tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 20, 2015 7:00pm-12:01am EST
by president barak obama. he was confirmed by the united states senate into that position. what do you make of the president of the united states impugning the integrity and the voracity of the director of the fbi that he appointed simply for having the tu temerity to speak about the truth about the rising murder and crime rates we are seeing? >> i think it's a demonstration of the extent to which ideology rules this white house. it is of a piece with president obama claiming that the criminal justice system is racist when the justice department's own statistics show that the relationship between crime and incarceration -- when the president can go around claiming that the prison population is driven by drug enforcement, when
the justice department statistics show that nationally only 16% of state prisoners are in for drug crimes and less than 4% are there for drug possession. and yet, our very president is going around stating an untruth. that is because this is an administration i think that is ruled by an ideology that claims that law enforcement is somehow racist. and that, as you say, is a disservice to officers of all colors who are there to help the good people in the community. >> mr. mccarthy, you rightly observed that the title this hearing, the war on police, is directed more broadly than just
the department of justice. but it is rather what i see as a pervasive, to use a term of art, pattern and practice across the federal government and this administration, and indeed, i think no one bears more direct responsibility than the president. as ms. macdonald just noted, president obama has directly tried to attack his own fbi director for observing that violent crime and homicides are increasing. we saw at the very beginning of the obama administration where the president chose in a confrontation in cambridge, massachusetts, to immediately assume that the police were in the wrong and were demonstrating racism. you know, there was a time back in the 1968 democratic convention where the radicals and anarchists outside protesting against the cops describing them as oppressive, that used to be a fringe view.
we now see that vilification coming from the very top, from the president of the united states, echoed by the attorney general of the united states, manifested in things like appointing as the head of the civil rights division an attorney who voluntarily for free represented an admitted cop killer. in your view, mr. mccarthy, does having a president who at every turn -- in ferguson, in baltimore, assumes the police are guilty until proven innocent, assumes the police are bad actors and blames police officers and holds them up for vilification? >> it's a terrible development for the country because in our previous experience and i had the privilege of working in the justice department under administrations of both parties.
the government took it to be, as i understood at least, and certainly in the traditions of the justice department, its duty to clarify narratives that were fraudulent and certainly narratives that were evil. what we're seeing today is a government that puts its thumb on the scale. and it's had a terrible affect on the country. the one silver lining i would point out from your remarks and from also ms. macdonald's, i actually had the pleasure of serving in the u.s. attorney's office with director comey under then u.s. attorney guliani more years ago than either of us would want to admit to. he's a straight shooter. i imagine he will make a lot of people around here pretty uncomfortable.
>> thank you, mr. mccarthy. the final line of questions i want to ask, i want to go back to you, ms. macdonald. in april in baltimore we saw the death of mr. gray. there were protests. the police were held up for vilification and demonization. the court of public opinion, the police officers were convicted at the outset before one shred of evidence was gathered. the very next month, the month of may, there were 42 homicides in the city of baltimore. two months later in july, there were 45 homicides in baltimore. which matches the monthly record last set in 1972. the most murders the city of baltimore has ever seen since 1972 occurred in july of this year following the protests and vilification of the police officers, 45 people were
murdered. of those 45 people, 43 were african-american. in the context of protests, talking about black lives matter, who pays the price when police officers are not able to do their jobs and crime rates and murder rates goes up and 43 black lives are taken by violent criminals and are murdered? who pays the price when the police officers cannot protect our inner cities? >> the people who pay the price when the cops back off are the people that the black lives matter movement purports to be speaking for but is inevitably silent about which are law abiding and sometimes, let's be honest, criminal residents of poor inner city neighborhoods. but those are the people who i hear again and again saying, we support the cops. i need the cops.
i think about mrs. sweeper, an elderly cancer amputee in the mt. hope section of the bronx, who said the only time she feels safe to go down to her lobby and pick up the mail is when the police are there. she said, please, jesus, send more police. they don't have a problem with the cops. and i have spoken to a lot of young, black men who have been stopped and frisked by the police. and they will say, the police were doing their jobs. because in these communities informal social control has broken down. the family has broken down. when that happens, the police are the only thing that stands between law-abiding residents and anarchy. if we want to save black lives,
we have to stop this vilification because the data are clear. the police are not engaged in precisely the type of policing that was key to the 50% crime drop that this nation has experienced over the last 2 decades. it is now reversing because cops are not making pro active pedestrian stops. they're not enforcing quality of life laws. the people who are going to be hurt are going to be residents of inner city communities. >> and, ms. macdonald, when in july of this year 45 people were murdered in baltimore, the most since 1972, when 43 of them were african-americans, were there any protests from left wing groups about the black lives that were lost to the skyrocketing murder rates? did president obama speak out about the black lives that had been taken from skyrocketing homicide rates? >> it would seem that that crime
is taken as a matter of course. i have not heard the live matters protest against criminal murderers. no cop starts out with criminal intent. that's the difference. we have been hearing that somehow it's a miscarriage of justice that grand juries do not routinely convict cops of murder. the reason for that fact is that grand juries understand the difference between a murder with criminal intent and an officer who in a split second of pressure and confusion may make the wrong call in retrospect. >> thank you, ms. macdonald. senator coons? >> thank you, senator cruz, and i appreciate the opportunity to
talk to the issue now raised repeatedly. do minority communities plagued by crime welcome policing? absolutely. so let's review the record of what happened in the appropriations process earlier this year. we just heard paraphrased a cry, please, god, send more police. i'll note that in the appropriations process, it was the democrats led by senator mccullski who offered an amendment that would have added $60 million for u.s. attorneys, $35 million for the u.s. marshal service, $58 million dea and $153 million for assistance to state and low law enforcement and $95 million for the cops hiring program. this amendment was sadly rejected on a party line vote. this hearing has tolerated a wide range of sloppy, unfounded and unscientific insults to the law enforcement community. that has suggested somehow that it is citizens protesting civil rights violations that are causing increases in crime.
allow me to read again from the statement from the national president of the fraternal order of police, chuck canterbury, who in part in responding to what he views as the offensive comments of fbi director james comey in suggesting in february that police officers need to acknowledge, quote the widespread existence of unconscious bias, unquote. fop president canterbury later in his letter says, to blame the rise in crime on officers' behavior is just not grounded in fact and is wrong. i think the sloppy suggestion that there is a so-called ferguson affect in which cops back off because they are afraid of accountability was directly addressed by chief davis earlier who said, in a democracy law enforcement officers welcome accountability. and in the earlier testimony of ms. gupta that detailed how successful partnerships between
the civil rights division and a series of police departments has actually improved policing through investments in equipment, training and accountability. i would be interested, chief alexander, if you are have any comments on the valuable program that noble led in part under your leadership to improve the relationships between 13 to 18-year-old young men of color and minority communities and the law enforcement profession. why that is valuable and the role of the cops office in helping support proactive policing. ms. ifill, i would like you to invite you to expand on a comment that was in your written testimony and i'll just remind you. quote, this has been referred to as a ferguson affect, unquote. even if comey's speculation proves to be supported by data,
it reports the need to engage more intensely. although earlier you say there is noda that to support it whatsoever. if you would first, chief, and then ms. ifill, tell us about the investments that are valuable and that noble has helped lead to try and restore relations between police and community and, ms. ifill, what do you think we should be doing to deal with the rise in crime, and about some of assertions of whether there is or isn't a war on crime. chief alexander? >> yes, sir. if you would oblige me, we refer to comments made by director comey. certainly, that -- many across this country see in a variety of different ways. but here's what i also need to note, as well, too. back in february i think it was, director comey at georgetown
university also stated that this country, law enforcement need to acknowledge the fact that we have done some things wrong over the years. and that is absolutely true. we have to go back through this nation's history and take a look at policing and the things that have been done to people across this country, particularly people of color and particularly people that may have been -- may have well be white as well, too, but did not have the ways and means to do better for themselves. the whole notion is here is that somehow we just got here today. we just did not get here today. this has been a long haul. since the michael brown event of last year, which really brought all of this to bear and everything that followed, there have been a number of incidents have followed, one just behind the other. let me say this. i'm a 38-year veteran. active duty police administrator. so i'm going to talk to you about this from a realistic
point of view. not a black point of view. not a white point of view or republican or conservative point of view. but from a police point of view. this is a very complex issue. when we start talking about engaging communities and policing. there's a lot of history, a lot of feelings and a lot of legacy that is still to be moved through. that's what we're in the process of doing. that's what this administration, the president, the cops office, the department of justice have made attempts to do. they have afforded the opportunities of financing and helping departments across this country to be better. most of the police departments across this country that have reached out and asked for help, even organizations such as noble have had somewhere to go in order to be able to say what can i do to better my police department and my community? there are a number of agencies across this country, a number of them that are reaching out to the cops office every day. so i think it's important to
note that this is not as simple as i'm quite sure a lot of people would like for it to be because this is rooted in the fact that there are men and women out there every day, they're not racist. they're not sexist. they're dedicated men and women who want do a fantastic job. but you have 800,000 police officers in this police officers in this country. are we going to have some that go off the rail? you are going to find that in any profession, anywhere. we see it from the top of our government to the last individual born on the face of this earth. or leaves the face of this earth. we all have fault. but much of what we see as it
relates to crime in this country, as it relates to this so-called ferguson affect, which has become a term that somehow has gotten coined to be of some real significance. i suggest to you today here it is of no real significance, senator, because my thought of it is this. we have issues right now in this country that we have relationship problems as relates to policing. it's not all about white policing on black subjects. i hear it the other way as well, too. i hear black police officers violating people's rights. i hear hispanic police officers violating rights. women violating other women's right that may be police officers. so this is a broad issue.
this is not just a racial issue. this is a human rights issue. a civil rights issue. but i will contend and i will confess to you today as a long-term law enforcement official that we need all the help that we can get out here. that help, of course, is contingent upon the fact that the facts are reported to you, not the notions. friends that we all have who sometime talk about how bad it is because we are in a place where policing is changing in this country. we have to accept that. i'm almost a four -- 40 years at this. this is a long time, a very long time. and i hate that sometime in the near future i'm going to leave
this profession pretty much like i found it 40 years ago. but i think the work the justice department is doing, the administration is doing and all fairness to both, is that they're doing their best to change policing across this country. i think we have to continue to demand that policing change. and i think that it needs to be continued funding for programs such as noble, to your question, senator, as it relates to the law in your community. we got funding from the justice department to do what? to go out and teach these young men and women across this country between 13 and 14 -- between ages of 13 and 18, i'm sorry, to tell them what the law is. how do you respect the law? how is it important for you when you are stopped, what are you supposed to do? basic fundamental things you and i may have had the opportunity to learn but the minute these youngsters in the urban areas may not have had this opportunity. it's meaningful. it helps them better understand how to respect authority. we are expecting sometime for them to do things in which they have no prior training. not no fault of their own, but we know that do exist. these programs have proved to be quite successful. and if i would just close by adding to this, as well, too. when we talk about uptick of homicides across this nation, for every city there's an uptick that we're seeing, we're also seeing cities where there are declines in homicides, as well, too.
we don't know what's driving this. we can take ferguson -- i'm sorry. we can take baltimore. that was an anomaly. that was a clear noted voiced slow down of work following the death of freddie gray. we know that. but if i talk to my colleague tomorrow in chicago, which i did on yesterday, mccarthy, superintendent there, his men and women are not slowing down. department of over 10,000 police officers. they recovered over 25% more guns this year than they did last year. but the raise and the rise in homicides are not just based on the fact of this administration has some vendetta on policing. the issues are far bigger and far greater. i would also say to the rest of my colleagues out there in the law enforcement community, as well, too, they know because i talk to them every day as many
of you say you do, i talk to them every day. from large cities to moderate size to small cities across this country, nobody is telling me that their men and women are slowing down. are they are a little bit more cautious? do they have more pause as a result of the negative comments and thing that is might be being said to them or about them in a community? yes. it's a tough time to be a police officer. but this is the these tough times that police officers across this nation always at the end of the day get it done for us. and they're getting it done. they're fighting every day. they're getting shot at every day. i can attest to that coming from a community of 750,000 residents and 1,000 police officers. i know what they're doing every day.
they haven't slowed down one bit. that's not based on something i heard from someone else. that's based on what i see every day in metro atlanta and other cities across this country. thank you, sir. >> thank you, chief. ms. ifill, would you just speak to the ferguson affect and whether there's support for it in the role of private litigants and the office of civil rights in terms of addressing challenges and the complex discussion you raised earlier? >> i'm in the unusual position feeling i have to be counsel for the fbi director, which is unusual for me. let me be sure to clarify mr. comey's remarks. there is no question that there are many communities in which there has been an uptick in violent crime. he did say that. the controversial part of the statement was that he opined that this might be a ferguson affect. he never claimed that he had any data to support that there was a correlation between the uptick in violent crime and the increased scrutiny of police departments.
i think it's critically important that we be very careful that we not make these leaps because it can really move into the realm of irresponsibility. i and many others in this country have a higher ambition and believe that it is possible for us to have safer communities, sound policing, respect for police officers and policing that is constitutional and that adheres to the rules of law and that also upholds the dignity of those who live in the communities. it's important for this committee to recognize that we're sitting here at a snapshot moment in which the nation's consciousness has been heightened to an issue that has been discussed in african-american communities for decades. we did not have this hearing
year before last when anthony anderson was killed by the baltimore police. we did not have this hearing the year before that when tyrone west was killed by the baltimore police. those matters were managed by the community in baltimore and by the police chief who conducted his own investigation. these issues have been percolating to the surface over time. we did not think that there was a war on policing in june 2014, a month before eric garner was killed many new york and several months before months before michael brown was killed in ferguson. when two police officers were ambushed and executed in las vegas by a husband and wife who then flu a nazi flag over them and screamed don't tread on me as they were taken away. but they were killed in june of 2014. so depending on how far back we take our lens, tells us what the story is. i want to caution this committee from taking this very narrow lens and suggesting that what we see today is the product of what has happened over last year. as the letter that you read at the beginning of this hearing demonstrates, we are seeing the product of decades of policies and practices that have produced the conditions that we see in many of our nation's cities. and now we have an opportunity to address a problem. i would suggest to this committee that we cannot look at a video of walter scott being shot in that park in north charleston and a police officer appear to go back and drop a taser next to him. we cannot watch samuel dubois killed as he was in cincinnati. we cannot watch police
officers -- a police officer barrel into a pool party of teens and do what they did and suggest that we don't have a problem. so we have an opportunity. we also know what the police report said and what the video showed. we know that if we didn't have that video, we would have all believed the police report because we are hardwired to believe the police because we do understand the difficult job that they do and the challenges they face. now america has been able to see a different reality. it's a reality that's existed in communities that i represent over decades. it's incumbent upon us in this democracy to get our hands around this problem and to recognize that when the state -- when agents of the state who we
have empowered and we have given a gun and a shield and pepper spray and we have authorized them to take life on our behalf where necessary, when they violate the law, it has a particularly pernicious affect in the community. last thing i would say is, once again, the snapshot we take are important. there are regular protests about violence in the african-american community including in may -- i have had the advantage of living in baltimore for 20 years. including in may and june when there were continuous protests about the uptick in the murder rate. it has continued unabated. there have been protests in chicago and cities all over this country. i admit they do not get the media attention of other kinds of protests but i think this kind of anecdotal sense of what is happening really has to be challenged because we are at such a critical and delicate moment. >> thank you very much for your testimony. >> can i ask unanimous consent that i be able to put a statement in the record. i have been at the hearing but i have to leave. my time has run out. >> if you want to ask -- >> if senator sessions -- >> he would yield his time. >> that's kind of the senator. i appreciate it.
he's a good friend and good man. that's another expression of that. i just wanted to say this. the politics is now a big part theater. some of the groups that are represented here are part of the theater of politics. it's not surprising to me how some of the testimony has come out. but i do want to say having been the united states attorney in my state and having been the attorney general of my state, which in rhode island also means you are the d.a., that there is nothing that i see in rhode island that communicates to me anything like a federal war on police. i just had a meeting this past week with the head of the rhode island state police, colonel o'donnell, with the head of the providence police department.
colonel clemens. they have both been friends for decades. they get along very well. the united states attorney peter naruna was there, as well. it was a meeting that was with the community. we had our local naacp leaders, it was at a community group called open doors and it was to help advise me on how -- what we can do to keep the criminal sentencing bill we worked on in this committee moving forward. nobody was concerned, not for a second, that there was anything like a war on the police happening. the u.s. attorney has led joint investigations in which our local police departments have participated. one of them was against google and led to a massive settlement that rewarded those police departments and their municipalities enormously. so if anything, if there's a war on police in rhode island, it's a very lucrative one for the local communities and it's one the local police don't seem to notice. community relations service has come to rhode island on several occasions. they have been helpful. i haven't seen them do any harm. not too long ago i left an awards ceremony in which the state police, the providence
police and a number of community organizations all shared awards for having gotten together and formed a commission, a police community commission, to look at the question of profiling. and that community and police together effort was so effective that they actually have come up with a bill that has passed in the rhode island general assembly as a result of their work. the notion that one witness suggests which is that for the department of justice to force a police department to enter into some kind of a community commission relationship in rhode island nobody had to force us.
we did that on our own. everybody thought it was great. the outcome was very positive for the police departments. they were there receiving their awards with pride and great satisfaction in the work that had been accomplished. i think chief alexander hit the nail on the head. this is more complicated than it seems. i don't think it's appropriate for theater. and throughout local law enforcement, there are inumberable efforts to make policing better. in those efforts, we find at least in rhode island that the support of our federal law enforcement community has been very beneficial to those efforts.
that's just been our experience. i wanted to share it for the record. i thank the chairman for indulging me. i thank senator sessions for letting me take that time. thank you, sir. >> thank you, senator whitehouse. i thank senator sessions for graciously yielding his time and recognize senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank all of you. it's a very, very important panel today. ms. ifill, you did a good job by yourself there. made some valid points. i would just say this. all of us -- i say in law enforcement. i used to be that for a long time. know how sensitive these issues are, how careful we need to be. how people can misinterpret things. but i do think it's a real problem when we have black lives matter making statements that are really radical. that absolutely false. and then being invited to the white house. and meet with valerie jarrett and never to my knowledge have the head of the civil rights
division criticize some of the statements like pigs in a blanket fry them like bacon. talking about the police. so i just think we do have a -- we have to be careful how we handle these issues but i would expect that the leadership in this country would be effective in defending the legitimate day-to-day work of police. mr. mccarthy, you have prosecuted a listening time. you have thought about these issues. what about the acting head of civil rights division in 2005, not too long ago, wrote a fordham law review article which ought to be carefully considered saying we have a criminal justice system who's sub jo gags of people of color is contingent upon individualizing all cases? it is how we have managed to rationalize racism in the criminal justice system. closed quote. in other words, it's wrong to treat cases individually. we should see them in some sort of pattern, i suppose. does that trouble you? that we have the head of the civil rights division taking that view and do you think it's an extreme view? >> senator, it troubles me that she took that view at a time he was thinking deeply about this.
i would note in every single joint trial in america federal judges and state judges tell the juries that they're supposed to consider each defendant individually and not allow the evidence that only is pertinent to one defendant to taint the other, and that's because our tradition and i think it's a worthy one, is that guilt is, in fact, individual, and i would say that having been a prosecutor for a very long time and having worked with law enforcement even before that there's nothing that makes prosecutors' jobs more difficult than corrupt prosecutors, and there's nothing that makes good cops jobs more difficult than corrupt cops, and when we find them there's probably nothing more important to the administration of justice than that we come at them with the
full force of the law which means prosecuting them with vigor. but the point is that you can have a credible justice system. you can have the rule of law the way we have always had it. which is, that guilt is individual and that people who have public positions, positions of public trust, know that if they walk outside the lines the system has a powerful incentive to go after them double what -- what the incentive is with respect to other actors. >> i think you're right. i don't think there's any other system that can claim justice to its name that doesn't individually determine whether the individual did wrong or not. goodness gracious. i just -- this doesn't answer the question we have talked about but i see an article here of last few weeks ago, rahm
emanuel, mayor of chicago, president obama's chief of staff for a number of years, says intense media and public criticism is making police officers too passive, quote, going fetal, close quote. all of us want officers to be proactive and to be able to do community policing in a proactive way. we have to encourage them so it's not their job on the line or that judgment call all the time that if they stop this could be a career ending. if that happens it's going to have an impact and we're seeing it. that's why every other police chief and mayor and u.s. attorney applauded when i said that. said mr. emanuel. may best judgment having been in it business for a long time starting in the mid-'70s as a prosecutor, it is having an
impact. maybe i'm wrong. my judgment is that it is. now, mr. walters, i have a sense having been appointed by reagan in 1981 when drug use among high school students was at 50% and the authoritative of michigan study. under a series of presidents and over a period of time isn't it correct that drug use dropped to under 25% among high school students? >> dropped 25% in the last administration, during those 7 years. it dropped more than 25% between the peak at the -- roughly 1978 through to 1992. it went up from 1992 to 2000 and then went down again. >> but at one point -- >> it's now rebounded. >> you get the numbers correct. the michigan study showed 50% use around 1980. >> right. >> and it dropped steadily until it got below to 25%.
