tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 25, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EST
network to do that. >> is the idea here that, you know, the criticism here from the industry is that they would be required to build their networks so that they could then respond to every potential third-party device that wants to connect to the network. and that that would be the costly thicost ly thing to do regardless of what the capabilities of the device were. >> that's why you have standards, you come up with this is the way it will interface. one standard. this is how it works. and give consumers choice. >> so your hope is that the standards process -- sorry -- but your hope is the standards process will lead to a solution that does not require expensive network engineering? reengine reengineering. >> so let's look at how the standards process works. when wi-fi routers are standardized through a standard process, and you go from 802.11a
to b to c to d to e, on up through all the various iterations, you don't have to rebuild the network every time you do that. that's one of the things that's taken into consideration as you're doing standard. yes, sir? >> thank you, sir. david mccabe from "the hill." i'm looking a the next couple months and it seems like -- >> i'm sorry, you're what? >> a the next couple months. it seems like there may be a point where you're fighting contentious battles. the set top box item lifeline and almost certainly a privacy ruling for isps. i wonder how you expect to handle the challenge of fighting on kind of three different fronts and also whether you are concerned at all that that might make it harder to get consensus among the five of you on less controversial atim tells? >> so, again, i think the reality comes down to the fact that there is, roughly 9 0% of
the time there's consensus. all you get to see is the fun stuff. i was interested during the media coverage of justice scalia's death that one of his quotes was, you know, you'd be surprised the number of times that we agree. and i go, i identify with that. you know, i'd also lake to associate myself with some of my colleagues today that commented on that. i, too, had the privilege of knowing justice scalia, and he was a force major as they say. to your question, i think we'll be able to handle things. >> just to make clear, you're talking both about that your office and your staff will be able to have the resources to
fight these three different battles and the dynamic -- >> i'm not sure it's fight three different battles. i think it's a question of will we be able to work -- do we have the resources necessary to work the processes to try and come together with some kind of a majority consensus on the commission? i believe so. david? >> hello, chairman. david hatch, policy and regulatory report. on another topic, the top lawmakers on the senate antitrust committee just wrote the fcc warning that a merged charter, time warner cable, could interfere with online video distributors. do you share that concern? is that an issue you want to address through conditions on the deal? >> david, we're at 144 days on the shot clock. >> that's why i'm asking. >> if anybody's counting. you know i'm not going to comment -- >> can you share generally --
>> david, i'm note going going comment on this proceeding. i never comment on those. you know that. lyd lydia? >> thank you, mr. chairman. some say they have no problem negotiating paid distribution with companies that distribute content. by the sounds of it, this proceeding sounds quite complex particularly where it concerns contractual matters. how is your proposal a better method to expanding access to paid tv content? >> i don't think it's going to change the contractual relationships. what i was trying to explain in my statement is that this is -- this is giving consumers choice. it is not forcing the cable operators to change the way they do business. it's simply a question of does the signal go to a red box or a blue box? lynn? >> lynn stanton, tier daily. with regard -- you mentioned briefly the privacy would not be implicated by the set top box
item but what does that mean, are you contemplating proposing requirements on third parties or app developers or how do you plan to get at ensuring the consumers' privacy? >> good question. so the standard -- to be able to license the standards you're going to have to comply with title 6 section 631 privacy rules which apply to cable operators. >> thank you. >> yes, ma'am? >> hi. i'm with political pro. my question is kind of looking forward to lifeline. i wanted to ask, i guess, when you might see some action on lifeline and specifically on the minimum service standards issue. i know that there's been concern that the standards are are too high, will that lead to out of pocket costs or subscribers? i wanted to see how you feel about out of pocket costs for lifeline subscribers.
>> we're working hard with commissioner clyburn on this issue. i hope we'll be able to bring it forward. you'll know the answer to that quickly. >> hi, sir. some people say that the government has a poor track record of trying to force innovation. what potential risks have you considered moving forward if something like this -- lindsay with cbs, by the way. >> so the issue here is are consumers going to have competitive choices? are they going to be forced to lease a box month after month after month after month and total up, you know, several hundred dollars a month? and there will be innovative solutions to that. it is just like when the telephone company used to say, you have to lease my phone. the only phone that will work on the telephone network is my phone. and this agency said, no, we're going to open that up. and what happened?
the functionality of phones went up and the prices went down. that's the kind of thing that happens when you open things up to consumer choice, to competition, and innovation. >> what do you say to people who think the marketplace should just speak for itself? >> there is no marketplace today. 99% of consumers have no choice. that is not a marketplace. >> thank you. >> i'm tempted to ask about the mandated colors of these boxes but i think i'll wait. how can you assure the content industry that unlocking the box isn't going to unlock their security and licensing protections for their content? >> so, today, they are content -- they're happy with the security that happens when they deliver to a roku box. they're happy with security that delivers to an ipad. they're happy with security that delivers to an android device.
same story. >> question over here. will will give you the microphone. >> hi, i'm janet atkinson with rdf tv. can we expect the fcc to develop a role helping ingent programmers denver the current administration comes to the end, ;ñ new leadership will continue or abandon it all together? >> golly, i have no idea what happens. can you tell me who's going to win the next -- >> i was hoping you could. >> we're going to move forward an that will inform next steps. >> has a timeline been established for the comment period and when the next steps take place? >> yes. i think we've got 30 on that is what it is. i'm looking for my signals. yes, 30 days for comments then reply comments after that. >> thank you. >> hi. "morning consult."
i was curious about a couple of your colleagues mentioned, commissioner specifically about eliminating the box as opposed to unlocking. i was just curious about your thoughts on why you believe this path forward is better than eliminating the box altogether. >> i'm all for eliminating the box. i tried to make that clear in the statement. we're moving toward an apps economy. the only difference between an app and a piece of hardware is moving from hardware to software. it's the same exact functionality. what's important is do consumers have a choice? right now whether it's a box or an app, they don't have choice. now, you know, things get simplefied in terms of, you know, we're talking about a box. i tried to be clear in my statement, we're talking about
boxes and apps and the issue is they should both be opened and consumers should have choice in either. >> another question over here. >> matt, "communications daily." on the noi, like commissioner o'reilly pointed out, this is an issue that's come up a number of times with the fcc in the past. do you see any kind of possible areas where the fcc could make regulatory differences in this marketplace? what sorts of hypotheticals could the fcc look at? >> matt, we just published the noi and you're asking me for -- >> it's been, like, 20 minutes. >> i want to know if you have some calendar in your office or at home where it says every day 144 days on the charter time clock, 41 days until the spectrum auction starts. whatever the dates. >> the answer is fortunately for the spectrum auction, the math is simple. it's the 29th, okay? and there are 29 days in this month, so you just kind of start
counting back. >> not bad. >> i can actually do it in my head. >> i do have a real question. i promise. i would love to get a little bit inside the mind of tom wheeler. you spoke -- i know, right? scary. you spoke at length today about the set top box proposal before the vote. something that you've done in the past but not a ton. i saw -- you mentioned that you were disappointed in the stances from the republicans, i saw you shake your head a few times. given that this could have been just sort of a wonky proceeding to come out of a wonkier proceeding to come out of a wonkier bill, to be frank, you seem relatively frustrated with how this has all played out and a lot of the flak that you've gotten. tell me how you feel. >> i think you're reading things -- this is a simple question. we're trying to provide the choice for consumers that was
mandated by congress. was i disappointed that folks didn't even want to ask the question? sure, i was. i mean, the purpose of a notice proposed rule making is to say let's build the record and then make a decision on that record. and when you say, no, no, i've already made up my mind, i don't even want a build a record, i guess i didn't know i was shaking my head, but i think that's probably cause for shaking your head. >> hi, chairman. ryan barber from "the national law journal." >> hi, ryan. >> you invoked section 629 today, the communications act. you put it up on the projector screen. before your comments, commissioner o'reilly was talking about that section and how it really refers to equipment and, you know, he drew a very clear distinction between, you know, the intent of that law applying to equipment and not, you know, the software, the apps that you're talking about. how much of a concern is that
for you as we enter this rule-making stage, and is this anything that's tripped up the commission in the past in any kind of proposals? >> so, so the statute talks about equipment systems and services. i think that covers apps and everything else. >> another question on this side of the room. >> we're good. >> could i -- >> oh. sorry. john. >> i want to ask about the issue of advertising in third-party set top boxes and you said nothing will change that. so what exactly prevents a third-party set top box maker from putting advertising in? is there something that does that? is there an existing law they would be breaking? is it any different from cable card? is there any rule preventing tivo or a cable card user from
inserting ads right now? >> it's a good question, john. the rule will prohibit it. you need to have -- you need to have the sanctity of the content. nobody's going to insert ads into it. nobody's going to make a split screen where they're putting ads next to it. nobody's going to say there's a frame around it where you can say go to joe's auto repair. it's going to be -- it's going to require the sanctity of the content be passed through unchanged. >> does that include, like, the neighborhooding agreements, too, or -- >> those are -- programming agreements are included in this, and they're part of the sanctity of the concept. and one of the things that is in that first data stream that comes out is what channel it goes on. and that's still there. >> the rule specifically prohibits extra advertising, though? >> we, sir.
thank you very much. >> we have the bureaus are here for questions from the bureaus. are there questions today for the media bureau on any items? yes? okay. bill? >> hi, bill lake. happy to take your questions. >> i'm the only one? >> no, i got one. >> go ahead, sir. >> i was wondering if you can tell us the length of the comment period from the set top box. >> 30 and 60. 30 days for comment. 60 days for replies. >> you mentioned in your -- when you were presenting the set top
box item that you said something like if an mpvd offers an application, they will also be required to open up the stream to application developers. i wanted to just be clear, are they required to open up their -- those three core information streams to application developers regardless of whether or not they personally offer an application to access video content? >> yes, but that was referring to a parity rule. there's the basic requirement to provide the free information flows then what we proposed is if an mvpd provides service through an app without any need for an mvpd-provided piece of equipment, they have to provide the information in a way that will enable someone else to write an app that also won't require a piece of mvpd equipment. so it's a matter of making sure an app developed by an independent app developer will provide service on an equal
basis to one offered by the mvpd. >> okay. thank you. >> just to clarify, if they don't have an app of their own, they don't have to provide access to app developers? >> they have to provide the free information flows. this goes to the question of whether we're being a box provided by the mvpd, we are not. an mvpd may choose to implement these requirements in a way that requires a device but that's up to the mvpd. they could also do it entirely in the software and the cloud. what we're saying is if they do choose to provide service through an app without a piece of equipment provided, they have to make that capability also available to competitive manufacturers. >> is this on? can you provide a sense of when the item will be out and also more details on the two-year adoption period that was discussed? >> so what was the second part? >> more details on the two-year
adoption period. >> yes. the item -- we hope that it will be released today. if not tomorrow. certainly our goal is to get it out today. and what we've acknowledged is that there is a certain amount of standards development activity that needs to be -- needs to be undertaken by the industry in order to provide all the standards that are necessary to implement this and we think two years is an ample time for that so we've indicated we expect mvpds to comply within that two-year period. >> if an mvpd can make their content available via the open standard by using another piece of equipment if they so choose, aren't all the paid tv providers don't like this proposal are going to choose to do that thereby mandating a second box, the whole point of saving money or anything less effective? is there anything that the
commission cab do or that the mprm does that sort of promotes doing this in a simpler way rather than allowing the companies to use a second box? >> yes. we have not prescribed a specific technical standard that must be used. what we've seen is these information flows have to be provided in a standard that's openly and publicly available. we hope and expect that that standards development process will facilitate a boxless world rather than insisting on a box. as i mentioned, we have proposed a parity rule, if they do provide apps that can be used without a piece of mvpd-supplied equipment, they have to enable the competitors to do the same. >> sure. just one quick other one. you were talking about the open standards. i think the chairman mentioned, maybe he misspoke, he said -- at some point he was answering monty's question. he said one standard. am i right it can be any published open standard? >> yes. >> okay. just want to make sure.
>> is there anything in the proposal that defines a device in a way that would include or preclude a native app on a tablet or phone being considered a device if it's native to the -- >> nothing. no. >> nothing going either way? >> well, no, we contemplate that this will not lock people into hardware or software, but that the solutions can be either hardware or software or software running on hardware. >> but i was getting at was in terms of the parity requirement, if there were a tablet manufacturer or phone manufacturer that included a native app, that for the -- for the mvpds, everybody's watching on their tablets, i want to get in on that. would that then bring them under the parity requirement? >> yes. >> okay. >> yes. that would be an app that's approved or developed by the mvpd and if they're offering that then they would have to allow competitors also to offer an app that doesn't require
hardware. >> okay. thank you. >> sir, comcast has said that approving this regulation would make consumer costs go up, would make security weaken, would erode privacy. what do you say to consumers to kind of ease that? >> competition usually doesn't make costs go up. it usually makes costs go down. we think that will be the case here, and as to privacy, as the chairman indicated, we've proposed that these device manufacturers will have to respect the same privacy standards that title 6 mvpds have to. >> thank you. >> todd? >> hi, mr. lake. can you elaborate a bit on what the proposal says about neighborhooding? cable companies spend a lot on negotiating time and money, setting sports channels in one place, movies in another, big networks in another. what's it say about keeping those lineups in tact? >> what we've seen is that competitors should be allowed to offer a competitive user interface which would include, for example, one of the things that consumers have said they really want is an integrated
search capability. that's something you can get on a tivo cable card box today. i think what you need to do is sort of look at how things are developed with tivos under the cable card regime. what we're trying to do is provide something that in an i.p. world will enable the same kind of innovation to occur more generally. >> i don't know what tivo's example is, can you explain that a little bit? i've never touched a tivo or looked at one. >> what they do provide is the ability to do an integrated search across con tetent from various sources and that's something we know the c.e. manufacturers very much want to provide because it's something consumers have said that they want. so there can be the cable channel lineup but also the ability to search for a particular program and find that it's available on cable, it's available on this over the top service, it's available on that over the top service. and get those results all in one place. >> -- basketball, it would show you what's on cable, what's out on the web, et cetera, et cetera. >> right. >> thank you.
>> brian with the "washington post." a few minutes ago, the chairman said that in order to license the technology or the standard device makers will have to abide by title 6 rules and the industry says that title 6 only applies to mvpds and not to other parties. can you sort of explain what -- how the proposal addresses that? >> the proposal includes a licensing proposal under which the mvpds would be required to provide these information flows only if the entity that they're providing information flows to, the device manufacturer, agrees to comply with various requirements. what we proposed is one of the requirements is they abide by the same standards as title 6 carriers. >> will those be enforced if there is some sort of violation? >> we've raised questions about the enforcement regime.
these would be bipding commitments. one result would be the mvpd doesn't have to provide the information flows to someone who won't abide by those requirements. >> i -- >> is this digit? different? >> i have a follow-up and a question. if you want to go first. how is it mvpds will be able to verify these companies are abiding by the title 6 rules? will they be able to two in and look? will the manufacturer certify to the fcc or a different body? >> we'll ask about that. we'll be interested to get input on that. >> do you have any recommendations? >> our intention is the same privacy standards will apply in his unlock the box environment that apply to the mvpds. we propose to do that through a licensing regime and we ask questions about exactly what the enforcement mechanism should be.
>> does the mprm propose that you wouldn't recognize a standard the licensing of which did not include this title 6 privacy? is that -- i'm just kind of -- the fcc gets to be in the position of requiring these commitments because they don't license the standard. >> yes, we have authority over the mvpds. what we proposed is require them to make these free information flows available to competitive innovators, but to limit that requirement, in fact, forbid them to provide the information to innovators who won't agree to these various restrictions. >> thank you. >> okay. just a couple more. >> i just have one more which is the chairman just said that certain types of advertising, so like frames and video content, side-by-side advertising would not be allowed. you recommend they will not be allowed under the rules. i'm wondering if you can walk us
through how specifically your recommendation works. is it a general standard, is it explicitly banning certain types of -- >> you'll see that that question is teed up in the item. >> but there are no recommendations made on it? >> not as to how that would be implemented, no. >> okay. >> thank you. oh, there's one -- i'm sorry. >> thompson reuters. so the chairman keeps describing this as an information-gathering period. so trying to figure out what exactly is that? what exactly does that entail? what exactly does that look like? what's the time, i guess the timeline to move beyond that implementation? >> you're referring to the noi on programming? >> no, we're talking about the set top -- the set top box item. >> well, as to the set top box, what it is is a notice of proposed rule making. we have proposed rules. we have a comment period and reply comment period on that and
then the next step in a rule-making proceeding would likely be the development on an order based on record we'll develop. >> that's the 30 day comment period and 60 days to -- >> sorry? >> that's the 30 day -- is that what you referred to earlier as the 30 day comment period? >> yeah. 30 days then another 30 days. yes. >> okay. >> thank you very much. >> thanks. >> are there any questions on the consumer, governmental affairs bureau item? okay. and then finally on the enforcement bureau items. all right. i think we are -- yes, i'm sorry? [ inaudible ] >> i don't know. let's see. is anybody here from the enforcement bureau? then i'll get back to you. okay. all right. i think commissioners pai and o'reilly are here.
>> all right. hello, cleveland. monty, you want to lead off? >> yeah. the chairman told me that the mvpd ott thing and the set top box proceeding are not related at all and that you are wrong about them being two sides of the same plan. do you have any reaction to that? why do you think they're connected? >> i think i outlined in my statement why i think they're connected at length. 2 1/2 pages. i think it ties the two together very nicely. i think you see where you're talking to bill lake about the licensing place. i did, you know, the chairman was talking about facts and being right and wrong, i thought i would highlight one because i pulled out the law, itself. i got the old statute, you know. he mentioned the question was over here, i think, regarding
devices and it was, no, it also covers systems and some other thing i think he said. i actually highlighted the language for you. thought i'd share it. it says "of converter boxes, interactive communications equipment and other equipment used by consumers to access multichannel video programming and other services offered over multichannel video programming systems." systems. but it says the equipment, devices, equipment, converter boxes. not applications. >> you know, those applications weren't really contemplated then? >> yeah, because i actually happened to be there. that was actually my old boss' provision. we didn't contemplate an application world where you wouldn't need a set top box. as my colleague and i have highlighted in our statements, we believe there shouldn't be a need for a box. we should eliminate all the boxes. i don't know if that's something we go to congress to talk about. or something we talk to the
industry about eliminating boxes altogether. talk about saving money. that's a better opportunity than the world we're talking, heading in this path. >> earlier i asked a question to the chairman about network reengineering and the idea of a second box that mvpds might require a second box to be installed in your home in addition to a third-party box. i guess, you know, it seems like from what he's thinking that he hopes the standards process will produce some outcome that will be relatively costless for mvpds. do you see any kind of solution coming out of that process that could address that? >> hey, look, i'm hopeful for middle east peace as well, but the notion we could delegate to all the parties in the middle east, we're going to have an open standards body where jordan, syria, israel have to get together and come up in couple years with a consensus model is just not likely to happen. the same thing is true here.
that's part of the reason why i suggested that you just simply can't say, okay, we expect a mandate to issue from this on the basis of consensus. you just can't do that by government fiat. >> are consumers going to be able to tell the difference between, you know, the fcc forcing cable companies to force consumers to have another set top box versus the cable company forcing consumers to have another set top box? >> i'm not sure to whom the consumer is going to attribute the existence of the second box, but the whole point is as commissioner o'reilly has pointed out and i have as well, what consumers actually want is to eliminate the box altogether and it's telling the majority relies on this marketing slogan of "unlock the box" which is a backward looking view of where the video marketplace is going. we would much rather have an app-based video economy, one that is much better suit ted to the modern consumer and much cheaper to the consumer as
opposed to having a second box which inevitably is where the majority's proposal is going to lead. i think it's also telling, by the way, remember this is one of the two proposals that the dstacc recommended. the other was an app-based approach. we sukt suggested, look, let's have the american public have input. no, the majority was hellbent on one proposal to the exclusion of the other. this is one of the reasons i wish documents were published before we actually voted on them because if you were able to look through the dozens of pages, you'd find three paragraphs where the fcc tees up in highly slanted fashion the other proposals from the dstacc and essentially in the mold of we seek comment on why the proposal is so terrible. we seek kmchblt comment on why this proposal would harm consumersi consumers. that's not the way to tee up in a fair and full way the issues that the dstacc wrestled with
which are complicated issues as the commissioner pointed out. >> can i jump on swto your poin? there's no industry-setting body we're talking about. it's fiction that we're going to just send it to somebody and they're going to deal with it. it doesn't exist today. so i don't know who they think they're going to get it from. my colleague highlighted the middle east example. we don't have an entity that we're sending this to. you know, we're trusting that something's going to develop for consideration. so to your second part of your question, how the cost and some of the network costs, you know, we're talking years before this would actually happen. i'm pretty confident this will fall apart before we got to that point. >> i'd like to dig down a little bit on the nature of your opposition to this, particularly to the portion of this that would open up the mpvd video streams to app developers which it seems the commission is saying, or the chairman is saying, i'm sorry, would have the effect of ultimately
eliminating the box. so can you get a little closer on what the daylight is? you say we want the commission to encourage the app development ecosystem. why you don't think that portion of the item is good enough to do that. >> look, as i said in my statement, there are a number of different objections. first and foremost the item places heavy reliance on the open standards body to come up with some kind of consensus solution that would enable this open platform and the entire point i've made is that, look, what in the past gives you any confidence that in the future these particular herd of cats is going to be herded? it's very difficult to see how that's going to happen. second secondly, an issue of timing. under the notice's own approach, it's going to be two years at the very least before this takes effect. in the meantime, there's going to be rapid innovation in this marketplace we can't conceive of right now. imagine, for example, my amazon eko being what i use.
