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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 26, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EST

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i'm confident of that. providing will make the right choices. we certainly have the tools. in iraq we worked diplomatically to implement the president's policy to make certain that we didn't take over
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that effort before there was a transitional government in place. i'm telling you we spent amazing amount of time at our center diplomacy to help the iraqis to make their own decisions about their leadership for the future to transition away from maliki prime minister of by the and an inclusive -- prime minister abadi. we got as you know last year all the chemical weapons out of syria. no small feat particularly when you consider if we hadn't done that they would be in the hands of isil today. we have been leading the effort to curb ebola. we took the risk president obama took the risk sending 4000 young and untruths to build infrastructure so we could deal with it. it was risky at the time he did it because nobody had all of the answers that it worked. and america led an effort to bring people to the table to keep this from providing the
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1 million people dying that were predicted if we didn't have the response that was provided. in ukraine we have worked hard to hold together a complex array of partners in the sanctions, if the sanctions have had a profound affect. the ruble is down 50%. russia's economy is predicted to go into recession this year. there's been a capital flight of $151 billion. you know, they may be able to pursue this short-term goal of storing the waters of ukraine but in the long-term rush is writing itself after the future as a consequence of the choices it's making. falling behind in technology and production and whole lot of other things. the fact is that on iran scheuer, it's controversial and may have some risks, but we are daring to believe that diplomacy may be able to provide a better
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alternative to ready iran of the possibility of a nuclear weapon than a war, or then going first to the threats that litchi to confrontation. so we are trying. i can't make a prediction what the outcome will be but we are leading at the effort to try to make that happen, together with our p5+1 partners. in the western hemisphere the senator from new jersey mentioned what we are trying to do. in korea we are working with respect to north korea, we are working with the chinese. we've been able to make certain changes i'd rather talk about in a classified session. on afghanistan we rescued a very complicated election process, negotiated of bsa, got a unified government and now we're working on a transition with potential even of some talks taking place with the taliban. on global trade, we are pursuing to the biggest trade agreements in memory. 40% of gdp in the tpp and 40% of
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gdp in the ttip. the asia rebalanced on africa we hosted a summit of african leaders. aids and pepfar we've continued, ramped up their president obama made a deeper commitment and the result is we we're on the cusp of perhaps having the first aids-free generation in history in africa. and in china we came through with a historic climate agreement by which both of us have agreed what we could try to do within our executive powers to lower emissions and to begin to prepare to get an agreement in paris this december, and that's leadership because by getting the two of us together and leading in that effort we have about 45% of the world emissions at the table agreed to reduce in a way that leads others to the table. so i had a more prepared comment.
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these comments i'm giving you are not prepared comment and i will submit them all for the record, mr. chairman, but there are other policies we need to talk about and i'm prepared to do so. but i just want to make the point to all of you sequestration, i was here when it happened and i don't like it i didn't like it then, i don't like it now. sequestration is depriving the united states of america world's most powerful nation on the face of the planet, and the world richest nation, it is institutionalizing the notion that congress is either unwilling or incapable of making a decision and choices, and it is arbitrarily winding up doing things to our budget that historically knocked our gdp down and lost a lot of jobs. not to mentioned that it deprives us of making the decisions about what we are going to do to make that 1% or hopefully more have a great impact in providing security and protecting the interests of our
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country. so i plead with all of you to think about how we're going to meet this moment of challenge. we had, and i'll end on this comp we have a counterterrorism summit this past week, last week, which really underscored how big a challenge this is. it's a generational challenge. my parents, our parents many of you generation rose to the challenge of world war ii. we spend been the equivalent of about $3.9 trillion. today may be about 30 trillion, but we rose to the occasion to we did what we have to do to beat back fascism. and i think it is a legitimate question to ask whether or not the rule of law and norms of behavior that we fought for for all those years since world war ii that we are going to our part to uphold them and to make it possible for other countries to not be subjected to the
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fascism and dictatorship and tyranny of a group like isil that rapes young girls and imprisoned people women and burns books and destroys schools, deprives people of their liberty, burns pilots, that's off the heads of journalists, and basically declares a caliphate the challenges all of the nations in the middle east, and elsewhere and threatens all of us with violence. so we face a challenge. and i hope everybody here will stop and think about all of the components of how we respond to that. it's not just kinetic. the next secretary of state will be back it with a new acronym. the next president will be asking you to deal with somebody somewhere. unless we start to think about how the world joins together to drain the pool of recruits that are readily accessible to people
