tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 7, 2016 8:00am-10:01am EDT
respectful of my ranking members of time. >> i am very much interested in the light of question we just had with the chairman and that's going to pursue that myself. i think he responded to it very well. one of the things were not touched on today is the issue of real security in this country. china with a bunch of our colleagues in the last week had the opportunity to ride on some of those beautiful, comfortable, attractive, timely trains that i have written on in quite a while. ..
do almost all countries. in the ticket is a logical place to my third rail, i don't mean amtrak. the subway system in the u.s. or the voter ability is impossible really to defend again. that is why the defense of the 19%, the investigation that is running to the spirit i am not sure that even if we wanted to sit. that is a good way we can do it. i think it is a usability issue in terms of the act is that anyone really can do to the amtrak system or subway system,
whatever rail system in ip. i don't have a good answer for, but i see it as a vulnerability worldwide and not just here in the u.s. >> mr. garcia. >> there's two problems in terms of trying to put more rail security in place with one exception. i'll talk about the measure at the end. number one, the more you harden it, the more you defeat the purpose. the reason why some ways there's no effect if it's because you can hop on. it doesn't take you hours to get across time. if you have to, far fewer people would take the subway. the second thing is the very problem was on the brussels airport, which is even if you have a chat point commit terrorist attack right outside the checkpoint. if you have a chat when outside, for example, you have a line of waiting passengers outside and that puts cars into play. the one exception is good human
policing. that is what amtrak tries to do. you have the teams with dogs who will be run amtrak trains to make sure nothing is amiss. it is far from being as effective as airline security, but that is the last line of defense for security. >> are just not that i was in brussels two days before the attacks and in addition i took the train over to london and they have hardened their rail security because of the different is that it is between the u.k. and mainland europe. but it did create an incredible show point vulnerability and its life stood there not knowing what would come days later that you had a huge mass of people waiting to go through security to get on a train to go through the tunnel over to london. i agree with the point that in some ways, some of these fixes can make a bad situation worse yet the only other point i would add in europe on the aviation
security point, we have a pretty dire situation and not pass a security check point. those areas are regulated and mandated to meet us there level of aviation security standards. but before the checkpoint, each individual country can handle security as they wish, which as you can imagine and create a hold of ray as standard and levels of security across european airport. i think europeans are going to have you had that discussion on how they want to collectively set standards on how they handle those areas refer the chat way. >> okay, thank you. >> senator, i want to point out one thing. deploying behavior analyst is important in open system. tsa, dhs try to do that at airport and certainly training facilities. the other thing i would say is there are new technologies coming on line that allow for better detection to a certain
extent as you mentioned earlier, senator comment even prediction around anomaly and anomaly detection. some of this is still information. dhs has invested in some of this. harper has done so as well from dod. some of these technologies as applied in addition to these other layers of security and behavioral analysis could perhaps give you a better sense of what the threat may be. the long pole in the tent of intelligence and targeting and risk mitigation an open system and that is what we have in our system. >> just quickly give me one particular important issue for consideration on which you think there is unanimous agreement. >> i would say if you give me the indulgence, one is the point you made earlier which is the prediction and prevention paradigm, which is to find the post 9/11 environment for the u.s. really has to be
operationally applied in the european context. they talk about it. they talk about european support, but they have to move to an operationally preventative mind that we have to help them get you. a second thing if i could, sir. for dhs purposes, moving towards systemic defensive key critical infrastructure of niche is asked about the train system. water, electrical gate, financial system. we need redundancy around systems because we know not only tariffs of cyberactors come the state and nonstate at yours are looking for vulnerabilities in the system and that is something only dhs can help drive in this country. >> thank you feared same question. >> a report recently in light of the paris attack created this new european counterterrorism center. what happens often with the new initiatives inside the ear as they become largely informational and we have to work with them to ensure the new counterterrorism center is in
fact operational. >> i think they are unanimous agreement that the sanctity of our intelligence processes are important in the fighting of isis and ms. senator johnson said, it is the best way to craft a safer future from their mass casualty attacks. to that extent it is extraordinarily disturbing to read than your report in "the daily beast." you have now not only allegations by numerous analysts about politicization of centcom, but also report of retaliation. it is very disturbing to me that direct your clapper downplays concerns the whistleblowers and if our intelligence processes are falling apart and you have actually retaliation for the leadership isn't not been on it, then we have tremendous problem in their own system.
>> last word. >> more action than top. we saw paris to resolve brussels for a month later. is for some of the same attackers, the same network. nothing has happened. anything short of moving forward, not a working group or committee in europe. talking about putting together actual resources in a plainly stated actives about how they deal with the threat of the islamic state has to happen within 30 days, within two weeks. it is obvious the problem is not going to go away. it's going to be around a while. >> you've been an exceptional panel. i mentioned to the chairman that there's going to be another panel a couple weeks where we will have others on the administration and in a way, and this panel, your testimony sent to the next panel very well. thank you so much. >> thank you, senator coburn.
i want to clarify what i said at the opening. i did not invite secretary john. we invited senior official to dhs, fbi and the national counterterrorism center. secretary tester. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it hurts me to say this, but thank you, senator booker for allowing me to go. i would just say the fbi isn't here because they are in the middle of an investigation. on the 26th, you are going to have a very good hearing and the homeland security and anti-tcr here because the fbi could be here. we will get to that, but it's important that they do their job. secretary johnson is going to be pushing. by the way, thank you for your testimony. secretary johnson pushing for airport security provisions in the reauthorization legislation coming to the senate. there's been a lot of conversation today about the e.u. in house or countries are doing what they need to do to
get the information they need an all back, which is a problem that i don't know how to solve without writing a big old check that isn't going to help us out with our debt here. security is important. make no mistake about it. by the way, the visa question that was brought about taking potential countries off the list, mr. chairman, you asked the question and i appreciate you asking the question. maybe we ought to bring folks in here who know what reasonable is and who is not cutting the mustard. and make some recommendations. that is entirely appropriate when it comes to security of the country. i want to talk about airport security. you get to tell me your opinion. it security we have in the airports in this country where it needs to be? go ahead. >> senator, you can always be better. but i think our security as
other than most places are brown. >> let me ask you this. i agree with you. without full body scanner is and we've got magnetometers. can any of you tell me why we have full-body scanners? aren't magnetometers good enough? >> well, the full-body scanners allow you to determine other parts of explosives are things on the body of the person trying to evade. >> answer. if we have 90 commenters that don't have full-body scanners, are we opening ourselves up for a security risk? >> potentially. but tsa is trying to do is to apply a risk this model and approach to say we've got limited resources. where do we apply them in what to the airport most vulnerable? >> risk-based approach is based on population and people going through. do you think the terrorists would know that? >> they would.
they are probing for vulnerabilities. as david mentioned earlier, they are working outside to an old tree through the and they're trying to get access with insiders into the system as is seen in the past with individuals to work on the tarmac or within security layers. >> that's good. and that is exactly the point i made is that they will go to where the weakest link is that they will find it and eventually go there. even though you base it initially on volume, the end goal should be having them there asap, otherwise why would we have scanners? let me ask you about perimeter security. what happened in belgium didn't happen on the other side of the tsa check point effect of that column in belgium. it happened outside where there is lots of people. is there a solution for that in
our system that you can see they would not be cost prohibitive? >> well, senator, i was just in rome and saw some of the measures they weren't going for the terminals where american carriers and americans are likely to travel. they deployed a couple of key checkpoints. in essence chokepoints for vehicles and passengers and then they have a lot of visible security on the ground in overhead. i can imagine you seen this in major u.s. airport at times of heightened threat where you can apply vehicular searches and ecks that particular sites without causing too much commercial or vehicular traffic disruption. more random checks around, for example check and then perhaps more behavioral analysis and canines than others deployed in
key airports. but it's difficult. it's difficult without disrupting traffic and commercial at dignity. >> is this -- look, i think there is some merit to do it not. i guess the question is, does anyone know what appropriation it is to maybe not have it all the time, but maybe have it so you wouldn't know. >> i don't know, senator. part of this has to do with local port authorities as well as the federal government. i don't know what the numbers look like. >> i think you could do it with relatively little appropriation. if you check the detection teams that are bright now pass a checkpoint and move them in front of the checkpoint at some airports. the fact is we have these behavioral detection teams and they are a good idea. what they do is by design, pretty limited. >> okay. that's good.
