tv Secretary Tillerson Testifies on FY 2018 State Department Budget CSPAN June 16, 2017 2:53pm-4:51pm EDT
franklin to learn about -- made into it the articles of confederation and in the constitution. >> watch "after words" sunday night at 9:00 eastern on booktv. >> this afternoon, president trump announced he was restore something travel and economic restrictions on cuba lifted a parse of the own administration's easing he made the announce independent a rally in miami. >> u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson visited capitol hill this week to brief lawmakers on the president's 2018 budget request for this department. members pressed mr. till erskine on proposed budget cuts that would impact hugh humanitarian aide and delay in hiring senior staff and tense relations with russia.
>> before we say or do anything else today, i want to pause to extend our thoughts and our prayers for the well-being of whip scalise and our colleagues, police and staff, who were staff attacked by a gunman this morning in virginia. several members of if the committee were there.re this ailes sad day for our country. we still don't have all they. details but we do know that there are those who want to use acts of violence to create chaos to disrupt our democracy.is the american people will not let them win. so after deliberation with the ranking member, we have decided to proceed.
the secretary has aver challenge -- a very challenging schedule. given these circumstances and the delayed start of the hearing i want to appeal to members to attempt to use less than their full five minute so more of our colleagues have chance to participate and i will be abbreviating my opening statement. today secretary tillerson will testify on the administering's budget and reorganization plans for the department of state. first off, mr. secretary, let me welcome you to this committee. this committee and your department manage an essential responsibility for our government, set at its founding. and that is defending our nation. f the committee strives to be bipartisan. we are fortunate to have a ranking member, mr. engle, who shares this approach. we look forward to working with you, mr. secretary.
we wish you success in your tenure. for generations, america has been the leader of the world. this has required great sacrifice. but our commitment to stability to the rule of law, to open markets, and human rights, and our work through alliances, have all paid off greatly. we have made mistake, no doubt. sometime biz overreaching in our commitments and sometimes by non reaching out all, but our nation has certainly been a force for good. if we do not lead in security and commerce as well, and in values and in ideas, the vac call will be filled by others, including jihaddists and others wishing us grave harm. leading takes resourcesment
sufficient resources are needed for military for sure. but also for our diplomats working to end the many conflict impacting our security. that is what the generals say. in today's well-connected age id which threats can from from anywhere we need a very broad diplomatic presence and that takes resources, too especially to keep our diplomats safe. resources are needed to support our humanitarian relief and support development. their work abroad benefits america at home. consider that a modest emergency investment in west africa's health stopped cold what looked like an emerging ebola panic in our country a few years ago. mr. secretary, i'm confident that you will find new efficiencies in your departmenti there is waste to attack.
but many here remain concerned by the hand you were dealt with the budget, and look forward to strengthening it. congress also has a responsibility not to hamstring the department with mandates and restricts, and -- restrictions and these have accumulated over years, compounding your management challenges. for our partnership to succeed, we need to communicate often, too often administrations go it alone. te as frankly the last administration did. iran and cuba policy are examples. let's break that pattern. and i will now turn toow tur mr. engle. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i know that the shooting in t alexandria this morning is alln on our minds. it's shocking.
we happen the best for our colleague, steve scalise, the police officers and others who were the victims of the attack. we wish them a speeding recovery and we're think of their loved ones this morning. mr. secretary, we're glad to have you here. were you well but i have to tell you i'm deeply skeptical about the budget but wise cripple dim employs and development efforts around the world. this strategy has been carriedhe out first and. ... the administration had lemonade tears of expertise expertise and experience in one fell swoop. with a few exceptions the president simply has not nominated anyone to help you run the department. mr. chairman i ask my graphic he displayed. this is an organizational chart rethin the state department
of president terms confirm nominees. light green box officials in place in the last administration. yellow boxes are nominees awaiting senate action and all the red boxes are physicians which the president hasn't even submitted a nomination. that a lot of red boxes. far better work president bush and obama were at this point. that doesn't cover the doesn't of vacant ambassadorships. we should all keep this in mind next time there is talk about obstruction in congress. people o have not been confirmed not because of obstruction, because they haven't been submitted.submit career diplomats keeping the seat warm, but they are not abll to direct our foreign policy. what is the presidents approach to russia's hacking our election or nonproliferation or human trafficking are africa or the arctic? when will we have the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries and ambassadors ath
large to put these policies in place? the chicken indication of thepl administrations view of thee state department is this document. this is a budget year 2018 state department budget. submitted to congress by the secretary of state. calls for 32% cut to our international affairs budget. i've never seen a budget proposal so reckless and all the years i've been here. so insulting to our personal and so quick to hit bipartisanquic opposition. mr. secretary, when we spoke you told me you hope to put the state department on nay ipab to reduce spending levels. a one-third cut is more like a nose dive. imagine being an americand diplomat noting that this is ath value administration places on your servicer can imagine waking up every morning a dangerous place on the other side of the world knowing that the officials responsible for your safetyic haven't even been nominated and that america's top diplomat, which is you, mr. secretary, was
coming here to tell us come ask us for 32% budget cut. some consequences of this budget will hit us down the road if we fail to invest in diplomacy and development now. the complex we don't prevent will come back to us as the worst we'll need to fight. senator graham said it will addd a code of it if recommend this budget will tend to treat from the world and put a lot of people at risk, unquote. he said we would have quote a lot of benghazi in the making if we implemented the state department cuts, unquote. he's right, the budget cuts embassy security by more than $1 billion, 62% in the% in the security cat 62%. so fortunately on this point congress retains the power of the purse so we'll have the lass word on this issue. so i think that we need a lot of clarity on this and they think this committee should keep pressing this issues until we have answers you need. i'm going to stop now, mr. chairman, because we've agreeded to shorten our statement but
also that the rest of a statement for the record. >> ninety very much. this morning where please be joined by mr. rex tillerson, the 60 knights secretary of state. prior to his appointment the secretary spent 40 years -- 69th -- omitting as the chairman and chief executive officer. secretary tillerson also has long been involved with the boy scouts of america. most recently serving as the boy scouts national president.tee. mr. secretary, welcome to our committee. without objection the witnesses for prepared statement will be made part of the record. members are five calendar days to submit any statements or anyy questions they might have of the secretary or any extraneous material for the record. also we want as many members as possible to have a chance to question the secretary, so to accomplish that i just askedi that anyone respect the time limit, and that means leaving an adequate amount of time for the
secretary to answer your questions.e nothing requires full use of your time will begin with secretary tillerson's testimonys >> thank you, chairman, royce, ranking member engel, distinguished names of the committee. of course we were all stunned by the news of the shooting involving your colleague, members of congressional staff, and capitol police. congressman mr. scalise is a friend of mine and he's a friend and represents many friends of mine back in louisiana. my prayers and those my colleagues at the state department are with the injured and with those memos of law enforcement who responded to this mornings attack. today i'd like to continue the conversation that we started about the administrations state department and usaid budget request for fiscal year 2018. before i begin my testimony on the budget i'd like to offer a point of view on the russian sanctions legislation currently
being considered by the congress. i certainly agree with the sentiment that has been conveyed by several members from both parties that russia must be held accountable for its meddling in u.s. elections. i would urge congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have theowing th flexibility to adjust sanctionsi to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation. essentially we would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to, but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue. as we all know, america's global competitive advantages and standing as a leader are under constant challenge. the dedicated men and women ofct the state department and usaidde carry out the important and often perilous work of advancing america's interests every single day.us wor that mission is unchanged.le however, the state department and usaid, like many other institutions here and around tht
world, have not evolved in their responsiveness as quickly as new challenges and threats to our national security have changed and are changing. we are challenged to respond to a post-cold war world that set in motion new global dynamics,a and a post-9/11 world characterized by historic new threats that present themselves in ways never seen before, prese enabled by technological tools that we have been ill-prepared to engage. the 21st century has already presented many evolving challenges to u.s. national security and economic prosperity.nges to we must develop proactivend responses to protect and advance the interests of the american people.peop with such a broad array of threats facing the united states the fiscal year 2018 budget request of $37.6 billion aligned with the administrations objective of making america's security a top priority.
