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tv   U.S. Senate Pro Forma Session  CSPAN  August 2, 2016 10:00am-10:31am EDT

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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.
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n friday, august 5, 2016. >> the senate completing a pro forma session. several of the session scheduled for this month including this friday at 7:45 eastern. members are on summer recess with legislative work resuming after labor day on tuesday, september 6th. now back to the hearings on urban security. >> fire service and emergency medical services. this funding supported boston intelligence center on bombing related operations and analysis and provided camera systems used for litigation. the boston area directed urban area security initiative funds to train swat teams. and our ability to integrate technicians through law enforcement and cooperation, crucial capability that was demonstrated.
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given the importance of urban area security initiative grants to the anti-terrorism preparedness and response effort in our cities it is imperative we conduct meaningful oversight of the program to ensure that no city is arbitrarily denied assistance. it is my understanding that while the orlando area steadily indicated the orlando area, $45 million in us-led funding from 2004-2012 the area did not qualify assistance in 2013, 15, 16. for a metropolitan area that last month experienced a tragic terrorist attack perpetrated by a shooter who pledged allegiance to the islamic state and presence of a densely settled population. a lot of tourist activity in
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orlando. absence of an urban area security grant merits re-examination, i would note a primary reason behind loss of funding imposed additional guidance when it comes to determination this to distribute urban area grants. the last 5 appropriation cycles there was language added to the appropriations bill that required an agency to place greater weight on risk and vulnerability criteria. these descriptions resulted in loss of funding, including orlando. other highly populated metropolitan areas include king city, sacramento, california, the cities lost urban area security funding in the past so
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hopefully we will be able through re-examination in orlando, we will help those localities as well. and what steps we can take to strengthen urban area security, thank you for the time. i yield back. >> the ranking member, two national security subcommittees and chairs the subcommittee on national security, a cooperative effort on this hearing, let me recognize the chairman of the national subcommittee. my colleague from florida. >> thank you for spearheading this hearing and raising the alarm in tech central florida.
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the deadliest attack in september 11, 2001. last night, terrorists mowed down 80 people by running them over with a truck. our homeland security efforts must adapt to a growing threat, a global jihadi. despite numerous appeals from orlando officials and chairman mica himself, the management agency denied urban area security initiatives in orlando the last two years, fema's reasoning was terrorists were unlikely to attack orlando if fema was wrong. the deponent of homeland security and federal emergency management agency must allocate preparedness funding in a way that recognizes recent terrorist threats, specifically fema must change its methodology to listen to appeals of cities that are
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closest to the threat. there on the ground, the first responders, they know what the risk is. people pour into central florida in the greater orlando area containing soft targets like amusement parks which see large numbers of people congregating on location. suicidal terrorists seek out soft targets because it allows them to do a lot of damage in a relatively short time. the orlando area at risk to reflect this fact. i agree with law enforcement personnel from central florida including sheriff deming the relative risks for orlando should include volusia and brevard county. the strategy includes these counties with assistance following the terrorist attack at the polls nightclub would better protect communities in central florida and funding should recognize this. i look forward to hearing from sheriff demings and chief mina on how funding could help orlando. these are busy and trying times
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for law enforcement and i appreciate sheriff demings and chief mina testifying today and i yield back the balance of my time. >> appreciate national security subcommittee cooperating in this hearing. we will hold a record open for 5 legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement for this hearing. i would now like to recognize and introduce our witnesses. pleased to welcome from central florida, sheriff gerri demings of orange county, florida. he heads the sheriff's office, he is also distinguished by being named president of the florida sheriffs association. and we have chief john mina, john mina is known across the
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county by at the for what they have been through, unbelievable nightmare in our community. we have walter purdy of the terrorism research center and mister mccoy, assistant register for grant programs at the federal emergency management agency. gentlemen, this is an investigation in oversight committee of congress. we require all our witnesses be sworn, please stand and i will administer the oath. raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give at this joint subcommittee meeting is the whole truth and
