tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 14, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
as if they were desserts to be had for a minimal price and the fear and again, helplessness in their eyes was something that i will never forget. contrasted with the sense of liberation just a few minutes later and the hope that they had that they were going to potentially get home and be back safely with their parents. all i can say is thank goodness that we were the ones there that day instead of real sex predators. not only did we liberate over 120 innocent girls and boys that day, couple la tiffumulatively with the three missions done simultaneously and reunite them with families and get them much needed resources to start the long road to recovery, but, again, we trained local law enforcement with investigative techniques and soft ware and they've called us numerous times to report on their replication of other stings where they've taken down other traffickers and saved even
more children. people ask why the utah attorney general went to colombia. my reply number one, because such a high percentage of those traveling abroad for sex parties are american. some statistics suggest 80% or more of sex tourists may be american. i'm embarrassed by that fact. that americans provide such demand. and i feel a responsible for remedy the scourge that my fellow countrymen have helped to create. secondly, helping stop human trafficking no matter where it exists is vitally important. and to be clear, no state funds were used. i was not going down in my official capacity as the attorney general of utah in fact, nobody knew except for our closest law enforcement partners. three, and i think this is critical to this discussion creating a firewall in countries like colombia and the many other countries that o.u.r. and other
organizations like them have established to prevent future victor raxes from entering the shores of the united states and my state of utah. through the conference of western attorneys general, i and other state a.g.s conducted bilateral raintraining with a.g.s in mexico, el salvador. and i've met with the ambassadors of japan peru, the philippines and many others including the filipino ambassador again today to discuss further coordination and training. no leader with whom i have spoken from these countries is opposed to this even greater coordination as envisioned by the international meagan's law. hr-515 also widely provides for adding to the minimum standards for the principle diplomatic school the u.s. employs in this area. the trafficking and persons report by our state department. with its various tiers and incentives for sister nations to achieve tare 1 status. international meagan's law makes
sense. to alert law enforcement authorities in destination countries will allow our law enforcement partners worldwide to be more vigilant when known american child sex offenders are entering their countries. sometimes for legitimate travel, but too often for repeat offenses of child crimes sex parties, and sex tours. and it will also provide law enforcement at the federal, state, and local level here in the united states a much better chance to prevent domestic times when convicted child sexual abusers from other countries enter u.s. territory. fighting human trafficking is not a republican issue or a democrat issue. it is a humanitarian issue. it transcends any political difference or ideological divides. its devastating reach grasps all walks of life and needs a united front for us to find success and give hope to victims and survivors worldwide. i would urge the senate and anyone listening to this hearing to support passage of this law and others aimed at cushing and
eventually ending child sex trafficking. thank you. >> thank you so very much mr. attorney general, and thank you for bringing up the international meagan's law. it has passed the house three times. we believe it will get its hearing and be acted upon by the u.s. senate. meagan kanca before i go to miss ballard the 7-year-old girl who was brutally slain in hamilton township, new jersey, my hometown, no one knew that that pedophile lived across the street. he invited her into the house raped her, then brutally killed her and that led to the enactment of meagan's law in all 50 states and district of columbia and throughout the territories. it is a transformational effort and the international part, as you know it's all about noticing countries of destination of convicted pedophiles. there was a gao report that found that something like 4,500 convicted pedophiles in one year
alone, according to the general accountability office, got passports and they're good for ten years and then they go about traveling. and they travel to places like colombia like thailand you know brazil all over the world and they abuse children in secrecy. this would give the ability of that government to deny a visa or to watch them very closely so they don't abuse our kids. thank you for bringing that up as a preventative means of mitigating this horrific crime. mr. ballard? >> thank you, mr. chair. >> good afternoon mr. chair and esteemed members of the committee. thank you very much for this opportunity. my name is tim ballard. i'm the founder and ceo of operation underground railroad. i served for 12 years as a special agent for the department of homeland security where i served on the internet crimes against children task force and the jump team. i worked as an undercover operative infiltrating organizations at home and abroad who are in the business of
abusing children sexually trafficking them. in 2006 with the passage of the adam walsh protect act, congress opened the doors for u.s. agents to better investigate these cases especially internationally, and i was one of the first agents assigned to a team that would go out and use our undercover skills to infiltrate these organizations, looking for american travelers who are engaging in sex with children. i was proud to represent the united states in dealing with this horrific issue. however, i often felt helpless by the fact that the vast majority of the child victims we would find fell outside the purview of the united states or for that matter any developed nation with the tools that could save them. unless i could tie a u.s. traveler to the case i would not be able to rescue the children, even the ones that we were able to identify as being victims. it's an issue of the sovereignty. it's outside of the jurisdiction. and i understood that.
however, that doesn't mean that we couldn't be doing more. as an agent i once had the opportunity to work on a specific case in colombia. i did my due diligence and as a team we located children who were being trafficked and, again, we were told that if it was not going to end in a u.s. courtroom, that there were no resources available and there's little we could do except send a reference and sometimes that's just not enough. and that was discouraging and i grew frustrated being told no many times, though i understood, clearly understood the reasons why. because of this, i decided to leave and create operation underground railroad which we did last year. we since went wan toback to colombia as a private organization, and as we talked about and seen on the screens, were were were able to full off one of the largest rescue operations we know about by setting up sting operations
that consisted of ruse, child sex parties. we were able to help the colombians rescue more than 120 victims in one day. and to see these children, as young as 11 years old, to look into their eyes as they are tearful, scared to death and knowing that they were lured out of this by various means. this group in colombia had actually hired a beauty queen from cartahena who could lend credibility to their ruse and bring these children and they told us as young as 9 years old they would start recruiting them to be models when, in fact, they were being sold and raped for money. what's most interesting, i think, about this case in colombia, is that homeland security agents ended up arresting an american citizen named dennis dejesus. dejesus caught wind of our fake sex party in colombia and was heading down from florida when u.s. agents arrested him. in the end, we got our american.
evidence concluded that dejesus had produced child pornography and traveled previously to colombia in order to engage in sex with minors. he pled guilty to child sex crimes in a federal court in florida just a few weeks ago. this case proved that when engaging the problems of international child sex crimes, there's a good chance that a nexus to the united states will eventually be made. however, i never would have been able to initiate this investigation as a u.s. agent due to the fact that the u.s. nexus did not appear until the end of the investigation. i also learned that once my team initiated this investigation, along with colombian authorities, the u.s. embassy and the homeland security investigations bogotá office was more than happy to support the case. moufr however, without our private efforts, resources or mandate to pull it off did not exist with united states assets. this is a matter of frustration to many of my former colleagues in the u.s. government. these u.s. agents. they want to do nr. they need resources to do more.
more resources to do more. the current approach by the u.s. government to international child sex crimes could use some adjusting. more mechanisms need to be put into place so that the u.s. can better engage this problem. oftentimes it feels like our policies and practices though not our people or our government agents, take a position that a foreign problem is simply not a u.s. problem. however, as the dejesus case proofs, when it comes to child sex crimes this problem is international. and the fact that we are talking about child victims should cause us on a moral level to find ways to remove barriers that prevent international engagement. i have worked with many foreign governments and i've never seen one that does not desire more u.s. involvement when it comes to these specific crimes against the most vulnerable souls on earth. speaking of international meagan's law and hr-515, here is another opportunity, a wonderful opportunity to attack this problem from a different
angle. it will help bridge a serious gap. as a government agent, it was always frustrating to know that minus a crystal ball, it would always be a serious challenge to predict when a child sex trafficker would cross our borders to engage in elicit sex with children. as quoted in the bill, itself, legitimate studies concluded there are close to 2 million children in the world currently in the commercial sex trade and the bill also points out that a significant percentage of child sex tours from the united states -- i'm sorry, a significant number of these travelers are from the united states, and i for one can testify i know these stats are true because i've been working in this black market for more than ten years. in a sad commentary on our society, the reason our cover story has worked so well and been easily bought by perpetrators is due to the fact that we are americans. these guys, theser. trait perpetrators are used to catering to americans used to selling children to americans. this is an american problem no
matter where on earth the child victim happens to be. in this country, we proudly work under meagan's law as a means to encourage states to protect children by identifying and monitoring the whereabouts of child sex offenders. as a society we have accepted the fact that convicted sex offenders pose a great risk to children and so we make their presence known. of course, the question why would we not offer this same mechanism to our friends overseas? and i understand it's been passed three times in the house it's time to pass it in the senate. and i hope that your colleagues in the senate are listening, that they might hurry along. we might picture a man who has been convicted of raping children in a foreign country. we might imagine that this man is coming for a visit to our towns, to our parks, our neighborhoods where our children play. would we not want to know this man's past? of course we would. and i assure you that our friends in other countries want this information as well especially the would-be child victims of the crimes.
