Kirsten Gillibrand on Welfare & Poverty
Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)
So after the talk I walked up to Andrew, introduced myself, and said, "Mr. Secretary, I loved your speech. I agreed with everything you said. But I have to tell you, it's not so easy. I've been trying to break into a career in public service for a couple of years now, and I cannot get my foot in the door.
Andrew said, "Well if you're really serious about it, I'll have my chief of staff set up an interview for next week." I flew to Washington. Andrew interviewed me.
"I'll make you special counsel. I'll pay you the highest salary I can under the federal rules, because I know you're leaving a well-paying job. Will you take it?" [She took it.]
"Throughout her career, Gillibrand has demonstrated their commitment to public service. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Andrew Cuomo. Gillibrand played a key role in furthering HUD's Labor Initiative and its New Markets Initiatives, working on strengthening Davis-Bacon Act enforcement and drafting new markets legislation for public and private investment in building infrastructure in lower income areas."
No mention of what she did before she served in the Clinton administration (that is, defend Big Tobacco). And no explanation that she served at HUD for just over one year of that 8-year administration.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.
We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."
And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
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