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nothing but the truth? let the record reflect all the witnesses answered in the affirmative, thank you. some of you are new to the congressional hearing process. submit anything you like for the record like the statement documentation, we would like to have you summarize in 5 minutes your key points and get to questions. we will turn to our federal witness, mister kamoie, with fema. and mister desantis, mister lynch oversee the national security subcommittee and they oversee, in this program, this urban area, terrorism risk
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assessment, fema conducts the assessment and put in the record reference to their response after central florida was denied in january, multiple times their response on behalf of dhs. with that introduction welcome, mister kamoie and representative from fema. >> thank you, members of the subcommittee, good morning. i'm brian kamoie, administer of grant programs, on behalf of secretary jay johnson, thank you for the opportunity to discuss fema's efforts to assist state and local partners to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks. the recent shootings in dallas and orlando and last night's tragedy in france are reminders how important it is for our nation to be ready to respond to all types of hazards including
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man-made threats. our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these tragic events as well as law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect our community including sheriff demings, chief mina and their officers. i outline some of fema's programs to provide the resources they need to prevent these events and plan, equip and train should they occur. i will discuss how we supported orlando before and after the shooting at the polls nightclub. thanks to your support, since 2002 congress through the department of homeland security has awarded $47 billion in preparedness funding, state and local governments and to a broad array of homeland security partners. in fiscal year 2016, $1 million was awarded to our partners through the homeland security grant program to build a more
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secure and resilient nation. this includes 3 programs, state homeland security program, urban area security initiative, and operation stone garden program. the state homeland security grant program includes money to support preparedness capabilities with allocated to florida, florida received $1.3 million through operation stone garden program to enhance the security of the nation's borders. each year dhs prioritizes by conducting a risk assessment of the 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas required by the homeland security act. the annual assessment is based on 3 factors for each urban area of relative threat, vulnerability, consequences from acts of terrorism. threat scores are derived from intelligence data compiled by the dhs office of intelligence and analysis.
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this information includes data on act of terrorism, destructive plots, credible threats and known or suspected terrorist presence in each urban area. vulnerability scores take into consideration any infrastructure that is potentially high-value target for terrorists as well as any border crossings. finally consequence scores factor in urban areas population to cut -- national infrastructure national security. result of the risk assessment including the scores and relative ranking in form the secretary's decisions regarding eligible urban areas and funding allocations. orlando received $44.5 million in total funding from fiscal years 2003 to 2012. in 2013 congress for the first time directed dhs to limit the number of jurisdictions under
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the program to 25 in order to focus resources in the highest risk urban areas. orlando had relative risk rank of 30 that year and as a result did not receive funding. in 2014 congress lifted the restriction on the total number of urban areas. that year secretary johnson exercise discretion in funding 39 areas including orlando which was ranked 33rd and received $1 million. in the annual dhs appropriation act for fiscal year 2015-16 congress again directed dhs to restrict funding to urban areas to represent 85% of the assessed nationwide risk of terrorism. secretary johnson followed the direction in designated 28 urban areas is eligible for funding in 2015 and 29 areas in 2016. orlando fell outside the funded range in both of those years ranking 32 in 2015 and 34 in 2016. though not currently eligible for dedicated funding orlando
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can still receive funding support through the state homeland security program. funds awarded to florida and the city of orlando in previous years demonstrated their value in the attack, for example an armored vehicle and bomb detection robot used in the response effort were purchased in these programs. following the attack, immediately approved two requests from the florida division of emergency management to reallocate $253,000 in unspent funding for law enforcement overtime expenses. in addition to dhs funding the department of justice made $1 million available to cover response costs. thanks to congressional action dhs has new funding mechanisms to support jurisdictions in their counterterrorism efforts. for this fiscal year congress appropriated $49 million for complex coordinated terrorist attack and countering violent extremism.