i believe it was. >> i don't think it ever got as low as 25%. 25% is the reduction from 2000 to 2008. that's the reduction in the numbers. i just want to make sure. >> all right. >> i know too much. >> drug czar here. >> i know. >> great progress was made. >> yes. >> substantial progress. >> do you see the difficulty that we're having in the streets, the increase in murder rate, the increase in drug use, the president's own statement, goodness gracious, i have to ask you about that because i know how hard you've worked on trying to reduce crime and drug use. well, i've lost it, but the president himself said it's not much different than alcohol or smoking. and so, we're now see being one study i saw recently that drug use among high school seniors admittedly by them was 49%. so that's gone back up. will, in your opinion, all of this result in more crimes of all kinds? will it result in more drug use?
will it result in more addiction? and is this a very bad trend that we're on? could we be starting on a very bad trend? >> yeah. i don't think there's any question those who have worked on this problem. those in law enforcement know that the catalytic effect substance abuse has on crime, on child endangerment, on addiction and on the survivability of young people that are in at-risk situations over time. look, the real shame here is, and i say this without any kind of partisanism or theater. president obama has a unique connection to young people, younger president. the example he sets is very powerful.
all presidents have an important example that they are to young people and to the american people, but he had a particularly strong one. he could have talked about substance abuse in his generation, his own experience. he could have been the -- more powerful than nancy reagan in terms of being a leader in prevention and changing attitudes of young people. instead what we have is a downplaying of the seriousness of substance abuse in the comments you quoted, a suppression of federal law to allow the legalization of marijuana in states which has been horrific and created forms and concentrates of marijuana we've never seen before, bringing suits in the supreme court from surrounding states who are affected by colorado. the growth of heroin in this country that's been devastating. it's partly a result of what we've talked about in terms of opioid pharmaceuticals and transmission, but it's really about, and i've done some analysis of this, it's really
about the explosion of supply out of mexico. and we have not worked effectively with our international partners on these, and by the way, the biggest single source of -- of heroin is, of course, afghanistan. that heroin is already in canada. we can have -- this could be the prelude to the worst explosion of substance abuse we've ever seen. the growth of marijuana, the potential for spreading marijuana into communities, first under the guys of medicine which is false and second free-flow sale and then the kinds and concentrates of this will be devastating. and it will not just be one generation. we now know not only does marijuana use heavily as young people cause permanent iq loss that we didn't know years ago, but it also changes the chemistry of the brain to make people more susceptible to substance abuse for the rest of their lives.
baby boomers have higher rates, you may have seen the recent study of death from substance abuse and overdose and suicide by baby boomers as they reach older age. so there is -- there is such a catalytic effect of destruction in this phenomenon that for us to turn our backs, for us to say that we shouldn't enforce the law, for us to lie about who is in jail, the criminal justice system has sorted people into treatment, through drug courts, who need treatment, you in the senate have passed, bypassed this to make sure low-level offenders do not get into federal prison. to suggest these tools are unjust, to break a tool for state, local and federal governments to break local organizations and bring people to justice and protect the communities, to cause declines in substance abuse and addiction, to turn all that around when we know what works. we have made these achievements and to throw them away, i mean, look, i don't have to do this. i could go back to my private life. i was pleased to serve. i'm here and i recognize this is controversial. i've been called, as some others of you have been called all kind of things for what i do, and the drug czar is not a hip guy in parties or on campus. but the reason i've gone and continued to say these things is i've sat with the parents who say you've got to do something. you have to be my voice and i went and spoke at funeral of
angela dawson in baltimore in 2002. angela dawson, as you may recall, stood up to drug dealers in her community of baltimore. she said, you're not going to take my kids. you're not going to take my community. they tried to kill her with a fire bomb. they offered to move her out and put her into witness protection and she said, no, i will not give up. they came back, an individual who was supposedly under supervision and wasn't, and firebombed her house. killed her, her husband and her five children. i spoke at that funeral. i looked at those small coffins. she's an example of the kind of victims whose voices don't get heard until it's too late. i know what's going to happen if we don't stand up and speak and maybe i'm too passionate. maybe it seems like theater to -- to some of the members of the committee, but the fact of the matter is this is going to be worse than we've seen before
if we do not turn it around, and we need the support of national leaders. we need -- we need the large and vocal support and that's why i congratulate you on having this hearing, and i think, you know, to argue about whether or not we have data about the effects of criticism and attacks on police, i think that's a diversion. i think we really all know. i mean, director comey is an expert witness if there ever was one on this. and secondly, i think we all see what the numbers are happening in terms of crime. and thirdly, while it can be anecdotal, i would say randomly just start asking police officers that you see whether they feel they are under attack, and i would say you will not find it a close call. >> well, thank you. you know, we're having 120 deaths a day from drug overdose in america. that is just a stunning figure, and it has monumental impacts throughout our entire culture. i gave up many times i often regret being with my family, meeting with drug -- anti-drug
groups in the '80s when i was a united states attorney, and it worked. drug use went down. substantially. and fewer people became addicted and the crime rate began to go down after time. and we -- to me i can just see us letting this slip away. the gains, the lessons we learned. as you said, mr. walters, we're ignoring and the culture and the nation will pay a price for it. thank you. >> thank you, senator sessions, and thank you, mr. walters, for that powerful testimony a moment ago. you know, i will say something mr. walters said a minute ago i think is powerfully correct, as i travel both the state of texas and the country. i am stopped by police officers almost on a daily basis who express to me one after the other that they feel they are under assault. i cannot tell you the frequency with which individual officers and cities all over the country say thank you for standing up for me. that sentiment is being felt, and it's being felt powerfully.
you know, there's been some suggestion that there has not been a vilification of law enforcement, and i think that suggestion is counter to the facts and counter to the evidence and, indeed, you go back to 2009. president obama was newly elected, and you had an incident with a harvard professor, and president obama who i might note was not there in cambridge, massachusetts, did not know what the facts were, but even not knowing when the facts were the president saw fit to say, quote, the cambridge police acted stupidly. i, for one, don't think the president of the united states ought to be insulting police officers for, quote, acting stupidly, when the president by his own admission doesn't know facts of what occurred. that started to set the stage. for beginning with the
assumption police officers are guilty until proven innocent. president obama in 2014 at the united nations stood in front of the world and held up law enforcement in a negative way. he said, i realize that americans' critics will be quick to point out that at times we, too, have failed to live up by our ideals, that america has plenty of problems within its own borders. this president has made a pattern of describing what he thinks are america's problems and doing it in front of foreign nations. he continued, this is true. in a summer marked by instability in the middle east and eastern europe, i know that the world also took notice of the small american city of ferguson, missouri, where a young man was killed and a community was divided. president obama, in front of the united nations, comparing the police officers to terrorists in the middle east. and let's be clear. he is giving his opinion on that. a young man was killed. we have failed to live up to our ideals. those are president obama's words. this is true. we have failed to live up to our ideals. this is true. he is rendering judgment and verdict. i would note the grand jury in
ferguson disagreed with president obama. the actual people our justice department charges with reviewing the evidence, something that doesn't seem to trouble president obama when he's opining law enforcement must be in the wrong. the grand jury that reviewed the evidence concluded to the contrary. but president obama goes in front of the united nations and lambastes police officers. you don't think that message is heard by police officers throughout the country? in 2015, president obama said there are some police who aren't doing the right thing. rather than close ranks he said
some police chiefs recognize they got to get their arms he is rendering judgment and verdict. i would note the grand jury in ferguson disagreed with president obama. the actual people our justice department charges with reviewing the evidence, something that doesn't seem to trouble president obama when he's opining law enforcement must be in the wrong. the grand jury that reviewed the evidence concluded to the contrary. but president obama goes in front of the united nations and lambastes police officers. you don't think that message is heard by police officers throughout the country? in 2015, president obama said there are some police who aren't doing the right thing. rather than close ranks he said some police chiefs recognize
they got to get their arms around the problem but president obama continued. we can't just leave this to the police. important to understand, he doesn't think the police can govern themselves. instead, president obama is saying i think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. i think there's some communities that have to do some soul searching, but i think as a country we have to do some soul searching. this is not new. it's been going on for decades. the president standing as judge and jury convicting police officers. in response to his own fbi director mr. comey, president obama speaking right after mr. comey stands up and says we do have to stick with the facts. what we can't do is cherry pick
or use anecdotal evidence to drive policy or feed political agendas. how about what we can't do is have the president of the united states impugning the integrity? is he suggesting the director of the fbi is cherry picking data? it's not an implicit suggestion. it is an explicit suggestion. in the summer of 2014, the department of justice targeted the seattle police department said in writing that the officers were engaged in, quote, discriminatory practices subconsciously. i'm very pleased to know that the u.s. department of justice have now become psychiatrists, have now become mystics delving into the subconscious. how about the department of justice enforce the laws instead of worrying about the deep subconscious of police officers which the president has already
told us apparently they're acting stupidly anyway. we've talked about the president nominating for senior department of justice position a lawyer who not only voluntarily and for free represented an admitted cop killer, but lionized him, held him out as a cause celeb. but, you know, that's not the only cop killer that the administration has turned a blind eye to. we should all remember joanne chesimard. who is joanne chesimard? joanne chesimard, she's on the fbi's most wanted list. she is wanted for escaping from prison in clinton, new jersey, while serving a life sentence for murder. on may 2nd, 1973, chesimard, who was part of the revolutionary extremist organization known as
the black liberation army and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the new jersey turnpike by two troopers with the new jersey state police. at the time, ms. chesimard was wanted for several felonies, including bank robbery. chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the trooper. one trooper was shot and another was killed execution style at point blank range. she fled the scene but was subsequently apprehended. in 1977, chesimard was found guilty of first-degree, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon and armed robbery. she was sentenced to life in prison. on november 2nd, 1979, chesimard
escaped from prison and lived underground before being located in cuba in 1984. she's still living in cuba. president obama and john kerry and the obama administration embracing our new found friends raul castro and fidel castro, cruel communist dictators. in the whole course of opening an american embassy in cuba, in the whole course of opening a cuban embassy in washington, d.c., did the obama administration ever once say of their new communist buddies, how about you hand over the cop killer living in cuba? if you're going to be part of
this community of nations, if we're going to embrace cuba in a way that will make every leftist faculty lounge in america cheer, how about as a tiny price of that you hand over a cop killer, who murdered a new jersey state trooper in cold blood execution style? does anyone in their right mind think that the obama administration ever even once mentioned that? you want to know why the cops feel thrown overboard? because nobody would suggest they would even think to say hand over the cop killer. you know, it's not an accident that a deputy goforth's funeral president obama was nowhere to be found. it's not an accident that
funeral after funeral of police officers that have been murdered, targeted, singled out for defending their communities, that president obama is nowhere to be found. there is a consequence when you vilify, when you demonize, when you hold out for contempt the good men and women who protect our communities. of course, there can be individuals who violate the law and we have a justice system. if there is an individual in law enforcement who violates the law, we have a justice system to handle that. but this president, this department of justice, has not approached it saying let's enforce the law. they started with the assumption that law enforcement is, as they said to the seattle police department, subconsciously discriminating. they're guilty. and we've seen the consequences.
we've seen crime rising. we've seen homicides rising. we've seen black lives being lost over and over and over again being murdered. it is wrong. and i believe it should end. senator coons? >> mr. chairman, as we come to the close of what has been a very long afternoon, i simply want to thank the two police chiefs who have actually testified today, both chief davis and chief alexander, and the many other witnesses who testified from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, but have helped us focus on the fact that increases in crime are the result of very complex issues and require us to pay attention to knowing the facts. there's been a great deal of opining today on a wide range of issues. i'll simply close by suggesting
two things i think are worth reflecting on. one, as i said at the outset, is a very pointed comment by the national president of the fraternal order of police, who takes umbrage including witnesses today who suggest that it is the fault of police officers who are refusing to actively police that there is an increase in crime. he said to blame the rise in crime on officers' behavior is just not grounded in fact and is wrong. and as we search the many complex possible sources for why there might be an increase in crime, i'll suggest one thing that was not addressed in any meaningful way in today's hearing, which is the hundreds of millions of dollars of additional support for local law enforcement requested and denied in this year's appropriations process. there are 18,000 law enforcement agencies across this country.
hundreds and hundreds of them applying to the cops' office for increased resources, training, equipment, and support, which they will not receive this year because of appropriations, priorities, and decisions of a republican-controlled congress and it is to my regret that we have not yet achieved a bipartisan consensus on how to responsibly work together to support local law enforcement. it is my hope, mr. chairman, that we can find a path towards doing more of cooperating to support law enforcement and less of vilifying the very officers who we rely on to secure order and enforce our constitution. thank you. >> thank you, senator coons. i'll briefly make an observation that i would note that it's not just fbi director comey who has observed about the ferguson effect, but also the dea administrator chuck rosen burg said, quote, comey was spot on,
regardi ining his comments on t ferguson effect. he said, quote, i've heard the same thing from police. i think it's worth talking about. i think this has been a valuable conversation and one that i hope will continue well beyond this hearing. we will be keeping the hearing record open for an additional five business days, which means the record will close on the end of business day on tuesday, november 24th, 2015. i will also note that dr. alexander mentioned in his testimony that for every jurisdiction where crime has gone up, there are an equal number that went down. i would encourage you to submit
that data so we have a full and complete record. we certainly want to invite any and all data that the witnesses have access to. i want to thank each of you for being here and wish you a good evening. the hearing is adjourned. next, massachusetts senator elizabeth warren suggests ways to improve the corporate tax code. then a senate hearing on the upcoming international climate
change conference in paris. after that, a house hearing on terrorist financing and u.s. hostage policy. and now massachusetts senator elizabeth warren discussing ways to improve the nation's corporate tax code. during her remarks, the national press club here at washington she said some u.s. corporations are putting their profits in offshore tax havens to avoid paying higher taxes. she says the system needs to be reformed to ensure fairness for all businesses and the middle class. >> welcome to the press club. i'm one of the business editors at npr here in washington and i'm also on the board of governors of the club. our guest today is massachusetts senator elizabeth warren but first i'm going to introduce the folks at the head table. if you'll hold any applause until i've introduced everybody.
this is jerry zaremski, the chair of the speaker's committee. betsy fisher martin who helped organize this event. thank you to both of you. and i want to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow this action on twitter. please use #npcnewsmaker. and now our guest speaker, she's been called america's most popular populist and although you won't be seeing her name on the presidential primary ballot next year, she's very much a force in the 2016 race and that's because she has been on a mission. her mission is to hold candidates from both parties accountable for the issues that matter to her. those include -- it's a long list -- wall street accountability, transparency, college affordability, income inequality in general, and women's equality in particular.
but now as hillary clinton moves closer to solidifying support in the democratic party, can senator warren still serve as the progressive power broker and continue to help the public policy debate? senator warren began serving her first term in the u.s. senate from massachusetts. she's a democrat. she is widely recognized as the architechitect of the consumer financial protection bureau, which i wish had a simpler name, but it's cfpb. [ inaudible ] [ laughter ] >> she served as chair of the congressional oversight panel for -- another great name -- troubled asset relief program, tarp, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis before the cfpb. she was elected to the senate in 2012 and she made a name nationally through her passionate attacks on big banks and financial institutions. she's written extensively on issues relating to economic
fairness. she was a professor for nearly 20 years at harvard law school. she's published 10 books and three best-sellers. "a fighting chance," "the two-income trap" and "all you're worth." she's a native of oklahoma. senator warren grew up in modest circumstances, which she has called the rag ged edge of the middle class. she entered law school after having her first child and practiced law from an office in her living room before becoming a professor. in washington she seems to be everywhere. i've seen so far today you've had at least two previous press conferences and those are just the ones i know about. one was dealing with women's wages. another was dealing with the transpacific partnership. despite this high visibility, the senator said on many times and on the record that she is not running for president but while the "ready for warren" super pac has now thrown its
support behind bernie sanders, senator warren herself has not made an endorsement in the democratic primary. she did raise eyebrows a few months ago when she had a, quote, private lunch with vice president biden while he was weighing his decision on whether to enter the race. after much speculation, the potential for a biden/warren ticket evaporated when the vice president said he would not be participating. so it remains to be seen who the senator will endorse, but for now, we are just going to welcome her to the press club where she wants to talk about the international corporate tax and reform, and she will take questions from the audience. welcome. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. thanks so much. it's good to be here.
i appreciate your doing a list because i wanted to come here to expand that list a little bit. change is in the air in washington. the lobbyists are swarming on capitol hill. the buzz is everywhere. congress is going to revise the corporate tax code and the time is nearly here. so the lobbyists have a strong elevator pitch that goes like this -- u.s. corporations are paying too much in taxes, the top tax corporate rate is 35% which is much higher than the rest of the developed world and it's forcing u.s. corporations to flee abroad. the solution is to slash corporate rates across the board. so that's the elevator pitch. the story of overtaxation is everywhere. it is told and retold by lobbyists for giant u.s. corporations. told and retold by their friends in congress and promoted by more than one republican candidate for president. so i put together a sampling of what the republican candidates have said.
ben carson: "our government is driving businesses to other countries because our corporate tax rate is the second-highest in the world." donald trump: "our multinational corporations can't compete because we have the worst corporate tax rate in the industrialized world." marco rubio: "the u.s. imposes a double tax on the corporate earnings of u.s. multinationals, holding back our nation's potential to compete around the globe." only one problem with the overtaxation story -- it's not true. there is a problem with the corporate tax code, but that isn't it. so let's go through some of the numbers, let's start with the claim that u.s. corporations pay more than their foreign counterparts. it's true the highest nominal tax rate on paper is 35%. but hardly anybody actually pays that rate. multiple studies have estimated
that the average effective federal tax rate for u.s. corporations, the tax rate that corporations actually pay to the u.s. government after they take advantage of all of the deductio deductions, the exceptions, the credits, is only 20%. and 20% is right in the middle of corporate taxes paid in the rest of the world. right in the middle, so the tax rate is about average. what about the trendline? are corporate taxes getting more burdensome as lobbyists claim? nope. in fact, there has been a ten-point decline in effective tax rates for u.s. corporations between 1998 and 2013. but there is a deeper lie hidden right at the center of the elevator pitch. the tax code is so tangled up
wi with exceptions and with credits that with some of the biggest corporations the effective federal tax rate is zero. not 35%, not 20%, 0%. for example, over a five-year period boeing, general electric, and verizon paid nothing in net federal income taxes. that's across a five-year period. these three "fortune 500" companies reported nearly $80 billion in combined profits and actually got tax rebates from the federal government. so what's the problem with our corporate tax code? not that taxes are too high for giant corporations as lobbyists claim. no, the problem is that revenue generated from corporate taxes is far too low and the trend line here is unmistakable. over the past 60 years corporations have contributed a smaller and smaller and smaller
share to the cost of running the government. back in the 1950s corporations contributed about three out of every ten dollars in federal revenue. today, corporations contribute just one out of every ten dollars. how does that compare with other countries? well, of all the countries in the oecd, 75% of them collected higher corporate tax revenues as a share of gdp than we do here in the united states. that means that three quarters of all developed countries require corporations to contribute more than the u.s. does. japan, canada, the uk. these are just a few of the countries that collect a bigger share of corporate tax revenue than the united states. now think about this. fortune 500 companies proudly proclaim that they are making record-breaking profits and then
they hire armies of lawyers to make sure they don't pay taxes on those record-breaking profits. i could give you a dozen examples of how different tax dodges work, there's check the box, there's reverse hybrid mismatches, inversions, earnings strippings, but before you all head for the exits because you're afraid that's what i will do, i'm just going to focus on one. i want to highlight one of these and this's attributing corporate income to the subsidiaries set up in offshore tax havens. as of last year, nearly three quarters of all fortune 500 companies operated subsidiaries in tax havens. based on filings with the fcc these 358 companies reported at least 7,622 tax haven
subsidiaries. and for the mathphobes in the room, that's more than 21 tax haven subsidiaries for each fortune 500 company that's also in the tax dodge business. how much money can you save by doing that? well, the savings are huge. the tax dodgers that shift money to these low tax jurisdictions are paying on average effective tax rates of just 3% on their tax haven profits. not the 35% of the elevator pitch but a tidy little 3%. the amount of money tucked away in tax havens is truly staggering. together u.s. corporations have $2.1 trillion in untaxed profits sitting offshore. and once again just look at the
trend line. in just the past ten years the amount of untaxed offshore profit has increased nearly five-fold. in other words, one of the hottest investments in america in the past decade hasn't been biotech or big oil. it's been tax lawyers. the money sheltered overseas is now about the same as the combined total earnings of all u.s. corporations in 2013. but here's the trick. that tax bonus is not shared evenly. now the game is rigged and it is rigged for the really big guys. out of the billions of businesses in the u.s. just 50 corporations hold 75% of the $2.1 trillion in untaxed offshore profits.
and even in that rarefied air there is a tax dodger hall of fame. just ten american companies hold more than 1/3 of all of those offshore profits. and here's the real kick in the teeth. the average american household pays a federal tax rate of 17.6%. the average effective tax rate for an american corporation with fewer than 500 employees is 17.5%. even mitt romney paid 14%. but the biggest american companies are paying far, far less. in many cases nothing at all. so they enjoy all of the benefits of being an american company, but they leave it to families and small businesses to pick up the bill. for years now gridlock in washington has worked in favor of the tax dodgers despite the occasional exposé in the media.