the first responsibility ofty of government is the security of its own citizens, and we will orient our diplomatic efforts towards fulfilling thathat commitment. while our mission will also be focused on advancing the economic interest of the american people, the state departments primary focus will be to protect our citizens at home and abroad. our mission is at all times guided by long-standing values of freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity. h the conviction of our country's founders is enduring, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. as a nation we hold high thewe l aspiration that all will one day experience the freedom we havee known. and our young administrations foreign policy, we're motivated by the conviction that the more we engage with other nations on issues of security and prosperity, the more will have opportunities to shape the human
rights conditions in those nations. history has shown that united states leaves a footprint of freedom wherever it goes. ensuring the security and prosperity of the american people and advancing our values has necessitated difficult decisions in other areas of ourn budget.lt decisio the fy 2018 budget request includes substantial funding for many foreign assistance programs under the auspices of usaid and the state department, but we have made hard choices to reduce funding for other initiatives. o but even with reductions in funding, we will continue to bei the leader in international development, global health,,lead democracy and good governance initiatives, and humanitarian efforts. if natural disasters or epidemics strike overseas, america will respond with care and support. i am convinced we can maximize the effectiveness of these programs and continue to offer america's helping hand to the world.
this budget request also reflects a commitment to ensure every tax dollar spent is aligned with the department and usaid's mission-critical objectives. the request focuses the state department and usaid's efforts on missions which deliver the greatest value and opportunity of success for the american people. the state department and usaid budget increased over 60% fromm fy 2007, reaching a record high $55.6 billion in fy 2017.billio recognizing that this rate of increase in funding is not sustainable, the fy 2018 budget request seeks to align the corel missions of the state department with historic funding levels.e e we believe this budget also represents the interests of the american people, includingrepr responsible stewardship of the public's money. i know there is intense interest in prospective state department and usaid redesign efforts.
we have just completedrede collecting information on our organizational processes andti culture through a survey that was made available to every oned of our state and usaid colleagues.availabl over 35,000 surveys were completed, and we also held in-person listening sessions with approximately 300le individuals to obtain their perspective on what we do and how we do it. i met personally with dozens of team members who spoke candidly about their experiences. from this feedback we have been able to get a clearer overall view of our organization. we had no preconceived outcomes, and our discussions of the goals, priorities, and direction of the state department and usaid were not token exercises. the principles for our listenine sessions and subsequent evaluation of our organization are the same as those which i stated in my confirmation hearing for our foreign policy, we will see the world for whatre
it is, be honest with ourselves and the american people, follow facts where they lead us, and hold ourselves and others accountable.hold o we are still analyzing the feedback we have received, andou we expect to release the findings of the survey soon.ck a from all of this, one thing is certain, i am listening to what my people tell me are the challenges facing them and how we can produce a more efficient and effective state department and usaid.duce a mor and we will work as a team and with congress to improve both organizations.mprove b throughout my career, i have never believed, or experienced, that the level of funding devoted to a goal is the most important factor in achieving it. our budget will never determine our ability to be effective, our people will. my colleagues at the state department and usaid are a deep source of inspiration, and their patriotism, professionalism, and willingness to make sacrifices n for our country are our greatest
resources. i am confident that the u.s. state department and usaid will continue to deliver results for the american people. and u i thank you for your time, and i am happy to answer your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary.this this committee has worked to h make the state department more efficient, and as you know the first state authorities built in over a decade was signed into law. that was our work product. we stand ready to work with you to reform the department, and on reorganization on this question i just ask that you commit to intensify to consultation between your staff and thetw committee in terms of plans forr reform. >> we certainly will do that,, and welcome and seek your input as we go about this. >> i only have one question andi go to the issue of north korea, secretary tillerson. this situation, we wereged encouraged yesterday first to
hear news that atta would be returned to the united states but then we found his condition. we were horrified to learn that he was in a coma. this is outrageous. and on monday weird secretary mattis called north korea the top security threat to the united states. and you have been working for strategy, i know, to ratchet pressure on the regime. last congress we passed and signed into law a comprehensiveo north korea sanctions bill to go after those assisting the regime, and then recently we passed out of this committee against another piece of legislation. this went to attack north korea is used of overseas labor, indentured servitude, and which the check goes to the regime and they use it for hard currency and they can use it for their nuclear weapons program.
we heard to mixed reports on china's cooperation on this, and there's a new report out this week and it shows that byy cracking down on a relatively small number of interlinked chinese companies that deal with north korea we could really crank things up, and reportedly the administration has asked china to act on some ten entities. if beijing doesn't act, are we prepared with the sanctions we put on the books now to act unilaterally with third-party sanctions in order to cut off the hard currency? this is very expensive program they are running. it costs them billions and billions of dollars a year and,f frankly, don't don't make me do anything so they need the hard currency coming in in order toto fund this program.m. this is what i wanted to ask you. >> thank you, chairman.nk i am familiar with the report
your referencing.he treasury department also has that report and will examine the study that was done and the results they found. the approach we're taking with north korea as you are aware is one of eliciting countries all over the world to support us in putting pressure on the regime and pioneerin pyongyang to chanu before willing to sit and a conduct discussions with them.co clearly, china is the capstone to achieving this kind of pressure. this was a topic of significantn discussion in president xi and president trump's summit in mar-a-lago. the committee cases have been very clear. our expectations have been verym clear with the chinese. there cooperation i would say has been notable but it has bee an even. and we continue that dialogue with the chinese, specifically around their actions that
support revenue streams to north korea, but also taking action against entities inside of china that may be supporting revenue streams as well. we will be having another high-level dialogue next weekgu when secretary mattis and myself meet with our counterparts here in washington. that would be one of the firstst topics on the agenda. we have made it clear to them and we provided them a list of entities that we believe they need to take action against. we've asked that they take the action but president trump is also been very clear with president xi that they either don't want to take the action or the do not take the action, we will act upon our own. >> i concur. we can't have dialogue forever, mr. secretary, and so thank you. i will go to mr. rangel. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i just want to say that i heard what you said, but i don't find it compelling that we can operate the state
department in diplomacy with a 33% cut, or one-third cut. it just seems to me like, you know, i know you do the best with what you have obviously but buti just think it's showing whe priorities are not an priorities don't seem to be with the state department, with diplomacy. i dislike to say that. because we're short on time, mr. secretary, i like to start by getting you to respond to a series of questions. but i like just a yes or no if you can. as you may know and we chatted a little bit before this committer under chairman royce and myself has a long-standing bipartisan tradition and we worked closely with both republican and democratic administrations. so i was taken aback by perry the trump administrations apparent decision to ignore oversight requests of democratic members of congress. and a letter to th the presiden, senator grassley called the administrations departure of long-standing practice nonsense.
and i was pleased that homeland secretary kelly, homeland security secretary kelly rejected this guidance by saying, ethical, regardless of who the letter comes from and it doesn't just come from a ranking member or chairman, we will respond to any congressional inquiry. that's a quote from him. i'd like to ask you, mr.e. secretary, will you join secretary kelly and committing to respond to congressional inquiries and information requests regardless of thepoliti political party or the member inquiring? >> i already have and i will. >> thank you. can i have your commitment that she will direct the department to respond to requests for information made by the committee staff as a designee is of the chairman and ranking member? >> indeed. through the appropriate channels and processes. >> thank you. mr. secretary, a member of your staff informed my staff that the we organization you are planning the state department will require statutory changes pics am glad to know that the state department position because i agree with that.