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important to note that fema has a comprehensive emergency management training curriculum for first responders that includes counterterrorism courses. in coordination with national counterterrorism center in the fbi we develop joint counterterrorism awareness workshops, participants work through to identify planning and mitigation strategies. in 2014 orlando hosted the workshop, 300 participants. since 2011 fema has trained 700,000 personnel including many from orlando to respond to active shooter situations. fema is honored to support sheriff demings, chief mina and the nation's first responders. i'm grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today and respond to any questions the subcommittee may have. >> we will get to questions after hearing from other witnesses. let me recognize and welcome sheriff demings, orange county sheriff. you are recognized. not sure if the mike is on.
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>> good morning, chairman mica, members of the committee. it is an honor and privilege for me to provide testimony today. let me begin by saying i wish we didn't have to provide testimony because there is no risk of a terror attack in orlando. sadly, we know that is no longer the case. i will be addressing the valuable projects funded in previous years by urban area security initiative grant program. our dhs and fema efforts to reassess the orlando kissimmee ms a and the need to strengthen security of central florida region from another terror attack like the polls nightclub incident, the central florida region has been fortunate to receive $45.5 million in funding since 2004. orange county sheriff's office
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is the agency which has managed those funds. the funding received prior to 2013 was critical to the region's ability to prevent, protect, respond and recover from not only terrorism but a broad range of other threats and hazards. we are only as good at preventing a terror attack as quality of information we receive about that attack. the central florida intelligence exchange fusion center. the fusion center is a center that operates in central florida, it is located outside the airport. it served as a central repository of databases being used by the florida department of law enforcement and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. in addition to counterterrorism
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focus, serves as a fusion center assisting agencies in the mitigation and assistance to recover from hazards such as hurricanes and other natural disasters and exists with investigations of crimes that contain nexus to terrorist activities are the homeland security issues. due to a lack of funding some critical needs have been lost. we have reduced a number of analysts which could have worked to provide intelligence information that could prevent a terror attack. examples of success stories include an incident that assisted the us marshals in locating futures. in another instance, the united states secret service and coast guard locating disgruntled citizen to concern a statement about the president launching the space shuttle endeavor
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mentioned. numerous other instances, and the nexus to national security. through national infrastructure protection program, funding for a federal -- video surveillance project. and in the university of central florida. chief mina will talk about that. due to loss of funding, we expand the camera project into areas in the top tourist destination. on june 12th we experience the benefits of more than a dozen or so training exercises of the past years. i believe the agency responding to the incident flawlessly initiate and act of shooter response because of training paid for by funding, you have a list of training exercises and material. we train to respond as a region
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to a terror attack, in fact on june 12th, approximately 150 of my deputies responded with the orlando police department. with infrastructure connections in our region it is natural to have a regional capability and vulnerability assessment. fema uses the office of management and budget, geographical boundaries in the federal register encapsulating the risk score. and the brevard county area to the east in volusia county to the north. in september 2015 we began the process of lobbying the federal government to combine the metropolitan orlando with brevard and volusia. this was probably supported by
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members of congress, and other state and local elected officials and numerous letters written to the fema grant programs, the omb statistician and office of regulatory affairs. you have a list and copies of the letters in your material. i really don't have time this morning to get into the details of the methodology used in assigning risk, but we suggest dhs include domestic and international visitors in the equation and not just permanent resident population and scoring. one credible attack in central florida to a theme park would be disastrous. with the recent attacks in orlando, the incident in dallas, san bernardino, there is a need in this country to have an overall tax increase in funding
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or at the very least redistribution of funding across the nation. that can increase the top ms as with the most risk with current 85% receiving funding to perhaps 90% of the msa on the high risk of the top 100. congressman mica is a staunch supporter of many of these efforts and appreciate that he invited us to participate. in 2016 the orlando msa was 34 on the list, only 29 metropolitan fiscal areas with funding. in closing thank you for allowing me to speak, i ask this committee, and the data used in the form of current threats and vulnerabilities in central florida. we have now been probed, this makes us more of a target.