advancing this bill is an opportunity to connect law enforcement agencies around the world by arming them with actionable intelligence that they can use to prevent child sex crimes from occurring. this bill talks about the angel watch center. the angel watch center will be a significant first step in bridging the gap between governments and nongovernment organizations like ours that have real experience in rescuing and rehabilitating victims of trafficking. one of the great benefits of being an ngo is it allows greater freedom for anti-child crimes experts to move about the world plugging quickly into any government jurisdiction and rapidly bringing the tools to fight child crimes into the hands of government officials who need them. we are readily afforded access to information regarding child sex rings that is useful to combat these rings. one of the challenges for us of course, is establishing and maintaining direct relationships with government officials who need and want our services. through the angel watch center, this problem will be held. the center will serve as a venue or public/private partnership, can more easily leverage all the
intelligence, ideas, tools, and strategies to best protect children at home and abroad. speaking from my organization, we have physically rescued hundreds of victims in the last year alone. advancing hr-515 and creating the angel watch center i believe, could double or triple that number for us and that's just for us. add to that the many other ngos and other government agencies, foreign and domestic that will participate in the angel watch center and we will be saving more children than ever before. let's not wait any longer to put this bill into law. the children are desperately waiting for us. i know this because i've seen them. thank you very much for this opportunity. >> thank you so very much. and, again for that sacrifice of leaving your employment to take on this private sector initiative that has saved as you pointed out, hundreds of victims in the last year alone. that is extraordinary. thank you for that leadership. well now i'll turn to karla
>> translator: mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for taking the time to listen to my story. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: my name is karla jacinto and today i have a voice, but for more than four years of my life from an age of is 12 as a little girl whose mother threw her out on the streets open to anyone wanting to take advantage of my vulnerabilities, a professional pimp after three months of wooing me and treating me as a princess propped me up on the corner and forced me to work the streets for his own gain.
[ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: for years and years i was cursed, intimidated, threatened, beaten, robbed of my children and emotionally and sexually violated time and time again. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: during those years, i was forced to serve every type of fetish imaginable to more than 40,000 clients. of those, many were foreigners visiting my city looking to have sexual interactionses with ss with minors like me. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> translator: please try to put yourself in my shoes, broken, abandoned, violated, hurt denigrated and enslaved at a time when i should have been playing with dolls and looking forward to a fun day at school. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: today i'm thankful to be able to stand before you as a reintegrated woman. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: at the age of 16 a man that had become a regular client was able to see beyond the short-term pleasure into the eyes of a broken girl. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: he helped me escape and i entered the
shelter. there i received the help care, time, attention, and love that i needed to put the broken pieces of my soul back together. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: i also met rosio who has helped me grow into the activist i am today. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: i am 22 and for the last 5 years, my life has been dedicated to raising my voice to anyone willing to hear that we exist, that there are thousands of little girls in my country being used for the
pleasure of those whom live for their own desires economic gain, and exertion of power. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: it is up to us, both governments and not government organizations to work together to prevent this crime. punish those who commit them. to look and russ cue for those who already cut in the web. and to provide the care necessary for their healing and reintegration to a healthy society. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: no one person can do it himself or herself. we are all responsible. we are all affected.
and we can all do something. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: today your people have chosen you to have a position of influence that can truly make a difference and i hope that my story will help you make some choices that will put a stop to this horrible crime. thank you. >> karla, thank you so much for testifying and for the bravery to come forward and tell your story and to admonish all of us to do more to end this cruelty and to help those who have been victimized. so your story will help. i will note for the record that c-span is here which means that americans will have the opportunity to hear all of your testimonies.
and c-span you know, is independent. it does not cover every hearing and i'm very grateful that they are here so that your words will be heard by millions of americans and people around the world. so thank you. i'd like to now introduce our final witness, and we understand that the microphones are working. rosie arasco again, a former deputy, author of "landmark anti-human trafficking legislation in mexico. and now the president of the commission united versus human trafficking. >> mr. chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity. today, i'm here out of a profound sense of obligation to focus on the problem of sex trafficking.
especially the reality of sexual tourism and child pornography. as you have heard, karla was a victim of all these crimes at the age of 12. to establish some context, i should explain a little bit of who i am. thanks to the training i received from your justice department here in washington d.c. 2005 i all my life now has been dedicated to fight human trafficking in all of its forms. but especially that of sexual exploitation of women and, of course, minors. first as a congresswoman from 2009 to 2012 where i was the driving force to establish the general law to prevent punish, and eradicate the offenses of trafficking in persons and to protect and assist the victim of
these crimes. since the law took effect 2012, and with the leadership of our president, enrique pineto, we have reported more than 200 convictions. mexico now is the leadership -- is the leader in the prosecution of this crime in all latin america. more recently, as the president of these ngo commission united against human trafficking, we work in partnership with 97 other ngos and we have made sure that we communicate a clear message to every social, political, business, art, and international platform. in mexico, human beings are not for sale, and we will fight against anyone that acts against
that fact. today i'm here representing every victim of slavery in my country. sadly, mexico's a country of origin, transit, and destination of human trafficking of women men, and children that are being exploexploited in mexico and the united states. it worries all of our ngos that's there's been some intention in congress in mexico trying to knock down the law that protects the human rights of victims and punish these criminals. they will try again in september so we are working as ngos to protect the good parts of our law and reform the articles that could be better with some congress congresspeople that are very committed against human trafficking. according to world tourism organization and the international labor organization, about 3 million
people traveling the world look for travel-related opportunities to participate in sexual acts with children. sexual tourism affects more than 2 million children, obligated to prosecute themselves or work in the pornography industry. sexual tourism is the principle thing behind child sexual exploitation. this is a phenomenon that is in recent years has expanded exponentially throughout the world, especially in asia and latin america, with mexico being one of the principle countries affected. especially in the northern border towns and beach cities. last year your own homeland security department has mexico as the number one distributor of child pornography in the world.
