tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN October 21, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
and read is accurate, that is that terrorist organizations are going to be tempted to try to infiltrate these refugees and try to sneak individuals into this country who might commit terrorist acts. i guess the question i have for you, how likely is it that terrorist organizations will try to take advantage of these to get people in this country who might commit terrorist acts. is it likely, not likely? >> that's an intelligence question. >> we've certainly seen terrorist groups talk about, think about exactly what you're describing, mr. smith, trying to use available programs to get people not only in the united states but into western european countries as well. so we know that they aspire to do that. i don't know that i would go as far as to say they are likely to receive. >> is it possible to conduct background checks on these individuals, or is it only if
they're already in the database that they would be flagged in other words, a terrorist organization suspect going to try to get someone in as a refugee if they already have a public background that you would be able to uncover. they're going to get people in the country who have not yet committed a terrorist attack. don't you think it is likely they are going to try to do that? >> there is a pretty thorough vetting process of each individual which encompasses a personal assessment of each individual which includes an interview. it is not simply what's in a public record. does a person have a wrap sheet of any kind. >> you're relying upon them and what they say or write out in an application. and you can't go beyond that. so you have to sort of take their way for it. another red flag is historically refugees have been members of families. yet the typical profile of a
syrian refugee, i'm told, are young, be single males as opposed to family members. if so, to me that would raise red flag as well. do you have any information or any comments about that? >> coming from me, sir, one observation i have of resettled refugees in this country so far, they tend to settle into communities that embrace them, that are supportive in syrian-american countries communities around the country. i have seen a that for me. it seems to be ape tight-knit community. >> your admission that there is some risk involved to me would persuade the administration to go slow rather than fast when it comes to meeting individuals who
might not -- who might do us harm. secretary johnson, let me move to another subject. this is a more domestic concern. the administration announced next month it will release a number of thousands of individuals that will be released from federal prison. what is the projection of how many will be released next month? these are criminal aliens. >> the total number that the department of justice plans to release pursuant to their guidelines adjustment next month i'm told is about 2,000. >> 2,000. >> yes. >> and how many of those individuals will be put into process to be removed? >> a fair number. this is -- let me stress this is something we have been moving on now. and the thing that i'm focused on, that i have been focused on, of those who are undocumented they come directly into our custody. they are not released into the
streets. >> okay. >> so i believe that process, because i have checked numerous times, is in place. that is exactly what is going to occur. >> the last time you appeared before this committee, i brought up the figure that the administration is releasing close to 30,000 people every year who have been in prison, been arrested, mostly convicted. and released then back out into our communities and neighborhoods. you said that figure was going to go around dramatically. it needed to stop. i have heard that for a couple years now are they still releasing information back into our communities, people who have been convicted of crimes, or are they being put into removal procedures now? >> mr. smith, i'm sure you're aware if someone is in immigration detention with a final order of removal, the law says that we have to do a six-month assessment. >> right. >> and if repatriation is not
imminent, there are only certain circumstances we can hold them. i am deciding the circumstances under which that happens. we don't have the numbers yet for fy 15. but i believe that the number of those who have been been released has gone down from 30,000. >> to what number? >> i don't have the number yet. but i'm told it has gone down from 30,000. fy 14 was about 34, as i'm sure you will recall. and i believe it is south of 30 for fy 15. >> i hope it is very far south of 30 for the sake of innocent american citizens. thank you. >> thank you. i just want to state for the record that isis has been on record and they want to exploit the refugee process to infiltrate the west. and i take them at their word. i would caution the administration to proceed very carefully in this program.
the chair recognizes mr. launch. >> thank you, mr. chairman i want to thank the witnesses for being here today and your testimony. mr. secretary, you referenced and have spoken about a recent breach of opms networks in protecting agency networks. you understand that the leadership at o on pm ignored warnings from your own inspector general. i know dhs can provide tools, assist. under agencies under your care will not suffer a breach like omms? >> i can tell you we are making rapid and significant progress to ensure that that does not
happen. the einstein 3a system right now which has the ability to block intrusions is available and deployed to half the civilian federal deposit. i have directed my folks at dhs to make it available to 100% by the end of this year. and i believe we're on track to do that. we have gotten agency heads, who by law are responsible for their own cyber security. to focus on this issue. an issue of binding operational director in may pure saoupbt to the congress. the get agency heads to focus on this issue. and we have a very aggressive plan for enhancing our diagnostics abilities. so i believe our awareness in these agencies has been enhanced significantly, including because of the opm breach.
and that we're on an aggressive timetable to cross the federal government and ensure this kind of thing can't happen or the risk of it happening is significantly reduced. >> on the issue of binding operational directors, i want to know, and what congress has authorized, but how does it work and what are the consequences if a binding operational directive is ignored by the agency? >> well, basically, the way the authority works that congress has given me, i have the ability to go to each agency and say here are your vulnerabilities. you need to clean them up by a certain date. and if you don't, they'll be highlighted. and we'll have to follow up with you on this. >> highlighted. what does that mean? what's the consequence if they ignore your recommendation?
>> my recollection, and now i'm working on recollection, it means a report to congress and to o&b. i don't have the authority to simply do that for an agency head myself or in any way fine more sanction. >> that's a frustration which i have been talking about. i think you or somebody needs that authority. before time runs out, do you still believe agencies should have primary responsibility for the defense? >> agency directors, administrator themselves should be responsible for their own networks. i believe that dh should have the overall responsibility for the security of the federal civilian gov system. it should be on on each agency head. >> i tend to agree with you that you should have more responsibility than that and authority.
mr. secretary, as you know, one of my critical concerns is infrastructure protection from cyber attack. many of us are aware of the threat faced in cyberspace. i'm curious about your take on the response of critical infrastructure owners and operators. there has been a tendency to be the minimum requirements put on them. to ask the government to incentivize any measure taken beyond that, owners and operators are innovating in their defensive efforts or just generally getting by? >> i think it depends on the size of the business and the segment they're in. but i believe owners and operators of critical infrastructure are taking the threat more and more significantly because of the information we are sharing with them about what we are seeing about some of the threats that have been directed to them. so i believe there is an
increasing awareness and it is not just a minimalize approach. >> thank you. director comey, you referenced the steps the fbi is taking to stop terrorism despite the challenges of going dark. i share your concern. can you expand beyond working with tech companies to address the problem and acknowledging you're not asking for a legislative solution. what are the other methods the fbi does employ? >> thank you, congressman. when we face a needle that's gone invisible on us, we have to lean on law enforcement techniques, see if we can get the source close to the person, an undercover close to the person, see if physical surveillance tells us something about the person. those are obvious shortcomings in those techniques. but we're not going to stop trying to get the job done. so we will lean on other things we have done for years. it will be in adequate, frankly,
but we will keep working on it. >> i thank the chair. this is an issue i have an increasing concern about, going dark. our intel and law enforcement's ability to adequately see into the threats that are facing us and to challenge and we have to continue to confront. >> yeah. i share that concern as well. the chair recognizes mr. ryaners. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i share the concerns by mr. smith about isil using the syrian refuse zees that the president has decided to allow into this country as a vehicle to sneak bad actors in. you described a, "pretty thorough vetting process" as part of our responsive answer. can you tell me a little bit more about that process. >> well, first of all, we're happy to brief you more of the nonsense active aspects in a nonpublic settings.
it involves law enforcement and intelligence and the information they have regarding each individual applicant. it is a more robust process than it used to be. to some, it is time consuming. but it is something that i think we need to do. and it involves any information you may have. it may take some time to resolve any uncertainties about the information. there may be a variance in a name or date of birth or something of that nature. it involves consulting a number of different agencies as well as as personal interview and gathering as far as information as we have about the person. >> i would appreciate it if you had your appropriate staff member present that to me. direct comey, from personal experience, i have seen your agency do some phenomenal things with virtue a alley no evidence other than a bad act, to locate
bad people. having said that, i'm curious to know is there any other tool that we can provide you, the congress could provide you that would help you locate these individuals that you referred to on social media that are recruiting is and organizing in this country that you don't have at present? >> i don't think so, congressman. it is not about new authorities according to the fbi. you have given us the authority to go to federal judges, make a showing of probable cause, get a search warrant. we're big fans of the rule of law and the bill of rights. so i think that's a good set of authorities. the challenge we face is solving the problems with those tools under the fourth amendment are no longer as effective as they were before. and that is this huge problem i'm talking about.
