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Senate Proceeding on Feb 1st, 2010 :: 0:17:40 to 0:29:10
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Jon Kyl

0:17:35 to 0:17:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jon Kyl: as i understand the process that we will file this week, presuming, as i hope will be the

Joseph Lieberman

0:17:40 to 0:29:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Joseph Lieberman

Joseph Lieberman

0:17:41 to 0:18:01( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: case, that cloture is granted later this afternoon when we vote on the nominee for solicitor of the department of labor, whenever the vote on that nomination occurs -- hopefully sooner than later this week -- immediately thereafter we will go to a vote on cloture on this nomination of martha johnson.

Joseph Lieberman

0:18:02 to 0:18:22( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: and so in anticipation of that, i wanted to speak t my colleagues about what is coming. she's an extraordinary nominee, in my opinion, for a job that is critically important to the efficient operation of our government, the federal government, about which a lot of us have been speaking with intensity in recent times.

Joseph Lieberman

0:18:23 to 0:18:44( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: she's a former chief of staff at the general services administration, so she comes with some background. we'll give her the opportunity to -- it will give her the opportunity to hit the ground running, and that is important in an agency that has not had a permanent leader since april of 2008.

Joseph Lieberman

0:18:45 to 0:19:05( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: here we are, february of 2010. g.s.a. hasn't had a permanent leader since april 2008, when the former director was asked to resign by the previous administration. since then, the agency has had five acting administrators. it's obviously time for stable leadership. the homeland security and

Joseph Lieberman

0:19:06 to 0:19:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: governmental affairs committee unanimously endorsed her nomination last june. so it's more than a half year ago. since that time g.s.a. has undergone several changes in top management, including the departure of the chief of staff and the retirement of the deputy administrator.

Joseph Lieberman

0:19:27 to 0:19:48( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so it's been very frustrating for the members of our committee to see such a qualified nominee being held up in the senate for more than a half year because of a hold that had nothing to do with the nominee's qualifications. i want to speak for a moment to my colleagues about the full

Joseph Lieberman

0:19:49 to 0:20:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: scope of g.s.a.'s responsibility, because it's a critically important agency of our government that mostly works out of spotlight. g.s.a. is often called the federal government's landlord because it provides work space and office services for almost every federal office and agency

Joseph Lieberman

0:20:11 to 0:20:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: across our country, from courthouses to ports of entry. with 8,600 buildings and $500 billion in assets under its control, g.s.a. must be either the largest property management organization in the world or

Joseph Lieberman

0:20:33 to 0:20:54( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: certainly one of the top and largest property management organizations in the world. but g.s.a. actually is far more than just the federal government's landlord. it has 12,000 employees spread across the country in 11 districts, and they help guide federal spending on everything

Joseph Lieberman

0:20:55 to 0:21:15( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: from basic office equipment to the federal fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles owned and leased by the united states government. g.s.a.'s purchasing divisions have broad effect on the rest of the economy since an early -- as an early acquirer of new technologies, including green

Joseph Lieberman

0:21:16 to 0:21:37( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: technologies, the agency has helped and will continue to help spur production tha brings down costs and makes these technologies available and affordable to the broader consumer market. g.s.a.'s that important that it can help build a market for an innovative transformational technology.

Joseph Lieberman

0:21:38 to 0:21:58( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: in fact, the american recovery and reinvestment act, commonly known as the stimulus act, which we adopted last year gave g.s.a. specific responsibility to help green the federal government by providing $5 billion to make federal buildings more

Joseph Lieberman

0:21:59 to 0:22:21( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: energy-efficient and $300 million to buy more fuel efficient vehicles for the federal fleet. g.s.a. has wide responsibilities for providing information technology and telecommunications services for the federal agencies. with its leadership, g.s.a. can ensure that the federal government is using cutting-edge

Joseph Lieberman

0:22:22 to 0:22:42( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: technology to lower costs, better engage with citizens and detect and defend against cyber threats. in other words, g.s.a. spends so much money every yea acquiring information technology systems that if it requires the

Joseph Lieberman

0:22:43 to 0:23:04( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: providers to put together systems that are resistant and defensive to the kind of cyber attacks that, unfortunately, public and private information networks are under today, it can drive that technology which then will be more broadly available to the private sector as it

Joseph Lieberman

0:23:05 to 0:23:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: acquires information technology equipment. so, a lot of big and important responsibilities, meaning that the agency is in need of strong leadership. if confirmed, ms. johnson will face many challenges, and i just want to take a moment to lay out a few for my colleagues which have come before the attention of our committee that has oversight of g.s.a.

