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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 18, 2015 12:00am-7:01am EST

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the matter. he responded in writing by saying if the firm that will commit to ensuring that department hold accountable any employees who are found to have committed misconduct. so please tell me that you have in fact done this you have promised and help ms. dubinsky accountable for that outrageous conduct. >> congressman my understanding of the matter to the extent that i'm aware and to the extent of it the matter was referred and reviewed by her office of professional responsibility and the department followed the applicable civil service laws in conjunction with that. but i don't have further specifics on that for you. >> any tummy whether or not ms. dubinsky who engaged in the conduct of trying to help convict the defendant she was sworn to protect, can you tell me whether or not she's employed with the department of justice? >> that tome's time has expired but you may respond. >> i believe she was.
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>> the appalling targeting of the police is going on in this country right now i hope that is not the message you want to send two brave men and women that wear the uniform to protect us. police officers and law enforcement officials can't count on federal law enforcement officials to back them up who can they rely on? >> seeing no other witnesses think you attorney general for your questions in her time today. without objection all members have five additional days to submit additional records for the hearing. with that this hearing is adjourned. next u.s. senators talk about the terrorist attacks in paris.
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several u.s. senators went to to
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the center for disheartening to talk about the recent terrorist attacks in paris and their related security concerns at home. >> a year ago the gulf for -- the goal was to destroy iso. no one should take this as a criticism of the men and women and uniform as well as their civilian counterparts in the field doing the best they can under the strategic and operational constraints they face, especially the white house's desire envisioning the vietnam war tactics that the white house has micromanaged the military campaign. it's not that we have done nothing against isil.
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it's that there is no compelling reason to believe that anything we are doing will be sufficient to destroy iso. thousands of airstrikes against isil's targets have conjured the illusion of progress that they have produced little in the way of decisive effects. i noted with some interest that we provided some targeting for the french who carried out airstrikes. i wonder why we hadn't done any of that in the last year. isil continues to dominate sunni-arab areas in the world in both iraq and syria and efforts to reclaim major population centers in those areas such as mosul and have stalled to say the least. meanwhile isil continues to expand globally. it's now operating in afghanistan, yemen, libya, lebanon and egypt and other radical islamist groups like al gore on, nigeria and al-shabaab
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in somalia have pledged allegiance to isil. disappearance of success only enhance those isil's ability to radicalize, recruit and grow. and now in the past month isil has commenced a new stage in its war on the civilized world by unleashing a wave of terrorist attacks across the globe. in angkor out, isil detonated two bombs outside of the train station killing 102 people and injuring over 400 more. isil and egypt destroyed a russian civil airliner with a bomb that killed all 224 passengers aboard. in beirut i so conducted to suicide am exec killed 43 people and injured 239 more. baghdad isil bond and killed 26 people, would more than 60 others and finally in the streets of paris last week as we
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all know that gunmen wearing suicide else attacked innocent civilians at a soccer stadium and a concert hall killing at least 129 and wounding 352 other people. the american people have experienced this kind of terror before and we stand together with the people of turkey, russia lebanon iraq, france and nearly 20 other nations whose citizens were murdered by these brutal atrocity committed is. these reveal nothing new about isil's character and isil is the face of evil in our world today. the it has crucified its enemies but headed innocent journalist burned a muslim pilot alive in a cage. it has condemned women and children and girls to slavery and torture and unspeakable sexual abuse.
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and waging war on the living has failed to satisfy its savagery isil has desecrated and destroyed many of the monuments to civilization that remain across the middle east. isis latest attacks reveal nothing about its intentions. everything that isil is doing is what their leaders have long said they would do. they have stated their aim explicitly and clearly. all we have to do is listen to their words. indeed as one author put it, isil has toiled mightily to make their projects knowable. what these attacks have demonstrated how and what now should be clear is that isil is at war with us whether or not we admit it and that we are war within. what should now be clear is that isil is determined to attack the heart of the civilized world. europe and the united states.
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it has the intent to attack us and the capability to attack us and the sanctuary from which to plan those attacks. what should now be clear is our people and our allies will not be safe until isil is destroyed, not just degraded that destroyed , not eventually but is it as possible. unfortunately, and were generally almost tragically this president, president obama remains as ideologically committed as ever to stay the course he is on an impervious to new information that would suggest otherwise as he made quite clear during his incredible press conference yesterday in turkey. according to the president of the united states, anyone who disagrees with him is quote popping off. popping off. i guess michael morell former deputy secretary of the cia was
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just popping off when he said recently the downing of a russian airliner only the third such attack in 25 years the largest in europe since the madrid bombings in 2004 make it crystal clear that her eyes a strategy is not working. that comes from michael morell, former deputy head of the cia under this president did i guess senator dianne feinstein, vice chair of the senate intelligence committee was just popping off when she said isil is not contained, isil is expanding and we need new military strategy and tactics. i guess general jack keane, one of my euros, architect of the successful surge strategy in iraq is just popping off when he said quote we are at at losing this war and moreover i can say with certainty that this strategy will not defeat ice is.
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this strategy will not defeat ice is. that comes from the author of the search which succeeded which the president by withdrawing all troops allowed it to go completely to waste and the lives of rave young americans are wasted. i guess hillary clinton the world former secretary of state was just popping off when she declared her support for no-fly zone and syria to stop the carnage on the ground and from the airport i guess general david petraeus was just popping off when he testified to the armed services committee that the president strategy has failed to create the military conditions to end the conflict in syria and that isil will not be defeated until we do so. and i guess james jeffrey a career foreign officer in the president ambassador to iraq was just popping off when he wrote in the "washington post" today that the president needs to send thousands of round troops to
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destroy isil. what all of these national security leaders recognize is the reality that is staring us right in the face. it is the president who is once again failing to grasp it. he fails to understand even now the wars don't end just because he says they are over. better terrorist enemies are not defeated just because he says they are and the threat posed by isil is not contained because he desires it to be so and that maybe, just maybe the growing group of his bipartisan critics might just be right. why won't he listen to them to ask why won't he listen to these people with experience and knowledge and background? who does he listen to? who does the president listened to? it couldn't be anybody knowledgeable and make the
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comments that he made at that press conference. the president has had to go back on everything he said he would not do to combat the threats emanating in syria and iraq. he said he would not armed syrian rebels because that would militarize the conflict preview was wrong. he said he would not intervene militarily in iraq or syria. he was wrong. he said he would not the truth truth -- boots on the ground in syria. he was from and how we says the strategy is working and that all it needs is time and no further changes are required despite isil's campaign of terror. now get this straight, after the bombing of paris, after the russian airliner, after the other acts of terror he needs time. he needs time and no further changes are required. does anybody believe them anymore? what the president has failed to understand for nearly five years
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is that unless and until he leads an international effort to end the conflict in syria and iraq the cost of this conflict will continue to mount. those consequences of grown steadily from mass atrocities and hundreds of thousands dead in syria to the repeated use of weapons of mass distraction to the rise of the world's largest terrorist army and his rampage across syria and iraq. too destabilizing refugee flows that have shaken the stability of syria's neighbors and now potentially changing the character of european society. now we see the latest manifestation of this threat global terrorist attacks directed and inspired by isil that has killed hundreds across the world. the paris attacks obviously should be a wake-up call for all americans come most of all for the president. if we stay the course, if we don't change your strategy now we will be attacked.
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i don't know where, when or how but it will happen. do we need to wait for more innocent people to die before we address the reality that is ripe for us? isil said it intends to attack washington d.c.. do we not take them at their word? do we think they are not capable of that? do we think time is on our side? it's not. time is not on our side. the lesson that the september 11 attack was that the mass murders cannot be permitted safe havens, cannot be permitted safe havens for which to plot our destruction. do we really have to pay that price again through the blood of our citizens? for nearly five years, we have been told there is no military solution to the conflict in syria and iraq is if anyone believes there is. in fact one of the things that
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is most frustrating about the president's rhetoric is that he sets up straw men. he says we should either did nothing for the republicans and democrats as well wanted to send and hundreds of thousands. we do not. we do not. we believe and i'm convinced that we can send in a force composed of sunni arabs, of egyptians, of turks and americans, about 10,000, established a no-fly zone. allow the refugees a sanctuary and make sure that no barrel bombing will be allowed in those areas. and we can succeed. isis is not invincible. united states of america and our allies are far stronger stronger. we are the strongest nation on earth and to say that we can't defeat isil is a matter of will,
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not a matter of whether it is capability or not so i say to my colleagues, the american people, we can't deplete isis and wipe them off off the face of the earth but we have got to have the strategy and this president has never had a strategy. for nearly five years we have been told there is no military solution. there are no good options. our influence is limited but that's not always the case. we won't succeed overnight. as if our problem is one of time in a policy and we can't solve every problem in the middle east is it that it solves us of our responsibility to make the situation better where we can. this is the capacity of our ape abilities are options. we have eyes had options to address the threat that the longer we wait, the longer we wait the more difficult the risk
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is there. four years ago when lindsay graham and i came to this for instead we need to have a no-fly zone when need to arm their free syrian army and we couldn't have done it then and it would have been one heck of a lot easier. this president did want to do it and we are faced with a more complex, a couple hundred thousand syrians dead refugees later in the present of the united states still won't act. still believes as he stated in his press conference yesterday that somehow everything is going fine. what delusion. after the attack on france article v of the nato's treaty should be invoked. states that attack on one as an attack on all. as we did after 9/11. united states should work with
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arab partners to assemble a coalition that will take the fight to isil from the inner and on the ground. my friends air attacks only will not succeed. it will not succeed. i'm sorry to tell you i apologize ahead of time. we need boots on the ground. not 100,000 but about 10,000 with the capabilities that are unique to american servicemen and women and they can defeat isil. we have to step up the air campaign by easing overly restrictive rules of engagement. the same time i got to recognize that isil as i said. those don't exist today. we must recognize that our direct efforts to support our partners on the ground iraqi security forces moderate syrian opposition force the kurdish peshmerga and sunni tribal forces are insufficient to
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outpace the growing threat we face. the united states must therefore work to assemble as i mentioned a coalition and ground force that will permit on the order of 10,000 troops. in syria we must hasten the end of the civil war. we must accept that russia and iran are not interested in a negotiated solution that favors u.s. interests. russia and iran have entirely different roles than the united states of america in syria. russia wants to keep boshar assad in power. they want to keep their major influence in the region and they want to protect their base there. united states of america has none of those interests. they want to prop up -- i appreciate the outpouring of concern of all of my colleagues and all americans about these refugees. the refugees are the result of a
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failure of presidential and american leadership. they're not the cause of it. the cause of these hundreds of thousands or millions of refugees is because our policy failed. assure al-assad slaughter them with aral bombs and we are now faced with the threat in some respects of a possibility of one or more of these refugees have gone through greece and now could possibly as the director of the cia said yesterday possibly ongoing operations to try to orchestrate attacks on america. it is often said that america doesn't go abroad in search of monsters to destroy but that doesn't mean there are no monsters in the world that seek to destroy us. the longer we wait to accept this reality, the greater the cost that we will pay.
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you know, one of my great heroes and role models is -- as is the case with many of our colleagues as winston churchill. i would never compare myself with winston churchill and any possible way except sometimes i do have some empathy with winston churchill who during the 1930s came to the floor of the parliament and make comments and speeches that were very very moving but no one paid any attention to him. in fact he was ridiculed. in fact lindsey graham and i have been ridiculed from time to time because of our assessment of the situation and what needed to be done. so winston churchill once said, and i quote, after the crisis
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have been resolved to some degree and the people of written and the world had awakened, quote and there is a parallel between the situation four years ago and what to winston churchill had to say and i quote , when the situation was manageable he was neglected and now that it is thoroughly out of hand the remedies which then might have affected the keyer. there is nothing new in this story. it falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitless fruit was this up experience and the confirmed on teachability of mankind. unwillingness to act when action be simple and effective, confusion of counsel until the emergency becomes, until
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self-preservation strikes this jarring gong, these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history. i say to my colleagues, we are observing the endless repetition of history. what once upon a time was a manageable situation where the president of the united states said it's not a matter of when bashar al-assad leads, to matter plant. when the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and secretary defense testify before committee is inevitable that bashar assad will go. when the president of the united states continuously said time after time we have a strategy. it's not anything to worry about. they get out of iraq and try red and try red line's in syria and don't do it, don't take any action after the red line is crossed. when his national security team composed of secretary of state
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clinton, secretary of defense panetta and then director of the cia david petraeus all recommended training and arming the free syrian army, he rejected it. so now we find ourselves blessed 240 million dead in syria. more children in school syrian children in school in lebanon than lebanese children. jordan the very fabric of one of our best friends threatened and unstable because of the huge number of refugees, we find a very unstable middle east and we find isis spread now to libya, lebanon, yemen and other nations. isis has now established a foothold in afghanistan and the iranians are doing the same.
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so, it's not too late. it's not too late. we have to take up arms. we have to tell the american people what's at stake here. we have to inform the american people that what happened in paris can happen here. mr. baghdadi who was once in our prison camp for four years in iraq headset i will see you in new york when he left. he was not kidding. and there is no doubt that what isis has just proven is that contrary to what this president believe, contrary to what our intelligence told us they have a reach. they have had a reach to making sure that a russian jet was destroyed, an airliner. they have a reach to paris. they have a reach to beirut and they have a reach in northern
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africa and other places in the world and there is no reason why we should not suspect that they have a reach in the united states of america. it's time we acted. it's time the united states of america acting with our allies take out isil. we must go both to iraq into syria and take them out. they are total defeat is the only thing that will allow many disparate to the united states of america. guess after they are destroyed there is a lot to do. yes, there are things such as building societies and economies and free societies and all that but there is only one thing that mr. baghdadi and his legions understand and that is that we kill them and the counter everything we can to spread that this form of an honorable religion called islam. this is radical islam terrorist,
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whether the president ever wants to say it or not. so my dear colleagues, i hope that working together, and by the way one additional point. the refugees are a huge problem. obviously we have to posit until we are sure that nobody is doing what apparently at least one of the terrorists that attacked paris did and that is good through greece and into france. but at the same time we need to understand that the refugee problem is an effective of failed policy, not the cause of it. so i would like to finally say the president should do two things. one, called together the smartest people that we know. i name some of them, general petraeus, general keane. there are a number of names of
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people. general general mattis, general kelly. there are a number of people -- the names are familiar to many of us who follow national security. these people are the ones that made the search the key. call them together at the white house to say give me your advice. you must do that. what has been listening to and what he is doing is failing. and finally i stand ready. i know that my friend lindsey graham who is my partner and he knows more about these issues than any member of this body, certainly anybody who's running for president of the united states, we would be glad to go over and sit with the president. i want to cooperate with them. i want to work with them. we each do that. i offer up my services and my advice and counsel and anybody else on the side of the aisle. this is a threat to the lives of the men and women who are living in this nation. they deserve our protection and
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they deserve a bipartisan, a bipartisan approach in a bipartisan action in order to stop it so i stand ready. but right now i have not been more concerned. i leave my colleagues with two fundamental facts. one, there are now more refugees in the world than at any time since the end of world war ii. two, there are now more crises in the world than at any time since the end of world war ii. we cannot sustain this failed policy that has led us to the situation that america and the world are in today. i yield the floor. .. was taken down by a
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terrorist bomb. again, isil has claimed credit. these attacks have followed on the heels of an announced -- an announcement two weeks earlier by the president that he's authorized the deployment of up to 50 special forces in syria. they will be there to support u.s.-backed syrian rebels in the campaign against isil. more than one year after the announcement of operation announcement of operation more than one year after the announcement of operation inherent resolve, a mission
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to degrade and ultimately defeat isil, this conflict has escalated dramatically. the facts on the ground come in the middle east changed dramatically. russia is intervening militarily in syria. hundreds of thousands of syrians left their homes and have left the country to escape isil. they precipitated a massive humanitarian crisis that has brought the european union and great strain. in addition to the deployment of us special forces in syria, news reports indicate that the us will increase supplies of military weapons to us backed rebels fighting isil. for all the changes we have seen, one thing has not changed. the congress of the united states has not voted to authorize the use of military force against isil. that needs to change.
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that is why i have come to the 40 day and the senator from virginia who will speak in a moment has come as well we need an authorization for the use of military force. the president maintains that the legal underpinnings of this authorization come from the au mf provided to our previous president in the 100 7th congress back in 2001. the 2001 allow the president the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force against those he determined who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on september 11, 2,001, or harbored such organizations or persons. two provisions of the massive fy 2012 national defense authorization act expanded to include associated forces of al
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qaeda and the taliban. this is an expansion from what the administration derives its authority for today's actions to go after the islamic state in iraq and syria. i am not standing here today to debate the merits of the administration's argument as to whether or not they have the legal authority. that is not what is at issue right here. what is at issue is the ease with which congress happily defers to old statutes and advocates its authority to weigh in on what history will record as long, complex, brutal conflict. this conflict is been going on for more than a year with mixed results command, and the consequences will change the geopolitical landscape that region for decades. ten american servicemembers have died, one recently
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killed in action, five others wounded with thousands of service members in support of operation inherent resolve and attacks happening all over the world , the notion that a 14 -year-old statute and another enemy is any kind of substitute for congressional authorization is insufficient. operation inherent resolve warrants its own authorization, not because of size and duration the because americans are dying in pursuit of it or because it is directed as an enemy that is a threat to our security. this mission warrants its own authorization because we wanted to succeed. we want the world to no that the united states speaks with one voice. nearly a year ago the senate foreign relations committee past or repressed the administration to come forward with the draft. when it didwhen it did not do so the committee proceeded with its own which spurred the administration
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to take action. two months after that exercise the administration sent up its own draft au mf. that was more than a month ago. efforts to produce one here have since stalled. the senator from virginia and myself introduced a resolution that we think represents a good compromise that may not be perfect and may represent only a starting., but we need a starting.here and we need to move forward. this issue is far too important not to try to get an agreement to move ahead. i urge my colleagues to consider the importance of this operation against isil and the implications to foreign policies for many years ahead, specifically the implications of this body. congress, the united states inand the u.s. senate for your not even going to weigh
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in and authorize the use of force what does that say to our adversaries? what does that say to our allies? ported sh of the troops who are fighting on our behalf? how much longer can we go without authorization for use of force? >> the senator from virginia is recognized. >> i think my colleague from arizona for working so closely. my senses in this congress in both houses 80 plus percent of the members believe strongly that the united states should be engaged in military action over some circumstance against this horrible threat of isil. despite that overwhelming consensus in the clear constitutional command in article one that we should not be at war without a vote of congress, there has been
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a strange conspiracy of silence about this in the legislative branch the last 16 months. the senator from arizona and i introduced a resolution in january to authorize military force building upon previous efforts, the president submitted authorization. we did it knowing it is not perfect to show that we can be bipartisan and stand up against a threat. let's review what has happened since august 82014. the pres. on that day started airstrikes against isil and said he was doing it for two reasons. first, to protect american personnel who were jeopardized and 2nd to provide humanitarian support for members of the minority religious sect who were basically being hemmed in by isil in northern iraq. those are the two reasons. at that point isil and their
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activities are limited to iraq in syria. sixteen months later we have lost four american hostages who have been executed by isil, lost ten american servicemen and women who were deployed to the theater , we have about 3600 american troops were deployed thousands of miles home risking their lives every day, spent $5day, spent $5 billion, 11 million a day in the battle against isil, flown nearly 6300 airstrikes with american aircraft against isil. kayfive,. isil, which was a 1st limited to the iraq and syria. they have undertaken attacks that they claim credit for. this threat is mutating and growing. we saw the horror of isil
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isil put out a video threatening similar attacks on washington. the present started military action. how long will congress continue to be silent about this? congress, and i will say, i think this is a malady that you can lay at the feet of both parties in both houses. criticize with the president is doing and i'm critical. the senior senator earlier laid out challenges with the strategy, but it is not
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enough for this body that has a constitutional authority to just criticize the commander-in-chief. but we have done this sat on the sidelines and criticized , but we have not been willing to vote to authorize what is going on, vote to stop it's going on for about to refine a revised is going on. it's easy to be a critic, sit in the stands and watch a play and say what in the coach called different play. we are not supposed to be of more without a vote ofa vote of congress. i will hand it back to my colleague from arizona and perhaps i can say a few concluding words that would mean more about the kind of emotional rather than legal side of this as we think about the challenges. the events of last week, egypt, beirut, paris demonstrate that the voice of congress is needed.
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the voice of congress is needed to fulfill our article one responsibility. the voice of congress is needed because we send the messagea message by our voice to our allies, to the adversaries in the troops. the voice of congress is also needed because it has an effect of solving some of the problems that senator mccain mentioned. to the extent the administration strategy is not what we would want to be they have to present a strategy. we have tough questions of the witnesses and refine it and it gets better. when you don't have the debate you don't put before the american public the reasons for the involvement. with that i want to thank where my colleague from arizona and say a few words about why this is a matter of emotional significance to me.
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>> thank you, mr. president and think my colleagues from virginia. we mentioned the importance, the methods that needs to be sent from the u.s. congress article one branch of the message to our troops providing. second, the master our adversaries who need to know that we are resolved has become one voice. talk for just a 2nd about the message our allies. authorization for use of force will dictate and set the parameters for that use of force. allies need to know if we are all in or if there are certain limitations, if we decide there are certain limitations for that use of force, our allies need to no that another role what they are required to do. that will be a useful thing. if there are limitations, need to spell them out.
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if there aren't going to let her adversaries no that as well. whatever the case, we need to debate this and authorize this use of force. we have waited long enough, frankly far too long asked the president for language the presence of language up. i think it is lacking. unlike some parts of it, but it must be debated here. we need to take it up and do something with it. it is our responsibility. we are the article one branch that is supposed to declare war command we need to do that here. so i again invite my colleagues from virginia to close and think the president and just say that it is time, well past on that we move on this and hopefully the events of the past couple of weeks, the attack that happened in paris the bombing of the plane come our commitment of
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new resources will convince us all that it is time to hack can congress. with that i yield back. >> thank you for joining together in this important area. i had an epiphany that was kind of a sad epiphany on friday and i think we have children that are about the same age. i'm thinking about young people. like many when the attacks happened friday my 1st thought was to who i know in paris. and a lot of folks have relatives of family or coworkers or former coworkers. like a lot of people i got on the phone to try to, nice., nice. i have a niece who was a student at law school, third-year law student in paris for a semester studying.
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and she was in the restaurant area where the shootings occurred so close that she could here them. that immediately affected, but she and her friends had to barricade themselves in the restaurant for a while wondering what was going on. now,now, we were able to determine that elizabeth was fine. and she assured all the family and the people who wanted to center the plane ticket, no, i'm fine. i started to think over the weekend how find she really was, how fine our young people are because elizabeth was a peace corps volunteer in cameroon a few years ago. since coming homesince coming home the village that she lived in was essentially wiped out. the next-doorthe next-door neighbor that was her protector and the protector of all the peace corps volunteers that came before killed along with a lot of her other friends. they have now pledged allegiance to heisel.
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sheshe has had the experience of losing friends in a terrorist attack in cameroon and now had the experience of being nearby in paris. and it started to work on my conscience a little bit. this for now for her is one. these events are not the norm but the extreme. for elizabeth on my children i have three kids, one of the military who all came of age after 911. we are livingwe are living in a world that for some many of our young people the norm is not peace and safety and complacency. the norm his or her terrorist attacks all of the if that can be said about american young people it is certainly the case for young people in france were syria or all of the region.
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i hate that we are living in a world where people are starting to think that this is the norm rather than the exception. and it seems to me as an adult as someone in a leadership position, part of what we need to do is rather than just allow us to draft while acknowledging that we are humble people and can completely control, we have to take charge of the situation and not stand by and lob criticism the try to shape it to the best of our ability. i think that was the genius of the drafters of the constitution. james madison of virginia draft of many of these provisions was trying to do something incredibly radical madison and the others who drafted the american constitution center will take that power to initiate war away from the executive
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and put the power in the hands of the people's elected representatives so that they will debate and soberly analyze when you should take that step authorizing military action. even under the best of circumstances were with things can happen and people lose there lives. they allow this were to go on long enough without putting a congressional fingerprint on it. for our young people, troops, allies, adversaries, it is my prayer that we will now in congress take up the leadership mental and try to shape this mutated and growing threat to the greatest we can. with thatwith that i yield the floor and think my colleague from arizona.
