tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 26, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
negotiating any security council resolution. >> let me say in conclusion what is disturbing about some of the remarks that the president has made is that there is the hint or maybe not even a hint that perhaps next time around on some of these resolutions rather than vetoing them, the anti-israel biased resolutions, we might just abstain and that of course would allow it to pass. when some of us hear that, we cringe because if we can't count on the united states to stand firmly behind israel against these ridiculous one-sided biased resolutions, then i think it makes the u.n. almost worlz -- worthless in terms of a group trying to move the process along rather than beating up on israel with the built-in bias at
the u.n. so when we hear those remarks from the president it disturbs many of us that have supported a two-state solution and support israel's right to exist and fight against the -- the did he legit masation of israel. >> we go to ileana ros-lehtinen. >> thank you so much chairman and madam ambassador thank you for being so kind to my interns before this session. following up on the excellent remarks made by ranking member engle, as we know president obama issued a not so veiled threat to israel that the us might not be able to support a veto of the french resolution at the u.n. security council on palestinian statehood. you used the word oppose but will the united states, yes or no veto any resolution at the
u.n. that forces and imposes this two state solution on israel? what will our position be? will we veto. you say we oppose, but will we veto. though would send a strong message? >> again, given that we worked last summer on a u.n. security council resolution with israel that we were prepared to support and weren't able to get everybody on the council to rally around, i just think it is perilous to make blanket statements but i want to under score we have consistently opposed and will oppose anything that is biased or undermine israel's security and i think our track record is -- is very solid here. >> thank you. i think it is that track record that worries israel. i applaud you for saying that you're going to root out the anti-israel bias that exists and sometimes we don't have to look too far to find that bias. moving on to u.n. reform can
you provide to this committee later in written form a breakdown of exactly how much money across the entire u.s. government have we contributed annually to the u.n. since 2011? i would appreciate that madam ambassador. and regarding the iranian nuclear deal and iran and the sanctions we have on iran, recent reports indicate that the administration will not only seek to lift sanctions at the u.n. on iran's nuclear program and also lift sanctions on iran for the ballistic missile program and the conventional military support for terror and abysmal human rights record will the administration lump all of the actions against iran as nuclear related? when we try to bring it up they said it was not nuclear related but to seems to lift sanctions, everything is nuclear related? >> um first on your first
question thank you for not asking me to do that math here on the spot. it would have been deeply humiliating. >> tough me me to chew on that too. >> and then second, on iran absolutely not, i think is the answer to your questions. we will -- the sanctions that we, the united states, have put in place that are so important on human rights, given the dip lorable human rights record that have not approved, and the things in iran and human rights should remain in place. >> if i could continue. a panel said the u.s. has neglected to report human rights violations which the administration has denied. has the administration deliberately failed to report or refer violations of security council resolutions to the sanctions committee and has there been a formal or informal
directive from the white house to not fully implement or report on violations of security council sanctions? >> absolutely not. and i myself am involved often in raising sanctions violations that iran has carried out. and even over the life of the last delicate phase of negotiations instituted more sanctions under the existing framework that congress has been such a critical part of. so there is no pulling of our punches, even during the negotiations or ever. >> thank you. and lastly i remain concerns about the security situation in haiti. just last week this committee sent staff to haiti to report back to us on the status of its elections. according to our staff several people in the security and diplomatic sector expressed concerns that pulling u.n. troops out during an election year was a huge mistake and that the haiti national police may not be ready to secure stability
and security. what is the justification for the troop withdrawal at this critical juncture and why were those concerns ignored and will you commit to keep the few troops that will remain in haiti after the elections are finished, we hope in 2016? >> thank you. i myself was in haiti in january asking many of the same questions that you've just posed. i think what is very important is that the environment now in haiti is different from the environment post earthquake. we had huge engineering battalions part of the u.n. mission in haiti who are removing rubble and most of the rubble has been removed and so we have seen yes, a drawdown in terms of the authorized number of troops and that is something the united states has helped spear head and recognizing that the system is massively stretched around the world recognizing we have to answer up here also in terms of the
budgetary demands that the u.n. peace keeping makes on the american people and other member states. but mainly in this instance, recognizing that police -- foreign police units more mobility fewer engineering battalions that you needed a recalibration of the mission according to new circumstances so it is true there has been a significant drawdown but there is still a substantial infantry presence and still the ability to do rapid response and we've introduced more helicopters to allow troops and police to move more quickly across the country and a lot of the functions that the u.n. peace keeping missions were performing to the u.n. country team the development professionals an the election experts and that is not really a job for the military in many cases. and i would also note that you are right that the haitian national police have a long way to go but the strides they have made over the last two or three years are really extraordinary and very much the product of
u.s. and other member state bilateral support and the u.n. training that has gone on there. >> thank you so much. haitian americans have greatly enriched our south florida community and we pay such close attention to haiti. thank you so much. >> mr. brad chairman of california ranking member of the southern pacific. >> thank you for your service in government and before you joined government thank you for your work in exposing genocide, particularly the army in genocide. i want to echo the ranking member on the protection of israel at the united nations. we were all concerned by some indication that the administration would cut back that support. it's good to support israel.
it is even better when it is difficult. and i want to praise the administration for standing with israel at the npt consensus review process where in order to prevent actions an imiccal to israel, we opposed the actions, because we had to the entire agreement. so hopefully that answers the question as you have here when you committed to the remarks -- ranking member to veto anti-israel sanctions at the u.n. and the president has recognized that involving u.n. and the details of the peace process is not a way to advance peace. obviously the u.n. might adopt a
resolution that had a few noncontroversial provisions, two state solution and security and peace for all. but would we veto any u.n. resolution that tried to cod ify the parameters of a peace deal and including controversial elements in that codification. >> thank you, congressman sherman, i think that is a reprieve of the congresswoman's question with a slight shift. i really am going to resist making blanket declarations on hypothetical resolutions. our position, again i think has been very clear for some time. i have said again we would oppose anything that was designed to punish israel, that would undermine israel security. but i think again it is perilous, there is no resolution
in front of us -- >> i'll move on to less hypothetical questions. first under current u.s. law they are required to cut off palestinian aid if they pursue charges against israel at the icc and i'm confident you'll follow the law on that one spirit and letter. and i won't even ask that as a question because i know of your dedication to law. the united states constitution vests specifically power over all international commerce especially sanctions, or particularly sanctions, in the united states congress. the administration has the area of trade recognized that the congress is the primary arbiter and has asked us to pass a statute providing limitations and structure. but i want to make sure that the administration will follow article one of the constitution when it comes to sanctions on
iran. we've got this review process. i would hope that you would negotiate a deal -- in switzerland, so good that congress universally supports it but that may not be the case. imagine a situation in which there is a deal that is cut, the administration supports it but less than one-third of either house has indicated support for the deal. there are news reports that you will prevent a lifting of u.n. sanctions, at least for a month, to give congress a chance to go through the process of review. will you be -- allowing a lifting of u.n. sanctions during the statutory review process? >> um thank you. i thought you were going to another hypothetical but you went directly to an issue that i know that is in the news.
it is useful and appropriate needless to say, for congress's voice to be heard and i think the bills that have come now through both houses provide -- >> and signed by the president. >> pardon me? >> and signed by the president. >> and signed by the president. provide a structure for that voice and there is some predictability, to it i think at least in terms of process. as you indicated, our view is that we will be able to defend any deal that is good enough for us and we'll come up here and seek to do so. on the precise sequence, it is clear that there are now two bodies whose voices will need to be heard and again how those -- >> so you are saying it is possible that if the united states congress declares by over a two-thirds majority in both houses that we reject the deal
if we establish u.s. policy on this deal pursuant to article one of the constitution, you might still be at the united facings undermining that policy declared by congress pursuant to the constitution. >> if the gentleman will suspend we'll have the ambassador answer the question but we'll try to get everybody in with the five minutes. >> simply to say that is a hypothetical and about what the vote in congress would be. we feel this is a deal we can defend where we can convince congress to support the deal. all i'm getting at is the actual previce choreography of how the sequencing works through, that is a matter of negotiation. >> thank you. we turn to christopher smith of new jersey, chairman of the human rights and international operations and we'll try to do those in five minutes so everyone will have a chance. >> thank you madam chair and welcome madam ambassador and thank you for your testimony and for your work.