you can order an uber and domino's pizza from that. two years from now it could be a video navigation device. look at how the proposal is slyke l likely to develop. mvpds, either number one, they reconfigure their network architect so anybody can access it, right? or they put out another box that meets the specifications that this theoretical open standards body consensus comes up with. now, what we've heard from the mvpds is the second path, while suboptimal, is nonetheless much cheaper than reengineering its network architect. then you'd have consumers having a choice, i suppose, but having the choice of unwanted hardware simply doubles down on the mistaken approach from 1996. that i don't think is the right way to go. other than tharkt, though -- >> that's wonderful. you know, i just disagree with the chairman's assessment that he's supporting eliminating of
the box. i think -- you haven't had the benefit of the item. i have pushed for months you all should have this item. i think you will find -- the question was asked before, you know, how does the -- the chairman was disappointed we didn't vote, shook his head, was disappointed we didn't support his item. my colleague highlighted how forward the -- how the item goes about and there's conclusions throughout. it's not just about asking a question. it is about slanting the piece to the direction they want it to go. he's got that right to do it but he can't be surprised we're not going to agree with him slanting the direction. it's the same issue we had on the noi, i had, and my colleague had. able to get to a point that was more middle ground and more neutr neutral. i disagree on what he's saying has happened in the item in and of itself. i disagree he thinks it's happening -- that he's eliminating the box. in the application world that exists today you can go directly to the programmer and get content.
you don't have to two go if you don't want to. most programming is not tied to the cable scriptiubscription. that world is developing before our very eyes. i don't want to shut the world down by going back to a provision that was based on a hardware structure. the second point, why else do i disagree? statutory problem. i highlighted how this is about equipment. we're going to have an application world where we don't have that authority. >> sorry, one more question. you cited what the mpds are telling you as you reached your decision. the chairman is seeming to make the point, arguing that the mpvds were saying something else several years ago in support of an item like this. what do you make of the letters shown and what has been cited in some pieces and whether that factored into the way you approached the meetings with the
mpvds. >> speaking for myself, i tend to make judgments based on the facts of on the ground now, not letters submitted six years ago when the video marketplace looked dramatically different. if you look at the contemporaneous statements not just from mpvds, content community. democrats on the hill. it's a rising tide of opposition which is remarkable for its political and technological breadth and that's something the majority simply ignored. >> i'd agree e with my colleague's point, six years is an awful long time. i make my decisions based not only on parties -- the meetings they have but also on the breadth of the information. i analyze all of that and come to my decision. whether a particular industry group has a viewpoint, that's one factor. lots of factors go into my decision. not just theirs. >> david? >> commissioners, what sorts of companies do you see this as helping the most? you see it as, you know, beneficial to google and amazon
and apple and netflix at the expense of, say, comcast, at&t and other video incumbents? >> i have heard that argument. i can't say that one way or the other. >> i have no idea, but i think it's consistently been our view that the government shouldn't be picking winners and losers, and so i would hope there wouldn't be any motivation along those grounds. >> but if i could just follow up, i mean, isn't this really a proposal that goes well beyond set top boxes and is designed to encourage competition in the mark marketplace? wouldn't it elevate the googles of the world at the expense of incumbent players? >> look, it's critical not to accept the false framing of the issue. not encouraging competition in the marketplace. the entire reason we are here is because of a regulatory framework that has created a noncompetitive marketplace.
i mean, as i said in my statement, and i think commissioner o'reilly pointed out as well, we've had 20 years now of highly intrusive fcc regulation of this marketplace with the integration ban as well as the cable card regime. we've had anything but a free market competitive approach to this marketplace and that's far of the reason why we would prefer, i think, just getting rid of the box and allowing app-based economy to flourish free from these sort of technological mandates that simply aren't going to serve the consumer very well. >> i have an unrelated question for you both. commissioner o'reilly, a few weeks ago you spoke at the new american foundation on the allocation of the 5.9 gigahertz ban. you said auto manufacturers should only keep spectrum determined necessary for safety of life applications. that seems to imply that the remainder, the majority of that spectrum allocation should, in fact, be freed up, taken away from a specific allocation, freed up for sharing. can yukon firm ou confirm or cl?
>> sure. >> commissioner pai, i'm interested on your thoughts. >> i don't think i said nhtsa would verify or certify -- i didn't tie it to nhtsa in any regard. my point is i don't want to take spectrum from them. spectrum they use should be used for safety purposes. i don't want spectrum used for parking spots and host of other things that have been contemplated by many different folks including the report on different purposes that it could be used for. i'm not trying to take spectrum from them. i want the spectrum that's allocated for safety purposes that should be used for safety purposes. >> i generally agree with that approach. with respect to spectrum, your second question was which spectrum they should have? >> no. i asked whether your comments, commissioner o'reilly, implied that the remainder of the spectrum that is not used for safety of life applications should be freed up from control of the auto industry for
spectrum sharing. >> okay. >> well, we have competing proposals before the commission on how to move forward on 5.9. i think commissioners are considering which they like better, what they think is most appropriate and will hopefully be able to work through that in the coming months as we move to testing that will be overseen by the commission. so we'll get a better feel for that. there's the two different ideas whether you do a listen before talk, or whether you segregate the ban out. my purpose in making the comments, i want this ban -- this is a very valuable spectrum because it's probably the best opportunity we're going to have to expand unlicensed use in wi-fi given its proximity to the lower and midbanded 5 gigahertz. if the car industry is going to use it for safety purposes it be used for safety and not commercial purposes that can be done through other agreements.
>> lynn stanton. did you want to add? >> whether it's listen before talk or segregation of the band i think remains yet to be determined. but i'm hopeful we can get movement on this soon. it's now been going on four years since congress passed the spectrum act which teed up 5 gregahertz as the next possibility of the next generation of wi-fi. sorry. >> that's okay. lynn stanton, "tier daily." i feel pretty confident i understand you don't like the set top box mprm.daily." i feel pretty confident i understand you don't like the set top box mprm. i'm confused as to what you think the fcc should be doing in light of the fact there is a mandate in 629, right, and as you pointed out the mandate refers to equipment and devices and boxes and hardware type things and yet you want the box to go away and be replaced by an app. what should the commission do with this section 629 mandate? just ignore it? ignore what congress is telling it to do. >> i will not ignore the
provision. there are fprovisions in the statute. i think that that provision doesn't apply to the question becomes what's the best avenue? and i indicated earlier i think we should, you know -- started from a dstacc provision that asked for recommendations. it didn't have the next piece. the congress did not agree that the commission, you know, in mandate, requirement for the commission to do anything on this. they just said provide recommendations. that was accomplished. so the congress can consider what's best to do and i would leave it in their capable hands. if there are things we can provide advice to them on on how the market is changing, i'm happy to participate. i think there's value in that. but i'm not going to supersede their role. >> i would agree with that. i think it highlights, actually, one of the approaches that justice scalia used to take on the supreme court which is to say, look, be you think the law is outmoded, the solution is not to force regulatory change through an administrative
agency. obviously he would have said the supreme court. go back to congress to get them to update the law. strictly speaking, if you look at the text of 6 29, says the fcc shall adopt regulation to ensure the commercial availability of certain devices. we do have regulations on the books right now.the commercial certain devices. we do have regulations on the books right now. this notion the majority is finding a quick constructionist approach to the statute, i wish they'd embrace it in other areas as well. they say, look, our hands are tied, the statute says we have to have these regulations. it's completely wrong. we have regulations now. the regulations have not solved the problem. in fact, they only made the problem worse. what we're saying is why don't we simply encourage the development of this second proposal? this app-based approach? it would be much better, would reduce costs for consumers, wouldn't embroil the fcc in trying to herd cats for a number of years and ultimately isn't going to satisfy the purposes of the original statute. >> margaret harding with "political pro." my question is for commissioner o'reilly. i wanted to hear a little bit more about what your concerns
were with notice of inquiry on the independent programmers issue. i mean, i think you mentioned it looked like it was a regulatory push. i was hoping you could expand on that a little bit in terms of regulation. >> i think you got a chance to read my statement in whole. what i said was the item as presented certainly had a tilt to it and a direction that they sought. the authors sought. i think my colleague and i had very good effect in trying to bring language to make it more neutral and, therefore, get to basic questions that will hopefully, you know, facilitate some type of record at some point. whether some action should be taken or no action should be taken. but i was highlighting throughout my statement, it's not, you know, the point was made this is beginning a conversation. a couple of my colleagues said, oh, we're starting a conversation. the truth is this conversation has been going on for decades. this is not a new kfconversatio. i highlighted five or six different examples of many where we looked at this issue, congress looked at this issue. it's been tied into merger
conditions on a number of different settings. so it's not something that's new. we're going to continue to have this conversation going forward. and i was getting to that point. and yet my colleagues wouldn't take a simple modification to language and say we seek information instead of beginning a conversation that began before, you know, i was working on these issues. >> hi. jim with the "l.a. times." set top box rentals bring in a lot of revenue to the mpvds. apps and some fcc rule making, what would be the motivation for them to step away from that? you could argue some of these trials that have just been rolled out -- what would their motivation to be move away from a highly lucrative rental situation right now? >> it's technically difficult and expensive to maintain the boxes. hardware is not a growth industry for most companies nape.
they would much rather move the functionality to an app-based platform especially in an i.p. world, accomplish for a fraction of the cost what the set top boxes do. predate any suggestion the fcc might have made in the notice by a number of years. it's been a couple years since we've seen the flourishing of the apps. i think they're doing it because it's simply good for the business and serendipitously good for a number of consumers. i think about how i consume video now all the m[cyñótime. i can use a crackle app or go to vine and watch different short clips. e sarks ray who i mentioned in my statement, i watched her on her own website. there are so many different ways to get content now that this conversation smacks of 199 6 as opposed to 2016. >> i would agree with what my colleague said. i would add to it a number of cable companies have been testing no boxes for quite a bit of time. i remember at the cable show last year, two years ago they
were looking at, you know, significant companies were trying to figure out is this the direction we should go, what are the technical issues we need to deal with? that's a thoughtful conversation to have. it had nothing to do with what we adopted today. they were trying to move to that universe for multiple different reasons. the number of financial industry analysts have argued that they're already trying to get rid of the box industry on their balance sheets going forward. so it's not something that we just we created up here. my colleague and i. it is something that has been talked about for quite a bit of time and the activity of today will just stunt that problem. >> standards technology or cable systems, but you guys have talked about, you know, this, perhaps, like mythical standards body that you're -- i know there is something called dlna which seems to do that sort of thing. they have members that are -- include a lot of these companies.
i talked to them a few weeks ago, it was a relatively brief conversation but their message was generally, yeah, we're following what the fcc is doing and would be interested, again, paraphrasing there. you guys seem like really, think it's a high likelihood that the standards things won't work out. it seems like there's something there we could work with. what am i missing there? >> i think this is a good example of what my former administrative law professor used to call an incompletely theorized agreement. let's get involved in that conversation. when it comes time to put pen to paper, a year from now, two years from now and have to have highly technical and specific decisions made, that is where i think the rubber is going to meet the road and i think that's where the tenner of the conversation we've seen leading up to this notice is really going to be brought to bear.
if you think these highly disparate actors are going to sit in room and con to a consensus, great. the dtacc's results suggest that's not going to be the case. if you think that, the notice is tailor made to you. >> two parts. none of the entities had an opportunity to read what the commission put forward. i'd be interested in your thoughts after the fact. i agree with what my colleague just said. we were talking about a universe that's much different envisioned than what people have been talking about. if you read the report it's a good inch and a half thick, not going to see the kumbaya movement. you're seeing aiú4't.oç fractu combative experience that will take years. i disagree with the idea it's going to be simple, the industry body would magically come together and find a solution.
>> commissioner o'reilly has long been leading the charge for public release of the proposals three weeks before we vote on them. a lot of foundational questions wouldn't have to be asked if you, yourself, could see it before we voted on it and i think the whole other questioning about the insertion or removal -- there's nothing that requires a manufacturer from removing an ad or layering over another ad. i've read it, commissioner o'reilly read it. this is the case. the best way to prove us wrong would be to release the document. until then we're simply having battles of talking points up here. i wish we would embrace the openness and transparency as the american people would expect us to.
>> when we talk about this question of equipment over software, i want to mare sure i'm understanding the upshot of this. commissioner o'reilly, are you going so far to say the fcc is not within its statutory authority here or are you using this argument to say it's a misguided effort? >> so it's an mprm. what authority do we have? i'm arguing the statute doesn't provide that. i was there, worked on this. i'm pretty familiar with we wrpt thinking about an app universe when the words were used. they may ask the question do we have authority to go in this direction?
commissioner, you briefly weighed in on this. a little bit ago. if you can elaborate on where you stand here in terms of the reading of 629. >> i defer to my colleague on that. obviously he was well versed in the legislative history having worked on it but my point was simply the notion that 629 is an affirmative mandate in 2016 we have to adopt view this to your adoption period.
with the proceeding that was launched today and as you say, the mvpds are all moving toward an app-based environment because they don't want to have boxes on their books, boxes they're making $8 per subscribers per month. >> i didn't get the impression that everyone was. >> but anyway, so what then >> you're not making the business decisions for them. as a consumer i'm sort of picturing, i end up paying $8 a month for an app, with no choice of a different app. it's not like there's a lot of different navigational apps on my tablet. there's only one app that's going to get me the content i'm paying for. and so is that a good outcome? you don't think that's a likely outcome? it's going to be mvpd's will be given away for free and the app
will be nice? >>. >> what did yoda say, it's always difficult to predict the future. i think we're involving to a place where consumers will be able to get rid of the set top box. whether it's a proprietary app. i mention crackle. a lot of consumers have cut the cord and use apps like that to use the content they want. i don't think you're going to be able to say consumers will be locked into this settop box forev forever. i think it's going to be an app based economy that will take over. what shape it is, we don't know. >> two parts. the chairman had said some indicator eluded to the fact
that some cable company may be renting the apps today. i'm not aware of that occurring. most of them are giving away. they're available on the operating systems. i'm not aware of anyone charging for apps today. i also was describing a universe which i'm not predicting. i don't want to get into that game. i'm describing a universe that may occur, you're going directly to the programmer. you see the sports leagues consider -- offering their content directly over the top. you see skipping the need for an mvpd. there's a universe whether that programming may already be -- i can go to cbs and get that programming, separate from having a confirmed subscription with my cable provider. there are -- i can see a universe, and i'm not going to say i'm going to predict the universe, i can see a way where the programmers don't need an mvpd going-forward. i see a universe, where we're not talking about channels any
more. you talk to consumers, you talk to millennials, that's supposed to be the new growth. you want to know what's going to happen in the marketplace. faulk to someone between 14 and 24 they don't even have loyalty to a particular channel. they have different viewing habits, that's a possibility where the market may go. >> obvious ly, the sanctity of the program will be protected, you won't be able to wrap ads around it or reinsert them. there's nothing in that there now that goes to that point as well. >> do they propose any measures regarding that. >> you'll get a chance to read
the language, generally i appreciate, the concept of market forces, here it's used as a complete punt. it doesn't answer the question that he perceived to answer. >> thanks, everyone. c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tomorrow morning, georgia republican congressman doug collins who's a member of the judiciary and foreign affairs committee will join us. he'll discuss the war in syria, gitmo and how president obama should proceed to fill the supreme court vacancy. ben wickler will be on to talk about campaign 2016, their endorsement of bernie sanders and the organization's thoughs.s
be sure to watch washington journal on c-span tomorrow morning. now an update from capitol hill. >> corbin hires natural resources reporter for environment and energy news. what's the purpose of this sports man's bill the house is taking up. >> the bill called by supporters the share act is aimed at increasing lands for hunters and anglers. >> in terms of firearms. how would this proposed change that? >> there are a number of provisions in the bill. saw it easier to do things like bring firearms on army core of engineer lands.
another provision would allow folks to carry bows and unarmed loaded weapons into areas where there are tighter gun restrictions as well. this bill is supported by the nra as well as many sports mans groups. >> how does this bill address the issue of importation of african elephant trophies and the -- also the issue of polar bear hunting trophies. >> the bill has two provisions which would affect endangered species. the polar bear provision, the he white house has not weighed in on. there were regulations under the endangered species act.
this would allow the -- those trophies which are now stored up in canada to be imported to the u.s. in terms of the ivory, there's a provision that would make it -- block the fish and wildlife services to clamp down on the domestic trade of ivory. supporters of this provision say that would make it harder for people to sell antiques and to make family heirlooms less valuable. >> the co chairs the sports mans caucus in the house. does that caucus have democratic members and does this bill have democratic support. >> it does. and the democrats)mir who suppo
the legislation largely hail from the sports mans caucus. it has the backing of both the chairman and vice chairman of the sports man's caucus. that's gene green who's the vice chairman of texas and tim walls of minnesota, who's the chairman. >> what about, you write about the white house view. your headline in environment and energy news. obama stopped short of veto threat for sports man's bill. you write the white house yesterday evening raised serious concerns about the sports man's heritage and recreational enhancement act. stopped short to veto the share act. what doesn't the white house like about the bill. >> it's concerned about the ivory provision. there's another provision in the bill that would block the
administration from regulate in led bullets. the lead accumulates in their blood and can kill them. this has been a particular problem with the california condor. there is also concerns that provisions that would allow restrictions for hunting roads and shelters could chip away at the wilderness act and the national environmental policy act. so there's a lot in there that the administration is concerned about. it supports the overall aim of the legislation which is why it stops short of a veto threat. >> for reporting on this story and more, follow corbinhire on twitter. thanks for the update.
the house will continue work on the hunting and fishing bill following morning hour tomorrow. >> we'll bring you live gavel to gavel coverage starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> book tv has 48 hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend on c-span 2. here are some of the programs to watch for this weekend. saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern. david randall of the national association of collars talks about some of the books incoming college freshmen are asked to read before the first day of class. sunday at 9:00, former nsa and cia director michael hayden gives an inside< security. he's interviewed by james cia director in the clinton administration. >> metadata is the outside of the envelope for electronic
communication. as you said, american law enforcement traditionally has been able to look at the outside of the envelope. the supreme court decided that the fact of your phone call who you called, when, for how long was the outside of the envelope. >> second of state john kerry returned to capitol hill today for the second time this week. to testify on his department's 2017 budget request, totaling $50.1 billion. this house foreign affairs committee hearing is over 3:15. >> this hearing will come to
order. this morning the committee once again welcomes secretary of state john kerry to consider the department's budget request. when secretary kerry last appeared before us, he was presenting the obama administration's nuclear agreement with iran. in the seven months since the administration got its agreement and the middle east has been transformed and not for the better, now with access to 100 billion in unfrozen assets and sanctions wiped away, iran has instantly become the dominant country in the region. the revolutionary guards, already iran's most powerful economic actor in the words of the treasury department will only grow more powerful with international investment. the committee has deep concerns about the way the obama administration and apparent
deference to tehran -- mr. secretary the committee still awaits a detailed response to it's many questions about a surprised $1.7 billion payment to the iranian regime that cone sided with the release of several americans. look no further than syria for the horrible consequences of an emboldened iran. . the slaughter continues. while the secretary does his best to broker some sort of cease-fire, the fact remains that russia, iran and assad are calling the shots on the ground. the administration says there's no military solution to the conflict in syria yet as far as putin and assad see it, there very much is. russia's backing of assad means
that isis only grows elsewhere. the isis jv team has gone global, capable of striking in europe, asia, africa and here at home some 50 isis linked groups have carried out attacks in over 20 countries. in the failed state of libya, isis has doubled in size, now it has 6,000 fighters in libya. every day isis advances, it draws recruits to plot new attacks abroad. just what is the department's strategy to counter violent extremism. looking toward asia, the committee met yesterday with the chinese foreign minister and reminded him that the south china sea must remain open to international shipping and any disputes should be resolved peacefully. even after the latest north
korean nuclear test, chinese pressure on the regime is weak fortunately, the president just signed into law this committee's north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act. it's now up to the president to enforce this law aggressively to cut off the funds now flowing to the kim regime in north korea. after years of congressional pressing, this budget does acknowledge the need to respond to russia's weaponization of information and to isis propaganda. the broadcasting board of governors, the international broadcasting agency that your predecessor called defunct. remains in desperate need of an overall. mr. secretary, working together, we can, we must fix this. facing a chronic budget deficit, even good programs may not be supportable at levels we'd like
that's why i'm proud that this department's training facility helped to save the taxpayers over $500 million. i now recognize the ranking member for any opening comments he may have. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary as always welcome to our committee. we work very hard on this committee to keep it the most bipartisan committee in congress. i want to thank you for your distinguished service to our country. i know you sat on this side of the dias and we're grateful for everything you do. >> i will get into a few specifics, even if we all listed our top 10 foreign policy priorities we would just be scratching the surface. . i cannot remember a time when so much was happening at one time. all at once.