this is largely due to the high demand. statistics demonstrate that most perpetrators are coming from the united states, england holland, and germany. in haa study done by the american bar association, also we know that 47 bands of human traffickers were identified in mexico of which the most renowned originate in the state of lascala and are very well known for importing their victims to the united states. i urge you today to make sure that our country will continue working together to put a stop to the atrocity of human trafficking and in all its form all forms of human trafficking. by refining our laws and committing to communicate and cooperate with each other, we an
stop the criminalization of victims, work to push hard to strengthen the law against providers and consumers. prosecution of cases and provide the care that victims and their families needs to rebuild their lives. we believe we've been working very well with the ambassador, anthony wayne. even the wife, one of the woman who works -- wives of many of the ambassadors that works with comina casa, karla, herself, has met her. the project is doing a great job also in partnership with mexico now. and you have a great, great general attorney loretta lynch, who is called in mexico the nightmare of the pimps. and we also have a very good general attorney who will be the
nightmare of the pimps soon. she's new in office. and also we have great police who is committed against these crime. in truth my passion is to work directly with the beautiful girls that have suffered and been rescued for these horrible crime. i have personally worked with more than 200 victims shared their stories and witnessed their struggle as they look to reveal their lives and heal from the worst pain that can be inflicted on a human being. the lost of the freedom and dignity. more than anything they need laws to be able to fight for them and they deserve to be here. just think about this. most of these girls were suffering from poverty violence lack of dedication. when they become targets of criminals that make them also to be their slaves. so when the heroes like people of operation underground
railroad rescue them as a society, we owe them very much. they didn't have what they deserve in our country. they deserve the food, the house, the security and dedication, and then we see them as slaves. thank you to people like the people that works in o.u.r. thank you for being heroes in other countries. we need to work a complete process of reintegration from start to finish until they become successful people that we all admire like karla who is with me now today. she's a survivor of human trafficking. she was a sex slave between ages 12 to 16. seven years ago, karla was saved by a client who saw her beauty instead of his lust. and now she's a worldwide
activist who has spoke twice in front of pope francis, has shared her story with duchess of cornwell. has been with the ex-president felipe calderon and, and the conference in london among many other people. we believe that people like karla, if we don't help them until they are successful, they could kill themselves or become criminals. when she arrived to the shelter, she was full of hate. now she's full of love. we must work to break the vicious circle of lack of cooperation between our tourists and ngos, and mistrust of the process, result of people falling to denounce the crime and failure of the prosecution. instead, we must create a circle with authorities and ngos like o.u.r., work together, then
provide a special and dedicate care to victims until they become successful stories. we need to work together with survivors until they become people admired by society. only then more people will denounce the crime of human trafficking. only then will more criminals be prosecuted. only then our victims will be freed. and only then less and less people will look for slaves to certify their instincts. please, do not name the clients' johns, like they were clients like the clients that karla hat. they're criminals. they're not johns like they're a nobody. we should treat them like criminals. thank you so much for hearing us. >> miss orozco thanks for your
leadership in the particlement, the congress, now as head of an ngo. thank you so much. you inspire us. obviously you have saved many, many lives. i'd like to ask a few questions. we have three votes. if it's okay with you i know some of you may have to leave. we'll take a short recess and come back to ask additional questions. to beginning the questioning, i'll yield to my colleagues. attorney general reyes. let me say undercover work whether in utah, your state, my state, new jersey, any state in the union it's always dangerous work. i would suspect that undercover work in a foreign country where the reliability of the law enforcement assets may be questionable, i mean i'm not sure how you -- mr. ballard might want to speak to this as well -- how do you vet the law enforcement people that you make a part of your team given the distance even in utah? there might be a whistle -- not a whistle bloerblower but somebody
complicit in the trafficking that would let the bad guys know you were coming or put your very life at risk. the to kids120 kids, what has become of them? the idea of recidivism is always a deep concern for all of us. are these kids -- all of you might want to speak to that. how do you keep them out of harm's way? i have found -- because i've been in shelters all over the world -- that there needs to be a significant length of time months doesn't cut it. it needs to be years. to really break that cycle and turn, as miss orozco talked about, the hate into love and self-acceptance because the victims, unfortunately blame themselves far too often. and they are victims. speak to those two issues at the outset. miss bass, i'll yield to you now to get the questions in because i know miss bass can't return. >> i want to acknowledge my good colleague who's also from your
state, mia love. congresswoman meia love who just came. i also was interested in some of the same questions the congress congressman asked. i was interesting in what happened to the girls and also what happened to the men. because, you know, as i watched the tape as it was going i know the first thing that came to my mind is that do they get released? and then do they go back after the girls? you know what i mean? do they capture the girls? then i'd like to ask miss jacinto if you could please explain when you were rescued what was it that allowed you to not go back? and then i just want to make a brief statement for the record. >> mr. chair? are you -- >> if we -- we're joined by mia love. and, who's obviously from your
state and a very dedicated member of the congress and cares about these issues. then, again going to my democrat colleague. >> i first of all wanted to say thank you for the invite letting me know that our attorney general and mr. ballard from operation underground railroad is here. the important -- the work that they do is so incredibly important. it's something that is very important in the state of utah, but also for our nation. and around the world. this is not based on fiscal issues. this is not based on party issues. this is the -- what we have to do. and that is protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. this is a moral issue and i wanted to say thank you so much for making this such an important part of what you do. i have three children. two girls one boy. and it makes me feel better as a parent knowing there are some good people out there doing this work and making sure that the
predators know that we will not rest. we will be diligent and we are watching them and we're putting them out of business. so from the bottom of my heart as an parent, as an american who care about the children all around this world, thank you for the work that you do and thank you to this committee for taking this issue so seriously. >> mr. chair can we say we're proud of our entire federal delegation, especially here today. thank you, congresswoman love. she's not telling everything. she has actually been helpful in a number of ways including an operation, or several operations that have occurred in haiti. given her haitian heritage. we appreciate her support and all of your support. so just wanted to acknowledge her and everything she's done to support operation underground railroad. >> miss jackson lee? >> first of all, let me thank you for the courtesies extended by both the chairman and the chairwoman, ranking member. thank you so very much.
quickly to the witnesses, let me thank you for your testimony. i just briefly will indicate and ask a question and then hopefully it will go on the record. i am the ranking member on the crime subcommittee. we want to make sure we have collaboration with the foreign affairs committee in filling in the holes. my question would be, there seems to be a gap dealing with those who are not connected to the united states. we deal with sex trafficking, the buyer the victim and maybe in the state. so my question would be, general, and, of course, to our congress person, how do we deal internationally? how do you make sure if there's an international issue in new jersey that you either connect federally or that your laws allow you to reach to be able to ensure that their works are not impacting new jerseyites people from utah, and fill in that gap.
that we don't miss those who are trying to do deafvastateing things to children. lastly, i always mention boko haram, far, far, far away. you know the dastardly things they've done kidnapping girls. we know it has an international effect. thank you so much for your service. >> thank you. are you going to recess now mr. -- >> no, we do have an extra time, so if you'd begin answering the questions. >> let me quickly try to address one or some of the questions that were posed. perhaps at a surface level. then i'll allow mr. ballard who is our operations director for the -- >> excuse me. also miss jacinto because i know i won't be able to come back. i know i won't be able to hear from her. >> i'm happy to defer too. let's let miss jacinto address those things then we can come back. >> my question was if she could recall one thing that really allowed her to be able to stay away and not get pulled back.
>> translator: my daughter. because she was taken away from me when she was born. that's when i really started fighting. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: when she was born when she was 1 month old she was taken away from me -- >> foster care? >> no, no no the pimp or the crime organization took her from me so they could extortion. continue. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> translator: when they took her from me, that's what gave me the strength to pull through and one of the regular clients recognized my situation and helped me escape and recuperate my daughter. when they gave her back to me, she had burns in her cheeks. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: and every day while i was in the shelter -- [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: -- i wanted to learn how to be a good mother to my daughter. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: so that our children, because most of the girls that are there we have
children, do not fall prey to this crime. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: i would never, ever, ever want to go back to that place because in that situation, you become an object. a sexual object. you have no other identity. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: and that's what makes me stand here today and raise my voice to say, enough. >> thank you. we will take a brief -- we have three votes like i said. so in about 15 minutes or so we'll resume, everybody. thank withdrew veryyou very much, and we stand in recess.
>> a recess now. this house foreign affairs subcommittee holding a hearing today on sex trafficking. members of the committee have heard testimony from utah attorney general sean reyes and operation underground railroad founder timothy ballard along with a sex trafficking victim. we'll rejoin the subcommittee hearing as soon as members come back. members now going to the house floor to vote. but our live coverage will continue when the hearing resumes here on c-span3. until then a portion of today's "washington journal" with house ways & means
oversight subcommittee chair, peter roscom. >> back with peter roscom of illinois. ways & means with jurisdiction over trade, congressman. ist to start there been we get to the irs and health care law. looks like there's been a deal struck in the senate. they could move forward trade promotion authority. that means it's going to come over to the house. what's your view on trade promotion authority in these pending trade deals? >> well, two things. the trade promotion authority is incredibly important in my opinion. it's important because it creates a lot of opportunities for the american economy to expand. 95% of the world's consumers are outside of the u.s. greta, so we need to position our economy to compete worldwide. i would also argue incredibly significant geopolitically and from a strategic point of view. somebody is going to lead, and if the u.s. doesn't lead and we're not actively participating in these two new trade deals that is pacific and european somebody's going to fill that gap. in the pacific realm, it will
likely be china and from a geostrategic point of view, i think it makes a lot more sense for us to be leading and i think many of our trading partners have that similar view. so i'm hopeful, but we have work to do to get the votes for trade promotion authority in the house. >> yeah, the speaker of the house saying he needs about 50 democrats to join the republican ranks. why aren't all republicans on board with this? >> well, there's two things, and there's this sort of odd confluence now that you see sometimes kind of an arch that comes around where two sides that don't agree on anything else find themselves similarly situationed. you some republicans say look, i don't trust barack obama and based on this past history their expectations of president obama are fairly low and they're unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt. so they're not persuaded by the idea you're actually restraining president obama and get another vote on the actual deal. they're not persuaded by that at this time but i think they're coming.