when your realization assessment is complete, will you commit to coming to this committee, the foreign affairs committee which is oversight and authorizing responsibilities for the state department with any requests you have for organizational changesf at the department? >> yes.al and we've expect to work with you on that as we're developing those. >> okay, thank you. it was recently reported that within the first few weeks of the administration, top white house aides attempted unsuccessfully to lift economic sanctions imposed on russia in response to the illegal occupation of crimea and it interference in the 2016 presidential election. this followed repeated contacts with the russians by jared kushner, michael flynn, jeff sessions and others. so do you accept the conclusion, mr. secretary, of the intelligence committee that russia criminal an interfered in last years election? >> yes, i do. and i have no knowledge of any of those efforts that you l
mentioned. >> do you believe that it is a n u.s. interest to relax sanctions on russia before she has fully complied with the minsk framework and left crimea? >> i think it is important thata we be given sufficient flexibility to achieve the minsk objectives. it is very possible that the government of ukraine and thebl government of russia could come to a satisfactory resolution through some structure other than minsk but would achieve the objectives of minsk, which we are committed to. so my caution is, i would want to have ourselves handcuffed to minsk if it turns out the parties decide to settle this to a different agreement.gr >> well, let me say that i hear what you are saying, but i disagree because i believe that the only thing that russia understands is. [talking over each other] and if they think that we are summit willing to relax the sanctions on them before they
complied with the minsk agreement and left crimea, i think it will encourage putin to continue his bullying, and who knows where he will strike next? >> that is not our intent nor will we do the trick i back to the objectives of minsk. >> let me find ask you what is the administration done to respond to the russian assault on our presidential election? have you spoken with the present about how to prevent it fromom ever happening again? >> i have spoken to the russians directly about it. their response is pretty much as you've seen the responsesp publicly to be, but we have registered our complaint about that and that it is going to be a constant obstacle to our ability to improve our to our relationship if they do not address it. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. ingle. we go now to congresswoman ileana ross lighten of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. i'm strongly against the propose
zeroing out of democracy and governance programs especially in cuba, nicaragua and venezuela where civil society is facing increasing repression. in the last two months and nearly 3000 venezuelans have been jailed over 1000 injured and nearly 70 people have been killed pics i ask you to please place more human rights violators are sanctions list. on a separate topic in january of this year your state department determined that the plo and the palestinian authority have not complied with their commitment under u.s. law, yet all potential sanctions were waived. and ask how you can justify an increase when so many things in the budget are cut but the p.a. has an increase in your budget request. also a few days ago, mr. secretary, israel's prime minister called for unrest to be folded into the u.n.
commissioner for refugees after a hamas tunnel was found beneath to schools. is he is going to support our ally israel and prohibit funding? and finally on iran as a witness told this committee at a hearing in february, the international atomic energy agency quote has not been able to state that iran has addressed its concerns and questions about past nuclear weapons activities in the quote and also quote, has not stated that successfully is verifyingep the jcpoa prohibition on specific nuclear weapons feldman activities, end quote. so considering this lack of verification, how does the justice department justify its certification that iran is in compliance with the jcpoa as it did in april? i do want to take more time but if you could answer, adding names to the venezuela sanctions list, unruh funding or iran and
noncompliance. >> we are working with the treasury to develop a very devel robust list of individuals and most recently you saw sanctions imposed on six members of the venezuelan supreme court in response to thei the decision hd down, which we felt was certainly not in keeping with the constitution. we're going to continue to be very engaged in a situation of venezuela but as you know the challenge for u.s. is to do this in a way that is productive and constructive as opposed to the u.s. then being used either maduro regime as a tool to justify their actions. but rest assured we have active efforts underway working with others and oas in particular. with regard to the iran complies, we rely upon the process called for under the jcpoa and iaea. we do question that, then vigorously and where discussions with them to ensure that, are
they meeting of those obligations to certify compliance to us? we're reliant upon them to make the certifications to us in order to then make decisions around filing the compliance report and then filing a sanctions or waivers that follow along with that. so with respect to the palestinians, we are in active discussion with the palestinian authority. as you know we had a meeting here in washington at the president level and i have my own bilateral meetings with president abbas. we recently in israel, had meetings with the authority in bethlehem. these discussions are around issues of how they manage terrorism and how they manage violence within the west bank and gaza. but it's also setting, hopefully setting the stage for a re-engagement on the the peace process with the israelis. so all those issues of concern have been discussed with them. >> thank you. i will not take up any more
time. thank you. >> mr. brad sherman of>> mr. california. >> my heart squat to the victims. this is an attack on our democracy and the best response is for us to be here doing our jobs. so i think you, mr. secretary, for being you. most of my questions will be fog the record because we want to be as brief as possible. discussion about what resourcesa the state department should have. without objection i like to put into the record a letter from 123 and 4-star officers urging that you have more resources than you are asking for. and, of course, senator corker made some more comments to youmr yesterday. we in congress decide how muchw money is going to be spent. we got the overall view. we might plug a taxable at savings another part of the budget that would allow us to spend more on foreign ops. but we do our best job when they get guidance. would you, hope you would submit for the record how you would spend a 10%, 20% or 30%
increment what a recommendation to us is if we can find the money to provide that. i think you or nodding. ongoing to move on -- i'm going to move on to the red boxes at the ranking member brought up. the undersecretary, the assistant secretaries that have not been appointed. we talked about this, and ipp commend you for your decision to praise the people who are filling these positions, as acting assistant secretaries, acting undersecretary. they are career professionals, doing spectacular job but they t can't do the job because your temporary. they are not authorized to make policy and their hundreds of. decisions that shouldn't reach your desk but need to be made by someone who has isn't just there holding down, so i would urge you to submit a list of those
acting was that you would recommend keep their job because they're doing a spectacular job, and it already got the security clearances and then you hit the ground running and lever holds a deposition that it has incredible confidence that you and i discussed but also has the authority of saying this is really my desk. i would urge you to designate the iran revolutionary guard corps as a foreign special designated foreign terrorist d organization, the quds force is already so designated pickyt designate the subsidiary you should designate the entire consolidated group of corporations. if we apply that business term to the situation, you should designate the irgc given the thousands of people they've killed in syria. we embrace a and ideological threat from radical islam terrorism. i hope that we would pay to print up by textbook to parents who otherwise have to pay them and expand our broadcasting, particularly in the regional
labor to pakistan, especially since -- sunni. now a couple of oral questions. i think this is an easy one. is the trump administration committed to the limitation of last years extension of the u.s.-israel memorandum of understanding regarding security assistance? >> yes. >> another one might be a little tough. where they are talking about an arms package for saudi arabia starting at 110 billion, perhaps 350 billion over the next ten years, can you provide the committee with assurance that the state department will closely scrutinize any proposed sales to ensure that they do not adversely impact israel's qualitative military edge, and that you would oppose the transfer of f-35 aircraft? >> we will ensure that all of those sales meet all of our
obligations, both israel and to others.. >> i yield back. >> i would like to respond speed is ideal to the secretary. >> i would like to respond to the ranking members chart, all the red boxes. since you brought it up. first, just so you know, we have named and have names in the process at the white house for about 50% of the undersecretary assistant secretary positions, and we have candidate lists that we're narrowing down for the remainder. sitting on the ambassadorial role. >> we have 212 ambassador or representative positions, over 140 of those are filled with thi remaining 70, both done, haven't already been named and are in process together have we are, have evaluations with candidatec underway. the rea one of the real obstacles over in the process is i followed up with people, a lot of these people were named literally months ago, is what's the
holdup? when we call them we find out it's getting to paperwork done. the paperwork burden to get the clearance and to satisfy the office of ethics, it isics whic important, is extraordinarily burdensome. i i know for my own experience i had to hire eight individuals to help me get my done since i could get it done as quick as i did. most people can't afford to do that. so this is an extraordinaryxtrar chore for people to get to the paperwork, even former senators who have been nominated for positions are struggling to get through the paperwork. just a point that it's not because people haven't been named as they're not in the process, they are being processed. >> i yield back. >> we go now to mr. christmas of new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman.w mr. secretary, welcome to thenk committee and thank you for your leadership. on human trafficking, the report is we all know in the country ready for soon be released, under active review right now. tragically, the obama