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with such a warped and dangerous since of what life out to be like. that's what this meeting that's what these discussions about the budget are about, and i hope we're going to catapult ourselves together in a way that facilitates my visits with a lot of leaders around the world when i walk in and say how are you doing under budget? and to look at me and i can tell what they are thinking. or we say to them we got to be doing this or that you know we advocate democracy. we have to say how issuers working? i've been asked that. so it's up to us and that's the message for my opening statement. i look forward to the hearing. >> we appreciate the opening comments, and they know that people understand this is more of a budget hearing, but since you have moved into other policy issues, i'm going to feel very free to move into those also. i would just ask the question, i
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assume if we only spend 1% of our budget on state department and foreign aid and operations you would think we need to do that in the most efficient way possible, do you agree with that? >> of course, obviously. >> i think you would support in an authorization been put in place. we haven't had one since 2003. actually didn't do one the entire time you were chairman for reasons that i'm not aware of, but you do support that now as head of the state department is that correct? >> we actually made a run at an authorization bill mr. chairman. i would have loved to the past when. in fact, the last bill i think was passed i did it. when senator pell was chairman andy deputized me to try to get an authorization bill through, and we did. i'm delighted to see you take this bull by the horns. we have not seen a state opposition i guess enacted into
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law since 2002. it be lapsed into thousand four and there are the reasons of the way the senate came to work that literally made it impossible to do. so i would love it if you can do it. >> i hear that, and i think probably will spend a lot more quality time, if you will, with heather and others in the department. i know you're dealing with a lot of other issues. we had a very good meeting yesterday and did you since you support that and we appreciate it very much, and i more of the history regarding some of the complications and certainly that was not meant as a criticism. let's move on to them i spent the last week in baghdad and an irbil, in kurdistan talking to officials along with hours. you have sent a request for an authorization for use of military force, the president has. but it's your believe today that
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the administration has the legal authority to conduct operations against isis with existing authorities, is that correct? >> yes. >> that is correct? >> that we -- we are looking for a separate authority under the speedy but you believe -- >> we believe we have the authority under 2001 to that's because when i did into simcoe absolutely. and we do believe that. >> i know people will be looking for if you're asking for a separate authorization, i know there's some debate among the committee here as to whether you do or do not have the legal authority, you believe you do but one of the things that people are going to be looking to is is there a real commitment by this administration to deal with isis? and i have to tell you as i look at the authorization and i visit turkey and understand what's happening in syria, i
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have to ask this question. do you believe that it is moral, do you believe that it is pragmatic to spend a lot of money training and equipping people in far off places to come back into the fight in syria and not protect them from the barrel bombs assad will be dropping against them? do you believe that is a moral place for us to be in the country and the pragmatic place for us to spend money training people, and yet not protect them from the barrel bombs that assad will be dropping on them? >> i think it goes beyond morality, frankly, said it. i think it's about a practicality if we are training people. they have a goal and we're committed to the goal. i think it's important for them to be successful, and i think it's important since the title x program that we have now joined
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into together which is going to train folks partly to go after isil particularly it seems to me that if assad were to attack them or somebody attacks them in the course of the time that they're going after isil, that's part of the fight. and so we need to provide that. that -- >> so are authorization should actually authorize the administration to go against assad when they're doing things that take on the freezer in a position that we are cutting? >> that's not what i said. assad is an entirely different component of this, which then raises all kinds of challenges with respect to the management of the coalition itself. what i said was they have to be authorized, the authorization is such that defending those who were engaged in the fight of isil, it seems to me is an important part of defeating isil
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isil. but that the debate has been completed that is taking place in the administration right now. the president has made a final decision on that. i think we need to be discussing that as the aumf comes together. but what is important is the president have as much leeway as possible within the three years that he's asked for to be able to get the job done. now, he's asked for three years, partly because when he came in -- >> if you could i understand about the timeline. let me just say this. on the ground and dealing with those people that we want to bring into this coalition in a more serious way the fact that we are not willing to talk about an air exclusion zone above aleppo, or we're not willing to provide air support for free syrian folks that we are training against isil, by the way, this is what this title x program is about, makes it