there are democrats who have demonstrated a very high level of confidence in president obama in every other aspect of his administration. they're giving him complete confidence and deference on the iran deal, for example, but they don't trust him on trade. so there is this strange -- strange confluence. i'm hopeful that when all is said and done, we're able to put this authority on the president's desk, that he'll sign it into law, and then be about putting together the very best trade deals and then those deals will come back and will be debated in the congress. >> yeah, the senate democrats handing the president a defeat earlier in the week, but it looks like there could be enough votes in the senate as they move forward now with trade. "the washington times" though in their editorial page write this "some republicans suggest mr. obama should be left to stew in the toxic juices cooked by his own hand, but that would be shortsighted. congressional republicans should swallow hard put aside understandable temptation and do the right thing. they should take a look at the trade legislation at hand and vote yes or no on the
legislation's merits. that's what they were elected to do." >> i agree with that. i'll go one step further. they should vote yes for it. i think that's a better position. because it's thoughtful. and think about this in the context of putting together any sort of negotiation. on the other side of the table are people who are not going to put their best deal on the table until they know that our key negotiator has signed off on it. and they don't want to come back and get nickel and dimed in congress. and congress still has the ability to hold the last word and that is to vote yes or no on the ultimate deal. >> let's get to oversight then of the irs and health care. you're the chair of the oversight subcommittee for ways and means. this is a hill newspaper headline from may 10th. two years later irs probes drag on. why? and how much money has been spent? >> well, it's highly dissatisfying because the probes have dragged on because the department of justice has not acted on the criminal referral that congress made regarding
lois lerner who's the centerpiece of the irs targeting scandal. nor have they moved forward on the contempt citation that congress moved forward. and the irs has been loath to forward documents. so just recently, within the past week we've received an additional 6,500 e-mails from the internal revenue service that for a long time they said we couldn't get them, we didn't know where they are. these crash inging, you know hard drives. and it becomes ridiculous to the point of absurdity. now, lest you and viewers are completely desparing, the statute of limitations does not run on lois lerner until about nine months into the next administration so a newly constituted department of justice i would argue is likely to have a different disposition particularly if the parties change. so in the meantime what capitol hill is doing, what we're trying to do in the oversight subcommittee, is to direct ourselves to what i have
characterized as an attitude of impunity at the internal revenue service. that is, a disposition that has developed over the years that has basically said we can do what we want when we want and to whom we want and that has been the attitude of the internal revenue service. i'm oversimplified but i don't think i'm overcharacterizing. and that's what we're pushing hard against. >> you're saying is this investigation into the irs, the charge they were going after tea party affiliated groups that go into the administration. tell our viewers how much this investigation has cost taxpayers so far. >> i couldn't give you dollars and cents in terms of the appropriated dollars. there has not been a special select committee for example, that's been created in any other sense. i have no idea because the department of justice isn't disclosing anything to us or to the public. about the nature of their investigation. i would hope they have spent vast sums pursuing this because i would argue they've violated
constitutional rights by targeting people and i hope that they've spared no expense at pursuing justice. their problem is they're not willing to disclose anything. >> so congressional democrats according to this "hill" newspaper say that two years' worth of investigations costing millions of taxpayer dollars have found what they long suspected, that the irs scrutiny of tea party groups was caused not by political bias but by bureaucratic mismanagement. >> i think that's a false claim. let me give you a quick story. i'll give you a 60-second story. my old law partner in 1996 was the republican nominee for the united states senate, and he loaned his campaign a sum of money. the federal election commission said you did it the wrong way. and they put him under investigation about 60 days before the election. big headlines in the chicago paper that he was being investigated. he lost the election. the federal government sued him. and he won the lawsuit.
the federal election commission then came back and said we have a settlement demand of about $300,000. he said look, i won the lawsuit, i'm not going to pay any money. they said we're going to appeal. he said let me talk to the person with authority on this case. the person with authority on this case, xwrechen, got on the phone and said we will drop this indication if you pledge never to run for office again. he said put that in writing. and she said we don't put that in writing and we never lose. that person was lois lerner. now, i've told this story, and i've given this account in public hearings in the ways and means committee. it has been editorialized two or three times by the columnist george will. and there has been silence from lois lerner. why is there silence from lois lerner? because she did it. that kind of disposition and that attitude and you take that and move it from the federal election commission to the internal revenue service, that is not bureaucratic bumbling.
that is insidious. it is targeting. and that has to stop. >> okay. the irs -- current irs commissioner has said this is not the irs of 2011 2012, 2013 that members of congress had give it a chance, he's reformed it. >> this is part of the great debate and we've had a number of hearings. one of the hearings we recently had was on an irs practice known as structuring. structuring is a crime under federal law and it has to do with triggering a reporting requirement if a businessperson deposits $10,000 in cash it triggers a report that the bank has to make that the federal government. underlying the bill or underlying that is a decent policy, and that is to go after meth labs and human trafficking operations and mafia front groups. but the problem is the irs has been pursuing these cases very very aggressively against people who just sort of happened -- you
know, they're making a claim that they're doing this structure ing structuring. there's the case of a couple, mr. and mrs. sowers in maryland who the irs basically chased to the end of the earth. the sowers hadn't done anything wrong and the irs has continued to be so aggressive. then when we have a congressional hearing, highlight this, the irs has said we're going to revamp our policies. this was in the past eight weeks. and the irs issued an apology based on my prompting at the hearing. but my point is we've got a lot of work to do. so this notion of hey, new and improved irs and it's all great we've got a long way to go. >> we'll talk about health care in a bit coming up but first charles in woodbridge, virginia a republican. hi, charles. >> caller: hi. yeah listen, i'm right with you on the irs issue. but to say it's been revamped is a joke. we've heard this all the time. i don't even know that that's possible with congress ever.
having said that, on the tpa, i'm a republican a conservative, and wow, i couldn't disagree with you more. every single person i've heard on this program talked in favor of the tpa. as always talked about how the largest middle class in the world is now in asia. and yet they don't say that they're considered middle class by asian standards and asian currency standards which is significantly below our middle class. and to think that this or any other deals you guys have made is going to level the playing field is ridiculous. the bottom line su guys always come out and try to talk these trade deals up by saying that look, the more we do the more it's going to raise their economy and they're going to 13e7bd more money on this. you want us to raise the middle class in other countries to the united states and give them 20
years to do it which means we're on a slow roll 20 years going down to meet them at that median point. >> charles, i'm going to have the congressman jump in at this point and respond to what you're saying. >> charles, the argument that i'm making is that 95% of the world's consumers live outside of the united states. so somebody is going to be selling into those markets. and i would argue what you want to do is lower barriers of entry so u.s. goods can flow into those areas. i'm from the chicago area. i represent a lot of manufacturers who sell into manufacturing facilities of larger operations that are selling than overseas. so this is not about some slow roll for 20 years or trying to figure out some level of equilibrium. we've got to compete. and the way we compete best is when barriers of entry for us in the marketplaces are low. >> we'll go to indianapolis. robert, democratic caller. hi, robert. >> caller: how are you doing? >> good morning. >> caller: and thank you for taking my call.