administration in the last two years ignored recommendations and artificially inflated, gave passing grades two countries like china, cuba, oman, malaysia web egregious record when it comes to human trafficking. they ignored the tipraffic professionals and they politicize the outcome. reuters confirmed this. they did an investigative report that was incisive and brilliantn i held several hearings on it. the last one was next time getes it right because it didn't. we sell at the victims of human trafficking when wecking wh misappropriate a carriage, to taping the worst so please assure the committee that this year's to report will be honest, transparent, and will follow whatever the human rights abuse goes. what you do with sanctions, the part two of that, is all of you, hopefully very informed that you make a great decision on that. at least get the chp report writer quest to restore the
integrity of that report. secondly, on food aid, on october 15, i held a hearing on what everyone it seems were exiting the middle east and going to europe. some wanted to come here but most loaded into europe. we were told by the high by commissioner for unhcr that the trigger was at the 30% cut in the world food program provisions and that the unhcr appeals have been so under realized, average 40%, 50%0% unrealized so people felt helpless and abandoned in those refugee camps. they finally said we are out of here, we're going somewhere, germany, where they wanted to go but it's triggered by a lack of food aid and other humanitarian assistance. i would appeal to you, karen bass and i just returned from a sedan. it was my second trip within the last nine months. we went to refugee camps. when refugee camp, the largest, one of the largest in the world in uganda, they are cutting food
rations by 50% because it's not there. we did go to another camp whichc is an idp camp in unity state. frankly they had food and a lot of it was courtesy of you noticed his government. so thank you for that. we got to make sure that food does not diminish the need to actually be increased. t we're having a hearing tomorrow, and was scheduled for today, the fact that some 14 million africans are at risk of famine and the driver, frankly, is conflict but they had to get the food aid. find out what you say this on the issue of the conflict. i believe and i think karen would agree, that there's a window of opportunity with south sudan and the leadership to really put pressure on them to end this conflict which is a new conflict. he has a new chief of staff of the military seems to be saying all the right things. his previous one was a disaster
and the rapes and the interruption of convoys o on the way to deliver foodstuffs and he mendicant assistance arere disrupted by the military. so please, there needs to be an all-out effort on south sudan right now to act on this window of opportunity, mr. secretary. >> well as to the human trafficking report, as i said in my opening statement, we will see the world as it is. we will be honest with ourselves and the american people. so let me assure you that report will be reflective of what the circumstances actually are. on the food aid, you are correct. so much of this is complicateded by conflict. we appreciate congress gave us a big plus-up on food aid this past year. some of that money i guess i can say regrettably is going to carry over to 2018. it has to do with our ability to deliver, particularly in some of these conflict areas. we had difficulty working withha
ngos, getting some of the food delivered because of issues in the case of conflict around syria, issues with ngos and turkey that you read about. we are working with the government of turkey to facilitate them approving and not stopping our ability to get aid into these regions. dimension parts of africa. yemen, a serious famine crisis in yemen.ou again we are locked the aid workers are blocked from being able to deliver to the people we that need it. we are working, trying to work t solutions in all these areas with our first and highest priority, create conditions that we can at least get the humanitarian aid and while we're working on the conflict resolution itself.hi >> thank you. >> we go now to mr. gregory meeks of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being you.r bein let me first say, mr. secretary,
that what we're looking at items that the difficulty with the paperwork, et cetera, but just note that the bush and obama administration was we had at this point as far as hiring a number of individuals we had at various levels at the state department. let me ask you a couple of questions and maybe you can clear them up for me. as i travel around these questions that i'm often asked, and i've been unclear with some of the answers and so maybe you can answer them in the vein of what we talked about with a yes or no answer. are you in favor of america first nationalism? >> america first, as we said, does not mean america alone. we will continue our strong alliances and partnerships and maintain the friendships, a relations that we have around the world. >> now, because of some of the i guess statement the president has made about america first, india said a lot of the other countries around the world have to get things back or not do
this or that, in his words, just by using the words america first in that regard, d.c. any negative consequences to america's standing internationally as a result of the america first, which would seem to indicate to the rest of the world that it is about us and only about us, if you justbo take that language? >> congressman, that's why the vice president, myself, secretary of defense, others have been making numerous trips, the president himself with this trip abroad. we have to ensure our partners and allies understand what that moniker conveys.nd tha and i think what we have had a good dialogue with them about this it does not mean america is stepping back or that we only worry about our own self-interest. but as a indicator we live in some really challenging times and a lot of things are changing.s we have to ask our allies and friends to do more and take more
responsibility in these great alliances that we have. >> so let me -- >> what a very back is, they are glad we are engaged. i've seen no indication that our relationships have been undermined with this very open, frank and honest conversation we are finally had with people. >> short period of time i have some of the as is so we can be clear. do we support, because under the president has said that he doesn't generally agree with multilateral agreements or multilateral organizations, want to do things on a bilateral basis. the do we support the eu? >> i think we been quite clear that we do. >> nato?o? >> without a doubt. >> oyez? >> certainly. >> wto? >> yes.. wto need some reform. >> the u.n.? >> yes.wto ne the human needs a lot of reform. >> the asia-pacific economic cooperation? >> yes. >> so we will work and with all
of those species we are engaged with everyon every one of those organizations you named, and those that are quite effective we want to strengthen them. some of them need significant reform. that's not just the u.s. point of view. i just want to make it clear. >> for some quite frankly secretary, what is abbott is thq truth of the matter is as you've traveled and general mattis, et cetera, and the vice president, favored one thing and it seems to be that people are relieved when they have heard you speak, then the president tweets or says something else that seems to contradict what you say. and so then people come to me and they don't know what to t believe, whether not it is the word of the secretary of state or the president of united states. that's not your fault. i don't want to go in the little bit of time i have. i really want to jump willally n quickly into this issue that we have just talking about the budget year 21% of the diversity
in the state department has come from the utilization of the fels from the pickering or the wrangell fellows. there's a phrase that's going on and we party spent $85,000 per person on these students. so i'm wondering if these bright, young individuals who can help diversify the state department, that they can be waived from this frees? they finish the program. they've been paid. we invested the money so that they can then take their spot in the foreign service. is it any opportunity for them to be -- >> there is no freeze. the structure, the program rankle pickering is mor importas that with every intention of continue it, the obligation and the contract that the young people and others engage with us when we find their tuition forth
their graduate studies is that we confirm that we will offergr than a position in council affairs. that is confirmed and it's a five-year commitment on their part to serve. we then say we will put you the list for consideration for the next service class. we are holding the next foreign service class because quite frankly right now on foreign service officer staffing we are asked up about 50 from the beginning of the year with our expected manning which were looking at probably 8% reduction by the end of fiscal 2018, in order for us to have time to manage and we want that to occur so that we do not diminish the strength of the foreign service corps, where holding on the next class.ding on so nothing has been frozen and we want people to continue to apply. they all are offered a position in council affairs. and that is no change in the past echidna been a guaranteen
that anyone would have a clear offer our pathway to foreign service. they would be considered for foreign service based upon the work of this completed but they always have an offer to go to work in concert affairs. >> mr. dana rohrabacher ofbuck california. >> thank you, mr. secretary, let's just note that from the very beginning you outline for us what we been spending more money on our foreign projects and foreign goals then we have historic levels have actually been lower. let me just note for the record that this increase in spending levels, especially in the last eight years, has not resulted in a more peaceful world or a more secure situation for the people of the notice states of americae
important for the well-being security and prosperity of theos united states is our job. and for us to try to blur that is not doing anyone a service.rv achieving our goals, however, let's note and putting america first, achieving our goals of not necessarily derive from higher budgets.nece but like you have committed to us today, working with other countries and making sure that we reach out to make friends and to make sure that we turn enemies into friends and get the job done for helping the less fortunate people of the world is something we'll work together on, not just bear as a burden oa the united states taxpayer.