Joseph Lieberman

0:23:27 to 0:23:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: in the area of procurement, the contracts negotiated by g.s.a. must leverage the vast buying power of the federal government so agencies get more value for the taxpayers' dollar. last year federal agencies bought approximately $53 billion of goods and services right off

Joseph Lieberman

0:23:50 to 0:24:11( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: of g.s.a. schedules which offer everything from office supplies to human resource services to security equipment, to energy management services. and a few other contracts negotiated by g.s.a. having g.s.a. negotiate these procurement agreements, its customer agencies stay focused

Joseph Lieberman

0:24:12 to 0:24:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: on their core missions. in other words, the agencies don't have to get into all the back and forth and the details on the experts at g.s.a. do it for them. the agencies can focus on what they're supposed to be doing. some agencies, if i may speak directly haoerbgs have lost confidence in the ability of

Joseph Lieberman

0:24:33 to 0:24:53( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: g.s.a. to provide the best products at the best prices and have begun to negotiate their own contracts or interagency contracts. this duplicates services offered by g.s.a. it'sffectively a waste of federal money and effectively also defeats the purpose of g.s.a., which was

Joseph Lieberman

0:24:54 to 0:25:14( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: created by president harry s. truman in 1949 with the specific intent of streamling the federal government purchasing process so every agency of the federal government didn't have its own separate purchasing

Joseph Lieberman

0:25:15 to 0:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: division that may have done well or not so well, but certainly not as efficiently as one for the whole federal government. second problem: similar to this one exists in g.s.a.'s property management activities with agencies sometimes questioning whether g.s.a. has now met their needs in the most cost-effective manner.

Joseph Lieberman

0:25:37 to 0:25:57( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: another problem the new administrator must address is the amount of excess or underutilized property owned by the federal government. the office of management and budget has reported -- these are really stunning numbers -- that the federal government owns

Joseph Lieberman

0:25:58 to 0:26:19( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: 21,000 buildings worth about $18 billion that are underused or no longer needed. but they're sitting there. in effect, the g.a.o., the general accounting office, has put the property on their high-risk list for this reason. not all of those properties are

Joseph Lieberman

0:26:20 to 0:26:40( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: under g.s.a.'s control, but one of its jobs is to help other agencies dispose of excess property. it's another reason why we need a full-time administrator there. just think about it, $18 billion. the freeze that the president has announced doesn't come --

Joseph Lieberman

0:26:41 to 0:27:04( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: which i support, doesn't come to much more than that when you think about the potential for selling some of this property and bringing more revenue to the government. let me come back to martha johnson. this is a job with big challenges, as i've just described in part. she brings a tremendous wealth

Joseph Lieberman

0:27:05 to 0:27:26( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: of experience in the private nonprofit and government sectors. she has a b.a. from oberlin college and masters in business from yale business school. after graduating from yale, ms. johnson began her career in the private sector at cummins engine company. she had other management positions in the prite sector and then was called on by the

Joseph Lieberman

0:27:27 to 0:27:49( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: clinton administration to be the associate deputy secretary of commerce. and then, as i mentioned earlier, chief of staff of g.s.a. from 1996-2001. very relevant and indispensable experience. after leaving government, ms. johnson was a vice president for the council for excellence

Joseph Lieberman

0:27:50 to 0:28:10( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: in government, which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of government at all levels, and most recently she has served as vice president at computer sciences corporation. extremely well-qualified, broad qualifications and very intense in g.s.a.

Joseph Lieberman

0:28:11 to 0:28:32( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: so all these varied experiences, i think, make martha johnson a perfect fit for the responsibilities and challenges she would face as g.s.a. administrator. the fact is she has had, martha johnson has had broad bipartisan support. i urge my colleagues to vote "yes" on cloture. i even preserve the hope that

Joseph Lieberman

0:28:33 to 0:28:53( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: there may be a decision to vitiate the cloture vote, that we go right to a final vote and that we confirm this excellent nominee so she can go to work for the american people. i thank the chair. i yield the floor the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the

Joseph Lieberman

0:28:54 to 0:29:08( Edit History Discussion )

Joseph Lieberman: clerk will call the roll. quorum call:

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