tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 3, 2016 3:09pm-5:10pm EDT
powers run by one person. the other thing is what is our responsibility? if after the difficult negotiations, a transition not so well handled and the economy that was taking with all the internal friction say you take care of this. when the iraq war was debated in 2003 you break it then you own it but if you fix it you own it. [laughter] and that is what we hear about with their president and john kerry's repeated visits to get them to work together. what can be done differently?
a lot of us have been advocating for a long time that the two leaders of this government project that they're working together and with the internal dynamics and as we say it is unlikely to have been. but there are some things regarding strategic communication and people like us point out not of government itself. what have we done and what are we attempting to do? and a lot of the frustration with this government is that it doesn't understand that sense of crisis and those uncertainties. that is what helps to power the opposition that there is
a lot of politicians that are not so good but they are in the opposition and government that seems even worse. >> picking up on a good point that not acknowledging the crisis that it faces of lot of president can do and quite frankly there isn't that many options but there are two issues one is out of president can strengthen the eyes of the international community and also nearly in the eyes of his own government. to strengthen the position in the broader context there needs to be an effort to articulate a clear plan of action and how he intends to answer all these questions
with these high levels of uncertainty in that breeds concern and elevates volatility. and with that context it is more difficult and maybe this is asking too much for him to make a clear assurance that the ceo position is in tact and even if they don't need to address that issue that the position is still intact. >> many years ago we faced a difficult situation and they
your votes 100 times with the supervision in the winter that will be accepted that was not. but today it in afghanistan and the coalition is fine with the unity and government if you maintain unity at the expense of the cost of the effectiveness you fail if you want to be effective then what we have the true leaders from the president and when he gets
his power from the constitution and but those = does not have a strong standing. he is his political clout so it turns into a position within the government so i think it was both of the leaders that made a lot of sacrifices but they are not alone. they have people that would help them before the elections.
if we take the route of the constitution itself of what is constitutional and what is not what constitutes legitimacy then we have to be very careful through because we can open many cans of worms we have seen experienced over the last three years in 2014 especially how the election was handled especially, trod was orchestrated. to talk about political opposition within the government we have to look at exactly but we cannot get into that.
>> in 2016 in bell holding of the council which could do a number of things to take up the issue if there is a prime minister position created as was agreed to when the government was formed. and designated as the chief executive, i want to ask the panel where the probabilities going ahead? what are some of the obstacles or the of consequences if they're not completed this year? >> the quick cancer and the
long answer. here is the? sari. [laughter] the idea to hold elections is nothing short of a miracle those presidential elections last time around the taliban was not as strong and but yet at this point you are asked to do something i'm not a lawyer so i will not get into the legal but the crux of the matter is the national unity government says it has to happen in two years' but understandably they're not holding one in two years and that issue how long the
government is to last for. but this issue of what could happen it comes down through one or two interpretations looking at this fundamental practice that when any two parties enter what the contract stipulates then you can say the whole thing is null and void. it has the argument of omission onto it explicitly say you have to have a meeting in two years but if that doesn't happen if this is not proper i ignited a
however with those problems that have occurred, to bring together the two people in to a government that arrangement was made. so they could not be held in september or next year that is a problem but with the national unity government is because the legitimacy of this government to make it very clear with the ballot box it depends on a specific
factor in the fed does not in in to be convened in september or not it is the chairman of the government which is five years. the constitution gives it back that term. with the elections in all of these other things. to have this everyone to function effectively if that does that happen in this is the problem. >> since i started working afghan elections in 2003, i have always been bothered by a totally unrealistic timetable we set ourselves we got away with it but when
i saw the agreement that was negotiated in one day i hope the history books will notice i was absolutely appalled. to put in place of a series of process that could not possibly be held within the time line that means it was doomed to fail that is what we are in the situation we are in now i don't know why anybody thought we would have district council elections this year when the boundaries haven't dendron 15 years. why electronic identification issued when they can do that in the last decade. i agree there is a legal and a political case to be made but why don't we take the 3-1/2 years that remain to set up an agenda that allows you to be feasible in that
time instead of the index excludes or the next six months where we find ourselves of may 2019. because we did that take of lager viewpoint. >> and that the power is not transferable nothing will change in those five years and then will be back on a much more rational path. >> yes. obviously we were sidetracked and derailed and we did not stick to the agenda or the time line in there is a concerted effort
of the delay tactic to prevent the election and for them to do their work properly. into do this on a daily basis. and to be dealt with and within that time frame allotted to them. this goes back to political will. not in three months is enough for not. or six months is enough but also a very critical question how much do we want to rock the boat? and when? and look at what happened. for the first item on the agenda that was not to put the political structure back
in place but to go to islamabad. and remember it was announced the peace talks would be taking place but then instead we had a suicide bomber after suicide bomber after suicide bomber and with the foreign fighters would push inside afghanistan to set up shop as there was the strategy to take over as much territory as they could so those international allies to put a stop to it. but the strategy was to gain a foothold beyond the district's into the
but you were looking at the consequences. in the days have been far behind us now to deliver an address although he didn't entirely close the door indicated if he didn't close it with the taliban he probably had closed with pakistan so those relations have deteriorated so i want to ask the panel what are
some of the implications and to address that also to say is there anything the international community can do to alleviate what might be a serious development and for that matter is the role for the united states to step in on the political side as well having done so do we have many cards left to play? >> first of all, let's look at the peace talks. if we can help the peace
stability. afghanistan faces security threats and there are two ways. in to do it deduced the of level of threat and to build that capacity to go he ended he and. -- he had in hand and it would be good to have the peace talks however there are many complications. but on the other hand, the less chance the taliban will have. so to support the survival are to have a political
so with that capacity of the government and the armed forces and over time to convince the taliban to come to the negotiating table. >> en no taliban were excluded in 2001 but they were ready to join the political process the civil war ends one side will defeat the other. one side was removed from power.