more than a decade ago, madam ambassador, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation and abuse and peace keeping was exposed in the democratic republic of congo. i chaired a series of hearing in 2005 and i went to goma and spent a week meeting with peacekeepers to try to get a real plan to try to eradicate that horrific abuse. and like i said, a number of hearings, jane hall loot sat where you sat and she is my third cousin and she did a magnificent job at the u.n. and tried to get zero tolerance and some of the witnesses then and some would say still there is say lack of compliance with that blue helmet bulletin. last year the advisory committee on administration and budget said nearly half of the allegations in the peace keeping involved the most minors and sited
haiti congo, liberia as the chief defending employments and the u.s. chief of office of over sight tried to combat abuse by u.n. peace keepers and they found troop contributing countries who retain the primary responsibility to investigate misconduct apparently not doing a very good job. questions about the quality of the investigation standards, wide variations in sanctions that weaken the commitment to zero tolerance and get this -- the penalty is often simple re pate ration and disbarment from any future u.n. peace keeping deployment, not prosecution and jail. i and o.s. made considerations, that i think bare consideration on an expedited basis and perhaps you could speak to that
and there was a real lack of helping victims, particularly little girls who had been abused. and secondly, let me ask you about a syria war crimes tribunal. in 2013, i wrote an op ed for the washington post and held again a series of hearings david crane, the former prosecutor from the sierra leone special court and he and so many others made it clear, the icc is not up to the task. we need a reasonable court like yugoslavia sierra leone and to take the lessons and prosecutor in iraq and syria those on either side or any side committing these terrible atrocities. and your thoughts on that. and finally ecosoc vote down the american ngo known as freedom now and the no vote came from china, russia cuba sudan, iran nicaragua and others and
i've worked with freedom now for 15 years and worked on gang father lee in vietnam, and in burma, a great organization, on the same day the palestinian center which works with hamas and hezbollah was approved and what are we doing to help them get their accreditation. >> thank you, congressman. i'll try to move quickly through each important issue. freedom now, they are doing work to highlight the plight of political prisoners around the world. i use their work and try to reinforce whatever they are campaigns on and members of congress have teamed up with them and the very sad fact is that then go committee in which members are elected by the regions is stacked with a group of countries who don't themselves tolerate ngos in their own countries.
and so it is almost every frustration that one feels about who gets elected to this or that in a u.n. body stems from the same issue is that regions are not taking sufficient responsibility for the integrity of who they are putting forward on behalf of their continent and this is a classic example. but we are not giving up. we're working behind the scenes with freedom now and we have a chance now that it goes to the full economic social council from this subset or the smaller ngo committee, we have a chance to over turn the vote. it is going to be challenging, because recall in the united as a whole a body of nations more than half are not democratic and so we always have our work cut out for us but we've been able to score a number of victories for political prisoners and human rights and we dedicate ourself to that and welcome the support of congress and leveraging capitols and so forth. and second working backwards on syria and i remember well your
op ed and i think it is a very, very important idea that you have put out there. the issue with the icc, it may well not prove up to the task, but the bigger issue with the i cia cia is -- icc, there is way to get through the jurisdiction, that doesn't want to hold itself responsible or through russia, by supplying the regime is implicating in those atrocities. the same challenge as comply for the yugoslav or the rwanda tribunal and those came about through votes in the security council and that goes back to the first point i made in my remark as the the outset which is just this a way a permanent member of the security council can block -- whether an icc referral or the creation of an international tribunal of the kind you are describing. again, somebody -- i think chairman royce raised this before on accountability, you
say they are going to be held accountable and the question is when. we just in the last six months have seen perpetrators of the crimes carried out 20 years ago in swerve nitso held account but in bosnia -- >> thank you so much. thank you. i apologize. >> i'll find a way to get to sex trafficking somewhere else. >> now to please to return to congressman of new jersey, the ranking member. >> five latin american ambassadors were pulled from israel. i'm talking about chile peru salvador and ecuador and brazil and what efforts we are making to send their ambassadors back. i know we have sent letters to those countries urging them to
be engaged again. are we making any effort to urge them to send their ambassadors back. >> i'm going to take that question. all i can really speak to is what i do every day in new york which is lobby those very countries not to take the positions they usually take in the general assembly on the specific issue of their level of representation i don't have an answer for that but we'll get back to you quickly. >> well that is going to bring me into the human rights commission. the u.n. human rights commission. i personally feel that they are not effective when you have a cuban sometimes leading the human rights commission. since the president made his announcement, the abuses have increased. people are put in jail. women are beaten just to go to church. and this human rights
commission, i never hear anything regarding the abuses on the island. and i know at one time cuba was in charge of this commission. that is the biggest joke i ever heard. so what can we do to get them to speak up about the abuses on the island? i mean this is a crackdown on the very people that we are trying to help supposedly. >> thank you, again let me just say on the question of the conditions inside of cuba, i couldn't agree more. there have been -- i just looked up the numbers on the way over here 600 arbitrary detentions just in the month of may alone and 2300 over the course of this year in 2015. so there remains a significant human rights crisis inside of cuba and i want to under score
again that the effort at normalization is aimed at getting at some of these issues. clearly it is not having inform over night effect. and he don't think anybody expected it would. but the bet we are making is over time more access to information, nor internet and exposure to american values is going to actually help -- help ensure that cuba again over time liberalized but again we have to speak out about the abuses. >> i was going to add if nobody speaks up. >> i certainly do. >> and but no matter what efforts we make. >> if i could, in addition tole earlier follow up that i owe you, i will send you the public statements made by senior u.s. officials since the changes in our relationship with cuba were announced because think don't think we have held our tongues at all. and i meet with dissidents like
sanchez and the daughter of pia and the people who may have been murdered by the regime. we need to walk and chew gum at the same time. it is extremely important. but if i could distinguish that from the human rights council issue you raise -- they are related. the human rights council is vulnerable to the flaws that you and congressman engle and others have pointed to already in this hearing and others have made clear their views on. it is again a body in which a country that does not have a good human rights record can end up in a leadership position. that is officially true. it is also a body that the united states, by virtue of being a member, has used to create commissions of in inquiry for syria that would not exist because of russia's veto on the security council that has moved the ball very substantially on lgbt rights, the first time that they have said lgbt rights are human rights and creating anir
kwiy for north korea that documented the horror that the dual agos are -- the gulags are re -- inflicting every day. and what exists in iran, and so like a lot that exists at the u.n., it is not us, it is not the body. >> so we expect this will also happen towards cuba? >> i think one of the effects over time -- one of the effects over time in the u.n. system of the steps that the president has taken vis-a-vis cuba, my prediction will be that people will be focusing less on the embargo and u.s. policy, which is a diversion from the human rights situation inside of cuba and now we have a better chance of drawing people's attention to the human rights attention inside of cuba. >> thank you very much. >> return to dana roar backer.