>> senator, i would only add one thing much as we go while out on passengers, but the real vulnerabilities we've seen in the last two terrorist attacks around airport security is really can they blow up an airplane. we saw al qaeda for it and tighter. we also saw an oath of device used in somalia, which it's not real clear, so i think if i was going to invest now towards airport security, i would not have much of a re-harden the security lines, but other vantage points where extremists use. >> which gets to my next question, which is are we certifying, are we testing, however you want to put it, the folks who work with the baggage, work for the airline, work insecurity? are they -- are we doing enough spare?
>> that i honestly have no idea. i think that really goes to whether risk where polio is emulate the offense part of that which is investigations, preemptive intelligence, that sort of thing. >> i appreciate your testimony and thank you very much for what you do. >> did you attend the dhs hearing we had? you might've missed that. it was an excellent hearing. i'm a big supporter of more k-9 unit in terms of later defense particularly for luggage. outside the perimeter. that would be money very well spent. senator booker. >> i just want to drill down one more time because obviously we are attacking al qaeda and affiliates, isis, terrorist organizations in the field of play every day around this country, syria and iraq were sort of shrinking the territory and making considerable gains as
a matter of one, not if. i do believe that is the case. that is one level. obviously we look at places like libya and algeria far-flung or they are starting to set up other outposts. the second level, not equally important is to start to understand the terrorist number. this is a lot of what we talked about today, which to me clearly i agree with what i think we need to be a lot more aggressive, holding european partners. it is outrageous to me they are sharing communication transatlantic leave but not within europe. even within the countries they have pre-9/11 problems they have to work through. clearly there's a lot more work to do and i believe we are very vulnerable because of the visa waiver program, far more so than a refugee program which takes a
year to two years. the visa waiver program i think it's obviously something we have a lot of work to do. i want to get back to my final few minutes the first which i now realize that so many different things to so many different people. let me say what's not talking abt the work of law enforcement, but the other efforts going on to stop people from falling prey because if i look again concerned about what's happening in the field of battle. i'm concerned about waiver program terrorist networks. i'm also concerned about homegrown radicalization right here at home. i do agree again as was said by the panel that this is not something that's a matter of when. this is something we are dealing with for a very, very long time. our ability to prevent the radicalization of the people as critical as one tool in addition
to detect demand, awaiting them. a defensive tool is creating stronger counter violent extremism within our communities. i'm curious if you had to distill and i open it up to the panel. here we have the administration launching their task voice of the global engagement under. as these get off the ground, could you just distill perhaps the panel was specific recommendations which you have the administration's focus on? what are the top should you must do this. we can start with you and go to my left, which is something of democrat i often do. >> the first thing i would say it's where, where to focus. my experience over the past decade we've done a lot of programs and sort of oddly been applied. i would focus on those very few communities in the states or europe where we know there's a lot of people being recruited
robin strong said to me. the next thing i would focus on is where online. those two sometimes overlap in sometimes are diverging. can we determine where putting more investment in pinpointing where we want to focus on applying programs that sort of fall over the place. the next thing is how we are going to apply them and that comes down to where i'm at a term do we want to apply. a better way to bring up what i was talking earlier this capa. vulnerable radicalize mobilized journalists and should be reversed. we must have on the one-to-one engagement which is maybe empty mom or a cleric that does that physically or at online via facebook and the radicalizing population, how do we undermine the message to make villains, not partners. another foreign fighter. that is the radicalizing population and where we used to fact as come appears sort of do that.
i lowest investment is this broad winning over the community focus. i feel like 10 years ago we were at the reverse. we were really focused on let's get out in the community and make people feel good, more like a public affairs. i would rather see better engagement between those mobilizing and rising and those programs. >> thank you very much. the two bold ones. >> two quick ones. the first is fast and deeper opportunities messaging with metrics for success. that is what is working, what is not. the big idea i will cut out as i will pay attention to self-image and what makes a hero in multiple parts of the world. i was just talking to a colleague in east africa who said somewhat hyperbolic he that if you're a hero here, you can be a rapper. you can be a businessman and you can be an isis fighter. you can't be a member of the armed forces.
they are not heroic. if you think about the way hollywood shapes all of our image, anyone can be a hero. a soccer coach can be a hero. a senator can be a hero. a member of the armed forces, fire fighter is a hero. the rest of the world is not necessarily the case. i would think about self-image because isis and other groups are getting into other people's image in a remember about to become a hero. >> thank you very much. >> as we all know, dod has invested in the office on telecom valley and tap existing technology to throw out a lot of conventional miller terry problems and challenges that are servicemen and women are facing all over the world. state department is always the opening a tiny presence in silicon valley and utilizing the office to do the same thing, but to use existing technology and challenge all of the amazing
whiz kids in california to apply technology and know-how to the challenge of cd is probably one of the better ways in which you can use this little two-man office at this point, they're trying to use the big department has been to tap into what already exists and apply it to the specification we see an terms of encryption, surveillance, document forgery. the list goes on and on but be a wise investment. >> thank you area much. happy to sit on the right on this one. three things, senator. i would just commend the department for naming george salinas added this task force because he's a real professional. i've worked with in a lot of us have. he understands the challenges ahead and i think he is great for this major challenge we have. three ideas that one is we need a network of networks. this is some of the u.s.a. government issued a unto themselves can't do. you need a sisters and violent
extremism. you need the media companies. you need the clerics, entrepreneurs and muslim communities all to be a part of not only creating a sense of hair with some, but a sense of identity for these individuals and communities. we need to figure out how to animate the network of networks. it's a huge challenge because we don't like to give up control. it's hard on the spending side. had he did write programs to these one-on-one kinds of efforts? who's got a figure that out because that's really at the grassroots level. we've got to figure out where the precursors to the ideology began to take root. ultimately we've got to have an inhospitable ecosystem for the ideology. we can never find ourselves in a position where the u.s. has got a hole in that reload or a birmingham with these radical ideologues or ideologist take root. cannot happen. where are the manifestations?
how do you create offerings for susceptible individuals? how do you do radicalize for people to come back and had the leverage them? third and finally with the community engagement is so important. how do you find identity in opportunity in these communities of individuals of other disaffected or otherwise. the government can't decide not. families, friends, communities have to play a role in deciding that because at the end of the day the problem of radicalization is often a problem of identity. >> thank you, senator booker. i want to second what senator carper was saying. this is an exceptional panel, exceptional discussion. the goal of every hearing is played not a reality, defining the problem to take the first step in solving it which is really the definition admitting we have one. i want to commend my colleagues for asking very good question, staff for assembling the panels. this has been an extremely good hearing.