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>> mr. president. >> the senator from montana. >> the obama administration's wind energy is not just want coal. it coal. it is a want american jobs, families, and our national security. that is why it is no surprise the present anti- energy agenda is gaining opposition from both sides of the aisle. i am thankful for the bipartisan leadership demonstrated a leader mcconnell and senator it out for republicans as well as senator mansion and had camp to democrats. standing up against the presidents harmful regulation on our nation's nation's coal-fired plants. i am proud to join them as a cosponsor to stop the epa from imposing its anti-coal anti- call regulations. the congressional review act resolution of disapproval we are considering today we
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will block the obama administration's regulations on existing coal-fired plants. we are also seeing strong opposition from aa strong opposition for more than half of the states in the country, including my home state of montana that through three different lawsuits have requested an initial stay on the role. the obama administration's reckless agenda is shutting down coal-fired power plants across the us, killing family wage jobs for union workers, tribal members and montana, and stifling investment that could lead to innovation to make coal cleaner in the us. pres. obama calls it the clean power plan. that is not named correctly. it should be call the unaffordable energy plan. pres. obama's unaffordable energy plan of, negligible impact on global coal demand and global emissions. but it will lead to
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devastating consequences for affordable energy here are the facts. the united states mines just 11 percent of the world's coal and consumes about ten and a half percent of the world's coal. said another way,way, 90 percent approximately of all the coal mining consumed occurs outside the united states. and global demand will not disappear even if the united states were to shut down every last coal mining coal-fired plan. coal use around the world has grown four times faster than renewal. 1200 coal plants are planned in 59 countries. let me say that again. 1200 coal plants are planned and 59 countries, three quarters of which will be china and india. china alone consumes 4 billion tons of coal per year.
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china is building a new coal plan every ten days for the next ten years. with the japan. after the great quake in japan they lost there nuclear power capability. japan is currently building 43 coal-fired plants. and by 2020 india may have built a half times as much coal capacity as the us is about is. the obama administration's administrati on's reckless warrant energy will have little impact on global emissions, but here is what it will do community will devastate significant parts of our economy, costs energy bills to skyrocket, a a loss of tax revenues for our schools, roads, teachers and destroy family wage union and travel jobs.
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if this one goes forward countless coal-fired plants like the powerpoint and montana will likely be shuttered putting thousands of jobs at risk, and it also will make new coal-fired plants incredibly difficult to build. coal keeps the lights on in this country and will continue to power the world for decades to come. in my home state of montana it provides more than half of our electricity. i told my kids that when they playput in their phones odds are it is coal powering a phone. and rather than dismissing this reality the united states should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development, leading the way in powering the world, not disengaging. unfortunately pres.president obama's out of touch regulations take us in the opposite direction, and the
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people who can afford it the least will be impacted the greatest. stop the presence job killing regulations unaffordable energy. join us for standing up for american energy independence we have seen happen to our national security and energy independence our time together. thank you, mr. president. >> the senator from massachusetts. >> mr. president, on friday terrorist massacre 129 people in paris. the day before isis terrorists massacred 43 people in beirut. while these are merely the latest in a series of horrific attacks over the past few years,, these twin tragedies have riveted the attention of the world. these events test us. it is easy to proclaim that we are
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tough and brave and goodhearted been threats feel far away. but when those threats loom large and close by our actions will strip away our tough talk and reveal who we really are. we think the choice either to lead the world by example or to turn our backs to the threat and the suffering around us. last month senator shaheen, durbin, club which are command i travel to europe to see the crisis of close. i come to the floor today to speak about what i saw and try to shed light on the choice we face. over the past four years millions of people have fled their homes in syria, running for their lives, searching for a future for themselves and their families. official estimates indicate that 2 million syrians are now living in turkey, more than a million in lebanon and half a million in jordan the true numbers are probably much larger.
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the crisis has put an enormous economic and political strain on those countries. in late 20142014 i travel to jordan where i visited the un refugee processing center and met with jordan's foreign minister, un representatives command american military personnel stationed there. even a year ago it was clear that the humanitarian crisis was streaming these host countries and that there was no end in sight. in recent months the crisis has accelerated. the steady stream of refugees fleeing syria has become a flood, and that flood has pumped across the. everyevery day refugees set out on a journey of hundreds of miles from syria to the turkish coast. when they arrived they are met by human smugglers who charge of thousand dollars ahead for a place on the shoddy overloaded plastic craft that is flows out to see hopefully in the
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direction of one of the greek islands. i visited nine last month. only a few miles from the turkish coast, but the risks of crossing are immense. the water is rough, the shoreline is rocky command overcrowded paperthin rafts are dangerously unsteady. parents do their best to protect the children, little ones are outfitted with blowup pool squaddies as a substitute for lifejackets and i hope that if the raft goes down and dollar 99 pool toy will be enough to save the life of a small child. and the rest to go down. according to some estimates more than 500 people have died crossing the sea from turkey degree so far this year. despite the risks thousands make the trip every day. he greeka greek coast guard officials tell us that when refugees see a coast guard ship they may even/holes in
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their own raft just so they won't be turned down. i met with the mayor who described how his tiny greek island of 80,000 people have struggled to cope with refugees who washed ashore more than 100,000 people in october alone. refugees arerefugees are processed and reception centers on the island before boarding ferries that happens. increase plainly lacks the resources necessary to handle these norms numbers. refugees piloted a reception centers overflowing the facilities, sleeping in parks or beside the road. last month the volunteer doctor was quoted as saying there are thousands of children here in their feet are literally rotten. they cannot keep try command five fevers and fevers and understanding in pouring rain for days on end. recently the mayor told
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local radio program that the island had run out of room to bury the dead. greece is overwhelmed registration system is not only a humanitarian crisis but also security risk. in meeting after meeting i asked greek officials of the security screening for these migrants, and time after time i had the same answer. it was all greece could do simply to fingerprint these individuals and write down their names before sending them off to athens and from there to somewhere else in europe. now greases interior minister says the fingerprints taken from one of the terrorist attackers may match someone who registered as a refugee at a greek island entry.in early october. whether this ultimately proves to be true, there is no question that the screening system that can do no more than confirm after the fact that a terrorist entered europe is obviously
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not a screening system that is working. the burden of dealing with syrian refugees cannot following greece alone. greece and the other border countries dealing with this crisis the money and expertise screen and security threats. europe is to provide assistance as quickly as possible. if we are serious about preventing another tragedy, the united states must help. we must build adequate procedures to make sure the refugees, especially those who have entered europe through the slipshod streaming process can enter the united states only after they have been thoroughly vetted and we are fully confident that they do not pose a risk to our nation or people. the security threat is real, and it must be addressed, but on our visit we also have the chance to meet with refugees processed at the reception center to see who
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most of them really are. from the outside with barb wire and guard towers it looks like a prison. the words freedom for all our ashton the concrete. speaking with refugees inside feels more like a 21st century ellis island. we met doctors and teachers and civil engineers in college students, young, educated syrian seeking freedom and the opportunity for themselves and their families. and seeking a safe refuge heisel. separated from other refugees in the fenced off outdoor dormitory area.
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sent out on this perilous journey alone. she shyly help of seven fingers. i wonder what could possibly possess parents to hand a seven -year-old girl a lot of cash to human smugglers, what could possibly possess them to send a beloved child across the treacherous seas with no more protection than a pool 40,a pool 40, what could make them send a child on a journey knowing that crime rings of sex slavery and organ harvesting prey on these children. send the little girl out alone with only the world's biggest hope that she might make it through alive and find something, anything better on the other side. well, today we all no. the events of the last week in paris in beirut drive it home.
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benefits from butchers who rape, torture, and execute women and children can't go themselvescombo themselves up in a lunatic effort to kill as many people as possible. these terrorists have spent years torturing the people of syria. and what about the syrian government? the president has spent years bombing his own people day after day, month after month, year after year syrian civilians have been caught in the middle subjected to suicide attacks, car bombings, hotel bombings each assault more senseless the last. day after day, month after month, year after year mothers, fathers, children, branch are slaughtered.
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people in america in europe and throughout the world are fearful millions of syrians are fearful as well. terrified of their last avenue of escape from the horrors of isis will be closed. some politicians have already moved in the direction proposing to closer country to people flee the massacre in syria. already carrying european passports already able to travel to the united states and with more moving across europe everyday that is not a real plan to keep us safe. and that is not who we are.
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a country made strong biodiversity, a country founded by this crossing the sea while fleeing religious persecution and seeking freedom. we are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of isis murderers because some politician does not like the religion. we are not a nation that backs down out of fear. our 1st responsibility is to protect this country. we must embrace the fundamental obligation, but we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from home moral obligation. isis has shown itself to the world. we cannot and will not abandon the people of france to this butchery. we cannot and will not abandon the people of lebanon to this butchery. and we cannot and we must not abandon the people of
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syria to this butchery. the terrorists in paris in beirut remind us that the hate of a few can alter the lives of many. now we have a chance to affirm a different message, a message that we are a courageous people who will stand strong in the face of terrorism. we have the courage to affirm our commitment to a world of open minds and open hearts. this must be our choice. the same choice that has been made over and over again by every generation of americans. this is always our choice. it is the reason the people of syria and people all around the world look to us for hope. it is the reason isis despises us. and it is the reason we will
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defeat. thank you, mr. president. >> mr. president. >> the senator from new mexico. >> thank you very much, mr. president. let me thank my colleague for those very, very eloquent remarks. she and the senator she traveled with have taught us a lot, and we heard her comments. she is right. our values of the united states of america are accepting and open to refugees flee violence and persecution and that is the country we are. i thank you for your remarks we have all learned very much from you and the trip to you took and what you shared with us. before i begin my remarks today and in addition to the things that i just said i
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want to pause for a moment and say a few words about the paris attacks last friday. the people of new mexico and the people all over. in the horrific attacks that have just been talked about by senator warren and others , earlier today we had a moment of silence to recognize them command i want to say that our thoughts are with the french people command we are united in our resolve to fight the murderous thugs of terrorism who thrive on hate, intolerance, and fear. i met today with the french ambassador to give him new mexicans heartfelt condolences. all of us on the senate foreign relations committee today and the senate leadership met with the french ambassador to say to him, we stand together with you against these murders
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talks. >> british prime minister david cameron will answer questions in his weekly question time. watch that tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern live on c-span2. >> c-span presents landmark cases. twelve historic supreme court decisions. landmark cases featuring introductions, background, highlights, and the impact of each case written by tony mauro and published by c-span in cooperation with cq press. landmark cases is available
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for 895 plus shipping. get your copy today at c-span.org/landmark cases. >> what happened in paris is pure evil. i simply want to say that our prayers and condolences go out to the victims, families and the french people. it is clear that this was an act of war in the world needs american leadership. the national defense bill requires the president to come up with a plan for the feeding isis not just containing but to feeding isis. a containment plan is not enough. that is failed. in addition, the majority
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leader and our committee chairs of developing a plan. our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of compassion. this is a moment where it is better to be safe than sorry. we think the prudent and responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect in order to verify the terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population. in the end, the ultimate solution to this crisis is a strategy to defeat isis. all of this rise above politics. this is not about politics. this is about national security. and so we will invite all of our colleagues, republicans and democrats to work with this quickly to address the urgent nature of the situation. >> sunday on q&a.
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>> on the 1st woman to reach the rank of four stars in the united states navy. i had only been a three-star maybe ten or 11 months. i was down in norfolk and he has to see me. ii presumed it was about the next job i was going to. and that is when he talks to me about looking at you from being a four-star command here are a couple of different opportunities that we think you would do well and benefit. >> vice chief of naval operations, talking about becoming the 1st female four-star admiral in the history of the navy and discusses her career prior to her current appointment including leading the navy's rescue captain who was kidnapped by somali pirates in 2,009. >> i became head of the a few days on the job.
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get him back and get him back safely obviously a surprise kind of mission and the challenge. >> sunday night at 8:00 o'clock eastern and pacific.
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>> without objection all members may have five days to submit statements, questions, strenuous materials to the record.
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the chair recognizes sell for an opening statement and the ranking member will be allowed to make his opening statement. we will proceed at this time. the terrorist attacks remind us the damage a terrorist organization can do within a little money. the richest terrorist organization in history last year alone making over $1 billion for more money than some make in a year, much of which was made from seizing state assets, selling oil on the black market and taxing people living in the caliphate. other sources of funding are more dependent on the outside world and would be easier to cut off. for example, made nearly 50 million last year from kidnapping for ransom. some put science 20 percent.
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not the only group kidnapping hostages to make money. said to rely almost exclusively on kidnapping for ransom. this is the same terrorist group that attacked a gas plan in algeria and killed one of my constituents after taking them hostage. from 2,008 to 2014 terrorist groups were roughly $165 million ransom payments the united nations passed three security council resolutions condemning the payment of ransom to terrorists. we have a long history of countering this barbaric practice from their beginning the united states has always refused to pay ransom to paris. pirates captured american merchant ships and demanded ransom to release the cruise in the early 18 hundreds. even president thomas jefferson refused to pay the
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bounty. jefferson argued that doing so would only encourage more attacks. throughout history terrorists are going to demand ransoms those who will pay. also want to recognize that this can be complex. we have the mother of james foley with us today. i want toi want to express my condolences for the loss of your son. it's important we hear from family members of those kidnapped. i appreciate the fact that you were willing to testify. terrorist groups of long depended on criminal activity. someone shut the door. thank you. long depended on criminal activity funding including trafficking of cultural antiquities. hundreds of sites throughout syria and iraq, the cultural heritage of humanity. declassified documents to the terrorists made hundreds
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of millions of dollars. some estimates, the second-largest source of funding. killing people with the money it makes these artifacts while destroying history. believe it or not there are some people who voluntarily give the money to these murders. maintain connections with healthy donors for nearly a decade. many donors of a single countries like qatar, kuwait, and saudi arabia. the challenge 2013 and 2014 isys received as much is $40 million from these wealthy benefactors. not the only group benefiting from the pocket donors who give money to terrorist groups. all over the world. they set of charities and follow the money.
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they do not do enough to stop the steady stream of terrorist financing that seems to start from a handful of middle eastern countries. his private donors are just as guilty as the terrorists. complicit in crimes. they have given isis hundreds of millions of dollars giving to her cutting off in one of these could make a big difference. it is winning by cutting even a portion of the funds we can challenge the narrative of victory. less money but possibly less recruits. less victims of the barbaric terrorist attack. we must use all the resources at our disposal to target every source of terrorist funding no matter where comes from command that is the purpose of these hearings, to listen to these experts on this issue.
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i we will now turn to the gentleman from massachusetts for his opening statement. >> thank you for conducting this hearing. thank you to our witnesses. consideration of the recent events at the opportunity. friday's attack in paris, recent bombings in beirut, the bombing of the russian passenger jet in egypt increasingly attacking targets outside of its bases of power in iraq and syria command it is worth taking a moment to express on behalf of myself and the committee. our greatest sympathy for the victims and their families. this worrisome development
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must endeavor conference, demonstrate must endeavor at all fronts to defeat isil. we need to continue to assist our allies militarily to rollback territorial gains and in addition and not on importantly must work to cut off the supply of money and manpower and more effectively countering terrorist recruitment, travel, and financing. according to the 2015 report by the financial action task force isil raise revenue from several sources including the occupation of territory, kidnapping for ransom, donations by or through nonprofit organizations, support from foreign fighters, fundraising to the internet. one of the significant ways is to the illicit sale of antiquities. isil is directly involved in the looting of archaeological sites in iraq
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and syria, from regional museums and stockpiling of future sales on the international market. further, they are money by charging others for licenses they are money by charging others for licenses by taxing traffickers moving items through isil controlled territory. tens of millions of dollars from antiquities stolen syria hr 2285, prevent trafficking cultural properties act that would enhance coordination and training within the department of homeland security to stop stolen antiquities from entering the united states and more importantly to investigate
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and prosecute the smugglers, traffickers, and other criminals to participate in this illicit trade. recently reported out of the committee and i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and the stopping terrorist groups from financing the murderous activities to this tale of stolen activities. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses today and learning more about different forms of terrorist financing including antiquities trafficking and how better to stop this illicit stream of income. >> think the gentleman from massachusetts. the chill recognize members who wish to make opening statements for one minute each. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is certainly a very timely hearing. i want to thank her for being here.
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many of us gave speeches talking about veterans day and sacrifice of so many americans have given. and wars and no matter how you slice it this is. this group. isis, isil, their tactics, there are no limits. and i personally think that many people in the middle east throughout the world have gotten a pass on this. we know that there has been support of that through some nations in the middle east, the gulf states, a lot of money all these different things that have already been mentioned by my colleagues. i think as i said after what happens, timely hearing.
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thank you. >> i think the gentleman. the gentleman from new york and also recognize the work that he is doing on the issue of kidnapping of americans for ransom. >> an important and timely hearing. kidnapped for ransom, antiquities smuggling and private donations per present alarming and largely underappreciated sources of terrorist financing financing efforts, many of these transactions are conducted without reliance on the international banking system rendering many of our tools such as sanctions and terrorist is emissions and effective. in recent years kidnapping for ransom has become an increasingly lucrative enterprise with reports that as much as 165 million has been paid since 2,008 for
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the return of hostages. the vicious cycle in which terrorist groups specifically seek out citizens of countries known to pay resulting in more kidnappings. we must ensure they hold ransom payments. doing so will lead to fewer kidnappings. i ami am pleased to be working closely to develop legislation to address this issue and i look forwardi look forward to today's witnesses and yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you for your leadership on this critical issue of terrorist financing. i would like to extend my sincerest appreciation. the courage that you have shown to share your story. our hearts truly are with you and your family. the murderous attacks,
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beirut killing 41 persons last week in the bombing of the russian charter jet killing 224 innocent passengers much over 31st further highlight the fact that our current methods of preventing the terror financing are not working. itworking. it is critical that america and its allies have the necessary resources to cut off funding command. that those who do business with provide funding to the islamic state anyway are able to be accurately identified and that we have laws in place to deal with them. i look forward to the recommendations of the panel. >> to you wish to be recognized for an opening statement? all members will have five days to submit statements, questions, extraneous materials for the record.
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mr. jahnke sarah is a former special agent to the us department of terrorism and financial intelligence. considered an expert in money laundering in the middle east and the growing threat of alternative committee systems. a senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies where he worked primarily on saudi arabia and the gulf state. his research focuses on energy security, counterterrorism alliance, transparency, and human rights. the mother of james foley, an american journalist who was kidnapped and killed last year, founder of the legacy foundation to continue the legacy of freedom and justice for those without a voice.
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thank you for being here today. michael dante currently serves as the academic director of the americans of oriental research cultural heritage initiatives which monitors and reports that her situation in syria and iraq. the nearest an archaeologist with experience effective programs and syria, iraq, and iran. will start with you, and you have five minutes. >> chairman, members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to testify today. terrorists and assisted criminal organizations have turned to kidnapping as an easy and lucrative source of funding. the united nations estimates
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that ransom payments to pay between 2,004 and 2012. some experts believe kidnapping for ransom is on the significant terrorist financing threat today. as a tragic events in paris last friday may clear the united states and the international community are rightfully alarmed. the terror organization as kidnapped multi- hundreds of thousands of victims, including local iraqis, syrians, members of ethnic minorities as well as westerners and other foreign nationals living in the region. some are brutally murdered to send the political message. others were used to extract ransom payments. according to the financial action task force in 2014 isis is approximately 75 million for kidnapping for ransom. in fact, because kidnapping and associated crimes such as extortion have been so successful it appears the
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average ransom payment is increasing. it is a vicious cycle. there is no doubt that ransom payment made to future kidnappings, and future kidnappings lead to additional ransom payments. and, ofand, of course, the ransom payments eventually build the capacity of terrorist organizations which feels additional terrorist attacks. there have been several united nations security council resolutions attempting to curtail ransom payments. despite the restrictions the world so. payment. of course the complicating factor is our humanity. it is difficult to turn away from the anguished cries of those kidnapped and frantic appeals. last week the international money laundering is often
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overlooked that the misuse of trade and associated underground financial systems are often part of the kidnapped for ransom equation. for example, money and value transfer services are found throughout including areas where isis operates. sometimes trusted brokers that have established relationships throughout the region operate on trust in secrecy. they generally do not conduct electronic funds transfers as banks to rather communicate via e-mail, facts, and phone with a local or foreign associate to pay or receive payments the counterparty to the transaction. eventually they have to settle accounts sometimes using cash, sometimes conventional banking systems , but i want to emphasize something that is continually overlooked that is historically and culturally in all areas of the world were terrorist adversaries operate
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trade-based value transfer trade -based value transfer is used to balance the books or settle accounts. invoice rotting value transfer could be the back door into money and value transfer systems used by terrorists. unfortunately none of the united states partners are doing this. moreover i can make the argument that if one includes all its various forms including underground financial systems trade this money laundering could very well be the largest money laundering methodology in the world and unfortunately it is also the least understood or recognized and enforced. it am optimistic. by using modern tools to export a variety of relevant ability ofbelieve international trade transparency is the radically achievable are certainly possible factor many times over we have today. as an added bonus cracking down on trade fraud to be a
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significant revenue enhancer. in my book in writtenand written statement i go into detail in many of these issues. i provide a number of recommendations on achieving trade transparency to combat trade this money laundering underground financing terror. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you and i'm happy to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. the chair will recognize doctor weinberg for your statement. >> chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you on behalf of the foundation for defense of democracies center on sanctions and illicit finance the opportunity to be here. i will highlight some worry some weak links in america's effort to convince our allies to target financial facilitators and private donors to terrorists. i will also offer policy recommendations to hopefully
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help address the growing epidemic of kidnapping by terrorists for ransom. while i will defer to others on the panel come out last year approval to enter into the record the new report on antiquities trafficking in financing islamic state. >> without objection. >> several of america's mideast allies unfortunately pursue problematic or even adversarial positions over tackling private terror finance. despite promises to do so they have failed to effectively obstruct the flow of funds and to try punishing practitioners. in the written testimony dozens of recorded examples of such negligence. in many instances the governments grant legal impunity to people in the us and the un have sanctioned on charges of funding al qaeda.
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they reveal new indications that they have left there territories become major financial house for hamas, to ensure that our governments terror finance sanctions list is not treated in the region has a bluetooth this piece of paper. the us should develop broader range of options for our allies refused to do the right thing. congress can help sensitize members of the executive branch outside the secretary concerns. with theconcerns. when the us is absolutely confident and individual enjoys legal impunity is indeed a senior financial facilitator for terrorism, the us could privately and publicly seek that individuals extradition. they could consider capturing or killing. congress can help all these governments responsible for
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extending such impunity by restricting trade and will use items as suggested under the export administration act of 1979 and by again amending the foreign sovereign immunities act so victims of terrorism and their families can sue foreign governments and civil courts putting terror financiers and other operatives enjoy local impunity. as for the vicious terrorist tactic we should recognize that americans are still evidently being held hostage in 2012 treasury describe kidnapping for ransom as today's most significant source of terror financing. the volume of that income has only increased since then. they make more money off oil sales and they have helped it conquer the territory. the obama administration announced a new hostage policy which is mainly comprised of efforts to be more responsive and effective at hostage recovery. there is also find that this is being matched by efforts to decrease the money taken.
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even though they have described allied governments in europe or in the gulf as sources of such payment, although the states to my paying ransom game changers which can fuel the growth and rent changes. the reporter role is particularly striking. in written testimony i compile compile press reports of 15 different episodes within three years alone which they are reported to help mediate hostage talks to the fluid terrorists and often in which a multimillion dollar ransom was discussed or allegedly paid. the us should stigmatize government the pasted ransoms. congress could require the administration to expose such governments in public. perhaps even imposing target financial sanctions. pres.president obama should direct diplomats to prioritize convincing governments in several key
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countries to stop paying such ransoms, and congress can encourage policymakers abroad to enact such prohibitions in the local law. the ransom for terrorists but only if they can be done in a manner that would not impose undue additional burden. finally congress and the administration could consider starting a fund to compensate kidnapping victims and their families are suffering. the good news is that the us now has a plan to try to improve efforts primarily allies from being multimillion dollar ransoms that emits terrorists and incentivize future attacks. athe government needs a new strategy to address this part of the problem and congress can help facilitate. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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>> diane foley i was publicly executed by isys in august of 2014. and i want to say our thoughts and prayers have suffered such tragic loss at the hands of isis, but we as americans have suffered. our son james was tortured and starved for nearly two years just for being an american. the families were deal was made worse by our incoherent and often ineffective hostage policy. she was the oldest of her five children born into a very average american middle-class family. well-educated, holding two masters degrees in writing and journalism that far more importantly he was a man of service teaching in our inner cities in phoenix through teach for america and later in chicago in massachusetts.