if you threw a dart, you may find financial interest may not be a priority today. what happens if we don't provide resources to help consolidate democratic gains, what happens to the asia rebalance if we neglect security cooperation. what happens if we say tackling climate change and protecting the environment just need to wait? the issues we ignore today will be the fires burning out of control tomorrow stopping an on going crisis is a much costlier business than prevents one. we need a robust foreign policy, we need to invest in diplomacy in order to tackle all of these challenges, we need to make the case that modest investments today will pay back huge dividends for our security and prosperity tomorrow we need to show that american leadership is
always a sure thing. if we're not doing this work around the world, no one else will. let me turn to a few particulars. i know and you know we must continue to hold iran's feet to the fire, we must make sure that they adhere to the agreement, to the letter of the law. i'm glad the administration imposed new sanctions. we need to continue making sure iran is following its nuclear deal obligations to the letter. we need to crack down on iran's other destructive behavior. iran continues stirring up trouble throughout the region from sending irgc commanders to syria to spreading instability in lebanon, to being the main supporter of hez bala. we need to do what it takes to curb iran's mischief, especially in the state of israel, which
iran poses an existential threat to. in syria, i don't foresee a quick end to the crisis, especially now that russia has provided us a lifeline. humanitarian assistance and we should support the administration's $4.1 billion request. food and supplies won't end this conflict. we need to push for resolution to get assad out of power. we also need a knew aumf giving the president what he needs to defend isis. turn to ukraine, it's fighting again intensifies, we cannot take our eye off the ball. ukraine's top priority should be rooting out corruption and reform, we need to support these efforts, we need to work with ukraine. we need to be a partner of ukraine, a stronger, more prosperous ukraine stands a better chance of turning putin back.
speaking of putin, we need to let him know we will never acquiese to his position on crimea. any talk of sanctions relief for russia is premature, so long as ukraine doesn't control its own eastern border. we must do more to counter russian propaganda, we feel very strong about the fact that people in the russian language sometimes only hear on the air what putin wants them to hear. they get a very unbalanced view. we need to move in there and make sure they get a balanced view. let me applaud president obama for what he's done over the last year. we should support the president's billion bill for south america. fewer children will attempt the
dangerous trek. our top ally in the region colombia is nearing a historic peace agreement, just after we've supported colombia throughout this conflict we should continue to stand with colombia's people. turning to argentina. the new government's desire to work more closely with the u.s. is a good sign. we've urged the president to prioritize this. and we're glad he's traveling there next month. the zika virus may soon touch every country in the hemisphere and the connection between zika and a birth defect creates greater urgency. women need the right tools and information to choose whether and when to have children, particularly with this virus
running wild. we continue to see the importance of investing in global health. the president's budget request is strong but we should focus on the right priorities. tb is the world's number one infectious killer. to mr. secretary i could go on and on, i look forward to hearing from you on these and other concerns. again, thank you, i yeel back, mr. chairman. >> this morning we are pleased to be joined by john kerry, the 68th secretary of state. he served as senator for massachusetts. mr. secretary welcome again. without objection the witness's full prepared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit any statements or questions or any other material
for the record we want as many members as possible to have a chance to have a question to question the secretary and accomplish that. i would just ask every member and the witness, let's try to stick to the time limit and that means leaving an adequate amount of time for the secretary to answer your questions. if we ask our questions succinctly we can get through the members of the committee. with that, we'll begin with a summary of mr. secretary, your testimony thank you again. >> thank you very much. ranking member engle, all the members of the committee. i'm privileged to be here to have a chance to present the 2017 budget. to answer your questions and i know mooar of them will be with respect to policy. i will try to be rapid in this opening. first our request for resources this year are $50 billion is
equal as ranking member engle reminded everybody to about 1% of the entire federal budget. one penny on the dollar is everything we do with respect to diplomatic security, development security, relationship security, all the things we do with our embassies a.i.d., everything. i would suggest respectfully the members of this committee, it is a minimum price for the leadership that we offer to the wor world. that we are currently engaged, in is many hotspots, many difficult challenges, because of the transform atiation taking p in the world right now. we're engaged in more places simultaneously than at any time that i can remember in my public life. the scope of that engagement is frankly essential. to protect the interests of our
country to project our values and provide for the security of the united states. we're confronted today by perils that are as old as nationalist aggression. state actions. and as new as cyber warfare. nonstate actors who are the principal protagonists in today's conflicts. also by violent extremists. who combine modern media techniques with mid evil thinking, in order to wage war on civilization itself. despite the dangers, i come to you unabashedly ready to say that we americans, i think have many and profound reasons for confidence.
in recent years, our economy has added more jobs than all of the rest of the industrial world combined. our military our armed forces are second to none. my friends, it's not even close our alliances in europe and asia are vigilant and strong and growing stronger with the tpp and with the rebalance. and our citizens are frankly unmatched with any country in the world with their generosity and commitment to humanitarian causes to civil society and freedom. >> we hear a lot of verbal hand ringing today, but i for one will tell you that despite my deep respect and affection for my colleagues that i have worked with these last three years plus, i wouldn't switch places with one foreign minister in the world. i certainly don't want to see the united states retreat to
some illusion airy golden age given the conflicts and challenges that we face in the world today and the need to project our values and protect our interests and build the security of our nation. i frankly think that here and now we have enormous opportunities that we are seizing. in the past year, with great debate here, obviously and many people who chose to oppose it, we reached an historic multilateral accord p 5 plus one that has cut off that will country's pathways to a nuclear weapon. it has made the world safer because they no longer have the capacity to build that bomb. in paris, in december, we joined governments for more than 190 nations, it's not insignificant that 190 nations agreed on
specific steps comprehensive agreement to curb greenhouse gas emission emissions. witness the drought in california, the increase flooding, the increased numbers of fires, the intensity of storms, the fact that we spent about $8 billion in response to the intensity of those storms over the course of the last year alone, compared to the minimal cost that we are asking you to provide the global climate fund. in addition, we signed the trans pacific partnership, which will ensure the level playing field for american businesses and workers and reassert the united states leadership to a region that is vital to our interests. we are quadrupling support, giving russia a very clear
choice between sanctions and meet i meeting actions in ukraine. there are still hurdles in civil conflict. we're working at it, aiding our partners in central america to implement reforms that will reduce the pressure for illegal migration. in asia we're standing with our allies and threats posed by a belligerent north korea. we are encouraging resolution of competing maritime claims in the south china sea. with friends in fast growing africa, we have embarked on specific initiatives to combat hunger, to promote health, to empower women, to fight back against such terrorist groups as el shabaab and boko haram. violent extremism extends far
beyond any one region and will not be addressed simply by military means, the approach we have adopted is a comprehensive and long term one. we are striving to end conflicts that fuel extremism such as those in libya and yemen. as everybody here knows, we have forged a 66 nation coalition to defeat dash, and we will defeat dash. we've just moved with troops that we support on -- we are making enormous progress there. we have, together with the enormous efforts of the iraqi military now liberated 40% of the territory that was taken by dash. there are many other things we can discuss. we're assisting the government
in baghdad as it seeks to professionalize its security forces and through the international syria support group which we formed, put together we have helped design a plan that has result in the delivery of a possible cessation of hostilities to take place on saturday. we have a team that will be working in geneva and another team working in the next couple days directly with the co chairs, the russians in an effort to try to encourage that process to take hold. i will say for the first time in years, 5 or 6 communities have received 114 trucks of humanitarian assistance and some 80,000 people now have supplies for a month that didn't have it a week ago before we were able to seal that agreement. my hope is, i know it's very difficult.
my hope is that we can work out a modality in the next few days that will see this take hold. we're calling on every eligible party to take part in this. i would close by saying, mr. chairman, this is the last budget of the obama administration, the last one we will submit to this committee on behalf of american foreign policy and the security of our country. there is nothing that i as secretary or personally as a citizen take more seriously than protecting the security of our country. i ask for your fair consideration, council, support. and backing this budget. above all i want to say thank you to all of you for the extraordinary privilege of being able to work with you in support
of an agenda that reflects the best hopes and values of our country, i am convinced when you analyze the challenges of the world today, this budget reflects the best hopes of the world, that's what america's leadership is all about i thank you and look forward to your questions. >> we're going to move as quickly as possible so we can get to as many members here as we possibly can. let me start with the observation that since just last month we've seen major foreign economic developments in terms of investment in iraq, 20 million on the part of airbus. a half a billion to modernize a car factory from peugot. these companies are government backed many of them.
and we have chinese and we have russian investment. in the face of this flood. isn't snap back really just an empty threat? ? hasn't the dam broken? >> not at all mr. chairman. not in the least. every country that you've just mentioned, china, russia, france, britain, germany are all agreed and signed up to and have voted for a united nations resolution that says snap back will take effect if iran were to engage in an egregious unsolvable violation of the jcpoa. in the dw#çmeantime, mr. chairm they are going 8muz do what th are>ia permitted to do' ahú#6áy which is do business those links will&gxh ultimatel degree.
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as i can. on iran, let me just inform everybody here that the irgc has pulled its troops back from syria. the ayatollah pulled significant number of troops out there, their presence is actually reduced in syria. number two, that doesn't mean they're still not engaged and active in the flow of weapons from syria to de mass cass to lebanon. we're concerned about that and it's an ongoing concern. the other thing is, this money, i keep hearing this figure of 100 billion, 150 billion. iran is not going to get 100 or 150 billion. and that figure is not accurate,
it's more our estimates are somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 55 million at some point in time. they are complaining about the slowness with which there has been a process of repatriation. i urge you to go to the intel piece, get the briefing on what is happening with the irgc and the flow of money. with respect to iran's behavior in the region we have been deeply engaged with our gcc friends, i've had three or four meetings with them since last summer. i'm meeting with them against shortly we've engaged in a major plus up of our military exercise, military cooperation. military support. we are joining with them, in an active effort to push back against other activities, we're part of the coalition that's been supporting the saudis. and the amaratis and others who
pushed into yemen to protect saudi arabia. and i believe we may even now as a result of those efforts, find a rainness in a political process that might be able to help resolve that. on syria, iran has come to the table together with russia to agree to two communications in vienna and a united nations security council resolution outlining a framework for the politician resolution of syria. i'm not here to vouch for the words. there is at least a framework on paper which we are now following with the hopes of getting back to the discussion in geneva in the next week with the support of iran and russia. we're going to have to put that to the test. we're not sitting here saying it's going to happen automatically, if there's going to be a political settlement, the only way to get there is with the agreement and the consents of all the parties.
all the stakeholders are at the table for the first time. we're hopeful we can press that forward and at least come to you with a notion in a matter of months and weeks. they're either serious or they're not. if they're not serious, we're going to have to be talking with you about whatever plan b is going to be. if there's a prayer of holding syria together unified as a whole country without further migration challenges to europe and jordan and lebanon and the rest of the region. we must pursue some kind of a political process. with respect to europe, we have engaged in a significant plus option. the budget goes from 700 million up to 3.4 billion. in our support for the forward deployment of both troops rotating support structure and assistance to europe, i won't go
into all the details now. maybe i'll submit it for the record. i want to say to you there's a robust effort going on on the front line state support and support for ukraine. pushing on minsk. president obama has had three or four conversations with president put in the course of the last months from the united nations meeting on, in every one of them he spends probably 50% of the time at least on the issue of ukraine and full implementation in mincement and responsibility of protecting the sovereignty of ukraine. we're engaged on those fronts i think our support is welcomed. >> we're going to go to the congresswoman from florida. >> i hope we're opposed to the schemes to achieve unilateral
peacehood. i remain opposed to your administration's offer continually to get a waiver to the law that prohibits u.s. funds from going to enesco. i will continue to fight every effort by the administration to get a waiver to that law. in its last months of legacy shopping as it tries to check off the remaining goals of its misguided foreign policy is your administration going to abstain from a vote on a french resolution at the u.n. supporting palestinian statehood. i'll ask you to definitively answer here this morning. will the united states veto any resolution at the u.n. supporting palestinian statehood, yes or no? >> i don't know of any resolution by the french specifically. >> if there were? >> we have always opposed any
one sided resolution, something that is unfair to israel. >> thank you. >> moving on to the administration's shameful concession policy toward cuba that has turned its back on human rights advocates. yes or no, are human rights in cuba a priority for this administration? >> of course they are. >> how do you explain this year's budget request for even less democracy funding for cuba while repression is worse than ever before, and you're about to travel to cuba for your second visit. yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the shootdown of the brothers to the rescue planes resulting in the murder of innocent americans. will you commit to the families of these victims today that you will seek the extradition of castro regime officials responsible for the shootdown?
>> let me just say that we are engaged actually more directly on human rates than we ever have been or are capable of being, we have negotiated additional diplomatic presence in cuba. we have negotiated the right for our diplomats to travel -- >> you're aware that over 8,000 people were arrested since the summer -- the 17th announcement -- >> when you say arrested, you mean -- >> detaining, human rights advocates, whatever you would like to call people who are being held outside of their will. >> people were indeed detained. there were -- we are very much aware of that and we have objected to that. >> i could just thank you, mr. secretary. >> getting people released who previously have not been.
>> yes, some who had not been released were put on the list and rearrested so they could be released again. and some who were released -- anyway, that's very interesting about that list of freed people that will castro plays, i hope we're not silly enough to believe that. i wonder if you know, which illegally confiscated u.s. property you'll be holding a press conference while in havana. last year you held a press conference in the hotel nationale. the owner still has a u.s. certified claim for its majority interest in the hotel. do you know which illegally confiscated property you will stop the at this time? and finally, will you commit to this committee you will pressure castro to unconditionally return to the united states new jersey cop killer joanne chessimard.
does any of it matter to this administration? >> it imaginers hugely. we believe we have created more opportunities for intervention, more opportunities to make progress. one in four people in cuba are now beginning to work for private enterprise. >> how do you explain the massive exodus of cubans leaving the island since the -- >> do you want an answer or do you just want to ask a question. >> but you're talking about small business owners, i'd like to go to that optometrist. those rose colored glasses are amazing. there have been massive arrests and massive exodus and we talk about this nonexistent entrepreneurial class in cuba. >> we have more visits taking place with various groups who are going to cuba and engaging with the cuban people than ever
before in the last 50 years of our policy. >> therefore -- >> we believe there's a greater chance of changing cuba than anything in the last 50 years. >> we need to go to mr. gregory meeks of new york. time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary i want to thank you for the great work you've been doing i want to ask three quick questions in the spirit of what the chair has asked us and give you an opportunity to answer those questions. the first question deals with the situation in turkey as it moves -- specifically i'm referring to tensions and conflict between turkey and the kurdish community. i think the details are important because we're working well with the syrian kurds in the fight against isil. the depositions have deepened,
specifically since the tragic events in ankora. how is turkey's tensions with the occurreds effect or ongoing fight against dash and the end of the humanitarian strategy there what role if any can the united states play. secondly, different part of the world as you indicated in your opening statement, i'm delighted that we were able to share the 15th anniversary of colombia with president santos here, and now we're talking about peace colombia which i think is important. as we hopefully get to an end of that situation there. i'm concerned about how we make sure that african colombians are included in the 450 million that's there. >> you also mentioned that we have concluded the negotiations in asia on tpp.
if we do not vote here in the united states to support the administration's negotiations, what set backs if any will it have for us in the region. will they have a strategic advantage over us? >> thank you very much, congressman, i appreciate the questions, let me move quickly through them. turkey is our nato ally, we work closely with turkey. they have enormous interests in what is happening there. we are very sensitive to this challenge of their concern about the pkk, their concern about the links of the pkk and ypg and so forth. we need to respect turkey's concerns and we will, we have we
believe, going-forward is very important that there not be a different problem created by the short term solution of working with the occurreds and then that creates a longer term challenge for all of us in the region. on the other hand we've also needed to have some people on the ground who are prepared to push back against daesh. kobani is an example of that. we were able to hold kobani and drive daesh out of kobani as a result of kurd support. and the peshmerga particularly with respect to the north component that northeast component of -- northwest component of iraq have been particularly helpful and engaged. they were essential to a number of successful military initiatives to push daesh back
and, in fact, there are different kurds because some are more prepared and more comfortable working with turkey than others are, and those divisions are very complicated and need to be managed carefully. bottom line to your question is, we are talking with the turks right now about ways to proceed that don't cross important lines for them and that respect the sensitivities of the region and i'm confident we will be able to do that. with respect to peace colombia, we've committed as you know, and it's in the budget, a very important demining initiative which could take place in the aftermath of an agreement. there's still some difficult issues to resolve in the context of the agreement and we're encouraging that process. president obama has appointed bernie aaronson as an envoy to those talks. he has the respect and
confidence of president santos and the other participants. i may well be meeting with some of them shortly in the next days depending on how events flow. there are many countries that are supportive of this effort. and our hope is that we can resolve the transitional justice issues and the victims issues which are two of the most critical ones outstanding at the moment. on the tpp, folks, you know, i know -- i've been part of trade debate on the hill for 28 plus years i served in the senate. i know how difficult it is. i was there when nafta passed and we went through some enormous transitions. this agreement is different from any trade agreement that i saw in any of the time that i was here because labor requirements, environment requirements are boldly within the four corners
of the agreement and because this is essential, frankly, to raising the business standards of the region. it eliminates 18,000 taxes on american goods that can be exported into the region. it's a benefit to american workers. it will create jobs here in america. and it will profoundly impact the standards going forward for the protection of intellectual property, protection under cyber and for our ability to raise the transparency and accountability by which people do business. if this doesn't pass, then we're rejecting the most important economic initiative and unifying moment of i think the last, you know, 20, 30 years. and we would be turning our back on american leadership in that endeavor. and then leave to people who want to race to the bottom, the standards for doing business,
the absence of transparency, the absence of efforts to counter corruption, to deal with reform. important reforms are contained in this tpp. and i simply urge you, look at it, analyze it, i believe in the end you will agree this is not like any prior trade agreement and i believe takes us to a much better place and reinforces american leadership in the region. >> mr. chris smith of new jersey. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, mr. secretary, for your service. a couple of questions. when i learned late last year the administration was contemplating massive crimes against yazidis for genocide but not christians i attended a hearing. the yazidis were on the verge of annihilation but the yazidis and christians face this genocide together.
the bishop testified, christians have encountered genocide in the obama administration refuses to recognize their plight. dr. george stanton testified, failure to call isis' mass murder of christians, muslims and other groups in addition to the yazidis by its proper name genocide would be an act of denial as grave as u.s. refusal to recognize the rwanda genocide in 1994. my first question is when and will christians and other minority faiths be included in a genocide designation and secondly, last year a reuters investigative report, it was a very in sitive report and without objection i would ask it be made part of the record found that tier three recommendations made by the trafficking in persons office experts in 14 instances including malaysia, china, cuba, india and oman, were rejected further up the
chain of command at state and artificially given a clean bill of health for other political purposes. i convened a hearing. johnson testified in november. i asked a lot of pointed questions about who made these decisions, were there other political factors involved. she was very tight lipped. very good person but did not convey information. can you assure us because the new tip report will be coming out very shortly that that won't happen again this year. credibility of the tip report in speaking truth to power and defending victims against these heinous crimes of sex and labor trafficking as you know because you were a strong supporter of it as a senator and as secretary of state. we got to get the book right. what you do with that is all up to the administration in terms of penalties and sanctions, but the book has to speak truth to power by getting it right. 14 instances. can you respond? >> yes, i can, and i will respond. i'm responsible for that report. i accept responsibility for that
report. i made the decision about malaysia. and i made it strictly on the merits. and, in fact, malaysia has made improvements, increased prosecutions, increased investigations, has passed amendments on anti-trafficking. it has passed amendments on providing better law enforcement protection. it has issued regulations in consultation with ngos, and it has increased law enforcement efforts to prosecute and to convict and it had additional convictions. now, you know, you have to make a judgment in some of these cases. but i will absolutely vouch for the integrity of this process. we have a very detailed year long effort where people are measuring and i have instructed our embassies to be engaged year long in working with countries to try to give them time to make
changes to respond to our needs. sometimes you are better off working with encouraging and getting people to do something than just slamming them in a report and finding that they say well the hell with them and they walk away and they don't respond. we found in the case of malaysia and some other countries, we've actually been able to make progress. but i can assure you this report will demote somebody who deserves to be demoted and call it as we see it. i don't think anybody, but i'm responsible -- >> with respect, cuba, china, oman, we were told that oman because they helped on the negotiation with iran, cuba because of the rapprochement that's occurred and china, when it comes to sex trafficking, because of the missing girls, tens of millions of missing girls has become the ultimate magnet for pimps who are turning women into commodities and selling them across borders into
china. it is i believe the worst violator in the entire world in terms of the massive numbers. so i would hope china would be looked at. again on the christian designation. >> i'll come back to that. i do want to speak to that very much. let me say to you, each of these are real judgments that we make. that i make, ultimately. on cuba, cuba was upgraded to a tier two watch list from tier three because it did make significant efforts to address and prosecute sex trafficking including the conviction of 13 sex traffickers and it provided more services to sex trafficking victims. the government provided training to cuban officials to address sex trafficking, the ministry of tourism reached out to address sex tourism and reduce the demand for commercial sex and committed to reform their laws in accordance with the u.n. protocol. now if that doesn't happen then
there's a measurement to try to go backwards but we felt that in each of these cases there was progress. now i would put on the record here today, we're concerned that the government of cuba has not recognized forced labor as a problem. criminalized forced labor. or reported efforts to prevent it and so there are things that we need to do going forward. and that's what we'll measure. on the christian issue, i share your concern very, very much. again, this is a judgment that i have to make. i will make it. and any reports that we have made a decision to the contrary that it's not -- that decision has been made not to are incorrect. doesn't mean we made a decision to do so. this has to be done on the basis of the legal standard with respect to genocide and the legal standard with respect to crimes against humanity. i have asked our legal department to evaluate, to
re-evaluate, actually, several observations that were circulating as part of the vetting process of this issue, and i'm concerned about it and i will make a judgment. i'll also try to do so very, very soon. we know this is hanging out there. >> we need to go to the gentleman from new jersey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for all your hard work. i want to go back to the topic of cuba. i know we've had this issue of 50 years but there seems to be more repression in the last ten years, in this past year than in the last ten years. i was wondering with all the people going back and forth to cuba are any efforts being made to bring joanne chessemard back to the united states? >> i might add in connection with the chairwoman's question also we're entering into the
period where we're discussing confiscated property and that's a critical component of this as well owes extradition or release of various people and all of those human rights issues are on the table. i pursued them and the president will pursue them when he's there. >> joanne chesamar. >> yes. >> there's more repression now than in the last ten years after we made all these contacts with cuba, are we addressing those. >> yes, we're addressing the arrests. we were particularly incensed by the arrests of several of the people who had been part of the release effort originally. here's what the cubans said. cubans said they broke the law again. we looked at what they had allegedly broken and we object entirely. one of them had hung a sign in a window saying i will only vote in an election in which i can vote to choose my president and so forth. and four year sentence.