the corporations and their top executives continue to sleep comfortably, secure in the knowledge that they can block any real tax reforms. but now there is change in the wind. why? because the giant tax dodgers themselves are lobbying for change in the tax laws and they are lobbying hard. they're even signaling that they just might be willing to bring some of that sheltered money back to the united states if we will give them a sweet enough deal to do it. so what's going on? why this sudden change? a burst of conscience? patriotism? yes, i notice you laugh. no, as always, it's about money. while the united states congress may be asleep at the switch other countries are waking up to tax dodgers, and they are starting to rewrite their tax
laws. many of our global competitors are started cracking down on the infamous levels of tax avoidance by u.s. companies. they know u.s. corporations are shuffling cash through their borders without paying taxes and they want their cut. the u.k. is developing a new tax to go after profits hidden away by u.s. companies. what's the name of the bill? they're calling it the google tax. the european court of justice is striking down sweetheart deals for u.s. tech companies and for their subsidiaries throughout europe. the european commission has been clawing back tax benefits collected by u.s. corporations. and the g-20 just released a sweeping new plan for cracking down on cross-border tax gains. there's a move afoot internationally to shut down tax dodges. now even here in the u.s. the treasury department is entering
into tax information exchange agreements with other countries to uncover hidden cash and treasury is also developing new country-by-country reporting requirements that will shine a light on the scams used by the tax dodgers. in fact, it's so bad that tax advisors have been sending out panicky alerts warning that other countries have tumbled to the tax dodge game and as a result the days of single-digit corporate tax rates are coming to an end. so these giant corporations have suddenly found religion. they say it is time for tax reform. of course, they plan to write those tax reforms. and their strategy is simple -- tell a story about high u.s. taxes, demand tax cuts from the united states congress and threaten to leave the united states for good if they don't
get what they want. i say it's time to call their bluff. why? first, because i know tax rates for giant american corporations are far lower than the lobbyists claim. second, i know that the tax deals available abroad are disappearing fast. but third and most of all i know that america is a great place to do business, and that's worth a lot to these multinational corporations. we have the world's best work force. smart, skilled, hardworking. we have the world's most attractive consumers. hundreds of millions of people who are ready to buy. we have the world's most reliable and transparent legal system. we have the deepest and most liquid capital markets. we have copyright and patent laws that reward innovation. you want some evidence for why this is a good place or how much people believe this is a good place to do business?
look at where start-ups are going. fewer than 3% of newly started businesses with physical headquarters in the u.s. chose to incorporate not in a tax shelter. i said it backwards. fewer than 3% chose to incorporate in a tax shelter. tax shelters didn't build the tech sector in cambridge and silicon valley and tax shelters won't build the next new industry either. america is a great place to do business and our companies know it. so as we think about fixing our broken corporate tax code, we should bet on america and we should focus on the actual problems in the code, not the fake ones pursued by the tax dodgers, by the lobbyists, and by the presidential candidates who are hoping to attract big corporate contributions. it's time to reford the tax code but let's do it right. how about three principles? first, tax reform must substantially increase the share of long-term revenues paid by big corporations. not just over the next five or
ten years but permanently. our tax system has already been so corrupted by tax dodgers that a revenue-neutral rewrite of our corporate tax laws leave this is country with too little money to operate basic services. if america is going to build a 21st century infrastructure, operate 21st century schools and invest in 21st century research then giant corporations must pay a fair share of the cost. second, tax reform must level the playing field between small businesses and big businesses. patti's lunch in cambridge doesn't stash profits in luxembourg and the lakota bakery in arlington doesn't put money in the cayman islands. salvato electric in north billerica can't hire an army of lawyers to set up a reverse hybrid mismatch to lower their
taxes. these loopholes and gimmicks are available only to giant corporations. and when small businesses have to pick up a disproportionate share of the taxes paid, it makes it that much harder for them to compete. and third, tax reform should promote investment and jobs here in the u.s. the loopholes that litter our tax code and allow tax dodgers to hide cash overseas also actively encourage multinationals to outsource jobs and invest money abroad. right now u.s. companies can pay a lower rate by investing overseas instead of in the u.s. and foreign companies can set up u.s. subsidiaries and strip out profits more easily than local companies. this is nuts. our tax code should protect jobs and investments at home, period.
these three principles -- raise more long-term revenue, level the playing field for small businesses and invest in jobs here in america seem pretty simple. most americans probably agree with these common sense ideas but congress doesn't talk to most americans. congress talks to ceos and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists who are pushing some genuinely terrible ideas. i want you to consider three tax proposals that are now getting the most attention. first, deemed repatriation. this is a giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers who have already parked $2.1 trillion overseas. deemed repatriation says bring home the money but only pay half of what you owe on it or with the negotiations going on with
capitol hill right now, if that kiss isn't wet enough, some are suggesting the repayment rate should be less than half, maybe around 14%. think about what that means. all small business owners who have been paying their taxes in full can keep right on paying in full, but the tax dodgers will get a special deal. patti's lunch gets zip but apple gets a tax break of $27 billion. lakota bakery gets nothing, but microsoft would save $18 billion. bob salvato gets zero, but citigroup would save $7 billion. and what's the total price tag for this juicy smooch? estimates are in the range of $300 billion to $400 billion paid by u.s. taxpayers. right at the moment when other countries are starting to get tough and the tax dodgers might finally need to move some of their money back to the united
states, washington's top reform idea is to give the tax dodgers a big tax break. now the second idea is even worse. the idea is to tax overseas income but to do it at a rate that is lower than u.s. income. so, for example, money earned in the u.s. would have a top tax rate of 35%, while the top rate for money abroad would be 19% or maybe even less. it's like holding up a giant sign to all corporations that says "higher taxes if you invest in the u.s., lower taxes if you invest abroad." the result would be that every small business and every family in america would be subsidized foreign investments of multinational corporations which would be a great deal for those multinational corporations and for our foreign competitors but
a terrible deal for us. the third idea is called an innovation box. i think of it as the gift for lazy tax dodgers. to get this loophole, there's no need to move money around or to incorporate skorpcorporate subs havens. no. instead, a corporation can just check the innovation box on its tax return and magically pay lower taxes on the earnings it claims came from innovation. for big pharmaceutical companies and giant tech companies a provision like this just makes paying taxes or at least a chunk of taxes optional. now look, i strongly support a robust innovation policy like investing in nsf or nih. i believe in funding basic research and encouraging companies to invest in research, but the innovation box doesn't
do a single thing to encourage new innovation. lobbyists and lawyers are really excited about the prospect of tax reform. tax nerds are abuzz, but when i look at the details i see the same rigged game. a game where congress hands out billions in benefits to well-connected corporations while people who could really use a break, the millions of middle-class families and small businesses that have been squeezed for decades are just left holding the bag. and that's what this tax battle is really about. who does this country work for? is it just for the rich and powerful? those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers? or can we make this country work for millions of hardworking people?
this isn't a fair fight. the corporate giants are lined up to make sure that the tax changes all tilt their way. america's working families don't have a zillion dollar pr team to counter the false claim that corporate taxes are too high. small businesses don't have a zillion dollar lobbying organization to fight back against tax giveaways for giant corporations. mostly what they have is you, the people in this room. the people who report on what's going on in washington. the people who will hear the elevator pitch over and over and decide whether to repeat it or to push back. as tax reform moves forward i hope that each and every one of you will be paying very close attention. thank you. [ applause ]
>> i've got some questions here many of which have been handed up by the people participating in the audience here. you've been talking about corporate taxes, but there's a question here about individual taxes as well. a lot of americans sympathize with the republican argument that the tax code is too complicated. is it too complicated and can it be simplified in a way that is fair? would you simplify it? >> yes, it's too complicated. it's hard. i always made it a point of pride -- before i got into politics -- to fill out my own taxes, and it's got lots of moving parts to it. it's complicated. but what worries me the most is what's hidden in the complications. it's that the system overall is tilted. it's not like there's just a bunch of random stuff in here and sometimes it will help poor people and sometimes it will help middle-class wage earners and sometimes it will help this
group and sometimes it will help that group. no. it's that the tax code has been reshaped over time and particularly over the last decade. and the reshaping has expanded the number of twists and turns that permit billion dollar multinational corporations to say whoo-hoo, this is great, invest in tax lawyers. because we won't have to pay money if we can exploit enough of these loopholes. and those things just aren't available to anybody else. now i don't think the answer is to figure out how we can get middle-class americans to shelter their money in the cayman islands. i think the answer is that we have to get a system that's level. and that means that giant corporations should not be getting a competitive advantage in this economy simply because
they can exploit tax loopholes not available to anybody else. so for me, that's the heart of it. >> some candidates have suggested eliminating the irs all together. just not having an irs. is that a practical idea? is there any formula for that that would make sense? >> no. [ laughter ] >> all right, thank you. what about the republicans who want to impeach the irs commissioner, john kos kin -- koskinen. is there any validity to their charges against him? >> look, they can make whatever claim they want to make and
they can do whatever they want to do with the politics, but i want to talk about what's really in the tax code. i'm serious about this. this issue is a bonus. tax lobbyists are swarming capitol hill. everyone is talking tax rewrite, tax rewrite, tax rewrite. we need tax rewrite that's got the voice -- a voice at the table for middle-class families. a voice at the table for small businesses. a voice at the table for those who are left to compete in a tough economy. right now the united states taxpayers are subsidizing some of the largest and most profitable corporations in the entire world. that's where the true scandal is, and that's where we need to be flipping on all the lights and exposing it. >> obviously one of your main concerns has been income inequality. this morning you did another press conference about women and equality and wages. is the best way to get at income inequality, can it be done significantly through the tax code or is that really more of an issue with things like the minimum wage or -- which way do
you get at income inequality more efficiently? >> so if you'll let me, i'm going to do a little bit longer answer to this, because this is why the whole list you were talking about, all of these pieces are woven together. let me start it this way. america was a boom-and-bust economy until we hit the 1930s. and in the 1930s, the real genius of the moment that came out of the great depression was our saying we can make this better going forward. we can put regulations in place to make it safe to put money in banks. we can put a cop on the beat on wall street. we can separate high risk gambling from boring banking. that was glass-steagall. and we can do progressive taxation and invest in building a middle class and that's exactly what we did. we invested in education.
g.i. bill, ndea loans, we invested in infrastructure and interstate highway system and a power grid that was upgraded. we invested in basic research, in medical research, scientific research and engineering research. with the idea that if we made those investments together we would create the right environment, we would plow the fields so that businesses could grow here at home, they could create great new jobs here in america, people who worked hard and played by the rules could get an education and have real opportunity, and for half a century it worked. from the 1930s to basically 1980 what you watch happen across that period is that gdp keeps going up and so does median income in the united states. the 90% of america, everybody outside the top 10%, the 90% of america got 70% of all income
growth from 1935 to 1980. okay, top 10% moved a little faster but the point is we built america's middle-class. and then just picking the 1980 as the point of inflection, the years overlap a bit here and there, but picking 1980 is the point of inflection, a new idea takes hold. and the new idea that comes is trickle down economics. and trickle down economics has basically two parts to it. one is deregulate, fire the cops. not the cops on main street, the cops on wall street. and the second is cut taxes for those at the top. and how can you do that? the only way you can afford to do that is that you cut all of those other investments that helped us build a middle class. and this is what happens. we can go through the numbers but let me cut to the bottom line. 1980 to 2012, the latest year
for which we've got data, how is the 90% done? the group not in the top 10%, remember how they got 70% of all income growth from 1935 to 1980? well, from 1980 to 2012 they got 0% of income growth in america. none. nothing. 100% of income growth in this country went to the top 10% in america. is it related to taxes? you bet it's related to taxes. it's related to what we didn't spend in investing in education and what we didn't invest in infrastructure, what we didn't invest in jobs here in america, what we didn't invest in research. it's related to firing the cops on wall street and saying have at it. build an entire industry out of cheating people on mortgages and credit cards. that's the heart of what's gone wrong. and now those people have so
many lobbyists in washington, so many lawyers crawling across capitol hill that we're ready to rewrite the tax code and their view is you bet. they want to rewrite the tax code to pick up even more benefits for themselves and that's why i say the fundamental question in america today is, who does this government work for. does it just work for those who can hire an army of lobbyists or lawyers or will we make this country work for the rest of america? that's it for me. >> the plans that you've talked about of changing the corporate tax code, would moderate democrats in the congress support you? how much support is there for this idea, reshaping the tax code in the kinds of ways you're talking about? >> well, we'll find out. part of it starts with how about we push back on the elevator speech? the elevator speech is everywhere. you heard the republican
candidates. did anybody even fact check them on these assertions about how much american corporations are paying in taxes? we have to start by having the conversation and then, look, my view is anybody who claims to want to rebuild america's middle class, anybody who claims to be there for small businesses, even mid-sized businesses, anybody who claims to care about jobs in america instead of subsidizing jobs overseas should want to sign up hook, line, and sinker for these tax proposals. >> i'll start moving us towards the lightning round. >> lightning round? i thought i was going pretty fast here. >> you're very good. i want to switch to other topics people have tossed out. the minimum wage you've touched on briefly. there are different proposals out there for $15, $12. do you support either the $12 or $15 and would a steep hike have any impact on hurting job
creation in low-income states? are there some problems with having a federal minimum wage that's set so high? >> i want to see the minimum wage go up and right now i'll put wind in the sails for anything that's going to raise the minimum wage. i think it's the right direction for us to go. i'm a data nerd if you haven't already figured that out then you were asleep in the back row. the data just don't support the claim that when the minimum wage goes up that employment goes down. just look at study after study, kind of the gold standard of studies when the minimum wage is put in place across a metropolitan area and because half the city is in one state and half the city is in another or half the city is another
county and half the city is outside the county, you can do comparisons of what happens before and after. you just don't see a strong measurable impact as a consequence of raising the minimum wage. and there are a couple reasons for this. one is that it turns out a higher minimum wage means lower turnover. and that people are more stable in their jobs and employers aren't having to spend as much training people and so on. and part of it is people who work at minimum wage spend all that money and they spent it locally so that it's a real shot in the arm for a lot of local economies for people to have more money. i hear from small business owners around massachusetts who say they are doing the right thing. they get out there and they try to give their workers a living wage. they just like everybody they're competing against to have to do the same. and that's what i think raising the minimum wage is about. it's about trying to level the playing field. i know you wanted a lightning round. [ laughter ] but let me say something really quick about the minimum wage.
this one is really personal to me. i'll do the very short version of this. my family had some really tough times. when i was 12, my dad was out of work for a really long time. i had a stay-at-home mom. we lost our family car. we were right on the edge of losing our house when my mother pulled on her best dress, put on her lipstick, put on her high heels, and she walked to the sears roebuck and got a minimum wage job. that minimum wage job saved our house and it saved our family. but i grew up in an america where a minimum wage job would keep a family of three afloat. today a minimum wage job in america will not even keep a mama and a baby out of poverty.
this is about economics, but this is also a fundamentally moral question. no one in america should work full time and still live in poverty. we can do better than that as a country. [ applause ] >> there's another issue you've been dealing with today, that's the transpacific partnership. the information in it has been made public. all 6,000 pages. i've leafed through them all. can you tell us more about your thoughts on why you oppose it and give us an update on where you see this issue moving forward? congress would have to approve it. will it move in 2016 to the floor of the senate and the house, and what do you think is likely to happen? >> good.
okay. lots of questions in there. if i don't do them all, you can elbow me on it and i'll try to cover it. let me start with the trade deal with the process of getting to where we are today. and that is that as the negotiations took place, there were cleared advisers, that is, people here in the united states who whispered in the ears of the actual trade negotiators. 85% of them were either corporate ceos or lobbyists. that builds a tilt into the entire process. and now we've seen the product and the tilt is right there in the product. and let me just give you one example. the administration talks a lot about the great promises in the trade deal on employment and competition for workers around the world, on human rights, on the environment and there are some good promises. but promises without enforcement aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
so what's the enforcement? and the answer is, it's the same old enforcement of every trade deal that precedes it that hasn't worked. so, i want to be clear on this. going back years and years now, democratic administrations and republican administrations have not enforced the labor provisions, the environmental provisions, the human rights provisions in earlier trade agreements, so the promises can get fancier, but if there's no enforcement, there's nothing there. on the other side, what about the giant corporations? the ones who want to do trade all around the world and want local countries to follow rules that make it profitable for the corporations? if they don't like how something has gone and what they believe are the promises that they're
entitled to, what do they have to do? they just have to go to a private arbitration board. private. and that private arbitration board will then issue a ruling and there is no appeal. there is no court process that comes out of that. the country that loses in that deal has to write a giant check and that's it. now, there are a lot of countries that have already ended up on the short end of the stick in that process. and for some of them, writing a giant check is just not possible. so what's the alternative? they back down and simply change local law. that's the kind of power that this trade agreement magnifies for the giant multinational corporations. and that is a tilt in trade policy that doesn't work for
american workers. it doesn't work for the american people. >> just to move on to another topic that's been huge this week is the republican suggestions that we stop resettlement of any syrian refugees to the united states. can you comment on the situation with syria? >> i can. and actually, on the refugees in particular, i did a speech on the floor of the senate yesterday that's available if anybody wants to look at it so there's the longer answer around this. but let me just say on the shorter answer, it is our responsibility to protect our country. it is our responsibility to protect our people. but we don't do that by turning our backs on refugees who are fleeing the butchers of isis. right now, to make it as a
refugee into the united states from syria requires a screening process that lasts from 18 to 24 months. and look. we should always look at it. see if there's something else that we should add to it. but we are screening syrian refugees, screening them very carefully. if we are concerned and we should be concerned about terrorist threats, the much more worrisome problem is across europe. i recently traveled to greece and visited a refugee center. greece is so overwhelmed at this moment by refugees -- last month 100,000 people came through turkey and into greece. that all they can do basically is fingerprint them, write down hair -- their names, and pass them into the rest of europe.
but think about what that means. there is no effective screening process on the front end. people are passed into europe. and end up with european passports which permit them to travel throughout europe and to travel to the united states. we need to focus our security concerns more carefully on where threats actually exist. if we want to make a real difference in threats to europe and to the united states, then we need to help the greek government. and europeans need to be helping the greek government. they need the resources to deal with the refugees who come ashore. and they need the expertise to do more screening of the refugees that arrive in greece. we've got to get the focus in the right place here. you know, and i should say one more thing. i'm sorry. it really was a long speech yesterday, but i really do have
to say one more thing. this is not who we are. we don't turn our backs on people fleeing from terrorists. we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. we were founded by people who were seeking to escape religious persecution, who were seeking religious freedom. the idea that we would turn back children and babies to the murderers of isis because somebody doesn't like their religion, that's just fundamentally un-american. that is not who we have ever been in the past and that is not who we will be in the future. [ applause ] >> and i want to remind the c-span audience and others that if you hear applause, many of the people in the audience are not journalists. so -- >> good.
they never applaud. >> journalists don't applaud. so, i want to just quickly turn to the topic of some politics. it seems when you listen to the democratic debates and the republican debates the topics aren't even the same and seems like there's two parallel conversations going on and so very little ground in the middle, but we have a new house speaker. there's still one year left in the obama presidency. is there time, is there space, is there any opportunity for finding some sorts of middle ground for having a productive year in 2016? can anything still get done in washington? >> look. i hope so. no. i do. there are places that we are working. right now, we're working on an education bill to replace no child left behind. and we're still going over the details, but it's got some
really good features in it that both republicans and democrats have agreed to and have hammered out. we talk about medical innovation. this is an area where we should you know, who doesn't want more funding for the national institutes of health? you know, can i just do one aside here? a little commercial here. last year, in america, collectively we spent $225 billion taking care of people with alzheimer's. and what could we offer them? we couldn't offer them any help. we couldn't delay the onset by a single day. we couldn't reduce the impact of it by one inch. so what should we be doing as a country? we should be investing in brain science. in alzheimer's research. do you know how much we spent last year from the nih?
less than 2/10th of 1% of that $225 billion. the nih budget over the last dozen years has effectively been cut, their spending power, by 25%. we don't build a future by turning away from the medical problems that are bearing down on us. we build a future by investing in medical innovation, investing in that research. so, there's a place i am hopeful that we can get there with the democrats and the republicans together. i've got a bill out there. i'll always put in my plug for moi my bill, right? that would add another $5 billion to funding nih. there are some other ways we may do that. i'll take anything as long as we get more money into nih. i'm hopeful there are places we could do this because that should be why we're here.
we should be here to try to build a stronger country and i think there are some places we should be able to agree on that. >> and just to push a little deeper into the political questions, hillary clinton's wall street contributions have become an issue in her campaign. are you concerned about her ties to wall street? >> i'm concerned about everybody's ties to wall street. i mean, look around washington. i am worried about the influence that wall street has on washington, period. maybe that's partly because i watched in the aftermath of the great crash in 2008 when congress was trying to put together response, the response that ultimately became dodd-frank. i assumed when they started this process of we've got to have a response just like they did back in the 1930s that the giant financial institutions that had been permitted to load up on risk and then had crashed the
economy and then had been bailed out by the u.s. taxpayer would at least be humbled enough to stay out of the political process. boy, does that show you how naive i was about it. wall street was spending more than a million dollars a day for over a year to lobby against financial reform. and they haven't let up. in fact, when dodd-frank passed, a lobbyist is quoted as having said, we didn't lose. it's just halftime. and that's the case. they've come back. and they're there day after day after day. they want to punch this hole in dodd-frank. they want to punch that hole in dodd-frank. they want to get an exception. they want to treat it like they do the tax code. they want to make it work for the biggest financial institutions in the country and
so this is -- this is the fight. and this is the one i'm deep in. >> looking at how surprisingly well bernie sanders has done, do you look back on it and wish you had gone ahead and run? >> no. >> okay. before i ask you the last question i have a little bit of housekeeping to take care of. first, i want to remind everybody that the senator is going to have to depart immediately. >> i'm sorry. >> so please stay seated until she's left the room. thank you for that consideration. and the press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and we fight for a free press worldwide. for more information about our club, visit website press.org. to donate to our non-profit, it is the journalism institute and that's at press.org/institute. i'd also like to remind you about a couple of programs we have coming up on the 23rd,
secretary of the air force, deborah lee james, is going to come and join us to discuss budget cuts, sexual assaults and other issues that are facing the air force. she'll be at a press club luncheon on wednesday, december 2nd. and on tuesday, december 8th, the club will have david scortin, new secretary of the smithsonian institution. at that luncheon he'll discuss his plans for the 169-year-old institution. and now i'd like to present our guest with the famous traditional press club -- here it is. >> i'm ready. all right. thank you. >> the press club mug. and i will now ask you our last question, which -- this is just kind of a yes or no. >> one more question, after i already have the mug? >> yeah. after you get the mug. >> this is -- i could run now because i got the mug. >> if hillary clinton asked you to be her vice president, could we have an all-women ticket? would you do it?