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thank you. >> let me recognize orlando chief mina. you are recognized. >> good morning, members of the committee. thank you for allowing me to provide an overview of the security challenges we face on a daily basis in central florida and our use of the urban area security initiative funding. on behalf of the city of orlando, i want thoughts and prayers for the victims in nice, france. as the committee is well aware, on june 12th orlando, the second largest terrorist attack in history on us soil, self radicalized extremists entered the polls nightclub at 2:02 and began shooting at patrons in the club. fortunately in orlando a police officer working an extra duty assignment immediately engaged the suspect and within minutes more arriving officers entered
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the club. within minutes more arriving officers, and holding hostages, the suspect emerged in the hallway where officers exchanged gunfire forcing him to retreat, immediately afterwards the suspect was contained, officers on the dance for began to evacuate victims out of the club. we were faced with many challenges, the suspect claim to have explosives strategically placed throughout the nightclub including suicide vest he was going to place on the victims was although faced with certain death if the suspect detonated any explosive, officers remained in the nightclub and pulled critically injured victims safely transporting them to the hospital in the back of police vehicles. the suspect held hostage talking on the phone with negotiators where he pledge of allegiance to the islamic state. after negotiations broke down we
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were forced to breach the concrete wall using explosives and an armored vehicle to save the remaining hostages and victims and make contact with the suspect. as rescue efforts were underway the suspect emerged from one of the holes and engaged our swat officers. the suspect rampage was ended at that time. 49 innocent victims tragically lost their lives. the orlando police regional partners prepared for these things since the columbine massacre although i believe we demonstrated great courage and resolve to mitigate this horrible tragedy. we can learn from our actions and work to make them better. and deep characteristics, making an ideal target for terrorism. we have a combined 3.7 million people and in 2015 orlando had an increase in population from
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$62 million to $66.1 million in when you're making it the number one tourist destination. orlando is ranked number 4 in the top us destinations for florida travelers. six of the top 50 attractions in the world are in the orlando kissimmee area. although our resident population is 3.7 million, that number grows exponentially every day as millions of visitors call orlando home while they live in hundreds of area hotels. central florida region seeks funding into the grant program on an annual basis and to enhance capabilities to prevent and respond to and recover not only from terrorism but a broad range of other threats and hazards affecting the region. funding allows us to establish measurable radius priorities and balance threats and consequences. and signing into law by president george w. bush, the orlando kissimmee sanford nsa
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with grant funds to 2004 to 2012 but funding should be drastically changed in the past four years, starting in 2013 and continuing until 2016 the orlando kissimmee area has not ranked high enough in relative risk for funding even though we are ranked number one on the msa for domestic visitor population and consequent section of florida. from 2012 to 2016 our area have appealed to relative risk score and ask the department of homeland security and fema to reassess the data. in may, members from the region traveled to washington dc, and regarding consuming threats to the region and act -- the funding that was received. these funds are used to strengthen preparedness and prevention, protection, response
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and recovery. you ask funding we received in the past has assisted in accomplishing many goals. hazmat training is provided for individuals for areas recognized and approved, specialist level courses specific for competencies. and bomb training, incident command training, radiological and nuclear detection training and communication training. these training exercises, we have strengthened our capabilities in the region. the majority of funds we receive are used to purchase and sustain protective equipment in the region. this includes continuation and buildout of camera and video surveillance system supports protection plan. when complete this program will give us access to 500 cameras viewed from fixed and mobile command centers.
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this will aid us in prevention in response recovery from act of turn -- terrorism or natural disaster that would affect.'s critical infrastructure and identify venues that are key resources to sustaining the economic viability of the region. we have utilized regional exercise subsequent after actual approving plans. the last exercise in 2013 was a medical surge exercise at the orlando international airport involving hospitals and surrounding counties, these tools have assisted us in measuring engagement, progress, regional collaboration and communication capabilities in the orlando metro area. it is absolutely critical that we as a region monitor and keep up with the emerging trends, improvements and technology and updates due to lack of funding in the past four years, this caused

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