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appear that we're not serious in this effort and it makes many of us on this committee concerned about the administration's commitment to this effort. you can understand why that's the case. and i know that they're holding back, and you know this they are holding back what they are doing and kelly find out whether we are committed to doing those things that would actually allow these people to be successful on the ground. and if we are not willing at this front in to say that we're going to protect them after they are trained and coming in especially around the local area which is likely where they will enter, -- aleppo area. it speaks to the fact that the administration doesn't really seem serious about taking isis on as relates to syria. >> senator, let me get a clue as i possibly can. this president is absolutely determined to a conference the
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goal that he set out, which is to degrade and destroy isis. now, he has begun with a particular focus on iraq because of the fragility of iraq originally because there is an army that is significantly trained and available, that needs more training. and because is an urgency and in meet the urgency to try and restore iraq in anbar and in the sunni province because of the impact on holding the integrity of the country together and ultimately driving isis out. that's what we believe we will do. at this point in time we've flown some 2500 strikes, about half and half between syria and iraq. at least huge numbers of isil top leaders have been taken off the battlefield. almost 1000 isil fighters were
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killed in the course of the kobani fight, which you may recall everybody heralded as a test of america's commitment the test of the war. it was about to fall. and we on the other hand up our strikes and negotiated diplomatically to be able to create a corridor to get the peshmerga to come in and ultimately reinforce the people there and one. and isis had to admit it lost. and it admitted so publicly. so i think we've demonstrated a powerful commitment. we've already reclaimed, we, the iraqis and the coalition folks on the ground have already reclaimed about 30% of the territory that had been held by isil but but in isil can no longer move as easily. they can drive in convoy. i can't communicate the way they were. we've gone after their financing. we had more than 60 countries here for the counter violent extremism meeting. we have major initiatives
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underway to deal with the foreign fighters, the counter finance, so forth. so all i can say to you is every one of those things is a manifestation of these ministrations total commitment to defeat and destruction. now, as you moved out of iraq then there's more to do in syria. we understand, senator, that it's going to take more on the ground and more capacity to do that. as you've seen there's been some discussion of an air force in the region. there's also discussion going on about how fast we can train up some of our opposition to be on the force, on the ground. and there are additional efforts going on with respect to what weapons, what methodologies may be undertaken. and those are the purview of a classified briefing. i can guarantee you know one in the region will have any doubt about our commitment to defeating isil. >> i can guarantee you, and i'm sorry that this is taken so
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long, i appreciate your full end, but i can guarantee you that today there are concerns. there are concerns about those most majorly needed in this coalition because of the very point that i just mentioned. i think you know that. i know the white house knows that. and i just hope that very soon the white house will not only make statements but make agreements relative to what i just discussed, those who are going to be working with us in this fight understand that there is a real commitment and that negotiations about the iraq -- iran nuclear deal and other issues are not in some way holding us back from making those commitments. but i thank you for being here and i will turn over to senator menendez spent 10 seconds i will just say i would think it would get into a classified session and we can go through more of this, i think you have a
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sense of the upgrading that has been taking place and the pressure that we place it will answer a lot of these questions. i will begin the gcc meeting this friday. i think it's friday, in london, and we will be discussing all of this with our friends. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, based on some recent press reports, which i found more than one occasion on this issue seems to have more meat than not, i often learn more about it through them, i want to share my deep concerns about where we appear to be headed in our negotiations with iran, if those reports are true. the essence that i gleaned from reading various of them is that one variation being discussed with the iranians would place a 10 year regime of strict controls on iran's uranium enrichment, but if iran complied the restriction would be
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graduated over the final five years. the core idea would be to reward iraq forgive you for over the last year of the agreement, gradually lifting constraints on both its uranium enrichment and easy more economic sanctions which, in essence, my mind doesn't make it a 10 year deal but it really makes it a five year deal if you're going to ease up on the ability of them to pursue enrichment capabilities. can you give us a sense on those reports accurate? >> ivan basso going to answer your question i want to just speakers and you going to take all my time to do it spent i promise you, it was the chairman might give you an extra medicare. because you raised the issue strike that. it was raised by the chairman so i we can come back and i won't chew up your time. the answer is the proverbial don't believe what you read and i'm not going to go into the details of where we are what we
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are doing. >> okay. said your not going to go into the details do you fans of doing something like that? >> let me make it clear to you. -- do you fans -- >> we are looking for deal that would prove over the long-term that each pathway to a bomb his clothes off. there are four pathways. one is through enrichment, one us to iraq through plutonium production. one is through fordo through enrichment that is partly underground. and violate the other is covert. over the course is the hardest to the need to have a geisha and intrusive inspection in order to find covert. president obama has made the pledge that iran will not get a nuclear -- >> i've heard that pledge and i believe that's what he means.