i don't see it as more authorities for the fbi. i see it as having the authorities -- we already have the american people have given us, can be used to good effect. >> you also made reference earlier, you and secretary johnen son, about the surge of activity that you're having to manage now. do you have the adequate resources to deal with that surge? i know secretary johnson talked about sequestration and the burdens on his agency. do you have what you need? >> the honest answer is i don't know. for this reason i say that. in what we experienced in may, june, and early july would become the new normal, it would really search the fbi. to meet that surge, we had to move a lot of folks from criminal work. surveillance is only easy on tv. following someone 24/7 without them knowing you're there, is
really hard. we had to move them to the other side. the bump in cases has dropped off a little bit. so we're watching it very closely. we have moved people back to be able to do the criminal work. if that surge becomes our new normal, then i will have a different view of it. and i'll obviously make sure congress knows the minute i reach that decision. >> i hope you will. we want to be helpful. we want to give you the tools you need. frankly, we have to hear what you need. you have to tell us. we can't tell you what you need. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. i yield pack. >> the chair recognizes mr. keith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in light of the challenges you just described in terms oven kreupgz, one strategy is to maxize our other oblts.
local law enforcement as well, particularly in the wake of the boston marathon bombing. and i know that the fbi has moved forward in this. i know that dhs has offered recommendations in this regard that we are reviewing here. if i could, director comey, if he could just give us an update on what you've done already in the wake of the boston marathon bombing. use that as a time frame, what you see going forward, and any timelines concerning that. >> thank you, congressman keating. i think we have learned good things for us to get better coming out of the boston marathon bombing. i appreciate your focus on it and the committees. we can always be better. here's how i think about our improvement. we now make sure that everyone on the joint terrorism task force knows our default is sharing action.
in particular we want the leaders in the joint terrorism task forces to understand and actually participate in it. so we do an inventory review in every single jttf. sometimes it's once a week. sometimes it's once a month. we want people to say this is stuff we opened in the last month. this is stuff we closed. questions, concerns, anybody want to follow up on it? they are engaged at the jttf. we have pushed that in letter, which is important, and spirit, which is more important, to understand everybody. we're in this together. especially this threat that is so spread out. we need state and local partners to stop it. so i think we are in a much better place than we were two and a half years ago. i don't want to be overconfident. there's always ways to find ways to improve. >> all your agencies have done an extraordinary job in
thwarting so many potential terrorists threats. you've done a great job if you use the analogy of swatting mosquitos. the other thing we have to do is particularly in light of some of our challenges is to dry up the swamp as much as we can. along those lines, it is very important work that dhs has done, the office of community partnerships, the central point of trying to thwrart some of these attacks. i would like to ask the secretary, secretary johnson, what is your progress in that. how do you value that. how was your funding for that? i'm concerned about that. can you explain the peer-to-peer program, how that might be working. because it's important. we're a great country. no one has the resources to outmessage us.
we're not maximizing on that. >> thank you, sir. i have taken a great personal interest in countering violent extremism. it is in dispensable. the reason i created the office for community partnerships is because i think we need to take our efforts to the next level. so what this office does is consolidate in one place all the people across my department that are devoted to our efforts. i want to build on that so we have a field capability. and i want an office that will, in addition to engaging the community, also engage the tech sector, philanthropies, develop our own grant making capabilities here. the single biggest thing that i'm going to keep coming back to in terms of adequacy of funding
is please repeal sequestratiose. if i have to deal with that, i come up short on other things. >> how about the peer-to-peer program, be engaging young people in terms of this messaging process. >> i think that among bright, college age people in particular lie the best ideas on cve for the way forward. and so i engaged several college organizations in helping us on our efforts. that's a work in progress. in my experience, young people, college-aged people, tend to approach cve a little differently than older, more experienced people of their parents's age, which i can talk to greater detail offline about. >> and lastly, just a comment that the perimeters that your agencies have are important. that's why you're here.
if we're going to be successful, we're going to have to expand out beyond that in the nonprofit side, the public side, private side and obtain more engagement. we shouldn't shortchange resources. it is an important aspect, one we still haven't maximized. thank you. i yield back. >> i want to commend the secretary for adopting a lot of the provisions in combatting the violent extremism bill. the chair recognizes mr. duncan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, the term otm, other than mexicans, is a dhs term. >> it is certainly a term we use at dhs. >> people crossing the southern border not of mexican dissent. >> yes. >> i will take all latinos out. there are other people that
cross the border that are african, asian, and middle eastern dissent. >> you are correct. >> apprehended crossing the southern border. >> you are absolutely correct. >> our southern border is not secure. we have no idea who is coming into this country. i could go on to iran and hezbollah and the tri-border region and the ties between lebanon and paraguay, the tri-border there that the chairman and i investigated a number of years ago. but let me shift. we have no idea who is in this country. we have no idea who can come in through our southern border because it is not secure. are you familiar with the jewish museum shot up in brussels in may or june of 2014? >> yes. >> several people died. the perpetrator was a foreign fighter who had been trained in libya or syria or iraq, we're
not sure. but he made his way back into europe. because of open borders, he made his way to brussels and killed several people and then fled. made it all the way to marseille, france. was about to jump out of europe into a africa before he was apprehended. these are the facts. foreign fighter flow is something we have to be very, very serious about. especially because of open borders. especially because of the millions of middle-age and young middle eastern men that have migrated to europe who could possibly have the ability to enter into this country because of visa waiver programs. may not be this year. maybe five years after they get citizenship. whatever it takes. i will say this. i think the chairman misspoke when he used the number of 10,000 immigrants coming into this country, refugees in the resettlement program. i heard the number is 100,000
next year. regardless, it's too many if we do not have the ability to properly vet those individuals. some of those will come to south carolina is. i will tell you that the folks in south carolina are very, very concerned about our in ability to vet properly the refugees that are coming. i've been to the refugee camp in jordan. i understand the immense challenge we face from a humanitarian standpoint. i understand the need or desire for folks to leave the middle east and travel to europe or come to this country to create a better life for their family. the chairman spoke very appropriately when he said we are a humanitarian country. the history proves that. we have a different situation on our hands. we have a group called isis, and al qaeda is still relevant, who is a threat to this country. they want to exploit this refugee program to come into this country.
if they are able to jump to africa and make it to south america or latin america because of our open borders issues, they could come across our border the way otms are coming today. mr. comey, what can i tell folks in south carolina about our vetting of these refugees that will put their minds to rest that we are properly vetting everyone that may come into our state, that may wish to harm the united states is? what can i tell them. please share some bit of good news about this refugee resettlement program because i'm not hearing it. >> the good news is we are much better doing it than eight years ago. the bad news is, there is no risk-free process. >> so i hear interviews in the camps, in the refugee camps. but i also hear that the records aren't there. i just want to encourage you
all, the three of you that are charged with national security in this country, to rethink the resettlement of refugees in this country, especially in the numbers that i'm hearing. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> can i -- >> yeah. point of clarification i think it's important. and i think that's where you're going. because the public have thrown out the 100,000 number of syrian refugees. my understanding is there are 100,000 refugees total worldwide is and 10,000 potentially from syria. and maybe you want to clarify that. >> what we have said is that for fy 16 we will commit to resettling 10,000 syrian refugees and a total worldwide of 85,000. >> i just want to get that on the record. >> mr. chairman, if i may, where do we anticipate those 85,000 coming from, syria, iraq, afghanistan, libya?