end be willing to not have an incentive right now. significantly with the battlefield and to have reason to come to the table i definitely think that peace process for all intents and purposes is dead but the ideas of the peace process is off the table for now. i think the issue of what role the united states could play, i was a bit more optimistic of washington's ability to address reconciliation within afghanistan i thought the
idea of u.s. leverage but it is a bit of a different story as a net provider with economic assistance in a way with levels of dependents are significant in to help keep afghanistan from the election crisis and as things get tricky that we can assume that john kerry will make kabul frequented nation and president obama at his at this point in a legacy stage will not be remembered to keep the afghanistan government from falling apart. and released during the last
few months in office. even when putting it together would be falling to pieces. i don't want to see that desirability. it is probably better to step back but there can and should be a role for the international community to play. >> digest want to say -- we have had a lot of lessons learned along though way with the taliban with the geopolitics of the region. the taliban is now 23 years old. and i seek -- the ink in
this war started 1992 not 2001 in my opinion. it was part civil war and factional war but it wasn't like ethnicities were all against each other and unfortunately have never experienced such a strong unity quarter and identity. so there are geostrategic in geopolitical objectives that have to be met once the soviets left and to the most
powerful prayer was pakistan who had handled and managed for a decade or more the billions of dollars to be distributed to the afghans and have skied so much leverage. this is like the sand and the moon and the sky. we have seen that policy the shape change after 2001 and we beat 2014 to some extent. in behind their use of proxy
and if there is any doubt and i am aghast from washington and disappointed to think that they have another motivation. >> called a spade a spade in that context under the illusions that don't make sense. i am not against overtures i am four talking and dialogue but we have to be ready for that as a stakeholder you have to have a strategy.
at the end of 2014? but not with the afghan people and does not resulted in to anything. but what we need to do to is reunite the evidence into something that is workable or practical of the issues with pakistan to bolster defenses and where they have the major responsibility to make sure the afghan people are protected by whatever is needed and it's not just
to act as the test of time. the taliban i remember at one point you is the key as their symbol to make it leads is in in afghanistan in 1990 because he was somewhat popular and people had a good memory. they said if they ever get a hold of him they would hang him. but they are doing the same thing with the past two brotherhood so going forward to learn the lessons in my opinion. >> we suggest building a wall. [laughter] >> wind this up by pointing
and equitation there is a conflict that we don't have a shared vision who could be the mediator interested is mostly with afghans. those between head and pakistan pakistan says the conflict is with india with the strategic front that is the weight of the resolution. so that is at a brief way 2.0 the challenges why haven't been able to get this off the ground with those divisions and incentives.
so to push toward negotiations is to push towards fracture and that will not happen. >> let me ask please keep your questions short and introduce yourself briefly. thank you. >> i am with the state department special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. what i am about to say is not the view of the state department by even a personal capacity. but to look back at those negotiations i know you but you were appalled to be included in a political agreement but it is
important to remember the top priority at the time was to have the democratic transition with those roll off elections that summer did not give much competence they could achieve that transition successfully it is time moves forward without any resolution of the crisis there were fears that they would manipulate the political chaos to his advantage to read and power to bring together a ruling where his interest would be of concern so we could get there successfully. but the other point the difference between the political and though the gold that we're facing it is
a political agreement had their legs have five-year term but people are bogged down what is legal and what is constitutional i feet tall ladder is much more important to keep in mind. >> that was a comment more than a question. >> i jpcoa get flak for that i appreciate the comments but i still think it is irresponsible not to raise this point with the idea trying to recreate the rule of law that we know is violated and is counterproductive. >> and the you want to give a speech.
>> from the other people in the audience. the national coalition for the last 14 years but the unfortunate saying is they did try to build up that image that could be built in the buddies image of afghanistan is a nation of tribes unfortunately when they invaded soviet union invaded bin to the tribal structure you cannot build a
house but that foundation of the young generation would be totally disregarded. and you will not have any peace when they say taliban which one? which one are we talking about? and then to bring them to the peace table there is no such a thing. for god's sake let sit down to talk about what is going space in afghanistan. said people say why can we go to the united nations of the national security? >> that was said valuable
comment. [laughter] >> with the afghan american chamber of commerce with the business side of afghanistan during this chaos to do some basic aspects of security to be sorted out in with bad public protection and pours the the business is in turmoil and they're waiting for direction what if the politics, leader? >> in one week or so with
the national security forces. security does not happen in a vacuum. and the national security forces is just one element. their political and economic but the national security force of afghanistan prove that they can hold their own but it means if those security forces are backed by international support in
this behavior is the key to more stability that comes to the country to more stability comes to the country we have more opportunities so it all depends on the stability of afghanistan. in the effectiveness of the government. >> the important part of all of this is to effectively fight corruption in the environment where people feel secure from the attacks but also the servants and
it is a based on the constitution so as the model for the future election from any potential period. thank you. >> quickly on the talks and i was in kabul last week asking people generally what this was about and the elements of the responses was it was a question he wanted to restore his dignity and it doesn't have that much difference of levels of violence some people want to believe they
know, opposing forces will sit around a table and sign a peace agreement. we think we have to look at this condition >> john hess has some fighters in afghanistan. however, what conditions i think we should obey the decision of afghanistan and when he integrates his people in afghanistan it should be on the basis of the established rules in afghanistan, not to take some kind of political advancement. and here in afghanistan all rebellion is as long as the government has some kind of support from outside. twice the national government failed in that there was no outside support. one was in 1920s at the king of allah government and once in 1990s when the united states interfered in
afghanistan. otherwise governments were always able to defeat rebellions. this is also this civilian has some support from pakistan but in the principles it shows rebellions can be defeated by the government as long as that government is aided by its international partners. >> i can't think of a more unsavory character in all of afghan history then covidienb&. we haven'thad a pakistani voice and there's one back there , a sod who is actually going to speak and we do need a pakistani so briefly, >> thank you very much. i will be most read as compared to all those who ask questions before. i am with the pakistan league, thank you very much and this is such a great panel.