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the question is, for how long, under what set of circumstances and when you let iran ratchet back up and in essence give some future president, maybe no choices but to pursue a military action and very hard to try to get a global committee once sanctions been released to psych teacher not going to give us a -- i want to raise my saber with you that i thought and every time we've talked were talking about 20 or timeframe but now we're talking about a 10 year time frame, if it's true, and with relief and the five largest of the 10 years, if that happens to be in universe, that's problematic i just want you take that back with you because i think it's really a great problem. >> but the only thing i would say to you, first of all i told you it's not true. but secondly, i'm not going to go into what is the situation. but the one thing i would say to everybody on this committee, the
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bush administration, george w. bush administration, had a policy of no enrichment. and iran in 2003 had 100 safety for centrifuges with a policy of no enrichment that would have been for five years six years. they moved up to the place where they now have perhaps 27,000 centrifuges, 19,000 installed, and you know the numbers that may be running. what happened? who did what? where was that administration with respect to the enforcement of a no enrichment policy? so guess what? they learn how to enrich. they are now enriching. and the question is whether or not one can now create a system where they have a peaceful nuclear program like other people who enrich that is manageable controllable,
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unverifiable, accountable, sufficient that they're living under -- >> well, sort and not an advocate of what the bush administration did. i criticized it during its period of time that iran was pursuing this program and that in fact, the world was not responding in the aggressive way that we needed to, which is now -- >> but where do we start? >> at this threshold position. >> i know. >> i want to move on to another subject, that if the parameters that are out there you said they're not true, fine, could be a that of a better not to put the elements that are. if those are the parameters, that's problematic. let's move to ukraine. putin took crimea, the nets. -- donetsk. we give the president significant powers.
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we supported an effort of yes sanctions, but also helping the ukrainians be able to defensively protect themselves. and i would argue change the equation where there are consequences beyond economic sanctions to his continuous engagement the he is on a process that that is going to have a land bridge to crimea, and when that happens for all of our talk of not forgetting crimea, it will be gone. so the question is, is the administration ready to assist the ukrainians and providing them with the wherewithal to defend themselves as the ukrainian freedom support act, passed by a broad bipartisan vote in the congress, or bites for? >> senator, that is under active consideration. i think you know that. >> i don't know that but i'm glad you that. >> it's been written in "the new york times" and elsewhere that this discussion is going on.
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we were in the munich -- >> you just told not to believe everything i read so -- [laughter] i don't know when it's good and what is bad. >> of course, it is "the new york times" can write a? >> that's a whole nother thing, but in any event. >> what i wanted to say is i just talked over lunch with the german foreign minister who had just finished meeting in paris with the russian foreign foreign minister, the ukrainian foreign minister and the french foreign minister. and they had a discussion about where they are in the implementation of minsk. whether or not the very aggressive breaches of the minsk agreement are going to now be shifted into a compliance mode is critical to any decision that are made by anybody as to what the next step is. the separatist movement is in our judgment a de facto
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extension of the russian military, and it is an instrument of russia national power and that is an exercise in the ways that we obviously have objected to. what we've done in our sanctions had a profound impact of the ruble is down 50%. capital flight is in the total about $151 billion. the predictions are that russian economy will be in recession this year. there is a significant, i think they're down 375 -- >> i don't disagree with you and i would also say, sending troops, armament and other assistance significant assistance to the rebels commonsense people across the border. and at some point you have to give the ukrainians the wherewithal to defend themselves. i'm glad to hear it is under consideration. >> there are pros and cons on both sides of the argument. it's under consideration.
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>> finally -- >> we with the we wind up in the next, you know in the short term. >> one final follow-up on ukraine. i know there's a list of individuals, including individuals on the eu and canadian targeted sanctions list as it relates to ukraine, i do not appear on the american list. the most egregious example in the mike is alexander portmac off, head of the russian fsb. he is not on the u.s. list but is on the eu and canadian lives. he was here as a matter-of-fact in the u.s. last week during president obama's cve conference. so i'm puzzled and could you shed any light on that? >> yeah. we each have different choices about who we thought might be more effective to have a sanctions on and what entity to sanction, individuals and entities. and so we both agreed that each
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would take their steps and that would place pressure on all. and the next step i think if we take one in the next days, which is under consideration depending on what unfolds, will bring us into sync. so not only will become into sync but there will probably be additional sanctions to boot. >> senator johnson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, welcome again. i want to go back to isil. i just want to ask reasonable questions. what does defeat look like? what does destroyed mean? specifically. >> destroy means eliminate their presence on field of battle and their ability threatened by united states and other people. >> over what period of time? >> as fast as possible. can't tell you what that will be. most people have predicted it will take a fair amount of time spent in iraq only?