that's ridiculous. it's obscene. we believe it's obscene. we told them that's wrong. so we continue to press those issues. but we do have more ability to be able to interact with the cuban people. when i was there to raise the flag to have the marines raise the flag, the marines lowered the flag, they were there to raise the flag, there were cubans amassed behind the -- >> no dissidents. dissidents weren't invited. >> these are people who cheered mightily at the return of the united states and the presence of our country and my speech in which i talked about democracy and talked about the need to have protection of human rights was broadcast to the entire country. and some of it a little bit of it in spanish. the president's -- >> are diplomats allowed -- >> we have more ability because of this to interact with the cuban people. and more americans are traveling there and interacting. >> even our diplomats are restricted from moving throughout the island. >> our diplomats we negotiated an ability for our diplomats a
specific number as we test the, you know, expansion of this relationship more diplomats are able to proceed to travel around unannounced without people following them or engaged in any activities. we have diplomats who are able to travel around the country. >> are they actually traveling? >> i believe they are. i've heard nothing to the contrary. >> the other thing i want to talk about is colombia. if they do come to an understanding, i hope that we do not walk away from helping colombia. >> we are deeply committed, president obama -- that was part of the reason for the celebration of the 15 year mark. we invested -- we, you, everybody here, not everybody but those of you in the upper dais certainly invested significantly in the late 1990s in plan colombia and it's made all the difference. that's why we talk about plan
paz, plan peace. >> if we do reach peace i hope we still continue to assist colombia. >> so do i. >> the other thing this morning in the news i saw russia gave afghanistan all these arms. what do we make of that? now that there's an incursion by russians into afghanistan. >> the russians are deeply concerned about the stability of the country. they have raised the issue with us of trying to protect the region. they have concerns about countries near them. they have concerns about the flow of terrorists, that is also one of their concerns about syria. and so they are engaged -- in fact, we're discussing with the russians these issues of security for the ongoing challenges of afghanistan. >> were you aware these arms were going to afghanistan? >> we know that they are supporting the afghan -- >> this morning. it was in the news this morning. >> the afghan government or -- >> yeah, gave 10,000 rifles or whatever, you know, arms.
>> yes, we support that. >> okay. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you. >> we now go to the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. secretary. again, thank you for your service to our country. you work very hard for us, and while we have some disagreement, policy disagreement, you have our respect and our gratitude. so, first of all, let me mention then some of these issues that we may have disagreement on. when you say that the decision will be made very, very soon to act on the idea of whether christians and yazidis are targets of genocide let me just note this has been going on, we've been seeing this now for well over a year, probably several years now slaughter of christians in the middle east and for us not to have made a decision and that we're making
the decision that that decision hasn't been made yet is unacceptable. we're talking about the lives of tens of thousands of people who are brutally, being brutally slaughtered targeted for genocide. i have a bill, hr 4017, and the president has commented that it would just be giving preference to christians. is it preference to give -- is it wrong to give preference to people who are targets of genocide and say we're going to save them realizing that they are the ones who are most likely to be slaughtered. >> this decision has to be made strictly and has to be made quickly. i understand that. but i only -- i think i only had the first discussion come to my desk on this in terms of the legal interpretations a couple of weeks ago and that's when i immediately initiated some re-evaluation which i'm looking at and i can tell you i want to do this as quickly -- >> let me suggest --
having this come to your attention only weeks ago -- >> congressman, it does require a lot of fact gathering. i mean you have to get the facts from the ground more than just anecdotal. >> the whole world knows christians are being slaughtered in the middle east. it's clear. it's time for america to act. the excuse that we've got to study it, we've got to ask the lawyers what the wording is, is this really preference or not, it's unacceptable. i hope your word that this will be acted on very soon, we're going to hold you to that. so second about the idea here, do you agree with some of the administration officials that claim that russia is a greater threat to our national security than is radical islamic terrorism? >> i think, you know, i don't want to get into sort of either/or here because i don't
think it's necessary. i think that what the defense department and others have been saying is that they see activities that russia has engaged in which present challenges. for instance what happened with crimea, what's happened in support for the separatists, the long process back and forth on minsk implementation is interpreted by the front line states as a threat and there's engagement by russia through its propaganda through operatives in some of these other countries so it is perceived of as engaging in -- let me just finish. i believe that if you wanted me to put on the table the top threat to the united states today in terms of day-to-day life and the stability of the world it is violent extremism, radical religious extremism and violence of -- >> are you unable to say radical islamic terrorism as the president is unable to say? >> you just heard me say radical
religious extremism. >> no you didn't say. you don't want to say radical islamic. it's disheartening when a representative of our government can't say radical islamic terrorism, and at the same time can't make a decision whether christians are being targeted for genocide. this is not acceptable. about your point on russia and whether or not we can consider them the greatest threat over radical islamic terrorism. let me just note that increasing the spending of our military spending in europe so that we'll have now have more tanks in europe could be taken as a hostile act by russia as well. time for us to get out of this cycle of well, we're going to find things that they are doing that we consider hostile and vice versa. we have every reason, do we not, mr. secretary, of trying to find a way we can work with russia
to combat what is the real threat, which is radical islamic terrorism? >> congressman, i think you heard me say that it is predominantly, predominantly islamic and i have no hesitation in saying that. i've said that in many parts of the world. that's not the issue. and, yes, we are trying to cooperate with russia with respect to this issue in syria right now. russia is the co-chair with us. the international syrian support group and of the cessation of hostilities task force and we're working very closely on countering violent extremism initiatives which president obama has led. in the u.n. and elsewhere in convening people to work against violent extremism on a global basis. to me this is the greatest challenge we face because there are hundreds of millions of young people in many of these countries where you have 60% to
70% of the nation under the age of 35 and if they don't have jobs and if they are not educated and there's not opportunity or we don't keep radical religious extremists of any kind from reaching them and turning them into a suicide bomber or an extreme operative of one kind, we have a problem. all of us. so this is, to me, the more prevalent challenge that we all face and russia shares an interest in working with us to deal with that challenge. >> we go now to mr. gerry connoly of virginia. >> obviously my colleague wants to get you to say the number one threat is islamic terrorism. but is it not also true, not to dilute anything that the biggest victims of that terrorism are, in fact, islamists themselves and that many of our allies fighting this terrorist war are islamic countries, is that not true? >> they are, indeed, are very significant allies in this
effort and i would say every single country of the world, they are joining in an effort to deal with the terrible distortion of one of the world's principal religions. >> i think that's a very important point mr. secretary to put it in context because not that my friend would do that, i don't mean that. but we have heard some presidential candidates taint an entire faith with something, i think grossly unfairly when, in fact, victims are muslims and many of the countries allied with us in the fight against terrorists are, in fact, muslim countries. so it's a very complex situation, but not subject to some simplification or over simplification of who are the villains and who are the good guys. i thought we would get that on the record. i think this is your first visit back since the iran nuclear agreement got implemented and i
just want to say for one, i think it's going to be part of your legacy. i think it's one of the most successful things u.s. foreign diplomacy has done in a long time. despite the critics and all the predictions we had a hearing the other week and established definitively iran is complying and if we're looking at removing an existential threat to israel, we did it. and i just to congratulate you. if you want to disagree about compliance, please freely feel free but it's my observation that in every metric we have seen so far we have not seen cheating or subterfuge. we have been able to observe and validate. in fact, iran has complied. doesn't make iran a good guy in the international stage, but it does mean we, in fact, were able to deliver an enforceable
agreement that improves everybody's security. i don't know if you want to comment on that, mr. secretary. >> i thank you, congressman, very, very much and that's, in fact, what we concurred with is that they have complied. >> thank you. real quickly i want to pivot to crimea and the ukraine. one of the concerns i've got and it's shared by friends on both sides of the aisle is with respect to soviet expansionism, soef yet imperialism, hegemony, whatever word we want to use for it, it all starts with crimea. if you let crimea go, now you're quibbling over the price. in eastern ukraine or wherever. what is the united states position with respect to the illegal annexation of crimea? >> that it's illegal and not
ceding crimea with anything except for the primary focus at the moment is on agreements. >> but we're not going to give up on crimea. >> no, we have no intention of doing that. >> the president, some of my friends have criticized him for the issuance of executive orders but presumably not these. he's issued executive orders 13660, 661, 662 and 685 blocking property of persons and transactions related to the illegal annexation of crimea and subversion in the eastern ukraine. how is compliance going with those executive orders and is the administration seeking legislative, additional legislative relief with respect to the subject? >> we believe that russia continues to pay a real price for the annexation of crimea and crimea is physically isolated from international transport
links now, from the global financial system. its tourism sector has collapsed. it remains unable to provide full significant electricity to its population. and inflation has completely erased any potential of the russian promises of better standard of living for the people. now, it's obviously tragic for the people of crimea. we know that since the annexation, the human rights situation for the people of crimea has deteriorated. and there's been a mounting repression of minorities particularly the tartars. so we continue to press russia on this issue and i believe that the measures that are in place are having an impact. >> mr. steve shabbat of ohio. >> let me thank you, mr. secretary. thank you for your long service to our country. >> thank you very much. >> good morning, mr. secretary. this is the 20th year i've had the honor to serve on the foreign affairs committee.
i chaired the middle east committee, i chaired the asian/pacific committee and i've had the opportunity to listen to and to question a number of foreign, excuse me, a number of our secretaries of state from warren christopher to madeleine albright to colin powell to condoleezza rice, hillary clinton and yourself in the past and again here today. now this administration has less than a year to go. so what i would like to do is to ask you to address some of the things which many would argue haven't gone so well, and what we can learn from these things and hopefully avoid repeating in the future. as you know i've got limited time and i have several questions so i ask that you keep your answers reasonably succinct. because i would try to avoid to interrupt you. first, you've already been asked about the iran deal. but i would like to go back before the deal and ask this and i realize, of course, that hillary clinton was secretary of
state and not yourself so i'm not blaming you. but i would ask this question. was not aiding the students in the pro democracy reformers in the iranian green movement a mistake? >> well, i think, my memory is that president obama spoke out in support of and we suffered a lot of criticism from iran. this is one of the hurdles we had to get over in our negotiation. they believed we were not only supportive but even responsible for it. we weren't. >> you know, these young pro democracy folks pleaded for our help. pleaded for it. >> when you say help -- >> they got nothing from this administration. president obama essentially, if you go back and look at what he said at the time, he took the side, i would argue, of the repressive mullahs of iran over freedom-seeking people. most people looking at it at the time would say it was shameful
what happened. let me move on. in retrospect was it a mistake to pull all u.s. troops out of iraq? >> i believe that this has been badly misinterpreted because there was no contemplation -- first of all the agreement was made by president bush to draw the troops out. what president obama tried to do was negotiate with maliki, the prime minister maliki, the remainder that would stay and they were noncombat troops. everybody needs to focus on that. there were no combat troops that were going to stay there. so even if they had stayed, that would not have made a difference with respect to what was happening because prime minister maliki was turning the army into his own personal private sectarian enterprise. and that's -- let me just finish. >> i think next to the iran deal, i would argue that it was
this administration's greatest mistake and it led, i think, directly to the rise of isis. let me ask this. how did this administration so misread putin? now to be fair, president bush did, too. he famously looked into putin's eyes, believing that he got a sense of his soul. but let's face it. putin has been undermining u.s. policy at every turn. why did this administration not see that coming? why did it let it happen? >> well, i don't think that anybody could predict what an unpredictable set of choices might produce. the bottom line is that at the time a number of other things happened which had an impact on putin's perception of what was going on. >> let me just -- i'm almost out of time. let me comment on your comment.
it seems to me that from the start of this administration, from hillary's famous pressing of the reset button, that we've been played like chumps by putin. this administration scrapped the missile defense program with our allies, poland and the czech republic to placate putin and what did we get? he invaded and annexed crimea, started war in eastern ukraine which is ongoing. shoots down a civilian airliner and of course denies it. his allies did that. threatens the nato alliance, props up assad in syria. harbors the treasonous edward snowden and on and on. i would argue this administration's policy with respect to russia has been feckless and unfortunately i'm out of time. >> can i respond very quickly, congressman.
there was an agreement which yanukovych was supposed to honor and we don't believe he honored it but putin from his perspective had an attitude that there was a deal and the deal was broken, and he thought and perceived certain things. people respond in certain ways and perceptions. i don't believe -- also the european association agreement and the way that had been maneuvered had a lot to do with perceptions. now we are building a missile defense. the administration came to a conclusion they could do a more effective one and that is currently being deployed. russia still objects to what is happening but it's happening. so nobody pulled back from doing something as a consequence. nobody has been played as a chump. we went in and put sanctions in place that have profoundly negatively impacted russia's economy, profoundly impacted russia's ability to move and
maneuver in the region and ultimately resulted in the minsk agreement which we hope can be implemented fully. if it is implemented fully, our policy would be successful because russia would not have taken over all of ukraine, not even the eastern part where the separatists will then still be part of ukraine and in an arrangement with the government in kiev. i just don't agree with your conclusion there. i also think that if you look, russia has cooperated with the united states on the iran agreement. russia cooperated with the united states in getting the chemical weapons that were declared out of syria. russia has cooperated with the united states and syrian international support group and vienna process and now in an effort to try to fight against daesh and -- >> we need to go to the congressman from florida. >> it's just not -- the point i'm trying to make is it doesn't
lend itself to just one judgment. this is more complicated for better or worse, more nuanced than some of these conclusions allow for. >> the congressman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. secretary thanks for being here. thanks for your service to our country. mr. secretary, i had the pleasure this morning of spending some time with mr. amir ahmady and as you know, bob levinson is my constituent and wonderful to see amir and i'm thrilled for the families but i just want to urge you to continue to press with at any time most greatest sense of commitment and urgency to bring him back home to his family. i'm grateful to you raising this issue. i urge you to continue to push.
i would like to talk about the iran agreement. without making judgments about whether it's the greatest achievement ever or the worst ever done this is 15 year term, we're five months since it was signed. we just had the implementation day. a lot of us whatever side we were on before want to see this succeed. so i want to focus specifically on the snap-back provisions which had come up earlier. both the international snap-back of international sanctions and snap-back of domestics sanctions. on international, the tests of the ballistic missiles by iran clearly violate security council resolution. ambassador power to her credit took this to the security council, the security council has kicked it to the sanctions committee, as i understand it. the question is what is in this case a clear violation can't be sanctioned at the international level. i commend you and the administration for taking action as the united states against these three entities and individuals, but at the international level, if the security council can't act when there's a clear violation like this over the term of this
agreement, why shouldn't we have concerns? how do we address the concerns that they will never be able to act when there's a violation? that's with respect to international. on the domestic front, you talked about the iran sanctions act and the reauthorization. i just wanted to go back to a story that was in politico last summer in august, in the midst of the heated discussions about the jcpoa. senior official told politico, and i quote, we absolutely support renewal of the iran sanctions act. it's an important piece of legislation. we want to discuss renewal with congress in a thoughtful way at the right time. now is not the time. as the isa doesn't expire until next year and because we're focused on implementation. we will have plenty of opportunity in the coming months to take part in the deliberate and focused communications with congress on this important topic. the deal has now been signed. implementation day has now come and gone. it is 2016 the year in which this is going to expire.
mr. secretary, if not now, when, when will we have these discussions that the administration was committed to having last summer? >> well, congressman, first of all, on bob levenson, i understand completely. i just met with the family recently. i completely understand the tension, the feelings and the disappointment they feel. they see people come back and bob is not among them and they don't have answers yet. we have put a process in place as part of the actual agreement that we reached whereby he's very much front and center in terms of our following through to trace every lead there is and to be personally engaged. i don't want to go in greater detail but i shared with the family some of the things we plan to do and we will, in fact, we are doing them. >> thank you.