so insightful, very helpful. mister jalali mentioned about unity and this is something which is ideal and i think we need to become more pragmatic and we should stick to the idealism and mister smith mentioned pakistan is not willing to bring pakistan taliban to the negotiating table and they do have influence, some degree of influence and contact with the taliban but they have no control over them and pakistan's own plate is full and pakistan fully understands the liberty in pakistan and afghanistan are interdependent so pakistan doesn't not want to see afghanistan destabilized.we had been very optimistic that
halfway down, somebody looked to the window and asked how are you doing? he said so far so good so this is too optimistic i think. it doesn't change reality. my question is, are these taliban breeding grounds losing ground, being marginalized and can there be any kind of comment which is broadly based in terms of this without incorporating the taliban in the system without sharing power with them? thank you very much. >> about the taliban, i think if you look at the record the past 15 years at least, afghan leaders have made every attempt to ask the taliban to come and join
everybody else. i mean, i don't recallany time when this has not been done . but yes, at the beginning we missed some chances. i agree with there were some opportunities missed at the beginning when it would have probably been the best time to do so but later on there was a realization that we need to come to terms with this particular group that has, that continues to fight and has access to sanctuaries , has access to funding, has access to all types of software, hardware outside of afghanistan and obviously recruitment outside afghanistan. now i think that at this moment the taliban are probably portraying the image of the strength but i think that inherently they are probably at one of the weakest points ever.
that's my assessment. and i believe that not only are they politically somewhat in disarray , the leadership is not united anymore but i think that over thepast few weeks , they have been facing some major assaults and some major losses on the battlefield. the problem in afghanistan is not just what you or the media call the afghan taliban. the problem in afghanistan goes beyond the afghan taliban. it involves many other elements that are not afghan and who are in one way or another linked to the taliban and have been for 22 years. sometimes these linkages seem weak and sometimes very strong depending on the politics of the day.
and so the problem with afghanistan is we need to fight all of these different elements, some now under the name of isis, isil, danish. others under other names and people coming from all over. most of them are people who have retreated back in the tribal regions of afghanistan after the taliban were overthrown area whether they are al qaeda type or whether they are pakistani taliban type, whether they are other arab or middle eastern or whatever you connection they have and they have sanctuaries in pakistan's tribal regions going back to the 80s and 90s. now most of them find themselves back in afghanistan for some odd reason . or are part of some crime reason so this is a situation as i see it and i think that as long as the afghan forces
are able to not only contain the taliban but also put pressure on them to maybe lose some momentum then we will be closer to a peace deal. the more you put pressure on them, the closer we will get to a peace deal. >> we do have to be concerned with the two sides being weak , which one fades first so that's, now this is going to haveto be our last question . i'm going to take a woman back here again.i always get criticized for this. >> i'm glad i wasn't last, especially. these are two women sitting next to each other so maybe i should pass the mic to the person next to me.
my name is liz wilson. i work for an ngo in dupont circle, we are working on a higher education project in afghanistan now and with the departure of a lot of young qualified educated afghans i'm just wondering what are some ways the government might be having some strategies try to keep their young people in the country during this time of transition. there's been so much money, our organization at hi 360 has been working for more than a decade in higher education in afghanistan so there's been investment in trying to keep young people there from our staff who i work with on up to ministers, it seems like there's a big struggle so just from yours perspective, youth in education in afghanistan? >> well, you cannot build walls around afghanistan to prevent these people from leaving. they should have incentives. in the next four years i think 4 million more afghans will hit the job market. unless you provide incentive
for jobs and also the future, i think it will be very difficult to prevent that exodus of afghan educated from leaving but fortunately in the past 14 years, thousands of thousands of afghans were educated both inside the country and outside the country so there are still many talents in afghanistan, not real afghanistan. the approach is to use these capacities have been inequitable so yes, i think the unemployment decline in economic situation, security and also the effectiveness of the government corruption and other things are issues that probably provided incentive for people to leave the country. otherwise many people would be happy to have a job with
work in their own country. the prime minister provides these opportunities. unfortunately he cannot prevent an exodus of afghan educated from afghanistan so like many other countries. >> i'm going to apologize for not being able to ascertain every question and i'm also going to apologize to the panel because i don't know about you but i have a feeling we're just getting started. there is so much that they have to share with us and i think we've just skimmed the surface here so i want you to join me if you will in thanking this superb panel and thank you for coming. [applause] >>. [inaudible conversation]
>> tonight on c-span, bernie sanders will hold a campaign rally in louisville kentucky starting at 7:30 p.m. eastern. live coverage on our companion network the stand. then results from tonight's indiana primary. your reaction, candidate speeches and we will let you know that when the winners are predicted. >> on american history tv on c-span three. >> we are here to review the major findings of our fallen investigation of fbi domestic intelligence including the co-intel program and other programs aimed at domestic targets. fbi surveillance of law-abiding citizens and groups , political abuses of fbi intelligence and several specific cases of unjustified intelligence operations.
>> 1975 church committee hearings convened to investigate the intelligence activities of the cia, fbi, irs and nsa. saturday night at 10 eastern the commission question former associate counsel and staff assistant to president nixon, tom carl huston on a plant he presented to president nixon to collect information about antiwar and radical groups using burglary, electronic surveillance and opening of mel. >> they are undertaking the black bag job for a number of years up until 1966 it had been successful andvaluable , again particularly in matters involving xp and ice and they felt this again wassomething that given the revolutionary climate they thought they needed to have the authority to do just before 7 pm eastern . >> and one person came and she said you were chosen. she must've chosen the iraqi in four years or so in the investigation scandal.she
spoke on gave me also and they asked her what are our presence and she actually said she received that smoke then i do penance. >> holocaust survivor anna gross recalls her family's experiences in the ghettos in nazi occupied hungary in a concentration camp in poland and forced hard labor. this event was part of the united states holocaust memorial museum's first-person series.then eddie on lectures in history. >> and an artist named alexander bergman broke into frick's office in nearby pittsburgh, shot him twice and repeatedly stabbed him. franklin however was one of the great failures in assassination history. not only did he fail to kill frick, he also undermined the
strikers for whom he was professing sympathy because in many ways, public opinion saw an outburst of radical violence as a discredit to the union movement. >> the university of maryland's robert child on the labor and social unrest at the turn of the 20th century and sundaymorning at 10 , on road to the white house relied, the 1968 presidential campaign of former democratic governor george wallace. for the complete american history tv we can schedule, go to c-span.org. >> in both iraq and afghanistan i helped both countries with their constitutions a sort of facilitator of agreement on key issues among iraqis or afghans. your influence is considerable as heads of state or government very
anxious to meet with you and you are asked for the meeting. >> sunny night at usa, 40 us ambassador to afghanistan and iraq and the united states, khaliazad discusses his memoir the ongoing. from kabul to the white house, my journey through turbulent world. >> we saw extremists such as zarqawi exploited although we've been correct in this toward the end of the. i was there by the surge, by reaching out to the sunnis, by building up iraqi forces, by establishing a unity government, killing zarqawi at the end to bring about security, violence was way down but unfortunately when we left and the vacuum was filled by arrival regional powers pulling iraqi part, the violence escalated and we have isis now. >> sunny night at the eastern on c-span two and a. >> the top fema official recently told congress cuts to his agency's budget have resulted in difficult decisions about emergency management priorities.