i will give you all a chance to make comment, try and keep it brief. one question i did not do nobody to it in terms of the concern about the nuclear surveillance. there were surveillance on nuclear facilities. if anybody wants to address critical infrastructure, i'm highly concerned. we saw the cyberattack against ukraine. we saw the fiscal terror attack against california. i'm highly concerned about that. if you have something to add, don't feel obligated. i'll start with you. >> mr. chairman, thank you for the privilege to be here and i'm really honored to be with our panel. let me just reiterate on the dhs mission. i think it is more critical now than anytime since 9/11 9/11 and has less to do with attacking or dealing with particular groups or individuals and is the role of dhs to ensure that our critical national systems and infrastructure are not only
secure, but resilient and then. there's no other agency in government that has that mission. dhs has a critical role whether online or physically to make sure systems are secure and redundant. that goes a long way and frankly making a strong and deterring terrorist attack. the second point i would make, which i didn't make earlier if i don't think we can dump play the strategic impact of smaller attacks that isis perpetrates. we've seen places like paris, brussels in 19 we've run the danger if we defined the threat to a current month of whether or not it is existential and erected to the homeland. we run the risk of missing the adaptation in this thread and the strategic impact over time of what these groups can do to our societies into our laws and the functioning of our economy. >> at the way, i could not agree more. i do want to give any ideas, but certainly in my mind a bunch of coordinated smaller tasks that
have a devastating impact on our economy. >> let me just say briefly that these attacks in europe and wrestles an heiress could not have come at a worse time for brussels for the european union, for europe as a whole. not only are they facing very severe counterterrorism threats, but as the above note there under the weight of the migration crisis. they are facing a resurgent russia that is actively trying to destabilize the continent. they have weak economies. they have the potential exit of one of their largest members. so i believe it is in america's interest to help fortify the european project. we are not a member of the european union. we cannot do everything for them. it is in our interest to support the european project that in many ways is an america project. we help provide the foundation on which they built the european union. rather than pulling away, we have to invest in this relationship into what we can to help them with these very real
security challenges. >> thank you, ms. smith. mr. daveed gartenstein-ross. >> since you raised the issue of nuclear security, i will start there. one area wish to go to in general is wearing our security apparatus are the obvious vulnerabilities? at least you with respect to nuclear security in europe in belgium in particular. one is that cars the belgian nuclear facilities are still prohibited from carrying weapons, meaning that these facilities are vulnerable to a coordinated armed attack. the second thing is i think there are significant questions about whether they do enough to screen their personnel. a man who i highlighted my testimony went to syria as a foreign fighter. he died in 2014. he had been a technician at a nuclear power plant from 2009-2012. the access and this clearly
calls into question whether they are scraping sufficient for personnel who have access to sensitive areas. overall the question of where we well-suited to the the challenges of the 21st century and in particular i would focus on system design. when you look at the european security apparatus, we have put our fingers collectively on a number of problems that occurred there. the problem is a patchwork of systems of no central law enforcement and it means that terrorists to operate transnational age our advantage. overall, the u.s. system is better than european system but also has problems with her finger on messaging is one of the problems here. the question i would say is harper offers a come as their internal system designed to keep up with the small and are we as a legacy industry ready to keep up with the startups that are going to be challenging us in trying to kill our citizens. >> thank you.
mr. watts. >> my final point would be in terms of counterterrorism this comes and goes. we have al qaeda before then. we now got the islamic state. today we are talking about europe. we are likely to be talking about north africa and maybe six months or a year from now. dennis on the horizon as well and we go through these peaks and valleys where we get really mobilized on counterterrorism. the go flesh it out and get upset again a year later when it comes back. what is our objective in what is our tolerance for risk from terrorism? i don't think we have a good handle on that. we get these emotional points right now where would react strongly to take aggressive action. but what are the four or five things we can do an counterterrorism over the horizon just her to get this to a steadier state? i don't think there is any end to the islamic state. i think you'll just because something else five, 10 years
ago. and so, what do we want to achieve over the horizon question i would like to see the u.s. government holistically come to terms with that. i feel at a practitioner level, national counterterrorism center, fbi, cia all pursue on a day-to-day basis. but what sort of steady state do we want to achieve? that's why we react to europe and whatever happens next. >> first of all, i couldn't agree more. we've got to have a commitment to offense to be relentless. we can't ever back off and this is going to be a generational problem. i think you have to do it step-by-step. as we were pointing out earlier, the fact that they hold the territory is incredibly dangerous and that is certainly one of among many first steps that got to defeat the caliphate. we've got to defeat isis. i agree authority has metastasized. already has spread. you've got to cut it off and continue to be the blacklist.
[applause] >> good afternoon, everybody. we are delighted to have you here. it shouldn't be this cold in april. i came down from new york this morning to snow in wilmington. but we are going to warm it up this afternoon. we are going to an excellent opportunity to talk with secretary carter. thank you all for coming. a brief security announced that. he has a security detail. i'm going to watch out for all of you. so if we have a problem, i would ask you to follow my instructions. our experts are right here behind us. this is the door closest to the steps that go down the street. if there's a problem in the front, we will go in the back and go over to the "national geographic" society.
if there's a problem in the back, we will go over to the national cathedral, count heads and say grace. anyway, we are going to be fine. please follow my instructions. ashe carter is a man who i have had the privilege of working with for almost 30 years. we first met when he was at office of technology assessment, very long time ago. i do remember very distinct they once when i interviewed -- he interviewed me for a job and decided i really was in a too but it's a dubious success. i do not present that. i have no -- since that time, we've had the privilege of working closely together for many years. i am very honored he is here. he's doing this but secular job. would you please welcome -- carter and thank him for coming here. [applause]
>> eggs, very much for that warm introduction, but more importantly for many, many years of red chip, guide and wonderful service to our country for so many years, not to mention your leadership that this is to teach and. it is a pleasure for me to be here at the sis this afternoon. since it was founded over 50 years ago. the center for strategic and international studies has come to be considered one of the preenent security focused think tanks here in the nation's capitol. you provide important ideas in scholarship on pressing issues ranging from matters of defense strategy and budget to america's strategic future of the asia-pacific to the growing threats we face in the domain of cyprus-based, to reviewing the goldwater-nichols act that makes up much of dod's institutional
organization and its because of the last piece of scholarship that i wanted to come here today. as many of you now, i recently issued my posture statement or the defense department for fiscal year 2017. the first to describe how we are approaching a strategic challenges. russia, china, north korea, iran and terrorism. it is in this context that i want to speak to you today about some key long-term strategic management question that dod will be detailing and discussing with discretion of defense committees in the next coming weeks. as a learning organization, the u.s. military in the defense department has a long history as driving to reform our command structures and improve our strategies and policies formulated, integrated and implemented. indeed, even world war ii still
being fought under for the defense department was even established, military leaders and policymaking officials were just guessing at the military services could be unified in exploring ways to develop stronger powers the processes that i. the result was the national security act of 1947 and its amendments, which among other historic changes establish the position of the secretary of defense, the joint chiefs of staff and the national security council. later reforms, particularly eisenhower era changes help strengthen the offices of the defense secretary and gave new authorities to the chairman of the joint chiefs. but it was the goldwater-nichols act, enacted 30 years ago this fall is most responsible for today's military and defense institutional organizations. with memories of the knob on the tragic death of one rate still fresh, officials defense and
policymakers again consider reform and after nearly four years of work, not to mention strong opinions by my former boss, then defense secretary caspar weinberger, the resulting transformation was what we now refer to as goldwater-nichols. it solidified the chain of command or the president to the secretary of defense to the combatant commanders. it affirms civilian control of the military by codifying a month and the joint chiefs of staff outside the chain of command. the defense secretary and the president. and it also strikes at the chairman's role, created the position of vice chairman of the joint chiefs and centralize the role and voice of the combatant commands and to reinforce the concept of joint finance, especially with respect to the
careers of senior officers by requiring them to gain professional experience outside of their service all senior officers and others all as he is today for the career enhancement and they reflect the reality of how the service members are trained in right every day. as the joint force. albeit unrelated to goldwater-nichols is south, important changes were made to reform defense acquisitions. these were based on the recommendations of the commission led by former deputy secretary of defense, dave packard. as it happens, implementing the packard commission's recommendations with another one of the first challenges i worked on early in my own career. as a whole, all these changes were overwhelmingly beneficial, a credit to the work of not only the members of the congress to pass legislation, but also their
staffs. someone being one among them i should say. what they put into law has given us generations of soldiers, sailors and airmen and marines who've grown accustomed to operating together as a joint force. overcoming many interservice frictions of decades before and it enables our nation to drive greater benefit from the advice of any value chairman from general colin powell to operation desert storm to general joe dunford today. this year as goldwater-nichols turns 30, we can see that the world has changed since then. the cold war and one clear threat we face a security environment that's dramatic difference from the last quarter-century. it is time that we can utter practical updates to this critical organizational framework while still preserving the spirit and intent. for example, we can see in some