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always passionate about those without a voice be the hostages, conflict journalists were disadvantaged children in our cities. in factcities. in fact a man's belief in human rights actually led him to become a journalist so that we americans might here the unheard stories of suffering in conflict zones. they have not changed. i'm very aware that us public policy is no concessions to terrorists to include no ransom some prisoners. however, our policy also states that the united states will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe return of our american citizens held hostage by terrorists. during jim's horrific captivity in syria policy was interpreted to mean no concessions, no engagement with his captors.
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since september 11 our government officials have often mistaken no concessions for meeting and negotiation. leading to an inconsistent and often unjust approach to the kidnapping of our citizens. the hands of our powerful fbi were tied during the 2014 syrian captivity of our son jim and three other american citizens held by isis. i am told that our strict adherence to this policy saves lives by decreasing the rate of capturing americans, but no one has been able to show me the research behind our hostage policy. in fact, it would seem that americans are becoming targets at an alarming rate. i respectfully demand to see the proof that our current hostage policy is truly protecting americans. it did not protect jim mckay
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peter. in the last 18 months these four americans have been killed because our policy was strictly applied. five other americans were negotiated for by us or others and have returned home safely. this inconsistent implementation of our american hostage policy is unacceptable. additionally, i would have you gentlemen no that we were deceived as an american family. we were told repeatedly that jim was the highest priority. your highest priority. we trust our government to help him return home. during the brief month that
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jim's captors reached out to negotiate for his release our government refused to engage with the isis captors leaving us alone his parents to negotiate for our sensory eighteen months after jim's captivity, our family and three other families of hostages help of jim and syria were threatened by colonel mark mitchell, member of our national security council with prosecution by our government, although there was never any precedent. if we attempted to raise a ransom to free, months. he also clearly told us that our government would not ask allies to help negotiate the release and would never conduct any military operation to rescue them. he made it very clear that our united states government plans to abandon these four americans. thus it became clear that
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jim peter statement came up were considered collateral damage. in every families were truly our own. i have spent much of our family savings, quit my job as a nurse practitioner to travel monthly to washington to beg for help from jim to the united nations, countless embassies, and a europe multiple times to speak to free hostages all to no avail. while our us senators reached out to us and were sympathetic, we never even heard from a united states congressman. the family did try to raise the ransom for jim's release in spite of threats across a condition. but because we believed in our government to help her started much too late and were unable to raise the money to interest isis. the reality is that very few families would be to raise money actually different points.
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our us government also refused to engage at a high level with our allies who also had citizens held by isis. at one point there were over 20 western hostages held together, and all of them were are our allies. in the spring of 2014 free french hostage had very specific information from isis to negotiate for our for american hostages, but our government refused to engage with the french were uk to save our citizens. the result is that all the european hostages are now home. whereas our son, the other americans and british killed. although we had specific information regarding the exact location of their captivity beginning in the fall 2013 a military
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operation was not even attempted until july of 2014 after all the europeans were safely home. we are sincerely grateful to the brave soldiers making an attempt, but it was much too late. and ourin our situation, hostage policy prohibited our government interacting in any way which and captors. prohibitive for investigating who are sons captors were. had our governmenthad our government been allowed to engage the captors perhaps while intelligence about isis might have been gleaned our government's abandonment of jim allowed their deaths to be used as propaganda for isis recruitment, the strengthening and emboldening isis. it helps in their recruitment of other violent people who want to destroy us.
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as i said before, at one point there are more than 20 western hostages held together all of whom are citizens of allies, all western allies by you there citizens enough to negotiate for freedom. had jim been french, spanish, german, german, italian, or danish he would be alive today. the form coalitions will work. why do we not engage to free all western hostages? i believe that much stronger coalitions with allies are essential to deal with the shrewdness and hatred of these terrorist groups. i fear that our posture of no engagement with jim's isis captors led to our underestimation of their intelligence and they are deep-seated hatred for the united states. what if we had been shrewd
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enough to engage jim's syrian captors in the fall of 2013? to learn all we could about the instead of ignoring the? is it ever wise to ignore enemies of freedom and justice? you know, jim believed in america. they believe that our government valued him as a journalist and citizen. ii am told he was helpful until the very end of his 20 months of captivity. he and our family were truly abandoned back. how would you feel if one of your son or daughter's have been engines predicament and been treated similarly? four americans were publicly beheaded. where is our outrages americans? as an individual american citizen no longer valuable? why relion and the other americans in syria considered collateral damage?
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if our united states of america truly wants to protect and prioritize the return of its citizens, if so i ask you esteemed members of congress to hold this new fusion cell accountable for the return of our american citizens. and to mandate the thorough reevaluation of our current hostage policy to make sure that recent validated research is being done to ensure that our policy truly saves the lives of americans. thank you for your attention. >> thank you, chairman and ranking member for this opportunity to discuss terrorist financing. itit is not to be here among such esteemed company with a heavy heart and serious concerns. since the outbreak of the syrian war and the sudden
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expansion of the so-called islamic state we witnessed the worst cultural heritage, since world war ii. on a daily basis cultural sites are being destroyed for tactical strategic economic and ideological reasons. antiquities of being privileged to finance continued conflict in global terrorism. as an archaeologist who's worked in syria and iraq for the last 25 years is not a dead because bio i don't anguish over the current plight of the syrian iraqi people and the atrocities they are committing. my colleagues and i worked closely with experts and other concerned parties for daily risking their lives to save heritage systematic campaigns of cultural cleansing. these brave professionals understand the importance of ensuring a brightera brighter future by preserving the past and cultural diversity.
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the current conflict in syria and iraq is worth over ideas and cultural identity. it is rapidly spreading to neighboring countries. the project i direct the cultural heritage constantly monitors the cultural heritage crisis in syria and implements heritage projects in syria and produces reports and conducts outreach for us governments and the general public. we have seen the most of the major combatants commit cultural property crimes. by far isis's our greatest concern. over the last 16 months they 16 months they have developed an organized approach to looting, trafficking, and selling antiquities for funding and brazenly destroys promoting radical ideology and gaining media exposure. there is no doubt the terrorist drive significant revenue from looted and 10 degrees as stolen cultural property. satellite imagery and
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country sources and open source information support this. information and antiquities were covered by us special operations forces during the raid in may of this year proving they use the illicit antiquities trade as an important source of revenue. this criminal activity has increased as other revenues have been targeted through airstrikes other countermeasures. antiquities trafficking is difficult to target and for isis and other extremists as the benefit of rewarding collaboration with employment. antiquitiesantiquities trafficking is not make as many enemies among the local population but instead exploits poverty and hopelessness. also antiquities service instrument money-laundering. we don't know the total dollar values. there are too many unknowns. they certainly find it crucial to their operations.
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and the financial and cultural costs are manifest now and we will have a cascading effect for generations to come. the current crisis requires increased and improved capacities in the united states cultural security and cultural diplomacy. we need a more proactive and in member approached a couple's existing governmental and nongovernmental capacities, high-level coordination would greatly enhance the work and facilitate containing commend her grating command ultimately destroying isis and other radical groups and transnational criminal organizations operating in the middle east, north africa, and beyond. we asreason global market space bar conflict antiquities should be one of our highest priorities. legislation is pending in the house and senate that would help to achieve these goals. ultimately the best solutions for the current cultural heritage crisis in syria and iraq also contribute to alleviating the humanitarian crisis, promoting conflict resolution,strengthening
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counterterrorism efforts in fostering peace building. thank you. >> thank you very much. i recognize myself for some questions. i may not have all of your sources of revenue, but we have heard the terrorist groups will do anything for money, steel properties of banks in iraq, they will -- i call that money-laundering. cooking the books on trade. they make money off of antiquities. they make money off of hostages, and they make money off of their wealthy donors who want to send money to these terrorist groups. and there are a lot more.
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let me try to address a couple of issues. you gave us some remarkable information. if i understand the current status of american hostage law procedure, the united states has always had a policy not to pay ransom. now itnowt has changed that the government will pay money for ransom, but a families or individuals do, that will not be enforced as to that payment. is that your understanding of the current status? >> families in criminal -- a family has never been prosecuted for paying ransom criminals have loved one. >> that's what i'm asking. as far as you know? >> i know that because we researched it because we
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finally realized were on our own and had to try to raise the rents of. want to protect anyone ever care to help us. there is no precedent to that. >> that portion of the law is not be enforced as to prosecute families? >> it really was never meant to prosecute families. it was meant to prosecute any groups that might pretend to be a charity and instead give money to finance terrorism. it was never meant to five. >> kidnapped for ransom or as a propaganda tool for both? >> that's a good question. you know, he was obviously a westerner. he had been in and out of syria over a year. and more and more of the
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geodesy coming in 2012. jim had made very good relations with a lot of family. trying to expose the atrocities. so felt protected,protected, a lot of the rebels welcome journalists early on. but -- >> used as a propaganda tool >> initially they wanted to make money off of him. yes. the propaganda only came when our government would not engage in any way. nobody would negotiate for him. no one cared. so they thought, hey, we can make a spectacle of this. they can really get a lot of puerto rico. >> for me ask you some questions. i'm going to be specific. probably going to hurt someone's feelings. we have a military base that
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we used to fly aircraft we are engaged in activity, military activities in afghanistan iraq. >> that is correct. >> to help with that. but we know that they have donors, wealthy donors who give money to terrorist groups. is that correct? >> it has certainly been correct in the past. >> do we know who those donors are? name, rank, serial number? >> sanction the number of nationals. >> what does that mean? them do this anymore? what does a sanction against the national? >> that is exactly the problem. >> don't do anything, don't do it again. >> the problem is that they, the local government often does not do anything about it. i have seen not a single indication of guitar prosecuting anybody and convicting them under terror finance positive been on the books.
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>> no, they pay for it. >> playing both sides? >> absolutely playing both sides. >> they harbor people who give money to terrorist groups but also have aa military base with the united states can go and attack terrorist groups? >> yes. individuals the united states have sanctioned us down the road from where this us bases in the united states chose to do so would not be too difficult to volunteers tracksvolunteer strikes if we are convinced or conduct some sort. .. house
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judiciary committee and this is about four hours.
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>> the judiciary committee will come to order and without objection the chairs authorized to declare recess at any time and we look into everyone to the oversight of the us department of justice and i will begin by recognizing myself for an opening statement. welcome, attorney general lynch to your first appearance since your confirmation earlier this year. we are pleased to have you here with us. last week we witnessed horrific terrorist attacks in paris, which claimed the lives of our 120 innocent civilians and for which isis has taken credit. our thoughts and prayers remain with the french people and we mourn with them. at the same time, these terrorists attacks are a stark reminder that isis poses a
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threat to our allies in america yet, this reality is not clearly seen by our presidents. just hours before the attack, president obama boasted that isis is contained. isis is not contain in syria pure it is not contained in europe and we know isis is continuing its campaign of propaganda here in the us. we know from the paris attacks that at least one of the perpetrators was registered as a refugee from syria in the countries through which he traveled on his way to france. just last month fbi director told this committee that the us refugee betting process is not adequate to guarantee syrians referred for resettlement in the us are not terrorists who plan to harm us. yet, the president presses on with his plan to resettle at least 10000 syrian refugees during this fiscal year alone. i look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue, considering the top
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counterterrorism investigator in the us consistently states that the databases and law enforcement resources are not available to properly vet syrians. furthermore, reports indicate that despite repeated congressional action to the contrary, this administration thinks terrorists at guantánamo bay who are cut from the same cloth as the paris attackers and many of whom are deemed too dangerous for release to foreign countries should be brought to the united states. transferring these competitive to the united states will only increase their odds of being release inside the us. these public and national security concerns coupled with unanswered questions about the cost and logistics of bringing detainees into the us, should cause the administration to hit pause on his reckless decision to close wonton alone detention facility. any combatants should remain outside of the united states with a can be detained away from
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our communities and without needlessly jeopardizing the state-- safety and security of the american people. in addition to the mounting national security threats facing the department justice, i would also like to focus on the need for impartial justice department americans have become more and more suspicious that the government agencies are biased and 20 stand this one need look no further than the well-founded allegations of the irs targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny. after numerous appeals to appoint a special counsel to investigate this, last month the justice department announced that no criminal prosecution would be brought against irs personnel in connection with this matter. it is not difficult to understand why a special counsel was needed given that only the zero's realizations opposed to the president overreaching agenda were targeted by high-ranking irs officials. , officials of the irs share secretary clinton's apparent notion that republicans are
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quote the enemy. i am profoundly disturbed by the ministrations handling of this matter. at every turn, president obama and administration officials repeatedly and publicly undermine the investigation. when the house of representatives took the response will step of calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the matter, our concern and those of the individuals targeted by the irs went unresolved by the administration. madam attorney general, now that your department has concluded its investigation i look forward to discussing the department's decision with you in greater detail. given the controversy surrounding the administration's handling of the irs targeting scandal, it is critical that the justice department clearly demonstrate to the american people that it will handle with impartiality its investigation surrounding former secretary of state hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server for official purposes.
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earlier this year, two inspectors general reported that classified information was contained within the private e-mails of former secretary of state hillary clinton and have referred the matter to the justice department. during his appearance before the committee last month, fbi director komi now this investigation will be conducted quote probably, professionally and independently. rest assured congress and the mayor can people will hold both the bureau and department to this standard. the committee also means concern that the the part is subverting commerce's budget authority by using settlements to funnel money to third-party interest groups and the concern is-- institute and nonpartisan, but rather than suspend of the, doj has expanded it while quietly obstructing the committee's investigation. last week that apartment finally produced a small subset of relevant documents to committee-- that the committee requested 11 months ago. i would like to know, madam
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attorney general, what you as an experienced prosecutor would do if a large corporation behaved this way in an investigation. as we sit with you today, attorney general lynch, law-enforcement agencies across the country face profound challenges. thirty-one police officers have been shot to death this year alone. in many places, officers are understandably asking whether it is worth pursuing violent criminals or otherwise putting themselves in harms way, lest they be the targets of intentional violence or community backlash. force must be is appropriately and police officers must take proper steps to protect innocent civilians feared however, irresponsible anti- police activity from many in the advocacy community and the justice department ongoing effort to micromanage state and local police agencies have only served to exasperate the divide
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between police and citizens hearing this trend cannot continue. many american cities have seen a spike in violent crime. in baltimore, homicides are up 71% in august of this year the number of murders in washington dc already matched the number for all 2014. other cities have seen similar increases in violent crime. despite these grim statistics, however, the oh bahman ministration has continued to support initiatives that will only exacerbate this violence. on november 1, of this year, nearly 6000 federal drug offenders were released from prison pursuant to a 2014 sensing commission a moment, which the justice department supported. over the next two years some additional 10000 offenders will be released early. this ill-advised amendment applies without regard to an inmate's criminal history and will result in that release of dangerous violent criminals as well as the legal criminal
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aliens and as you know the committee has introduced bipartisan legislation to institute meaningful sentencing reform while preventing release of serious violent criminals fear speaking of releasing violent criminals, the murder of kate steinle in san francisco earlier this year is a tragic reminder that the lack of appropriate immigration enforcement in our nation today and the reckless sanctuary policies in many cities across the country can have deadly consequences. it is not enough for ministration officials to pay lip service to the problem presented by century cities. federal agencies including the justice department must take meaningful steps to ensure that criminal aliens released from federal custody are probably deported. attorney general lynch, i look forward to hearing your views on all of these important topics today as well as among other issues of significance to the justice department internation. thank you and now i'm pleased to recognize ranking member of the committee that joan and michigan, for his brief statement. >> thank you.
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your opening statement could be the basis of a hearing all of its own and i appreciate your views. madam attorney general, welcome to the house judiciary committee. nearly seven months ago after much delay in the senate, you took over the department justice with not one, but 22 hours of duty at the us attorney for the eastern district of new york. you are unquestionably the right leader at the right time for the important work of the department of justice. nowhere is your leadership more importance than in national security. the attacks on paris, france, leave no doubt that our most
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pressing mission, yours and ours remains protecting the american people and unfortunately, history shows that tragic events like these that are followed by calls for drastic action. already we have heard proposals to undo encryption, rollback surveillance reform and deport some of the most vulnerable among us. i urge restraint in these matters, madam attorney general. after this time we have very little information about how the attacks were carried out. rather than use these events as excuse to advance policies that otherwise betray our values, and urge the intelligence community, including the department justice to focus on the most effective
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tools in our toolbox. targeted surveillance, targeted investigations and smart policing. back at home, you have cultivated strong relationships in the police community, but you are not afraid to call out that behavior or to prosecute police officers when circumstances warrant. that experience will prove invaluable as the department along with this committee takes its next steps on criminal justice reform. under your leadership, the civil rights division continues its work with police departments around the country to ensure that state and local police practices comport with the constitution. the office of juvenile justice
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is also working hard to disrupt what you call the cycle of criminality and incarceration. i commend you for your work on this front and i look forward to our partnership as this committee moves forward. forward with its own package of criminal justice reforms. another area where we look to you for leadership is enforcement of voting rights. earlier this year, the observing the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act, you remarked it is the lesson of every generation that the price of freedom is constant vigilance. because opponents of free and fair access to the voting booth and neither retreated nor surrendered.
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the unfortunate troop of that statement plays out across the country today. no place more vividly than in the state of alabama, where officials plan to close 31 drivers licenses offices across the state including those in every county in which african-americans make up more than 75% of registered voters. coupled with alabama's strict new voter id law, these closings will make it even harder for many citizens to obtain the identification now required to cast the vote. the discriminatory impact of this plan plays out in other ways, also. imagine having to drive unders of miles across rural alabama, to renew your driver's license. we know that this burden will
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weigh heaviest on the state's poorest citizens. borrowing, again, from your words. it is incumbent on all of us to stand up to speak out and to make clear that no end is worth the means of disenfranchisement. no small minded policy is worth the cheapening of our democracy. finally, madam attorney general, i want to, on the virtue of your being a new leader at the department justice, ready to make a fresh start with this committee. today, you will hear questions, no doubt, about benghazi, planned parenthood, solyndra, operation fast and furious and lois lerner at the irs. these are not matters that
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affect a whole lot of our constituents, but you will hear questions about them and comments, anyway. my advice to you that you don't need is stick to the facts and the law and you will be fine. we know that some members are displeased with outcome of the department's investigation into the lois lerner matter, but we also know that your investigators whereas thorough as can be. they conducted over 100 interviews, collected more than 1 million pages of documents and closely analyzed almost 500 applications for tax exempt status. some members may wish your predecessor had appointed a special counsel to investigate the matter, but both the
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plaintext of the applicable regulations that the congressional research tells us otherwise. the facts of the case did not involve senior administration officials. they did not present a conflict of interest to the department of justice. so, the appointment of a special counsel was simply not appropriate in this matter. too often your predecessor who i still admire found himself the target of personal insults in this committee and elsewhere and i like to think that all of us in this room and on this committee regrets the frequent attacks on his character or at least realize that those attacks were almost entirely unproductive.
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we have a chance to start over today. we can do better. progresses and conservatives, congress any ministration, there is so much, graham between us to be explored, particularly in the work of the department of justice. so, i'm so glad that you are here with us today and i look forward to your testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you and without objection, all other members opening statements will be made a part of the record and we again, welcome our distinguished witness and if you would please rise and we will begin by swearing un. do you swear that the testimony that you are about to give shall be the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> thank you. but the record reflect that the witness has responded in the
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affirmative. i will now begin by introducing our sole witness today. of the attorney general of the united states, ms. loretta lynch, attorney general lynch was working as the 83rd attorney general of the united states on april 27, 2015. she began her career in public service by joining the united states attorney's office for the eastern district of new york and after nine years ms. lynch was appointed by president bill clinton to lead that office as united state's attorney. post she held until 2001. ms. lynch then worked in private practice until 2010. when president obama asked her to resume leadership of the united states attorney's office in brooklyn. ms. lynch is a graduate of harvard college and harvard law school. attorney general lynch, we welcome your perseverance before the judiciary committee and look forward to your testimony, your entire written statement will be made a part of the record and we ask that you summarize your testimony in five minutes. thank you and please begin at
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your convenience. >> thank you, sir. good morning. i am very grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today to share some of the recent, schmitz of the us department of justice. to discuss some of my top priorities as attorney general and to explore ways that we can continue to work together. i do want to begin, however, by commenting on fridays reprehensible and heartbreaking attacks in paris. that a part of justice and indeed that entire obama administration stand in solidarity with france, just as france has so often stood with us. as president obama said, this is not just an attack on paris with the people of france. it's an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share. we are committed to doing everything within our power to
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assist our french law enforcement colleagues in bringing those responsible for this monstrous act of terror to justice and as we go forward, our thoughts and prayers, of course, remain with the victims and their loved ones. as this distinguished committee knows our nation faces a host of serious, varied and evolving challenges. our highest priority must always be the security of our homeland and we are asking aggressively to diffuse threats as they emerge. we are working around the clock to uncover and disrupt plots that take aim at our people, our infrastructure and our way of life. we continue to investigate and apprehend those who seek to harm us, including upwards of 70 individuals charged since 2013, for conduct related to foreign fighter activity and homegrown violent extremism and of course, we remain focused on the threat posed by the messick extremist as well. at the same time, we are placing emphasis on countering security
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threats and cyber paid-- space and are on guard against individuals, organized groups, terrorist and state actors who might attempt to steal our data, endanger our economy, coppermine our privacy and threaten our security. in recognition of the need for strong public-private partnerships, we have created a new cyber security unit within our criminal division, computer crime and intellectual property section and announced a national security division outreach initiative designed to promote information sharing and resilience as part of the division's national asset protection program. i've also been meeting personally with corporate executives and general counsel around the country to spread our message of cyber awareness, to encourage strategic collaboration and the find new ways to protect american consumers. now, of course, to bring about the stronger nation that we all seek him a we must also empower
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the communities within our borders. across this country, brave the police officers risked their lives every day to protect their neighborhoods and to serve the residents of their jurisdictions and we are tremendously grateful for their dedication and their valor. but, we have seen the devastating of mistrust between law-enforcement officers and the citizens we serve and with experienced consequences when decades of tension crept into an rest. during first 100 days of my tenure, i conducted a six city committee policing to her to engage with communities that have made significant progress in this area. in each city, i convened roundtable discussions that included law-enforcement officers, public officials, civic leaders and young people where participants shared some of the most prospective where's that citizens and law enforcement officers could join forces to foster trust, builds-- respect and build mutual understanding.