>> let me put it this way. if hillary clinton were running for fred, and i were running for her vice president, i'm pretty sure it would be an all-women ticket. so i'll just leave it at that. >> okay. outsmarted me. all right. for those who are free to applaud, can we have a round of applause for our speaker? >> thank you. [ applause ] >> i'd also like to thank the national press club staff including the journalism institute and the broadcast center for organize be today's convenient, and if you'd like to know more about the club, press.org. we are adjourned. wait. i get to his this. >> yeah! all right. thanks very much. >> thank you. it's culled the crossroads of new york state and this weekend our c-span cities tour joined by our time warner cable partners will explore the history and literary life of
syracuse, new york. on booktv, we'll visit the special collections library at syracuse university and learn about the anti-slavery movement in the area through the papers of abolitionist garrett smith, local author masha weisman discusses her book "prelude to prison" explaining the link between incarcerations in the u.s., and talk about the book "going viral" looking at why events go viral online. >> when something goes viral, plurality is a process of social sharing. we tend to think of viral like a viral video as a video that got a million views. actual actually, it's more the process by which that happens. what happens when people share content usually into their own networks and oftentimes somebody who has a lot of following, a lot of followers are people take r paying attention that them, like an important blog, also spreads the content and then it
reach as wide audience. >> on american history tv, we'll visit the erie canal museum, how it influenced the growth of syracuse, central new york state and the nation. then it's on to harriet tubman's home where the anti-slavery abolitionist acted as a conductor and caregiver to numerous people as part of the underground railroad. our trip to syracuse also takes us to the matilda jocelyn gauge home, one of the nation's first women's rights champion s her speech in 1852 at the women's convention launched her international prominence on the subject of women's suffrage. >> 26 at the time and has had four children already. she learns that the convention is going to occur. she writes a speech, and she travels to syracuse bringing her oldest daughter helen leslie with her. now, gage hadn't contacted organizers. she wasn't on the program. she hadn't asked lucretia mott
who had written to her and said may i be involved in this. she just shows up, and she waits in the crowd. and when there is a quiet moment, she marches up onstage, and trembling, takes the podium and begins to speak. and she gives this incredibly moving speech. let syracuse sustain her name foricalradicalism. from then she goes on to about leader in the women's movement. >> beginning saturday, 8:00 p.m. eastern, ob book tv and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3. the c-span cities tour, work wig our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> the senate environment and public works committee held a hearing wednesday on the upcoming international climate change negotiations in paris.
committee members heard differing views about u.s. goals for reducing gas emissions from the u.s. chamber of commerce. the record wee sources institute, the business council for sustainable energy and the manhattan institute for policy research. this is about two hours. the hearing will come to order. we have some unusual circumstances. the chairman, i am not the chairman of the full committee. the chairman sitting to my right, you know, chairman inhofe is on the conference committee for the highway reauthorization and so he has asked to make some statements and then he's going to go to his meeting. with that i'll recognize chairman inhofe. >> i thank you, madam chairwoman, we actually have three members of the conference, i already talked to the witnesses and explained to them it's very significant what's
going on. we're actually going to have formal conference on the highway reauthorization bill and that hasn't happened since 2005. we're very excited about it. so we are very excited about it. and i'm sure that another conferree, senator fischer, will want to go over there. she's graciously allowed me to make a brief opening statement, which i'll do now, and i'm sure that senator carper won't mind if i go ahead and make my statement. >> i'll object. >> all right. good, good. [ laughter ] let me start by saying all of our prayers to the people and what's been happening in paris. so regrettable. we are a week and a half away from the start of the united nations 21st session of the conference. despite the transparency. this is the 21st year that we have had this. and several of us on this panel up here have had different ideas about what is to be accomplished
there. my idea is, nothing. so i just sent a letter in july seeking information related to the president's intended nationally determined contribution. now, that's where he is supposed to be able to document what he wants, and he did send information, and that he's going to be reaching between a 26% and 28% reduction in emissions but failed to say how he is going to do this. so we tried to have a conference. we tried to have a meeting of this committee and asked the epa to attend. and they refused to attend. now, this is the first time in my experience in the years that i have been here, eight years in the senate and 20 years in the
house, the committee of jurisdiction making a request that they don't appear. so i think there is a reason. i don't know how the calculation of 26% to 28% is working. is it legal, binding, unless yesterday when we had in the financial times secretary kerry announced there would be no binding agreement from cop21. no binding agreement from cop21. that incurred the wrath of the president of france along with several other people, but, anyway, that was on honest statement, because there won't be any. when it comes to financing, a lot of people over there, the 192 countries, assume american, going to line up and joyfully play $3 billion to this fund, but that's not going to happen either. so, anyway, this is going to be very similar to the other 20. and so i'm sure there will be many on this panel who will be attending. i don't plan to attend.
thank you, madam chairwoman. >> thank you the chair and we wish good luck and quick work on the conference committee, because i think we're anxious to have that piece of legislation before us. i will go ahead and open if that's okay with you with my opening statements and i want to first of all welcome the panelists and the senators here. much of what senator inhofe has is contained in my opens statement but some bears repeating. just yesterday we passed two bipartisan resolutions on the congressional review act, one i co-sponsored, or i sponsored, and i brought those up, because in my opinion they're inextricably tied to the upcoming climate negotiations. president obama could not meet his goal of 28% reduction of co2 emissions without the full implementation of this regulation, and we believe that that stands on shaky legal and political ground.
the senate is formally rejeshgted these rules and we expect the house to can do the same and then the president will have a chance to make his opinion known. but over 27 -- over half our states, 27 to be precise, have now sued the epa to block these rules. last week, as chairman inhofe said it was reported secretary of state insisted the international climate agreement expected to be reached in paris was "definitely not going to be a treaty" and chairman inhofe mentioned he said there would be no binding agreement. this prompted french foreign minister laurent fabius to suggest that secretary kerry was "confused." the french president then weighed in, "if the agreement is not legally binding, there won't be agreement." and as did the european union whose spokesperson was quoted saying, "we work on the basis that the paris agreement must be internationally binding agreement." if major participants in the upcoming cop21 negotiations
cannot agree on the legal status of any forthcoming agreement, no wonder those of us here today have questions. will this agreement be legally binding or not? if so, will it be submitted to the senate for ratification as required by the constitution? chairman inhofe as he mentioned, too, invited the epa, the ceq and state department to testify before the committee and provide missing information related to the president's 26 to 28% greenhouse gas emissions target. epa and ceq have thus far demued aing they lack expertise. i share the hope they will reconsider and allow witnesses to come before this committee in the coming year particularly press reports such as last week meets regularly with white house staff alongside secretary of state kerry and secretary of energy to prepare for paris and is likely going herself. the legal status of an agreement is one issue that negotiators
must resolve. financial many payments demanded by developing countries from the united states and other countries are another, and i hope we will touch on those today. the president has pledged to send $were billion to the green climate fund, he included a $500 million request in his fq 201 budget. i'm on the operations committee alow kated zero dollars. it's important to make clear i think to the rest of the world as climate talks approach that congress has the power of the purse. i look forward to hearing from our distinguished panel of witnesses and again thank them for coming and that we have a robust discussion as we always do on this committee. i've learned that in the short time i've been here and would like to recognize senator carper for an opening statement. >> thanks, madam chair. it's a pleasure to have a couple west virginia kids up here leading the charge on this important day. thanks to our witnesses for
joining us on a much welcomed hearing. today we are here to discuss our country's efforts to fulfill a promise made some 23 years ago, 1992, to address global climate change. george herbert walker bush was our president at the time. as you recall. but in 1992, the united states and other countries around the world agreed to a treaty that established the united nations framework convention on climate change. the goal -- to find a way to limit global climate pollution and limit the impacts of climate change to preserve and protect our environment for future generations. 1992 president bush signed the treaty and the senate subsequently ratified it. today there are 196 countries that are part of that treaty. over the past 23 years, the united states and our treaty partners have held meetings each year usually and address these
goals and later this month the 21st meeting will will take place in paris. these negotiations are critical. because to effectively address climate change we cannot act alone. we cannot do this alone. we have to work cooperatively with our neighbors around the world. there is a host -- there are a host of scientific studies. underscoring the need for action. for me the most compelling factor, in supporting efforts to address climate change is personal. i live in the lowest lying state in america. we see sea level rise. i have children. some day i hope to have grandchildren and i hope they have a bright future in delaware and throughout our country and frankly, around the world. and the science is clear. our future generations face no greater environmentally threats. we face a lot of threats, but no greater environmental threat than the threat of climate change and we know the cost of fixing it pales in parisen to
doing nothing. we have an absolute duty to fight and change our behavior. not only in delaware and across the country but also around the world to stem the tide of climate change. when it comes to global challenges, the united states doesn't just sit back and wait for someone else to lead. we lead. this should be no different. when the challenge was fascism, when the challenge was communism, terrorism, cyber attacks, the u.s. has led as the world has risen to foes those world has riz ton face those challenges. climate change is real. sea level rise is real. sea level rise is real. we see it, again, happening every da in my state and in ben's state, my neighbor to the east and to the south. the u.s. cannot do it alone. we can provide leadership. somebody needs to do that and that should be us. since the current administration has taken a leadership role on this, other countries have followed. countries like china and brazil have changed their tune. i think largely because we have
acted. as someone, again, born in coal country in beckley, west virginia, spent most of his adult life in the lowest-lying state in the nation, i know this issue is complicated and i know compromises have to be made for all of us to survive in a low carbon world. however, i conclude by saying i have confidence this administration, working in conjunction with 50 laboratories of democracy, our states across america, using common sense, using sound science, we'll find the right recipe. in closing, i encourage our administration to continue doing its work towards a broader global agreement in paris so together we can successfully meet the challenges facing our planet and ensure a brighter future for our grandchildren and for their grandchildren. thank you, madam chair. thank you, senator. and we will begin to hear testimony from our witnesses. i'm just going to introduce everybody briefly and then we'll
begin with mr. ku. mr. julian ku, the distinguished professor of constitution law and faculty director of international programs. that is one long title. at the maurice a. dean school of law. next we will hear from mr. oren cass for policy research incorporated. next, mr.'s stephen eule. policy research incorporated. chamber of commerce institute for 21st century energy. mr. david waskow, world resources institute. and then ms. lisa jacobson. again, thank you all. five-minute statements. your full statements have been submitted to the record. mr. ku? >> thank you, madam chairwoman.
i want to thank the ranking members for inviting me to participate in today's hearing. i am professor of law at hofstra university in new york. my testimony will consider the requirements and limitations under the institution for an -- under the constitution for an agreement leading to a climate change. in my written testimony i review each -- the legal status of each. a sole executive agreement. and i explained in my testimony why i believe the paris agreement should be submitted to the senate for its approval. if that agreement contains legally binding emissions reduction targets and timetables. and i'm happy to take questions on that issue in particular if members of the committee are interested. but for the purposes of my oral remarks i want to focus on the possibility that the paris agreement will contain non-legally binding political commitments. and so i think this is the direction that the administration is heading. in response to a letter from
senator bob corker, the state department has indicated that the united states is not seeking an agreement in which the parties take on legally binding emissions targets. and this response means that the heart of the paris agreement, the emissions targets will not legally binding, if the united states gets its way in paris. i do not have any constitutional objection to the use of a political commitment in the manner described by the state department as long as all parties understand what a political commitment as opposed to a legally binding commitment is. by making a political commitment, the united states would not owe any legal obligation to foreign countries under international law to reach any particular emissions reduction target. as a political commitment, no future president or congress would be bound under the u.s. law to reach these emission targets. so as a matter of law, a nonlegally binding paris agreement would be no different than the president giving a
speech saying i promise to reach and reduce, or reach certain emissions targets in future years. however, as madam chairman noted, press reports indicate that other countries in paris are not expecting the agreement to be a legally binding agreement. and i also will quote again the statements from france's president, francois hollande, who said e if the agreement is not legally binding, there won't be agreement, because that would mean it would be impossible to verify. and so, you know statements like this by potential treaty partners make it tempting for negotiators to call the paris agreement legally binding while in paris, while at the same time assuring congress it's not legally binding. and i think this kind of deception or at least some confusion is troubling. because it either results in misleading federal governments as to what the united states is
promising, tore results in the united states -- the president violating the constitution by concluding an agreement on his own authority as a sole executive agreement. so as i explained in my written testimony, i don't believe the constitution allows the president to use a sole executive agreement without any approval from congress to legally bind the united states to particular greenhouse gas emissions targets. and a lack of clarity on the legal nature of the paris agreement might spur future litigation where a plaintiff might sue to demand u.s. compliance with a legally binding paris agreement. so for this reason if the paris agreement is finalized with political commitments as secretary kerry and the department of state seem to indicate, i recommend that the senate request that the administration identify publicly which particular provisions of the paris agreement, if any, are legally binding and which particular provisions are just political commitments.
such an explanation ideally should take the form of a public statement by a senior member of the administration. ideally, secretary of state kerry himself that reviews each provision of the paris agreement, explaining what's binding, what's not. such a statement will make it clear that it is or is not binding under domestic or international law, and such a statement would make clear if it's not binding no future u.s. president or congress is bound to fulfill the substantive obligations in the farris agreement, and also shield a future president from litigation on this question. so thank you. i will take questions on other issues, if you're interested. >> thank you. mr. cass? >> thank you for inviting me today. my name is oren cass, senior fellow at the manhattan institute for policy research. my primary message to the committee is this -- climate negotiations no longer bear a substantial relationship to the goal of sharply reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. rather, the upcoming paris conference will focus on a commitment by developed nations, including the united states, to transfer enormous sums of wealth to poorer countries. this is not surprising to the so-called leadership could persuade the developing world for the sake of emissions reductions. however, it differs from the popular narrative in which the historic culmination to bring countries together and act on climate. my written testimony makes three points, which i will summarize here. first, the negotiating process is specifically designed to produce an easy consensus and excuse inaction. it relies upon each country announcing an intended contribution,o i.m.d.: that represents proposed actions and emissions reductions. however, the contents itself are entirely discretionary. there is no requirement that
cuts achieves certain levels or that the i.n.d.c. use metrics, formats or baselines. there's also no consequence for missing a planned goal. boosters are highlighted the structure and the parade of submitted plans as proof that the world can take meaningful action on climate. that is exactly backwards. negotiations have followed this discretionary, unenforceable pledges only because of the conditions of countries are irreconcilable, no substantive agreement is possible. that brings me to my second point, which is that attempt at leadership as described in the production is, have not spurred others to action. my written testimony details the very manipulations that impressed impressive estimates for i.n.d.c. impact. these efforts, not the actual commitment made, or compare the actual commitment to plainly
incorrect baselines that the u.n.i.p.c.c. does not recommend. this is precisely the basis citing in mr. waskow's testimony as well. a more realistic interpretation of the analyses suggests total impact of all the indcs is less than 0.2 degrees celsius and using the u a a-1b baseline, there is no improvement at all. country by country analysis tells the same story. china has committed to reaching peak emissions around 2030. studies show they were already on this trajectory. india's commitment manages to be even weaker. the most obvious is in the indc itself. india reports that energy efficiency ip prove pooed more than 17% in that country between 2005 and 2012. india could improve only half as fast going forward and still meet the goal that it set for itself. now, such efforts have received loud applause from the white house, from the media, and by
ngos demanding climate action, but if the indc relies on peer pressure and naming and shaming those who drag their feet, then cheerleading for empty noncommitments destroys the premise of the entire enterprise. one might conclude that political point scoring has taken precedence over addressing climate change, which brings me to my third point. the paris negotiations are not about emissions reductions. they are about cash. the developing world expects developed countries to offer more than $100 billion per year in what is called climate finance. the rationale for the money, the source of the money and the use of the money are all unclear. developing nations believe they are owed a "ecological debt" for past emissions and also owed "reparations" for the damage from storms they linked to climate change. these are plainly nonstarters for the united states. but the developing world is
asking to reimburse the cost of mitigation measures it makes. india alone needs $2.5 trillion between now and 2030. but if the indc represents business as usual, funding is clearly inappropriate. realistically, developed world leaders are pursuing a transaction in which having staked their political capital and legacies on achieving an agreement, any agreement, they will now pay developing nations to sign on the dotted line. to conclude, we should worry that u.s. negotiators and their colleagues desperate to produce an agreement will commit dollars from tax payers they cannot actually deliver and get nothing in return. the senate should preempt any purchase of a piece of paper, a clear, simple resolution rejecting enormous transfers of wealth from the united states to other countries, would highlight the issue for the american public, it would tie
negotiators' hands and ensure any future climate change negotiations actually focus on climate change. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. mr. eule. >> thank you senator and members of the committee. this hearing could not be timelier. it is a meeting in paris, as it draws closer, it is important for policymakers to take a clear view of what a post-2020 agreement might hold. the main point you would like to make, which are detailed are as follows -- first, the obama administration's unilateral emissions commitment for paris is unrealizedic and doesn't add up. we estimate that 41% to 45% of the administrations target lee mains unaccounted for, assuming epa's clean power plants survives. a big if. selling such an uncertain plan internationally may prove very difficult. second, the emission goal nations have offered hugely they're unequal and will not
services that could lift them out of poverty. coal will remain for some time the fuel of choice in developing countries using data from plants we estimate that on the eve of the paris climate talks, 1.2 trillion watts of new cole fired power plants are under construction or planned throughout the world. that is 3.5 times the capacity of the u.s. u.s. fleet. fourth, the administration's plan will likely result in emissions from the u.s. leak to go other countries. merely moving, not reducing them. the united states has a tremendous energy price advantage over many of its competitors. overregulation from epa, however, could force industries to flee to other countries similar to what we are seeing in europe. they are two to four times higher than here in the united states. >> fifth, china, for example, has proposed that developed countries kick in 1% of annual gdp from 2020 on. in 2014, would have applied $170 billion.
