what caused me to get in the game. i actually lost two elections for mayor and decided i wasn't going to run again. but shortly after i made that decision, i pulled up from bringing my daughter to a park into my house and noticed there was crime tape wrapped around our backyard. i went inside before the coroner got there but it turned out that someone had been killed right behind our
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house. i knew then it was time for me to get in the game so that fewer children would stand the peril of seeing that. [applause] so when you go to capitol hill today and tomorrow or when you meet with your representatives back home, i encourage you to remember why you got involved in the first place. that's what drives america forward. now i'm honored to introduce our first speaker. scott pruitt graduated from the university of tulsa college of law. he served for eight years in the oklahoma state senate and in 2010 was elected attorney general of oklahoma. then they call you general.
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on every 17, united states senate confirmed him as the fourth seat administrator of the environmental protection agency. please welcome the honorable scott pruitt, administrator of the epa. [applause] >> good afternoon. it's a pleasure to be here with you today and i saw the mayor last week at the conference mayors event in dc as well. so it's good to be with you. i want to say first and foremost, i appreciate your leadership. as mayors of your respective cities and towns across the country, you deal with very difficult issues from law enforcement to zoning, trying to find answers for your citizens at the local level. i had that same duty and responsibility as attorney general and today, we deal
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with similar issues at the national level with respect to environment and growth and jobs. so i want to commend you for the leadership you show locally and appreciate your time here today. i look forward to working with you. it's been said that friendship is part of partnership and as i think about the role of administrator of the epa and how we should work with cities and towns across this country and mayors with respect to environmental policy, it is key that we have a close partnership. that i listen and that we learn together on how to respond to issues you have at the local level. because they are unique. it was interesting last week as i spent time with mayors and talked to them about various issues that it's something that the epa needs to spend time in the regions
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learning from you so we can tackle these issues. i want to mention things to you that are important from a policy perspective. it's an objective of my administration and how we can work more closely together around environmental issues in the states and towns across the country. the first is a superfund area. i know that most americans are not, we have over 1300 superfund sites across the country and some of those sites have been on the national priority list for 30 to 40 years. that is acceptable. we need a commitment from the epa working with local officials to achieve remediation so you can actually benefit your citizens there in those communities with jobs, opportunities to repopulate that area from the remediation and superfund status that currently has so we have already started the process. worked with the land and emergency management office and our office to target and make sure we are working closely with you at the local level to do something about those 1300 sites and see those sites drop as opposed to increase and stay on the national priority list for 30 to 40 years. one thing i would share with you as far as objectives and working locally is in the
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brownfield area. it's been a tremendous success as you know with respect to brownsville across this country. it is important that the epa and us government continue to fund brownfield and some superfund sites that i mentioned to ensure that we have success on the backend. many of you may not know this, many of you may not know this but i owned a aaa baseball team in oklahoma city. the mayor is not here today, i saw him last week but that baseball stadium that we leased and managed from oklahoma city was off work brownfield project and the area in oklahoma city was a cornerstone to leading to an nba franchise in making its location a permanent home in oklahoma city so i believe the brownfield program, the superfund program is extremely important that we focus our attention with funding and outcomes to help citizens at the local level. thirdly, i think thisis equally important , and you know this is very key, water infrastructure.
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when we talk about infrastructure as you are on capitol hill, i'll see you tomorrow. infrastructure is not roads and bridges. infrastructure is water infrastructure and making sure we are delivering safe water to our citizens and we have grant programs at the epa, $4 billion about $8 billion budget is focused on rails. i am committed to working with congress and on behalf of the white house to ensure that water infrastructure, grants are effectively used to help you with the local level ensure safe water for your citizens. [applause] in an area that i think we should celebrate progress but also recognize that there's work to be done is an area of attainment. when you look at the max program, the national ambient air quality standards program, we've achieved i think tremendous success since 1980, we've had a 63 percent reduction in those criteria pollutants. today, under ozone, the ozone standard that currently exist were presently around 40
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percent of our country, around 122 million people. we need to do better. the focus should be to work with you on assistance, how to improve attainment and not punish you. all too often, federal agencies generally take the first step of punishment as opposed to cooperation and partnership in trying to provide assistance to provide attainment. we want attainment, you want attainment. citizens care about the air they breathe in water they drink, it's important for us to partner with you to improve attainment beyond 40 percent.you have my commitment we will use the resources to work with you in that regard to achieve better outcomes with attainment and seeincreased , hopefully, areas of attainment across the country so we can have permitting and jobs and communities celebrating that progress.
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i would say lastly, this attitude we've seen the last several years that we cannot be progrowth and proenvironment is something that we need to embrace a progrowth, proenvironment, pro-natural resources approach. done that for our entire life now, we make great progress since 1970. we need to work diligently to grow jobs at the local level, be stewards of our air and water at the same time. i know you focused on that for your citizens and i want you to know you got a partner that will work with you in that regard. thank you. [applause] i praise the next couple of days that you have, wonderful discussions with those folks on capitol hill. it's important that they recognize with respect to infrastructure that we do approach this discussion with a more broad-minded view beyond roads. those things are important, water infrastructure is equally important and i'm encouraged that that discussion is ongoing. i look forward to working with you, godspeed in your discussion and welcome to washington dc, thank you very much.
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[applause] >> this week is sunshine week , an annual campaign for greater public access to government. it's also c-span's anniversary week on march 19, 1979 the house of representatives opened its debate to tv cameras for the first time and the cable television industry launched c-span to give the congress into america's home. >>, the senate is in session. no objection. >> mister speaker, on this historic day, the house of representatives opens its proceedings for the first time to televised coverage. i would congratulate you for your courage in making this possible and the committee who has worked so hard under the leadership of congressman charles role to make this a reality.
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television will change this institution, mister speaker, just as it has changed the executive branch but the good will far outweigh the bad. from this day forward, every member of this body must ask himself or herself how many americans are listening to the debates which are made. when the house becomes comfortable with the changes brought by television coverage, the news media will be allowed to bring their own cameras into the chamber and the meantime, there is no censorship. every word is available for broadcast coverage. journalists will be able to use and edit as they see fit. the solution for the lack of confidence in government, mister speaker, is more open government at all levels. i hope this example that the leadership of the united states senate will see this as a friendly challenge to begin to open quite's time has expired. >> this medium and are open debate has potential mister speaker to revitalize
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representative democracy. >> in 1986, the cable industry launched c-span2 to carry the senate life. all our congressional coverage is webcast live, archived and searchable for free at c-span.org. c-span tv, radio and online are provided as a public service from cable and satellite affiliates across the nation.and the senate dabbling in today is not here at capitol hill, the house out because of the weather. the senate continuing debate on a resolution that would reverse an obama administration rule that limits contacting of unemployment insurance applicants, final vote expected this evening and we heard testimony earlier on the investigation into members of the marine corps shared new photos of female service members and veterans without their permission. the marine corps commandant testified before the senate armed services committee and here is some of that