i would just like to comment on the comments that were made about -- >> we're listening robert. >> caller: by giving the president a defeat. and there's so much emphasis on dealing the president a defeat that there's not enough emphasis on the american people getting a victory. if we keep dealing the president defeats, that's good for the republican party but is it good for the people? >> well, robert, let me try to respond. i understand what you're saying. there's an irony in how the president has approached this debate, though. so i think some of the responsibility for where we are, robert, is actually at the president's desk. and here's what i mean by that. for years president obama has been arguing to the country that the economy is a fixed pie. in other words the 2012 presidential campaign he basically told the public, look
you're stuck in your station in life, you're stuck and the only way you can get unstuck is if the federal government comes in with a program and helps you out. and there was a subtext there robert, that said that people are successful because they've taken from someone else. that's messed up. and it's not the way the economy works and it's not the way the world works. now ironically president obama has to shift and he's got to acknowledge no, no, no, that's not the way that the world is. it's not a zero sum game, and it's not, and we need to move forward as it relates to growth and prosperity. and he's communicating a very different message. his problem is he persuaded a whole bunch of people to go the other way. he needs to move away from the orthodoxy he's been communicating. i agree with you that it makes no sense for people to just say i just want to defeat somebody just for the sake of defeating and what we should instead do is say what's good for the country. and robert, i think what's good
for you and for me in indianapolis since we're both midwesterners is clearly trade promotion authority and these trade agreements that are going to open up for manufacturers like in indianapolis and all the agriculture interest in indiana and all across the midwest. >> peg on twitter wants to talk about the irs. do you think that cutting funding for irs though can't even answer questions from the public is part of the problem? >> congress cut their budget by $1.2 billion. so in other words, they were appropriated $10.9 billion. if your budget was sxut you're around a household table peg and you say to your family we're going to do more with less that's not what the irs said. the irs commissioner issued an e-mail to the whole service and he said we're going to do less with less. here's the way they decided to do less with less. even though congress appropriated the money, peg, to
go for customer service, and you can look at the appropriations they took money that had historically gone that route and they backfilled their own operations. they gave $60 billion in bonuses to the employees. that was new. the previous irs commissioner said i'm not going to issue these bonuses. the new commissioner said was going toish bonuses. there's two other quick areas where we demonstrated in the hearing that the irs could do better from a fiscal point of view. first is they're spending 500,000 hours on union activity that's subsidized by the taxpayer, only 10% of which is required under the law. in other words, 90% of that 500,000 hours, peg they don't have to do yet they chose to take money from customer service into the union activities. we also demonstrated they could pick up $100 million a year directly for the irs if they move to a private debt
collection program similar to what is going on in other areas of the federal government. so i am not persuaded that the problem of the irs is that they don't have enough money. i think that misallocated the money they've been appropriated. >> moving to the other side of the health care law and another tweet, this one comes from your colleague congressman tim murphy who's watching you right now, tweeting out talking about his bill which i signed on to that provides oversight for obamacare. >> so thank you, congressman murphy. the -- so what congressman murphy from pennsylvania, and he's the chairman of the oversight subdmit at energy and commerce, what he is referring to is a bill i'm initiating with a number of colleagues calling for a special inspector general to oversee the affordable care act. sigma. sought idea here is look we've done a special inspector general as it relates to the toxic asset recovery program, t.a.r.p. we've done one as it relates to
afghanistan reconstruction and iraq reconstruction. surely the scope and breadth and depth of the affordable care act is worthy of a special inspector general. so i'm hoping to move this bill forward, and it will likely be introduced next week. >> why is it necessary, though? is there malfeasance? is there abuse in the law? >> the lack of ability gretchen, on the part of the administration even to give you the information you need is breathtaking. for example, secretary sebelius when she was at hhs, came into the ways and means committee. we were making inquiries of her. think about this. this is the secretary of health and human services. one of the architects of the bill. we were asking her about certain aspects aspects. and she was not able to go beyond the information of her own inspector general. it's incredibly limiting, this environment. and we've got an administration i would argue that has really been acting with impunity in a lot of ways, turning things off
turning things on. there's a great deal of litigation, obviously on these things. but think about the standard. if it's good enough for t.a.r.p., and t.a.r.p. found billions of dollars in savings, if it's good enough for iraq reconstruction and good enough for afghanistan reconstruction, surely a program as big as the affordable care act deserves that same level of scrutiny. >> okay. let's go to everett, massachusetts. sylvia, thanks for waiting. independent. >> caller: good morning and thanks for letting me put my input in. >> you bet. >> caller: i want to say keep our jobs in our country. do not outsource them. they have not agreed. we should not have agreed to nafta, people driving trucks who do not speak english read english english, know what the signs say, stop when it says to stop, obey our laws on the road. i know. my son works at chrysler, and when they're in the yard they
can't understand a word he's saying and he can't understand them. >> so trade deals leading to immigration. illegal imgrarks what she's insinuating. >> i can't speak directly sylvia, to the issue of who's in the trade yards or who's in the yards and the parking lots at chrysler. i don't know anything about that. the issue of how to create jobs because we're flush being because that's really what you're arguing for i think makes a lot of sense to me. i represent -- i mentioned before sylvia eye frn massachusetts but i'm from suburban chicago. and i know that this is true also in your area. you've got employers that are manufacturing things that are being sold into foreign markets. if those foreign markets dry up they're not going to need the workers here. so we need to shift things around and begin to say how is it that we can make it so that we're more competitive overseas?
and we're more competitive overseas if we negotiate and get the tariffs to put our goods into those areas. so there's a great deal to do here. and i'm not here pumping sunshine, telling you that if all we do is pass the trade fro motion authority then it's all going to be great. but i do know this sylvia, that the sun will continue to go down on the u.s. and we'll have more pressure on manufacturers if we're not able to sell into these markets. >> stanton michigan. rebecca is a democrat. hi rebecca. >> caller: hello. >> good morning. go ahead. you're on the air with the congressman. >> caller: okay. you've got three different topics there, and i wanted to say especially on the health care bill i understand fixing things as they go, you know, if there's problems because there's bound to be with something that big. but for the people that have bought into this already and
have never had insurance before and people have called in many times and said that, you know they just got a wonderful deal, and some people have said the opposite. but these people will have no insurance whatsoever if you just kill the bill. >> so i guess it depends on your perspective. i can tell you a story there's a constituent that i have that i came across her and her story, a breast cancer survivor who is doing well and based on the direction of the changes in her policy under the affordable care act she wasn't going to be able to have the doctor she had and that same level of health care. so there's people who have been grievously injured. some people now, their policies have changed entirely. remember the claim of the affordable care act? you remember how great ift was
all supposed to be? and basically that these needs were going to be met. i think what you're sensing is a great deal of disappointment from people who said hey, i was supposed to get this or i was going to keep my doctor or it was only going to cost i was going to say $2,500 a year per family. remember all that? so i think there are some people that are better off and some people that are much worse off. so the question is how do we make it so that health care is affordable and it's more abundant? and i would argue that obamacare in particular has been really, really disappointing. >> on the line for republicans, chuck in alabama. good morning to you. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i think first of all you debate this thing, the jobs, the trade bills, if we go back to 1993 when clinton and the democrats gave us nafta, prior to that you could go out any morning and get a job, or you could get five jobs. you almost had a selection. and whoever had these brain
stornlz brainstorms would ship the job over overseas. they were shipped to accommodate the manufacturers. they could wring theirbring their product back in duty-free. there's about 537 people in washington who are screwing this country up for the other 320 million. and i'm not sure they know a darn thing about business because if we base it on their record this country -- i'm 77 years old. you're not going to hire me. but there is no jobs out there. and that bunch of clowns in washington, like it or not you may be one of them created this atmosphere. if they run everybody out of town, shut it down, things would probably improve. >> all right, chuck. well, congressman, i think he's talking about trade. so let me add this tweet to the conversation. this viewer wants to know what manufacturers does your guest represent? can he disclose the details of tpp, the transpacific partnership? trade deal.
>> so i represent the 6th congressional district. so your viewer is free to google 6th congressional district and manufacturers. there's a wide range of them. so there is everybody from small tool and die to precision manufacturing where these people are manufacturing five times to the right of a decimal. i've been in facilities in lake zurich, illinois. i don't quite follow the nature of the inquiry. but the point is one of two things is going to happen. if the united states stays still and we say look we've got it all figured out and we don't have to pursue these foreign markets, then somebody else will. someone else will fill that gap. it will be filled. and we will be the losers as a result. i've been involved in visiting many companies in my district, and it is a remarkable thing for me to see how much of their own bottom line is from sales into foreign markets, or said another way, if they're not selling, gretchen, into those markets then what's happening? they don't need those very
employees in my constituency. so i think there's a misperception about how trade works and what the benefits are. but it's not easy. it's not a simple concept, which is why this brings out is up strong emotions. >> del rey beach florida. margaret independent. i need to push the button. there. you're on the air. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think it's funny. he keeps calling you gretchen greta. >> oh, i'm sorry. >> that's all right. >> caller: that's all right. i've enjoyed the show. but i wanted to say two things. you seem very incredulous, greta, when he discussed the irs investigation going into the next administration, which kind of fascinates me and then you talked about obamacare with him. the irs controls everything, seeps into all of our lives. i would remind people, that you know, the use -- the arbitrary use to stifle free speech is
tantamount to losing our liberty. on top of that then make the connection with the irs to obamacare, the greatest overhaul, i would remind the democratic caller that just called in, that was rammed through without republican vote, that the majority of the country did not want it, and now of course as the left always does, they'll say it's a witch hunt, it's old news. the irs is the most important story for the future -- you talk about jobs. they are everywhere. and i'm glad that these representatives are pushing. trey gowdy, i hope they keep pushing. because the impunity, and like you used, perfect word, that this administration that the tool and they had through the irs, what they could do to people in this country. and i'm disappointed in c-span because i actually -- i'm going to say it. i feel like c-span more and more is leaning left in their questions and the way they question even in their mannerisms. but i do -- i am for the trade. that's my original call.
so i sat and waited and listened to all this. so i'll hang up and let you respond. >> okay, margaret. and what i was trying to do is let you and other viewers know what the democrats are saying about the irs investigation. but go ahead and respond to what you -- >> i will yield the lady more time. so thank you very much. look, the point that you're making i think is an important point to emphasize, and that is this. the amount of power that the internal revenue service has just takes your breath away actually. here's what we need. we need an internal revenue service that is collecting taxes that are owed that is basically like my fourth grade teacher, miss anderson, tough but fair. and that sort of attitude is what i think americans expect. 99% of americans pay their taxes voluntarily. that begins toer oed if they don't have confidence that the tax rules are being imposed fairly on everybody.