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for storing that essential trust between communities and law-enforcement is one of my top priorities as attorney general and the department tends to do everything we can to foster those bonds and create safer and -- across the country. we also pay special attention to vulnerable victims in armed community. the two gillooly, those car in the clutches of human trafficking. in september, i announce the department would extend $44 million in new grant funding to help support research, bring more traffickers to justice and care for survivors. at this moment, i really want to thank our partners in congress for their efforts. by tripling human traffic related funding for office of justice program in 2015, congress was instrumental in allowing us to instrument-- increase our grant funding in this area. this october, march the 15th anniversary of the trafficking victims protection act, which is
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a fitting occasion to redouble our commitment to eradicating this pernicious practice. finally, i would like to address our efforts on criminal justice reform at the federal level. i commend the committee members who have come together to help chart a new course on criminal justice that will make our society both stronger and more secure. it is, of course, built in part on the success of the the crime initiative that my predecessor, attorney general eric holder, launched in 2013, which shifted her approach way from harsh mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenses and enabled us to focus on more significant violent offenders while better supporting rehabilitation and reentry programs that can reduce recidivism and promote public safety, but more must be done. prison spending has increasingly displaced other critical public safety investments. to make our sentencing laws more efficient, more effective and more just congressional action
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is needed. reform has been embraced by prosecutors, law enforcement and policymakers of all stripes and the justice department is eager to seek meaningful sentencing reform during this congress and we thank you for the chance to work with you on that. mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you so much for the chance to speak with you today and thank you all for your ongoing support of the justice department's efforts and i look forward to working closing with you to advance the objectives that we all share. i'm pleased to answer questions from this body at this time. thank you. >> thank you, general lynch and we will proceed under the five-minute rule with questions for the witnesses. i will begin by recognizing myself yesterday video link to to isis was posted stating that as we struck france, in the center of its about in paris, then we swear we will strike america at its center in washington. there is little doubt that isis views the united states and west
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it has its strategic enemy and there is little doubt our immigration laws are lawful immigration laws have been abused on a number of occasions by people intending to perpetrate harm against the united states. do you agree with what your own fbi director, told this committee regarding the inability to adequately that can confirm that your identity and cause of lack of information databases, law-enforcement resources, intelligent resources and military resources available to us in syria of syrians who have applied for refugee resettlement in the united states? >> thank you, mr. chairman. with respect to that important issue and as i've indicated the most important priority of the department of justice is the protection of the american people and certainly national security and terrorism are one of my own top priorities and certainly an area of concern for all of us. that is certainly our main concern. at the same time, we do have a system for allowing not just immigration, but refugee
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entrance into the country. as the fbi director has noted, there is a process in place that allows for significant vetting of refugees from all countries-- >> lets me an arrest because he said something contrary with regard to the situation with the syrians. he said: we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing to show up because we have no record on that person. >> surly, with respect to the databases that the director was referring to, as he noted i believe before this committee, there is a screening process that has data from several different agencies. of the fbi-- participate, the part of homeland security, national counterterrorism center and much information is vetted and queried. server, a lot of the information that is vetted does have to be inputted into the system. >> in the case of syria, you cannot go to the government's
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offices in that country. there in disarray and you can't interview people who know people who are applying for the status. do you disagree with the fbi director when he says that vetting syrian refugees is extremely difficult if not impossible? >> well, mr. chairman, i'm not sure he said it was impossible. certainly, not only that apartment justice, but our agencies will make every effort to vet every refugee coming into this country from the databases to the interviews that those interviews are subject to to the biometric screening as well. >> let me go on-- >> there are challenges to the process because of the situation in syria, but i would note that we do have the benefit of having that significant screening process in place and a process that europe has not been able to set up, which renders them more vulnerable. >> i think we will also be
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brawler role when it comes to syria when we cannot get access to those databases because the country is in disarray. we can even gather information fresh, new because we can't access the people we could talk to. let me move on. the latest available data from the justice department shows that during fiscal year 2015, the government reported 6002 new weapon convictions and this number is down 5.8% from the previous this clear with a number of convictions totaled 6373 compared to five years ago when there were 7101 weapon convictions, number four fiscal year 2015 is down 15.5%. convictions of the past year or lower than they were 10 years ago. overall, the data show convictions of this type, weapons violations are down 34.8% from the level of 9206 reported in 2005. the president has repeatedly called for new gun control laws yet your department has seen
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weapons prosecutions and convictions fall to levels not seen in over a decade. how do you explain such a precipitous drop in weapon prosecutions and convictions under this administration and why is such little emphasis placed on these types of prosecutions when the president has called for yet more laws when the current laws are not being enforced? >> mr. chairman, thank you for the question and with regard to the department of justice of the gun laws and we take those, seriously and are committed to using the full laws of regulations on the book. we typically use those laws at the federal level and conjecture with her many and numerous violent crime initiatives to read for example, in my former position as us attorney in the eastern district of new york, minibar gang cases also carried with them firearms charges. he would not necessarily be the lead charge and may not be reflected in the data you have, but they certainly are an important tool in every prosecutor's arsenal in
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combating violence crime-- >> then why aren't they being prosecuted for those violations? >> i'm sorry? >> then why are they being prosecuted for those violations and by the way this doesn't mean just using a firearm. it also means illegal sales of firearm, line on the check system of which over the last year for which we have complete data, 76000 people work found to have committed a felony of swearing to false information on that form. 5000 were referred for prosecution, but the 94 us attorney's offices across the country could only find time to prosecute 62 out of 76000. so, someone going into a gun store to buy a weapon knows that even if they are caught and often they are not because the system doesn't have all of the information it needs, but even if they are caught they often find that the odds are one in 8000 that they will be prosecuted even when they are caught. what are you doing about that? what should be done about it and
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why has this decline is so precipitous the last several years? >> with respect to the types of cases that are prosecuted and as i indicated a lot of the firearms prosecutions are done in conjunction with our violent crime program and they may not show up in your statistics as the lead charges. they are a significant part of the arsenal that every file-- but for prosecutor users read i've convened a summit with the top elected officials, police chiefs and leaders of major cities to talk about violence crime that is currently taking place in several major cities with a focus on finding root causes and finding the best ways to direct federal resources to those-- >> can we expect these prosecutions to go up as a result of that? >> what we do is look at the root causes of violence in a particular area and if for example, the firearms where the main issue we would focus our efforts there.
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we follow the facts-- speed and not for the gun violation, so if that is the case would you agree with me then that it doesn't make sense to add new gun laws when we already have hundreds of them that are not being enforced today's and you don't seem to anticipate an increase in the use of those current laws to prosecute people who misuse firearms? >> i think at this point it would be difficult to speculate as to what numbers would look like it here with respect to any remote program. i would say that that a part of justice is committed to using the full panel of laws that are currently on the books as part of our violent crime initiative, our desire to keep all communities safe and that does include our firearms laws. >> on the cover one more topic in the fbi investigation of the irs matter, the president stated on super bowl sunday that there was not quote even a smidgen of corruption at the irs. at the unit that investigation, no charges were filed three two weeks ago, the president stated with respect to secretary
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clinton e-mails quote this is not a situation in which america's security was in danger ,". should we expect that when the fbi finishes its investigation of this matter that no charges will be filed? does the department lab statements by the president to dictate its investigative practices? >> mr. chairman, the department reviews fax and evidence. we apply the law to those facts and evidence and take the appropriate steps in every matter we review. that is how we rule-- will essentially manage every matter under our purview whether it relates to the rs, an e-mail matter or every matter that comes before us and with respect to the president's comments, they have no influence or bearing on how the department manages these matters and i would have to refer you to him for a review of those. >> i'm glad to hear you say that here in your review, was it
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inappropriate for the president to once again inject his personal views into an ongoing fbi investigation? >> mr. chairman, i really don't have a comment on the president's views see that he is a chief executive officer of the united states and everything that operates within the executive branch is under his purview including the very important independent nature of the fbi in conducting its investigation. wouldn't it be better if the president of the united states did not comment on the merits of those investigations while they are going on? >> mr. chairman, i don't have a comment on the president's statements. >> thank you very much. chair recognizing the ranking member from michigan. >> thank you very much, chairman. attorney journal lynch, i want to thank you again for speaking to my panel at the shares congressional black caucus legislative form. it was marvelous. at that event he spoke about the breakdown in trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
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you also spoke about getting to the root of the problem with a comprehensive approach to training, to policy and to research. many of the law enforcement officers in attendance agreed with your comments. how are you planning on reaching out to the broader law enforcement community to promote these ideas? >> thank you. this is one of my top priorities as attorney general. i am incredibly proud to say that a part of already begun the type of outreach i was discussing at that particular event. through our cops office in the tickler, the community oriented community service office, which after a? >> name: police department across the country and offer technical assistance. after training. we offer peer-to-peer support. we have found an accredited
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effective way to share information within the law enforcement community is pure to pure police officer to police officer, chief to chief and a so we work with the department that have, in fact, made great strides in the area of police community relations and seek to match them up with other departments who are having challenges in this area and who would be receptive to their input. i also as a noted in my opening statement have been on a six city community policing tour and as i talked with residents, young people, elected leaders i also talked with police officers and i do meet with chiefs and supervisors, but i also talked to the rank and file, the officers who are on the beats of our cities to get their ideas as to what has worked in their city. as to why a positive relationship has developed in the cities where they have had challenges and where they had had struggles. i listen to their stories-- stories of command, dedication
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and to their embrace of community come-- policing and concern for residents as a program and policy and makes policing more efficient and communities safer and i'm incredibly proud to support those efforts. >> thank you. in recent weeks there have been some suggestion, some from within your department that our dialogue on these issues have somehow reduced the willingness of some police officers to perform their duties. i know of no real evidence to substantiate this claim, but in your opinion, does our conversation about civil rights and the appropriate use of force by police somehow make us less safe? >> mr. congressman, our discussion about civil rights and the appropriate use of force and all police tactics can only serve to make all of us, community members and police
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officers safer. in my discussions with police officers around the country, i have found positive engagement on these issues. i have found them to have some of the best path of practice is to share with other departments on these issues. issues like the best practices for de-escalation of certain situations. issues like the best practices for maintaining a relationship with community organization and citizens council. issues on police safety. they are provided as invaluable input into our program such as providing bulletproof vest, body worn cameras and focusing on the best ways to use these new technologies. so, while certainly there may be anecdotal evidence there as all have noted there is no data to support it and what i see in my travels across the country is the dedication, the commitments and the resolve of our brave men and women in law enforcement to improve policing, embracing the 21st century passports recordation and continuing to
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have a dialogue that makes our country safer for all. >> thank you. the state of alabama's plan to close 31 drivers license offices demonstrates how one policy decision can have wide-ranging discriminatory effects. the media has picked up on this and this will make it harder for citizens of these rural counties to vote. and i'm concerned about the discriminatory economic affects of this decision, which will fall hardest on rural poor and african-american communities. i imagine a black farmer driving hundreds of miles across rural alabama to renew unexpired driver's license and on this committee we know what might happen to such a young man.
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what tools does the department have to combat discrimination in all of the ways that manifests itself and how are you going to be using these tools in this case? >> thank you, congressman and with respect to the department's enforcement of our various civil rights statutes, it is certainly robust and will continue to be so. while we do not-- we no longer had the advantage of the preclearance provisions hour in the voting rights act, we still have significant provisions of the voting rights act that allow us to review actions and decisions taken all be a determine whether there has been either discriminate oratory contest or as very often the case a discriminatory result. we can engage in negotiation and conversation and many times we do that before we even moved to litigation in an attempt to reason with or have a discussion with entities that are making
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significant changes and also in those discussions they are productive. i was pleased to see that after discussions with members of congress that the state of alabama may make modifications to those changes and certainly those types of discussions are an efficient way to bring about change and raise these important issues, but i will reiterate congressman, that the department of justice is committed to enforcing the civil rights laws that we have on the books and we are committed to a vigorous review of matters that are brought to our attention and we will ensure full and fair and efficient review of those matters and take action that is appropriate. >> thank you so much. last question. more than 30,000 people die from gun violence in this country every year. what can this committee, the committee on the judiciary right now do that would save at least
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some of those lives? >> well, mr. congressman a think there is a significant debate and discussion go on in how to best save lives in that situation. i think that all voices are necessary in that debate and discussion. certainly, if commerce were to consider new laws i'm sure this committee would be deeply involved in discussions and that is up to congress as part of your purview. that apartment would be happy to work with you with regard to that. i think that we also have to look at the root causes of the violence as a indicated in a response to an earlier question. last month i convened a summit on violence of several of the leaders of our major cities, police chiefs and mayors as well as police executives and with the department they are looking for ways to identify the root causes of so much of the pilots we are seeing, even as violence is at the store close nationwide we still have some communities that struggle with this issue. in some instances it is gun
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violence, some instances we see eight increase of drug use, heroine, opioids and so we are trying to find our best ways to focus our resources there. just yesterday, i met with representatives from the national conference of mayors and had discussions on these issues. the difference is that all communities present and the need to have a fuller robust discussion about these issues. >> thank you so much for your testimony and your views. >> thank you, sir. >> the chernow recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. >> thank you, madam attorney general. we hope to see you for a bit. at least for the next 14 months. i have a question relative to the issue of the wonton of zero detainees. passed-- the present is expected to sign into law legislation that explicitly prohibits the use of federal funds to group detainees from guantánamo bay to
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the united states. former white house counsel gregory craig recently wrote an op-ed arguing the laws unconstitutional and that president obama can legally ignore it. you are america's top lawyer. do you believe president obama could legally ignore legislation prohibiting the transfer of detainees to american soil? >> thank you, mr. congressman. what i would say on this issue certainly is as the administration has stated, the closure of guantánamo bay is something that is part of the administration's policy and department of justice support that as well. after this point time, i believe the current state of the law is that individuals are not transferred from guantánamo to us shores in the position is reiterated by the legislation that you mentioned and my understanding as you indicated as i do believe the president has indicated that he would sign and certainly the position of
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the department of justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard to that issue. >> the question i had is do you believe that the law is unconstitutional as mr. craig has opined in last week's "washington post"? would you ignore the law based upon that argument? >> well, mr. congressman, i am not familiar enough with that analysis to comment on that. i'm not able to comment on his views about the statue. with respect to the existing state of the law, the department justice is committed to fully following that and the closure of guantánamo bay is being carried out in compliance with that law. so, i believe that it is the view of the department that we would certainly observe the law passed by congress and signed by the president. only rarely would we take the step of finding an unconstitutional provision was something we could not manage. we would seek to work with
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congress and the administration to resolve that issue. >> you know, does this mean that you think it's okay for the present to transfer these people who are some of the worlds most dangerous terrorists to a country other than the united states, but would not be okay for him to transfer them to the united states? >> mr. congressman, the current state of the law allows for transfer of certain detainees from guantánamo bay. those that after a vigorous review process are placed in the transfer category two countries that after significant that he and promises of management can accept them. with respect to individuals being transferred to the united states, the law currently does not allow for that and that is not as i'm aware of going to be contemplated given the legal prescriptions. >> lets me ask one question unrelated matter. as you may know, the house last
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month passed a bill called the judicial redress act, which in my opinion is potential to enforcing an umbrella-- umbrella agreement of transfer law enforcement information from certain european countries to the united states and vice versa can read if the senate pales to pass this bill, in your opinion, what will be the effect on the sharing of law-enforcement data was certain certain european allies? >> we fully support the judicial redress act and i would like to thank you and the other members of this committee for the important work that you have done on this issue. as you have noted, this legislation is critical to continued law enforcement share of information from the us and the european union. in fact, i have been involved in discussions with ministers from the european union on that data protection act often called the umbrella act as well as the judicial redress act and it is
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our view that this important legislation should be passed and it would provide as you know redress of their european union citizens should there be an unauthorized or misuse of their data in the us, which is a privilege enjoyed by us citizens within the european union. without this, we do have a grave risk of not having the completion of the data protection or umbrella agreements. i think sadly recent events have shown the importance, the critical nature of making sure that we have these safe and secure portals for transferring information from law-- one line for spent entity to another. >> let me make one point as my time is expiring. while the judicial redress act is not deal with the sharing of counterterrorism information, there frequently is an interface between those who want to commit terrorist activity and those who do commit petty crimes, which would end up being in the law enforcement filed.
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i would just look at today's "new york times" or comments relative to the attack in paris, and what apparently happened in the neighborhood in brussels, where he neighborhood known for extremists with a trail of petty crimes amidst plots. the judicial redress act might be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together from petty crime so that there can be this plot. thank you for your support. >> thank you mr. congressman. >> the chair recognizes the german from new york, mr. nadler >> thank you, chairman. to think you attorney general. that attorney general, the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attack of september 11, 2001, the department of justice oversight
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victim compensation fund that divided more than $7 billion to families that lost loved ones on the day. in the years after the attacks it became clear thousands of first responders and survivors continue to suffer major health consequences of the attacks in the aftermath. thousands of lawsuits were filed against contractors and others by the victim. 2010, covers enacted the james or job act which provided healthcare services to those in need and reopened the victims compensation fund for the families whose losses became apparent after september 11. providing them an alternative to litigation. in the last five years, the victims compensation fund has provided nearly 6300 terse responder and survivors with $1.4 billion in compensation determinations. since we know to the bill, i am aware of no further 911 related lawsuits. despite its current success on september 30, 2015, congress allowed the dcf and world trade center health program to expire.
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for chile, there is legislation pending in the house to permanently reauthorize the victims compensation fund at the world trade center health program. the bill now is the cosponsorship of 247 cosponsors of the majority of the house including more than 50 republicans and a filibuster proof majority in the senate with 65 cosponsors. if congress fails to act thousands of first responders and survivors will lose access to compensation which they depend to support their families when they are tragically gone. the dcf is preparing to shutter its operation once it has perceived processing existing claims here if the dcf is not fully funded and reauthorized, first responders and survivors will already have received a notice of compensation and connections that amount cut by up to 50%. we are literally talked about taking money out of the hands of a sick police officer. i'm deeply saddened to think that as our congressman c remember the heroes of 911. attorney general lynch, do you
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agree to this is not the proper way to honor the heroes of 911? don't you think 911 survivors of firefighters and police officers who risk their own lives to save them in separate health consequences because of it deserved the full support of the american people and a fully funded victims compensation fund? >> thank you, congressman this is it important issue and we will always be deeply indebted to those first responders and brave men and women who risk their lives to search for and recover victims, limited debris at the site, to carry out the recovery efforts at ground zero at 911. certainly, it's important issue both to me has attorney general and as someone who is in new york on 911, and who has friends, former colleagues who are in the group of those who are on the scene and who were involved in those activities. this is, in fact, a serious issues for those affected and i
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greatly appreciate your expression of compassion for those who have fallen out. with respect to the bill that is currently pending, certainly on the hop of the department of justice we would do all we could to work with you to make sure there were any questions or issues that they could be addressed and we hope that there would be none. this is an important issue and again, i think it is something that deserves certainly strong review, serious consideration and please let us know how that apartment can be of assistance to any of the members as they consider this important issue. >> thank you. as you may know, others on the judiciary committee has introduced for-- unfortunately their bill would open the fund only temporarily and would authorize or limited funding. it would credit-- it was chris eyes as a result. the other bill is a permit reauthorization and has brought bipartisan support. this bill, like the black lung
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program like the upper black lung survivors, like the nuclear program where we have people who were irradiated is permanent, recognizing the permanent nature of the disability. i hope you will think the president for signing the original bill in 2010, and do everything you can to see this legislation is permanently and reauthorized and fully as soon as possible to make s, thank you, sir. i have another question on a different topic. ..
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if detainees were brought to super max security facilities, prisons in the united states, and what conceivable way could this threaten anyone safety? and what conceivable way could housing someone in a super max federal prison affect the local community especially when your talking about 60 or 70 people? and has anyone ever escape from a super max federal facility? >> certainly as a tribute to the strong efforts of the bureau of prisons, i do not believe anyone has escaped from super max. >> ever? >> as far as i know. certainly thecertainly the men and women of the bureau of prisons are dedicated professionals and do everythingn their power to run the institution in a way that protects the american people and contains the security issues therein. with respect to your question, congressman, it is
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difficult to say. obviously, i have the greatest pride and respect for the brave men and women of the bureau of prisons. i feel the men and women of the entire -- >> in other words some of your testimony that bringing people to super max prisons will cause no danger to anyone and communities of the united states? >> congressman, i am not in a position to say that any prisoner poses no danger ever. we certainly have security regulations over a host of dangerous inmates for very significant reasons, but i am tremendously proud of the work of the men and women of bureau of prisons,prisons command this issue is one that is before congress, going up as medication to the white house. wewe work with congress with respect to whatever decisions are made in providing decisions. >> thank you.
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i see my time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam attorney general, under this administration number of sanctuary cities has doubled to 340 jurisdictions. as a result, many innocent americans have been killed. what are you doing to discourage jurisdictions from climbing sanctuary status? >> i'm sorry? >> the number of sanctuary jurisdictions has doubled. what are you doing to discourage municipalities from asserting sanctuary status? by doing so, of course, they are endangering americans is individuals who are released can commit crimes. what are you doing to discourage sanctuary cities? >> with respect to the issues you raise their serious. we are committed to enforcing a criminal and immigration laws.
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>> there is a law on the boat that prohibit sanctuary cities. >> i believe the designation of a sanctuary city is something that was in the purview -- >> no, it's actually in an act i introduce the became law in 1996. >> am having trouble hearing you. >> there is clearly a line in existence that prohibits jurisdictions from refusing to cooperate with the federal government when it comes to detaining criminal aliens, criminal aliens. what are you doing to enforce that law? >> whenever we have a situation where that situation occurs we would talk with that jurisdiction and reach directly into enforce the criminal laws against the individuals themselves. >> but you are not doing so. give me one example where you have enforced current law that prohibits jurisdictions reclaiming sanctuary status? >> i would like to study the issue of provide information on the point. >> i would hope that you
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would have more knowledge about enforce immigration laws than that, but i will await your report as to what you have done. next question, a recent ig report found that chairman's secret service file was improperly accessed and publicly disclosed by secret service managers. this may have violated the privacy act, the computer abuse act and, perhaps, amount to obstruction of justice. have you taken any disciplinary action whatsoever against the secret service managers involved the disclosure of the file? >> congressman, my understanding is that the matter is being handled by the inspector general. the secret service is part of the department of homeland security. with respect to the specific administrative or disciplinary actions, my understanding is there inspector general -- >> laws that may have been violated, under your jurisdiction. are you aware of any investigation by doj into
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that matter or not? >> am not able to comment at this time. >> and you would let the member involved know of any investigation. >> you certainly let the member involved know of any investigation? >> typically we do not comment on whether an investigation is open or not. >> i'm not asking you to comment publicly on the details. i'm asking you if you elect a member. >> are you referring to the member of the secret service? >> member of congress. >> we would certainly do everything we could to provide what information we could consistent with the law enforcement obligation. >> and one more question about the fbi. to your knowledge, has the president or any white house staff or you or any of your staff attempted to influence the fbi's investigation of former secretary? >> no, sir. >> okay.
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do you have any idea when that investigation will be completed? lex i am not able to comment on the status of that matter,matter, and we typically do not comment. also, it is impossible to predict when any matter will be concluded. >> and i'm not asking for a comment on the contents, just an idea of what it might be finished. have you heard when it might be finished? >> again,again, i'm not able to comment on the timing of the conclusion of any matter >> thank you. >> the gentleman recognizes the gentleman from california. >> i look forward to working with you not only today but in the months ahead. as you likely know, i am on the immigration subcommittee and follow closely what your department is doing in that arena. your predecessor, attorney general holder testified in
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2013 before the senate -- and this is a direct quote -- it is inexcusable that young kids, six, seven, 14 -year-olds have immigration decisions made on their behalf against them without being represented by counsel. in july of this year the american immigration counsel other organizations filed a class-action lawsuit in district court in the western district of washington challenging the validity of removal proceedings for children without appointed counsel. their argument is that an eight -year-old could not receive a full and fair hearing in the immigration court without representation. as you know, i'm sure the administration has made efforts to provide counsel to small children by funding nonprofit groups, but the
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assistant attorney general who argued mr. leon fresco argue contrary to that in district court. i'm wondering if the department's position has changed since mr. holder left the department and whether you think it would need to process to have an eight -year-old who speaks only spanish appear and immigration court without a lawyer and be able to argue the nuances of immigration law and asylum law. do you think that means due process requirements? >> respect to the argument come i would have to review those pleadings to understand the specific context and whether or not there was an appropriations issue involved. >> fair enough. what do you think about the due process issue? >> again, thank you for that because it is important. certainly it is the department's position that as a general matter all who
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appear before tribunals whether they be in courts, administrative bodies tend to have a more efficienta more efficient process and a fairer process if they are represented by counsel. certainly we have statutes and laws to that effect with regard to adults, criminal matters and the like. for those children also it certainly would seem to increase efficiency of these higher processes to have counsel and as you noted through our grant process we have supported nonprofit or ngo organizations that are provided counsel. >> you are not willing to say that it does not meet due process requirements at this point? >> i would like to look at the procedures that are in place before i make a constitutional decision about to process, but i agree it is an area of concern. as a general matter we support counsel in proceeding for litigants, particularly children.
