Jack Kemp, housing secretary-designate, told a Senate committee Friday it will take more than government aid to solve problems of the homeless. Meanwhile, another panel approved the nomination of Carla Hills as trade representative.
"Funding, while necessary, is not sufficient," the former New York Republican congressman told the Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which was holding his confirmation hearing. "We need to work together to provide a complete and effective safety net" with both public and private efforts.In written statements, Kemp pledged to work toward making home ownership possible for people in public housing, to press for urban enterprise zones to encourage inner city development, and to seek a national housing policy that will make housing more affordable for poor and young families.
Also facing questioning Friday was Hills, who quickly won approval for the post of U.S. trade representative from the Senate Finance Committee on an 18-0 vote. "You have done well and you have answered with more specifics than I have normally heard from a person being confirmed," Committee Chairman Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, told Hills.
Former Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, Bush's choice for defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that it is "unrealistic" to believe that the Star Wars missile defense system could protect all of America from nuclear attack.
Bush's selection to be his chief economic adviser, Michael Boskin, told the Senate Banking Committee that savings can be found in military and health care programs as the administration tries to hold next year's federal deficit to $100 billion.
And former Rep. Manuel Lujan Jr., R-N.M., testified to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that if confirmed as Bush's interior secretary, he will try to leave the country's natural resources in a "better condition than we found them."
Tower's comments on Star Wars represented a break from Reagan administration descriptions of the program as capable of providing an extensive shield against nuclear attack.
"I don't believe that we can devise (an) umbrella that can protect the entire American population from nuclear incineration. I think that's unrealistic," Tower said.
Tower, who from 1981 to 1984 chaired the armed services panel, also told the committee that he would "bend over backwards" to avoid favoring his former military contractor associates.
He said he ended his relationship with the weapons industry on Dec. 1, a day after learning he was under serious consideration for the Pentgon post. He said he did not "stand to gain from the prosperity of any former associate."