do we have any idea? can we identify the countries that are being targeted for refugee resettlement? >> well, it's done by regions of the world, sir. that is a publicly available fact which we can get you. but refugees tend to come from every part of the world. obviously some more troubled places than others. >> okay. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mrs. watson-coleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. i tell you it is actually comforting to hear you refer to each by first name. it means you are cooperating and collaborating. it is good there is a relationship there. it makes me feel better. although this is a very scary time. i have a future questions. i want to start with the question with you, mr. johnson. the united states secret service is leading a an investigation of an online hacker that recently told told the "washington post" he gained access to not only the
cia director's personal e-mail accounts but to your own e-mail account. would you please describe what current plan is in place for the secret service to prevent this intrusion given the external infiltrations the department has experienced recently including the opm data breach? >> ma'am, i don't think that i can comment about an ongoing investigation. the one thing i will say is don't believe everything you read in the newspaper because a lot of it is inaccurate. but there is a pending investigation by the fbi and by the secret service. so i don't think i can comment right now. >> okay. thank you. i am very interested in how we are approaching and looking at the security and safety threats to us. obviously by those who are influenced or directed by
foreign countries and jihadists but also those who are our own right wing homegrown extremists on suspecting innocent people. so i would like to know from the three of you whether or not there's an assessment of a greater risk or an equal risk or lower risk from one type of violent experience as opposed to the other. and what kind of resource application we have according the various entities that deal with both types. both right wing extremists. >> thank you. there are two parts to the fbi's terrorism, international and domestic terrorism. we have hundreds and hundreds of people who wake up every day worrying about domestic
extremists. i mean people who are not inspired or motivated by international terrorist organizations but people who see themselves as part of some political resistance, movement or some racially motivated movement in the united states. and so we do a lot of work on that front. our assessment of the threat is it's about the same as it was over the last couple of years. hasn't dropped. it's about the same. the international terrorism threat with respect to that coming from the outside in and those motivated internally, a as we have discussed here today has changed and gone up, especially with those responding to isil's twin-pronged message. >> so for clarification purposes, though, is there any sort of ranking between the two types of violence? >> there is not. >> is there a greater threat from the domestic right wing extremist who is racist and anti
semitic and all other things as opposed to the jihadist inspired or directed? >> we do not compare them in some way. which do you dislike more, heart a attacks or cancer. both are very dangerous. >> i'm sorry. i'm just trying to get at is there a difference in the application of resources for one type versus the other? is there an office in one office versus another? >> one focussing on domestic and one focussing on the international, including its manifestations inside the country. i have gotten briefings from them jointly. they worry about whether there is any crossover. but we think about them using the same kind of intelligence resources. we apply the same tools to understand presence on on social media. so we are addressing both as the
serious threats we are. >> are we collecting information on the type of violence that occurs like a that occurred a at the church and around the country? do we have an understanding of those types of violent extremists? >> yes. >> thank you. mr. johnson and mr. rasmussen, do you care to comment on that at all? >> i don't think there's anything i can add to what jim said. >> i agree. actually, my admission leaves me outside the domestic terrorism, except for analytical purposes. >> my last question is a really, really quick one. and i wasn't here. i don't think you either were here. but do we have knowledge on whether or not we have had the same kind of angs is t and anxiety when there is resettlement from the iraqi refugees? and do we find that angst has
been addressed? have we found learned lessons and done things differently? thank you >> the a answer is, yes, we have. there have been lessons learned from the iraqi experience which i believe have. and i think with the fbi, have improved the process. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes mr. clausen. >> thank you, mr. chairman for your leadership as always. and appreciate all three of you coming today and what you do for our country and the sacrifice you make. because it's not small. so i appreciate that. on a personal level, i get tired of the bad trade deals our country makes. i get tired of our trading partners taking us to the cleaners. i get tired of good paying manufacturing jobs going overseas. and like this morning, if i'm the uaw, i'm not happy with the chinese currency and their
export subsid i dids and if i'm harley davidson, i'm probably not happy with where the yen is today. pretty soon we're not going to make anything anymore. why not protect the american worker a little bit? on top of that, the chinese hack us. wait a minute. billions of dollars every month go to the chinese in a trade deficit. they hack our companies. and they hack our government. and we just keep on trading. as i understand it, secretary johnson, you said time will tell whether what we've done will keep them from hacking in the future. i say, why don't we protect the american worker, the american company, american unions, the uaw, and our infrastructure at the same time. because if we put our markets on
the table and said any more hacking, you lose access to our retail markets. that would go away immediately. because they depend on us to live. so while i watch our manufacturing is sector get decimated and these folks hacking us, you're there with the administration. i just wonder why we don't use the obvious leverage that we have. it's obviously. and it makes me upset because i see so many of my friends and people i grew up with that lose good paying american jobs. and you say only time will tell whether the chinese will obey us or not or cooperate or not. while we open up our markets. am i missing something on my analysis of this situation, secretary? >> in response to cyber attacks on our government and on the private sector, there are a number of things, seen and unseen, that we have done and
that we are considering. what i was referring to, what i am referring to when i said time will tell, when the president of china was here and in the run-up to his visit, the chinese government agreed that economic espionage and theft of commercial information for commercial purposes was wrong and was a crime. they agreed to that in writing. and time will tell whether they will live up to that agreement. but it was significant in the sense that they publicly, out of the mouth of their president committed to that. but time will tell. >> have we have talked, as the leadership of our country of using the obvious market leverage that we have as almost a third of the global gdp and the source of economic growth for the whole world, do we ever talk about using that leverage to get not only fair trade deals
but keep them from arriving our i.p. and hacking. we could just shut down the retail markets to cheaters. let the american worker catch a break for once. all at the same time. >> i would refer you to other agencies of our government for that. >> look, you're part of the leadership structure. you're on the board of directors. you're in the staff meetings. and part of this touches you. i think if you were back in the private sector a at a board of directors meeting, that answer might not be acceptable. i'm asking you does the senior leadership of our country, as we get taken to the cleaners on trade and on hacking and on ip, has anybody thought about using our markets as leverage? do you all talk about that? >> i suspect the answer is yes. >> then i would like to see a little bit. >> but i, again, refer you to other agencies of our government -- >> come on, now. >> -- who can give you an answer
to that question. >> other folks that get their technology stolen don't want to go to another agency. we don't want do get referred to an outside study. we want leadership for american jobs and american technology. i don't think that's too much to ask. you're part of a team. help our companies and help our unions and our workers get a fair shake. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes ms. jackson-william. >> good morning. i thank the chairman very much and the ranking member for these important hearings on protecting the american people. i want to pure sue pursue a line of speaking. i take from the director of the national counterterrorism center his sentence that said the
israeli extremists terrorists, actors around the globe is broader, wider, deeper than it has been a at any time since 9/11 and the threat landscape is less predictable. and i think that's an important sentence that has been really crafted and reinforced by the testimony and the leadership of all three of you. and i appreciate your service very much. i have introduced the no fly for foreign terrorists i would like to pursue. starting with director comey to reinforce the seriousness in which we should take, even though there is a lot of work of individuals leaving the united states and potentially coming back to the united states, having gone to be part of isil and to come back to the united states. what -- can you frame again how extensive that threat is? >> well, the returning terrorist fighter threat is what i understand you to be asking about, is one we are watching very closely today.
we see the logic telling us that's going to be a problem for the next five years plus. because not every terrorist is going to get killed on the battle field in syria or iraq. out of the caliphate to western europe or the united states. so it is a threat that all three of us and the people who i represent think about every day and how it will manifest down the road. >> you said a couple weeks ago there was a terrorist cell in almost 50 states. >> in all 50 states we have opened terrorism investigations related to a number of dimensions of a threat. we have isil radicalization cases under investigation. >> and i understand you also to be a supporter of the concept is of collecting data. i serve on another committee
dealing with crime and terrorism and investigations. my understanding is you believe we should be in the business oven suring the data is collected sufficient for information on how to act on some of these issues of terrorism in particular? >> i do. i'm a big supporter of the rule of law and using it to collect information to help us keep people safe. >> i'm very glad you said that. when i said that, the rule of law. thank you. it is an important part people are concerned about. i would like to put it in the record. >> without objection. >> thank you very much. to the secretary, let me first of all, indicate that we are certainly concerned about the hacking incident. i realize it is an investigation. i would ask this committee we had an opportunity for a classified briefing. i a apologize for you as a public servient to have had that
issue occur. let me move forward to cyber security. you indicated we need more legislation. you also indicated we should get rid of sequester. let me say i support you, and many of us do. it is very hard to function. but i also would like to hear your comment about the power grid of the united states and the work that the homeland security department is doing, the framework it's doing. i would like to commend you to some legislation into the record focusing specifically on the pour grid of the united states. would you respond to that? and i would like the director of counterterrorism to as well answer that and follow up by answering a question regarding the handle that we have on syrian refugees that may be coming into the united states. and i want to thank the secretary for coming to my district and having a very
productive meeting with syrians in -- american-syrians in houston. mr. secretary? >> with regard to cyber security, the two most significant things that we're hoping and need from congress are provisions in law to encourage the private sector to share information with my department. cyber threat indicator with my department. sharing information is vital to for the private sector and for the government sector. the other thing that is in pending legislation and now the house and senate is something that explicitly authorizes the system we have for detecting, monitoring, and blocking unwanted intrusions. which is currently our einstein
system. those are two things that would be helpful to our overall cyber security efforts. >> first of all, the idea that the cyber security issue is that a lot of the infrastructure is in the private sector. is there enough collaboration, private sector. we think of power. the border and other elements that serve the public, is there enough of an element of a collaboration to be able to put up the firewall or protect any potential cyber threat or cyberterrorism. >> there is not enough, so we need to encourage more. >> thank you. >> mr. rasmussen? >> to your question, ma'am on the degree to which they are interested in cyber capability, they absolutely more. it is a growth opportunity. in particular with isil. it seems to be more evident i would say at the low end of the spectrum. i don't mean low in terms of
minimizing but thus far the capability we have seen largely shows up in terms of pushing out people's personal information in a public way, which is potentially destructive. their interest in attacking in a cyber way our electrical power grid or other critical infrastructure is aspirational. we don't see capability actually existing. but believe me it is something we're carefully watching. it is a way to achieve widespread impact. >> i asked the chairman if i could put these items into the record. let me say we know a number of terrorist ins dents were aspirational. one two years ago. and i can't emphasize enough my concern on the cyber a attack of the nation's power grid. and i don't think we're putting extra information out. i hope all of you focus pointedly on that as a concern.