deputy administrator for protection and national preparedness made those remarks during testimony before a senate homeland security subcommittee. >> to call this hearing to order, good afternoon and welcome to the panel and thanks for joining us today. this committee is charged with oversight of all federal spending which we accomplished through hearings like this one and through regular reports provided by various agencies that also help us to oversee government and its spending. today we are examining spending at the federal emergency management agency and the need tonight for reforms in that spending. given the government borrows about $1 million every minute and has $19 trillion in debt we can't afford to allow waste to persist in government. waste at fema and grant programs administered by fema has been described in detail
by senator coburn, the gao and the inspector general. one of our witnesses today,, inspector general ross found in reports that maryland bought nearly $70,000 worth of computer equipment that did nothing with for mere nearly a year and a half. in 2012, senator coburn reviewed on fema grant program and concluded the program is struggling to demonstrate how it is making us cities less honorable to attack and more prepared if one were to occur despite receiving over $7 billion in federal funding. after 10 years, the crew danger for the termination initiative grant program is that it would be transformed from a risk-based program targeting security gas into an entitlement program for states and cities. i think that risk still exists and in many states are supplanting some of their typical expenditures they would commonly pay for themselves with federal money. i don't think to thisday we've adequately corrected
the deficiencies that doctor coburn found . just last month inspector general ross also released reports that had 333 recommendations for reform to the grant programs at fema. however we only found for permanent changes that had been made to fema over the time in which these recommendations had come forward. despite recommendations for reform over a nearly 5 year period, little in the way of reform appears to have occurred. we had a hearing on this in 2013 in which we went through some of the various forms of waste that were occurring at fema. but even since that hearing, we still continue to have problems. $280,000 was recently spent for a bearcat armored vehicle in dover. last time we were around, we complained of the $600,000 bearcat armored vehicle 14. i guess new hampshire is ready for the next invasion. we also found recently or the
inspectors found $1.7 million for unused radios and generators and 174,004 unused radios in dc. this is since we last met to talk about waste. every dollar wasted makes a difference to taxpayers. right now, fema is more than $20 billion in debt becauseof the flood insurance program . disaster spending often far outpaces the annual funding numbers provides leading to the need for supplemental funding every year or so. fema has provided more than $40 billion in preparedness grants since 2001 these grant primarily to state and local agencies who all too often seem to be using these funds or things they would never purchase with their own money such as the 13 snow cone machines armor senator coburn found were bought by some michigan counties. the small communities are using these funds to buy armored vehicles. local communities loved federal grants because they don't have to tax their
constituents to pay for the pending. the federal government simply hides the grant in the massive $19 trillion debt. for this reason we must be diligent in insisting that local communities needs to be largely 84 by local taxes. a significant amount of the spending is also duplicative of grants available from other departments. such as the $650 million handout to local police by the department of justice last year. i expect general roth, will give us much more insight into some of these problems today. i in my office here a lot about fema from our constituents. the most frequent complaints are about flood maps. a neighbor of mine has a house at the local lake and his house is about, it's 60 feet above the level of a dam and yet fema's map has them in the floodplain and requires an to spend money on extra insurance even though
it's hard to conceive of how his house is going to flood when it's above the level of the dam that holds the water of the lake. i hear the updated flood maps are clear enough or county officials to make informed decisions. i hear it takes far too long for counties to receive reimbursement for disaster recovery work area traffic we were buying bearcat armored vehicles for local police forces we might have more money to take care of some of these problems. i'm eager to hear what our witnesses have to say but i would certainly welcome any comments at this time from our ranking member senator baldwin. >> thank you chairman paul for working with me to hold this important hearing to examine the federal emergency management agency's efforts to assist states in preparing for terrorism and natural disasters. i would like to also thank our witnesses for being here today . we have learned from the attacks in brussels and paris and san bernardino that we face radical and evolving
threats as a nation. not only do we face new risks of terrorism, we also face ongoing threats of natural disasters including floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. fema is charged with the critical role of a shoe entering our first responders have the tools and resources they need to prevent, prepare for and respond to all hazards. for nearly 40 years, fema has implemented robust programs to increase states capabilities to protect against disasters.notably, fema provides critical federal preparedness grant funding as well as real-time training and exercises for first responders. i think all of our states and indeed the country have benefited from this critical assistance. however, as i said in previous subcommittee hearings we must continually assess and evaluate our programs to ensure we are addressing our nation's priorities in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
so thank you again for being here mister manning to discuss ways that fema can continue to prepare first responders for new and emerging threats as well as increased oversight of its programs. one area of particular importance to me and my home state of wisconsin and certainly many other states across the country is the significant increase in the transportation of crude oil by rail. a higher rate than ever before we are seeing this volatile substance traveling in railcars past homes, schools and businesses. with increased volume comes increased risk and last november, two trains carrying hazardous materials derailed in the state of wisconsin spilling hundreds of gallons of crude oil in one case and thousands of gallons of ethanol in another. fortunately nothing caught
fire and nobody was hurt. however in one of the instances 35 families were evacuated from their homes. we have seen other derailments across the country including in illinois, westvirginia, north dakota, alabama and virginia . just in the past year. these instances pose an immense threat to communities, people and the environment. for example, this past weekend a train derailed in while with so-so wisconsin. no one was hurt and this particular comedy train cars were not carrying hazardous materials. but it's not enough to rely on lock and we have to have sufficient plans in place to respond to derailments including the worst-case scenarios. i'm proud to have included a
