tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 26, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT
ma'am, as i think you know, the consolidation question is one we discuss every year. our view -- i know it's administrator fugate's view that the most effective approach is to administer grants at the state level, so the governors can best assess what is appropriate for their states. congress makes its own judgments in that regard every year. as i'm sure you know, this year, with regard to the uasi grants we had language that says we should distribute in a way so that up to 85% of the risk, and only up to 85% of the risk, is satisfied with grant making. so we're working through that now. the formula for how we get there
is one that i have a lot of interest in. i want to make sure we're getting it right. because i've been out in major cities and i've seen the end use that is being made with regard to our grant money. for example, and in phoenix, the super bowl, three days before the super bowl i looked at our op center, the joint op center, state, federal, local, the fire chief was anxious to point out to me every single piece of communications equipment, every camera, every tv screen you see was funded by the department of homeland security. through our grant making. a lot of the things that you see on scene at the boston marathon bombing, the first responders, a lot of the equipment they used the vehicles were funded by our department. so i've seen the end uses of
uasi grant money, the state grant money. one of the reasons i know how valuable it is, because i hear from state and local officials about the importance of this to them. and so it's something i know i want to be sure we get right. i think given how the terrorist threat to our nation is evolving, it is all the more important that our state and local jurisdictions be adequately funded with homeland security, what i like to refer to as hometown security equipment. the threat to our nation is more local based. very often you could have an actor lurking in a community without notice to our national security community. and so the grant making in my view has become all the more important. and unfortunately, while we're on a cr for five months as you
know, we were unable to do that. now that we're on a full year appropriation, we can turn the spigot back on again. we're about to announce how we intend to distribute our uasi funds very, very soon. and i think we've made the appropriate judgments there. >> well i know that my local recipients feel very strongly that this funding is absolutely essential. so i appreciate your attentiveness to it. and you can be sure we're all looking at it very closely. thank you very much. >> thank you ma'am. >> i'm waiting for somebody to take the chair so we can continue. but i will continue. back to the subject matter i was talking about a little bit earlier. >> judge, if you need to take a break, i'll be here. i can wait. i understand the need to go vote. >> yeah, i need to go vote. if you'll wait on us we'll get back here just as soon as -- well there's mr. fleischmann,
security is so critically important to the security of our nation, and i want to thank you for stepping up and doing that. i wanted to talk today a little bit about where the administration has gone in regard to its immigration initiatives. and then i have some questions in that regard. i represent the third district of tennessee, chattanooga oak ridge, all the way up to the kentucky border. actually, my district borders my co-chairman's district. whether i'm in the schools or the supermarkets, and i speak with my constituents, my constituents are upset. some are furious, some are saddened by the administration's circumventing congress and as they see it and i see it circumventing the united states
constitution with the executive orders and initiatives. it's particularly bothersome because we have immigration laws in this country, and there are a lot of people who have followed the law, and are still following the law to become legal immigrants. and america is a great nation of legal immigrants. including my family. but folks are upset. folks are upset because they wonder why and how this has come about, and just as you and your department have a difficult job, we in the congress have a difficult job. the house is elected every two years. we stand before the american people, and the constitution is precious, i think, to the american people. and this has really shaken i think, the core of our republic to have the administration move ahead with its immigration initiatives.
and i think it throws our security into somewhat uncertainty. and it just casts us in a very difficult light. i want to be able to respond to my constituents, to their concerns. central to this issue is the operations of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services, which bears the responsibility to process benefits that have been unilaterally extended so many who are here illegally. i have a few questions in that regard, sir. exactly how much on average will it cost cis and any other agencies involved to process doca and dapa applications in related benefits sir? >> in response to your last question the dapa program, had it gone forward on schedule, was
intended to pay for itself through fees, application fees. as i'm sure you know, the court in texas has enjoined that program. the case is on appeal right now. same thing with the daca program for kids. like many activities at uscis the program is intended to pay for itself through the collection of fees that are submitted with applications. >> and i agree, the court has issued a stay of the president's executive order. but surely there must be a plan in place, or there must have been a plan in place to pay for this. would it be that the fees that legal immigrants people who are playing by the rules are paying would those funds be designated to use to pay for those who are not here legally? was that the plan? >> that would not be the intent.
there was, and is a well-developed implementation plan that called for the hiring of certain personnel, additional personnel to administer the dapa program. the leasing of additional office space. the leasing of additional space for processing applications. and the intent was, and is that the program would be paid for through the fees collected in the program. that's the intent. >> thank you, sir. mr. secretary last week acting tsa administrator carroway testified before us about his support for the public private partnerships and stakeholder participation in reforming the tsa, policies to improve security, as well as efficiency. what are you doing throughout dhs, sir, to improve the relationship between industry and your agencies in order to
streamline rule making and procurement processes, and in the case of acquisitions, to develop and deploy the newest and best technology in a cost-efficient manner? >> i can tell you that i spend a tremendous amount of time with industry associations, industry ceos, aviation ceos, the ceos of firms that we do business with through our unity of effort initiative. we're bringing about greater efficiency in a more mature acquisition process. best practices best learning from other agencies. our bureaucracy has only been in existence 12 years. and so i believe we're enhancing and maturing the acquisition process that larger unity of effort initiative. if i may sir, in response to your initial comment, i think it's important for your
constituents and others to understand that what we issued in november, nine separate executive actions, including efforts to enhance border security, one of the directives i signed on november 20th was to create the southern border campaign strategy to bring about a dhs-wide approach to the security of our southern border. it's up and running, it's operational now. and through our investments over the last period of years, in border security, i think we've seen some good results. apprehensions, which are an indicator of total attempts to cross the border are down. but there's a lot more we need to do. the other thing we did was to prioritize the deportation of people who have been convicted of crimes. and so we want to focus even more sharply our efforts on getting at those who are convicted criminals, for the sake of public safety in your
district, and elsewhere. the deferred action program is an effort to bring those who are not deportation priorities out of the shadows, get them on the books, hold them accountable so that we know who they are. which i believe is important as a matter of law enforcement and public safety. >> and yes, sir, mr. secretary, while i appreciate your resolve to keeping us safe and i thank you for that, in that process my biggest concern and my biggest objection to it is that the administration is doing this by executive order, and not through the legislative process. constitutionally, that offends me. and i think it weakens the fabric of the republic. so i'm going to applaud you again for trying to keep us safe. i think that is one of our most steadfast duties under the constitution, whether you're in the house or the white house.
but again my biggest concern and frailty in this is it was done by the administration through executive order in what i view as an attempt to circumvent congress. but i do thank you for your efforts, sir. at this time i would like to recognize my colleague from texas. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. two things. one, talk to us about your unity of effort initiative. i think it's a good way of putting everybody working on the same page and how that's working on the southwest border. and then i'll ask you something about the northern border, about some huge investments that y'all are planning to do. that i want to ask you about. >> sure. the unity of effort initiative is something that i issued out
about a year ago, and it is an effort to get away from the stove pipes in our department. i mean, imagine our u.s. military trying to fight a war overseas with a stovepipe approach, army navy air force marine corps. so we want to bring about where it counts joist decision-making across the entire department, and at the headquarters level, to achieve greater efficiencies for the taxpayers. when it comes to the acquisition budget part of our budget submission is to fund our joint requirement of counsel, which you'll see in our submission. and i think we've already seen efficiencies. the southern border campaign strategy, which i'm sure you're familiar with, is an outgrowth of the unity of effort initiative. it's something we've created
three joint task forces, one in the southeast, to secure the borders in the southeast which are largely maritime. so we have a director of joint task force east, who's coast guard three star. we have a director of joint task force west, who is a border patrol three-star. and they are responsible for coordinating the assets of the department toward border security in their theater of operations. then we have a third task force responsible for investigations which supports the geographic task forces. they're operational, they're up and running. i think this is the wave of the future. i think we need to do this, because i think border security depends upon not just the border patrol, it depends on our customs personnel it depends upon our air and marine personnel, coast guard personnel, cis, and where necessary, fema. so i want to draw on all of the assets of our department to
promote strengthening the border. i think that change was long overdue, and it's part of our larger unity of effort initiative. >> i want to thank you and congratulate you. i think it's the right approach. because doing it in sillos it just hasn't worked in the past. i certainly want to congratulate you on that. let me take you up to the northern border. one of my colleagues in this committee, when you look at the numbers of trailers and traffic coming from the southern border the numbers have increased. it's increased in my hometown by 10% from last year. billions of dollars that come across. and other ports of entry have increased. and i'm looking at the western washington university, talked about the trade between the u.s. and canada, and that actually has gone down, where the southern one has gone up, according to this report.