>> virginia, gwinnett democrat. >> caller: yes. >> you've got to listen through your phone. okay? turn your television off. all right. i apologize but we're getting that feedback. it's a little bit confusing. jerry in landis, north carolina, a republican. >> caller: good morning. >> good morning. >> caller: i had a question there for your congressman. the disparity in this 95% of the world consumers outside the usa the disparity and the disposable income these folks have, and the cost of manufactured products here, what on earth are we going to sell these people given the cost we have to bear to produce it? >> jerry, if you're coming to the chicago area we're selling all kinds of things. just all kinds of things that
are getting manufactured in tool and die operations in suburban chicago and in those areas it just takes your breath away. these are going into asian markets, european markets, latin american markets. there's no end of things. one of the big manufacturers in illinois is caterpillar. the big, big earth-moving equipment company. and they're selling -- it's not just caterpillar but all the tool and die folks. all the folks that are working those production lines in and around my constituency that are part of the production. food products. all sorts of things that are being sold overseas. manufactured here, sold into those markets. >> you also are serving on this special select committee on benghazi. here's a headline in politico. gowdy versus clinton. no end in sight. a standoff between the benghazi head and the 2016 contender
shows no signs of abating. what do you hope to get out of testimony from the secretary of state? >> purpose of the benghazi select committee was to find out what happened at benghazi and how it was that four americans were murdered and to do recommendations so this never happens again. as a result of that the first thing is to get documents produced from the administration. there was a narrative that was out there for a while that said, well, this has all been asked and answered, there's nothing new here. but that turned out not to be true. over 22 people at least who had never been interviewed in any committee before have been interviewed by the benghazi select committee. remember the claim that all the documents have been produced. and yet the state department within the past two months came up with 10,000 new documents that had never been seen by any congressional committee before. sought first thing is the reason this is taking so long is to get these documents and then to have
a discussion with the secretary of state who is at a focal point but it's not just about the former secretary of state. it's about what happened before, what was the prelude, what actually happened on the event and what were the subsequent events. >> do you want her to testify privately or does this need to be done in public? >> look i think it's best if it's done in public. but there's a real interest. trey gowdy offered if you want to come in and just testify in private as it relates to your e-mail, the e-mail operation, the arrangement she made with herself regarding these e-mails. he offered to do that. this is the subject of a lot of negotiations and high jinks with her lawyers and posturing and so forth. but the bottom line is look, we want to hear the truth from secretary clinton, we need the documents. and this has become a big op stack'll in terms of document production, and it just shouldn't be this tough. >> and the committee will hear from her soon.
>> yeah. i'm confident. i don't have a date certain. i don't think the chairman has announced that yet. >> we'll go to frank in largo, florida, an independent caller. frank, you're on the air. >> caller: good morning. i have a comment and a question about the transpacific partnership. otherwise known as the tpp. it seems that shrouded in secrecy, the only thing we really know about it is what's been leaked by wikileaks. and most of congress hasn't even seen it. it claims to promote free trade, but i think it would promote free trade 234 exactly the same way the u.s. patriot act promotes patriots. it doesn't, in other words. it's just a marketing gimmick used to conceal the true nature of the agreement. it seems to be a globalist-oriented corporate push framework that would strip power from the u.s. congress and destroy national sovereignty on trade issues. >> congressman. >> you could make that argument. >> we hear that a lot from viewers. >> but the plot trap of that argument where it just completely dissolves and there's
nothing around the corner is that congress gets to vote up or down on the final trade deal. so it's as in you give someone authority to say go forth make a negotiation, and then come back and it will be fully disclosed the entire nature of the negotiation. you can imagine what a nightmare trying to put a deal would be together. if everybody's able to scurry out. you know what i mean? and make disclosures. and you wouldn't be able to put something together. so i don't see a plot. i don't see something insidious there. i see like an orderly process that says during this time we need this to be closely held. then at the end of that period of time we will fully -- it will be fully disclosed and then congress elected representatives who are accountable to their constituents will vote yes or no on the final deal. >> previous presidents, republicans and democrats have had this fast track authority. >> yeah that's right. >> hampton, new hampshire. paul, an independent. >> caller: good morning. previous presidents have had this kind of authority.
rarely acknowledge that. that's a big part of how we got into the mess we're in in general. basically, this system has set up a clep tok rah cy. and what you're seeing presently is an increasing distrust in institutions in general and in politicians particularly, seem to think that we can be comforted by the idea that congress ultimately will have an up or down vote on it. an up or down vote with a bunch of kleptokrats. that does not give us any warm and fuzzy at all. until you stop stealing from those who are not your friends to give to your friends until you stop ending the systemic kleptocracy that has become the united states, i don't believe you. i don't believe the american people trust you. >> paul will the me take up this issue of trust because some are saying -- >> let's go back to tim murphy's tweets. no, i'm teasing. >> democrats don't trust the
president is a theme you're seeing over this trade issue. democrats don't trust the president when it comes to trade. i think you said that yourself. but it seems that our viewers and americans are saying we don't trust washington republicans and democrats when it comes to trade. >> look, it's a fair point. i mean the good news for paul is he's an independent in new hampshire, so every presidential candidate is going to be knocking on his door over the next couple of months and he's going to have a disproportionate amount of influence in who the president of the united states is going to be. i don't necessarily share his worldview, and that is i'm in more confident in washington's ability to do fast big, wonderful things, which is why i keep coming back to the restraining influence on congress being able to vote up or down on the trade deal when it's finally presented. so i represent a constituency paul, where trade helps where trade is an opportunity, where trade creates buoyancy and
markets and there's the disconnect that some people are feeling on the democratic side is because this -- i would argue that what i'm describing is the world as it is. president obama for the past several years has been arguing that that people can't all prosper. and that's part of the weakness of his argument. and now he's got to shift. and there's an argument in the shift of his argument. and i think he invested so much in this zero sum game that is the only way tore one party to benefit is at the demise of another. which if you think of it that's not who we are as a people. but the president has built a political culture around that and he's persuaded them and now when he's trying to say you know, what let's not pursue that anymore, there's basically saying oh, you persuaded us and now you're telling us that's not the way things are. and that's the awkwardness you that feel here. >> let's go back to health care law and this special inspector general. is there a special inspector general for medicare, medicaid?
>> there should be. medicare right now we had a hearing, greta, and the hearing said -- and this was cms. in other words, this was medicare themselves. they came in and we asked about fraud and erroneous payments. what's the number? they said 12.7% of medicare payments today are fraudulent or erroneous. you know what that amounts to? over a billion dollars a week of money that is just wasted. and i mean squandered. by contrast we brought in the person who's in charge of anti-fraud efforts at visa, the credit card company. we asked them what's your fraud rate? they said congressman on $10 frl worth of trillion of transactions worldwide our fraud vat 4.6%. think about that. federal government 12.7%.
visa .76%. >> then why not use your position as chairman to -- >> i am. and you sense my demeanor here. we've been able successfully with the obama administration's help and on a bipartisan basis to do some changes. that have to do with how health care providers are compensated in getting these things up. but there's a lot of work to do. >> press release from the office the president did sign into law recently. legislation, medicare fraud provisions into law to help with this issue. let's hear from lou in carmichaels, pennsylvania, republican, on this issue. >> caller: good morning. how are you? >> doing well, sir. >> caller: i have a question about the irs. i'll make it a short story. years ago i was in business and you could do a five-year tax average. my accountant made a mistake and used the wrong form.