areas how the pendulum between service equities enjoyed as many as 125 as the non-involving enough acquisition decision-making and accountability are where subsequent world events suggest that june the pendulum further i've been taking moore's debts to strengthen the capability of the chairman and the joint chiefs to support force management planning and execution across the combatant commands. particularly in the face of threats that cut across the combatant command areas of responsibility as many increasingly do. with this in mind come out last fall i asked dod deputy chief management officer peter the team and the attendant general tom walter houser of the staff to lead a comprehensive departmentwide review of these kinds of organizational issues spanning the office of the secretary of defense, the joint staff, combatant commanders in the military department to
identify any redundancies in any redundancies and additions in other areas of possible improvement and i would like to discuss that reviews preliminary recommendations with you today. over the coming weeks, we will excuse some of these decisions of the old existing authority. for others for legislation is being that we will work with the house and senate armed service committee on implementation of the consider this year's national defense authorization act. of course, both committees have their own accord reviews of this issue underway as well, making this area right for working together, something i'm pleased to report we have been doing effectively and will continue to do on this topic. i applaud chairman mccain, senator reid, charm and corn buried in each of them i was able to speak to early this morning and also congress smith. i look forward to continuing to work closely with all their committees because when it comes
to these fundamental matters of our national security, that is what we have to do, work together. let me begin with trans-regional entrance functional integration and device from a imperative considering the challenges we face today are less likely than ever before to confine themselves to regional or functional boundaries. our campaign to deliver isis a lasting defeat as one example. as we and our coalition partners have taken to fight isil and its parent tumor in iraq and area and where it's metastasizing our combatant commanders to central command, european command, africa command, special operations command about to coordinate efforts more than ever before. increasingly, i've also bought strategic command from a cyber command into this operation does well to leverage their unique capabilities in space and cyberto contribute to the defeat
of isil. beyond terrorism, we also face potential future nation state adversaries with widening geographic reach, but also widening exposure, something we may want to take into account in order to de-escalate the crisis and deter aggression. in other cases we may have a response to multiple threats across the globe in overlapping time frames. an increasingly complex security environment like this but the decision chain that cuts across the combatant commands opening the level of the secretary of defense, we are not postured to be as agile as we could be. accordingly, we need to clarify the role and authority of the chairman in some cases the joint chiefs and the joint staff in three ways. one, to help synchronize resources globally for daily operations around the world, enhancing flexibility and my
ability to move forces rapidly across the seams between our combat command. too, too provided active military advice for ongoing operations, not just future planning. and three, to advise the secretary of defense on military strategy and operational plans. for example, helping ensure plans take into account any deliberate -- and the possibility of overlapping contingent fees. these changes recognize that in today's complex world, we need someone in uniform who could walk across service is the combatant commands and make objective recommendations to the department of civilian leadership about where to allocate forces throughout the world and where to apportion risk to achieve maximum benefit for our nation. and the person best postured to do that is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. we will pursue these changes and
these changes in line with goldwater-nichols of original intent to enable the military to better operate in a seamless way while still preserving the civilian control and the chairman's independence to provide professional military ice outside of the chain of command. some of recommended the course to put the chairman into the chain of command ,-com,-com ma but both chairman dunford and i agree that what he wrote the chairman subject committee as the principal military visor to the president and the secretary of defense. we appreciate csi is for reaching the same conclusion as the review of goldwater-nichols. second area where we had to make cases in our combatant commands, and adapting new functions and continuing to aggressively streamline headquarters. adapting new functions will the changes in how we manage ourselves, cyprus-based in accordance with the emphasis they placed on either of my
posture statement and that the president made in his fiscal year 2017 budget. there i made clear in each of the five challenges facing dod, we must deal with them across all domains, and not just the traditional air, land, e. and base, but also cyberspace, where our reliance on technology have given us great strengths of great opportunities, but also some vulnerabilities that adversaries are eager to explain. that is why her budget increases cyberinvestments to a total of $35 billion over the next five years and why we should consider changes to cyberstroll in dod's unified command plan. some of you may know dod is currently in the process of reducing management headquarters by 25% and we are on the road to accompt achieve that goal is to the partnership of the congressional defense committees to want again we deeply
appreciate. we can meet these targets about combining the northern command in southern command or combining european command in africa command. actions that would run contrary to why we made them stop it because of their distinct areas of emphasis and in raising demand on our forces in them. indeed those demands have only further increased in recent years with each command growing busier. instead of combining these commands to the detriment of our friends, allies and the fact our road command-and-control capabilities, we intend to be more efficient by integrating functions like logistics and intelligence and plants across the joint staff comment the combatant commands and subordinate commands eliminating these while not losing capability and much can be done here. additionally and the coming weeks, the defense department will look to simplify and
improve command and control with a number of four-star positions has made headquarters either top-heavy or less efficient than they could be. the military is based on junior supported and ranked to their seniors. this is true from the platoon to the core level. but it gets complicated. some of our combatant component headquarters where we have a deep bench, extremely talented senior leaders. where we see potential efficient and effective, billets current day filled by four-star general said admirals will be filled by three stars in the future. the next area i wanted us to this acquisition. 30 years after the packard commission recommendation led to the establishment of an under secretary of defense for acquisition, service acquisition executives and roles of officers and program managers, it is clear we still can and must do
more to deliver better military capability of making better use of the taxpayer dollars. six years ago when i was under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics, dod began what i call better buying power, an initiative to continue with the improve our acquisition system. and under the current undersecretary, frank kendall, we are now on our third iteration 3.0. while we see compelling indications of positive improvement including areas like reduce cost growth and reduce cycle time, there is still a constant need. particularly as technology, industry and our own mission continue to chain. one way we are improving us by involving the service chiefs warn acquisition decision-making and accountability, consistent with legislation congress passed last year. including giving them a seat on the defense acquisition board and giving them greater authority of what is known as
milestone b., engineering and manufacturing development begins. that is where programs are first defined and a commitment to fund them is made. as i discussed the service chiefs with the greater risk on stability comes greater accountability. the chiefs themselves and their military staff wanted to sharpen the skills that, which in places over the years to be successful in discharging their new acquisition responsibilities. i also expect them to leverage the many questions they've learned over the last 15 years as operators. many of them in more or speed and agility are critical to help our acquisition professionals deliver even better capabilities to our war fighters. another way people seek to improve is by streamlining the acquisition system itself.
this will include evaluating and where appropriate, reducing other members of the defense acquisition board. it is currently composed of about 35 principals and advisers can each of them is likely to feel empowered as a gatekeeper for acquisition, reducing these layers were both free up staff time and focus decision-making energy on overcoming real obstacles to program's success rather than bureaucratic hurdles. we also would tend being burdensome acquisition nor did titian is one example in cases where the executives serve as milestone decision of ready and current process dictates that 14 separate documents be coordinated within the department, reducing paperwork requirements in a meaningful way in pushing approval already lower down the program is on the right track. we eliminate redundant reviews and short review timelines, ultimately getting capabilities
fielded to our troops in your, which are service chiefs and combat commanders desire and deserve. the last major area where we need to update goldwater-nichols has made few changes to join personnel management as part of what i call the force of the future, an endeavor i began last year to ensure that our future all volunteer force will be just as fine as the one i have the privilege of leading today. even as generations change, the job markets change. we have taken several steps already noted on ramps and offerings of technical talent can more easily flow between dod and america's great innovative community, opening combat positions to women who may service standards, to expand our access to 100% of america's population for our all volunteer
force. doing more to support military families, to improve retention, like extending maternity and eternity leave and giving families a possibility of some geographically ability in return for additional commitment. one of the hallmarks of goldwater-nichols is that it may that it made joint duty required for all officers who wanted to ride to the highest levels of our military. in so doing, and led to great advances enjoyed this across the military services, such that almost all our people know why and how we ought to rate is a joint team. it's also significantly strengthen the ability of our chairman, joint chiefs and combatant commanders to accomplish their job responsibilities. as we've learned over the years what it takes to operate joint way, it has become clear we need to change requirements for duty
assignment, which are more narrow and rigid than they need to be. accordingly, we are proposing to broaden the decisions for which an officer can receive joint duty credit. going beyond planning and command and control and another operational function such as intelligence, fires, transportation and maneuver protection and sustainment, including joint acquisition. for example, while a staff officer in combat command would get joint duty credit, an officer in the night air operation center with all different uniforms but airstrikes against isil might not. in another case, take two cyberera man working in a combat command. one of the cyberplan and its joint credit. the other does they were targeting and doesn't.