then i see a dhs press release on february 18th of this year, it talks about a particular bridge up there which i think is just right next door to the ambassador bridge. they're going through -- i think you know what i'm talking about. >> yes. >> in that project you're saying that you all are going to be investing in operation and staffing. and i think chairman carter talked about 700 out of only 2,000. but there's a $100 million investment, and then it's going to call for an annual $50 million a year of annual staffing costs. and i say this because, you know, we try to get $1 million from y'all in the southern border, we have to go through so much red tape on this. and then in one particular project in the northern area, and i don't want to compete canada versus mexico, but i'm just talking about where the
needs are at. talk to us a little bit why there's $100 million, when trade, according to a university study said it's been going down. and for us on the border it's been very very difficult to get that type of investment down there. and again i don't want to compete north and south. i want to see more bridges and not walls and fences. but i just don't understand. >> canada is a vital economic partner of the united states. the ambassador bridge i think is the busiest northern port we have. it's the busiest northern crossing for the entire northern border. that's my recollection. the ambassador bridge is privately owned. i think it's maybe four lanes. the other striking thing about that bridge is that there is no highway approach on the canadian side to get to the windsor -- to
the ambassador bridge. on the canadian side you've got to travel the city streets of windsor. when i think of that, i try to imagine an approach to the george washington bridge in new york city, or the lincoln tunnel, through city streets. the new jersey side, what a mess that would be. and so there is a compelling case for a second bridge in detroit. and to open up commerce with canada. canadians are very interested in this. the city of detroit is very interested in this as part of their redevelopment. the state of michigan is very interested in this. we've been working at it for years. and we've reached an agreement now to build the bridge, and with the bridge you've got to build a customs plaza. my department is committed to funding on an ongoing basis, a going forward basis the operational upkeep of that customs plaza. i think that there is a compelling case for another
northern border crossing. >> again, my time is up. and i agree. i don't want to compete the south versus the north. that's not my intent. the only thing is when large investments in the northern area they're done very easily. i can give you more compelling arguments why we ought to look at the southern border also when it comes to trade. that's something i wanted to ask you, give the southern area a little consideration when you look at $100 million investment and $50 million a year investments. that's the only thing i ask you to do. >> i'm having -- having visited your state, something like ten times -- >> but not lo red oh where we get 12,000 trailers a day. you go down to the rio grandee, where that's security. i'm talking about commerce. 12,000 trailers a day. maybe one of these days i will bring you down to laredo. that's another issue.
laredo is a different type of commerce. and that's the only thing i ask you to do. >> okay. understood. >> thank you. dr. harris? >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. secretary for being before the subcommittee. let me ask a couple of questions about h 2 b. a lot of seafood processing tourism industry it's necessary to keep the little bit of economic recovery we have going. in my district. and, you know, you're well aware of the whole court issue with the court that ruled against the department of labor's ability to have rules and regulations, and the department of labor subsequently spending applications. but then surprisingly enough dhs is suspending applications right after it even though the law is clear that dol only has a consult consultative role.
why is premium processing for h2b being suspended? for the employer to pay to have the expedited processing in 15 days? >> i'm aware of the case. i'm aware of the issue. and i'm aware that we're moving forward with h-2-b processing. with the permission of the court on an interim basis. i've got to get back to you -- >> on the premium issue? do you know what the time frames are right now? you can get back to me. but i would appreciate it pretty timely. we're very held up. i mean, these employers -- there's a lot of lip service paid about it. the bottom line is we have -- we're going to have product ready for processing. tourists ready to come. and perhaps no workers because of what dol and dhs have done here. >> by the way, sir did you see the letter we sent you dated yesterday? >> dated yesterday? i've got to be pretty good. i mean, it is only 10:30 on the
morning after the letter was sent. >> that's why i asked. >> let me ask, prior to this recent dhs shutdown, the -- you know, the 33,000 cap, but dhs said, okay we know there are going to be rejections so we'll accept 40,000, 50,000 applications knowing some will be rejected. but this year they're only accepting 33,000. i guess, what happens if some are rejected? i mean, the whole problem is you've got the 120-day time frame. so you've already got a short time frame. if dhs hits this cap at 33,000, rejects, you know, 7,000 or 8,000, this is probably going to happen then you've delayed the ability of the employers to apply for their season. these are all seasonal businesses. why did the dhs change that policy? >> it sounds like it was a judgment of citizenship and immigration services. i would be happy to find out for you, sir. >> okay. i know i'll get an answer
somewhere along the line here about this. does the -- >> you wrote us a letter and we responded -- >> well, mr. secretary, in all fairness, h-2-b is an important -- it's important for this economy. it is part of the department you run, isn't it? >> absolutely. >> when you make a major policy change decreasing the number of applications to this visa program, that's something i've got to write a letter to you about as to why that change has been made? i'll take it. i've got to write a letter to know that. the dhs is also not updating the -- i've only got 1 minute 36 seconds left. the dhs has always been publishing the cap counts on an ongoing basis, on their website. i've got a note here it hasn't been updated since march 27th, it is march 26th. could you commit to weekly updates to the cap count?
so at least our employers know how close we're getting to the new lower cap you've imposed? >> a, you don't have to write a letter. if you want information, you can ask me now. if i don't have the information sitting here, which i don't in the case of your last question i can get back to you. >> let's get to a pretty serious issue. because it has to do with this whole issue of the daca and dapa. and the fact that it becomes pretty clear by judge hannon's opinion on the seeking the injunction -- delaying his injunction, that the court was misled about 108, 081 deferrals. these are part of the new guidelines, and yet the court in a -- in the defendant's advisory
filed march 3rd, i guess had to walk back what the department of justice said earlier, which is by the way, dhs hasn't been processing anything under the new guidelines until february. but then has to walk it back, because it turns out, yes in fact dhs has given 108,081 deferred actions, under your new memoranda. and someone, i don't know, did you all forget to tell the lawyers that actually, yeah you have been issuing these? this was one of the bases actually for the judge not providing the stay of the injunction. did you make it clear to the department -- i want to get it straight. because doj is also responsible to the committee. did dhs made it clear to the department of justice when they filed their motions, and answered some questions, that in fact 108,081 new three-year deferred actions had in fact
been issued under the new guidelines? why did doj think they hadn't been issued? that no action was going to be taken until february? >> my directive, which was part of the record in front of the judge, said very clearly that the three-year renewal will begin to apply to all first-time applications as well as applications for renewal effective november 24th, 2014. that's what was in the record. so it was clear by the point of the hearing that we were moving forward with three-year renewals renewals. sitting here, i do not know whether the number of renewals that had been granted at the moment of the hearing was known to the court. but it should have been clear, because it was in the record of the case that we began issuing three-year renewals, right here on page 3 of this directive, sir. >> all i can tell you, you know
general counsel at dod, i urge you to go back and read judge hannon's opinion why he didn't grant the delay of his injunction. i'll ask you again, was the doj lawyers informed -- i'll just -- i'll end with that. mr. chairman. when they informed the judge that nothing was going to be issued until the middle of february, when the judge determined the guidelines in the case? we'll do it in a follow-up question. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome. we very much appreciate your testimony this morning secretary johnson. you have a major job. on behalf of the people of our country. and i wanted to ask if when chairman carter was here a little bit earlier, he went through some job openings statistics. is your -- do you agree with the figures that he cited in terms of the number of unfilled job openings at the department of homeland security?