thank you very much for your children. i yield back. i would like the chairman for me to put into the record an article on the hill and a cnn statement. >> without objection. >> and to put into the record hr 85. >> without objection. >> and to put into a record a letter to the president on encryption, 100 individuals very concerned about any proposals that we don't oversee. even though i want to give tools appropriately overseen in the right way to protect both the american people and follow the of law. unanimous consent. >> without objection. >> how many more do you have? >> there's two more. united states of america report on refugee resettlement and also analysis by top computer experts on encryption. unanimous consent. >> without objection.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i don't have any reports to put into the record. i do have a report i want to talk about for a moment. >> you may. >> i was chair of joint terrorism task force. the report combatting terrorism in foreign travel. i'm proud of the work our task force did. many colleagues i'm sitting with here today were part of that task force. we spent an extensive amount of time with homeland security, fbi, national counterterrorism center as well. we learned an awful lot. i could be here all day. there was a legislation passed in 2006 to develop a national strategy to combat travel.
>> congressman, in general, i do believe that we need a comprehensive strategy to foreign terrorist fighter travel. i also agree that since 2006 the threat has evolved enormously. particularly from european countries we're concerned about those who have been to syria and who come to this country from a country for which we do not require a visa. which is why, as you know, i announced a number of security enhancements with respect to travel from the european countries to deal with this exact threat. but it is a significant problem, and i agree a that we should
have -- we do have this in very large measure but we should have a comprehensive overall strategy for dealing with it. we're doing a lot on my end. the fbi is doing a lot on end to interdict those leaving this country, who are going to syria. but this is something that's going to be with us for a while. it also involves working with our friends and allies internationally, working with the government of turkey, for example, which is something i'm personally focused on at the moment. the last thing i'll say, i read through most of your report, i didn't get through all of it. i thought it was an excellent report. i complimented one of your staff on the elevator ride up here. >> just so you know, that made his day, complimenting the staffer. >> and he pointed out to me, it wasn't him, it was the members
of congress. >> and i appreciate that. >> i thought you were. >> if i could add on to that, today's conflict zone is obviously iraq and syria, but we can be certainly there is likely around the corner if future years another conflict zone where foreign terrorist fighters will be a problem that we'll confront as a matter of national security. some of the very things your report highlighted, structures, procedures, and capabilities we're putting in place to deal with this problem don't necessarily give us immediate relief. they don't tell you that the flow of foreign fighters has been squashed or shut down. but i would argue, importantly, that we are building some capability that will bear out over time. similarly, like what secretary johnson said, so much of the work on this problem is international work right now. and i would say that there's a good news story embedded in this problem in that our foreign partners are far more willing to share information on this
problem than would have been the case in 2006 or '07 when we were dealing with the foreign terrorist fighter problem at that time. so again, the size of the problem, undoubtedly larger and more complex. but the array of resources we're able to call upon around the globe, countries with whom you would never think we would be working, we're successfully exchanging information about foreign fighters. >> the phenomenon of foreign fighters is an added twist. that's something that probably warrants an update in the whole terror travel analysis. mr. coleman, i do have a question for you. i'm concerned about the joint terrific task force and the stresses being put on them. you traditionally have investigated international and domestic terrorism, that's part of the jttf. the jttf doesn't discriminate in
which cases they look at. whatever comes across their radar, whether domestic or international, gets a high priority; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> this whole new phenomenon of isis, the stress that's putting on them, isis fighters coming back, tracking them is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. i want to get a good understanding, are the jttfs being stressed beyond the breaking point? are they okay? do they need more help? >> they're being stressed tremendously. as i said earlier, they were very, very stressed in may and june and early july in particular. but given your career experience, you know the kind of folks they are. they will just get the work done. what i want to make sure i do is, if we have a new normal, that we get them the resources they need.
i'm not in a position yet where i'm going to come back and ask for that, but it's something we're watching very carefully. >> i understand working together with the state and local authorities is helping you to leverage that. i will encourage that we do what we can to keep that going. that's an important aspect of the puzzle. thank you very much. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes ms. torres. >> thank you, mr. chairman. to the fbi director comey, i want to thank you personally for the outreach that your l.a. office has done in my district. it was really important for me to ensure that we have a face behind that phone number that we're supposed to be reporting issues of concern to. they've offered to do a followup within a more -- you know, law enforcement to law enforcement, because we did have members of the community at that hearing. so thank you for that work.
in your testimony, we were talking about terrorist propaganda. and the outreach that these terrorist groups are doing through social media. i'm very concerned about their infiltration with our local gangs. we have placed a lot of attention, and i congratulate all of you on the work that you're doing internationally, my concern is the mexican mafia. my concern is the white supremacist groups that have targeted african-american communities. and i want to ensure and be on record that we are doing everything that we can to also follow up on those issues. >> yes, congresswoman, thank you for that. those are an important part of the fbi's work with our local partners, all day, every day. the gangs you mentioned,
extremists you mentioned, the bureau was given resources after september 11th to make sure we could be great at both. >> earlier in your testimony you said that due to sequestration you have had to move people out of criminal investigations, into doing surveillance work for these potential terrorist folks that go dark. that is why i bring that out to you. >> and i echo what my colleague secretary johnson said about sequestration. one of the reasons we've had to move those resources is, we're trying to hire out of the hole that was left for us two years ago. and so we hired 2,000 people last year. we'll hire close to 3,000 this year. we're trying to dig out of that hole and get us the people who can fill those slots. if we get hit again, i don't know what we'll do. >> when we first met last year, i had asked you specifically
about ensuring that you hire people, you know, that look like america, and that we are targeting areas where we need certain languages and certain ethnic backgrounds to be represented at the fbi table. how has your progress been on that? >> it's probably too early to tell. but we're devoting a tremendous amount of effort to that, to trying to encourage people from all different backgrounds and walks of life to try to get into the fbi. it's not about lowering the standards. we don't need to lower the standards. we just need people to give us a chance. the obstacle we face, my daughter said, you're the man, i said thank you. she said, i don't mean that as a good thing, dad, nobody wants to work for the man, you've got to change the way you think about it. we're working hard for folks to understand that the bureau is a great place for people, whether latino, african-american, asian, to work.