while the logistics planner at a combatant command is to receive joint credit, the operational plans counterpart does. so what we are proposing will fix these discrepancies and fulfill the true purpose of goldwater-nichols which was to ensure meaningful joint aches. additionally, we are also proposing to short the amount of time required to accumulate a duty. from three years to two years to top personnel at more flexibility to take on command assignment and opportunities to broaden and deepen their careers. now, going forward is important to make all of these updates under the guiding principle of do no harm. goldwater-nichols took four years to write and it's been incredibly successful over three decades in the credit of the
reforms put in place which were not driven today by a signal failure like is there one period, contrary contrary, i am deeply proud of how our people operated in iraq and afghanistan over the 15 years. sadly, this from a different direction. the updates we make now must not undo the many positive benefits the goldwater-nichols has had for dod. instead, they must build on them. ..
it's our job. on both sides of the river in washington, both sides of the aisle to come together as barry goldwater and sam nunn did 30 years ago. to give our men and women in uniform what they need to succeed. from the right experience to the right capabilities to the right leadership structure could write strategic thinking. as long as we do, i'm confident that they will continue to excel indignity our great country, and making a better future for our children. thank you. [applause] >> i don't want people to think we did not our bill and that's why the lights went out. someone leaned up against the button in the back.
you were very gracious about my being on the armed service committee but we have john warner over here who is one of the architects. we could say thanks to john wonder. [applause] and i forgot one tactical announcement at the end of our presentation i'm going to ask you to stay it will get the secretary out. he needs to get a clear run out to the car. so very substantive speech. so much, so much we could draw on. i wrote a couple of questions and were collecting questions from college. we don't need speeches, which is what tends to happen would ask people to address from the floor like a some good questions and i would ask other people to submit them. just hold them up and we have people who come get them. let me start, secretary, because you talked about a new cyber command. this is a complicated thing. probably any future war we fight
will probably begin in cyberspace really. how do you see that reintegrate the physical fight, this kind of led implant and coordinator by regional combatant commanders with a cyber command? hotlist that going to work? >> that is the question and that's the reason we're looking at -- we have a cyber command today, and i've given cyber command and the counter isil fight really its first wartime assignment. we are seeing how that works out. what that means is to bring the fight to isil in syria and iraq. what does that mean? and interrupting their ability to command and control the forces, interrupting their ability to plot, including against us here. and anywhere else against our friends and allies around the world. interrupting their finances, the ability to the people, their ability to dominate the population on whose territory
they have tried to establish this nasty ideology. all that we can approach in part through cyber. you asked the question what does that have to do with the centcom, which is the geographic combat and command. and, indeed, what it means is that cybercom is in the service of that but it's more complicated than that, as you well know, john. because it's really not just cybercom. there's africom. there's eucom come and so we are increasingly finding a problem not just of interracial integration but of regional functional integration. the lines are as clean as we can make them. that's perfectly reasonable. got to divide up the pie somehow but once you've done that you need to make sure the slices are able to work together and you have not artificially created barriers. that's when looking to the
chairman for. that's the change. the relatives i looked at general dunford for the everyday anyway. as a practical matter i've got to have that, and i depend upon his professional military advice and is being in constant contact with all the cocoms a casserole i clarify and strengthen. i don't think it was as apparent to people back in the day but the world is got more integrated into we've got to get more integrated. >> let me ask you because you've opened up this question about the power geometry in the pentagon. nobody questions the primacy of the secretary, but then there's a question for a board of how powerful is determined? out important, how powerful are the service chiefs? up important, powerful are the combatant commanders?
what is your view about the right balance of this power geometry? >> i look to each of them. i don't personally, i don't think institutionally, we look at them to, they have different principal responsibility but i look to the whole crowd to help in every respect. let me give you an example. this afternoon i'll be going with the whole game, all the cocoms, although service chiefs, serve secretaries, senior civilians over to meet the president to spend the afternoon and have been within. tomorrow we will spend all day together talking about everything from budget and programs through the wars and contingency plan and the whole deal. so, john, i'll just take each of the ones you named. the service achieved i look at to be multidimensional, and they
are. these are fantastic people. i fat ho bunch of compliments by the way, kind of a side note were saying. since it became secretary because i've had to name almost all the joint chiefs and the combatant commanders. people say to me the you have really good guys. you are right, aren't they amazing? i've got something else to do. if i give you my second choice is usually the same thing to me. because the bench is so deep in this country these are incredibly gifted people. i look at the chiefs to operate as the joint chiefs helping the chairman provide professional military advice on operations. i look at them to help manage with their service secretaries individual services. i look at it to give a people because that more than anything else make our military the greatest. the combatant commanders, necessary i can focus on their day-to-day duties but increasingly i needed from the about what they need.
so they put the role that probably wasn't as apparent early on in what we buy and how we organize, train and equip. so it actually asked our people, they all have responsibilities written statute, but asked the senior people to do it all. and most of them, in fact without exception they are capable of doing that. but look, this is a huge set of responsibilities. so the idea i look around the room and there's 20, 25 people i'd always say look around the room, it's just us. when you look at it that way doesn't seem like a very large group of people and you're glad to to have all the help you can get. >> you talked about this complex world. we get a radical jihadists element that waging a more conventional fight in syria and
iraq, a more insurgency set of activities in northern africa. of course, that's any different command, african command. is attacking our allies in paris, brussels. it suggests by what you said that you're going to have to put a greater focus on the chairman to be the integrator of these challenges. could you amplify on that? >> i'll give you a few examples. isr, somebody's got to decide every day what we look at where, and that changes day to day. we tried to move things from one theater to another. and that has tremendous consequence. of course, the answer, each individual has a tendency to say i need it all. i desperately need it all and it's human nature and it's what you want. they want to do everything they can do it comes to nashville have an infinite amount of
stuff. so there needs to be a global integrator of that. that's not made clear. it's made clear in the original -- it's made clear that the chimp is the principal military advisor to me as the president and i respected that and very much want that but it doesn't say he's also the one who was supposed to be every day and periodically as we move forces around giving me bad advice on where things ought to be and how they ought to be used. that is self-evidently required in today's world, and was not part of the original conception. now, as a practical matter everybody knows i look to joe dunford to do that, i think it's worth writing it down. because there will be others who come along later and it's important to clarify that that is a requirement of the president and the secretary of defense on will make other
chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in today's world. >> i have a couple of questions. and by the way, i don't know who's collecting but i could use any additional britain's. a couple questions about the battle against isil. there have been some very encouraging press reports recently about the momentum in the field against isil, and yet also it's a metastasizing threat. we do share with us how you are currently looking at this? >> we've got to get these guys eating come and visit as possible -- beaten, and as soon as possible. we are looking for every opportunity we can take to do that. of course our overall strategic approach is not only, not just to defeat isil but to keep them defeated, which means you also to look ahead to the next stage and who's going to keep the peace afterwards, which is why
we try to work with local forces where they can be made capable and motivated, and that's difficult in some places but that's necessary. that's a necessary part of a strategy. we are doing more every day. john, we are looking for opportunities to do yet more because we need to get this over with. i'm confident we will defeat isil. no question in my mind about it, but the sooner the better. that has us looking at is every conceivable way that we can do that. that's what i mentioned cyber, for example. that years ago even a very few years ago would not have occurred to secretary defense. they would want to get cyber anything but you have a real opportunity. these guys are really using this fuel -- this tool and we need to take that away that in addition to everything we do in the air and on the ground and so forth. so yes, you know, we are accelerating it.