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>> the department of homeland security office of inspector general has done an analysis. we have many people from central america who are seeking asylum. he reports that there is a review called operation streamline that found that the department of justice has prosecuted asylum-seekers for illegal entry before there asylum cases heard. and it seems to me that not only does not violate the requirements of the international law but it does not seem like an efficient use of resources if someone gains asylum under the law then there prosecution would not be very pertinent. have you reviewed that? >> i have not review the specific report. what i can tell you is that the prosecution and
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apprehension of individuals at the border is one to which not just the department but the specific us attorneys in the border states to the significant time and attention and steps are taken at the initial level to try and ensure that those who are seeking asylum are handled appropriately and that those who are coming in for other intents and purposes are handled through the immigration law system. >> can i ask you whether you would take a look at that report and make sure we are using our resources in a sensible way relative to asylum-seekers? >> certainly. we are happy to review. >> finally i want to mention a situation. we have had a class-action complaint because they have been released from detention. mothers who are being held at the present with the children, and they had a
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demonstration and in response they were put in solitary confinement. their argument was that they have free-speech rights. do you think immigrants in detention are entitled to constitutional rights of due process and the first amendment and the like? >> i certainly think that when it comes to the conditions in our detention centers we need to do all that we can to ensure the treatment is fair, humane, and cognizant of the individual rights of all of those who come through those systems. i think that we have recognized certain rights for those within our borders , certain rights for citizens, and in varying degrees with respect to the constitution barring that or even taking that into consideration certainly have leave our detention centers should be run efficiently, fairly, and humanely. >> i seei see my time has
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expired. thank you for allowing me to go over. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. as you may recall, a woman working for the irs was held in contempt by the oversight and government reform committee and the full house and referred to the department of justice under your predecessor. >> i'm aware of the report. >> speaking of those reports the committee reviewed more than a million documents. approximately 50 interviews and produced a report. are you familiar? >> i have not had occasion to read the committee's report. >> the senate finance committee released a bipartisan report in august of this year finding the irs abuse conservative applicants for nonprofit status. i repeat abused applicants. >> i have not had occasion
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to read the report. >> the german sitting behind you signed on your behalf and eight page report explaining why nothing went wrong legally at the irs. are you familiar with that? >> yes, i am familiar with the letter the department has provided to congress. >> in that case you did not just indicate that in fact the laws were broken. you indicated that it was just mismanagement and that you found no laws broken. >> actually, i believe that our review found that the management of the process by which tax-exempt applications are handled the irs was characterized by mismanagement and inefficiency in numerous circumstances. >> right. you found that there was an administrative problem, not a legal problem. are you familiar with two usc 194?
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>> i'm sorry? >> two usc 194, and i will refresh your memory. it states the statute covering congressional contempt, it shall be the duty of the relevant us attorney to bring the matter before the grand jury. in the case of the referral, lois lerner, for contempt the us attorney failed to comply with that law under your predecessor. are you willing to comply with that law? are you willing to have the current us attorney comply with two usc 194 which clearly says shall,, not me, not can make an independent decision about whether or not that individual has done wrong or should be held in contempt. will you comply with two usc 194 that is structure us attorney to bring that contempt before congress? >> congressman, i believe that matter has been
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reviewed by the us attorney and the prosecutorial decision was made. >> again, it states that it shall be the duty of the relevant us attorney to bring before the grand jury. is it your opinion that shall do in a law passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president is a discussion? >> congressman, i believe the matter was reviewed. >> am asking you, when something says that you or your employees shall do something, do you believe that his discretion? >> sir, as i indicated, and thein the exercise of prosecutorial discretion the matter was handled unresolved. >> do we simply disagree on what the meaning of shall is. for your purpose they are synonyms. is that correct? equally able to be decided?
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i'm not trying to be argumentative. you're telling me shall is something that has discretion. what part of discretion is in shall do? >> congressman, and the exercise of prosecutorial discretion that exercises made. >> you have no respect for laws passed if you don't like them. you think you have discretion when something says shall is what you are testifying to today. my question to you is, during your predecessor, the committee on oversight and others ask for a woman working for you and wanted to do a transcribed interview. the department of justice said she would not be made available because it was an ongoing investigation. since you have now dismiss that investigation, are you prepared to make are available to committees for transcribed interview? >> it is the practice of the department not to provide line attorneys for congressional testimony.
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we seek to provide the information that will help you in your oversight duties >> mr. conyers is still sitting here at the dance. he very bravely took on the bush administration where relevant us attorneys and case law effectively now is that in fact is a committee of congress want somebody it is not a discretion to say no. that was pretty well adjudicated, and mr. conyers as chair made it very clear that congress has a right to have someone. i we will ask you finally, previously the reason was not that you would not make a truly available but since an investigation is done are you saying that you refuse to half are available under any conditions? >> i'm saying that i am consistent with the policy of the department of justice. >> i'm not asking a policy question. asking about one individual.
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theythey would like to talk about a past investigation. if requested will you make are available? >> as indicated, we provide information to the committee and seek to do so through a number of means. we provide a letter and are happy to continue with our offer of a briefing to the full committee on this matter with respect to line attorneys of any investigation, it is not the policy of the department of justice to have the line attorneys testify because they do their work independently and focus solely on the facts and law command we do not want them having to deal with the issue of a political review. they are focused solely on the facts and law and follow the evidence where it leads. as indicated with respect to the letter and as i believe the deputy attorney general indicated in this matter we are happy to provide information to the committee and i believei believe we have offered a briefing to members of the committee on the matter and certainly standby that offer. >> i appreciate the
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indulgence for answer as insufficient as it was. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and recognizes the gentlewoman from texas for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, ranking member, thank you very much for your service. might i as well thank your staff who have always been responsive to me in particular and the members of this committee as we have tried to work toward justice for the people of the united states. a moment i just want to begin and say to you i apologize if one of the pointed questions that if i can get yes or no will be helpful so that i can get through them. as i do so, let me offer to the people of france again our deepest sympathy. sympathy. this committee in particular is well aware of the impact of terrorism. our subcommittee on crime is one that is crime, terrorism , investigations. we stand united with them as
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the justice department through the president of the united states have been working. to that point headline that says working with french authorities after attack which is a good thing. and i say that because there has been a massive race by various states to make pronouncements of blocking syrian refugees, people seeking asylum command i understand the fear. my question is, is your competence and procedures, and i, and i would suggest that there be an interagency task force as i hope that we will have a task force either out of this committee or either -- i know that there is one recommended by the majority that we will have one that is bipartisan on this issue. do you feel confident in our processes is a partner to this process of being able to discern who is amongst
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those suffering people would be a bad guy? i understand we are doing 10,000. do you receive assured and short? >> thank you command i look forward to continuing this dialogue on this important peemack. we have a robust screening measures in place that include not just databases but individual interviews, biometric data. we gather relevant information about refugees from all countries because our 1st goal is the protection and safety of the american people as well as carrying out the compassionate nature also of the american people. >> and you feel comfortable if the terminology was used that was certify that you could be confident on those that you process? use every measure to certify they are non- intent to do harm in this country.
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>> we would use every measure as we always do to ensure those allowed in the country would not pose a threat to the american citizens. >> a look forwarda look forward to working with you. let me move on to law enforcement and emphasize that they become more important in these times and we thank them for their service. we also know and your testimony earlier said that we are better when they are better. law-enforcement integrity act which includes a position on data collection and also includes provisions on accreditation, that the natural association of police chiefs have always supported. what do you think the importance of having department subject themselves to accreditation determining best practices and helping them as well as the american public? >> congresswoman, in my discussions with law enforcement i found them eager for assistance and sharing best practices. i also found the meager for
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recognition of their professionalism and accreditation is one way to do that. there are a number of ways to do that. we in the department are working with police organizations to try and develop consistent and national standards on data collection. we rely heavily on their expertise for guiding the standards. and we would look to start with that same process with regard to any move toward accreditation also. i have found that law enforcement frankly are focused on professionalism and focused on spreading best practices as best they can. >> let me do this semi- chairman will not gavel me, quickly raised three points. the reform and values of reducing mass incarceration, legislation that will reduce the treatment of juveniles and put it in a positive, like you make an overall comment. and then the idea being
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particularly discern before coming back to the united states. and then let me close on these three points if i could please which aare very important. i know i'm leaving out important points. the voting rights you already had a question on. isn't it more efficient on a preclearance approach such that it might be more helpful for us to reinstate that preclearance because it would be more proficient and i am going to give you the three cases if i can meet with your staff on them on really a blatant miscarriage of justice. we have not had a response from the justice department. the case of robbie tolan that went all the way up to the supreme court and indicated he had been mistreated. he lived in was shot by an officer on his driveway.
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and in a nonviolent person in the state prison in texas with a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense 1st offense is almost unbelievable. so would like you to answer just the questions i gave you. i would like to leave as soon as possible. >> i look forward to continuing to work with you on important issues. with respect to voting rights the preclearance remedy was when we found to be not just effective but efficient command we felt it was a way a way in which to engage with jurisdictions as they contemplate changes to their laws and prevent them from going down a road that would have disenfranchised citizens. we felt that it was efficient and much less costly litigation. it is an important part of the voting rights act, and we support the efforts to restore the preclearance remedy to the voting rights
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act. >> juvenile justice clemency juvenile justice -- i'm sorry, juvenile justice prison reform and the sentencing reform reducing mass incarceration, the value of that. >> the time of the gentlewoman has expired. >> i think the chairman for his indulgence. >> with respect to reform we feel it is a vital measure the recognizes only put measures in place several years ago designed to protect the american people as we look back on this measures they see the collateral consequences that did not just to citizens but communities with the passage of time whether or not lengthy sentences with the most effective way to deal with the offenders they tended to sweep up. certainly to make sure this is always efficient and fair
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, sentencing reform is an important role to play in that apartment of not just the committee's efforts but congress is effort in that regard. >> and we look forward to meeting with your staff this week about these cases. >> thank. >> thank you, congressman. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you for being here this day. i know you know well that one of the parts of the mission is to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic. i have a couple of news articles. we have to pay attention to them. one of them was fox news that talked about isi s having certain terror cells in 15 states and targeting the states. and then one where we were told by cbs news national security correspondent was reporting that the pentagon
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was notifying various soldiers who had appeared on the list and neighborhoods and cities that have been targeted throughout virginia and were actually trying to get the police to increase patrols in these particular neighborhoods of the city's. my question to you is, would you not conclude that it would be reasonable to conclude that if terrorists were brought from guantánamo bay to a particular city in the united states that it will be reasonable to conclude that that could increase the likelihood that one of those cities to be placed on one of these lists from leadership or some domestic copycat in the united states? ..
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there are even any allegations of lists around the country today?? >> with respect to the matter that you mentioned, as i indicated, i'm not aware. >> so you're not aware that there are any lists that target particular cities or states by people who claim to be isis? >> i'm not. >> you're not aware to anything? >> i'm saying any of these
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lists. my question is to you is wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that it could very well enhance that city being on one of these targeted lists? yes or no #that's a pretty easy question. if you disagree with that you can say no. if you agree with that yes. >> i thought you you were return burning to the service members that are on. >> and making it clear. any list. if you bring terrorists when you conclude it would enhance that city to be on the list? >> i think there are any number of factors. >> would you not agree that that would be a factor. >> i think there are any number of factors. >> would that be a factor? >> there are any number of factors. >> but you would disagree that would be a factor? >> i don't agree or disagree. i said there would be any number of factors.
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>> see you do not have an opinion. i'm asking you if that would be one of those factors. >> no you have indicated you wouldn't answer the question. i think that's atrocious that you don't even have an opinion about it. let me ask you a question about this. you talk about have you attempted to gather any information about outside organizations that may come from outside the community that make come into that community and estimate escalate that
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situation. >> you ever report that you can provide on your investigation and what that has to do with a list of those organizations. >> we do not generate a report. what i was indicating was in our review, if there was a violent issue. >> i'm not talking about whether or not there was a crime. do you have any information, you talked about police escalating the violence. you have any information you can supply the committee that these outside groups may be coming in and escalating that violence question on. >> congressman, the reports we do would not focus solely on one factor. >> so you haven't focused at all on outside groups that could come in and escalate the violence question. >> it has been brought to attention and is under our review. >> but you haven't done anything. >> we do not have a report for you. >> do you have an investigation undergoing question. >> i yield back without getting a single answer to a single question we posed. >> the chair recognize the german from tennessee for five minutes. >> i'm going to be like mr. lee
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and ask you a lot of questions because there's a lot on my mind and we have limited time. in july a young man was shot and killed by memphis police. he was a passenger in a motor vehicle stopped 48 traffic citation. he was asked to get out of the car. he was shot and killed. the das the grand jury to indict voluntary manslaughter. they chose not to. how that was presented, who knows. now that the case has gone through the grand jury and they have not gone the response they wanted, i would ask the department of justice to look into this and see if a violation of rights has occurred. >> i will have my staff reach out to you and get that information sir. >> are you familiar with the
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case #. >> i'm not personally familiar with the case we have a number of cases under review. >> if for some reason it hasn't risen to the radar of the atty. attorney general by now, i hope that it will. there was a drug assessment survey completed in 2015. at that particular summary or study, most agents said marijuana was 5% total risk to society and meth and heroin were the most serious drug affecting them in the american people. do you agree that we should spend more time working against heroin and math and other drugs and not marijuana? >> i believe that refers to our narcotic laws. what we try to do at the doj nda
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is focus on specific problems in a specific region. we currently have heroin and opiate problems in some areas the country. there are some areas that have problems with methamphetamine. there might be different focus on different areas. >> right but marijuana is not where cities have problems with people knocking off 711's to get money. that's being done by those using heroin and other drugs. >> we have seen cases where there have been significant violence at the dealer level. >> there is and the reason there is that violence is just like prohibition, we made it illegal. it's not just because of the need to have marijuana, it's
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because we made the same mistake with marijuana as we did in the 20s with alcohol. the public demanded it. the racketeers, the rebels got involved. we made them rich and they use guns to protect their property. that was a mistake. you agreed marijuana should not be schedule one in the same category as lsd and heroin? >> with the extent of the issue of scheduling, that is determined based on whether or not there is another use for the product. i think there would have to be studies by the fda among others to determine whether or not scheduling change in any drug is necessary. >> don't you agree that you have to change the scheduling from one to get the study? there are lots of young people, like one of my constituents who died waiting for the opportunity. lots of people would like to get cannibal us oil. you can talk to montel williams and how it helps multiple
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sclerosis. don't you feel this is something serious and should be looked at as an aid for people to get through difficult problems and not a joke? >> certainly the medical marijuana is certainly different than the criminal use of marijuana. fda studies in the use of the oil or the substance within marijuana. >> i would hope you would look into initiating what you can and taking it off schedule one. it's crazy to have it with lsd and heroin and should not be there and should be studied. it has been used to allow groups to discriminate lgbt people and it's based on a 2007 opinion that they could be used to grant exemptions to discrimination laws.
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we instruct the office of legal counsel to review the 2007 olc legal opinion that is being used today to justify taxpayer-funded discrimination counter to the president's executive order? >> i would like to look into that issue if i can have my staff reach out to you and get more information on that, i would us appreciate that. >> on the same issue, holdover from the bush team, that was a holdover for six years. that's why the president got hardly any recommendation for commutation. i have a commitment for you to give more resources to study prison records and facilitate the expeditious recommendation to the president for commutations for thousands of people who sentences should be commuted who are serving time for long-term drug offenses, offenses, nonviolent drug offenses that aren't serving the american people by having them be in federal. prison? >> over the last 18 months we have in fact taken a significant look at the staff and resource
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needs of the office of department of the attorney and look to provide additional resources so every application that comes through can be considered quickly and efficiently. >> but it hasn't done that. let me remind you what doctor king said. justice delayed is justice denied. every single one of those people serving a day in prison who will get a recommendation is having their justice delayed and denied. on that note, the gentleman time has expired. >> will recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. jordan. >> thank you. on february 2, 2014, he learned that the hard drive had crashed and they didn't have all the email. they waited until june of that year until then to tell congress be at in that four-month time. until they learned her hard drive had crashed and they didn't have all of her e-mail in june when they discovered it,
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they testified twice in front of congress and did not disclose the fact that they knew her hard drive had crashed. one month later after they learn the hard drive had crashed, crashed, in march 2014, march 4, 2014, the irs destroyed 422 backed up tapes. just so you understand the facts, they know in february 2 that the hard drive is crashed and they don't have all her e-mail. thirty days later they destroyed 422 backup tapes. they destroy those tapes with three preservation orders in place. in fact, 11 of those preservation orders came from the justice department ten months before that. you had told them, hey, preserve all the documents and emails. we have an investigation going on. there were two other preservation orders as well. two subpoenas and three preservation orders. that sure looks like the irs service concealed information and destroyed information, but just last month you send us a
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letter telling us you're not going to prosecute anyone in the irs targeting scandal and you specifically say in that letter, our investigation revealed no evidence to deliberately conceal or destroy information. so here's what i can't figure out, they learn on februaryfebr, 2014 that lowest earners hard drive crashed and they don't have all her email. thirty days later with preservation orders and subpoenas in place they destroyed backup tape. if that's not evidence of deliberately concealing and destroying information, what is the question that. >> thank you congressman. with respect to the matter that you have raised, as we set forth in our letter we did review the issues surrounding ms. lerner's email and the backup tape. as with every criminal investigation, we are looking for evidence with criminal intent. we are looking for evidence of a specific reason for why the
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actions that you know. >> comedy times you have direct evidence of an event in any other fraud investigation question you weren't going to get, what were you looking for where he send an e-mail and said destroy the tape #you had three preservation orders. one of them came from the justice department. they knew there were problems of the hard drive and they didn't have all the e-mail. thirty days after that they destroyed 422 backup tapes. that's not enough to take it to a grand jury? if it wasn't deliberate intent to destroy in conceal, what was it. >> the findings we had, based on those actions. >> here's what you said. >> they uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement and poor judgment. what i just described, was that evidence of mis- management by the aria irs? >> i'm not going to contribute that to one individual. i believe certainly there would be others two was evidence of poor judgment when the chief counsel knew that the hard drive
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had crashed and comes and testifies and doesn't tell us that awaits four months to tell us that. >> i can't tell you what was in his mind when he testified before you. what i can tell you was the information that was provided to this committee and the conclusions that were drawn. >> what was going to take before you take this to the grand jury? >> would you have to wait five months before he told us, eight months before he told us #that they need to destroy 423 backup tapes, 450 backup tapes? what was it going to take? if that fact pattern doesn't
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want going to a grand jury and prosecuting, tell me what would question. >> certainly that fact pattern was part of the investigation as were a number of other facts in there. as we outlined in our letter, we outline the steps we took and the conclusion we drew. >> hootie refer to when you're talking about mismanagement and poor judgment? is it the guy at the top, the guy who was responsible. in march of 2014 they destroyed 422 backup tapes. if a private citizen gets an audit notice from the irs and then ten months later destroy the evidence, are they going to be prosecuted?? >> it would depend upon the
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evidence of intent. >> really, i bet the average american are going to be prosecuted in court but you wouldn't take this to a grand jury. who mismanaged what? who is responsible? >> it outlined in our letter. >> but you didn't. i want to know if it's the guy at the top, the guy who runs the irs, the guy who was presided presiding over them when the tapes were discussed destroyed. >> as we outlined there was substantial mismanagement. when we indicated we would provide this information to the committee, we are also happy to provide a briefing to the committee on other questions you might have about this matter. >> your time has asked tired. we now recognize the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. >> general lens, i want to commend you and the department of justice with the fact that 70 individuals have been charged
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for conduct elated to violent extremism and homegrown. we have heard how other terrace organizations build potential recruits in potential social networking sites via corrupted messaging platforms. also over voice and over internet apps. are these encrypted private messaging platforms and also voice over internet apps hampering the ability of the department to quickly ascertain and address threats to national security, and if so, in what ways? >> conger's men, thank you for the question. certainly when an individual choose to move from open means of communication it can cause
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disruption to use lawful legal process to intercept those medications. it does give us concern about being able to gather the evidence we need to continue our mission and the protection of the american people. >> how so. >> with respect to individuals in this country, we have seen communications between them and individuals urging them to commit acts of violence and terrorism. then those individuals dropping from one type of communication to an encrypted method of communication. we no longer have visibility into those discussions. >> when you say no longer have visibility into those discussions, can you break that down and explain what that means >> certainly, with the court order we would go to a communications provider and focus specifically on individuals against who we had
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probable cause to suspect are part of criminal activity. we would review their communication's in the past as well as an ongoing basis. when an individual moves to an encrypted platform, one that is nonassessable by the provider themselves, then we have a situation where we are not able to have our court orders handled in the typical way. that is to say, were not not able to receive that information and ascertain what these individuals are planning and just as importantly, with whom they are planning these actions. we rely on other methods and means, but that is a loss of an important means in an important law-enforcement tool. >> is there any way that the department can overcome the use of encrypted data and communications by terrorists who are trying to recruit within the borders of the united states or
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a terrorist plot taking place between persons inside the united states? take for example the terrorists incident in paris this past weekend where i heard one expert say he had been shot shocked that the terrorists were not using encrypted communications, perhaps even during the terrorists events. how can the department for that kind of act tivoli taking place here on united states soil given the fact that we have these encrypted medications?
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>> our approach has been to work with the electronic companies in the up internet providers on a case-by-case basis and help them find a way or work with them to find a way to allow them to respond to the legal process. we are having difficulties as an industry as a whole to make sure they can comply with legal process and provide the information we need. are there other means of gathering intelligence on those individuals and associates, but it does cause a a loss of a very valuable source of information. >> with that i will yield back and think your testimony. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> thank you attorney general, i appreciate you being here. obviously people are rather sensitive to potential terrorism, especially since isis is known for keeping their word when they make threats, at least as often as they can.
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we had a witness sometime back, the the fbi director at that time, director mueller, and i was asking him about investigations at the mosque in boston where the dzhokhar tsarnaev's attended, and he indicated the fbi had an outreach program with that mosque where they would commune together, but they never actually investigated at the mosque whether or not dzhokhar tsarnaev had been radicalized. even after russia gave the fbi a heads up that the elder brother had been radicalized. they never ask questions of the people there. i know i've been through materials with fbi agents that have been cleaned out from the
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teaching materials and for some ridiculous reason they were classified so we had to do it in a closed setting. it appears to me that fbi agents, justice officials, are not even being allowed to be taught what it is that radical islam us believe. not even perhaps that osama bin laden indicated that the ejection martyr, muslim brotherhood member wrote milestones that actually help radicalize him. nobody knew enough to go to the mosque and ask, has dzhokhar tsarnaev been reading this material. have you heard him talking about milestones? it seems like we've blinded, as one in intelligence official
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said, we've blinded ourselves to see our enemy. so i was also surprised, since director mueller was fbi director after all a moody was arrested based on his information that gave us, but he is doing 23 years for supporting terrorism. he didn't know that he was the one at the bottom starting that mosque. we know that he helped in both the clinton and bush white house to find muslims that he could be trusted to work in those white houses and i'm just wondering, since we now know that he supported terrorism and that dzhokhar tsarnaev had been radicalized worshiped at that
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mosque, has the outreach program been terminated with that mosque in boston and hasn't been any investigation into people that he placed in the clinton and bush white house, now that we know he supported terrorism. he's doing 23 years three years. do you know of any such investigation? >> mr. congressman, i don't have the information that you are requesting but certainly what i can say is that you have touched upon an issue that all of us in law enforcement deal with as we work, not only to protect the american people but to counter violent extremism that does pull in young people. >> i appreciate you calling it violent extremism. did you have a degree in islamic studies? i really don't know. did you have any degrees in islamic studies? >> no sir.