so i got a notice from irs. ten days please remit set amount of dollars. i set up -- i gave them a date that i would make sure to add a check. they agreed to it. i had no payments. they didn't send me any more statements, which i'm grateful for. but my question is they come after me for that, for a mistake i made. i was penalized for it. but my question is why is there so much problem that they cannot put a lien on the irs employees to pay their back taxes? >> fair point. there was a story we learned within the past couple weeks that the irs -- >> i apologize again for the delay. to our distinguished witnesses as well as to the audience. we are joined by ann wagner,
distinguished member of the house of representatives from missouri, who wrote a major law, bill that has passed the house, is likely to be back in the house after being through the senate, that criminalizes advertising. and i'd like to yield to my good friend and colleague for any comments about her bill, which i think will make a huge difference, and any questions she might have of our panel. >> well, i thank you, mr. chairman. and i thank you for a lifetime of leadership on this issue. for all of those giving a voice to the most vulnerable and those who are oftentimes voiceless. i served four years as united states ambassador in western europe and was very familiar with human trafficking vis-a-vis the international aspect of
things. i will tell you, it wasn't until i came home to my own country in 2009, decided to run for office myself, put my own name on the yard sign dug into a few things and realized how prevalent prevalent this scourge, this modern-day slavery is, and the prevalence here domestically in our own country. this is domestically a $9.5 billion business. there are upwards according to the justice department of 300,000 mostly young girls at risk for this. and we as a congress other than reauthorizing the fantastic work that chairman smith has done really had not gotten up to date on some of the new technologies and the new things going on over the last decade.
so i brought this up. i'm on the financial services committee. i do a lot in defense and veterans' issues. but this, this fighting this scourge of human trafficking and sex slavery is a passion of mine. and so we went forward, introduced several pieces of legislation last congress. i can tell you in january along with chairman smith's bill and many others we passed 12 pieces of legislation for human trafficking in january out of the house of representatives. the senate has taken a number of them up. they worked things out and four of those will be coming back to us next week. which we're very excited about. things that will bolster law enforce sxmt prosecutors and give you, sir -- tools that he
with need. >> the tools you need and you've been asking for. and i can't tell you enough truly our attorney general of utah, it's the kind of work you've been doing to fight this on a day in, day out basis. but we're going to give you some of the tools, the resources and help those victims in terms of safe houses and education and awareness. my particular piece of legislation is called the save act, and it goes on -- the last 12 years or so obviously the internet has just blown up and skyrocketed. and there are these online predators and advertisers on outlets like backpage.com and many others that make it -- i hate to say it but it is the truth. make it as easy to order up a
young 14-year-old girl to their hotel room as it is a pepperoni pizza. it is deplorable. so this does not go after the communications decency act. it's not going after any kind of freedom of speech issue. this goes into the criminal code. and in the criminal code of 1591 on the human trafficking there's a litany of words that constitute human trafficking. it's things like transporting harboring, coercing and on and on and on. and all we did was simply add advertising. and i don't care whether it's a billboard or a flyer or something you see in the back of a magazine or one of these online predators that are make let me tell you, 4 to $5 million a month off of selling our women and children, and young boys, too. so while i recognize the work
that many of you are doing from an international baasis and i support that wholeheartedly and we have a number of great pieces of legislation like the international megan's law and other things that are so very important to our world society as we fight this scourge, but i do want to always remind folks that this is hiding in plain sight. in our own back yards, in our own skuld sacs in our own faith communities, in every school district, and we have to not just do things legislatively, we have to lift education and awareness. i met with a group of superintendents last week when i was back in the district and i said you guys are fantastic, you do programs about bullying, about heroin, about boundaries and maybe sexual assault but have we ever discuss eded sex trafficking? have we ever discussed how these
predators go online and what they're looking for? maybe that nanny job isn't a real nanny job. maybe that modeling job isn't a real 3408ding job 37 whatever it may be there are tools that we need to provide our youth and frankly our counselors and others. so we're working with conventions and visitors' bureaus, with transportation outlets, with health care professionals, obviously with our prosecutors and our law enforcement. but i want to take it to the next level, which is education awareness in our schools. so i am just so thrilled that after three years we're going to have a number of pieces of human trafficking legislation that have passed the senate, are moving back to the house for final passage here and i do believe that the president will sign this legislation. it is much needed. so i applaud the work that all of you are doing.
i am so grateful to chairman smith for always shining a bright light on this issue. and i stand with you both internationally and domestically. and i have to tell you general reyes, the work that you're doing and your commitment to this cause is absolutely head and shoulders above anyone that i've seen. >> thank you. >> literally in this nation. so i thank you so much. >> thank you, congresswoman. thank you, congresswoman wagner. and we so appreciate your fight to get us those cools that we need. it will be effective, and we'll use them. we won't let them go to waste. combating these perpetrators and offenders. i know you're doing the state of missouri proud, and we feel that support from you. so let me just tell you bravo, thank you for your work.
chairman smith, if you'd like, let me say again reciprocally from our vantage point we applaud everything that you all do, but there's been no greater warrior in congress on behalf of fighting for the rights, fightar for these poor innocents than you, chairman smith, and we take our hat off to you. >> hear hear. >> thank you for everything that you've done, not just in human trafficking, on so many different humanitarian issues, and for the time that you've allowed us to have today to hopefully educate just a little bit more our peers, our countrymen, and our fellow men worldwide and women about this issue. you had a couple of yez. i'm going to do my best to -- >> before you go on i do hope other attorneys general and their staffs get to see this on c-span and perhaps by amplification by the media because you set a standard an
example that needs to be followed. this is a winnable war. we all know that. and every effort that's made, every smart effort will lead to prevention of trafficking, protection for the victims, and prosecution of this nefarious trade. thank you for your leadership. i would join you in thanking congresswoman wagner because she -- first as an ambassador and working on the executive branch side but now as a lawmaker is making a huge difference. this is a winnable war. so thank you. and we need every state to do what you're doing. maybe they don't all want to go undercover and rescue precious children in colombia but they can use their tools and their capacity to end this egregious practice. thank you. i did ask a few questions. >> i will get to those questions. one thought occurred. congresswoman, if you want some ideas about school programs training on how to avoid being
victims of child sexual trafficking or victims of other sex crimes please come talk to me afterwards. we have some fantastic ones in utah and we would love to share them with you. and also again, notwithstanding the praise and the recognition you that gave i don't want to accept a disproportionate amount of credit for what my colleagues my other attorneys general throughout the united states are doing-v done before me and will continue to do. there are many great laeshds on the republican side the democrat side, throughout the great states of our nation who have taken a lead on combating human trafficking. so again, on behalf of all of them, our national attorneys general, they are the front line in many instances against this fight, and i want to pay respect and give credit to all of them. to your questions, though. you asked what happens to survivors. and let me break that down domestically and internationally.
domestically domestically, from our office in the state of utah we worked with the department of child and family services. we work with non-profits like the elizabeth smart foundation because in spite of the fact the liberating element of these operations gets the lion's share of the media attention and it's kind of the exciting parts, the stuff you see on the news, we all know who worked in this area that the true heavy lifting comes after the fact when these victims become survivors and then need the resources educationally, training, jobs, counseling treatment, physical and psychological support, and it's going to take in some cases a lifetime to help them overcome the atrocities they've just endured. so organizations like the elizabeth smart foundation domestically, safe houses that we work with are part of the comprehensive approach we've taken to address what happens to
these survivors now that they've been liberated. internationally, each country is different. each country has different resources. each country has a different capacity to provide resources. but one of the things i admire most about rrngs underground railroad is they will refuse to work with a country or they'll even forestall operations until that country gives its absolute commitment to give every resource available that they do have to helping the victims once they're liberated. and and the case of colombia we worked with a humanitarian organization called renacer the rebirth, along with the colombian federal and state resources. their commitment to child and family services. we need to put so much. you mentioned congresswoman, safe houses. the reason why only one out of every ten leave the life alive is that there's no safety valve for them. they want to leave.
they want to get away. and so often there's no place for them toes cape. so the safety houses are another way that wke can help encourage them to leave and get the help of the resources. the other question very quickly i want to touch on, you asked mr. chair, how do we vet our government partners? and to be candid with you, during the entire operation that i was on in colombia i really was more worried about potential frauls friends in the government maybe turning us over or turning us in to a cartel than i was about the traffickers. we neutralized them pretty quickly and they weren't an extreme physical threat. i'll say this. o.u. r&r vets through a combination of their own international contacts recognizing that many of them used to be former cia operatives and members and have established trusted relationships over decades along with our federal
government agencies like hsi who help us vet and give us a measure of comfort with the actual agencies that we work with hand in hand to take down these criminals abroad. so the raemt reality has been testified to earlier, is that there are agencies is that aren't as credible and we do have to worry about them and we're very careful. and there still is an element of risk no matter how much due diligence you do but that's a risk we're willing to accept when it comes to saving these little ones and bringing them back to their families. i'll let others address the questions, too. >> i would like to mention something related to that question. >> [ speaking spanish ].
>> translator: congresswoman wagner she would like to commend the work that you're doing on behalf of herself and the girls that she knows are in the shelters. >> [ speaking spanish ]. >> translator: yes. i know a very good friend of mine called anita. she's in the book that rosie provided for you. that was sold in advertisements in the newspaper. >> [ speaking spanish ].