>> thank you very much madam chairman and madam ambassador thank you very much for your service. and your much respected. your energy and your commitment and although there are some things that we obviously disagree on i want to associate myself with my colleagues' concern about the blackout of reporting of human rights abuses in cuba and let me just note this idea that -- well it is offset in some way by the fact that there so going to be more internet connection between people and more communication with people in the united states the people of cuba know when their neighbor has been arrested or beaten up in front of them. they don't need to see it over the internet. and the people who are beating them up and throwing them in jail, they know too. and in fact what they know is
we've given up a huge amount of leverage over them and gotten nothing in return. as they continue too press their own people. and i believe perhaps this travesty that we're discussing and describing here, really reflects why some of us don't have faith that the united nations, considering there is a cuban head of the human rights commission, that we don't have faith that the u.n. is going to be doing the right thing to create a better world than the united states has to play perhaps a more active direct role rather than trying to spend our time maneuvering through the united nations, all kinds of different resolutions and policies that could have the opposite impact of what we are looking for. with that said, i would like to ask you a little bit about ukraine.
you were mentioning the people who were shelled. a family that you know. or you described being shelled by the soviet -- or excuse me russian allies there in ukraine. how many civilians have died since this whole incident began, do you know? >> 3600 is the official number, but we think there is under reporting because the separatists don't allow access. >> well of that 6300 how many were separatists and separatist towns and villages? >> that i don't know offhand. >> you know, i'll tell you when i ask that question, almost nobody knows. but it was my understanding, i went over to europe and met with some very -- people involved in intelligence agencies in various countries, and they were telling me that actually in the
ukrainian military, which was one-third madeup of people who were not in the military but instead on the payroll of some olig arc, they had heavy artillery andin zimm natally shelling the separatist villages. do you know anything about that. >> first let me correct what i said earlier. you asked how many civilians were killed and to my knowledge the 6300 is civilian and soldiers so let me get you the break down on civilians if it exists. one of the issues that i raised in ukraine in my visit was how critical it is for the ukrainians to abide by international humanitarian law and it is critical for hearts and for minds as well -- >> it is possible that a majority of the civilian casualties that you are talking about were actually civilian casualties that were -- that were the victims of the ukrainian army and the oligarch
that financed one-third of the army at one point. is that possible? >> if i could say one thing first i think it is highly unlikely based on the reports from the united nationed and the osce and second i want to underscore why this started and it was because russia moved troops and weapons an so forth. >> and just so you know, madam, secretary, the russians would suggest it would start when there was a violent over throw of an elected government. >> i don't make it a point of listening to president putin. >> well i think you should pay attention to everybody's claims and refute them if they could be refuted rather than dismissing them. because i happen to believe if that coup, meaning violent over throw -- >> violent. >> violent over throw of an elected government had not happened we would not be in this situation and the ukrainians would have been spared this. but you can go beyond that to where our european alliesano
covish the deal he wanted and the response that most people in ukraine have they don't like russia and don't want to be in graemt with russia. there is a lot that led up to this. this doesn't start with russia going into the separatist areas, that is not where this started. >> thank you. >> thank you. now we turn to mr. ted deutsche on plast and north africa. >> madam secretary thank you for appearing today and standing up for the human rights for the people of ukraine. and i want to thank you for the outstanding work you've done representing this country and our values at the united nations. your efforts on the sierra conflict and willingness to speak out in support of human rights an efforts to get the u. n. to push back and the rights
on israel deserve to be kmeted. in syria we cannot condone to something you taught me, psychic numbing and i thank you for pointing out the use of chlorine against one's people is the use of chemical weapons against one's people. and blocking language that would jeopardize israel's security and preventing abt israel efforts to prevent children in israel on human rights efforts and you'll delentility mize apple to impose any rights on the conflict when only a settlement can bring peace. i appreciate your efforts that you described at the human rights council but i would suggest that the human rights council cannot be taken seriously. and i -- i am someone who believes in engagement at the
u.n. but i'm repeatedly shocked by the decisions of the council, including how some of the world's worst hume ab rights abusers are allowed to sit on the council. my colleague from new jersey talked about cuba. their alley valenzuela plays a prominent role as well. and i expect the same bias will apply when the investigation into last summer's conflict in gaza comes out which will be equally one-sided. i find it absurd that the council has only one standing agenda item -- the agenda item seven that relates to a specific country and that country is israel. and my question is while it says at the human rights council website it describes the election process but takes into account the contribution and protection of human rights an the voluntary pledges in this regard. under your leadership, madam
ambassador, has the united states suggesting that any reforms be made to the council so that the members of the council perhaps have to have -- have to recognize the importance of human rights as well? >> thank you congressman. let me say, the language that you've just read out was language hard fought language negotiated by the predecessors but the bush administration and by the united states. unfortunately, simply putting that language in the kind of founding ethos of the human rights council doesn't make it such. fundamentally, regional groups put forward the candidates they seek to put forward and sometimes they are a whole set of back room arrangements and all kinds of bilateral issues at stake in which people agree to give votes of certain countries on basis of things that have nothing to do with human rights
to just stipulate. there are two reasons i would like to at least appeal to you to still consider the united states membership in the human rights council very worthwhile. the first is the very reason you point to which is the absurdity of having a single standing right on not on syria iran, north korea and not on isil. it is ridiculous. but by the united states being on the council, we're in the room and we're calling it out. in fact, since we joined the council, the number of human rights council resolutions on israel has gone from half to a quarter. now a quarter is still absurd again given the state of the world. >> ambassador, if i could interrupt, we're going to have to recess the committee for 15 minutes and then we'll readjourn -- we'll commence again. but i'm going to have to ask the members also to -- that be clearing the room and leave the
dais and afterwards we'll reconvene at that time. thank you very much, ambassador. >> thank you, congressman. >> this hearing will re convene. and let me say, we appreciate the work of the capitol police to make us aware of a security situation and to ensure that the hearing here is safe to reconvene. and i appreciate the cooperation of our witness, thank you very much, ambassador. and we'll now go to mr. shabbon, ambassador power, for the questions he was going to ask. >> thank you ambassador power, i would like to associate myself with the colleagues, my colleagues on both sides of the aisle with respect to cuba. there is a great amount of skepticism there. i won't go into that in great detail because others also do but i share that skepticism. the topic i would like to go into in little detail is the fact that russia as we all know by force has taken crimea and
much of eastern ukraine yet this administration still hasn't supplied ukraine with weaponry that will be necessary for it to defend itself and our u.n. allies have done very little to help. but that is not really surprising. secretary kerry met with putin last month and in effect told putin that woe would lift sanctions on them if they promise not to take even more territory, not that they would abandon crimea but they not take any more territory. earlier this year my democratic colleague mr. connelly and i introduced the crimea annexation nonrecognition act hr 93 which states that it is u.s. policy not to recognize the sovereignty of russia over crimea offer its waters or air space. what is the u.s. and what is the u.n. doing to get russia out of crimea and it is no secret that some believe that this
administration wants russia's support in the iran deal so badly that it is willing to cut russia some slack on ukraine and especially with respect to crimea, what would you respond to that, please? >> thank you, sir. well having again just returned from ukraine, these issues are particularly fresh in my mind, as is the suffering of the people of crimea. many of whom have been displaced to kiev. the tatar community there, unable to exercise its rights. independent media shut down. disappearances detentions. so there are two issues in a way. but one is the fact that russia, a permanent member of the security council has attempted to lop off part of someone else's country and the second is the conditions in which people in that territory are now living or the displacement that has arisen from the abuses being carried out.