it's a work in progress. i have eight years left. >> thank you. mr. rassmussen, you talked about a creation of a community engagement groups. how do you intend to do that, who are the community partners that you will be inviting to participate? >> in my written remarks, i highlighted the work we're doing at nctc, alongside secretary johnson's team and director comey's team. i'll tell you, though, in this effort to deal with encountering violent extremism here in the united states, it ends up being a separate conversation in each community. in each community, the community leadership looks different, the problem looks different, the set of actors who may have influence looks different. that's what makes it hard. i think we're doing very good work in this area, but it's been hard to scale up, because there's no national exclusisoluo
single answer where what works in dallas also works in miami. >> that's why it's important to engage local law enforcement and to ensure that diversity is at the top of our priority. >> i agree completely. and again, i wouldn't even suggest that we are bringing a solution to those local communities. in many cases we're bringing information which will hopefully empower those communities to make the choices and the changes and take the steps to deal with extremism in their midst. and that's not a federal solution. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. hurd. >> thanks, mr. chairman, thanks to our distinguished panel. please tell the men and women who work with you, thank you as well. i spent years undercover in the cia. i was in the cia when 9/11 happened. if you would have asked me then that there wouldn't be a major attack on a homeland for over 14
years i would have said you all are crazy. but we haven't had one because the men and women in y'all's organizations are working as if it's september 12th every single day in the operational discipline and tenacity that takes, i recognize that and understand that. my hats go off to them. it's great representing the 23rd congressional district of texas, but it's also great representing the men and women doing that. i represent over 820 miles of the border. so secretary johnson, i'm here to report to you that you have some hard working men and women in border patrol and customs along that border. i had the awesome opportunity to award three of them with the congressional medal for valor. they went above and beyond during a flood. it was straight out of a movie. i see what these men and women are doing every day. and one issue they do have, i don't need to address it here, but i would like to work with your staff, and this probably
impacts the fbi as well, director comey, and this is the right sizing of the federal fleet. i think gsa's requirements don't take into account the unique challenges that law enforcement has to deal with, nor folks on the border. and so i look forward to working with whoever in y'all's office is on this issue and looking at solving that problem with the gsa. secretary johnson, i'm also interested in learning from your staff in how y'all calculate from got-aways and that practice. that's something where i welcome an analysis of that from the correct folks. and my first question to you, secretary johnson, is this cyber deal with china that was recently announced, have we seen any impact that that's having on attacks on our critical infrastructure from the chinese? >> i would say it's at this point too early to make an
informed assessment. one thing that i will be looking to see is whether in our followup engagement, which i hope to have in december, we'll see real progress on what we have agreed to on paper. and so that to me will be a first indicator of whether or not the chinese are taking seriously what they agreed to do when they were here in september. >> excellent. like you in your opening remarks, i hope the senate sends us a bill so that we can reconcile those differences and get something to the president to sign, because cyber security is important. director comey, i appreciate your opening remarks and your stressing that the bureau is not seeking any legislative issues regarding the going dark phenomenon or encryption, because there's still a perception out there amongst the private sector and privacy groups that the fbi still looking for a backdoor or a
front door to encryption. we all know that we're not technically able to do that, and if you allow the good guys to have access to the backdoor, then you're allowing the bad guys to have access to the bad door. my question is, when you have groups like isis using social media tools to increase their effort, doesn't that also give us an opportunity to increase our targeting of these groups? >> thank you, congressman. first, with respect to your predicate, i honestly don't agree with your framing of it in terms of the encryption issue. i don't think there is is a single "it." it's a complicated landscape. i resist the term "backdoor." i know it dominates the conversation today. but i don't know what the answer is. and i see lots of companies who are able to provide secure services to their customers and they still comply with court orders. and so people tell me it's impossible. i'm a little -- >> so here's my question, though. a lot of folks, i've sat down
and talked with people in your organization, give me the use cases in which the case actually went cold. because even if you have people using a device, you may not get the plain text information, but you do have the device, you know the location of that device. so saying that you still can't target terrorists that way and throwing certain companies under the bus by saying they're not cooperating, i don't think that's an accurate portrayal of what's really going on. >> and i hope you didn't hear me to throw anybody under the bus. we'll get you hundreds and hundreds of cases. but to me that actually doesn't -- i think everybody agrees the logic of encryption means all of our work will be severely affected by it. the question is how much do we care about it and what can we do about it. we'll demonstrate the cases where it affects criminal work, intelligence work, security work. i don't think that ends the conversation. >> i 100% agree. i disagree a little bit with some of your opening remarks
that there is a conflict in our values. i don't think there's a conflict in our values. our civil liberties are what makes our country great, and we can protect those liberties and give the men and women working to keep us safe the tools they need to keep us safe. i look forward to working with you on this issue, and the private sector, because this is something we can solve. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes our first female combat pilot. >> thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony and the hard work of you and all the men and women in your organizations. i was on the task force, i was proud to be on the task force. and certainly very eye-opening and troubling. but very important work for us to identify some of the challenges and loopholes we have which have been, you know, further discussed in your testimony today. i look forward to working with you all to see how we can obviously close those loopholes and increase our security. i want to specifically talk about the recruitment of women
and girls. we've talked about, we think there's over 250 americans that have been recruited, 2500 westerners, a lot of men are being recruited to go to the caliphate and fight but women and girls are going over to be basically subjected to slavery, a very different dynamic. we've heard of that the women and girls can't leave with the same freedom that men do. can you talk about the different dynamic there and the different efforts to counter the violent extremism and the recruitment of women and girls? >> it's a very good question. isil does prioritize in trying to recruit and bring young women to the caliphate. they target some of their messaging directly to that community and adopt themes they think will resonate with young women in western europe and even in the united states. you'll probably remember not too long ago the "new york times" ran a very disturbing series on
the front page that described in some very vivid detail some of the horrific experiences young women have been put through by moving to the caliphate. i was heartened to see that kind of information become public. but is the "new york times" going to be the vehicle that reaches young women and explains to them the risk if they respond to this call, or the way they gravitate, the way they might choose to gravitate towards the more positive ends of this message? i don't think the "new york times" will be the vehicle to explain that and create that sense of awareness that it's not the environment they're signing up for. >> congresswoman, i think a fundamental part of our efforts in this country is a message that has to be addressed to young women about the type of exploitation they could be subjected to if they go to these places. but i also believe it includes a message to their parents as
well. >> i agree, thank you. >> their family units. >> let me go on to a different topic. we've had a lot of discussion today about vetting the refugees. we've identified in the task force challenges with visa waiver program, and just making sure, again, that we're keeping the countries safe. one of the elements, we had a demonstration out of the university of arizona in my district, related to detection -- or deception detection technology. what we've learned in some of the briefings i've gotten is, even with a face-to-face interview you often could be wrong if someone is trying to deceive. there's been decades of work done in identifying through neurological means and other things whether somebody is deceiving, whether that's filling out online forms or in person. and we did give a demo to people in your organization but i would like to follow up with that, because i think these are cheap technologies that we could deploy that helps us in the vetting fight for a variety of
different dynamics here. and i know some of your members were there, but it's sometimes difficult, you know, bureaucr bureaucratical bureaucratically. i would like to follow up with you on this deception detection technology, if you're open to it. great, thank you. i ran counterterrorism operations at my last assignment and we talked about foreign fighters and foreign fighter training, working with your organizations. we were watching thousands and thousands of terrorists being trained in training camps. we had the authorities but we didn't have the will to do anything about it. you know, we were all talking about isis right now, but we do have aqim, aqab, al shabab. i just wanted some discussion on that, so we're not all focused on isil and not -- i know your organizations are not, but i just want to hear your assessments of addressing the aqap, aqim, and al shabab
threats. are there similar issues that we don't have the will to be addressing those, or what other challenges are you having with those threats? >> thank you for raising that issue, because as you saw in my remarks, i resist a little bit the kind of gravitational pull that says isis is the sole focus of our counterterrorism efforts right now. it is certainly, as i said in my testimony, the group has surpassed al qaeda in terms of its prominence in leading a global jihadist movement. but in terms of the threat we face, each of the groups you rattled off, congresswoman, very, very dangerous, lethal, and deserving of all of the resources and analysis we can bring to bear on it as a counterterrorism community. simply as a matter of workforce management, i've had to resist the pull, also, to surge analysts in the direction of only working isil threats, because of the array of other
places around the world where al qaeda, al qaeda affiliate groups, and other extremist groups are. >> great. i look forward to following up with your organizations on those threats as well. thank you. >> the chair recognizes mr. radcliffe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank all the witnesses for all that you do to keep america safe. i would like to go back to the issue in syria that has displaced millions of folks seeking refugee status around the world. obviously it's a humanitarian concern for all of us. i'm certainly sympathetic to the atrocities there. like many of the members have mentioned, i appreciate our country's profound and longtime commitment to providing a place of security to those fleeing disastrous conflicts. that being said, i did want to drill down a little bit on the president's announcement a month ago of a 600% expansion in the number of syrian refugees
allowed into this country, going from about 1600 a year to a figure of at least 10,000, as the president mentioned. i think, secretary, you clarified that number today. so while humanitarian concerns are certainly warranted, i know you would all agree with me that the president's actions certainly raise some real security risks here at home. director comey, you recently testified before the senate that while we do have a robust screening process here, i think you did acknowledge at the same time there are some information gaps in our databases that we use to screen these individuals; is that correct? >> that's correct. >> okay. but again, i know you all agree that it's also vitally important that we understand who is coming into this country, to the best of your ability, especially when we also know that isis has expressed an interest and an intent in using the refugee
process to get in the united states. that's also a fact, isn't it, director? >> i think director rassmussen testified to that just a few minutes ago. >> all right. so with that in mind, i think we all agree it's imperative that these decisions be made on a humanitarian basis but also with security in mind. each of your teams are full of extremely talented, capable, dedicated folks. was the figure announced by the president of 10,000, was that the product of a thorough analysis by your respective agencies? i'll start with you, secretary. >> the announcement of 10,000 was the product of considerable interagency discussion. my department and uscis was certainly consulted in arriving at that number.