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>> well there is a guy named the godey. b god and he he says isis is islamic and i think we should take the word of an expert. it doesn't represent the views of all muslims, thank god, but, but i would encourage you to take another look at the training materials and take another look at your outreach program and look back and investigate who was placed in the white house to see if there is still around. the fbi completely dropped the ball on dzhokhar tsarnaev and it concerns americans they may be dropping the ball on the syrians as we speak. my time has expired. i yield back. >> we now recognize gentleman
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from puerto rico. >> actually i want to concentrate on the u.s. territory. this is the same topic i raised with general holder each time he appeared before this committee. broadly speaking, speaking, when it comes to violent crime, the narrative in puerto rico. in 2011, there were 1136 murders that's nearly three a day, the highest in our history. most of these homicides were related to drug trade. so, so, i push dhs and the doj extremely hard to dedicate more personnel and resources to puerto rico. dhs including the coast guard and ice responded to the pressure. doj responded but to a lesser extent. these final efforts has helped
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decrease the number of homicides significantly every year. in 2015, to 15, to date, there have been 508 murders. if the current trend continues there will be about half as many homicides in puerto rico versus four years ago. that is a remarkable statistic. we should be proud. we are fighting a a determined enemy and the gains we gains we have could be lost. despite recent improvement, puerto rico still has a homicide rate far higher than any state. yet my staff and i have found it difficult to obtain answers to basic questions about doj efforts in the territory. so, i want a briefing on this
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subject as soon as possible. in the meantime, i have three specific questions for you today. i will ask them all at once and then give you the time to answer them's. first, the u.s. attorney's office in puerto rico has been very high criminal caseload. part of the reason is they are prosecuting a a number of cases that in the states would local likely be prosecuted in a local or state court
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as he note the homicide rate is down significantly but it is still far too high and it places the citizens of puerto rico in an unreasonable situation. >> thank you for gemina puerto rico we now recognize the gentleman from arizona. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you attorney general for being here, joan lynch, several videos as you have been talked about and have been released that show corporate officers and employees of planned parenthood casually discussing their practice of harvesting little baby parts from the many hundreds of thousands of thousands of babies they kill and their clinics every year. the videos repeal some babies are born in tact, which is the
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most -- understood as i understand the most desirable state of the baby's body in in that business because the body parts have not been damaged by the abortion procedure. because of that incentive, some of these babies are born alive. i am wondering, has the investigator have any cases of babies being born alive being killed by abortionists? >> in respect to the issue you raise, you are asking about born alive. >> yes born alive abortion survivors. babies that were victims of abortion but were born alive. much like the situation, there's some legislation on the books that protect unborn children people.
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>> it is my understanding that since the relevant statute was passed sometime ago, ago, there has been a few cases that dealt with certain issues about -- i believe it is the national transplant acts. there have been been few cases under that. there been a i would have to get that information to you. >> let me shift gears slightly, there there is legislation here in the congress that has passed the house that would give definitive protection to born alive -- i'm not talking about unborn children i'm talking about born alive babies that have survived the abortion process. would you support that legislation and would you enforce it if that were in statute question work. >> i have not seen those drafts, certainly any draft legislation proposed by this body the department of justice would review and provide relevant input to you for your use.
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>> generally, would you support legislation supporting born alive abortion survivors. >> have a not seen the draft i will not be able to give specific. >> born alive? >> we would look at whatever proposal you had congressman. >> okay, it is is too bad you cannot answer a question like that. let me shift gears on you again. visit the department of justice currently investigating planned parenthood based on the footage released, and if so what is the status of that investigation? if not, why not? >> we have received a number of requests for information as well as congressional rate weston referrals on this matter. because we are still reviewing it i'm not able to comment on the status of that. >> okay, in light of doj's recent public praise of the southern public law center, an organization implement gated in the domestic terrorism conviction -- floyd corgan's as
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you know, who use the southern poverty law center publications to identify and attempt to kill employees of profamily organizations in d.c. it is important for us to know the doj's level of involvement with splc, can you tell us about doj's relationship with the southern poverty law center and its employees, publications, and events? >> well i am aware of the organization but unable to give you specifics on the departments involvement, if any in the splc at this time. i would appreciate the opportunity for my staff to reach out to your. >> will, i hope that you would respond in writing to these questions because you certainly have not answer them here. the last person that held your position did not answer them
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either and promise to respond in writing, did not do that either. have you personally reviewed any videos released by the center of medical progress? if so, was there anything of the videos that you found disturbing? >> progress men i have not undertaken a review of the videos. i'm. i'm aware of the news reports about them. as indicated the information has been received by the department and is currently under review, i have no further comment on it at this time. >> yes ma'am, thank you. >> german yells, we now recognize the gentleman from california. >> attorney general, i want to bring your attention to the cases of chinese-american scientist, all of these individuals, despite their ethnic names are american citizens. all of them have been profiled, suspected, and suspected, and treated as spies by our nation's government within the past two years only to have all charges dropped.
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these are only the cases that reach national headlines, there could be countless more. two of these individuals, sherry chan and shushing cheney are here at today's hearing sitting two rows behind you. i want to take a moment to share their stories. doctor she is at temple university, in may of this year on a day that seems like any ordinary they were woken up at the break of down by almost one dozen armed fbi agents in his home, pointing guns at him. in his pajamas, he was handcuffed and arrested in front of his wife, two young daughters, and neighbors. after months of investigation, after losing his position as chair, after losing his position as chair of the physics department, after the emotional trauma that he and his family endured, all of the charges against him were dropped. it turns out, the technology he thought he wish sharing with
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china was not the right technology to begin with. we also have sherry chan, who, who is wrongfully profiled and suspected of being a spy for china. she was arrested by six fbi officers and humiliatingly handcuffed in her office at the national weather service. after months of investigation and having a reputation smeared, all all charges against her will were dropped. not only is she suffering from mental and emotional turmoil about this investigation has cause, she is not fighting for heard job as a hydrologist just. these chinese-americans were roughly suspected as spies and paraded as criminals through their arrest only to have the charges later dropped, but not before they were traumatized and their lives nearly room. that leaves us to the question, are all chinese-american scientist suspect because they are chinese-american?
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so my question to you is, what went wrong in these cases and how are you addressing this internally, especially with the fbi to prevent this from happening in the future? >> thank you congressman. i can say to unequivocally that the doj does not focus investigation on any individual on the basis of their race or national origin. i would expect the specific questions that you mentioned i'm not able to comment on the specifics at this time. >> even if you can't comment on the specific of the cases, i will follow-up with you personally on the details of these cases. there is no question we must fight against espionage and threats to america, but in this process we must not smear americans that make this nation great or undermine our fundamental values of liberty, due process and equality under the law. this is especially true in light of the horrendous paris attacks which sensibly took over 120 lives in an act of terror. but we must combat terrorism and protect national security we must also not impinge on fundamental rights, we must
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ensure we do not see an increase of profiling against muslims because of these events. we have seen what happens when we compromise our fundamental values, in fact it wasn't long ago that 120,000 people of japanese ancestry were removed from their homes, rounded up, and incarcerated during world war ii accused of having spies amongst them. they were proud americans but their citizenship meant nothing. in the eyes of our government, all of them were potential spies, outsiders, and enemies. yet, over 66 years later not a single case of espionage have ever been proven. today when we profile chinese scientists in this matter or any american by the basis of race, ethnic city or country of origin, our government is telling our own citizens, our own community that they are on american and that it is okay to feel or even hate that. when this happens, happens, my opinion we have failed as a government. i yelled back.
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>> the chairman now recognizes. >> an afternoon general i am going to talk briefly on drug diversion. it has been a priority of mine to encourage the dea to collaborate with companies in the pharmaceutical supply chain to address prescription drug abuse. in the past officials have used ambiguities in the law to treat this businesses like suspected criminals. with the support of this committee the house passed legislation to clear up the reveling provisions of the controlled substance act, that bill is now pending in the senate, it appears likely to be enacted. the department's response to my recent questions on the subject that the department, recently made some, important changes
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that demonstrate its commitment to work more closely with the drug supply chain and registrants, is very encouraging to me. i will closely keep an eye on this, i am optimistic that progress is being made and i think you for pursuing that. >> thank you sir. >> i want to switch gears now to the bureau of prison and oversight. i do have some questions. my district has three high-security federal penitentiaries, i'm i'm in pennsylvania district, lewisburg and allenwood. three correction officers have died in recent years in the line of duty. williams was working alone and unarmed on a cellblock with over 100 inmates. he was stabbed 129 times.
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a pilot program was put into place to provide officers with pepper spray, which i think eric and others would have had a chance to survive. will you promise and give your word to me that you will support this program and make it permanent to all personnel? >> congressman, i am aware of the debt that you mentioned as well as the deaths of several other brave men and women in the crest journal institution. i do. i do support additional measures to increase their safety. i recently had a meeting with the head of the correctional officers union and spoke about these issues, i would look forward to working with them and with this body to make sure they have all of the tools they need to have a safe working environment. >> do do you believe that pepper spray is one of these protection devices that would help officers, but yet not have a weapon that the inmates could
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take? >> yes, it's really think pepper spray is a viable option. i would like to see the results of the pilot study. i would also like to make sure we include every possible option for protecting our pert fractional officer. >> i would like to talk about staffing permitted. our federal prisons are understaffed below their levels. in some cases, counselors, not corrections officers fill in to guard inmates, counselors. would you fully staffed correction officer positions with trained officers? >> congressman, i can tell you certainly not only is the safety and security of correctional officers a priority of mine but ensuring they have the appropriate staffing is a
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priority of mine. it is certainly been a challenge from us from a budgetary perspective. we are looking forward to meeting those challenges in the future trying to ensure every specific is fully separate professional officer. >> almost one year ago the committee requested all communications relating to mandatory donation provisions in certain doj settlements. >> i'm sorry, mandatory mandatory? >> mandatory donation provisions. in doj settlements. last week, week, your staff advised they did not realize we wanted internal documents, we were very, very clear both via letter and live question that we're specifically seeking internal documents. there always seemed to be some jockeying between congress and this administration over oversight matters, this is unacceptable. it is a continual problem. when will we receive the internal documents we requested,
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almost exactly your goal? >> congressman, with respect to the request that has been made, to the extent we receive requests that would have been asked for internal deliberative documents, typically we do not disclose. that may have been the reason for that. what we try to do his work with your staff or the entire committee to provide the information you need to carry out your oversight function, consistent with our law enforcement and obligations and we certainly look for to working with you to do that. >> i just hope that we do not have to continue as we have in the past, splitting hairs over particular words. thank you, and i yelled back. >> the gentleman-year-olds back. we back. we recognize the jump from florida. >> thank you. thank you for joining us. especially in light of the horrific attacks in paris. i know the department of justice is doing everything it can to
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the french counterparts to do their part to bring all of those responsible to justice. i want to acknowledge the importance of the work that the department of justice does in keeping the american people safe. as we mourn with paris it is moments like these that we pull our own love ones closer. we trust that the administration, including the justice department and law-enforcement, and our intelligence community and the men and women serving our country are doing what they can to keep our people safe from the threat of terrorism, homegrown and abroad. we are grateful for that. we face daily threats of another kind here at home, i want to talk to you about the daily gun violence that claims nearly one american life every hour of every day and over 32000. every day dangerous individuals buy guns without completing any back on check at all. whether it is dylan roof, whose
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approval went through and he murdered nine americans during the summer, or whether it is gang members in chicago where more than 400 people have been killed by gun violence this year. i served on this house judiciary committee for over five and a half years, in that time gun violence has claimed the lives of over 150,000 americans. we have not had a hearing on this gun violence, not on this committee, not after tucson, not after aurora, not after aurora, not after newtown, not after roseburg. the chairman said just today, there is no reason to have a hearing, we need to do is simply enforce the existing laws and we are told everything will get better. be going on to my question for you i'm sure you would acknowledge that it was helpful to hear the chairman say earlier that sometimes the background check does not have all the information it needs and i would point out that after the virginia tech massacre, where
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that gunman's mental mental health record was not accessible, the court declared him a danger to himself he should have never allowed him to purchase a gun. congress acted and pass legislation, signed by president bush that authorized over 1,000,000,000 dollars to states and territories to improve their recordkeeping and reporting to the national background check system. congress however has only allocated about 11% of of that money. i would ask the chairman, consistent with his views that there are some problems with existing law that we work together to fund, allocate the funds so that all of the information gets to the national institute a background check so it can actually work to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. that does not require a new law, law, it simply requires making sure we allocate the money, that we spend the money that congress has authorized over the past
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several years. now, i do want to ask you about steps that can be taken. as you know, the gun lobbyist made it nearly impossible for the federal government to enforce some of our existing laws. the federal government has barred gun sales for more than 24 hours, barred from denying a gun sale of a background check cannot be completed within 72 hours. it. it is barred from electronically managing trace data recovered at crime scenes the people who sold them. investigation into cryptic gun dealers then take months instead of minutes. and it is barred from seeking other agencies like the fbi and dea. i reject the assertion that there is no room for improvement, clearly there is. i will continue to push for sensible gun safety laws. there may be ways, real ways to strengthen background checks through executive action.
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every town with gun violence issued every port on one action, undercurrent like, only people in the business of selling firearms have to do background checks. people who are not in the business of selling firearms do not have to. some of these people who technically are not sellers and do not work in the business sell hundreds of guns a year from gun shows, online and other places. couldn't we sent a number to how many gun sales it takes to be in the business of selling guns? is your office explore that possibility and are you thinking of a threshold of something like that question work. >> with respect to the serious issue of gun violence, the department is pursuing all of our force men that we do have under existing law. certainly it would always be useful to have additional resources for our atf to allow them to fully investigate
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everything we need and it comes under our purview. with respect to the question you raise, as to the statutory definition, i believe the statue is going to do find that define that at this time. certainly the doj makes the commitment to rigorous enforcement of that set you. >> to the extent there is an opportunity for executive action that can be taken to help define something that is undefined in the statue, is that something you are looking at? or let me just simply encourage you to take a hard look at that because that would be a meaningful step to ensure the background checks that should be completed, even without additional legislation are back completed. i hope you'll consider that seriously, you'll back. >> the chairman now recognizes, i enjoyed visiting with you
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recently. i want to thank you for your recent trip to south carolina which was very well received. there are three areas i want to recover with you. first, the letter to congress recently and i am going to paraphrase one of the paragraphs but it is a pretty) price. the irs mishandled tax-exempt applications in a manner that disproportionately impacted conservative groups. i read that to me that he found it discriminatory to fact. there is a similar situated people but there was a disparate impact on conservative groups. that is the only way to read that paragraph in his letter. he then wrote, it, it left the appearance the irs conducted, or conduct was motivated by discriminatory or other inappropriate motives. so so you have a discriminatory effect but he says the cause, the motive was mismanagement. as opposed to a crime.
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that got me thinking, if my share of stopped only read cars for speeding, at what point is it not mismanagement where it is circumstantial evidence of intent? >> with respect to the actions you referred to congressman, i think you sternly are accurate when you indicate that our letter noted that the groups that had complained were treated differently from other groups. they were also treated in a way that did not advance their application, they were treated badly. so i can understand their concern and the issues they raise. with respect to the investigation as we outline on our letter, under the relevant statutes we were reviewing we needed to find evidence of criminal intent. that intent was not there. with respect to the example that you raised, certainly there are
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certain statues that take into effect the discriminatory impact, but again even our civil rights law if one had a discriminatory impact you would not necessarily be able to prove a discriminatory intent. >> it is really hard to prove intent. that is why usually you use circumstantial evidence. if it female voters were required to show two forms of id but male voters were only required to show one, how many voters would have to pass through the prompter before you would say that is circumstantial evidence of an intent to discriminate? never do you have direct evidence of intent. it is really hard to prove intent. that is why we typically use circumstantial evidence. i noted in mr. cad stick but there is, he did not say there is insufficient evidence, he said there was no evidence.
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would you agree with me that there is a bit very big difference between san insufficient evidence and absolutely no evidence, which is what he wrote. he he found no evidence of any intent to discriminate despite the fact that there is a discriminatory effects. >> i think the letter does speak for itself in that regard. what i would say that as a general matter in how we handle our criminal investigations, we do look for evidence of intent and it comes in a number of ways. some circumstantial, some circumstantial, some direct. every case is different. every investigation we gather all the evidence, all the facts, we apply the laws to those facts and let that determined the outcome. >> i am with you. but you can see the discriminatory effect, so that is half of what you have to prove and it is already there. you can see that. we have emails from this learner that we need to plan but we have to be cautious that is not per se a
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political project, i think a jury would find that an interesting email. she worried mightily that a republican control control of the senate might be tantamount to a republican president she was not thrilled about that. that would be be circumstantial evidence of a political motivation. she referred to the tea party is very dangerous, how many pieces of circumstantial evidence, keeping in mind the letter did not say insufficient. i could have lived with it if you would have said that, prosecutors could not make a case. it was a close call but we could make the case. that is not what he said. he said there is no evidence. i just cited three emails that i think would be evidence of some intent. only thing question work. >> well as you i think the letter in its entirety speaks for itself and it outlines the issues you raise but a host of other things that were reviewed
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and looked at in the course of the investigation. it doesn't explain the conclusions to which the department came. with respect to the referral, the, the issue is whether or not there was evidence of a criminal intent. did one act on certain views question mark was that the reason for the action? as we notify letter and offered to have them further briefings with you, we did not find evidence of that through the million pages of documents and hundreds of witnesses that were interviewed. >> i would love to take you up on that offer for private debriefing. i need somebody to explain to me the difference between specific intent and general intent. as i read her e-mails, even some of the mediocre prosecutors on this panel i think you get to a jury given the evidence that they have. i want to touch into other issues because there's a trend of going over. i would invite you, at some point and this is going to be a bipartisan, because because this goes back to 2004.
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in 2004 there is a republican administration, if, if you look at the firearms prosecution from 200-42-2012, you are going to be shocked as to how few prosecutions there were not for firearms offensive that happened during a crime of violence, but i mean lying, buying, selling a gun to someone who has been adjudicated, mentally ill, someone who has been committed. there were 22 guilty adjudications over the course of nine years. for people possessing firearms who were users are addicts of drugs, 22 in nine years. when i hear my friend from florida talk about the need for more gun laws, yes, we are going to say how are you doing with the ones you currently have? i would invite your attention to this chart which came from
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former attorney general holder provided it to us, i think you'll be shocked as to how few, and i guess there's no not much jury appeal. i get that it's hard to go in front of a jury in a line and buying case. but you noted earlier the focus of firearm cases and violent crimes, i think we would all agree that the objective is to prevent the violent crime, not to do a really good job prosecuting afterward but to keep it from happening in the first place. that is why would invite your attention to this. my last point is this, you have been asked repeatedly this morning to comment on ongoing investigations. you always give the same answer, it is the exact same answer that marino gave me in the back is a former u.s. attorney, it's the same answer others which is either you can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation and if we
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happen to know about one, you're not going to comment on it. that is exactly what you should say. i am just wondering why the president didn't get that memo. you may, in your soul does not impact the director or you, and it may not, but i promise you promise you it impacts the perception of my fellow citizens when the person who is responsible for executing the laws in this country prejudge is the outcome of the investigation. it may not impact the reality, i promise you it impacts the perception and that is equally dangerous. with that i would that i would recognize the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you very much. welcome attorney general. >> think it's her. >> i i pose the same question to the fbi director, i want your advice and i would like to work with you. in my hometown of chicago there are 40 or 50 shootings on any given weekend. this entire classroom of children, it is unacceptable.
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we need more federal action i think. whatever we do in chicago, according to a federal report from the mayor's office in the chicago police department, 60% of the guns are coming from wisconsin, indiana, from wisconsin, indiana, and mississippi. all states that have weaker gun laws in the city of chicago does. we know this thanks to the chicago police department's tracking of trace data, meaning the chicago police department traces every gun and recovers and determine whether it was originally sold and how it may have entered the illegal market. so given the majority party in congress refuses to take up this bait robust support for gun control legislation, a couple of questions. what is your advice to me as an individual member of congress who supports going control and how can i help curb
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gun violence in chicago? second, will, will the justice department encourage the police departments everywhere in the nation to collect trace data on the illegal gun like we do in chicago? so first, you are member of congress what is your advice, second, trace the guns, we are doing it in chicago what you think about doing it across the nation question mark speemac, eastman, thank you for the question. you certainly raise an area of concern a priority for the department of justice which is of course violence, in our cities as it affects our children, not only those who are victims but children who are exposed to violent suffer greatly as we know in their later development as well. we feel the city of chicago is certainly taking a concerted look at this problem. i'm extremely proud to note the federal government, through the u.s. attorney's office in chicago is working very closely
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with local law-enforcement on this issue focus on the issue of not just fire arms by gang violence in chicago as well. we also have a strong presence with our federal agencies, fbi as well as atf who work closely with the chicago police department on the e trace program that you mention. we do find it very useful program. we find it find it something that arms us with the data to trace the source of weapons into neighborhood who suffer so much from them. it is an example that we would hope could be exported to other cities as well, as you have noted. i can tell you we are committed to continuing to work with the city of chicago and all of our major cities and violence reduction programs. in fact, chicago was represented at the violence reduction summit that i held just last with the mayor and police chief. we had a very robust discussion about the causes of violence, some of the ways the department could be
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helpful, very targeted ways, whether it is increasing our task force present, focusing on dangerous fugitives in the area, or focusing on violence prevention efforts as well. we remain committed to working with all of our cities works. seeing these issues. >> so if you were to suffer something as egregious as a motion to a member of congress to your high position as attorney general, what do you think what would you do back in chicago? >> i certainly would not call that a demotion. i think all of us in public service have a great opportunity to serve our people. certainly, i think within this body there is a lot of significant discussion going on. obviously the resources to fund
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the programs that we have on the ground are essential and funding the departments budget that focuses on the crime initiative and it folksong violence reduction and reentry and recidivism. a grave concern as people return home to their communities that they not return violence as well. certainly the resources that would be useful for the departments overall budget and particularly with firearms, the resources for atf to continue the vigorous enforcement of the laws in e trace program would be very official. >> lastly there is a letter from my colleagues from chicago, they have asked to meet with you and a group of members of the congressional hispanic caucus
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and black caucus. i like to put in the context of all of the members why we would invite you to meet particularly with that group. because african-americans are 13% of the population but they constitute over half of all of the homicides, over half. 13% by 50% of all the deaths. interesting, latinos are relatively less likely to own a firearm for the general population, yet again they disproportionately died to the gun violence. you have a population that does not own guns but dies of guns and 13% black population and over half of the deaths. i hope you got the letter, i love working with those new
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colleagues of mine, i was wondering if you would accept the invitation to me with a. >> i look forward to meeting with the caucus. thank you so much. >> the gentleman yields back we now recognize gentleman from utah. >> thank you for being here. the inspector general act says that inspectors general and caring out their provisions under the act is authorized, and i quote to have access to all records report, audits, reviews and other read material available to the applicable establishment which relate to programs to which the gentleman has responsibilities under the act. the legal counsel and july 20 despite long-standing tradition in the fbi specifically, the department department of justice does is no longer allowed access to credit information and others, we disagree with that conclusion but at this point we
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have worked with the inspector general, worked with this committee and are still waiting for full input from the department of justice to try to rectify this. i was hoping i would get some commitment from you to work with us and spend time with us on the proposed piece of legislation. i think the current laws the patient, but you do not. we are trying to come up with something that would rectify this. would you be willing or someone from the department of justice to give us guidance and input on this? >> thank you, i think you raise the important issue of the important work of all agencies and inspectors general in particular the department of justice. >> i just want to commitment that you will work with us. >> we have set legislation up come out that we feel we clarify an impact ensure the inspector general would receive all of the information he needed.
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>> would you meet with us? with someone within the department of justice give input on the piece of legislation that i am drafting in a bipartisan way by which mr. cummings to try to resolve this? >> we would be happy to meet with you. >> okay, and hopefully soon i hope. >> i will have have my staff reach out yours. >> thank you. >> i also have a concern on geo locations, in july the oversight committee sent a letter seeking the so-called jones memos. this relates to spring court case from a number of of years ago. on october 26 i issued a bipartisan letter, six represented, five senators including the ranking member from both judiciary committees of the house and the senate, calling the department of justice to share with congress these letters. i still do not understand why you will not share this information with us. >> certainly with respect to the request that you refer to, to
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the extent that it refers to the internal delivery of process of the department we typically do not provide the specific memos. however, we do look forward to working with you to share the information. >> you don't think the house judiciary committee should understand your approach in tracking people through geolocation? >> we are certainly willing to sit and work with you to convey what we can. as much as we can. >> better be a huge step for because that's where the department of justice has not been willing to share with us any information or have such meetings. i need to ask one more topic and try to go quick. share with me your thoughts and perspectives on subpoenas, subpoenas are often issued from a variety of places. congress also issues subpoenas, do you feel a duty and obligation to help enforce those subpoenas as well? >> certainly that is part of the application of the department of justice in terms of its general law-enforcement application.