at the united nations as we discussed earlier, because russia is a permanent member and a veto holder, a privilege that all of us should exercise great responsibility in having but russia is not, our ability to get the security council to sanction a permanent a veto holder, of course is blunted. however, in the u.n. general assembly and this is unheralded and not wildly known, we were able to galvanize 100 countries to vote against what russia was attempting to do in crimea, to stand for ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and giving the people of crimea a choice between independent of ukraine and joining russia, didn't even give them the choice of remaining part of the country they were part of it. the consequence of that resolution which may sound symbolic is that the map as the
the united nations under international law will not change and so it is still the case that all of the maps at the united again show crimea where it belongs which is part of ukraine. and as you know u.s. sanctions put in place by virtue of crimea is not lifted until crimea is restored to ukraine. and with regard to secretary kerry's meeting i don't know if there is misreporting, but the u.s. position has been very, very clear, which is minsk implementation is required in order for there to be any offm ramp on the sanctions. minsk implement would result in the ukraine sovereign control. and that is our position and the position that the europeans agreed to at the g-7 meeting. >> thank you. i'm close to the end of my time and i have questions but i'll get in the one. as we know horrific things are
happening to christians and muslims under isis control. we've seen dozens of people taken out to beaches and beheaded in libya, we've seen people kidnapped and god only knows what happens, crucifixions and a whole range of things that have happen. what is the u.n. doing to protect christians in places like syria and parts of iraq and libya and what can we do to push them and get them off the dime to get involved here? >> um several things. first, part of ensuring protection for civilians who are vulnerable is being able to shelter them when they flee their homes and making sure they are not vulnerable then to secondary attacks. because of the horrors carried out by isil you're seeing a lot of advanced flight. if people even hear isil is en route, they are picking up families and kids and getting in the car and moving forward. it is the u.n. working with the
iraqi government and indeed even in parts of syria, with the syrian government, and with syrian pop position groups providing humanitarian assistance through the food program and sheltering refugees and the international organization of migration on the humanitarian side but the u.n. chairs a security council meeting on foreign terrorist fighters where we've tried to create an international framework where people share information and stop the flow of these many thousands of individuals from neighboring countries who have staffed isil, who are helping them refreshish the numbers even as the coalition degrades the organization. so the u.n. has become a venue in which we measure compliance and hold countries accountable to prevent people from leaving their territory or from crossing borders into syria and iraq to actually staff isil. the coalition effort has gotten
a lot of legitimacy at the united nations. 60 countries are part of it. iraq came to the council and ask for the united states and the rest of the international community to step up military and through using diplomatic political and other means against isil. so it is also a venue in which coalition countries come together to compare notes and figure out what more we can be doing because this is a long campaign with a lot of ups and downs and it is critical that we keep the military line of effort moving and at the same time the governance get as dress to people are not attracted to isil and we counter violent extremism in our own countries as people are getting alienated and radicalized and work the media piece and the foreign financing and done through oil or other revenue resource streams that we've sought to degrade and building on the international equation but the product of
things crossing borders and that is again where the united nations for all of the flaws shows thein dispensability because it is the one organization that can impose standards and hold people accountable globally that can be a venue for naming and shaming, but also for mobilizing resources. >> thank you. >> we'll go to representative karen bass of california. ranking member of the sub-committee on africa, global health and human rights. >> thank you, mr. chair, for calling today's meeting. ambassador, power in your opening statement, you really demonstrated in a few minutes the complexity of what is happening in the world today. the unprecedented number of conflicts. in this context i want to commend your leadership for focusing on conflicts in crisis especially in africa that often don't rise to the attention of the world. >> want to discuss a couple of
examples and in with asking you questions. you mentioned ebola but i want to highlight the fact you led the highlight in the u.n. to push the action to take action. you pushed the first meeting to gather international support and i think it is a source of pride for all of us the role our nation plays for stamping out ebola. and we have new cases. in terms of boko haram the council took a step to help defeat boko haram and assist in the effort to return the girls and you may know of a weekly campaign that goes on here led by representative wilson where members come together and make sure that members of congress do not forget the girls that have been missing for over the last year. so i appreciate your support for u.s. funding to directly support the a.u. effort to eliminate boko haram. and in terms of the central
africa republic in per undie i traveled with you and you were first in pushing the response in part because of the leadership in performing the atrocities prevention board and the board was informed and responded to the crisis at its onset and delivered $11 million in humanitarian support $60 million in military assistance to the international effort. in burundi, when we traveled there, you and ambassador thomas greenfield met with the president and encouraged him not to try to run for a third term and he did just that and there was the attempted coup and now there is chaos. and so the questions i had, i wanted to know if you could provide an update about the u.s. response to the crisis in burundi burundi, car and the new cases of ebola that have emerged. >> thank you, congresswoman. just to your opening point about the extent of the crises, the
gravity of the crises, one of the lines i've been drawing on lately is shakespeares line from the tempest hell is empty all of the devils are here. sometimes it feels that way. just to under score also the pride i think all of us and it really is -- it was a massive bipartisan shining example of what a significant bipartisan effort can -- the impact it can make in the real world on ebola. i mean you know, people really stepped up in this country and of course in the congress, providing the resources that we needed and drawing attention to the crisis. president obama sending nearly 3000 troops as well as a couple of thousand civilians. and then the american people. ultimately this effort was staffed by sanitation workers, health workers doctors twho left their families and took
tremendous risks recognizing a core axy um of the international system which is it won't come here if we can neutralize it there. and just on that score, where we are right now, when that meeting at the security council that you mention occurred and when president obama made his announcement which we then used to leverage to get commitments to other countries, you have the cdc and others projecting a million infections by january of 2015, we're now down to around 25 cases a week in sierra leone and guinea. and liberia down to zero since may. it is tricky. the last stage, and as long as there is one case it is a case that can quickly exponentially multiply. the systems are now in place. so again, the risk of a massive spike is -- has been mitigated substantially by the -- the
investments that we've already made. and kicking it but not ending the curve but bending the curve is a challenge to the last phase. the world program is there, providing food to people who part of the challenge has been insuring that individuals will step up and allow themselves to be isolated. they were often worried if they left their families there would be nobody to take care of them, and the level of community resistance to outsiders and to messages from the center has been an embedment but that's what we have to overcome in the next phase and get it to zero and concentrate on building back better so the societies are not only less vulnerable to an ebola outbreak. and you are right, when we look back at the last year we can on
the one hand take some satisfaction that we did go all in on preventive diplomacy and recognized that a decision to choose and seek a third term would be a violation of the agreement because the arue shaw agreement agreement, violating that was bound to have severe stabilizing affects and we got ahead of it and the message was sent and the security council traveled in the wake of our visit huge and sustained high level engagement by the united states, and you can say be prepared to walk away, and they will put their own self interests above the risk of severe destabilization.
right now there is a u.n. envoy attempting to broker a way forward between the opposition and the leadership but the third-term issue remains, the central sticking point and it's now compounded by the fact that the government in the wake of an attempted coup which we condemned, and once the peoples' rights are violated, it's a further destabilizing phenomenon. >> we will go to the chairman of the homeland security council. >> thank you for being here. the information sharing on travel and watch lists is a huge break through, and i commend you for that and i encourage you to
keep the pressure up on the foreign fighter issue. as you know the ue if you are a citizen of the european union and coming out of the region through turkey, you are not going to be screened past a watch list, which i thought was a glaring security gap. i know the parliament is getting ready to address this issue and many of the countries we met with understand the threat that poses and i hope you can continue to apply that pressure. let me turn to foreign aid. in response to the testimony
congress passed legislation that would tie their voting patterns to the u.n. to the amount of foreign assistance provided. however, in 1990, this provision was appealed and they continued the practice on voting and it listed foreign assistance alongside countries running both with foreign and against the united states. the obama administration ended this practice in 2010, and i want to see if you can explain to me why the administration ended that practice? i am not aware we ended that practice because we still retain very very careful records of voting coincidences that are
important, and i try to explain why a country goes from a yes vote to a no vote or an abstain to a yes, so it's extremely important, and we believe very much in transparency and i am sure this is something we can look at and take off-line. if i could get at the harder issue that you raise is not can we share our assessment of how countries are aligning with us on a range of issues, but it's the question of then what do you do about it? my view is that we should call countries out, we should press them publicly and privately and it needs to be raised in capital, and one of the advantages of being a member of the president's cabinet is the close working relationship with kerry and ambassador rice and we can make sure there is an accountability chain back to the
capital. depending on the vote, it's conceivable we can look along more robusts things that you described, and countries that may vote against us, let's say on the resolution in a general assembly and i wouldn't say against us but a resolution we vote for, but those same countries may be providing peacekeepers, and they may be countries that we are providing very generous contributions to and on combating hiv-aids. we are all part of trying to make sure they are getting educated. ebola, we de ebola. usually the decisions around who we provide assistance to are over determined by a set of facts and interests very, very important to us.