>> well i do know that of the additional 2,000 customs personnel that we were authorized under the murray ryan law, we have filled about 700 of those 2,000. and i explained earlier that part of the reason we haven't been able to move faster on that is the ability to get lie detector personnel and technicians in place. and we've had an issue with the contractor that does the background checks. they were the subject of a cyber intrusion. but we're aggressively working to catch up on that. >> i would very much appreciate if your department could provide me with the -- and for the record -- the types of job openings across the entire department that are currently available. i was not one of those members of congress who tried to hold up the department of homeland security or shut her down. so part of your difficulty probably stems from the congress itself causing you difficulty. and hopefully that won't happen
again. i respect very much the work that your employees do. let me say, i represent the longest coastal district in the great lakes, but for one. i'm in the lower great lakes lake erie, cleveland and toledo. i would warmly invite you to our region. the arrival of the border patrol was quite a historic moment for us. we have been adjusting to this. with some difficulty. and i think if you have a moment, as you're flying over the country, we will take very good care of you. and it would be great to have a meeting between yourself, and not just your employees, but sheriffs, and state patrolmen and chiefs of police in our region. the adjustments have been slow. they are coming but i think they need some attention on the northern border. for example, we have check-in
phones that are there for those who travel to canada, and across the lake. i view those as a vulnerability. i think it's important that the department understand what's happening there. number two there are issues with shift differentials how the cbp is staffed to receive vessels, and aircraft. and some have told us that because you can earn overtime on sunday, the staffing tends to be higher on sunday when the vessels aren't arriving, and during the week there's a shortage of staffing. also, there are severe salary differentials between local sheriffs and police. and the homeland security presence in the region. there are differences about where the territory they are to explore, where the edges are. and i think it would be very boernt important to have this
discussion. i'm just inviting you at this point. i know you're extraordinarily busy, we would greatly appreciate your department's help in streamlining the process that integrates your services with our local law enforcement. we think that we're a very important part of the country and the great lakes have been kind of a nice warm bathtub for the world. and the necessity to patrol and so forth is fairly new to us. my question really revolves around the visa waiver program, asking you to take a look at the nation -- differentiation between the nations that are our friends, let's say starting with the members of nato including poland bulgaria romania and croatia. as you look at that program, and our relations with these countries, with poland alone, if they were to be included within the visa waiver program, we would probably have an
additional 600,000 travelers from that country and the other nato countries in a year. i don't know the statistics being used to deny inclusion in the program there. but my question to you directly, or for the record is what is blocking the inclusion of nato countries in our visa waiver program? are you using a rejection rate within the home countries? are you using an overstay rate? what can we do to treat these allies more respectfully? >> thank you for that question, ma'am. the qualifications for the visa waiver program are spelled out in statute. the principal qualification is the rejection rate, as i recall. or visa applications. it has to be below a certain
number in order to qualify for the program. last time i looked i believe poland did not qualify for that specific statutory criteria. >> i would appreciate sir, if your department could provide me with the actual regimen that's used to register those decisions. and if we have to do something to take a re-look at those four countries, surely poland, which has been a member of nato for quite a while now, i would appreciate it. >> sure thing. mostly it's in statute. i know there is also a legislative effort to broaden the parameters. and some call it the j.o.l.t. act that's in congress right now. >> thank you very, very much. and thank you to all of your staff, those who are here today. i represent a very large coast guard station, more than one actually. one that's the headquarters for the entire great lakes region, in cleveland and toledo. our border patrol station in ottawa county which is new to us. at toledo, many customs,
clearances go through there. and we have real issues out there with homeland security. so i hope you would accept my invitation. >> thank you, ma'am. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. young? >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning. nice to have you here in front of us. there was an oig report issued yesterday regarding the subject line, investigation into employee complaints about management of the u.s. citizenship and immigration services eb-5 programs. have you had a chance to review that yet? you're aware of it? >> if you're referring to the one concerning the deputy secretary, yes, i have read it. >> yes. i'm troubled by that report. are you? >> i believe that the report has some real lessons learned in it. that i have spoken to the deputy secretary about. >> okay. what are those lessons learned? i would be curious to know what they are. have you taken any actions that
the secretary -- what is seen here is some -- pretty much a deviation from the norm as to what the general practices are. and, you know, out of 700 regional center applications, your deputy secretary got involved in three. and of those three, they're pretty politically connected. you had former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, senator harry reid, virginia governor terry mccallive the brother of hillary rodham clinton calling in pushing to get these applications approved. all politically connected. all lobbying. in all three cases the ig said the applicants got what they wanted only because of the intervention. isn't that improper political influence? it sure looks like it. >> first of all as mr. mayorca
spells out, he received many inquiries about eb-5 applications, including from a number of members of congress on both sides of the aisle. there are three cases highlighted in the ig report, which i have read and which i have reviewed, that you referred to. and i believe that there are a number of things that can be drawn from the ig report that are useful. i've directed that a new protocol be put in place for eb-5 cases, and how we handle them. and under what circumstances we should accept communications from outsiders, with an interest in the process. and we get lots of them concerning eb-5, including from a number of your colleagues. and so i believe a new protocol is appropriate. i also believe that senior officials such as mr. mayor cas
needs to be sensitive to the appearance that is created when we become involved in the normal course of our bureaucracy. >> he's smarter than that. i mean, come on. being sensitive? out of the 700, the three that he got lobbied on political networks there, i mean he said okay, you have rank and file employees, the department of homeland security, from the bottom up who are seething because of this. >> i don't know that he was lobbied on just three. i suspect he was lobbied on a much larger number from republicans and democrats. let's not mischaracterize what actually happened here. i also believe that to a degree, we should try to be responsive to the public we serve including to their representatives in congress. and so i get phone calls from your colleagues all the time
about matters pending before my department. and i'm assuming that you would want me to a degree to try to be responsive to your constituents' concerns. i do believe that there's a balance to be struck, however so that we avoid the appearance of impropriety and we avoid the suspicion of our subordinates. that is a lesson to be learned from this report. and i'm sure he understands that now as well. >> what do you do to gain the confidence and trust back from the whistleblowers who threw up the red flag on this and only interviewed by the ig if their names and identities were kept quiet? that's how explosive i think this was and could still become still. what are you doing to regain their trust? >> i issued a directive yesterday to create a new protocol about the circumstances under which more senior officials become involved in the eb-5 cases, and the circumstances under which we
should be accepting overtures and communications from people with an interest in the process, including members of congress. >> you mentioned that two or three times. i understand. >> yes. >> i appreciate your feedback. i just don't get it. you're not going to do anything with the deputy secretary, he's going to stay where he is? >> the deputy secretary is a valuable member of our senior leadership team. he's working very, very hard in the public interest. he's working very hard to reform the management of our organization, improve morale, manage our management action group. he has been a valuable member of the team. definitely value added. and it would be a big loss to the men and women of our department if he were not full-time, fully engaged, occupying his job. i believe that. i work with him daily. i've read the report. i've read it very carefully. i believe he understands the lessons to be learned from it. and we need to move on.