and it is, as i think you noted very definitely, striking a balance between what we know we can accomplish with the resources we have, and not shutting our eyes and our doors to what is really a horrible world situation, and doing our part to try to alleviate it. but yes, we were consulting, sir. >> terrific. thank you. director comey? >> that's my understanding as well. there was an interagency process run through the national security council, and the fbi was a participant in those conversations. >> okay. dr. rassmussen? >> the same as well. >> terrific. thank you. director rassmussen, i want to talk to you a little bit. back in june we held a hearing at this committee called terrorism gone viral. it really examined the attratert attack in garland, texas, just outside of my district, and related to isis's use of social
media, which is something we've all talked about a lot today. in our june hearing, i really tried to get answers on the issue of why isis has been so skillful in this area relative to other foreign terrorist organizations. i asked about whether or not it was due to better funding or whether it was certain individuals within the group. and the responses i got were largely, well, the internet hadn't really developed when al qaeda was going, social media wasn't as per vasive until recently. but i think those responses ignored the fact that, you know, at present other terrorist organizations certainly exist, but it appears that isis still remains uniquely skilled in this area. so you gave some testimony recently in an exchange with senator johnson at the homeland security committee in the senate. and i wanted to ask you a little bit about that.
maybe it relates to -- i know there were reports in september that isis's social media activities seemed to ramp down following the death of janaid hussein. is isis unique in recruiting foreign fighters and inspiring lone wolf attackers? is that a product of some unique capability they have? and if not, what are the other factors that make isis so skillful in this area? >> i hesitate to use the word "uniqu "unique," because the capabilities they're using to mobilize potential fighters or terrorists, those aren't necessarily things that can't be transferred or used by other adopters going forward. the initiative that isil undertook that differentiated it from al qaeda, is that isil did try to be a mass movement.
al qaeda traditionally and typically operated as a clandestine terrorist movement where vetting processes and letting individuals into the group was a very serious business. and so you did not see al qaeda -- i would argue they probably didn't have the tools to do this, but they were not seeking to create a mass organization capable of controlling territory in iraq and syria. i would hesitate to rule out that other terrorist organizations could not adopt the same kinds of skillful techniques that isil has. >> thank you. i yield back. >> i was just informed for the members that director comey has a hard stop at 12:30. just maybe take that in consideration. the chair recognizes mr. donovan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, my colleagues have articulated the incredible responsibility you all have
protecting our country from domestic home-grown radicalized individuals to people who are overseas, who want to attack our country, to fighting possible mass destruction in our country, to lone wolves shooting up people who are worshipping at church in the south. i want to just touch on something no one has touched on yet. that's the possibility of nuclear devices. director comey, your agents have done a remarkable job in thwarting smugglers from trying to equip isis with nuclear materials. recently one was reported, and i think there was four others or five others during the last few years. are we getting some assistance from some of the former soviet countries or russia, who also would be threatened by this, and what other materials possibly should we be looking towards other than just nuclear devices that certainly i know there are
other materials that would be harmful to our country, but what are the materials that people like these, isis or al qaeda or other groups, looking to use against our country? >> thank you, congressman. the answer is, we get cooperation across the board on this, because whatever people's political differences, everybody understands the threat posed by radiological or nuclear threats. we have invested as a country, and the fbi in particular, in building relationships with our counterparts in a whole host of eastern european countries, the former soviet states there. and so that is a good news story. a challenge we all face is, isil's mission is simply to kill a lot of people. and so they're not in love with any particular tool, as long as it will kill people. so we focus on obviously devices themselves, but also radiological materials, cesium that might be used to terrify people or injure people with
long term illness. we have folks in the fbi who wake up every day focused just on this, because we see the threat as low probability, huge impact. >> thank you, my fellow new yorker. my other fellow new yorker, secretary johnson, yesterday a bill of mine was passed that your agency started in 2006, very successful in the new york/new jersey reason, used in the l.a., long beach area, dc. the efforts that you're making there, because we're expanding, do you have the resources to continue the success of that program in the future? because it's been remarkably successful in our area, where you and director comey and i come from, and the successes we've heard from my colleagues are just remarkable.
[ inaudible ] >> i'm sorry, mr. rassmussen. if you're not from new york, i'm not going to ask you a question. my time is up. i yield the rest of my time. >> the chair recognizes mr. richmond. >> first of all, let me thank the chairman and the ranking member and thank the witnesses who do a very difficult time in very difficult circumstances, with ever-changing technology. i would hate to be in your job. but let me just ask, and i know there's a lot of talk about a
number of issues, but i'll get a little local in my area, because we do have the largest petrochemical footprint in the united states in my district. and we also have millions and millions of visitors that come. and then we also have the largest port complex in the united states in my district. so as you all share intelligence and as you all go about protected the homeland, how worried are you all about our port security, our chemical facility security, our refinery security, and our ability to protect them? >> let me begin with that. new orleans is a confluence of things that we in homeland security are concerned about. as you've laid out in your question, congressman.