>> i know my time is getting close. it's very complex extraordinarily complex. i think congress has to look at the issue. i know you are required to submit annual report on the voting practices in the u.n. and it was due on march 31st and it's june. are you planning to file the report? >> we meet our requirements to congress so yes i will look into that. maybe it's on my desk. thank you ambassador power for being here and offering your expert testimony on many of the issues before this committee. i want to begin by recognizing the extraordinary leadership and
you have been able to lead in an effort to accomplish quite a bit at the u.n. thank you for your service. i want to first turn to the efforts being made to stem the flow of foreign fighters. as you mentioned in your written testimony, the president convened leaders in september where a security kourpbl resolution was adopted requiring countries to have laws to prosecute foreign fighters and those that fund them. what seems to be the greatest challenge in seeing those measures implemented and are there things we could be doing to support that effort, because we have heard so much testimony over the last several months about this issue of foreign fighters and stemming the flow of foreign fighters and it seems like a positive step but i would like to hear your thoughts on that. >> thank you, it's not often how the question is posed, which is
i think really important, and i think we have made substantial headway by putting the issue on the agenda by identifying the kind of categories in action in which countries needed to step up, and we are not where we should be, and by "we" i mean the international community. secretary johnson, our secretary of homeland security got to make this point and we got to hold the first ever homeland security council meeting, and this was our logic of saying in the old days if threats were one country crossing another country's borders, it made sense for the foreign ministries to talk to each other but when it's deriving from lapses of internal security or a community's failure to catch that somebody was drifting off and potentially about to become a foreign terrorists fighter we need to get people presideing over those
programs together, and we need to have more of those technical discussions where people dealing with threats inside their own borders come together. to your question on why it's, of course, a combination, first there are major issues of state capacity and weakness. many of the countries from which foreign terrorists fighters are coming are countries that have very poor border security and very weak intelligence services to be able to track citizens and how they are moving and this gets to the president's west point speech and sometimes people focus on different things and political will is an issue in other countries.
>> with respect to the efforts of the u.n. to protect lbgt individuals around the world, i would like you to speak to that, because as you know we have seen terrible increases in violence against members of the lbgt community and around the world and you led work in the u.n. and it gives you an opportunity to talk about successes, and recognizing it's a flawed entity, but there has been good that has come from our participation and maybe you can speak to that briefly. >> that's where i was going before we were interrupted before, so i appreciate that. we discussed at length some of the flaws or the structural issues with the u.n. security council, and time and again we find there or in the general assembly which is comprised with more than half of the u.n. member states are democratic and
not rights respecting, so it could be a venue in which like minded countries can come together to push the envelope on norms, and we all remember back in 1993, the beijing conference on women women's rights and human rights, the same shift has happened on lbgt rights where the declarations have been made and resolutions that ban killings against various groups now we managed to insert those killed on the grounds of sexual orientation status. i think that's an example, again, of finding the institution forum shopping within the u.n. and finding the institution where you can mobilize the votes and pushing the envelope. we have the second report ever prepared on the treatment of
lbtg persons and you have a norm, and that's not everything and you have accountability to that norm, how our country is measuring up and people who svelte invisible in their societies and persecuted now know the international community is watching and we have their back. >> i know my time is expired, and i just need to submit a question. if you could, madam ambassador let us know what forums and what benefit these international groups carry out it would help
guide the caucus and be an important entity, and i thank you again and yield back, mr. chairman. >> we will go to the senator from florida. >> you were talking about these are the kinds of conditions we're talking about syria and ukraine, the kind of conditions we see conflict in that the u.n. was created to prevent. we look at ukraine and syria and over 200,000 kills and afghanistan and iraq and north korea and africa, and it can go on and on and on and why has the u.n. not been more effective in preventing these? i read about the peacekeepers in haiti, and some were trading phones for sex, and this happens
over and over and over again yet we do a study to study it and there is no end in sight it seems like. why are they not more effective? >> thank you sir. >> and more importantly, how do we make them more effective? >> i ask myself that every day. there are 193 countries and half of whom are not democratic and to some extent the organization will reflect some of the dysfunction of member states that comprise the organization on the issue of sexual abuse. of course there is no justification, not one country that would raise its hand and say they are anything but revolted when that happens but as was said by congressman smith earlier, when a member is alleged to have crimes against
women or men or boys, and they go back to the state and the only punishment is not getting to carry out the practice they were carrying out. the reason i started my response to you by saying the u.n. is the sum of the efforts of the member states that comprise it is that ultimately our ability to change those horrific practices and that horrific lack of accountability is going to turn on what we achieve in the capital, in our strengthening of the institutions and insuring the countries have the rule of law, and they would come back and face, i think if it was a european, and that's not what happens in a lot of the developing countries where the systems are under developed. this is why investments again in the kind of institutions we were talking about in the context of foreign fighters is very important, and it's why using our platform to denounce it and never tolerate and to emphasize
the one part of the u.n. that we fund, which is the secretaryate and for the secretary general and his team to be investigating these abuses to be sending people home and to be calling on the member states, even publicly that's what is required to investigate and build on some of the internal, you mentioned, studies, and nobody likes studies for their own sake, but when you find that a country has not prosecuted a person who violated a child that relied upon that person for protection you call that person out -- >> i want to come back to that. i want to switch to iran. you said obama administration led multinational sanctions against iran to bring them to the negotiating table on the iran nuclear agreement. what was the purpose of that whole negotiation?
what were we trying to prevent? >> the negotiation or the sanctions? >> the sanctions? what was the whole point of that, and i know it was to bring them to the negotiation table, but with the negotiation now, in your mind what are we trying to accomplish? >> deny iran a pathway to nuclear weapons. >> that's what everybody says but yet we are beyond that because i have expert over expert saying iran has enough material for nuclear bombs now and henry kissinger came out and said that and george schultz said that and we had a retired general last week say they have enough and we are beyond that, and i don't see in good faith how we can support this agreement. i think sanctions should be back in place and you said president obama has snap back authority and do you think that would be effective? they are not even coming clean now, so why would we go forward
and if we do find out, you know, and it's more evident they have not held up to their end of the conditions, do we think we are going to put these sanctions back in place with snap back? >> if, first of all, again there is no deal, and we are still negotiating a lot of the terms of the deal and as you can see from some of the public commentary, there are significant differences that remain and our red lines are red and we are not going to take a deal where we can't come to the american people and say that we have achieved the objective that those sanctions -- >> i am out of time. the red line is they can't have nuclear weapons but they already have -- >> they don't. >> the experts disagree with you. we are beyond that. thank you. >> we go to mr. ted deutsch of
florida for the remaining two minutes. >> thank you for being here and thank you for staying and giving all the members an opportunity to discuss these important issues with you. i just have two final reports in my remaining time. first you said earler in response to a question about the specifics of snap back that congress will be briefed in a deal is done, and i just -- i would just make the request of you and the administration that rather than waiting until there is a deal that is done that this is the time over the next couple of weeks especially when it's so important for the administration to brief congress to let us know what is happening so that, one, we are aware of what is happening, and two we can chime in and have our questions answered and most importantly so that nobody is surprised with
the idea that a deal will simply dropped upon us at some date on or after june 30th. that's just a request. and finally, i wanted to thank you for your efforts in working with israeli ambassador of the united nations to put together the first general assemblies special session and i am grateful for your invitation to allow me to participate. some of the important topics we covered that day was the bias in parts of the united nations and the growing movement and thinly failed anti-sepl teuzism. my question is after that special session on anti-sepl
teuzam. how to help nations around the world that it's not just an issue as it affects the jewish community but when there is hatred, the jewish communities are like a canary in the coal mine. >> thank you for coming to that session, and i will come back to you about the iran deal in a second. it was truly a historic session. when you think about what the general assembly has done not only historically in terms of the resolution equating zionism and racism, but what it does annually this year with 18 anti-resolutions, to be in that
chamber i think was extremely important not only for the government of israel but for the united states and many of the countries that helped shepherd that session forward it was not easy. in terms of follow-through, i think we have to be careful not to confine discussions of anti-sepl anti-seplism. we are documenting who has done what. we are still doing a lot of advocacy in capitals to try to get governments to do what we have done which is to appoint a special envoy dedicated to the effort and somebody plugged in to the center and not somebody you throw off to the side and keep marginalized from the mainstream of decision making
because there's prosecution and education and community outreach and so forth that are central to this and require political will from the top. i know we are both out of time, and what i meant was the fundamentally this deal is going to come back here and people are going to be studying and asking questions, but as you know we have been briefing this deal at every turn and i believe specifically on the snap back mechanism, if members have not received adequate insight into how we are looking at that and what the range of options are, and, again if there is any