so i appreciate, number one, what this administration is doing and what you are doing, mr. secretary, to achieve those goals. i have some specific questions for you on specific areas. number one, are we still giving money to pakistan, who fingered osama bin laden, the murderer of 3000 americans of 9/11 is being held in a dungeon, and the pakistanis continue we know the isi continues with the notorious support of terrorist elements in afghanistan. why we still giving pakistan in aid at all? >> we are beginning an interagency policy review towards pakistan. this is going to be one of the considerations. the president has asked the question specifically about our level of support in funding the pakistan. notice he is to be taken to we
complete that paul's review as you well can understand and appreciate, pakistan and our relationship with them touches on some much broader issues relative to stability in afghanistan and now we achieved that. but also stability in the indo pacific region. it is a very complex relationship we have with the government of pakistan, but your concerns are all well-founded. >> i will trust you and trust this administration that we take a realistic view and sometimes that means biting the bullet and having come when you're dealing with someone, may have been too faced with us for so long now, pakistan is a goals by most of the people i have dealt with as the source of terrorism in that part of the world. and if we don't succeed in afghanistan, it will be because of the isi in pakistan. with that said, afghanistan
looks like it's not going in the right direction, and there are some creative ways to handle this. we continue to have troops in fault of their, but some people are calling for more troops. i hope that we look for other methods rather than sending american troops into afghanistan. >> congressman, we have an afghanistan policy as you under review as well, and i mentioned that in the context of pakistan because you cannot work one without the other. in the interim though we have had, we have had interagency discussions with the president about how to preserve the opportunity for a long term solution in pakistan where we do not leave, i'm sorry, afghanistan, where never allow afghanistan to become the platform for terrorism to be launched against the united states or certainly others. that word we expect to can be
completed over the coming weeks, review with the present and make a final policy decision. but it has not been going well in afghanistan. i would refer defer to secretary mattis assessment he testified to that effect this week. i think there are steps we need to take to at least preventto further deterioration while we get our new policies in place. what we are following now on the policies of the prior administration and we need toe take some steps to stem the effects of those while we getst our policies in place. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you very much for being here. y mr. secretary, i was not born in this country. i was born in cuba. growing up as a little boy, what i remember is the process ofth indoctrination where the premise of the indoctrination was the destruction of america. everything that was evil was america.
we have a situation now where we had a white house this seems to ignore the facts that russia was meddling in our democracy, theme most important thing in this world as a democracy that we have here. and the fact that some of these intelligence agencies have confirmed putin's involvement in this. i ask you, why are we treating russia with kid gloves? why are you coming before santelli goes, to give you flexibility when may have thell premise of this country, a brush is to destroy this country? i think that the fact that wet have a bipartisan effort now with this legislation to put some sanctions on russia and to send a strong message that this is something that we will not allow. i just cannot understand why this white house seems to treat this man with such kid gloves?
why don't we just talk and tell the reality come to the people of america from the white housea i know you've spoken about it. other members have spoken about it, but can you tell me please so i can rest a little better? >> as i had characterized the relationship with russia, and i did this after walking out of pe president putin's office and went immediately to oppress the veil in moscow, the relationship between the united states and russia is at an all-time low post-cold war. >> but it's not us. it's they are doing. >> it's speedy excuse me, i don't mean to interrupt and i don't have too much time. but their efforts undermine us. >> and is getting worse. and the two greatest nuclear powers on the planet cannot have this kind of relationship. we have to move to a different place, and that is what i've been asked to do is to determine whether we can move the relationship to a different place that doesn't present the
kind of threats to us and to the world that i am concern the current relationship does and further deterioration would. and i fully appreciate and share the sentiment of all you just said, but the issue is to be want to make the relationship worse? and is that, where would that leave us? what is next? or do we want to see if we can stabilize it and begin to deal with a large number issues on the table between us including meddling in the elections. do we want to try to deal with those toward some resolution? it may very well be that when we have progressed this discussion with them to some point where i will be the one to tell you we are getting nowhere. we're getting nowhere. i will be the first to come back to you and tell you we should -- >> we are going to the extreme where we seem to be just giving
into a pot of, you know, there's not, the message you can say without going to a nuclear war. you know, there are things that we can do and send strong messages to this country. >> sanctions i very useful tools. unilateral sanctions are not quite as useful as multilateral sanctions. if, and we are as we think about additional sanctions, one of my challenges, and i think this is my responsibility, is hardly bring other allies along with us to say to them, you must respond in this way as well. in order for the sanctions to be the ineffective pressure that a know we all want. and you dash fully want. i agree with that. we can take unilateral action, but if we take it alone and we get no support from others, they will be somewhat hollow, and putin will know they are hollow. answer this is a bit of a
tactical discussion unr having at this point. not a fundamental discussion around intent, objectives, our interest, a completely aligned let me assure you. this is really a tactical difference of opinion i think. >> well, i do hope that you send this message to the president. and tell them that a lot of people look at how he behavese k towards russia. and, quite frankly, i am very concerned. thank you very much, mr. chairm. >> thank you. we go to steve chapman of ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, secretary tillerson, for being with us here today. i've been a member of this committee for two decades now. i have shared the middle east subcommittee and the asia pacific subcommittee as well. the issue i like to discuss with you this morning is taiwan. as a fundamental congressional taiwan caucus and having been to that nation, and i use that term nation intentionally, quite a few times dick and i take the
commitment of our country that we made with taiwan a very seriously and i believe that you do, too. taiwan is a close ally of ours. it's one that truly exercises freedom and democracy and can be a role model to other nations facing an aggressive bullying neighbor. taiwan faces and unrelenting threat from china, which is nearly 600 listed missiles aimed directly at taiwan. although taiwan enjoys the fact of independence, china's ultimate goal as a note is the annexation of the island. therefore, the taiwan strait remains a potential hotspot. the prc aggression towards taiwan has only grown over the years. the prc more and more is referring to taiwan as a coree interest to them.co they continue to block taiwan'sb participation in international gatherings, and the worldga including the united states embarrassingly usually yields to
china's bullying. further, china continues its a long campaign to pressure nations around the world to stop the recognition of taiwan, and panama just this week announced its intention to yield to that pressure. fortunately the 38 year old taiwan relations act is still alive and in place, and this historic legislation has thus far maintained peace and stability. but we must declare to the prc that if push comes to shove, the united states will stand with taiwan. now mr. secretary, couple of question. china would never allow us to determine who they can meet with, yet because of fear of offending china principally, wee won't allow high taiwanese officials to step foot in our nation's capital, washington d.c. righty. some years back a couple dozen members of congress including myself had to get on a plane and fly to new york city one evenint
after votes to meet with the president of taiwan. i know some other members are not in because they were on that same plane with me. because he was allowed to come into our nation's capital. now, an important bill to remedy this widget introduced in previous congresses as well, h.r. 5352 that i want to have lacked what about the president and vice president, president,e foreign minister and defense minister to come here it is being marked up tomorrow in the asia-pacific subcommittee.e i welcome the administration's support for that measure and i appreciate your comment, please. >> i think as you summarized it quite well in terms of the situation, as we see it today, china and taiwan, as you know china and u.s. relationship has been combined for the past 50 years by one-china policy. and our agreement about one-china policy. they have their interpretation
of what that means and we have ours and we've agreed that will accommodate each other's interpretation. but it has led to 50 years of stability in the region.n. it has prevented conflict and has allowed for this enormous economic growth that has gone on for much of which we have benefited from. as we begin our dialogue with the chinese leadership with this new administration, as you know there was some questioning of our commitment to one china early on. the president has reaffirmed that we are committed to the one-china policy. we are also completely committem to taiwan relations act in the film all of our commitment to them under the act. but we're also in a discussion with china now about what is our relationship going to be for the next 50 years? had we enter another era of stability and absence of conflict, and taiwan clearly ton the chinese is a part of that discussion. so it is important as we engage
with them that we are able to fulfill our commitments to taiwan, which we have everyto fl intention of doing, and that the question is, is the one-china policy sustainable for the next 50 years? those are the kinds ofin discussions we're having. they are extremely complex in many regards, but this is what we seek is another 50 years of stability and no conflict with china in the pacific region. taiwan is a big element of that. north korea is a big element of that. there are than building and militarization of violence is a significant element of that. all of these are in our discussion with them about how do we define the relationship for the next half-century to ensure we have a continued era of no conflict and stability? >> thank you. my time is expired. >> we go now to gerry connolly of virginia. >> thank you. thank you, mr. secretary for being here today.