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>> whatever they are. that's what the president has said and that's what his policy is and that's why he has asked for no geographical limitations. >> everybody i think has read the atlantic article by graeme wood talking about really what isis is all about. they require territory. does defeat mean denial of territory? >> ultimate, of course it does. >> so what number would be left? >> look, -- >> i'm trying to get some sort of sense here. spent i can't tell you whether a few notches left after world war ii? sure. to the war in and was unconditional surrender? he would rebuild germany and move on with japan? yes. but were there some nazis around with you bed. will there be some members lingered around as the art of other extremist groups? most likely but they will suffer the same fate. the point is as an organization, as an entity, as a viable sort
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of conglomerated threat to the united states and the west and the rest of the world it will be destroyed. >> pretty well decimated okay. do you agree with milton exports that to achieve that will require ground forces of sometimes? >> i believe it will require some type of forces on the ground. >> now, if it's -- >> not ours but sometime. >> so you've got 30, 40,000 members of isil right now. kind of the reports we're hearing is their numbers are growing faster than we are destroying them. they are not being degraded. they may be degraded in someplace but growing and others, spreading in other places. how many ground troops do you think it's going to take realistically, to decimate them to defeat them? >> it's not up to me to prognosticate on the numbers of ground troops. that's something that general
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dempsey and said he would've felt and others a -- >> fair enough. it would be -- >> but one thing i know is it's doable and the are a number of different ways to do it. and we are looking at exactly what the structure and format may be and the are a number of ways to come at it the way, some of which makes kinetic with diplomatic. and you know we have to see what happens in the course of the decisions that are made over the course of the next weeks and months as to what shape that approach takes. speed and so we have arab states, participating perspective heavy commitments of other arab states other than the iraqi security forces and kurdish peshmerga do you have commitments from any of the other states in terms of ground troops to join the coalition? >> i have personally listened to affirmations of a willingness to
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do it under the right circumstances, or under certain circumstances. i'm not going to call them commitments until they are in a context, but it clearly is a potential under certain circumstances. >> who would lead that ground ever? >> well, these are all the details that have to be worked out and in order of battle infrastructure. >> i understand they are detailed but is there really somebody targeted in terms of what is this arab states who actually it's that ground effort, someone capable of doing that? >> absolutely. >> okay. let me go on to ukraine. president poroshenko did get a very impassioned speech here in front of a joint session of congress what he did say, we don't need to provide the ground troops. they will take care of defeating the rebels, but they have to have more than blankets. i know in discussions with a
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number of people that one of the reluctance of providing those defensive weaponry is that calculation is if we provide defensive lethal weaponry russia will just up the ante. is that one of the things that the administration is concerned about? >> well, i'm not going to speak i'm not going to articulate the parameters of the debate in terms of what they're concerned or not concerned about but an argument it certainly made by people that whatever you put in nobody, not even poroshenko who i met with a week or so ago, a couple weeks ago not even he believes that they can get enough material that they can win. he believes they might be able to raise the cost and do more damage, but there isn't anybody who believes that ukraine, with its size of his military and current structure, is going to have the ability on its own to win a war against russia. so there's an imbalance to start
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with here, and you have to try to sort up in that thing. that doesn't mean it is a worth raising the cost. there are plenty of people advocating that you ought to raise the cost no matter what. so those are the things that have to be balanced. >> kind of the concern i've heard voice and i agree, the weaker russia becomes, the more dangerous they are. is that the calculation you agree with as well as? >> not necessarily. it's certainly one of the theories that is put on the table. it's a calculation you have to analyze and way but it doesn't necessarily have to be true no. there are elements internally within russia that ultimately could come to play, who knows when and how. and economy by the summer that is still hurting could be an economy that some people predict could create internal dissension
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and different kinds of problems. there is chatter today about a very isolated putin with an isolated group of people advocating this and people scared, you know i mean there are different parameters to this. i'm not going to sit here and analyze it, you know at this moment, but except to say there are lots of different considerations. >> a quick budget related question. i think everybody that is going to ukraine, eastern europe, is dismayed about how effective russian propaganda is, and really, you know, there's really no pushback. we have unilaterally disarmed the propaganda war. is something within your state department budget you are looking to -- >> it is but -- >> and try to counter speak with you bet it is but have to tell you it is within the constraints were operating and, and it is nowhere near what it ought to be.