other suggestions are equally extravagant. whatever the final finance provisions look like, a great deal of the u.s. share of this funding will have to be appropriated by the congress. >> six, technology is the key. it is a technology challenge. existing technologies can make a start. as we have seen, they are not capable of cutting on a global scale at at acceptable cost. that is why they will continue to lower the cost of alternative energy rather than raising the cost of traditional energy. finally, the framework of the convention. the secretariat had this to say about the paris deal -- "this is the first time in the history of mankind we are setting ourselves a task of intentionally within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years since the industrial
revolution." the same free enterprise model wants to discard, is the same model that produced the largest flourishing of health and human welfare in all of human history. affordable and scalable energy is not the problem, it's the solution. giving this seems fair the paris agreement whether legal force or not should be submitted to congress for approval. otherwise, nothing will be binding on future congresses. back in 1997, the clinton administration offered entrepreneur realistic goal and this clear guidance from the senate kind the protocol. it was political poison and therefore never bothered to submit for consent. it looks like it is set to repeat signing on a lop-sided deal and making future presidents and congresses neither willing nor able to keep. as the late great yogi barra
might have said, it's deja vu all over again. >> thank you. mr. waskow. >> good morning. and thank you senator capito and senator carper. i'm david waskow, at the world resources institute, naurn nonpartisan think tank. my testimony this morning makes three main points. first, taking action on climate change can bring substantial economics benefits and is in the national interest of the united states. a growing body of evidence shows economic growth can in fact, go hand in hand with efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and recent experience at the national and state levels demonstrates we can achieve both. a prosperous low-carbon future, such as more efficient use of energy and natural resources,
smart infrastructure and technical innovation. businesses have recognized the economic value of action as well. more than 80 major global companies including a number of u.s. companies such as dell, coca-cola, general mills and procter & gamble have set emission reduction targets in their own supply chains in line with science. taking this action is also essential because if nations fail to come together to combat climate change the u.s. will suffer billions of dollars to damage to agriculture, forestries, fisheries and coastal areas. in a recent report from the military advisory board of retired high-ranking military officers highlighted the growing threats of national security from the effects of climate change as well. it is thus in our national interest to work at home and work with other countries to achieve an international agreement where all countries act together and where most of the impacts in the
united states can be avoided. my second theme -- the u.s. emissions reductions target announced this march is in fact achievable. ambitious, but achievable. we can meet this target using existing federal laws, combined with action by the states. well-designed policies can accelerate recent technology and market trends in renewable energy, alternative vehicles, energy efficiency, and in other areas to meet the 26% to 28% below 2005 pledge by 2025. wri's recent report delivering on the u.s. climate commitment shows several pathways to get there. we can achieve this target while generating multiple co-benefits and maintaining economic growth. for example, the clean power plant will result in reduced exposure to particulate pollution and ozones and epa estimates that these health and other benefits are worth $32
billion to $54 billion. the united states is paying significant dividends, helping dispell greater action by all countries around the world. in the leadup to the paris agreement, more than 160 countries, 119 of them developing countries, have submitted national climate plans representing over 90% of global emissions. countries like china where reductions in coal use are already taking place are taking unprecedented action. these national climate plans will deliver significant reductions in emissions. the international energy agency estimates a shift to 2.7 degrees temperature rise, celsius, down from almost 4 degrees given business at usual policies. it's not enou yet but it is a significant step. moreover, the agreement will be reached between all parties, all countries at the climate summit in paris, and is a major step forward to meeting u.s. objectives in this venue. most important, this will be a
universal agreement, applicable to all. based in and implementing the u.n. framework convention on climate change, which was ratified by the senate in 1992 by voice vote, the paris agreement will reduce emissions by all countries both developed and developing. and its structure based on nationally determined plans as enabled broad based action. the agreement will include transparency and accountability and should ensure all countries move forward in a regular and timely way toward a commonly understood goal. finally, help mobilize climate resilient economies from an array of countries, including developing countries and from the private sector. and it can address the serious climate-related impacts experienced around the world. especially by the most vulnerable countries. to conclude, the actions that
countries are taking around the world, along with the international framework for the efforts should be viewed as a significant success for the united states and its leadership role. meeting the global challenge of climate change requires global solutions with action by all. the world is now on the cusp of an international agreement that will realize that vision. thank you. >> thank you. ms. jacobsen. >> thank you, senator and members of the committee. the business council for sustainable energy is a broad-based industry association and we represent companies and other trade associations in the energy efficiency and renewable energy natural gas sectors. since its founding in 1992, the council has been advocating for policies at the state, national, and international levels that increase the use of commercially available clean energy technologies, products, and services. as an important backdrop to my testimony, the council would
like to share findings from the 2015 sustainable energy fact book. the book was researched and produced by bloomberg and new energy finance and commissioned by the council. it is an objective report intended to be a resource for policymakers with um-to-date accurate information. its goal is to offer benchmarks on the contributions that sustainable energy technologies are making in the u.s. energy system today. it also provides information on finance and investment trends. the 2015 edition of the fact book points to dramatic changes underway in the u.s. energy sector in the past several years. traditional energy sources are declining. natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency are playing a larger role. these changes are increasing the diversity of the country's energy mix, improving energy security, cutting energy waste, increasing our energy productivity and reducing air
pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. the fact book also shows that the u.s. economy is becoming more energy productive and less energy intensive. by one measure, gross domestic product, productivity has increased by 54% since 1990. between 2007 and 2014, total energy use fell and gdp grew by 8% driven largely by advanceses in efficiency and transportation and power generation and building sectors. of note, energy-related carbon dioxide decreased by 9% in the 2007 and 2014 time period. bcse members in the energy efficiency natural gas and renewable energy sectors offer readily available low carbon and zero energy solutions. this portfolio of technologies can be used today to provide reliable, affordable and clean
energy options for public and private sector customers. in 2014, u.s. investment and clean energy technologies reached $51.8 billion. and these sectors are providing hundreds of thousands of well paying jobs in this country. the council will bring a delegation of its members to attend the cop21 as business observers. this organization has consistency engaged in the international climate change process since the early 1990s. bcsc participates to offer information on deployment trends, technology costs and as well as policy best practices. council members view the climate change negotiations as a valuable forum to share information on policy frameworks and help inform the policy choices of countries looking to reduce greenhouse gas and deploy clean energy options. further, council members view the outcomes of the international climate change negotiations as important signals to the market that
countries are serious about investing in low carbon solutions. these signals will serve to reduce the uncertainty that can stall private sector investment. u.s. leedership and engagement in the process supports u.s. business interests and expands clean energy business opportunities outside our borders. further u.s. leadership increases the ambition of other nations and helps showcase u.s. technology innovation frame works and policies and helps protect u.s. business interests such as protection of intellectual property rights. the council's coalition calls for delivering a clear, concise and durable agreement at cop21. with over 91% of global missions and 90% of global population covered by the intended nationally indented contributions of 161 countries, nations are showing a collective commitment to spur investment, innovation and deployment of clean technologies in countries
around the world. the council believes that a well-structured paris agreement can facilitate higher levels of investment overtime, but as we look towards the next several decades, even higher levels of investment will be needed. we need to be focused theed in the trillions, not the billions of investment. the markets cannot afford any backtracking at this critical time. and the business community is increasingly considering climate change and its impacts as part of its corporate strategies. thank you. >> right on the dot there. very good. thank you very much. i will begin with the questions, and i want to start with mr. ku. professor ku. because there's two questions that i'd like to get to in my five minutes and the first one is the legally binding issue, whether this is a treaty. whether it's a sole executive agreement. so it's kind of a two-part question. some have argued that the senate, when -- excuse me.
some have argued that the approved emissions in 1992, but didn't the administration, bush administration in '92 say amendments to that frame work, ones establishing targets and timetables should be presented as new treaties and have separate consent? that's my one question. was the intent in 1991 that any further targets that would be established would be part of an approval process of consent and then asked next question you can answer once. on the sole executive agreement issue, it is stated that those have been used to justify the authority for cop21. and would you say that those are typically used in narrow and limited circumstances, and do you believe that cop21 would be considered a narrow and limited circumstance? i want to dig down on the legality issue. >> okay. thank you.
thank you, senator. on the first issue, i think that the framework convention did not authorize, it was to set up a framework for further negotiations and process, but did not in fact, and should not be read as authorizing new agreements without having to go through the process. it requires any new agreement for legally binding emissions to go back to the senate. in fact, i think back in 1992 the senate, as part of the process for approving the u.n. fcc asked the bush administration whether future protocols to the treaty would require article 2, meaning going back to the senate, and the administration says if the new protocol contains legally binding emissions, targets or timetables, then they would send that back to the senate. so that's essentially a promise by the executive branch that we will come back to the senate. it is the type of thing that
should be respected as interbranch dialogue, and one of the reasons i think an agreement should be sent back to the senate for its approval. on the second question, sole executive agreement, just quickly -- the sole executive agreement is typically done in pre-narrow circumstances. as part of its corporate strategies. authorizing the president to make an executive agreement in a particular area, like trade. like the tpp or something like that. a sole executive agreement is when the president acts under his own authority and i think that is, not so much as unusual but it is narrow and relatively narrow. i think it's possible the president could say, i agree to every year report on what we're doing. that would be something that he could do as a sole executive agreement. i don't think he could commit the united states to reduce emissions by a certain amount by a certain year in a sole executive agreement. he would ith verify to get congress to approve that through
new legislation or he would have to, i think, the best way to do it, go bark to the senate for approval as a treaty. >> thank you. mr. cass, you mentioned a giant transfer of wealth. if the president -- obviously the president is going to go to this negotiation with no money in a green climate fund that's been appropriated by the congress. what kind of effect will that have, do you think, in terms of future commitments that the united states -- i mean, is supposedly making if this congress won't appropriate any money, there's no guarantee that future congress' would at the same time. i'm certain that the world community is counting on the united states to bring money to the table. what comments would you have on that? >> well, i think probably everyone including negotiators from other countries understand the president cannot appropriate money on his own. i think the larger concern is that faced with the choice of
paris collapsing without an agreement or saying, yes, i'll go and find a way to get the money, u.s. negotiators will say, we'll find a way to get the money and essentially shift the onus back on congress and say -- if you do not appropriate the money will be at fault for the agreement failing. so to preempt that, i think it's actually very important that congress act first and say to the world, let's be clear, we will not appropriate that kind of money. don't come back with an agreement that requires it, because that should not be the linchpin of an agreement that does not even include significant emissions reduction. >> all right. thank you. senator carper? >> thanks so much. thanks to all of you for being with us. some of you, this is the first time we've met you, and others we've known for a long time. new or old, we're happy to spend this time with you. just a word on leadership. if i can. or on leadership.
i think that leadership is probably the most important ingredient of any organization i've ever been part of or led, i don't care whether it was the navy, military, business, this place, sports team, college, hobble, school. leadership is the most important thing, and leadership is demonstrated in a variety of ways. leaders are those who look at a problem and say, what is the right thing to do, not the easy or expedient thing. the right thing is to provide leadership. we lead by our example. when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune including with those i serve. we lead by example. it's not do as i say but do as i do. that's why it's important for us to actually set an example and encourage others to lead. i find that in my life, in my experiences, a lot of time they do. leaders should be aspirational. camus said leaders are purveyors of hope. as i listen to this testimony
today, i heard some testimony that was doom and gloom. frankly, i heard some testimony that was aspirational and uplifting, and i know you can probably figure out where those came from. leaders don't give up. you know you're right, you're sure you're right. you don't just give up. you don't need a tutorial on leadership. it's the most important thing here and every place i've worked or served. i want to talk about acid rain. we're in the part of the country where we deal with sea level rise on the east coast. mid-atlantic, northeast as well. and, oh, gosh, 20, 30 years ago we had a big problem with acid rain. you may remember that. a lot of folks, we could never afford -- president george herbert walker bush said, we have a deal call it cap and trade. people said, can't do that. it will kill your economy. guess what? as i recall, as i recall, what we finally did in implementing the plan that he
proposed, we achieved our goals in half the time and one third of the cost. imagine that? we spurred innovation that turns to economic products, technologies we can export all over the world. i remember sitting here in this room about ten years ago. george voinovich and i were leading the clean air subcommittee of. pw and had a committee on coal-fired plants. rye recollection is, we can never do that. it would cripple the economy. we had one witness sitting where you're sitting today, a guy from the association of technology companies said we can do this. i think maybe even do better in the time frame you're talking about. guess what? we did. we didn't do 80,percent, we did 90% and creating innovation able to sell all over the world.
if we're smart about it, coal plants talking about in china can have the technology we plan to put in coal plants here. let me just ask, lisa, ask you to take a minute and just comment. give us a comment on one of the things we've heard from our first three witnesses you think needs to be rebutted or addressed? would you do that, please? >> yes, thank you. i think, you know, on the indc topic. >> indc stands for? >> commitments other nations have brought forward. yes. i mean, the council in our experience, and in discussing with other countries and what's expected in cop21, we did not expect those would be legally binding commitments. there may be other aspects of the treaty that have more legal force. as we all know, that topic is one that's not yet been resolved. but just the fact that that scope and scale of countries have come forward with greenhouse gas mitigation and
adaptation plans in any shape or form is a major breakthrough. it's companies, as companies, we see that as an important market signal, and we can respond to that. we can look at the experience in the u.s. where the state and local governments have made policy frameworks that signal low carbon investment. and then we come in and say, roll up our sleeves and say, how can we get that done? similar to the comments you made about controlled technologies for mercury. we have innovation and we have investment capital to bring to the table. and when we see 160 countries say, i want to consider my energy policies, and i want to consider low carbon solutions, we will step up and work with them through public/private partnership and three investment to help them reach their goals. we see business opportunities for u.s. companies and jobs in the united states. >> thank you so much. thank you. >> thank you. senator rounds. >> thank you, madam chair.
i want to give everybody an opportunity to comment on one particular part of this. the part i'm concerned with, any time we have a leader who steps forward and says we want to make some changes, in the united states, this is a case where you have to bring congress with you. it seems as though everything works out better if you have a bipartisan effort to get something done. what i'm concerned about is there's been a little bit of a discrepancy in terms of the discussion here today among our panelists with regard to what occurred in 1992 with the unfccc or the united nations framework convention on climate change. i'm just curious, and i -- for each of you, if you could give us your brief thought process. did that particular framework, as agreed to by the senate by a voice vote, did that provide the opportunity for the president today to step in and to have a binding agreement for this country to reduce levels with
regard to climate change issues? and i just -- i know there was specific language placed within the provisions of the ratification agreement as put forth by the senate foreign relations committee when it was presented to the senate in 1992. i would like your thoughts to see if we agree or disagree or where the discrepancy might be with regard to how that might be interpreted today. and if we could, i'll just go down the line and simply ask each one of the members here if you could give me your thoughts, if you could care to. >> sure. i mean, as i said, i think that it's pretty clear from the approval of the senate, they were worried about giving -- when they approved it, that that would be implicit authorization for a new agreement which didn't -- so i would read it as requiring a promise by the president to come back if i have legally binding emission targets and timetables. and i don't know that they are are that many people who disagree with that. that was an understanding when the senate approved the unfcc.
>> i would agree with professor ku that anything legally binding with respect to emissions targets would need to be approved by congress or the senate. >> i would agree with that as well. i just remind everybody, the kyoto protocol, which had legally binding targets and timetables. the expectation was that would have to go to the senate for advise and consent. >> on the original unfccc, it obligates all countries to take steps to reduce emissions in order to avoid dangerous climate change. and in the present instant, i think what is important to keep in mind is the administration's position, which they've stated as being that they are seeking agreement that's consistent with existing u.s. law, and also one that does not have legally binding provisions having to do with mitigation obligations, emissions reductions.
i think that sets in a critical way the framework for thinking about what's happening in the current negotiations, along with the fact that in fact all countries essentially are stepping up to put there mitigation plans as well as adaptation plans on the table. >> but does that mean legally for binding limitations that they would have to come back to the senate for ratification? >> i wouldn't presume to know exactly what the legal outcome of the agreement would be and what the implications of that would be for senate ratification. i think, however, the administration has made clear how it is looking at the mitigation obligations or the mitigation provisions in particular and that those should be nonlegally binding. in that instance, i think that assuming that the agreement is consistent with existing u.s. law, i think the law -- and i think professor ku would agree with this, the law would suggest
that the administration, the president, can enter into agreement under those circumstances. >> ms. jacobson? >> thank you. i mean, i think the framework convention on climate change was a catalyst for significant policies at the local, state, and national level that aim to address climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation. i think it will depend what comes out of this agreement in paris to how congress will engage. but i think no matter what, congressional engagement is a positive and constructive part of our country thinking about how it's going to manage energy and climate change concerns. so our organization is first of all very pleased there will be delegations and have been every single year from congress, both members, senators, and staff that come to the negotiations. also we look forward to engagement with congress in the present time as well after paris
to assess what's been agreed to and to provide any oversight functions it feels is necessary. so we welcome that. >> thank you. one more real quick question. mr. eule, secretary of state john kerry recently told the "financial times" that the paris agreement is definitively not going to be a treaty, responding to criticism from european counterparts, the state department quickly backtracked the statement by saying "our position has not changed. the u.s. is pressing for an agreement that contains provisions both legally binding and nonlegally binding." while the exact legal form of a cop21 agreement remains unclear, do you believe there is a role for the senate in assessing these policies that stand to have broad-reaching economic and employment consequences? >> absolutely, senator. as i said in my testimony, i think whether the treaty is legally binding or not shouldn't make a difference. a treaty that really extends into every nook and cranny of the u.s. economy should go to
the senate and the house for approval. >> that would follow then with what we would find under the state department circular 175, in which they lay out eight items identifying what is the differences between a binding or nonbinding item or that they would expect to be under a treaty provision? >> yes. i would agree with that. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> senator merkley. >> thank you very much, madam chair. i appropriate the testimony. i appreciate this discussion because the impacts of global warming are extensive and current. certainly on the ground in oregon, where we see growing damage from pine beetles because winters are warmer. we see extensive increases in forest fires. the season has gotten longer. the fires have gotten more extensive. destroying natural resources.
we have a huge loss of snowpack in the cascades, affecting not only our streams, making them warmer and smaller, but affecting agriculture with an extensive three worst ever droughts in a period of 15 years in the klamath basin. the ocean is 30% more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution. there's no great mystery over the legal status of this. an executive agreement under authority of ratified treaty and u.s. domestic law with nonbinding emission targets and responsibilities to report on progress. we can try to divert attention from the core issue, but let's not. let's address the core issue. let's look at the fact that there are enormous economic consequences. it's a huge devastation to our agriculture, our fishing, and our farming. so this is something that the
u.s. must exert leadership on. and bringing together the nations of the world to be able to put forward their vision of how we can collectively take this on is an important act of the collective international community. it has been said that we are the first generation to be feeling the impacts of global warming and the last generation that can do something about it because of the fact that it is so much harder as the momentum builds in the warming feedback loops. so we have a moral obligation to act. and certainly many of the major corporations that make up the u.s. chamber of commerce are coming forward on their own to say that this is an important objective, that they are deeply committed to making change. and i hope their voice will start to be heard in key forums around the world and take us forward.
i just want to note that in the conversation, it is often said, well, we really need to need to have developing nations participate. well, now we have developing nations participating. it's been asserted, i believe mr. ku or mr. cass, in your testimony, china is not doing very much. china has pledged in the next 15 years to deploy as much renewable energy and electricity as all the electricity generated in the united states by coal, by gas, and by renewable efforts. that's a massive, massive deployment in a very short -- in a decade and a half. and represents an extraordinary change in their disposition, in their sense of responsibility. i would also like to note that the senate appropriations committee did act. they acted on an amendment, an amendment that was put forward and had bipartisan support, to say that the united states should provide funds to the green climate fund, that this is
certainly part of the equation because developing nations around the world could say, we're not going to act until the per-person footprint of the united states is equal to our footprint, which is much smaller. they could say that. but if they say that, our planet is doomed. so they have courageously come forward and said, we understand that this is something that has to have every nation involved, but you know what, we haven't produced much carbon, and the carbon that the developed nations have produced is having a big impact on us, so can you help us out a little bit to address these issues? that certainly is a reasonable proposition to put forward. so i commend the u.s. senate appropriations committee for having voted in full committee to provide some assistance in that regard. i want to just invite david to ask -- to address whether we can
wait another 30 or 40 or 50 years to take action and expect not to have catastrophic consequences. >> thank you for the question. not acting increases the cost of action. the longer that we delay in acting will increase the cost of action because we will have infrastructure lock-in and other dynamics that will make it increasingly difficult to, in fact, shift to low carbon economies. we do have the opportunity, and i think we, in fact, are the trajectory as lisa and others have said, we are on the trajectory of moving very rapidly toward that low carbon economy. the price of solar panels for example has fallen 75% in the last five years. >> and we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in doing so? >> we are, in fact, creating.
there are hundreds of jobs in texas alone. >> thank you. my time has expired, but i do want to welcome sam adams, former mayor of portland, who works with the world resources institute on climate change and did a tremendous amount as mayor of portland to take the city forward in this regard. >> thank you, senator sessions. >> thank you. this is an invaluable hearing. it's very clear the president does not have the power to unilaterally bind the united states in these kind of agreements. there is bipartisan agreement and support, and we've made a lot of process together on things like reducing pollution, which often means improving coal use. we've made progress on automobile mileage. we've had strict requirements on that. and so far, the automobile industry has done that. we haven't made the progress we should have made on nuclear power, in my opinion. that has the greatest potential over time. so we've got electric cars and
other ideas that could become reality. solar panels are getting more competitive and maybe can play a larger role in the time to come. but the american people are not sold on this, and neither am i. the idea that we have to spend billions, even trillions of dollars on co2 as a result of the concern of global warming is what's not being sold effectively and is not being accepted by the american people. maybe i'll show a couple of charts in just a second here that -- hold that chart. so this is polling data, a gallup poll earlier in the year, in march. it shows 18 issues. and the last one on the minds of the american people as an important issue was climate change.