>> translator: she's also thanking tim and o.u.r. and attorney general reyes for the work they do and our shelter in mexico city we have a rescued victim that o.u.r. rescued. her name is b.b. she lives with us. and carla works directly with her, helping her with her whole process. so we're happy to say that there are places where the girls that they rescue end up being well taken care of. >> let me just ask what the role in -- particularly in the healing process. i've actually been in shelters in russia, peru bolivia ethiopia, romania, ukraine italy, bosnia, just to name a few of the countries. and i have observed a marked difference in terms of the
positive impact on women and young girls when there is a faith-based component of some kind pf some are run exclusively. in bolivia and peru they're run by nuns. and the young girls in peru -- greg and i were in the ones in ethiopia. piro and i were in the ones in peru and some of these other essentially south american countries. and i was really touched by how much the feeling seems to go so much further when there's a faith-based xhoept. i'm wondering what you think about that. pope francis and other distinguished clerics has made this a high priority, and caring especially for the victims. what your thought on that might be. >> of course in mexico we work with three charities, the only ones that helps victims of human trafficking, and the three of
them has that composure. >> has what? are faith-based? >> yeah. faith-based. we believe that's important until they really are sxuchls. i'm so proud of carlita because they do a book of dreams and we all -- these 97 ngos, we help them to succeed. we also work in jails with the pimps. that has been very powerful. if you can watch cnn, the commentary that is called "human merchandise," you can watch one of the pimps who is acting forgiveness to one of the friends of carlita that is also in the book marcela. all the girls you can see in the book are successful victims because all of them knows now that they are special, that they were created to an important mission now. and because of that these also
pimps, carlita has been in jail with them and it's very powerful to work in just restoration -- how do you say, restorative justice? they have been able to ask forgiveness to the victims. that's powerful too. >> thank you. >> well, let me say this, mr. chair. we certainly are welcoming to all organizations of whatever background that want to join the fight. but so many of our best partners in this effort are faith-based organizations, and it does have a powerful impact in the healing process that i've seen. on a side note i remember when i let my staff know that i was heading down. i have a chief civil deputy, someone i greatly admire, a hero of mine, and he said to me, atypical of his usual deference to my position, he said boy, i
wouldn't send my own troops down where you're going. you can't go. and my response to him was general, i feel like god is on our side in this effort and that he'll protect us and that i've council with so many of those survivors who've said that it was really god and faith that kept them alive throughout the process so of course in the healing process i would expect god and faith would play a critical role and i'm not ashamed to say that. i think that is an important component of it. whatever someone's conception of god or faith may be, i think it's critical. last thing, and this is i guess the butte yif having c-span cover this, i get texts from people saying you need to cover this or that. in terms of the girls we worked with many of them were able to get back to their families. and i think that's what people
were curious about did they get back to their families? in some sad cases it war their families that sold them in the first place or the family environment is not one comfortable enough that we feel comfortable putting them back in that environment. so again with our government partners and non-profit partners both domestically and international, we look at putting these children in deference to their family first in a situation where they can win. because the last thing we want to do is liberate them and set them up for failure without the resources they deserve. it is true because people ask, sometimes their families, their direct immediate families were the ones that decided to profit from them. so they may go to next of kin. however, i wouldn't be too judgment judgmental. in most cases the families did not know they were putting their children in harm's way. in this case they thought they were giving them a chance to make more money in one year in a modeling agency he which is part of that culture beauty
pageants, than both parents could make in a decade. why wouldn't they want to support their other siblings? and they innocently let programs, the women we help liberate in my state, the victims, we found out they thought they were signing up for an english united states cultural program or english language program and the wily traffickers, the ones who are cagier will often with a gun to the heads of victim essentially figuratively or literally to have them skype their families once a month to say we like it here, but in the meantime, they're put ten to 20 in a little flat, beaten, ra p ped,ped, drugged, abused. their humanity and dignity is stripped away so we do everything we can on the back end to give them chances to
reintegrate and be successes like our hero here today. thank you for your time. thank you for all of your efforts. we hope our senate, your senate colleagues are listening carefully to the testimony today. >> thank you for your strong appeal. coming from a person with your experience and knowing the direct impact it will have. it is very, very powerful. i have one final question. yield to my friend for any additional questions she might have but one of the emerging phenomenons we've seen is it's not just organized crime but gangs that have embraced human trafficking in a very despicable way. we've had a number of busts in my state of organized crime out of that, too, but of gangs and these young girls that are being
exploited are 14, 15, 16 years old. if you can speak to that as an emerging threat because it seems to be going from bad to worse. gangs do things with violence of other kinds, they're also now in the trafficking business of human persons. >> also we have that punishment to the people who are in organized crime or gangs that will take this young people like to sell drugs or to be forced to do crimes and it's happening in our country. we are fighting against that. and also, we are having agricultural people forceded to labor and we just had a little girl who escaped from being forced labor in it was like --
dry cleaner and she was even with chains in her body two years. she is devastated. it's the worst case and it's happening and that's why the laws has to be we would like to congratulate you because we can see in your heart that you have the passion to -- you have the same spirit of abraham lincoln and we're very happy to be here with you. >> thank you for your leadership. >> the dynamic you described, mr. chair, i believe is an accurate one. more and more. in fact i think the prevalence of those who are traffickers is less from large organized criminal structures and rather either smaller gangs or one off cells.
the vast majority of, especially during operations, are really small and in fact, in colombia, the intel we received on that particular cell we busted came from high level narco traffickers. perhaps there is honor amongst thieves. either we'll take care of these guys or the government can do something about i and the government reached out to operation underground railroad and said tim, please come in now and help us devise a way to help us go after them without endangering other citizens and so, again, to my point, it seems to be less and less huge cartels and much more just just smaller -- because historically, the downside has been very small. that hasn't been that much disincentives in materials of the laws. things are changing with the
laws you're helping us pass dmosically. things are changing because of the international megan's law that will hopefully eventually be the law of the land. >> i would agree, general that make it's not all large cartel business, but it is big business. here dmoes domestically any given traffic about six to eight women. they make 150 to $200,000 a year. off of each one of those victims. and it's absolutely as i've said before, deplorable. what lifts me up and gives me great hope are people like you
and and survivors. i've been to the safe homes and shelters. i've worked with these young people. i've been on sting operations myself. probably not on the front line as you were general but i have been there when we saved two young women and caught two pimp at the same time. we dig in big time and at the end of the day, there are things we can do, but education and awareness are key and i can't stress that enough. across the board everywhere. our school hospitals, whether as i said convention and sports.
it's interstate access, so there are also things that i think that we can do and are putting legislative teeth behind studies and bringing together research and information about who are the most vulnerable? the ones that are most likely to be victimized so that we can take care to watch out and over and give folks the resources and information about how to not fall prey to this kind of victimization. so, again, i aplaidplaud your efforts. it is a -- i've got a young daughter. i have nieces. i care about their future.
the future of all of our young children and grandchildren. and i will fight legislatively fight for education and awareness on this issue until i've the last breath in my body and i thank you, general, i will absolutely get with you. some of my staff is here to, we're working as i said, oon some best practices and programs for some of the schools and i think we've gotten their attention, so applaud you and i thank you, mr. chairman, for giving me the time today to come before you. >> thank you. as we conclude, i'll just when we talk about situational awareness, one of the best prak practices that is of almost no cost except for the training and that is to train airline flight attendants as well as the pilots to recognize a woman named nancy bravard has come up with and
others, airline ambassadors international, a wonderful program so that the flight attendants become situation alley aware, become eyes and year ears of the flight and then law enforcement is advised in a timely fashion in case of a plane as it lands, to there to ascertain whether or not there is a trafficking in progress and there have been number of tremendously encouraging stories where this has broken the cycle. coming out of haiti, american air lip airlines was able to break a cycle of little children where a pedophile ring was broken. flights comeing out of russia to chicago where every couple of days, there would be a number of russian girl, young girls with one guy. something wrong with that picture. turns out it was a trafficking ring and the flight attendants -- europe, so that
thousands of airlines of what it looks like not to be law enforcers, not to put potential victims at risk for themselves begin to phone ahead so that when the plane land, they are rescued and the trafficker is apprehended. >> the trucking association has been terrific partners. we need everyone. >> mr. chairman, would you mind repeats? >> nancy revard. we at the department of homeland security have a best practices module or training capacity called blue lig