we are gathering momentum by what you see it over with. first of all in syria and iraq, and then everywhere around the world. >> secretary, i'm going to drag you into american politics but it's been a startling. candidates talk about how nato is no longer relevant. i know you met yesterday with the secretary-general. how important is nato now for our future? you described a very challenging world. what is nato fit into that? >> i want to you, since you raised the former subject let me just say once again something i said on a number of occasions, and i really mean this both on my own behalf on behalf of everybody else in my department. i know this is an election year. we have a tradition in this country which is, we in the defense department stand apart from that. and so i'm going to be very careful about ever addressing anything as part of the
political debate. still less do i want any of our uniformed personnel put in that position, so i just need to preface anything i say on that basis. i did meet with secretary-general stoltenberg yesterday. he wasn't done. he met with the present also in last night i had dinner with them and secretary kerry and national security advisor rice, and we were talking about the things that nato is doing and can do going forward and if you think about nato, and you and i did this, nato waged and i would say successful in ending the cold war in a peaceful and principled way, there's a lot of question at the time what's going to be next. and then the balkans game and nato turned out to be instrumental in debt. afghanistan, nato turned out to be instrumental and remains that
way in debt. and in many other ways around the world. and today we're looking to it for two particular things, which are very necessary. one is to stand tall against the russian, the possibility of russian aggression in europe which i'm sorry to say does become again something that we need to be concerned about that we were not for a while, and i regret it but it is what it is. and also the possibility of so-called hybrid warfare, little green men phenomena. so heartening our friends and allies against fat. and then secondly, helping us an accounting isil fight your you might say all the nato members are individually members of the counter isil allusion. you see what difference does it make having nato as nato in the counter isil fight?
the difference where it can add value and a three what i was talking to the secretary-general about it yesterday is that for a lot of the smaller countries is hard for them to do anything on their own antigen something ad hoc. but if they get into a native structure is easier for them to make a contribution. we are looking for all the contributions we can do. we will lead the way but always we want others contributing. native is a mechanism for doing that. so that's what we're talking about yesterday. it turns out even after its founding mission was so to speak accomplished, that they're proven to be lots of ways where we and the europe have found that not only possible but necessary to come together. i guess one last note on that is, you can't take for granted that, you know, one of the reasons that i think we do so well as a military, i'm just
going to brag on the institution here a little bit is, as i said first and foremost, its people. second, that lives, the world's preeminent innovative society. it's always the first with the most, including in this domain and that's good. but the other thing is what we stand for i don't just say that, and my evidence of that is that we have a lot of friends and allies. and why is about? if because they like what we stand for. they like our people. they love working with american servicemembers. they think they conduct themselves well. they are not only competent but they conduct themselves, and i think it's a great credit to the young men and women how much alike they are to work with. but you can look around the globe into say, where is it that we deeply shared values to which we are very committed? europe as a place like that. so something that brings us together, protecting something
we share, is pretty important. so for all those reasons we had lots to talk about yesterday. >> secretary, you were up to assign these days under budget. it got a bit of a reprieve issued because there was a two-year agreement, but the program of record is larger than the budget caps. that are in law. your successor is going to have to wrestle with a very difficult problem. we don't have enough money to do the things we have to do. what do you say to the american people? >> that we need to come together as we did in the two-year wave behind the bipartisan budget agreement. it's the only way. i can't do much about that as secretary of defense, as a citizen and if you have your eyes open, you know that, well,
secretary of defense what i do know is our biggest strategic risk is the collapse of a bipartisan budget agreement going forward. the restoration of the sequester caps. we know we are in real trouble if that happens, and it's been a consistent in my testimony, we got to avoid that. we got a reprieve. i'm extremely grateful for people come together, very grateful that it was possible to come together. we need to keep doing that. we all know, we can do the math. you can't balance the books on the backs of the discretion spending. you've got to get into the other parts of the budget. that's much bigger than somebody who as an executive branch responsibility, even of vital one like mine can, influence. but that's the way it has to be. if we get back to sequester, we are in real trouble. so for me and the rest of the department, our biggest
strategic risk resides in the possibility of the collapse of bipartisanship and a restoration of the sequester caps. we are in real trouble if that happens as you know. >> a personal comment, i'm very disappointed this presidential debate is more about our national security obligations. it's a very big thing. you are going under to asia a couple of times this summer. we've got continued island building in the south china sea. lots of questioning about people in the region, where is america, is the pivot real? can you share with us your thinking? >> well, we have kind of a new phase, a rebalance in the posture statement so we're doubling down on some of our investments, both qualitative and quantitative in the asia-pacific region for the simple reason that it is a
single region of most consequence for america's future. half of the world's population lives and half of its economic activity is. so it's absolutely essential. and it's important there as everywhere else has to be a system of peace and stability are american military power has been a critical ingredient that for 70 years. and in the rebalance we want to keep it going. it will have to be different of course because the dynamics is different, but we have been instrumental to an apartment come if you think about it, john, were first japan rose to there was a japanese miracle and then there was a south korean government and that was a tie one miracle and in the southeast asian america. and today in indian and chinese miracles, all of which is great but you can't take for granted the environment in which everybody was able to rise and fulfill themselves into own way.
that's been good for everybody, but again this is the region that has no nato, where the world of world war ii are still not healed so you can't take it for granted. and the south china sea is just one example of that. that are a number of countries that have claims in the south china sea, and some of them are pursuing military activities. china is not the only one. by far and away particularly over the last year, china has been the most aggressive in that regard. now, our president and president xi were talking to this just a few days ago and we will see whether china keeps the word that made last time resident she was here about military activities. but we for our part are reacting -- patient she was here about military activities. the most important thing is countries in the region are
reacting. that is why we are being asked so much more, to do so much more. you are right, of the traveling down to the region. i will be working with other countries what to do more with the united states, particularly in the area airtime security and what did it because want to get a good thing going out there, and we are committed, and we will do that. >> you mention india and, of course, india has been at awkward partner throughout the years but increase in getting close. i know he devoted a lot of time thinking but india. your thoughts? >> i to spend a lot of time on it. the word i'd use with respect to china and india is destiny. that you are two great nations that share a lot. a democratic form of government
committed to individual freedom and so forth. i've talked about values are on come and india is a place, sure it's a different culture. is many cultures, but like us, it's a multicultural melting pot determined to work together. and so we have a lot in common, in spirit. and you also have a lot of common interests geopolitically and geostrategic let. one of the is to keep a good thing going as i said in the asia-pacific or into asia-pacific region. and so we're looking to do more with india. indians are like many others also proud so they want to do things independently. going to do things their own way for don't want to give anxious with us. they want to do pashtun all the time so we're not looking for anything exclusive but we are looking for is close relationship and a stronger relationship as we can because it's geopolitically grounded.
for specific things we're doing with them are twofold. one is we have the rebalance so to speak westward from the united states. they have act east which is their strategic approach each word, and these are like two hands grasping one another, and that's a good thing. second, we have our defense technology and trade initiative, john, which is an effort to work with india to do something they want to do which is the want to improve the technical capabilities and own defense industry and own defense capabilities but they don't want to just be a buyer. they want to be a codeveloper and coproducer. they want that kind of relationship. that's very much, and that's what we are working with him on. and that matches very much up with prime minister modus made in india initiative. so we are very much aligned in terms of what the government
there is trying to do strategically and economically but we want to do with defense once. all of stuff to do it when i go there with a who bunch of things that would and doesn't affect i'm kind of do not want to miss before and but new milestones in this relationship. >> we are coming into the end of the hour. let me shift different to say a lot of concern about our dependence on space and the increasing vulnerability of space assets. how are you thinking about this? >> space is a great strength of ours but it is a vulnerability and have to think through vulnerabilities. when you have them in your editor system, i mean, a satellite is a fixed target in essence. it's an orbital mechanics term, a mixed target where it would all the time. there is no to rein to hide them. you can't dig a hole or anything in space, so there your.