mr. secretary, i guess i'm wondering what the trump doctrine means? because to some of us it looks like making america great again in the realm of foreign policy means unilateral withdrawal and disruption. we have renounced our own transpacific partnership trade agreement. with threatened to renegotiate nafta with our two largest trading partners, and have hadts unfriendly assertions with both. we have renounced the paris climate agreement. 19 195 countries have now joined that the company of two, nicaragua and syria. what a proud moment for our country. we have threatened the nato alliance with being quote obsolete and refused in europe at the moment it was expected to reaffirm article v and our commitment to it. we have embraced russia in a way that is disturbing i think for most americans.
the president personally championed brexit to thehe enormous consternation of our closest ally, united kingdom. he has embraced erdogan, putin, general sisi while lecturing our closest allies about their commitments. and in your budget he's propose a 32% cut that would cripple our ability, frankly to engage in serious diplomacy. and, of course, there is the u.n. with casa threats of pulling out a specialized agencies and even peacekeeping operations. mr. secretary, how does a reasonable observer of that tha sorry and lamentable litany not conclude otherwise that this
constitutes a serious unilateral withdrawal from long-term post-world war ii commitments, values, and policies of the united states government? >> congressman, my assessment of all, if i listen to the entire list of areas, we can go down them, a withdrawal from tpp was by and large supported by most people in this body and up here on the hill. there was little support -- >> mr. secretary, i know we could pick one or two from the litany -- >> i picking your list. >> are you going to go down the whole list because we'll run out of time? >> if you're not interested spirit i am interested but am interested in time. my question was that a particular item on the list. it was does this add up to a radical alteration in a foreign-policy? you are the secretary of state -- >> it does not add up to a radical alteration of our
foreign-policy. i think in my statement i made a couple of comments that in my view and in my assessment, manyy of our institutions have not come have never responded to the post-cold war era with the fall of the soviet union, a whole array of dynamics were unleasheo globally. after 9/11 a whole new array ofw threats were unleashed. we continue to try to address those with the old constructs. not that the constructs are not valid and not the constructs don't give us the frame and the relationships. but we have to begin to examine the effectiveness of those. i think what the president is doing is he is examining all of these elements and we areing alf questioning whether they are as effective as they should be and whether our partners and allies have come as far as we have come in commitments. and so i would call this an elevated level of engagement,, not any way withdrawal.
i think what people areen questioning is, because we are making certain demands of allies and partners, and we're having this very frank, open, honest conversation with them that needs to occur, that needs to occur so -- >> mr. secretary, speedy people make a different decision about this as we take, that will strengthen our alliances. there will be greater commitment toward this, not less. >> mr. secretary, to call this an elevated involvement in the world which bears even george orwell. i yield back. >> we go to mr. joe wilson of south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and our prayers are with our colleagues or not here today due to the baseball practice shooting. congressman jeff duncan south coletta, jill mo brooks -- .. i especially appreciate your
exxon service. my great grandfather started with the enrichment in 1990 and my grandfather was the manager in new jersey and south carolina. my dad was a sales representative, and my brother has ran oil chauffer for excellent, so i know the integrity of the company that few have fled and also i was pleased to see background. we have for eagle scouts an foue company, so thank you for what you've done. in north korea, continues to push the security of american lives. i am concerned that cuts in are foreign affairs budget will leave us at a disadvantage in the security role played by diplomats. i appreciate your willingness to make reforms to the budget support your continuing the article mission around the globe.
on the threat of the north korean regime, there was a video showing americans being killed and unlawfully detained. given the recent release of otto and dennis rodman's travel to north korea, do you support the prohibition of tourist travel to north korea. >> we have been evaluate whether we should put some type of travel visa restriction on north korea. we have not come to a final conclusion but we are considering it. >> my concern is simply supporting a totalitarian regim regime. i say this with my colleague. he and i are the only two
members of congress that have been there.egatio it was on a congressional delegation, not as a tourist. thank you very much for your service. >> we go to ted deutch of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman.nk yu even as we pray for the majority whip and the others were injured this morning, i would just like to take a moment to acknowledge and express our gratitude to the capital police who permit us to do our job every day, keeping us safe as well as everyone here in this room. we are grateful for what you do. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. i wanted to first lend my voice to those who have spoken out against the budget and in support of a robust budget. i'll just point out if 32% cuts in the state department
cannot be solely about costs savings to the u.s. government when defense budget is being increased by 54%. american leadership as you know, has always been and must continue to be about more than just military might. next, i wanted to ask you about a hearing in the foreign relations committee. you were asked about payments made to palestinian prisoners, f payments that incite violence and prevent moving toward two state solution. yesterday you said their intent is to seize payments to families who have committed violence against others. officials responded by saying there are no plans to stop
payments to families of palestinians who carried out these attacks. >> those were assurances given to me in the most recent trip to bethlehem. we have had conversations with them and told them they could not continue. they have indicated they would and they were in the process of changing that. they did say we have to support widows and orphans. i said widows and orphans isdo one thing. attaching payments as recognition of violence or murder is something the american people could never accept or understand. we will continue this dialogue with them. we have been quite clear as to our view. >> i appreciate you making that clear. unfortunately it appears the position has not yet changed. i want to raise an issue that i raised every single time the secretary of state has set
before this committee. that is the case of my constituents who went missing in 2007 he is the longest missing hostage. as part of the deal, commitments were made by iran. i have no doubt there are those in around that know where he is or how to locate him and i hope that theth administration is making every effort to prioritize his case. unfortunately the family has not received much high-level communication since january. i would like to acknowledge two of his seven children who are here with us today. his eldest son dan and his youngest son doug. first, mr. secretary, i would just like to ask, when will you commit to meeting with this family. >> we are happy to provide an update on anything we know, and regrettably we have a number of american citizens
who are detained. >> i understand that. i would just ask. >> i just want to let you know, we treat them as individual cases. >> we meet with the family. >> yes. >> will you designate a senior level position in the department or fill the position of special envoy for hostage negotiations to meet on a regular basis to meet with the levinson family and others. >> we are evaluating people to fill that position. i will tell you and i think it's important, we do not stop our efforts just because we do not have someone in that role, and i hope the evidence of our success, already, during the short-term of our administration of securing release of people who have been detained, i hope people take encouragement from that and i promise you we have efforts underway. >> sadly, it's been ten years now so i'm focused on bob. i would ask that you raise his case at every opportunity you have.
can i ask whether you have plans to meet with the iranian. >> i have no current schedule to meet with them. >> if you don't do it, which i think is a mistake, it's imperative that you press our allies to raise his case in york medications with the iranians or any international. ten years is too long for a family to go without their family. he will become a grandfather for the seventh time in a matter of weeks. he should be home celebrating this joyous moment with his family. i appreciate your efforts and urge you to do everything you can to bring him home. thank you. >> we go to mike from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you mr. secretary for being here. it's good to see a fellow texan back in the secretary of state position. i chair the us-mexico group and i want to let you know i that it was very successful meeting in terms of nafta and
how we could put energy under the nafta umbrella. i think it would certainly be a win-win for both countries. i want to ask you, they testified saying it's one of the greatest threats facing the united states. the cartel share ties with terror networks that we are currently fighting overseas and there are threats to society and have the ability to sneak drugs and people including dirty bombs into the united states. finally, he stated the nexus between criminal networks and terrorist networks is real and i would predict. >> yes i do.
