tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 2, 2016 9:03am-10:01am EDT
>> from the chamber of commerce yesterday we go live now to the senate floor of the white house where president obama will be officially welcomed singapore prime minister lee hsien loong, the first official visit from that country since 1985. the prime minister did it with president obama in april of 2013. just to let you know today it will be a joint news conference with president obama scheduled 11:40 a.m. on c-span and the state energy by starting with guest arrivals just before seven eastern. we will have that for you live on c-span. [background sounds]
from singapore. we have a little -- [cheers and applause] we have some singapore whether. we can appreciate that. singapore is one nation with four official languages. so let me just say good morning -- [speaking in native tongue] >> on behalf of michelle and myself, on behalf of the american people i am honored to welcome prime minister lee and mrs. lee to the united states. [applause] this marks the first official state visit by singaporean prime minister in over 30 years. it celebrates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic
relations between our two nations. and it is a reflection of my friendship and partnership with prime minister lee over the last eight years. repay the hospitality prime minister of the people of singapore showed me when i visited singapore during my first year in office. we were there for the aipac summit with its tradition of dressing in shirts that are somewhat colorful. a tradition that we will reserve only for those summits and we are not duplicating today. half a century ago when singapore was a rural island, few would have imagined a day like today. but singaporeans pride themselves on being the little red dot, the little red dot on many maps but with a great impact on the world. and less than a generation for the vision and stewardship that prime minister lee, singaporeans
transformed their nation from third world to first. they did this with almost no natural resources except one, the people of singapore and their commitment to education and to progress, and the innovation. our singaporean friends say that a long road reveals the strength of your horse, longtime reveals your friends. i first saw the heart of the people of singapore during my young boy living in southeast asia. we see it now in the proud singaporean americans who enrich our nation and to join us today, including a lot of aunts and uncles. we see it in all the singaporean officers who attend military academies, more than the rest of asia combined. we see our friendship into collaborations between our
same rules, and we stand together to meet the threats of the 21st century from terrorism to the spread of disease to climate change. in this work we draw strength from our people, to societies built on multiculturalism and on merit. in the united states we call ourselves a melting pot of different races, religions and creeds. in singapore it is -- different parts united in a harmonious hope. we are bound by the police that no matter who you are, if you work hard and play by the rules you can make it. what progress only once said of his country can be set of us. both our populations of dryers prepared to do anything to improve themselves. with only the future to go in quest of. prime minister lee, mrs. lee, with our eyes focused on the future and united in our quest for progress and security our two peoples, we welcome you to
the united states of america. >> thank you. [applause] >> president barack obama and mrs. michelle obama, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and american singaporeans are who -- who are here today, thank you very much today, thank you very much for this kind of attention. i know it's a busy year. i watch you on television last week, and michelle, too. and it is an honor for singapore to be received with such a warm welcome a special as we celebrate 50 years of our diplomatic relations. the first official visit by a singapore prime minister to the united states was in 1967. president lyndon johnson received mr. lee kwan loo, our founding prime minister. singapore was the then newly independent. we were struggling to build a modern economy with no means to
defend ourselves in nature but south east asia. but mr. lee did not come to seek military or economic aid. at the time, america was divided over the vietnam war. he came to take the measure of america's mood and intentions. explained to his american friends why it mattered to america and why the united states active engagement was important to millions of people living in southeast asia. america's present hope to -- not east asian countries the crucial security, tying and faith to consolidate and to prosper. almost 50 years later the world has completely changed. the cold war is long over and
the threat of communism has disappeared. asia is at peace, though tensions are not entirely absent. southeast asia has prospered with countries cooperating peacefully as members of asean. americans, policies and actions have contributed greatly to this current peace and prosperity. keeping our markets open to trade, deepening your partnership with asean and cooperating with countries in the region to enhance regional security, you have helped create the basis for a peaceful, rules-based regional and international order. president obama, the u.s. rebalanced to asia is unimportant affirmation of a long-standing policy of the united states and has been warmly welcomed by all asean countries. your efforts to build a
constructive relationship with china will set the strategic backdrop for the whole region and beyond. you have personally pushed for the trans-pacific partnership, growing a small -- that's singapore started together with chili, bruni and new zealand into what will be a major trading group linking both sides of the pacific. i know that america's many preoccupations both at home and abroad. some americans are anxious and frustrated with economic uncertainty, and the uneven results of globalization, trade and foreign engagement by the u.s. has many interests, investments and friends in the region. these strengthen the united states. singapore fervently hopes that the u.s. will stay engaged and maintain its indispensable role in the asia-pacific. in particular, we hope, and i'm
sure the president shares this hope, that congress will ratify the tpp soon. not only will the tpp benefit american workers and businesses, it will send a clear signal and a vital signal that america will continue to lead in the asia-pacific and enhance the partnership that link our destinies together. singapore's own ties with the united states have remained steadfast through nine u.s. presidents, five republican and for democratic. and three singapore prime ministers. we will maintain these bipartisan the links with whatever party wins the election in november. we will continue to build and to deepen our economic and security relationships. we are partners in tackling the scourge of isis and other forms of violent extremism. our armed forces take part in
exercises together, and interact regularly. on this visit, president obama and i will discuss expanding our already extensive cooperation to new areas including cybersecurity and smart cities. but our ties reach beyond the government and corporate boardrooms. to the hearts and minds of our people. thousands of singapore students and people study and work in america, and thousands of u.s. companies operate out of singapore. the largest american curriculum schools outside the u.s. in the world is in singapore and is the singapore american school. and there are some alumni here, obviously. [laughter] in my many visits to america, i meet singaporeans living in many different cities contributing in their own ways to their host country and their respective communities and also the
americans who have been to singapore and tell me about their singaporean friends and their favorite food. i think many of them have met . so i'm very grateful for this opportunity to renew our partnership on this 50th anniversary milestone, and i look forward to having many more occasions and reasons to celebrate this special relationship together. thank you, president obama. >> thank you. [applause] >> honor guard. attention. right shoulder, march.