>> you asked about the missiles, does it have a meaning somehow that we are not going to do what we said we are going to do. the answer to that is no. the missles were left outside the jcpoa. jcpoa stands by itself. the missiles are a separate track. the arms are a separate track. we purposefully did not want to confuse the implementation and accountability for the implementation with these other things. so that's why we put additional sanctions on because of missile launch. on three entities and eight individuals. now, you raised the question about 2016, if not now, when? well, now is the good time to have the discussion. this is part of the discussion. we're having it here today. i'm saying to you that we should be informed in whatever we choose to do on the isa by how
well the implementation goes. by how necessary it is to be thinking about the concern about the application of the sanctions. we don't need -- excuse me, we don't need the isa. >> i'm out of time. i wanted to ask, is one of the reasons that there's a hasation to go forward now even after implementation day is that iran is going to view this, interpret this as some sort of violation of the agreement which clearly it's not? >> no. i think that it's on its face exactly what i just described to you. there's no rush. we know we can pass whatever we would need to very quickly number one. number two, we want to be -- in whatever we decide to do, whatever message it might send, ought to be advised by the efficiency and effectiveness of the way this has been implemented so whatever we're
putting in it is, in fact, rational and related to the process itself. as you yourself just said, we're only a few months into it. let's get into it. there's plenty of time here. and see where we are. >> we go now to mr. joe wilson, south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. i'm very grateful that speaker ryan has provided shocking admissions of how iran will use sanctions relief to fund terrorism which i believe the american people needs to know puts families at risk. on january 21, mr. secretary, you admitted quote, i think some of the funds from the sanctions relief will end up in the hands of the irgc or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists, end of quote. this is sad, mr. secretary. iran is widely recognized as world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. supporting groups like hamas and hezbollah. that are responsible for murdering hundreds of americans. it therefore should come as no
surprise at least some of them, $100 billion in sanctions relief granted under the nuclear agreement will be used to finance terrorists. you're not alone in this assertion. in fact, several key obama administration officials including the president himself have made the exact same admission. quote, do we think some of the sanctions coming down, that iran will have additional resources for its military, for some of the activities in the region that are a threat to us and a threat to our allies? i think it is a likelihood they've got some additional resources. end of quote, president barack obama. also, quote, we should expect some of the portion of the money will go to iranian military that could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior we've seen in the region until now. end of quote. from national security adviser susan rice. also quote, as iran's bee i have that, the united states is under
no illusions. this agreement was never based on the expectations it would transform the iranian regime or cause tehran to cease contributing to sectarian violence and terrorism in the middle east, end of quote. wendy sherman. we agree on implementation day in january speaker paul ryan noted quote, the president himself has acknowledged iran is likely to use this cash infusion, more than $100 billion in total, to finance terrorists, end of quote. this is exactly why a bipartisan majority of the house voting to reject the nuclear deal. sanctions should be only lifted when iran ceases its litany of illicit activities and ends its support for terrorism. until that day comes, we should not be complicit in fueling a regime that has a long history of hostility towards the united states and its allies. i'm particularly grateful for the bipartisan conduct of this committee. with chairman royce of california and ranking member
engel of new york. with their thoughtful opposition to the iran deal, i believe iran promotes attacks on american families with its pledge of death to america and death to israel, as proven by the intercontinental ballistic missile development as cited by chairman royce and congressman deutch. secretary kerry, from your responses to chairman royce's questions, what i heard you say was the administration wants to let the iran sanctions act expire. the administration, extending it through the international emergency economic powers act is simply a power grab. allowing isa to expire statutorily is unacceptable. with this background, how have iran's terrorist activities been affected by the deal and the subsequent lifting of sanctions. has iran's support for terrorism increased or decreased? >> well, congressman, you raise a lot of questions in all of that and you make some assumptions that i don't share or agree with.
we never suggested that the goal is to let it expire. i said let's take your time and be thoughtful about it. you're drawing a conclusion i never lent any credence to. secondly, this goes back to the sort of argument about the iran deal itself. you say we shouldn't lift sanctions until they have given up their sponsorship for terror. the problem is what they judge, you know, they just have a different interpretation about some of those things that would have lasted a lifetime and they would have then had a nuclear weapon. iran with a nuclear weapon would have been far more dangerous than an iran without one. so if you're worried about terror, the first objective is make sure they don't have a nuclear weapon. now, we've been very honest. i'm not going to sit here and suggest that some portion of the money might not find its way to one of those groups.
what they do is not dependent on money, congressman, never has been. they're going to do it anyway. if we hadn't gotten rid of the nuclear weapon, they were still supporting the houthi. they've still been supporting hezbollah. they have been supporting them for how many years? countless years. >> now they can finance terrorists in this country. mr. secretary, this is not right. i yield. >> okay, we're going to go to rhode island. >> thank you for your extraordinary service to our country. i have four questions i'm going to run through quickly to give you as much time as possible to answer. i'm concerned about the deteriorating state of rule of law and adherence to human rights in egypt. egyptian judiciary has long been rife with corruption and political agendas. reports yesterday exemplify how bad the situation has become. when a cairo military court handed down a mass life sentence to 116 defendants that mistakenly included a 3-year-old boy. this is incredibly outrageous
and really does exemplify how little the egyptian judiciary and security apparatus care for the rule of law. i would like to hear what we're doing about it. additionally, in the appendix to this year's budget request, you asked congress to remove egypt's partial aid conditions and the reporting requirement entirely. what's the justification for proposing the removal of this language and what kind of signal will this send? >> the removal of which language? >> the language related to partial aid conditions, national security waiver and reporting requirement. the second question is you, you know, there are tremendous challenges. you've outlined them in your testimony. the budget, the international affairs budget which funds programs designed to confront these challenges continues to shrink. since fiscal year 2010, the overall funding for the international affairs, that's the base budget plus oco has been reduced 15%. request is slightly down from
last year. what is your most serious concern about the resources necessary to confront the many challenges facing our country and does this budget really provide the resources that you think we need? third and finally, the u.s./israeli memorandum understanding i know is going to expire in 2018. i understand we've begun to discuss a new set of terms. what's the status of those negotiations and what kind of training and equipment and assistance will israel need in light of increased instability in the region and threats to their security? tried to do those fast. >> okay. no, i appreciate it. congratulations on moving up to the upper dais there. >> thank you. >> the -- let me just begin with your question about egypt itself. look, these sentences obviously are of enormous concern to all of us.
we've expressed that very straightforwardly. and we've seen a deterioration over the course of this last -- these last months i guess is a fair way to say it. with the rest of journalists and the rest of civil society personalities. we understand that egypt is going through a very difficult challenge right now. there are terrorists in the sinai. there are the challenges of extremism that has played out in bombings in cairo, sharm el sheikh, elsewhere. so it's difficult. nobody's suggesting otherwise. but we believe deeply countries that protect freedom of speech and assembly and encourage civil society will ultimately do better and be stronger in their ability to be able to defeat extremism. we work very closely. i have a good working relationship with my counterpart. we talk frequently.
we are working on these issues on a regular basis. we have succeeded in getting some people released. we've succeeded in getting some progress on a number of human rights issues. but it is a concern. their judicial system, which operates separately, makes some moves that i think sometimes, you know, the leadership itself finds difficult to deal with. and our hope is that over the course of these next weeks and months we can make some progress moving back on these. i do, i think egypt said something about the 3-year-old if i recall -- i don't want to dwell on it right now. on the resources, we are cannibalizing a lot of programs within the budget. bottom line is everybody's
dealing with difficulties in governance today as a result of our budget challenges. it's no secret to any of you because these are the fights you've all been engaged in on the floor. i think we're making a mistake. i mean, i try not to get into the politics in this position at all. i do think the united states is -- is not responding in ways that we ought to be to our global responsibility as reflected in the budget overall. i think we can and should be doing more. i think we handicap ourselves. i think we're behaving to some degree for the richest nation on the face of the planet, we're choosing to behave more like a country that actually doesn't have resources available to it. it's a question of which choices we make, where we want to make the overall trades in the budget
and we are where we are. so we have had to cannibalize considerably to make things work. it really, in my judgment, diminishes the ability of the most powerful nation on the planet to be able to actually affect things more and so we see frustration on the part of our people that the world is in turmoil or we're not responding adequately here or there. fairly significant amount of that is a reflection of resources. sometimes it's a reflection of policy judgments. i understand that. a lot of it is driven by the resource allocation. with respect to israel and the mou, we will -- we're working on it now. we're in negotiations. we have never, ever put any of israel's security needs or
challenges on the table with respect to other issues between us. israel's security comes first and foremost. president obama has i think unprecedently addressed those concerns with iron dome, with assistance, with our efforts in global institutions to not see israel singled out, and we will continue to do what is necessary to provide israel with all the assistance necessary so it can provide for its own security. i'm confident we'll get an mou at some point in time. the sooner the better, because it allows everybody to plan appropriately. >> thank you, mr. secretary, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for being here today. i'm suffering from a major head cold so i may go a little easy on you today. >> it's good, i don't wish a cold on you, but i'll take the benefit.
>> last december, we passed a visa waiver program bill out of my committee. it passed overwhelmingly. it was designed to keep foreign fighters from exploiting the visa waiver program from certain countries like iraq, syria, sudan and iran. in the negotiations, i was in the middle of those, i was one of the national security chairmen involved with the correspondence back and forth between homeland, state department and the white house, we carved out two exceptions. one was national security. the other was law enforcement. in the exchange between the department of homeland security they mentioned what we consider humanitarian, business purposes, cultural, journalistic. i was in the room with the majority leader. those exceptions were rejected. dhs came back again. the final e-mail from the white
house was the administration supports this legislation. my thanks to all. then finally the white house says i spoke to state department. they did not request any additional edits. the administration does not request any changes at this time. we're good with the text as drafted. reopening the bill requires to look at it again. yet the day after it passed, you wrote a letter to the iranian foreign minister stating that parts of this law could be waived to accommodate iranian business interest. in my judgment, having played a part in that negotiation, it was in direct contradiction with the intent and the clear definition of the statute and the law. it seems to me you're putting the interest, business interest of iran over the security interests of the united states and quite frankly either misconstruing or rewriting the very law that we passed overwhelmingly by the congress. i want to give you the
opportunity to respond to that. >> rail appreciate it, congressman. thank you very much. appreciate the work we've done to try to work through this. look, we respect obviously the congressional intent. we respect the purpose of this. we all share that goal. we have to protect the country. we have to have adequate control over who's coming into the country. and we learned obviously in the course of the k visa situation that there's more that can be done conceivably to be able to analyze and dig into background. but the bottom line is this. the letter that i wrote to the iranian foreign minister was not an excuse for anything. it simply said that they were arguing that we had violated jcpoa. i wrote a letter saying no, it does not violate jcpoa.
i explained and defended the law and made clear to them we were going to keep our jcpoa commitments. now, the, what we're doing is actually following the letter of the law, but you have to -- please, would like you to understand that our friends, our allies, french, germans, british, others, are deeply concerned about the impact of this law inadvertent on their citizens. they have dual nationals. if one of those dual nationals just travels to iran, all of a sudden, and they're in a visa waiver program and they're a very legitimate business person, all of a sudden that person's ability -- >> if i could just use my time, look, i wrote the law -- >> let me just finish -- >> i'm the author of the bill. i understand the intent of the law.
we had conversations with the white house. you tried to get this business exemption written into the law. that was rejected by the leadership and the congress. and the time to have changed that was prior to the president signing it into law. once you sign it, the president signed it into law, you can't just go back and change -- either violate or rewrite it. >> i know the law. i marked it up on my committee. you're talking to the author of the bill. >> yes. >> that was not the intent of congress to carve out a business exemption. i understand the french and iranians and all this stuff. that was not the intent of the congress. >> we're not carving out a wholesale waiver intent. it's a case-by-case basis. very carefully and narrowly tailored, number one. number two, the text of the law is clear. the secretary of homeland security -- >> i agree with you.
>> -- can waive the travel on dual nationality restrictions if he deems that it is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the country to do so. now, we believe the full and fair implementation of the law is, in fact, in our national security interest. we have a very thorough systematic -- >> i guess it depends how you define national security interest. i will commend that jeh johnson called me to add libya, somalia and yemen to this list. and i -- >> and i concurred in that. >> and i commend that decision. i'm sure you're going to construe the law and your interpretation. i do think adding those three countries was a positive step. just one last question. on the designation of iran as a jurisdiction, primary money laundering concern, do you have -- are we going to keep that designation or is there any attempt by you to lift that
designation? >> we've had no such determination. i haven't contemplated it. >> do you intend to consider additional measures to provide economic relief to iran to lift any other designations? >> none at this point in time that i know of. >> okay. i appreciate that. chair now recognizes brad sherman of california. >> as to your bill, you point out that most isis fighters go into turkey where perhaps their passports are stamped and then they sneak into isis-controlled areas where isis has a shoddy record of stamping passports and we may have to look at every europe passport stamped in turkey that would obviously be an issue -- >> actually what is now an issue is daesh's ability to actually
produce phony passports -- >> that -- that would be another issue. mr. secretary, i've got so many issues. most of them i think you'll choose to respond for the record. first on the budget. this committee has urged and voted that you spend a million and a half dollars broadcasting in the sindi language to reach a huge part of southern pakistan in the sindi language. now the request for additional million dollars for broadcasting efforts. if we get you a substantial increase, maybe not the full 35 million, but the first additional dollars will be to broadcast in the language of southern pakistan -- >> i think it's worth $35 million, congressman. >> it only takes $1.5 million. the rest is for whatever else you choose to spend the money on. i want to compliment your
general counsel in karachi for looking into the assassination of anwar agari who was a protector of sindi culture. during world war ii, we had bombing rules of engagement. because we were serious. general de gaulle never urged us not to bomb an electric facility because it would inconvenience french civilians. he never asked dwight eisenhower not to hit a tanker truck because the civilian might be driving it. yet i'm told in bombing isis, we will not hit a moving truck and we will not hit electric power lines because not only do we not want to kill any civilians, even those working for isis, but we don't want to inconvenience those living under isis. the major inconvenience, living without electricity. iran.
north korea provided the nuclear technology that was used at al kabar which the israelis destroyed in syria a few years ago. now north korea has a dozen nuclear weapons. that's about what they need. perhaps the next one goes on ebay. not quite that flippantly but you get the point. i spoke to the chinese foreign minister yesterday. i will urge you to urge him, as i did, that china prevent any nonstop flight over its territory from north korea to tehran. such a nonstop flight could easily export one or several nuclear weapons. if on the other hand, that flight stops for fuel, as of course it should, if china requires, they will -- i'm sure the chinese will take a look at what's on the plane. it's natural that you're here defending the nuclear deal. i didn't vote for it but there are very good aspects of that deal.
but i'm concerned that the administration now is just in a roll of defending iran. as if any comment about iran is an attack on the deal. i would -- during rouhani's tenure, we've seen a lot more executions in iran, and i hope that you would personally issue a statement condemning iran's violation of human rights, particularly when they kill people for the so-called crime of waging war on god. you mention -- as to the missile sanctions, you indicate we sanctioned a few companies. we sanctioned a few individuals. those companies don't do business in the united states. those individuals do not want to visit disneyland. and i hope that you would sanction the iranian government for its violation with sanctions that actually affect the iranian economy.
otherwise, to say certain individuals who have no intention of coming to the united states, will not be allowed in the united states, indicates an acceptance of violations. and under the u.n. security council resolution 2231, russia can't sell fighter planes to iran unless the security council specifically approves that. i'll ask you will we use our veto to prevent fighter planes being sold to iran from russia? >> i don't think you have to use a veto. i think it's a matter of a committee. there's a committee and it's in approval in the committee, but we would not approve it. >> and would we -- would we use our veto if necessary to prevent -- >> best of my knowledge, congressman, i haven't looked at the specifics of the
transaction, et cetera. in principle, we are very concerned about the transfer of weapons. so, you know, we would approach it with great skepticism. i haven't seen the specific transfer, what the request is. i assure you, we'll stay in touch with you. >> chair recognizes mr. poe from texas. >> thank you, gentlemen. i want to say amen to what our friend from california has said regarding the folks in iran that have been murdered by the regime. 2,300 have been executed. in my opinion, mostly for religious reasons or political reasons. i would hope the state department would condemn this action by rouhani and the iranian government. couple questions, dealing with georgia and ukraine. the russians occupy a third of georgian territory.
they occupy crimea and they occupy parts of ukraine's eastern property territory. is it the u.s. position or not -- tell me what the u.s. position is, that the georgia occupation is unlawful, crimea occupation unlawful and the eastern ukraine possession unlawful or not? >> that's correct, they are. >> so it's our position russians are unlawfully holding territory belonging to somebody else in those specific instances? >> in one case, not holding but engaged in intrusions which are assisting in the holding. >> that would be in eastern ukraine? >> correct. >> also, a predecessor, if you have time this year, it would be great for our relationship if you could go to georgia. >> i'm hoping to. >> specifically, i'd like to talk about piece of legislation that has passed the house, unanimously. and that's the foreign aid transparency accountability act that i have authored along with mr. connolly from virginia.
basically requires accountability for foreign assistance. whether transparency and also evaluations of our aid to other countries. i think transparency and evaluations are good. american public needs to know how american money is being spent and if it's being spent well. maybe we should stop it. the state department though has resisted this legislation, even though it's passed the house.
it's passed your former committee unanimously over in the senate. and rashau, when he testified in this committee, he supported it when he was usaid director. do you support this type of legislation or this specific legislation of transparency and accountability, evaluations of our foreign assistance? >> congressman, of course. we share the goal completely. yes, we support transparency and accountability. we have huge transparency and accountability. it's one of our problems. i think -- i don't -- i'm trying to get the numbers pinned down. the person hours and the numbers of people assigned just to provide the transparency and accountability to all of you and to others is staggering. we lose an enormous amount of our implementing productivity to simply providing the transparency, accountability. we have 51 investigations going on. with an unprecedented number, hundreds of thousands of pages
of foa we're responding to. i've had to cannibalize bureaus to ask capable lawyers to come out of one and work on this so we can meet the demands. we're overburdened. i've appointed -- actually appointed a senior ambassador. to make sure we're able to do this. so our concern is, you know, doing this in a way that is smart, efficient, efficient for you, efficient for us. we don't resist the goal in the least. the american people have a right to absolute accountability and transparency. we think there's a lot of ways in which it's already provided. there are ways we may be able to streamline some of that. we'd like to work with you on this legislation so it isn't, you know, another moment where we're having to transfer a lot people away from doing what
we're supposed to do. you can't to give us the budget enough. >> this makes it simpler for all of us -- >> right, but we want to have a little more say -- >> it's passed the house unanimously. it's passed the senate -- foreign relations committee unanimously. we're getting pushed back from the state department on the legislation. just a side note, just a side note -- >> we want to make sure it worked for us in terms of our process. who can resist a piece of legislation, foreign aid accountability transparency act? >> we want it to work for the american people. as you know, reclaiming my time, if i have one last comment, you and i and many -- most of the members of the congress, you mentioned the concept of foreign aid out there in the country to citizens. they kind of get their backed bowed because people have been cynical for years. even though it's a little bit of money, about foreign aid. and this legislation i think
tells folks in the community, citizens, taxpayers, who send this aid all over the world, that it's working. and we can have transparency evaluation for it so they can feel better about sending that aid. >> i'm with you, i support that 100%. president obama does and he has instructed all of us to try to make sure we're streamlining, as transparent as we can be. >> we're moving on. mr. grayson from florida. >> mr. secretary. yes or no with an explanation. has iran adhered to the nuclear deal? >> i'm sorry, has what? >> has iran adhered to the nuclear deal? yes or no. >> yes, best of our judgment. >> okay, thank you for that. now, there was concern iran's money would be used to increase terrorism in the region after
the deal was entered into. has iran's support for terrorism increased, decreased or remained the same since the deal was enacted? >> i think the best of our judgment would be it has remained the same. >> all right. is there any evidence that the money that iran received as a result of the deal has been diverted to use to support terrorism? >> we need to get into classified session to discuss that. >> all right. >> a little more complicated. >> we heard the phrase used at the time the deal was under negotiation, discussion, that iran would become a nuclear threshold state and that it would push the limits of the agreement and get as close as it could to developing the nuclear weapon during the term of the agreement so in 8 or 10 or 12 years it would actually have a weapon.
is there any evidence to support that at this point? >> no. >> what is your inference regarding that? >> well, the fact is, iran was a threshold nation when we began this discussion. iran had 12,000 kilograms of 5% enriched. it had i forget how much, 20% enriched uranian. it was one stepway from being able to produce highly enriched uranium for bomb manufacturing. it had enough enriched uranium to make 10 to 12 bombs. it has already mastered the fuel cycle. in effect it already was at the threshold. that's one of the reasons why we felt such urgency to try to close off these paths for actual movement to that. and iran has accepted increased transparency and accountability beyond anything that anybody else is engaged in on the planet. they've accepted the additional protocol. they accepted higher standards for 25 years of tracking all uranium. they accepted 20 years of television intrusion on their centrifuge. so they don't have the ability
to be able to make one today. just don't have it physically in that regard. we're confident in their ability to know what they're doing. >> has the administration tried to interdict iranian shipments? >> we have successfully interdicted. >> is it likely that effort will continue? >> not likely, it is for certain. >> can you give us one example? >> recently we turned around the convoy. we didn't know exactly what was on it. we thought it was headed to yemen, and we made sure it went back to iran. >> i'd like to ask you a couple questions about isis. what is your own personal or agency assessment regarding the necessity to have ground troops? >> american ground troops in the
sense -- american special forces are engaged as enablers on the ground in syria today and in iraq. i am 100% supporter of that. i strongly advocate that is a powerful way to have an impact. i am for trying to get rid of daesh as fast as is feasible without a major american, quote, invasion. by enabling, by using our special forces. by augmenting the syrian arab and other presence on the ground. i believe it is imperative for us to try to terminate this threat as rapidly as we can. >> has america, has the american government had discussions with saudi arabia, uae, amman or jordan? >> we are engaged in discussions with them regarding their offers to do so at this time. >> can you tell us anything about that? >> no. i think it's in a preliminary stage.
it's in discussion. they've indicated a willingness to be helpful. this is in the fight against daesh. let me emphasize. and as part of our effort, part of the president's effort to explore every possibility that is reasonable of ways in which to have an impact on ending the surge of daesh, that is being evaluated. >> what about other countries in the region, pakistan, turkey, egypt, algeria, morocco, to send ground troops against isis? >> there have been broad discussions with various mill to mill discussions. providing possible people in certain circumstances. >> can i ask unanimous consent
request? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent that letter dated december 13, 2012, addressed to then secretary hillary rodham clinton be placed in the record. >> without objection. >> and i further ask that the response from the state department dated march 27, 2013, to then chairman darrell issa be placed in the record. >> without objection. >> lastly i would ask the news articles from the daily caller dated january 30, 2016 and the hill, dated 2-2-2016 be placed in the record. >> without objection, so ordered. mr. issa is recognized. >> i want to congratulate you on naming ambassador jacobs as your czar, if you will, for your foia request. i share with you the sympathy
that the american people's desire to know things has outpaced the automation and process for foia from the state department. as a former businessman, i might suggest, as good as the ambassador is, perhaps you need to turn it over to somebody who is much better at getting data out rather than evaluating the details of state department communication. having said that, the information i put in the record is for a reason. in the last days of secretary clinton's administration, i sent her a letter specifically related to use of personal e-mails, and i did so not because of benghazi, not because of any other investigations you might be familiar with, but because in the investigation of the scandal at department of energy, we discovered a political appointee, jonathan silver, had been using personal e-mails to circumvent foa and the scrutiny.
he went so far as to say -- this is in the letter to clinton. don't ever send an e-mail to doa e-mail with a personal e-mail address. that makes it subpoenaable. the letter went on to go through a number of those things. it specifically asked then secretary clinton whether or not she had an e-mail and whether or not any senior agency officials ever used personal e-mail account to conduct official business, have any senior agency officials ever used alias e-mails, that was a different investigation, and it went on. i know by now you must have been made familiar with this letter. approximately two months into your administration as the secretary, your agency responded to that letter by not responding. your agency sent a response that basically said here's the title and the rules. now, since it's been reported in those two articles that you
personally communicated with secretary clinton, your personal e-mail to her personal e-mail, is it true that you were aware that she had a personal e-mail and that she used it regularly? >> i have no knowledge of what kind of e-mail she had. i was given an e-mail address and i sent it to her. >> did you look at the e-mail address? i mean, was it a dot gov? >> i didn't think about it. i didn't know if she had an account or what the department gave her at that point in time or what she was operating with. >> that's a responsive answer that you didn't know you were sending to her personal e-mail from her personal e-mail. do you know -- at least one of those documents has been classified secret. do you know when that could be made available in camera to this committee so we can appreciate what it was about? >> i don't know specifically.