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we are engaged in a major initiative. we are working with the iraqis. there's a new center dash to the rockies for disseminating information is being put together that the amorites are helping pay for breakfast be a major and for use of social media to counter some of propaganda that's been put out by isil itself. but russia has resorted to a level, you'll see it i mean it floods the baltic states. it floods pulling. it floods the front-line states, olivieri, et cetera, et cetera. it has a major impact and we just frankly are not allocating the money to counter the way we ought to be. we are fully prepared to go out there and undertake this. senator, you mentioned at the beginning why we use ocoa. this is one of the reason the we rely on ocoa because, frankly, appropriations are not on time. and so we need multi-year
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authority to do multi-year tasks. and we need to get the resources to go to respond to this kind of thing. we have about $7 billion in ocoa and we're putting a fair amount of that into afghanistan, iraq stand and syria, humanitarian assistance counterterrorism, partnership, countering russian pressure. we have $350 million. so that's how we are bolstering ukraine, moldova, georgia to actually go after this. it's not enough. i'm just telling you bluntly it's not enough. and they are spending hugely on this vast propaganda machine which people believe in the places they did then because there's nothing countering it. so according to people in many of those states, we are the problem. russia is they're defending russian speaking people.
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there's no sense of russian transgression crossed the border. they people in russia don't even know how many soldiers are dying. it is completely hidden from them. and we need to be able to counter this and tell the story. >> my point exactly. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. senator cardin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary, always a pleasure to have you before our committee. just on ukraine, one point. some of us have been there. we've seen the problems in the country. they have been asking for capacity to defend their own borders. they know that they cannot stand up to the russian military but they give me the capacity in order to protect their borders from russian incursion. that's why we passed the authorization in this congress, and i would just urge the administration with some urgency, to look at an aid
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package that will allow the ukrainians greater capacity to protect against the incursions, continue to be made by russia. we cannot believe anything president putin says about his intentions. he's shown by his actions a willingness to counter all the agreements he's entered into. so i would just urge the administration to be more aggressive in providing the help to the ukrainian people. second when i want to make is that we had a hearing here on trafficking and nurses come and will have a markup later this week. during that hearing we had assistant secretary sole who offered to help us in regards to using the leverage we have into trade negotiations on the tpp to deal with improved labor conditions, particularly in countries that were negotiating with that have less than acceptable right. i mentioned malaysia which is a tiered three country under the
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tip report and i would urge your personal attention of the get close to these negotiations to use that leverage to improve labor conditions on trafficking. and all issues on trafficking and the countries were negotiating with the tpp. but the question i want to ask you about is the summit of the americas that was taking place enable. president obama plans to produce a. there's a lot happening in our industry. one of the initiatives that is included in the president's budget is 1 billion those of a to three central american countries to try to deal with the crisis that we experienced last year with the unaccompanied children to you have seen the lob i think most of us don't that the conditions are still there and we're likely to see a rise of matters on our border as to whether it gets changes to my question to you is that we can't
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just continue to layer aid programs but we need to make sure that our aid programs will do our effective. and in conversations with some of the leaders in our hemisphere, they hope to use the summit of the americas as the deal with the opportunity challenges in the region so that the people of our hemisphere have hope in their own countries for economic growth. can you just share with us the role that the united states plans to take in the summit of the americas and how we can help try to provide real opportunities within not just the three central american countries that are targets or immigration, but also getting with the security issues and dealing with the areas that have been at the root cause of so many children leaving honduras and el salvador. >> absolutely. >> and guatemala. >> thank you, senator cardin
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very much and thank you for your constant vigilance on this kind of critical issues of rights, human rights, and the security and opportunity. we are very, very focused on the summit of the americas. i went down to the panamanian president inauguration. we talked then about the lead-in to we've had a number of conversations since then. vice president has been engaged in this. we want to make sure there's a civil society component to the discussion there, and human rights. and we pushed that and that has been sine qua non of our willingness to have any presence of cuba or some other to their that's got to be an up front discussion of these issues, and it's got to be engaged in that's number one. number two, when i was in mexico last year i took advantage of that to have a meeting personally with a three
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presidents honduras guatemala and el salvador. it was at the height of the unaccompanied children problem. we had a very frank discussion in which we talked about the need for enforcement, frankly, for their help to close borders to prevent people from moving. but obviously in exchange we also had to talk about reducing the incentives for people to want to do that, and they were very frank about that part of it. one of the principal reasons for those departures was the circumstances within which those folks were living. the violence the fear, the narcotrafficking, the criminality, as governance the corruption and all of those pieces. so that's why we've put this $1 billion request together for you. we are doing it with i think a healthy dose of humility and
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wisdom acquired through mistakes in the past. in other words, how you manage that money where he goes what the support system is underneath it what the transparetranspare ncy and accountability is with respect to how and where it's spent. we targeted three key areas. security, so we will work with police. we will work with the judicial system. we will work with, you know rental and education and other components of trying to make sure we are reaching the kids in creating the security structure necessary. a second piece of it is governance itself. itself. >> i would urge on the covenants peace ejecting is going to be the most challenging, considering the history of corruption et cetera that they be ways that we can evacuate when the progress in fact is being made. i think we all support the effort of safer countries and