>> so you think a new protocol and directive is going to help regain the trust in the rank and file folks those whistleblowers up and down the line? >> no, i wouldn't say that. i think that we should make sure that the rank and file, not just in cis understands that we as senior leaders need to be above reproach. and appearances also do matter. if that's the spirit of your question, i very much agree with that sir. >> i thank you for your time. i've gone over. i don't yield anything back i'm sorry. >> very well. thank you, sir. mr. price? >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. glad to have you here, and to hear of your plans for the coming year. we, on this committee, i believe, have exemplified a kind of bipartisan support for the mission of the department of homeland security.
and i hope we can continue in that spirit. i have to say though, that your agency, while it's one of the more widely supported agencies has been buffetted as few others have by partisan wins emanating from this institution. in particular, you were held hostage for the first three months of the fiscal year to a partisan conflict over immigration enforcement. you sub sistd for three months on a cr. and fortunately, you're past that now. i wonder what your reflections are on that. i know you briefly got into this in your opening statement. but i'd like for you to reflect on what those four months were actually like for the employees of dhs, what kind of delays, what kind of uncertainty what kind of functions were you not able to undertake during that period? are there lingering effects
although that adventure is over, are there lingering effects that we should be aware of? and then, related topic, of course is the looming threat of sequestration. either a bill marked up to sequestration levels, or actually another round of sequestration, if we don't manage to do at least a short-term budget agreement, what would you say about the impact that would have? and this time around, are there any kind of preempting mitigate mitigative steps you believe you should take? >> all good questions, sir. anytime the possibility of a government shutdown looms over working men and women who depend on a paycheck every two weeks that can't be easy, and can't be helpful to morale, and the efforts we are making to improve morale.
in the department. as i said earlier, our men and women actually do depend on their paychecks. it's not easy to just simply say, 80% of you are going to have to come to work anyway, so what's the big deal. asking people to work without knowing when and if they will ultimately get paid for the time they're working is a big deal for a lot of people. including people with medical issues, who depend upon their paychecks. i hope that now that we're fully funding -- funded this uncertainty that was looming over us is past and it doesn't have any lingering effects. i tried very hard to communicate to the work force on a regular basis about what was happening here in washington. so that they could understand the possibility of a shutdown. i communicated optimism the
entire period, to say i think congress will ultimately fund us. i thought it was important to be optimistic during that period of time. and fortunately, congress provided us a fully funded bill on march 3rd. and i'm very appreciative of that. as you know, sir, during the period we were on a cr, we couldn't fund a lot of our grant-making activity. which caused a lot of consternation in state and local law enforcement, state and local homeland security efforts. we were held to certain levels of spending. there were things that i needed to do, and i wanted to do for border security for the secret service that were held up as a result of being on a cr. but those efforts are now under way. and we're doing the things we need to do for example, for reforms of the secret service, in hiring the additional secret
service personnel for the upcoming presidential cycle. we have a fully funded fy '15 that we couldn't do before. so i am worried about lingering effects. i'm worried about the effects of uncertainty around sequestration. and i think it's incumbent on the leadership of my department including myself to be informative to the work force let them know what's going on but also communicate a sense of optimism. i continually tell our work force about the importance of their work the importance of our homeland security mission. it goes to national security public safety, as well as homeland security. and i too, am disappointed by the level of rancor of the issues we deal with. we are, fundamentally, in my opinion, a national security agency.
national security should be bipartisan nonpartisan. and i think there still is a fair amount of bipartisan spirit around national security issues. in washington. and i would like to try to promote that. >> thank you, sir. i'm out of time. i will have additional -- i appreciate that answer. that's a good answer. and i hope we can take it to heart. i will have some additional questions for the record. i just briefly want to underscore the importance of one, having to do with surveillance. that's something your department has been working on. through the national collaborative preparedness utilizing realtime data for ems poison control, pharmacies, other sources to quickly, quickly identify potential public health crises. whether they're -- they would apply, of course to deliberative attacks and also to
developing epidemics and pandemics. so we get realtime indications of what is developing. i know you are supporting that, and moving along with it. i am going to want you to provide for the record an update on that effort, and an indication of the kind of interactions you're having with other relevant agencies to bring that program along. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. price. mr. secretary congress required dhs to implement a biometric exit program to traffic foreign nationals entering and leaving the country, and identify those who have overstayed their visas. fiscal '16 budget requests an increase of $65.8 million to begin efforts to replace dhs's aging by yo metric system known as ident. the replacement of this system is necessary not only to implement the statutorily mandated by buy yo metric bram,
but to continue to identify potential national security threats. my first question sir, is can you please explain the importance of this system and the operational impact if it is not replaced and at what point will the system no longer continue to function? >> i agree that byiometric exit is an important goal. i agree with the importance of the latest technology. i think that given the global terrorist threat, monitoring the travel of individuals of suspicion between and among different countries is becoming all the more important. we have as i'm sure you know, the foreign fighter phenomenon. and so tracking who is entering and leaving our country is becoming all the more important. i think we've made significant strides since september 11th,
2001, in that regard. through the efforts of cbp. but we need to go further. i don't have a precise date for you in terms of when the existing you in terms of when the existing technology will no longer be functional. i agree fully with spirit of your question about the importance of achieving the latest technology here. >> thank you, sir. as chairman carter mentioned earlier in his opening statement we're unlikely to be able to fund all 1.5 million in increasing requested in the fiscal '16 budget. what is the total estimated cost for the replacement? >> i can get back with you. >> the recently passed fiscal
year appropriations bill requested your department for the coast guard and cbp. further the bill directed the department to develop a flying program using the coast guard as a model. >> the specific answer to that i'll take for the record but again, this is part of our overall unify effort initiative so that we have joint requirements for things like the coast guard and cbp in flying hour and aircraft.
i believe so, sir. >> very well. at this time i think i'd like to recognize the ranking member for some more questions. >> mr. secretary, as you know unaccompanied mexican children crossing the southern border are treated differently than children from central america. instead of a legal requirement that they be transferred to the offices of refugee as is the case with central american children. almost all mexican children who cross the border are quickly
repatriot repatriotated. it requires to evaluate whether the child may be a victim of trafficking or a fear of returning home and whether the child is able to make an independent decision to return home. if they're unable to make that determination then they are treated like children from other countries. i'm concerned in practice cbp may by repatriotating mexican children. can you tell us whether cbp is fully aware of this law and whether they are in fact following the requirements of the trafficking of victims of protection act with respect to
mexican children and, if not, what will be done to address any deficiencies in enforcing this law? >> i believe they are aware of it. i am very familiar with the provisions of that law having looked at it extensively last summer when we were in the midst of considering amending that law. i do know that a return of a mexican unaccompanied child requires there be a choice made by the child. that's what the law says. i would expect our personnel to be cognizant of that. you ask a minor to make a decision mandated by law there's decisions that have to go into that to ensure voluntary. i would which part cbp to look into that and be sensitive to
it. in the spirit of your question i will also for myself inquire about what measures we employ to make sure that a decision by a minor such as that is one that we're satisfied is truly voluntary. >> one of the concerns is whether cbp is the appropriate group to be asking the children. i'd like to work with you on that. >> okay. >> in addition to this influx of unaccompanyied children last year, there was a rapid growth in the number of families crossing the border. the department responded by establishing a significant number of new family detention bids. in fact, the number of family detention beds will have gone
from 85 at this time last year, to what is expected to be more than 3,000 by the end of the year. i understand it will serve as deterrent, many of us are concerned about the prospect so many families held in detention settings for extended periods of time. are there better options than detention and is the real issue the speed of which a person's cases adjudicated before an immigration judge. i also understand a direct court has imposed a preliminary injunction on the i.c.e. policy of detaining families without consideration of releasing them on bond. why did i.c.e. have such a
policy? can you respond to some complaints this i've heard that even though i.c.e. has begun offering bond to some families the amounts for bond is too high for families to afford. >> part of our budget's mission includes 122 million for our alternatives to detention program. it remains the case also that the majority of family units that are apprehended at the border are bonded, released. we have increased the bed space. it was only 85 last summer. we have a more permanent facility. i believe that the expansion of the family unit space frankly, is a good thing. many people don't agree with it,
but i believe it was a good thing. i think the facility we have now is better than the one we had. i've been there myself. i've seen it. it's a residential center. the spike dropped off sharply beginning in mid-june and the numbers are still low. this is the time of year they will creep up. they will creep up right now and remain about 20% lower than they were at this time last year. i hope that continues. i think we need to be prepared and maintain this for our overall border security efforts. you're correct about the lawsuit. we sought reconsideration of that decision by the judge here
in washington, d.c. i think it's an important capability to maintain. the injunction there went with regard to those who have asserted a fair claim. it's that class of individuals. bond decisions are made by an immigration judge and when there's a credible fear assertion made. >> just for clarification, are you saying the detention centers are preferable to alternatives to detentions which are less costly. >> it depends upon individual circumstances. there are a large, large number of individuals who are a pre apprehended who are released on bond and not detained.