and i think the data shows that we're not seeing the kind of increases in temperatures that were projected. if you take the objective satellite data, compared to the red line which is over a hundred runs of those models shows the temperature would increase at a rather dramatic rate. i thought number of years ago we would actually be seeing that. but the blue dots and light green dots represent climate temperatures actually occurring according to satellite and balloon data. in essence, i'm just saying that the projections of disaster aren't coming through. dr. pilke testified from the university of colorado or colorado state in which he said we're not seeing more hurricanes, not seeing more tornadoes, we're not seeing more droughts, and we're not seeing
more floods. so that's part of the background of where we are. dr. eule, the green climate fund proposal and copenhagen commitment is a commitment of developing countries to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. do you know what the united states' share of that likely would be? has that been discussed? >> i don't think it's been discussed. the administration has proposed a $3 billion amount that would go to the green climate fund. that's pre-2020. >> we pay about 25% of the u.n. >> right. about 25% of the u.n. when you take a look at the countries that are responsible for providing funds to the green climate fund, the countries are in what's known as annex 2, a
small subset of developed countries. and the u.s. accounts for about 45% of the emissions from those countries. in reality, we could be on the hook for about $45 billion. >> 45. >> yes. >> that would be annually? >> that would be annually. now, you have to remember that's just the starting point. you know, a group of developing countries have said that should rise up to $600 billion. the chinese have said it should be 1% of the gdp of developed countries, which the u.s. share of that would be $170 billion. >> we're pushing on $18 trillion of gdp. so 1% is $170 billion, $180 billion a year? >> a large amount of money even by washington standards. >> i would agree. an african group is insisting
on-ramping up the money to $600 billion a year by 2030. >> that's right. >> my time is about up, so i think we made the concerns pretty clear here. yes, let's go do the things that make sense. let's look for the efficiencies and anti-pollutants, which i don't consider co2 to be a pollutant. plants need to grow. if we work on that, madam chair, in a bipartisan way, we'll also get reduction in co2 and reductions in pollutants. but to impose this cost on the economy when there's no realistic expectation that the other countries who sign it will meet their requirements is not wise. >> senator markey. >> thank you, madam chair. the world is going to gather in paris in two weeks. and the central objective is to deal with the dangerous human
interference with the climate system. and countries from around the world are coming in order to make their commitments. 160 countries that are actually responsible for 90% of global carbon pollution, have already made climate pledges in advance of the paris talks. and we are positioned to have a very successful outcome from this huge international meeting. and i believe that the united states can meet our goals. president obama has made them at different times before this huge summit. that's because our fuel economy standards are going to 54.5 miles per gallon, the largest single reduction in greenhouse gases in history of any country. that's still on the books. the president's clean power plan will dramatically reduce
emissions from that sector as well. we have energy efficiency standards. and we have massive deployment of wind and solar all across our country that's unleashing business opportunity. so i guess i go to you first, mr. waskow. do you agree that the paris agreement includes meaningful emissions reduction pledges from all the countries including developing countries, in your opinion? >> thank you. as i mentioned, there are 119 developing countries that have put forward their plans. we've seen significant actions from many of them. i would note in the case of india, their domestic plans are to increase renewable energy to 175 gigawatts total by 2022. and 100 gigawatts of that would be in solar energy. that's more than half the
current global solar installed capacity. that would then ramp up. >> that's 170,000 megawatts of renewable electricity. >> that's right. >> that is incredible. and china is making a comparable commitment, even larger in terms of its deployment by the year 2030. do you anticipate that an agreement reached in paris will include procedures for reporting, monitoring, and verifying those pledges? >> the underlying u.n. framework convention in fact has provisions for countries to provide information about their emissions to report on their inventories. this agreement will build on that. we already had progress forward in the copenhagen and cancun agreements about increasing the degree of transparency. this agreement i think will increase that to an even greater degree and have convergence between developed and developing countries in terms of the requirements they face in terms of transparency. >> thank you. has america's leadership been
the key to bringing all the other countries to the table, the fact that we've made this commitment to reduce by 26% to 28% by 2025, has that been the forcing mechanism that says to china and india and other countries that you too must do something? >> i think our actions have been noted around the world. i think that when one goes to the negotiations, one has a sense that countries see what we're doing. one of the underpinnings of the agreement is the work the united states has done with china in particular to move forward. >> i think you're right. honestly, you can't preach temperance from a bar stool. so we had to put up our commitments. and that's what the problem was back at kyoto. we weren't putting up what we were going to be doing. so here we've got that. and we've had a response from countries all around the world. and in the business community, i think they're looking forward to this, are they not, ms. jacobson, so there can be a signal that's sent to the
business community that they can rely upon, that there is going to be an investment atmosphere that's going to unleash hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars into this renewable energy sector? >> very much. and energy efficiency and other clean generation options. i mean, what the business community needs is a clear, sustained market signal to drive investment. right now we're seeing investment sitting on the sidelines because there is not enough clarity. the united states has made tremendous progress in providing clarity over the last several years in terms of its domestic policy agenda in the energy sector. we need to see that in more countries. we believe that the paris discussions and the outputs from the conference are going to create a stronger investment signal in other countries outside of ours. >> what would it mean if we extended the wind and solar tax breaks for 15 years in this country in terms of the climate for investment? >> we've seen, just looking at the itc and the production tax credit experience just in the
last five or six years, you can see when we had a sustained investment policy for the itc, we saw investment and deployment increase dramatically. when we didn't have that clarity in other tax provisions for clean energy, things dropped off. so it's a very clear spotlight on what the power of policy certainly can provide to the investment community. >> thank you. we'll have 300,000 jobs in wind and solar by the end of next year. 65,000 coal miners. you can see how this is a growth trajectory. if we kept these tax incentives on the book, the fuel economy standards, we would revolutionize our own country but give the leadership to the rest of the world and be able to export these technologies, by the way, around the rest of the world. i thank you for all of your help here today. >> it's my understanding we've had a vote that has been called. so what i'm going to do is step away from the chair while
senator bozeman questions, make my vote really quickly, and then get back so we can keep continuing with the hearing. thank you. mr. eule, as you know, it was revealed earlier this month that china's coal consumption is 17% higher than was previously reported. this confirms what many of us have been saying. we can't trust china to keep track of carbon emissions and play by the rules. i've said many times that one of my major concerns is when we impose expensive carbon mandates
here and force the price for electricity to necessarily skyrocket, it just forces our manufacturers to close and their competitors in china will grow and emit even more into the atmosphere. mr. hughley, is china the only country that has problems keeping up with its co2 and ghg emissions? >> no, it's not. when you take a look at the error that the chinese made, we're not talking about a rounding error here. this is a huge error, equivalent to about the ghd emissions from germany. so what is going on in china is going on in a lot of other countries in the world that just don't have a handle on how much greenhouse gas emissions they're actually emitting. >> if china can't accurately account for its emissions, should we expect them to actually deliver on setting up a complex and sophisticated national emissions trading system? >> frankly i don't see how they can do that.
part of an emission trading system is the idea of trust, that when you purchase a ton of co2 emissions or co2 allowance, that actually represents a ton of co2 emissions. right now we don't have that confidence. and i'm not sure, in the next year or so when the chinese expect to roll out their emission trading, i'm not sure that confidence can be instilled in such a short period of time. >> thank you. mr. cass, you highlighted in your testimony that the cop21 negotiations will focus little on greenhouse gas emissions and almost entirely on climate finance, specifically on motivating developed countries like the u.s. to offer more than $100 billion a year starting in 2020 through the green climate slush fund. of course thankfully congress is not going to provide that money. but for those countries that might put a few dollars into
this fund, is there any indication of how these funds would be used? >> thank you, senator. i think, you know, one of the open questions right now is exactly that, which is what does this funding look like. the green climate fund actually just announced its first set of grants. and it was a sort of hodgepodge of small dollar grants to build resilient infrastructure, potentially some investments in the direction of clean energy. but there frankly at this point is no clear guidance on how the money would be spent. and i think most importantly, we know from our experience with foreign development aid that sending large amounts of money to developing countries, even to say build a school, is enormously challenging and rarely produces the desired result. sending that money to build a revolutionary electricity grid where none has existed is doubtful to work very well. >> that was my next question.
we're really talking about countries that really have trouble with governance. lots of corruption. you know, money not put to good use. so again, i guess your testimony is that that would be very, very difficult to manage. >> i think it is. we take for granted, as we develop green structure and renewable energy in the united states, we have all of the existing structure to build off of, and we're adding a few percentage points to an enormous structure of reliable energy. and we're doing that in a developing world which has no baseline. that's why the developing world doesn't want to go in that direction. it's not the right way to develop. >> what level of oversight would be assigned to the global fund? is there any oversight in place? >> there is an elaborate u.n.-style structure of oversight over the green climate
fund, with boards and committees and guidelines. in practice, how the money comes and goes i think will likely look more like what we have seen from other u.n. efforts than what we are used to domestically. >> thank you. senator booker? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. so there clearly is a crisis. i'm glad i didn't hear anybody sort of denying that we don't have a climate problem. and the data and the facts speak for themselves. just over the last few weeks scientists have reported that global carbon dioxide co concentrations have exceeded the 400 parts per million threshold have been competed, and carbon levels are substantially higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years. global temperatures have now competed about 1 degree celsius above the preindustrial age with 2014 being the warmest year on record. these are facts. 2015, actually, is on pace to be even warmer than 2014.
this is something that is not just heralded by the scientists around the globe but also important global organizations. earlier this month the world bank announced that due to currently projected sea level rise and an uptick in extreme weather, climate change could force an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. in the face of global crises, it seems i hear in washington over and over again that america must lead, that our leadership is important. indeed, as we see with the war on terror, people are calling again and again for american leadership. well, clearly this global crisis is another case where we must lead. america has led throughout the decades in generations past, from the space race, which has yielded billions and billions of dollars in economic benefit to the united states, to even important global issues like mapping the human genome.
and so in the face of this need for american leadership, in the face of these facts about a global crisis, it is important to me that there are actually things that paris can do and will do, if not the least of which is increasing communication, transparency, and greater levels of accountability. for nations as well as corperations. but critical to me, and i mentioned in the space race is this understanding that leadership has its benefits, and this crisis has its costs. the u.s. historically providing leadership to help solve global crises is something i'm crowd of. this is an occasion where we must rise again. by exercising leadership, the united states economy can benefit, and benefit in astonishing ways, with trillions of dollars in new investments, increased jobs, and most importantly, as i'm seeing on the coasts of new jersey, we can avoid the social costs. a recent nyu report finds that a global agreement to limit
temperature increases to 2 degrees celsius will provide $10 trillion in direct benefits to the united states. i know the costs both to local communities in new jersey, from our fisheries to the storms and the weather changes. but the opportunity, the upside for this leadership is profound. so i would like to ask questions first to david waskow -- am i pronouncing that right? in your opening statement you mentioned some of the potential economic benefits. this is something that's not often talked about. people talk about the cost, the cost. but the upside is pretty extraordinary. if you could elaborate for me about what our country, what the united states of america could see when it comes to economic benefits, job benefits from reducing carbon emissions. >> sure. the benefits are quite extraordinary, as i mentioned.
the epa has estimated that the benefits of the clean power plan themselves, from health benefits and others, are $32 billion to $54 billion by 2030. that in itself is substantial and noteworthy. in addition to that, key actions such as energy efficiency provide economic benefits. the evidence is that for every dollar invested in energy efficiency you get at least two back. and the appliance efficiency measures that the united states has put into place in the last two years alone will bring consumers $450 billion. >> i appreciate that. as someone who had to run a city, i saw a triple bottom line when it came to deal with energy efficiency, trying to deal with global issues. we not only reduce our expenditures by doing environmental retrofits. we're able to lower our carbon footprint. but we created jobs for our community and began to deal with
a crisis in urban areas like epidemic asthma rates. ms. jacobson, similar question for you. can you describe some of the potential economic opportunities for the united states that would result from strong international agreement in paris? you've got 30 seconds. there is a ferocious chairman here, and i want to stay on his good side. >> i want to go back to my point on energy productivity and look at what productivity gains our economy has achieved. we've also reduced our greenhouse gas emissions. you can reduce emissions, cut energy waste, you can create jobs, and you can improve the competitiveness of the u.s. economy at the same time. so these things make economic sense. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, i would like to note that i finished before my time had expired. >> senator wicker. >> you surely did. 3, 2, 1. let me just make a statement, because we do have a vote and many other things to get to. i will not have a chance to do a question. i want to put in the record at
this point, mr. chairman, a peer-reviewed article by -- dr. bjorn longborg in copenhagen entitled "impact of current climate proposals." >> without objection. >> i would like to pull the into the record a press release issued by the copenhagen consensus with regard to that peer-reviewed study. >> again, without objection. >> and let me just say this. mr. lombourg and i have not always seen eye to eye on the causes of climate change. but he has, i think, released a very important peer-reviewed study. and, of course, i look on the internet and i see the first thing that happens when you challenge the status quo is that there's a chorus of people saying that the data is wrong
and faulty and should be disregarded.$(/ñ but here's what dr. lombourg tells us about the paris promises. he basically says this. if paris accomplishes everything they want to, and if you use their own projections, if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by the year 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048 degrees celsius. in other words, by the end of this century, if everything they say is correct, we will have accomplished a change in degrees celsius of less than 5/100ths of a degree celsius. my friend from new jersey may or may not be correct about the
problem. but the questions is, we spend all this money and divert it from all of these other areas, what are we going to get for it in addressing this problem? this peer-reviewed study says you're going to get less than 5/100ths of a degree by the end of the century. the united kingdom is going to diverting money from its overseas budget, going to turn it over to climate change. we're going to divert almost $9 billion and get 5/10ths of a degree celsius? i think people of the world who answer public opinion polls are correct. when asked where action related to climate change ranks out of 16 categories, they rank it dead last. i think the people that are most
disadvantaged in this world would rather have us use money to improve education, to increase electricity availability, to fight malaria. malnourishment claims at least 1.4 million children's lives per year. yet we're taking money away from programs that do that. or we're taking money that could be used for malnourishment and putting it on something that's going to give us less than 5/100ths of a degree. 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty. think of what the united nations could do with the money we're going to put, $100 billion or whatever, think what we could do to help people in poverty, help children dying, dying from malnutrition. 2.6 billion human beings on this planet lack clean drinking water
and sanitation. we could prevent 300,000 deaths a year if we took this money and put it on malaria. so i just say, i hope this congress, i hope this senate will act with caution. i hope the representatives of the american people will act with caution when they go to paris. i hope whatever is done, i hope we make it clear, and the word should go out from this hearing and from this capital, that whatever is agreed to by the people representing the united states of america and paris, should come back to this congress for debate, for consultation, and for approval or disapproval by the congress. thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you. senator gillibrand. >> thank you, madam chairman. you wrote the u.s. business community is considering climate change impacts in its energy and corporate strategies and that companies are pledging to
reduce greenhouse gas emission. can you give us examples of how companies are embracing the move to promote greater sustainability, and have they used efforts to combat climate change as an opportunity to innovate and grow? >> thank you for the opportunity to speak to this. and several business council for sustainable energy members made recent pledges this fall related to greenhouse gas mitigation and other compatible sustainable energy initiatives. these include calpine, ingersoll rand, johnson controle, pg&e, qualcomm, and schneider electric. this really shows, them plus their peers, you know, in the recent announcements, as was mentioned by david, there are over 80 companies that came together representing i believe
$3 trillion investment. and they provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country. and offer their technologies, products, and services in a competitive and effective way globally. they see this as a mainstream business issue. and the range of tools they use vary, but they may be things like energy management practices, setting targets for reducing their energy use, working through their supply chains. some even put carbon pricing into their investment decisions. they're doing this because they get economic benefit from doing so. and the last decade, through tools like the carbon disclosure project and other initiatives, track how businesses have really evolved in the way they've responded to the call from their customers and from shareholders to consider sustainability initiatives. and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. now we're seeing companies take it to the next level and look at
what science and policymakers are doing for their own trajectories and managing them in their corporate strategies. so it's a mainstream issue, and companies are responding in different ways, but i think the essential piece is that companies are responding. >> can you please describe the importance of reaching an international agreement in paris to the business community that you work with, and what effect do you think the global commitment to reduce greenhouse gases will have on the ability of u.s. companies that have already embraced sustainability to compete nationally? >> the u.s. has a path forward at the state level, at local policy level, and we have it at the federal level through investments we're making in energy research, development, and deployment, through things like the clean power plan. we already have a roadmap. other countries, where we compete for customers and to invest, need to be on a similar roadmap. what the international climate change agreement does is it brings to light, provides
transparency not only on what we do but what other governments are doing. that sends a very strong signal to investors of where to place their capital. in the energy sector, these are long lived investments. these are decades long investments. and right now, with a lack of clarity in many parts of the world, capital is sitting on the sidelines. that's not good for u.s. firms and it's not providing the job creation opportunities that u.s. firms would like to provide here at home. >> thank you. mr. waskow, in your testimony you state that the leadership shown by the united states has paid substantial dividends internationally. can you please elaborate on how the united states leadership has spurred action by other countries, and what changes have we seen from the lead-up to the copenhagen meeting in 2010? >> thank you. the leadership that the united states is showing has really had ramifications sort of rippling outwards. the underpinnings of that leadership has really been the
agreements that the united states has entered into or arranged with china. and beginning a year ago, with the joint announcement by the two countries, where each put forward what its climate plans for the coming decade and in china's case for the coming decade and a half will be. that really laid the ground for an understanding that action was going to be international in scope. when the two major emitters came forward in that way. what we saw coming out of that was a ripple effect that turned into a wave of action internationally. we've now seen all major emitters as part of that 160-plus set of countries come forward with their plans. we've seen actions, as i mentioned, the indian renewables target have come forward, for example. india has gone beyond those
2022 numbers to commit that it would have 40% of its energy supply from nonfossil sources by 2030. and we've seen this happen in any number of countries. this is very different from the copenhagen situation. we've seen a doubling of countries that have put forward plans that have greenhouse gas emissions targets in them as opposed to general actions. and we're seeing a plethora of renewable energy plans as well. we've analyzed the national climate plans, the indcs, to look at renewable energy in particular. just the eight largest emitters have put plans in place for more than 8,000 terawatt hours of renewable energy by 2030. this is about 20% more than what they would have done in business as usual. so we're seeing something that's really remarkable. >> thank you. if we could hold here for just a minute or two, senator whitehouse is on his way back,
and would like to participate in some questioning. so we'll just kind of -- at ease would be a way to say it. >> madam chair, can i be recognized, please? >> sure. >> a little bit of levity here, who mentioned yogi berra? there you go. deja vu all over again. one of my favorite yogi berra stories. one of his teammates came in and said, did you hear the news, a jew has been elected mayor of dublin. yogi thought about it and said, only in america. only in america. another yogi favorite was, he once said, when you come to the fork in the road, take it. i think we're at the fork in the road. my hope is that we'll take it. i've learned a few things in preparing for this hearing, madam chair. one of those is how many of
these, i'll call them other executive agreements not approved by congress have there been. i had no idea, but it turns out there's been something like 18,000 of them since 1789 compared to about a thousand treaties that have been agreed to. and i thought, what are some of those executive agreements that have not been approved by congress? one was the yalta agreement. it ended world war ii, 1945. the other was the paris accord agreements that ended the vietnam war in which i served. more recently, the montreal protocol from 1987. more recently, the convention on mercury from 2013, a global agreement to protect human health from mercury pollution. all of those were not treaties, they were essentially executive agreements. i'll yield back my time and thank you. >> thank you. senator whitehouse. >> thank you, chairman. >> sure. >> may i first ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the key vote alert from the
chamber of commerce claiming to represent, and i quote, the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, threatening to, quote, score the vote yesterday to destroy the president's clean power plan. >> without objection. >> thank you, madam chair. may i also ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a letter signed by more than 360 companies, including general mills, nestle usa, dannon, staples, adidas, gap, levis, and schneider electric, that was a good rhode island presence. it was sent to the nation's governors for strong support of the epa's carbon pollution standards for existing power plantings. >> without objection. >> thank you, madam chair. may i also ask unanimous consent to enter the white house, two words, american business act on climate pledge into the record.
this is 81 companies with operations in 50 states who employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue and with a combined market cap of over $5 trillion. the signatories include alcoa, bank of america, best buy, cargill, coca-cola, google walmart, and walt disney. >> without objection. >> thank you. and finally, let me ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a financial sector statement on climate change from the financial giants bank of america, citi, goldman sachs, jpmorgan chase, morgan stanley, and wells fargo, calling for a strong global agreement. >> without objection. >> i don't have it with me but i will get it before the record of the hearing closes. i would also ask unanimous consent that an advertisement in support of climate action put into the financial times by unilever, by general mills, by mars, by nestle, by ben & jerry's, and by kellogg's, there it is, be added to the record. >> without objection.