>> you're aware it's been classified secret, is that correct? >> i am aware. >> okay. the letter which did not respond to the specific questions occurred on your watch. you've now had your watch for three years. are you prepared to answer the questions in that letter, including who all is using e-mail and what you're doing about it? >> well, congressman, in principle, i'm prepared to have total accountability and i think we do. >> let me just say to you, my direction from day one to the entire department has been clear. get the clinton e-mails out of here, into the -- >> i appreciate that, although it is amazing that we have -- we're still waiting for -- let me just ask a couple more quick questions, and then you can have the remaining time. >> i would like to finish my answer. >> in the case of the use of personal e-mail, we've discovered that additionally many individuals appear to be using text as a method of
communication. do you use text as a means of communication or do you know of any of your senior staff who use text as a method of communication? >> congressman, let me answer your question by saying this to you. in march of last year, i wrote a letter to the inspector general that i hired for the department. >> i appreciate that you hired one and that your predecessor never had one. >> i asked the inspector general to look at all of the e-mail practices, communications practices, of the department. in order to deliver a review. we are working with the ig's observations which have been helpful to make sure that the department is living up to the highest -- >> i appreciate that. there's a pending question, mr. secretary -- >> i don't want to -- >> would you answer the text question please. >> congressman, i'm not going to get into an e-mail discussion with you here on the budget of our department, with --
>> mr. secretary this committee is entitled to know the communication -- >> and our communications process is thoroughly being analyzed by the inspector -- >> i have pending -- >> and we have -- >> i appreciate that. it's a simple pending question. do you text or do you know of other individuals in your senior staff who use texts? >> i have no idea whether they do or don't. i occasionally text some of the people. >> and the final question, how are you seeing that that text, which by definition is required to be saved under foia requirements, under the federal records act, how are you seeing that those texts are preserved since they're not otherwise preserved? >> that's precisely what we're work on. by the way, i don't text anything regarding policy.
i only text my top -- i only text my logistical administrative staff with respect to whether i'm arriving somewhere or going something. there's nothing substantive ever texted. >> i would certainly assume your private e-mail to hillary's private e-mail also was intended -- >> yes, that's secured. all e-mails are on the server that is the state department and it's all preserved, it's all part of the national records -- >> i appreciate that, mr. secretary, but hillary clinton's and your -- >> -- i don't know how many investigations there are. i think people are really getting bored with it, congressman. there's an awful lot of important discussions, policies and other things. that's what i'm here -- >> mr. secretary, i appreciate that. as i said earlier, this is not about any of the investigations. this is about the work that was being done related to the federal records act and compliance. it absolutely is more about whether the american people can get what they're entitled to under a law that you quite frankly --
>> mr. chairman, i would note that the gentleman's time has expired. >> i have taken unprecedented steps including with the inspector general to make certain that is fully adhered to. i stand by the steps -- >> thank you -- >> gentleman's time has expired. appreciate the promotion. chair recognizes the ranking member. >> unanimous consent to enter into the record the memo of the inspector general. february 23, 2016, where he noted that secretary powell and secretary rice's staff used private e-mails as well. i really think we should be consistent and not just have a political attack on hillary clinton. >> as long as we can enter into the record mr. chairman the -- >> well, let me just say -- >> i reserve a point. i mean, the chair has recognized -- >> may i -- tell the gentleman this is not the oversight committee this is the foreign affairs.
>> i appreciate that. the only thing i ask is -- >> gentleman's recognized. >> alongside that that the information that -- each of the former secretaries made their accompanying statements including powell saying they were not classified. i'm happy to have the record complete. >> mr. chairman, point of order. >> all right. >> mr. chairman, point of order. >> mr. keating's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chair. i just wanted to know for those of us waiting to ask questions. how much time is the secretary allocated to this meeting? >> he's here until 12:30 and so with that, chair recognizes mrs. frankel for florida. >> thank you very much. mr. secretary, i want to just thank you for your service. i'm very proud to have you as ur secretary of state. i just want to -- most respectful way really object to my colleague's litigating the 2016 presidential contest here in this foreign affairs meeting. and i think there's some more
important things to discuss other than hillary clinton's e-mails. specifically, i'd like to talk about what's happening in syria. i would first ask you if you could very specifically detail the type of suffering that is going on and how many people are involved. >> congresswoman, thank you. syria represents the most significant humanitarian catastrophe in movement of people, deprivation of rights, slaughter, since world war ii. there are 12.5 million people or so who are displaced or are refugees. about 4.5 million refugees. more than 2 million in jordan. million something in lebanon. 2 million or so in turkey.
massive numbers of people. sometimes 5,000, 10,000 a day, trying to move across the border. but what has happened in syria trtz, the slaughter by assad of his own people. the bail bonds that have been dropped on schools. on innocent civilians. the torture which has been documented in vivid photographs, grotesque -- >> is it still occurring as we speak? >> well, the slaughter is still occurring. the innocent people being killed. the bombs that have dropped on hospitals and on schools. that has obviously occurred. which is why we have pushed so hard to try to get a cessation of hostilities.
the combination of torture, of not just the torture but of starvation, communities that have been laid under siege. people who haven't seen food supplies, medical supplies in years now. >> and children out of school. >> children out of school. people walking around looking like skeletons, like people in the liberation of the concentration camps of world war ii. this is horrendous. beyond description. and the beheadings. the death by fire and the elimination of certain people by virtue of who they are. this is really a sad tragic moment for a world that hoped we were moving to a new -- new order of rule of law and
possibilities for young people and so forth so it's really -- >> so let me -- just follow up on that. so if you could give us a prognosis. how long do you think it will be until these millions of people can either get back to a normal life in any way? >> it will be when russia, iran, the parties at the table at the international syria support group including the united states and our european allies and our gulf state friends and turkey and egypt and others come to the table ready to implement the geneva communique which requires a transitional government which is precisely what we are trying to do. >> so let me -- >> that is the moment where things could begin to turn conceivably for the better. but it's going to be very difficult. >> and once you get to that point, is that where you then
envision a -- trying to go after isil or daesh as you call them? >> well, no, we're going after daesh now as powerfully as possible given the difficult circumstances of the country. it would be much better if we were able to get a transition government in place according to the geneva structure, and then have the united states and russia and all of the parties focus on daesh and nusra and be able to join together. the difficulty with that is with asad there and the suspicion about intent by some countries simply to shore up assad, it's very -- it's impossible to be able to do that sufficiently until you have resolved this process or at least sufficient ly engaged in that process far enough down the road that you then can license the ability to have a kind of cooperative
effort on daesh. the cooperative effort could end daesh very, very quickly. >> but that will require ground forces you believe? >> well, the ground forces are there. yes, the syrian army. if you have an ability to be able to bring people together around a transition government, you have plenty of people on the ground who can then join together and together the forces from the air and the ground can quickly deal with the problem of daesh. that's why dealing with the question of assad is so critical. people aren't sitting around caught up in this notion that just because people said assad has to go, that's why we're stick with the policy. it's because if assad is there, you cannot end the war. as long as assad is there, the people supporting the
opposition, countries that are defending their right not to live under a dictator are going to continue to support those people. >> thank you. >> mr. scott perry of pennsylvania. >> i'd like to try to take it back to something regarding the budget. my question, first question, deal also with the united states relief in work agency. regard to our support of the palestinians. to my knowledge, the american taxpayer. meanwhile, unrwa staff unions including the teachers union are frequently controlled by members affiliated with hamas. the curriculum has long contained materials that are anti-israel, anti-semitic and supportive of violence extremism. now despite activities that compromise its strictly humanitarian mandate, its strictly humanitarian mandate, unrwa continues to respond
united states contributions including $408 million in 2014. just wondering, if you could quickly, sum up for us how your department is using this funding and your budget to discourage these activities. taxpayers are loathe paying for terrorism, terrorist activities and supportive terrorism. i know you know this. >> absolutely. not only loathe it, just bottom line is it's disgraceful. we've made that clear. so have the leadership by the way of anra and -- and the united states. there is now -- has been very strict policy and procedure in place in order to prevent this kind of activity, to ensure neutrality, to prevent the funds
and programs from benefiting any terrorist activity obviously. and we -- >> how does -- with all due respect, how is that manifested? we have policies in place, yet they continue to do it. the american taxpayer continues to fund this organization, so how -- >> well, yes, and the people who have done it need to be fired and -- >> but are they, sir? >> they should be. >> how do we ensure accountability? how do you take that money and say to these folks you're not getting the money? how do you use the leverage -- >> we have pushed anra as a result of what happened to condemn racism and to assess every allegation that has been brought to the agency about this misbehavior and misconduct.
by the way of -- they have, and the united nations. there is now -- there has been very strict policy and procedure in place in order to prevent i mean we've lost our vote at unesco, as i think you know, because of activities beyond our control, which the palestinians engaged in by going to the u.n. and seeking membership. and as a result of that, we are hurt. we don't have a vote. we didn't control their action. it wasn't a deter rent. but we've lost our ability to be able to protect israel and stand up and fight within the mechanisms. being draconian about it is not the best way to do it. we're being successful in being able to hold people accountable and i think that's the best way to proceed. >> i appreciate the effort. i see it differently. i don't think anybody is being held accountable and would beseech you that the federal government is $19 trillion in debt, the taxpayers are under siege and we don't have money to
waste on organizations that support terrorism. and that's just how i see it. but i would ask you to consider that more than maybe you have. moving on, looking at your budget, it looks like last year we spent about $300 million on the united nations high commissioner for refugees and associated programs. and with what we see in syria, it seems to me that the american taxpayer is rightly -- i mean we want to do our part. we don't want to see anything -- we don't want to see the horrific things happen to these people, the women and the children and we want to do our part to be good neighbors and stew wards in the world. that having been said, these folks are coming to our shores and school districts and hospitals and taxpayers pay doubly. i sent a letter to the administration asking why we haven't pursued a safe zone in the border region of syria and turkey as some sort of a program or a strategy to make sure that that they're not refugees far from their country. can you enlighten us?
i haven't gotten a response. is that even a consideration? >> it's been very much a consideration, congressman and it's a lot more complicated than it obviously sounds. if you're going to have a safe zone within syria itself, it has to be exactly that. it has to be safe. how do you make it safe? how do you prevent a syrian air force barrel bomber from flying over it. well, you've got to have aircraft in the air. take away their air defenses as a result. how do you prevent daesh from coming in and attacking or the syrian army from coming in and attacking. it has to be safe. that means somewhere between 15,000 to. 30,000 troops have to be on the ground in order to make it safe. that's the judgment of the defense department. are we prepared to put that on the ground? i've heard calls -- >> i'm not calling for american troops to be in the ground. we're already flying in the area as you know. >> who is going to make it safe?
right now safety is found by going to jordan or getting to the berm where there are 15,000 people trying to get into jordan and trying to make them safe there or getting to turkey or lebanon. that's safety. or trying to get to europe. we're trying to make it safe by getting a cessation of hostilities, getting humanitarian assistance delivered and a political process to end the violence. >> thank you, chairman. i yield. >> it doesn't require we hope thousands of troops on the ground to be able to provide a safe zone. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. obviously this is a difficult time in the world. multiple complexities and challenges in the world. i'm going to shift to south asia where we certainly have opportunities but also some challenges. it is a time of unprecedented increasing relationships between the united states and india. so lots of positive movement there.
one area of complexity is the pending sale of f 16 fighter to pakistan. and you know, given pakistan's given support of terrorism throughout the region -- certainly we saw recent terrorists attacks in india in january at the air force base. at a time where we're seeing progress in u.s.-india relationships, understanding the complexity of the region, understanding that we do have vested interest in helping pakistan fight terrorists. i would be curious from your perspective if pakistan is doing enough separating good terrorists versus bad terrorists enough domestically to fight the
terrorists threats that not just threaten to destabilize india but also our interest in afghanistan as well. >> well, congressman, thank you. first of all, thank you for your thoughts about india and the sensitivity there and we acknowledge that. we've been really working hard building the relationship and trying to advance even the relationship between india and pakistan. i think it's required courage by both leaders to engage in the dialogue that they've engaged in. needless to say, we don't want to do things that upset the balance. but we do believe that pakistan is engaged legitimately in a very tough fight against identifiable terrorists in their country that threaten pakistan. and they've got about 150 to 180,000 troops out in the western part of their country. they've been engaged in a long struggle to clear the area and move people out.
and they've made some progress in that. is it enough in our judgment? no. we think that more could be done. we're particularly concerned about the sanctuary components of pakistan and we're particularly concerned about some individual entities in pakistan that have been supportive of relationships with some of the people that we consider extremely dangerous to our interests in afghanistan elsewhere. the f-16s have been a critical part of the pakistani fight against the terrorists in the bern part of the country and have been effective in that fight. and pakistan has lost some 50,000 people in the last years, including troops, to the terrorists that have threatening pakistan itself. so it's always complicated. we try to be sensitive to the balance obviously with respect
to india. but we think the f-16s are an important part. >> as one of the few physicians in congress i do have a real interest in global health and looking at the current threat of zika virus. we were grateful to have the doctors and representatives of usid in committee a few weeks ago. as we're looking at zika and gathering, you know, information, i know the president requested $1.8 billion. the one thing as a physician, you know, we know and very much so are recommending, if you're pregnant, if you're of reproductive age to take all precautions. obviously the one thing that we do know is making access to full family planning services available in areas where we know there's endemic zika. and you know, within usid's
purview, within the $1.8 billion request, i'd be curious again the one thing is empowering women of child bearing age to have full family planning support services, whether that's birth control, whether that's -- we're seeing increasing cases of sexually transmitted zika virus as well. i'd be curious and i would want to make sure we are providing the full resources in these endemic countries. >> we're doing an enormous amount, congressman. i appreciate the expertise you bring as a physician and your concern about this. the president is extremely focused on the zika virus challenge. the white house national security council is actually coordinating the all of government response on this. and together with the world health organization with whom we are working very closely in its regional offices for the americas, for the pan american
health organization, we're working with relevant international organizations and others. the president emphasized a need to accelerate researcher efforts to make better diagnostic tests available to develop vaccines, medicines, improve mosquito control measures and ensure that all citizens have the information they need to be able to deal with the virus. we are using multiple lines of effort, an all-out effort. we do not want this obviously to become as challenging as ebola was. as you know, we mounted a response to that and the same kind of effort is being put into this. >> morning, mr. secretary. congress recently passed a trade authority bill that among other provisions instructed our trade negotiators to oppose any boycotts of israel, including persons doing business in israel or in israel-controlled areas. and yet your spokesman recently
said that the state department rejects that provision and does not believe that congress can conflate israel with disputed territories. so my question is, is why won't the administration honor congress's enactment? >> well, i'm not sure exactly what statement you're referring to or what happened with respect to that. i think we do honor legislation. but -- >> so you would say your negotiators, if a european country was saying they wanted to boycott people or businesses that are doing business over the green line, you think you would not fight against that? >> we do not support any boycott efforts. we've been openly opposed to them. we opposed them at the u.n. opposed labelling. >> so you don't -- well, good. maybe he was not -- >> that's why i said i don't know what the response was. >> okay. good. because i think that's great.
the labelling, i would like to follow up on that. your spokesman, mr. kirby, said that the u.s. does not oppose labelling of israeli products from the disputed territories and said the state department does not view labelling as a boycott of israel. and the problem with that is once you go down the road of doing the labelling, that's really a precondition for countries to be able to boycott israel. so he suggested that the state department is not opposed to european efforts to require israel to label goods that are outside of the green line. are you saying that's not the position? >> no. that kind of labelling actually -- we require a labelling of where people send goods from. we require a labelling of goods -- >> but if someone sends it from a jewish community outside of the green line and they said made in israel, the state department's position per him would be it's fine to force them
to say that was produced in the west bank. >> yeah. labelling it from the west bank is not equivalent of a boycott. >> but it sets a precondition for a boycott. >> -- knowledge to people so that they can, you know, have information about where products come from, which we require also, by the way. you know, we have made in america. >> but these are disputed territories. and you have jewish communities where they're producing goods and label it as the being made in israel -- >> i understand that. which is why we're opposed to any boycotts or any efforts to isolate israel based on where something -- we're opposed to that. >> good. i appreciate you saying that forthrightly because i think we've been getting mixed signals from the state department. in terms of funding, over the last several years, about a million dollars has gone to this new israel fund, an organization that supports bds. do you think it's property that money that the state department is dispensing in grants be used for organizations that support bds? >> i'm not familiar with that. it's news to me. i'll talk it under advisement and review it.
>> we'll get that. there's a movement to boycott israel on a lot of college campuses in the united states. do you view that as helpful and do you think it's appropriate that u.s. taxpayers are funding universities that take an official position in favor of bds? >> i believe in academic freedom, i believe in student freedom to take positions. it's a time honored tradition in the united states of america that we don't punish positions people take at any. >> what about -- >> we as a government make our position clear, that we do not believe it is helpful to be boycotting. but people have the right no america, thank god, to be able to make their own decisions and we as a government do not punish students for -- >> i don't think it would be punishing students. if a university adopted an official position that they were going to boycott israel. would we want to subsidize that --
>> that's a debate for congress. i would not advocate or support any challenge to the freedom of the university to make its own decisions and i think punishing them would be inappropriate. >> now, money that goes to the palestinian authority directly under federal law requires to state department to certify that the palestinian authority is acting to counter violence against the israelis. the last several years the state department that has not made that certification. is that correct?? >> i wasn't aware that we haven't certified the last couple of years. but we're following constantly the incitement issue. i just met with president abbas and raised the issue with him a couple of weeks ago, and we are working through our relationships and constant engagement on the west bank to make sure that incitement is not taking place in any official ways.
