I have heard all I can stand today, and this ongoing hearing begins where it ended several days ago. I vote no on everything I have heard as part of a package apparently specified by the President. I would not authorize a $25 billion trust fund to be placed in the hand of this White House and automatically charged to the taxpayers now or anytime in the future. This exercise is too much for anything other than possible proof of good intentions.
My view is: secure the border first using the least expensive means available since I understand that border crossings are down considerably; deal with those coming in illegally to get them out of the country immediately; give Homeland Security time to deport all of those criminal elements they cited in recent hearings; and see what is left for us to deal with. What a mess. Beware of a president with a yen for executive orders.
My grandmother had a favorite saying each time she became angry: "The South will rise again!" I said that after I read the President's possible intent to sell TVA and your and Senator Alexander's responses. For the record, producing electric power is a secondary purpose of TVA. It is first and foremost a resource development agency and has more to do with the "infrastructure" of the southeast than most people realize as it serves seven states. It is known around the world as an engineering miracle for flood-prone countries dealing with waterborne diseases.
My boss, an engineer and doctor of public health, was on assignment to the World Health Organization frequently to combat malaria and other problems especially in Southeast Asia. He was appointed by the President to represent the U.S. on a group to study Japan's air pollution problem and its threat to public health and help that country arrive at controls. He was an internationally recognized expert in control of air pollution from coal-burning power plants, using our plants for studies funded jointly by our power program and EPA and its predecessor organizations in the Public Health Service to gather and process data upon which to establish our national health standards for sulfur dioxide from coal-burning power plants. His books and shelves of reports are in the Library of Congress. Representatives of many countries visited our office to learn about cooperative exchanges to help their countries with problems that TVA had solved through the years and to see the results during field trips.
You may have read that the TVA Board has a public meeting scheduled here in Chattanooga on Friday. The particulars are in this morning's paper including subjects for discussion.