>> thank you. secretary johnson, the budget request included $215.8 million of continued construction of the saint elizabeth's headquarters complex circle. that's a lot of money to absorb in a period of fiscal constraint constraint. i understand the project won't be completed while this administration is in office. what is the benefit to the taxpayer and will it save money? >> there are a couple of benefits. i know working at the pentagon of the value of having a common headquarters for all your components in a cabinet level
department. number two, the economic benefit to the taxpayer is greater efficiency is achieved in terms of the leasing arrangements we have around town right now. number three, the request for 215 million in fy '16 is larger than what we have for fy '16. if it's fully funded to that level it will be cheaper in the long run and get us there on a quicker timetable. that's what i'm told. i tend to believe that. it makes common sense. the more fully you fund something, the less expensive it becomes in the long run because it's more efficient to get there quicker. i've been to the st. elizabeth's campus many times. i've walked the grounds. i've seen the virtue of being in a common space. right now we're spread across 30 different locations in the washington area. there's a lot of shortcomings to
our ability to carry out our mission in our current space which was always intended to be temporary. there are a lot of things i cannot do and my staff cannot do in the space we're in right now in terms of secure areas, in terms of telecommunications capability and the like. so, this is a good project that needs to get done. i think funding at that level of 215 million will achieve savings over the long run for the taxpayer. >> it's my understanding there's been a revised plan which is plan or the cost for the revised plan? >> the overall cost are lower, which is why we've asked for as much as we have in fy '16. >> it's also my understanding that over $1 billion has been spent by dhs on this project.
have the cost estimates been accurate and have there been overruns? >> i suspect there's been overruns. that one billion goes to the creation for the most part of the creation of the new coast guard headquarters at the same site. that's now completed. it's a nice facility. i know the coast guard is glad to be there. like many projects it's taken longer to get there. i think it's never to shorten the timetable and lessen the cost. >> is the project on schedule? >> i don't believe it is conforming to the original schedule. i think the current schedule, if we get the funding we need for this year will get us to completion in the year 2021. that's my recollection. >> one final question. how do you prioritize the 215.8 million for this project over
additional ships and maintenance at the coast guard? >> good question. in different economic circumstances if we had a different -- if we were trying to get to a lower top line, i would probably prioritize national security, maritime security, basic homeland security over a new headquarters. we have a higher top line request this year. the economy is improving. i think that a new headquarters which we always intended to have for department of homeland security. in the long run it achieves savings. >> thank you, sir.
>> mr. secretary, we added some language in the appropriation bill that i'm going to ask it be continued. my professionalism of your cbp officers i they do a great job but sometimes they mistreat people coming across. again, if it's a bad apple you go after the bad apple, but we have to have some professional professionalism professionalism. congratulations and hopefully some of the folks that want to implement over there and hopefully y'all can implement that and i really appreciate that. again, kudos to your folks in the south texas area. let me go back to the unaccompanied kids. let me add one more factor and
let me give you my perspective. last year was a difficult year for some of us to address that issue. i know it was very difficult for you. folks on both sides were taking different positions. i have the say, and i've told this one of the reporters from new york or whatever i said you were very courageous under the pressure and while some people were for it and others were against it, no names mentioned, you stood firm on that. it was difficult for a lot of us on that issue. one factor i'd like to remind everybody here is on kids going back to mexico there was an agreement signed between the u.s. government and mexican government and allow the mexican con consulate.
they're very protective of their people. they say sure you don't want to file for an asylum. you sure you're not a victim of sex trafficking law, et cetera, et cetera. at that time if they feel satisfied then hand them over which is the social services. there's another component that's involved there that we got to keep in mind that there was an agreement that was signed between the u.s. and mexico. just want to make sure you keep following that agreement. the last say so is by the mexicans before that fiej decision is sent over. we have a copy of the agreement. just want everybody to follow that extra step with the government to make that final decision. the unaccompanied kids, again, i've been looking at the in your
opinions numbers. last month i think it was 75 unaccompanied kids. at least down there in the valley. 75 a day. 75 unaccompanied kids a day. multiply that by 30 and it will give you a pretty large number. that does not include family units which are kids with parent or family member there. if you add those numbers you're talking about large numbers. again, i understand it's nothing like we saw last year, but i think a while ago you said the unaccompanied kids were 20% lower. >> it's about 40% lower. >> give us some real numbers. i gave you the 75 day. >> february 2015 akrozcross the southern border. apprehensions were 2,395.
>> 2,395. >> 2014 apprehensions were 4,845. >> you still talking about 2400 for that month? >> yes, my educated guess by march will be higher. probably around 26 or 2700 level. march of 2014, unaccompanied kids was 7,176. look at january, january 2015 unaccompanied kids this year was 2,121. that's actually the lowest monthly number we've had in quite a while. january 2014 was 3,706. through the fiscal year, fiscal year 2015, i have the exact
numbers here. it's running about kids unaccompanied kids running about 40% lower. i hope it stays that way. we have to be prepared in the event it doesn't. >> in total numbers what are you talking for year 2015? >> i know percentages. i'm glad the percentages are there but what are we talking about? >> last year 2014 total number including the mexican uacs, i believe was 68000. take out, i'm doing this from memory now. if you take out the mexican children, i believe the total number was about 58,000. i suspect if it stays at the current rate it will come in at around 40%, 60% of 68,000, whatever that number is.