>> i think the worry is that certification has not been made so that would prohibit funds directly but the state department has been directing funds to the israelis to pay down the palestinian debts. this question is that trying to get around the spirit of the law? >> no. it's trying to sustain the one entity in the west bank that is committed to a peaceful resolution and to nonviolence and to state solution. the fact is that there are many, many difficulties financially in the pa's ability to be able to meet its needs for education, for health, for this standard process of trying to govern the west bank. and these have been particular ly difficult -- to read today that iran has agreed to pay the families of people who have engaged in violence and people who have been, quote, the martyrs of the violence that's taken place that's completely inappropriate and seems to lend some sort of credibility to that
violence and to those choices. and i think it's the wrong choice by iran. and we strongly urge any kind of encitement of any kind. and that even in its own way can be a form of encitement. you've got to have internal support and the families will be fine and this is okay behavior. it's not okay behavior. but president abbas is committed to nonviolence. he's the one leader in the west bank who has consistently, even in the middle to have violence, even in the middle of the gaza war previously condemned violence as a means of trying to achieve the two states.
we believe trying to build the palestinian authority and give them greater capacity to be able to control their own security, be able to build their capacity is the way to ultimately move towards solving the problem of the violence itself. >> i'll remind the members we need to stick to five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary for being here today. i'd like to follow up on dr. barrow's questions with regard to the f-16s in pakistan. judge poe and i recently sent you a letter expressing our grave concerns about this potential sale and asking you to consider stopping it. in our view rewarding pakistan with such a sale when in fact they have not changed their harboring and support of terrorists within pakistan, whether you talk about the 2011 statements by admiral mull lynn there, that the network is an
arm of the pakistani isi or statements that the isi played a direct role in supporting the deadly attack on our embassy in kabul or the 2008 mumbai attack both for security reasons and their actions in supporting these terrorists as well as the relationship that you and others have focused on and recognize as important with india. is this something you would be willing to reconsider given all of these factors? >> well, congresswoman, i'd like to talk to you sort of in a classified setting if we could. because i think there are some consideration that i can't go into here. i would say to you that i share the concern, as everybody does. the president, all of us are deeply concerned about isi
relationships, deeply concern about the hakani's network freedom to have been able to operate. and we had recent conversations with respect to that. and i think in fairness because of the nature of those conversations i will follow up with you. and i will definitely follow up in a way that we can discuss this. >> that would be great. i'd appreciate that. the last time i met with you in my district in hawaii we met at the east/west center. >> i remember it. >> it is a place that's instrumental in creating dialogues between leaders at a critical time when we're facing potential destabilization within the south china sea, north korea, island nations in the pacific and the challenges they're facing. the funding has been reduced this year for the east-west center. and i'm wondering if you can
talk about why that is as well as why the funding was moved from its own lie item into education and cultural exchanges and what impact that will have on this center's ability to continue to play this important role in the asia pacific region. >> the reason, congresswoman, is there's no policy shift whatsoever in reducing the importance of or the commitment to the east-west center. but beginning in 2017, the funding was going to be requested under the eca appropriation rather than a separate east-west center appropriation as in previous years. and i think the president's 2017 request is $10.8 million. you're right, it's below the actual level of 2015 and appropriated level. but i think, you know, it reflects just tough choices that we have with the budget that we have. not everybody is getting as much as they did the year before.
but it is not a reflection of some sort of downward trend put i reflects the difficulties of the current budget choice. and you know, we will maintain our consistent support for the east-west center going forward. i can guarantee you that. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i've got a lot more questions unfortunately we don't have much more time. one issue that i'd like to follow up with you and your staff on is the budget request within your budget that goes toward train and equip programs within both syria and iraq and the concern about how those funds are being used, who they're supporting in training as well as what coordination is occurring between state and the dod program and other agencies that are using this funding and toward what object ty. you know, the concern we've raised consistently over time about whether or not these funds
are being used to overthrow the syrian government of assad versus fighting and defeating daesh on the ground there and other al qaeda and the other islamic extremists group. this is something i think is important that we want to examine as we look at the budget for the state department. thank you. >> great. look guard to working with you on it. thank you. >> thank you. we'll go to david trot of michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, the capita christians have experienced some of the worst attacks in their modern history. we sent a petition to the white house urging that they designate
the muslim broth hood as a terrorist organization. in response the administration said we have not seen credible evidence that the muslim brotherhood has renounced its we know that obviously. >> so the administrations do not recognize them as a terrorist organization, the state department welcomed them on an official visit last year. days after -- >> no. there was a member or two who were part of a delegation that was -- that attended and nobody knew, you know, what membership anybody had with respect to that. >> okay. well, days after their visit they released a statement calling for a long, uncompromising jihad in egypt and two days later there was a major attack on the sinai peninsula. what should i tell and how should i explain the administration's policies and actions with respect to the muslim brotherhood to the 750
coptic christian families in my district? how should i explain the actions that we're taking to address the atrocities? >> well, we're leading the fight. i think you can tell them there's no country doing as much to fight against violent extremism, to counter violent extremism as the united states. we are the ones who have put together the global initiative on countering violent extremism. it's a president obama initiative. he's led it at the united nations. we've had major conferences and meetings on this issue and all violent extremists are brought into the purview of these efforts as a result of the initiative. we're leading the coalition in the fight against daesh, against al qaeda, against anybody appropriately designated as a violent broadly based organization.
we continue to carefully assess the status of the muslim brotherhood writ large as to whether or not it meets the specific legal criteria as set forth in the terrorist organization, you know, designation requirements. that's -- you know, while there are individual members that have engaged in violence and individual branches, the organization writ large under its overall heading has not expressed a commitment to that kind of activity. so it's difficult. how do you -- you know, we're looking at it. >> thank you, sir. let's switch to the president's plan to close the prison at guantanamo. we haven't received many details about that. we've heard the cost estimate is 300 to 500 million dollars to do the construction necessary to move the detainees and hold them here. no explanation has been forthcoming on how you resolve the conflict between that plan and the band to move the detainees around the national
defense authorization act. two days ago one of the former detainees was arrested in spain for apparently plotting to carry out an isis attack in spain. so at a high level, do you believe that closing the prison in guantanamo makes america and americans safer? >> yes, i do. i'm convinced it makes us safer because i think it's been an incredible recruiting tool and i don't think it adheres to the values of our country to have people held in a military prison 14 years after they were, quote, apprehended without any charges or any evidence. >> so you believe as far as the recruiting tool, someone gets radicalized and joins isis because they are singularly motivated by this terrible situation in the prison in guantanamo? is that what drives someone to make that decision? >> let me ask you something. do you remember seeing people in orange jumpsuits in the desert having their heads cut off? where do you think the orange jumpsuits came from?
they came from guantanamo. that was the image across the arab world. so yes, uh-uunequivocably, it wo accident. >> is guantanamo and the naval base, it is going to end up like the panama canal if we move the detainees out of there, is it -- >> no discussion. >> any plan to close that, to give it to cuba. >> i would personally be opposed to that. there's no discussion that i'm aware of. no, that is not what is at stake here. what is at stake here is living up to our values. i mean, it seems to me -- >> we can live up to our values without closing the prison. we can just correct the mistakes that were made and make sure they don't happen again. >> i think guantanamo now has such an imprint in the world. and as i said, those jumpsuits didn't come out of the imagination of daesh. they came out of the images of
guantanamo. >> and last question, sir, since i'm running out of time. >> we're out of time but the last questions could be in writing. we go to brian higgins of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, the continent of africa, you know, 55 countries, a population of a billion people. that population is expected to double by the year 2050. and a lot of failed states, particularly in central africa. we see the introduction of isis in libya, we see the terrorism of boko haram in nigeria and we see the tearing apart of the newest country in the world in south sudan with the population of some 11 million people. the u.n. reported that in south sudan soldiers with government
uniforms were entering united nations mission in south sudan, protection of civilian camps, firing on civilians and killing many of them, creating great instability. so i think when you look at, you know, particularly the activity of nonstate terrorist actors, isis and in boko haram, which seemingly are now moving toward, away from some traditional ways of gaining revenue and toward territorial control, to charge protection of people, the continent of africa i think poses a great, great challenge to the united states. what in this budget and what is the vision for the department of state with respect to containing and rebuilding that continent which i think has a lot of troubled spots right now? >> well, it's a great question and i really appreciate it.
i would say just about everything that we're doing with respect to our development policy, our countering violent extremism policy, our aid policy, our military to military assistance policy is all directed at this. we're deeply, deeply involved. the president was in africa, i was in africa. we have many of our cabinet secretaries traveling there. we're working on power africa because we're trying to get electricity into communities that don't have electricity so they can begin to develop and provide health capacity, provide education and fill the void that exists for a lot of young people who otherwise get their heads filled in a very calculated strategy by extremists to reach them. when i was -- to give you an example, when i was in ethiopia in adiss ababa, i met with the foreign minister there and i asked them how they manage their sort of 30%, 35% population that is muslim. and he said increasingly they
were concerned about it because what happens is an extremist cell will go out and target young poor kids and pays them initially and they would pay them and then bring them in, proselytize, fill their heads with this distortion, and then they don't need to pay them anymore because they're ready to operate based on what's been, you know, washed into them. what's been inculcated in them. and then they go out and start replicating this recruitment process. and what he said to me is, they don't have a five-year plan. they have a 35-year plan. they're ready to keep building this. and so, you know, we have to think about this, i believe, and this is what the president is trying to embrace in his countering violent extremism strategy. that we've got to recognize that failed or failing states that have no revenue, that can't build a school, that can't provide health, that can't organize the community, that
can't even build their own security structure to fight back against these radicals are going to require some help. now after world war ii we had a thing called the marshall plan where we rebuilt countries that had fallen into absolute economic despair as a consequence of the war and even rebuilt our former enemies, japan and germany. look at the difference it has made today. that is the greatest success story statement about why investment and why this engagement is critical. in africa we need to engage more. we need to be able to help them. we're fighting to help nigeria now deal with boko haram. we have a u.n. mission in somalia. it needs more help, more people, more assistance. we had al shabaab on the ropes last summer but now there's
reductions and so they push back. this is a long-term constant struggle. and i believe that the security of the united states of america is absolutely at stake in the choices we make in order to help fill these voids. not do it alone, but work through these global institutions in order to push back against this potential vacuum that invites failure and violence and extremism to fill the void. and i hope people will see this budget in that entire context. there's so many different things. what we're doing on aids, what we did with ebola. what we do in terms of our broad-based entrepreneurial encouragement. what we do with the program the president started for young african leaders in order to bring them here and help them to train and learn. all of these things are good,
solid investments for the long-term future and security of our country. >> we go to mr. lee zeldon of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for coming back before the committee. i wanted to discuss the iran nuclear agreement. the president has stated that the nuclear agreement is not based on trust but is based on verification. this past monday i received a letter from your talented assistant secretary for legislative affairs. i wanted to discuss a couple of components of that. thank you for the response. in the letter it says that the iran nuclear agreement, quote, relies on the unprecedented monitoring and verification measures. the letter further refers to, quote, an unprecedented iaea monitoring and surveillance and quote legally binding obligations under the additional protocol to iran's safeguards agreement with the iaea. my first question, mr. secretary, is have you read the iran's safeguards agreement with the iaea?
>> yes. >> and how can i access that? >> well, i've been briefed on it. put it that way. it was read by our staff when we were there. i didn't read the entire thing, but i was briefed fully on what the contents are. >> has the president read it? >> i can't speak to that. i don't know. i don't think so because it's in vienna. >> there's actually, if you visit the iaea website, they have a link to access the iran safeguards agreement. when you click the link, it goes to the next page and it says sorry, the information -- it's some type of a broken link. but i would be interested in reading that safeguards agreement. would that be possible? >> i don't know. i think that's a part of -- what? yeah, that's the part -- the safeguards component we were briefed on and we worked on and we were satisfied with. but it is part of -- it's a confidential -- it is always traditionally between every
country, including us, we have an agreement. but ours is confidential. other countries can't go read our agreement with the iaea, and that's the way the iaea works. but we, as i say, were briefed on it so that we had a sense of what was included, what needed to be included was satisfied because it was critical in the context of this, but we don't possess it. >> members of your staff have read it. you haven't asked to read it yourself? >> no, i was fully briefed on it at the time. i was in vienna, and i was there obviously on the last day. this was of high concern to us. i believe then undersecretary wendy sherman and others went over and met with the iaea and then they came back and briefed me out on it. but i didn't feel it was imperative at that point. >> and you feel comfortable stating that there's unprecedented iaea monitoring
and surveillance and verification measures even though you haven't read it yourself? >> with one caveat, yes. with one caveat. the -- there is unprecedented allowance for that full measure of intrusive oversight and access. the key now will be to plus up the iaea budget. we have the license for 130 or so additional inspectors to be permanently in iran. there's a permanent office in iran. but the iaea is going to need resourcing to meet this. now, we've always banked on the fact that's got to happen and it will happen. but i just want to signal that that is an imperative component of this. >> i'm just concerned when there are reports that start coming out that says that the iranians collect their own soil samples, that the iranians inspect some of their own nuclear sites, and
we have this opportunity to have the secretary here in front of the committee and these very concerning reports, i would love to be able to get confirmation as to whether or not you've read that in there. >> we have the right, under the agreement, under the assumption of the additional protocol. the additional protocol you can read. that is a public document. the additional protocol was negotiated by the iaea, was put in place as a consequence of what failed in the framework agreement with respect to north korea. the lesson of that was there has to be the ability to follow up and have access in order to investigate any suspected or -- >> mr. secretary. >> -- suspicious sites. >> i apologize. >> i'll just finish quickly. so we have a right of access for -- the iaea has a right of access for any suspicious site not to be collected by the
others, not -- but they themselves have the right of access. >> mr. secretary, why didn't you ask for a signature from iran on the nuclear agreement? why didn't you ask iran to sign the nuclear agreement? >> well, i believe they did sign it. >> well the letter that you sent said it's not a signed agreement. i mean, it specifically states, as a matter of fact -- >> there was a signed -- excuse me. iran did sign. the vice president of iran, ali salahi, went over to the iaea and signed the agreement at the iaea headquarters, signed it the morning before the implementation -- before the agreement was announced. >> the reason why i was asking is it says ". jcpoa is not a treaty or an executive agreement." >> that's accurate. >> "and it is not a signed document." >> that is accurate. it's not a treaty. it is a political agreement. but the actual agreement between the iaea and iran is signed. and that is a legal obligation. >> but the iran nuclear agreement, the jcpoa, the p5+1,
whatever we call it, is not signed. >> that is a political agreement, correct. but it is -- >> well the question is -- why didn't we ask iran to sign it? >> because it is a political agreement with force of law behind it, international law, because it's been embraced in and fully adopted by the united nations and the united nations security council. so that is why it has force of law and that is why the snapback is a particularly forceful position in this context. >> we need to go to mr. william keating of massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you for your service, mr. secretary. as the ranking member on terrorism, trade and proliferation in this committee, i want to focus on terrorism for the purpose of this questioning. and i want to really focus on the fact -- this is a budget hearing. and one thing i'm aware of and i think most experts agree with, taxpayers get the most -- it's most cost effective for
taxpayers and most experts will say most effective is the work that we do in those areas where terrorism is likely to incubate, maybe just starting to incubate or moving out and metastasizing. i just want you to comment on a couple of things. number one, we had king abdullah here talking to some of the committee members a while ago and he identified 17 fronts which are generally agreed upon in the world where isil and other groups are a great threat. but if you could, i just -- if you could comment on some of the areas where it's ripe for incubation or incubation in the world, what those geographic areas would be, indonesia, somalia, bangladesh, you know, areas we might not think of. number two, how we approach that is so important. and it's important for this hearing this morning. because i think the most effective things we can do in those areas before things
incubate, before they metastasize, is to look at what we can do as a country with our resources to intervene. now, i think clearly you touched on some of the economic areas that we could do it. i also think in terms of human rights, if you could comment on how we're utilizing an increased role for women and mothers in trying to deal with this issue in those type of situations. and also, in terms of the narrative, the extremists, the counterextremist narrative that we really want to pursue, whether it's broadcast, social media, something i think we're getting beaten on a little bit now globally in some areas. those are the kind of things that we get the most bang for the buck. and those are the things that keep us the safest and where we're the most effective. if you could take a few minutes and comment on geographically where you think there's some areas of concentration we may not think of first off the top of our heads and how we can deal
with it economically from a human rights perspective and from a counterextremist narrative. >> you know, congressman, i really appreciate the question an i want to try to answer it carefully because i don't want the -- i don't want the speculation or statement to become the father to the fact. >> i understand. >> so i don't want to run through a whole bunch of incubator locations that some people may not have thought of yet. but i think generically i would simply say to you that where you have a poor population, where you have a bad governance, where you have corruption, where you have a lack of opportunity, a lack of education, and you have a population that may be particularly susceptible to a
religious extortion -- distorted narrative, you have potential obviously. and there are plenty of places where, unfortunately, what i just described is the fact today. now, the key here is the latter part of your question dealing with the narrative. because the narrative, left unattended, can be very attractive. where you have corruption. and where you have lack of opportunity. and if a void gets filled with that narrative without the truth, without, you know, facts to the contrary, it could start to take hold and it has and it does. and we see that in various places. so we are now very, very focused. part of our strategy to fight daesh, al qaeda and others, is
to do a much better job with the counternarrative. undersecretary rick stangel has been deeply involved in this, working with different countries, working with our young best talented communicators in america beginning to fight back on the social media, for instance. there is a center that has opened in the arab emirates, in abu dhabi, the sawab center, that the emirates is engaged in supporting, which has a bunch of young folks in there and obviously mostly arabic speaking and other language speaking who are able to communicate the counternarrative. we've actually taken people who are disaffected from daesh and put them on the social media who have told the story of how they were exploited, raped or made slaves. by the way, many of those have been executed when they try to leave. those that made it out are powerful testimony to the contrary.
so we're doing a lot of that. saudi arabia is about to open a similar communications center. malaysia will. others. so there are lots of places where the communications effort is as critical as anything in preventing future recruits from being created and we're working very hard at that. >> thank you. >> we need to go to mr. jeff duncan of south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> secretary kerry, you seem to have an affinity for iran that i don't share. going back to 1979, iran has shown a strong animosity for america. they regularly chant "death to america" and recently tried to humiliate united states sailors. they're the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism and we just gave them billions of dollars, upwards on 150 billion that they could use to continue to export terrorism around the globe. will we ever learn? i just hope that that lesson doesn't come at the cost of
american lives through an act of terror backed by iran. i'd love to go back to something chairman mccall was touching on earlier and that's hr 158, the visa waiver program and terrorist travel prevention act. there were three areas that were exceptions under the law, military service, government travel and national security and law enforcement were exceptions for the visa waiver issue. during the negotiations, as the chairman pointed out, the state department asked for other exemptions and they were explicitly denied in the law signed by the president. so in that, mr. secretary, there are national security and law enforcement waivers. could you please define for me your interpretation of national security and law enforcement? >> sure. let me just, if i can, with your indulgence, i just want to make it clear. i don't have an affinity for any country that is engaged in
activities that are counter to our values and that put our people at risk and that are supporting terror. no affinity whatsoever. my job as the secretary of state and as a diplomat is to try to find solutions to problems that don't involve, if possible and we can achieve our goals, sending young people into conflict, going to war. war is the failure of diplomacy to solve a problem. so we looked at iran and saw them about to be putting us in a situation where they may have a nuclear weapon, which would be bad for everybody in the world, particularly our friends closest -- >> mr. secretary, i appreciate you making that clear. but i also understand you sent a letter after the visa waiver program law was passed -- >> explaining that it didn't violate jcpoa -- >> explain to me -- define
national security and law enforcement, if you don't mind. >> sure. we have an interest, obviously, in being able to guarantee that iran over a period of time or any other country may be able to change, may be able to move to a different posture. and our belief is, from a national security point of view, that if people are able to do legitimate business, that over a period of time that changes things. we look at what's happening in vietnam today, for instance. or we look at what's happening in burma, other countries. transformation takes place. and we believe that transformation is in the national security interest of our country and some of it comes from entrepreneurial activity being able to take place where people begin to feel better about life, see that they're not threatened, do better, travel,
see the world and so forth. >> that's a good answer, sir. but let me reference a -- >> we have people -- we have friends -- >> reclaiming my time. let me reference a white paper that the state department put out, sir, that says as discussed in the legal paper -- which we've asked for a copy of the legal paper referenced in this white paper and have not seen that yet. it says, "as discussed in the legal paper, this is a lesser standard. national security and law enforcement is a lesser standard, your word, the department's words, not mine, than was imposed by other statutes that require a finding that a waiver is vital to or essential to the national security interest to have united states. furthermore there are no findings of fact or other determinations required to be made before exercise of the waiver authority. additionally as discussed in the legal paper, yet to be seen, the national security waiver can be exercised by category, not just individuals. so you're going to broaden this to humanitarian, other
categories that y'all asked for during the negotiations which were explicitly denied by congress in the law. >> what we're doing, congressman, we're not -- i think we've adhered to the discussions that we had because we're not doing a blanket waiver. we're doing -- these are individual, case-by-case basis. so we're not doing some blanket waiver. and i think that's frankly not only adhering to the standard but it's in our interest. we have people -- you know, the principle threat that we are concerned about of terror from daesh is not coming out of iran. it's coming out of other places. and if some european business person or an ngo that happens to be advocating human rights travels to iran and they have a visa waiver with us -- which by way has an extraordinarily rigorous standard before it's given. we don't lose any -- in fact we
have greater insight with somebody with that than we do in other cases. >> i'm on homeland security. i've followed this issue for a long time. what this white paper looks like, and maybe i would have a better understanding if you would provide us to a copy of the legal paper. mr. secretary, this looks like you were trying to find wiggle room to work around the intent of congress and the actual wording of the law. my time has expired. you can keep talking if the chairman will let you. i appreciate it. >> where did the white paper come from? i'm sorry. i missed that. >> it's called the visa waiver program waiver recommendation paper. and it's a state department document. and it references in there twice that i know a legal paper which helped you determine your findings here. please provide us a copy of the legal paper and maybe this will be a nonissue. thank you. i yield back. >> okay. mr. chairman, thank you. >> thank you, mr. secretary. and we will continue looking at your budget. your department has many good programs that need to be supported.
but as i said in my statement, even good programs may not be able to get the level of support we'd all wish given our deficit. we'll work at doing the best job we can with embassy security a priority. and i for one am particularly supportive of your initiatives promoting women's education and social status in the developing world. on the iran deal i'm afraid the dam has been broken with foreign investment rushing in and in the real world it will not be reversible if and when iran cheats. but that is a continuing discussion. mr. rohrabacher had a question for the record which will be submitted without objection. it's on the subject of the release of dr. friedi. we all hope and want to see dr. friedi released immediately. the problems and threats but also the opportunities we face are great. the committee looks forward to its continued work with you to strengthen our nation's security. and thank you again, mr.