it's designed around getting at the supply chain. we clearly see the connections with terrorist organizations back to and including isis, working with our treasury counterparts, this is part of our global effort to deny terrorist financing as well. this effort really gets at a challenge of her own national security but also the health and well-being. we are advancing with cooperation and we will see a
different approach to how we attack the problem with the cartels. >> that's great to hear. we had a classified briefing yesterday. without getting into the details, i know you're aware of that threat and it does worry me that the homeland security with terror ties and getting security both at the border with mexico but also mexico's southern border is so important. let me just think you for your attention to that. i look forward to working with you. >> mr. secretary, i appreciate
and understand you were clear but it's still not clear what our policy was. i am in my fourth term and for the first time i've had a number of visits from our allies in the eu who have come to express a new concern about the direction our country is taking. they understand the budget really reflects your values, your policies and direction asking where is the united states going. when i think of the continent.in from a national security perspective we know there are many fragile democracies that can easily collapse and
quickly open the door. i'm concerned about the cuts to the democracy program as well as to the cuts to un peacekeeping. i know we pay a considerable share. in terms of humanitarian assistance, especially including health and we know how quickly it could've spread to the united states. our interest is very much at stake. when i think of the economic perspective on africa and we discussed the tremendous opportunity for u.s. businesses and jobs but then i think about the budget cuts and all of those are key institutions to lay the basis for our businesses to do business on the continent.do one of the questions as you described a listening tour to
look at how to run things themo way you want too. and then you come up with a number what the state department should do. were you involved in determining the 30% cut or is your review process designed to fit into the cut? >> we had an interactive process with the omb director.. we gave him a budget and we were given the budget back that i'm here today to present. if these other resources available to us, how do we want to prioritized. in terms of africa, we sharewe the same list of both concerns
and opportunities that you do. i would point to the fact that we have a lot of other areas of our budget that we can bring resources to bear on these particular concerns and issues. we have money in our budget that allows us to address some o of the threats, and emergence of isis either in north africa and certainly we are keeping our eye on the via and we are working with other multinational partners to defend against and not allow a reemergence on the continent itself. >> i'm sorry to interrupt but i'm about to run out of time.ar. i had heard before you were confirmed that a message was sent to the state department to go through and identify any program that was focused on women. i want to know, was that true? there is a specific program
and i don't know, i can't tell from the budget detail whether that is scheduled to be cut, and just returning from south is sudan and knowing that rape is used as a weapon of war, i'm very concerned about family planning services. i'm not referring to abortion, but whether or not we would seek to eliminate birth control, especially inin countries where we know rape is used as a regular practice of war. >> i am not aware of any directive that was sent before my arriving there. we certainly have not carried out any directive of that nature well i've been there. >> thank you very much. >> we go to tadpole of texas. >> thank you mr. secretary for being here. thank you for your time service. i want to congratulate you on your position.
i appreciate you being here. you can assume where we got our name from. first i want to thank you for your personal involvement inur the release of sandy gellis, a texan who had been imprisoned unlawfully for over two years. she was unlawfully imprisoned there. she was on a mission to work on economic things in china and she was arrested when she got on the plane. thank you for your personal involvement in the president's involvement.t.yo now she is released and back home in houston and i want to thank you for that. i want to go over several f things and i will eventually have a question as well. the state department can lead the effort as a state sponsor
of terror. they are considered a sponsor of terror. i would hope that would be on your radar to do. they are doing bad things throughout the world. on behalf of terrorism and destroying human rights of many people, i would like to know what the plan is. do we support peaceful regime change. there are iranians in exile all over the world. is the u.s. position to leave things as it is? i want to mention russia. i was in georgia in 2008 after
they invaded. georgia took one third in the world said that's not nice and nothing happened.ba they're in eastern ukrainene now. is that unlawful and still unlawful and those territories must be returned.r are go are we just going to accept the russian invasion of those territories. the last thing i want to mention is pakistan play in this, we give them money and that money ends up in the hands of bad guys who hurt americans. they get 500 million a year
not counting the military.e they also should be removed from the major non- ally status that they have. i know this has been a discussion for years. they tried to get pakistan on board but they don't.hose t are any of those things that i mentioned options? >> iran, russia, pakistan and i will let you, on that.ment o >> our policy is under development. it has not yet been presented to the president, but i will tell you i certainly recognize iran's continued destabilizing and their foreign fighters and export of militia fighters in syria and iraq. their support for hezbollah and we are taking action to
respond. additional sanctions have been put in place against individuals and other. we continually review the merit merits, both from the standpoint from international consequences in its entirety.ath we have designated the cards. our policy towards iran is to push back on the hegemony, contain their ability to develop nuclear weapons and to work toward support of those elements inside iran that would lead to peaceful transition of that government. those elements are there. >> excuse me, mr. secretary, i'm out of time and i would like a written response to those questions. i have a constituent named claudia who sent me some excellent question. i will submit these to youring t
testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. think you to the capital police for protecting us and our thoughts are with those who were injured. this committee has had a great experience. we are trying to find areas of commonality and i mean that sincerely, going down this path of clarification, if i could. n i want to get a better idea, to clarify the position of jared kushner and the administration. he has a major foreign-policy position.
is he coordinating with you? what's your experience? has he ever engaged in foreign policy discussions without prior coordination? how would you define its role. he is a senior advisor to the president so he does attend discussions, not all, but discussions we have in the western wing from time to time. i would say there's a clear recognition by him as to where foreign-policy is conducted. ig i would say his role in the west wing, he has freedom and i've invited others to call if there are issues that arise in the west wing, let me know so we have visibility and can begin talking about how we want to address those.
>> do you have any instances where he hasn't coordinated before engaging with discussions. >> you spoke early about the working relationship with china in terms of north korea. there have been positive steps.n i congratulate you on your work in that regard.eg one of my concerns is the fact that as china might move away from trade opportunities to try to pressure north korea, they seem to be creeping in with replacing that vacuum with other interactions with north korea. have you addressed this? this is a problem that i think we will have in dealing with the situation because of russia just comes in and tries to fill that vacuum, then our work with china won't be as effective as it could be. >> we have seen that occur already as china has drawn certain support.work w
north korea is among our top issue items that i speak to the foreign minister about. i also had various discussions with president putin when i saw him. we are asking for their help. i think russia is evolving its own position relative to northwe korea and we are looking for more support from them. i think two indications of late, one was there affirmative vote for the additional sanctions on north korea. typically at best, the russians would have stayed but this time they voted for it and they indicated they see it differently. they see it as being a threat to russia. this is not just a threat about us.at is this can be a threat about you as well. >> thank you. i yield back.
>> thank you for yielding back. now we go to california. >> secretary, i was delighted when you were named and i keep reminding my friends that one of the last great secretaries we had was george schultz who, for six years before had run a global enterprise, one that was responsible for building large and small cities so i'm going to segue from that to one of the areas we inherited.ai during the george w. bush era, under general williams and others, the state department began a standard design build process. this allowed the state department to go from an aging embassy system that lacks
security and was falling behind where most of the money was spent to getting new modern facilities that were secure and predictable in operation. upon the change of t administration, there was a change under hillary clinton and she began going back to the old practice of new york wine and cheese liberals happily designing works of art. i'm trying to be over-the-top for a reason because if you go to great britain where you find that glass palace on a lot that we can't use that were paying extra, what you find is a return to embassies that might be works of art. they may make great statementsin about america's prowess and place in the world, but you're not being given enough moneyen to build embassies just to provide security the likes of
what we didn't have with benghazi and a lot of other places.s. by the way, i was also thrilled when the ambassador abruptly left with the team that i'm glad to see go. my question to you is, with the president's current budget reduced in that area, can you, by changing back to a process of efficient design and build, can you begin to get us caught up to where never again will we have people die because they have a facility that lacks the basic security required by your own regulations. >> pinky for the question. the current budget around security, both security services as well as embassy construction will allow us to maintain our program through 2018. we will begin to have planning difficulties at this level and we are in discussions about that. i think to your point about
our execution is it really is an execution issue and we need to get back to standard designs. fewer scope changes. we don't need to be unique in every place. i think we need to build what's needed for us to build the overall mission. there are some missions i've been reading and they been doing various projects and i recognize a lot of the deficiencies.ee i've seen them in the private sector. when the private sector struggles with major projects, i think we have a lot of opportunity to improve that. >> i would like to follow up with another area on that and very briefly, because you have funding and because if we really look at your facilities around the world, there are often facilities in which title x individuals and others assigned to you need to operate, or at least coordinate in dangerous areas.