>> maybe less than 30,000. it's still a lot. does that uac cover also family units? >> no, that's a different number. >> right. which means you've got unaccompanied kids and the kids that come in with family units, that's another number. can you give us roughly what are the numbers for fy '15. >> january family units across the southern border. we're talking about individuals. january was a total of 1,622. january 2014 was 2,286. february 2015 it was 2,043.
february 2014 3,281. then the numbers last year like the numbers for the unaccompany kids reached their peaks in the months of may and june. the high was 16,330. june 2014 was 10,620. >> i think you're very good. you're very intelligent. even though the numbers go down we're still talking -- >> it's a compliment. >> it's still thousands of kids and family units are coming in. i know you're officers are doing a better job of managing that. for us that live on the boardrder, it's simple, do you do catch and release. when you live on the border you
talk to your con stitchch constituents and when you talk about catch and release it's a sensitive issue. as long as they treat people with dignity and respect no abuse in any way or form, i think that's something that we need to look at. i'm glad it's a lot closer to the border where the activity is at. i still want to agree with the ranking member we need to look at alternatives measures but again, for us that live on the border and have constituents on the border catch and release is a very sensitive issue that we just don't agree with the catch and release situation. thank you. you've been very courageous. you really have. last cupper was tough for a lot of us. thank you. >> thank you. we'll note the secretary's he referred to will be made part of the record.
i'm fine with my questions but i believe there's some follow up. >> it's my understanding that another reason for detention is that a detained person's case adjudicated much more quickly before an immigration judge and those who are in an alternative detention. it just seems to me that a better use of costly detentions were to put more resources into having these cases more quickly adjudicate adjudicated. i don't know if you want to comment on that. >> that's something we're looking at that exact issue right now. the time it takes to adjudicate a case where no credible fear is asserted and where a credible fear claim is asserted. it's true the cases move faster. if the person is not been bonded out. if the cases are moving slower
and the cases are moving slower then there are fewer cases to handle. i think it's important to note our budget request includes the request for additional attorneys. the doj request is a request for additional judges. we like the additional attorneys to go along with the additional judges so we can move the cases more efficiently. >> thank you. >> thank you. i want to thank you for being before us today and for answering our questions. again, i wish you success in all your endevours. >> thank you, sir.
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let us know what you think about the program. like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. next, ohio governor john kasich. he delivered a message promoting moderate republican values including programs to help those in prison become members of society and helping the mentally ill. governor kasich served from 1983 to 2001 in the house of representatives. he ran for president at the end of his term but lost the nomination to george w. bush. [ applause ] >> it's great to be here. some of my former colleagues, back when congress actually
worked. dick sweat from here. he's a terrific guy and one of my great great friends chris shays. i love shays. he was on the budget committee with me and then, you know, chris with john. i've always said john was the smartest guy i've ever worked with in house and senate. you agree with that. you better agree with that. you won't get out the room if you don't agree with that. what can you say about greg? i understand he hasn't been at one of these for a long time. i'm really honored the fact he would come here this morning. these are my pals and my friends and comrades in arms and people that, for the young people in this room, these were people who made the congress work and helped to make america work. would you give them a round of applause. they're my friends.
[ applause ] this is my first time back in new hampshire that i can think of. bruce said it was 16 years when i was here last. i have to tell you when i was here 16 years ago one of the most profound times was i did these coffees. i was a young man really young. a member of the house and i figured the way i could get known is to show up in people's living rooms and let them talk to me and ask me questions and get to know me and all that kind of stuff. we had this one coffee towards the end of the campaign and i was in the kitchen with this lady. i didn't know her, and we were standing at the sink and we were just going on and on about this and that and this. i'm thinking to myself this lady she's absolutely going to be for me if i can run for president.
i've got her. she looked at her watch and she said, i really enjoyed this conversation. when do you think the candidate will get here. yeah. that's when i kind of knew the fix was in, chris. it was all over at that point. that's when i kind of knew that i had to leave. i have to tell you i have a lot of fond memories of new hampshire. the message i took home was, hey, we like you. it's a little early. come back another time. it was really terrific. my wife said how much she enjoyed coming the new hampshire where people really understand the issues. it's a great place. i'm thrilled to be back here. after that conversation with that lady i knew it was time for me to get out. i not only said i was not going to run for president and i
endorsed george bush, but i also didn't want to be in congress anymore. i was done. i had been there for nine terms. i decided to leave because i had accomplished the biggest things that i wanted to achieve. number one is i spent ten years of my life fighting to balance the federal budget. in some of my early votes first vote i took on the kasich budget. in that vote the vote was 405 to 30. i had the 30. okay. they flash all this up on the board when they count all the reds and the greens and it was almost all reds. some of my democratic friends came to the floor and voted for my budget because they didn't want me to be embarrassed. i remember walking back to my office and my staff was really down. i said this is fantastic. there are 29 other people that think we know how to run
america. we're just getting started. it was year after year after year and chris you were one of the ones that voted for me. budgets are about the people. they're about values. we kept at it and getting more votes. then i became the republican leader on the budget. we went through a government shutdown because frankly the administration wanted to cook the books. i didn't want any part of it. negotiations with the president didn't go very well. aftera while when they understood our determination, they came. a while when they understood our determination, they came. we actually were able to pass the first out line for real balanced budget and we also not
only did we look and review all the spending but we cut taxes at the same time which was amazing. cut the capital gains tax. what happened '97 agreement resulted in first balanced budget since man walked on the moon. i was able to declare victory with all the work i put in. that was done. at that point we had a $5 trillion budget surplus. what more was there for me to do. at the same time i had become a military reformer. i was involved in the reformer with the spare parts with the hammers and screwdrivers that cost all this money. i was involved in the way in which the pentagon operated. you might remember the services worked very independent of one another. in the war in lebanon our marines could be on the beach and see a navy ship out in the ocean, but they couldn't communicate with one another
because the radios didn't work. we went to work. a lot of senior members who included me and there were many of them were democrats. they were conservative democrats who had served in the war. we put together the gold water nickels bill which created the joint command structures, created special forces command. it got the services to work together. if you don't work together in time of war, you have the problems you have in lebanon. you have the helicopters that crashed during the carter administration. it was the most dramatic change in the way the military operated in modern history. i was glad to be a part of that. finally, i was a member of the political odd couple working with ron, a liberal democrat from california to limit the production to b-2 bomber. they wanted to buy 132 of them. the mission was the fly in the middle of the soviet union to
drop more bombs. i thought how many more nuclear weapons can you drop in one day. i said we should limit the production. we should take the savings from that and put it into advanced weapons so pilots don't have to fly over targets and use the weapons a tt a distance to accomplish our goal in a much different way. at the end of the day we went from 132 bombers down to 20. i think it's important when we build defense that we have a purpose there and where we build systems to meet the threat, we don't build systems just to be in a position of having some sort of job creation program. i believe that defense ought to be what it's all about having systems that meet the threat. with accomplishing that i decided to leave. i went out for ten years. i went to work for lehman brothers. i worked in a two-man office in ohio and traveled all over the country. i learned so much.
one of the things i was able to do was work with sequoia capital. people were so successful. what got me so thrilled is they looked at the future and created the future. i love the future. i don't like to think in the past and only in the present. to be out there i'll never forget i was in the offices and a guy comes running through the building, a little ponytail, torn up jeans. i'm sitting in one of these glass offices and my friend says let me grab that guy. he slipped away. he said you should have met him. i said who was the person. he said he's got this new company you've never heard of. you will hear about it. what's the name of company? it's this little thing called youtube. being out there and understanding venture capital ideas, how to bring things
really to the fore was thrilling for me. i was a giant television star at fox news. i was the star of heart land. you all remember that. i know you want them to bring it back but i'm not available at this point in time. i served on boards of companies and made speeches all over the country and wrote a book. i was having a great time in the private sector. i love the fact that i'm not in government anymore. the lord has created each of us special for a special purpose. we're made unique and we have a job to do on this earth. for those that hear that and answer the call, in my opinion, that's how you find meaning in life.
my mother's mother who could barely speak english and yet i've had a terrific career. it was like john time to saddle up again. i flirted in 2006 about running for governor but i hadn't been out long enough. i wanted to be out. i want to breathe the air. in 2010 the call was clear. i decided to run for governor. my wife wasn't all that thrilled about it. she supports me in what i do. it's like you have given so much of your life to public service, why don't you do more for charity. i said i think i need to do incumbents in ohio don't lose but i was able to get a victory.