number of provisions in the recently passed highway bill to improve first responder access to information about these trains and it's really critical that the department of transportation implement the reforms as soon as possible. however, we must do more to address the significant security concerns and it's why i requested that the inspector general on it whether the department of homeland security has established sufficient plans and coordination efforts to effectively respond to and recover from railway accidents involving hazardous materials. i look forward to the results of that audit and to hearing from our witnesses about what more we can do to respond to this emerging threat. i am also concerned by a recent department of homeland security office of inspector general report that found that fema has not adequately analyzed recurring oig
recommendations to implement permanent changes to improve oversight of homeland security grants programs. specifically, the ig found that while fema tracks specific audit recommendations on a state-by-state basis, fema has not proactively analyze its audits to discover trends , engage and root cause analysis and implement corrective action over the entire program. the ig, i am concerned states could be repeating the same mistakes and that we run the risk of money not being spent for its intended purpose. similarly, i am concerned about a gao report that found fema does not comprehensively collect or monitor the status of corrective actions made by federal departments that participate in national level
exercises. while fema has made progress in addressing this issue, more needs to be done to track corrective action, to ensure that fema has an up-to-date outlook of national preparedness. i look forward to hearing from you mister manning on how fema plans to improve oversight of the homeland security grant program and track the status of corrective actions made by federal departments. i want to again thank chairman paul for providing us this opportunity to discuss these important issues and our witnesses for taking part in the discussion. it's my hope that when we leave here today we have concrete ways to improve preparedness efforts for first responders, strengthen oversight of the fema programs and deliver our nation's priorities in the most efficient and effective ways possible. thank you.
>> thank you. our first witness today will be mister timothy manning from fema. mister manning is the deputy administrator for fema for protection and national preparedness. before this, before his confirmation he was head of the new mexico department of homeland security and prior to that work in a number of other emergency management first responder capacities at the state and local level. mister manning, thank you for your testimony today. >> thank you mister chairman. thank you members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to speak today about how fema supports preparing for terrorism and natural disasters. as a former first responder at the local and state level i can assure you that we at fema remain committed to ensuring our citizens and first responders have the tools they need to be prepared for the full range of threats and hazards. in the past year alone, the us has experienced drought, malicious cyber attacks, extensive flooding, widespread wildland fires, mass shootings in chattanooga
tennessee and san bernardino california along with numerous other events. in the tragic events recently in paris and brussels show how important it is for us as a nation to be ready to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from complex coordinated terrorist attacks. with such a wide ranging array of threats and hazards we must work together to leverage all of our collective resources at every level of government in order to achieve our goal of a secure and resilient nation. with that in mind, i'd like to tell you about some of the things we are doing to address these challenges. fema is working with every state and urban area to identify their specific risks, set out based targets and assess their capabilities. they identify remaining gaps in their capabilities which then drive investments across their jurisdiction and grants that in local resources and
mutual aid planning. this ensures that fema's grant funds go tothe most critical areas . in 2015 fema provided $1.6 billion in preparedness grant funds to address priority capability gaps. we analyzed a grant information alongside risk and capability data to ensure that grant dollars are being used effectively to enhance preparedness. in addition to providing grant, the agency works to help fill capability gaps throughout training exercise and technical assistance programs. these programs eight first responders and emergency managers across the protection prevention mediation response and recovery mission areas. in 2015 alone, fema achieved more than 2 million course completions across all of our training programs which include the center for domestic preparedness in alabama. the emergency management institute and the national fire academy in maryland and our partnership with national domestic fairness consortium, the centerboard homeland defense and iag partners such as the consortium in somerset kentucky. we provide courses ranging
from online introductory level highly specialized hands-on training for medical and other disciplines including the only federally chartered weapons of mass instruction training in the nation. as risks and threats continue to evolve, we must adapt our programs to meet those most pressing needs . in the continued to prepare for complex for native terrorist attacks working with state and local jurisdictions the fbi and private sector partners to assist communities through a series of counterterrorism awareness workshops where participants from multiple disciplines discuss and analyze capabilities required to respond to an attack involving a coordinated assault against multiple targets to work through scenarios identify gaps in the current plan and capabilities in developed mitigation strategies.
today we delivered 23 workshops with participation from more than 5000 responders and officialsmost recently in st. louis, missouri. another example of how fema's earnest programs adapt to address the lease to the exponential increase in the domestic rail shipment of crude oil since 2008 which has resulted in an increase of spills, explosions and other incidents . fema collaborated with the 48 state department of transportation, the epa and other components of the department of homeland security to find the biggest gap related to crude oil incidents. this allowed us to efficiently target federal resources and critical needs. fema offers multiple hands-on training opportunities related to hazardous materials and crude incidents . through partnership with the transportation technology center, in pueblo colorado as well as training on information materials, the center for domestic preparedness in anniston. fema also worked with the us dot, coast guard and epa to design and deliver an exercise series known as operation safe delivery specifically addressing crude oil incidents. in total, nearly 1500 responders from around the country participated in either training exercise
related to incidents in 2015. we also recognized the past events are not an accurate way to assess future risks. we use a capability-based approach to target resources so jurisdictions around the country will be able to handle a wide range of incidents. we are currently analyzing the 2015 risk and capability data gathered from our state partners and will use that information to drive further decisions on training exercise and technical assistance, ensuring we are using our resources to target the highest priority needs. we look forward to working with you all to that end. thank you again for the opportunity to testify and i look forward to any questions the committee may have thank you.our second witness is for john roth, inspector general of the department of homeland security. mister roth was confirmed in 2014 after two years of service as the director of the office of criminal investigations for the f da.
