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tv   Treasury Secretary Yellen Senate Majority Leader Schumer Public Health...  CSPAN  March 10, 2021 7:40pm-8:00pm EST

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the only democrat to vote against the aid package. it now goes to president biden, who is expected to sign it into law on friday. >> saturday, on the communicators, the founder and ceo of girls who code, on what her company is doing to close the gender gap in technology. >> my parents came here as refugees, and i've had a job since i was 12 years old. in 2010 i found myself running for congress. as part of that, i would go into science classrooms and i would see lines and lines of boys clambering to be the next steve jobs or mark zuckerberg. those jobs in computer science papery well, almost 120,000 dollars. it just didn't make sense, where are the girls, and where are girls like me who should get a shot at these jobs? that's when i decided i wanted to build a program to teach
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girls to code. >> saturday at 6:30 p.m. eastern on the communicators, on c-span. >> next, senate majority leader shucked -- chuck schumer and treasury secretary janet yellen talk about the economy and the coronavirus at a conference hosted by the national league of cities. >> then will see vice mayors, and a ceo and executive director, clarence andrews. thanks to all of you for the incredible leadership you have shown during these 12 months. for all of my public servants from the great state of new york, thank you so much for all you have been doing this winter, keeping people safe, making sure the vaccine gets out as quickly as possible, providing steady leadership during the worst phase of the pandemic. and of course, most importantly,
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thank you to all our nations mayors, city administrators, local officials who have gone above and beyond during the most difficult crisis we have seen in modern times. you are at the front lines against this awful pandemic. you are the public servants who practically carried the weight of the nation on your shoulders. and now as this new minute -- administration begins and as i begin my time is a new senate majority leader, we will do everything we can to give you all the help you need to get to these hard times. that's why the work we are doing now with the american rescue plan is so important. it's a 1.9 trillion dollars lifeline that will lay the foundation for bringing our economy back to life and it will no doubt leave americans with what they need to get through the next two months. we got a lot of things done two months ago, a lot of good things. we passed a covid relief bill at the end of 2020, including
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support for fannie's, funding for small businesses, and laid the groundwork for the largest vaccine campaign in american history. but our work is far from done. in this next covid bill, we are providing more assistance for working families with tools they need for schools to open safely and we will work with the biden administration to speed up vaccine distribution and we will need your leadership to get it done. and let me be very clear about one thing i have always stood for, the senate democratic majority will make sure that this covid bill will also include direct aid for state, local, and municipal governments, helping you make top budgetary choices in the face of an unprecedented crisis. the direct allocation of federal relief both to all our cities and communities, not through the
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states, but for you. this is a top priority for me and you've done tremendous work advocating for this much needed assistance. then when we put this pandemic in the rearview mirror, there is more work to be done to put our country back on track. working with the biden administration to reduce greenhouse emissions, to create clean jobs and make our community is more energy efficient. will invest in our nations infrastructure, something i've always fought for, and also broadband capability, not only to rural areas but to the inner cities. we've got to work on our energy grid and improve public transportation, all of which will create millions of new, good paying jobs across america. it means finding income equality is a must. i've also promoted legislation that would invest 400 billion
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dollars in communities of color to improve infrastructure, childcare, health care, job training and more. and a promise i will work with each of you every step of the way to get these things done. the time has come to turn the page and begin a new chapter of leadership in our nation. we need america's cities to lead the way. so thank you so very much for all you do. my very best, stay healthy and safe wherever you may be. ♪ >> our next speaker currently serves as a secretary for the u.s. department of the treasury. these join us in welcoming secretary janet yellen.
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> thank you, everyone. i hope it may be everyone's last time of attending this conference by zoom. i find these virtual get-togethers not quite as good as the real thing, but still, i'm so glad to be here because i know they can be useful. i've been in office a little over a month, and every week or so i've been holding a virtual roundtable with a different group. two weeks ago, for instance, i met with a group of mayors from small cities. one was mayor nick hunter of lake charles, louisiana. they might want to begin the story in lake charles. it is a port town of about 80,000 on the gulf of mexico. there is a lumber mill outside the city limits and three casinos line the lake. the regional airport, which
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offers a few dozen flights a day to places like dallas and houston, employed hundreds of people until the pandemic. covid-19 hit lake charles like it hit so many other places. the lumber mill closed, the casinos laid off thousands of workers. mayor hunter estimates the casino layoffs alone raised the parish's unemployment rate by a full percentage point. as endemic spring turned into pandemic summer, there was a common refrain among the people he talked to. what else could go wrong? and that's when the storms came. on august 26, hurricane laura made landfall with 150 mile an hour winds.