>> and i would like to, with the chair's permission, ask a question for the record of the chamber of commerce which is present here in the form of mr. eule. the question for the record is, how does the chamber's relentless opposition to any climate action represent the views of the companies on these letters who are chamber members? i think that will probably take a little bit of time so i would like to make that a question for the record. let me also add into the record an article called -- >> let me clarify, that means you're wanting a written response from mr. eule, correct? >> yes, and/or the chamber, if they want to respond through some other personage. i would also like to put into the record a recent press story called the koch atm, which reports that the u.s. chamber of commerce received $2 million
from freedom partners, which is a koch-backed operation. and also reflect for the record here that the center for media democracy reports that from 2001 to 2012, the manhattan institute received over $2.1 million from foundations associated with the koch brothers, including the charles g. koch foundation and the claude r. lamb foundation and the union of concerned scientists reports that since 1998, the manhattan institute received $800,000, $475,000 of which has come in since 2007, from exxonmobil. thank you. i think the point i'm trying to make here is that the so-called voices of the business community that we are seeing here are in fact the voices of the fossil fuel industry, specifically
exxonmobil, the coal industry, big oil, the koch brothers, and that the bulk of the broader american corporate community is actively supporting taking action on climate, setting aside the parts of the american economy that are actually involved in the clean energy economy. these are kind of neutral american businesses. as opposed to mid-america power which is providing wind power in iowa and other big ventures that are investing heavily, creating jobs, developing technology and doing good things for the american economy. so i wanted to make sure that the record of this proceeding reflected both the position of the broader american corporate community and also the funding behind two of the gentlemen who are here today. thank you, madam chair. >> well, i think we've reached the end of our hearing. i want to thank all of you for participating.
i think we've gotten some good discussion and -- >> madam chair, you and i are both from west virginia. i was born long before you were, but when i think about this issue, i think about the golden rule and how to apply the golden rule so it's fair to everybody. my state we face global -- sea level rise is going to do us in if we don't do something about it. my native state, west virginia, one of the top five coal producing states in the country. some of my neighbors where i grew up, my dad worked as a coal miner out of school but i've been a long time supporter of clean coal technology for 20 something years. we spent about $20 billion on clean coal technology in the last 20 years, and we have a plant up and running now in southwest texas next year that will be up and running producing 250 megawatts of energy. we have other plants that are -- work is being done on those.
it's taken a long time and a lot of money, but i'm encouraged that we're making progress so when i apply the golden rule to those five coal producing state, west virginia, kentucky, illinois, pennsylvania, wyoming, and others i think what's the fair thing to do with them? and i think it's to continue to look for innovation and invest in clean coal technology. all the coal plants they're building in china and other places, if they could use this technology that could be a good job development for all of us. >> i would agree in the form of letting the panel know that senator brasso is on his way so the same courtesies we extended to senator white house we'll extend to him and wait longer for him to make questions. and i do believe innovation, but i do believe when we talk about the human price and the human consequences of what's going on in terms of climate change, you have to look at what's going on
in states like mine right now and the human consequences of the highest unemployment, 4% cut in our state budget, the first time we've ever had to cut education in many, many years by 1%. more people in poverty, a sense of gloom and doom and depression that i've not seen in our state, and we have a lot of highs and lows in our state so we've had experience with being -- feeling that our economics can't move forward. but it's just -- it's indescribable where i'm living right now so i see the human consequence of moving forward without the innovation, without longer timelines, without more common sense. i'll just make that a statement. and i'm going to ask a quick question because you brought up the sole executive agreements that have been made. how many over the past 800 -- >> actually about 18 -- well, 18,000.
>> 18,000. >> executive agreements. >> so my question is if this becomes a sole executive agreement by this president who's leaving office in a year, does that, for the next president coming in, what kind of parameters -- does that have any binding measures for the next president, and could the next president come in and undo what has been done in that sole executive agreement? >> thanks, senator. this is -- sole executive agreement is the weakest kind of commitment that the united states can make. there are a lot of them, but they're usually for small things. so the supreme court has said that only for things that historically congress has acquiesced in using executive agreements would the court uphold just executive agreements. the way to think about this is that the president has -- if he makes the executive agreement, the president can withdraw the executive agreement under his sole authority.
now the difficulty is -- >> and that would mean the succeeding president? >> yes, so a succeeding president would have the authority to withdraw executive agreement made under the sole authority of the previous president. the only difference i would say is if the other countries feel like the previous president made a binding promise, the fact that this new president doesn't make them feel much better about it. so there's a cost to it if the next president withdraws even though it's legal the other countries become unhappy about it. and that's why the court, i think and scholars think the use of sole executive agreements has to be carefully used only where it's clear the president has the authority and there's long standing precedent for use of a sole executive agreement in that circumstance. >> well, thank you. >> madam chair, before we turn to senator barrasso's remarks may i associate myself with the thoughtful remarks of senator carper a moment ago. i have to leave but i would like to associate myself with his remarks. >> all right, thank you. senator barrasso?
>> thank you, madam chairman. if there is one message i would like to send to the international community ahead of the international conference, it is this -- without senate approval there will be no money. secretary kerry says a treaty requiring senate approval will not emerge from the international climate talks. this is despite the fact the state department is pushing for parts of the agreement to be legally binding on the united states. on november 13th, the state department stated our position has not changed. the u.s. is pressing for an agreement that contains provisions both legally binding and nonlegally binding. any agreement reached in paris that contains legally binding requirements on the american people must come to the senate for a vote. this isn't only the right thing to do, it's also what the constitution requires. as we know, the united nations green climate fund was proposed during the 2009 conference of parties in copenhagen, denmark.
the fund facilitates a giant wealth transfer of taxpayer dollars from developed nations to developing nations to help them adapt to climate change. congress has never authorized funding the green climate fund. the united states and other developing nations have pledged -- other developing nations have pledged approximately $10 billion for the initial a capitalization of the fund with a goal of raising $100 billion annually. most people think that's a misprint, but it's true. $100 billion annually is what they're talking about. on november 15 of last year the obama administration pledged $3 billion in u.s. taxpayer funds over the four years during the g20 meetings in australia, the administration's fiscal year 2016 budget request asked for $500 million for the fund. we cannot support this if congress does not get approval of an agreement. so i want to make it clear to
the administration, as well as foreign diplomats across the globe looking for u.s. dollars which is the linchpin of this conference, without senate approval, there will be no money. period. i and many of my colleagues will be sending the president a letter stating that soon. we've circulated a copy of the letter. now for the questions. mr. cass, it was reported in the "new york times" -- where is this, page one. don't have to go very far, page one above the fold, wednesday november 4, "china is burning much more coal than it claimed." the article states even for a country of china's size, the scale of the correction is immense. the sharp upward revision means china has released much more carbon dioxide, almost a billion more tons a year than previously estimated. a billion more tons a year than estimated. the increase alone is greater than the whole german economy emits annually from fossil fuels. so how does this impact the
chinese indc submission and should we be premising u.s. action based on a promise from china when they can't even or a promise from china when they won't accurately account their coal consumption. >> thank you, senator. i think the chinese restatement is an important fact, because in that very article, they actually quote china's climate adviser smugly noting this makes it easier for them to meet their target. china has never committed to a level that its emissions will peak at. it has never committed to how its emissions will decline after that. and they are in fact making it that much easier to meet a goal that they were on track to meet anyway without making any changes to their policy. >> but it sounds like the cost and concessions to be made by the u.s. and the agreement with china are much more real than
what china's ever going to do, and ours have doing done, what, by 2025. >> yes, it requires what is essentially called naming and shaming, the premise of getting action from the developing world is that we are going to call out those who do not commit to action and shame them into action. now whether that was ever a good idea or not, it is how we proceeded, and yet, the talking points from the most vocal is that china's doing a great job. >> if a sophisticated country like china can't keep up with its emissions, what level of competence do we have that other countries with fewer resources and capacity will be able to or willing to produce a reliable
system for measuring, reporting and verifying the mission reduction activities? >> in the chinese experience, my guess is nothing new. so it's an excellent question, and i'm not quite sure at this point that measuring and reporting verification can be set up so that we can, with assurance guarantee that the emissions cuts they promise are actually going to be delivered. >> and then with questions for both of you. there was recently an opinion piece that noted that in the run up to the negotiations, he said rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of climate aid, of the donors. that diseffectively telling the world worse-off people sufficienting from tuberculosis and malnutrition that what they
need isn't mosquito nets but a solar panel. >> i think that's certainly a concern, and i think senator wicker called attention to the fact that the u.k. under pressure to provide climate finance said okay, we will shift our other development aid into climate finance. i think the good news for people in developing countries is that their own leaders are refusing to prioritize emissions cuts over economic growth. the bad news is that the developed world or, for the sake of getting a signed piece of paper may reorient their own aid towards solar panels instead of drinking water. >> and essentially, what i was going to say, the simple fact is, when you look at what developing countries are doing, they've set their priorities, and the priorities are economic very many, poverty eradication and energy access. it's not about addressing greenhouse gas emissions, and i think that's going to be the way
it will be for the foreseeable future. >> thank you. >> if i could make a unanimous consent request to put in the record language, i say to my friend from wyoming, you missed this, but we have, as we go forward, if i could figure out how to deal with this issue of climate change and global warming, we need to be mindful, how do we help the states that will be adversely affected? and if we don't provide leadership, the rest of the world, they're not going to do much at all, why should they? if we do provide leadership, we have a shot, we have a chance. >> thank you to the panel and all those who attended. and i'll call this hearing adjourned.
[ inaudible ] >> i don't see a scenario where the senate is going to approve in the omnibus bill any language that would open any door for any clean climate fund. so i think that -- [ inaudible question ] >> right. >> aren't some of those funds already appropriated? >> that's what the administration sort of said that these funds except for about 500 million. >> we zero appropriated.
they asked for 500 million. and that's probably going to be wrapped into the omnibus that we have in the next two weeks. i don't know where they're going to come up with $3 billion without congress appropriating it. so i don't know. i've actually got to go. sorry. thanks, guys. on newsmakers this week, georgia congressman tom price talks about budget and spending issues before congress, the new republican leadership under paul ryan and the debate about what to do about syrian refugees and fighting isis. newsmakers, on c-span.
sunday, on q&a. >> i'm the first woman to reach the rank of four stars in the united states navy. i had only been a three-star, oh, gosh, maybe ten, 11 months when the c and o was traveling through town, i was down in norfolk. he asked to see me. i presumed it was about the next job i was going to. then that's when he talked to me about, we're looking at you for being a four-star, and here's a couple of different opportunities where we think you would do well and benefit the navy. >> vice chief of naval operations, admiral michelle howard. admiral howard talks about being the first female four-star admiral in the history of the navy. she also discusses her career in the navy prior to her appointment, including leading the mission to rescue "captain
phillips" in 2009. >> i became head of the piracy task force. and a few days on the job, captain phillips was kidnapped, and that was obviously a surprise kind of mission and challenge and we got him back. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. > the mother of journalist james foley who was killed by isis last year is in front of a subcommittee. she talked about how terrorists groups called isis finance. this is about an hour.
without objection, all members may have five days to submit statements, questions, extraneous materials for the record subject to the length, limitation and the rules. chair recognize itself for an opening statement and when ranking member gets here, he will be allowed to make the his opening statement. the terrorist attacks in paris last friday remind us the damage a terrorist organization can do with even a little bit of money. isis, however is the richest terrorist organization in history. last year they made over $1
billions. much of that was made from seizing assets. selling oil on the black market and taxing people. and those sources are mostly internal and don't use the international financial system and others may be easier to cut off. for example, isis made nearly 50 million from kidnapping and ransom last year. some put it as high as 20% of isis's revenue. isis is not the only group kid naming to make money. aqim is said to rely almost exclusively on kidnapping for funds. this is the same group that attacked a gas plant and killed
one of my constituents after taking him hostage. from 2008 to 2014, they made roughly $165 million from ransom payments. the united nations passed three issues. our own country has a long history of countering this barbaric practice. from the very beginning, the united states has always refused to pay ransom to terrorists. barbary pirates demanded ransoms in the early 18 hundreds. even then, president thomas jefferson refused to pate bounty. he said that doing so would only encourage more attacks. they have learned to ask for ransoms from those who will pay and this issue can be complex. we have the mother of james foley here with us today. i want to express my
condolences for the lost of your son. the committee appreciates the fact that you were willing to testify. terrorist groups have long depended on criminal activity. can someone shut the door. they have long depend on criminal activity for funding, including trafficking of cultural antiquities. these sites are the cultural heritage of humanity but isis sees them as financial opportunity. according to some estimates, antiquities smuggling was isis's second-largest source of funding. isis is killing people with the money it makes from selling these artifacts while destroying history. there are some people who voluntarily give their money to
these murders. they have maintained connection to wealthy donors for more than a decade. and many are based in gulf countries like qataar. kuwait and saudi arabia. between 2013 and 2014, isis received as much as $40 million from these wealthy benefactors. and isis is not the only terrorist group benefitting from these deep-pocket donors who give money to terrorist groups. wealthy individuals from these countries fund terrorists all over the world, including al qaeda and al shabab. they set up charities and funnel the money directly to the terrorists. the governments of these gulf countries simply do not do enough to stop the steady terrorist financing that seems to start from a handful of middle eastern countries.
these sources have given isis millions per year. they thrive off the feeling that they're winning. by cutting it off, it would mean less money for the terrorists but possibly less recruits. more importantly, it would mean less victims of isis's barbaric terrorists attacks. we must use all the resources at our disposal and that is the purpose of these hearing. to listen to these experts on this issue. i will now turn to the gentleman from massachusetts for his opening statement. >> thank you for chairman, thank you for conducting this hearing and thank you to our witnesses for being here today. this hearing is generally on terrorist financing, but
considering the recent events, it's an appropriate opportunity to pay particular attention to isil. friday's attack in paris and the recent bombing of the russian metro jet in egypt indicate that they may intend to increasingly attack targets outside of their bases in iraq and syria and it's worth taking a moment to express on behalf of myself and the committee, our greatest sympathies of the victims of those terrible tragedies. this worrisome development in the united states and our allies must endeavor at all fronts to defeat isil. in order to defeat isil, we need to continue to assist our allies militarily to roll back the territorial gains made by isil, and we must cut off isil's supply of money and manpower by
targeting terrorist recruitment, travel and financing. according to a 2015 report by the financial action task pours, isil earns rev flew several sources, including very proceeds derived from the occupation of territory, kidnapping for ransom, donations by or through nonprofit organizations, support from foreign fighters. fund-raising through the internet. one of the significant ways isil finances activities is through the illicit sale of and particular w antiquities. they stockpile items for future sale on the international market. they earn money buy charging others for licenses they call taxes to loot archaeology cal
sites. they have earned tens of millions of dollars from antiquities stolen in syria alone. to counter this threat, we need to do more to prevent the threat and destruction of antiquities in place like iraq and syria. we also need to do more here at home to ensure that the united states isn't importing stolen antiquities and financing terrorism as a result. i've introduced the bill hr 22485 to prevent trafficking in cultural properties act, increase training in homeland security to stop importing stolen antiquities and to prosecute the smugglers and traffickers that participate in this illicit trade. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill which is aimed at stopping groups like
isil from financing through the sale of antiquities property. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman from massachusetts. the chair will now recognize members who wish to make opening statements for one minute each. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. cook, for one minute and his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is surnly a very timely hearing. i want to thank mrs. foley for being here. this past week many of us gave speeches talking about veteran's day and the sacrifices so many have given. in wars, no matter how you slice it, this is a war that we are waging with this group, isil,
isis, daesh, whatever you want to call them. their tactics, you know, there's no limits to them. and i personally think that many people in the middle east, throughout the world have got and pass on this. we know that there's been support of that through some nations in the middle east. the gulf states, a lot of money, all these different things that has already been mentioned by my colleagues. but without a doubt, we have to do something about this. and i think this, as i said, after what happened, it's the most timely hearing we could have on the hill. thank you. >> thank the gentleman. the chair wants to recognize the gentleman from new york, mr. higgins, and also recognize the work that he is doing on the issue of kidnapping of americans for ransom. so gentleman from new york is recognized. >> thank you chairman poe, thank you for holding this obviously important and timely hearing.
kidnapping for ransom, antiquities smuggling and private donations rene harming and largely underappreciated source of terrorist financing that has largely gone unaddressed, further complicating counter financing efforts of the many of these transactions are conducted without reliance on the international banking system, rendering many of our tools such as sanctions and terrorist designations infective. in recent years, kidnapping for ransom has become an increasingly lucrative enterprise with estimates of $165 million paid to al qaeda and isis since 2008 for the return of hostages. unlike the united states, the united kingdom, many of our allies continue to pay ransoms, resulting in a vicious cycle in which terrorist groups seek out citizens of countries known to pay, resulting in more kidnappings. we must ensure our friends and
allies hold responsible, and pleased to be working closely with chairman poe to develop legislation to address this issue, and i look forward to today's witnesses and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. the chair recognizes mr. wilson. >> thank you for your leadership on this critical issue of terrorist financing. i would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to ms. foal eley for coming to share y story. our hearts truly are with you and your family. the murderous attacks killing 169 friday, beirut last week and the bombing of the russian charted jet, killing 224 innocent passengers october 31st further highlight the fact that our current methods of preventing daesh's terror
financing are not working. it is critical that america and its allies have the necessary resources to cut off isil's financing from any source that we can. it's critical that those who provide funding to islamic state in any way are able to be accurately identified and that we have laws in place to deal with them. i look forward to the recommendations of the panel. >> do any other members wish to be recognized for a statement? hearing none, you will have five days to submit them for the record. and without objection, all witnesses' prepared statements will be made part of the record. i ask that each witness please keep your presentation to no more than five minutes. i'll introduce each witness and give them time for their comments. mr. john casara is a special agent to the office of terrorism and financial intelligence. mr. casara is considered an expert in money laundering in
the middle east and the growing threat of alternative remittance systems. dr. david wineberg is researching this area in alliance transparency and human rights. mrs. diane foley is the mother of james foley, an american journalist who was kidnapped and killed by isis last year. she is the founder of james foley legacy foundation to continue james' legacy for those without a voice. thank you very much for being here today. dr. michael dante currently serves as the academic director of the american schools of oriental research, cultural heritage initiatives which monitors and reports on the heritage situation in syria, northern iraq. he is a near iron archaeologist
with experience directing programs in syria, iraq and iran. mr. casara, we will start with you, and you have five minutes. >> chairman poe and members of the sub committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. it is an honor for me to be here. mr. chairman, i have submitted a written statement. i two like to take just a few minutes to give a brief summary. kidnapping for ransom is a crime as old as antiquity. unfortunately, in redren years, terrorists and associated criminal organizations have turned to kidnapping as a relatively easy and lucrative source of funding. united nations estimates that approximately 120 million ransom payments was paid to terrorist groups between 2004 and 2012. some experts believe kidnapping for ransom is our most significant terrorist-financing threat today. as the tragic events in paris last friday made clear, the united states and international
community are rightfully alarmed about isis. the terror organization has kidnapped multi-hundreds if not thousands of victims, including local iraqis, syrians, members of ethnic minorities as we as westerners and foreign nationals. some were brutally murdered to send a political message. others were used to extract ransom payments. according to the financial action task force in 2014, isis raised approximately $45 million from kidnapping for ransom. in fact, because kidnapping in associated crimes such as extortion have been so successful, it appears the average ransom payment is increasing. it is a vicious cycle. there is no doubt that ransom payments lead to future kidnappings. and future kidnappings lead to additional ransom payments. and of course, the ransom payments eventually build the capacity of terrorist organizations which fuels
additional terrorist attacks. there have been several united nations security council resolutions attempting to curtail ransom payments into terrorist organizations' coffers. despite the restrictions, the world has not stopped payment. of course the complicating factor is our humanity. it is difficult to turn away from the anguished cries of those kidnapped and the frantic appeals of those, of their loved ones. last week a new book that i wrote was released "trade-based money laundering." the next frontier in money laundering enforcement. it is often overlooked. buff the use of trade and underground financial systems are often part of the kidnap for ransom equation. for example, money and value transfer services are found throughout iraq and syria, including areas where isis operates. sometimes they're called wall
dares. they operate on trust and secrecy. ha wall dares communicate via e-mail, faction and phone to pay or receive payment from a counter party to the transaction. eventually, brokers have to settle their accounts. sometimes they use cash. sometimes the conventional banking system. but i want to emphasize, and something that is continually overlooked, and that is historically and culturally, in all arias of the world where terrorist adversaries operate, trade based balance transfers are used to settle accounts. so examining trade records for fraud could be the back door into money and value systems used by terrorists.
moreover, i can make the argument that if one includes all its varying forms, trade based money laundering could very well be the largest money laundering methodology in the world, and unfortunately, it is the least understood, recognized and enforced. yet, i'm optimistic. by using modern and a little tools to explore a variety of big day sets, i believe international trade transparency is theoretically achievable or certainly possible to factor over many times what we have today. as an add bonus, cracking down even trade fraud could be a revenue enhancer for the governments involved. in my book and written statement i go into detail on many of these issues, and i provide a number of recommendations on achieving trade transparency so as to combat trade-based money laundering, underground finance and terror. appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today, and i am happy to answer any questions
you may have. >> thank you. chair will recognize dr. wineburg for your statement. >> chairman poe, ranking member keating and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you. for the opportunity to be here today. i will highlight some weak links in america's efforts do convince our allies to target donors who often go unpunished. i will also offer policy recommendations to hopefully address the epidemic. while i will refer to others, i would ask your approval to enter into the record a new report on antiquities trafficking. >> without objection, that will be made part of the record.