so it's an inherently vulnerable situation. that said, there are things you can do electronically in terms of orbital maneuvers and so forth could make it difficult for somebody to interfere with your function, and we're doing that. but at the same kind of ask yourself what are you going to do if, as we do with all of our military capabilities. what is his disruptive? what if it is destroyed with what do we do than to make sure we can accomplish something like the same function in some other way to operate through. so we are looking both at defense, if you like, and operate through. and one thing i will note for you, john, you are probably aware of but others don't because you know so much about what's going on in the department. i asked we set up a couple years ago and operations center, the first time we had one. i'll be there it i guess a
couple weeks, colorado springs, co they're doing. but his job is very specifically to do that. the phrase is like the constellation. but if you know what that means, it means protected in so far as that is possible of disruption or destruction, and then think through what you will do if, despite everything, the enemy has some success against that constellation, what do you do to make sure the good operational answer to that. >> i've had the privilege of watching his remarkable intellect for almost 35 years. ash, we are at the hour of mythological. we all please join me with your thanks? [applause] [inaudible conversations]
policy, including his consumer protection for airline passengers, federal regulations for drones. a number of amendments have been offered for debate today and more are expected. votes are possible during the session today also. last week president obama signed a short-term extension for the faa until july 15. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. esie senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, we are safe with you. give our lawmakers the wisdom to put their entire trust in you. help them to remember your promise to guide their steps on
the right path. lord, fill them with courage so that they will stand for right in every circumstance. when they experience setbacks, may they rest in the victory of your love. help them to experience the length, breadth, and height of your sovereign grace. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: pleae join me in reciting the pledge f allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i was glad to see senators in both parties vote to advance the f.a.a. reauthorization act yesterday. we'll now continue our work to pass this bipartisan legislation that will support american jobs. it will also enhance safety and security measures to help protect travelers in our airports and in the skies. it will look out for consumers' interests by providing more information on things like seat availability and baggage fees. and it will maintain rural access and promote american
manufacturing as well. that's what the f.a.a. bill before us will do. here's what it won't do: it won't raise taxes or fees on airline passengers or enact heavyhanded regulations that would diminish choices or services for travelers. i appreciate the diligent work of chairman thune and senator ayotte, the chair of the committee's aviation panel, as well as that of democratic counterpart senator nelson and cantwell. the f.a.a. reauthorization act has been a bipartisan effort from the very start. let's keep working together in the same spirit today. i would urge colleagues to work with the bill managers to process amendments if they have them. now, on another matter, mr. president, president obama will fly to chicago where he will try and convince americans that despite his own actions while in the senate to deny a supreme court nominee a vote, the constitution somehow now --
now -- requires the senate to have a vote on his nominee no matter what and thereby deny the american people a voice in the future of the supreme court. in the words of "washington post" fact-checker, he'll be telling supporters a politically convenient fairy tale. that's "the washington post." i'm sure he'll gloss over fact that the decision about filling this pivotal seat could impact our country for decades, that it could affect the most dramatically cherished constitutional rights lining those contain -- like those contained in the first and second amendments. i'm sure he'll say that washington spend time on one issue where we don't agree rather than working on issues where we do. i'm sure he'll, as amended, time refuting the words of his own vice president. i'm sure l a repeatedly chamber that his nominee is -- quote -- "moderate--" -- enduote. not that he means it. it is just a useful piece of
spinning that's been echoed across the expanse of the left and the media for years. consider the recent democratic supreme court nominees. one "washington post" columnist hailed the -- quote -- "moderate record of president obama's first pick to the supreme court." one new york newspaper proclaimed his second nominee a pragmatic centrist. when president clinton made his supreme court nominations, the "post" declared one a -- you guessed it -- moderate. and they fell all over themselves about the style of the other. the last nominee who said it would be a good idea to abolish mother's day, by the way, was not just firmly isn't terrorist, not just decisively centrist but resolutely centrist, in "the times" opinion. the records of every one of these supreme court justices have been anything -- anything -- but moderate.
or centrist in the years since. they have been resolutely left-wing. but that's the point. moderate isn't exactly a true descriptor for democratic supreme court nominees. it's just burned into the printing presses of the editorial boards. yet even "the new york times" has had to admit ma president obama's current nominee would give americans the most left-wing court in 50 years. in 50 years. that is why the far left is squarely behind president obama's campaign to deny the american people a say in this momentous decision. the american people understand the stakes. they don't want -- they don't want the american people messing this up for them, the administration doesn't. and they'll say what they always say to get what they want today: a far-left supreme court for
decades to come. this is just one more reason why the american people are lucky to have a judiciary committee chairman like senator grassley in their corner. senator grassley is passionate about giving the people of this country a voice in such a critical conversation. he's stood strong for the people throughout this debate, and he's proven himself a dedicated legislator throughout this new majority, with yet another judiciary committee-passed bill clearing the senate on a bipartisan basis just this weefnlgweek.he understands thatt need to get stuck fighting about one issue. he understands that we can let the american people make their voices heard on this matter while the senate continues its work on important legislation. now, on one final matter, i was deeply saddened by the death of lexington, kentucky, native stephanie moore shultz.
she was 29, along with her husband, justin, who was 30, was killed in the terrorist attacks in brussels last month. funeral services for the young couple will be held in lexington tomorrow. stephanie shultz graduated from bryan station high school, looking forward to the promising future ahead of her. she found part of that future when she met justin, a native of tennessee at vanderbilt, where the two earned their masters in accounting. the pair moved to brussels in 2014 to work and loved to travel extensively through europe. they recently visited barcelona. they were planning a future trip to finland where they hoped to stay in a glass igloo under the northern lights. now that spirit of adventure is gone, stolen by a brutal act of terror that targeted the innocent.
my wife elaine and i join all kentuckians in sending our deepest condolences to the family and loved wunsz of this young -- loved ones of this young couple. we share their heartbreak that stephanie and justin were taken entirely too soon. we extend our prayers and sympathies to all those who lost loved ones in brussels. attacks like these remind americans everywhere that we must defeat isil and other terrorist groups who not only threaten our interests but critically important threaten innocent civilians. today we honor the lives of stephanie and justin, we mourn their lives and rededicate ourselves to our important fight against terror. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i agree with the
republican leader that it is important we get the f.a.a. bill as soon as possible. but i would just have everyone reflect. when we were in the majority, we tried to bring up the f.a.a. bill. that went on for weeks and weeks with unnecessary filibusters. the f.a.a. came to a screeching halt. and as we've said, if you are a responsible minority, you work to get things done. that's what we've done. we've worked hard with the majority to come up with an f.a.a. bill that we can support. so i would hope that everyone understands obstruction doesn't work. we understand that, and that's why we've tried to be as collegial as we can on legislation. i just finished my welcome to washington this morning. a little boy asked me, how do you get things done? i said, well, you know, things in congress are done just like
in life. i've had the good fortune in my time in public service, my time in congress, to be able to have things with my name on them, bills that have passed. but i never ever have gotten something that i wanted. it was always a compromise. always had to compromise to get something passed. and, frankly, that's the way life is. life is a time when you work with people to try to get along, to work things out. that's the way things used to be done here. but with the untoward obstruction during the obama years, it has been difficult to get things done. so i agree the f.a.a. bill is something we need to pass. as i've said, we're constructively working with the republicans, those on the other side of the aisle, to get things done. now, mr. president, let me just comment briefly on the supreme court. you can play around all you want with the supreme court and what the constitution says or doesn't say.
but we know that it says -- the constitution says that the president "shall" -- not "may," but "shall" nominate supreme court justices. he has an obligation. he has to do that. the constitution also is very affirmative. there has to be advice and consent. that's what we're instructed in the constitution. now, it's a little strange how we can have from the republicans advice and consent when the vast majority of the republicans won't even meet with the man. they refuse to hold hearings. and certainly not have a vote. so i don't know how one is reading the constitution. but we need to do our job. we're not doing our job if we don't hold hearings and have a vote. president obama's nominees -- we shouldn't be here talking about supreme court nominees being far-left or far-right or moderate. to show you how offtrack this
has gotten, the chairman of the judiciary committee here, the senior senator from iowa, two days ago gave a speech here. guess who he was attacking? justice roberts, the chief justice of the supreme court. he said to the chief justice, heal yourself. the chief justice, is there anyone in the world, anyone in the united states, anyone in the legal field, anyone in the political field that thinks he's some kind of a crazy liberal? john roberts, who worked on the court with merrick garland and agreed with -- they wrote opinions together. they agreed almost 90% of the time on their opinions. so it's really too bad that now we're here on a supreme court justice, the first time in the history of the country, because
we're in the final year of a presidency, we're not going to do anything. we're going to wait. in the meantime, justice is delayed. we've already had a significant number of tied 4-4 decisions by the court. and using the logic of the republicans, this is going to go on for another 18 months. so it's unfortunate that this has turned into something that has never happened before. they go back and keep repeating the biden -- the biden rule. the biden rule, the year he gave that speech -- and he gave a speech at geon urgetowversity just a week ago saying, read my speech. read the whole thing. and what was the result of his action as chairman of the committee that year? he brought nominations to the floor, even though they got -- didn't get enough votes in the committee to be reported.