shortage in terms of how we are looking at this and that's something i would be happy to provide. i take your point, we have sought to engage congress throughout this process, and i think there have been more briefings on the issue than any other on planet earth, but, again, if there is more information we need to provide at this delegate stage i would be happy to do so but not in an open hearing. >> we do not feel we received the details on these negotiations, as you know, but we have a conflict of visions, i guess, on that. we will go now to mr. clausen of florida. >> you don't have an easy job. >> i love my job. >> thank you for coming and thank you for your service to our country. it sounds to me sometimes after listening today which i did atentatively when i was in the
room and when i was not, that the rest of the world gets a great deal here. the oil companies get to run great surpluses with us, and we fund their economies. then they all go to the u.n. and they pound on us, they pound on israel, and not objective with respect to israel or not objective with respect to slavery or cuba, and over all not objective, and then on top of that we get to pay for it. we are over 20% of the world's gdp and as i understand it we are paying over 20% of the cost of the u.n. there's something wrong with the picture. it seems we are not using our money at the u.n. to create
hrefage and nor are we using our markets to create leverage, and we fund everybody's economy and then we turn around and tolerate the kind of things you have been talking about today. being mr. and ms. nice guy doesn't seem to be working. people only understand leverage so therefore i am not clear why we don't use our economic and monetary leverage both at the u.n. and with respect to the global marketplace? am i missing something here in my synopsis? i am sure you are going to tell me i am. >> first, i understand the frustration and one of the priorities we have had at the u.n. is to get more countries to pay their fair share. you have seen over the last three to five years china's
share, for instance of u.n. peace keeping where the united states is the lead funder but its share has gone up by 50%, and the next round of negotiations you will see it go up another 50% and that's the kind of distribution of resource provision that we need to see, and as people graduate from being under developed countries they need to step up and take their share of the burden and that is something that is constantly being reassessed. >> can i follow-up on that point? with respect to china, the consumer via walmart, is funding their military and their economic prowess. do we ever talk about having them increase what they pay for at the u.n. and also do we want to use our marketplace to kind of level things out here?
>> well, just to stick to what i know best which is the place i work, and how we engage the countries that you have expressed concerns about you know, the fact of the matter is, we as a nation, as we saw with the ebola crisis have an interest in global health, security, and in part because of the global economy and in part because goods and people are crossing borders in the way they are so the notion we can take our marbles and go home and say good luck with that doesn't get at the core of the human security linkages. i think it's fair to ask shouldn't other countries be stepping up more, and peace keeping, it's not our forces going into south sudan and being on the bases and protecting civilians, and we are taking
advantage of the global system as well in order to insure that issued of shared security are being patrolled and manned by individuals other than americans and american families because we have done more than our fair share over this last decade. if you look at nato the figures are reversed, we 80% of nato's defense expenditures. i think u.n. peace keeping suffered from all of the things we described and that's why
president obama launched the initiative to make sure they have better capabilities to protect civilians in terms of our interests and seeing atrocities being prevented, radicalization prevented by virtue of having some stability and the rule of law advanced and there are a set of investments there good for us and the united nations helps us make them and also helps us force multiply, because what we invest we are able to leverage, and it's 72%. >> we go to the doctor from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you ambassador power for your service over the country and as a leading advocate on
global human rights. i will turn my questioning a little bit to internal politics within the u.n. as a body it has served us well throughout its history, but if we look, the makeup of the u.n. security council, you know it does seem like it's time to revamps the members you know, and if we take india specifically, one of the fastest growing economies certainly a critical ally of the united states, and my understanding is president obama publicly stated he would be supportive in including india as a permanent member of the u.n. security
council. can you give us a sense of how they might work within the political structure of the united nations to move forward including more nations as permanent members, again recognizing the world we are in in the 21st century? >> it's an excellent question, and because it's the 70th anniversary of the u.n. it's a question many of the counterparts around the world are asking this year specifically and there is no question when you have a body whose permanent membership has not changed in 70 years, you know there are people on the outside who ask is this the alignment of power and influence in 2015 and it's hard to say it's a perfect calibration. i think the challenge is while everybody -- almost everybody is supportive of security council reform in the abstract there are huge and quite bitter decisions in the u.n. membership of just who should get those
seats, and while india you know has the support the united states has made clear and president obama made clear we can't imagine a council that wouldn't include india and there are other countries throwing everything they have at preventing that outcome. so what has not happened is you have not seen version of security council reform that has gathered a majority of countries, and even this year when there has been more action on this issue you really have not seen momentum, again gather around any particular reformed scenario. the u.s. position something a very clear position, and we recognize the growth and the influence of countries like india, who incidentally are also one of the leading contributors
to peace kaepeeping, but we also are very focused on the effectiveness of the u.n. and efficiencies so we are also looking beyond that case at how countries would likely perform on the security council. we are looking at issues related to voting coincidence discussed earlier because, of course, we are looking for countries that share our approach to promoting international peace and security and promoting human rights and seeing links to humanitarian issues and -- this is not going to move forward quickly. >> as these discussions take place and the u.n. debates how to expand the security council, are there things that this body of congress can do that would be productive in helping move this along? >> i probably should have noted
that in order for security council reform to take hold this congress would also have to ratify any reform package, so in the past when the size of the council, while the permanent membership has not changed since 1945, the size of the council has and that has to come before this congress. maybe one thing that could be done is to pass imf reform because one of the things these emerging powers look to is the congress's ability to insure that international -- to support measures that would insure that international institutions actually reflect 2015 measures of influence including the economic influence as distinct from those from a decade or more ago. that has been stuck here for sometime and it would be a very important show of our attention to the rise of these countries to the need for their voices to be exercised and also to the
need for them -- for the need for these countries to dedicate more resources to the comments because as they want more reputation and authority we would like to see them contribute more to everything from peace keeping and development and humanitarian assistance and etc. >> thank you ambassador. >> thank you. >> thank you very much ambassador power. we thank you for being with us this morning and we thank you for returning after our brief interruption and i look forward to continuing to work with you on the pressing issues raised here today including the phraoeut of the ongoing crisis in syria, and with you and the administration on iran sanctions, the committee trusts the administration will be in close touch with us on the negotiations. we don't want to be surprised in
the final agreement given the position that congress has taken on this and especially the suggestion that the administration may be backing off its original demand that iran submit to inspections of its nuclear sites at anytime and this is important to us as is the question of lifting of sanctions not being on a front end as a signing bonus but instead being over the long haul of what was supposed to be a 20-year agreement, and we thank you again, ambassador, and see you soon in new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the u.s. supreme court today ruled there is a constitutional right for gay couples to marry. it was a 5-4 decision announced by president kennedy. after the announcement president obama spoke about it in the rose garden. >> today should also give us
hope on the many issues in which we grabble, often painful, real change is possible. shifts in hearts and minds is possible. those who have come so far are able to reach back and help others join them. because for all our differences we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone. that's always been a story. we are big and vast and diverse a nation with people of different back grounds and beliefs and different experiences and stories but bound by our shared ideal no matter how you started off or how -- who you love america is a place where you can write your
own destiny. we are a people who believe that every single child is entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. there's so much work to be done to extend the full promise to every american, but today we can say in no uncertain terms that we made our union a little more perfect. that's the consequence of the decision from the supreme court but more importantly it's a consequence of the countless small acts of courage of millions of people across decades who stood up who came
out, who talked to parents parents who loved their children no matter what, folks who were willing to endure bullying and taunts, who stayed strong and came to believe in themselves and who they were. and slowly made an entire country realize that love is love. what an extraordinary achievement, but one of vindication of the belief that
ordinary people can do extraordinary things. i am not one of those that believes in the psychiatric examination of people you know. i believe that most of these people, the psycho historians should be on the couch themselves rather than to psychoanalyze people they have never met. on the other hand, when i meet people, i don't judge them in terms of whether they have a firm handshake or whether they have eye contact, but what i try to do when i meet people is to listen to what they say. you don't learn anything when you are talking but you learn a great deal when they are talking. >> nixon endless ironies here. he did have a psychiatrist and he said he was careful not to have nixon think he was analyzing him. and he had psycho saw mattic
illnesses, and he had mild therapy. nixon, even though he went to one he hated psychiatrist and was always denouncing them and was afraid in a way of looking at himself in a realistic way. he said i don't carry grudges. hello? he was one of the greatest grudge carriers of all-time. >> evan thomas, author of "being nixon:a man divided" focused on the personal stores. that's sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "q & a."