prior to his work with the fda he served with distinction as the department of justice and assignments ranging from contour narcotics to disrupting terrorist financing and in places ranging from eastern michigan to paris france area thank you for taking the time for your testimony today. >> good afternoon. chairman paul, ranking member baldwin and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here to testify today. my testimony today will discuss our work with regard to fema preparedness grant. homeland security grant programs assist preparation for terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. fema is responsible for partnering with state to create grants, training and exercise to help ensure preparedness. these grant programs out a range of various activities including planning, organization, equipment purchases, training exercise and management and administration. from fiscal years 2009 to 14, fema allocated $7.6 billion
in these grant funds to assist grantees in achieving program goals. we have completed audits of fema grants in 54 states and territories. in most instances with some notable exceptions the grant administered grants accordingly in accordance with law. as with any large diverse program we continue to identify issues and awarding the expenditure monitoring and issue of the grant. the issues we found our best described in five categories. first, poor development of metrics. we found many states did not develop fully measurable and achievable goal objectives. rather they had many broad-based goals and objectives with no timeline for completion and few concrete measures to determine if the goals and objectives were met. second, incomplete or not
existing state assessments of risks and capabilities. to help make smart decisions about how best to use their grant funds, states need to do a better job of annually assessing the unique risks to preparedness they face and develop appropriate capability targets to address them. fema intern needs to make sure it reviews the state assessments for accuracy and completeness. third, untimely obligation of funds. we found numerous instances of fema warning grants within the state delaying and distributing the money to the recipient of the grant. we had a number of instances in which sometimes over a year would pass before the state awarded the funds to the sub grantees. fourth, insufficient management control. states are required to monitor sub grantee activities to ensure compliance with requirements. we found a number of instances in which the state had not adequately managed the grant process leading to a lack of assurance that the funds we bring spent wisely. lastly and properly in expenditures. our audits have found
examples ofimproper expenditures. these grants were awarded so state and local agencies can prevent, prepare for and protect against and respond to acts of terrorism, major disasters and other emergency . however without grant funds were not always been for their intended purposes or well supported. while fema has worked to improve its grant processes and oversight, our audience continue to find the same issues in state after state of our 400 90 audit recommendations resulting from these 58 audits of states and territories, 91 percent of the recommendations identified a challenges year after year. that notwithstanding, fema has not taken the former audits to create asystemic and institutional change in the manner in which it oversees the program . fema simply tracks specific audit recommendations but has not taken the extra step of proactively analyzing the audits, sever trends, engage in a root cause analysis and implement corrective action over the course of the program rather than state-by-state. thus, fema and the states are repeating the same mistakes over and over again and we cannot be assured that money
is being spent appropriately. fema resolved only four of the 330 recommendations related to program oversight, less than two percent through permanent changes to the homeland security grant programs. this shows a troubling lack of commitment to program oversight. given the risks and expense of the departments fema preparedness grant, we have continued our audit efforts in this area. for example we recently conducted a risk-based analysis to determine the highest priority grantees for our next round of audits. fortunately, fema has agreed to implement a comprehensive plan for conducting an ongoing analysis of the current audit recommendations. this plan will include
clearly dealing with roles and responsibilities along with policies and procedures for determining trends and systemwide problems as well as recommending solutions to improve oversight of grant programs. it expects to complete this plan by december 2016. mister chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. i welcome any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have. >> thank you. our third witnesses mister chris curry from the government accountability office. mister currie is the director of emergency management national preparedness and infrastructure justice team at gao. thank you for your testimony. >> thank you chairman paul, rent ranking member baldwin and other members of the committee. it's an honor to be here to talk about national preparedness. i think it's important to first talk about progress fema has made over the last decade. before 2006, fema was not responsible for national preparedness. the post-katrina act of 2006 changed that. it gave fema several broad responsibilities in this area. first, to implement the national preparedness system across all levels of government. the second was assess the capabilities and preparedness
of state local partners and third was to manage and provide all the department of homeland security preparedness grant to these partners. in progress across these areas has been mixed. fema has made progress in establishing the structures necessary to coordinate preparedness across federal departments. for example, fema issued the national response framework in 2012. this set up the 15 emergency support functions or esf that deliver response capabilities and designated a lead federal department as coordinator for each esf as well. to test these functions, fema has conducted exercises to determine capability gaps and identify lessons learned from real-world disasters. >> challenges still exist in this area. fema cannot direct other federal departments preparednessefforts or resources . it relies on coordination to do that. for example, fema coordinates national exercises but we found other agencies don't always report back on actions
they took the to close the gap. identified during these exercises as center baldwin mentioned in his opening statement. we also found esf coordinating agencies like dot lack guidance from fema on what actions they were supposed to take to demonstrate preparedness. we recommended that fema better track these open corrective actions and provide guidance so the department can help them in their respective areas. fema has implementedsome of the recommendations and is taking steps to close the rest of them . switching to preparedness grants, the story is has not been as positive. first we found a risk of duplication and a need for better coordination across these preparedness grants. these grants share similar goals. they fund similar products and sometimes provide funds for grantees. to be fair, in some ways there were designed this way but we found that fema lacks the data and controls to review and compare rant
applications across programs which risks unnecessary duplication. we recommend that fema collect more information to fix the problem. fema has taken some steps to temporarily pack this problem with updates to its current grant managementsystem. however, the agency's long-term solution to this problem hinges on full implementation of its new non-disaster grant management system . however this system has been delayed for years. and is now not expected to be in full use until sometime next year. as a result our recommendation likely will be addressed anytime soon. like to talk about the state and local capabilities in measuring the impact of grants that mister all and talked about as well. it's true it's difficult to measurepreparedness and assess capabilities but is not impossible and with over $40 billion responded to 9/11 it's important .