i had already had a political career. my job was to step up to the plate and gather a group of people that solve problems. if i won again after serving four years, great. if i don't win great. let me do my job and help fix my precious state. we were dying. dying in ohio. they take about the flyover state, people didn't look down when they flew over ohio. when i come, we're $8 billion in the hole. $8 billion in the hole of our budget. it was calculated about 18% we were in the hole. people said you need to raise taxes. i thought well look, if you have a restaurant and you don't have any customers, you can't raise prices. nobody will show up. you got to cut prices and you got to change the menu. we started digging in to the
entire budget. i have to tell you it put the band back together. there were people that had worked with me well over 20 years who said i want to be part of this. if you're going to do this, count me in. we reengineered the state of ohio. i saw some folks this morning from the aarp, you know what we did. we provided some of the most robust home health care in kun tri country. you shouldn't be forced into a nursing home. stay in your own home where you'll be more comfortable and happy and less expensive. we reengineered everything in the state. that 8$8 billion hole started to disappear. we also lost 350,000 jobs. when i think about that i don't think about like 350,000. i think about our ohio stadium that holds 100,000 plus. that means the stadium was filled three times and people walked out of that stadium and went home and told their kids
and their spouse at dinner. i lost my job today. where i come from when the wind blew the wrong way people lost their jobs. i understand the pain of unemployment. it's personal. it creates uncertainty in mind of person who loses their job. it creates fear in the lives of children in a family. 350,000 jobs and our debt was hanging in balance. we were getting ready to have our debt downgraded. i went to new york, and i said we can fix all this. they said we don't know how you can do it. i said just watch. where are we today? well, we're no longer $8 billion in the hole. frankly, you need to know, that almost half of the states in this country are in structural imbalance. did you know that? some of them run by republican governors. can't figure out how to balance their budget. we're totally and completely structurally sound in ohio, and
we went from $8 billion in the hole to where at the end of this budget cycle we will have a $2 billion surplus in a period of about four years. we were down those 350,000 jobs. now we're up. all but about 340,000 jobs to the good. think about this turn around in the period of just a little more than four years. taxes. we've cut taxes by more than anybody in the country. $3 billion in tax cuts, and we're going to have at least another 500 million dollar tax cut in this budget. right senate president? i have to check with him. he's sort of the boss. $3.5 billion in tax cuts including killing the death tax in the state of ohio.
we're very proud of all this. it shows the attacking problems can lead to economic growth and things we've always known, managing your government and look, when you go to balance budgets don't think about slashing and burning. think about google yahoo, think about paypal. think about amazon. the key in the 21st century is how do you reengineer things to give you more value at a lower price that brings more customer satisfaction. what that requires is, you don't pay attention to the special interest groups. they all have their particular point of view. they want to cling to the status quo. think differently. think big. think creatively. that can make such a big difference. what we found in ohio is we moved to eliminate this definite and to build the surpluses is people pretty happy with what's
going on. pretty amazing situation. so folks as we created this economic growth some conservatives and some republicans believe that economic growth is an end to itself. i do not believe that. i believe that economic growth is a means to an end. you know what we've done in ohio. we have reached those people who have unfortunately lived in the shadows for far too long. the mentally ill, the drug addicted. the developly disabled, people in prison and we put a lot of emphasis on raising the prosperity and opportunities for minorities in the state of ohio. we brought some of our money back from washington. we've been able to put more resources into our communities. let me tell you a bit about this. we have 50000 people in our
prisons. we give people a chance to rehabilitate themselves and give them chance to get their lives back together and get whole again. 20% of the people that sit in our prisons have some form of mental illness. you're bipolar and we're going to lock you up in a prison and release you to where? to who? so we can put you back in the prison. it's immoral don't you think ladies and gentlemen? it's immoral. we made a promise to the mentally ill, once we deinstitutionize them we will take care of them in our community. they're so easy to run over. not in ohio. with be proper medication and
oversight people with mental illness can get their lives back. we can't afford to have 10,000 of these folks in our prisons. it makes no sense. drug addicted. 80% of our prison population has one form of addiction or another. take them from the prison setting and move them into the community with the same kind of he rehabilitation. we expect we will have a 10% recidivism rate for those. give them their lives back. for the working poor you work hard and you try to get a little raise and you know what they do they take your child care away from you. we have a bigger problem. we talk about marginal rates for the rich. think about marginal railtes for the poor. how do you work yourself out of a situation and the minute you get raise you lose your child
care. you can't take the raise. we're changing that in ohio. we're raising the ability to get child care up to 300% of poverty so you can become independent. if dad is living in the home with kids and mom they lose their benefits. dad either leaves or dad has to lie about who he is and what he's doing. what we ought to be doing is keep families together. we shouldn't be having federal laws or state laws or anything that break down the family because we know the stronger the family is the better off the future of the children are. with mie flornorityiesminorities, we do have set aside programs. i want our kids in the minority community to have heroes. that's what it's really all
about. ladies and gentlemen, we do treat these folks who have the mental illness and the drug addiction and the working poor and these are debates in all the states about what we should do, but we move quickly beyond that. excuse me. now we're involved in welfare reform. now i'm involved in welfare reform 2.0. one of the things that we have to do is to make sure that when somebody's down, we not only give them the temporary help to get them up but then we need to give them the tools that they need to become fully successful in life. we are now proposing and this will be accomplished through the legislateture the welfare reform plan and here is what it says. if you're on welfare and you go and you're on food stamps or general relief or medicaid or any of these things the, you can
go into a welfare office and have four or five caseworkers. four or five. what we're telling the local welfare people is you get one caseworker. you coordinate all activity. not only do you find out that the needs of the person that comes into the office but you need to find out why they have needs. once you know what the needs are you mustards address those needs. get them on their feet and end the cycle of poverty. if you do not do this, i'll take your money away and do it to somebody who will do it. there's no excuse for not giving people chance to get up on their feet and be successful independent people again. you wanted to clap go ahead and do it. [ applause ] i want to give you a couple of
lessons and i want to take a couple of questions. first of all, this is why i love judd and chris because i work with them. leaders don't take polls ladies and gentlemen. i try to tell my colleagues in the legislatetureure. you do your job. if you worry about election or re-election you're not doing your job. if you do your job, you're likely to win. it would be not fun to do your job and forget all the political considerations and lose an election. that's not good. think if you don't do your job you play politics and you lose your election. we don't have time for regrets in public life. you get your hands on the wheel, drive the darn car. my first years just to prover to
you how easy it is to be popular. in the middle of doing all these budge efforts and whole variety things including reform of public employees i got the sky high approval rating of 31%. okay. it's not that funny. you want to know something, folks. might have been depending on what poll you look it. it never bothered me. i drove the press crazy because it didn't bother me. i wasn't in it to be popular. i was in it to try to fix the state. when you lead without poll taking, do you know what happens, it's contagious. then people who work with you feel empowered. they feel like they can do things that are different that they're not chained to the
status quo. that they're free. in the first year i was at 31% aprooufrla approval approval. last year we had a little election in ohio. i won 86 out of 88 counties. cuyohago county which obama won by 40 points i carried. with 26% of the african-american vote and 60% of the vote from women. un you know why it happened? people felt better. they felt ohio was going in the right direction and they responded to the leadership. now, leaders shouldn't be paying attention to polls. i look at d.c. today and judd, when you and i left, it was trillions of surplus. now we're, i don't know how much 18 trillion in the whole with
the numbers growing. there are many headlines that says no one is paying attention to the debt anymore. that's why i've been on a crusade calling for a balance budget amendment to the u.s. constitution. [ applause ] i've been doing this since i was 26 years old. our children are at risk. our grandchildren are at risk. we just keep ringing up debt and congress just seems to have no intention of being able to come to the problems and deal with this. if we didn't have a balanced budget requirement in ohio, we'd be in the hole. they would figure out ways to avoid getting that job done. if we pass a balance budget amendment, a logical one with exceptions for war and economic calamity, it will change the culture of washington. presidents come and presidents go and the debt keeps rising. you know here in new hampshire,
we know all across the country you don't manage your debt, it will kill you. i'm going to continue to travel all over america to do what i can to get a balanced budget amendment. it's the republicans that are trying to kill it because they say if we have a convention god only knows what will happen. i say, first of all, anything we do i'm not sure congress would pass it but coming out of convention 38 states have to ratify. i'm not sure 38 states would agree on mother's day these days the way things are in this country. this bottom line is to be worried about some some unexpected consequence is to say i've got to stay in a building that's on fire because if i walk outside i might get hit by a meteor. this needs to get done. uniters and not dividers.
