Monday, June 28, 2010

Senator Gillibrand Interviewed on Good Day NY -

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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand weighed in on several hot button issues affecting New York State including the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, the 9/11 health bill hearing and the financial overhaul bill.

Gillibrand who supports bipartisan legislation that would create a searchable database of all federal earmark requests submitted by lawmakers told Good Day NY on Monday that she wants more transparency in government.

"We want to make sure campaign finance has transparency. A senator can hold up a bill anonymously, that should end...and we need to end automatic pay raises for U.S. senators," said Gillibrand.

Only a few hours before her appearance on Good Day NY, word came that the longest serving U.S. senator in history had died.

"It's very sad. Sen. Robert Byrd was one of the best tacticians. He was the longest serving senator. He was in the senate before I was born."

Later in the day, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan begins confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Insiders say she'll likely be confirmed to the court. Sen. Gillibrand supports Kagan as a Supreme Court justice.

"Kagan is an independent woman. At the end of the day, I do believe she'll have bipartisan support. I believe she is far more moderate than it's lead to believe," said Gillibrand.

Rosanna Scotto also questioned the senator about the 9/11 health bill hearings expected to begin this week on Capitol Hill and why they had taken nine years to get started.

"This is very exciting. This will be the first hearing in the senate on this bill. This is money for the first responders for the surviving families and all the people who suffered from the grave toxins released when the towers collapsed. Congress has appropriated money every year- over $400 million every year- the problem is if you have to go back to the appropriators there every year it might not be there."