the nominee lost in the judiciary committee, but biden brought them here anyway. there was an op-ed written by one of my predecessors, former democratic leader george mitchell, stunningly good senator from maine. he wrote that two days ago. it appeared in a boston newspaper, where he said, when clarence thomas came before the senate, he had lost in the committee. he didn't get enough votes to be reported out of the committee. biden said bring it to the floor, let's have a debate. and that's what senator mitchell talked about. we had a debate, and he had pressure. it wasn't tremendous, but he had pressure. people suggested why don't you filibuster him? mitchell said i'm not going to filibuster. that's the way it used to be done. he got 52 votes.
could that have been stopped? of course. could it have been better? observers could make that determination or not, but the fact is he could have been stopped easily and it wasn't done. mr. president, i'm gratified that the presiding officer today is from the state of nevada, my friend, the junior senator from nevada. when i think of home, i think of the desert, and you can't talk about nevada as a desert only, even though the vast majority of the state of nevada is a very arid place. we also have in nevada the beautiful sierra nevada mountains, the ruby mountains. we are the most mountainous state in the union except alaska with 314 separate mountain ranges, mountains over 11,000
feet high. it is a beautiful state. today i'm going to focus on some of those arid places, places where i was raised and born. i often, having been here such a long time -- 37 years -- i think of the blue skies that were so often in nevada. they hover over a canvas. no one could paint a picture as beautiful as that, of these mountains in the middle of the desert, these joshua trees or of the sagebrush. it is that beauty that's drawing thousands of visitors to nevada and nevada's wilderness every year. yesterday the reno "gazette journal" wrote an article reporting how important this industry is to our country. quote -- "the big empty spaces of the western united states
generates big money for regional economies. that is according to a study that attempts to put a dollar value on quiet recreation." this is an editorial comment by me. quiet recreation. people are now biking in rural nevada. people are packing. people are camping. quiet is what is referred to as, when there are no vehicles. continue the quote "it found that sports like hiking and mountain biking on b.l.m.'s land generated $1.8 billion in -l spending in 2014. that's roughly equivalent to two months of gambling revenue in vegas casinos." to its credit, the bureau of land management, when i was first elected the bureau of land management was on par with the internal revenue service. no one liked them.
now they are admired. they've done a remarkably good job to take care of public lands. to their credit, the b.l.m. and their dedicated employees do a remarkable job in safeguarding these national treasures so that all america can enjoy them. john sterling, executive director of the conservation lands told the "gazette journal" quo kwoep the -- -- quote -- "the b.l.m. represents -- does a final job for our public lands. unfortunately there is a growing threat to the public lands and to americans who protect and preserve these areas." most americans are familiar with what happened earlier this year in oregon. in the wildlife national refuge in oregon was taken over when a dangerous group of militants staged an armed takeover of the refuge, they came with their canvas shirts and their camoflge
pants and their guns that were obvious and they had all-terrain vehicles to take over the federal property, and they did. they damaged it to the tune of about, maybe $20 million. defecating on some of some of ts in the facility, stopping the indians from being able to do their annual fishing. this particular episode of domestic terrorism has roots in nevada, i'm sorry to say. the bundy family, and this tyke time sons of cliven bundy who is where he should be -- as we speak he is in jail. two of them are in jail, two participants of the unlawful takeover. bundy, of course, cliven is an
nevadan breaking federal laws for decade. i'm disappointed that some of my colleagues supported this outrageous lawbreaker. teddy roosevelt created this national wildlife refuge in oregon, this radical, we call president, theodore roosevelt. and i say that sarcastically because he wasn't. he was a great president. he created this refuge in 1908. roosevelt used tools at his disposal as president of this great country including the antiquities act to protect our national heritage so generations of americans could enjoy it for more than 100 years in oregon. congress created the antiquities act to empower the president to protect our culture, our historic and natural resources. these cultural resources are
stunning. and presidents for a long, long time, now more than 100 years have done what theodore roosevelt did. now, mr. president, our current national parks were created using this authority. not all of them, but some of them. in fact, 16 presidents, 8 democrats and 8 republicans, have used this authority to protect lands for the benefit of the american people. george bush, the younger bush, he used the antiquities act. republican presidents have been doing this a lot. unfortunately, many senate republicans want to undermine this act. they refuse to defend our culture and historic antiquities that are being systematically destroyed. but that is why the antiquities act was created to safeguard against these threats in the absence of congressional action. take, for example, a stunningly beautiful place called gold
butte where cliven bundy illegally grazed his cattle for decades. it is stunning landscape. is this worth protecting? look at it. is this worth protecting? this is not doctored up, colored. that's the way it is. now the sky is as blue as i've seen it so many times. we don't get a lot of clouds in nevada, especially this part of nevada. we don't get many storm clouds. it doesn't happen often, but this is part of the greatness of nevada. look at that. is that worth preserving? of course it is. this has such magnificent areas. sandstone formations like this, petroglyphs dating back thousands of years. thousands of years. take a look at this, mr. president. petroglyphs.
these indian writings, drawings are centuries old. centuries. they're in the area that we want to protect: gold butte. look at that. panel after panel of this magnificent part of history. but because of trouble caused by the bundies and their pals, the federal employees tasked with safely guarding these antiquities were prevented from doing their jobs. it was about 19 of them that have been indicted. most of them are still in jail where they belong. they have been under constant physical -- they have been a constant physical and mental threat for doing what the american people asked them to do. that's their job. mr. president, petroglyphs are being destroyed, drawn over,
shot at and stolen. this is one panel. look at what they've done. bullet holes. they've actually written over the writings. graffiti over these pwaoufpl -- beautiful writings. these are the way nature created this land and they've destroyed it. look at what they've done. and they put what -- what they have also done is they cut pieces out of this and hauled it away. it's a crime. they're criminals. they don't mind doing it. that's what they do. what a shame. this is only one example, this right here, this white area in
the middle of the picture was, frankly, a srul -- vulgar drawing that they put in here. s it's been marked off. i know what they were drawing. they were telling everybody how they felt about this antiquity. bullet holes, they used it for target practice. the final picture i want to show is joshua tree damage. i know a lot of about joshua trees because we in, where i live -- i own quite at bit of property in searchlight, we have the most, one of the thickest joshua forests in the world. these trees are so stunning. they grow about two inches a year. they last for up to 150 years.
people don't understand these trees are so terrific. they have been brutalized by these criminals. chopped this one down. my staff said use it for firewood. folks, you ever try starting a fire with this? you can't burn this. but you will stay warm. they're soft inside. it's nothing you burn. this tree, we don't know how old it was, but 100 years old probably, 80 years old. look at that beautiful tree behind it. so that's really unfortunate, but that's what they do. just destroy. and one of them, in fact, he was part of the oregon crowd, he had a brand and he went out branding
everything with his brand. signs indicating this was an area to be protected, stamped it on different things that should be protected. this is sad. so i've tried to protect gold butte for a long time. and the reason we haven't been able to do anything to this point is that the bundy boys and his pals. so that's why i'm grateful for the antiquities act. because of this legislation and because of the fact that the bundys are in jail. i'm going to reach out to the white house and i guarantee we'll get it done, that's for sure, to see if president obama will protect this area. he has the authority, as any president does, to stop this sort of destruction and stop it now. threats to our public lands are threats to our economy, our environment and our culture.
when we preserve our lands, we preserve america, and that's what we're trying to do. preserve this beautiful, beautiful place. i say again, is this worth protecting? is this worth preserving? of course it is. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will -p resume consideration of h.r. 36636 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 55, h.r. 636, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to permanently extend increased expensing limitations and for other purposes.