[ room noise ] on capitol hill friday morning the house energy and commerce committee holds a hearing on 3-d printing technology and the recent advancements in the field. we'll bring that to you live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. then a house homeland security hearing on the security of the nation's food supply. and that's live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. one of the headlines in the "wall street journal," also available online at wsj.com, congress ponders president trump. something that seemed highly
unlikely now seems like a real possibility. christina peterson covers congress for the "wall street journal" and is joining us on the phone. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> as you talk to members of congress, republican leaders, what are they telling you? >> well, you know, this question seemed far-fetched a couple months ago, and now it definitely seems less so. i would say that republicans in general expect trump would become a little less brash if he were to inhabit the white house. they in general have a lot of confidence that his business background could be useful, and they at least are publicly saying they think he would be able to work with congress and form coalitions and get stuff done. i think there may be some anxiety behind those pronouncements as well. and there are a few members of congress who have said they would not support trump if he were the nominee, including
carlos corbello, who's a republican from florida. but in general i think the democrats are a lot more skeptical that they would be able to get anything done with a trump administration. >> nearly all of our presidents had elective experience, with the exception of general eisenhower and general grant. they had military experience. but we've never had anyone who's never been elected to anything. can a businessman deal with washington politics? >> well, i think there is a lot of anxiety around certain pieces of his background, particularly in foreign policy. his praise for vladimir putin, for instance, has raised some eyebrows around capitol hill. senator claire mccaskill said she thought there would be giggles around the globe if he were dealing with foreign leaders. so that i think is an area of real concern, that he doesn't have experience in. and some of his stances are pretty controversial. for instance, he's said he would build a wall along the southern border with mexico and deport all of the illegal immigrants in
the united states. that doesn't bode well for trying to reach some kind of compromise on an overhaul of the immigration system. and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said they just don't think anything would happen on that front if trump were elected president. >> and with regard to that wall, the former mexican president vicente fox using a few choice words saying that there was no way mexico would pay for the wall. >> yeah. i think the payment of that could become contentious among other things. it seems hard to imagine that congress would appropriate funding for that. but i think we are sort of dealing with scenarios now which seemed far-fetched before and you know, seem increasingly possible now. >> kristina peterson, let me get your reaction to what speaker paul ryan said earlier today about the possibility of donald trump as the republican nominee and if he were president dealing with a republican congress. >> you said you want to give the country a choice. but how can you present that choice when your nominee
potentially has no interest in pursuing any of the policies that you've outlined? >> we'll cross these bridges when we get to it. but i do believe we will be able to unify as a party and i doev whoever our nominee is going to be will find a way to make a unified front work. and by the way, congress will have our own ideas. and that's what we do. we're republicans. we all have our own individual ideas and we gravitate from the same principles and we'll be applying those principles and offering people a choice. and i'm very excited about that project here in congress. and like i said, whoever our nominee is i'm sure we'll find a way of working together. >> speaker paul ryan earlier today in washington. kristina peterson, how likely is that, though? >> well, the speaker has been very careful to maintain the stance that whoever is the gop nominee, house republicans will work with and can work with. but there are some big differences. i mean, house republicans right now are fighting over the size of their budget. there are a lot of conservatives who want to exert their influence to reduce spending. and trump has not shown any
inclination to make that a focus, saying there are areas in which he would increase spending. enlarging the military and expanding social security. so you do see the potential for some real conflict there. but i think that that's something politically that house gop leadership can't afford to say. >> one of the criticisms president obama has been getting from both democrats and republicans is that he has not used the white house, he has not built the personal relationships you that need to forge in this town. explain what you write about in your story about how donald trump has tried to do just the opposite in his business dealings with elected officials. >> yeah, i think there is a lot of optimism among lawmakers that a president trump would be more hospitable and enjoy the schmoozing a little bit more than president obama. and he does in fact have a background with some of the lawmakers. he would be no stranger. he has held fund-raisers for senator harry reid. senator charles schumer, who would be the next democratic leader. he has met nancy pelosi in the house.
and he actually had something of a rapport with former house speaker john boehner. the two of them had gone golfing in the past and would then exchange text messages including during some of the big legislative battles. he has had an interest in politics and he does know some of the folks on the hill. but that's a little bit different than having to pass spending bills, sign them into law or, you know, working at some of these big trade agreements and getting them passed. it's a layer of complexity that i don't think he's necessarily dealt with on capitol hill yet. >> lawmakers contemplating the possibility of a president donald j. trump and the reporting of kristina peterson, who covers congress for the "wall street journal," joining us here in washington. thank you for your time. >> thanks so much, steve. c-span's campaign 2016 is taking you on the road to the white house. and saturday as the south carolina democratic primary. our live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. eastern with election results and speeches from the democratic candidates. hillary clinton and bernie
sanders. also get your reaction through your phone sxaulz tweets. join us saturday for live coverage on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. acting education secretary john king answered questions from members of the senate health education, labor, and pensions committee at a hearing on his nomination to become the permanent replacement for arne duncan, president obama's first education secretary, who left after seven years of service. most of the questions asked of king related to a recent education reform law and its implementation by state and local education authorities. student loans and education for rural students. this is about two hours and 15 minutes.
today we're holding a hearing -- the committee on health education labor and pensions. so please come to order. our hearing today is on the nomination by the president of dr. john king to serve as the united states secretary of education. senator murray and i will have an opening statement. then we'll introduce the nominee. after dr. king's testimony senators will each have five minutes of questions. we especially welcome bobby scott from the house of representatives. whose leadership played such a key role in the passage of the every child succeeds act. it would not have happened without him. he was forceful and diplomatic and oriented toward a result.
so we admire that and appreciate his work on that. i'll introduce him later to introduce dr. king. we also dr. king's family, who i know are here. i'll let him do the introducing of them at a later time. i'm very glad we're having this hearing today. when senator murray and i and representative scott and others were at the white house on december 10th for the signing of no child left behind by president obama, i urged the president to send to the senate a nominee to succeed education secretary arne duncan. i did that because this is such an important year for schools. we need an education secretary who is confirmed and accountable to congress while we're implementing a law that may governor elementary and secondary education for years to come. i want to make sure we work together to implement it as congress wrote it. so congratulations on your nomination, dr. king.
if you'll permit a personal note, this very month, 25 years ago, i was sitting in the same position that you're sitting today having been nominated as u.s. education secretary by president george h.w. bush. i remember thinking that the senators had deliberately set me way down there and them way up here so i'd be intimidated by that. the hearing lasted four hours. we won't do that to you today, i don't think. my appointment was announced in december, but i wasn't confirmed until march 14th. what happened to me at the hearing, and my family was there, like yours, i can remember it vividly, senator metsenbaum from ohio said, well, governor, i've heard some disturbing things about you. i said, oh? and he said, but i'm not going to bring them up here today. and senator castlebaum leaned
over and said, well, howard, i think you just did. and he probably put a hold on me. and i hung for about two months waiting for that to be lifted. i don't suspect you'll have any of that sort of problem like that today. senator dan coates was on the committee. he said 25 years ago many states are ahead of the government in terms of opening them up to more solutions in education. that was true then, it's true today. when the president signed into law the every student succeeds act in december, he was signing a law that passed the united states senate 85-12. 19 of the 22 members of this committee voted for it. i believe it is fair to say that every single member of this committee made some contribution to the result. we achieved the result because, as "newsweek" said, this was a law that everyone wanted fixed and fixing it was long overdue. not only was there consensus about the need to fix the law, there was a consensus about how to fix it. and the consensus which we
repeated over and over again was this -- continue the important measures of the academic progress of students, disaggregate the results of tests and report them so everyone can know how the school, teacher and children are doing, and then restore to states, school districts and classroom teachers and parents the responsibility of what to do about tests and improving student achievement. it reverses the trend toward what in effect can become a national school board and restores to those closest to children the responsibility for their well-being and academic success. the "wall street journal" called the new every student succeeds act "the largest evolution of federal control of schools from washington back to the states in a quarter of a century."
more importantly, i believe the new law can inaugurate a new era of innovation in student achievement by putting the responsibility for children back in the hands of those closest to them. the parents, classroom teachers, principals, school boards and states. the law is so important that the nation's governors gave it their first full endorsement of any piece of federal legislation in 20 years. the last time they did that was the welfare reform bill in 1996. the law has the support of organizations that do not always see eye to eye. in fact, almost every education organization that supported the bill is already beginning to work together to help to implement it. we held a hearing with several of them on tuesday. those groups have formed a coalition made up of the following -- the national governors he association. the school superintendents association. the national education association. the american federation of teachers. the national conference of state legislators. the national association of state boards of education. the national school board association.
the association of elementary school principals and of secondary school principals. the national teachers association. and it also has the support of the chief state school officers. any of us who have been around education know that these groups do not always see eye to eye all the time. but they do on this bill. you already know this because they've sent you a letter in which they said, "although our organizations do not always agree, we're unified in our belief that e.s.s.a.," or as senator franken says, essa, "is an historic opportunity" -- well, that's your suggestion for what we call it. right? right. "essa is an historic opportunity to make a world class 21st century education system. we are dedicated to working together at the national level to facilitate partnership among our members and states and
districts to guarantee the success of this new law. continuing their letter, the new law replaces a top-down accountability and testing regime with an inclusive system regime with an inclusive system based on collaborative state an3 local innovation. for this vision to become a reality, we must work together to closely honor congressional intent. e.s.s.a. is clear -- education decision making now rests with states and districts and the federal role is to support and inform those decisions." i will include the letter in our record. the letter accurately reflects the consensus forged by these disparate organizations and by the democrats and republicans in congress. the consensus ended the practice of granting conditional waivers through which the u.s. department of education has become, in effect, a national school board for more than 80,000 schools in 42 states. governors have been forced to go
to washington and play "mother, may i" in order to put in a plan to evaluate teachers or help a low-performing school, for example. that era is over. this law ends what had become, in effect, a federal common core mandate. it specifically prohibits washington from mandating or even incentivizing common core or any other specific academic standards. it ends the highly qualified teacher definition end requirements, teacher evaluation mandates, federal school turnaround models, federal test accountability and annual testing progress. because it moves decisions about whether schools, teachers, and students are succeeding or failing out of washington, d.c. and back to states and communities and classroom teachers where those decisions belong. this hearing provides congress with the opportunity to ask questions, learn more about your background, and get your commitment to work with us if you are confirmed. my colleagues and i will have
questions about such important issues as should parents have the right to opt their children out of federally mandated tests? and how will you balance the new law's requirements on that important issue with deference to state and local decision making? how will you manage the department's $1 trillion portfolio of student loans? how do you plan to deal with the issues raised by congressman chaffetz in the house about the security of information technology systems at your department. what about the civil rights practice treating guidance without issued notice and comment as binding on our nation's college campus on the serious issue of campus sexual assault. you have a distinguished career. you've been a public school student, a teacher, you founded a charter school, served as education commissioner in new york, a state of nearly 20 million with responsibility for more than 7,000 public schools, as well as 270 colleges and universities. you were delegated duties of deputy secretary of education by secretary duncan and you are also the father of two children. you've seen our education system
from nearly every angle. as you and i have discussed, i believe that if you are o?sl6mfi confirmed, we'll be able to work together not only to implement the new law governing elementary and secondary education, but that we can take some bipartisan steps which we've already begun in the committee to make it easier and less expensive for students to go to college and that we can begin to cut through the jungle of red tape that's strangling our 6,000 institutions of higher education. many of these steps are well under way, they have broad support and we should finish the job. so welcome to you and to your family. i look forward to hearing from you today. our new every student succeeds act is an important change in direction and is excellent policy.
it should provide a much needed period of stability for federal policy in schools for several years. but we all know that a law is not worth the paper it is printed on unless it is implemented the way congress wrote it. that's why i'm glad the president has appointed an education secretary who can be confirmed and be accountable to the united states senate. and if you are confirmed, i look forward to working with you to help you and our new laws succeed for the benefit of 50 million children, 3 1/2 million teachers and 100,000 public schools. senator murray. >> thank you very much, chairman alexander. thank you to all of our colleagues for joining us today. dr. king, thank you for being here. i, too, want to acknowledge your wife and two daughters for being with us today. in public service we all know we couldn't do the important jobs without having support from our families. having your two daughters in public schools i'm sure provides tremendous motivation for and you inspiration for what you do. i want to acknowledge my good friend bobby scoot who's the ranking member of the house education and work force committee who's joined us today to introduce dr. king to our committee. and i want to take this
opportunity personally to thank you for all your great work and leadership on education. you've been a true partner throughout your career on efforts to improve outcomes for all of our children regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money they make, as well as championing efforts to ensure that college is affordable to all americans. so bobby, welcome here to our committee as well. this is an important time. for students of all ages. from our very youngest learners all the way to those who are pursuing college and career training. in recent years the cost of college has skyrocketed, leaving families and students to struggle with high costs and the crushing burden of student debt and there have been recent cases of institutions that deceive and mislead students and student loan servicers making it harder
for borrowers to pay back their loans. when it comes to early learning we've seen improvements but we have much more to do to expand access to high-quality preschool so more kids can start school on strong footing. and this is a critical moment for k-12 education as schools and districts and states transition from the broken no child left behind law to our bipartisan every student succeeds act that the president did sign into law late last year. i'll talk more about that transition a little later. but with all of these challenges and students, it is important for the department of education to have strong leadership and i am confident that dr. john king is a strong nominee to transition from acting secretary to taking on the position of secretary of education. through his personal background he knows firsthand the power that education can have in a student's life. he has enriched student's lives as a classroom teacher and as a principal. he has worked with schools to
close the achievement gaps and he served as the commissioner of education for new york state for four years. overall he has spent his career fighting on behalf of students so they get the chance to learn and grow and thrive in the classroom and beyond. no one can question his passion for our nation's young people. this administration, as we all know, has just a little less than a year left in office but that is still plenty of time to make progress in several key areas. in higher education, i along with my democratic colleagues will continue to focus on ways to make college more affordable and reduce the crushing burden of student debt that's weighing on so many families today. i'd also like to see the department take new steps to protect students who are pursuing their degrees, and that includes issuing clear guidelines for students like those who attended corinthian college, who went to an institution that did engage in widespread deceptive practices. these students have the right to seek loan forgiveness and get some much-needed relief through what's known as defense to repayment. i've also been especially concerned by cases where servicers have overcharged men
and women in the military on their student loans while they served in active duty. in august, senator warren, senator blumenthal and i requested that the inspector general examine the department's review of servicers' compliance with the service members' civil relief act and i anticipate that i.g. report very soon. i will continue to press the department to fully address cases of service members who were overcharged and take corrective steps to make sure it never happens again. all borrowers should receive the highest level of customer service and protection under the law. of course, the role of education secretary has become especially important as the department begins implementing the every student succeed act.
this new law gives states more flexibility but also includes strong federal guardrails to make sure every student has access to a high-quality education. i expect the department to use its full authority under the every student succeeds act to hold our states and schools accountable, to help reduce reliance on redundant and unnecessary testing, and to expand access to high-quality preschool. i look forward to hearing more from dr. king about his vision for implementing the every student succeeds act, to help every student gain access to a quality education regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money their parents make. a good education can be a powerful driving force for success in our country and it can help more families live out the american dream. that's what makes education such a vital piece of our work, to help our economy grow from the middle out. not the top down. and as secretary of education, i hope dr. king will be a valuable partner in that work. i look forward to working with all of our colleagues on moving this nomination forward. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murray. before i present dr. king to the committee, i'd like to call on
representative bobby scott who senator murray and i both talked about. he played and indispensable new role in this law as ranking member of the education workforce committee in the house of representatives and represents virginia's 3rd congressional district. so representative scott, we welcome you and we know you have a busy schedule so after you make your remarks, you're certainly welcome to stay or to go, whichever fits your schedule. and then i will introduce the nominee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and ranking member murray. i want to join in the comments made about the work that was done on the every student succeeds act. the work that was done was cooperative and collaborative, constructive and i think we ended up with an excellent bill. you indicated the list of people that support it. would not have been possible without that cooperative effort. i want to thank you and the ranking member for that work. also that couldn't have been done without a cooperative
committee. so i want to thank all of the committee members. and also thank you for the opportunity to introduce dr. john king, an inspirational and tested leader who is before you today as president obama's nominee to serve as united states secretary of education. our nation continues to make strides in closing achievement gaps, improving graduation rates, increasing minority attainment and higher education, but there's much more work that needs to be done in order to fulfill our moral and civil rights obligation to ensure that every student has the opportunity to fulfill his or her academic and lifelong potential. there's no one more qualified than dr. king to lead the department as it endeavors to fulfill that obligation, especially as we implement every student succeeds act. the fight for education and educational equity is a deeply personal and life-long fight for dr. king. his life is an extraordinary
testament of the powerful role that education plays in creating opportunity. his life's journey, supported by new york public school educators he credits as role models, is a symbol of what we collectively seek for millions of disadvantaged students across the country. his belief in both the centrality of education a opportunity to the american dream and the vital necessity of the second chances for our young people are founded in his impressive and improbable journey, overcoming daunting challenges early in life, going on to earn not one, but four ivy league degrees, empowering young people as an effective teacher, school leader, and charter school founder. serving as education commissioner for the state of new york, and now sitting before you today nominated by the president of the united states of america to serve as the nation's top education official charged with protecting and promoting educational
opportunity for all students. acting secretary king brings a continued commitment to advancing excellence and equity for every student, elevating the teaching profession and improving access to higher education, college affordability and completion rates. while it is impossible for me to highlight his long list of experience and accomplishments with the limited time i have, i would like to share with you just a few of his accomplishments. before becoming acting secretary, dr. king served at the department as principal senior advisor. in that role he carried out duties of deputy secretary, overseeing all preschool through 12th grade education policies, programs and strategic initiatives, as well as the operations of the department. prior to his arrival at the department, he served as the commissioner of education for the state of new york where he served as chief executive officer of the state department -- state education department and as president of the university of the state of new york. at the time of his appointment dr. king was one of the nation's youngest state education leaders
and the first african-american and puerto rican to serve as a new york state education commissioner. dr. king also brings to his role extensive experience leading urban public schools that are closing the achievement gap and preparing students to enter, succeed in and graduate from college. prior to his appointment as senior deputy commissioner in the new york state department of education, he served as managing director with uncommon schools, a non-profit charter management organization that operates some of the highest-performing urban public schools in new york, new jersey and massachusetts. dr. king earned a bachelor of arts in government from harvard, a master of arts in teaching of social studies from columbia, a juris doctorate from yale and a doctorate in education and educational administrative practice from columbia. for his leadership initiatives and education equity, dr. king has been honored with the award from the new york urban league, the eugene m. lang lifetime achievement award from the i
have a dream foundation, from the new york immigration coalition, the builders of the new new york award, and the robin hood foundation heroes award. many of you became familiar with dr. king during last year's successful reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act, and no doubt found him and his staff to be accessible, responsible and responsive and collaborative. knowing the character and leadership of dr. king, i know that accessibility and collaboration will persist through the remainder of his term as he and his staff at the department work closely with this committee and with the house committee on education in the workforce and i could not be more confident that dr. king will effectively lead the department as the nation's tenth united states secretary of education. mr. chairman, it's my pleasure to introduce dr. king. >> thank you, representative scott. thank you for being here. dr. king has been well introduced by representative scott.
we welcome him, his wife and his children. he is currently the acting secretary of education. before joining the department, he served as commissioner of education in new york, the managing director of the uncommon charter schools in new york, and co-founder of roxbury preparatory charter school in massachusetts. dr. king, we now invite you to give five minutes of opening remarks. and i know that if you would like to introduce your family we'd like to meet them. your written statement will be entered into the record in its entirety. then following that, we'll have a five-minute round of questions because we have a number of senators here who would like to talk with you. dr. king. >> thank you so much. thank you, chairman alexander. ranking member murray. and members of the committee for welcoming me here today. i am humbled and honored to appear before you as president obama's nominee for education secretary. i'm proud to be here today with my wife, melissa, and my two wonderful daughters, amina and
mira. i am grateful to the president for his faith in me. i am appreciative of the committee's hard work and continued focus on behalf of our nation's learners. i'm mindful of how remarkable it is that i am here at all. as some of you may know, i believe education is the difference between hope and despair, between life and death even, because it was for me. i grew up in brooklyn, the son of two life-long new york city public school educators. although i never had the chance to know them well, my parents' faith in education continues to inspire me. when i was 8, my mother died of a heart attack. my father passed away just four years later after suffering through undiagnosed alzheimer's disease that made our home a scary and unpredictable place. amidst that trauma and uncertainty, school was my refuge and teachers were my saviors.
and it is because there are so many young people out there like me that i feel such urgency about the work of education. thanks to the efforts of this committee, the obama administration and our nation's educators and parents, there are many reasons to feel hopeful. last year we achieved the highest graduation rate we've ever had as a country. since 2008 we've halved the number of dropout factory high schools. tens of thousands of children have access to high-quality preschool and millions more students have access to higher education. these are meaningful, positive steps. and yet so much work remains. for all our progress, students of color, low-income students, english learners and students with disabilities still lag behind their peers in nearly every important measure of school achievement. and in far too many schools we still offer them less, less access to the best teachers and the most challenging courses, less access to the resources necessary to thrive. so we have urgent work to do. i believe we stand well
positioned in part due to the every student succeeds act. the new law preserves the critical federal role to ensure guardrails to protect civil rights. but the locus of decision making is rightly shifting back to districts and away from the one size fits all mandates of no child left behind. as a former teacher, principal and state commissioner, i know from experience that the best ideas come from classrooms, not from conference rooms. the new law creates a renewed opportunity to focus on equity and new freedom for state and local leaders to establish better, more balanced ways of assessing student learning. together i hope we can harness the bipartisan momentum of its passage to advance college access, affordability and completion. it won't be easy. the most critical work rarely is. but i sit here today ready for the challenge and mindful of its tremendous urgency. if you'll indulge me i'll close with a story about my father