aren't you sick of all the divisions in america. rich and poor. black and white. republicans and democrats. i'm right. you're wrong. you don't know what you're doing. i've got all the answers. i didn't say that, but what you said many heard. you know what the fact is, you think america's strong when all we do is fight with one another. america is strong when we're together. by the way the only task force i know of in the country with community and police relations, i have a democratic african-american who is the co-chairman of this task force along with our head of public safety, the former head of the highway patrol. they've conducted meetings around the state about the issues of police and community. you can't sweep this under the rug. when a percentage of americans
republican. he had his point of view, we listened to it and accommodated him. that's what america needs to be. america needs to understand that they have a chance, and it's up to the leaders in it's up to the leaders in our country to communicate that every single human being, regardless of their circumstance has an opportunity to be successful. to be able to live the american dreamle of the and that takes effort on the part of leaders to sometimes cross their own certain philosophy or to cross their own interest groups and reach out to unite and lift americans. en that's what we're all about. and you don't have to give up your principles in the course of it. some people don't like set asides. my feeling is giving people the chance to become entrepreneurs is fantastic. and if you don't like it that's your problem not mine because
i'm going to do it. because i know uniting people will work for our country and work for our state. and finally folks, we've got to restore these values, what i call foundational values in our country. what are they? i'm not talking about the hot button issues on talk radio or talk television. here's what i'm talking about one, personal responsible. you know the dog ate my homework doesn't get it in america, okay? personal responsibility being willing to accept it. we all make mistakes, all of us do. but accept personal responsibility. you will get better. resilience. you know everybody shouldn't get a trophy just because they show up. that's where we are today. you know you've got a big soccer team. they got more trophies than they got kids. everybody gets one, okay? that's not the way life is. and it's a rude awakening when you find out that where's my
trophy. you call home, mom, i didn't get a trophy today. what happened? resilience is so important. because what we learned from the, some of the greatest people that we witnessed throughout history is they knock you down you get back up again. i was so glad this morning so see my kids' grade cards. how how's that for 7:00? they struggle with some subjects, and you didn't lay down. hey, girls, you did great. i love you. okay resilience really matters. empathy. you know there's a real attack on welfare you know, just dismiss these folks pull them up by their bootstraps. do you know what it would be like to live in a single family home with a couple kids where you get up in the morning and you don't want to leave your
house because you hear gunshots? you never really knew who your father was? you never had a role model that you can fashion your life about any different than what you know which is poverty trouble, violence, drug dealers? the person who's mentally ill or drug addicted? that's what the mayor of manchester, seen 100 heroin overdoses, and it's across our country, it's not in one little area of our country. understand the challenge of coming back. understand the pain that somebody else has. the walk in their shoes for a while. and you know what it will do? it will lift you. it will open your mind. it will allow us to be united. teamwork. come on. they got off the barge, right? do you ever think about these, how do these guys jump off that
barge, knowing they were never likely to go home. he'll do my job. you do your job. we'll rush the beach and we'll save the next generation. that's what america's about. it's about teamwork. it's about us figuring out a way to be part of a great mosaic. family. is hear a more important value than family in america? we immediate to try to get kids, stop kids from having kids. it doesn't work. and finally, faith. to me faith is not about the don'ts. faith is about the dos. it's about what we can do as human beings and individuals, to understand that the lord's got a purpose for us. find it, use it. that's the key to satisfaction in life. those values are critical to restoring america. they've been critical to
restoring ohio. people say why are you here? i think it may be worth you hearing this from a guy that's been around a long time. i love my state and i love my country. and i want it to do better and better and better. not just for me, but for my kids and my kids' kids. our country, check in on the things that made us great. we'll be fine. we will be fine. thank you all, and god bless. [ applause ] . >> the governor has agreed to take your questions. i'd like to start off. this morning he spent some time with students.
the and and interesting that the first question that came up was on foreign policy. so i'd like to ask him to give us his thoughts on foreign policy. >> what kind of question is ha that? i mean, give me your thoughts on foreign policy. you know look, i think first of all we have to recognize that america is a special country with special values. we don't want to recognize that, you can forget it. but because we have we're a special country with special values, i think it's really important that we are able to let the world know about our values. and i think what's been happening here over the last few years is the fact that we've retreated in the world. and when we retreat, it creates a vacuum. now when we retreat, what does that mean? well, it means our friends are not sure who we are. and it even confuses our enemies
and emboldens our enemies in a lot of ways. now i think it's really important we don't try to travel around the world remaking every country in the image of america. but it is important that we can assert ourselves, and, you know, i think i was the first leading republican that i know of in the country to say that you want to fight isis? you just can't coulddo it from the air. we need to drove a coordinated effort. and if it means that u.s. boots on the ground is necessary so be it. but we're not there to change the way these countries work. we're there to restore order to assert a lot of the values that we have that everybody has the right to live free. so if that's what we need to do we do it. we go and get out. and we have to decide where to go based on u.s. interests. over the course of my career i had a chance to vote ons the war in lebanon, the civil war in
lebanon. i voted not to have u.s. troops in lebanon. i don't like civil wars it's not a please by and large where u.s. ought to place themselves. i supported the first gulf war which was critical to us. you know i have a hard time understanding -- let me tell you something i think about. i have a hard enough time convincing legislators of things i want to do. and i can just imagine how difficult it is to work with the french, the germans, the british, the spanish the italians to say we need to have very tough sanctions against a guy who's trying to gobble up territory in the name of putin, vladimir putin. it makes no sense. you can't do everything by yourself. you have to assert your values and bring everybody along. you can't do it by yourself. but we have the moral authority and standing to be leaders and to bring people with us, and we need to do it and we, of course, need to fight radical
islam. that question, like what do you think about foreign policy is like what do you think about life? if you have something more specific i'd like to try to answer it but the united states has to be engaged in this world. without us the world is in chaos. it's just plain and simple. and all those books about america being a, you know, being out there and being arrogant, maybe that goes with the territory of being a leader, but we can't slump in our job across this globe. better be easy. i think i'm doing okay. >> thank you governor very much for being here your time and a great job in ohio. thank you very much for all of that. [ applause ] i had to tell you, i never got a trophy either, okay. my name is bob james, aarp here
in new hampshire. i'd like to ask you a question on social security not so much for myself a graduate of world war ii and the great generation, but for my children and their children. to strengthen social security or at least tell them that they're paying every month into it. will it be there for them? >> you know it was a poll years ago that said more kids believed in ufos, they'd see a ufo than a social security check. i once had a plan to deal with social security when i was in the congress, which was to go to a wage base to start people at a somewhat lower level, which they don't know what level they're going to start at, and that would put them in a position to make social security that and a few other things and i think george bush had a plan very similar to that am i right, judd and john? and it was kind of rejected. and now, ago you get farther and farther down the road, the challenges get greater and greater. sir, let me -- i don't have a