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opportunity in the countries in good governance, but we have to have accountability in these programs. we've had many programs in central america, and the results have been less than consequential. >> right. you're absolutely correct. i don't disagree with that at all, and one of the first conversations i had with raj shah when i came in is how do we improve our development delivery system, how do we sort of blend millennium challenge corporation kind of goals without defeating the notion that sometimes you're going to have to do assistance that is not as economic based but it's more it's more humanitarian. it is a genuine sort of other kind of purpose, and there will be some assistants like that. but what we decided is to put about $250 million in to reinforcing the democratic institutions, to increasing transparency and accountability. for instance, like making information available to people
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through internet where it's available, or publication or otherwise. holding, targeting corruption specifically, which we can be particularly helpful with david our knowledge and law enforcement community input. we can strengthen efficiency, accountability of the judicial institutions. we know we can help them with improvement of the management of the funds by creating tracking systems, accounting systems, computerized systems accountability and so forth. and all of that is part of our goal. the key is who's doing it underneath. you're not just giving getting the money and saying, go do it. you've got mentoring and implementing and expense people coming in working side by side and helping to make it happen. it's labor intensive but it's probably only way to be counted on i think everybody wants. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator flake. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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thank you, secretary kerry. you quoted in your testimony dean acheson from decades ago. i thought it was an apt quote, saying that these problems that we have in foreign policy will stay with us until death. it's hardly a surprise or should be a surprise, when contingencies. you said his words remind us quote we long ago entered into an era of virtually nonstop danger, whether in one part of the world or another aren't order regarding what type of challenge for another. so that tells us that we have a lot of issues and will continue to have, yet we are requesting local funds -- oak grove -- as if these are ever seen pulling out of afghanistan or out of iraq or new problems in serious or iraq are somehow unforeseen and we can't plan for
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them. if we been in this kind of period since world war ii why is it that only now since 2012 has the state department started requesting a local funds? part of the understand where supplemental provisions that would two state for various contingencies but it's only since 2012 that these funds have been requested and then maybe and i think the view that all of us have is that the state department is becoming overly reliant on local funding to get describe these as a temporary, and sentencing on something we need to move away from your yet we seem to be overly reliant on the be want to comment? >> we are and it's because we can't get the budget increase we need to institutionalize them put it in the budget. i mean we already asking for what i think is tantamount to
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come if you take all of our foreign assistance because of the oco, it's about a 14% increase. ate cake or an 8% increase. if you take just the parts of the usaid and state department which is about, you know .3 billion, that represents a 6% increase i guess. the point i'm making is are you prepared to give us what within about if we institutionalize oco, a large increase? that's how simple it is to if you want to institutionalize it please do. and while you're at it up into the mouth we need to do the other things i've talked about. >> and if we were to do that then no more oco funds would be requested to? >> no. look, you are always good have an emergency. senator, no way for me to come in front of you and tell you -- >> i understand that but speed is that's going to require a kind of oco. so i think it's important to
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have come i don't want to be flippant about this i do think it's important to have an overseas contingency fund. >> we have always dealt with issues like that with supplemental but the problem with oco, i think all of us recognize, it's kind of just and off-line, you know budgetary and not that we do with him would just increase oco funds. switch later we shouldn't have. >> the way to deal with it is passed the authorization and we will work with you to do. then we have to get the appropriations people to fill it out otherwise we'll be right back it with another oco request. it would help if we had an actual budget rather than a continuing resolution, i think. >> thank you. moving on. with regard to cuba as you know i've been very supportive of what the administration has done. i'm please were going to establish diplomatic relations. you mentioned that is accounted for in the budget to its not increase budget about isn't established an embassy in havana
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speak with no. know it's not. >> could. -- good. >> i said all because some people don't realize we have quite a vibrant nation they are now that's been operating for quite a while. >> and by the way, and you for your thoughtfulness on this and your support for it. we appreciate it. we appreciate senator udall, likewise being involved on this. >> i do think there are still severe problems in cuba obviously, ma human rights issues, but i think they can most effectively be pursued if we have the dramatic -- diplomatic relations. with regard to iran for a minute i've been supportive of the administration pursue negotiations and i've withheld support for increased sanctions during that time because i think the administration needs and
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deserves the space to pursue every opportunity for an agreement. i am still hopeful a good agreement will come. having said that as one who served in the senate for nearly 30 years do you feel that the senate and house, the congress, should have a vote on that agreement in the end, or some kind of approval or disapproval as the chairman has suggested with legislation? >> well, i have no doubt congress will find plenty of ways to approve or disapprove. you have a vote because ultimately the sanctions that congress has put in place will not be lifted unless congress lets them speak but they can be waived for -- >> you all to are the ones who have to terminate them. at some point in time they have to make a decision whether that has to happen or not. let me just go one step further.