fema has taken steps to assess capabilities such as requiring states to complete annual preparedness reports and enrolling these all up into one big national yearly preparedness report. it's also developing tools state can use to assess the risks and capability needs. these are good steps and states are in the best position to assess their needs and risks. however when it comes to allocating the grants, fema relies on states capability requirements and the level of preparedness rather than a quantitative standard across jurisdictions. this makes it difficult to ensure that data are both accurate and comparable across states. it also makes it difficult to ensure grants go to the areas of greatest need across the country. we recommended that fema complete a more qualitative national preparedness assessment of these capability gaps at each level and direct grant funding accordingly. however, fema disagrees with this approach and does not plan to address this recommendation as we've written it. this completes my prepared remarks, i'd be happy to answer any questions you
have. >> i'd like to introduce our last witness this afternoon. john drake's deputy administrator of the pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration otherwise known as simpson. at the us department of transportation. in his work as deputy administrator, mister drake helps protect people and the environment by advancing a safe transportation of hazardous materials. simpson regulates the operation of 2.6 million miles of gas and liquid pipelines and 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea and air. before joining sims up, mister drake served as the deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy at the us department of transportation where he oversaw policy implementation with a specific focus on freight, reauthorization and safety policy.
mister drake also worked as the director of governmental affairs at the federal motor carrier safety administration. before joining the us department of transportation, john drake was a capitol hill staffer for nearly a decade working on the senate committee on commerce science and transportation and the house committee on transportation and infrastructure. he holds a bachelors degree in philosophy from the university of california at santa cruz . thank you so much for being here. we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you ma'am and thank you. mister chairman paul, ranking member baldwin, members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today on the pipeline and hazardous material administration efforts to ensure the safe and reliable transportation of hazardous materials by rail and prepare first responders form emergency incidents. every day more than 6 million tons of energy products and other hazardous materials move across our nation. many of these materials like
lithium batteries battery, gas and cleaning products are essential components to our daily lives. with an unplanned release of any one of these materials can have deadly for our communities and cause an acceptable farm to our environment. that is why it's admission by simpson to advise the hazardous materials. in recent years, simpson along with the department of transportation has been focused on the significant increase in the amount of crude oil being transported by rail. this increase has affected communities along the rail lines in many ways from increased traffic at crossings to concerned about leaks, stills and derailments and other incidents. further these well-trained are also carrying larger volumes of crude oil per train than ever before. safety is department of transportation's top priority. that is why we have taken more than 30 actions over the last two years to ensure the safe transportation of crude
oil. most recently since a working in coordination with the federal railroad in ministration issued a comprehensive rule that incorporated new rules designed to reduce the consequences and help reduce the probability of accidents involving trains transporting large quantities of flammable liquids white petroleum and ethanol products. these requirements cover everything from the tank car designed to new operational requirements including crude requirements, braking systems and routing. this work fills on this agency's previous actions which were communities and emergency responders are prepared in the event of a derailment. for example, we were asleep will want emergency response tools and professionals to share information and their efforts to prepare for and respond to incidents involving hazardous materials. we also have a grants program that provides approximately $28 million per year to state to drive emergency responders to prepare for and respond to
hazardous material incidents including pipeline stills and train your ailments. these grants support critical training for emergency responders and other hazardous material professionals who may be called on to respond to and incidents. we also recently released a document called the tripper which is a training document provided as a free resource developed in coordination with fema and other public safety agencies at the state and local levels that leverages the expertise of responders and operators to better prepare first responders to safely manage hazmat incidents. other emergency training efforts include phmsa's work with fema to develop guidelines for public sector training to establish the most current standards to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of hazmat training for localand state first responders. we work with canada and mexico to prepare the emergency response guidebook . the go to manual for first responders that is essentially the first and primary document they will
use in responding to a hazmat release. finally, we are grateful for the support to our mission provided in the recently enacted staff. this act provides provisions to evaluate many of our recent actions in support to improve the safety of oil trains and also includes new provisionsthat will help us better prepare communities going forward. we are working aggressively to implement these provisions , keeping communities safe requires vigilance and a comprehensive approach to safety and openness to new technology. we look forward to working with you all and the other members of congress to continue to advance our important safetymission and ensure america's communities are well prepared to deal with emergencies involving hazmat. thank you again for inviting me to appear and i look forward to your questions. ask thank you all . mister manning, in the inspector general's testimony he reports that fema fully resolved four of the 333 recommendations related to program oversight, less than two percent through permanent changes.
conclusion is this shows a troubling lack of commitment to the program oversight. your response? >> i think i would respectfully disagree with my colleagues in the inspector general that we had a great deal more changes with programmatic changes to oversight and design. the entire development of the system and the elements with the grants are designed to achieve were all made with the intent of addressing issues that have recurred through audit findings and technical assistance and working with our partners at state and local governments with the grantees. while maybe four major changes have been made to the funding announcements to the grant documents, a great deal ofthose , of those findings, i believe from matters of training with the grantees, the interaction with the grant management staff at the
grantee level and we have carried out a great number of technical assistance visits and interactions with the grantees to account for those issues and continue to change the way we do technical assistance through really all of those programs.>> is there a way to objectively measure whether or not we are achieving our goal or whether or not we are wasting less money mister roth? >> it's difficult to do that given the nature of the enterprise or the exercise they are conducting. what fema has done is put together a process in which they attempt to measure what the gaps in the preparedness are and what the state can do to meet those gaps and i know gao for example has done some work with regard to that as well. >> mister currie, you mention in your testimony you believe
there didn't seem to be an indication that fema was interested in the reforms. you have a suggestion for how we have fema become more interested in the reforms? >> you are talking about the assessment of capabilities area yes, so part of this we've been talking with fema about this for years and in some ways what they are doing is part of i think a system that would work effectively. start at the state and local level, assess the risk, see what their capability needs are and then work your way up to some sort of quantitative measure across jurisdictions so you can see where the capability gaps are and then get out the money accordingly. one of the things we found is that there is a lot of reliance on the state's own self reporting of their risk and as mister roth's work has shown in looking down into the grants, sometimes those at risk assessments are not done completely and not identified so we're not sure how you can allocate the money best onrisk if those things are identified .