is here for a six-day visit. later today vice president biden will host a state luncheon. yesterday the prime minister met with ash carter. he also addressed the is chamber of commerce which we showed you earlier just before this program and you can see that on our website, c-span.org. president obama and the singapore prime minister heading inside for an oval office meeting. they will hold a news conference scheduled for 11:40 a.m. eastern and we will have it for you live on c-span. coming up tonight the president and first lady to hold a state dinner for the prime minister. live coverage on c-span start just before seven with guest of rivals. you can see that on c-span. congress is out until after labor day but house and senate primaries take place today in kansas, michigan, missouri and washington state. at least two new represents will be elected from michigan. voters tomorrow will elect
candidates to replace to retiring members. missouri republican senator roy blunt faces three challengers and one of four democratic candidates will also be selected to more. washington state democrat patty murray faces 16 challengers. >> on saturday, c-span's issue spotlight looks at police and race relations. we wish the president obama at the memorial service for five police officers shot and killed in dallas. >> when the bullets started flying, the men and women of the dallas police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly. >> southcom and republican senator tim scott giving a speech on the senate floor about his own interactions with the police. >> at the vast majority of time i was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some
other reason just as trivial spent our program includes one families doors about annika with police in washington, d.c. followed by panel with the city's police chief jack valenti or spent most of the get defensive if they feel like you're being offensive. being very respectful, if it's not a crisis, if it's not a dangerous situation request versus demands, those things change the dynamics. >> watch our issue spotlight on police and race relations saturday at eight eastern on c-span and c-span.org. >> coming up today on q&a, the life of american businessman and philanthropist julius rosenwald was mos the start of part ownerd lead of sears roebuck and company. you can see that at 7 p.m. eastern. tonight on booktv on c-span2,
summer reading picks begin at 8 p.m. >> all of this tonight on booktv in prime time here on c-span2. coming up next a hearing on metropolitan areas believed that high risk for terrorism. fema member testifies about a grant program to urban areas and orlando police chief and the sheriff of orange county florida also talk about the response efforts following june's attack of the pulse nightclub in november. the house oversight hearing earlier this month.
>> good morning. i'd like to welcome everyone this morning to the committee on oversight government reform this morning. we are actually conducting a joint hearing with the subcommittees on transportation, public assets, and also the national security subcommittee. the title of the hearing this morning is an subject is addressing oversight of the urban area security initiative grant program. probably can't start this hearing without just maybe a moment of silence, both to remember the 49 individuals who were killed in orlando, and then as we all saw last night in nice, our great allies, the
french lost some 84 people. so we will just take a minute and cause here and remember those folks. [silence] >> thank you. it's quite fitting that we do meet today to discuss one of the government programs that try to do with the terrorist threat that i would like to thank our witnesses for being with us and the members attending this morning. first i want to say that the subcommittee on transportation public assets and the subcommittee on national security will order, without objection, and the chair does state at this point that he is authorized to declare a recess at any time in this hearing. the order of business will be as follows. we will have opening statements from the members that are here,
then we will introduce our witnesses. witnesses will be sworn. each of them will testify. after we have those introductions and testimony we will go to questions. we will wait on having questioning until we have heard from all of the witnesses. so with that i want to welcome again everyone, particularly our witnesses. i will start with my opening statement. again, we come together to look at a federal program that is designed to help our local and state governments deal with the terrorist threats our nation, the world is facing right now. this is a program which is urban security initiative, was
established after 9/11 to aid our state and local governments and particularly our first responders with giving them federal assistance because they are our first line of defense in terrorism. and providing federal grants. over the last few years we have given on average $1 billion a year, these grants, to state and local governments. unfortunately i had the experience of working with some of my local governments in orlando, and my district three years ago was changed to represent more of the urban core of orlando, and at that time got a chance to hear from both the sheriff of orange county and also the police chief, john
mina, who are two of our witnesses today. they told me there was something wrong with the assessment under this program that's conducted by dhs and fema. they told me that our central florida area had, the risk assessment changed, in fact lowered. it was lowered so much that, in fact, they were denied federal assistance under the program that was designed to give them additional resources to deal with the terrorism threat. so unfortunately the federal government failed. we won't get into other failures of the federal government we have heard about by law enforced, federal law enforcement and other agencies, but today we are going to focus on the issue of the failure, the dramatic failure of missing the target in orlando, florida, in
that particular instance. this is a just a criticism of that particular failure. this is also an effort to find out how to -- public and make our communities safer, how we can make this program work matter, and how we can get the resources to those who are on the first line of defense, and do that in an orderly and more effective and targeted fashion. unfortunately, again working with this issue even before the horrible events that took place in orlando with sheriff demings and chief mina, we wrote to and appealed the decisions by fema and dhs saying that orlando had a significant security terrorist risk threat.