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>> and when would you not it's force a subpoena question marks. >> i would have to know more specific facts to provide an answer as to whether or not we would not be able to, for some reason or whether there be a reason not to. >> ledoux feel a duty and obligation to enforce than a congressionally issued subpoena? >> certainly with respect to a subpoena issued by anybody, the decision to re-force it or not would be one to review and determine the best course of action to take. i'd like to have more facts of the specific issue if i could. >> i think what the gentleman is asking, if a subpoena goes out and someone does not comply with the subpoena, how do you view the department's obligation to enforce compliance. the subpoenas only as good as your ability to enforce and we do not have access to a police force which is a good thing, we are relying upon you to enforce them. i take the gentleman's question
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to be, how do you view your obligation to back up this branch of government when it needs access to documents or witnesses? >> with respect to the subpoena of this body or any other that we come to the department of justice for enforcement, we would review all of the information about that. certainly in my career as a prosecutor in u.s. attorney i have had occasion to issue subpoenas and then work on alternate means of compliance, both as a prosecutor and and as a private attorney. there are number of ways in which we can obtain compliance. we would certainly need to know more of the facts before i could provide you with specific guidance. >> yes-man. >> the gentleman yields back we now wreck denies from california. >> thank you attorney general lynch for your time and patience today. it seems as though many people on the committee would like to have some of your time.
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i listen to my colleague a minute of go as well as my colleague gutierrez and he mentioned a letter. there is a letter i also also sent to your staff requesting a meeting with you, perhaps what we could do is just join forces. i did not realize there were multiple letters. the concern is really the increase of homicides in the number of cities and specifically the desire to sit down with you personally as well as members of your staff to look at various programs that the agency has that might be allocated and more of an emergency fashion, considering there has been a spike in specific cities. i definitely like to continue following up and perhaps it by the middle of next month we could have the meeting it would be very good, since we have been asking for a while. i wanted to know if you would tell us about some of the
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programs from a more global perspective. for example, the federal local partnership between the federal law-enforcement and and local police in baltimore, if you could talk about how those efforts are helping to address a spike in baltimore. as well as you mentioned your summit that you had in detroit. i wanted to know if you could share some of the lessons from that summit in terms of how cities are able to address the spike. after that, i want to ask you a another question. >> thank you for those questions on topics of great importance. to me as the attorney general and to the american people. with respect to the violent crime issues that we are facing, while we have noted for a number of months and even the last year or
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so, we are fortunate that crime in general is down across the country. in all of our major cities crime generally is down but we do have neighborhoods where there is a persistence issue of violence. we have neighborhoods where we either have not seen similar decreases are we have seen increases in violent crime. in my former role as u.s. attorney in brooklyn, i have many of those neighborhoods within my district. i dealt with dealt with those on a daily basis. i know the importance of a partnership in terms of dealing with that issues. baltimore is an excellent example of some of the resources federal government is looking to bring to bear to deal with specific situations. we have partnered partnered with the police department in baltimore to provide an influx of pedal agents focusing on the violent crime program to aid in the investigation and literally making the cases so that we can remove the violent offenders from the streets of baltimore and allow the citizens to flourish in that great city. with respect to the summit we had, because we had looking at
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this from a host of perspective i asked my united states attorneys and cities that have seen an increase in violence in some neighborhoods to meet directly with their local partners and counterparts, district attorneys, police officers, sheriffs, and discuss the nature of crime increase and focus on the reason and what could be gleaned from those discussions. we were able to accumulate a great body of information there. as one can imagine, the reasons for crime differ depending on the neighborhood. with that, we built on an convener violent crime summit in october where we had mayors, please chiefs, u.s. attorneys chiefs, u.s. attorneys from the cities here in washington. we were speaking together sharing best practices for crime reduction. >> so i want to get to my last point and would ask for the patients with this. perhaps perhaps we could get the information from that summit
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that happened in october, if we could get those it would be very helpful. finally i wanted wanted to ask you about trafficking. that is a high priority for you, i wanted to know if you could mention any in particular we know that a percentage of the girls in trafficking are in the foster care system. the question is, is, is there collaboration between doj and dhs and kenny speak to that? >> certainly, we have have a number of collaborations across different agencies come i cannot recall the specific ones with hhs but i would like to provide you with that information. we are also working with the department of labor and state and local law-enforcement. were working in many ways to improve enforcement and provide services for the survivors. the services range from housing, treatment, therapy and the like. >> okay and i will follow up with you specifically getting
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these girls back into the foster care system is really critical. i will specifically look for that collaboration. >> the lady eels back. madame attorney general you have been sitting there for three hours. votes are coming. that will provide break but i am happy to break now given the fact that you have been sitting there for three hours. >> i would appreciate five minutes of that is possible. >> done. to degrade
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and destroy isil. a year ago, the goal was to
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degrade and destroy isil. it's impossible to look at where we are today and claim that the president's strategy is succeeding or that it is likely to succeed on anything approaching an acceptable timetable and level of risk. no one should take this as a criticism of the men and women in uniform as well as their civilian counterparts in the field, could doing the best then under the strategic and operational constraints they face, especially the white house's desire revisiting the vietnam war tactics that the white house is micromanaging the military campaign. it's not that we've done nothing against isil. it's that there is no compelling reason to believe that anything we're doing will be sufficient to destroy isil. thousands of air strikes against isil's targets have conjured the illusion of progress, but they have produced little in the way of decisive battle effects.
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i noted with some interest that we provided some targeting for the french who carried out air strikes. i wonder why we hadn't done any of that in the last year. isil continues to dominate sunni arab areas in the world in both iraq and syria and efforts to reclaim major population centers in those areas such as most you will have stalled, to say the -- as mosul have stalled, to say the least. meantime, isil continues to expand globally. it's now operating in afghanistan, lebanon, egypt. and other radical islamist groups like boko haram and others have pledged allegiance to isil. this appearance of success only enhances isil's ability to radicalize, recruit and grow. and now in the past month, isil
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has commenced a new stage in its war on the civilized world by unleashing a wave of terrorist attacks across the globe. in england arrest a, -- in ankara, isil detonated two bombs outside a train station, killing 102 people and injuring 400 more. in skies over egypt, isil destroyed a russian civil airliner with a bomb that killed all 224 passengers aboard. in beirut, isil conducted two suicide bombings that killed 43 people and injured 239 more. in baghdad, isil bombs killed 26 people, wounded more than 60 others. and finally in the streets of paris last week, as we all know, gunmen wearing suicide belts attacked innocent civilians at restaurants, bars, a soccer stadium and a concert hall, killing at least 129 and wounding 352 other people.
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the american people have experienced this kind of terror before and we stand together with the people of turkey, russia, lebanon, iraq, france and nearly 20 other nations whose citizens were murdered by these brutal atrocities committers. these attacks reveal nothing new about isil's character. isil is the face of evil in our world today. it has crucified its enemies, beheaded innocent journalists, burned a muslim pilot alive in a cage. it's condemned women and children and girls to slavery and torture and unspeakable sexual abuse, and when waging war on the living has failed to satisfy its savagery, isil has desecrated and destroyed many of the monuments to civilization that remain across the middle east.
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isis's latest attacks also reveal nothing new about its intentions. everything that isil is doing is what their leaders have long said they would do. they have stated their aims explicitly and clearly. all we have to do is listen to their words. indeed, as one author put it, isil has toiled mightily to make their projects knowable. what these attacks have demonstrated and what now should be clear is that isil is at war with us whether or not we admit it that we are at war with them. what should now be clear is that isil is determined to attack the heart of the civilized world. europe and the united states. that it has the intent to attack us, the capability to attack us and the sanctuary from which to plan those attacks. what should now be clear is our people and our allies will not be safe until isil is destroyed, not just degraded but destroyed,
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not eventually but as soon as possible. unfortunately, unfortunately, almost tragically, this president, president obama, remains as ideologically committed as ever to staying the course he is on and impervious to new information that would suggest otherwise as he made quite clear during his incredible press conference yesterday in turkey, according to the president, the united states -- according to the president of the united states, anyone who disagrees with him is -- quote -- popping off. popping off. i guess michael morrell, former deputy secretary of the c.i.a. was just popping off when he said recently the downing of a russian airliner, only the third such attack in 25 years, the attacks in paris, the largest in europe since the madrid bombings in 2004 make it crystal clear that our isis strategy is not
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working. that comes from michael morrell, a former deputy head of the c.i.a. under this president. i guess senator dianne feinstein, vice chair of the senate intelligence committee, was just popping off when she said that isil is not contained, isil is expanding and that we need new military strategy and tactics. i guess general jack keene, one of my heroes, architect of the successful surge strategy in iraq, was just popping off when he said -- quote -- "we are, in fact, losing this war. moreover, i can say with certainty that this strategy will not defeat isis." this strategy will not defeat isis. that comes from the author of the surge which succeeded which the president by withdrawing all troops allowed to go completely to waste and the lives of brave young americans were wasted.
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i guess hillary clinton, the president's former secretary of state and desired successor, was just popping off when she declared her support for a no-fly zone in syria to -- quote -- stop the carnage on the ground and in the air. i guess general david petraeus was just popping off when he testified to the armed services committee that the president's strategy has failed to create the military conditions to end the conflict in syria and that isil will not be defeated until we do so. and i guess james jeffrey, a career foreign officer and the president's ambassador to iraq was just popping off when he wrote in "the washington post" today that the president needs to send thousands of ground troops to destroy isil. what all of these national security leaders recognize is the reality that is staring us right in the face. it is the president who is once
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again failing to grasp it. he fails to understand even now that wars don't end just because he says they are over, that our terrorist enemies are not defeated just because he says they are. and the threat posed by isil is not contained because he desires it to be so and that maybe, just maybe, the growing group of his bipartisan critics might just be right. and why won't he listen to them? why won't he listen to these people of experience and knowledge and background? who does he listen to? who does the president listen to? it couldn't be anybody knowledgeable and make the comments that he made at that press conference. the president has had to go back on everything he said he would not do to combat the threats now emanating from syria and iraq. he said he would not arm moderate syrian rebels because that would militarize the conflict. he was wrong. he said he would not intervene
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militarily in iraq or syria. he was wrong. he said he would not put boots on the ground in syria. he was wrong. now he says that his strategy is working, that all it needs is time and that no further changes are required despite isil's campaign of terror. let me get this straight. after the bombing in paris, after the russian airliner, after the other acts of terror -- quote -- he needs time, he needs time, and that no further changes are required. does anybody, does anybody believe him anymore? what the president has failed to understand for nearly five years is that unless and until he leads an international effort to end the conflict in syria and iraq, the costs of this conflict will continue to mount. those consequences have grown steadily from mass atrocities and hundreds of thousands dead in syria to the repeated use of weapons of mass destruction to
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the rise of the world's largest terrorist army and its rampage across syria and iraq. to destabilizing refugee flows that have shaken the stability of syria's neighbors and now are potentially changing the character of european society. now we see the latest manifestation of this threat, global terrorist attacks directed and inspired by isil that has killed hundreds across the world. the paris attacks obviously should be a wake-up call for all americans, most of all for the president. if we stay the course, if we don't change our strategy now, we will be attacked. i don't know where, when or how, but it will happen. do we need to wait for more innocent people not to die before we address the reality that is right before us?
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isil has said it intends to attack washington, d.c. do we not take them at their word? do we think they're not capable of it? do we think time is on our side? it's not. time is not on our side. the lesson of the september 11 attack was that mass murders cannot be permitted -- mass murderers cannot be permitted safe havens, cannot be permitted safe havens from which to plot our destruction. do we really have to pay that price again through the blood of our citizens? for nearly five years, we have been told that there is no military solution to the conflict in syria and iraq, as if anyone believes there is. in fact, one of the things that's most frustrating about the president's rhetoric is that he sets up strawmen. he says we either should do nothing or the republicans -- the critics, now democrats as well, wanting to send in
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hundreds of thousands or a hundred thousand. we do not. we do not. we believe and i am convinced that we can send in a force composed of sunni arabs, of egyptians, of turks and americans about 10,000, establish the no-fly zone, allow the refugees a sanctuary and make sure that no barrel bombing will be allowed in those areas, and we can succeed. isis is not invincible. the united states of america and our allies are far stronger. we are the strongest nation on earth. and to say that we can't defeat isil is a matter of will, not a matter of whether it's capability or not. so i say, say to my colleagues, the american people, we can defeat isis and we wipe them off the face of the earth, but we've
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got to have a strategy, and this president has never had a strategy. for nearly five years, we have been told there is no military solution, there are no good options, that our influence is limited, but that's not always the case. we won't succeed overnight, because if our problem is one of time, not policy, then we can't solve every problem in the middle east, as if that be a solves us of our responsibility to make the situation better where we can. this isn't a question of our capacity, our capabilities or our options. we've always had options to address this growing threat, but the longer we wait, the longer we wait, the more difficult and risk of cost going is there. four years ago when lindsey graham and i came to this floor and said we need to have a no-fly zone, we need to arm and train the free syrian army, we
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need once bashar assad to cross the red line, we could have done it then and it would have been a heck of a lot easier, but this president didn't want to do it and we are faced with a more complex tens of thousand -- couple of hundred thousand syrians dead, millions refugees later, and the president of the united states still won't act, still believes as he stated in his press conference yesterday that somehow everything is going fine. what delusion. after the attack on france, article 5 of nato's founding treaty should be invoked, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all. that's what we did after 9/11. the united states should work with our nato ally and our arab partners to assemble a coalition that will take the fight to isil from the air and on the ground. my friends, air attacks only will not succeed. it will not succeed. i'm sorry to tell you, i
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apologize ahead of time. we need boots on the ground. not a hundred thousand but about 10,000 with the capabilities -- with the dmaibilities are unique to -- capabilities that are unique to american servicemen and women. and we can defeat isil. we have to step up the air campaign by easing overly restrictive rules of engagement. at the same time we've got to recognize that isil will only be defeated by ground combat forces, as i said. those don't exist today. we must recognize that our indirect efforts to support our partners on the ground, iraqi security forces, moderate syrian opposition force, the kurdish peshmerga and sue my tribal forces are insufficient to outpace the growing threat we face. the united states must therefore work to assemble, as i mentioned, a coalition and ground force that will -- a commitment on the order of 10,000 u.s. troops. in syria, we must hasten the end
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of the civil war. we must accept that russia and iran are not interested in a negotiated solution that favors u.s. interest. russia and iran have entirely different goals than the united states of america in syria. russia wants to keep bashar assad or a stiewj in power. they want -- or a stooge in power, they want to keep their major influence in the region and they want to protect their base there. the united states of america has none of those interests. they want to prop up the guy who's killed 240,000. i appreciate that outpouring of concern of all my colleagues and all americans about these refugees. the refugees are the result of a failure of presidential and american leadership. they're not the cause of it. the cause of these hundreds of thousands or millions of refugees is because our policy failed, bashar assad slaughtered them with barrel bombs and we
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are now faced with the threat, in some respects, of whether -- of a possibility of one or more of these refugees having gone through greece and now are -- or could possibly, as the director of the c.i.a. said yesterday, possibly ongoing operations to try to orchestrate attacks on america. it's often said that america doesn't go abroad in search of monsters to destroy but that doesn't mean there are no monsters in the world that seek to destroy us. the longer we wait to accept this reality, the greater the cost we will pay. you know, one of my great heroes and role models, as is the case with many of our colleagues, is winston churchill. and never would compare myself with -- with winston churchill
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in any possible way, except sometimes i do have some empathy with winston churchill, who during the 1930's came to the floor -- came to the floor of the parliament and made comments and speeches that were very, very moving but no one paid any attention to him. in fact, he was ridiculed. in fact, lindsey graham and i have -- lindsey graham and i have been rid sciewled from time to time because of our assessment of the situation -- ridiculed from time to time because of our assessment of the situation and what needed to be done. so winston churchill once said -- and i quote -- after the crisis had been resolved, to some degree and the family of britain and the world had awakened -- quote -- and there is a parallel between the situation four years ago and what winston churchill had to
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say. and a quote -- "when the situation was manageable, it was neglected and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply too late the remedies which then might have affected a cure. there is nothing new in the story. it's as old as the cybaline books. it falls into that long, dismal catalog of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency becomes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong, these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history." i say to my colleagues, we are
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observing the endless repetition of history. what once upon a time was a manageable situation, where the president of the united states said, it's not a matter of when bashar assad leaves, it's a matter of when. when the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and then the secretary of defense testified before our committee, it's inevitable that bashar assad will go. when the president of the united states continuously said time after time, we have a strategy, it's not anything to worry abo about. we get out of iraq, we draw red lines in syria and don't do it, don't take any action after that red line is crossed. when his national security team composed of the secretary of state clinton, secretary of defense panetta and then-director of the c.i.a., david petraeus all recommended training and arming the free syrian army, he rejected it. so now we find ourselves with
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240 million dead in syria, more children in school -- syrian children in school in lebanon than lebanese children, jordan, the very fabric of one of our best friends threatened and unstable because of the huge number of refugees. we find a very unstable middle east and we find isis spread nod other nations. they've even -- isis has now established a foothold in afghanistan. and the iranians are doing the same. so it's not too late. it's not too late. we have to take up arms. we have to tell the american people what's at stake here. we have to inform the american people that what happened in
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paris can happen here. mr. baghdadi, who was once in our prison camp, camp bucca, for four years in iraq and said, i'll see you in new york when he left. he was not kidding. and there is no doubt that what isis has just proved is that contrary to what this president believed, contrary even what our intelligence told us, they have a reach. they've had a reach to russian -- to shooting -- making sure that a russian jet was destroyed, airliner. they have a reach to paris. they have a reach to beirut. and they have a reach in northern africa and other places in the world. and there's no reason why we should not suspect that they have a reach to the united states of america. it's time we acted. it's time the united states of america, acting with our allies,
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take out isil. we must go both to iraq and to syria and take them out. their total defeat is the only thing that will eliminate this threat to the united states of america. yes, after they're destroyed, there's a lot to do. yes, there's things such as building societies and economies and free societies and all that. but there's only one thing that mr. baghdadi and his legions understand and that is that we kill them. and we counter with everything we can this spread of this perverted form of an honorable religion called islam. and this is radical islam terrorists, whether the president ever wants to say it or not. so, my dear colleagues, i hope that working together -- and, by the way, i just -- one additional point. the refugees are a huge problem. obviously we have to pause until
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we are sure that nobody is doing exactly what apparently at least one of the terrorists that attacked paris did and that is go through greece and into france. but at the same time, we need to understand that the refugee problem is an effect of a failed policy, not the cause of it. so i would just like to finally say the president should do two things. one, call together the smartest people that we know. i named some of them. general petraeus, david -- general keane. there's a number of names of people, general mattis, general kelly. there are a number of people wh. the names are familiar to many of us who follow national security. these people are the ones that made the surge succeed. call them together over to the white house and say, give me
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your advice. he must do that. what he's been listening to and what he's doing is failing. and finally, i stand ready -- and i know that my friend, lindsey graham, who is my partner and knows more about these issues than any other member of this body and certainly anybody who's running for president of the united states -- we'll go over, we'd be glad to go over and sit with the president. i want to cooperate with him. i want to work with him. we need to do that. and i offer up my services and my advice and counsel and anybody else on this side of the aisle. this is a threat to the lives of the men and women who are living in this nation. they deserve our protection and they deserve a bipartisan approach and a bipartisan action in order to stop that. so i stand ready but right now i have not been more concerned.