thank you, dr. wineburg. >> several allies, name lay qatar receive problematic or adversarial positions over tackling private terror finance. despite promises to do so, they have failed to on sfrukt the flow of such funds and to try punishing practitioners. in my written testimony i note dozens of reported examples of such negligence. in many instances these governments grant legal impunity to people whom the u.s. and u.n. have sanctioned on charges of funding al qaeda. in my written remarks i also rye veal detailed new indications that turkey, qatar and saudi arabia have let them become major financial hubs for hamas. to ensure that our list isn't treated in the region as a mere toothless piece of paper, the u.s. should develop a broader range of options for when our allies refuse to do the right
thing versus terror financiers. congress can help members of the executive branch outside tres treasury to these concerns. when an of individual is confident that one deserves impunity is indeed a senior financial facilitator for terrorism, the u.s. could privately and publicly seek extradition. if that fails we could consider capturing and killing them as it does toward other terrorist operatives. congress could help hold these operatives responsible as well. by amending the foreign sovereign immunity act, so victims can sue foreign governments in civil court for letting terror financiers and other operatives enjoy local impunity. as for the vicious tactic of kidnapping for ransom, we should
recognize that americans are still evidently being held hostage by terrorists today. in 2012, treasury described kidnapping for ransom as quote, today's most significant source of financing. now the volume has only increased since then. isis actually makes more money off of oil sales, but ransoms have helped al qaeda conquer that territory in the first place. the obama administration announced a new policy in june to be more effective at hostage recovery. but there is little evidence that this decreases the money that terrorists take in from such tactics. even though the "new york times," ap and reuters have said the gulf is a source.
in my written testimony, i compile press reports of 15 different episodes in which qatar has helped mediate talks with terrorists and where ransoms were paid by qatar. the u.s. should stigmatize those governments that pay ransoms, in public, perhaps even financial sanctions. president obama should direct diplomats to prioritize convincing host governments in several key countries do stop paying such ransoms, and congress can encourage policymakers abroad to enact such prohibitions into local law. the u.s. could also follow in britain's steps, blocking insurance companies from paying to terrorists but only in a manner that would not impose undue burden on hostages'
families. finally, they could create a fund to compensate victims and their families for their suffering. the good news is that the u.s. now has a plan to improve hostage recovery. the bad news is that u.s. policy is failing to deter foreign governments, primarily our allies from paying multi-million dollar ransoms. we need a new strategy and congress can help facilitate that debate. thank you very much. >> thank you, dr. wineburg. ms. foley? >> i'm diane foley, mother of american journalist james foley who was publicly executed by isis as you know august of 2014. and i certainly want to say that our thoughts are prayers are with the people of france who have suffered such tragic loss at the hands of isis.
but we, too, as americans have suffered from isis. our son james was tortured and starved by isis for nearly two years, just for being an american. our family's ordeal was made worse by our incoe hiernts and often infective hostage policy. jim was the oldest of our five children, born into a very average american middle class family. he was well-educated, holding two masters degrees in writing and journalism, but far more importantly, he was a man of service, teaching in our inner cities in phoenix through teach for america and later in chicago and massachusetts. he was always passionate about those without a voice, be they hostages, conflict journalists or disadvantaged children in our inner cities. in fact, his belief in human rights actually led him to become a journalist. so that we americans might hear the unheard stories of suffering in conflict zones. in my opinion, our current
american hostage policy has not changed. i'm very aware that our u.s. public policy is no concessions to terrorists, to include no ransom or release of prisoners. however, our policy also states that the united states will use every appropriate resource to gain the safe return of our american citizens held hostage by terrorists. during jim's horrific captivity in syria, our policy was interpreted to mean no concessions. no engagement with his9/11 our officials have often mistaken no concessions for no negotiations, leading to an inconsistent and often unjust approach to the kidnapping of our citizens. the hands of our powerful fbi were tied during the 2014 syrian
captivity of our son jim and three other american citizens. held by isis. i am told that our strict adherence to this policy saves lives by decreasing the rate of capture of americans. but no one has been able to show me the research behind our hostage policy. in fact, it would seem that americans are being, becoming targets at an alarming rate. i respectfully demand to see the proof that our current hostage policy is truly presentiotectin americans. it did not protect jim or steven or kayla or peter. in the last 18 months, these four americans have been killed because our policy was strictly applied. whereas five other americans, casey colmes, sam ferens, scott
darden, theo curtis and sergeant bergdahl, who were negotiated for by us or others have returned home safely. this inconsistent implementation of our american hostage policy is unacceptable. additionally, i would have you gentlemen know that we were deceived as an american family. we were told repeatedly that jim was their highest priority. your highest priority. we trusted our government to help him return home. during the brief month that jim's isis captors reached out to negotiate for his release, our government refused to engage with the isis captors. leaving us alone as parents to negotiate for our son's freedom. 18 months after jim's captivity, our family and three other
families of hostages held with jim in syria were threatened by colonel mark mitchell, member of our national security council with prosecution by our government, although there was never any precedent. if we attempted to raise a ransom to free our loved ones. he also very clearly told us that our government would not ask allies to help negotiate the release and would never conduct any military operation to rescue them. he made it very clear that our united states government planned to abandon these four americans. thus, it became clear that jim, peter steven and kayla were considered collateral damage, and that we families were truly on our own. i had spent much of our family's savings, quit my job as a nurse-practitioner to travel monthly to washington to beg for help for jim. to the united nations, countless
embassies and to europe multiple times to speak to freed hostages, all to no avail. while our u.s. senators reached out to us and were sympathetic, we never even heard from our united states congressman. the foley family did try to raise a ransom for jim's release in spite of threats of prosecution. but because we believed in our government to help, we started much too late and were unable to raise the money to interest isis. the reality is that very few families would be able to raise money actually needed to free their loved ones. our u.s. government also failed to engage at a high level with our allies who also had citizens held by isis. at one point, there were over 20 western hostages held together. and all of them were our allies.
in the spring of 2014, a freed french hostage had very specific information from isis to negotiate for our four american hostages and the three british ones. but our government refused to engage with the french or u.k. to save our citizens. the result is that all the european hostages are now home. whereas, our son, the other americans and british were brutally killed. although we had specific information regarding the exact location of their captivity, beginning in the fall of 2013, a military operation was not even attempted until july of 2014, after all the europeans were safely home. we are sincerely grateful to the brave soldiers making that attempt, but it was much too late. in our situation, our hostage policy prevented our government
from interacting in any way with jim's captors, prohibited from even investigates who our son's captors were. had our government been allowed to engage the captors, perhaps vital intelligence about isis might have been gleaned. our government's abandonment of jim allowed their des to be used as propaganda for isis recruitment, thus strengthening and emboldening isis. it surely helped in their recruitment of other violent people who want to destroy us. as i said before, at one point, there were more than 20 western hostages all held together, all are citizens of our allies. all our western allies valued their citizens enough to negotiate for their freedom. had jim been french, spanish, german, italian or danish, he would be alive today. you know, we form coalitions for
war. why did we not engage with our allies to free all the western hostages? i believe that much stronger coalitions with our allies are essential to deal with the shrewdness and hatred of these terrorist groups. i fear that our posture of no engagement with isis captors led to our underestimation of their intelligence and their deep-seated hatred for the united states and our citizens. what if we had been shrewd enough to engage jim's syrian captors in the fall of 2013, to learn all we could about them. instead of ignoring them. is it ever wise to ignore enemies of freedom and justice? you know, jim believed in america. he believed that our government valued him as a journalist, as a citizen. i am told he was hopeful until
the very end of his 20 months of captivity. he and our family were truly abandoned by our government. how would you feel if one of your son or daughters had been in jim's predicament and been treated similarly? four americans were publicly beheaded. where is our outrage as americans? as an individual american citizen no longer valuable, why were jim and the other americans in syria considered collateral damage? if our united states of america truly wants to protect and prioritize the return of its citizens, if so, i ask you esteemed members of congress to hold this new fusion cell accountable for the return of our american citizens. and to mandate a thorough
reevaluation of our current hostage policy, to make sure that recent, validated research is being done to ensure that our policy truly saves the lives of americans. thank you for your attention. appreciation it. >> thank you, mrs. foley, very much. dr. dante? >> thank you, chairman poe and ranking member keating for this opportunity to discuss terrorist financing through antiquities trafficking. it's an honor to be here among such esteemed company but with a heavy heart and with heavy concerns. since the outbreak of the syrian war in 2011 and the expansion of the islamic state or isis in 2014, we've witnessed the worst cultural heritage since world war ii. on a daily basis, cultural sites are being destroyed for tactical or ideological reasons. antiquities and other cultural property are being pillaged to
finance conflict and global terrorism. as an archeologist who's worked in syria and iraq for the last 25 years, there's not a day that goes by that i don't anguish over the current flight of the syrian and iraqi people in the atrocities that isis and others are committing. my colleagues and i worked closely with syrian and iraqi experts and other concerned parties who are daily risking their lives to save heritage from systematic campaigns of cultural cleansing. these brave professionals understand the importance of a brighter future by preserving the past and cultural die virsity. the current war is a war of ideas and cultural identity that is rapidly spreading to neighboring countries. the project i direct, the american schools of oriental research cultural heritage initiatives closely monitors the cultural crisis in syria and northern iraq, implements projects in syria and produces reports and outreach for the
u.s. government and the general public. we've seen that most of the major combatants commit cultural property crimes. but by far, isis is our greatest concern. over the last 16 months, they have sold antiquities and other property for funding. isis also brazenly destroys heritage places to promote its radical ideology and gain media exposure. there's no doubt that terrorists derive significant revenue from looted ancient antiquities and stolen cultural property. satellite imagery and open-source information support this conclusion. information in antiquities recovered by u.s. special operations forces during the abu sigh jeff raid show it.
this criminal activity has increased as other revenue streams such as oil have been targeted through airstrikes or other countermeasures. antiquities trafficking is difficult to target, and it has the benefit of rewarding collaboration with employment. antiquities trafficking doesn't make as many enemies among the local population as other crimes but instead exploits poverty and hopelessness, also antiquities sir of as instruments for money laundering. we don't now the total dollar values of the illicit antiquities trade, there are too many unknowns, but organizations find it crucial to their operations, and the financial and cultural cost to the destruction are manifest now and will have a cascading effect for generations to come. the current crisis requires increased and improved capacities in the united states for cultural security and cultural diplomacy. we need a more proactive and
nimbler approach. high level coordination would greatly enhance this work and would facilitate containing, degrading and ultimately destroying isis and other radical groups and transnational criminal organizations operating in the middle east, north africa and beyond. reducing global market space for conflict antiquities should be one of our highest priorities. legislation is pending in the house and senate that would help to achieve these goals. ultimately, the best solutions for the current and cultural heritage crisis in syria and northern iraq also contribute to alleviating the human crisis, strengthening counter terrorism efforts and fostering peace building. thank you. >> thank you very much dr. dante. thank you all for being here today. i recognize myself for some questions. it seems to me, and i may not have all of their sources of revenue, but we've heard that terrorist groups will do
anything for money. they will steal. like the robberies of the banks in iraq. they will, mr. casara talked about, i call it money laundering. i'm a former judge. i call that money laundering, what you were talking about. cooking the books on trade. they make money off of antiquities. they make money off of hostages and off of their wealthy donors who want to send money to these terrorist groups. and there are probably a whole lot more. let me try to address a couple of issues. mrs. foley, you gave us some remarkable information. and if i understand the current status of american hostage law or procedure, the united states has always had a policy not to
pay ransom. now it's changed that the government won't pay money for ransom, but if families or individuals do, that law will not be enforced as to that payment. is that your understanding of the current status? >> families, you know, in criminal activity, this, a family has never been prosecuted for paying ransom to criminals who have a loved one. >> that's what i'm asking. so as far as you know, no family's ever been required -- >> no, i know that, because we researched it. because we finally realized we on our own, and we had to try to raise a ransom, but of course we wanted to protect any one, you know, who would care to help us. so there's no precedent for that, sir. >> so that portion of the law as the president has said, is not being enforced as to prosecute families that -- >> well, it really was never meant to prosecute families.
it was meant to prosecute any groups that might pretend to be a charity and instead give money to finance terrorism or something. it was never meant to be -- >> was your son kidnapped for ransom? or was he kidnapped as a propaganda tool or both? >> that's a good question. only god would know what might have been in their heads. he was a westerner. they don't check passports when they kidnap people, sir. he was obviously a westerner. he'd been in and out of syria, he'd been in and out a year. and more and more jihadists had come in in 2012. jim had made very good relations with a lot of family there and was trying to expose the atrocities of the assad regime. so felt, you know, protected. a lot of the rebels really welcomed journalists early on so that their plight might get out to the world.
but some people -- >> he was used as a propaganda to tool, too, wasn't he? >> the propaganda only came when our government would not engage in any way. nobody would negotiate for him. no one cared. so they thought, well, hey, we can make a spectacular of thle . get a lot of pr. >> let me ask some questions about the gulf states. i'm going to be real specific here and probably hurt someone's feelings in the gulf states. we have a military base in qatar that we use to fly aircraft in the middle east when we engaged in military activities in afghanistan or iraq, is that right? >> that is correct. >> so qatar helps us out with that. but we know that qatar has donors there, wealthy donors who give money to terrorist groups,
is that correct? ? >> certainly been correct in the past. >> do we know who those donors are? do we know their name, rank and serial number, so to speak? >> america has sanctioned a number of qatari nationals. >> what does that mean? what is a sanction, does it mean don't do it anymore? don't do it again, it's not nice? >> the problem is that the local government often doesn't do anything about it. in fact, i have seen not a single indication of qatar prosecuting anybody and convicting them under terror finance laws that have been on the books. >> do we pay to have our military base in qatar? >> no. >> so you think qatar's playing both sides? >> i think qatar's absolutely playing both sides. >> do they harbor people who give money to terrorist groups but have a military base where they can go and attack terrorist groups. >> but individuals in the united states have sanctioned just down
the road is where this base is and if the united states chose to do so, it would not be too difficult to launch airstrikes if we were convinced or conduct some sort of operation. >> you mentioned that the united states has the authority to go after these people who are contributing to foreign terrorist organizations. >> if it chooses to use that capacity. >> to your knowledge -- this is my last question. to your knowledge -- i have two questions. how many people are we talking about that are contributing money to terrorist groups? >> the people sanctioning qatar, it's, can be counted on a single hand. >> it's not very many. second, have we ever extradited, prosecuted or taken out somebody who has biven monte terrorist groups to your knowledge? >> have we ever prosecuted, extradited. quell, united states sought so capture khalid shake mow haha m.
>> did we ever get him? >> according to former officials cited in press reports, a senior qatar official tipped him off and he fled the country. >> so my question is, just answer the question. have we ever captured, extradited, brought back one of these moneybag guys who are giving money to terrorist groups to the united states to prosecute them? >> well, ut maltly, we caught ksm himself, who was a senior operational man and money man, but we did it in pakistan. >> all right, mr. keating from massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think one of the most important things any of us can do as americans is to get to root issues of what's going on, even though it's dangerous, even though they risk their lives doing it and get that message out to the u.s. and the world. ms. foley, your son did that.
and your testimony, i think, he inherited a lot of his courage from his mother. but and thank you for being here. i know there's things we can do, tangibly. i know there's things we can do to sanction some countries, but it's really troubling on the issue of kidnapping, ransom. can you tell me a little bit about the james w. foley legacy foundation you're so involved with, mrs. foley? one of the things they do is hostage support. could you describe what kind of work you do there and what the foundation is doing? >> in truth, we're just beginning. jim was, was very, as i said, concerned about people without a voice. so one of the big issues obviously, i've been concerned about are american hostages. they end up in a truly gray
zone. and gray meaning that nobody knew whose job it was to try to get them out. and no one really wanted to touch the issue. it's a hot potato. so one of the first things we've done this past year is we've raised funds for something called hostage u.s., which will be similar to hostage u.k., which will support american families in this predicament, but the james w. foley foundation wants to go further. we want our americans home. so whereas hostage u.s., we're going to continue to support them, because families need support. but i could have cared how i was treated if jim were home. but i really feel as americans we need to be shorter, we need to find a way to get them home. and i recognize that it's complex because of our, because we certainly don't want to fund terrorists.
but, is it wise to not even engage these people? then we don't have a clue. we don't know what's going on. we don't know what they want. we don't know who they are. and, you know, i don't think so. i just think we have to be a lot shre shrewder, otherwise, we're going to be out of luck. so, as far as a foundation, yes, we are working very closely with the fusion cell and lisa monaco, jen easterly, trying to find ways to hold them accountable, for, gee, a lot of u.s. assets have been given now, none of them are home yet since they've been started. granted it's new. but i'm concerned, because i think their hands are tied in a lot of ways. so that's one thing. the other issue is conflict journalism. these days, it used to be in world war ii journalists and aid workers were off limits. people, they had a certain
neutrality. not so anymore. i mean, mean journalists and aid workers are targets, and we have to be aware of that. so as a democracy our sieselveo unless we come together for global safety for people who are giving us information, who dare to go where many don't dare to go, that is a huge concern of ours. so we're really, we're working with an international coalition for safety. and journalism. and continue to be concerned about children without access to education. because jim loved children. he really felt education was the only way for societies to get out of poverty. so we're looking at that. >> one of the things i'm hopingque do is not have others experience everything that your family experienced. and as you go forward, if you could keep us informed about some of the areas that you think
we can get involved with as you go forward, please do that. feel free to do that, because i think we can certainly do better. >> we better do better, sir, you know, it's frightening if we can't do better in that regard. >> i agree. and thank you for that. another question. may 15th raid on isil leader abu sigh jeff. you call that a game changer at some point. what do we learn from that that we didn't know before? >> we learned that antiquities were very important. there were e-mails, documents indicating that abu sayeed was in charge of some of those. he also had disturbingly, photographs of other high-end items on his laptop. some of those items we were tracking known to have been sold through turkey. >> i don't know if any one wants
to comment on that briefly, but i'll say this. many times in this very turbulent times, terrorism, we're so frustrated. we put up our hands and say what can we do. i think you four as witnesses have given us things we can do to further fight this effort, and appreciate it. and i think these are very tangible, real suggestions that can go forward on all fronts, thank you. yield back. >> want the members to know that we're in the midst of voting. we will continue after votes. we have one vote, but we will not recess until we have at least one more member ask questions. and then we'll come back. apologize to our panelists, but that one vote shouldn't take a long time. mr. wilson from south carolina. >> ms. foley, again, thank you for your courage, and as a former reporter myself, so many points you've made that indeed
in other conflicts the journalists have been non-combatan non-combatants. but it's such a chilling remi reminder this is, to me, so extraordinary lay ily unprecede we're at a time within the last 48 hours that isil daesh issued a statement that washington and rome are the next targets. and so we've just got to be vigilant. i appreciate the point you're making where we have no concession, no tribute. that doesn't mean not to negotiate. you're making a difference by raising these issues. and then it is appalling to me that there was not an effort of
military rescue. was there any reason, particularly, when you indicate that it was an exact location of 20 together. with that information, it's just appalling to me that action was not taken. and that's one question. then the next question, why was that not done. and you know, with the attack in benghazi, we're discussing who did it? what? this should be determined. and then there should be efforts to find them so, on both. what is the status of determining who these murderer are. >> those are all good questions. questions that i truly don't have the answers for. all i know is that as an american citizen, that we started to have eyewitnesses as of fall, early fall of 2013 of
exactly where jim was, and our government knew that there were three other americans and british with him. and we're quite sure that they also realized how many other allies were also together, because slowly the other of their allies were negotiating all of these people out. jim had already been held a whole year before all these other people were add. jim was one of the first. jim and british citizen john cantlie and of course austin tice who was taken in august of 2012. they were the first ones that i know of that were taken in syria. but then gradually, all these others were taken. most of them in later in 2013. and, but the other european countries got right on it. and started negotiating with the captors so that their citizens
came out. as far as where they were held, we had information throughout, starting in the fall 2013, and then diecember 2013. they were moved, but because hostages started coming out in early 2014, we received very detailed information. as a matter of fact, it became clearer and clearer at spring of 2014 went on, because these european hostages came out with very specific information. and some of them, one italian citizen came to the u.s. twice on his own dime, trying to get somebody to hear the specifics he had in terms of exact location of where they were being held. but no one wanted to hear it.
and this particularly federico came more than any of the others. some of the others hesitated to do that, because their governments had figured out a way to get them out, so they understand bring ably expected government to work with theirs to collaborate to get their citizens out, but it didn't happen, sir. >> well, and it's inconceivable with the released captives that there couldn't is be an effort determine who the perpetrators are. and -- >> don't you think? i agree with you. i'm appalled as an american, sir. >> i want to work with our chairman and get this straight. so thank you very much. i yield. >> chair will now go to mr. higgins four his statement. >> thank you. >> or questions, excuse me. >> in your testimony, you indicated that you and your family were left to negotiate
with your son's captors. with whom would you negotiate, and what was the nature of that? >> well, the only opportunity we had, mr. higgins was for a month in 2013, end of november 2013, end of november, we, out of the blue, got an e-mail saying that they had jim and they would send us -- they wanted some questions -- >> who is they? >> pardon? >> who is they? >> they really didn't want us to know. they said they were syrian rebels. they didn't identify themselves any more than that. >> so they initiated contact with you and your family? >> absolutely. but it was through a very encrypted e-mail that our fbi had no way of tracking. so they're very shrewd, sir, very shrewd. they knew how to reach us but we didn't know how to reach them. >> so you