>> mister roth, you believe any of the month through the grant to them is supplanting the ordinary cost that police and fire men do and some out they are becoming dependent on that for things that maybe should be raised through local taxes? >> we have found examples of that in a number of audits we conducted that once you diving and look at what the money was actually spent on, it wasn't justified as part of the grant program.for example, overtime for police officers in certain jurisdictions was not there to protect critical infrastructure which was a permitted cost but rather overtime for other ordinary kinds of things . likewise with absent purchases. many times the absent purchases, we have a law enforcement utility to it but not a preparedness function. >> i guess the problem is and i think you're all sincere in trying to eliminate waste but everybody's trying to waste the taxpayer monitors so it sincerity but i see this waste through our government. we have always report we put out every week, we find it
everywhere. every department got it and went then we find people who say were going to root out military waste but give the military $100 billion more money. you're not rooting out anyways unless there are limited resources. if i'm the mayor of the city of 1 million people, i only have a certain amount of money so i have to prioritize something better at figuring out ways that we haven't sent it and that's part of our problem with government as a whole as we don't feel like we have finite resources and we say well, that's for homeland security so we give more money or emergency management, we give them more money and i think it's restricting the amount of money in order to find the waste and maybe we would listen to those were talking to us about waste so that we have finite amount of money. i got another question for mister manning. the government's been paying for some of these stingray cells towers. are you still doing that with fema money? >> yes sir. >> you know how many? >> my information is sincethe
beginning of the grants, 10 . >> a lot of us were concerned about privacy are worried about you know, watching people and following them without warrants the special court of appeals ruled that people have a reasonable expectation that their cell phones will not be used as a real-time tracking device by law enforcement and federal governments has gone on the positive direction that you are only using words and the federal government is, it's my understanding that local governments is still able to use these without warrants and like many things that were intended for terrorism they wind up being used for other petty crimes. is there anything that fema is doing to protect civil liberties of those from local law enforcement using these devices without warrants? >> mister chairman in regard
to these pieces of equipment they are on the authorized equipment list we developed with law enforcement and the department of justice. their legal use is the responsibility of law enforcement agency that has acquired them with the grant and they are subject to the provisions and oversight of the department of justice. it's their responsibility to use any equipment obtained under these grants legally and consistent with civil liberties regulations. we find instances where that is the case, we have not in the case of this equipment. we can require them to pay that money back in on top of whatever actions are justified. >> the determination would be what's legal and what's not legal according to this one court opinion, they are not doing it but it's the left open for local law enforcement to do this without warrants and i think since we are losingfederal money , there would be no reason why the administration couldn't actually the man that of local law enforcement since we arepaying for it with federal money . >> mister chairman, that's an interesting suggestion and
the matter of the legal use of the equipment is one of the department of justice but i will contact my colleagues in the department of justice. >> we will get it from the legislative perspective but i would appreciate it if you look at it from the administrative perspective because it can be something, the decision for federal officers to get warrants was done unilaterally by the administration. this could be done as well and if you would give us an answer from your side i would appreciate it. senator baldwin. >> thank you. mister drake, thank you for being here today. as you noted in your testimony, there have been significant increases in the number of trains carrying crude oil and other hazardous materials. i certainly hear a lot from constituents who are along the railways that cross wisconsin. as i mentioned in my opening statement, i was proud to offer a position highway bill that ensures local first responders have real time information when hazardous materials are going to be traveling
>> of. >> a lot of the work we have done currently is working with the viet -- even and other stakeholders to map out the framework with that proposed legislation will be written. at this point in time my answer is yes we will beat the december timeline. >> the highway bill also directs the highway transportation the worse
case oriole discharge plan as soon as possible deity issued an visuals to the requirements in 2014 it did your testimony you state the agency will publish a draft notice proposed rulemaking in june 2016 let me know when we can expect a final rule on the response plans for high hazard flammable trains? >> there is currently a regulatory proposal under review interagency review and barely be some confusion with the testimony and i apologize but 2014 looking at to expand the response plan for the railroad industry that proposal is
currently under review. they have 90 days to review and i hope we should have something soon afterwards. we started this with the high hazard flammable trade rule it is important for us to get done. >> it your testimony discussed working with fema to read tea and support systems to help state and local trading offices improve the quality of treating -- trading and testing so a elaborate education of those needs assessments of fema matter what specifically goes into those assessments and how are they followed upon? >> a lot of the work that we do we do a lot of coordination work a lot of the materials that we
develop was done in coordination with the bad because they do play a role in our efforts. to your question specifically in a number of products we have put forth like the pipeline spill response plan and to provide as best we can and to help first responders respond to those releases. >> you know, it is in trade incidents for hazardous materials it is currently finalizing its chemical and next to the response and
recovery plan to further clarify responsibilities of this area. new state the date you expect it to be complete? >> it is a next to the federal interoperable agency plan to the national response framework describing how the federal government comes to gather to deliver assistance when they would request in times of the emergency. these plans are executed by fema and drafted by fema on behalf of the interagency they are government wide. in this class stages of review of comments received a do have a hard date but we expected very shortly the be in the next few weeks or within the month. >> i appreciate the trading that fema provides to first
number of assets of prepared this in the applicant's of integrate member of carter's to increasingly use branch resources to more trading in the last few years the transportation and technology center is running people through the crude oil trading they have had an additional 300 through their trading in the international association of firefighters with 6,000 offerings and we're constantly balancing the requirement the
capability gaps you've heard references to new the dave capability gabs -- the gap's end the equipment to do that job and to evaluate it may be the right number of equipment and to get trained in a particular subject matter so refocus the grants so as we continue to work with the difficult decision we have to continue to use the tools we develop to apply the resources where we can get the most effective use of those funds. >> the key for including the
in this hearing but this is a topic that is the air and dear to my heart. it is thus attacking the site of an oil trade fire the first responders were volunteers in nyasa was the single most important trading that you had, he said prepared this trading that was done by fema. and i think looking with the interstate carrier and i am sensitive to the chairman's comments about what is the stage role as a tax collector i ran into that, don't know much but it is greatly restricted house states could impact other commentary. in that is the point that is
the role under the interstate commerce clause. and with those funding sources i share senator baldwin's concern that the chief talked about with the ability to respond in a way to protect the lives of his firefighters that is on the chopping block in context of the interstate carrier. there is a lot of concerns about a budget proposal that doesn't adequately fund the grant programs as the minister hazardous material to see the role little differen