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i leave my colleagues with one -- two fundamental facts. one, there are now more refugees in the world at any time since the end of world war ii. two, there are now more crises in the world than at any time since the end of world war ii. we cannot sustain this failed policies that have led us to the situation that america and the world are in today. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer the presiding officer: the other senator from arizona. mr. flake: mr. president, over the weekend, france suffered the worst attack that it has seen since world twar two -- world war ii. a day before that, beirut was rocked by two suicide bombings perpetrated by isil that killed
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more than 40 civilians. we just had it confirmed that the russian plane flying over the sinai was taken down by a terrorist bomb. again, isil has claimed credit. these attacks have followed on the heels of an announced -- an announcement two weeks earlier by the president that he's authorized the deployment of up to 50 special forces in syria. they will be there to support u.s.-backed syrian rebels in the campaign against isil. more than one year after the announcement of operation inherent resolve, a mission to -- quote -- "degrade and ultimately defeat" isil, this conflict has escalated dramatically. the facts on the ground in the middle east have changed dramatically. russia is intervening militarily on behalf of bashar assad in syria. hundreds of thousands of syrians
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have left their homes and have left the country to escape isil and assad. precipitating a massive humanitarian crisis that has brought the european union under great strain. in addition to the deployment of u.s. special forces in syria, news reports indicate that the u.s. will increase supplies of military weapons to u.s.-backed syrian rebels fighting isil. for all the changes that we've seen over the past year, one thing has not changed -- the congress of the united states has not voted to authorize the use of military force against isil. that needs to change. that's why i've come to the floor today and senator -- and the senator from virginia, senator kaine, who will speak in a moment, has come as well. we need an authorization for the use of military force. now, the president maintains that the legal underpinnings of his authorization come from the
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aumf provided to our previous president in the 107th congress back in 2001. the 2001 aumf allowed the president the authority to use -- quote -- "all necessary and appropriate force" against those he determined who planned, authorized or committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on september 11, 2001 or harbored such organizations or persons." more than ten years later, two provisions of the massive f.y. 2012 national defense authorization act expanded the 2001 aumf to include -- quote -- associated forces of al qaeda and the taliban. now, this is an expansion from what the administration derives its authority for today's actions to go after the islamic state in iraq and syria. i'm not standing here today to debate the merits of the administration's arguments as to whether or not they have the
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legal authority. that's not what is at issue right here. what is at issue is the ease with which congress happily defers to old statutes and abdicates its authority to weigh in on what history will record as long, complex, brutal conflict. this conflict hag going on for more than a year with very mixed results, and the consequences will change the geopolitical landscape in that region for decades. ten american service members have died supporting operation inherent resolve. one of them recently killed in action. five others have been wounded. with thousands of service members in support of operation inherent resolve and attacks happening all over the world, the notion that a 14-year-old statute aimed at another enemy is any kind of substitute for congressional authorization is insufficient. operation inherent resolve
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warrants its own authorization, not just because of its size and duration, because americans are dying in pursuit of it or because it is directed at an enemy that is a threat to our security. this mission warrants its own authorization because we want it to succeed. we want the world to know that the united states speaks with one voice. nearly a year ago, the senate foreign relations committee passed -- we pressed the administration to come forward with a draft aumf against isil. when it did not do so, the committee proceeded with its own aumf, which spurred the administration to take action. two months after that exercise, the administration sent up its own draft aumf. that was more than eight months ago. but efforts to produce an aumf here in congress have since stalled. in an effort to break the gridlock, as i mentioned, the
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senator from virginia, mr. kaine, and myself introduced a resolution that we think represents a good compromise. it may not be perfect. it may represent only a starting point, but we need a starting point here and we need to move forward. this issue is far too important not to try to get an agreement to move ahead. i would urge my colleagues to consider the importance of this operation against isil, and the implications to foreign policies for many years ahead. specifically, the implications to this body, congress of the united states and the u.s. senate, if we're not even willing to weigh in and authorize the use of force here, what does that say to our adversaries. what does that say to our allies? what does that say to the troops who are fighting on our behalf? how much longer can we go without an authorization for use of force? with that, i'd like to yield
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time to my colleague, the senator from virginia. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia is recognized. mr. kaine: thank you, mr. president, and i thank my colleague from arizona for working so closely. this does not have to be a partisan issue. in fact, it should not be a partisan issue. my sense is in this congress, in both houses, 80-plus percent of the members believe strongly that the united states should be engaged in military action under some circumstances against this horrible threat of isil, and yet despite that overwhelming consensus and despite the clear constitutional command in article 1 that we should not be at war without a vote of congress, there has been a strange conspiracy of silence about this in the legislative branch for the last 16 months. the senator from arizona and i introduced a resolution in january to authorize military force building upon previous efforts in the foreign relations committee, the president's authorization. we did it knowing it's not
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perfect, knowing not everyone would agree with every word, but we did it to show we can be bipartisan and stand up against a threat like isil. let's just review as the senator did, let's review what has happened since august 8, 2014. the president on that day started air strikes against isil and said he was doing it for two reasons. first, to protect american personnel who were jeopardized at a consulate in irbil, and second to provide humanitarian support for members of a minority religious secretary, the azidib es who were being hammed in. at that point in 2014 isil and their activities were limited to iraq and syria. 16 months later, we have lost four american hostages who have been executed by isil, we have lost ten american service men and women who were deployed to that theater, we have about
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3,600 american troops who were deployed thousands of miles from home, risking their lives every day. we have spent $5 billion, $11 million a day in the battle against isil, we have flown nearly 6,300 air strikes with american aircraft against isil. isil which was at first limited to iraq and syria, now has presence in afghanistan, libya, yemen, somalia. they have undertaken attacks that they claim credit for in the sinai and egypt and in lebanon. this threat is mutating and growing, and at the end of last week on friday the 13th, we saw the horror of isil with the grim assassination of innocents as they were enjoying dinner or going to music concerts or watching soccer games in paris. isil put out a video a few days ago threatening similar attacks on washington. isil's not going away. this is a threat, and the
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president started military action for a narrow and limited reason, but the threat has mutated. like a cancer, it's grown and it is now affecting nations all over the world. and so the question is how long will congress continue to be silent about this? congress -- and i will say, i think this is a malady that you can lay at the feet of both parties in both houses. congress seems to prefer a strategy of criticize what the president's doing, and look, i'm critical of some of the things that the president's doing. the senator from arizona, the senior senator's speech earlier laid out some challenges with the strategy. but it's not enough for this body that has a constitutional authority in matters of war to just criticize the commander in chief, but what we've done is sat on the said ions and criticized, but we have not been willing either to vote to authorize what's going on, vote to stop what's going on or vote
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to refine or revise what's going on. it's easy to be a critic. it's easy to sit in the stands and watch a play and say well, why didn't the coach call a different play, but we're not fans here. we're the owners of the team. we're the article 1 branch and we're not supposed to be at war without a vote of congress. i will hand it back to my colleague from arizona and then perhaps i could say a few concluding words that would be more about the kind of emotional rather than the legal side of this as we're thinking about the challenges in paris, but i think the events of last week, egypt, beirut, paris, demonstrate that the voice of congress is needed. the voice of congress is needed to fulfill our article 1 responsibility. the voice of congress is needed as the senator from arizona mentioned because we send a message by our voice to our allies, to the adversary and to our troops. the voice of congress is also needed because it has the effect
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of solving some of the problems that senator mccain mentioned earlier. to the extent that the administration's strategy is not what we would want it to be, they have to present a strategy to congress. when we ask tough questions of the witnesses and we refine it and it gets better and we do that all in the view of the american public so they can be educated about what's at stake. when you don't have the debate, you don't put before the american public the reasons for the involvement, and that is desperately needed. with that, i want to thank again my colleague from arizona. i'd like to say a few words at the end about why this is a matter of emotional significance to me, but i would now defer to my colleague. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: thank you, mr. president. i thank my colleague from virginia. let me just say, i mentioned, we both mentioned the importance of the message that needs to be sent from the u.s. congress, article 1 branch. the message to our troops who are fighting on our behalf. second, the message to our
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adversaries. they need to know that we are resolved, that we speak with one voice. let me talk for just a second about the message to our allies. an authorization for use of force will dictate and will set the parameters for that use of force. our allies need to know if we're all in or if there are certain limitations. if we decide that this body, if the congress decides there are certain limitations of that use of force, our allies need to know that. they need to know their role, what they're required to do. that will be a useful thing. if there are limitations, we need to spell them out. if there aren't, we need to let our adversaries know that as well. but whatever the case, we need to debate this and we need to authorize this use of force. we've waited long enough, we've waited frankly far too long. we've asked the president for language. the president sent language up. i think it's lacking in a few
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areas, i like some parts of it, but it needs to be debated here. and if we have asked the president for that language, then we need to take it up and actually do something with it. it's our responsibility, we are the article 1 branch. we're the branch that is supposed to declare war. and we need to do that here. so i would again invite my colleague from virginia to close here and thank the president and just say that it's time, it's well past time that we move on this and hopefully the events of the past couple of weeks, the attacks that happened in paris, the bombing of a plane, the other suicide bombings that have occurred, our commitment of new resources will convince us all that it's time to act here in congress. with that, i yield back. mr. kaine: thank you, mr. president, and thank you again to the senator from arizona for joining together in this important area. so i had a -- an epiphany that
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was kind of a sad epiphany on friday. i was thinking about senator flake and i have children that are about the same age. i was thinking about young people, looking at our pages here, thinking about young people. like many when the attacks happened friday, my first thoughts were to who do i know in paris? a lot of folks have relatives or have family or co-workers or former co-workers that were in paris, and like a lot of people, i got on the phone and i got on the text to try to track down my niece. i have a niece who is a student at law school, third year law student. she is in paris for a semester studying there. she was in the restaurant area where the shootings occurred, so close that she could hear them. she was not immediately affected, but she and her friends had to kind of barricade themselves in the restaurant for a while wondering what was going on. now, we were able to determine
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elizabeth was fine, and she assured all the family and the people who wanted to send her the plane ticket to come home, no, i'm fine. but i started to think about over the weekend like how fine she really was, how fine our young people really are, because elizabeth was a peace corps volunteer in cameroon a few years ago, and since coming home, the village that she lived in was essentially wiped out by boko haram. the next door neighbor that was her protector and the protector of all the peace corps volunteers that came before was killed, along with a lot of her other friends. and boko haram has now pledged allegiance to isil. so she has had the experience of losing friends in a terrorist attack in cameroon and now she has had the experience of being nearby, near a terrorist attack in paris. and it started to just kind of work on my conscience a little bit that this for now for her is
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a norm. you know, for me at age 57, these events are not the norm. they're the extreme. but for elizabeth or for my children, i have three kids, one in the military. they all came of age after 9/11. we're living in a world that for so many of our young people, the norm is not peace and safety and complacency. the norm is war or terrorist attacks all over the globe, and if that can be said about american young people, it's certainly the case for young people in france or young people in syria or all over the region. i hate that we're living in a world where young people are starting to think that this is the norm rather than the exception. and it seems to me as an adult, as somebody in a leadership position, that part of what we need to do is rather than just allow us to drift without taking a position into the world where
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this is more and more normal, while acknowledging that we are humble people and we can't completely control our destiny, we've got to take charge of a situation and not stand by and just lob in criticism but try to shape it to the best of our ability. i think that was the genius of the drafters of the constituti constitution. james madison, a virginian, who drafted many of these provisions, was trying to do something incredibly radical. war at the time was for the king or the monarch or the emperor, and madison and the others who drafted the american constitution said, we're going to take that power to initiative war away from the -- to initiate war away from the executive, nobody else has ever done this, and we're going to put the power if the hand of the people's representatives so they can debate and soberly analyze when you should take that step of authorizing military action. we're evewhere even under the bf circumstances horrible things
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can happen and people can lose their lives. we've allowed this war to go on long enough without putting a congressional fingerprint on it. for our young peemg peemg, peopr troops, for our allies, we should take up that leadership mantle and try to shape this mutating and growing threat. with that, i yield the floor and thank again my colleague from arizona. mr. daines: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. daines: mr. president, the obama administration's war on energy isn't just a war on coal, it's a war on american jobs, on american families, and our national security.
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and that's why it's so surprise that the president's anti-energy yeandz iagenda is getting opposn from both sides of the aisle. i'm thankful for the bipartisan leadership by senator mcconnell and as well as senator heitkamp in standing up against the regulations against our nation's coal-fired power plants. i'm glad to join them to stop the e.p.a. from imposing its anti-coal regulations. the congressional review act resolution of disapproval we are considering today will block the obama administration's regulations on existing coal-fired plants. we're also seeing strong opposition, strong opposition from more than half of the states in the country, including my home state of montana, that through three different lawsuits have requested an initial stay on the rule.
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the obama administration's wreckless agenda is -- reckless yeandz iagenda is shutting down coal-fired power plants across the united states. it is stifling investments that could lead to innovation to make coal even cleaner here in the united states. president obama calls it the clean power plan. that's not named correctly. it should be called the unaffordable energy plan. president obama's unaffordable energy plan will have a negligible energy impact on global emissions, but it will lead to devastating consequences for affordable energy and these good-paying union and tribal jobs. here are the facts: the united states mines just 11% of the world's coal and consumes about 10.5% of the world's coal. said another way, 90%, approximately, of all the coal
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that's mined and consumed occurs outside the united states. and global demand for coal-fired energy will not disappear even if the united states were to shut down every last coal mine and coal-fired plant. coal use around the world has grown four times fafort faster n renewables. 1,200 coal plants are planned in 59 countries. let meet say that again. 1,200 coal plants are planned in 59 countries, about three-quarters of which will be in china and india. china alone consumes 4 billion tons of coal per year. compare that to the united states as 1 billion tons a year. in other words, china four times greater than the united states. in fact, comie china is buildinw coal plant every ten days for the next ten years. look at japan, for example. after the great quake there in japan, they lost their nuclear
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power capability. japan is currently building 43 coal-fired plants, and by 2020 india may have built two and a half times as much coal capacity as the u.s. is about to lose. so the obama administration's reckless war on energy will have little impact on global emissions. but here's what it will do: it will devastate significant parts of our economy. it's going to cause energy bills to skyrocket. it'll be a loss of tax revenues for our schools, for our roads, for our teachers, and it's going to destroy family, wage, union, and tribal jobs. if this rule moves forward, countless coal-fired plants like colstr power plant in montana, will likely be shuttered putting thousands of jobs at risk, and it also will make new coal-fired plants incredibly difficult to build. coal keeps the lights on in this country, and it will continue to
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power the world for decades to come. in fact, in my home state of montana, it provides more than half of our electricity. i've told my kids, we have four children, that when they plug in their phones, odds are, it's coal that powering that phone. and rather than dismissing this reality, the united states should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development. we should be leading the way in powering the wocialtion not disengauge -- the world, not disengaging. president obama's out-of-touch regulations take us out and people that can afford it the lead will be impacted the most. i join my colleagues to join us to stop the president's job-killing regulations on affordable energy. join us in standing up for american energy independence. with what we've seen happen in the world in the last week, our in the security and energy independence are tied together.
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stand up for american jobs, stand up for hardworking american families. thank you, mr. president. ms. warren: mr. president? the presiding officer: the sphror massachusetts. ms. warren: mr. president, on friday isis terrorists massacred 129 people in paris. just the day before, isis terrorists massacred 43 people in beirut. while these are merely the latest in a series of horrific attacks launched by isis over the last few years, these twin tragedies have riveted the attention of the world. these events test us. it is easy to proclaim that we are tough and brave and good-hearted when threats feel far away. but when those threats loom large and close by, our actions will strip away our tough talk and reveal who we really are. we face a choice, a choice either to lead the world by example or to turn our backs to the threats and the suffering
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around us. last month senator shaheen, senator durbin, senator klobuchar and i traveled to europe to see the syrian refugee crisis up close. i come to the senate floor today to speak about what i saw and to try to shed some light on the choice we face. over the past four years, millions of people have fled their homes in syria, running for their lives, searching for a future for themselves and their families. official estimates indicate that 2 million syrians are now living in turkey, more than a million in lebanon, and more than half a million in jordan. the true numbers are probably much larger. the crisis has put an enormous economic and political strain on those countries. in late 2014 i traveled to jordan where i visit add u.n. refugee processing strvment i also met with jordan's foreign minister, with u.n. representatives and with american military personnel stationed in amman.
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even a year ago it was clear that the humanitarian crisis was so straining these host countries and that there was no end in sight. in recent months, the crisis has accelerated. the steady stream of refugees fleeing syria has become a flood, and that flood has swept across europe. every day refugees set out on a journey of hundreds of miles, from syria to the turkish coast. when they arrive, they're met by human smugglers who charge $1,000 a head for a place on a shoddy, overloaded, plastic raft that is floated out to sea, hopefully in the direction of one of the greek islands. i visited one of those islands last month. lesbos is only a few miles but the risks of crossing is immense. these overcrowded paper-thin rafts are dangerously unsteady.
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parents do their best to protect their children. little ones are outfitted with blowup pool floaties as a substitute for life jackets in the hope that if their rafts go down, ad a $1.99 pool toy will e enough to save the life of a small child. according to some estimates, more than 500 people have died crossing the sea from turkey to greece so far this year. despite the risks, thousands make the trip every day. greek coast guard officials told us that when refugees see a coast guard ship, they may even slash holes in their own rafts just so they won't be turned back. i met with the mayor of lesbos who described how his tiny greek island has struggled to cope with those refugees who have washed ashore.
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refugees are processed in reception centers on the island before boarding ferries to athens but greece plainly l . normous numbers. refugees pile into the reception centers, overflowing the facilities, sleeping in parks or beside the road. last month a volunteer doctor in lesbos was quoted as saying, "there are thousands of children here and their feet are literally rotting. they can't keep dry, they have high fevers, and they're standing in the pouring rain for days . recently the mayor told a local radio program that the island had run out of room to bury the dead. greece i's overwhelmed registration system is not only a humanitarian crisis but also a security risk. in meeting after meeting, i asked greek officials about sciewsht screening for these
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migrants and time after time i heard the same answer. it was all greece could do simply to fingerprint these individuals and write down their names, before sending them off to athens and from there to somewhere else in europe. now greece's interior minister says that fingerprints taken from one of the paris attackers may match someone who registered as a refugee at a greek island entry point in early october. whether this ultimatel ultimates to be true, there is no question that a screening system that can do no more than confirm after the fact that a terrorist entered europe is obviously not a screening system that is working. the burden of dealing with syrian refugees cannot fall on greece alone. greece and the other border countries dealing with this crisis need money and expertise to screen out security threats. europe needs to provide that assistance as quickly as possible, and if we are serious
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about preventing another tragedy like the one in paris, the united states must help. we must build adequate procedures to make sure that refugees, especially those who have entered europe through this slipshod screening process, can enter the united states only after they have been thoroughly vetted and we are fully confident that they do not pose a risk to our nation or our people. the security threat is real, and it must be addressed. but on our visit to lesbos, we also had the chance to meet with refugees processed at the reception center to see who most of them really are. and from the outside, with its barbed wire and guard towers, it looks like a prison. at the entrance, words "freedom for all" are etched. in speaking with refugees
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inside, it feels more like a 21st century ellis island. we met doctors and teachers and civil engineers and college students, young, educated middle-class syrians seeking freedom and the opportunity for themselves and their families and seeking a safe refuge from isis, just like the rest of us. the most heartbreaking cases are the unaccompanied children much these boys and girls are separated from the other refugees in a fenced-off outdoor dormitory area. i met a young girl in that fenced-in area, younger than my own granddaughters, sent out on this perilous journey alone. when i asked how old she was, she shyly held up seven fingers. i wonder what would convince parents to hand a 7-year-old girl and a wad of cash to human smugglers?
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what could possibly possess them to send a beloved child across the treacherous seas with no more protection than a pool floatie? what could make them send a child on a journey knowing that crime rings of sex slavery and organ harvesting prey on these children, send a little girl out alone with only the wildest, vaguest hope that she might make it through alive and find something, anything, better on the other side? well, today we all know why parents would send a child on a journey alone. the events of the last week in paris and beirut drive it home. the terrorists of isis, enemies of islam and all modern civilization, butchers who rape, torture and execute women and chich, who blow -- women and children, who blow themselves up in a lunatic effort to kill as many people as possible, these terrorists have spent years
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torturing the people of syria. and what about the syrian government? president bashar al-assad has spent years bombing his own people. day after day, month after month, year after year, syrian civilians have been caught in the middle, subjected to suicide attacks, car bombings, hotel bombings at the hands of isis or assad or this faction or that faction. each assault more senseless than the last. day after day, month after month, year after year, mothers, fathers, children, grandparents are slaughtered. in the wake of the murders in paris and beirut last week, people in america, in europe and throughout the world are fearful. millions of syrians are fearful as well, terrified by the reality of their daily lives, terrified that their last avenue of escape from the horrors of
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isis will be closed. terrified that the world will turn it's back on -- turn its back on them and their children. some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in syria. but with millions of syrian refugees already in europe, already carrying european passports, already able to travel to the united states and with more moving across europe every day, that is not a real plan to keep us safe. and that is not who we are. we are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea, fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom. we are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of isis murderers because some politician doesn't like
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their religion. and we are not a nation that backs down out of fear. our first responsibility is to protect this country. we must embrace that fundamental obligation. but we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation. isis has shown itself to the world. we cannot and we will not abandon the people of france to this butchery. we cannot and we will not abandon the people of lebanon to this butchery. and we cannot and we will must not abandon the people of syria to this butchery. the terrorists in paris and beirut remind us that the hate of a few can alter the lives of many. now we have a chance to affirm a different message, a message that we are a courageous people
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who will stand strong in the face of terrorism. we have the courage to affirm our commitment to a world of open minds and open hearts. this must be our choice. the same choice that has been made over and over again by every generation of americans. this is always our choice. it is the reason the people of syria and people all around this world look to us for hope. it is the reason isis despises us. and it is the reason we will defeat them. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: thank you.
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let me thank my colleague, senator warren, for those very eloquent remarks. she and the senator she traveled with have taught us a lot. we've heard her comments, and she's right. our values in the united states of america are accepting and open to refugees who flee violence and persecution. and that's the country we are. so i thank you very much for your remarks and as i've said, we all have learned very much from you and that trip that you took and what you shared with us. before i begin my remarks today, in addition to the things that i've just said, i wanted first to pause for a moment and say a few words about the paris attacks last friday, mr. president. mr. president, the people of new mexico and the people the world over are grieving for those who were killed and injured in the horrific attacks that have just been talked about by senator
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warren and others who have come to the floor today. earlier today we had a moment of silence to recognize them, and i just want to say that our thoughts are with the french people, and we are united in our resolve to fight the murderous thugs of terrorism who thrive on hate and tolerance and fear. i met today with the french ambassador to give him new mexicans heartfelt condolences. all of us on the senate foreign relations committee today and the senate leadership met with the french ambassador to say to him, we stand together with you? the presiding officer: the democratic whip. mr. durbin: mr. president, earlier in this session, we observed a moment of silence to exhibit our solidarity with the people of france. i want to add my voice to others here today in sharing my deepest
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condolences and solidarity with the people of that great nation. as a result of the barbaric violence that occurred over the weekend, we are finding this solidarity coming together from across the world, standing behind the people of france in their hour of need. these events that occurred in paris were heartbreaking and infuriating. america knows well from the tragic events of september 11 this kind of savagery is a challenge to the civilized world, one which we must collectively stand and defeat. as french president hollande said to a joint session of the french parliament, when france is attacked in such a manner, the whole world is attacked. i agree. people of russia are also victims of such violence. in the recent downing of their airplane departing egypt, another tragedy which isis has claimed credit for. the people of lebanon and turkey have suffered horrific bombings in their capitals in the last
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few weeks from the same terrorist groups. and the brave reformers in tunesia, one of the few countries to emerge from the arab spring with an inclusive and inspiring democracy, have faced similar violence against innocent people at their museums and tourist destinations. the perpetrator of all of these monstrous acts is isis, which has filled the void created by the wars in iraq, syria and the broader political chaos of the arab spring. these murderous hench men have conducted the most heinous of acts, beheadings, mass rape, torture, and the murder of innocents. in a sick attempt to intimidate the civilized world and to feed their own warped ideology. i have supported president obama's leadership in organizing a global coalition to defeat isis, and i applaud secretary kerry for his efforts to negotiate an end to the syrian civil war. but we must do more.
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when france is attacked, when president hollande reaches out to his allies he is reaching out to the north atlantic treaty organization, nato, of which the united states is a member. he should reach out as well and we all should reach out to russia, which as i mentioned earlier, has been victimized by this terrorist group in the downing of that aircraft. and then reach out to saudis and muslim leaders around the world join us in a coalition to destroy isis. first in their occupied territory in syria and iraq and then in their murderous web of recruitment and hate around the world. mr. president, several people have reacted to the tragedy in france and the united states by calling for us to suspend refugees coming to this country. many of these people have not reflected on the refugee situation in our country. each year the united states of
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america accepts about 70,000 refugees from around the world. these refugees are each carefully investigated, reviewed, and vetted. that process takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months before a refugee from any part of the world is allowed to enter the united states. we do everything humanly possible and take extraordinary efforts to make certain that dangerous people do not arrive on our shores. that vetting process must continue, and when it comes to suspicious circumstances must be doubled in its intensity to make certain that our nation is safe. but for those who are focusing on that as the answer to what happened in paris, they are very shortsighted. one out of four of the refugees coming to the united states in the last fiscal year came not from the middle east but from burma. in addition to that, we find
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many refugees coming to the united states from iraq. it turns out that over 3,000 refugees came from iran. in each and every instance, we should apply the standard of strict vetting and the highest standards of investigation. i certainly stand by that. but those who say we should turn away refugees in the united states have forgotten the lesson of history. mr. president, it was may of 1939. a ship docked in florida. the ship was named the s.s. st. louis. 0en that ship were almost -- on that ship were almost 1,000 jews from europe who were trying to escape persecution. sadly, the united states turned them away and they had to return to europe. they were afraid for their lives. the nazis had engaged in kristallnacht and violence against jewish people, and they were coming to our shores seeking refugee status.
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in may of 1939 we turned them away. they returned to europe. over 200 of them died in the holocaust. since that time, the united states has taken a different approach to refugees. we have been a country sensitive to the relate that i in many parts of the -- reality that in many parts of the world, people are living in fear of death every day and can only find safety on our shores. over the years we've accepted 750,000 refugees from vietnam. we've accepted over 500,000 cuban refugees, including the fathers of two united states senators, one who's running for president. we accepted over 200,000 soviet jews who were escaping persecution in the former soviet union. we've accepted refugees from around the world, from somalia, from bosnia, the list is long.
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that is an indication of who we are and our values. now, we need to be careful when any refugee comes to the united states. we should give them a thorough investigation. but for us to step back and say we are going to stop being a refuge for refugees from around the world is really a retreat from america's values. let us make sure that the process of refugees, immigrants, and visitors is the very best. let us carefully follow through on each one of them, but let us not it unour back it turn our bm around the world who are looking for the safety of the united states. it has been part of our hair --f our heritage for over 60 years and it should continue. we know we have an obstacles to keep -- we know we have on obligation to keep america safe. for more than 14 years, with the exception of the boston marathon
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involving lone-wolf terrorists, with that exception we have kept america safe. it has been through the good work of our men and women in the intelligence community, in the military, in the f.b.i., in so many different aspects of our government. so what can we do in the united states senate to make sure they're able to do their job effectively? why don't we do our job in the senate. why don't we pass the appropriations bills for these agencies. imagine, here we are over a month into this fiscal year and the united states as soon as has not passed the appropriations for the f.b.i., atppropriations for the department of -- the aeption pros for the department of -- the appropriations for the department of homeland security. this week if we want to fight terrorism and protect the united states, let us pass the appropriations bills for all of the agencies of our government. it is time to do it and to do it
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now. secondly, we need to make sure that our country has the tools to fight terrorism, the kind of terrorism that we've seen in paris, france. we know that we need to change the approach when it comes to the encryption of data in communications so we have access to the communications of terrorists. technology is leaping ahead of our capacity. we are told by our agencies in government that to keep america safe, we have to deal with encryption standards today. that is the reality of the challenge to the united states. some would dwell on refugees. i think we ought to be careful with every single refugee that comes to this country. but there is more we can do. pass the appropriations for the agencieagencies that keep us sa. put in new standards so we can deal with the encryption where would-be terrorist terrorists ag their communications from our surveillance, even under court order. and, third, we need to come together -- france, the nato
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nations, russia, those muslim countries that abhor this extremist that is exhibited by isis -- come together and wipe isis off the map in iraq and syria. we need to rely on local forces there who have been so effect tirveg like the kurds -- effective, like the kurds, who are willing to fight the isis troops on the ground and defeat them. eliminating them is no guarantee that they won't continue their efforts around the world but let us have a common enemy in isis and come together in a large, global coalition to stop them -t them and stop their efforts. my wife and i for years have visited frangs. -- visited france. we consider it to be a great country with great people. we have had our differences on foreign policy from time to time but any student of of history knows that the frencht stood --e french stood us when it came to our revolution. the french have been impi our side time and again and we have
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been by their side. mr. president, i will conclude by saying from the birth of our nation to this day, france has always been one of our close of always been one of our close of
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>> live wednesday mornings on c-span2. we also invite your participation via twitter. members are finishing up other business, and now live to the floor of the british house of commons. >> in terms of small business in any constituency the legal profession is a big crucial part . could he assure me he's protecting