and given the -- so it's right on our radar. given the nature of the threat we face, it's difficult to rank with any real degree of certainty where we should focus on and where we should not focus on. for example, i think all of us would agree that prior to this summer we didn't have any particular reason to put chattanooga, tennessee high on anybody's list. and so given the range of threats we face, we have to be vigilant in a bunch of different places. but certainly port security, maritime security, and the other things that converge in new orleans are areas where i know many aspects of our department are focused in. >> mr. comey? >> congressman, i don't think i have anything to add to what jay
said. you know, because we have a lot of folks working in your district, it's a big focus of our work. we do face a large array of there's the. we try to focus resources on the big attractants for terrorist activity. a big piece of that is focusing on tourists and travel locations. >> let's talk about encryption and the backdoor. my question, and i guess it's a technical question, if our tech companies create the backdoor, aren't there apps or over the counter things that will also allow people to encrypt it? or are you pretty confident you can access data through any over the counter encryption? >> thank you for that question. as i said to congressman hurd earlier, i resist the term
"backdoor," because mostly i don't understand what it means. what we are looking for is a world in which ideally, when judges issue court orders to search a device or to intercept communications, companies are able to comply with that. today, lots of the sophisticated internet providers are able to comply. some of the biggest e-mail providers in the world based on in the united states comply with our court orders. so i actually don't think the problem is one of technology. i think it's one of business model. there's lots of companies who have said we will never do this for the government. that's a problem we have to figure out how to solve. but here is the bad news. commercially available encryption, strong encryption, we cannot break it. so we find ourselves getting court orders from judges, we make a showing of probable cause, the judge gives us permission for a limited time to intercept, we can't decrypt that data. we're out of luck. we have to figure out other ways
to make that gang case, that kidnapping case, that terrorism case. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this morning the daily caller reported that the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia has indicted two senior nassau managers, nasa managers at the langley research center for willfully violating national security regulations by allowing a visiting chinese foreign national to gain complete and unrestricted access to the center. if this wasn't troubling enough, the article reports that in the wake of this case involving alleged espionage by a chinese national, and now foreigners have more not less access to nassau operations at present. before the bo jang case, all
foreign nationals, including green card holders, could be monitored and restricted. but now green card holders are treated like u.s. citizens, with unrestricted access to all parts of the space research facility. it quotes a senior nasa official as saying, and i quote, if you have a green card, your allegiance may still be to china, but the green card gets you legal authority to work in the united states, therefore we don't track them. they don't have any restrictions to transfer technology control plans. they're given access to the same exact way as the u.s. citizen because they have a green card, unquote. first, i would like to comment director comey and the fbi for their role in pursuing this case over the last several years. but second, i would like to ask the panel whether this is common practice, that non-u.s. citizens
holding green cards but with sworn allegiance to other countries have the same access and privileges as a u.s. citizen at nasa centers and other facilities that may be of interest to foreign intelligence services, and if so, why. >> i'm sure that nick and jim have their own answers to this. i will just say, i haven't read the particular article, congressman, that you're referring to. i've been in countless places in government buildings, sensitive areas, where the sign says u.s. citizens only, who obviously have the requisite security clearances. i can't tell you the number of places where i see that. it's fairly common. i don't know about the particular circumstances that you're referring to there. but i'll be happy to refer to my friends here. >> congressman, because the case is pending, i'm not going to comment on the case. i thank you for the kind words
about our folks who worked hard on it. i think the issue you're talking about with nasa is about keacce by foreigners to classified information. as secretary johnson said, there's a whole regime about what access foreigners get. when green card holders wander around a space that's not classified, what information can they see now? i'm not smart enough on the issue to talk to you about it in this forum, but it's something we have to get smarter about. >> with respect to my organization, we operate in a highly classified environment. and any foreign national or nonsecurity clearance holding individual would be required to be strictly escorted around our facility, again, as in any place in the intelligence community. >> do you think this committee should look at changing security laws and access by green card
holders to bolster defense at these federal facilities, or are you satisfied with what we have in place? >> i'll answer with another "i don't know." again, with respect to access to unclassified information, i don't know enough about the issues sitting here to offer you a view on it. >> i would have to give the same answer, sir. >> again, because i operate only in the classified space, so it's difficult to answer. >> i would like to thank all of you for your testimony today, it was very helpful. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. laddermill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm bringing up the rear here. thank you all for what your doing to protect america. very difficult time we live in. it seems like every committee, and i apologize, i wasn't here for all the questioning, i listened to your statements, but another committee hearing dealing with vulnerabilities of our power grid. so it seems like modified
committees i'm on is something dealing with security. the question, i want to go back to the refugee situation. i apologize if i'm redundant on some of the questions. i don't think they've been asked. but the concern i have, yes, we're a very humanitarian nation and i do think we have some responsibility there, but our priority is securing the people of this nation. and i've read reports, that of the syrian refugees, 72% of them are young males while 28% are women and children under the age of 11. the question i have for whoever has the information, to your knowledge, is that true, and if it's not, what is the breakdown, and if it is, why is there such a disparity? >> congressman, i don't recall what the percentage breakdown is. i've heard a number, but i don't recall what it is. i don't know the accuracy of that 72-28% number. but we can certainly get you what we know to be the case. >> mr. rassmussen?
>> i'm in the same position. >> it is very concerning to me, with that response, that we're considering bringing in refugees and we don't know what the breakdown of the percentage of these -- >> well, sitting here, i don't know. it is a piece of data that we have. i just don't know it sitting here right now. >> i appreciate the candor there. how are we going to monitor these folks? i mean, i have also read records that al qaeda, isis, have also said their intentions is to exploit the refugee crisis and to use that to infiltrate operatives into various countries. i mean, how are we going to monitor these folks? do we have plans going forward? >> congressman, as we discussed previously, there is that concern. we know that organizations such as isil might like to try to exploit this program.
and it is for that reason that while we are going to do what we have committed to do for humanitarian reasons, you know, this is a worldwide crisis. we're talking about 10,000 people. i'm committed that we do it carefully and we vet these people as carefully as we can. we live in a world where one failure is the equivalent of 10,000 successes. i think we're all committed, with the improved process we have, to do the best we can, deliberately as we can, with regard to each individual applicant for refugee status here. >> do we have the resources to do this? are we already stretched thin and we're just going to be adding so much more to our vulnerabilities by going through this process? >> we are very busy. our overall commitment in fy '15 was 75,000 worldwide. next year, this year, we've committed to taking in a little
more, more, 85, 10,000 of which will be sear kwan. the director of uscis has developed a plan along with the state department to make sure we have adequate resources to vet these people. >> last question, and i yield back, i know we all have other things we need to be doing, but this is very critical. do we have a system of prioritization, like we know that sterling religious groups, christians, for example, are the most at-risk in some of these areas. are we going to prioritize those that are greatest at risk to allow them in? i've read reports that some of the christian syrian refugees are having a difficult time coming to the u.s. and some other countries. is that true? >> i would have to get back to you and take that one for the record, sir. >> okay. i appreciate that. again, thank you for what you're
doing. i'm greatly concerned over where we're going with the refugee kris. and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> if i could just add to that, it's unfortunate that the gulf states have not agreed to take one syrian refugee. they are sunni arabs. and those are sunni arab populations. they certainly have the wherewithal. but in closing, let me just say thank you to all three of you, and to the men and women in your organizations who every day wake up to protect americans from the threats that we face. and i think you've done an extraordinary job of stopping so many of these threats, many that we know about, and many that the american people don't know about. the challenges are enormous. and the threats are grave. but on behalf of the congress, let me just the say thank you again for what you do, day in
>> it's a pretty nice place. >> as my family and i have worked through the grieving process, i've said all along what i've said time and again for others, that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign to run for president. i've concluded that it has closed. i know from previous experience that there is no timetable for this process. the process doesn't respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses. but i also know that i could do this -- i didn't do this if the family wasn't ready. the good news is the family has
reached that point. but as i said many times, my family has suffered loss, and i hope there would come a time, and i've said this to many other families, that sooner rather than later, when you think of your loved one, it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. well, that's where the bidens are today, thank god. beau is our inspiration. unfortunately, i believe we're out of time. the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. i intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as i can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation. and this is what i believe. i believe that president obama has led this nation from crisis
to recovery. and we're now on the cusp of resurgence. i'm proud to have played a part in that. this party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. the american people have worked too hard, and we've come too far for that. democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on the record. we've got a lot of work to get done over the next 15 months. and there is a lot that the president will have to get done. but let me be clear that we'll be building on a really solid foundation. but it all starts with giving the middle class a fighting chance. i know you in the press love to
call me middle class joe. and i know in washington that's not usually meant as a compliment. it means you're not that sophisticated. but it is about the middle class. it isn't just a matter of fairness or economic growth. it's a matter of social stability for this nation. we cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exist in this country. i believe the huge sums of unlimited and often secret money pouring into our politics is a fundamental threat to our democracy. and i really mean that. it's a fundamental threat. because the middle class will never have a fighting chance in this country as long as just several hundred families, the wealthiest families, control the process. it's just that simple. and i believe we have to level the playing field for the american people. and that's going to take access to education and opportunity to
work. we need to commit. we're fighting for 14 years. we need to commit to 16 years of free public education for all our children. we all know that 12 years of public education is not enough. as a nation, let's make the same commitment to a college education today that we made to a high school education a hundred years ago. children and childcare is the one biggest barrier for working families. we need, as the president proposed, to triple the childcare tax credit. that loan look lead to a drammic increase in the number of women able to be in the workforce and will raise our economic standards. there are many equitable ways to pay for this. i often here, how do would he pay for this? we can pay for all of this with one simple step, by limiting the deductions in the tax code to
28% of income. wealthy folks will end up paying a little bit more. but it's my guess, and i mean this sincerely, it's my guess they'll be happy to help build a stronger economy and a better educated america. i believe we need to lead more by the power of our example, as the president has, than merely by the example of our power. we've learned some very hard lessons for more than a decade of large scale open-ended military invasions. we have to accept the fact that we can't solve all the world's problems. we can't solve many of them alone. the argument that we just have to do something when bad people do bad things isn't good enough. it's not a good enough reason for american intervention and to put our sons and daughters' lives on the line, put them at risk. i believe we have to end the
divisive partisan politics that are ripping this country apart. it's mean-spirited, it's petty, and it's gone on much too long. i don't believe, like some do, that it's naive to talk to republicans. i don't think we should look to republicans at our enemy. they are opposition, they're not enemies. for the sake of the country we have to work together. as the president said many times, compromise is not a dirty word. but look at it this way, folks. how does this country function without consensus? how can we move forward without being able to arrive at consensus? for more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. we have to change it. we have to change it. and i believe we need a moonshot in this country to cure cancer. it's personal. but i know we can do this.