i might suggest that a very good investment of several billion dollars over the next several fiscal years would be to springboard ahead to have those facilities able to house both the diplomatic nation and coordinate other missions in the area. i'm thinking particularly of africa and other hotspots.pr what i would like to do is segue to two things. one is, you have a thousand marines available to you. this was opposed benghazi decision.ha i can tell you, when i hear a papa new guinea facility gets stopped in a whole new one gets designed and they need d room for marines, perhaps looking at where you best would have those marines could well be a good investment in moving around and match facilities to the greatest extent possible that you plan to have and we would otherwise build. lastly, the president's budget and the 50% cut in an office
which was conflict stabilization operations which is under state and the officer transition operations, we had previously sent your agency letters asking you to combine those two, and with the budget having a 50% cut, could you consider one 100% cut by combining them, deciding whoco gets this job, either state or usaid but not both. >> i think part of our redesign is to look at exactly the kind of issues you identify and where we have duplicative work issues, not just within the state department but we find in interagency, ag, commerce and others.this wil this will examine all of these areas. were talking about combined efforts, delivering on missions for less cost. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you. i appreciate that.
this committee will recess ten minutes before noon to allow us to join our colleagues on the house floor and following the prayer and pledge there will be brief remarks from the speaker and the democraticer leader concerning the shooting incident this morning and then this hearing will resume "after words" at 1230 and i would like to thank theth secretary for his flexibilityle and we will adjourn here no later than 130. at this time, let me go to mr. david sissel laney of rhode island. >> thank you.ng here. i think it's very clear that the devastating cuts proposed in this budget would make it nearly impossible for america to lead the world in its white has been the cry virtually every scholar and diplomat. i have very specific questionsk
that i asked you to answer with yes or no if you can so i can get through as many as possible. first, i assume you are familiar with the first amendment and the rights it affords the american people. >> yes. >> you believe in open and unrestricted press is a vital part of a transparent and accountable government. >> yes. >> in your observation, do china and russia have a free press free from government influence. >> no. >> do you believe chinese and russian media sources reliably an accurate report meetings or conversations between u.s. government officials in the government. >> not likely. >> do you believe us in narrative or any type of messag message. [inaudible] when american media is excluded from reporting on exclusive events involving yourself, the president or other senior american diplomats? >> i'm not sure i understood that one. >> do you believe it impacts the narrative or stanza type of message to the leaders of other countries when american
media is excluded from reporting on significant events involving you or other diplomats? you may remember a meeting in which they were excluded in russia media was permitted in the oval office. >> it's hard for me to say what impact that particular limited incident had. >> mr. secretary, you are aware that the chechen government has been engaged in a concerted campaign of kidnapping detention, torture and murder of gay men in chats to chechnya. >> i am aware of those reports. >> we sent you a letter on april 7, 2017. my question is did you discuss the issue of these atrocities being carried out when you met with the foreign minister on may 10? or any other government official at any other time. >> those are all in our pending list. >> so you have not discussed them. >> we did not make our way
through all of the issues in the meetings we had. >> are you aware whether the president has raised this issue with vladimir putin. >> i am unaware. >> are you here today in this hearing you can you condemn the torture of gay men and chechnya and confirm that itit is the policy of the united states government that the russian government must protect the lives and safety of all citizens including the lgbt community. >> that is our position globally. >> and in russia as well. >> last time i checked. >> so that's yes. >> okay. >> next, i assume you are familiar with the events that took place in washington d.c. outside the turkish embassy. >> i am. >> i assume you do not believe it's appropriate for foreign security force to fault americans on american soil. >> i do not. >> have you had conversations with the turkish ambassador about this incident. >> we call the turkish ambassador to the state department immediately and spoke to him. i have had face-to-face conversations with the foreign
minister on the margins of the nato meeting. the matter is under investigation by washington d.c. police and the court system and we are awaiting the conclusion of that investigation for further action. >> once those are concluded you consider actions in response to this egregious attack. >> we want our action to be consistent with the investigation. >> you believe it's appropriate for united statesit government to sell weapons to the very same security forces who committed the attack.. >> it is under evaluation. >> next, when can congress expect to receive the administration's plan to defeat isis and the conflict in syria..it >> we've had a recent update with the president militarily and diplomatically and how to confront isis globally, both in the medications network and to deny them the financing. >> when can congress expect a
presentation of those plans? >> i'm not aware there has been a request for one. >> consider this one, at least from one member of congress.e and finally, would you say our past efforts to counter russian aggression in europe and eurasia has been successful. >> it's a work in progress.k it requires work every day. >> but hasn't been successful. >> we have had some success, i think if you look at how certain countries have progressed, progress in the balkans has been challenged. >> in light of that, after anns unprecedented attack against our own election, evidence of russian attacks to influence elections throughout europe and other mischief, how do you propose to adequately counter the russian threat with the budget that's decimated by almost 60% in the account for countering russian aggression. we haven't been successful and
your budget is cutting it. how can we become successful with those reduction. >> we will continue with those nations most threatens. if we had additional funds wee would fan about to do more, but we are going to remain engaged with those countries. >> can i ask unanimous consent that the following documents be placed in the record. >> without objection. >> we will go briefly to scott from pennsylvania. >> it's great to see you. although i might take some differences with some of the lines in the budget request, i'm thrilled we finally have a commander-in-chief who is interested in balancing the budget of the united states. i do consider that a national security priority.r-in-c with that, you are asked about the palestinian authority and a 10% increase. i will tell you, at least one of us and probably more than one that's concerned and tired of funding the pa and hearing
somewhat of the same rhetoric where we will discuss it, were the considering it, we have a commitment to and the stipends, i'm wondering if you have a pat path, is there some way you are using to assess how they are doing with that and to claw back some of that for other things if they fail to comply with their commitment, whatever that is. i think the president has been very clear with palestinian authorities over actions he expects them to take. he has indicated he has a certain window of patients in a certain window in which he is going to remain engaged in be interested and if at some point he becomes disinterested. if we become disinterested that will alter our level of support. >> just know we will be monitoring and look to follow up to see if that in fact takes place. he also had a conversation regarding the irg see and designating them.
i would like to throw the brotherhood in there as to organizations, actors if you will that have the specific interest of the destruction of the west, particularly the united states and while there might be some good components for these organizations, i would like to engage in a little bit of a short conversation about designating each sponsor of terrorism and what the pitfalls might be of doing so. what are the american people missing because they know these are bad actors. what are we missing that we need to know about that is deleterious to these sponsors of terrorism for what they are. >> i think the muslim motherhood which would have up to 5 million members has become somewhat segregated within its own right, with the number of organization continuing.the top
at the top of the quality chain, if i can call it that,, there are elements that have now become part of governments. there are members of government so in designating the muslim brotherhood in its totality as a terrorist organization, i think you can appreciate the complexities this enters into our relations with the government of bahrainen and other governments were muslim brotherhood has become participants, and in those elements they have done so by renouncing violence and terror. that is one of the complicating issues around taking a whole designation of muslim brotherhood. i will tell you, it is on our watch screen, we have not taken our eye off of it and we revisit this question periodically because it comes up in our foreign relations
with others as well. >> i appreciate the answer.e i just hope we did not allow the more moderate ones, the ones that announce violence, toe to have them have theor organization use them to be the umbrella on which they conduct all these other things which is a specific downfall of the united states. finally, the last question with your indulgence, the deal with saudi arabia, and i couldn't get an answer on specifically how we were monitoring their support of the exportation and the terror that goes along with that fundamentalist view of islam around the globe. do you know of any metrics that the department isr following to support their claim that they are working on that? how are we gauging that.
how will we determine if they are following along with that portion of the agreement. >> one of the outcomes of the summit was the creation of the center to counter extreme muslim messaging with saudi arabia. it now exists, it was inaugurated while we were there. the center has a number of elements to attack extremism around the world. one of the elements that we are visiting with them about, and they've already taken steps is to publish new textbooks that go into thehe schools that are in thehe mosques around the world. these textbooks are to replacear textbooks that are out there today that advocate extreme viewpoints around the justification for violence. we've asked that they not just published the new tes textbook but we've asked they retrieve the existing books so we get those back. g that is just one example. this center will have a very broad range from social media to broadcast and how moms are trained in the theological
centers and we are working with them today with the establishment of the new center, what are the measures we will hold ourselves accountable too.r that is one of the charges the state department is working with the saudi's. >> the committee stands and resource and we will return at approximately 1230. come =convoau [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]