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it entered the record books as the strongest storm to hit louisiana since the franklin pierce administration. it was essentially a 30 mile long tornado. six weeks later, hurricane delta caused a similar path through the city with less wind, but more flooding. by the time the major winter storms hit, lake charles in mid february, the mayor said no one was asking what else could go wrong anymore. the city had endured four declared disasters in 12 months. he put the question to his local fema represented abs, had the city ever seen so many disasters in such a short time? they didn't think so. it might be that lake charles has the unfortunate distinction of the most disaster stricken
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city in the most disastrous year in recent memory. the regions mortality rate shot up 25% in 2020, according to the mayor. if the federal government can do something to help my city return to a semblance of normalcy, he said, they should do it. i don't think mayor hunter is alone in feeling this way. not many city suffered as much as lake charles did during 2020, but all city suffered. the pandemic infected their citizens and the adjacent economic crisis deflected their finances. nearly two thirds of the charles tax revenue, for instance, came from sales tax. and with the casinos and other businesses closing, they had to scale back. the mayor hit pause on building new infrastructure. and i know many of your cities
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were forced to do the same. others had to lay off workers. compared to the start of 2020, there were 1.4 million fewer state and local government employees by years end. these weren't dispensable employees. most of them were teachers. so my guess is that there are many, many city officials who agree, if the federal government can do something to help their cities operate normally, we should do it. my message to you is, that is not only completely and understandable request, after such a horrific year, it's also very good economic policy. there are no benefits to enduring to historic economic crises in a 13 year span except for one.
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while these are fresh in our memories, we can learn from them. in cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government did nothing to close the gap. it was a profound error. insufficient relief meant cities had to slash spending and that undermine the broader recovery. one study concludes that for every dollar local governments cut spending during the recession, there is a corresponding drop in gdp of more than a dollar and possibly as much as three dollars. history does not need to repeat itself and we don't think it will. over the weekend, the senate passed a rescue plan and soon the bill could be out of
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congress and on its way to the president's desk. to the many mayors of -- and city officials who advocated for this bill, thank you. i know your voice has made a difference. it made a difference in the bills passage and it will make a difference for the country. the rescue plan will inform a massive immunization campaign, and with unemployment assurance checks still coming in the mail. of course the plan also includes $350 billion for state and local governments so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the last recession. in the coming days, or treasury team is going to work to get this aide out in the quickest way possible. and in a way that produces the greatest impact.
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to do that, going to need your input and advice. if we do our job, i'm confident that americans will make it to the other side of this pandemic, and get there with a measure of prosperity. by the end of the year, i expect city economies will resemble 2019 much more than 2020. that's going to be part of this bills legacy, helping americans get through this crisis. there's also another piece to it. i think with the passage of the american rescue plan, it will finally allow us to do what most of us came to government for, not simply to fight fires and resolve crises, but to build a better country. after all, for so many people, simply returning to 2019 economy
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is not sufficient or even desirable. that year, despite strong labor markets, we have some deep structural problems in the economy. people worried, but long before covid-19 infected a single american, some people did very well, but many more did not. those without a college degree had seen net pay not go up in half a century. the same is true for black americans writ large. millions of -- were being pushed out of the labor force lack of e
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childcare. with climate change, i worry that many american cities will relive the lake charles experience in the back half of the century. many declared disasters each year. indeed, if we want the united states to remain a leading force in the 21st century, we will have to attack these challenges. that's the opportunity we are given with the passage of the american rescue plan. this will see us through the immediate crisis, clear away the chaos in front of our eyes, and eventually let us set our sights to the future. i've spent almost my entire life
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in economics and how it can help people in hard times. there was a very visceral reaction to economic hardship. in one of his patient loss of job are couldn't pay, it hurt him, and he would tell us about it. those remain some of the clearest moments in my childhood. economics is sometimes considered a dry subject. but i've always tried to approach my science the same way my dad approached his. as a means to help people. i've always tried to see that humanity beneath the numbers. that is why, for as long as i'm in this office, you have an ally at the treasury. because your work, the work of the cities, is often where those two things meet. economic policymaking finds its humanity in the city budget, in
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the hiring of teachers and the building of infrastructure. it is in the ribbon-cutting's. when i spoke with mayor hunter, he said that for obvious reasons , there haven't been many ribbon-cutting's in lake charles recently. but the day after, he had two, one for chiropractor's office and another company. i know ribbon-cutting's are often ho-hum work, but when my team followed up with the mayor, he said the events had been more emotional than they ever expected. i think all all of us are going to experience that feeling this year, how meaningful it feels to build something back. if 2020 was fined by surprise of what else could go wrong, hope this year will be defined by surprise at what else feels so
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right. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ >> c-span's washington journal, every day we take your calls live on the air on the news of the day we discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, talk about the coronavirus relief bill and federal spending with republican texas representative jodey arrington of the ways and means committee. we will continue the conversation, including how the impact impacts veterans with california democratic representative and house majority whip democratic congressman james clyburn of south carolina on c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 a.m. eastern
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thursday morning. be sure to watch washington journal friday morning, as we look like one year at the anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic. join the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. thursday morning, a look at the reliability of the u.s. electric grid. watch beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span come online at, or listen on the free c-span radio app. ♪ announcer: you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies, who provide c-span to viewers as a public service. ♪ announcer: the house passed the


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