the president and i have already been working hard on increasing funding for research and development, because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine. the things that are just about to happen. and we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it today. and i'm going to spend the next 15 months in this office pushing as hard as i can to accomplish this, because i know there are democrats and republicans on the hill who share our passion, our passion, to silence this deadly disease. if i can be anything, i would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer, because it's possible. i also believe we need to keep moving forward in the arc of this nation toward justice.
the rights of the lgbt community, immigration reform, equal pay for women and protecting their safety from violence, rooting out institutional racism. at their core, every one of these things, every one of these things is about the same thing. it's about equality. it's about fairness. it's about respect. as my dad used to say, it's about affording every single person dignity. it's not complicated. every single one of these issues is about dignity. and the ugly forces of hate and division, they won't let up. but they do not represent the american people. they do not represent the heart of this country. they represent a small fraction of the political elite. and the next president is going to have to take it on. most of all, i believe there's
unlimited possibilities for this country. i don't know how many of the white house staff and personnel have heard me say repeatedly that we are so much better positioned than any country in the world. i've been doing this for a long time. when i got elected as a 29-year-old kid, i was called an optimist. i am more optimistic about the incredible possibilities to leap forward than i have at any time in my career. and i believe in my core that there's no country on the face of the earth better positioned to lead the world in the 21st century than the united states of america. washington, though, just has to begin to function again, instead of being the problem, it has to become part of the solution, again. we have to be one america again. and at our core, i've always believed that what sets america apart from every other nation is
that we, ordinary americans, believe in possibilities. unlimited possibilities. the possibilities for a kid growing up in a poor inner city neighborhood or a spanish-speaking home or a kid from mayfield in delaware, or willow grove in pennsylvania like jill and i. to be able to be anything we wanted to be. to do anything, anything, that we want. that's what we were both taught. that's what the president was taught it was real. that's what i grew up believing. and you know it's always been true in this country and if we ever lose that we've lost something very special. we'll have lost the very soul of this country.
when i was growing up my parents in tough times looked at me and would say to me and my brothers and sister, "honey, it's going to be." and they meant it. they meant it. it was going to be okay. when some of you cover me, i say go back to your hold neighborhoods, talk to your contemporaries who aren't as successful you air force base. there are too many parents who don't believe they can look their kid in the eye and say with certitude "honey, it's going to be okay." that's what we need to change. it's not complicated. that will be the true measure of ouk success. we will not have met it until every parent out there can look at their kid in tough times and say "honey, it's going to be okay," and mean it. that's our responsibility. and i believe it's totally within our power. the nation has den it before in
difficult times. i've had the very great good fortune and privilege of being in public service most of my adult life, since i've been 25 years old. and through personal triumphs and tragedies my entire family, my son beau, my son hunter, my daughter ashley, jill, our whole family, and this sounds corny but we found purpose in public life. we found purpose in public life. so we intend, the whole family, not just me, to spend the next 15 months fighting for what we've always cared about. is my what my family has always cared about with every ounce of our being and working alongside the president and members of congress and our future nominee. i am absolutely certain we are fully capable of accomplishing
regard to things. we can do this. and when we do, america won't just win the future we will own the finish line. thank you for all being so gracious to jill and me for the last six or eight months and for our whole career for that matter. but i'm telling you, we can do so much more and i'm looking forward to continuing to work with this man to get it done. thank you all very much. [ applause [ applause ] that announcement from the white house rose garden took place around 12:30 eastern today and will pierce, the executive director of the draft biden 2015 movement said "while the vice president decided not run, we know over the next year he will
stand up to all americans and articulate a vision for america's future that will leave no one behind." and mike huckabee is the first republican to react to the biden announcement. he says "hillary clinton will likely be the democrat nominee. i'm the only gop candidate who defeated the clinton machine." and if you check out his suite there is a video attached. congresswoman and democratic national chair debbie wasserman schultz tweeted "joe biden has and will continue to dedicate his life to helping every american to do better. couldn't be prouder to call him a fellow democrat." and ben cardin had this "i have the utmost respect for joe bi n biden." and lacy clay tweeted out "proud of my vice president friend joe biden, class, courage dignity #publicservice, # leadership, the fight for middle-class families continues." our live coverage will continue this afternoon when a house arms
services subcommittee looks into the f-35 joint strike fighter program. the tactical air and land forces subcommittee wants to know about cost, schedule, and performance concerns. live coverage starts at 3:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span 3. former secretary of state hillary clinton will be on capitol hill tomorrow morning. she'll be testifying before the house benghazi committee which is investigating the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate. ambassador christopher stevens and three others were killed. you can see live coverage of that tomorrow morning starting at 10:00 eastern here on c-span 3. c-span presents "landmark cases." the book, a guide to our "landmark cases" series which explores 12 historic supreme court decision including marbury. have madison, korma, thesu v.
united states, "brown v. board of education" and roe v. wade. landmark cases introduces highlights and the impacts of each case. korematsu and published by c-span in cooperation with cq press. "landmark cases" is available for $8.95 plus shipping. get your copy today at cspan.org/landmarkcases. storm special envoy for climate change even theed yesterday at a senate foreign relations subcommittee hearing on the administration's environmental policies and goals. the administration will present its goals at the u.n. climate change conference in paris in december. this hearing is just under two hours.
good afternoon, i'd like to call this hearing on multilateral international development, multilateral institutions and international economic, energy, and environmental policy. maybe the longest named subcommittee in the history of the senate. [ laughter ] i'd like to welcome ranking member senator udal. we're examining the intentions of the administration's climate negotiations in paris as well as the potential ramifications for united states. the international climate change conference will take place from november 30 to december 11 in paris this year. with this event happening in a matter of little more than a month i think it's important we examine what the administration plans to accomplish in paris so i'm so pleased to welcome our witness from the state department mr. todd stern. he's the united states special envoy for climate change and will be the lead negotiator for the paris climate change
conference. he has a unique perspective as to what it is that this strigs -- administration is negotiating for in any climate change deal and what any final deal may look like so thank you for being with us today. while i support international dialogue on global environmental problems i do have serious can't r concerns about the impact any deal reached in paris will have on the american economy, on our international priorities and environmental goals. i'm hearing from my constituents about their concerns, their concern the pledges the president is committing the united states to will strengthen foreign economies at the expense of american workers and will line the pockets of developing nations with millions of american taxpayer dollars. all that is being proposed at a time of scarce resources which are needed to strengthen our economy to fend off threats to our nation's security and to address humanitarian crises abroad. whatever deal is reached in the back rooms of the paris climate
change conference it has been telegraphed by this administration that the deal will be a calculated end run around congress. just like the kyoto protocol and the united nations framework convention on climate change, any agreement that commits our nation to targets or timetables must go through the process established by the founders in our constitution, must be submitted to the united states senate for its advice and consent. the president has made clear that he doesn't see it that way as was the case with the iranian nuclear deal. for that reason we need to send a message to the nations that are partners with the president in any final deal that beyond a shadow of a doubt the senate will not stand by any agreement that binds the american people to targets or timetables on emissions without our advice and consent. the point's joint announcement with china has sent a loud and clear signal that a paris deal could be an economic and environmental loser for the
american people. in november, 2014, president obama and the president of china made a joint announcement on targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. president obama pledged to reduce u.s. net greenhouse gases by 26% to 28% by 2025. china agreed peak its carbon dioxide emissions in 2030. this agreement forces americans to drastically decrease our emissions immediately while china will be allowed to let their emissions continue to rise for the next 15 years. according to the congressional research service, china has been the highest rittit ar emitter o greenhouse gases since 2007. currently china emits 23% of net greenhouse gases worldwide while our nation share has declined to only 13%. this is a terrible deal for americans but it's a great deal for the chinese government and