each time we were denied. i have to put up on the screen my comments on january 27 of this year, and the next to the last sentence i wrote to secretary johnson, and i said if central florida became a target, it would be a national disaster. those were my words to the secretary back then. since dhs and also fema would not change their assessment, we moved forward. and even before, i can the horrible pulse massacre, we began changing legislative language. i would like to submit for the record also language that we have included in the dhs appropriations bill, and that's
both legislative language and report language to make changes in this program, give back to congress some of the data and information and assessment prior to it becoming effective your so without objection we will put that in the record. since again the horrible events of orlando, our committee and subcommittees have conducted an investigation. let me just go over briefly and conclude with some of our findings. some of this is astounding. of the money since 2011, almost half of the urban area security initiative funds, almost half of these funds, our unexpended. we have a slide here that shows $1.1 billion of the $2.8 billion
in these awards, or about 40% remain unexpended. it's stunning that while orlando got no money the last two years, unexpended funds, listen to this, from boston 2011, $591,000. in new york city, $11.5 million since 2012 sitting idle. los angeles, sitting idle, 18, almost $19 million. and since 2014, $68 million sitting idle. tampa, tampa had $170,000 left over from 2014. so we are going to need to look
at how we get this money distributed, how it doesn't sit idle, particularly when we have the terrorist threat that we have today. this grant program has awarded $822 billion since 2003 -- 8.2. >> we found and reviewed 2012 is the most recent support but we found expenditures that were not justified in this program. michigan bought 13 snowcone machines. ohio, in ohio, we saw funds given to support a five day spot junket featuring actors on the apocalypse. these are just a couple of examples that we found of wasteful spending in the program. we are, in fact, asking today,
and i will ask with chairman chaffetz agreed to ask and we will have a letter that we will submit later in the record for review by the inspector general of three areas, both looking at the assessment area, looking at unexpended funds, and then thirdly, at wasteful spending. we need an update and we need that now. again, we know that orlando had received money before, was denied money the last two years. we do know that orlando and central florida used money on equipment, training, readiness, exercises and communication systems, and other things that probably could have helped. would it have stopped this terrorist attack? we don't know that, but again it's our job to make certain that these federal resources are
used in a proper manner. so those are some of the things that we found. we have tried to warn fema. we try to correct this before this took place. that didn't happen. now with the threat that we face in our community and across the nation, as we see we are all vulnerable, we've got to do a better job. i think you again, as witnesses, for coming today. let me yield to mr. lynch, our ranking member. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, and chairman desantis. and to our witnesses, sheriff demings, thank you so much. chief mina, thanks for coming up from florida. we appreciate it. mr. purdy and -- is that the right pronunciation? close enough. are you sure? all right. thanks for being here. mr. chairman, at the outset i want to join you in my thoughts
and prayers for the people of nice, france, the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by the horrific terrorist attacks in southern france yesterday. this is the third major terrorist attack in france and last night the most. the state department has confirmed the victims include two american citizens. they are john copeland and his 11 year old son, brody. they are from the austin, texas, area and our hearts and prayers go out to the copeland them and the people of texas. mr. chairman, again i think this hearing is especially important in the wake of the arrhythmic attacks in orlando, and we continue -- horrific -- we continue to grieve and to pray for the victims families and orlando as well. i would like to thank both committees who are participating in this hearing, and i do want
to say that sheriff demings and chief mina, we have heard, it has been widely communicated that your activities and your loyal dedicated service has been a blessing before and after, and during the attacks in orlando. and i think that experience makes you especially valuable in terms of their perspective on how we might more effectively allocate the resources, substantial resources, that we have out there, especially with these urban area grants. the urban area security initiative, also known as uasi, is one of the three programs that make up the federal emergency management agency, homeland secured a grant program. they collectively provide federal funding to states and localities, to prevent and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies.
we have had our own struggles with this program in the city of boston. the greater boston area. i think we were helped ironically because of the fact we had the attacks during the marathon, and that the realization of a vulnerability and the threat assessment in that area gave us leverage. but we were not always recognized as an area that needed this funding. there are several cities, that because of the factors that are applied in these allegations, there are other cities across the country, san antonio i know in texas has also been dropped speed we will break away from this program for a short time for the u.s. senate as a meet and a pro forma session. they will need for legislative business on tuesday september 6.
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., august 2, 2016. to the senate under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3 of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable john boozman, a senator from the state of arkansas, to perform the duties of the chair. signed orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 7:45 a.m. on friday, august 5, 2016.