the act allocated $4.2 billion to create the health program which provides monitoring, testing and treatment for people who worked in response and recovery operations as well as for other survivors of the 9/11 attacks. the authorization of the health program ends on september 30, 2015. another part of the law the september 11 victim compensation fund is under the jurisdiction of the judiciary committee. it will continue to accept applications until october 3rd, 2016, over a year after the health program authorization ends. the wtc health program funds networks of specialized medical programs. and these programs are designed to monitor and treat those with 9/11-related conditions. for responders the world trade center medical monitoring and treatment program for survivors the nyc health and hospitals
corporation wtc environmental health center for nyfd personnel the fire department of new york responder health program, the national program the wtc health program has a nationwide network of clinics with providers across the country for responders and survivors who live outside the new york city metropolitan area. these programs provide free medical services by health care professionals who specialize in 9/11-related conditions. our colleagues representatives carolyn maloney, peter king and jarel nadler, have jointly introduced legislation hr-1786, the james droga 9/11 health and compensation reauthorization act which reauthorizes the act. this legislation has begun an important conversation that will
lead to a timely and fully offset reauthorization of the health program. today's hearing will allow us to learn more about how the program is working and whether changes are needed. we will hear from the director of the national institute for occupational safety and health who is responsible for administering the program as well as from the medical director of the robert wood johnson medical school and two first responders who are enrolled in the world trade center health program. i look forward to the testimony today. and i would like to yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from new jersey representative lance. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is my honor to welcome david howly, a constituent of mine in new jersey's seventh congressional district to the committee this morning. david, thank you for making the
trip from new jersey to share your story and advocate for those who cannot be with us today. we look forward to your testimony. i first met david several months ago when he came into my office in westfield, new jersey to discuss the bill before us today. and this reauthorization act is critically important. david has been a tremendous advocate for the legislation because as he will detail in his testimony he knows firsthand the importance of these programs for him and his fellow first responders and survivors. david joined the new york police department in 1985 and served in various departments over his 20-year tenure. he is a third generation law enforcement official following the tradition of his father and grandfather he was serving in the nypd operations division on september 11th, 2001. and spent the next several months in the dust and rubble of
ground zero. i'm proud to have david here with us today. and i'm proud to be a ghost sponsor of this critical legislation. it is my hope, mr. chairman, that we can work in a bipartisan fashion to move this legislation forward quickly. and i look forward to voting for it not only here and in full committee but on the floor in the house of representatives. mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> chairman thanks the gentleman. and i would also note that some of our colleagues from the new york delegation who are not on the committee but very concerned of this issue and sponsors of legislation have requested to sit on the dice and we welcome them this morning. at this point the chair recognized ranking member of the subcommittee mr. green five minutes for opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman for holding an important hearing on this program. i thank the witnesses today for the first responders for bravery of service both on and after the tragic day of 9/11. thank you for coming today to share your personal experiences with the committee and shed
light on the significance of the world trade center health programs. no one here can forget the horrific attacks perpetrated on our country in the world trade center in new york, pentagon, washington and at the field in shanksville, pennsylvania. during and after the attacks tens of thousands of first spontders including police, firefighters, emergency medical workers jumped into action to assist in rescue, recovery and clean up. particulate matter and asbestos. this exposure caused many of them to develop a spectrum of the debilitating diseases including respiratory disorders. a report on the 9/11 health program suggested that firefighters who responded to the attack "experience a decline in lung function equivalent to that of which produced by 12 years of aging." in addition to the physical
ailments these heroes now have many have suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome, ptsd, depression, anxiety stemming from psychological trauma they experienced in the aftermath of the attack. nearly one decade after the september 11 terrorist attacks, 9/11 health and compensation act was signed into law. the act created the world trade center health program within the department of health and human services. the program provided evaluation, monitoring and medical necessary, physical and mental health treatments to first responders and certified eligible survivors of the world trade center related illnesses. it's also established a network of clinical centers of excellence and data centers. for these responders and survivors who reside outside a new york area, the act created a national network of health providers who provide the same types of services for world trade center related illnesses. while cancer was not originally listed among the statutory wtc related health conditions, 60 types of cancer were added.
and in 2012 at their petition by members of congress. as of may 5th of this year 3,700 members of the health program had cancer. the act also established victims compensation fund that provide compensation for harm suffered as a result of debris removal. that action by congress funding for the current health program will terminate on september of 2016. the 9/11 health compensation and reauthorization act will reauthorize the critical world trade center health program and the victims compensation fund. as required under the current program new york city will continue to pay 10% of the total cost. it's important to note the wtc health program serves our heroes nationwide and extends far beyond the new york area. both these and currently enrolled and future enrollees live in all areas of the country. as of august 2014, 23 of the 405 districts were home to at least
one 9/11 survivor. their own well being on behalf of the country in the wake of terrible attacks. we have a duty to serve our heroes with complex health care from 9/11. it's critically important we support the 9/11 health compensation reauthorization act. i'd like to thank the first responders for their gallant and selfless service on 9/11. also like to thank the doctors and administrators of the program for their efforts to treat the complex illnesses inflicted on our survivors. mr. chairman, somebody on our side of the aisle would like a minute i would be glad to yield to them. i would like to yield to my colleague from new york.
>> while not a member of the sub committee, i am a member of the full committee on energy and commerce, and i wanted to thank the chairman for holding this hearing and allowing me to sit in the very important hearing. also i want to thank our panelists. it's good that you've shared your experiences and remind america of the importance of renewing this very important program. this is a great first step toward reauthorization in a time when the american people are skeptical about the work of congress. i'm happy that this committee's working in a bipartisan fashion to move expeditiously to renew this important health -- these important health programs. congress must move forward to ensure first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the world trade center, the pentagon and shanksville, pennsylvania, continue to receive the care they deserve and so sorely need. with that, mr. chairman, mr. ranking member, i yield back the time. >> mr. chairman, i yield back.
>> chair thanks the gentlemen. now recognize the chair of the full committee. mr. upton five minutes for an opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. now, back on september 11, '01, the world as we knew it was turned upside down by the unthinkable acts of terrorism which took the lives of nearly 3,000 individuals in new york, pennsylvania and virginia. left a mark on every american. every one of us was impacted. from the smoldering ruins of the twin towers in the pentagon to the wreckage of united airlines flight 93, the painful images and heartbreaking personal stories of that day every minute will not be forgotten. we are remembering the thousands of innocents, lives lost and the loved ones left behind. many of us met with those. we also saw countless acts of leadership shown by the american in the hours of pandemonium. then for me as chair of the
telco subcommittee and on this committee i led a bipartisan delegation both to new york and to the pentagon where we witnessed firsthand the valiant efforts of our first responders who were certainly exhausted, overwhelmed but still working 24/7. when i sreus visited ground zero new york's finest were still working around the clock in impossible conditions for the recovery efforts and their selfless work took a toll on their health. we know that. the federal government provided aid to those that were injured through a discretionary grant program, as we should.