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philosophically and practically. this is much like a sort of labor agreement and tpa and things like that. if you are hanging out there as a sort of approval people, then that's another layer of negotiation. and fundamentally, it complicates it. hardens positions and makes the negotiating more difficult. there's this looming other entity out there. i think the president feels very strongly that you will have a sense of whether it's a good agreement or of that agreement. there are plenty of ways that congress can weigh in on that but we don't think it needs to be formalized and some prearranged way that makes the negotiations more difficult. >> thank you. >> by the way when we finish this, if we finish this, i'm telling you, we've got some tough issues in front of us. no guarantees here. some very tough issues. and we are adamant about not
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doing a deal that can't withstand scrutiny. and it's not just going to be your scrutiny. every other country in this. we have france germany britain, china russia all at the table all with powerful feelings about nonproliferation and what ought to be done here. that's sort of a first area. in addition, we have scientists all over the world, our nuclear scientist community will have to look at this and say does it make sense? if they are clobbering of this then we've got a problem obviously. so we are being very thoughtful and very careful. we are running things by people talking to them, what works, what doesn't. we've taken advice. we've had exchanges with all of you through this process. we are well warned as a sort of where the thresholds are and what's difficult. in the end the president will have to make a tough judgment, if we get an agreement.
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but it is not certain yet that you know, they are prepared to meet whatever we think this important standard is that has to be met to meet all of these judgments, and conclude. but i'm not going to go into all the pluses and minuses of this right now. there are powerful, powerful reasons why this is better done diplomatically than otherwise. and there are powerful reasons for how this winds up being the better way to prevent them from getting a bomb than some other way. and when we get into that discussion, i look forward to it, but this is not the moment for it nor the place for it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. and i would just say that as you said in the past it does have to pass muster with congress. you've been on the record in that way and i doubt there's any body of any of these of the country is actually passed through their parliament, we
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passed through congress, it's a very unique situation and i hope we will figure out a way to have a role and saying grace over this before the regime is totally dissipates. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to secretary kerry for all of the great work that you've been doing and for being here today. i want to start first with asking about our humanitarian efforts to assist syria in particular and jordan and also lebanon as we look at the threat from isis and the support that we've gotten, particularly from partners like jordan and lebanon, who are really struggling under the refugees in the countries, and ask if you can talk a little bit about what
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we are requesting in the budget to address that. and what we hope that will do. >> sure. well senator let me i'm really glad you asked that because i think this is one of the reasons why we all have to really buckle down and figure out how we're going to come together around the next, around the syria component of this. because the truth of the matter is that as syria is disintegrating under the pressure of this sectarian struggle, three quarters of the people of syria are now displaced. and about half of those three quarters are displaced in jordan, lebanon and turkey. turkey can assimilate more effectively. lebanon is a problem. jordan is an even bigger problem. and this has a major impact on
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jordan's economy, on its social structure, its politics. you know you have these vast number, many of whom are in the camps but many of them are not in the camps. so they are permeating jordanian society. they get a job, they work for a heck of a lot less. that puts pressure on the labor market, creates a lot of dissent. they come in tend to an apartment and they all throw in whatever they have and they rent the apartment but they rented for more than it would've been rented for a noble person or family. so all of these distortions are taking place, not to mention that within can come some dangerous politics in these places. so i believe, we believe that this pressure on jordan is a reason to really try to work harder to find a way forward to get some kind of political resolution out of syria. now, we continue to believe that adamantly, there's no
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military solution here. you pursue some sort of brutal scatterbrained military solution, you could have a total implosion an isolated wind up with syria. or iso- and tell mr. together did you get a number of outcomes that are very dangerous. so what we're trying to figure out -- isil and al-nusra front. we are pursuing that. i will die, i will go into the details with you, but we are actively talking with the players in the region. it's one of the reasons when the same topics will have the gc meeting this friday, at sort of how do we get there, and beating isil is a key part of that. ..


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