2011, and the act established the world trade center program and the victim compensation fund. our ranking member and our new york colleague, carolyn maloney and peter king now introduced hr-1726, the resoar taeugs act which would reauthorize both of these programs. in today's hearing we will focus on the world trade center program as it is the program that falls in this committee's jurisdiction. the authorization for the world trade center program ends in september a. few months from now, while the victim's compensation fund remains open for applicants into 2016. it funds networks and specialized medical programs to treat those with 9/11 related
conditions. those in the program are not just from the greater new york area. there was 71942 individuals in the world trade center program from 429 of the 435 congressional districts. in fact there are 75 michigan residents currently enrolled in the wtc health program. today's hearing is yes, an important opportunity to learn more about how the program is operated since its authorization in 2010 and what is it needed to successfully operate and meet the needs of those in the future. i want to thank those for their service and sharing their personal struggles with the sub committee. the bill needs to be passed, and i will look to consider every
effort to make sure that we get it to the house floor prior to its -- prior to the end of september so we will have an opportunity to make sure these victims are taken care of and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair is pleased to recognize the ranking member of the full committee a gentleman that has many constituents impacted by this issue, and five minutes for your opening statement. >> thank you, chairman pitts and chairman upton and i want to thank chairman upton for the comments he just made, highlighting how we need to perceive this as a national program, impacting people that came and helped out on 9/11 from all parts of the country. my staff is probably tired of my telling the story but i remember within a few days after the attack we went up to new york city with president bush and i was standing next to this big
yellow fire engine that said hi leah, florida. i said what is wondered how it even got there so quickly and i talked to the firemen from hialeah, florida and they said as soon as this happened we got in our fire truck and we drove up from florida because we wanted to help. and it just struck me at the time, about how so many people responded from all over the country. and so many people were injured because of the fact that they were there for a few days or a few weeks or a few months even. so this bill is a critical first step in ensureing that the 9/11 health program is extended as soon as possible. as you boblg already know this is one of my top priorities for 2015 and i'm grateful for chairman pitts and up tob and willingness to work with us to make sure the timely passage of the bill. i have to recognize all of the
first responders who are here and whom we owe a debt of gratitude. and i waptd to acnonl dr. iris you'dis and thank you for be here and share your expertise with us today and let me mention all of the new yorker, representative maloney the sponsor of the bill and representative nadler, and representative king i see who joined the committee today and our representatives, yvette clark, eliot engel and leonard lance, a co-sponsor. since day one you fought tirelessly ma make sure the responders are cared for and i'm proud to fight alongside you. beyond the loss of life we know with great documentation the first responders are suffering debilitating illnesses from the aftermath. in fact more than 100 firefighters and 50 law enforcement officers have lost
their lives to wtc related health conditions. addition sally active duty firefighters and ems personnel and 550 law enforcement officers were forced to retire due to wtc. we are now finding out how dozens of toxins and gas releases into the air effected first responders. including mental health conditions and cancer and that is why the james zadroga 9/11 health and compensation signed into law in 2011 is so critical to monitor eligible responders and providers and to provide medical treatment for soez suffering from world trade center diseases. but what is important to note is this isn't there to provide health insurance. these are health conditions chronic in nature and require expert diagnosis to treat and
this is why it provides networks of clinics and providers trained to treat these diseases and ensures that providers bear no out of pocket costs associated with these particular health conditions and it provides monitoring and treatment services for more than 71,000 responders and survivors. they reside in every state and in 429 of 435 congressional districts. if some of you don't know the law is named for james zadroga a new jersey hero who responded on 9/11 and spent hour hundred -- hundreds of hours digging through debris and died from respiratory failure after exposure to toxic dust at the world trade center site. like him thousands of people from all over the country came to the aid of the country and those at ground zero and those responders and survivors should not be abandoned and i hope we can expand the program without
delay. i only have 30 seconds left for mr. engel but i apologize and i yield to him. >> thank you for yielding and let me agree with everything you said. in the aftermath of september 11th, it is estimated that americans were exposed to copious amounts of smoke and asbestos and now suffer from debilitating conditions cancer, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and it goes on and on and it is heartbreaking that the 9/11 survivors and first responders have already given so much and must carry the burden of the long ailments and the very less we can do is to help them. and i was proud to be a co-sponsor of the james zadroga and proud to be a co-sponsor of the reauthorization today. and americans gave so much on
9/11, service to thur country and i specifically say americans because the population of those who benefit from the reauthorization spans the entire united states. it is 429 out of the 435 congressional district benefit from the programs so this is an issue of national performance. so the first responders who rely on the world trade center health program did not hesitate to risk their lives for fellow americans on 9/11 and we should not hesitate to care for them now so it is critical of importance that we permanently reauthorize the james zadroga health and compensation act. thank you chairman. >> chairman thanks the gentleman. and as usual all members, opening statements written opening statements will be made part of the record. that concludes our time for opening statement. i have an unanimous consent request to commit the following documents for the record. statements from representative
peter king new york second district. from the international association of firefighters. from the sergeants benevolent association. from the national association of police organizations. and an article from the new york city patrolman's benevolent association featuring mr. david howley. without objection, so ordered. we have two panels today. on the first panel we have dr. john howard, director, national institute for occupational safety and health. >> thank you very much for coming today dr. howard. your written statement will be made part of the record. you'll be recognized for five minutes to make your opening statement at this time you are recognized. welcome. >> thank you mr. chairman. and distinguished members of the committee. my name is john howard and i'm the administrator of the world trade center health program. i'm pleased to appear before you today to discuss the program and
those it serves who responded to or survived the september 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on new york city and responded at the pentagon and in shanksville pennsylvania. they responded to an epic disaster and as a result suffer mental and physical injury illness and the risk of premature death. the program members responded to the 9/11 disaster from all 50 states and it has been stated from 429 of 435 congressional districts. the original effort to care for those effected by 9/11 toxic exposures operated as a series of cooperative agreements and grants. as a discretionary funded program it depended on year to year appropriations making it challenging to plan adequately for the members' on going health needs. in january of 2011 as stated, the james zadroga health and compensation act became law. stabilization of funding allows
the program to more adequately care for 9/11 responders. in calendar year 2014, of the 71,942 members enrolled, 20,883-members received treatment from health conditions arising from hazardous exposures to 9/11 and more received health monitoring to ensure medical intervention for any developing health condition specified for coverage by the program. since the implementation members have been treat ford a number of different health conditions. for example 11, 473 members have been treated for asthma. 6672 have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder. and 6497 members have been treated for chronic respiratory disorders. the majority of the members suffer from multiple mental and physical health conditions and take multiple medications for
these conditions. certain types of cancer were added to the list of health conditions covered in late 2012. since then the program has certified 4265 cases of cancer. the world trade center health program fills a unique need in the lives of our members and for our society. first, members are evaluated and treat bid medical providers who have a depth of experience dating back to september 11, 2001, and the physical and mental health needs of 9/11 responders and survivors they are very familiar with, their expensive clinical experience with the responder and survivor population and the understanding of the role of exposure in causing disease exceeds the training of providers unfamiliar with the types of composures and health conditions common to the 9/11 population. and how to make the connection
between exposure and illness that the zag rogua act requires. second, our members are receiving health care that cannot be provided or only provided with great difficulty by other types of insurance plans. for example, health insurance plans do not routinely cover work-related health conditions, leaving such coverage to workers compensation insurance. however, workers compensation insurance presents coverage challenges to members because their 9/11 health conditions often first manifest after 9/11 many years later beyond the statute of limitations found in most state worker compensation laws. the world trade center health program serves a vital role in overcoming the difficulties that members might other wide experience in its absence. without the program, 9/11